Q&A with Dr. Dae - What is the Best Thing a Person Can Do to Fight Obesity

This is an excerpt from a interview conducted between Dr. Daemon Jones and a sophomore from the Marietta College's McDonough Leadership program. She was asked to give her perspective on the following questions for an educational video focused on childhood obesity with an emphasis on how to use personal lifestyle change to effectively address this problem. Question:

Would you say that consuming better/healthier/less toxic nutrition/foods is THE best thing a person can do in fighting obesity?

Answer from Dr. Daemon Jones:

When most people think of obesity they always think about food as the cause.  I take a different approach to looking at obesity.  I think obesity is a lifestyle issue not just a food issue.  When people have imbalances in their food choices, their emotional health, their body issues, their exercise plan or their relationship with others, obesity can result.

At the most simplistic level, becoming educated about food can make a difference in obesity.  Learning about how to prepare food so that it tastes delicious and is also nutritious is a great place to start.  Many people don’t think that eating healthy can be done inexpensively, but that is not true.  For example, a box of oatmeal is less than $3.00.  A box of sugary cereal however costs more than $5.00.  Oatmeal is whole food and much healthier and much less expensive.  You might have to be more creative to eat healthy on a budget, but it is possible.  There are many online resources, TV programs and magazine that will give options.  Learning how to eat when you are traveling or eating at a restaurant helps to enjoy food environments with friends and family too.

Sometimes people use food to compensate for emotional issues they are having with themselves or others.  This is also true for people that are having body issues where their sense of self-esteem is low and they find comfort or joy in eating food. When this is the cause of obesity, then emotional well-being must be achieved before the weight issues can be resolved.

Exercise is key to burning off some of the extra weight, however, exercise is so much more.  According to the Mayo Clinic exercise has the following benefits for people: improving mood, combating chronic diseases, strengthening your heart and lungs, promoting better sleep and improving your sex life.  Exercise can be fun!

We as humans come to this planet to be in relationship with others.  Relationships are not easy and they require work to maintain and develop them.  When our relationships with ourselves, others or our higher power are strained many people turn to food for comfort.  As we work on creating healthy relationships in our lives, we do not use food as a substitute and our weight issues become easier to manage.  We can stick to our goals because we are not using food to help us feel better.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Daemon Jones



Q&A with Dr. Dae - What Are the Food Groups that Contribute to Obesity

This is an excerpt from a interview conducted between Dr. Daemon Jones and a sophomore from the Marietta College's McDonough Leadership program. She was asked to give her perspective on the following questions for an educational video focused on childhood obesity with an emphasis on how to use personal lifestyle change to effectively address this problem. Question:

What food groups/classifications are the worst contributors to obesity? Fatty foods? Carbohydrate and Lipid combinations like pizza, chips, etc? Meats? Desserts? Or really just processed/refined foods as a whole? Anything you can say here is appreciated.

Answer from Dr. Daemon Jones:

The worst contributors to obesity are foods that are high in fats and sugar and don’t have any nutritional value.  Examples of these types of foods are frozen dinners, desserts, cookies, cakes, pastas, white rice, white breads, sugary drinks, sodas, fast food and the like.  Fried foods like French fries, fried chicken or fish are also culprits.  In the medical community there is a term called the Standard American Diet or SAD Diet.  This refers to a diet that is mostly comprised of fast foods, pizza, hamburgers, French fries, soda and sugary drinks.  This diet contains high amounts of sugar in the diet, whether it is hidden in processed foods or from cookies, candy, pasta and pastries eaten each day.

Portion sizes are also a determinant of obesity.  Many of my patients have no idea about normal portion sizes.  Most restaurants serve meals that are much larger than the USDA recommended serving size.  As a result, people are eating more food than their body needs and storing it as fat cells all over their body.  The lack of exercise is a third key component contributing to obesity.  In general Western society has moved to a more sedentary lifestyle because we sit in front of our desks, TV and computer screen.


