Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

Dawn - Sometimes An Ultrarunner

September 19, 2022

Bear Lake Brawl - Ironman Triathlon, 17 Sep 2022

Bear Lake in full sun the day before the race

2022 is my year to attempt a few types of races that I haven't done for a while.  After a very successful 100 mile trail run back in March, I set my sights on doing an Ironman Triathlon.   I haven't done one since my two attempts back in 2008, which went ok, but my nutrition wasn't great and the marathon at the end wasn't painful.  I did more walking than running, let's just say.

What I hadn't remember was how hard it is to balance all the disciplines of triathlon.  And since I really don't enjoy swimming, it's a struggle to make myself do it.  Plus I really hate water...especially open water with those green stringy plants growing up from the bottom and sliming their way along my arms.  Yuk.  Training for the biking was fun, on a nice hot day with a pleasant breeze.   When it's cold and rainy, my bike generally stays in the garage!  To that respect, I picked Bear Lake, because the water didn't look green, its a desert so the sun should have been out, and the course was fairly flat.  

With 2 weeks to go, I fasted for 4 days.   I've always found this helps my body clean house a little.  I lost 5 pounds and kept 3 of them off for the week before the race.  Then I avoided all forms of wheat, pasta, etc until after the race was over.  I wanted my gut to be happy and I know that can be a reason it's not.  

Race day came with an iffy weather forecast.  Definitely not hot and desert-y.    Low of 40s high of 63.  As a I drove through a bit of fog getting to the race, the temperature in the car said 33 degrees.  Ouch.  The water temperature of Bear Lake was a few degrees warmer than usual for this time of year.  But still cold at 68 degrees...although that was the warmest temperature of the day, it didn't feel like it getting in.  For the full Ironman, we would have to do 4 laps around 4 buoys.   And this was my first open water swim in the last 12 years.  Dumb, I know.  First my swim cap, which I never wear, got in the seal around my goggles and let water in.   I fixed that but my goggle just kept fogging up the whole way.  It was cloudy and dark, and hard to see the buoys.  It took me 12 minutes to settle down enough to swim my regular stroke.  Still, my first lap took 23 minutes and I hoped I could improve on that the rest of the way.  No, not really.   My times stayed about the same although the 2nd and 3rd lap didn't seem so bad.  The 4th lap was horrible, my body was getting really cold, the swimmers had churned up colder water from the bottom and the water was getting colder too.  The sun finally peeked through the clouds and illuminated the buoys, but my goggles were toast.  I got out of the water at 1:40, hungry and freezing.  Then it was 1/2 mile run to transition. I had some clogs but they weren't amazing for running through sand with a body that wasn't really responding well.  

In transition, it took long than usual to get my wetsuit off and put warmer clothes on.   My usual bike outfit wasn't enough, I added arm warmers and a windbreaker and was glad to have them.   The first loop around the lake was calm, dead calm.  I settled into a rhythm and saw my average speed increasing over time.  It went up to 17.7 and I hoped on the second half of the bike maybe I would see 18.    At the halfway, the sun peeked out and I doffed the extra clothing.  I figured between 12 and 3 pm would be the warmest part of the day, and I was sick of my windbreaker flapping in the breeze.   Heading out in just my sports bra, it was nice for a while, until I saw a storm cloud heading across the south end of the lake.  Uh oh.  I had absolutely no clothing to save me from cold rain, or worse hail, or a downpour.   The storm seemed to be getting worse, the winds kicked up, and I made tough choice, turn around and face a DQ, but avoid needing to be rescued for my stupid clothing choices.   Back at transition an hour later, I explained my choice, grabbed some warmer clothes again (the time I wasted with clothing, gah!) and made up the mileage I had missed by riding a longer out and back on the north end.  The last 30 miles felt like a headwind no matter where I turned, and my average speed sunk to 17.  It was demoralizing, and everyone else had the same wind to deal with as well.  

I also found my bike seat had loosened, which was perhaps what had caused my seat to be so uncomfortable when I hadn't felt that before. I have an Infinity Seat which I have loved this year, but today it was painful and I couldn't find a position that didn't make my hips ache.    I was able to tighten it up quickly but it was another stop to make.  

Finally I was done with the bike, and glad of it.   Bike time 6:44.  At that moment, the wind also died, and we had a beautiful evening for a while.  My biggest question in redoing this type of race was whether I could run off the bike.  For a minute I could barely walk off the bike (!) but after another change of clothing and dry socks and shoes,  I did run.  And kept on running every step of the marathon.  

During the bike, I had eaten some dried mango, trail mix, a bit of gummy candy, a coke, and a couple of my drink mixes with electrolytes. I also drank an ounce of both Ketone IQ and Kava, 4 times over the whole race.   For the run, I wanted to keep it simple.   The first 6 miles I sipped from a 12 ounce coke bottle I carried with me.   At the turnaround of the first loop, I mixed my drink mix squishy bottle with water and switched to that.   At my halfway bag, I slammed the last of my Ketone and Kava (they both taste TERRIBLE!) and then I repeated the same drinks for the second half.  The race didn't have much real food.   The aid stations on the run had Gu and chips and gatorade, nothing of which sounded good to me.  I just kept running.  I loved my Saucony carbon plated running shoes, my feet felt comfy, and I literally ran every mile at the same pace the entire race.   I caught up to people who were miles ahead of me at the start of the run.  I ran my way right into first place for the women.  Granted the gene pool was small...only 3 women finished the whole distance.  The race offered every iteration of distance and duathlon so there were people swimming but not biking, etc. 

The last 3 miles, it got fully dark and then started to rain.  My little headlamp was enough to illuminate the puddles and bring me home.  Final marathon time 4:24, and I almost negative split my marathon!  I haven't come within 20 minutes of doing that, ever.   It was a great feeling of redemption.

Final time was 13:10.   Here's the results:   https://www.webscorer.com/race?raceid=290640

It's been a really busy summer.  As evidenced by the fact that my last blog post was in May!   Training for this Ironman Triathlon sucks up a lot of time; trying to balance swimming, biking, and running, along with the hiking I love to do, with a little weight lifting thrown in?  It was a lot.  

