Have you jumped on the vitamin D bandwagon thinking more must be better? 

You're definitely not alone. 

In the last few years, the number of people taking vitamin D has sky-rocketed, but did you know…

taking excessive amounts of vitamin D can actually be detrimental to your health. 

Maybe you started taking it during the pandemic or because your doctor prescribed a high dose due to a deficiency, and you simply never stopped. Or perhaps you stumbled upon articles or social media posts singing praises of vitamin D and decided to make it a daily ritual.

Either way, it's important to recognize that long-term and excessive vitamin D supplementation can pose serious risks, especially if you haven't been monitoring your vitamin D levels regularly through blood tests once or twice a year. 

In this article, we'll dive into the potential dangers of overdosing on vitamin D and why it's crucial to get your vitamin D levels checked if you've been supplementing for an extended period, especially at higher doses like 10,000 IU’s. 

So, let's dig deeper into the complex world of vitamin D to help you make better choices for your overall health.


I used to believe that everyone should be taking a vitamin D supplement because of how widespread deficiency is in the US. We are inside more and don’t consume a lot of the foods that are higher in vitamin D like egg yolks, fatty fish and cod liver oil.

While there’s no question that having adequate levels of Vitamin D are absolutely vital for good health, many people have been taking high doses for a long-period of time and are now in excess. 

Every few months I come across lab results showing excessively high vitamin D levels (65+), and while stopping the supplementation usually helps regulate it, the longer it remains at high levels, the more harm it can cause (which we will discuss below). 

That's why it's incredibly important to have your vitamin D levels tested regularly. Unfortunately, many doctors don't include vitamin D in their routine lab tests, along with other important markers like parathyroid hormone and magnesium to give us a fuller picture of what’s going on in the body. This oversight can lead to missed opportunities to address imbalances and ensure proper functioning of the body while it’s still easy to fix!

To be fair, MOST people I see have low Vitamin D but for those few who are running high and it continues to get overlooked for a long period of time, it can cause irreversible side effects.


Vitamins come in two main types: fat soluble and water soluble. 

Water-soluble vitamins such as Vitamin C and the B vitamins dissolve in water. These vitamins are easily eliminated through urine, which makes it difficult to overdose on them. However, since they are not stored in the body for long, it's important to have regular intake of these water-soluble vitamins to meet your daily requirements.

On the other hand, fat-soluble vitamins like D, E, A, and K dissolve in fat, and it's best to take them with fatty or oily foods for better absorption. Here’s the important thing to be aware of -- taking excessive amounts of any of these fat-soluble vitamins can lead to their accumulation in the liver and fatty tissues which can lead to excessively high amounts. This is unlikely to occur from sun exposure or dietary sources which is why we need to be smart about how we supplement.


  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Poor appetite
  • Excessive thirst
  • Frequent urination
  • Constipation
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Muscle pain or weakness
  • Bone pain
  • Headaches
  • Confusion or difficulty thinking
  • Elevated blood calcium levels (hypercalcemia)
  • Kidney problems (in severe cases)


The main issue with excessive amounts of vitamin D is that it disrupts the balance of calcium in the body, leading to various symptoms and complications like:

  •  Hypercalcemia 
    • Increased absorption of calcium from the intestines can cause nausea, vomiting, constipation, frequent urination, confusion, and even kidney problems.
  • Kidney stones
  • Digestive issues
    • like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and constipation.
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Excessive bone loss


Calcium, vitamin D, vitamin K, and magnesium all work closely together, and any imbalance in these nutrients can have a ripple effect on many of the body’s systems. That’s why balance and proper ratios of these nutrients are crucial for optimal health. 

  • Calcium is the key mineral required for building and maintaining strong bones and teeth. It provides structural support to the skeletal system and is involved in various physiological processes, including muscle contraction, nerve function, and blood clotting. 
  • Vitamin D helps with the absorption of calcium from the intestines and into the bloodstream. It also promotes reabsorption by the kidneys to maintain calcium balance in the body.
  • Magnesium activates Vitamin D and helps to convert it into its active form. It transports calcium in and out of cells making sure it’s being used properly within the cells.
  • Vitamin K directs calcium into the bones so it doesn’t get deposited in soft tissues and arteries. It also helps with blood clotting and maintaining a healthy heart and blood vessels.

The synergistic teamwork between these nutrients ensures that calcium is effectively absorbed, utilized, and directed to the bones, where it is needed for strong skeletal structure.

Unfortunately, many people are deficient in those other nutrients for various reasons, creating widespread osteoporosis and cardiovascular issues. 

Vitamin D deficiency is common because we spend more time indoors and don't get enough sunlight or consume foods rich in vitamin D like egg yolks and fatty fish. 

Vitamin K deficiency is also widespread as people often don't eat enough leafy greens, fermented foods, or grass-fed dairy. 

Magnesium is challenging to get enough of due to modern farming practices which have depleted magnesium levels in the soil. In addition, many of the processed snacks and foods we fill ourselves up on don't provide much magnesium either. The most magnesium rich foods include pumpkin seeds, dark chocolate, spinach, swiss chard, almonds, and cashews. Additionally, certain health conditions, chronic stress, alcohol consumption, and certain medications  like (PPI’s for acid reflux, antibiotics, birth control, prednisone, and diuretics) can lead to magnesium loss in the body. 


Now let me be clear, this does not mean that you should just take a calcium supplement to balance it out. 

In fact, I rarely, if ever, recommend taking calcium supplements, and even when I do, it's only in combination with those other crucial nutrients like Vitamin K, D, and magnesium. And even then, I have my reservations. While calcium plays a vital role in maintaining strong bones, it requires the support and synergy of the other nutrients to ensure optimal bone health.

Supplementing with only calcium, like many people are doing to prevent and reverse osteoporosis can be downright dangerous.

If you're deficient in Vitamin D, K, or magnesium, the calcium supplement you consume may not be deposited in your bones but rather in your arteries, leading to artery calcification. Artery calcification can lead to narrowing of the arteries, increased risk of heart disease, stroke, peripheral artery disease, high blood pressure and kidney problems. It ain’t nothin’ to mess with!

Plus, it can cause the calcium to get deposited only on the outside of the bones, causing the bones to become hard on the outside but weak on the inside, making them more prone to fractures and shattering. 

It's essential to recognize that calcium supplementation should not be done in isolation, despite many doctors' recommendations. The presence of adequate Vitamin D, K, and magnesium is vital for proper calcium utilization and bone health and most people are deficient in the other vitamins -- resulting in a recipe for disaster.

If you or someone you know is currently taking calcium supplements, I encourage you to dive deeper into this topic and gain a better understanding of the potential risks involved. It's crucial to consider a comprehensive approach to bone health, which includes a balanced diet, weight-bearing activity, and professional guidance to ensure optimal bone strength and overall well-being.

Check out this article for more info on calcium supplements.



Especially if you have been taking high doses or taking Vitamin D for a long time, it’s crucial that you get your levels checked. 

We include Vitamin D in our comprehensive bloodwork panel at Flora Fauna Wellness along with other important markers that help us paint a more complete picture of your health. The bloodwork we run is much more comprehensive than your average doctor and checks for various markers that show us a pattern of how you’re absorbing vitamin D. We don't rely on just one marker like Vitamin D to make a diagnosis.

You can also see your regular doctor for this but might need to give them a little extra push.

I suggest getting tested twice a year, in the Spring and Fall, so you can adjust your supplementation accordingly. In the summer, when we're basking in the sun, you may not need as much, but during the gloomy winter months, you might require a boost to ward off seasonal blues.

Without checking your levels, you're in the dark about where you stand. You could be riding high after a sunny summer and not need any supplementation come fall, or you might still be in the lower range and want to pump up the D for the impending winter doldrums. Plus, your Spring levels can shed light on whether "Seasonal Depression" is caused by something other than a vitamin D deficiency. 

We need this data to piece together your health puzzle.

The optimal Functional range for Vitamin D is between 35-65 ng/mL, although individual requirements vary based on ethnicity, genetics and other factors. 

If your Vitamin D is low, we dig deeper and look at other markers to confirm or rule out deficiency. We also want to find out why it's low. Are you having trouble converting Vitamin D? Do you need more magnesium or a supplement with Vitamin K2? There's a whole detective game to be played.

If your Vitamin D is high, chances are you’ve been taking a supplement. But if you’re not, do you consume an abnormal amount of Vitamin D fortified foods? Certain processed foods, cereals, milk, and orange juice have added synthetic vitamins that aren’t absorbed as readily as more natural forms of vitamin D. It's rare to overdose from fortified foods, but it's a possibility worth considering. Another scenario is certain medical conditions like sarcoidosis, tuberculosis, or lymphoma, which can trigger excessive vitamin D production.

Remember, vitamin D toxicity is quite rare, mostly stemming from excessive supplementation. If you're worried about your levels or experiencing symptoms of vitamin D excess, it's wise to consult a healthcare professional for proper evaluation and guidance.


The best and most efficient way to get Vitamin D is through the sun.

Our skin has the incredible ability to effectively convert sunlight into a usable form of vitamin D through photosynthesis. 

Our bodies are just not as efficient at absorbing vitamin D from food or supplements as they are at synthesizing it from sunlight exposure. While you might get a sunburn (which we don’t recommend either), it’s very unlikely to get Vitamin D overload from being in the sun. 

Plus the sun has way more benefits than JUST Vitamin D production. It also regulates our circadian rhythm (which controls our wake, sleep, appetites, hormones, mood, etc), neurotransmitter and feel-good endorphin production, immune system function, and blood pressure regulation. 

Depending on where your levels are, you can gauge just how much sun you need in order to stay in balance.


While the exact amount of sun exposure needed can vary based on factors like skin type, geographic location, and time of year, as a general guideline, getting 10 to 30 minutes of sun a day is ideal.  

The safest times to sun are before 11 and after 4pm. I always recommend my patients go for a walk first thing in the morning (within an hour of waking) to regulate their cortisol levels. This not only helps get you some Vit D but it also can improve your sleep, regulate your appetite, mood and so much more. It’s a simple habit that’s an absolute game changer.

During this time, it's important to expose your face, arms, and legs to the sun sans sunscreen or coverage, as it can hinder vitamin D synthesis.  It’s only for 15-30 minutes and you shouldn’t burn during that time.




I recommend getting Vitamin D from whole food sources like my fave -- Rosita’s Cod Liver Oil (found in my online pharmacy here where you can get professional grade supplements shipped directly to you).  It’s high-quality, wild cod and doesn’t give you the fish burps. They also use an extensive extraction process that you can view on their website. 

Choosing a whole food source, like cod liver oil, provides a higher bioavailability (aka better absorption) of vitamin D compared to synthetic supplements. 

Plus, cod liver oil offers the added benefits of vitamins A and omega-3 fatty acids, which work synergistically to promote overall health and balance in the body. Vitamin A helps maintain the delicate balance between vitamins A and D, ensuring optimal health and preventing potential imbalances that can arise from isolated vitamin D supplementation. 

Omega-3’s and natural antioxidants help facilitate the absorption, utilization, and effectiveness of vitamin D in the body. 

When it comes to choosing between Cod Liver Oil and isolated Vitamin D supplements, going for Cod Liver Oil is a win-win situation. Not only do you get more value for your money in terms of multiple vitamins, but you also reduce the risk of overdosing on Vitamin D.


If you have issues with taking Cod Liver Oil for any reason, then at the very least I recommend you take a vitamin D3 and stay away from the synthetic and poorly absorbed D2. Double check your label if you’re currently taking a Vit D supplement to confirm which kind you have.