Is it true that you find that the healthier a person's diet is the better their life will be in ALL areas?

 Answer from Dr. Daemon Jones

There have been several medical studies that show the more a person focuses on a healthy or a whole foods diet, the  healthier they begin to get on all levels.  Physically, as people eat better and lose weight in the process, they start to have better health outcomes. Their risk for heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases decrease.  These people have better blood test results, improved blood glucose levels, lower cholesterol levels, lower inflammation markers in the blood and more normalized hormones, including female hormones.  Mentally, as people begin to have healthier food lifestyles and more normalized weight, focus and concentration improve, self-esteem and body image levels are higher and people are more confident.  Many patients also experience higher levels of energy on a daily basis and they can get more projects, exercise, personal and professional activities completed.   Creating behaviors that create health in sustainable ways is a transformative process.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Daemon Jones

Q&A with Dr. Dae - What is Your Idea of a Balanced Diet?

This is an excerpt from a interview conducted between Dr. Daemon Jones and a sophomore from the Marietta College's McDonough Leadership program. She was asked to give her perspective on the following questions for an educational video focused on childhood obesity with an emphasis on how to use personal lifestyle change to effectively address this problem. Question:

What food groups are obese people most starved of and most desperately need to replace? In other words, what is your idea of a balanced diet? Sufficient vegetables, fruits, nuts, unprocessed nutrient-robbed breads/grains, limited meats/animal products, limited oils, sugars, etc?

Answer from Dr. Daemon Jones:

What I find when I am working with people that are obese is that they don’t have a real sense of how the foods that they eat are causing them to be obese.  I know that might sound ridiculous but the truth is people are not as educated about their foods because most people are not very involved with preparing their foods. They don’t know about the hidden sugar, salt and preservatives that are in their foods. Most people eat foods that are prepared in manufacturing plants. These are often referred to as highly processed foods.  Or people eat out at restaurants, fast food or carry-out places several times per week.  These foods usually are higher in calories and lower in nutrients than if you prepared the same foods in the your home.

I think that people are most starved for vegetables, hands down.  Vegetables are the most essential food that most people don’t get enough of in our diets.  Vegetables are a great fiber source, they contain sustainable energy in the body and they have vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients that support health and vitality.  Vegetables can be made in so many delicious ways that people can find varieties and recipes that can make it a happy and healthy part of their diets. Most people  do not eat between 8-10 serving of vegetables per day.  If people were eating multiple serving of vegetables, they would feel fuller and not eat as many junk foods.

When I think about a balanced diet that would support a healthy weight, it would include a whole foods diet.  Whole foods are foods that are eaten close to their natural state.  These foods are not highly processed and do not have additives and preservatives in them.  A whole foods diet is based on eating fruits, vegetables, lean proteins, nuts, seeds, whole grains, dairy, beans and legumes.  Lean proteins are any animal protein with the least amount of fat so it can include fish, red meat, white meat or poultry.  Whole grains are grains that still have the fiber or husk on them.  Brown rice is an example of a whole grain. White rice is not a whole grain.

I ask people to fill and eat 50% of their plate with fruits and vegetables, 25% of their plate is whole grains and the last 25% is protein.  I also recommend drinking generally at least 60 ounces or more of water daily depending on your weight

When people focus on this type of eating they generally experience the results of weight loss and increased energy.  It sometimes surprises people to realize that protein is not the biggest portion of the plate.  Eating a higher percentage of plant-based foods has been researched as a healthier dietary plan.  It is important to note that this daily plan doesn’t include sugar foods or drinks.  These are for special occasions not daily foods.

Becoming Aware of your Thoughts and Feelings

In this fast paced world of over stimulation it can be hard to have an awareness of your thoughts and feelings.  The best way to reconnect with your feelings is to unplug from everything for a few minutes.  Turn off all of your devices and close your door and just breath.  Let yourself start turning into what is happening inside of you.  Are you excited about a new opportunity or anxious about a decision. As you quiet yourself you can start to get clear about your thoughts and feelings.  Can't find a quiet space take a walk or journal to uncover your feelings.

