Dr. Michael Wald

15 Tips for a Healthy Winter from Dr. Michael Wald aka Blood Detective

Happy Saturday dear readers! As you may have noticed from all of my health and fitness posts lately, I’ve taken the leap to building a healthier family through nutrition and exercise. I have a personal interest in building up immunity, and when I started looking for information myself, I found an expert who was willing to write a guest post on my blog. Today I would like to introduce you to Dr. Michael Wald who will be sharing his top 15 tips for a healthy winter – I think we can all use those lately! Our household was taken down with the flu that’s been going around lately, but I hope this is more timely for you. This week I’ll also be sharing some information about the KickButtImmunity Project that Dr. Wald is working on, it’s really neat! So without further adieu, here’s the expert himself:

Immunity: Too Much of a Good Thing

By Michael Wald, MD, DC, CDN, CNS – Director of Nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco, 914-242-8844 (Ext. 1)

Dr. Michael Wald

Dr. Michael Wald

There is little doubt that the immune system if fundamental for our overall health and wellbeing. To begin with, we actually have several immune systems including white blood cells and immunoglobulins. Too much immunity results in tissue breakdown, inflammation and disease.  Too little immunity results in an increased risk of contracting all manner of viruses, bacteria, fungi (yeast) and parasites.  Although not all diseases “immune disorders” all diseases  are either caused by immune problems or result in them. Either way, a little knowledge about the immune system and how it works can reduce your risk of premature disease and early death.  I have personally focused my clinical nutrition practice upon the immune system as the “base” from which I develop individualized health plans.  Below I have provided some of the most common questions and concerns that my patients have asked me about the immune “systems”.

“Dr. Wald, I would like your help to increase my immune system.” This is a common request made by many of my patients. The problem is, the premise behind it is often dead wrong!

Immune Deficiency—Or Excess?

More often than not, health problems are associated with autoimmunity, or too much immunity, rather than immune deficiency, or too little. Too much or too little immunity have much in common. Tissue breakdown involving oxidative stress, inflammation and nutritional issues are common to both extremes of immune imbalance. So how do you tell which immune problem, or combination of problems, you might be suffering from? Yup, you can have both immune deficiency and immune excess simultaneously—further confusing many health-care providers and sufferers alike. The answer is that there is no way, based on symptoms alone, to tell if those particular symptoms are the result of immune suppression or immune excess (autoimmunity).

Symptoms May Not Be What They Seem

Bruising easily, cold sores, constipation, diarrhea, dry eyes and mouth, fatigue, recurrent infections, hair loss, memory loss, feeling cold and poor healing are just a few symptoms of immune imbalance, or “dysfunction,” that require careful questioning, personalized lab tests and trial and error with various natural/nutritional products.

If you do not respond by feeling markedly better when using vitamin C, zinc, echinacea, astragalus, goldenseal, germanium, lysine or other so-called immune boosters, consider that your immune system may not need boosting, but the reverse: immune regulation. The right nutritional program, tailored to your needs, will bring both high and low immune problems back to baseline.

In general however, you can’t go wrong doing the following in preparation for the winter.

  1. Drink plenty of water; your urine should be clear or nearly clear.
  2. Sleep at least nine hours—and it must be restorative sleep.
  3. Eat organic fruits and vegetables, and drink freshly prepared juices.
  4. Take nutritional supplements based on your blood work.
  5. Keep warm in order to reduce stress on the immune system.
  6. Wash your hands frequently to avoid transmission of infectious agents.
  7. Exercise regularly, but don’t overdo it.
  8. Eat only free range animal meats (if you choose to eat meat at all).
  9. Take at least a multivitamin (without iron unless you are found to be anemic on blood testing).
  10. Drink a super-food supplement that contains dozens of fruits and vegetables in 1 or 2 scoops. Almost none of my patients can meet the new guidelines outline by Harvard Medical School stating that we need a minimum of 10 combined pieces of fruits and vegetables per day to lower our disease potential.
  11. Have longevity blood tests performed a few times a year, or as recommended by your longevity practitioner, and tailor all of these suggestions – but more importantly, personalize your diet and nutritional supplements and lifestyle to your exact biochemical (nutritional) needs.
  12. Wash you hands thoroughly.
  13. Do not smoke.
  14. Do not drink alcohol in excess.
  15. Develop powerful coping skills that allow for you to act rationally and “de-fuse” misinterpretations of external events. In other words, rather than have life determine how you behave, choose your behavior in response to your positive interpretations of external life events.