As we discussed above, it’s also important to take D with K2 so finding a supplement like Xymogen’s D3K2 is a great option if you are have low levels <25 and need to get them up ASAP. Again, you should always be checking your levels and not continuously taking vitamin D for all eternity once you start. You want to get your levels back to that sweet spot between ~35-65 and maintain it via sunlight. 

So let’s wrap this up and summarize: taking Vitamin D supplements can indeed support your health, but it's essential to strike a balance and avoid excessive doses. 

Regularly checking your Vitamin D levels, especially if you've been supplementing for an extended period, is crucial for maintaining optimal health and avoiding potential risks associated with elevated levels. 

Remember, everyone's needs are unique, and consulting with a functional medicine practitioner can help determine the appropriate dosage for your individual requirements. 

So, let's embrace the sunshine vitamin responsibly and ensure our health stays in check!

Disclaimer: This blog post is intended for informational purposes only and should not replace professional medical advice. Please consult with a healthcare professional before making any changes to your supplementation routine or treatment plan.



If living out of a suitcase were an Olympic sport, I'd be a gold medalist. Traveling is my absolute passion, whether it's lounging on sandy beaches, zooming through picturesque landscapes on ATVs, or discovering hidden culinary gems down charming alleyways.

But let's be real, as much as I adore exploring new places, the disruptions to our routines and the exhaustion that often accompanies travel can take a toll on our health and well-being. That's why I'm here to share my top tips on how to stay healthy while enjoying yourself on the go. So buckle up and get ready for some practical advice to keep you feeling your best throughout your adventures.

1. Start with a Savory, Protein-Packed Breakfast:

Fueling your body with a nutrient-dense breakfast is the key to kick starting your day on a high note. Making breakfast a priority has completely changed the game for me. Gone are the days of being a hangry gremlin, ready to unleash fury on anyone who crossed my path before lunchtime. By fueling my body with a nutrient-dense breakfast, I've undergone a remarkable transformation that even my friends can't believe.

No longer do I skip breakfast or rely on those deceivingly labeled "protein" bars that are basically glorified candy bars. I've realized the importance of starting my day with a wholesome meal that provides me with the vital nutrients I need to thrive. From savory delights like eggs and bacon to veggie-packed omelets bursting with flavors, my breakfast choices set the tone of my mood and energy for the day ahead.

It's crucial to listen to your body, especially if you have blood sugar issues. Men often handle intermittent fasting better than women, so it's essential to tune in and understand what works best for you. If you're prone to getting hangry easily, making breakfast a priority should be non-negotiable. By nourishing yourself first thing in the morning, you'll feel your absolute best as you embark on exciting adventures and explore the wonders of the world.

2. Eat At Least One Healthy Meal A Day

Don't let your vacation become an excuse to throw all healthy eating out the window and go on an indulgence spree. Remember to prioritize at least one solid, nutrient-rich meal each day to keep your blood sugar and overall nutrition in check. 

Sure, it's tempting to YOLO and treat yourself, but finding that balance is key. By consciously including a nourishing meal or two in your day, you can satisfy your taste buds while also giving your body the fuel and nutrients it needs to stay energized and feeling great throughout your trip. So go ahead, indulge wisely and make room for some healthy goodness amidst all the vacation fun!

3. Research Healthy Dining Options Ahead of Time:

One of the things I absolutely love about traveling is the opportunity to discover new and exciting culinary experiences. While it's important to indulge in local treats and savor the unique flavors of a destination, it's equally crucial to maintain a sense of balance and nourish our bodies with wholesome, nutrient-dense meals.

Before going on your trip, I highly recommend doing some research and exploring dining options in advance (or at least look up some places the night before). Personally, I'm a Yelp and Trip Advisor enthusiast, relying on these platforms to find highly-rated restaurants and view menus. This allows me to ensure that I can find places that offer both delicious and healthy choices.

By taking the time to plan ahead, you can have a better dining experience and prioritize good-quality food. While I'm always open to stumbling upon hidden local gems and trying out hole-in-the-wall establishments, I like to have a few healthy options up my sleeve.

Remember, balance is key. Indulge in that mind-blowing cappuccino or treat yourself to some mouthwatering eggs benedict, but also make it a point to include nutrient-rich, wholesome meals in the majority of your dining experiences. Before digging in, ask yourself if the food you're about to eat respects and nourishes your body. Your taste buds and your overall well-being will thank you for it. Bon appétit!

4. Plan and Prepare Snacks:

To avoid relying on unhealthy convenience foods, plan and prepare your own snacks whenever possible. On travel days, I generally pack nutrient-dense options such as homemade egg bites, Artisana organic nut butter packets, cut fruit and veggies, protein-rich, paleo snacks like Epic Meat Bars or Bone Broth based baby foods that travel well. 

For longer trips or if I’m flying out of LAX, I’ll stop at Erewhon to pick up some of their organic, pre-packaged foods that will prevent me from spending $25 on a trash airport burger or breakfast sandwich. I often bring a small smashable cooler that can clip to my bag to fit the containers in and keep them cool for a few hours.

By planning and preparing my own snacks, I can ensure I'm getting essential nutrients, curb hunger, and avoid making impulsive and less healthy choices when hunger strikes. It's also a great way to stay nourished during long travel days or when healthy food options are limited in certain locations.

5. Prepare Some Of Your Own Meals:

If you're staying at an Airbnb or have access to a kitchenette, take advantage of the opportunity to prepare your own meals. Like I said, I absolutely love wining and dining at the local eateries but if you’re able to make a meal or two at home this not only saves money but allows you to ensure a few healthier meals to be snuck in. 

I generally will make most breakfasts at home so I can eat and get out to explore the local wonders. Eating a few meals at home allows you to have more control over the ingredients, less seed oils, sugars and portion sizes. 

Visiting local markets to source fresh, local produce and ingredients can be an adventure all its own! Creating your own healthy breakfast, lunch or pack homemade snacks and meals for day trips, reduces your reliance on restaurant foods and ensures you have nourishing options readily available.

6. Prioritize Sleep and Stress Management:

Traveling can definitely mess with your sleep schedule.  Prioritize quality sleep by creating a comfortable sleep environment and sticking to a consistent bedtime routine as much as you can. Just like when you’re at home, a dark sleep space with no extra light will help you get better rest. Turn the alarm clock light off or unplug it, cover the windows with a blanket if it doesn’t have dark curtains and use a towel under the door if light is pouring in from the hallway. Eye masks look funny, but if all else fails use one. Any light in your sleep space can disrupt your good night’s sleep.

I’m still a big fan of living in the moment and there are plenty of times that I stay out late on vacation to fully immerse myself in the local late night culture. I still try to rise with the sun, take a siesta and balance my trips out with a few chill days where I get good quality sleep at night. 

Travel is notorious for being stressful. You’re off your routine, crammed like a sardine on a plane and often out of your comfort zone. I try to keep to my normal routine of meditating each morning to manage stress and keep me present. Remember to listen to your body and take breaks when needed to prevent burnout and getting sick!

7. Plan Some Time For Rest and Relaxation:

While it's tempting to pack your itinerary with non-stop adventures, remember to prioritize rest and relaxation. Allow yourself downtime to unwind, recharge, and prevent burnout. If I know I’m going to have a super active trip I try to take an extra day off when I returd to get settled back in and ease back into my regular programming. This helps me feel grounded before going back to work.


Anyone else bring their keyboard size pill container only to leave it in the bottom of your suitcase the entire time? I always pack a ton of supps and make it a point to leave them on the counter next to water or the bedside table to remind me to take them. I often pack them in ziplock bags and throw them in my purse so when I’m out and about I can remember to take them too. 

Some of my staples for traveling include:

  • Gut Repair Powder
    • I put this in a ziplock bag with a scoop to help reduce inflammation and soothe my gut after spicy mezcal margaritas, tacos or other foods that may become problematic for my sensitive tummy
  • Zypan by Standard Process
    • This contains hydrochloric acid (stomach acid) which helps to kill bacteria and activate enzymes to help improve digestion. This is a must for me and taken 10 min before each meal for optimal digestion
  • Melatonin CR by Xymogen
    • This is great for regulating jet lag. Taking melatonin 30 minutes to an hour before your desired bedtime at your destination helps to regulate your sleep-wake cycle.
  • Saccharomyces Boulardi
    • It’s technically a yeast but acts like a probiotic that helps defend against traveler’s diarrhea and keeps your gut protected!
  • Cymbiotika Super Greens
    • Getting your greens in can be hard on vacay so these individually packed portions are amazing at helping to supplement while you’re on the go. These help maintain a healthy immune system  while supporting cellular detoxification and energy production. 
  • LMNT Electrolyte Packets
    • These individual packets are great for keeping you hydrated on-the-go. Often times we become dehydrated while traveling not only from not drinking enough water but from lack of electrolytes too! 


For me business travel isn’t a vacation and I stay super regimented with my daily routines and habits. When I travel for pleasure I always plan ahead and use the tips I gave you above, and then go with the flow when I arrive. I’ve been all over the world and no matter where I’ve been I’ve at least been able to find a piece of fruit for breakfast.

As you embark on your summer travels, remember that prioritizing your health doesn't have to be complicated. By incorporating these specific tips into your travel routine, such as starting the day



When it comes to sunburns, it's easy to point fingers at the scorching sun or lack of adequate sun protection. 

We diligently apply sunscreen, wear hats and long sleeves, or even resort to hiding from the sun altogether. We strive to shield ourselves from the external factors that cause those painful, fiery red burns on our skin. 

But what if there's more to sunburns than meets the eye?

Beneath the surface lies a hidden truth, a truth that might surprise you. Sunburns are not merely a consequence of sun exposure; they are often a manifestation of internal inflammation. Yes, you read that right! The very act of getting sunburned can be an indication of an underlying inflammatory state within our bodies.

In this blog, we'll explore the intriguing connection between sunburns and internal inflammation, unveiling the main contributors to this inflammatory state. But fear not, for this knowledge will empower you to embrace the sun more wisely and take control of your overall health.



First, we need to shed some light on a concern among many Americans: the fear of the sun. In an era where indoor activities dominate our lives and sunscreen has become a daily skin care ritual, we've inadvertently disconnected ourselves from one of nature's most vital sources of nourishment: sunlight. 

This cultural shift has led to widespread vitamin D deficiency and its associated health implications. Our bodies, intricately designed, crave the benefits of sun exposure.  Vitamin D, often referred to as the "sunshine vitamin," plays a crucial role in supporting immune function, bone health, mood regulation, and more. 

We've been conditioned to fear the sun, lathering on sunscreen every time we step outside. But here's the scoop: our bodies actually crave sunlight to produce that oh-so-important vitamin D. When we cover up or block those rays during short exposure times, like running errands, we're depriving ourselves of the natural goodness our bodies need. Plus, let's be honest, most of us aren't basking in the sun long enough to even come close to a burn on a regular day.

The average time it takes to get sunburned varies depending on various factors such as your skin type, the UV index, and the intensity of the sun but in general, fair-skinned individuals can go 15-30 minutes of unprotected exposure to intense midday sun before burning.  So why load up on unnecessary chemicals that are found in most sunscreens? 

Read more about safer sunscreen here.

We can all agree that getting sunburned is far from healthy for our skin. While sunscreen can be an essential during tropical vacations, beach days, or extended sun exposure, most conventional sunscreens do more harm than good on your average day-to-day basis. This is what makes it equally important to consider the internal inflammatory factors that make our skin more prone to sunburn so we can withstand normal amounts of sun.

This blog aims to guide you in redefining your relationship with the sun, as we explore how your internal health can directly affect your propensity to burn and how you can promote your skin's health from the inside out. 


