What is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

What is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

What is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

Depending on your Google search you’ll come up with many answers to this question. Functional medicine is simply helping you function better and age slower.

What is Functional Medicine? It’s an alternative approach to western medicine using, supplements, fitness, natural therapies, and Mind-Body medicine to keep you as well as possible. Keep reading there’s a lot more.

Why Do You Need It?

Don’t you want to be healthy and live a happy, long life? Because Functional Medicine is a patient-centered science-based approach, it focuses on you. It also focuses on the cure or root of your illness instead of what drug to give you.

What is Functional Medicine?

Functional Medicine [FM] has been around for decades. Until recently when medical doctors decided it was valid, it was simply called natural medicine. Western doctors seldom deliver when providing FM is the patient-centered longer visit times. When you are ‘partnered’ with your clinician, your health is better. Most health insurance doesn’t allow western doctors to spend longer times with patients.

No so with an alternative specialist.  Your visit with us will take longer because that is the nature of our training. Health insurance allows us to spend time with our clients.

A Functional medicine practitioner will spend time with their patients. We listen to your health history. We look for interactions between genetics, environment, and lifestyle.

How Is Functional Medicine Different?

  1. Patient-Centered Care. It focuses on your goals. This helps you create realistic, healthy, outcomes to your wellness. The objective is wellness or illness care. It’s listening to you and helping you be your healthiest.
  2. Science-Based Health Care. For centuries, natural medicine, now referred to as Functional Medicine has looked at the root cause of disease. It’s called looking up-stream. We look at the patient’s history, physiology, and lifestyle. This guides us to what lead to illness. Then how to integrate the natural approaches best to achieve wellness.
  3. Integrative Approach To Health Care. Whether the patient currently is experiencing a health problem or disease, integrative therapy is part of sound Functional Medicine. Prevention and healing through nutrition, diet, exercise are all part of FM.Functional medicine also uses the latest laboratory testing and other diagnostic techniques. Prescribed are botanical medicines, supplements, acupuncture, natural allergy elimination, therapeutic diets, lifestyle, and fitness — also detoxification programs and stress-management techniques

Why Is Functional Medicine Important?

  • Our society is getting sicker. There’s a sharp rise in a disease like diabetes, cancer, chronic disease, heart disease, and mental illness. Autoimmune disorders including Arthritis are at the highest rate ever. No, it’s not an aging population. Those under 45 make up a large part of people affected by these illnesses.
  • Current western medicine is oriented toward drugs or surgery to fix the problem. Drugs are used to cover up the symptoms not cure or slow the progress of the illness. In many cases, they harm. Primetime commercials are proof.Surgery is permanent. It should be a last resort, not the end all. Knee surgery, for example, lasts about ten years then you get to do it again!
  • There’s a huge gap between the latest research and the way doctor’ practice medicine. Many still believe in low-fat diets while the research of the last 30 years shows your brain need cholesterol to function.
  • Unfortunately, most physicians aren’t trained to do more than prescription drugs or surgery. Medical school doesn’t train professionals to look for the underlying cause of complex, chronic disease. There are only a few if any classes are training a medical doctor on nutrition, fitness, diet, or natural wellness.

What Is Functional Medicine And Why Do You Need It?

Functional medicine is your ticket to feeling better and improving your health. You need it because you deserve to live drug-free and without multiple surgeries whenever possible.

Images courtesy of: Photo by Marcelo Leal, rawpixel on Unsplash or Bigstock

Secret Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Secret Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls Recipe

Not Quite Paleo Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls Recipeblueberry cinnamon rolls

I love blueberries and cinnamon and the combination in this recipe is wonderful. This is my version of Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls Recipe. Healthier recipes are demanded today by many. Some want to be Paleo, others are avoiding Gluten, still many seek various levels of vegetarianism.

First let’s talk about Paleo diets. Can we create a version of Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls free of grains and sugar? This recipe is modified but not Paleo; to make it paleo it becomes a blueberry crunch or blueberry crisp. I will give you the short Paleo version if you’re looking for healthier recipes this is a great alternative.
Because I eat a modified Paleo diet meaning, I try to make 14 of the 21 meals I eat weekly Paleo. I do eat organic slow cooked oatmeal as part of non-paleo foods. Limiting eating grains is important. They affect cognitive brain function leading to dementia or worse. My goal is to help you eat better. My hope is to see others practice healthy eating 80% of the time, and enjoy ‘cheating’ foods on occasion. 

There is more evidence daily that eating these things, sugars, and grains is a bad idea. In his book,  Grain Brain: The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers Renowned neurologist David Perlmutter, MD, lifted the lid off hidden data that carbs are killing your brain.Paleo Diet

So how do we take care of our mind and enjoy food carbs?  If you read Perlmutter’s book, you’ll know it’s not possible. There is some evidence triple-zero wheat flour grown in Italy and harvested in Italy. This flour found only at a few health food stores that For those that decide they will eat grains in moderation, this recipe is one that you may want to put in that separate pile of favorites.

