Safety in the Summer Sun

The more sun we get, the more potential Vitamin D we may manufacture; however, absorption is a key factor, and washing with soap after sunbathing has a lot to do with it. In fact, Vitamin D absorption from sun exposed skin is decrease if the exposed skin is washed with soap and water within the initial 48 hours after exposure.  (Click here to read what Dr. Mercola has to say). The body needs time to manufacture and then absorb the “Vitamin D” (which is really a hormone – ask your health provider for details). Dr. Cannell suggests that, depending on ‘when’ you bathe – that is, how long after your skin was exposed to sun, you can interfere with absorption of Vitamin D.  Click here to read the studies he cites.

As noted above “Vitamin D” is really a hormone. Unlike ‘vitamins’ which are supplied by food or supplements, ‘hormones’ are actually manufactured by the body. In order to get the most of that experience, MANY organ systems pitch in. In other words, ‘the body’ needs to work as a team. It takes a village to raise a child and it takes an entire body to get the benefits of sun exposure.

Vitamin D is necessary for a variety of reasons. It facilitates healthy bones, heart and more . . . and the Sun is our friend regarding inspiration to the body to produce it.  What role do sunscreens play in helping or hindering the process? These are important questions that have a wide range of answers, depending what schools of thought are followed. Your trusted health care provider is your best resource, especially when evidence-based research supports recommendations.

Is there such a thing as a ‘safe’ sunscreen?  Great question.  I advise my patients to avoid eating, drinking, breathing and absorbing chemicals – as a general rule.  To protect skin from over-exposure, I strongly recommend

  • eating foods that facilitate protection (from the inside out),
  • seeking out shade when necessary,
  • wearing protective clothing, and
  • using sun screen sparingly.

Examples of protective foods:  green tea, carrots, red peppers, spinach and salmon (click here for details).  (A nutrient called ‘lutein’ is of tremendous protective value for the eyes as well as the skin.  Click here for details). Shade: umbrellas, hats, trees.  Clothing: light colored, cotton. choose fabrics specifically designed to protect your skin. Click here for details.

Topical sunscreens (i.e. creams, gels, lotions and sprays) should have as few ingredients as possible (unless they are organic and otherwise facilitate wellness) and, those they do have need to be non-toxic. I recommend products with the main ingredient: zinc, which provides evidence-based skin protection.

What about “SPF” ?  Don’t be fooled by “SPF” (sun protective factor) since the higher numbers don’t necessarily mean greater protection in the way you expect. Dr. Weil suggests that ‘SPF’ greater than 15 is not as protective as the public believes.  Click here for details on that.

An organization that keeps your safety in mind: The “EWG” (Environmental Working Group), based in Washington D.C. advocates for health-protective policies (click here for details). For an example of a sunscreen they recommend that is organic and fragrance-free click here.

Is there a website with information I can trust? For a wonderful, well researched list of products that meet these criteria, please click here.  It will take you to “” – and I encourage you to explore that website at your leisure for the many ideas Katherine shares about a wide variety off topics.

To summarize: Sun safety can be simple if you keep a few points in mind:

  • enrich your summer food & drink intake with recommended (sun protective) foods
  • get to know your body (fair skin with light hair & eyes tends to burn faster than darker skin with dark eyes & hair)
  • take special sun protective supplements during the summer months to decrease your tendency to burn

Here’s to a wonderful, safe, & healthy summer experience!  ~Dr. Iankowitz

Additional resources regarding

. . . The color of your eyes might suggest that a lutein supplement might help protect your skin AND eyes from sun damage. click here for details.

. . .  Sun exposure, Vitamin D, and types of supplementation (D2 vs. D3).  There are two major types of Vitamin D and they are NOT  ‘identical’ – read what Dr. Mercola has to share about this (valuable when choosing to supplement your Vitamin D on a daily or weekly basis with oral intake).

. . .  Heart health:   Does low Vitamin D3 negatively impact the heart?  –read more about how,  ” . . . Diabetes may predispose to an even greater risk of vitamin D deficiency because of bowel motility disturbances, fat mal-absorption and an association with celiac disease . . .”

