The Dark Sides of Melatonin, and How I Found Out About Them... The Hard Way


I sat down in the nurse's office to get my vitals. It's probably my favorite part of any doctors visit. No matter what brought me in, whether it is routine check ups or something else, I always get good news here! This day was a bit different. She wrapped my arm with a flimsy blood pressure wrap and took my reading. She looked at it with a bit of a shocked look on her face, then looked at me. Something dawned on her in her eyes, and she told me to uncross my feet. So I did, and she took my pressure again. She did it a few more times. The concerned look back on her face. The numbers were staying the same, and the nurse asked whether I were feeling dizzy or faint. I'd been tired lately so nothing I particularly noticed... This was my first clue that something was potentially not right.

Fast forward about a week later, I'm halfway through yoga and I'm seeing stars while inverted an arm balance pose (Eka Pada Koundinyanasana II, for you yoga junkies). Even one-leg balance poses (Utthita Hasta Padangushthasana), which I can usually do with my eyes closed were kicking my butt! 

A few days prior I'd indulged in a chocolate croissant, (non-gluten free) and was paying the price for it. It was SO worth it at the time though! So I'd been feeling a bit irritable in the stomach, lethargic and had a headache. Just the gluten cycling through my system I thought.

Put it together though: dizzy, irritable stomach, extreme lethargy, headache, blood pressure around and below 90/60, and feeling irritably depressive - something definitely was off. I refused to believe that one of my favorite indulgences (chocolate croissant) was the culprit. 

Then one night I sat straight up in bed and had the answer. See, I'd started taking melatonin to help me sleep. I'm a light sleeper, and EVERYTHING wakes me up. While I still hear it, with the melatonin I fall back asleep easier and faster. I'd started taking 3-4 a night. So I started doing some research.

Melatonin affects people differently and with no standard dosage level it causes people problems.  I've a family member that takes 10 a night and swears by them. Because it's marketed and sold as a dietary supplement/natural remedy, it' hasn't undergone any testing by the FDA so there's no official recommendation on exactly how many milligrams are too much. 

However after doing some research, the more you take the more likely it is you'll experience it's side affects... 

  1. Drowsiness during the day.
  2. Mood swings are highly likely if you take too much. It's not uncommon to experience swings between sadness, over excited, to deep depression.
  3. Disorientation, paranoia, confusion and/or hallucinations.
  4. Irritable stomach.
  5. Lower blood pressure.

Having low blood pressure has its own set of issues: dizziness, lightheaded, lack of concentration, blurred vision, fatigue. All this I was experiencing. But, this was good news for me, because the last time my blood pressure was this low was when I had hypothyroidism. Not fun or as easy to kick. Kicking Melatonin would NOT be a problem.

So while sleep is extremely precious and Melatonin is a potential solution, be careful of the potential side effects. A few others not mentioned above:

  1. Hormone changes
  2. Risk of seizure
  3. Increase risk of contracting immune system disorders 
  4. Stomach problems: nausea, vomiting, stomach cramps, or diarrhea
  5. Risk to infants though breast feeding
  6. Risk of liver damage

While it's not fatal, depending on your body chemistry, it can make life pretty miserable. Not to mention long term usage can even sabotage sleep. 

Melatonin is a hormone secreted by the pineal gland to announce that it is bedtime to our brains. Darkness stimulates its release into the bloodstream; light inhibits it. When used occasionally and at the correct time, melatonin is a fine means of encouraging sleep. Over time however, it can actually amplify insomnia. The theory  is that having too much melatonin in the system, overwhelms the receptors, changing how a patient reacts to it. According to Dr. Wurtman, melatonin supplements may work at first, but soon “you’ll stop responding because you desensitize the brain. And as a consequence, not only won’t you respond to the stuff you take…you won’t respond to the stuff you make, so it can actually promote insomnia after a period of time.” In other words, overtime, it won't work. You'll have to take more and more, until we can't even feel the benefits, we're suffering the side effects, and our sleep is even worse then ever. 

Sleep issues are NOT uncommon in today's society. According to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health, nearly 1.3 million American adults reported taking melatonin in February, 2015. Because it's classified as a dietary supplement, it's not adequately tested, and their are no fatal or addictive side effects - it's easy to want to increase the dosage (especially if they have yummy sugar flavors). Mine is strawberry. But, I've seen them in the gummy form as well. It's tempting to want to take another. Especially on those rough days and when they taste so good. The key is moderation. It definitely has a dark side with too much or prolonged use. I experienced almost all of them within 2 weeks of use. Definitely use the 'recommended' dose and use it sparingly!

