Orthomolecular Nutrition

I interviewed Gregory Kunin, owner of Ola Loa Products/DrinkYourVitamins.com, about orthomolecular nutrition, especially as it relates to homocysteine. You can sign up for the replay below:

Gregory Kunin’s father, Richard Kunin MD, was the first orthomolecular doctor in the United States, pioneering vitamin testing and integrating vitamin therapy in treating diseases and disorders back in 1967.

Orthomolecular NutritionDr. Kunin worked with Nobel-prize-winning Linus Pauling as well as Jeffrey Bland and Abe Hoffer.

Orthomolecular nutrition aims to improve human health through nutritional supplementation, and Gregory Kunin has taken up the work of his father in letting people know how nutrients can improve their health.

In this webinar, we discussed:

  • Vitamin C
  • Homocysteine
  • Methylation
  • Vitamin B12
  • Clotting as a risk factor for heart disease and cancer

Sign up for the webinar replay to learn how correcting nutritional deficiencies can help chronic disorders.


Gregory Kunin specializes in developing strategic dietary supplements that provide the ability to achieve maximum health potential.

His company Ola Loa produces advanced supplement formulations with the Drink Your Vitamins delivery system, which makes staying healthy easy and delicious.

Human BioAcoustics with Sharry Edwards

I interviewed Sharry Edwards, who pioneered BioAcoustics technology and founded the Institute of BioAcoustic Biology.

Sign up for the replay below:

Sharry discovered that sounds emitted from the body can be correlated to frequency equivalents of issues within the body.

For example, people with similar diseases, toxins, traumas, deficiencies and syndromes have similar, if not identical, vocal anomalies.

Human BioAcoustics with Sharry EdwardsThat information can then be used to support the optimal function of the body.

BioAcoustics is a proto science that uses the voice to identify the frequency equivalents of everything from missing nutrients to personality traits using special software that Sharry will be demoing during the webinar.

Nothing is hidden in the voice: toxicity, pathogens, nutritional deficiencies, inflammation and more.

The Dirt Cure with Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD

The Dirt Cure with Maya Shetreat-Klein, MDMaya Shetreat-Klein, MD is an integrative pediatric neurologist and the author of the upcoming book, “The Dirt Cure: A Whole Food, Whole Planet Guide to Growing Kids in a Processed World.” 

I interviewed “Dr. Maya” in a free online webinar, for which you can sign up for the replay below:

In the tradition of Michael Pollan, Mark Hyman, and Andrew Weil, pioneering integrative pediatric neurologist Maya Shetreat-Klein, MD, reveals the shocking contents of children’s food, how it’s seriously harming their bodies and brains, and what we can do about it.

And she presents the first nutritional plan for getting and keeping children healthy—a plan that any family can follow.

A traditionally trained pediatric neurologist and a parent herself, Dr. Maya encountered the limits of conventional medicine when her son suffered a severe episode of asthma on his first birthday and began a backward slide in his development.

Treatments failed to reverse his condition, so Dr. Maya embarked on a scientific investigation, discovering that food was at the root of her son’s illness, affecting his digestive system, immune system, and brain.

The solution was shockingly simple: Heal the food, heal the gut, heal the brain…and heal the child.

Turmeric and Ginger: Two South Asian Power Foods

Turmeric and Ginger:  Two South Asian Power FoodsOne of the great discoveries I made in my health-recovery journey was learning that food can be medicine. Ann Wigmore said it best, I think: “The food you eat can be either the safest and most powerful form of medicine or the slowest form of poison.”

You’re either eating foods that are health-supportive or health-destructive. The Standard American Diet (SAD)’s processed foods are not only virtually void of any nutrients, but they are also typically full of harmful ingredients like artificial colors, artificial flavors, high fructose corn syrup, preservatives and additives like MSG, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and other neurotoxins.

If you’ve read my blogs before, you know that I believe that whole foods are health-supportive. Whole foods are ones that look very much like what they did when they were alive and growing.

For example, instead of thinking that whole-wheat bread is a whole food (it’s not), think instead about where the flour came from: the wheat berry.

For a health-supportive diet, a whole-foods diet is the basis for feeling better. I recommend that, in addition to this, you look at foods that are anti-inflammatory in nature. These are typically herbs and spices, as well as brightly colored fruits and vegetables.

Traditional Diets

In my love of cooking and search for health for myself and my family, I have also discovered that traditional diets are very health-promoting. Think about it: before people had refrigeration and preservatives, how did they eat?

They ate foods that had been preserved with salt, fermentation or by drying. They also ate foods that were only in season, which is a core tenet of the macrobiotic diet. And they also prized herbs and spices not only for their strong flavors, but also for their medicinal properties.

In fact, most, if not all, ancient medicinal traditions use herbal medicine. Some of these herbs and spices are ones that are eaten daily, and some are used for medicinal purposes only.

