Monday, July 20, 2015

Coaching The Coach: My Road To The 2015 Miami Ironman 70.3

Coaching The Coach
My Road To The 2015 Miami Ironman 70.3

So as many of your know for my 45th birthday I decided to challenge myself to my first triathlon. There’s an entire story behind how this guy (me) that absolutely hated running, did a sports where the most grueling part happens to be running.   Since the very early days in my career as a sports chiropractor I worked in the medical tents at local triathlons. Now that I had set my sights on actually doing a triathlon, I figured that after I was done I would simply settle back into my former life and keep trekking through life. But no, something happened when I crossed the finish line for the first time. As it is said in the triathlon world - I got bit by the “triathlon bug”. There was an incredible sense of accomplishment and an incredible sense of disappointment that it had all come to an end-both at the same time. Talk about mixed emotion.

OK, so I was now hooked. If you’re going to get addicted to something, triathlon is a good thing to get addicted to. I signed up for more triathlons, joined a local triathlon club and with open arms I welcomed the triathlon life style.  To date, I’ve done 13 triathlons. Mostly sprint distance, a couple “hybrid” distances and 2 Olympic distance triathlons.  Now it’s 5 years later and decided to give myself yet another triathlon challenge for my upcoming 50th birthday.  The challenge-The 2015 Miami Ironman 70.3.  For those that aren’t into triathlon, this is also known as a ½-Ironman or ‘½-IM’.  

Stella took 1st Place in her Age Group!!!  And I PR'd!!!
RUN HELP. This year started out pretty cool for me. I was training for the South Beach tri and I happened to bump into a friend of mine that I haven’t seen in a while, Stella Shalem. Stella is a running coach and personal trainer from Brazil and now lives here in Miami Beach.  After running together once, she decided that I needed help with my running and invited me to join some of her friends and running clients to her run-coaching group. She taught me there’s more to a track than going around in circles and more to a bridge than going up and over repeatedly.

I learned proper run form, how to make a true workout out of a track and a bridge and use these tools to develop stronger running technique, speed, aerobic capacity and economy. She taught me proper warm ups and drills prior to the main running workout of the day.  She was critical to helping me through the 2015 South Beach Olympic distance triathlon and she even came out there to run along side me in the blistering sun.  Stella is a great running coach and someone that walks her walk and talks her talk. She eats & cooks healthy, thinks positively, motivates you constantly and trains hard & smart.  This girl loves to run which is evidenced not only by her work ethics, but further emphasized by the bumper sticker on the back of her car which reads: “Yes, I run like a girl-try to keep up” (and I never could!). She coached me through my first official 5k and to a personal 5k record. This was my first experience as an athlete with a coach, but it would not be my last.

Because I was a sports chiropractor and a triathlete, other triathletes began to seek me out. I was told countless times “you understand what I’m going through”-or- “you get me” -or- “you get it”. And, they were right-I did.  Several of my triathlete patients kept telling me they wanted me to meet their coach. The same name kept coming up time and time again. Erinne Guthrie of Full CircleCoaching.  "You’ve got to meet her” is what I heard over and over again from my patients.

We eventually met and after getting to know each other, she invited me to participate and speak at her 2015-“Ultimate Triathlete Training Camp” at the National Training Center in Clermont, FL. The training camp was quite comprehensive, technical and a lot of fun. I learned a lot as a triathlete and started to see how much more technical and specific training for a triathlon can be.  There was a ton of cycling, swim training and running in the mornings and lectures in the afternoons. If you’re a triathlete, training camp is definitely something to put on your radar for next season. Plus, it’s camp -who doesn’t like to go to camp?  What I discovered at camp was I was merely exercising on the swim, bike and run. Training was an entirely different approach.

I became curious as to how I could help coaches help their athletes by better understanding the triathlon coaching process. I signed up for a USA Triathlon coaching level 1 certification course and I have to say it was one of the more informative classes I’ve ever taken.  Of course, I had a much higher level of understanding with a sports medicine background than most in the class, so the information meant more to me at a different level.  As the various USAT coaches spoke, in my head I was already applying the information to improve my examination methods, treatment methods and rehab techniques.

