COVID-19: A Powerful Wake-up Call To Finally “Own Your Health”

The data continues to come in.  If you are a healthy human you have little to fear from the Corona Virus.  Awesome.  How sexy is that?  This is empowering, exciting and frankly makes a lot of sense.  Resilient people (as I wrote about previously) always deal with any kind of challenge much better. 

I will say it again, if you are healthy you can stop stressing out about COVID-19 harming you physically.   Are there exceptions to this?  Of course but there are exceptions to everything and they are extremely rare.  It’s like worrying about that meteor landing on your head.

For example in an article about why we need to re-open the country Dr. Scott Atlas says: 

“In children, despite exceptionally rare cases, COVID-19 is not a significant risk — even compared to influenza. The CDC stated on May 15 that “for children (0-17 years), COVID-19 hospitalization rates are much lower than influenza hospitalization rates at comparable time points during recent influenza seasons.”

Wow OK, so the yearly flu is more dangerous to kids than the Corona Virus.  It would be nice if this kind of information was shared with such vigor and shameless promotion as all the negative news spewing forth from the various media outlets liking this to the black plague.


The news, however, is also excellent with respect to healthy adults:

“There has been a failure to educate the public that the overall fatality rate is not only far lower than previously thought but is extremely low in almost everyone other than the elderly (and those with underlying health conditions).”

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian, cardiologist and dean of the Friedman School of Nutrition  Science & Policy at Tufts University wrote an opinion piece on how nutrition can help to flatten the curve.  This again goes back to how being healthy, strong, and resilient can protect you from COVID-19 or anything else:

“…experience from other infectious disease outbreaks makes clear that malnourished individuals (not hungry individuals, those that eat a poor diet of unhealthy foods) have a higher risk of becoming ill, a longer duration of illness, and greater risk of death. In the current crisis, feeding people who are at risk is even more important.”

Making bad choices when it comes to what goes in your mouth kills an estimated 530,000 people annually in the U.S., every year.  Every….year. That is a completely unacceptable amount of preventable suffering and death, not to mention the billions of dollars spent caring for this population. 


It is time to break free of the broken medical care paradigm that is set up to manage disease, not prevent it.  Those who are lining their pockets (big pharma, big food and others) at the expense of your health do not want you to die of course, but they do not want you to be well either.  That is strictly up to you.

If you would like to learn more about how to own your health please reply to this blog post with your question(s).  You can also fill out your health history here.

Once I receive your history we will discuss your health challenges and goals in a free wellness consult.  The next step will be to start creating a personalized, bio-individual health plan perfect for you. 

See below for a snapshot of what is included:

  • learn to exercise smart, improve sleep quality and increase energy
  • learn to powerfully manage your stress and why this is so important
  • learn how to incorporate clean, whole foods into your diet
  • understand your specific dietary needs based on your own bio-individuality
  • work to achieve and maintain your ideal weight
  • set and accomplish goals in a way that is empowering and exciting
  • understand and reduce your cravings
  • engage in proven protocols to greatly assist you in achieving a higher level of health
  • improve relationships and achieve more balance in the many areas of your life

Some of what your specific program may include…

  • two 50-minute sessions per month
  • e-mail support between sessions
  • nutritional interpretation of lab work to help uncover your hidden stressors & imbalances
  • cutting edge, powerful, actionable information on environmental toxins and their connection to poor health.  Learn how to protect yourself
  • recipes that are healthy and simple to prepare
  • coaching and support to help you make the dietary and lifestyle changes you want
  • simple but informative handouts that will increase your nutrition knowledge
  • access to my blog & newsletter focusing on many different wellness topics
  • my personal commitment to your health and success

I offer health coaching packages to fit every need and budget.  Sessions are held virtually or at the Cafe of Life Chiropractic and Massage office.

To learn more about me and what I do please visit



Bart Thurman, FDN-P, INHC, AFDNP
Functional Health Coaching
Cafe of Life Chiropractic
1325 Dry Creek Drive #307
Longmont, CO 80503
Office: 720-849-0124


Building a kick-ass immune system: Part I

What kind of shape is your immune system in?

This article is the first of a 5 part series where I will be going over exactly that. Your immune system is everything when it comes to being resilient.

The dictionary defines being resilient as, “The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties; toughness.” defines it as “the ability to stay intact”.  While there are many ways to articulate it, it comes down to being able to withstand or bounce back from any and all challenges that are thrown at you.