What is High Blood Pressure?

What is High Blood Pressure?

Blood pressure is the amount of pressure that is required to push blood out of the heart and into the blood vessels so blood can travel through the body. Normal blood pressure is 120/80. The top number is the amount of pressure required to pump out the blood when the heart is contracting. The bottom number is the amount to pressure that is required to push the blood out when the heart is relaxing.

High Blood Pressure is diagnosed if your blood pressure is 130/90 or higher on 3 separate occassions.

Blood pressure can be managed well with behavioral changes, like regular exercise, a healthy whole foods diet, proper sleep and stress management.  It is possible that medications may be necessary if you are unable to find the right balance of healthy behaviors.

[box] The Anti-inflammatory diet found in Dr. Dae's book Daelicious! Recipes for Vibrant Living gives tasty recipes and ideas that help reduce blood pressure. http://healthydaes.com/daelicious/.[/box]

Is this a Good Detoxification Drink?

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Screen shot 2012-08-12 at 9.42.16 AM

This weeks question: “@DrDae Is this cucumber, mint, lemon, and water drink good for weight loss and detoxification?” I was asked this question on Facebook by a Northwestern classmate.  Whenever I get questions from friends and colleagues, I always want give the most knowledgeable answer possible.  Looking at the ingredients my inclination was to think probably good for detoxification but not sure it would really help with weight loss.  I wasn’t really sure.  I decided I would do a little research to confirm my answer. One of my favorite sites for food information is The World’s Healthiest Foods www.whfoods.com.   I love it because it combines medical studies, nutritional information, quick and easy recipes, and so much more. The website chose 140 of the world’s healthiest foods that are easily assessable for people to get from their local grocery stores and filled the site with information about all of them.  From that site here is the information I found:

Cucumbers have a substance called lignans that reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers.  There is preliminary research that shows they have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.  They are also a good source of vitamin C, beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A), and manganese.

Mint has the reputation of soothing and supporting digestive and respiratory health.  It supports digestion and relieves irritable bowel symptoms.  It helps asthma. It is antimicrobial and has stopped the growth of tumors in some types of cancer. It has antioxidants too. It is also an excellent source of vitamin C, manganese, and vitamin A.

Lemon have been shown to have antioxidants and anticancer properties.  They are a high source of vitamin C.

After looking at my research what do I think about this drink? I definitely endorse this cooling drink for detoxification. All three have high levels of antioxidants including vitamin C, manganese, and beta-carotene.  They also have anti-inflammatory properties.  Of course drinking 2 liters of water everyday is supportive to detoxification too.

As for the question of supporting weight-loss, I’m not so sure that this combination will directly support this claim.  Indirectly along with an appropriate dietary food plan it can be a contributor.  I can’t endorse this for weight loss.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Daemon Jones

[box type="info"] If you have health questions share them with me and I will answer them or Video Blog the answer for you. http://healthydaes.com/answers/.[/box]

Try a 1 Minute Meditation

Many of my patient express concern about adding meditation to their stress management routine. AS a former non meditator I understand the apprehension about being a successful meditator. Meditation is a practice and as with any practice starting with baby steps will allow you to run and soar over time. I started with one minute meditations and work up to 20 minute meditation at least once a daily sometimes 2 times per day.

A Healthy Diet May Improve Your Adult Acne

Earlier this month I had a dear friend contact me about adult acne. She saw an article I wrote about adult acne and she wanted some more advice on how to get rid of hers.

She wanted advice on two areas. What are the best food to eat, and how does stress play a role in acne.

Let’s start with how acne shows up on our skin. Then I will give a few suggestions how foods can help and why stress makes it worse.

Under normal conditions the skin cells produce oil called sebum that is used to lubricate the hair and your skin. When your skin cells begin to produce too much of the oil, it can mix with the dead skin cells, block the hair follicle and cause inflammation and comedones, or acne, to occur. The build up of sebum makes acne considered an inflammatory condition.