So was the new business I've been involved in starting.  Together with my good friend Karen Minchow, who's a PA, we offer concierge medicine.   We can advice you on nutrition, hormones, and supplements; to get you to thrive in your life and health, rather than just survive.  If you are interested and want to know more of what we do, checkout vigeohealth.net.

June 15, 2022

Bryce Canyon 30K, May 28, 2022

This race was Jim's idea, he wanted a good reason to keep training and this distance sounded good to him. It wasn't actually in the National Park, just west of it, but there were some of the cool red hoodoos that make that area so famous.  There were also 50k, 60k, 50 mile, and 100 mile options.  

Neither one of us woke up terribly excited to go for a long run that morning, but then again, I'm not usually excited to do anything that requires me to wake up at 5 in the morning!  Our sprinter van was parked way out in the back of a dusty cow pasture, along with hundreds of other camper vans and tents.   A few of them had tried to blow away the previous afternoon and the winds were forecasted to kick up again.   We set Spot to guard the van while we were gone, and chose a portapotty that hadn't blown over the day before. LOL.  They were compost versions anyway so no blue liquid everywhere at least!  

The weather was windy, but surprisingly that wouldn't be a factor in the race.   Most of the course was in pinyon pines between 7000-9000 feet, and the trees made a nice wind break.   It was cool but not cold, cloudy but not damp, and the course ended up being perfect.   If I ever designed a course it would have been just like this.  Steep uphills and nice gentle runnable downhills.   If you could catch your breath at that elevation anyway! 

We started a few minutes behind the main crowd and had to run up through all the walkers at the back.  I got stuck behind a bunch of slower people on the steep climb about 4 miles in, so my lowest heart rate for the whole race was on the steepest climb.   Ha.  

About halfway through, I heard my name and turned to find a paragliding friend Jonathon just behind me.  We passed the last climb by chatting for at least 5 miles, and then the last sections was a lovely 7 mile descent to the finish.  Wow.  I loved being able to run fast yet still feel like I was taking it easy.   In the end I was able to make 19.5 miles in 3:50, and Jim came in super fast in 4:06.   If Jim gets any faster I'm gonna be in trouble!  

Results are here: https://runsignup.com/Race/Results/42726#resultSetId-318614;perpage:5000

May 29, 2022

Big Bear Spartan Trifecta Weekend, May 15, 2022

 Well, I hurt my back a few weeks before this race, and then I was chasing the dog around and pulled a groin the day before I was supposed to drive down.   You know me.  I went anyway.   I tried not to limp walking into town from my hotel room the evening before to find dinner!  

Big Bear is one of the harder venues I've raced at.  I'm pretty sure that we did nothing but hike straight up the ski hill and then run/fall back down, over and over again.   I did the Trifecta weekend, the Beast on Saturday was 11.5 miles with 5000 feet of climbing, the Super/Sprint on Sunday were 6.5 and 4 miles with 3000 and 2000 feet of climbing, respectively.   

The weather was perfect and sunny and dry, a bit warm, and I was happy to get the Olympus wall both times!   However I was 0 for 3 on the spear....the obstacle was set on a sidehill and I missed it downslope by a hair.   So did everyone else!   My friend Andrea really pushed me on the Beast, it took all I had to pull away from her later in the race, and I ended up finishing 1st by at least 5 minutes ahead of the next few women.    The last obstacle was the bucket carry, but I was so happy to be dripping wet from the dunk wall that nothing mattered.  I could have stayed in that muddy water for a lot longer, trying to cool down a little.  

I had the passing thought on Sunday to do the Trail race as well as the Trifecta, it would have added another 6 miles of running to the weekend.   As fate would have it, I was late getting in line for the same day ticket for the Trail, and ran out of time.  Ooops.  I'm sure it would have done me no good to add more miles of hills for my groin and back.  

Anyway, Sunday morning was the Nationals race, and there were a few women who hadn't raced the day before.   I finished out of the medals, and after washing the mud out of my shoes from another cooling but disgusting dunk wall, I found a nice chair in the shade and waited for the Sprint.  At least the races get shorter as the weekend goes on.   Trying it the other way around might not be as fun.   Not that the sprint felt short by the time I was throwing myself through the dunk wall for the 3rd time.  This time the sky was cloudy and it almost felt a little cool.  

It was mostly fun to catch up with some Spartan friends and compare race notes and see where we would see each other again this year.   Next up, the heat of Utah in July for an Ultra.   I'll have to pack a cooler full of ice for that one!

May 9, 2022

Little Death Hollow and Wolverine Slot Canyons

As it happens, my friend Karen and I felt we needed an adventure, so we piled a bunch of camping gear in her Jeep and headed to southern Utah.  The weather was perfect, although a bit windy at times.   On our way down we stopped at Upper Calf Creek Falls trail for a quick hike down to the water.  It was too cold to swim but we popped our feet in the water for a refreshing break.  The winds all but blew us back up the steep incline near the top of the trail.  

From the town of Boulder, we took the Burr Trail road east, which we were delighted to see was paved, and then a well-graded gravel south south for a long ways further.   After all the threats of needing a 4x4 vehicle to reach the trailhead, in the dry conditions I think my grandfathers old Cadillac would have made it.

Once we found the trailheads at the start and finish of our proposed route, we cruised around looking for a place to camp, of which there were plenty of options in the area, especially on a Tuesday.  The whole time we were down there we saw 3 cars and 2 people.  It may not have been the end of the road, but it felt like it.  

Our campsite had pieces of petrified wood around the fire ring.  This made us begin wandering around the hills behind camp and discovering loads of it.  Lets just say that there's a whole forest of exploded-looking petrified wood pieces for miles in all directions.  Black as pitch, most of it.   It was amazing.  Not show pieces like you would see at a rock show, but it's much more fun to discover stuff for yourself anyway.  

There was also a really cool little slot canyon right off the road by our campsite.  Just a couple hundred feet long, but a proper slot with nothing technical, walk in and out at both ends.   Hanging around camp turned out to be as good as anything we did down there!  

It was so windy the first night we eschewed the fire and even gave up on our tents, electing to sleep in the back of the Jeep instead.  It howled all night but was calm in the morning and perfect for a long hike down a slot canyon.  