. . . Foods rich in Vitamin D:   Vitamin D Fact sheet by the Institutes of Health – read about what foods are highest in Vitamin D (it isn’t only cod liver oil – although that’s a GREAT source!)

Vitamin D Dosing Recommendations from the Mayo Clinic – read about the amounts and kind of Vitamin D that have been used to address a variety of health concerns in adults (ages 18 and over).

Why is Vitamin D necessary at all?  – read what Dr. Andrew Weil has concluded.

Vitamin D2  is not a bio-available BUT might be ‘safer’. D2 (ergocalciferol) vs. D3 (cholecalciferol) 

Do YOU think this study used sufficient amounts of Vitamin D?  OR are the conclusions possibly erroneous, relation to this as a limitation?  

About the Author: Dr. Iankowitz is an ANCC board certified advanced practice nurse, in private practice as founder and Director of Holistic and Integrative Healing LLC.  Dr. Iankowitz is the editor and author of several articles and books, and founder of Universe’Secretary.

Other posts by this author:

Survival Guide When You Wear 3 Hats: Child, Parent & Grandparent

The day is Friday. Last night was typical. You were awakened at 1:00 AM & 3:30 AM by your bladder, then again at 4:00 AM by the cat. You finally fell asleep – then morning reminded you of your 5:30 AM appointment with the dishwasher, 7:30 AM meeting with the tea kettle and, since this is your Monday/Wednesday/Friday schedule, you have a tele-conference with your ‘work team’ (from your laptop) at 9:00 AM sharp. This would all be fine if you had recovered from the Tuesday/Thursday schedule which involved tending to your aging parent (rotating between health-related visits for deteriorating vision, hearing, skin & dental issues . . . etc), from which you had not yet reestablished your own internal balance. You take a deep breath, eagerly anticipating the delicious babysitting experience you look forward to on Saturday, when your grandchildren fill your life with joy – even though your daughter-in-law just informed you that she and your son are generously giving you that time with their precious children so they can seek marriage counseling that was long overdue.

You technically ‘work from home’ three days a week; thus, referenced by colleagues as one who is ‘living the dream.’

The 21st century represents a wide variety of new experiences to each generation – including multiple ways of ‘commuting’ to work.  Whether your commute involves a train, plane, mass transit, car, rolling out of bed to your computer or phone, or a combination of the aforementioned, it is essential that you master the art of healthy boundary setting for your own personal well being.

Boundary setting is important in order to preserve your sanity. There are mini-mental stay-cations (i.e. listening to music, practicing yoga, deep breathing) which work wonders for many people. This approach enhances the living experience by facilitating circulation of oxygen throughout your body and relaxation of muscles – the internal environment.  But what about your external environment? Interruptions – visual as well as auditory impact us on a daily basis. Friends and strangers call day and night. Depending on your circumstances, you may actually be able to limit that communication portal, especially if your sleep is negatively impacted.

It might be of value to consider putting your cell phone on “airplane mode” at the same time each night – perhaps an hour or two before you plan to go to sleep, so that uninvited calls and texts don’t spill into your unwinding time and sleep schedule.  If you are able, you might benefit from setting your land-line telephone to “silent mode” as well – that is, if you have all those who might need to reach out to you living under your roof and/or otherwise within shouting distance in case of an emergency. This communication limiting intervention controls for robo-calls and other unwanted invasions of privacy – but you need to be mindful of keeping certain channels of communication open for the loved ones who may actually need you, especially if you are the ‘go-to’ person. When aging parents or adult children who are in and out of crisis don’t live under your roof, you might consider sharing the ‘on-call’ responsibility, if possible, with other friends or relatives, so that you can have one or more nights off during the week.

Ideally, you can work a 10-day vacation into your annual schedule to recharge your batteries and reestablish internal balance; however, this intervention is not always possible.

The sandwich generation is filled with adults between the ages of 45-70 who take care of aging parents at home while balancing their own roles as parent and grand-parent. Click here for some valuable recommendations.

