Dr. Craig Koniver

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O: Lately, the focus of my life is to calm down my brain, to relax more, to have more fun because I found out that in the last few years, I got myself so stressed that it really hurt my health. I want to be healthy and I want to be happy. I want to optimize my health so I make it a point to get body work, get a massage every now and then. Every morning, I listen to a device that is called MUSE meditation device, where I just listen to calming music and the device scans my brainwaves. When my brain waves are calm, I hear very calm water, birds chirping. When it gets overactive, I hear very loud crashing waves. I want to train my mind to get more calm, to get less overactive because when you train your brain to become calmer, then in everyday life, your reaction to any stress is better. In my conversation today with Doctor Koniver, we talked exactly about that. Not only that. You know that your brain will really, I always believe in mind-body connection, but what we talked about today is the fact that even when you eat something that you perceive as bad for you, you will gain weight. You can have a beautiful organic meal but if you have negative emotions around food and around your body, it will digest differently in your body. It was proven scientifically. I brought Doctor Koniver to share with you about how to optimize your health. What I really like about him is how he integrates the traditional medicine with more of the non traditional medicine. He also integrates mindset. It’s such a beautiful way because I believe that a person is a holistic being. What happens in western medicine is that they only see the people as almost like a cookie cutter and they treat the symptom, sometimes not the cause and many times the cause is stress, is mindset. Today, we talked about how to deal with fatigue, adrenal fatigue, what is adrenal fatigue. We talked about how to treat yourself better and how to treat your body better and how to de-stress and so many more. It was a fascinating interview. I bring it to you because I want to bring you this message of take care of yourself because you are important. When you take care of yourself, it helps everybody around you because you show up in a different way. When you nourish yourself, nourish your body, nourish your mind, you can help others and you can serve on a higher level. The message today is take care of yourself physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. Now, onto the show. Hello Doctor Koniver and welcome to Stellar Life podcast. How are you doing today?

C: I’m doing great. Thanks so much for having me here.

O: Thank you. Why don’t we start by you sharing a little bit about yourself?

C: Sure. I’m a medical doctor in Charleston, South Carolina. I help people from really all decades of life, help to optimize their health and their performance, really using biochemical means and outside the box thinking. A lot of people call that alternative or integrative medicine. I have a ton of experience. But on the conventional medical side as well as the more natural holistic side of health and wellbeing. My goals are always to help get patients options and help them discover more about themselves, to be more mindful, and for them to use different tools to get to their place of optimal health.

O: What made you take this approach?

C: I think several things but I think the most outstanding thing was I was living in Arizona back in 2000, 2001 and my daughter was born. She had colic. During that time, she wouldn’t be held a lot, wouldn’t be comforted because she wasn’t feeling good. She cried a lot and she was upset. We took her to the pediatrician. The pediatrician really gave what I thought was a terrible response, which was she’ll outgrow it so just deal with it.

O: No.

C: Yeah. I thought that’s ridiculous. You would never tell an adult to stop crying and just wait three months and everything will be fine. That forced me as a doctor to say, “Hey, this isn’t right.” Look outside the box and see what else we can do that’s available, that’s safe and effective that might work. Once I did that and found ways to help my daughter, it was really an easy shift to say how can I help my patients. Once I got outside the box and realized conventional medicine has abandoned so many viable, natural, and really great therapies in the pursuit of this pharmaceutical model, which is really just a patient has a complaint, you give them a medicine. If that doesn’t work, you give them three more medicines. While I’m not against prescription medicine, the vast majority of doctors get to that point way too quickly and they’ve stopped thinking. Now that I live in that world for myself and for my patients, it’s very easy because there’s so much out there for patients and so much has been neglected by conventional medicine, mainstream medicine that people are embracing. People are tired of taking pills and somehow, I don’t know how but somehow in the last 40 or 50 years, with these pharmaceuticals, we have started to equate our health with medicine or pharmaceuticals. I think that’s a really bad road to go down.

O: What would you say your clients will describe you as?

C: They think of me as certainly a doctor. I’m different than the others. There’s naturopaths, which where I am, in South Carolina, there’s not a lot of naturopaths because you can’t be licensed. There are certainly chiropractors and acupuncture doctors and lots of different, more alternative health doctors. But I think what they like about coming to see me is that I also have experience when people get really sick and have true disease side of things, which there’s again many benefits to pharmaceutical medicine but most doctors get there really quickly. They come to me for I think the comfort and security that I can help them optimize their health with many different tools and they can have the security that if something does go wrong, I can help them with that too.

O: What type of tools do you use to optimize their health?