The description of this slot canyon sounded amazing, but it was also a long route in unknown conditions.  We loaded up on water and had plenty of emergency supplies, too.   Slot canyons need some respect.  We started down Little Death Hollow, and the first few miles are in a wide canyon.   It gradually narrows down after a couple of hours to a proper slot canyon, just shoulder width at times.   But like the gravel road, the reports of the difficulties this year were much exaggerated.  Each year the floods in the canyons change the levels of the sand that is deposited.   Some years the water might uncover a keeper pothole where you can get in but barely get out again, and some years it's totally filled with sand and you walk down the slot like it's the Las Vegas strip, marveling at the colors.  

This was a Las Vegas year.  The slot canyon in Little Death Hollow was completely level with sand, smooth and flat the whole way.  It went on for a full 5 miles and was truly amazing.   Just when we thought we had made it through, there would be some more twists and turns.   We saw so much petrified wood that Karen got sick of me exclaiming over it.  "Look, another piece of petrified wood!"  Of course, you would have needed a crane to move any of it even an inch.   We also saw a recently dead coyote and two cow hooves.  How they ended up right near each other in the slot canyon, with no sign of the rest of the cow, shall stay a mystery.  

Finally we came to the end of the slot, and briefly popped into a wider canyon with an old gravel road and even a bit of water in it.  Had we known the rest of the route, we would have turned around there at 9 miles and gone back up the slot canyon.   But instead we slogged through some sand for another couple of miles to reach the mouth (or is it the tail?) of Wolverine Slot canyon.  It was now the heat of the day and we were looking forward to having some shade again in a narrow slot.  No such luck.  Wolverine, although pretty, isn't narrow at all really, and doesn't hold a candle to Little Death Hollow.   It was just another canyon in a place that has lots of them.  We found no shade at all, and it was tougher going as well, with uneven boulders and walking up rocky creek beds.    When we were sure we were going to get through with no problems, we dumped a little water out of our packs (I had started with 6 liters) and ate a few more snacks.  It didn't help much as I have a tendency to pick up pretty rocks as I walk along streambeds.   Rocks are heavy.  

After almost 22 miles and over 8 hours we finally made it back to the car.   We were hot and tired but felt that the slot canyon was worth seeing regardless of the difficulty.  Luckily our cooler in the Jeep still retained a bit of ice and we had cold drinks, a hot fire for dinner, and even a bit of a spitbath to wash the dust and sweat off.  I felt like a new person in no time.  

The next day started out nice and we explored a bit more of the little slot canyons near our camp, and found the actual Petrified Forest down the road.  Then we drove into Capitol Reef National Park and checked out the slot canyon trail in Headquarters Canyon.  Who names these things?!?  After the amazing slots, this one seemed kinda short.  But it might have also been that the winds were now howling down the slot and throwing sand in our face, which made it seem not quite as nice.   It was time to head home and get out of the weather.  The next day it was going to rain anyway.  Good timing!

We ended up with about 30 miles of hiking for a quick 3 day jaunt, and a great slot canyon that I'd love to go back through again anytime.  

Calf Creek Falls

Giant petrified logs

Start of the slot near our campsite.

Poor little coyote

What are the odds of finding these two together?

More slots near the campsite

Even this little petrified wood log was too heavy to carry home the last 5 miles!

May 8, 2022

Dawn's Nutrition and Supplement Guide

Version 5 Updated June 2022

What does this have to do with Ultrarunning?  Well it's hard to have a great run if you aren't feeling your best, and it's hard to feel your best if you haven't optimized your nutrients.  


Dawn’s Nutrition Guide 


Here’s where I should tell you that I’m not a doctor, and that you should consult one before changing any supplements.   I’m not going to do that.  First of all, it’s bogus.  Most vitamins and minerals, if taken as directed by the label, are incredibly safe.   Second, most doctors have had literally ZERO training in how to use nutrition, foods, and supplements to get back to optimal health.   Third, the search engines you use to try and find good information on foods and supplements are skewed towards helping big pharma distribute drugs and keep you sick.  I’m just trying to compile some information and websites where you can get better information and take care of yourself.


Life isn't about surviving.  It's about thriving.  Yes, you can live without supplements, but can you live your best life?   Don't expect instant changes from adding vitamins and minerals, but you should see improvements over weeks and months.  I recommend trying something for a couple of months and then reevaluating your health.   Keep in mind that my recommendations are weighted by how much they have helped me, my family, and friends.  There might be amazing things out there that I haven’t come across yet.   Conversely, I might apply more importance to something than I should, because it seems to have helped me.  


If you find yourself emulating a first-year medical student in thinking they have every health problem listed below (you know who you are, hypochondriacs!), don’t worry.  For the most part, these supplements are safe to take, whether they end up helping you with a particular problem or not.  The worst harm might be to your pocketbook!   As you research, take note of whether something is fat-or water-soluble.  Water soluble vitamins like Vitamin C are in and out of your body quickly.   Fat soluble vitamins like D are stored until they are used.  In most cases, safe levels of nutrients are much higher than anything a bottle of supplements would tell you to take in a normal dose. 


 I usually start a supplement by taking it at the recommended dose for the first bottle, then as nutrient levels get back to optimal, I take things less often.  The first month of supplements might seem expensive but then you taper off a little and it’s not so hard on the wallet.   It can all be overwhelming!  Add new supplements in slowly, so that you can isolate whether something is helping or causing problems. Keep a journal of when you start/stop new things and try to correlate it with sleep/energy/injuries/etc. Timing of some supplements is important, and I’ve made notes of the ones that that should be taken specifically at a time of day.  Using a sleep tracker like the Oura Ring or Whoop or Apple watch might help you figure out if supplements are helping or hurting your sleep.  


