Mid section of a mature male student studying at desk in the library

Health Topics Hub

Supplements Good for Detox

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Dec 10, 2014 5:23:00 PM

Detoxification: Dietary Supplements to Support & Promote the Process

By Gene Bruno, MS, MHS

In her 1962 groundbreaking book Silent Spring, Rachel Carson wrote: “For the first time in the history of the world every human being is now subjected to contact with dangerous chemicals, from the moment of conception until death.” Of course humans have always been exposed to potentially harmful chemicals from plants and other sources, but Rachel Carson’s point is well taken. Modern living exposes all of us to an unprecedented number of chemicals on a daily basis. This includes environmental toxins such as heavy metals, pesticides, industrial compounds and chemical byproducts, medications, cosmetic additives, inorganic chemicals, etc. These chemical substances which are foreign to the biological system are referred to as “xenobiotics.”

The good news is that the body was designed to detoxify and excrete xenobiotics. The bad news is our bodies may not always be equipped to handle the volume of modern, environmental pollutants and toxic substances. This problem may be exacerbated by the fact that the refining of many of our foodstuffs has caused them to provide considerably less of the nutrients that are essential to the detoxification process.1 2

Read More

Topics: whole foods, herbs & botanicals, detoxification, smart supplementation, digestive health

Supplement of the Week: Designs for Health Amino Acid Synergy

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Oct 13, 2014 4:00:00 PM

Product Description

Amino Acid Synergy is useful as a general supplement to diets that are insufficient in quality protein, for athletes that require additional amino acids to maintain or achieve greater lean body mass, for patients who are cachexic from chronic illness or GI malabsorption, for individuals who are in catabolic states due to stress or illness, for those recovering from surgery or tissue trauma, for people wanting better quality hair and nails and for patients who have been found to have confirmed amino acid deficiencies on metabolic testing. Amino acids play central roles both as building blocks of proteins and as intermediates in metabolism. The precise amino acid content, and the sequence of those amino acids, of a specific protein, determines the biological activity of the protein. Proteins not only catalyze all (or most) of the reactions in living cells, they control virtually all cellular processes. Humans can produce 10 of the 20 amino acids. The others must be supplied in food. Failure to obtain enough of even 1 of the 10 essential amino acids, those that we cannot make, results in degradation of the body's proteins, including muscle. Unlike fat and starch, the human body does not store excess amino acids for later use so amino acids must be consumed every day. Amino Acid Synergy provides a mixture of essential amino in the free-form, meaning they are immediately available for absorption and can be put to metabolic use much more readily and rapidly when compared to amino acids contained in dietary protein.

Read More

Topics: whole foods, sports nutrition, smart supplementation

The Health Benefits of Amino Acids

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Oct 13, 2014 3:00:00 PM

By Art Presser, PharmD - President, Huntington College of Health Sciences

Smart SupplementationTM is a free series of educational literature created by Huntington College of Health Sciences (HCHS) as a public service. Although copyrighted, it may be freely photocopied and distributed, but may not be altered in any way. Smart SupplementationTM is not intended as medical advice. For diagnosis and treatment of any medical condition, consult your physician.

Amino acids are the building blocks of proteins, and the end-result of protein digestion. That is, the body digests protein into individual amino acids and then rebuilds them back into protein. Next to water, protein is the most abundant substance in the body. The body requires approximately twenty-two amino acids in a specific pattern to make human protein. There are eight amino acids that the body cannot make and must get through food or supplement. They are lysine, methionine, leucine, threonine, valine, tryptophan, isoleucine, and phenylalanine.

When used individually as supplements, particular amino acids may perform specific functions rather than the general function of a complete protein. For example, taking carnitine may help you lose weight; eating a hamburger would not.

Read More

Topics: whole foods, sports nutrition, smart supplementation

Diet Direction (part 3)

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jul 19, 2013 6:00:00 AM

Original Article By Ed Bauman, M.Ed., Ph.D.

Using a Diet Direction Effectively

The key to successfully applying a diet direction is to build the food plan on top quality whole foods. Food quality is diminished in most restaurants and with most packaged food items. Fresh is always best.

One’s diet direction is a reminder to eat more of certain kinds of foods, such as nuts and seeds in a Building diet, and less of other foods, such as bread products in a Cleansing diet. Having an intention to eat well helps a person decide what to eat and what to pass up. Cookies, candy, ice cream, sodas, and foods with artificial colors, flavors, and preservatives are best left on the shelves, no matter one’s diet direction.

As individuals make more conscious food choices, they are more in touch with how certain combinations of foods feel to them. At certain times of the day, when hunger hits and hits quickly, such a person knows what foods to keep on hand to satisfy hunger while at the same time providing nourishing energy. Almonds with raisins are more nourishing than a Milky Way® candy bar, and the energy that is produced clears the brain and mobilizes the body into action.