In Chinese Medicine, we think of inflammation as internal heat. Think about a time you’ve had a cut, wound or fever -- that’s the inflammatory process at work. It’s often warm, red, swollen and puffy as the blood vessels dilate and send white blood cells and other healing agents to the scene to take out any foreign invaders and repair damaged tissue. 


When you have high levels of inflammation, that internal heat builds up systemically, rather than being localized to a specific injured area. This internal heat can contribute to various symptoms, including:

  • High blood pressure
  • Hot flashes
  • Headaches
  • Sore throat or fever
  • Excessive thirst or dry mouth
  • Acne, rashes or eczema
  • Constipation (all the fluids are dried up)
  • Red eyes
  • Food and chemical sensitivities
  • Restlessness,  irritability, or other signs of heightened reactivity
  • Joint pain

Now let me ask you, have you ever had a burn and then got close to something hot like an oven, sauna or hot tub? Or a more obvious example, you get sunburned on day 1 of your vacation and have to endure 5 more days of pool or beach as you try to hide yourself from the sun to avoid the discomfort of overheating? When you have internal heat or inflammation, it’s like your body is already nearing it’s breaking point of how much heat it can handle and a small amount of sun can easily push it over the edge.


When the body is in a state of inflammation, it undergoes various physiological changes that can increase the likelihood of getting sunburned. 

Inflammation is a natural immune response triggered by the body to protect itself from harmful stimuli such as infections or injuries. However, when inflammation becomes chronic or persists for an extended period, it can have negative effects on the body, including its response to sun exposure.


One main way that inflammation increases the risk of sunburn is due to the release of pro-inflammatory molecules called cytokines. These cytokines can disrupt the normal functioning of the skin and compromise its protective barrier. They can cause blood vessels near the skin's surface to dilate, resulting in increased blood flow and redness. Additionally, cytokines can make the skin more sensitive and susceptible to damage from UV radiation.


Inflammation also decreases the body's antioxidants. Antioxidants help neutralize harmful free radicals, which are produced when our skin is exposed to UV radiation. These free radicals can cause stress and damage to our skin cells and when inflammation is present, it can lower the levels of antioxidants in our skin, making it harder for our skin to protect itself from the damage caused by UV rays. This means that our skin becomes more susceptible to sunburn and other harmful effects of UV exposure.


Furthermore, chronic inflammation can disrupt the skin's natural repair mechanisms. Sunburn occurs when the DNA in skin cells is damaged by UV radiation. Under normal circumstances, the body initiates DNA repair processes to correct this damage. However, when inflammation is present, the body's repair mechanisms may be compromised or overwhelmed, leading to inadequate repair of UV-induced DNA damage and a higher susceptibility to sunburn.

Basically, when you have high levels of internal inflammation, exposure to the sun pushes your body's healing and repair abilities beyond their limits. It's like adding one more burden that your body can't handle. The sun becomes the proverbial straw that breaks the camel's back. With your body already grappling with the internal inflammatory state, the added stress from the sun leads to sunburn and cellular damage.

But here’s the good news, by taking steps to reduce internal inflammation, you'll notice a significant decrease in sunburns. By decreasing that internal “heat” your body  can withstand and transform the suns rays into useful rays of vitamins and energy. 


Inflammation, although essential for the body's healing and repair processes, can become problematic when it lingers in a chronic state. Often referred to as the root of nearly all diseases, chronic inflammation is like running a car in the red zone for an extended period. While short bursts of inflammation are necessary for recovery but persistent, ongoing inflammation can lead to breakdown and detrimental effects on our health. 

What are the causes of internal inflammation, you ask? 

In a nutshell, our modern lives are at the root of the problem. The high levels of stress we endure, our dependence on convenience and unhealthy processed foods, the increased time we spend indoors, and our sedentary lifestyles all play a role. These aspects of modern living disrupt the body's natural equilibrium, creating a perfect storm for chronic inflammation. But worry not, we're about to delve into the specific factors that contribute to this inflammatory state. 

  • High Toxic Load: 

Exposure to environmental toxins, pollutants, and chemicals can overload our bodies' detoxification systems. When our detoxification pathways become overwhelmed, inflammation can ensue, making us more vulnerable to sunburns. 

We absorb these toxins through our skin, the air we breathe, the water we drink, and the food we eat. Each exposure may seem small, like adding a drop to a bucket, but over time, they accumulate. If we don't take steps to empty that bucket, it eventually overflows. When our hardworking livers are bombarded with a barrage of chemicals, toxins, medications, and the rollercoaster ride of blood sugar fluctuations, it's like a traffic jam in our detoxification system.  That bucket overflows, resulting in the emergence of symptoms. 

While we can’t escape toxins entirely in our manmade world, you can decrease your toxic load by:

      • Choosing non-toxic and organic beauty and cleaning products.
        • Living Libations - Skin care
        • Ilia - Makeup
        • Primally Pure - Deodorant
        • Dr Bronners - Hand, body and dish soap
        • Branch Basics or Force of Nature - All Purpose Cleaner
        • Aspen Clean - Laundry Detergent
      • Getting high quality air purifiers for your home and office
      • Drinking high quality water like spring or reverse osmosis with added minerals
        • Fridge and Brita filters are ineffective and only filter the bare minimum still leaving you exposed to heavy metals and other contaminants. Check your tap water quality here.
      • Choosing organic vegetables whenever possible to reduce GMO’s, pesticides and other chemicals
      • Purchasing grassfed, pasture raised, wild and organic meat to reduce hormones, antibiotics and other potential contaminants
      • Swap out plastic containers for glass to minimize exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and its alternatives, especially for hot foods and drinks ( I see you takeout containers and Starbucks cups!)
      • Practicing daily stress management techniques and incorporate self-care activities into your daily routine to reduce the impact of chronic stress on the body.

Curious about your toxic load level? Find out by taking the quiz here!

  • Excess Weight: 
    • Being overweight or obese is associated with chronic low-grade inflammation throughout the body. This systemic inflammation can impair the skin's natural defense mechanisms, making it easier to experience sunbu
  • Inflammatory Foods: 
    • Processed foods, sugar, and seed oils are notorious culprits of inflammation within our bodies. These pro-inflammatory foods can disrupt the delicate balance and compromise the skin's resilience to UV damage.
  • Infections and Chronic Illnesses:
    • Bacterial, viral, fungal, or parasitic infections can trigger an immune response, leading to internal inflammation. Examples include pneumonia, urinary tract infections, sinusitis, and gastrointestinal infections. Additionally, certain chronic diseases like diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease, and inflammatory bowel disease can contribute to ongoing internal inflammation.
  • Chronic Stress:
    • Chronic stress plays a significant role in inflammation. It increases cortisol levels, which can suppress the immune system and disrupt the body's ability to regulate the inflammatory process. Managing stress through various techniques like relaxation exercises, mindfulness, and self-care can help mitigate its impact on inflammation.

REDEFINING SUN CARE: Sun Smarter, Not Scarier:

Understanding the connection between internal inflammation and sunburns gives us the knowledge and ability to redefine our approach to sun care. Instead of fearing the sun outright, we can adopt a smarter and more mindful approach. 

Here's how:0

1. Reduce Internal Inflammation: 

Prioritize a healthy lifestyle that includes a nutrient-dense, anti-inflammatory diet. Emphasize whole, unprocessed foods, rich in antioxidants and anti-inflammatory compounds. Minimize sugar and seed oil consumption to quell systemic inflammation. “Paleo” is the easiest, most well-rounded diet to follow as it’s focus is on eating whole foods, found in nature. If you need guidance or inspiration simply google “Paleo ____” (lasagna, breakfast, dinner ideas, etc). If you’re looking to jumpstart your healing and retrain bad food habits I recommend doing Whole30 to dial yourself back in. 

2. Optimize Detoxification: 

Support your body's natural detoxification processes by reducing exposure to toxins and embracing practices like regular exercise, adequate hydration, and stress reduction. This helps to lighten your body's toxic load and promote a balanced inflammatory response. If you are ready to seriously change your health, I recommend starting the Cellcore protocols. You start with the Jumpstart Kit to open up your detox pathways and improve drainage. It also helps provide your mitochondria (the powerhouse of the cell!) with energy to help give you energy from a cellular level for better overall functioning. From there you move on the the Para Kit to get rid of parasites, bacteria and other critters that may be microscopically sabotaging your efforts to get healthy and well again! Check out their products here and email me for my practitioner code and with any questions you have about getting started on these health-transforming protocols! 

3. Embrace Sun-Smart Habits: 

Rather than avoiding the sun altogether, be mindful of when and how you expose your skin. Seek shade during peak sun hours when UV radiation is strongest. Gradually build sun exposure, allowing your skin to acclimate and produce melanin, its natural sun-protective pigment. Supplement with smart sunscreens that offer mineral-based protection without harmful chemicals.

Read more here!

Now you know that sunburns aren't just a surface-level consequence of overexposure to the sun's fiery rays, you can take charge of your skin health and overall well-being from within! By addressing the root causes of inflammation, we can take better care of our skin and enjoy the sun's warmth responsibly.


Alright, my fellow sun worshippers and SPF enthusiasts, it's time to get real about that slathered-on shield of protection we call sunscreen. 

 But hold on tight to your beach hats, because we're about to dive into the wild world of sun protection, where things aren't always as sunny as they seem! 

Picture this: you're lounging on a tropical beach, sipping a fruity drink, thinking you've got it all covered with your trusty sunscreen. But wait... could your beloved sunblock actually be doing more harm than good? 

Fear not, my sun-kissed comrades, for I'm here to shed some light on the top three sun secrets you need to know, and boy, are they going to make you raise an eyebrow (or two!).

So, grab your shades and let's get sunscreen savvy! 

  1. When to wear sunscreen and when not to wear sunscreen
  2. Why your sunscreen is toxic; which to avoid and which to wear instead
  3. How often do you need to reapply for it to be effective


You might be wondering, "Do I really need to slather on sunscreen for my daily commute to work?" 

While sunscreen is crucial during long beach days in the sun, leisurely hikes without sun coverage or during peak sun hours (midday), on a regular workday spent mostly in the car or indoors, it may be largely unnecessary.

And this isn’t just about the convenience of skipping sunscreen. Believe it or not, it might actually be hindering your ability to soak up that delicious vitamin D! ☀️

Recent estimates suggest that around 40% of the population in the United States is vitamin D deficient. How did we end up in this sun-starved state? Well, think about it. We're spending more time indoors than ever before, cooped up in offices, homes, and cars. Plus, the perfect storm of chronic stress and processed food diets has left us grappling with increased inflammation levels. 😱

So, why is this relevant to our discussion about sunscreen? Vitamin D plays a vital role in modulating inflammation within our bodies. The more inflamed we are, the more vitamin D we need to counteract that inflammation and maintain balance. It's a delicate dance between our exposure to sunlight and the essential nutrient our bodies crave.

Your body needs those radiant rays of light to produce vitamin D, the superstar nutrient that supports your bones, immune system, and overall well-being. We don’t convert the D from food or supplements nearly as well as we do from the sun so it’s absolutely vital to get that sun on your skin and not depend on a supplement!

If you’re covering yourself in sunscreen prior to leaving the house for day-to-day activities like your commute to work, grocery runs or errands, you’re unnecessarily screening the sun. 

So, on short trips around town or when the sun's intensity is lower, allow your skin to soak up some vitamin D sans sunscreen. But remember, moderation is key and you definitely don’t want to burn!

Morning and Late Afternoon Magic:

Now, let's take a scientific peek into when the sun's rays are playing nicer with your skin. 