I’m writing and sharing this guide because the search engines and drug companies have conspired to suppress most of the websites that share information of this type.  discussion about natural & inexpensive health remedies to cuts into the profit margins of expensive, unnecessary drugs.  Many of the health blogs which I follow have complained that in the last couple of years their views have been cut by 90%, as the search engines direct searches elsewhere.   Dr. Mercola, in particular, has been harassed and threatened so much that he actually took his amazing website down.   However, there are very informative groups on Facebook about many health problems and/or supplements.  They won’t give you a doctor’s advice, but they will share the treatments they used on themselves and their own experiences.    Boron, Iodine, Chlorine Dioxide, Fasting, Parasites, and Keto are just a few of the group topics with great info on Facebook. 


I won’t promise any sort of comprehensive guide here, but it will give you links to further reading so that you can do more research.  Aging is just the slow decline of nutrients in your body…if you can keep your nutrient levels high, then your aging process slows down noticeably.  


This is a great little documentary about the importance of vitamins.  Watch this first and everything below will make more sense!


https://thatvitaminmovie.com/ movie/freescreening


-Multivitamin: Put a multi at the top of your supplement list to help avoid trying to take all the micronutrients separately.  I would take a high-quality multivitamin like Garden of Life, Thorne, etc.  A good indicator of quality is if it says FOLATE rather than Folic Acid in the ingredients. 




-Vitamin C: C is just amazing for everything. Use it to bowel tolerance to avoid taking antibiotics and to get over colds faster. Liposomal forms are as good as getting C in an IV! Take 3-10 grams a day of normal vitamin C, or up to 6 grams of Liposomal Vitamin C.  I buy large bottles of it 1000 mg per capsule at the Vitamin Shoppe or Costco.  Cheap versions are fine for this vitamin.   It’s water soluble so divided doses over a day is better than one large dose.  Vitamin C can be taken safely at much higher doses than recommended on the bottle.




-Vitamin D3: Most people are deficient in D especially in the winter. I take 10,000 IU a day most days, and if I’m around someone who is sick, I bump it up to 50,000 IU a day for a few days. Although it is fat-soluble it takes waaaaay more than that to cause toxicity problems. If you are worried about your immune system and COVID, which seems to hit the hardest if you are overweight and/or have (pre)diabetes, take Vitamin D2 + K3 at 10,000 IU a day, plus a couple GRAMS of vitamin C.    Take Vitamin D3 ONLY in the morning, D can affect sleep when taken too late in the day as it affects cortisol levels.  D3, K2, Magnesium and Calcium all work together synergistically so need to be taken in balance.   High levels of Vit D have been shown to be capable of healing old injuries and perform many important functions.  Sunshine is often not enough.




-Vitamin K2:  Vitamin K2 carries Calcium around the body, and if there is not enough K2, Calcium gets deposited where it shouldn’t, such as in your arteries and the plaque behind your teeth.  I’m convinced that lack of Vitamin K2 is a hidden factor in heart attacks.   It can also help prevent kidney stones.




-Iodine:   Iodine is critically important to the Thyroid gland as well as the stomach and ovaries.  If you are diagnosed with Hashimoto’s (hypothyroidism) it’s likely that a shortage of iodine is causing these issues.  Side effects can include constipation, cold hands and feet, and many others (do a Google search for hypothyroid symptoms). In our toxic world, an excess of Bromine can stand in for Iodine (they are both Halides) but when that happens your hormones won’t function correctly.  In the podcast below, Dr. Brownstein states that 75% of the blood tests of his new patients indicated they needed Thyroid hormones.  When he tested them for Iodine deficiency, 96% of his patients were severely low on iodine. When he had them supplement with iodine, some of those patients no longer needed Thyroid hormones.  Tread carefully here.  Large doses of iodine may cause temporary goiter symptoms as the Thyroid quickly expands to soak in Iodine and get rid of Bromine (like a dry sponge soaking up water).   It is recommended to start companion supplements a week before iodine to help chelate Bromine from the body, including Vitamin C, Selenium, Magnesium, B Complex, and Salt.  Take Iodine supplements away from food and other supplements. See the Iodine Truth Group on Facebook for more info on dosing.  Yes, these supplements have 100x the RDA of iodine in them.  The RDA was written to prevent goiter.  We want to optimize our health, not just be barely alive!  The body can hold 1500 mg of Iodine at a time, and Japanese women (who have the lowest incidence of recorded thyroid problems) get 12 mg a day on average.  




https://www.amazon.com/Carlyle-Lugols-Percent-Potassium-Solution/dp/B07C2KTNSM   1 drop is 2.5 mg





-Alpha Lipoic Acid:   Most people in the US have Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver (NAFLD) disease.  It’s one of the most pervasive underlying causes of other problems like heart disease and cancer.   The liver actually expands inside the body as it tries to deal with all of the junk we are feeding it, processed foods and toxins, etc.  It’s part of the reason why you see big abdomens even on thinner people.   Luckily there is something you can do about it.  I would recommend an herbal Liver Support complex, as well as Alpha Lipoic Acid (ALA) which works wonders at helping the liver and reducing belly fat.  If you take ALA, take a B Vitamin Complex occasionally (only in the morning as it can keep you awake if taken at night) or a multivitamin.  One bottle once or twice a year should be enough to effect change.






-B Complex:  If you feel overly tired too often, a B Complex might pep you up. Especially important if you’ve drunk a lot of alcohol in your life or been a smoker.  Make sure it says FOLATE rather than Folic Acid. Take these only in the morning as they can affect cortisol and sleep if taken later in the day. Use intermittently after a while if you think they are overstimulating and affecting your sleep.    If you use a multivitamin or eat liver, you might skip this one.  If you have a history of smoking or alcohol, then consider adding a sublingual B12 supplement as well.




-Magnesium: There are 20 versions of magnesium and most of them give you diarrhea! Look for the Glycinate, Threonate, Malate or Mag w/SRT forms to avoid that problem. 90% of people are deficient in this vitamin and it can affect sleep and cause muscle cramps. Take these at night as they usually help with sleep.






