Author Archives: Peter Braglia, D.C.

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Food Rules

True Health Food Rules

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TRUE HEALTH Food RulesSomewhere along the line we lost track of the idea that our food should be our medicine. In fact today, it’s quite the opposite – our modern eating habits are polluting our bodies, making us more susceptible to many preventable illnesses and diseases. We are no longer getting the nutrients from our food that are necessary to function at our optimal level. The water we drink and the food we eat are loaded with toxins, robbing us of our innate self-healing abilities.

It can be extremely confusing to attempt to keep up with the latest fads in diet or what you should or should not eat. The war on fat led to the explosion of empty (“fat-free”) carbs, food which is heavily processed and stripped of any nutritional benefits. This fat-free lifestyle has resulted in sky rocketing obesity rates. Our diet today is leading to increases in chronic degenerative diseases, and even more alarming, they are occurring at a younger age. Our lifestyle choices are pointing us directly to heart disease, diabetes, cancer, and autoimmune, inflammatory and neurological diseases.

It is a shame that modern medicine has largely ignored one of the best weapons against disease- nutrition. By utilizing these 10 food “rules”, we hope to guide patients to regain control of their health by eating well and by eating clean, health promoting foods.

1. Eat REAL Food

This means Grass-fed Meats/Butter and Wild Fish and Game/Free Range Eggs. Increase Colorful Fruits and Vegetables (Polyphenols = antioxidants / anti inflammatory)

2. Minimize GRAINS (including whole grains)

An excess of breads, pastas, cereals can lead to leaky gut syndrome which can lead to unwanted inflammation.

3. Add NATURAL FATS (coconut/avocado/olive oil, butter)

These natural fats help to provide immunity, development of the nervous system, and protection from micro-organisms. Avoid industrial vegetable and seed oils (soy, corn, canola, sunflower).

4. No LOW FAT or FAT FREE Processed Foods

None. Most low fat or fat free foods add sugar and chemicals to make up for the loss in taste.

5. Re-think BREAKFAST (Protein/Fat not Carbs)

No cereals, toast, or sugary yogurts. Instead, aim to fill up on protein. Better choice: Smoothies.The 3 main ingredients should be plants, fat, and protein. Any combination of several greens, avocado, coconut oil, and a little fruit will work. (When smoothies have no protein, they’re just fructose)

6. Cut Out Unnecessary SUGAR

Go plain whenever you can and sweeten it naturally, you’ll use a lot less. Eliminate any sugary beverages, stick with water with lemon and teas. Use dark chocolate as your go to treat.

7. SATURATED FATS and CHOLESTEROL are Vital for Optimum Health

Cholesterol helps babies and children develop a healthy brain and nervous system. Saturated fats promote the body’s use of essential fatty acids, enhance the immune system, protect the liver and contribute to strong bones.

8. Modern SOY Products are Dangerous

Modern soy foods, such as soy protein powders and soymilk, block mineral absorption, inhibit protein digestion, cause endocrine disruption, depress thyroid function and contain potent carcinogens.

9. Organic Does NOT Equal Healthy

Organic pasteurized milk, breakfast cereal, chips, cookies, crackers and fruit juice are highly processed, refined convenience foods lacking vital nutrients. Organic meat and milk may still come from animals in confinement and therefore lack vital nutrients for growth and immune function.

10. A VEGAN Diet Can Lead to Nutritional Deficiencies

Vital nutrients found exclusively in animal foods include complete protein, cholesterol and vitamins A, D, B6 and B12. We can’t get sufficient true vitamin A from plant foods, and most of us get enough vitamin D from the sun alone. Vitamin B12 is not absorbed from plant sources, and modern soy products actually increase the body’s need for B12. Those who do not eat meat can have a healthy diet by consuming eggs and  dairy foods from animals on pasture, and by avoiding modern soy foods.


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You Are What You Eat Ate

You Are What You Eat Ate

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The body has an incredible ability to heal itself. When the body has the right nutrients, regular movement through exercise, a great mindset, and full function of the nervous system, it has a recipe for long lasting health.

So what does that mean? It means most diseases won’t just happen to you. You have the ability to determine the direction of your health. So, lets talk about the right nutrients. When you feed your body the right building blocks you give it the best chance to experience full potential. It only makes to sense that if we feed our body processed junk (simple carbs, sugars, vegetable oils) then that is what will makes up our cells. After all, we’ve all heard the saying, “You are what you eat” – which is true – BUT what most people fail to realize is that we are also what we eat ate.