If your job isn’t your dream career, and you find it a bit draining – but it is necessary in order to pay the bills (that is, when YOUR reality means what feeds your spirit can’t make ends meet), then you owe it to  yourself to nourish your soul with a hobby that does more than take the edge off . . . it must help you establish and maintain mind/body/spirit balance.  There are reasons why it is essential to maintain balance.  When out of balance, we are compromised – health wise. Susan Blum offers insights and tips regarding this topic. Click here to read her recommendations.

When your reality is that you simply can’t get away . . . Whether your constraints involve time, money, commitments or any number of other priorities, you can’t afford to permit your immune system to suffer.  A healthful diet – such as the paleo diet, may provide enough nutrients for your body throughout most of the year (click here to read more about how nutrition impacts your wellness); however, if your sleep is interrupted (click here to read about how sleep affects the immune system), anxiety or ‘monkey mind‘ distract you, or the season precludes adequate exposure to sunshine – you need to be mindful about including additional self care interventions (including vitamin supplementation) into your daily routine. Click here to learn about what Dr. Andrew Weil teaches regarding supplementation with vitamins, minerals and probiotics.

Does your work environment provide a window (to exercise your eyes) and full spectrum overhead lighting?  Or do you work in a cubicle under fluorescent lights? Although scientific evidence-based data are mixed regarding the value/benefit of exposure to full spectrum light (click here for recent data), you know your own body better than any study could predict; therefore, if YOU feel better after sunbathing – even if your exposure is limited to a few precious moments during a lunch break mid-day, then take the hint and catch those rays.

If you are you surrounded by toxic vibrations of any sort, you need to be especially mindful of the air and light around you. Amy Crawford shares some valuable insights regarding this subject.  Click here to read more.  When out of balance, we are more susceptible to illness. Deepak Chopra offers wonderful interventions.  Click here to read them.  During time of stress, consider asking your doctor about vitamin / mineral supplementation. These interventions are highly individualized, so self-treatment without educated guidance is not recommended.

The importance of self-care is tragically understated in today’s world. Take time out of your busy schedule – either once a day or a few times a week, to get back in touch with your true self.  Art, music, dance, meditation, exercise – or any other form of relaxation that permits your mind to take a deep, spiritually cleansing breath.  What makes you feel safe?  Figure it out and experience it. Whether it is learning about your chi points (click here for examples), experimenting with acupressure and chiropractic techniques (check these out click here with your doctor before trying at home) there are methods literally at your fingertips to help you along your wellness journey.

Learn how to read your body.  The body sends us messages every moment of every day. Click here to read about how to interpret what your body is telling you. When you feel a sniffle coming on or experience a morning sore throat, those are also messages – and easily remedied.  Click here to read more.

You owe it to your parents, children, grandchildren, colleagues and all who love and/or simply care about you to pay attention to your mind/ body/ spirit balance.  Help is out there.  Tap into your resources.This not only facilitates your own wellness journey, but it sets an excellent example for the next generation.

When We Say: “Sit Still & Be Quiet”

We start out just fine.  We can’t wait for our children to say their first words, and to learn how to walk.  Then . . . . all we say is, “Be quiet” and “sit still.”  

What happens once they ‘learn their lessons’ ? 

I learned how to sit still and be quiet . . . and it made me an efficient, obedient fat adult. Now what?

I recently received a motion & movement monitor from the health insurance company and guess what?  I rediscovered the spring in my step.  I suddenly realized through reminders by this little beeping thing that I was sitting for HOURS at a time at my computer.  Right.  I was irritated at that little stupid plastic beeping thing – at first.  After all, how DARE it interrupt me from my work!?  Then I began to understand that the problem wasn’t the little beeping thing; it was my lifestyle. That beep was just highlighting the problem which was, of course, my sitting for too long – too often.  I began to dance around the house and around my office, at first just to shut off the beep.  And now I dance all throughout the day. Why?  “Just because.”  Even when I’m not wearing it. This is a description of my transformative learning experience – and it may save my life.  I readjusted my old learning (discussed in the next paragraph) to embrace a healthier pattern of behavior.  To read the evidence-based theoretical framework behind transformative learning, click here.