Mornings and late afternoons tend to be kinder to your delicate epidermis. 


Well, during these times, the sun's rays have to pass through more of the atmosphere, reducing their intensity and the potential for harm. So, schedule your outdoor activities accordingly and bask in the gentler sunlight, all while keeping your skin happy and healthy.


When to Seek Shade:

As much as we adore the sun's warm embrace, there are times when it's wise to seek some shade. High noon, when the sun is at its zenith, can be an intense affair for your skin. 

If possible, take a siesta indoors or find shelter under a shady tree. Wear a hat, long sleeves or use a non-toxic sunscreen at this time, especially if you’re at the beach or on a tropical vacation! Trust me, your skin will thank you for the break, and you'll avoid the harsh rays when they're at their peak.



Next, let's uncover the not-so-sunny truth about many conventional sunscreens. Unfortunately, most contain toxic ingredients that can do more harm than good.

There are 2 main categories of sunscreens based on how they protect you from the sun:

1. Physical

Imagine having a tiny army of sun-shield warriors blocking the rays and protecting your skin. That's what a physical block sunscreen does! Instead of absorbing the sun's rays like chemical sunscreens, it acts like a shield, physically blocking those UV rays from reaching your skin. You’ll know it’s a “physical block” if it contains zinc oxide or titanium dioxide.

Another benefit of physical or “mineral-based” sunscreens is that their shields start working the moment you apply them, so you're instantly protected while chemical sunscreens take awhile to kick it. They're also great for sensitive skin because they don't get absorbed like chemicals do, reducing the chances of irritation. Oh, and did we mention they're reef-friendly too? So, if you want your skin to have the ultimate sun-defense squad, go for a physical block sunscreen and let those UV rays bounce right off you!

2. Chemical

Chemical sunscreens do a magic trick with UV rays by absorbing them and converting them into heat. But guess what? That heat can be a hot mess for your skin, leading to irritation and potential hormone havoc. Some of the popular ingredients in chemical sunscreens like oxybenzone and avobenzone (anything -benzone) are also associated with skin irritations and allergies.

But wait there’s more! When these chemical agents interact with sunlight, they generate free radicals, which causes oxidation to your cells. Think of it like rusting your cells from the inside out.  There’s also the environmental damage component. Oxybenzone and octinoxate have been linked to coral bleaching and damage to marine ecosystems.

So, if you're looking for a more straightforward approach to sun protection without any hidden chemistry experiments, consider grabbing a physical block sunscreen instead. 

After all, why settle for a sunscreen that brings more drama than a daytime soap opera? 


Here's a quick cheat sheet of ingredients to avoid like the plague: 

  • Oxybenzone (and any -benzones)
    • This ingredient has been associated with skin allergies, hormone disruption, and potential environmental damage, particularly to coral reefs.
  • Parabens (such as methylparaben, propylparaben, butylparaben, -paraben): 
    • Parabens are preservatives that have been associated with hormone disruption and potential adverse effects on reproductive health.
  • Octinoxate
    • Octinoxate can trigger skin allergies and hormone disruption, and recent studies have suggested potential environmental impacts.
  • Homosalate
    • This chemical has been found to disrupt hormone function and can potentially accumulate in the body over time, leading to health concerns.
  • Nanoparticles: 
    • Certain sunscreens use nanoparticles of titanium dioxide or zinc oxide, which can penetrate the skin and potentially cause cellular damage. Look for non-nano formulations if you prefer to avoid this potential risk. Look for “non-nano” instead.
  • Retinyl Palmitate: 
    • This form of vitamin A, when exposed to sunlight, can potentially increase the production of harmful free radicals, which may contribute to skin damage.
  • Fragrance
    • The term "fragrance" or "parfum" on sunscreen labels often represents a blend of various chemicals, some of which may be allergenic or irritating to the skin. This is the “natural flavors” of the beauty world where they can include ingredients without disclosing what they actually are. Look for unscented or naturally scented options that use essential oils.

Always flip your sunscreen to the back and read the ingredient label. If it sounds like it was made in a lab, then it’s probably not the best out there. Start googling ingredients that you don’t know and overtime you’ll become much more label literate!  That’s how I learned and exactly how you can too. Nobody cares more about your health than you so it’s important to become and educated consumer. 

These chemicals can wreak havoc on your health AND coral reefs. Yikes! 

Here are some popular brands I ABSOLUTELY stay away from that leave your insides a little chemically “burned”:

  • Neutrogena
  • Banana Boat
  • Coppertone
  • Hawaiian Tropic
  • Aveeno


Now that we've escaped the toxic sunscreens' clutches, it's time to explore safer alternatives that will have your skin singing with joy. Choose ingredients that are made from essential oils and ingredients you recognize and can pronounce. 

Here are some of my favorites:

The rest of these aren’t 100% perfect but they are much better than your average sunscreen:


  • Badger


  • Native

These brands provide protection without the toxic chemicals. Go ahead, lather up with their natural goodness for when the sun is laying it on ya hot and heavy.




When it comes to sunscreen, understanding SPF is key. Most sunscreens require re-application after 1-2 hours.  That means that applying sunscreen once in the morning isn't sufficient for all-day protection and will wear off in an hour or two. 

So, if you're planning on outdoor activities like a long walk or run that lasts for an hour or two and you're prone to sunburn, it’s probably a good idea to wear sunscreen. However, if you will be mostly indoors or only being outside between running errands or during your commute, applying sunscreen really isn’t necessary. Most people won’t burn in less than 15-30 minutes of ‘naked’ sun exposure, especially if it’s in the morning or afternoon. Plus, if the sunscreen you're using contains the chemicals we mentioned above, you’re doing more harm than good by slathering it on your skin. 


The higher the SPF (Sun Protection Factor), the longer the sunscreen can theoretically provide protection. However, it's important to note that higher SPF doesn't mean you can apply it once and forget about it.

If you're using a lower SPF like 15 or 30, it's recommended to reapply every two hours for optimal protection. And don’t think you’re invincible if you level up to a higher SPF like 50 or 100. Those need touch-ups too, approximately every two hours. Why the regular reapplication? Well, sweat, water exposure, and even rubbing can cause sunscreen to wear off, reducing its effectiveness.

Plus,  sunscreens with higher SPF tend to contain more chemical ingredients to extend their effectiveness. While these chemicals can prolong protection, they can also increase the risk of sensitivity, allergies, and add to your overall toxic load. That's why it's crucial to choose a sunscreen with non-toxic ingredients, limiting your exposure to harmful chemicals that can be absorbed through your skin and burden your body's detoxification process.

That's why I recommend sticking to no higher than SPF 30. Going beyond that simply means you're exposing yourself to more potentially harmful chemicals with very little added benefit. So, choose wisely, opt for non-toxic options, and be diligent about reapplying sunscreen regularly when seriously soaking up the sun to safeguard your skin without compromising your health.

Congratulations, sun-savvy souls! 

You've graduated from Sunscreen 101 with flying colors. 

Armed with this newfound knowledge, you can now protect your skin without compromising your health. 

Remember, opt for organic, physical/mineral-based sunscreens, steer clear of toxic ingredients, and make the most of the sun's rays while still getting your daily (vitamin) D. 

And don't forget, mornings and late afternoons are your golden hours, when the sun's rays are gentler and kinder to your skin.

So go forth, my shining stars, lather up responsibly, and radiate with confidence and health! 



Have you ever noticed that you felt better just by being around a happy person? 

Or how listening to a particular song, gazing at the ocean, or appreciating a beautiful piece of art can completely change your mood?

There's something about these experiences that induces a profound shift within us and that something all has a whole lot to do with energy, frequency and vibration. 

While the terms energy, vibration, and frequency are often associated with the spiritual and metaphysical realm and discounted as ‘woo-woo’, they're actually rooted in our understanding of physics. 

Everything in our world, whether it's living or non-living, is made up of energy and has its own unique vibrational frequency. It's not just ‘living’ beings like us, but also the objects around us, the food we eat, the colors we see, and even the thoughts we have.

While our senses can perceive certain energies as sound, color, or light, it's important to realize that we can only detect a small fraction of the vast spectrum of vibrations that exist. 

We can't see the radio waves emitted by our electronic devices, spot the bacteria residing on our skin, or even pinpoint the individual molecules of air surrounding us.

Our physical senses are limited. 

We can only see a narrow range of colors and hear a specific range of sounds, like how a dog whistle is beyond our hearing capabilities. But here's the exciting part: by recognizing that there's so much more to "reality" than what our senses can detect, we open ourselves up to the possibility that powerful forces are at work, even if they're undetectable to our eyes, ears, and noses.

And this brings us to the concept of "vibrations." These invisible forces can have a tremendous impact on ourselves and how we perceive the world. It's like tapping into an unseen realm where change and transformation can occur. By exploring the power of vibrations, we can unlock a new understanding of ourselves and the profound influence they have on our well-being and perception.


Don't worry, I'll breeze through the boring part quickly, but it's essential to establish a solid foundation of understanding frequencies.

Frequency refers to the rate of electrical energy between two points and is typically measured in hertz (Hz) or megahertz (MHz).

Everything in our universe vibrates at its own unique frequency. Frequency is a measure of how many waves or cycles occur in a given time. It's like the rhythm or heartbeat of an object or phenomenon. When we talk about sound, frequency refers to how many vibrations per second an audible sound wave produces.

Imagine plucking a guitar string. The string vibrates back and forth, creating sound waves that travel through the air and reach our ears. The frequency of these waves determines the pitch or tone we hear. Higher frequency waves produce high-pitched sounds, while lower frequency waves result in low-pitched sounds.

Interestingly, frequencies also play a role in our own bodies. Humans emit a bio-frequency that fluctuates throughout the day. This frequency is influenced by our emotions, the various stressors we encounter, and the toxins present in our environment.

Each emotion carries a unique vibrational frequency, much like colors or physical objects. These emotional vibrations can range from high and fast to low and slow.

When we're having fun and laughing, our body's vibrations become lighter, higher, and faster. Conversely, when we're sick or tired, our vibrations become heavier, slower, and lower. 

Heavier emotions like sadness, anger, frustration, or jealousy emit a low energetic resonance. While higher, lighter emotions like love and joy emit the highest resonance of all. Just imagine how it FEELS to laugh. It's a light and airy sensation.

When we hold onto heavier or lower frequency emotions for prolonged periods, it can mess with the energy flow in our bodies. Think of it like a traffic jam on a busy highway. These emotional blockages and imbalances can mess with the specific vibrational frequencies of our cells, tissues, and organs. When we are dysfunctional at a cellular level, chemical imbalances occur and eventually lead to illness and disease.

The thing is, these energetic disruptions can happen at a subperceptible level, even before we notice any symptoms of disease or illness. That’s why we often say inflammation is the root of all disease.  It’s that blockage or imbalance of free flowing energy that starts to cause problems.

Once our bio-frequency drops below 62 MHz, it's like the alarm bells start ringing, and abnormal processes and diseases can start to take hold.

But here's the good news: if we can get things back in harmony and restore that natural balance, we have a chance at preventing illness from showing up or even resolving it completely. It's like clearing out the traffic jam and getting the energy flowing smoothly again.


Still having a hard time wrapping your head around the idea that frequencies and sound can have such a profound effect on our body and emotions? 

Let me share one of my favorite examples that made me a big believer in sound healing…

Think about watching a scary movie when you know the killer is lurking somewhere around the corner, ready to pop out at any moment. The suspenseful music heightens the tension, making your heart race and your skin crawl. 

But have you ever tried watching a scary movie without sound? 