It was during the weekend USAT coaching course and the exam process that followed that I realized how much help I really need as a triathlete. I mean, I could purchase a training plan on line and train myself, but knowing what I know about sports medicine and now armed with my new triathlon coaching knowledge and certification, I realized I had quite a few flaws in my swimming, cycling and running that needed to be fixed. If I was going to be training 6 days per week, sometimes twice per day, 1-3 hours per day, I knew I needed to improve my bio-mechanics quickly. Poor biomechanics done repetitively over a long period of time means only one thing – Injury!

IM 70.3 -- 1st official day of training
So I signed up and committed myself to the Miami IM 70.3 October 25th, 2015 and called Full Circle Coaching founder, Coach Erinne Guthrie to help me map out a plan to get across the finish line strong and uninjured. So with that, I signed up for a Training Peaks account, linked it up to Full Circle Coaching’s coaching account and BAM!-My training schedule from coach Erinne magically appeared!! So July 1st, just 2 days prior to my 50th birthday I started. Right from the get go I received some great encouragement while being informed I have some improvements to make (she must have read the book The One Minute Manager).   

Although I was a fast sprinter in the pool, many areas of my swimming technique needed tweaking (that was being kind) and Coach Erinne was able to pick out every flaw.  And, I knew she was right. It wasn’t the kind of swim workout I was expecting, but it certainly was the swim training I needed. I was able to see some results right away and knew that others would take time to master. 

Over the next 4 months I will let you into my world of training for my first “long course triathlon” by blogging my progress with Full Circle Coaching, coach Erinne Guthrie and her other tri-coaching clients.  The only thing I ask of you is this: when you see me or other people cycling while your driving along south Florida roadways, please slow down and give us some room. Trust me, you’ll get to your destination on time-we just want to get to our destination alive.

Healthfully yours

Dr. Todd Narson 
Diplomate, American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians
USA Triathlon-Level 1 Coach 

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Rest & Recovery - The Most Difficult Part of Your Training Plan

Do you want to get bigger, better, stronger, faster and more fit? Then take a load off. Literally.

As a chiropractic physician credentialed in sports medicine, I've seen my fair share of athletes and 'wannabe' athletes over the years. There's no doubt that exercise and training is a good thing but there is a point where you can do yourself harm. Typically it's the pampered housewife that goes to 2 hours of aerobics classes 7 days/week and works out with a trainer.  They come to me at some point down the road when they start getting little pesky injuries, they feel like they're working harder and getting less accomplished and just fail to see the correlation between exercising 7 days/week and their injuries and poor performance.

Today happens to be a Wednesday. As a triathlete and triathlon coach, my training plan designates Wednesday as "Rest-Recuperation & Adaptation Day".  It's actually a written part of my plan. It's also a written part of the training plan the coaches I work with use for their athletes. Why?

Although it's psychologically difficult for athletes, rest is a necessary part of the training plan because it is when your body adapts to the stresses of the exercises and training that you do. That's why it's not just called a rest day, or recovery day, but rest, recovery and adaptation. Although  you want to get back out there and hit the gym or do one more day of training, what you really need is to take it easy and work on your mental game while your body makes the changes you've been asking it to with your training.

If you don't, you're asking for a breakdown.  When will it happen? Good question. But, it will happen, probably at the most inopportune time.

A rest, recovery and adaptation day should be a specific written part of your training plan.

Here's what my plan looks like for my rest/recovery/adaptation day:

  • Rest
  • Chiropractic Adjustment
  • Normatec Compression Boots (thigh, lower leg, feet)
  • StretchZone Stretch Session ( 
  • Hydration
  • Massage
  • Contrast baths
  • Pool floating
  • Meditation & visualization

Rest, recovery and adaptation is the basis of periodization training. This type of training has been shown to improve an athlete's performance of his or her competitors that don't periodize their training. It's the specific reason the Russians were kicking out butts at the Olympics for the longest time. They used periodization training for all their sports and it paid off big time. And a specific part of that plan is a planned day off.

Rest/recovery/adaptation day is a great day to review your workout plan, catch up on your office work and errands, prepare meals for the week or get some reading done. But whatever you do, take a break because your body needs to adapt to the changes you've been trying to achieve with your exercise and training.