Let’s begin at the beginning

When we tell our children to be quite and sit down, eat what’s on your plate, be more efficient, etc., the outcome is potentially devastating. Although we are intending to teach self-control, mindfulness, organizational skills and to impart wisdom, knowledge and life’s tools . . . the messages received may be very different.  What if you found out that your children were actually hearing:      STOP BEING       (1) creative      (2) curious               (3) interested in truth      (4) active    (5) sensitive to your body’s clues that say: “I’m full”     (6) energetic       (7) a leader

Guess what?  The baby boomers are a generation of people who learned lessons 1-7 very well and have become the first generation to have children and grandchildren who may suffer the negative impact of those very lessons heard through their tender young ears. Although the BBC news (click here) disagrees with what integrative and functional medical practitioners, nutritionists, and a large body of evidence-based research suggests,  (click here), the reality is that health related issues compromise quality (and maybe length) of life. The good news is: to a larger degree than you might believe, YOU have the power to choose your destiny. But first you need to become aware of the choices along the paths and the destinations they lead to.

Begin by asking yourself where you are along the continuum, where you wish to go, and how you’d like to get there.

The current generation of aging adults (if they are lucky enough to live long enough into adulthood – now between the ages of 50 and 85) are, in general – but for a few wonderful exceptions, sedentary, frustrated, “efficient”, confused, lazy, and obedient followers of clever, manipulative people who feed on the ignorant.  Read what the CDC has to say about the growing health crisis of American baby boomers.

The written, auditory and visual media bombard viewers listeners (and participants in general), with misinformation regarding diet & nutrition. The Huffington Post discusses how food labels are misleading.  Click here for details. Caroline Proderio of Prevention Magazine highlights misinformation on food labels that consumers keep falling for. Click here to read her article. We need to pay more attention to mentors who truly have our best interest at heart. Functional medical , integrative, and holistic providers in nursing and related fields are systems based rather than symptoms based – and take the whole mind/ body/spirit reality into account. The aforementioned are main categories of resources that may be of value throughout your wellness journey.  Right now, you can take this moment in time to decide to begin your path back to balance and wellness.  It is up to YOU to make the decision to take advantage of the opportunity to accept the invitation . . . its your life.

We need to redefine and re-frame the terminology and concepts.  The statement: “Turn your life around” can be daunting.  It seems to imply that whatever we did up to this point needs to be ‘undone’ – a concept which seems to represent that time, effort and energy has been wasted. Well this is NOT the message that needs to be understood.

By reviewing and reevaluating lifestyle choices we are simply noting that there are many paths through life. As we travel through each moment of every day – invitations along these paths are available. We make choices.  If all choices up to this moment lead to one set of realities for us – regarding finances, relationships, health, you name it, we need to recognize that we have the power to make new, different or similar decisions going forward.

When, for example I chose to literally ‘take steps’ to shut the monitor’s beep up, that was in accordance with one interpretation and attitude on my part.  Once I embraced dancing through the day, I made an active decision to see, interpret and behave differently from the way in which I had prior to that moment in time. My new attitude made the healthful behavior FUN.

You can begin to make healthier choices by simply taking lessons from children.  Children are interested in running, jumping, balancing, investigating, pretending . . . and they love bright colors. So, stimulate your imagination, move your body, choose naturally colorful foods (click here to learn about how to make healthful choices).

Get outside and become curious.  Examine clouds – use your imagination. What shapes do you see? Wonder about butterflies and watch a bee go from flower to flower. Talk out loud to a breeze.  Jump up and down in place, three times – just to do it. Plant a seed and watch it grow.  Notice the first buds of spring on a bush or tree in your neighborhood. MOVE your body for NO reason at all.  Mindfully and purposefully but with only ONE GOAL:  TO MOVE. Take extra steps.  Did you know that sitting can negatively impact your blood pressure (not to mention your weight)? Click here to read about what the Mayo Clinic has to say.

Be deliberately inefficient.  Park TOO far away. Carry less and make more trips.  Sounds crazy – right?  Do it anyway.  Your health and the life of your children may depend on it. Click here to learn how to boost your creativity through mindful meditation.

