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Environmental toxins, self care & supplementation

This is the first in an ongoing series of articles about supplementation, diet and wellness.  It came about organically (pun intended) through a number of conversations Jonathan and I had at the front desk.  Usually over tea or coffee. I quickly realized Jonathan’s insights was something our whole 34 North community would find as useful as I did.   And from that, this series was born. 

Welcome to the first installment of Sipping Tea & Talking Shop.  I know you’ll enjoy it as much as I do! 


One of the main things that I try and help people understand is how many chemicals are getting into their body every day without them even knowing it.  Here are a few areas where chemicals impact our everyday habits and routines. 

WATER: When you wake up in the morning you likely have a glass of water then hop in the shower.  Now if you’re using tap water you're getting fluoride, drug residues as well as all types of different heavy metals.  So right off the bat you’re bombarded by chemicals. In a 10-minute shower you absorb the chlorine equivalent of 20 gallons of tap water.  

The last 3 Rep Max newsletter had an eye opening article about cancer causing chemicals in our tap water.  The Environmental Working Group (EWG) analyzed pollutants in tap water from 2010 to 2017 and found 22 carcinogenic contaminants — including arsenic, disinfection byproducts, and radioactive contaminants, such as uranium and radium — in drinking water nationwide, which researchers estimate could, over the course of an average lifetime (about 70 years), lead to 100,000 cases of cancer.

FOOD: What and how we eat is a major vehicle for getting all types of toxic residues and chemicals into the body.  PCB’s*, fertilizers and pesticides that are put on these plants get into the soil and the food itself. 

*PCB’s = Polychlorinated biphenyls – Industrial chemicals that have found their way into mainly fish and animal products. Can greatly compromise the immune system, and have been found to cause cancer in animals.

Micro-plastics get into the food and our body through packaging and shipping.   During processing, all types of fillers remove natural fiber and cause the body to get jammed up with different types of flax, mucus and inflammation.

PHARMACEUTICALS: Many people take drugs that are loaded with inorganic compounds that jam up the body’s natural processes.  These compounds clog up cell membranes and micro capillaries in the joints. This is all stuff that slows down and prevents metabolic process.

AIR: Dr. Schulze mentioned a recent EPA study which concluded that the air inside most American homes is up to seventy times more polluted than outdoor air and the toxic fumes from common household cleaners can cause cancer.   

These statements while scary, aren’t meant create a doomsday mindset but rather inform you about environmental conditions that are slowing you down and in some cases making you sick. 

Awareness allows us to take proactive and preventative measures to ensure our present and long-term health.   Here are a few things you can do right away to fortify your wellness routine. 

1. DEEP BREATHING:  When done mindfully, it immediately oxygenates your cells and connects you to your body. 

2. DRINK PURE WATER:  If the human body is made up to 60 percent water, doesn’t it make sense to make sure it’s the highest quality and purest stuff possible?  The gym uses a reverse osmosis system and Beyond 02 is a local Main Street business that provides purified alkalized drinking water.

The Berkey is the best bang for the buck home solution with the fluoride attachment.

If you’re looking to go all out with a full home system that includes showers (not just a head attachment) Life Source Water is a good option. 

3. A SENSE OF COMMUNITY: Enjoy life, see your loved ones and friends.  Laugh as much as possible. 

4 SELF CARE: Learn to truly love yourself and you’d be surprised at how quickly you’ll adopt positive habits and good health.

5. EAT REAL FOOD:  Real whole food is nature’s medicine; it’s naturally perfectly balanced for us keeping our bodies in balance.  Inorganic compounds, like PCB’s, trans-fat, preservatives, artificial coloring/flavoring and binding agents poison our bodies at the cellular level.

6.  MOVE your body more throughout the day: Setting aside an hour a few days a week for focused physical training is great, but most people would benefit even more from just walking and moving their body more consistently throughout the day.

Our heart is the pump that moves our blood all through the body supplying the tissue with much needed nutrients. Our lymphatic system does not have a pump to move waste out of the body so our pump for this system is Movement!


My goal is to demystify herbs and supplementation to help you understand how they can improve your life and health.  Here are a few common questions I get about supplementation and wellness. 

Tanner: Which nutrients are people lacking most in their diet and therefore need to use supplementation?

First and foremost, I would say people are not getting enough trace minerals.  The majority of our soil is depleted. So even when you’re eating fruits and vegetables, they are lacking in key elements like selenium, iodine, manganese and zinc.

There are a few supplements I recommend that we carry at the gym for these issues:

First, Dr. Schulze's Superfood Plus Powder is the primary supplement that I recommend as it’s loaded with the essential vitamins, nutrients and minerals.  Take a look at the ingredients and you’ll see that not even the most dedicated farmer’s market shopper is getting anywhere close to this variety of nutrient dense foods! 

Ask yourself, when was the last time you got a serving of Purple Dulse, Blue-Green Algae, Palm fruit, and Acerola Cherry?  The list of amazing ingredients goes on…   

Deep Ocean Minerals is the other foundational supplement for trace minerals.  The reason I recommend Deep Ocean over other trace minerals is its high natural source of iodine and magnesium. 

Iodine protects us from the recent upsurge in environmental radiation from sources such as the Fukushima nuclear disaster in Japan and 4G transmissions bouncing around the world. It is also the primary food for our Thyroid, a master gland of our endocrine system.

Magnesium is such a vital mineral for so many enzymatic processes in the body, and it is imperative we get it in this beautiful bioactive form.  It would be easier for me to tell you the metabolic processes magnesium doesn’t play a part in than vice verse. 