Try to get your head wrapped around the concept that rest after a block of exercise is the part of your training plan that actually helps you get bigger, better, stronger, faster and more fit.

Yours in Health

Dr Todd Narson


Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Thursday, May 7, 2015

Does Food Really Have No Affect On Acne?

When I was 21 I became interested in nutrition. My first book was How To Live Longer And Feel Better by renowned scientist Linus Pauling, PhD. Dr. Pauling was a big advocate of mega-dosing vitamin-C (Linus Pauling was, among other things, famous for outliving all of his critics). By that time had been a couple year out of my teenage years. If you remember your teenage years as I do, beyond sports and school there was acne and visits to the dermatologist.

I remember the dermatologist saying to me on several occasions that what you eat has nothing to do with your acne. For some reason, I didn't believe him. To me, it didn't make sense. But, what the heck did I know-I'm just a kid. Well, about 6 years ago I heard another dermatologist speaking in front of a crowd of interested business men and women. The dermatologist rattled off a lift of foods stating "what of the following foods and your skin have in common? Pizza, chocolate cake, cookies - NOTHING!" The dermatologist said nothing? The answer astonished me. The difference now is I was no longer an uneducated teenager but had a doctorate, had been in practice many years and an avid reader and lecture attendee in the area of nutrition. Here it was 20-something years later and dermatologists as a whole still think there's no correlation between acne, your skin and the foods we eat.

Most people don't realize it but your skin is the largest organ in your body. It's the barrier between our insides and the outside world. People eat some bad food and get indigestion, diarrhea or constipation. People eat too many refined carbohydrates, sugar and trans fats and it clogs up your arteries and raises your blood pressure and leads to heart attacks and strokes. Eating some foods causes your insulin to spike, while some foods cause people to have allergic reaction. Consuming caffeine causes your brain to become more alert. But for some reason the food you eat doesn't have any affect on your skin. Really? Does this make sense to anyone else out there or am I crazy?

When I do nutrition talks to groups and in discussing it with patients, I classify the foods we eat into two main classifications (1) Pro-inflammatory (2) Anti-inflammatory. What are anti-inflammatory foods? Well, we can start with things like Chocolate cake, pizza and french fries (sorry citizens of the world, but it's true). Foods that stray too far from our evolutionary eating promote cellular inflammation. But let's go beyond that.

What creates your skin? The food you eat.
What creates your brain? The food you eat.
What creates your heart? The food you eat.

See where I'm going?

The food you eat are the biochemical constituents that become your body. If you want a healthy brain, eat healthful food. If you want a healthy heart, eat healthful food, want healthier skin, eat healthful food and so on.

Is it always as simple as this? No. But, to categorically deny that the very foods you eat whose biochemical constituents become the organs, cells and tissues of your body has absolutely no affect on the health of your skin is just silly. At the very least, eating an anti-inflammatory diet is certainly THE FIRST place to start. Let's take this one step further, go to your dermatologist to make sure your skin disorder isn't something more serious. But I hope you realize that diet does play a role in the health of your entire body, skin included.

Try eating healthfully for 4 months and see what happens. Just a thought. 

Below are some references from The Dietary Cure For Acne (2006) by Loren Cordain, PhD.

'nuff said.

Dr. T

  1. Cordain L, Lindeberg S, Hurtado M, Hill K, Eaton SB, Brand-Miller J. Acne vulgaris: A disease of western civilization. Arch Dermatol 2002; 138:1584-90.
  2. Cordain L, Eades MR, Eades MD. Hyperinsulinemic diseases of civilization: more than just Syndrome X. Comp Biochem Physiol A Mol Integr Physiol. 2003 Sep;136(1):95-112. 
  3. Cordain L. Implications for the role of diet in acne. Semin Cutan Med Surg. 2005 Jun;24(2):84-91.
  4. Cordain L. Dietary implications for the development of acne: a shifting paradigm. In: U.S. Dermatology Review II 2006, (Ed.,Bedlow, J). Touch Briefings Publications, London , 2006 ______________________________________________________

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


First conceptualized by Albert Einstein in 1916, laser technology has been around since 1965 and has been fascinating us whenever or where ever we've see them ever since. In the past couple of decades, laser technology has made some extensive advances and with that, has shed some new light to a new therapeutic approach to treating sports injuries (and many other injuries and conditions).