As we continue through the COVID-19 situation this is being bore out in a number of ways.  What have you learned about resiliency in the last 6 weeks physically, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually for example?  I see examples across the spectrum as I’m sure you do too.  Which sources do you surround yourself with?

How resilient are you right now? Are you where you want to be?

Not surprisingly those of us who are less resilient tend to fare much worse when challenges come our way.  I chose the name Break-Free Wellness for my business because I believe so strongly in not accepting health challenges (or anything really) that I don’t have to.

Do we have to accept the Coronavirus?  Yes, we do.

Do we have to accept what it can do to us physically if we happen to catch it?  Absolutely not.

Do we have to check the news every 15 minutes, much of it fear-based and sensationalized by the media?  No.

Do we have to sit on our hineys all day?  No.

Do we have to stay up late watching TV?  No.

Do we have to eat garbage?  No.

Do we have to avoid the sun, fresh air, and exercise?  No.

This is not “staying intact”. This is not being strong in the face of adversity.  This is what it’s like to live in the disease-promoting inflammation fest of the fight or flight response.

This is the opposite of being a resilient human being.  This is you nuking your immune system.  This makes you weak, sick, and ages you without mercy.  This is not your finest hour, Homer.

The hard truth is that many of us have been doing these types of things too often for too many years anyway.  The hard truth is that for the vast majority of us who don’t feel healthy in one way or another and/or have developed an underlying health condition, well, it’s our own fault whether we are aware of it or not.

This puts us at a much higher risk of suffering through a subpar life of just getting by, instead of thriving.  This puts us at a much higher risk of dying slowly, and well before our time. Those with the worst outcomes to COVID-19 (OR ANYTHING ELSE) are those that are less resilient.

Modern medicine can increase your “lifespan”, but what about your “healthspan”. That is up to you my friends and no one else.

Well over 1 million people die each year from preventable illness in the U.S. I will say that last part again and capitalize it, PREVENTABLE ILLNESS.

Millions more feel like crap all the time which is no way to live. Being resilient is about not accepting things we don’t have to.  In the case of our health, it’s about living strong, productive, happy, awesome lives…because we can.

It’s up to you to live strong, not your doctor

OK, let’s get to the top thing on my list when it comes to having an immune system like Captain America’s shield, sleep.

Researchers in Germany have discovered that getting enough sleep improves our body’s immune cell’s ability to kill their target. To quote Science Daily:

“T cells are a type of white blood cell that is critical to the body’s immune response. When T cells recognize a specific target, such as a cell infected with a virus, they activate sticky proteins known as integrins that allow them to attach to their target and, in the case of a virally infected cell, kill it.”

Awesome.  Lets reference some more people smarter than me to help us do precisely that!

Dr. Daniel Gartenberg, Ph.D., has come up with what he calls, “the eight elements of restorative sleep”.  Most of us have just been told to get our 7-9 hours, but there is much more to it than that.  Here are the 8 elements at a glance:

  1.  Sleep duration:  According to Dr. Gartenberg optimal sleep duration is very individual, with some people needing as little as 6 hours a night.  Bottom line is, you need enough.
  2. Sleep efficiency: This is the difference between the amount of time you are in bed and the amount of time you are really sleeping. 90% or more is what you want, and anything less than 85% is not good.
  3. Awakenings:  The more you wake up during the night (and remember them), the worse off you are. Anything over 20 minutes is a problem.
  4. Sleep onset latency:  Falling asleep in 10-20 minutes is ideal.  Less than 5 and you may be sleep-deprived, more than 20 and you may have trouble falling and staying asleep.
  5. Deep sleep duration:  As adults, 1.5 hours is pretty good, but as we age this gets harder unless we do something about it.  Deep sleep is where muscle repair and regeneration take place, as well as powerful detoxification and cleansing of the brain.
  6. REM sleep duration:  20% of your total sleep at least is the goal, but more can be better.  REM sleep is huge when it comes to memory consolidation and mood.
  7. Brain arousals:  During sleep, your brain arouses a few times per hour, but any more than that can disturb deep and REM sleep.  This is not the same as awakenings as they tend to occur with changes in your sleep environment that don’t fully wake you (i.e. thunder)
  8. Timing:  Your circadian rhythm is highly dependent on when you go to bed, so having a consistent bedtime is extremely beneficial when it comes to keeping your body’s clock accurate.