Dr. Michael Wald is director of nutrition at Integrated Medicine of Mount Kisco and the author of more than 10 books on health. His newest book, The Blood Detective’s Longevity Secrets, is scheduled for release in 2013. Contact him at 914.242.8844, ext. 1, or Info@IntMedNY.com. For more information visit IntMedNY.com.  Twitter DrMichaelWald (BloodDetective).


Unjunk Your Junk Food

Unjunk Your Junk Food

Have you ever decided to make a change to your nutrition and then balked at the amount of things you could no longer eat? I have totally done that, so I look for easy ways that I can get healthier food into my family. We’re working toward that totally healthy bit, but for now steps in the right direction are important for us. My husband’s dad has also had some health problems, and he’s been making lifestyle changes to be healthier, and Unjunk Your Junk Food is a totally perfect tool for him on his road to better health. The totally understandable explanation of what foods and ingredients are making us unhealthy plus the easily searchable “directory” of junk food and healthier alternatives combined with the super helpful tips provided make Unjunk Your Junk Food by the creators of NaturallySavvy.com and excellent resource and stepping stone to a healthier diet.


Unjunk Your Junk Food

I’ve read more than a few diet and nutrition books in my time. Something about being a perpetual learner and a mom makes me investigate a lot. Plus, I have a husband who swore up and down that he didn’t NEED to eat  vegetables… so I am usually digging up a source about something.While every book tells you what you can and cannot eat, not every book is written in a way or presents the information in a way that is easy to read and understand. I really enjoyed the explanation part of Unjunk Your Junk Food because it was written in a totally understandable way. Even though I read the bit over several different reading sessions and days, the information stuck with me. That doesn’t happen with information that’s tough to digest! Using the “Scary Seven” I poked through my pantry to check labels. I didn’t really have any “healthy” food that surprised me, but the junk foods I did have certainly scared me! The straightforward writing and easy explanations were both detailed and understandable, which made the book an excellent read.

Following the summary of good nutrition and why they recommend avoiding certain ingredients, there is a superb collection of junk food choices, arranged by type, including the best and worst choices for that particular food. I call this my “directory” of junk food. It’s super easy to search – even when you’re standing in the grocery store with 2 kids under the age of 4. In my book, that means it stands up to the test of “is it easy” pretty well. I’ll be honest – I fully expected that the choices they listed that were best would be super expensive or something that just wasn’t available locally. I live in a rural community – we have a chain grocery store (Kroger) and Walmart in our town, and that’s the limit of our food selections. I was pleasantly surprised (ok, completely shocked, if you must know haha) to see that not only did I recognize the names of the foods, but they ARE available locally. Wild, I know! Having an easy to read directory of junk food choices with worst and best options of foods that are actually available where I shop makes this an extraordinary reference for me and has definitely changed my shopping habits – now I take the book to the store with me!

With the nutrition explanation section and the directory, you’d think that’s a pretty awesome book right there. But there’s more! You’ll notice on the directory pages that there’s a ton of information. I think my favorite part of the book is actually the tips that are shared on the bottom right of the directory pages. Here’s an example:

“Why is chocolate poisonous to dogs? Chocolate contains theobromine and caffeine, members of a class of compounds called methylxanthines. In animals, theobromine can induce cardiac arrhythmias and seizers.”

I love having information like thatat my fingertips – especially with an almost-4 year old who has found the joy in asking “why” about everything (yes, he did ask why he couldn’t give chocolate to the dog!). And I do mean everything. So now I finally have that answer for him! Keeping the tips and facts throughout the directory was my biggest takeaway, and definitely makes Unjunk Your Junk Food not only a helpful read, but also an interesting one!

I really enjoyed reading Unjunk Your Junk Food, and I’ve already been recommending it to friends and family through impressing them with my new fact knowledge, showing them the directory with different options, and explaining to my husband the nutrition information. The writing is just what you’d expect from the women over at NaturallySavvy.com – in-depth enough to give you the information you, but definitely not stuffy. I feel completely comfortable recommending this book to anyone who is interested in a healthier diet and recognizes that we can’t always cut out all the junk food! And did I mention is the perfect size to stick in your purse when you head out to the grocery store?

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book so that I could write my review. My opinions are honest and my own.

Support my blog by purchasing Unjunk Your Junk Food from Amazon!

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