Anti-Inflammatory Spices

South Asian foods from India are examples of foods that contain a lot of two of my favorite anti-inflammatory spices, turmeric and ginger.

Turmeric is not only anti-inflammatory, but it’s also anti-fungal, anti-aging, anti-cancer (anti-mutagenic), anti-diabetic and lowers symptoms of dementia. It’s great for the pains of arthritis and headaches, protects against damaging effects of radiation, protects against heavy-metal toxicity.

What’s not to love about turmeric besides the fact that it’ll stain your hands and clothes yellow if you’re not careful?

Ginger is another powerhouse food that has been used in both Ayurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine for thousands of years. In Western cultures, we typically think of ginger as a nausea reliever, but ginger is a powerful anti-inflammatory spice as well.

Ginger also reduces symptoms of dementia seen in Alzheimer’s (likely because of its anti-inflammatory properties), and it’s also anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic and anti-viral. In addition, it decreases the pain from working out too hard as well as from migraines. Consumption of ginger has been proven to lower blood pressure, too.

You don’t have to eat South Asian foods to get these spices into your diet, although I will say I love Indian and Asian food! To get you started in incorporating turmeric and ginger into your diet, I’ve provided a couple of my favorite recipes:

[Webinar Signup] Julia Ross Interview about Amino Acid Therapy

Julia Ross + The Diet Cure

[Webinar Signup] Julia Ross Interview about Amino Acid Therapy

Please join me for my upcoming webinar with guest Julia Ross, author of “The Mood Cure” and “The Diet Cure”.  Julia is well known for her use of amino-acid therapy to correct addictions and brain chemistry.

RSVP here:https://xn123.infusionsoft.com/app/page/maria-rickert-hong-webinar

We’ll learn how to identify imbalances that lead to poor physical and mental health and how to correct them.

April 23rd at 1:00pm ET

We’ll be discussing eight imbalances that lead to poor physical and mental health:

  • Depleted brain chemistry
  • Malnutrition
  • Unstable blood sugar
  • Low thyroid function
  • Food addictions and allergic reactions
  • Hormonal imbalances
  • Yeast overgrowth
  • Fatty acid deficiency

We’ll also be talking about ways to rehabilitate your nutrition with amino-acid therapy to help correct these imbalances.

These imbalances are common in children and adults with SPD, autism, ADHD, allergies, asthma, Lyme, anxiety, depression and autoimmune.

Given that Ms. Ross has headed up the Recovery Systems Clinic for many years, she has dealt with the full gamut of different types of addiction (drug, alcohol and food).  She writes that the reason her clinic is so successful is because of the use of amino acid therapy to correct these biochemical imbalances in the brain and elsewhere.  It’s not willpower; it’s biochemistry.

When I read her book “The Diet Cure”, I took a step back and looked at it from my perspective of not only a health coach but also the media director and a board member of Epidemic Answers, a non-profit that lets parents know that recovery is possible from autism, ADHD, SPD, allergies, asthma, autoimmune and more.

We let parents know WHY there is such an epidemic of children’s chronic illnesses:  it’s a perfect storm of the Standard American diet that is nutritionally deficient, the overuse of antibiotics, toxins in our environment, stressful lifestyles and gut dysbiosis (an imbalance of good vs. bad gut flora).

But when I read this book, I thought, “Huh.  All those women that have been on nutritionally deficient diets for years since at least the 1970′s are having kids, and those kids are being born with nutritional deficiencies that are compounded by gut dysbiosis, toxicity and stress.  No wonder we’re seeing such epidemics of autism, ADHD, allergies and more.”

Sugar and Health: Cut Out the Sugar!

Sugar and HealthI’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:  Sugar is as addictive as drugs!  Sugar activates the same pleasure centers in your brain that hard drugs like morphine and heroin do, and you get a dopamine rush from consuming it.  No wonder it’s so hard to give up!

Sugar is pushed on us by an agricultural policy that subsidizes corn and sugar, making it a cheap and addictive additive to processed foods.  Fifty years ago, the average American consumed about 20 pounds of sugar per year; these days, it’s around 130 pounds.  No wonder we’re an obese nation!

I think by now, we all know that sugar and processed foods can lead to diabetes and obesity, but here are some other reasons why you’ll want to cut out the sugar if you’re looking to improve your health.