The Groundwork Of All Happiness Is Health
-Leah Hunt

A sleep tracker is a fantastic tool “to track” Dr. Gartenberg’s recommendations, but if you don’t have one it’s okay.  There is plenty you can do starting tonight.  Here are some of the top ways of nailing the kind of sleep he’s referring to:

  • Avoid blue light at night – This is the light that emits from your phone, tablet, TV, street lamps, and LED lights.  Turn them off around 2 hours before bedtime.  Blue light blocking glasses can help, and download f.lux on all your devices.  At my house, we have installed orange bulbs that we turn on after dark, or enjoy the fireplace and candles.  We also installed blackout curtains to help create a sleep cave.
  • Meditate daily – Our minds are always racing from the day.  Did I send that email?  What are we eating tomorrow? Am I making a difference?  When am I going to start working out?  A fantastic start to meditation is the 4-7-8 breath by Dr. Andrew Weil. Quick, easy, powerful.  Do it when you need to.  Many of my clients swear by it!
  • Eat healthy fats – Your brain is mostly fat, and what you eat matters when it comes to sleep.  Help it repair itself, as well as control your blood sugar by eating wild-caught salmon, grass-fed butter, and olive oil, etc.  If you are like me, however, getting “some” high-quality carbs, especially for dinner, can be important too.  If I don’t my sleep is noticeably affected.
  • Magnesium – Magnesium helps many people sleep more deeply by calming the body down.  Many people (especially women) enjoy an Epsom salt bath at night.  This last method is very effective at absorbing magnesium, not to mention incredibly relaxing which is what you want before trying to sleep.
  • Learn your sleep chronotype – Dr. Michael Breus has classified 4 categories here. Are you a bear, wolf, lion, or dolphin? Most of us are bears as we follow the sun. Wolfs need to go to bed later so there is less restlessness. Many people find Lions annoying as they always wake up early and must hit the hay early as well. If you are a dolphin you have a hard time falling asleep and wake up often.  Working on your anxiety can be very helpful.
There are many other strategies for hacking your sleep but these are some powerful ways to get started without overwhelming yourself, causing more stress, and weakening your immune system even more!  Those who sleep like superheroes are in many ways just like Captain America.

If you would like to learn how to be more resilient please fill out your health history here.  We will sit down and discuss your health challenges and goals in a free 45-minute health consultation over Zoom or at the Cafe of Life Chiropractic and Massage office.

To learn more about me and what I do please visit


Bart Thurman, FDN-P, INHC, AFDNP
Functional Health Coaching
Cafe of Life Chiropractic
1325 Dry Creek Drive #307
Longmont, CO 80503
Office: 720-849-0124

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Your mask is useless against COVID-19, really I promise it is.

Its been common knowledge for a while now but it still hasn’t stopped the mob mentality.  According to JAMA, an international peer-reviewed medical journal,  “There is no evidence that face masks prevent healthy people from becoming ill.” These sentiments are echoed by the Surgeon General as well as countless others.

Hoarding toilet paper will not stop COVID-19 either.  People also seem to not be aware that washing your hands with soap and water is actually a lot better than using sanitizer.  This practice also doesn’t kill off the good bacteria we need for optimum health on our skin.  In fact, when looking at the top hoarded items I realized I had none of them! (except for a few sacred rolls of TP).

While I do think it is a good idea to always have a couple of months worth of staples (non-perishable foods and other emergency supplies) on hand at all times, most of what people are stocking up on to protect themselves they do not need nearly as much as they think.

So what is the #1 and the only thing that will protect you from COVID-19?

The same as its always been, your immune system.

I like to use an analogy of an army with my students when it comes to this.  Are your Marines in shape? How strong are your tanks, airplanes, and guns?  Are they well provisioned and fortified for an enemy attack at all times?  Do you have any reinforcements you can count on?

This is actually quite ironic as according to 2017 Pentagon data 24 million of the 34 million persons of military age between 17-24 were considered too unfit to pass boot camp, and therefore could not join the military even if they wanted to.  Alas, another topic, another time.

COVID-19 cannot stand up against a healthy immune system.  Game, set, match.  As I talked about in my last post only people with compromised immune systems stand any real risk from COVID-19.  This is also the case with the common flu as well as anything else on a yearly basis. You have a MUCH BIGGER chance of dying of heart disease or cancer.