C: For a lot of people, my lens of the world is really biochemical and it’s really trying to understand. I like to help people figure out what’s going on inside, help them shift from where they are. For a lot of people, just because they’re stuck. They’ve gotten stuck either they’re eating the wrong food, their mindset, their hormones, nutrient deficient, there’s lots of real world reasons they get stuck. For me, I’d like to be objective and like to help them put all of that, their story into context by understanding here’s what your nutrient levels are and here’s what your hormone levels are and here’s the food sensitivities you have. We usually start with some specialty lab testing that really helps us understand what’s going on on the inside. From there, using that tool, which will be the lab, many times it’s using dedicated directed nutritional supplements. I think supplements in general, just like prescription medicine are bridges. They help each of us how we want to feel or how we want to perform because I believe that all of us have all of those tools anyway. We just for the most part don’t believe it. We don’t know how to access it.

O: What type of conditions they come to see you for?

C: That’s a good question. I see a lot of busy moms. Moms who have young children, late 30’s or early 40’s, who are juggling lots of schedules, who are tired, who don’t sleep enough, who don’t take care of themselves. They may exercise but again, they feel stuck. They can’t lose weight or they don’t have enough energy. They can’t focus. They’ve probably been to their doctor, their OB/GYN who said, “Oh, you sound depressed. You need an antidepressant.” But they don’t want to do that because they don’t feel like they need Prozac or Zoloft or something. A lot of my clients are busy moms. I see a lot of elite athletes, that’s a different sector, who are looking to optimize what they’re doing but do it in a safe way so that they’re not harming themselves. Obviously, in the elite sports world, there are many performance enhancing drugs and lots of options available to these guys and women. They want to do it in a safe way so they like to come see me, again, for that comfort that I can help them with. And then probably the third group would be patients with complicated medical problems. People have been to five, six, seven doctors, maybe multiple medication too, again, they’re stuck but they have some serious disease and don’t know how to get out from under it and so they need help navigating.

O: Three very different conditions.

C: Yes.

O: Let’s start with the busy moms. They are all around, overstressed. They try to look beautiful by going to the gym, which puts more stress on their bodies. They don’t sleep well so they don’t have the right recovery and then they have to take care of everybody all the time so even their mindset is not in the right place because their brains have almost certain type of over activity from all the tension in their lives. What’s the first thing you would do with somebody like that?

C: I agree with how you assess that and your insight there. The first thing I usually do is help people with their mindset and for busy moms, it’s shifting them from a place where one, they feel guilty that they’re not taking care of everyone else and they’re focusing on themselves and to get that negativity out because it’s truly not serving them and it’s really just the story that they’re telling themselves over and over in their head. But the reality is if they don’t focus on themselves and take care of themselves, then they will not be able to take care of anyone else in their family. And so getting them to understand that, we want to come at this perspective of health in power place and instill confidence that they can make changes and they can focus on themselves. I oftentimes help people and this is a good example of a group of people, I think most people get it wrong in terms of what they focus on. In your life, you will always get what you focus on so you always have to focus on what you want and not what you don’t want.

O: Right.

C: I think most people, the example of a lot of women, they want to lose weight, and men too, but women talk about it more, it seems. They’ll say, “Oh, I can’t wait to lose weight. I can’t wait to not weigh this much.” To me, that’s the wrong approach. What I tell them just the simple thing to do, is focus on what they want. Visualize wearing a bathing suit or a dress they want so that they tell their energy to go somewhere as opposed to being focused on being stuck in the same place. That concept or that mindset is really critical because if you can’t focus on what you want, if you’re constantly in this rumination of telling yourself negative thoughts or being guilty, you’ll continue that energy coming back towards you.

O: This is so aligned with what I was just posting today on my blog, on Orion’s Method. I’m going to read it to you. It’s so aligned. This is how it starts. You’re sitting on the plane, ready to fly to a new destination. The doors are closing and the airplane slowly starts down the runway, preparing to take off. You buckled your seatbelt and pushed your bag under the seat in front of you. you heard the announcement, “In case of loss of cabin pressure, put your own mask first before assisting other. Same drill every time.” But why do we need to remind you to take care of yourself first? I believe it’s because most people have a big heart and they want to assist others. In crisis, ordinary people become heroes. They sacrifice themselves to save strangers. This is a necessary reminder that even in an emergency and even if you want to save the world, without helping yourself first, you won’t be able to help others. It’s really very much in alignment of what you are talking about with self care and self love.

C: Yeah, it is. I think women are the caretakers and so this is a much bigger problem for women who are taking care of their families. They struggle with this much more than men, who are more, in general, career oriented and they’re there to kind of lead the family that way and women feel guilty and women feel bad for putting themselves first and they feel bad for exercising. They feel bad for taking time to prepare food for themselves that tastes good and it’s really good for them. I really like how you phrased it. I totally align with that.

O: I think it is not selfish to love yourself. I think it’s selfish not to love yourself.

C: I completely agree.

O: It is selfish not to take care of yourself because if you don’t have the energy, if you don’t have the oxygen, and your oxygen has different forms, your oxygen is good nutrition, your oxygen is the right supplement, your oxygen is taking care of your hormonal balance and your adrenal, your oxygen is exercising, going to the gym. If you don’t do all that, you don’t take the time to take care of yourself, eventually, you’ll be so drained and you’re going to affect negatively everybody around you.