Running out of ideas? Balance on the curb of a street (if there are no oncoming cars) or pretend the straight line in sidewalk is a tight rope and walk it heel – to – toe. Challenge yourself to hop from the center of one square of a sidewalk to the beginning or middle of the next one.  Kick a can or a small pebble . . . as you walk. Take a deep breath.

Bottom line:  your mind/body/spirit balance depends on choices within your power to make. Here’s to healthful decisions with empowerment, joy, inner peace and blessings.                                                  ~Dr. Iankowitz



Baby On Board!

The addition of a new baby brings with it an entirely new learning curve for first time parents. Things once taken for granted suddenly require mindful attention from the moment of birth forward – and if proper attention is not paid, the balance of your mind, body and spirit suffers.

Two of the many experiences at the top of the list of what was once taken for granted: (1) sleep   (2) your relationship with your partner.  If these are not mindfully attended to, they dissolve and, along with them, health, wellness and joy.


Sleep is interfered with on various levels and coping mechanisms employed in order to permit the parenting couple to enjoy a full night of restful, healing sleep range from enlisting outside help (immediately after the birth, a professional doula   is an option) to having one or more family members pitch in.

The doula teaches parents (of particular value to first time parents) all sorts of helpful hints, tips and techniques so that, once the professional relationship is over, the new parents can take over with confidence. The down side of the doula arrangement includes additional financial burden on the couple, and the reality of having a ‘stranger’ help take care of your newborn.

Relatives helping out bring all sorts of realities to the table. On one hand, having someone you respect, trust and love may add a wonderful dimension to the new parenting experience. The downside of having family members help for extended periods of time becomes apparent when boundary issues arise. This may impact the relationship.


Boundaries. Sometimes one or both partners feel unable to draw healthy boundaries and/or find that boundary setting efforts are ignored by the otherwise well meaning, helpful family member. The boundary issue may put a strain on the relationship between the parenting couple especially if both parents don’t agree on the boundary that needs to be set.  For example, if the family member of one new parent insists on cooking, cleaning, doing laundry, joining the couple on social outings, and/or prevents the couple from hiring an outside babysitter, and only one of the parents sees a reason to draw a boundary, this may potentially put a strain on the relationship between the new parents.

Additional difficulties arise even when both new parents agree on the boundary that needs to be set, if either or both lack the skills to do so effectively. Do you and/or your parenting partner feel uncomfortable when the ‘helpful family member’ insists on his/her version of ‘helping’? Perhaps you have a loved one who either directly states his/her expectation or – sometimes worse, sends out a vibration or attitude so thick you can cut it with a knife, but can’t put your finger on it to address it effectively.  If that family member imposes on your privacy, interferes with your special alone time, insists on tagging along on your outside dinner dates with friends, etc. and you lack tools to address this, you may benefit from professional intervention to help you as a couple, so that your relationship with each other – as well as with outside friendships, can continue to grow.  Click here for more information. Click here for a recommendation.  Failure to address these important stresses results in distraction from joy and may ultimately threaten aspects of your relationship.


You owe it to yourselves and to your children to have positive energy in your life.  This means you need to learn how to effectively deal with distractions to your happiness.  Scientific research has focused seriously on the impact of ‘in-laws’ on the marital couple – even before children are brought into the equation.  If you sense you have a toxic family member who brings bitter-sweet realities to your table, click here for validation and tools.

The Wall Street Journal suggests that sleep (as noted above) needs to be a priority in order to keep your relationship happy. In order to remain centered and positive, attention to your mind, body and spirit are key.  From prenatal yoga to  regaining balance through tai chi – even after a diagnosis with back pain, arthritis etc., your are in charge of the energy you choose to surround yourself with. Keep in mind that a healthy, happy relationship among your mind, body and spirit as well as between parenting partners is essential in order to plant healthy seeds in the children you are raising.  Studies show that over-controlling parents (resulting from all sorts of personality issues) have a negative impact on children up through and into the offspring’s sixth decade of life! Imagine that.

