My World Has Changed . . . Again!

bert-and-grayThere were SO many cutting edge, nutritional thought leaders all under one roof! Gray Graham, Founder of the Nutritional Therapy Association, supported by a compassionate, world class staff, really outdid themselves this year with the Nutritional Therapy Association 8th Annual Conference!


World Class Speakers

It is an exciting time in the world of nutrition – so much discovery is happening due to the tireless work of so many committed individuals. This years NTA Conference brought together a vast amount information about gut health and a healthy microbiome, functional medicine, and the unmistakable role nutrient dense whole foods play in correcting chronic diseases. And best of all, all this important knowledge and wisdom was delivered by some of the most brilliant minds in the field of health and wellness today.


Liz Lipski

lizlipskiLiz Lipski is the author of the book, “Digestive Wellness”. She started the conference off with a bang on Friday morning, clarifying the understanding that so much of the chronic and autoimmune disease that we see in the world today is caused by the health – or lack of health – in our gastrointestinal system.

Between the poorly broken down, assimilated, and absorbed foods, and the the cascade of ill health that it brings, to the new and emerging understanding that our microbiome (the good and bad intestinal bacteria) play a much more significant role in our overall health than we have allowed ourselves to recognize.

Dr. Lipski said one thing that really got my attention: “Who’s running who?” Meaning, who is the host here? Are we just the host for the good bacteria in our bellies? Are they smarter than we are? What do you think?


David Murphy

davidmurphyDavid Murphy is the founder and executive director of Food Democracy Now! While politics in general are not my thing, after listening to David speak, it made me seriously commit to paying more attention and getting more involved with the politics of our food sources.

David talked a lot about his experiences in Washington, representing what is going on the world of GMOs – genetically modified organisms – and how our labeling laws absolutely have to be put in place. Sixty-four other countries have labeling laws in place, why don’t we?! (even China!) As I am always making mention of and sharing on the TGK Facebook page, there is no way that all this genetically altered weird food could NOT be playing a hand in this historic gout epidemic.

For 35 years we’ve been feeding our animals growth hormones and antibiotics. We force them to live their short lives in overcrowded, unsanitary conditions. Then we think that our health is not going be affected if we eat those animals? No way.

David has stepped up to be the voice that is changing all that – thank you David!

David also mentioned that a good piece of education about all this is the book by Steven Druker, “Altered Genes, Twisted Truth”


Damian Magista

damianmagistaDamian was great! You’ve probably been hearing about how our whole ecological system could collapse if we keep killing all the bees with our neglect and ignorance about all the toxicity we are putting into our environment. Damian is the tip of the spear.

I never really understood how the bees are such an integral part of our food supply and how without them the whole thing comes crashing down. Damian changed that for me in under an hour.

Damian is the Founder of and not only has he put together a really great business and business model, but he has been able to do it with such a high degree of consciousness and consideration for the planet, the people, and all living beings. His lecture and his contributions in the discussion panel added a huge amount of value.

He said people always ask, “what can I do?” This is what he says:

  • Don’t use pesticides . . . ever!
  • Plant more flowers!
  • Let your dandelions grow!
  • Buy verifiable honey!


Camas Davis

camas_davisWow. Camas Davis. Her Twitter bio says it all: Writer, Eater, Cook, Butcher, Meat Thinker.

This is a woman who you would never take for a butcher. But she is. And she can even teach you to be one too.

Amazingly enough, she decided to really get the firsthand education about “tail to snout” and moved to France and lived and breathed the French ways of how food is raised and prepared, discarding absolutely not one piece or part of the animal – the whole thing gets used! How is that for old world tradition and the way things ought to be?

Camas has a fantastic story of how she founded Portland Meat Collective and the in-depth process of educating the public about what it means to respect the animals we know, love, and eat that are part of our nourishing traditions.


Joel Salatin

bert-and-joelJoel Salatin – American Hero. Funny man, genius, farmer, and protector of the old ways. When I grow up I want to be Joel Salatin. To think I would ever be able to catch up to and accomplish what he has done for animals and the people and the planet is astounding. The far reaching effects of what Joel and all the Polyface farmers will be only be fully understood 200 years from now.