C: Absolutely.

O: How do you test for adrenal fatigue?

C: There’s a couple of ways. The gold standard would be a saliva test, where they do different samples, usually 4, at least 4 in a 24 hour period and then we get that report. That testing is looking at the cortisol rhythm, which is hardwired into us. I tell people it’s like the sun. Cortisol rises in the morning and sets in the evening. We are hardwired to be a part of that rhythm. When we look for adrenal fatigue, we’re not just looking for volume or changing cortisol, but we’re looking to see if someone is able to maintain that proper rhythm. A lot of people throw it off, obviously. That’s why talking about exercise is really important for most people to exercise first thing in the morning, because that’s when you have the most cortisol reserve. It can build stress because exercise is stressful. If someone exercises at night, at 8:00PM, when their cortisol should be almost at its lowest, now you’ve jacked up your cortisol, no wonder you can’t sleep, no wonder you have trouble going to bed, which continues that cascade of disturbing that cortisol rhythm.

O: I love how you explained it, that adrenal fatigue is so related to cortisol because when I think of adrenal fatigue, somebody who’s not a medical doctor like me, I’m just thinking about there is something called adrenal in my body. I know there are a few of them and they just get really tired. Can you explain it a little better?

C: Yeah. Again, my lens to the world is biochemical so it really does come back to we have two adrenal glands. They’re triangular shaped glands. It’s on top of our kidneys. They’re responsible for making a number of different things. I think of the adrenals like a factory. The main product of the adrenals is cortisol. That is our stress hormone. The adrenals get the signal from our brain to make cortisol anytime any of us perceives stress. The key is that it perceives stress. It doesn’t have to be real. It’s just what we think is real. When we send that signal to our adrenal, we’re saying alert, something is off in our environment, we need to do something so we make cortisol. That cortisol literally is designed to save our lives. The classic example is if you think primitively, if you’re being chased by a lion in the jungle, you’re putting out a lot of cortisol because that cortisol tells your liver to make new blood sugar so you have fuel. It turns off pain in case you fall down. It fights virus for you and allows you to have endurance so that you can get through that stress. That’s a very real, biochemical phenomena. The interesting thing I think when it comes to the adrenals is that we’ve changed cortisol, again our stress hormone, from an acute hormone to a chronic hormone. That happens in our lives, where again it’s about our perception of stress. We’ll push our cortisol button just when we’re sitting in traffic.

O: Oh no, I live in LA.

C: Yeah. We’ll push our cortisol button when we’re worried about a project or deadline and we’ll push our cortisol button when we’re eating the wrong food or when we think we’re eating the wrong food.

O: Really? When we think we’re eating the wrong food?

C: Yeah. It’s perception. That’s why people who feel guilty, you feel guilty is a human phenomena because we think, “Oh no, I’ve messed things up. Now, I’m going to gain two pounds.” That is just a story we tell ourselves. I tell people this. I’d much rather people be excited about eating McDonald’s than feeling horrible about themselves from eating some organic clean food.

O: That is so cool. Have you listened to Abraham Hicks, Esther Hicks?

C: Absolutely. Yeah.

O: For you listeners who don’t know, she is amazing. She channels entities named Abraham. She does those public appearances. People show up, ask questions, and get amazing answers from those entities that are called Abraham. I’m actually going this weekend.

C: It’s very positive. What I like about Abraham Hicks is it’s just all pure positivity. That’s what we need to focus on and that’s where people get thrown off, because we spend so much time worrying. Again, if you look at people who are anxious, people are anxious because they aren’t living in the present moment. Because if you’re living in the present moment, you’re not worried about anything. That’s why that’s so important because anxiety truly is defined by either worrying about something negative happening in the future or deliberating about something that happened in the past that didn’t turn out well. But the only thing we can control is this moment in our life. It’s better off just to, again, practice that mindfulness of being in the moment and then just have several moments everyday that you do that. But it takes practice.

O: Yeah. Beautiful. Just to circle back to why I mentioned Abraham Hicks was because I’ve heard her say the same exact thing. Abraham said, “We rather you eat something like a junk food and be happy than eating this beautiful organic meal and be completely angry and stressful because it will digest in your body differently.”

C: It’s true. They’ve done at least one study I know but I don’t remember the exact details. They showed that when people, and they test this out, when people felt comfortable about the food that they’re eating and were positive, the thoughts they had were positive, it had a higher nutritional value in their bloodstream than when they thought negatively about it. That’s a real phenomena. It’s absolutely true.

O: Wow. This is so powerful. How would you suggest someone deal with adrenal fatigue?

C: Adrenal fatigue, a lot of it is behavioural so a lot of people with adrenal fatigue, their issue is that they upset that cortisol rhythm, which I believe is hardwired into us. It’s important for people to one, get up early in the morning and to get early sun because it takes at least 12 hours for our melatonin to reset. If you don’t get sunlight on your face until 11:00AM, you’re not going to be able to start to feel tired until at least 11:00PM.