Clearly, maintaining a healthy mind/body/spirit balance and nourishing your relationship is worth the effort not only for YOUR joy, but for the well being of your children.  A healthy foundation in life begins with positive energy.

Here’s to your joy, and best of luck with your growing family.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

Additional resources:


Contact Information

Office phone: (917) 716-6802

Office Visits are by Appointment Only

Office Location:   24 Great Bear Road, Holmes, NY 12531


Office Visits by:

  • professional reference
  • referral by a current patient or health provider
  • personal invitation by Dr. Iankowitz
  • telephone screening


Please do NOT just ‘show up’ without an appointment.

The initial one (1) hr. office-visit consultation is by appointment only.


If you reach Dr. Iankowitz’ confidential voicemail, please leave a brief message with

  • your name
  • phone #
  • best time to reach you
  • brief statement regarding your concern or goals

Calls are usually returned within 4 hours. All messages are answered before noon the following day.


Here’s to balance of mind, body & spirit.  I look forward to partnering with you along your healing journey.  ~Dr. Iankowitz



Two Facts Most Don’t Know About Skin

Skin is not only wise – its talent is the body’s best kept secret. Your skin is  your body’s top agent, informant, healer, and confidant. Your skin is quite literally YOUR best protector and dearest most trusted friend. It is actually part of your body’s first line of defense.  (Click here to read about the role of the skin – and its teammates, along with their many jobs and talents).

As the largest organ in the body  it protects, heals, and even warns you about danger.  It tells you when you are embarrassed (blushes), nervous or upset (prickly sensation or even a rash), reminds you when you are too cold (goose bumps) and cools you when you are too hot (sweat). Click here for additional details.

Your skin manufactures Vitamin D (which is really a hormone – click here for details), and informs you about what foods are right for you (pimples and boils suggest the body is ‘inflamed’ by particular foods. Click here for details). Your skin reports to you on a daily basis. It gives you the status of the external and internal balance of your body. For example, it reports on the balance of bacteria and fungus on the surface and within mucus membranes (yeast infections, local irritation and infections of hair follicles are the ‘report card’ offered by the skin).  (Click here for more information).

Skin tells you when there is a solid foreign invader (one single thin tiny splinter can’t even escape the skin’s report to your brain). When blood sugar is too high for too long, flesh wounds heal slower. Ever wonder why?  (Click here and freely ask your doctor to clarify). Skin even sends you red flags about your immune system inside your gut! Imagine that. Your skin is a valuable secret agent that informs you about the status of YOUR intestines and stomach. Who knew? (Click here for additional information).

In order to honor and respect this valuable organ, the next time it gives you either a repeat or a confusing message, ask your healthcare provider to help translate so that you can appropriately pay attention to the wisdom of your precious skin. Sadly, so many people miss out on learning the language of their body, and this complicates the journey later on.

Once you truly appreciate your body as a tremendous communication system designed to heal itself with your help, the next time it offers you a personalized a message, you will take the time and have the patience to listen. You already have a few ‘body language phrases’ translated, (as in ‘cold’ or ‘hot’) along with prepared responses. For example, when cold, you put on a sweater.  When hot and sweaty, you take off a layer, jump into a pool, take a shower or just get out of the sun into the shade.  Perfect!

The next time a new message (or previously unable to be successfully addressed familiar message) takes your focus away from other things, and repeatedly sucks your energy – distracting you from joy, balance, sleep etc., instead of just telling it to ‘shut up’ (with familiar topical creams, pills, and/or ointments from your cabinet or over-the-counter that only work temporarily &/or just take the edge off) wouldn’t it be wonderful to learn the language of YOUR skin, how to respectfully listen to the messages, and then together with your trusted healthcare provider, decide how to help your body heal itself as it was designed to do?

Here’s to your health and balance of mind, body and spirit.  ~Dr. Iankowitz

Additional references:



High Fructose Corn Syrup & Your Liver

There are so many mixed messages offered by the media about high fructose corn syrup and health. What can we believe?  Is there any science behind the claims and warnings? Yes. There are facts, and here are a few evidence-based resources to help you decide for yourself what makes sense to you regarding statements and claims.