Sugar and Health

  • Sugar feeds cancer.  Sugar in all of its forms, including high-fructose corn syrup, maple syrup, agave, etc., feeds cancer because it causes angiogenesis, the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor.
  • Sugar suppresses the immune system.  Glucose, fructose, sucrose and other simple sugars cause a 50% reduction in the number of white blood cells that engulf pathogenic bacteria.
  • Sugar feeds Candida and other intestinal pathogens.  Candidiasis is a systemic, whole-body infection with the Candida albicans yeast.  Sugar feeds Candida and other intestinal pathogens, which in turn suppress the immune system.
  • Sugar causes inflammation.  Sugary foods cause an increase of inflammatory cytokines. An overproduction or inappropriate production of certain cytokines by the body can result in diseases like heart disease, cancer and autoimmune diseases.
  • Sugar ages your skin faster.  Wanna know why I look 15 years younger than I am?  I don’t eat much sugar.  The free radicals caused by its inflammatory actions age the skin (as well as what you don’t see on the inside).
  • Sugar uses up valuable nutrients to process it.  For example, it takes a LOT of magnesium to process sugar, and magnesium is both woefully deficient in the Standard American Diet and necessary to calm the central nervous system.
  • Sugar causes adrenal fatigue.  Cortisol, made by your adrenal glands, controls blood-sugar swings. Too much sugar can cause excess cortisol production, leading eventually to adrenal fatigue, where your adrenals can’t make enough cortisol to get you through the day with enough energy.
  • Sugar decreases your ability to concentrate.  A high-sugar diet leads to a lack of attention in children (and adults, too!) as well as an increase in adrenaline.
  • Sugar increases your appetite.  Sugar doesn’t tell your brain that you’re full and that you should stop eating, which is why you can scarf down a whole box of crackers or cookies and still be hungry.

Giving up sugar is hard, and sheer willpower probably won’t be enough to do it.  I’ve found that cutting out processed foods while adding in foods made from scratch and whole grains helps.

Let me be clear on what I mean by “made from whole grains”.  I mean food made with the whole brown rice, millet, quinoa, oats grain/kernel, not flakes or flour made by grinding up these grains and seeds.  I mean food made with the whole wheat berry, if you eat wheat, not bread or cookies or waffles or pancakes made from whole wheat flour.  I mean whole oat groats, not oatmeal.  Grinding a grain into flour increases its glycemic load, meaning it can raise your blood sugar very quickly.

Looking for some dessert recipes that aren’t too sweet and don’t have too much sugar?  Try out these favorites:

Listen to Your Gut

Listen to Your GutIn the fall of 2013, I attended “An Evening of Inspiration“, a fabulous benefit put on my non-profit, Epidemic Answers, to benefit our Canary Kids Film Project, a film in which we’ll be documenting the potential recovery of 14 children from autism, ADHD, asthma, atopic dermatitis, juvenile RA, mood disorders and type 2 diabetes as they receive free healing and recovery services for 18 months.

My fellow board member and friend, Patty Lemer, the Executive Director of Developmental Delay Resources, was interviewing people on film at the event about how they got involved in the project.

I told Patty my story of how I originally started blogging for Epidemic Answers four years ago after I heard our Executive Director, Beth Lambert, give a presentation about her just-published book, “A Compromised Generation:  The Epidemic of Chronic Illness in America’s Children” at the Wilton library.

I found myself finishing Beth’s sentences and was astounded that someone else was on the same page as me and had also recovered her children.  Of course, I immediately asked to volunteer for them, which is how I started blogging for them.

If you don’t know my story, I’ve recovered my sons from sensory processing disorder (I call it “autism light”), asthma, acid reflux and eczema, and they also have had or continue to have developmental delays, hypotonia, hypothyroidism, mitochondrial dysfunction, immune dysregulation, methylation defects and failure to thrive.

It has been a long row to hoe, but it has very much been worth it.  Along the way, I discovered that many of my own health problems were related to and/or contributed to the health problems of my children.

I would not have achieved this level of success in our health if I had listened to what my western, allopathic doctors were telling me.

I would say, “My son barely eats; he eats 2 spoonfuls of yogurt and 5 Cheerios, and it takes him an hour to eat, and then he throws it all back up”.  They would say, “He’s fine, don’t worry about it”.  They said that all the way from his beginning at the 40th percentile for weight until he fell all the way down to the 3rd percentile at 18 months, when he lost weight.  THEN they said, “There’s a problem.”  Really!?!

I would say, “He has poor motor skills.  His first crawling happened when he was 8 months old, and he slithered backwards.  Then, he army-crawled until he was 19 months old.  He cross-crawled for only a couple of weeks before he began to walk at 20 months.”  All along, they were saying, “He’s fine; don’t worry about it”.  Until he hit 18 months, THEN all of a sudden they said, “There’s a problem.”

I would say, “He projectile vomits, and my clothes, his clothes, his car seat, chairs and rugs are covered with it constantly.  He throws up after every meal.”  They said, “He’s got a weak gag reflex; he’ll grow out of it.”  They said this until he was 2-1/2 years old, and THEN they said, “He has acid reflux.  Give him some Prevacid.”