-Modified Citrus Pectin:   Your fight or flight response is supposed to kick in when you get chased by a moose.  But in our digital world, our body can get stuck in a cycle of overreaction caused by never-ending text messages, driving in traffic, and high-stress lifestyles.   The underlying cause of this is an overproduction of Galactin-5.   It can also kick in overdrive due to Lyme disease, parasites, toxins, or living in moldy houses.   Modified Citrus Pectin fills the receptors that Galactin-5 usually fill and stops the cycle of fight or flight.  Modified Citrus Pectin needs to have a low molecular weight to be biologically effective.   It is available under the name brand Pectasol in powder, chewable or capsules.  You can start out by taking up to 15 grams a day in divided doses on an empty stomach, so powder is the cheapest way to go.   After a while, the maintenance dose is 5 grams.   It’s also available in chewable or capsules.  






-Fermented Cod Liver Oil or Fish Oil:  If you don't eat Sardines or Wild Salmon often, most people get too many bad Omega-6 vegetable oils in their diet and not enough good Omega-3.  Fish oils can help balance that out. Look for something with high DHA, that’s the best of the stuff contained in fish oil.   If you start getting nosebleeds or bruising then discontinue, Fish Oil is a potent blood thinner.


https://www.amazon.com/BLUE- Fermented-Liver-Non-Gelatin- Capsules/dp/B002LZYPS0




-Niacin:  If you or anyone you know struggles with depression, alcoholism, bipolar, PTSD, brain fog, etc. then Niacin is a huge part of the answer. Depression is sometimes a deficiency of micronutrients in the body, and niacin is a common problem.  The trick is to take enough niacin to make a difference.  500 mg is a maintenance dose but with depression you could take 3-4 grams a day in divided doses.  You might see a change after a couple of weeks of high dose with depression, but full recovery might be several months.  Also, niacin causes a flush which is why I recommend specifically INOSITOL HEXANICOTINATE, it's amazing and flush free.  There’s a book listed below which is essential to learn more about Niacin if you know someone who needs it.  Niacin is also good for preventing cataracts.  






-Apple Pectin:  There’s a reason why the phrase “An apple a day keeps the doctor away” has survived the test of time.  The pectin found in apples and several other fruits has the ability to detox heavy metals quickly.   In fact, dosing with apple pectin removed 75% of the radiation from victims of the Chernobyl nuclear meltdown in just 5 weeks.  It is also helps with digestion, regulating blood sugar, lowering blood pressure, and fighting cancer.   




-Selenium / Kidney: Selenium is a trace element essential for thyroid and metabolism health.   Correcting a deficiency might also help with asthma, allergies, prostate problems, Alzheimer’s, Parkinsons, and Multiple sclerosis.  Even if you eat brazil nuts a couple times a week, you may not be getting enough selenium.   As with all supplements, the dose makes the poison.   If you add a separate selenium supplement, make sure to account for the amount in your multivitamin.  You can also get straight bovine kidney which provides high amounts of selenium too.






-Zinc + Quercitin:  If it’s winter, you’ve been around someone who’s sick, or you want to bump up your immune system, Zinc is a powerhouse, and Quercitin helps Zinc enter cells more easily.   This combo can also help with allergies, inflammation, and viruses.




-Colostrum: Colostrum is the first milk produced by a mother after having a baby.  It is what helps a child develop a robust stomach culture and gut bacteria, plus coats the stomach to help with digestion.   For healing and repairing intestinal issues, this stuff can be amazing.  Check out the article below for more info. I use bovine or goat colostrum before and during my long races for a happy tummy. 








-Betadine HCL Pepsin:  Acid Reflux much?  It’s possible that you have too little acid in your stomach rather than too much.  Too little stomach acid impairs digestion of nutrients including iron, and make food sit in your stomach longer, which can be uncomfortable.  Put the chalky antacids back in the box and try adding some stomach acid and enzymes instead.




-BPC-157 Peptide:  Body Protective Complex 157 is an oral peptide which helps the stomach and digestive system regain optimal flow.  Peptides are chains of amino acids which link together to become proteins.  I recommend taking one capsule a day for a week, then one or two a month thereafter, or whenever you feel like you need a digestive reset.  I personally take them before and during my long races as they keep my stomach feeling happy.   More than anything else I have recommended to people, BPC-157 has had noticeable, beneficial effects.  Peptides are amazing and come in many more forms, Ben Greenfield has some great information about it linked below.






-Creatine:  Bodybuilders have known of the muscle building power of creatine for a long time.  It also helps with cognition, muscle repair, age-related bone and muscle loss, testosterone production, and heart health.  But there is no benefit to the old-style method of cycling large doses, instead take up to 5 grams each day, preferably in two doses.    This is a cheap supplement available everywhere sold in various powders, capsules, etc.  






-Digestive Enzymes:   That bloated feeling after a big meal when food sits in your stomach for too long.  If bloating and acid reflux are a problem, then you might be short on the enzymes in your stomach which digest the food you eat.   Also, enzymes, if taken on an empty stomach (so not needed for digestion) help to heal the body and minimize scars, etc.   You will notice the high price on the link below, but also notice that these are much more powerful.  When it comes to enzymes, the more the better.  The creator of this brand said he took 2000 of these pills in one day to make sure there were no ill effects.  Turns out the only side effect was that all the scars on his body got less noticeable!   Take some before or after a big meal to help an upset stomach.   If gluten is a special problem, they sell gluten enzymes too.   Supposedly Celiacs can take those and tolerate a wheat a little.  




-Phosphatidylcholine:   Ever walked into a room and then wondered why you were there?  Brain fog, or the inability to remember very short-term things, is a real problem for a lot of people.  The good news is there’s something you can do about it.  Phosphatidylcholine is a lipid making up a key part of our cell membranes.  Supplementing with it could be a potent brain booster, as well as having good benefits for your gut and for your eyesight.  The brain is mostly fats (lipids) after all!




-Mushrooms:  Mushrooms can be powerful immune system boosters and are also good for cognitive ability.   Paul Stamets is a mushroom expert and has amazing books on the subject if you want further reading.   Mushrooms also give foods that hearty, umami flavor.   A mix of mushroom powder added to soups or stews is a great way to combine flavor and nutrients.  