Eating for Health is a skill that is learned with the support of a food coach who can serve as a mentor and resource. Replacing depleting foods in the diet with health-promoting ones is a gradual process, but one new food per week will increase a person’s repertoire by four foods per month, or 48 foods per year.

What about parties or a food craving that just won’t quit? It is fine to socialize occasionally with special food and drink. It is what we consume habitually that makes or breaks our health. The key is to not be too hungry or tired before a big occasion, or else overeating and excessive drinking may prevail.

Proper food choices provide a strong nutritional foundation for life; help protect us from the health challenges we encounter, and allow us to live up to our potential as dynamic, creative human beings.

Bauman College Diet Direction

Composition (as % of Calories)





CARBOHYDRATES 20–40% 30–60% 60–80%
PROTEINS 15–35% 10–30% 10–20%
FATS 45–60% 20–45% 10–20%

2–4 oz animal 4–6 oz vegetable

4–6 servings daily 2–4 servings daily 1–3 servings daily
NUTS AND SEEDS 4–6 Tbs 2–3 Tbs 1–2 Tbs (seeds, only)

1 oz

5–7 times/week 5–7 times/week 5–7 times/week

1⁄2 cup or 1 medium

2–3 servings daily 
low-sugar fruits
2–4 servings daily 4–5 servings daily

Crunchy: 1⁄2 cup; Raw leafy: 1 cup; 
Cooked leafy: ½ cup

Unlimited but at least 
3–5 servings daily

Unlimited but at least 
4–6 servings daily

Unlimited but at least 
6–8 servings daily

1⁄2 cup

1–2 servings daily 1–2 servings daily 0–1 servings daily

1⁄2 cup

1–3 servings daily 3–4 servings daily 1–3 servings daily

Herb Tea
Fresh Juice

4–8 cups daily*
2 cups daily
1⁄2 cup daily
1⁄2 cup daily

4–8 cups daily
3 cups daily
1 cup daily
1 cup daily

4–8 cups daily 
2 cups daily 
1⁄2 cup daily 
1⁄2 cup daily

*Amount of water required will vary according to water content of foods and how many other beverages are consumed.

Bauman College Diet Direction: Characteristics





Warming Warming Cooling Stagnating to clogging
Concentrated Neutral Dilute Concentrated
Stabilizing — Grounding Comforting — Stabilizing Ungrounding Mood/energy swings
Slower to digest Moderate digestion Quick to digest Slow to digest
Longer lasting energy Longer lasting energy Quick energy Energy depleting
Congesting if overdone Neutral to decongesting Decongesting


w/lots of greens
Alkaline-forming w/lots 
of greens
Alkaline-forming Acid-forming
Wild or organic fish 
Organic or pastured meat 
& poultry 
Non-meat proteins:
  • Eggs and raw dairy
  • Nuts and seeds

Limited whole grains; mainly 
Lots of vegetables, emphasis on 
non-starchy; limited starchy & 
Algae, seaweeds, yeast, bone 
broths, fermented vegetables, 
undenatured whey 
Spices and herbs

Wild or organic fish 
Organic or pastured 
meat & poultry 
Non-meat proteins:

  • Eggs & raw dairy
  • Nuts, seeds, 
    their milks

Whole grains (nongluten) 
Cooked vegetables, incl. 
Raw vegetables & juices 
(incl. carrots and beets) 
Algae, seaweeds, yeast, 
bone & vegetable 
broths, fermented 
vegetables, undenatured whey
Starchy fruits 
Green herbs, spices

Seeds & their milks 
Bone broths 
Fresh fruits (no citrus) 
Fresh fruit and 
vegetable juices (except citrus, carrots and beets)
Limited non-gluten grains 
Leafy greens and other 
non-starchy vegetables, 
raw and/or cooked 
Algae, seaweeds, yeast, 
vegetable broths, 
fermented vegetables 
Green herbs, spices 
Water and herb teas

Commercial vegetable 
oils, shortening, margarine 
Commercial meats, dairy, & poultry; 
commercial farmed fish 
Overheated oils 
Refined sugars 
Processed, packaged foods 
Refined flour products (pasta, 
bread, other baked goods) 
White rice 
Excess coffee 
Egg or soy-based protein 

Read More

Topics: whole foods, diet direction

How To Make Sweet Potato Pancakes

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 26, 2013 6:00:00 AM

I previously shared a recipe I learned in Costa Rica for making Grain-Free Yucca Buns. Also on that trip to Costa Rica I came accross sweet potato flour. This is a grain-free (gluten-free) alternative to traditional pancakes. And the sweetness of the flour makes what I think is a far superior pancake to the old-school flapjacks. Try this recipe at home, you won't be disappointed!