The body uses sugar (glucose) for energy, fructose is a sugar from fruit, and we are told to eat a few servings of fruit a day. So what’s the big deal about sugar, glucose, ‘fructose’ and ‘high fructose’?

The answer involves recognition of how sugar is broken down (pathways of metabolism), organs that become involved (the liver, for example), the amount of work that the body has to do in order to effectively handle what we put into it (just like figuring out how to water your flower garden – careful to not over or under-water it), and the storage systems the body has available when there is too much of anything at any give time (so we avoid flooding the system).

The body uses glucose (a simple sugar) for energy. The liver works hard to handle ‘fructose’ (break it down). Too much stress on the liver (like flooding the flower garden with water) complicates the body’s metabolism on multiple levels (just as the flowers can drown if the roots get soggy). To read more about Dr. Lustig’s concerns about overloading the body with fructose, click here for a detailed, evidence-based explanation.

While the issue is hotly debated by scientists on both sides of the argument, the facts seem to be that the liver is the main organ burdened with metabolism of fructose. This point, for many in the healthcare field, represents a significant issue. Read more about the debate (click here) and decide for yourself (listen to the video as well).

Additional resources:



Is Diet Impacting My Child’s ADHD, Height or Weight?

While most understand the role of dietary choices in gaining and losing weight, the mechanisms behind metabolism, timing of eating, and even the truth about the role played by nutritional components of the foods we eat is less clear.  Not many people realize that overweight individuals often suffer from varying degrees of malnutrition. To read more about this, click here.

It takes a team to balance wellness – especially when we don’t know for certain why a loved one or we are unable to achieve our optimal state of health. When children struggle to thrive – mind, body or spirit, it can break a parent’s heart.

We must wonder: is it possible that food sensitivities might be behind my child’s attention deficit disorder, inability to lose (or gain) weight  or short stature?  Does my child have an absorption issue that I can address and fix?

Very important questions well worth exploring, especially if medications and/ or other advanced interventions are already in place or being considered. Autism Speaks offers a wide range of information regarding diet and nutrition.  Click here for details. Dr. Hyman and Dr. Ludwig suggest ways to balance the mind and body – beginning with nutritional intervention.  They strongly believe that, unless we address food issues and help educate our children right now, they are set up to be the first generation that will die younger than their parents.

If you believe food sensitivities might be a possible issue for your child – especially regarding any diagnosis ‘on the spectrum,’ or even ‘failure to thrive,’ bringing a nutritionist onto your team is a valuable step to take. There is a lot of information out there on the web, some of which is not ‘evidence-based’ so do be careful about what you read and always run the information past your pediatrician.  Be cautious about making dietary additions, restrictions or implementing any harsh interventions without first hearing what your nutritionist and/or pediatrician have to say about it.

ADHD and Diet. In ruling out food sensitivities, an elimination diet is easy enough to do at home – click  here for additional information; however, I repeat my caution against eliminating foods without the guidance of a nutritionist and/or other healthcare provider well versed in balancing physiological needs of the developing body. The reason is simply that elimination of certain foods without direction from a trained professional might complicate issues related to diagnoses ‘on the spectrum’ as well as those related to failure to thrive. The goal is to facilitate balance of mind, body and spirit. The impact of nutrition on the brain – specifically mood and cognition, is significant. Foods that support brain function are often referred to as ‘brain food’  and evidence shows this to be fact. For decades we have known that foods rich in the omega-3 fatty acids positively impact the human brain – across diagnoses. Click here to read more.

Could short stature or issues with being underweight be rooted in disorders of the endocrine system?  This is a possibility that must be ruled out. Click here for details on endocrinology as it relates to growth patterns in children. Remember that short stature or below average weight might be a natural expression of healthy genetic make-up, having nothing to do with any disorder whatsoever.  Click here for parameters.

The bottom line is that our children deserve the best shot at everything this world has to offer. Each individual has potential. The gift children deserve to receive from their parents is a fighting chance to fulfill their potential, find their joy, and discover how to achieve and maintain their own balance of mind, body and spirit.