It's a completely different experience. Without the eerie music and bone-chilling sound effects, the fear factor diminishes significantly.

Filmmakers are masters at manipulating our emotions, and they know just how to use sound frequencies to their advantage. One technique they employ is the use of a low frequency called "Infrasound" to cause unease and evoke fear. 

Infrasound operates in the range of 19 Hz or less, which is below the threshold of human hearing. So while we may not consciously hear these sound waves, our bodies can still feel their effects. 

That uneasy feeling in your stomach while watching a suspenseful scene is the power of infrasound at work. It creates a subtle sense of discomfort and dread that adds to the overall tension of the moment. 

So even though this “fear frequency” is so low that our human ear can’t actually detect it, it can still mess with our heads and send chills down our spines. That’s why movies like Friday the 13th can still actually scare us, even with all their cheesiness and predictability.

Another fascinating part - as soon as the music or sound is turned off, you often feel a sense of relief, as if a weight has been lifted off your chest. That's the impact of sound frequencies on our emotions. They can elicit powerful physical and psychological responses, even when we're not consciously aware of them.

Know what else is really cool? These super low-frequency sounds are also found in nature during intense events like earthquakes, avalanches, and thunder. Our evolutionary instincts are wired to associate these low frequencies with danger, like a primal warning system.

So whether it's a scary movie or the rumble of thunder, those frequencies can have a powerful impact on our emotions and make our hearts race. It's like the soundtrack to our feelings, playing a sneaky role in shaping our experiences.


So, while those low-frequency sounds in scary movies can give us the heebie-jeebies, they're not exactly the kind of sounds we want to listen to when we're looking to heal and feel better. 

But here's the exciting part -- sound can work its magic in a positive way too! 

By listening to higher frequencies, we can harness the power of sound to create subtle yet profound and positive changes in our bodies. It's like flipping a switch to invite in more positive emotions and support our healing journey. 

By tuning in to these higher frequencies, we can make subconscious changes in our bodies that help us feel more positive and uplifted --like giving ourselves a supersonic pick-me-up!

For example:


    • 40 hz
      • This frequency is known for stimulating gamma brain waves, which are associated with memory and cognitive function. It has been used in Alzheimer's therapy to potentially improve memory and cognitive abilities. Hear it here.
    • 174hz
      • This frequency is believed to have a calming and soothing effect, helping to reduce pain and stress. It is often used in relaxation techniques and meditation practices to promote a sense of inner peace. Hear it here.
    • 285hz
      • This frequency is associated with healing physical wounds and promoting cellular regeneration. It is believed to have a positive impact on the body's natural healing processes, particularly in the case of cuts, burns, and other physical injuries. Hear it here.
    • 396hz
      • Known as the frequency of liberation, this tone is said to help remove fear and negative emotions. It is also believed to balance the root chakra, which is associated with feelings of security, stability, and groundedness.Hear it here.
    • 417hz
      • This frequency is believed to assist in releasing energy surrounding past traumas and emotional blockages. It is often used to facilitate emotional healing and activate the sacral chakra, which is connected to fear, sexuality, and creativity. Hear it here.
    • 432hz
      • Considered the "natural tuning" frequency, this tone is believed to promote mental and emotional clarity. Hear it here.
    • 440hz
      • This frequency is thought to enhance cognitive development and stimulate the third eye chakra, which is associated with intuition, insight, perception, and spiritual awareness. Hear it here.
    • 528hz
      • This is oten referred to as the "love frequency" and is associated with the solar plexus chakra, which is associated with personal power, confidence, and self-esteem. 
    • 639hz
      • This is believed to resonate with heart chakra promoting love, compassion, and harmony. Playing this frequency allows for greater empathy and connection with oneself and others. Hear it here.
    • 852hz
      • This frequency is believed to help redirect the mind away from overthinking, intrusive thoughts, and negative patterns. It can be used to promote mental clarity and support a sense of inner peace. Hear it here.
    • 963hz
      • Considered the frequency of divine connection, this tone activates the crown chakra and pineal gland, which is associated with spiritual development and our connection to higher realms of consciousness. Hear it here.

Depending on what you may be experiencing in your body and mind, you can explore these frequencies by listening to them during your daily activities. Whether you're working, driving, or simply going about your day, incorporating these frequencies into your environment through music or sound recordings might help create a positive shift and enhance your overall well-being.



So now we can understand just how much emotions can affect and get ‘stuck’ in our physical bodies… how do we release them?

One way is through sound healing techniques, such as the use of tuning forks, singing bowls, and other resonant instruments. Their vibrations and frequencies can bring about profound shifts in our energetic and emotional states by producing specific tones and vibrations that resonate with the body's energy centers.  

You see, each of our tissues—bones, muscles, organs—vibrates at a different frequency when they're healthy. But when they're not, the vibration, wave, or frequency can change. That's where sound healing steps in to restore balance.

When sound waves penetrate our bodies, they interact with our cells, tissues, and organs, creating a ripple effect that can dislodge stagnant energy and emotions. The vibrational frequencies emitted by these instruments have the incredible power to break up energetic blockages, allowing those trapped emotions to be released and restoring the natural flow of energy throughout our entire body.

For example, tuning forks, when struck and placed on specific acupressure points or meridians, create gentle vibrations that resonate deep within our bodies and can travel through the body from head to toe. This resonance can help to dissolve energetic stagnation and unlock emotions held within the body. Similarly, sound bowls produce soothing and enveloping tones that penetrate our cells, creating a state of relaxation and promoting the release of tension and emotional stress.


Have you hit a dead-end with your doc? 

Maybe you’ve heard the dreaded 5 words…  “all your labs are normal”.

If you’re tired of the limitations of conventional Western medicine and seeking a more comprehensive and personalized approach to your health, you've come to the right place.

In this blog, we will explore some of the tests I commonly use and how they can help you achieve optimal health and wellness.  Whether you are struggling with a chronic illness or simply looking to optimize your health, this blog will give you a better understanding of f


First, let’s talk about the difference between Functional Medicine and your standard Western medicine tests. Our focus in Functional Medicine is identifying and addressing the underlying root causes of health issues, rather than merely treating symptoms. 

unctional medicine tests.



In functional medicine, testing plays a pivotal role in unraveling the complexities of your health. Unlike traditional Western medicine, it goes beyond basic assessments and dives deep into your unique biology, lifestyle, and environment. Rarely do I have a patient that comes back with all their labs being normal. We almost always discover something that needs attention and improvement.  In the rare case everything does show up normal and they are experiencing symptoms, it means we just haven’t looked in the right place yet. 

While your doctor runs routine check-ups and barebones basic bloodwork, functional medicine testing takes it up a notch. We use comprehensive bloodwork, gut and stool tests, hormone assessments, and specialized tests like SIBO and food sensitivity testing. These powerful tools give us a wealth of information, revealing imbalances, deficiencies, toxicities, hidden infections, and other factors that might be contributing to your health issues.

We also use stricter parameters for what is considered healthy, aiming for optimal physiological functioning rather than relying on ‘normal’ ranges. Western medicine uses lab ranges that are based on the average American and we can all agree that the average American is not healthy. That’s why you can feel like crap but still have all your labs come back normal. 



It's often not just one thing that led to your current health situation. It's a combination of your habits, diet, and lifestyle that have contributed to how you feel every day. In Functional Medicine, we dig deep into these factors and examine how they impact your health on a foundational level. By using test results, we can identify areas where we can make changes to your habits, incorporate supplements, and adjust your diet to improve your overall well-being.

This holistic understanding of your health helps us create personalized treatment plans that target the specific root causes affecting you. Our goal is to bring about long-lasting results and enhance your overall wellness. We're here to support you on your journey towards better health and make a positive impact on your well-being.

Now that you know some of the differences between the Western and Functional Medicine approach, let’s talk about the tests that I frequently use to get down to the root of my patient’s health issues.


I run a comprehensive bloodwork panel for all of my patients. This gives us information on how your body is working at a foundational level and can be incredibly illuminating when we test for the right things.

Unlike the limited testing done during a routine doctor's checkup, the tests we order include a wide range of markers that are often overlooked. We go into much greater depth compared to what a typical doctor tests for, which is why your previous bloodwork is usually not very helpful. There’s just too many missing puzzle pieces to get a good idea of what’s going on.

Conventional bloodwork looks something like this:

    • Complete Blood Count
      • Red/white blood cells
      • Hemoglobin
      • Hematocrit
      • Platelets


    • Basic Metabolic Panel 
      • Glucose
      • Electrolytes (sodium, potassium, calcium)
      • Liver function (AST, ALT, bilirubin)
      • Protein
      • Kidney function (BUN, creatinine)
    • Cholesterol Panel

And maybe:

    • Basic thyroid (TSH, T4)
    • Iron

In addition to the above, we also do….


Your regular doctor typically runs thyroid tests like TSH and maybe T4 to assess your thyroid function. However, relying solely on these markers can be unreliable and insufficient. TSH levels fluctuate significantly throughout the day, so a single snapshot may capture a low, high, or normal level without reflecting the overall average. Using a single marker like TSH alone cannot provide a definitive diagnosis. To get a clearer picture, it's essential to analyze multiple markers and observe patterns.

In functional medicine, we go beyond TSH and T4 and test for other crucial thyroid hormones like T3, T3 uptake, thyroid antibodies (TPO + TGA), reverse T3, and free T3 and T4. This comprehensive testing is vital for identifying thyroid imbalances that can affect your metabolism, energy levels, and overall well-being. It helps us pinpoint the specific organ (pituitary, thyroid, hypothalamus) involved in the chain of events related to your endocrine hormones. Optimal thyroid function relies on harmonious communication between these three organs, and by only testing TSH, we are assessing the interaction between the thyroid and pituitary gland, not the thyroid's actual function.

While many doctors wait until your markers are out-of-range and require medication, in functional medicine, we monitor any high or low levels closely. We provide dietary and supplement recommendations to support optimal thyroid function naturally and prevent the need for medication. By addressing imbalances early on, we aim to maintain thyroid health and promote overall well-being.



We also do a complete iron panel to check your iron levels and look for conditions like iron deficiency anemia. Iron itself is not a very reliable marker so we also run ferritin, iron saturation, TIBC (total iron-binding capacity), and UIBC (unsaturated iron-binding capacity) to get a clearer picture.

We also test for B12 and folic acid to figure out the cause of any anemia and create a more specific treatment plan. It's important not to just prescribe iron blindly, as it can sometimes make symptoms worse if that isn’t the cause of the anemia to begin with. By understanding the whole story, we can provide the right treatment and support your well-being.



When looking at bloodwork, it's important to remember that no single marker can determine the presence of a disease. We need to look at different patterns of the bloodwork which is why we need to test for more markers than what is included in typical bloodwork. If one marker shows an abnormal result, we need to compare it to other related markers to establish a conclusive finding.

The term "inflammation" is quite general, so to understand the underlying causes of the inflammation, we compare inflammatory markers like homocysteine, CRP, and reverse T3 with other markers such as B12, folic acid, liver enzymes, and the results of our gut tests. 

This comprehensive approach helps us identify potential sources of inflammation. Without all the relevant markers, it's like missing puzzle pieces, and we can't grasp the complete picture or tell the whole story.



To address common deficiencies, we also include magnesium, B12, sodium, potassium, and vitamin D testing. These vitamins play vital roles in various bodily functions, and deficiencies can have wide-ranging effects on your health. Deficiencies are very common these days and can have significant effects on overall health when out-of-range. 