You must understand that our bodies use light energy in a similar way that plants do. I’m sure you remember photosynthesis from high school biology and how plants turn the sun’s energy into food that the plant survives and thrives on. Well, we have some of that ability too. Like plants, when our body’s tissues are stimulated by specific wavelengths of light, research has shown that our body will have the following physiological effects:
  1. Decreased pain levels
  2. Reduced inflammation
  3. Increased tissue proliferation & regeneration
  4. Accelerated soft tissue and bone repair
  5. Increased tissue tensile strength
  6. Enhanced nerve regeneration & function
  7. Increased cell metabolism
  8. Increased enzymatic responses
  9. Increased cell membrane potentials
  10. Increased microcirculation & vasodilation
  11. Increased lymphatic flow
  12. Increased collagen production
  13. Enhanced angiogenesis (creation of new blood vessels)

So what does this mean you ask??? It means biostimulation of damaged tissue with LASER will cause tissues to heal faster and heal-stronger-faster. It means it can stimulate the regeneration of tissue, reduce inflammation and pain. What does this mean for an injured athlete or the victim of a car accident? Not only faster relief of symptoms, but faster healing of the damaged tissues as well. Not bad for a super-duper flashlight on steriods.

Understand there are 2 basic camps in the laser world; hot lasers and cold lasers. Hot lasers are the kind used for surgery; they cut, they burn, they get hot. Hence the name. Cold lasers (aka LLL or Low Level Lasers) generate laser light which can be in the visible or invisible spectrum but do not generate heat. The cold lasers don’t actually get cold either, they’re only called cold because they don’t get hot. Cold lasers (what I like to call therapeutic lasers) are used to increase the rate of healing damaged tissues, reduce inflammation, reduce pain, increased blood flow and in the case of some therapeutic lasers and red lasers are known to also reduce infection.

Sounds too good to be true right? What are the side effects? Well, there really are none. Just don’t shine them in your (or anyone else’s) eyes because they can burn the retina and blind you; so, always wear safety glasses. Don’t use the laser over the thyroid, nor over a developing baby in the womb during the 1st trimester of pregnancy. Lastly, since therapeutic laser helps increase the rate of tissue healing, do not use it over cancerous growths as it can speed up the rate of the cancer’s growth. Outside of these very specific things; Let There Be Light.

What are the down sides? There has been no research to date that shows cold lasers can hurt any condition. At worst, they’ve only shown that over exposure to cold laser therapy causes a plateau in the rate of improvement. Otherwise, doctors who do see the light are getting incredible results from this simple tool that simply stimulates the body to heal faster. So next time you’re enjoying the Pink Floyd Laser Light Show on a Friday night, ask yourself if your feel any better when you wake up Saturday morning.

So, does your doctor see the light? I know I do.

For more information, you can visit the following:

USA Laser
Laser World

Jan Tuner, Lars Hode; The Laser Therapy Handbook
William Prentice, Therapeutic Modalities in Sports Medicine, Chapter 10, pp 215-238


Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Friday, January 9, 2015

Chiropractor or Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician: Does It Make A Difference For Your Sports Injury?

So, you’re an athlete of some kind and you now find yourself in need of a chiropractor for your sports injury. You do a Google search or check Yelp for some guidance. There are ‘lots’ of chiropractic physicians listed and most seem to have pretty good reviews. But, being an athlete you want someone that understands you better and you think going to a sports chiropractor is the way to go. But is there really a difference between a standard chiropractor and a sports chiropractor? 

The short answer is yes. Although many chiropractors will list “athletic injuries” or “sports injuries” on their long list of conditions treated, there is an actual post graduate specialty in chiropractic sports medicine. And no, having been an athlete in high school, or college, or even the pros doesn't qualify you as a "sports chiropractor". You can't just have played sports, there's a lot of education required too.