Just like humans, cows and chicken thrive when they exist on the diet that they are naturally meant to eat. I can assure you that diet is NOT genetically modified corn and soy. When we consume meat from unhealthy animals – how do you think our bodies react? This is why grass-fed beef contains between 2 and 5 times more omega-3s than grain-fed beef, Grass-fed beef also contains significantly more of the antioxidants vitamin E, glutathione, superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase than grain-fed beef. These antioxidants play an important role in protecting our cells from oxidation. That’s not all, grass-fed beef also contains higher levels of zinc, iron, phosphorus, sodium, and potassium. When it comes to eggs – eggs from pastured hens are more nutritious than the conventional eggs you might find at the supermarket. They are higher in Vitamin A, E and Omega-3s. They are also lower in Cholesterol and Saturated Fat.

The same hold true for produce. When you look at vegetables, what is the soil like? If the plants aren’t getting enough minerals – then you aren’t either. For example, organic crops have significantly higher antioxidant levels when compared to conventional crops.

So what can you do? Choose free-range/pastured animal products whenever possible. Choose the cheaper cuts of the best quality meat you can afford and slow cook them (the fats and skin of pastured animals are also full of great nutrients). If you can’t afford free range/grass fed meats, choose leaner cuts of non-pastured animals and discard the fat (like us, animals store their toxins in the fat layer) and use the best quality fats you can to cook them (organic coconut oil, grassfed butter, ghee). Look for wild-caught fish where possible, again the farmed varieties are fed an unnatural diet of  soy, corn and grain pellets.


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Less + More in New Year

Less + More in the New Year

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With every new year comes the pressure to resolve to either STOP or START doing something – which for most – will ultimately not come to fruition. After all, a resolution is an ongoing effort – not a one time event. It should be a constant process that evolves throughout the year.

With that in mind, I recently stumbled upon the excellent idea of a LESS + MORE list from Wellfesto. Here’s how to make your list:

  • Grab a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle
  • On the left, list out the things you’d like to do less of in your life
  • On the right, list out the things you’d like to do more of
  • Put the date somewhere on your list
  • Tack your list up someplace where you can see it every single day
  • Live your list
  • Add + change your list as you need to

The idea behind this is to minimize the things that move you away from health and towards sickness and maximize the things that make you feel and function great (like chiropractic adjustments!). This is NOT a list of absolutes. It doesn’t mean you’ll never ever eat sugar again, but it does mean you should think about how much of it you put into my body on a daily basis throughout the year.

This list is about living life with purpose – as much of the time as possible. Remember, no matter what’s going on, no matter what your past experience has been, you have the POTENTIAL to make a change. At True Health, we choose to focus on the untapped potential for health and vitality available for your body – we will walk you down the path to your best life. It is only getting better and better.

Be ahead of the game – launch 2016 proactively. The only one who can make this a great year is you.


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The 5 Most Common Chiropractic Questions

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The 5 Most Common Chiropractic Questions

As a structural chiropractor – there are certain questions that I’m asked several times a week, every week – either by patients in the office, or by email, or at a party/function on the weekend. This post aims to answer the 5 most common questions I get, along with some sources when applicable so you can do some further research of your own.

1. “What kind of mattress should I be sleeping on?”

This is one I hear all of the time, and as much as I wish that there was ONE perfect mattress that worked for everyone – there just isn’t. However, what we do know is that a mattress that is more on the firm side is best. Any sagging often undermines mattress comfort and structural support. In fact, results of a recent systematic review show that a medium-firm mattress is optimal for promoting sleep comfort, quality, and spinal alignment.

2. “Once you start getting adjusted, do you have to keep going for the rest of your life?”

In our office, when it comes to the correction of your structural abnormalities – once we have reached our goal, you’re given a couple of options in terms of protecting what we have worked so hard to accomplish. While the structural corrective exercises that were prescribed will continue to help, most of our patients opt to come in once in a while, get checked, and if need be – receive a structural corrective chiropractic adjustment. There is no obligation to continue care, BUT to most patients, it makes sense to keep things in check with periodic visits.

3. “Is It bad to crack your own __________ (neck,back, hip, etc…)?”

Yes. It amazes me that someone would think it’s a good idea to self adjust it. It’s not the sound that is the problem (which comes from tiny gas bubbles within the fluid that lubricates your joints), it’s the way the thrust affects your spine. Self-manipulation, while a temporary rush and feel-good sensation, can create hypermobility and long-term structural problems.

In addition, people who self-manipulate tend to do it several times a day, every day. This causes ligaments to stretch and eventually become less stable – not a good thing when it comes to movement. This instability not only affects the mechanics of the spine, but also can predispose you to an injury.

4. ” Why would a baby/toddler/child need an adjustment?”

The primary reason is that the birth process is physically demanding for babies. A typical birth can place 60-90 lbs of force onto an infant’s head and neck. While most children are okay, these shifts have been associated with colic, constipation, sleep issues and trouble feeding. Early check ups can help prevent structural shifts from becoming a chronic problem.

