12201 Big Bend Rd., Kirkwood, MO 63122


Food on the Brain: How What You Eat Affects Your Mood

As Phillip Day of Food Matters once said, “What we need to be able to do is to persuade the public that you are what you eat, food can change your mood, and the choices you make directly affect the outcome of your life.”

In other words, you may not be able to control everything in your life, but you can control everything that you consume. Having a natural health mindset can ensure that you not only achieve physical wellness, but that you are also unconsciously happy and content with the life you lead.

While achieving a consistent, positive set of emotions may seem difficult to achieve to some, the reality is that once you understand why you are more prone to a negative mindset and how to avoid those reasons, the easier it will be to make better nutritional choices each day that will have a direct impact on your mood. (more…)

Back-to-School Nutrition

back2school-nutritionImproving Your Child’s Behavior & Concentration with Proper Nutrition

The new school year is well on its way. The initial frenzy is over and the kids are now getting knee deep in a new semester of knowledge, the stresses of schoolwork and exams, and are likely being introduced to a new set of emotions and confusions that are directly impacting their behavior and overall concentration. While it may feel like all you can do is either wait it out, talk it out, or seek professional assistance; there may be another solution right under your nose

Think about your child’s diet at-home and during the school days. While you may be able to ensure that they are eating all their vegetables and other necessities while at home, do you know what they are consuming when you are not around? Do they choose from the breakfast and lunches provided at school, grab a soda or candy bar between classes, or opt for sugary and artificial snacks while doing homework and studying? (more…)

The Dirty Little Secret of PMS: What Every Woman Should Know

Ladies, we all have this one friend that we both love and hate. She’s always cranky, slow and almost unbearable at times, but you continue to make the best of all the pain she may cause from month to month with chocolate and ice cream, heartfelt romance movies while snuggled in odd positions on the couch, and long hot bubble baths. You know exactly which frenemy I’m talking about – the saboteur of your baby box – your Aunt Flow, queen of the crimson wave.

Well, despite the awkwardness you might be feeling right now, there is something you might not know. Something very important, that could change your whole relationship with your period. (more…)

21 Day Detox

The fall hump. You know that time in between not reaching your summer weight loss goals, and still wanting to shed the pounds before your winter hibernation mode kicks in. You know what you need? No, the answer is not some “metabolism booster” from a big box supplement store. A detox. That’s what you need. It doesn’t have to be spring or summer to take control of your health. In fact, utilizing a detox that focuses on a lifestyle change, and not just a quick weight loss fix, is strongly recommended anytime of the year.


21 Day Detox

Today I want to share with you the success my wife (Dr. Jeanne) and I had with our 21 day detox. I want to enlighten you on how our bodies detox normally, and how they detox abnormally; most people’s bodies are detoxing abnormally. I’ll also cover why you should detox, the detox process, and a couple tips and tricks for doing a 21 Day Detox. You won’t believe what food can do for your body!


Why detox?

You definitely need to understand WHY you need to detox in the first place. So let me ask you a few questions:

Do you have trouble losing weight?

Do you get headaches?

How about digestive issues?

Do you eat fast food?

I could continue on to ask you more questions, but these are four quick ones that would lead you to answer yes to needing to detox. We need to detox in order to remove the toxins that end up stored in our bodies.


Feeling tipsy?

I often explain toxins in the body, by comparing it to being drunk. When we consume more alcohol than our bodies can process in that specific amount of time, alcohol goes into our bloodstream because it cannot be processed at that time. This is how that blood-alcohol level creeps up on you, making you unable to drive a vehicle!


You’re like a machine.

You could also compare it to your body being a piece of machinery. To keep a machine running smoothly, and efficiently, you need clean it, right? If you don’t goop gets caught up in it, it starts to slow down, be less efficient, and over time will start to break down on you and stop working altogether! So much like machinery, sometimes we need to clean ourselves out, and give ourselves a system restart. As toxins become too much for your body to process, they store themselves in fat and nervous system tissue.


Detox Process

Alright, so we covered the “why” you need to detox. Now let’s bring you back to your high school science class, and give you a little pop quiz (ok so not really a quiz because I’m going to give you the answers.)

Q: How does your body detox when it’s functioning normally?

