When was the last time you came across a really caring, nice doctor…one who is happy to take the time to help you figure out what ails you without the guilt trip, but who isn’t opposed to calling a patient out for bad habits?
We all are acquainted with typical medical professionals who are overworked, burdened with bureaucracy and paperwork, and who just want to get home before 8 pm to see their families. They worry about losing their licenses for making mistakes, and frankly, not staying in the lane.
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Enter Dr. Stephen Lewis. This medical professional guides his clients through free consultations (which would typically cost $700) and low-cost blood work to determine the most appropriate nutritional products to make big differences in their lives. He and his wife Janet are big believers in a wholistic range of treatments…which may or may not include traditional pharmaceuticals. Together, they make a great team. It’s like being around your grandparents when you come to their practice.
Dr. Lewis can often be found online reading the latest scientific research on gut health and its association with mental health…cutting edge stuff. Clearly, it makes him happy to bring experience and knowledge to each and every patient he sees.
Obesity in America
“We are overfed and undernourished as a society,” says Dr. Lewis. (8:40 of the video) According to the latest statistics, 72% of Americans are overweight. In fact, we are the fattest nation in the entire world! Not a record we can be proud of for sure.
*Obesity and depression are often linked together in studies that find a strong correlation between Type 2 Diabetes and depression.
*Our food is grown in depleted soils.
*Fasting can reset your health altogether and is often much more effective than any other medical option.
“We need to eat half as much in order to live twice as long. You have to take responsibility for your health, and I’m trying to give people hope, and help them learn to laugh and forget stress. Go live a happy life,” is the mantra of this doctor who speaks by example. “I just tell people to be active—If you want to hit the gym, that’s fine. But the main thing is what you eat, and what you think.”
Testing V. Intuition
“We need to listen with a discerning spirit,” when it comes to test results, that can often fall victim to many outside influences such as a recent meal or time of day. “Intuition and experience will tell you what’s right and what’s not.”
*Helping people face their unhealthy conditions without excuses is the first step towards improved health. Video (16:00)
*Dr. Lewis compares those who ignore their illness or delay medical attention to a person who keeps driving a pickup truck without checking or changing the oil. “Drive another 100 miles without pulling over and our engine starts to smoke. You keep saying , “Oh, it’ll be ok. It’ll be ok.” I tell them, don’t deny the smoke. Your engine will catch on fire.”
*An objective, trained observer with years of experience can help us turn our health issues around before it’s too late.
*Lab work is a great starting point. There are many factors that can also play a role in diagnosing disease such as life challenges and stressors.
*Consistent testing can give a more comprehensive “snap shot” of our overall health. (Every 6 months is recommended)
“Most men who have low testosterone because of so many estrogen-mimicking chemicals in our environment…We have to look at the general trends.” They will vary from minute to minute and week to week depending on diet, time of day, or whether the patient is fasting.
*Consistency in exercise and proper diet are key factors in achieving our best levels of health. (20:50)
*Stress can cause the body to react against itself, and cause increased cortisol levels which age our bodies significantly faster.
*Reading good books and spending time with family and friends are excellent ways to reduce stress for many people. Turn off the news for a while!
The Starting Point
“The first thing I try to do is get people to stop eating incorrectly. Drop sugar and artificial sweeteners. I’m not a fan of grains for a lot of reasons. I’m seeing a lot of fatigue, stress, anxiety and depression.”
Modern-day grains consumed in America are linked to increases in poor mental health. “Wheat isn’t what it used to be here in America. We can go to Europe and eat wheat, and it was fine. I tell people to stay away from the things that make you crazy.” (26:15)
*Obesity is commonly paired to stress, but not always. There are many skinny people who are also dealing with stress.
*Dr. Lewis recommends Keto and the Mediterranean diets to lose weight, and reduce anxiety in general.
*Wheat can cause liver problems and blood sugar spikes.
*Organic, grass-fed meats are optimal. Try to avoid animal proteins that are grain fed.
*Buying beef from local farmers is a healthier, less-expensive option to grocery store meat.
*Build a community of people who specialize in healthy farm practices. “It tastes better and has a healthier omega profile. We live in a community with people we can depend on, and that feels great,” says Dr. Lewis.
The Drop on Dairy
“The worst thing we ever did was to pasteurize dairy and homogenize it. We made our own butter growing up, and it was hard work, but worth it.”
*Keto works if you cut out sugar and add lots of vegetables. Otherwise, it can be very unhealthy.
*Keep adding variety when eating vegetables. This guarantees that the nutritional needs of each individual are being more closely met, because they are grown in different soils.(32:00)
*Note that a simple way to ensure enough veggie intake is with a greens powder, which often contains way more ingredients than you could possibly stock in your kitchen.
*Simply cutting out meat and eating junk food is not a healthy “vegetarian” style diet. Most vegetarians are not healthy in Dr. Lewis’s opinion.
The Gut-Brain Connection
According to Dr. Lewis, digestive enzymes are critical to absorbing nutrients from the foods we eat, and allowing our bodies to comfortably process everything we eat.
*The American diet has been detrimental to gut health: Leaky gut, malabsorption, auto-immune diseases and more can all be traced back to a poor quality diet.
“I read research until I have bags under my eyes, and there’s a lot of good research out there about malabsorption and leaky gut.” (36:30)
*Once the gut issues are resolved, people begin to get their mental clarity back.
*Emotional health also improves when the gut is healed.
*Restricting soda and junk food is good, but trying to eat healthy about 90% of the time is more realistic and achievable.
*Zero tolerance of junk food is not necessary when you eat healthy most of the time. In fact, cheat days can teach the gut to adapt to unhealthy conditions when eaten occasionally.
In the end, Dr. Lewis has found that science and medicine can be conflicting, and often a source of contention among health providers. But he also believes that a healthy debate can lead to new discovery and even some unexpected friendships!