In our office, we’re fortunate to have referrals from some excellent pediatricians and midwives who pick up on these symptoms and choose to recommend a safe, non-drug approach. We use very gentle corrections which help the child be more comfortable, typically after a handful of visits. It’s our experience that children who get adjusted often nurse better, are more comfortable, have regular bowel movements, sleep better, and have a stronger immune system.

5. “Are neck adjustments dangerous?”

In the past 10 years, you may have heard or seen billboards, ads, or words from doctors talking about the relationship between “spinal manipulation and stroke”. The truth is that chiropractors DO NOT cause strokes. People have strokes, are in pain, and end up seeing a doctor or chiropractor. This is not my opinion, a well designed study 5 years ago helped put this concern to rest. It showed NO ASSOCIATION between a visit to a chiropractor and a stroke. It studied thousands of people making over one million visits the offices of both chiropractors and medical doctors.

In a study of 19,700 patients and 50,000 adjustments, the most common reactions have been mild soreness, light headedness, and a minor tension headache after the first adjustment. More intense reactions were very rare and not specifically tied to the adjustment. Of course it can be easy to fall into the trap of what you might see in an article online or hearsay from someone who may not know any better (and may have ulterior motives). However, given the facts and applying a little common sense, I think you can see that chiropractic might be one of the safest forms of healthcare you may ever have the chance to experience.


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The Safety of Chiropractic Care for Children

safety of chiropractic for children

As a parent, when it comes to our children – we would obviously pursue the least invasive approach to better their health. If you think about the degree of trauma associated with the birth process, starting with chiropractic care simply makes commons sense. Naturally, common sense alone is not enough to make a decision – parents should do their homework and look at reliable data concerning risk as well.

If you were to look at medicine, you would find that on average, at least 63,000 children under the age of six experience a non-hospital medication error every year. For every treatment or procedure in medicine that is seemingly “safe,” “free of risks” or “proven to be reliable,” there are many times that things go wrong (side effects, complications, and even death). Simply watching a television ad for any prescription drug will make it clear that nothing is without some degree of risk. As most parents are aware, the side effects associated with prescription drugs for many pediatric ailments, often include severe allergic reactions, paralysis, and even death.

Another thing to consider when it comes to your child’s health, is something we’re learning more and more about – the importance of our microbiome as children. 90% of the cells in our bodies are microbes – and those bacteria help create good immunity and lower risk for allergies, asthma and autoimmune diseases. Antibiotics can also send bacteria into disarray, when given at birth or after. A recent study in the journal Cell Host & Microbe found a three-way link among antibiotic use in infants, changes in the gut bacteria, and disease later in life. Imbalances in gut microbes have been tied to infectious diseases, allergies and other autoimmune disorders, and even obesity later in life. With this in mind, if we could avoid antibiotic use in babies and children (for conditions such as ear infections) by using chiropractic care, who wouldn’t be interested in that?

Children represent a substantial portion of chiropractic patients. In a 2008 study published in the journal Pediatrics, Kemper, et al. reported up to 14 percent of all chiropractic visits were for pediatric patients. And yet, if you were to look at the risks associated with pediatric adjustments, you would see that rarely, if ever are there anything but positive outcomes. A 2011 literature review found that no serious adverse events have been reported in the scientific literature in the last 20 years. Given the research, it’s quite reasonable to conclude that modern pediatric chiropractic care is safe. But does it work?

Data from the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association’s (ICPA) ground breaking study, The Safety and Effectiveness of Pediatric Chiropractic: A Survey of Chiropractors and Parents in a Practice-Based Research Network, was recently published  in the biomedical journal, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing. The most common reasons for parents seeking symptom relief care were muscles conditions, ear, nose, and throat, respiratory and digestive disorders. Out of 577 children, with 5438 visits, doctors reported only 3 aggravations. Out of 239 children, with 1735 visits, parents reported only two aggravations. These incidences were minor discomfort after the adjustment and were readily resolved with continued adjustments.

Both parents and doctors indicated a high rate of improvement with respect to the children’s presenting complaints. In addition to these improvements, respondents reported better sleeping patterns, improvements in behavior and, improved immune system function while under chiropractic care.

When there is strain, tension, pulling and stress placed on the child’s head and neck during the birth process, it very commonly leads to a structural shift. This will often times lead to secondary conditions (colic, constipation, difficulty feeding) that we see resolve when these misalignments are corrected in infants. In our office, kids who get adjusted tend to be more comfortable, have stronger immune systems, and reach developmental milestones appropriately…and they love getting adjusted. 


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