To meet Joel Salatin is a milestone on my journey and I am looking forward to our visit to Polyface farm. With any luck at all, getting to be an intern there for some period of time will be the highlight of my life.

What always stands out in the talks, lectures, and videos that Joel does is first and foremost, is his commitment to “growing the soil”. Just like our gut microbiota, the healthy bacterial “micro herd” that makes up our rich, life-giving soil is what it is all about. Using the animals to help accomplish that is where Joel and team have brought forth their genius. The nutrient dense good foods that are produced by it are just the welcome and happy by-product.

Take the time to get to know Joel!


Sarah Ballantyne

sarahballantyneWhat a powerhouse wealth of nutritional knowledge! Dr. Ballantyne is yet another brilliant mind that the NTA brought to us that not only has the academic credentials to deliver an immense amount of wellness wisdom but also has the real world story of overcoming poor health odds and triumph!

I was relatively unfamiliar with her work and all that she’s done and what is behind it all – but WOW – check out her blog and website! From The Paleo Approach Book, The Paleo Approach Cookbook, The Paleo View Podcast, recipes, tools, how-to – and WOW again, this is a busy woman – The Paleo Mom!

Dr. Sarah was/is a great presenter and her lecture was very complete – the slides and the information she delivered had me snapping photos and taking notes at a furious pace!


Jeffrey Anshel

dr_jeffrey-anshelDr. Jeffrey delivered a nutrition-based crash course in understanding just what eye health is all about. From the different types of ocular diseases to the main nutrients that help to prevent or restore those diseases, this was an honor to get to learn from Dr. Anshel.

What was particularly notable was that Dr. Anshel – a long term optometrist – has been embracing the nutritional influences on eye health since the 1970s. Like all of the speakers that NTA selected for the conference, Jeffrey Anshel not only conveyed relevant and up-to-date knowledge of his specific area of health and wellness, but was engaging and entertaining in doing it! He was able to to take the complex inter-workings of the eye, break it down into an easy to follow PowerPoint presentation and convey the nutritional data that I needed to be able to help my clients understand what nutrients and where to get them to maintain healthy eyes and vision.

Dr. Anshel’s practice surrounds the difficulties of eye health as it relates to the corporate workplace. The name of his company is Corporate Vision Consulting. With some experience of my own in approaching large corporations to interest them in health and wellness programs for their employees, Dr. Jeffrey and company would be a GREAT group to bring in and deliver the right kind of specific wellness information.

Dr. Anshel also founded which is dedicated to extraordinary eye care and health through nutrition. 

Dr. Jeffrey’s closing tips for maintaining good eye health were:

  • “BBB” – blink, breathe, break
  • “20/20/20” – For 20 seconds, every 20 minutes, take a break and look 20 feet away


E. Griffin Cole

e_griffin_coleGriffin Cole was probably the best speaker of the weekend. Much like Jefferey Anshel, he took a very specific and complex piece of health and wellness and broke it down into easy to understand nutritional terms, contrasted holistic or functional dentistry to the archaic conventional methods, and made it simple for the masses to grasp.

He was/is a very engaging speaker and he can deliver the shock and awe of what is wrong with our dentistry today.

Dr. Cole practices “biological dentistry”, which like the functional medicine/nutrition theme of the conference in general, focuses on the root (pun?!) cause of the problem rather than relieving the symptoms. Much of this talk covered the interactions of metals used in dentistry for decades and their toxic interactions, the results, and what can and needs to be done about it. Also a big part of his practice is the very holistic use of “ozone therapy” in root canal procedures and other oral infections.

Griffin Cole practices in Austin, TX, speaks and lectures often, and is the recent past president of the International Academy of Oral Medicine & Toxicology (IAOMT.


Chris Kresser

bert-and-chrisChris Kresser . . . The Legend. I had no idea just how far reaching and how impacting a health & wellness practitioner could be before meeting Chris at the NTA conference. What a calm, measured and caring individual – you could feel it from the stage. While many times I have referred to and linked to his post about gout and the Paleo diet, Chris is another one of those very easy to relate to practitioners, as he also has a huge and compelling story of overcoming health complications. These complications are what led him to become the wellness Allstar and driving force in the world of functional nutrition and medicine he is today.