While it’s easy to get into the “plug-and-play” method with Vitamin deficiencies (aka take a supplement of the deficient vitamin), it’s important to address why the deficiency is happening. The body is very smart and does things for a reason. Are we deficient because there’s an infection and it’s using up more resources to heal? Is it coming from not eating a varied diet? Is there chronic stress or alcohol use that is depleting us? 

If we don’t address the root cause of the deficiency in our treatment protocol, we are still just doing symptom management like they do in Conventional Medicine.



If you have a good working relationship with your doctor we can see if they will order this bloodwork for you to potentially get it covered by insurance (every insurance plan is different so there’s no guarantee what they will pay). 

To do this, we email a letter that you can give to your doctor listing the tests we’d like performed. This can be more time and effort consuming if your doctor is unable or unwilling to perform all the tests requested. Many docs feel that the tests we are doing are “overkill” or medically unnecessary so often times you have to push for it or find a new doctor who is willing to work with you. 

If you don’t have a normal doc that you work with or don’t feel like jumping through hoops in order to achieve this, we can order through my company which will be out-of-pocket, not covered by insurance and ~$450 (at the time of writing this blog).



Another test I run on nearly all of my patients is the GI Effects by Genova Diagnostics. It’s a 3 day stool (that means poop) test that you do at home and then drop off to FedEx in a pre-paid box that assesses your gut health.  

Even if you don’t have digestive issues it’s completely possible (and common) to still have issues going on with your gut. The gut is the root of all health and an imbalanced gut is commonly the source of anxiety, migraines, arthritis and chronic pain, brain fog, skin issues and much more.

The GI Effects test assess the health of your gut within a few categories:

    • Digestive Function: 
        • The test assesses the overall function of your digestive system, including the production of digestive enzymes and the breakdown of food. It helps determine if there are any issues with malabsorption or if you are properly digesting your food.
    • Gut Inflammation: 
        • The test examines the presence of inflammation in the gut lining. Inflammation can be an indication of underlying gut health issues, such as leaky gut syndrome or inflammatory bowel disease. This test does not tell us conclusively if you have either however and more specific testing would need to be done but it points us in the right direction
    • Gut Microbiome Composition: 
        • The test evaluates the composition of your gut bacteria, assessing the balance between beneficial and harmful bacteria. This is one of the most common issues I see in clinic with either too little of the “good” guys (commonly due to antibiotic use, lack of pro and prebiotics in the diet, Standard American Diet) or an overgrowth of bacteria.
    • Fungal Overgrowth: 
        • Fungal overgrowth can contribute to digestive problems and compromise overall gut health. This is often a byproduct of gut dysbiosis but can check to see if there is indeed a candida or other fungal issue so we can tailor the appropriate supplements and treatment protocols by using an anti-fungal. 
    • Metabolic Efficiency: 
      • How well your body is utilizing the nutrients from your food and converting them into energy. Poor metabolic efficiency can lead to issues like nutrient deficiencies and low energy levels.



This test takes about 2-3 weeks to get results back once it arrives at the lab so it’s super important to get it done ASAP once your receive it! Otherwise it can be 2+ months before we start you on your treatment plan. You will also need to avoid antibiotics, probiotics, digestive enzymes, charcoal and certain other medications prior to the test which we discuss during the initial consult. There are a lot of fine details within the instructions so it’s crucial that you read over them multiple times to avoid having to repeat the test. Nobody likes to have to play with their poop more than necessary.


SIBO, or Small Intestinal Bacterial Overgrowth, is a condition characterized by the presence of an excessive number of bacteria in the small intestine. Normally, the small intestine has barely any bacteria compared to the large intestine where most of our gut bacteria reside. However, when bacteria from the large intestine migrate and colonize the small intestine, it can lead to various digestive symptoms and nutrient malabsorption.  

Common symptoms include that '6 month pregnant’ feeling, bloating after eating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, constipation, excessive gas, and trouble absorbing nutrients. However, these symptoms can overlap with other digestive conditions, so testing for SIBO  is incredibly important to getting an accurate diagnosis and treatment.

SIBO is generally a result of carbohydrate malabsorption which can result from not chewing your food well, too many processed foods, not enough stomach acid, constipation, alcohol consumption or other things that impair digestion.



The most popular and non-invasive way to diagnose SIBO is via a breath test. You'll drink a liquid that contains a substance like lactulose or glucose. The bacteria in your small intestine ferment these substances, creating hydrogen (H2) and methane (CH4) gases. You'll breathe into a device at specific intervals over a 3 hour period to measure the levels of these gases. Higher levels of hydrogen or methane indicate bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine.

Prior to taking the test, you will need to follow a specific diet for 24 hours to ensure accurate results. 

NOTE: It is totally possible to have SIBO or other underlying digestive issues without experiencing ANY digestive symptoms. That’s why it’s so important that we test so we can choose an accurate treatment protocol.




I fall into the camp that nearly everyone should avoid Americanized gluten. Especially while you’re on your healing journey it’s important to remove inflammatory foods from your diet to allow the body to heal. 

Gluten can have an effect on the body for up to 3 months after a single exposure (yes, even one bite)! So while we are trying to heal your gut and lower your body’s inflammation, it’s UBER important that you try to avoid it as much as possible. If you’re committed to the cause and are willing to eliminate it completely, we don’t need to spend money on testing unless you’re curious and want to know if you are reacting to gluten.

If you’re reluctant to remove gluten or don’t feel like it has an effect on you and need ‘proof’, then I recommend doing Cyrex ‘Array 3’. Just because you don’t notice any gut issues after consuming gluten doesn’t mean that it’s not affecting you. It’s known to affect the skin (acne, dermatitis, keratosis pilaris - those bumps on the back of your arms, eczema, psoriasis) as well as the brain (headaches, migraines, brain fog, depression, anxiety, mood, sleep).

Even if your regular doc has tested you for Celiac, that doesn’t rule out the possibility that you’re reacting to gluten. They only testing for 2-3 markers related to gluten while Cyrex Array 3 tests for 16 different parts that can be affecting the body.

Remember, you can’t find what you’re not looking for and if your regular doc is only looking for 2 components of the gluten molecule, then there’s a LOT that can be missed! 



Here’s another kicker, there are other foods that look really similar in molecular structure to gluten and can create a similar inflammatory effect -- we call those cross-reactants. So even if you are actively avoiding gluten, it’s important to do this test (Cyrex Array 4) to see if you’re also reacting to:


    • Oats
    • Corn
    • Dairy (cow's milk, milk chocolate, milk butyrophilin, whey protein, casein)
    • Instant Coffee
    • Millet
    • Rice
    • Yeast (brewers and bakers)

This is especially recommended for those who are avoiding gluten but are still symptomatic and I usually don’t run this test right off the bat unless you have already been doing gluten free for a while and still have symptoms OR if you are able to make the investment right off the bat. 


When it comes to food sensitivity tests, I typically don't start with them unless you have a strong curiosity about how certain foods may be affecting your body. If we decide to pursue food sensitivity testing, the only test I trust is Cyrex Array 10. I use it as a tool to track our progress in healing your gut, rather than imposing a permanent ban on the foods that show a reaction.

It's important to understand that many foods may show up as positive on a food sensitivity test not because they are true triggers for you, but because your gut is inflamed, irritated, and reacting to multiple factors. As we work on healing your gut and immune system, you will likely become less reactive to a wide range of foods.

I typically wait to conduct the Cyrex Array 10 test until we have established a solid foundation in your lifestyle and gut health during the first 3 months of your treatment protocol. Symptoms often improve during that time by implementing the necessary changes. If any issues persist after the three-month follow-up, we can consider food sensitivity testing to identify any remaining triggers.

To monitor our progress, I generally recommend retesting every three to six months. The purpose of food sensitivity tests is to gauge the healing of your gut, and ideally, we should see a reduction in the number of sensitivities over time as your gut heals. These tests should not be seen as a permanent restriction on specific foods unless they consistently show up as triggers despite the healing process.

Another note on food sensitivity: 

most of the hundreds of tests out there are not very reliable. 

These tests often give you a snapshot of your sensitivity to certain foods at a specific moment in time because they only test for IgG antibodies. Cyrex array 10 tests for both IgA and IgG antibodies. IgA antibodies are associated with immediate immune responses in the gut while the IgG helps detect more delayed immune responses that are often linked to chronic conditions like migraines, skin issues or digestive problems. 

Many food sensitivity tests for reactivity to foods in ways that you wouldn't typically eat them, like raw potatoes or raw eggs. Cyrex ‘Array 10’ tests for both raw and cooked foods because they change in structure when heated above 118 degrees.

Array 10 tests for sensitivity to over 180 potential antigens (proteins that can trigger your immune system). These include foods, raw and/or modified; food enzymes; lectins; and artificial food additives, including meat glue, colorings, and gums. Many of which are found in processed foods that many people consume daily. 




The DUTCH (Dried Urine Test for Comprehensive Hormones) test is a comprehensive hormone test that assesses both stress (cortisol, cortisone) and sex hormones (melatonin, estrogen, testosterone, progesterone).  It is the current gold standard for hormone testing (aka way better than blood) and provides valuable insights into the balance and function of hormones in your body.

If you're experiencing issues like fatigue, disrupted sleep patterns, irregular periods, absence of periods, or other hormonal imbalances, the DUTCH test may be recommended.

I generally prefer to address gut and liver health before focusing on hormones, as oftentimes imbalanced hormones are a side effect of an imbalanced gut and liver, however there are certain situations where the DUTCH test right off the bat becomes necessary. It’s also helpful to have more information straight away so if finances are not an issue then this is one that can provide valuable insight into your body’s biochemistry.



You'll collect 4-5 urine samples at specific times throughout the day, following the detailed instructions provided in the testing kit. After collecting each sample, you'll air dry the provided strips or filter paper. Once fully dry, you'll securely package the samples in the provided container and use the pre-paid shipping label to send them back to the laboratory. The lab analyzes the hormone levels in your urine samples and provides us with a detailed report, offering insights into your hormone balance and potential imbalances. With any of these functional medicine tests, it’s super important to read the instructions carefully to make sure we get reliable results.




The Organic Acids Test (OAT) by Great Plains Labs is an important test in functional medicine that helps us understand how your body is functioning on a deeper level. It looks at the byproducts produced during different processes in your body, which can tell us about things like nutrient levels, how well your gut is working, and even how much energy your cells are producing.

The OAT is especially helpful when we can't find a clear explanation for your symptoms through regular tests and I use it especially in cases of mood disorders, chronic fatigue, and autoimmune diseases.

By measuring the levels of these byproducts, we can see if you have any deficiencies in important nutrients like vitamins and minerals. We can also check for signs of inflammation and oxidative stress, which can affect your overall health.

The test can also tell us if there is an overgrowth of yeast or harmful bacteria in your gut, which can cause digestive issues and make it harder for your body to absorb nutrients properly. It even gives us information about how well your cells are producing energy.

We use the OAT when we suspect that there may be underlying problems with your metabolism or when other tests haven't given us clear answers. It helps us create a personalized plan to address any imbalances or deficiencies we find, using things like changes to your diet, specific supplements, and lifestyle adjustments.

In simple terms, the Organic Acids Test is a helpful tool that gives us a closer look at how your body is functioning and helps us figure out the best ways to improve your overall health.

To wrap it up, these are the tests that are most commonly used in my clinic. While comprehensive bloodwork and the GI Effects test are standard for all patients, the other tests are determined based on individual needs and discussed during the initial consultation. 

If you're ready to take charge of your health and explore a holistic approach, I invite you to book your initial consultation today. 

Let's work together to dive deeper into your health concerns and identify the most suitable tests to achieve optimal well-being. Don't wait any longer – start your journey towards better health and vitality now!