Thankfully I take a nootropic which, among other things, helps to enhance my mood, my physical and mental performance and to focus!

PS. If you're curious about my services, please don't hesitate to contact me or CLICK HERE for more info!

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Can Your Body Sabotage Your Career Performance?

Neuroscientists today are upending decades of accept ideas about the way we think and perform and turning them on their head. For example, today I was studying about "disembodied cognition" and "embodied cognition." Disembodied cognition is the idea that that thinking happens only within the 6 inches of space between our ears. Whereas embodied cognition is the idea that we see thinking for what it really is: an integrated, whole body system of experiences. Guy Claxton, an expert on the matter and professor at the University of Winchester describes it as "the body, the gut, the senses, the immune system, the lymphatic system are so instantaneously and complicatedly interacting that you can't draw a line across the neck and say "above this line it's smart and below it' is menial." The fact of the matter is, we have about 40,000 neurons in our heart, 500 million nerve cells, 100 million neurons, and 30 different neurotransmitter. All of which plays a role in filtering our perception, eliciting emotions and aiding in our decision making. Scientists have dubbed it our "second brain", and they are continually demystifying our instincts, gut feeling and intuition; which means we can no longer discount it. 

I experienced this first hand today after my, hopefully last, visit with my kinesiologist today regarding this one issue. To give you some background, in 2007, I was riding home from work one morning on a motorcycle. I was less than two blocks from home when a truck ran a red light and t-boned me. I flew off my bike and bounced few times before finally coming to a stop on the other side of traffic. While my tibia healed from the open compound fracture, my body never quite did. I've had residual hip, spinal and neck issues that the doctors then never addressed, as their focus was my leg. They all told me that I'd never walk, run or function the same again. Lucky for me, I have authority issues. When someone tells me I can't do something, I make it my mission to prove them wrong. 10 years and over $10K later courtesy of multiple chiropractors, podiatrists, osteopaths, structural integration practitioners, Reiki healers, Pranic healers, acupuncturists and kinesiologists, I slowly unravelled the residual areas of injury. I finally found someone who could trace all the issues and search for a root cause. Today, we think we finally found it, and I'm very hopeful! After we solved that one thing, I was immediately disoriented. Even 15 after I left, I still didn't yet have my bearings. As a result, I didn't realized I'd missed the street that would take me home until I was 3 blocks past it. Which says a lot about what my nervous system was going through. When I finally got home, and I was standing barefoot on the grass in the back yard and just feeling the warm sun on my back, I finally felt physically 'whole' and pain free for the first time. I felt like I was looking at the world through fresher eyes. As if my perspective had somehow shifted ever so slightly. To think I've gone this long only running on half my cylinders...

What was interesting, after solving what was hopefully the root cause, was that he said he had to reset my brain and nervous system. Kind of like rebooting a computer. Because even if you solve the issue, if you don't reboot the system, the system won't know, and therefore won't run properly. He also said the issue was causing my nervous system to be 'off', which is what he'd usually tell me every time I'd visit. He also made an offhand comment about how if someone's adrenal's were off, adjustments to the body wouldn't take. This reminded me of what happened several years ago, when I was frequently visiting a Chiropractor in Southern California who catered to Olympic athletes, and nothing he did had any affect on me. For about three years, he'd tell me every time adrenals were off. Good thing I'd invested some time and energy into nurturing my adrenals back to good health. To think I've gone this long only running on half my cylinders. I felt for so long like a shell of what I once was.  I can't even begin to quantify the toll of what always being in pain or being so mentally and physically drained at the end of the day cost me.  It was an exhaustion no amount of sleep could cure. The physical, mental and creative plateau that never seemed to end until now. 