Eating foods that are considered anti-inflammatory supports healthy skin. This would include a whole food diet consisting of fruits and vegetables, whole grains like (brown rice, oats), cold water fish (salmon, mackerel, halibut, sardines, tuna, herring), beans, nuts and seeds.

A Mediterranean diet can be extremely healthy. It is also beneficial to include foods that are rich in zinc, vitamin A, vitamin E and Omega-3 fatty acids. Not surprisingly, all of these vitamins and minerals can easily fit into a Mediterranean diet.

To read the full article click the link... A Healthy Diet May Improve Your Adult Acne

Photo courtesy iStockphoto/Thinkstock

How to Stay Asleep! Creating Better Sleep Hygiene


Did you know that you are participating in sleep hygiene every day? If you are like I was, then you probably have no idea what sleep hygiene is or that you have been either supporting it or making it worse every night before bed.

According to McGraw-Hill Concise Dictionary of Modern Medicine, sleep hygiene is the maintenance of habits conducive to sound sleep and rest.

Basically, whatever you do before you go to bed at night is your sleep hygiene and it can help improve your sleep or make it worse depending on you habits and behaviors.

The first time I ever heard about sleep hygiene I was in naturopathic medical school learning treatments to improve sleep for my patients. As we were discussing sleep hygiene it occurred to me that that I had been participating in some form of sleep hygiene since I was a little person.

Remember when you were a child and your parents would say go put on your pajamas and brush your teeth before bed? It was your first exposure to creating routines to prepare your body and your mind for quality sleep.

As we get older and have more responsibilities, time commitments, and family obligations we need to create specific sleep hygiene. We need to send our mind and body the signals that we are preparing for sleep so we can get to sleep faster and have more quality sleep during the night.

Here are some suggestions that can improve your ability to enjoy quality sleep:

• Make sure that your room is completely dark
When the room is dark your brain to secrete melatonin which is an essential hormone for proper sleep.

• Turn off your electronic devices one hour before bed
The light from devices suppresses melatonin production in the body. It also stimulates your brain to stay awake.

• Create stress-reduction activities in the evening before bed
Minds racing from all of the activities from the day keep your mind active solving problems. Creating stress-reduction activities before bed allows your mind to release thoughts from the day and create restful sleeping at night. Examples may be meditation, prayer, drinking a small cup of noncaffeinated tea, or taking a warm shower or soothing bath.

• Avoid caffeine or alcohol several hours before bed
In the body, caffeine and alcohol contain substances that can interrupt sleep, so they should be avoided several hours before sleeping.

• Exercise on a regular basis
Numerous studies show that regular exercise during the day support better-quality and longer sleep through the night. Include stretching as well as cardiovascular exercise. Avoid rigorous exercise shortly before bedtime.

• Go to bed and wake up at the same time every day

Our body likes routines, so going to sleep and waking up at the same time supports sleeping hygiene.

• Avoid eating after 8 p.m.
Eating late interferes with quality of sleep and can cause unwanted weight gain.

If you are having trouble staying asleep take a look at the your sleep habits, or sleep hygiene. Make a few changes and create better quality sleep.

Live Vibrantly,

Dr. Dae's website: www.healthydaes.com

Dr. Dae's Bio:

“Dr. Dae" (pronounced Dr. Day) Daemon Jones is a Naturopathic Physician who lives in Washington DC and practices virtually on the web. Dr. Dae’s role as a naturopathic doctor is to help you cultivate actions and activities that support a harvest in your life of healthy patterns for better days.


"Insomnia: How do I stay asleep? - MayoClinic.com." Mayo Clinic. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2012.

"sleep hygiene - definition of sleep hygiene in the Medical dictionary - by the Free Online Medical Dictionary, Thesaurus and Encyclopedia." Medical Dictionary. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 May 2012.

Reviewed May 17, 2012
by Michele Blacksberg RN
Edited by Jody Smith

This article was originally published on EmpowHer.com.