1930s NY Yankees Spring Training, St. Petersburg, FL. with Dr. Erle V. Painter (Far Right)
Prior to the development of a formal chiropractic sports medicine education programs, “sports chiropractic” dates back to the 1930s. Sports chiropractic was born during the World Champion New York Yankees Babe Ruth-Lou Gehrig era. Dr. Erle V Painter is the first known sports chiropractor. He was the NY Yankees athletic trainer. Combining his knowledge and experience of athletic training with that of chiropractic medicine, he took care of the most famous players the game of baseball has ever known. And if history tells us nothing else, we know they performed very well.

As a base education, both chiropractic physicians and medical physicians education is more similar than you may have been led to understand. A September 1998 study revealed that of the core curriculum (physiology, pathology, chemistry, biochemistry, microbiology, diagnosis, neurology, psychology, psychiatry, OB/GYN, x-ray and orthopedics) and clinical sciences, that chiropractic students spend 3790 hours for these basic sciences and clinical sciences vs 2648 for medical students; and 1405 hours of clinic experience  for chiropractic students vs 5227 hours for medical students (which includes their 3-year medical residency) (1). Medical students then go on to their specialty training.

What the general public (and the medical profession for that matter) doesn't know, is that like medicine, the chiropractic profession has many post graduate specialties as well. The oldest (formal) post graduate specialty is radiology and requires a 3 year residency. There’s also orthopedics, sports medicine, neurology, internal medicine, rehabilitation, functional medicine and more. Some of these specialties have more than 1 level of proficiency, such as the sports medicine program. These programs are post graduate study, 1-year for the base level certification and 3-years for the “diplomate” level. It is the "diplomates" that are the specialists of a particular discipline of study of post graduate study. 

In the United States, the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians is the certifying organization for the chiropractic sports medicine educational programs, examination process, credentialing and for the ongoing re-credentialing for year to year re-certification. 

To get your specialty certification in chiropractic sports medicine, you must attend 300+ classroom hours in the areas of:

• Advanced Assessment of the Athlete
• Rehabilitation of the Spine and Extremities
• Biomechanical Analysis of the Upper Extremity
• Biomechanical Analysis of the Lower Extremity
• Strength Training and Conditioning
• Soft Tissue Techniques for the Spine and Extremities
• Advanced Emergency Procedures
• Advanced Case Correlations
• Analysis of Literature
• Sports Nutrition
• Strength Training and Conditioning for the Athlete
• Special Populations in Sport
• Radiology
• Emergency Procedures
• Applications of Technology
• Soft Tissues
• Epidemiology of Spinal Trauma
• Adjunctive Therapies
• Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology
• Rehabilitation of the Athlete
• Taping and Bracing

Within each of these base subjects come the specifics associated with athletes of different sports & different populations (gender, age, special needs, etc). Within the chiropractic sports medicine specialty after completing your first 100-hours of study, you must pass a national board examination. Once successfully passed you are now a “Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician®” and can go on and complete the remaining hours for specialty status. You’ll complete the coursework and take a second national board examination. Once successfully passed, you then sit for a multi-station practical examination where you are put in front of live patients in simulated game and emergency situations as well as radiology, athletic taping & head trauma/concussion management. There is no curve on the practical exam. You pass or you fail. Each exam is filmed and proctored. Miss more than 2 sections and you take the entire practical exam over again. Miss 1 or 2 sections, and you can re-take those 1 or 2 sections.

 But that’s not all folks, in addition to passing the 2 national board written exams, the multi-station practical hands on examination, you must have completed at least 200 hours working with athletes in an “on field” situation. So, practical experience is also a requirement. However by this time, it’s not uncommon for diplomate candidates to have in excess of 500 to 1000 hours of experience working with athletes outside their normal office hours. If you put this in context of getting a bachelor’s degree (60 hours) or a master’s degree (120 hours) and the practical experience requirement takes on a whole new context.

Finally, each diplomate candidate must meet a sports medicine related publishing requirement and either publish or have their abstract accepted for publication in a scientific journal.

You must maintain an active healthcare practitioners CPR/BLS card as well. 