The moral of all this is: don't discount your body. If your skeletal structure, muscular structure, nervous system, or adrenals are off, then you're mind and emotions will be too. Mind over matter will only get you so far. Sure we can have Herculean moments, or come back in the heat of the moment when all odds are stacked against us like Rocky and give 100% of yourself. But if your Self, both your mind and body aren't at 100%, then are you really giving 100%? Or are you giving 100% from a system operating at 60%? Like a factory that's giving 100% of what it can give when only 3/4 of all its machinery are online. There's only so far you'll get with a car running on empty before it stops. There's only so far you'll get running on caffeine, sugar, and/or energy drinks before your body crashes. There's only so so deep of reservoirs of creative and peak performance energy that can be drawn on when our body isn't at 100%. If you feel like you're giving 100%, but consistently coming short of what you know you're capable of, don't be so quick to beat yourself up. So many people think, 'what's wrong with me? Why can't I get this?' Right question, wrong context. Open your mind to alternative possibilities that aren't yet in your control. You may have something going on in your body. Pain, issues and inefficiencies in the body leaches your energy and sabotages your overall performance.The bigger the issue, chances are, it didn't just start or show up out of the blue. It's been trying to tell you for some time now, but you just didn't listen. Have you  been listening to what your body has been trying to tell you all along?  Don't be so quick to discount yourself, who you are and what you are capable of. Who you ARE, is an embodiment of all of you: your perceptions, beliefs, perspectives, senses, your nervous system, muscular system, skeletal system, endocrine system, etc. To be the best you, embody and nurture all of you. We only have ONE body in this life; take care of it, and it will take care of you.

Besides, if you don't love and cherish yourself, then why would anyone else want to?

How to Shed Post Holiday Pounds Easily, Naturally & Permanently!

FEASTING is a favorite family pastime that we all love to indulge in, especially during the holidays! It's not uncommon to to pick up a few extra pounds as a result! It's easy to shed those few extra pounds by just reverting back to a cleaner diet as soon as possible. A great way to gently transition into this is to replace one meal or side with alkaline foods rather than eliminating certain foods entirely.

Why alkaline? It has been KNOWN to the scientific community back in 1931 that diseases, including cancer, could not exist in an alkaline environment, and instead thrive in an acidic environment. Dr. Warburg discovered this and subsequently won the Nobel Prize for it. The modern diet of sweets, meats, dairy, pizza, carbonated water, white breads and pastas, refined foods, processed foods is highly acidic. Our blood pH is regulated to be slightly alkaline at about 7.3 to 7.4, but when we consume foods that are acidic, we make our body work that much harder. Stress, chemicals and pollutants create free radicals that causes even more acidity in our body. An excess of acidity in our body will cause it to perform poorly and we will have difficulty in resisting the harsh effects of oxidation and disease-inflicting viruses as a result. Alkalized foods and water act as an antioxidant because of its excess supply of free electrons that scavenge for free radicals, thereby counteracting its effects.

Maintaining an alkaline state is essential for:

  • Preventing the common cold
  • Lowering the risk of cancer
  • Lower the risk of heart disease, stroke, immune dysfunctions
  • Promoting`energy
  • Aiding in digestion
  • Preventing diseases 
  • Clearer skin
  • Helping detox
  • Shedding and maintaining a healthy weight

On the other hand, you don't want to be too alkaline. An over acidic body is called acidosis which is not healthy, but alkalosis is not ideal as well.  A balanced diet is key; you should eat a diet of 60-80% alkaline-forming foods and 20-40% acid-forming foods.

I've compiled a list below of alkalizing foods that you can slowly start substituting into your grocery basket to help you transition to a more alkaline lifestyle.  It is actually a very easy transition thru substitution and is healthier and more cost effective.

Dairy: Dairy products are highly acidic. We can substitute them with almond, soy, coconut, oat, or rice milk instead.

Pastas: It was really tough for me to give up breads and rice.  However, quinoa was on the list of being a low alkalizing food!! Many stores such as Sprouts or Trader Joe's or any store with a gluten-free selection have quinoa-based pastas that make for a healthy and yummy alternatives. Whole wheat sprouted grains are also a great alternative as well as some seeds, grains and legumes! Your best bet however is to replace any starches with more vegetable helpings. The list below shows which ones!

Meats: Most meats are highly acidic. Meats and proteins used to be the base of every meal so I had a really hard time reconciling how to shop for non-acid alternatives. However pasture-raised meat do not need antibiotics to keep them healthy because they live in a low-stress, natural setting. Grazing on pasture in and of itself is about as natural and organic as it comes. Current research is indicating that it may be what the animals eat that makes them eat healthy or unhealthy for us to eat. The one downside is that pasture-raised tends to be a little more on the pricey side, so instead you can choose some meats that are less acidic such as:

Free range turkey, trout, salmon, tuna, sea bass, or other types of fish!