O: I guess that’s why I don’t get tired at night. I wake up and I do my things in the morning and then I just computer. There’s a lot of work to do.

C: From a cortisol perspective and an adrenal perspective, we really want to maintain that rhythm which says you want to do most of your things in the morning. What I think about it is we have to get up, the vast majority of us, we aren’t responsible for finding shelter and food each day, but that’s how you want to treat it. We have to do all of these things to take care of ourselves to survive in the morning when our cortisol’s at its highest. In the afternoon, as time goes on, we should not be doing highly stressful things that require a lot of energy because our cortisol is declining. Especially at night time, we really want to have almost like a ritual. The problem with people is we use these digital technologies and so people stay on their phone or their computer until right before bed and then they expect their minds to turn off and just fall asleep. That’s for most people impossible. It’s helpful for people to again, meet the goals, maintain that normal course or rhythm. This is why making yourself a cup of tea, relaxing, turning off anything digital, lowering the lights, really creating a very dark, restful environment so that you can go to sleep and go to sleep early, because when you wake up again, you’re going to have to do it all over again. I think people don’t talk enough about the cortisol rhythm. They focus more on the volume of cortisol and if their cortisol’s high or low. But the high or low is relative. What’s more important is maintaining that rhythm. High cortisol in the morning, low cortisol at night.

O: That’s really cool. Have you heard of Dr. Breus? I interviewed him on Stellar Life podcast. He actually divides people to three or four categories where there are the lions and those are the people that wake up really early and then there are the bears, I think, and then the night owls. He actually says in his book, I can’t remember it right now, but he says that everybody have a different rhythm and some people will do better getting up really, really early while others will do much, much better work during the night.

C: I’m sure that’s true. I’m sure there are individual variants but if you look at, they’ve done shift work research where let’s say people who work the midnight shift like 11:00PM til 6:00AM, and those people as a whole, statistically, have more disease and earlier deaths. I believe that’s because if it’s 3:00AM and you have the lights on and you’re fully awake, that goes completely against our cortisol circadian rhythm. I’m sure there are individual variants and it changes its dynamics. I don’t think it stays the same our whole life. Like teenagers, people struggle with teenager because they say, “Oh, they’re going to bed so late and waking up late.” Well that’s because they’re going through a lot of hormonal shift and it’s shown that they do need to go to bed later and then wake up later. Their sleep requirements change. I think it’s dynamic for us but I think as a whole, it’s been pretty well proven, get up early, go to bed early. That’s just a really good way to live.

O: When do you get up?

C: I usually get up around 6:00AM.

O: That’s too early for me. I get up around 7:00AM, 7:30AM. That makes a lot of sense. We do need the sun and the sun’s energy. What other tools can you give us to deal with adrenal fatigue?

C: Our adrenal gland, again, think of it like a factory, really requires certain nutrients to function well. This is all of our organ systems. There’s a couple key nutrients for our adrenals. Number one is vitamin A. There’s a lot of press, people talking about vitamin D and how important vitamin D is. I think when the story is finally written, fully written, vitamin A will come out and be a bigger player than vitamin D. Vitamin A, you get vitamin A obviously from orange foods. You get vitamin A from animal protein. You get vitamin A from things like cod liver oil, which people don’t take as much as they should.

O: I don’t like it. It tastes so bad. I do take fish oil, but cod liver…

C: Yeah. Basically, it’s a gel capsule. You get capsule of cod liver oil or you can take things like different carotenoids. But vitamin A is really important for the adrenals. Another really important nutrient is vitamin B5 which probably is the most important nutrient for the adrenal. It’s a water soluble B vitamin, vitamin B5, and it does many things in the body. One of the things it really does is help keep our adrenal glands functioning in a systematic way. People can get vitamin B5. Again, historically, you get the B vitamins from organ meat like liver. I know that’s not very popular now. But animal protein, food source, and then obviously supplementation.

O: Is liver meat healthy?

C: Yeah. It’s super healthy. It’s super dense nutrition.

O: Oh. Because isn’t it the organ that cleanses all the toxins?

C: The liver is responsible for “detoxification” and we can talk about the biochemical process of that. We can simplify it. It’s a complicated process but it can be simplified. Here’s how I think about it. I’ll just try to be concise. Think about taking out the trash. When you put trash in a trash bag and when that trash bag fills up, you want to tie it up and then eventually, once a week or whatever, you take it out to the curve for the trash truck to come pick up. Liver detoxification is broken down into two phases. The first phase, we take all of that trash and we put it in a trash bag and put it out on the side of the road. The second phase, the trash truck comes and picks it up. The way I think about it, because I like to simplify things, we are water soluble organisms living in a fat soluble world. The job of our liver in both of those phases is to take fat soluble things, which are hormones, which are pesticides, which are toxins in our environment, and we have to break them down into water soluble entities to get rid of them. The first part again, you pile up the trash, put it on the side of the road is phase one. Phase two is the trash truck comes. The problem for most people is that those two phases are not in sync and so we don’t have enough trash trucks to pick up all the trash. We get burdened with this phase one and we have the slow phase two. Getting it back to food and nutrition, this is where eating colourful fruits and vegetables makes a difference because those polyphenols and those flavonoids and all the different colors that we get from fruits and vegetables, those contain nutrients that help speed up phase two. They help your trash truck run better.