After all this, you are now given the privilege and honor of being a Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians®

So building on the base that Dr. Erle V Painter started, combining the professions of athletic training and chiropractic, the education of a certified sports chiropractor (CCSP) and the chiropractic sports diplomate (DACBSP) now combines elements of emergency medicine, radiology, nutrition, athletic training, physical therapy, neurology, soft tissue mobilization, chiropractic, orthopedics and much more.

It is specifically because of this kind of formal knowledge and practical experience that sports chiropractors are sought out by top professional teams, Pan American & Olympic athletes as part of their sports medicine team and as consultants. But you don’t have to be a top Olympian or professional athlete to get that same level of care. If you're training for a 5k, half marathon or an Ironman Triathlon, or play pickup basketball in the park, now that you know the difference, you can find a “sports chiropractor” for yourself and your team. There's a reason the pros and the Olympics all have a sports chiropractor part of their team.

If  you're here in Miami or Miami Beach, you can find more about my practice at: If you're not local to South Florida, then just visit the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physician's web site  and there's link on the home page. Click on the link and then put in the specifics for your state and city. All CCSP and DACBSP that keep their education and credentials up to date are listed there. Another resource to finding a good sports chiropractor is the American Chiropractic Association's Sports Council

'nuff said

Dr. T

Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Wednesday, December 24, 2014

When the Cure Is Worse than the Disease

Chronic diseases such as hypertension and diabetes have increasingly high prevalence in world populations.(1) Such prevalence is rising despite extensive use of prescription medications. Problematically, many people have two or more concurrent chronic disorders and are taking multiple medications. But frequently the various physicians are not in contact and are not aware of the patient's complete list of current prescriptions. No single physician or nurse is managing the patient's array of medications. As a result, potentially harmful drug interactions are a common occurrence. (2,3). Mistakes are made and patients may suffer serious side effects. In such adverse circumstances, the cure in fact may be worse than the disease.

In today's health care systems, people as patients need to be good custodians of their own care. In many health systems, a patient is lucky if he or she is able to spend more than five uninterrupted minutes with their doctor. Physicians are rushed and harried by numerous responsibilities related to management of their offices, all of which take precious time away from patient interactions. In such an environment, patients need to be proactive to do their best to ensure that recommended treatment is actually going to be helpful, rather than potentially harmful. This is a very difficult task, as most people do not have backgrounds that will help facilitate understanding of such decision-making. But especially for those with a chronic disease, it's critically important to master at least a basic level of information regarding their condition and various types of treatment. 

In addition to expanding one's knowledge base, an important long-term strategy is to begin to make lifestyle choices that will support good health. Appropriate and effective lifestyle choices include regular exercise, a healthy diet, and sufficient rest. All three of these key components of good health can be started right now. An exercise program should consist of five 30-minute sessions of vigorous exercise every week. A healthy diet consists of daily selections from all five major food groups: fruits, vegetables, grains, proteins, and dairy. A daily diet should include at least five servings of fresh fruit and vegetables every day. Regarding sufficient rest, 7-8 hours of sleep per night is a good average for most people. If you're not waking up feeling rested and refreshed, you're probably not getting enough sleep. Ultimately, each of us is responsible for our own health and well-being. Prescription medication may be necessary, but of course such treatment is primarily directed toward the effects of a person's disease or disorder. Changes in lifestyle are required to address the underlying causes of such conditions. Beginning to institute and maintaining healthful lifestyle choices will provide long-term benefit for the welfare and well-being of our families and ourselves. 1Bauer UE, et al: Prevention of chronic disease in the 21st century: elimination of the leading preventable causes of premature death and disability in the USA. 

(1)  Bauer UE, et al: Prevention of chronic disease in the 21st century: elimination of the leading preventable causes of premature death and disability in the USA. Lancet 384(9937):42-52, 2014
(2)  Rotermann M, et al: Prescription medication use by Canadians aged 6 to 79. Health Rep 25(6):3-9, 2014
(3)  Marengoni A, et al: Understanding adverse drug reactions in older adults through drug-drug interactions. Eur J Intern Med 2014 Oct 10. pii: S0953-6205(14)00282-9. doi: 10.1016/j.ejim.2014.10.001
Dr. Narson is a 2-term past president of the Florida Chiropractic Association’s Council on Sports Injuries, Physical Fitness & Rehabilitation and was honored as the recipient of the coveted Chiropractic Sports Physician of the Year Award in 1999-2000. He practices in Miami Beach, Florida at the Miami Beach Family & Sports Chiropractic Center; A Facility for Natural Sports Medicine.