Note: High sugar fruits are acidic in an imbalanced body and are best in season and for cleansing purposes in moderation.  Fruit juice is not recommended)

Lemons and watermelon have a ph Level of 9.0!

Lemons are one of the most alkalizing foods you can add to your grocery list with minimum financial impact are lemons!  It is the most potent and most immediate relief for colds, cough, flu, heartburns, hyperacidity and other virus-related ailments. Lemons are natural antiseptic that disinfects and heals wounds. It is also the best liver tonic that detoxifies and energizes the liver.  You can add these to your waters, on top of salads instead of dressing, or as a dishes for extra flavor.

Watermelons also have a pH level of 9.0 and are great as stand alone snacks or you can add bite sized chunks as a fun way to spice up any salad.

Foods that have an alkalinity of 8.5!

Fruits: Limes, Mango, Melons, Kiwi, Papaya, Parsley, Cantaloupe, Grapes, Passion Fruit, Pears, Pineapple, Raisins,

Vegetables: Watercress, Seaweeds, Asparagus, Vegetable Juices

Spices: Parsley and Cayenne

Foods that have an alkalinity of 8.0!

Fruits: Avocados, Bananas, Berries,  Currants, Dates, Apples, Apricots

Vegetables: Carrots, Celery, Alfalfa sprouts

Spices: Garlic

Other highly alkalizing foods:

Vegetables:  Arugula, beet greens, beets, broccoli, cabbage, cabbage lettuce, carrots, cauliflower,  celery root, chard, chicory, chives, collards, comfrey, cucumbers, dandelion greens, eggplant, endive, fennel,  green beans, jicama, kohlrabi, leeks, lettuce, lima beans, lotus root, mustard greens, onions, radishes, rhubarb, rutabaga, sea vegetables, sorrel,  spinach, sweet potatoes, taro root, turnips, wasabi, peas.

Legumes and seeds: soy lecithin, soy beans, soy nuts, sprouted beans-grains-seeds in all varieties.

Misc: barley grass, kamut grass, wheat grass and its juice.

Spices and spices: ginger, cilantro, sea salt,  peppers.

Fruits: Artichokes, lime, pumpkin, green beans,tomatoes, squash, zucchini, tomatillos.

Some Moderately Alkalizing foods:

Nuts: Raw Almonds, Borage oil, brazil nuts, hazelnuts.

Seeds: caraway seeds, chia seeds, cumin seeds, dasheen, fennel seeds flax seed oil, flax seeds, nigella seeds, pumpkin seeds, sesame seeds, sunflower seeds, buckwheat groats, millet, poppy seeds, stevia.

Herbs: burdock root. 

Vegetables: parsnip, radishes.

Misc: soy flour, tofu.

Low Alkalizing Foods:

Fruits: apples, bananas, black currants, blueberries, cantaloupe, cherries,  currants, dates, figs,  gooseberries, grapefruit, mandarin oranges, mangos, nectarines, oranges, peaches, plums, pomegranates, raspberries, red currants, rose hips, strawberries, tangerines, ugli fruit. 

Vegetables: Head lettuce, string beans,  vegetable broth, vegetables cooked.

Nuts: pecans, walnuts.

Seeds & grains & legumes: Amaranth, sprouted grains, quinoa, rice (brown and basmati), kamut,misio, spelt, teff, wax beans, black-eyed peas, wild rice.

Misc: Bragg liquid aminos, cold pressed oils,  evening primrose oil, flax seed oil, olive oil, sunflower oil, marine lipids.

Neutral Foods

Fresh coconut meat and water.

Low Acidic Foods

Vegetables: Lentils.

Misc: Agave nectar, brown rice syrup, honey raw.

Meat: Fresh water fish.

Fruits: Dried fruit, , olives. 

Grains: Rye bread, sprouted-grain bread and meal, whole grain bread and meal.

Moderately Acid Foods

Grains & seeds: Barley, beans, carob, granola, wheat.

Fruits: Cranberries.

Nuts: Pistachios, cashews.

Misc: Fructose, vanilla, soy sauce, tamari, tapioca.