For additional information about the impact of diet on the body:

First Step To Building Healthy Relationships

. . . begins with your relationship with yourself.

Milestones . . . graduations, birthdays, anniversaries & holidays come & go. Some relationships solidify; others dissolve. What do you spend most of your energy on?  Do you practice healthy boundary setting and feeding your spirit, or  do you spend most of your energy trying to avoid rocking the boat in order to reduce chances of arguments, temper tantrums and negativity?

When you examined and review your goals and present situation, you may honestly self reflect – embracing the periodic discomfort that accompanies this first step to growth, or elect to slip deeper into denial. Do you secretly believe that if you avoid the mirror of introspection, the image is hidden from others as well?

Short term and long term goals are either crafted or avoided.

If building or improving a relationship makes it to a short or long term goal list of ‘things to do then it is essential to make the following a priority: “Put time, energy and effort into getting to know myself.”

Ask yourself, “What . . . ”

  • . . . brings me joy?
  • . . . makes me feel proud of myself?
  • . . . inspires me?
  • . . . do I look forward to?
  • . . . gives me energy?
  • . . . drains me?

All relationships begin with your personal relationship with yourself

Building healthy relationships involves first knowing who you are deep inside. First, self-reflect to discover your own ‘favorites’ regarding mode of communication, ways to relax, books, movies, foods etc. . . . then ask yourself if you know the answers to the aforementioned questions about existing or prospective friends, coworkers, family, and colleagues.

If you actually care about others – from their perspective, then you are probably one of the rare, thoughtful and considerate people in your circle. If, however, you discover that you are not really ‘in the know’ regarding the preferences of those whom you like (or love), now is the perfect time to get those answers.

Remember that the first step is self-care. We can’t offer what we don’t have. Ellen Bard has some thoughts on how to achieve self care; click HERE to read her insights.

The next step is to share your healthy spirit with those around you. The result: joy.  Psychology Today offers a few interesting insights on characteristics of healthy relationships. Click HERE to read more about them.

First things first. Begin with knowing what makes YOU tick and learning how to nourish your inner spirit. Once accomplished, you become more able to celebrate life by treating yourself to healthy relationships – either by mending ones you already have, rekindling one or more that you almost lost . . . and/or by beginning a new one.

Here’s to rebirth and rediscovery.

Other posts and articles you might find interesting:

Functional Medicine Embraces Prevention and Healing


The essence of Dr. Iankowitz’ approach to wellness is:

Logic, Prevention, Common Sense & Healing

Dr. Iankowitz sees the human body as a complex set of organ systems that are designed to self heal.  In the video below Dr. Iankowitz shares her views and approach to wellness.


1. We each have an innate ability to heal ourselves and others. Dr. Iankowitz offers a functional medical assessment, is respectful of your views, and works within whatever system and/or cultural background you feel will facilitate your healing.

2. People have unique relationships with whatever disease process they experience. When you request facilitated healing, it is important to determine how you perceive your  ‘illness’ or ‘condition.’  Once this is established,  your healing journey – guided by Dr. Iankowitz, begins.

3. If one has a secretly vested interest in holding on to a condition, this suggests the illness may be viewed by the patient as a friend. The response of the health practitioner must take the patient’s reality into account. Referrals are made to licensed, certified professionals including mental health, physical therapy, massage therapy, holistic optometry, herbal practitioners and more, upon patient request.

4. Patient perception governs the ‘success’ or ‘failure’ of treatment. Dr. Iankowitz embraces and appreciates that success is defined by your comfort with your health status. Your physical and emotional ease, freedom and joy are key factors in determining your personal ‘success’ in facilitated healing.

Each individual embodies a multi-cultural reality, and each encounter is unique and valid. While the conventional medical model works within the central portion of the bell shaped curve (suggesting that ‘the norm’ should apply to ‘all’), the functional medical model permits a ‘patient-centered’ approach (recognizing that each individual is unique). Dr. Iankowitz embraces an eclectic view, in accordance with values supported by the Nurse Practitioner model blended with the evidence-based practice of functional medicine.