O: So if the liver is my truck, what if I’ll eat a liver that still have trash in it?

C: You’re bringing up a good point. The proverbial waste station where we keep this trash is not necessarily the liver.

O: Oh okay.

C: It’s actually what I believe is the lymphatic system.

O: Okay. Now, it makes sense. It’s not stored in the liver in order to be processed.

C: Right. I’m sure some things are stored but for the most part, liver tissue is really highly rich, protein rich source of nutrients.

O: Okay. Good to know. When somebody comes to you, do you check for heavy metals or mold exposure?

C: We do. It’s not the first thing I usually check for. The reason is because for most people, there are other things ahead of that to correct. Most people will check their nutrient status and nearly everyone has some nutritional deficiency. We’ll check their hormones and if their hormones are in balance. We’ll check their fatty acids. We’ll check different metabolic things. For a lot of people, in this day and age, they’re eating the wrong types of food and so they’ll have insulin or glucose issues. We certainly can check heavy metals and I do that with people when we’re not making progress or where there’s a known exposure. It’s certainly a real thing but for most people, when you correct these other things first, you build trust, you gain momentum, you have them on board with your plan and then it’s easier for them to buy into making change for themselves.

O: I just had my mercury filling taken off because I always tested ahead a bit of heavy metal. Not severely but just enough for me to say, “Well, I want to have a better body so I want to take better care for myself.”

C: That’s good. That’s a common source, is people get these cavities filled in and getting them removed helps remove that source. Here’s the problem with heavy metals though for a lot of people. If you’re 40 or 50 and you check your heavy metal status and you have high heavy metals, it may have taken you 4 decades to get those heavy metals into your system, it’s a process. The goal with heavy metals isn’t necessarily to get to 0 because it will take you another 40 years to do that. I think that’s where people get thrown off. When they say, “Oh, I have to get my heavy metals to zero.” That may be too difficult of an expectation. In my experience, it is. It certainly is great to reduce our exposure and remove what we know but it’s hard to get to zero.

O: I went through a few months where I took the Chelation agent, G Cell, and other supplements. It felt horrible.

C: It does. To a lot of people, chelating, it doesn’t feel good because you remove good stuff too. You’re removing different minerals.

O: Really? I didn’t know that.

C: Chelation is not specific to just heavy metals. When you chelate, you’re going to take out all kinds of things, most commonly different minerals, so people who chelate, it’s really important for them to be supplementing in different ways with lots of minerals and lots of vitamins.

O: What type of supplements would you recommend someone to take? Because it can be overwhelming because we are deficient in so many areas that your supplement cabinet can just grow and grow and grow. When do you stop? What is the minimum that you need to do?

C: That’s a good question. For me, for my patients, I like to individualize. We like to do testing and we like to actually see where they are and what they need. From there, then we construct a plan. I do a lot of vitamin IVs with patients because from an oral point of view, we only absorb about 20% of nutrients orally. That’s either through food or through supplements we take. The problem with oral supplements is really the supplement industry become like the pharmaceutical industry and there’s a different supplement for every type of issue anyone could ever have. They’re pushed and pushed and so people feel compelled to take 18 different supplements just to keep up and I don’t think that’s the goal. For me and my patients, we want to use the supplements like we would a medicine as a bridge, to help us get to a place where hopefully, we can do it on our own. Not always, and there’s some things that will never be able to manufacture on our own like vitamin C, it’s essential for humans. We don’t make it and so we have to take it in some form to have enough vitamin C.

O: Omega 3, fatty acid, it’s something that our body doesn’t make.

C: Right. It’s impossible to keep up with that vitamin. D3 is another one where we were wrong and thinking we got enough vitamin D from the sun and we just don’t. 95% of people I check are to some degree vitamin D deficient. We need to keep up with certain things but I find the best way working with people who just want to feel less depressed or have more energy to elite athletes is if we test or understand where they are and then use supplements as a bridge and then keep tweaking it as we need to. That’s a better recipe than just empirically shot gunning it and just throwing lots of money and wasting a lot of things.

O: Right. What are some of the basic supplements that everybody should take regardless of their individual needs?

C: That’s a good question. The most common things people are deficient in are B vitamins. I think that’s because we need so many of them and so there’s a lot of different B vitamins. What’s really good about B vitamins, all the B vitamins are water soluble, which means you can’t overdose on them. You don’t have to worry about taking too much. For most people, they need to take high quantities of B vitamins a couple of times a day. That just keeps the motor running, so to speak. I talked about vitamin B5 in your adrenals but there’s other, vitamin B6 is essential too. Your neurofunctional serves vitamin B12. Vitamin B12 gets a lot of press. The B vitamins are big.