Another major thing that people severely lack is omega-3 essential fatty acids. Most diets are overloaded with pro-inflammatory omega 6’s leaving most Americans with a 20:1 omega 6 to Omega 3 ratio in their bodies when the ideal ratio is 1:1!

Fish oil is the highest source of these long chain fatty acids.  Carlson is a great source for capsules, and Garden of Life is the best liquid option for a great source of high quality fish oil. Omega 3 oil improves heart health, supports mental function and fights inflammation along with a host of other benefits. 

I would say also people are lacking in the core alkaline minerals, things like calcium and magnesium, also Vitamin D. 

Pure Synergy Bone Renewal is great for this.  I recommend it to people at night. This is the highest quality whole food calcium/magnesium supplement I have ever found clocking in at 100% magnesium for the day, and 500% vitamin D! Along with bone supporting cofactors like strontium, boron, and silica. The wholefood minerals again are key as they are completely recognized, and utilized by your body. This is an amazing formula to help you completely relax for full restorative sleep while giving you all of these amazing nutrients to aid in the restoration of your body every night! This is paramount for recovery, and longevity.

And lastly, I would say fiber.  No one's getting enough good fiber.  Our ancestors got at least four times the amount of fiber we get now.  Dr. Schulze’s HerbalMucil Plus has some really effective anti-inflammatory herbs to keep things from getting irritated, along with mucilaginous herbs like slippery elm to keep your bowel lubricated, and just as importantly it has prebiotics to aid in probiotic proliferation in the gut by giving them the right food.

TM: There's a lot of controversy about supplements vs. Whole food sources. Like Dr. Schulze's line of products versus synthetic ones. What are your thoughts on Whole food versus synthetic?  Does the body absorb synthetic differently? Are there dangers to using synthetic products?

Whole food vitamins and minerals are superior in terms of function and bioavailability.  The body recognizes them easier because their particular proportions and structures are designed in ways the body can quickly assimilate their nutrients.

Synthetic chemicals can have poor absorption, and often the body simply does not recognize them.  You might be paying a lot for vitamins that go right through you and all you have to show for it is expensive urine. 

TM: What are the most common mistakes you see people making with their supplementation or diet?

I don’t want to use the word “mistakes.”  I would say there's a lot of misinformation out there. So you'll see things like people using canola oil based on the misinformation that it’s healthy for you.  Or people using only egg whites instead of the whole egg.

Two big dietary trends right now are veganism and keto.  In veganism. I see a lot of people go wrong eating processed foods. Vegan meats and cheeses can have a lot of insidious ingredients.  The Impossible Burger trend is the greatest example of veganism gone wrong because it’s loaded with carcinogens, Glyphosate, and GMO’s.  You’re far better off just eating a grass-fed burger patty (in moderation, of course). 

On the keto side, I tend to see people really go wrong by focusing on protein rather than fat.  At it’s heart, keto is more of a pro-fat diet not overly dependent on high protein at all. A perfect example of a keto diet sending the wrong message focusing on protein is the Atkin’s diet’s old slogan “Just throw away the bun, and eat the burger”

In regard to the gluten free movement, many “healthy” gluten-free foods contain a lot of processed starches, which all combine together to mimic gluten, and you end up with sometimes an even worse “food” that is not necessarily good for you.

TM: Obviously, the best supplementation plan is one that’s tailored to the individual’s needs, but are there any herbs that should be a part of everyone’s program throughout the year?  


I’ll recap the important supplements I recommended earlier.   They are:


Dr. Schulze's Superfood Plus Powder or Tablets:  The BEST wholefood Multivitamin/ chlorophyll supplement to supercharge your body everyday.


Garden of Life Omega Fish Oil: Very clean, high potency Long Chain Omega 3 that tastes great.


Deep Ocean Minerals: Great source of daily iodine along with other electrolytes and trace minerals.


Pure Synergy Bone Renewal: The BEST wholefood mineral supplement to aid with deep restoration of your body systems while you sleep.


Dr. Schulze’s HerbalMucil Plus: Feeds healthy gut biome, keeps the bowels moving for detoxification.


These are my year- round go to supplements because they provide your body with the core micronutrients we need every single day! Most people go through their day thinking about the macros like protein, fat, and carbs. If we all started focusing first on feeding ourselves the micronutrients first we can really start to operate on a higher level we didn’t even know was there! It’s an incredible illumination I hope to share with everyone.


TM: Are there any seasonal herbs that everyone should take, and why? 


Seasonally we can do things like detoxing specific organs.   Taking herbs specific for the liver in the spring like milk thistle or going deeper and doing the Dr. Schulze’s 5-day Liver Detox.  Then come fall start juicing cranberries & nettles diluted with other watery veggies like celery to really help cleanse the kidneys water for the winter. Cycling through herbs for specific higher functioning organs like the brain, and and heart for about 90 days is another great technique.

Moving deeper into the winter, things like bone broth and more of the heavier foods help ground the Constitution during the colder months.

I know this can seem like a lot to take in.  Especially if you’re new to the world of supplementation.  But the path to optimized wellness isn’t a complex one. It’s just seeing through the misinformation and marketing hype. 

Ask yourself, “Would my ancestors have eaten this?”  That common-sense approach will take you a long way.   And of course, I’m always available for in-person consultations at the gym.   

We have some great talks and programs on the horizon that will explore these topics in greater depth and also provide a forum for questions and discussion. 

Stay tuned for those events and the next installment of Sipping Tea and Talking Shop!

- Jonathan Velazquez


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