-C0Q10:  If you are taking statins, you NEED to supplement C0Q10.   Also please reconsider the need for statins at all.   Side effects of statins include muscle pain, nausea, organ damage and increased blood sugar.  Hey, your body needs cholesterol to function properly.  Really.  Do some research.  Anyway, C0Q10 can help with your mitochondrial health.   The mitochondria are the powerhouses of your cells, and stronger mitochondria make your cells function more effectively.  C0Q10 may also help with healthy fingernails and skin.   If you take regular C0Q10, take it with some dietary fat to help with absorption.  If you go with MitoQ, their research says just take it on an empty stomach.






-GLC2000: Glucosamine and chondroitin are important for the health and repair of joints, ligaments, bone and cartilage.   These ingredients help protect against arthritis and connective tissue problems.  My highest praise for these supplements?  I give them to my dog (along with a multivitamin of course). 




-Borax:  20 Mule Team Borax Laundry detergent for arthritis?   Yes!  Borax is just the element Boron with some fancy advertising.  And in tiny doses, Boron is essential for joint health and can prevent and cure joint issues including Rheumatoid Arthritis.  There’s even a Facebook group which talks about how great Borax works for Arthritis.  Well, what they mostly do is talk people off the ledge who are afraid of eating laundry detergent!  Don’t be that person.  Repeat after me:  Boron is an element. Boron has good antiseptic, antifungal, and antiviral properties, and is essential for the integrity and function of cell walls. Boron has the highest concentration in the parathyroid glands, followed by bones and dental enamel. It is essential for healthy bone and joint function, regulating the absorption and metabolism of calcium, magnesium and phosphorus through its influence on the parathyroid glands. With this, boron is for the parathyroids what iodine is for the thyroid.  Join the FB group and read the files, very informative.  Take 1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon of borax in a glass of water a few days a week in the morning.  Less if you are a small person.  Don’t buy expensive supplements for this, a box of Borax will last you for years.  The rest of it will help clean your laundry and keep the bugs out of your house too.





-GABA: Trouble falling asleep?  If this is a regular occurrence, you might look at excess caffeine intake, low adrenals, or too much Vitamin B as a culprit.   For the occasional night where I’m awake longer than usual, I get up and take a mix of GABA, L-Theanine, and 5-HTP.   This never fails to put me out within ½ hour.  I might only take this once a month but when I need it, it works.  








-Nicotine:  Unlike cigarettes, which can have up to 7000 different carcinogens, nicotine alone has many health benefits, including for your brain.   Getting nicotine via patches or gum, rather than an instant cigarette hit, slows down the absorption to almost 20 minutes, making it less addicting.   Addictive personalities beware, it can still be habit forming!  Use sparingly, and only in the morning.  I chew 2mg gum, which is a tiny amount compared to a cigarette, but it’s good for long drives to stay awake, or a burst of creativity.






-Salt:  The war on salt by the government might have caused more harm than good for many people.  Salt is an essential nutrient, not a condiment.  The salt in your body is recycled many times over by your kidneys, meaning that they process 3 POUNDS of salt every day.  Whether you eat an extra teaspoon of salt in a day is a drop in a bucket compared to that.   Salt DOES NOT affect high blood pressure.  Restricting salt can make blood sugar regulation worse, as well as cause dizziness, dehydration, weight gain, low blood pressure and cognitive impairment.  By all means, add salt to your food, but use only sea salt or other UNREFINED salt.  Redmond Salt is mined in Utah and has lots of other minerals as well.  If salt tastes good to you, then your body is telling you that you need more of it.  Alternatively, drink LMNT or just add some sea salt to a glass of lemon water.  If you take in too much, you will excrete it, so it’s not dangerous.  If you are preparing to take iodine or feel like you are detoxing from heavy metals or other problems, consider salt loading for a week.   ¼ - ½ teaspoon salt dissolved in warm water with 12 ounces of cool water after.    See Iodine section for more info. 



-Fat:  Fat is an essential nutrient.  Our brains need fat and cholesterol to have optimal health.   If fat is taken out of foods, that food space is usually refilled with chemicals and sugars.   Sugar is NOT essential to our body, but fat is.  If you don’t eat fat for a while, you can cause harm to your body.  The gallbladder stores bile which is produced in our bile ducts.  When you eat a fatty meal, bile is released to help digest that fat.   Eating fat regularly helps our gallbladder and bile ducts work properly.   Low-fat diets reduce the use of bile, leading to gallbladder stones, digestion problems, and if it gets bad enough, gallbladder removal.   Keep all your essential body parts intact by eating healthy animal fats and avoiding fake “I can’t believe it’s not butter” and vegetable oil fats.  


-Essential Amino Acids:  Amino acids are the building blocks of making proteins, which is what we use to repair our muscles and cells.  Did you know that you only digest about 49% of the protein in an egg?  33% of protein in meat?  3-17% of protein in those protein shakes?  The rest is either converted to sugar or excreted.  If you are eating a lot of protein but still not getting enough, this is the “Protein in a Pill”.  Scientists have cracked the code on the perfect ratio of each of the 9 essential amino acids needed in the human body.    Essential Amino Acids (EAAs) are 99% digestible, meaning that they are almost perfectly usable.  I use them when my muscles are sore, plus before and during races.  












-Liver and Organs:  Eating organ meat is better than taking a multivitamin.  With the rare exception of Vitamin C, liver contains all the nutrients we need to thrive.  Amazing.  Just one serving of liver provides the nutrients of a whole weeks' worth of salad.  Go eat some liver and onions.  Liverwurst and Braunschweiger, too!  Or, try some desiccated liver chips, which are slightly more palatable.   Last resort, take them in a supplement instead of a multivitamin.  






-Collagen, Bone Broth and Gelatin:  Unless you eat nose to tail of the animals that provide you your meat, you are missing out on the most important parts for good health.   Animal bones and ligaments provide the ingredients which help our own joints, skin and bones stay healthy.   If you don’t want to gnaw the end of a chicken leg, then bone broth and collagen powder can help retain healthy skin, prevent strains and sprains, and give us the raw materials to heal ourselves.   Add these to soups or hot teas.   Gelatin (Jello) eaten 1/2 hour before physical therapy, or a hard workout, can help heal ligaments too.   Bring on the green jello.  Make your own bone broth at home, too!