Much of his work and his talk had to do with the “exposome and epigenetics” – the environmental forces that dictate so much of whether our genes express or not, and lead to our risk of challenging health conditions. One of his slides said, “Genes Aren’t Your Destiny” and of course I really resonate with that because I’ve been ranting and raving about for years in regards to gout. I first studied and learned about epigentics from our good friend Bruce Lipton. 

I will be studying Chris’ book next: The Paleo Cure – be sure to check it out.


Michael Stroka

michaelstrokaInterestingly enough, in addition to being a nutritionist,  Micheal Stroka is a lawyer. Yes, I know – unlikely combination and he apologized profusely about being the entertainment for the conference banquet on Saturday night, but entertaining he was!

He also made mention of a time when he was able to overcome a debilitating health condition that lead him to use a nutrient dense whole food diet as the cure and since then he has dedicated his legal career to shaping and guiding the laws and legalities of the nutrition as it fits into the health and wellness industry.

What is most important and what I am thankful to Michael for, and to the NTA for having him come and speak, is because he is part of what shapes the legal landscape of my chosen profession of nutrition. Michael continues to bring nutrition into the mainstream as the viable way to true health in spite of the legal opposition to do so.

Micheal is Executive Director of both the Certification Board for Nutrition Specialists and the Center for Nutrition Advocacy.


Kaalya Daniel

drkaayladanielI have been well acquainted with the benefits of bone broth for a while now. But until I heard Kaayla Daniel speak about it from a more historical point of view, and how it has been used and recognized for it’s far-reaching therapeutic application, I can’t say I really understood the need to bring it into my work with EVERY client.

She has been working on the importance of bone broth for many, many years and worked with the late Mary Enig, who is recognized for defending the un unmistakeable role of healthy fats in a healthy diet.

Dr. Daniel gave an in-depth training on the history of bone broth in “convalescent cooking”, the nutrients that come from it, (glycine, proline, and glutamine), the different kinds of bones that make for different broths with different purposes, and how the broth draws from the collagen, cartilage, bone, marrow, and the proteoglycans that make up the skeletal structure.

In addition to correcting many different health conditions, she drove home the importance of bone broth in improving digestive health and how that impacts the healing process of virtually all our cells, tissues, organs, and systems.

She has written what I call the the definitive guide to bone broth; “Nourishing Broth” with Sally Fallon-Morell.


Brandy Webb

brandywebbndBrandy Webb is a naturopathic doctor that specializes in cardiovascular disease with a functional medicine approach. She toured us through a comprehensive rundown of many of the different nutrients that she has uses to produce significant results for her patients. In addition to some great clarification about the MTHFR gene defect, (methylenetetrahydrofolate reductase), what I was able to pick up from my furious note-taking was the use of B6 & B12, S.O.D., betaglucans, tocothienols, tocopherols, phytosteroids, EGCG from green teas, soy (which runs counter to my NTC training) and B5. I still need to work through and study more about all of her perspectives and understand them more thoroughly.

Dr. Webb practices in Tacoma, WA and has a series of live clinical webinars that she is becoming very well known for.


Gerald Roliz

geraldrolizGerald Roliz was perfectly amazing – he is a pharma sales rep turned nutritionist. He really delivered the goods about how iatrogenic incidences have caused so much harm and death that it is bewildering to see how our current model of “health” care can continue as it does . . . and shouldn’t. Gerald is helping to see to that.

His message at the NTA annual conference was that it is possible to forge collaborative relationships with the medical community and he conveyed how that should be pursued. One thing that he said really stuck with me: “We are all doing the best with what we know.” He has been able to create relationships with different MDs to help reduce and eliminate the prescription drug needs of many of their patients and they truly appreciate him for it – I believe that should be our goal as nutritionists.