Life flourishes when air, water, light, and earth are balanced.


Gardening requires time and effort, but the reward is a beautiful, healthy garden, abundant with flowers, fruits, and veggies. Maintaining and nurturing our health also takes time and effort. It may not feel easy, but when you work on balancing the elements of nature within your OWN environment, you will begin to reap the benefits of a bountiful harvest.

Here are some basic gardening principles that you can apply to cultivate the health of your body:



Just like plants need nourishing fertilizers to thrive, our bodies need high-quality fuel. The paleo diet is a great starting point for building a healthy diet. It's not about extreme restrictions or eliminating food groups like keto or vegan diets. Instead, it focuses on eating real, whole foods that you can find in nature. 



      • Focuses on unprocessed, organic foods such as veggies, fruits, and high-quality meats (grass-fed, pastured, organic)
      • Eating ingredients instead of foods with ingredients or at least has ingredients that you could make in your own kitchen

Eating processed foods that contain seed oils like canola, safflower, or sunflower oil, sugars, and artificial/natural flavors is like planting weeds in a garden. These processed foods act as invasive weeds that overtake and suffocate the vitality of the garden. Just as weeds compete with and impede the growth of the tomatoes, kale, and zucchini you're trying to cultivate, processed foods hinder our health and well-being. They lack the essential nutrients, fiber, and natural goodness that our bodies truly thrive on.  By consuming a paleo diet filled with unprocessed, organic foods, we cultivate a garden of nourishment and vibrant health, allowing our bodies to flourish like a well-tended garden filled with vibrant, nutrient-rich plants.

If you struggle to find healthy recipes, Google 'Paleo ___' or 'Whole30 ____' (ex: Whole30 lasagna) for whatever you're craving.

Supplements can also help "fertilize" the body and give it that extra boost when needed. You can't support your way out of a shit diet though, so it's important that you minimize processed foods and focus on nutrient-dense choices first before adding in supplements.




The health benefits of clean water is SO underrated and are just as important as the food that you eat. And just because you have access to tap water does not mean it’s clean. 

Our bodies are made up of 70% water and depend on it for detoxification, temperature regulation, digestion, and more. When we consume water that is contaminated with pollutants, toxins, or impurities that are commonly found in tap water, it can contribute to various health issues, ranging from digestive problems and skin irritations to more serious conditions over time. 

Choosing natural spring water is always best but it's not always convenient to have at home.  For water in your home, an under the sink carbon filter like MAX flow by EWS is also a great choice.

You can also try to find Live water or a water store near you that has reverse osmosis water but be sure to add Trace Minerals back in! RO (Reverse Osmosis) strips the water from EVERYTHING, including the beneficial minerals. Drinking pure RO can cause dehydration and electrolyte imbalances so it’s very important to add them back in. 

I'm not an expert in water filters, but if you own your home or plan on staying for a while, it could be more cost-effective to invest in a system like MAX flow.

If you buy bottled water, Mountain Valley Spring is one of the best and comes in a glass bottle and not plastic that leaches into your water. 

What about straight tap water? It’s deemed safe by the government, right!? Let's be real, there are a LOT of things that are deemed safe that really aren’t great for us.

If you're curious about the contaminants in your city's water, you can enter your zip code here and find out. For instance, in Costa Mesa, CA, where I am, there are 16 contaminants that exceed health guidelines with the level of arsenic being a staggering 99 times the recommended limit! Yikes!

If you think you’re gucci because you use a Brita or fridge filter, think again! Most of those filters are barely scraping the surface of what needs to be filtered out. They only clear out the basics to make it taste better, but they do not remove heavy metals, chlorine-resistant bacteria and viruses, pesticides, pharmaceutical residues, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), hormones, and industrial pollutants that are regularly found in tap water. 

Plus, if you’re one of those who goes months with the “Change Filter” light on, it’s likely that you’re growing mold and other critters. 

To make your garden grow you need not only high quality soil but good quality water as well! 



Just like plants, our bodies also require the nourishing energy of the sun to flourish. Sunlight is a vital source of Vitamin D, which supports strong bones, flexible muscles, and a robust immune system. In today's world, we tend to spend more time indoors, missing out on the rejuvenating rays of sunshine. It's important to make an effort to step outside, even if it's just for a few minutes in the morning and throughout the day. This simple act can invigorate you, regulate your circadian rhythm, and provide a refreshing start to your day. 

Whenever possible, take breaks during your workday to walk outside, and make time on weekends to go for hikes or relax in a park. Connecting with nature helps regulate our nervous system, grounding us and providing a respite from the stresses of life, shifting us away from the fight-or-flight response.




Weeding your garden is vital to keeping the soil clean and disease free.

Our body also needs cleansing. The easiest way to cleanse our bodies is sweating through exercise and/or an infrared sauna. Exercise helps circulate the blood, pumping it through the built-in filters of the liver and kidney, and helps to reduce inflammation. 

Although I'm a big fan of living a healthy lifestyle all the time so you don't need to cleanse, a 30-day elimination diet can be incredibly helpful to do seasonal. It helps you reset if you're in a funk, have persistent symptoms, or want to make some changes. 

You can even do a week or 14-day reset if you're not in too bad of shape. This would look something like following a strict Paleo or Whole30 style diet, exercising, or meditating. This will help to weed out anything that may be exacerbating your symptoms and allow your body to heal. Instead of it being focused on dealing with the inflammatory substances you put in your body.

I also recommend doing seasonal parasite cleansing. Cellcore has an amazing protocol that resets the body at a foundational level. You start with the Jumpstart Kit for a month to open up detox pathways and improve mitochondrial function. This is so when you start the Para Kit the following month, you will be able to detox/remove them from your body AND you’ll have enough energy to do so. If you’re interested in this, send me an email here.



Have you ever released ladybugs or praying mantises in your garden to help with aphids or white flies? That's kind of how probiotics work in your gut. Your gut needs a diverse team of friendly bacteria to keep the not-so-friendly ones in check and produce important feel-good neurotransmitters like GABA, serotonin, and dopamine.

Here's the thing though... parasite, bacterial or fungal overgrowths almost always occur because... THE ENVIRONMENT ALLOWS THEM TO.

But here's the catch: Parasites, bacterial or fungal overgrowths usually happen because... the environment allows them to. Just like overwatering your garden attracts more unwanted pests, certain factors in your body can create an environment where harmful bacteria thrive. Think sugar, stress, and alcohol, which lower the acidity in your stomach and give a free pass to bacteria like H. pylori to throw a wild party in your belly. Stomach acid plays a crucial role in killing off and preventing bacterial growth. So, when you have a low concentration of stomach acid due to the factors mentioned above or take antacids like Zantac, Prilosec, or Alka-Seltzer to temporarily alleviate heartburn instead of addressing the root problem, it's like you're sponsoring their shindig with a buffet of sugary delights!

When our internal environment is out of balance, it allows for disease to occur. So first things first, we wanna focus on restoring that balance.

BUT by incorporating probiotics, ladybugs, and praying mantises you help to create a more harmonious environment for your plants and your gut.


Embracing the concept of treating our bodies like gardens can have a profound impact on our overall health and happiness. Just as a garden thrives with care and attention, our bodies flourish when we prioritize nourishment, mindfulness, and holistic approaches.

If you're ready to embark on a journey towards your most vibrant health ever, I invite you to work with me! Whether you're seeking support with gut health, pain management, anxiety, or other concerns, I offer convenient telehealth consultations that allow us to connect no matter where you are. Together, we can delve into the root causes of your health issues and cultivate a thriving internal garden.

You can also stay connected and inspired by following me on Instagram @florafauna.wellness , where I share daily health tips and insights. It's a supportive community where we can learn and grow together on our wellness journey.

To get started or learn more about working together, simply schedule your Initial Consult appointment. Telehealth options make it easy for anyone, even those outside of Orange County, to access my services. If you have any quick questions or need further information, feel free to reach out to me via email at

Remember, your body is like a garden ready to bloom with vitality. Let's nurture it and embark on a path towards optimal health and well-being together.


Now this one... I dig. Heh. Heh. Get it?

A garden is a more accurate comparison because it captures the essence of "aliveness." Our bodies are not merely mechanical; they are living, growing organisms made up of interconnected parts.


✔️ We require basic elements to thrive

A garden also teaches us that, just like plants, humans require essential elements to thrive. We need good soil in the form of nourishing food and fuel, the sun's warmth and light to energize us, water to hydrate and cleanse our systems, and even the beneficial bugs of our microbiome to support our overall well-being. Just as tending to all these components is vital for a flourishing garden, recognizing and nurturing these fundamental aspects within our bodies is key to achieving holistic health and wellness.

A gardener tends to the soil, nurtures the plants, and adjusts care based on the changing needs of the garden. We too must pay attention to our bodies' ever-changing requirements. By adopting a gardening mindset, we can cultivate a holistic approach to our well-being, ensuring that we provide the necessary care and support for our bodies to flourish and thrive.


✔️ Your body needs tending to in order to thrive

Think about the plants you've had in your life. Some thrive while others struggle. When a plant starts to wither or decline, we know that it’s not the plant itself that is the problem but instead it’s due to less-than-ideal conditions—too much or too little water, sunlight, pests, or weather-related factors.

Gardening requires time and attention to grow healthy plants. ‘Growing’ our health isn't all that different; after all, we can't always control the outcome or eliminate disease but often the more TLC you provide, the better the outcome will be. 

Gardeners aim for their plants to thrive, just as humans strive for health and happiness. To make this happen, we need the right balance of essential elements: sunlight, nourishment, hydration, beneficial organisms, and harmonious interactions.

When something is off in the garden, we assess and adjust. If there's too much sun, we need to water more. Extra rain? Water less often. 

Similarly, we pay attention to the signals our bodies give us—pain, energy levels, the color and consistency of bodily functions, quality of sleep—to gauge our well-being in the current environment.

While plants may be slightly less complex than the human body, we operate on similar fundamental principles. We know that quality sleep, regular exercise, and nourishing food are vital for humans to thrive. 

However, many of us struggle with even these. The stressors and demands of our fast-paced modern lifestyles coupled with the convenience of 'fast' food (pre-made meals, restaurants, etc), artificial lighting (staying up past the sun, tv, phone, computers), and more sedentary lifestyles (desk jobs) have created an unhealthy environment for us.

✔️ Sometimes you're just out of alignment with your external environment

One of the key philosophies in Chinese medicine is that we are not separate from nature.

Humans have natural rhythms that instinctively sync with nature: menstrual cycles, moon cycles, sleep + wake cycles, and energy fluctuations throughout the seasons (high energy summer, introspective winters).

Just as we must pay attention to the weather, seasons, and cycles for our plants to thrive and we must do the same with our health. When any of these elements are out-of-balance or are not in harmony with our environment, disease or illness occurs. 

For example, night shift workers and those who travel often for work and have jet lag have an increased risk of disturbed sleep, weight gain, diabetes, and hypertension. This can also be said for those who stay up late at night partying or playing video games.

Other examples of not living in alignment with our environment are: taking birth control to artificially control hormones, taking stimulants to stay up all night to get work done, or even simply the use of artificial lighting which decreases melatonin production and impairs sleep.

Eating raw and cold foods (sushi, salads, ice cream, ice water) during colder weather introduces a cooling energy into the body, which disrupts the balance of internal warmth necessary for optimal digestion and circulation. This can result in symptoms like increased colds/flus, bloating, digestive issues, diarrhea, cold hands and feet, thyroid imbalances, slower metabolism, and brain fog.

