By Sarah A LoBisco, ND

I’ve been coming back to basics, in health and life! Most answers start with the simple; they may involve some complexity, but they shouldn’t be complicated and unreasonable. This same concept holds for obtaining and maximizing optimal health. In order to thrive, it’s vital that our biology is supported by meeting its basic needs first.

The body’s basic biological needs include:

The above factors are all needed as the base supportive structure of health. The more these areas are strengthened, the more potent any additional support becomes.

For example, I’m a biochemistry and functional medicine SCIENCE GEEK (self-proclaimed and proud!).

I have had some beautiful and tear-jerking results from this. I love using this winning combination of the artful application of medicine while applying genetic individuality, environmental impacts, and various biochemical pathways to support my patients’ health. Rock on!

Now, there is a downside to any kind of masterpiece. For me, this occurs when the client or I attempt to use this framework within the base of a poor diet or unhealthy relationship. It’s hard to keep balance on shaky ground!

Although it is possible for me to assist in the ability to modulate the negative effects of environmental factors through extensive research and large support protocols, the question is “why?” In other words, my patient and I have to discuss when it is appropriate to put blocks on an un-level ground and when is it a detriment.

I do have clients who can’t change the moldy building they work in, or, for various reasons, can’t leave an unfulfilling relationship. I then explain why all other pieces like diet, movement, and extensive supplemental manipulation of biochemistry is essential.

Two of the biggest areas most people have control over is food and rest. Americans don’t know how to rest. This is why I’ve recently been communicating so much about the power of food as medicine.

Here are my summary equations:

  1. Real foods= health
    1. Real food contains potent phytochemicals and nutrients the body recognizes and these substances move freely through the resulting glowing, happy, blood highway of life.
    2. These sustaining and life-giving nutrients carry their healthy, healing, genetic material (microRNAs), to the very receptors of our own cells. There, these phytonutrients communicate positive messages that turn on and off switches that modulate vibrant health! 🙂
  2. Processed foods=suboptimal health
    1. Eating funky foods that contain nasty chemicals that the body doesn’t recognize or is equipped to deal with, makes for sludgy, congested, and inflamed vasculature. A biochemical traffic jam!
    2. Not knowing how to handle this overload, the body’s digestive signals get confused, and the “food” ultimately gets stored as fat, fluid, or lymph congestionà Disease results. 🙁

Unfortunately, many still don’t know the difference between organic and non-organic foods as a means to health. In fact only about 4% of sales of overall food and beverages were for organic, according to the Organic Trade Association’s 2011 Industry Survey. Still, organic foods do have more nutrients and fewer pesticides. Sometimes what’s not in the product is just as important as what is. The OTA reports:

Growing crops in healthy soils results in food products that offer healthy nutrients. There is mounting evidence that organically grown fruits, vegetables and grains may offer more of some nutrients, including vitamin C, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and less exposure to nitrates and pesticide residues than their counterparts grown using synthetic pesticides and fertilizers.

Therefore, one simple way to gain health, release weight and feel rad is trade up to quality organic choices. With more nutrition and correct signaling from real food, you won’t find yourself in addictive binge-purge patterns.


Gozal D, Kheirandish-Gozal L. The obesity epidemic and disordered sleep during childhood and adolescence (abstract). Adolesc Med State Art Rev. 2010 Dec;21(3):480-90, viii-ix. PMID: 21302856

Organic Trade Association. Nutritional Considerations. Accessed July 2012.

Organic Trade Association. Organic Trade Association’s 2011 Organic Industry Survey. Industry Statistics and Projected Growth. Accessed July 2012.

Brenda J. Reinhart. MicroRNAs in plants. Genes Dev. 2002 July 1; 16(13): 1616–1626. . doi:  10.1101/gad.1004402. PMCID: PMC186362.