The name of Gerald’s practice and website is The Healing Body. He also has a new book out called The Pharmaceutical Myth where he both educates about how to improve health with nutrient dense whole foods as well as uncover unnecessary drugs and medical practices that don’t address the root causes of disease and illness.


Terry Wahls

bert-and-terryThey saved the best for last. Dr. Terry Wahls is an educator and an inspiration. Her story from start to finish, is testimony to the miracle of nutrient dense whole foods.

Traditionally trained MD turned MS patient (Multiple Sclerosis) turned functional medicine practitioner, I found a whole new level influence as a nutritional therapist. In meeting Dr. Wahls and hearing her speak, I was struck by how much of her story and how she overcame her struggles so closely resembles my own recovery and my sequence of helping people with gout with my video-based Program.

From addressing stress, to meditation, to exercise, deep sleep, and of course properly prepared nutrient dense whole foods, there were so many similarities. It reconfirmed that I am on the right track with what I am doing as a nutritionist. Of course she takes it all to new heights, complete with all the scientific research to back it all up.

I am currently making a formal study of reading and absorbing her book to deepen my knowledge base and further refine my methods of helping people with gout. I owe profound thanks to Dr. Wahls for her courage to push through and for setting the example of what can be done with use of whole foods and proper nutrition. The depth of her contribution will take years for the world to fully grasp, but suffice it to say, she has changed the way the game is played.

Don’t let the good health opportunity of a lifetime pass you by . . . get to know Terry Wahls.


Other World Class Participants at the NTA Annual Conference

Also, not to go unrecognized, were a vast array of vendors promoting cutting edge nutritional products and services. I connected with most of them but I wanted to make a special mention of a couple of them below.


Margaret Floyd

bert-and-margaretMargaret is a gem and I’m proud to say, one of my instructors when I took the NTC course in 2013. She a wealth of health and wellness knowledge and demonstrates that in her very successful book and brand, Eat Naked. She also has a deeply informative blog series running right now she calls, “Understanding Food Sensitivities” where she goes into detail about the differences between allergies, sensitivities, and intolerance’s, how to identify them, and then how to approach them. The series is a “don’t miss!”

Oh and! Margaret is business coach turned nutritionist and I am so glad that I took her course about how to go about creating a successful NTC practice – thank you Margaret!


Andrea Nakayama

bert-and-andreaI finally got to meet Andrea Nakayama! I have been reading about her, hearing her on different training recordings, and learning more and more about her over the last year. Andrea was one of the NTA conference speakers at last years event. She is another very important person in the new frontier of learning just how far reaching the understanding of gut health and the microbiome is to overcoming disease conditions and maintaining life-long, good strong health.

Andrea is a functional nutritionist practicing in Portland, OR and the name of  her practice and business is Replenish PDX.

 + In Closing:  I can’t wait until next years NTA Annual Conference – what an education! Thanks NTA!

Stop Gout Pain Now



Bert Middleton

“I know your pain. Let me help you kill your gout for good!  And teach you to advocate for yourself and take ownership of your gout recovery, by showing you how to live the gout-free lifestyle.” Two decades ago, Bert Middleton found himself diagnosed with gout. Like 8.3 million other people in the United States (approximately 4% of the population), he struggled helplessly with the physical, emotional, social, and financial impact that gout left unchecked can have on your life. Prescription drugs were of limited help… And the terrible pain of regular gout attacks left him unable to enjoy even the simplest daily pleasures. His marriage was suffering. His finances were spiraling due to the impact gout had on his ability to work. And maintaining a social life was often nearly impossible. Tophi surgeries left him in terrible pain.  And he found himself depressed … and angry … that gout was stealing years of his life.

Until one day, after hundreds of hours of research and self-experimentation, Bert finally had a breakthrough and created a blueprint for a way of living that would prove to be “the answer” to living gout-free for nearly a decade now. Today, Bert and his “Gout Wife” Sharon devote their evenings and weekends to educating other gout sufferers on how to live the gout-free lifestyle. Showing others his 911 Emergency Response Gout Recovery Plan for getting PAINFUL gout attacks under control in as little as 4 hours. And then, how to make daily choices that keep gout under control for GOOD! So you can finally start LIVING again!