A: Most toxins are eliminated through fecal matter. Gut flora, the good bacteria in your intestines, helps break down toxins for elimination. It’s commonly thought that the liver does most of this work. The liver is important, but is actually the secondary system for removing toxins. The liver helps with overflow of toxins. The liver actually utilizes antioxidant materials to change toxins to water-soluble substances. From there the toxins are transferred in their new form to the kidneys, where they are excreted through urination (now you know why the bathroom stall becomes your new best friend at the bar!).

Q:How does your body detox when it’s functionally abnormally?

A: Well, the short answer is it doesn’t. I mean it puts up a real good fight, and absolutely is smart enough to take measures to protect your health.

With abnormal detoxing our bodies develop “leaky gut”. This is when the lining of the small intestines become permeable (develops small gaps), where toxins can leak out into the bloodstream.


So what happens then…

Then because there are already too many toxins in the body, the liver doesn’t pick them up for processing. So where do they go? At first, they sit in your bloodstream; which obviously isn’t healthy and cannot be a long term solution. No worries though, your body is highly intelligent, and proceeds to move them for storage in your fat and nervous system tissue.

This may sound like your body has it all figured out, and you can keep piling the junk food in, but not so fast. You know those headaches, and inability to lose weight, and digestive issues? Well, you can thank your abnormal detox process for that.

This means it’s a good possibility the reason why you just spent three days a week at the gym for the last month, and only lost a single pound, is due to the fact that there are toxins stored in your fat. Once there are toxins stored in the fat, the body tends to want to hold on to the fat as means of protecting your body from the toxins. This is why you need to detox. I would recommend a cleanse that is a whole body cleanse, and not just liver cleanse. I recommend this because of what I explained above. While our liver is an instrumental component to our detox, it is NOT the primary. So you need a whole body cleanse.


The “1st Step”

Cut out all the crap food! No sugars, no artificial sweeteners, no junk food, and yes, sorry to say you will have ditch the pumpkin spice lattes for now too!

Tips & Tricks

#1 Be prepared-You’re going to need to go all Boy Scout on this. Always be prepared. How are you always prepared when on a detox? You plan ahead. We make all sorts of plans in life: business plans, weekend plans, financial plans, but seem to leave out food plans. You need to strategize your plan of attack (with food).


#2 Meal/snack prep- Yup. More preparation. You may feel like you’ve earned some sort of scout badge by the time your done, but you’ll be happy you did it, and the results will mirror your hard work.

So here’s what we did for our cleanse…

Days 1-7:  Ate fruits, veggies, fish, and plant-based protein shakes (avoid whey).


Days 8-10: Removed fruit for 3 days.


Day 11: Added in organic chicken and eggs.


Days 15-21:  Added nuts, seeds, and grass fed beef back into diet.


*We consumed at least 80 ounces of purified water each day.


*We also used a few support products (if interested, these can be purchased through our office):


1-Digestive Enzyme (Loomis)

2-Probiotic (Metagenics)

3-Essential Fatty Acids (Biotics)

4-Detox Powder (Metagenics)

5-Detox Capsule (Metagenics)

If you have more questions please feel free to reach out to us!


Donut vs. Broccoli: The Enzyme Effect

fruits and veggies


Keeping our families healthy. It is absolutely a forethought in all parents minds. Sometimes though, it seems like we’re implementing things because we know we should be, or think we should be, but without a real comprehension as to the way things help our bodies. Understanding is just as crucial as taking the action. Why? Well, because when we can explain to children WHY they need to eat their vegetables, and not just because we said so, it motivates them to do something good for their bodies. The same thing is true for adults; it’s simply human nature. This is why knowing the role of enzymes, and what they do for your body is so important. They are vital to our well-being. At 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, we strive to continue to educate our patients on the why.


Dinner table banter

Here’s an example of how a simple explanation can make all the difference with children:

Mom: “Sweetie, you need to finish all your broccoli before you can get up from the table.”

Boy: “Why?! I hate broccoli!

Mom: “Because it gives your body the nutrients it needs to grow up to be big and strong like Daddy. Without good nutrients your body won’t be as healthy, or grow as big and strong.”