Use organic where possible

Blueberry Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Recipe adapted from Our Best Bites and The Pioneer Woman    Image courtesy of Our Best Bites


2 c. 2% organic milk

1/3 c. coconut oil

1/3 c. Natural or organic sugar OR 1/2 c. Applesauce plus 1 TBSP of pure apple juice. Juice will make the rolls less fluffy.

1 package active dry yeast

4 1/2 c. All-Purpose organic flour, divided OR use Gluten free flour mix. We use the Triple-Zero Flour.

1/2 heaping tsp. baking powder

1/2 scant tsp. baking soda

1 1/2 tsp. salt


Kids baking. Two children cooking. Little girl and baby boy cook and bake in a white kitchen with modern oven. Brother and sister in chef hats making a pie for dinner.


6 tablespoons butter softened

1/3 c. Natural or organic sugar OR 1/2 c. Applesauce plus 1 TBSP of pure apple juice.

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 cup blueberries (wild, if you can get them easily or organic)


 2/3 cups powdered sugar [can find an organic version at the health stores]

1 tablespoon melted butter

Juice of 1 large lemon or 2 small lemons

Instructions for Blueberry Cinnamon Rolls Recipe:

 To make the dough, combine the milk, sugar, and oil In a large (at least 4-quart) pot or saucepan. Heat just to boiling, stirring occasionally, and then remove from heat.

 home cookingIf you’ve got lots of ice handy, dump all that you have into a clean sink and then place the pan of scalded milk over the ice. This way, the milk mixture cools quickly and the melted ice just drips down the drain. You can only do this with cow milk no other ‘milk’.

When the milk is warm (around 105-115 degrees), remove from ice and sprinkle yeast over the milk mixture. Allow to stand for 10 minutes. Stir. Mix in 4 c. Flour and cover. This can be done with a wooden spoon; the dough is VERY soft, more like a batter. Allow to stand for 1 hour.

 Mix remaining 1/2 c. Flour with baking soda, baking powder, and salt. Sprinkle over the dough and then mix it in with the wooden spoon. Place a sheet of plastic wrap over the pan and refrigerate for at least a few hours and up to a few days. You can also allow it to rise at room temperature for about an hour if you want to make these right away.

 When you’re ready to make the rolls, lightly spray a work surface with non-stick cooking spray and roll the dough out into a rectangle that’s about 6×18″. In a small bowl, mix the softened butter, sugar, and lemon zest. Spread the butter mixture over the dough and then sprinkle with the blueberries. Roll up tightly, making a log about 18″ long.

 Preheat oven to 375.

 Spray a 9×13″ pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside.

 Using dental floss, mark the dough into 12 equal pieces. Use the dental floss to cut the dough along the spots that you marked. Place the dough pieces, cut side up, in the pan. Cover and rise for 30 minutes. Bake the rolls for 15-22 minutes or until golden brown and the innermost rolls are cooked through. If the edge pieces are getting too brown, lightly place a sheet of aluminum foil over the pan to prevent further browning.

 When done, remove the pan from the oven and allow to cool. When the rolls are almost cool, whisk together the glaze ingredients and drizzle evenly over the slightly warm rolls. Makes 12 rolls.

Paleo Diet Blueberry Cinnamon Roll Recipe

Eating a Paleo diet is not a fad. It’s one of the only ways to keep your brain healthy.  Eating well doesn’t mean giving up sweets it means eating quality foods. There is overwhelming evidence that carbs are killing our brains. For more on the topic read this great article in Psychology Today

To make this recipe a perfect Paleo dessert:

6 tablespoons butter, melted

Cinnamon or/and Vanilla Sweetleaf Stevia to taste.

2 tablespoons lemon zest

1 cup blueberries (wild, if you can get them easily or organic)

Place all ingredients in an ovenproof glass casserole. And bake 10-20 minutes at 300 degrees until bubbling.

If you eat a modified Paleo diet, you can sprinkle 1/3 cup of organic steel-cut oats over the top before placing in the oven.

The Blueberry Cinnamon Coffee Cake approach:

If you need a crust or top, you can use a gluten free biscuit mix. Prepare as package instructions recommend and pour on top of fruit before baking. Adding a shell may mean you’ve added sugar [found in the biscuit mix, and it may not meet some Paleo diet menu plans.

Our goal here in Littleton, is to do more than provide you with acupuncture or natural medicine; it’s to  also to help you turn your life around by applying healthy eating habits too.

Quick Night Before Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Quick Night Before Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

IMG_0905Colder month have almost past where a warm Sweet Potato Casserole recipe  hits the spot on a snowy day late in February like today. Easy dinners though are always important no matter the season.

A quick night before recipe,  that takes 20-30 minutes to prepare and anyone over the age of 12 can stick into the oven matters to empty-nesters, and busy families.

Quick Night Before Sweet Potato Casserole

You can make this meat pie with either sweet potatoes or yams. We have even done it with different types of squash, especially Acorn, my husband’s favorite.