I would say, “He’s hypersensitive to sounds, lights and motions.  He cries all the time.  Something is wrong.”  They would say, “He’s fine; he’ll grow out of it.”  By this point, my son was 3 years old, and I had had enough of being told that, “He’s fine.  There’s nothing to worry about.  He’ll grow out of it.”

The truth is, there was a gnawing feeling inside of me that “something’s not right, something’s not right”.  I couldn’t put my finger on it.  So, even though my then pediatrician du jour said, “Don’t worry about it; he’ll grow out of it”, I had grown a pair by then and learned to put my foot down for my child.

I badgered her with questions until finally she gave up and said that maybe we should see a developmental psychologist.  We did, and voila, we got the diagnosis (even though it’s not a DSM diagnosis) that my son had sensory processing disorder.

From then on, nothing could stop us.  I began to research WHY he was like this.  Therapy obviously helped, but there was more to it.

Why was he sick all the time?  Why had he had so many ear infections?  Why did he develop asthma?  Why did he have developmental delays and acid reflux?  Why was he so sensitive?

Nobody that I knew really knew, so I had to keep digging and digging until I got to the point where I figured it out.  It’s toxicity, gut dysbiosis, nutritional deficiencies and hormonal imbalances.

Try getting THAT answer from your pediatrician.  Unless you’re one of the lucky few with an integrative pediatrician, you’ll never hear that answer, despite a multitude of peer-reviewed medical research journal studies out there that they just don’t have the time to read.

The system is broken.  If you want health and recovery for yourself and/or your children, you will need to take your health back into your own hands and stop giving away your power to the religion of worshiping men and women in white coats as if they know everything.  They probably don’t.

You need to listen to your gut instinct when it tells you that something is wrong.

It’s so easy to push that knowing down and stuff it aside and listen to the authorities who tell you that nothing is wrong and don’t worry about it.  I’m telling you don’t do it; you’ll regret it if you do.

I teach my clients to become their own and their children’s own advocates.  If you don’t do it, who will?  You can’t expect that someone else will care more about you and your children than you do.

My children and I would not have recovered from our health problems if I had not listened to my intuition, that little voice that said, “Something’s wrong.”



Clearing the Way to Health and Wellness book coverDr. Ellen Cutler’s latest book, Clearing the Way to Health and Wellness, co-written with Richard Tunkel, MD, seems to be the culmination of her life’s work.  I haven’t read her other books, but I am familiar with her work with digestive enzymes and her creation of the BioSET system for improving health.

You can sign up for the webinar replay in which I interviewed her:

I know several people that have benefited from using BioSET for the elimination of allergies, and, in my work at Epidemic Answers, I have come across quite a few testimonials of parents who relieved their children from symptoms of allergies and asthma.

The book’s subtitle, “Reversing Chronic Conditions by Freeing the Body of Food, Environmental and Other Sensitivities”, doesn’t do it justice.  In my own work as a holistic health coach, I know how hard it is to get people to understand how one thing, such as an inflammation, can apply to a large variety of symptoms.  [Read more…]


Whats Eating Your Child book coverKelly Dorfman’s classic book, “What’s Eating Your Child?” (now called “Cure Your Child with Food”) is a must-read for parents of children with any kind of digestive, neurological or behavioral issue. 

She teaches you, as a parent, to think as a “nutrition detective”, to figure out if there’s something in your child’s diet that is causing ear infections, tummy aches, rashes, constipation, acid reflux, insomnia or even picky eating.

Sign up below for a replay of my interview of her:

Ms. Dorfman not only gives us clues as to what might be causing these issues but offers suggestions for supplements that might help as well as tips for working with your pediatrician.

For example, in the a chapter about failure to thrive, which I’ve blogged about, she recommends testing your child for zinc deficiency, as it can be a cause for picky eating.

What most people don’t know is that food and diet also play a huge part in the symptoms of ADHD, autism, bipolar disorder, dyspaxia, autism or Sensory Processing Disorder.  In this book, Ms. Dorfman shows us how food sensitivities and nutritional deficiencies contribute tremendously to these symptoms.

I highly recommend this book to any parent who has a child with any of these issues!  It’s very well written and easy-to-follow with lots of practical advice.



Klaire Labs probiotic_groupI’d like to let everyone know that I am now offering my clients world-class probiotics from Klaire Labs and supplements from their parent company, ProThera.

Klaire Labs’ probiotics are a known and trusted entity, especially in the autism-recovery world, and the application of their probiotics extends far beyond autism to those with allergies, asthma, ADHD, OCD, SPD and other autoimmune, digestive and neurological disorders.

The ProThera line includes minerals, vitamins, fatty acids and supplements designed to improve the function of the immune system, liver and adrenals, as well as antioxidants, amino acids and enzymes.  They even carry non-denatured whey protein!

To learn more about how I can help improve your symptoms of these conditions, you can read more about me here.