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Trying to Decide Between A Vitamix, Blendtec, Ninja or Nutrabullet? Here Are My Thoughts

As a health advocate and teacher (one of the definitions of the word ‘Doctor’ means a learned or authoritative teacher) patients, friends and friends of friends approach me regularly regarding nutrition. What should I eat? What shouldn't I eat? Is this or that  good for me? And inevitably, when it comes to nutrition I’m often asked about juicing, smoothies and what’s the best blender or juicer I should get.

My Machine-The Vitamix 5200
Over the past year or so I’ve been watching infomercials pop up on television purporting the virtues of XYZ blender and ALWAYS comparing it to the Vitamix.  Now, I’m gonna tell you straight up, I’m biased. After I got married in over 20 years ago, one of the things we purchased was a Vitamix. Why? Because I always believed whole foods were better to eat than foods that had the juices extracted from them.

As I studied nutrition, turns out I was right. Not that there isn’t a place for fresh juice, but with juice as opposed to blended whole foods, you’re missing out on some valuable nutrition.  As such, Vitamix was my choice. Because a couple of my food experiments were a bit harsh (maybe a lot harsh) on the Vitamix, after 18 years, we purchased a second Vitamix. Yes, I’m a big fan. To be able to take veggies and frozen berries and blend them into a smooth liquid is the fastest way for me to get some incredibly dense nutrition into my body and absorbed.
That being said, I’ve had some recent encounters with the Nutribullet, Blendtec and Ninja Turbo blenders that prompted me to write this post. Why? Because they’re all lying to you about the Vitamix.

The reason why the Vitamix is such a great blender is because of the ultra-high blade speed. In an infomercial promoting the Ninja to the Vitamix, they kept stating the Ninja has the same blade speed as the Vitamix. 24,000 rpm. But here’s the thing about the Ninja. That’s all it has. Yes, the motor is a bit more powerful in watts, but the Vitamix has higher amperage.  Oh, one other very important thing (sit back, I’m about to expose the Ninja infomercial’s cover-up . All you have to do on the Vitamix is flip the switch to the high speed setting and the Vitamix trounces the Ninja’s palrty 24, 000 and raising them to 37,000 rpms. Along with the Ninja, the Vitamix also trounces the Blendtec’s 28,000 rpms, the Omega blender’s 27,500 rpms and the New Nutrabullet 900’s 25,000 rpms.

And here’s why the added blade speed is important. Skins and seeds. If you’ve tried making smoothies with berries, kale, chard, broccoli, ginger, turmeric, black radish and beets like I do, you’ll need the higher blade speed to pulverize the skins, seeds and dense fiber. Otherwise, as I’ve experience with the Blendtec, Ninja and Nutribullet, you’ll end up doing the drinking-chew with your smoothie. 

The added blade speed on the Vitamix makes it the king of all smoothie makers because it takes skins, seeds and dense fibrous veggies and blends them into a smooth liquid. No chewing necessary.

And for all those infomercial clowns that find it so awkward to use the tamper stick, how the hell do you drive a car or use a cell phone? It’s a stick for crying out loud? Seriosly? I make nut butters in my Vitamix and do so with much less oil and end up with a much smoother end product than any of the other machines can because of the tamper.
So if you’re on the fence about which high speed blender to get, the others may have a more powerful motor or funny infomercial, but the people at Vitamix have engineered a more efficient motor that delivers what you need to pulverize the fruits and veggies to get to the vital nutrients-blade speed.  Until another blender exceeds the Vitamix’s 37,000 rpms, don’t even bother telling me about it. I'm tired of wasting my time. 

If you want a “chewy”, get the Nutribullet, Blendtec or Ninja. If you want to blend seriously dense fruit and veggies into a real smooth smoothie, there’s no choice-The Vitamix is the hands down king of all smoothies.

You shouldn't have to chew your smoothie... Get a Vitamix!

Yours in Health

Dr. Todd Narson