-Hormones:   As we age past our 30s and beyond, hormone production in the body goes down.   Hormones include Testosterone, Progesterone, Estrogens, Melatonin, Growth Hormone, Pregnenolone, Hydrocortisone, and Adrenals.

        Testosterone:  Whether you are male or female, your grandparents had better levels of testosterone than you do today.  We live in a toxin-filled world, which makes it hard to get the nutrients we need at the right dosages.   Testosterone helps with energy levels, sleep regulation, muscle and strength gains, fat loss, etc.  It is available by prescription in a cream that is applied daily.  Your doctor would need to do blood tests to determine the amount you need.   Keep in mind that once you start taking this externally, your body stops producing as much internally, so it needs to be a long-term commitment.  Obviously, women need a tiny dose compared to men, but it can still have great benefits.


        Adrenals: If you are extra tired in the morning, come awake in the evening, and can’t stop snacking at night, you might have an adrenal imbalance.   We live in a high stress world, and this can wreak havoc with our cortisol levels.    Supplements which might help include porcine adrenals, adaptogenic herbs and a multivitamin.   Adrenal supplements should be taken only in the morning.   Alternatively, you might think about adding more unrefined sea salt to your diet, as a lack of salt can cause adrenal and hormone problems.   Iodine might also be a deficiency that affects the adrenals.  See the salt and iodine paragraphs for more info.  







        Melatonin: Trouble staying asleep?   Do you always wake up at the same time?  If so, check the chart below and make a change.  If you are a restless sleeper, try melatonin.   The nice part about the hormone melatonin is that the body makes it in a positive feedback loop.  This means that if you supplement it, the body does not stop production of melatonin.  This means you can take a large dose without worrying that it will affect a future night’s sleep.  

In Chinese medicine, qi is the energy that flows throughout our organs and creates balance. Each internal part of the body experiences active qi flow at different times during the night:  https://campbellmedicalclinic.com/chinese-medicine-explains-why-you-wake-up-at-the-same-time-every-night/

  • 9 pm to 11 pm: The “triple burner,” or endocrine and lymphatic systems, is active. If these systems are out of balance, you might feel unhappy or depressed. Create a more relaxing bedtime routine so you can wait up feeling refreshed in the morning.
  • 11 pm to 1 am: The gall bladder is active. An imbalance might cause feelings of uncertainty and poor judgement. You may need to avoid alcohol or fatty foods and eat only a light snack before bed.
  • 1 am to 3 am: The liver is busy detoxifying our bodies and processing the emotions of the day. You might feel irritable or experience headaches when awake. If you consistently wake up at this time, you may have had too much alcohol or unhealthy food the night before, or you might be facing unresolved frustrations. Find healthier ways to deal with stress, like breathing exercises and detoxification treatments.
  • 3 am to 5 am: The lungs are active. You may feel sadness or have shallow breathing if your lungs are out of balance. Practice activating the vagus nerve before bed with breathing exercises and take some time to process your emotions with a trusted friend.
  • 5 am to 7 am: The large intestine is active. If it’s out of balance, you may feel defensive or stuck in a situation. If you’re frustrated about waking up before your alarm clock sounds, you may need more fiber or water in your diet so your large intestine can properly eliminate waste.





-Constipation: The first rule of digestion is never to get constipated.  Long term constipation might be a side effect of low iodine, see Iodine section. Chronic constipation can cause hemorrhoids, impaction, leaky gut, and just isn’t fun.    To prevent this, you can try several things.   First is drinking enough liquids and eating regular foods.   Your digestive bacteria increase and multiply according to your eating habits.  When you eat something new or strange, you may not have as much ability to digest the new food as quickly as your normal ones.  Bread and high-starch vegetables can definitely slow you down in that way, and high-fiber vegetables can sometimes cause the same problem.  Or maybe you aren’t eating enough fat consistently to keep the bile moving through your gallbladder, leading to lack of bile in your stomach to digest high-fat meals.   Second, try digestive enzymes or a couple extra grams of Vitamin C, taken multiple times throughout the day.   Third, add some SloMag or more Vitamin C before bed.  Remember when I said there were forms of Magnesium that would give loose stools?   Magnesium Chloride is one of those, and if taken at bedtime, can help with regular bowels.   Fourth, some form of an herbal complex (like Dr. Schulze’s listed below) could be a consistent, long-term solution that doesn’t include harsh laxatives.





-Got the Jab?:   Feeling some side effects?  The FLCCC website has some guidelines for how to detox from vaccines.   These include low-dose Naltrexone (LDN), Ivermectin, Melatonin, Vitamin C, and Vitamin D3/K2.   I would also include Modified Citrus Pectin (MCP) in that list.   MCP blocks the spike proteins the same way it blocks Galactin-5 to stop the “fight or flight” response.   See the Modified Citrus Pectin section for more info.  



-Blood Sugar Regulation:   Here’s what happens when you eat a big meal with lots of carbs or sugar.  The glucose content of your blood goes way up.   This, left unchecked, could kill you.  No joke.  Your body, to save your life, produces insulin, which helps usher that glucose into your fat cells, which safely reduces your blood sugar down to acceptable levels.  This happens over and over throughout the day while you eat.  Type I Diabetics can’t make insulin, so they must carefully regulate this through an insulin pump.  Type II Diabetics make lots of insulin, but their fat cells don’t want to take it more sugar, so they become insulin resistant.   More and more insulin is then required to force the fat cells to take in sugar to save their life.  This is actually really easy to fix.  STOP eating sugar and bread/pasta.   It’s the sugar which makes you fat, and the glucose/insulin cycle is how it happens. 

So.  You gave in and ate that sweet potato.  Life’s not over for you.   There are a few things you can do before, during and after (larger than usual/worse than usual) meals to help reduce the impact on your body.   Fresh-squeezed lemon juice or apple cider vinegar in water with a meal helps reduce blood sugar.  So does a large sprinkle of Ceylon Cinnamon.  Bitter Melon Extract is a great supplement for regulation of blood sugar, too.   You also might try cooking your starches the day before you want to eat it.  Reheating potatoes or rice turns some of the carbohydrates into resistant starch, which doesn’t raise blood sugar.   