Likewise, consuming excessive amounts of spicy foods or stimulants like caffeine, Red Bull, or Adderall during the summer can create an excess of internal heat which can lead to burning up the body fluids, manifesting as symptoms like headaches, fatigue, inflammation, painful joints, irritability, red eyes, and dehydration.

Doesn't this analogy hit home just a bit more than a machine? Your body IS just like a garden, and we are the gardeners. If you're feeling like you have a brown thumb and need a little help, hit up your local acupuncturist or holistic health practitioner.

They will work closely with you to strengthen and balance your internal garden. By taking your entire body into account and looking for patterns in all your body's systems, your practitioner can help identify—and weed out—any imbalances that could be the root of your issues.

Acupuncture or other holistic methods are rarely a "quick fix." It took you a while to get to this point. It can take time for you to heal and regrow.

Holistic health practitioners can provide you with the tools and knowledge needed to nourish the garden from within—food, lifestyle, movement, mindfulness, and more. Your participation in the process is essential. After all, you wouldn't simply plant seeds and expect them to bloom unattended. It's the same with your health.

At each acupuncture appointment, we are planting the seeds, weeding out our imbalances, and fertilizing certain aspects. Your job is to maintain the garden in between the appointments with nourishment, high-quality water, sunshine, movement, and TLC. Working with your acupuncturist and committing to long-term care can create positive changes for your overall health.

As May Sarton said, "A garden is always a series of losses set against a few triumphs, like life itself." Embrace your role as the gardener of your body and nurture it with love and care.


Wanna learn how to tend your garden yourself? 

Check out Part 2 “ So How Can We Help Your Garden Grow?”


In Western medicine, we often compare the human body to a machine. 

We say the heart is like a pump, the joints are like hinges, and the liver and kidneys act as waste filters. It's a helpful way to explain how things work when it comes to diagnosing and treating diseases. In fact, I use these comparisons all the time to help people understand the basics of how our bodies function. 

But here's the thing -- this analogy falls short in capturing the incredible capabilities of our bodies. When we use this analogy, we subconsciously put a cap on our understanding of just how dynamic and adaptable we truly are. 

So, let's dig into the reasons behind this limitation and expand our perspective...


❌  It separates the mind from the body and creates disconnectIon 

We're not just a bunch of mechanical parts meshed together; we're living beings with complex physiological, biochemical, and emotional systems that all interact and impact one another.

Sure, it's important to focus on specific body parts and systems in certain medical contexts. But let's not forget that our overall well-being is influenced by a whole bunch of factors. Our mental and emotional states, lifestyle choices, environment, and social connections all play a role in our health. If we ignore these aspects and stick to comparing our bodies to machines, we miss out on understanding the bigger picture of our well-being and hinder our efforts to truly feel our best.

Oftentimes, the underlying cause of our physical discomfort stems from living out of sync with our environment. Whether it's making poor dietary choices, overexerting ourselves, or excessively stressing over things beyond our control, we tend to lose our balance.

When we compare our bodies to lifeless machines, we inadvertently promote dualism—the belief that our mind and body are separate entities. However, the truth is that our mind and body work in harmony, collaborating in every decision and habit we make throughout the day.

It might sound like a small thing, but how we perceive and think about our bodies actually carries a lot of weight. It affects our overall outlook on health and can make a big difference in how we take care of ourselves.


❌  It fails to encompass the self-healing mechanisms of the body

Most machines do not have the ability to self-regulate or heal themselves. 

They require external intervention for repair and maintenance, while our bodies on the other hand, possess an innate ability to restore balance and heal themselves. 

A fascinating example of this innate healing power is the story of Dr. Joe Dispenza. After suffering a severe spinal injury, he was told by medical professionals that surgery was his only option for recovery. However, Dr. Dispenza chose a different path. Through focused intention, meditation, and a deep belief in the body's ability to heal, he underwent a remarkable transformation and ultimately healed his own spine without surgical intervention. His story serves as a powerful testament to the extraordinary self-regulatory and healing capabilities of our bodies.

To learn more about Dr. Joe Dispenza's journey and the power of the mind-body connection in healing, you can visit his website:

This remarkable capacity for self-regulation sets us apart from machines and underscores the complexity and adaptability of our biological systems.

❌  It implies that you can be "broken" and need a specialist to fix/repair it

In the machine analogy, the focus is often on identifying what is 'broken' in our bodies and finding ways to fix or replace those parts. This perspective can inadvertently make us feel like we are broken when we experience illness or health challenges.

Rather than embracing a holistic understanding of our well-being, this approach tends to prioritize symptom management through pharmaceuticals or surgeries, often providing quick fixes without addressing the underlying cause. While there are situations where such interventions are necessary and beneficial, relying solely on them can leave us feeling like fragmented pieces in need of repair.

By masking our symptoms with these quick fixes, we disregard the messages our body is trying to communicate, signaling that something deeper requires attention. It's like covering up the check engine light in a car without addressing the underlying issue—it may temporarily hide the problem, but it does not address the root cause.

This narrow view of the body as a machine overlooks the incredible resilience and regenerative capacity that exists within us. Our bodies possess remarkable self-healing mechanisms, intricate systems that work tirelessly to restore balance and promote well-being. Embracing this inherent ability allows us to shift from a perspective of brokenness to one of empowerment, where we actively engage in understanding and addressing the root causes of our health challenges.


❌  It disembodied and disempowers you from your body

What happens when we feel that there is something broken, rattling, or in the process of breaking in our bodies? Does it make you feel strong, confident, or secure? 

When we view the body as broken, it disempowers our belief that we are capable of healing and fixing it. It's easy to slip down into the rabbit hole of catastrophizing on how your body is "totaled", that you may never be well again, and "it's all downhill from here". 

The body is kept alive by homeostasis and other intricate mechanisms that come into play when we are injured or ill. The 'body as a machine' metaphor is not only inaccurate, but also potentially debilitating. If you live with pain and have been led to believe the "broken machine" theory about your own body, it can affect your recovery. Our mental state and positive outlook on our healing process can have an incredible impact on our health…



Stress has a way of wreaking havoc on our bodies, leaving us feeling utterly drained and exhausted. And our modern way of life is busier and more stressful than ever!  It's no wonder that many people have turned to cortisol testing to help prevent and recover from burnout. 

But what if I told you that the commonly used salivary (spit) cortisol test, often relied upon to identify "adrenal fatigue," may not be as reliable as you've been led to believe? 

In fact, I've witnessed numerous patients undergoing cortisol testing at their doctor's office, only to receive inconclusive results or to be prescribed treatments based solely on the saliva test, which ultimately made them feel worse. 

In this blog post, we'll dive into the reasons behind the inaccuracy of popular cortisol tests, exploring everything from inconsistent lab ranges to timing complications. By unraveling the scientific complexity of cortisol testing, we'll shed light on the most accurate methods for assessing your cortisol levels. 

Are you ready to crack the code and discover the truth behind cortisol testing? Join us on this enlightening journey!



When it comes to testing cortisol, it’s pretty common for people to get a salivary cortisol test at their doctor or to self-diagnose adrenal fatigue based on symptoms. 

However, it is important to note that the majority of people do not have low cortisol levels and that is what most people are assuming under the adrenal fatigue theory. (Read more on why I don’t like the term “adrenal fatigue” here)

Let’s talk about why measuring cortisol by saliva or blood is not very reliable. 

Saliva-based cortisol tests measure "free” cortisol which is the most active form of cortisol as it can activate cellular transcription response and is the only form that has cell signaling effects.

The issue is that free cortisol only constitutes 3-5% of the total cortisol in the body. Testing such a small amount of cortisol is not representative of the overall cortisol production in the body.

Now what about measuring cortisol in the blood? This is unreliable as well because cortisol in the blood is bound to cortisol-binding globulin (CBG), which can vary greatly among even healthy individuals and is influenced by various diseases, illnesses, and medications. This makes blood a poor way to measure cortisol as well. 


So now that we’ve explained why blood and saliva are both unreliable substances to test for cortisol, let’s talk about another issue.

Your results could vary widely from one lab company to the next. There isn't a standard of testing for salivary cortisol. The "reference ranges" (you know, the ones where your doctor will tell you that your lab results are "within normal range") vary from company to company as do the units they use.

That means even when taking the tests at the same time on the same day, you may be within the 'normal' range with one company but have low cortisol with another. In addition, you'd have to convert Labcorp's nM/L to BioHealth's ug/dL (or vice versa) to even compare the results which makes the whole testing process skeptical, frustrating, and confusing at best.

Here's an example:


The "lower-end range" is the lowest number a company states for being within range or “healthy”. The normal range for an 8 am cortisol test should be between 0.025-0.600 according to LabCorp.

LabCorp's lower-end-range is 0.025 while BioHealth's is 0.472

That's almost 20x higher!

These variances in lab ranges make it hard to evaluate the results and know what’s truly healthy or within range.



The timing of which you take the first test is crucial for getting an accurate cortisol reading. Here's why:

■Upon waking, our eyes absorb light which activates the suprachiasmatic nucleus located in the hypothalamus (brain) and is the pacemaker of our circadian rhythm. This activation increases cortisol secretion by up to 50% and is called the 'cortisol awakening response', or CAR. It happens within the first 30-45 min of waking.

■ The cortisol that is produced during the CAR accounts for more than 1/2 of the total cortisol reported on a full day’s saliva test and since most saliva tests take an average of 4 collections during test day this makes the timing of the first sample crucial. 

■ This is a massive problem because most labs suggest doing the first sample 'between the window of 6-8 am' instead of based on the time you wake up.

■ So this means that if you wake up at 6 am and don't test until 7:55 am, you just missed that initial 30-45 min window and are missing tons of data.


Getting natural light exposure within that first hour of waking is overwhelmingly important to the entire functionality of your body. This helps in regulating your body's circadian rhythm, making you feel more alert and awake as well as regulating hormones, appetite, digestion, mood and sleep at nighttime. Spending just a few minutes outdoors in the morning can have a big impact on regulating your sleep-wake cycle. If you have trouble sleeping, I strongly suggest giving this a try. Go for a morning walk or exercise outside, and if possible, enjoy your coffee or breakfast outdoors. If you live in a cold environment, try to sit by a window or open your blinds first thing in the morning. Although the window will block some of the UV rays, it's still better than nothing. Just do what works best for you!


At Flora Fauna, we use the DUTCH hormone test for checking cortisol levels. Unlike traditional blood or saliva tests, this method is much more accurate and gives us a better understanding of how your body produces and uses cortisol throughout the day.

Cortisol, also known as the "stress hormone," fluctuates throughout the day. But blood and saliva tests only capture a single moment, which might not represent what's really going on. The DUTCH test, on the other hand, looks at cortisol metabolites in your urine over a whole day (or throughout the month if we are doing the DUTCH Cycle Mapping Plus to also track your sex hormones throughout the month). It's like getting a full-day report instead of just a snapshot. This helps us see the real picture of your cortisol levels and how your body handles it.

What's cool about the DUTCH test is that it's based on functional medicine principles. It's not just about finding diseases; it's about making sure your body works optimally. The test also checks other important hormones like estrogen, progesterone, and testosterone, along with their metabolites. It considers how different hormones interact with each other and gives us a holistic view of your hormone balance. This can help us catch imbalances or issues early on, before they cause trouble.  This comprehensive approach helps us understand the bigger hormonal picture and identify any potential problems.

If you’re experiencing “adrenal fatigue” symptoms like burnout, exhaustion, insomnia, anxiety, hormone imbalances or other symptoms, schedule a Functional Medicine Consult with us! 

Let’s get down to the root of your health issues and get you feeling your absolute best!