Highly Acidic Foods

Meat: Bacon, chicken, eggs, crab, lobster, ocean fish, pork,  sausages, shrimp, turkey, veal, game birds.

Misc: barley malt sweetener, mushrooms, alcohol of all kinds, artificial sweeteners, candy,  cottonseed oil, refined oils, fried foods of all kinds, hydrogenated oil, ice cream, jam, jelly, hops, malt, milk chocolate, msg, processed foods, pudding, refined sugar, white sugar, table salt(NaCl), vinegar of all kinds, yeast, processed foods of all kinds.

Drinks: cocoa, coffee and black tea, sports drinks, soft and carbonated drinks.

Starch: biscuits, butter, bread-white bread, cakes, corn, corn meal, oatmeal, oats, pasta, pastries, rice.

Dairy: cheese,  organic cheese, cheese, both raw milk and cow's milk that has been homogenized and pasteurized,  margarine.

Replacing certain acidic portions with alkalizing portions will help you to easily and naturally shed weight, and to keep them off permanently! In addition, start drinking alkalized water which are rich in antioxidants.  You can get this kind of water from an alkaline ionizing water machine, such as the Kangen Water machines from Enagic which is the only system that's earned the WQA Gold Seal Certificate for its standard of quality.  One cup of this water contains the same amount of antioxidants as 5 pounds of blueberries! Your body is 70% water, why not fill it with the best antioxidant rich water. To speed up the process, drink a full cup of water before meals and reduce the portion size you consume to where you feel content and satisfied, vice feeling full or maybe overstuffed. You can use this strategy even when you're indulging! Enjoy the Holidays!!!

To learn more about Kangen Water, contact us or visit

How the Pharmaceutical Industry Has Manufactured the ADHD Epidemic in the U.S.

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It's astounding how big pharmaceutical companies have played such a significant role in defining ADHD epidemic in the US and therefore convinced parents and doctors that ADHD is a common amongst children and should be solved with drugs that they themselves have manufactured.

Fortunately many countries especially those in Europe see things differently. They defined ADHD as a sociological disorder that’s caused by a set of social situations.   Their psychiatric protocol is to hone in on the behavioral problems by searching for the underlying causes. Psychiatrists study the child’s distress and compare it to their social situations and then often treat their patients with psychotherapy or even family counseling. In France for example, Very rarely do they prescribe medications to treat ADHD, as it’s usually rendered unnecessary after taking a more holistic approach. Whereas the U.S. sees ADHD as a neurological disorder whose symptoms are the result of biological dysfunction or a chemical imbalance in the brain. In France, less than .5% of children have been diagnosed with ADHD vs the approximate 11% in the US.

It’s no secret that pharmaceutical companies have essentially bought out the medical industry. As with many other diseases and disorders, includingADHD, pharmaceutical companies have paid doctors and researchers to overstate the dangers of ADHD and the benefits of taking their drugs and understate the negative side effects.

It’s important to note that French psychiatrists also consider a patient’s diet when searching for the causes of behavioral symptoms associated with ADHD. Poor diet consisting of sugars, artificial colors or flavorings, preservatives, may worsen a child’s behavior. Even more interesting is that the above list are all considered ACIDIC foods. It's no surprise that an acidic diet not only affects our body's ability to fight off chronic and autoimmune diseases, but also affects our thought process. Further proof of how vital an ALKALINE DIET is to our overall physical and mental health.

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How Alkalinity Reverses Degenerative, Autoimmune, and Chronic Conditions Such as Diabetes

I am not a diabetic, but I've lost an uncle to it. I also have friends that struggle with it. I have a very dear friend of mine who I used to watch every morning test his blood sugar numbers. One day we got into a discussion about how diet affects it. Back then, I'd already been on a pretty alkalized diet low sugar foods, fresh alkaline vegetables, nuts, seeds, salads, etc. Whereas he had a pretty acidic diet, which not surprisingly consisted of  sweets, meats, dairy, pizza, carbonated water, white breads and pastas, refined foods, processed foods etc. To prove a point, we tested my numbers regularly and mine would consistently be between 80-90, while his would be in the upper 100s to lower 200s. The days when his diet matched mine, his numbers would be significantly lower. The days when he deviated, his numbers would be significantly higher. However Western medicine was treating him with insulin, a hormone that controls blood sugar. It frustrated me to no end because we had evidence that by simply changing his diet, he could regulate it naturally. That the doctors prescribed drugs, so that's what he felt more 'comfortable' with. Western medicine is fantastic in many ways, and I advocate it, however it's not always the best answer. In many cases, western medicine only addresses the symptoms and not the true cause. 