If you want to test foods out yourself and see real time impact on blood sugar, consider wearing a glucose monitor.   Unfortunately, it’s still hard to get them without a prescription (senseless, I know) but any doctor should be able to proscribe them to you.  I use a FreeStyle Libre, which connects to an App on my phone.   Occasionally I stick one on the back of my arm and eat odd foods to see what impact they have on my blood sugar.   I’ll have a blog post on this soon, I hope.  




The biggest change you can make for good health is to limit your intake of sugar, wheat and processed fake foods.  Replace them with meat (particularly beef), butter, liver, collagen or bone broth, and eggs.   Don’t give up anything bad, just eat less of it.  Consider the 80/20 rule; eat well 80% of the time and then the rest of the time don’t feel guilty for enjoying a meal that’s not so good for you.  Eggs and meats will make you feel satisfied.   Consider the carnivore diet if you would like to lose weight, I think it is one of the healthier ways to slim down.  Consider intermittent fasting, or a 1 day fast once a week, or just skip a meal occasionally.   Eat less or less often, but overall keep your calories up, starving yourself will not result in weight loss.  Basically, the takeaways from all good diets including avoiding vegetable oils, fried foods, and sugars, and eating plenty of good fats, veggies, fruits, and other real foods.  People disagree on some details, but really, it's just what works for you and your lifestyle and your body.  


Don't take my word for any of this.   I recommend you get a good Functional Medicine doctor, the kind who thinks food and vitamins can cure just about anything.  Jim and I both go to BioRestoration in Draper.    They can test your blood for all sorts of nutrients, plus proscribe things like Testosterone, etc.


https://www. naturopathicdoctorutah.com/  


Baby Steps:  Add new things slowly to help you decide if it’s helping or hurting.

1st Month:  Multivitamin or Liver/Organ supplement, Magnesium, D3+K2, Vitamin C

2nd Month:  Alpha Lipoic Acid, B Complex, Iodine.

3rd Month:  Creatine, Fish Oil, Collagen

Immune Boost:  Vitamin D, Vitamin C, Zinc, Quercitin, Selenium, Mushrooms, Melatonin, Chlorine Dioxide

Strength/Power:  Testosterone, DHEA, Creatine, Essential Amino Acids

Digestive Issues:  Colostrum, Enzymes, BPC-157 Peptides, Apple Pectin, Betadine HCL Pepsin

Detox:  Apple Pectin, BPC-157, Vitamin C, Selenium, Sea Salt (dissolved in water), Iodine

Allergies:  Iodine, Apple Pectin, Kidney/Selenium, Sulfer, BPC-157, Colostrum, Quercitin, NAC, Chlorine Dioxide

Low Morning Energy:  Adrenals, Selenium, Iodine, B Complex, Salt

Brain Fog:  Phosphatidylcholine, Niacin, Colostrum, Nicotine Gum, Mushrooms, Creatine, Iodine, Testosterone

Joint Issues/Arthritis:  GLC2000, Collagen, Bone Broth, Gelatin, Borax, Iodine, 

Sleep: GABA, Melatonin, L-Theanine, Tryptophan, Creatine, Kion Sleep, Ketone IQ, Testosterone

Race Nutrition:  Colostrum, BPC-157, Essential Amino Acids, Creatine, Nicotine, Caffeine, Ketone IQ

Post Antibiotics:  Colostrum, Enzymes, BPC-157, Vitamin C

Skin: C0Q10, Collagen, Creatine, Chlorine Dioxide, Iodine

Blood Sugar Reduction:  Lemon water, Ceylon Cinnamon, Glucose Monitor, Blood Sugar Breakthrough


Living on the edge?  Here’s a few less legal options which might be worth considering.




Extra Credit:  -MMS:   Chlorine Dioxide, also known as the Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) protocol, is a rabbit hole that deserves a whole blog post of its own.    MMS is effective against colds, COVID, Malaria, allergies, cancer, psoriasis, and many other things.   I highly suggest reading this book Forbidden Health by Andreas Kalcher.  It’s hard to find as it’s only sold overseas, but there is a free link in the FILES section of the CHLORINE DIOXIDE group on Facebook.   It’s worth reading, very well written.  For general info about the Miracle Mineral Solution (MMS) which he refers to as CD, read Chapter 1. For protocols, read Chapter 3.  For specific problems, see Chapter 4.


Go on Amazon and buy this:  https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B09YL4B2T  DIRECTIONS:   To make Chlorine Dioxide (referred to MMS OR CD) mix three drops of Sodium Chloride (Part A) with three drop of Hydrochloric Acid 4% (Part B) in a glass made of glass.   Swirl the drops together for 30 seconds and see them turn yellowish amber.   Add 4 ounces of water and drink immediately.   Do this on an empty stomach away from meals or other supplements, up to 8 times a day.   If you haven't done this before, start slowly, just 1-3 times per day.  Follow a protocol from Chapter 3 or 4 for dosage frequency.  Obviously an acute problem (Malaria) would take a much higher one time dose than trying to fix a chronic problem (Allergies or Psoriasis) in lower doses + greater frequency over a longer time.  


Chlorine Dioxide causes problems like viruses, parasites, and bacteria to die off rapidly, without causing harm to the human body.  This die-off reaction can cause side effects as the body tries to excrete the dead organisms but can't keep up.  If you feel nausea, dizziness, diarrhea, or have other side effects, decrease both dosage and frequency by half, but don't stop completely, until side effects are gone.   Slowly work back up over time as long as you still feel well.


Get some DMSO if you read about it and think it's amazing too:  https://www.amazon.com/DMSO-Dimethyl-sulfoxide-Pharmaceutical-Heiltropfen/dp/B00ZNV5N8U   You can add DMSO to your Chlorine Dioxide water right before you drink it, at a ratio of 3:1.   3 Drops of DMSO for every drop of Chlorine Dioxide.  DMSO drives the mixture further into the body in places it couldn't go before.   Beware DMSO is a potent blood thinner.


Here's the original website where I learned about this.  Biggest change I've found is that hydrochloric acid 4%works better than citric acid 50% (less side effects).   I have the book by Jim Humble, but Andrea Kalcher's writing is 100% better and more scientific.