*Little boy makes a begrudging face, but proceeds to eat the broccoli*

Sure it’s true eating proper food to get essential nutrition is about more than growing big and strong, but that is something, say a 5 year old boy can understand and relate to. For adults we need a more detailed explanation to help us stay on track, and remind us why we want to opt for the veggie tray at the office, over the donut box. Our inner 5 year old wants to grab that donut, because obviously, it’s delicious. We know the veggies are a more ideal option because they are healthier. Today I want to give you more information on what healthier choices have to do with the enzymes in our bodies, and why that is important, because the child in all of us needs that extra information to keep us on track and make good choices.

What are enzymes?

Enzymes are proteins that act as a catalyst in our bodies by breaking down the food we eat. The food is broken into particles small enough to be absorbed by the cells that line the intestinal tract.

Raw fruits and vegetables contain the enzymes necessary to break down the food themselves without requiring much assistance from our bodies to produce them. Therefore, eating raw fruits and vegetables is much less taxing on our digestive system. By consuming large amounts of processed foods that do not offer any enzymatic assistance, our bodies can become enzyme deficient over time. While digestion is a huge component of the job enzymes perform, it is not the only one! Enzymes are extremely complex biomechanical substances. Enzymes play a role in almost all aspects of our health and well-being. They make our hearts beat, help us breathe, aid in thought process, energy production, healing wounds, dissolving blood clots, slowing the aging process, and even help with muscle and nerve function!


What types of enzymes are there?

1-Food enzymes-found in raw foods

2-Digestive enzymes-produced by the body in order to break down foods

3-Mechanical enzymes-run biomechanical processes in our bodies

The 4 essential food enzymes

1-Proteases- These enzymes are responsible for breaking down proteins (meats, beans, dairy etc.)

2-Amylases-These enzymes handle breaking down carbohydrates into simple carbohydrates (pasta, potatoes, cookies, etc.) The amylases are essential to breaking down milk sugar, refined sugar, and malt sugar.

3-Lipases- These enzymes break down fats (olives, avocados, etc.)

4- Cellulases-These enzymes break down fiber (celery, carrots, etc.)

It can be hard to grasp how complex our bodies are! Quite literally, without enzymes, we would cease to exist. This is why we have to be incredibly conscious of what we are putting in our bodies. We need to ensure we are providing the proper nutrition to keep things operating. Not putting the right nutrition in our bodies, is like putting diesel in a car that takes unleaded gasoline, and then wondering why the car broke down! The greasy processed foods, overcooked foods, and refined sugars, are our equivalent to putting diesel in a vehicle that takes unleaded.


How do I know if if I am enzyme deficient?

This is a great question, and it’s actually much easier to unravel than one may expect. There are often times when patients come into 1st Step Family Wellness in Kirkwood, suffering from things like:


  • heartburn

  • acid reflux

  • gas

  • bloating

  • cramping

  • constipation

  • diarrhea

  • anxiety

  • stiff, sore joints

  • irritability

  • restlessness

  • insomnia

These can all be signs of enzyme deficiency. Of course, it should always be evaluated to ensure there isn’t something else occurring, but these are signs of enzyme deficiency.

It’s unfortunate to see so many people that are forever on antacids because they simply do not know they only need to increase their enzyme-rich food intake, and possibly need a supplement to boost the enzymatic processes back up. Doing these two things will work wonders for relieving the above listed digestive issues people complain off!


So, what happens if I don’t handle my enzyme deficiency?

This is where the marvel of how food and nutrition can truly heal a body is awesome in the truest sense of the word. However there are an enormous amount of people who suffer from enzyme deficiency. In fact, over $80 billion per year is spent to relieve digestive issue like irregularity, fatigue, gas, and headaches.

By merely, adjusting your diet, and perhaps some enzyme therapy through nutritional supplements, you can prevent these more pesky, and sometime debilitating issues that can occur as a direct result from enzyme deficiency:

  • Crohn’s disease

  • Diabetes

  • Colitis

  • High cholesterol

  • Weight gain/loss

  • Excessive bloating


What’s the best way to fix my enzyme deficiency?

As mentioned a few times through this article, consuming raw fruits and vegetables are the first step in restoring the efficiency of your enzymatic processes. Sometimes though, a person’s body may be so deprived, and overworked, that enzyme therapy is also necessary to restore a body back to full health. This is a simple process of consuming recommended whole food supplements that will aid your recovery.