O: Make sure to take it in the morning because they give you tons of energy and vitamin B6, if you take it at night, you might have nightmares. Just saying.

C: That’s a good point. People commonly around 3:00PM, mid afternoon, get that crash where people normally drink coffee or have a donut or something, the standard American diet. You really could just take a B supplement because that’s what your body needs. B vitamin, I agree with you, early in the morning and then mid afternoon. Magnesium, so many people are deficient in magnesium. That has, in part, people drink a lot of bottled water or filtered water, where all of the minerals have been taken out. If we don’t put the minerals back, we really won’t get them. If you look at soil studies, the lack of minerals in the soil in this day and age parallels the rise of chronic disease.

O: Makes complete sense. Thank you.

C: We just cannot keep up with getting our minerals if we just rely on filtered water or bottled water, things like that. What I recommend to people, the best way to get minerals, especially magnesium, I think is through mineral water. My favorite is Gerolsteiner brand, it’s a german water, which has the highest mineral content of water on the earth.

O: Wow.

C: It’s a carbonated water, sparkling water. It has a really soft taste.

O: What about Pellegrino? Is it good? I drink a lot of Pellegrino.

C: Yeah. I like it so much better than Pellegrino. It has just a different taste and it has more minerals. Not that that’s the only water you should drink because that gets really pricey but you want to have something like that everyday because you have to restock the minerals and magnesium, one of the biggest and certainly the most common mineral deficiency for people.

O: I had my friend, Dr. Matea Polisoto on the show. It’s episode 15 on this podcast. Dr. Matea, she’s in a way similar to you. She’s very spiritual. She also works with the top icons in the world. I mean icons, people that I can’t say. But she helps them with the vitamin IVs as well as other things. She’s very big into vitamin IVs. I did a magnesium IV, I couldn’t walk after that. I was so blissfully relaxed.

C: Yeah. That is a muscle relaxant.

O: Oh my God, it was so good. You said that vitamin IVs are better because you get 100% absorption rather than just getting a 20% absorption from a supplement. But from personally just talking to Dr. Matea, she told me that even with vitamin IVs, some of them are better than others and some doctors use higher quality and some doctors use lower quality, which is cheaper.

C: That’s for sure. Just like anything, with supplements, there’s really good brands and there’s brands that are cheap, inexpensive, and probably should never be taken, same thing with vitamin IVs. I’ve been using vitamin IVs for 10, 11 years. I’ve probably done every type of vitamin IV protocol out there. This is certainly my forte. I’ve actually created my own type of vitamin IV, which we call the FastVitaminIV.

O: No way. That’s amazing. What is that?

C: It’s different.

O: I want to fly to your clinic. I want to try it.

C: Actually, you do have some clinics out that use it.

O: Oh cool.

C: Instead of using a bag of fluid where you add the nutrients and it drips in slowly, that usually take 45, 60, or 90 minutes. The FastVitaminIV we developed as a fast push. So it takes 60 seconds or less.

O: Are you kidding me?

C: No. We don’t focus on the water.

O: I know you’re not kidding but are you kidding me? That’s awesome.

C: I found overtime, by overtime, I mean many, many years of testing patients, comparing slow drip IVs to fast IVs, is that when we focus on the nutrients and we get that water out of the way instead of using 500 or 1,000 cc, we use 30 cc total. We are able to get those nutrients in, in a more robust way, in a faster amount of time, which allows people not only to feel better, but they can do it more frequently because you’re literally only taking three minutes. From a convenience point of view, people can do this once or twice a week and they’re not taking any time out of their schedule.

O: What are the types of vitamin IVs and which ones should we take and how often?

C: Again, the way I think about it is if you eat broccoli once a month, you’re only going to get the benefits of broccoli once a month. For these vitamin IVs, whether it be a FastVitaminIV or something else, it’s all going to be water soluble nutrients and you’re going to get a lot of absorption, 100% absorption. What we found with the fast drip IV is that absorptions are enhanced because we push it in fast. We get more out of it. But any kind of vitamin IV, I think people really benefit from once a week. That may sound like a lot but compared to having to take all these pills, it’s not because you can take care of most of your water soluble nutrients just once a week if you did a vitamin IV. You still need the fat soluble things. Like you said, the omega 3 fatty acids, vitamin A, vitamin D, vitamin K, CoQ10. You can’t do those through an IV so you want to take those as either through food or supplements.

O: What are the benefits of CoQ10?

C: I think of CoQ10, it’s a powerful antioxidant and so in terms of the way I break it down is like CoQ10 is going to be your best defense. It’s going to help stabilize your blood vessel. It’s going to help your mitochondria, which is the cellular respirator in your cell, really be strong and work efficiently. CoQ10 is super safe. You can take a lot of it. I usually recommend at least 200mg  a day. It’s wonderful for a variety of symptoms. I think everyone should take it, honestly, because of how well it really plays defense for you.