Below is our audio of cooking instructions. Simply carry your smart device or laptop into the kitchen and listen. Pause as needed. The full recipe for Yam Casserole follows, remember this is a meat pie with tons of vegetables from your refrigerator. We cook this toward the end of our week when we don’t have enough of any one vegetable for everyone.

It’s great to prepare ahead while making your dinner for the night before. When we gave up white potatoes a decade ago we still wanted a warm comfort food on cold stormy nights. It’s easy to do the prep work, as you’ll hear in the recording while you cut up vegetables the night before.

Audio recipe >>> click here! [sc_embed_player fileurl=”https://s3.amazonaws.com/acudocdeb/SweetPotatoeCasserole2-12-15.mp3″]

Choose health for your Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

casserole recipe

Many new clients think buying foods organic or free-range meat is expensive. Look for sales, Whole Foods is not offering many great buys. Natural Grocers a local chain has low prices and quality too. Along with Whole Foods, Costco is the only other market that 3rd party certifies organics and labeling.
I have a simple saying, “Buying healthy food now is cheaper than buying expensive health care later.”
Our dish is filled with great organic produce and free-range meats to make it tasty. It a quick night before fixings making it simple to place in the oven when you get home from work before you go change your clothes.
Many recipes I share allow you to experiment and using the last of vegetables in the refrigerator. To make it more interesting you choose your favorite spices of cinnamon, cloves, a pinch of all-spice along with sea salt, pepper, and thyme.
Sweet potato casserole recipe is great whether it’s early October or late winter in February after our friend the ground-hog tells us to expect 6 more weeks of cold.

Dr. Deb’s Sweet Potato Casserole Recipe

Serving 2 people. Double for 4.
Prep time: 20 minutes [night before]
Warming Time: 20-25 minutes [dinner night]
• 1-2 large Sweet Potatoes Or Yams. You can use canned or deli prepared.

• Approx. ¼ to ½ cup of each left over vegetable you have in your refrigerator.
Carrots, Yellow Pepper, Zucchini Squash, Onions, Mushrooms, Cooked Green Beans, and Celery.

• ¼ to ¾ pound of free-range ground meat like beef, pork, chicken, or turkey. We combine 1/3 lb. beef and pork each. Do not blend poultry meats.

• Fresh spices and herbs like garlic, onions, thyme, cinnamon, cloves, ginger, all-spice, or other meat spices.

• Chicken stock or broth to saute cook instead of oil or along with oil

• High-heat oil like avocado, or coconut

• Low-heat oil like olive oil.

sweet potatoe casserole

Meals taste best when a little love it added. While kids seldom remember all the details getting them involved gives them life skills once they go off on their own. It also frees you up as they get older.
The complaints about helping you are less when they feel a contributor to the meal and they are more likely to try a new dish they helped to make.
If you live alone or with other adults, make mealtime special by doing something together or invite a friend to dine with you.
While making your dinner for tonight – you can start this dish at the same time so tomorrow night is a ‘free’ night from cooking.
PREP FOOD FIRST – Do this while you prepare tonight’s meal or if you prep vegetable a few times for use.
1. Dice vegetables.
2. Peel and cube sweet potato or yams. [I make slices for quick cooking]
3. Unwrap meat
4. Spray a small to medium size casserole dish or pie plate.
5. Spray a large skillet or deep cooking pot
Start: Add 1-4 tbp. of high-heat oil to a ceramic skillet – on medium heat.
• Cook onions first until slightly clear.
• Add other vegetables in this order usually, peppers, carrots, green beans, celery, and last the mushrooms. If you are running out of oil moisture, you can add a little chicken broth a tablespoon at a time and turn the heat to low and cover. This is broth sauté.
• You want the vegetable to be slightly soft and translucent.
• While the vegetables cook: Start the yams or sweet potatoes. Cook on top of stove in enough water to cover on medium heat until tender.
• Drain water and let cool a bit, add butter or mild tasting oil and mash. Season with pepper, salt, garlic powder and a dash of cinnamon.
• If using canned you can add these seasoning; deli prepared has spices.
Next: it’s time to cook the meat. We move the vegetables to a small plate and use the same skillet to brown the meat with a little coconut or avocado oil on low to medium. Make sure to break up large chunks with a pan-spatula.
While the meat is cooking, line the sides of a casserole dish or pie pan with the mashed potatoes. Place this in the refrigerator.
• Cook meat until no pink remains. Remove the skillet from the stove to a safe countertop and gently add back in the vegetables mixing well.
• Take the casserole dish out and carefully spoon the meat vegetable mix into the center. If the mix doesn’t fill the dish, you can use a fork to loosen the yams sides onto the top.IMG_0905
Cover and place back into the refrigerator until tomorrow evening.
To cook: remove from refrigerator and place in cold oven. Turn on heat to 350 degrees and warm for 20-30 minutes. Test center for warmth. If still cool place back in oven covered.
This Sweet Potato Casserole recipe is easy to make while cooking other food because you’re simply browning, boiling or sautéing foods on low heat.