Sweet Potato Pancake Recipe

Read More

Topics: whole foods, gluten sensitivity

The 10 Pillars of Primo Health: Eat Real

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 24, 2013 6:00:00 AM

I recently went through a very stressful period in my life. My last semester in grad school coupled with some other unexpected changes sent me for a bit of a tailspin. My body doesn’t respond well to stress. And having an autoimmune condition, stress is a major trigger for my disorder and my body began to exhibit the toll the stress was taking on my body.

Read More

Topics: whole foods, holistic health

The 10 Pillars of Primo Health: Introduction

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Jan 11, 2013 6:00:00 AM

Welcome to 2013! It's a new year and I'm motivated in my directives and encouraged about the work that I do. Click to read an email I sent out recently called You Are What You Eat In 2013.

To start off this new year I will be working on a new series called The Pillars of Primo Health. By pillars I mean foundational supporting parts that are key to achieving optimal health (Primo Health). I've adapted some of these from my studies and from the work of other colleagues. But this final list is my own. I've concluded that there are 10 Pillars of Primo Health.

Read More

Topics: whole foods, lifestyle

6 Foods For Healthy Brain

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Sep 20, 2012 6:00:00 AM

On a previous post Health Brain Healthy Body I shared 7 tips for maintaining a healthy brain. Having a healthy brain is essential to having a healthy body. Low fat diets and junk food diets do little to feed the brain what it needs to maintain healthy neurological function, memory and emotional well being. Environmental toxins like heavy metals as well as alcohol and drug abuse contribute greatly to loss of brain function and mental health.

This blog post will focus on eating right for your brain. Those of you with issues like anxiety, deppression, brain fog, memory loss, attention deficit disorder, dementia, autism, and addictions cannot ignore the impact of nutrition on the brain. Everyone knows the importance of nutrition when other organs of the body are ailing. But interestingly enough, nutrition for the brain and the ailments of the brain goes all to often ignored. I don't care what other treatments you may be using to deal with your brain issues, you cannot forget to eat foods for a healthy brain! 

Read More

Topics: whole foods, macronutrients, brain health, anti-aging

Grain-Free Yucca Buns Recipe

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Apr 10, 2012 6:00:00 AM

I can't lie and say that I don't miss eating bread on my grain-free diet. I am Latino and Italian, both of which are great bread eaters. My family in Costa Rica made bread for the whole town of Puriscal for decades. Bread is in my blood. I've probably eaten enough bread for two lifetimes if I was honest about my previous consumption. Nonetheless, I experience health problems when I eat grains or foods made from grain flours. So I've had to adjust my life in order to feel better and live longer.

On my last trip to Costa Rica early this year I discovered that they make many non-grain flours there. I was suprised to learn that a traditional cheese bread eaten in many Latin American countries is actually grain-free! Pan de Yuca (yucca buns) are a delicious grain-free cheesey bread that can be eaten on a grain-free diet. It may not be for the strict Paleo Dieter because it is somewhat processed and does have cheese. But I've made adjustments to the recipe to make it healthier and less allergy provoking.

Read More

Topics: whole foods, macronutrients, gluten sensitivity, diet direction

The Health Benefits Of Sweet Potatoes

Posted by Daniel Sanelli, M.Sc. on Oct 7, 2011 6:00:00 AM

Is that a sweet potato? Or is that a yam? Good question! I was confused myself for so long. But now I know there is a distinction. That orange colored flesh of the picture on the left is the sweet potato, though it is often labeled as a "yam." It comes from the plant family known as Convovulaceae, or Morning Glory. It is very different from the yam that comes from the Caribbean, which is an edible root of the Discorea genus. The true yam is rough and scaly. And its nutrient content is much different from the sweet potato. There are several varieties and colors of the sweet potato. To make matters even worse, the sweet potato is not a potato either!


The sweet potato is considered one of the most nutritious vegetables around. It is nutritionally unique from the potato and the yam. It is very high in beta-carotene, providing several times the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin A. This root vegetable is also packed with potassium, manganese and copper. It is a good source of vitamins C and B6. The sweet potato is high in fiber but you have to eat the skin!

The white potato is a species belonging to the nightshades. These are foods that cause inflammation that are especially a problem for those with arthritis and other inflammatory conditions. Other nightshades include tomatoes, eggplant, capers and peppers. Fortunately, the sweet potato is NOT a nightshade. In fact they contain quercetin, which is a powerful anti-inflammatory.

Read More

Topics: whole foods, anti-aging, weight management, diet direction