O: Wonderful. We talked about many things. But in your world, what are the top keys to optimize your health and wellbeing?

C: That’s a good question. Number one, it starts with mindset, that people, again, going back to that notion that what we focus on in our life is what we get. I really want everyone to focus on what they want and not what they don’t want because when you do that, when you understand it, you really can control and empower yourself. That’s the greatest gift you can give yourself, is to rely on that and to know that what you intend in your life will happen. It’s true. That what I’ve tried to help people with, is no matter how bad you’re feeling or what the circumstances, you can always shift towards something positive. When you do that, you’ll get more and more positive. The more positive things, the more momentum you get. Number two, I think really finding a way to have some contemplative exercise in your life that’s deliberate, whether that’s prayer, meditation, listening to music, dancing, journaling, we need to get away from computers and technology and we have to do it deliberately or it will consume us. I want people to do that, whether that’s in the morning or before they go to bed. You have to do something contemplative. It allows you to connect just to the world around you and it allows you to slow down and so you can be present. That’s the two biggest tools for sure. Number three, I think for people, is do some special lab testing and figure out what you need. There’s so much generic advice given about this nutrient or that food being good or bad. We can figure that all out and individualize it. Once you figure it out, you can create an individualized game plan for yourself so you’re not wasting time, energy, and resources on just guest work. Once people do that, lots of things open up for them so they can understand exactly what works for them, whether it be drilling vitamin IVs, taking certain supplements, eating certain food, certain diets so that they can work with what they have and make themselves get to a better place.

O: I love the way you see your patients as a whole. With my method, Orion’s Method, this is also the way I see my clients. Mind, body, spirit, it’s all connected.

C: That’s true.

O: I think we need more doctors like you in the world that can look at the person in a holistic way, but also connect to the person in a holistic way. Just like you, I came across doctors with big egos, doctors that just see me as a patient almost like a number, just another patient. What would be your advice for somebody who sees a doctor and how would they know if that doctor is good for them and how should they react if the doctor does not make them feel comfortable?

C: That’s a really good question. Good point. First, I think that most of us have an innate sense of what is good or bad or what feels right or wrong. I think we tend to ignore that or turn off that radar.

O: Especially when people come to a doctor, we are conditioned to answer people in white robes. We’ll go to the doctor and the doctor is god and they will tell us what to do. The doctors are humans. Just like any other expert, he could the same level of certification but completely different skill level.

C: Absolutely. Another thing I’d say is that all of us are individuals and we’re all in charge of our own health. When we feel that we don’t have advocates for ourselves, then it’s time to change gears. There are so many doctors out there and there are so many different health care practitioners that it’s easy now, almost, to find someone. I don’t mean that everyone needs to go looking on all these different places, but I do think that it’s great for people to understand that you don’t have to do just what your doctor tells you to do. I think the larger problem is that people don’t feel empowered. When they go to the doctor and the doctor says, “I’m going to refill five of your prescriptions.” People are like, “Okay, that’s my lot in life. I’m just going to do what the doctor says.” As opposed to understanding no, you can get to a place where you don’t have to take any medicines. You can get to a place where you think positive thoughts and can exercise and can eat the right foods for yourself and do really good things for yourself. It’s up to no one but you. I’m a really big fan of personal responsibility and people understanding that we’ve been given certain things in this life but we can all do better if we understand that we have the power to do better. It’s okay if your doctor is not serving you. There are plenty of other doctors who will. Don’t feel ashamed or bad that it just isn’t a good mix.

O: Thank you so much for sharing that. You see? That’s coming from a doctor. Listen to him. What is the best way to eat?

C: If I had to pick one blanket statement, it’s to reduce or completely get rid of carbohydrates. By carbohydrates, I mean all sugars, which includes a lot of fruit, all grains, includes bread, pasta, cereal. The reason is that here’s how I think about it at least. When we’re born and we’re breastfed, hopefully, our diet is mostly fat. We enter this world in this what’s called ketosis, where our mitochondria are burning fat. Burning fat is much better for us than burning carbs or sugar. But when we’re very young, we’re introduced to oatmeal and cereal and pop tarts. And then we spend decades of our life eating these carbohydrates, which we probably shouldn’t. I think we could probably reduce almost every type of chronic disease if people gave up carbohydrates. But people can’t for some reason. The food tastes too good and we’re too drawn to it. For some us, it’s alcohol. For other people, it’s ice cream. For some people, it’s candy bars or cookies. Some people, it’s sandwiches. I challenge people, if they spend two weeks and they are really strict and they don’t take any carbs, the first three to five days will be really, really difficult but once you get past that, your appetite will go away. You won’t be hungry. You’ll lose weight. You’ll feel better. You won’t be bloody.  You have more energy than you ever thought you could and it’s very simple.