Speak to your chiropractor today, or contact us for a consultation if you have more questions or concerns. Also remember to teach your children now the importance of good nutrition by explaining things in an age appropriate manner. As children get older, revisit the subject with more specific detail that they will then understand. Knowledge is powerful, and so are our bodies when properly cared for!

Increase Your Water Intake, and Increase Your Health

Benefits of Drinking Water

Benefits of drinking water

Did you know that until recently, soda was the most popular beverage in the US for nearly 2 decades? It wasn’t until soda started to be blamed for the rise in obesity that our old faithful friend, WATER, rose back to the top in 2013.

Water makes up for about 60% of the human body.

We NEED water to function properly. I think one of the reasons that people undervalue the necessity of water for their bodies, is because they don’t truly understand everything that their bodies rely on water to accomplish for them. If I were to ask someone if they wanted their body to be able to regulate their body temperature, digest food, and carry oxygen to their cells, I guarantee the answer would be yes! These are all important and necessary functions of the human body for survival.

Did you also know, that the human body can go weeks without food, but can’t go for more than three days without water? Crazy, right?! That is how vital water is to our health and well-being.

In my practice in St. Louis, I often find that people do not drink enough water. When I tell them the amount that they should be drinking daily, I get a jaw dropping response from most people. It is actually really rare for me to find that someone consumes the recommended daily amount of water needed. The amount of water needed is a simple calculation. Drink half your bodyweight in ounces. As an example, a person that weighs 150 lbs should be drinking 75 ounces of pure water daily.

There are numerous things our bodies do everyday that cause us to lose fluids, and require a need to rehydrate ourselves. There are the obvious ones that occur when we are sick. For example, vomiting, diarrhea, and sweating. Of course, sweating is a function that occurs while sick, or well, but it does increase during bouts of illness.

Water has an astounding amount of benefits in the human body. They are as follows:

  • Water is needed to form saliva in your mouth for digestion.

  • Water is also needed to break food down into smaller parts, to be used properly by the body—absorption of nutrients.

  • The brain needs water for the neurotransmitters and hormones needed throughout the body.

  • The body regulates temperature using water. This is another reason why it is essential to stay hydrated when you are sick.

  • There is water in the blood which helps deliver oxygen to all the tissues.

  • Water makes up the fluid that surrounds and cushions the brain and spinal cord.

  • Your joints need water to cushion and lubricate, in order to move properly.

  • Cells in the body need water to regenerate and grow.

  • It keeps the mucous membranes moist.

  • Fluids help to flush the waste products out of the body, that are naturally made in the body, and the toxins that we are exposed to daily.

  • Water is in Lymph. Lymph is the fluid that is part of your immune system.

  • Energy! Lack of water is the number one reason for daytime fatigue.


Given all of the functions water helps with, you can imagine the negative impact dehydration can cause to the body. We even need water to breathe properly. When fluids become scarce in our bodies, they try to limit the amount of fluid they lose to breathing!

Our bodies need humid air to breathe effectively. We need water in order for our mucous membranes to moisturize the air we breath before it hits our lungs. When our bodies become dehydrated, mucous membranes become drier. This leads to the lungs being more easily irritated by common allergens, such as, mold, dust, and cigarette smoke. Lack of moisture leads to dry, unproductive coughs, and further irritation to the lungs.

This is one of the reasons it is extremely important for people with allergies to consume enough water on a daily basis! Aside from allergens, dehydration also lowers the body’s immune response. This makes the body more prone to viruses and bacteria.

Signs that your body needs more water:
  • Headaches

  • Achy joints

  • Dry skin

  • Slow digestion

  • Brain Fog

  • Sluggishness

  • Muscle cramps

Many patients of mine, that follow the above recommendations for water, come back into my St. Louis office, and report that they have more energy, less pain, better looking skin, and better digestion.

Take the water challenge, and find a water bottle!

Preferably glass or BPA free plastic. Measure how many ounces, and figure out how many of them you need to drink in a day. With all the health benefits you gain by staying well hydrated, why not add more water to your day. Not to mention it is amazingly refreshing, and calorie free. I’d say water is a much better option than a soda, that will dehydrate your body, cause a sugar spike, and pack on 150 calories per can! (Remember, bathing suit weather is just around the corner.)

Water is the most essential element of survival!

Drink Up!