According to Dr. Batmanghelidj, "the current practice of clinical medicine is based on the application of pharmacological chemistry. At medical school, more than 600 teaching hours are allocated to the use of pharmaceutical products, while only a few hours are allocated to the instructions on diet and food. The trouble is, pharmaceutical or chemical products do not cure most disease conditions. Nor are most of these products safe for long-term use. They only temporarily mask and silence the outward manifestation of the problem." There are so many other natural, healthy, alternate solutions, that we could at least open our minds too, that HAVE been validated by doctors who were brave enough to be open and to explore!

According to Dr. Yoshiaki Matsuo PhD, “It has long been established that reactive oxygen species (ROS) [free radicals that contain the oxygen atom] cause many types of damage to biomolecules and cellular structures, that, in turn result in the development of a variety of pathologic states such as diabetes, cancer and aging. Reduced water is defined as anti-oxidative water produced by reduction of water. Electrolyzed reduced water (ERW) has been demonstrated to be hydrogen-rich water and can scavenge ROS in vitro (Shirahata et al., 1997).”

Dr. Robert C. Atkins, a Physician a Cardiologist has stated “Just about every condition I can think of, from arthritis to diabetes to cancer, is associated with acidity. It is no coincidence that many of our modern habits such as alcohol consumption, smoking, eating sugar, and stress, all tend to increase acidity. The only parts of our body that are supposed to be acidic are the contents of the stomach, the skin, and perspiration. Virtually everything else is supposed to be at least slightly alkaline.”

Yes, I'm shamelessly advocating Kangen Water. Why? Because I've experienced it's effects, I understand the science behind it and I've seen other diabetics experience the benefits of it too! So what effect does Kangen water have on diabetes? A research study done shows that diabetic patients taking alkaline ionized water have greater chances for recovery and blood sugar level stability compared to those patients who followed the usual diabetic patients’ regime. Patients who followed the alkaline ionized water therapy had stable blood sugar level while the other group which continuously had insulin shots never attained stable level of blood sugar, with blood sugar levels rising and falling.

The evidence is increasingly clear that acid-forming lifestyles induce degenerative, autoimmune, and chronic conditions such as diabetes. It is equally clear that a alkaline-rich regime is associated with increased resilience, health, and vitality.

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No Disease, Including Cancer, Can Exist In An Alkaline Environment

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In 1931 Dr. Warburg won the Nobel Prize for discovering that diseases, including cancer, can not exist in an alkaline environment.  The modern diet of sweets, meats, dairy, pizza, carbonated water, white breads and pastas, refined foods, processed foods is very acidic. Our blood pH is regulated to be slightly alkaline at about 7.3 to 7.4, but when we consume foods that are acidic, we make our body work that much harder. Stress, chemicals and pollutants creates additional free radicals that causes acidity in our body as well. An excess of acidity in our body will cause it to perform poorly and we will have difficulty in resisting the harsh effects of oxidation and disease-inflicting viruses as a result. Alkalized foods and water act as an antioxidant because of its excess supply of free electrons that scavenge for free radicals, thereby counteracting the effects. This helps the body fight and prevent against cancer, heart disease, strokes, immune dysfunctions, and other common ailments.

A great way to start treating our bodies even better is to replace one meal or side every day with alkaline foods such as root vegetables like beets, carrots, turnips, horseradish, or turmeric. Or broccoli, cabbage, cauliflower, spinach, kale, avocados, bananas, berries, carrots, celery, dates, apples, apricots, alfalfa sprouts, grapes, passion fruit, pears, pineapple, raisins, watercress, seaweeds, asparagus, limes, mango, melons, and papaya. Garlic, cayenne pepper and parsley are great spices you can add on too!

My breakfast every morning is a quick and easy shake consisting of kale, spinach, bananas, turmeric and any mixture of the fruits above, a touch of cayenne pepper, coconut milk and alkalized ionized water from a Kangen Water machine! Why not start the day right?

- Jade Goodhue

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