O: Easier said than done.

C: It is. It takes willpower and discipline in it. It’s tough because we have spent decades eating this way and it’s hard. But when you get there and you realize everyday, I have the opportunity to do better for myself and really approach it that way, really good things happen. To make a blinded statement about diet, it’s get rid of the carbohydrates and be good at that.

O: I come from Israel. Mediterranean diet and the way I grew up was there is always salad on the table and there are just tons of fruits and vegetables. I am aligned with you when it comes to getting rid of gluten and simple sugars but why fruits? Fruits have so many vitamins. It’s a natural vibrant thing.

C: I think you’re right and I love Israel. I’ve been there four times.

O: Really?

C: I have.

O: We’ll talk about it later.

C: I think you’re right. In the natural world, if people are just eating fruit, they can handle fruit. The problem is that we’ve trained ourselves to burn carbs. People aren’t just going to eat fruit and salad and meat and it’s going to be clean. They’re going to eat a lot of bread, a lot of cereal. They’re going to basically taint how their mitochondria work so that extra burden of the fructose from the sugar is too much.

O: In congestion with the simple carbs.

C: Well, here’s how I think about it. Someone told me this when I was in college. If you want to make change in your life, go to the opposite extreme, you’ll come back to the middle. For most people, it’s not good enough just to go 75%. If you want to make change, you need to go to 100%. Get rid of all the carbohydrates and that includes fruit, for a while. Number one, it’s good for your body to change from being a carb burner to a fat burner but what’s more important is psychologically, you will learn that you can be in control and you are empowered and you can really be your own warrior for your own health.

O: A lean, green, fat burning machine.

C: That’s right. Think about Olympic athletes. They train every single day for every four years, for one event, which may take 6 minutes, may take 12 minutes. Why are the rest of us not training that way? We don’t. We’re like, “Oh well, I’ll eat whatever I want. It’s faith if I get diabetes or not.” It’s not faith. We are completely in control of that.

O: When you do it, it’s not like you’re doing it because you have to do it. When you shift your mindset around I’m not eating the sugar and I’m so happy and I’m so proud of myself for not  doing that, and it brings you joy rather than pain, when you have that shift, then it is sustainable.

C: Exactly. It’s that momentum.

O: You can get a surge of pride around people that eat badly and you’re like, “Yeah, well, I’m better than you. I eat well. I take care of my body.” Not in the egotistic way but just in a way that just feels really fulfilling like, “Oh my God, I love that I love myself so much, that I take care of myself to this extent of not eating this junk food.”

C: Exactly. That’s well said.

O: Yes. Wonderful. What are your three top tips to living a stellar life?

C: I think you just hint on it. Number one, you have to love yourself because if you won’t, no one else will. But when you love yourself, you realize that you really want to train yourself and take care of yourself. You’re not going to be hard on yourself and it’s okay if you mess up. That has to be number one. Number two is what I mentioned earlier. You have to have some contemplative part of your life where you slow down because that’s where life happens and that’s where people have breakthroughs in terms of creativity or self wonderment or they just are able to see things from a different perspective. That’s a beautiful thing. Number three, I said it before, again, it aligns with what we said before, but you really should focus on what you want and not what you don’t want. People have a hard time making that distinction. If you look at people who want to stop smoking, they say, “I can’t wait to stop smoking.” They’d be much better off saying I can’t wait to run up the stairs and feel great and not be short of breath. Focusing on what you want is very powerful and will get people to where they want and it won’t be so haphazard and given to you. It’ll be yours for the taking.

O: Yeah. An easy way to focus on what you want is to connect to gratitude and start saying thank you for everything, for the little things, for the fact that you got up this morning and somebody didn’t, for the fact that you can walk, you can breathe. It can be the simplest things. When you condition your mind to seek more, the fulfilment of gratitude and focusing more on that, the path of negativity will get smaller and smaller and your default state is going to be bliss, gratitude, and focusing on what’s good.

C: Sure. That’s well said. I agree completely.

O: Wonderful. It was such a pleasure and honor talking to you. I really enjoyed our conversation.

C: I did too. Thank you for having me. I appreciate it.

O: Thank you. Where can people find you?

C: People can find us most easily at fastvitaminiv.com. That’s where they can learn all about what we’re doing.

O: Yeah. Do you have a YouTube channel or Instagram, Twitter?

C: We are on Instagram, just getting on Twitter and Facebook but not YouTube yet. But certainly on Instagram.

O: Yes. Thank you so much.

C: Thank you. Thank you for having me. I enjoyed it. Thanks for the opportunity.

O: Thank you for joining me on my mission to light people up and change lives around the world. I hope today’s conversation inspires you to step up, go after the life of your dreams and be who you want to be. If you enjoyed this episode, make sure to go to stellarlifepodcast.com for show notes, transcripts, and other cool stuff. Please subscribe, review, and help spread the word by sharing us on Facebook and Twitter. Have a lovely day and I’ll catch you on the next episode.