President Trump stated this week that in the U.S. the mortality rate is less than 1 percent.  He believes we cannot “shut down” the country much longer due to this fact.  While I’m not a Trump fan, I’ve believed from the beginning that COVID-19 was being totally blown out of proportion as I alluded too in my last post, “Coronavirus: Infecting Your lungs or Your mind?”
Why? There are likely many reasons but certain entities like to promote fear and misinformation for their own gain, most especially when money is involved. The Wall Street Journal just the other day wrote an article titled, “Is The Coronavirus As Deadly As They Say”.  Is it?  I think it’s worth asking that question. In addition to this and as part of an immune support document that I will link later, Dr. Jack Tips states:

“The Center For Disease Control has been accused and found wanting regarding supporting Big Pharma, over-representing threats, and disseminating specious research toward their “power grab” authority. Vaccine and drug manufacturers stand to make billions of dollars on people’s suffering. The Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation is busy increasing pesticides and poor-results vaccines all over the world.”

What is being implied here?  In my opinion, I think it would be prudent to pay attention to just who stands to gain the most from COVID-19, or anything else regarding widespread health issues, and not support said entities.  We can seriously hurt their bottom line instead by owning our health.

So what are some ways to hold the line when it comes to our immune system?

Dr. Tips, who is a well-respected pathogen expert has shared a detailed scientific paper that includes science-based steps you can take right now to protect yourself from COVID-19, or any other virus-related threat. He also talks about fear and how it weakens the immune system (as too much of any stressor will). Another great resource from specific to combatting viruses can be found here.

In my coursework, I learned about the acronym D.R.E.S.S. (diet, rest, exercise, stress reduction and supplementation) which forms the solid foundation from which all heath is built upon.  When this foundation is rock solid, your “army” becomes incredibly efficient at dealing with any and all enemy threats.  However, be advised: you cannot “out-supplement” the rest of the D.R.E.S.S program, all five components are crucial if you want to thrive.

It is a HUGE focal point of my functional health coaching practice because the body wants to heal, it wants to flourish every second of every day, this is our birthright, not some far off dream.

Who is it that is most at risk from COVID-19, environmental toxins, chronic stress or anything else now and in the future?  People who are already unhealthy.

As part of the stress reduction aspect of D.R.E.S.S, I also learned about the concept of “Primary Foods”, and how things like a spiritual practice, relationships and career all powerfully impact our immune system and happiness level and how to incorporate these things into my own life and guide clients to do the same.

I don’t know if you have noticed but since COVID-19 there has been a big increase in the interest of personal health.  Articles like this one about a mini-boom in running are starting to go mainstream. People are questioning and assessing their own health on a different level now, and how they can protect, optimize and personalize it for themselves.

It’s like when you only see your relatives at funerals and weddings…people only care about their health when they feel obligated too, or are forced too.  This is because symptoms are the last thing to show up.  We wait until we’re sick.  We need to focus on being well and staying well instead of trying to fix being sick. On top of that, you might realize you really love and miss that crazy uncle of yours.

If you are ready for education, information, resources and a proven program that will allow you to own and optimize your health then please fill out your health history here.  We will sit down and discuss your health challenges and goals in a free 45-minute health consultation over Skype, Zoom or at the Cafe of Life Chiropractic and Massage office.

To learn more about me and what I do please visit


Bart Thurman

Coronavirus: Infecting Your Lungs or Your Mind?


Are you freaking out about the Coronavirus?


You shouldn’t be.

Every year hundreds of thousands of people with compromised immune systems (yes you have to be one of these folks to worry at all) die from many things, not just the coronavirus.  The media, as usual with their, “if it bleeds it leads” mentality has blown the whole thing out of proportion.  It’s their job I get it.

To put this into context according to data provided by Dave Asprey author of, “Super Human”, over 600,000 people die every year in the U.S. from preventable heart disease and another 600,000 from cancer which is also largely preventable.  That’s over 1,000,000 deaths every single year (and climbing) in our country.

Why is no one emptying the shelves of toilet paper, water and cleaning supplies over this? Because we accept this as “normal”.  The media, big business and big government make sure it stays this way because there is money to be made hand over fist.  Trillions of dollars are at stake if people decide to take control of their health.

According to WHO (world health organization) the coronavirus, on the other hand, has claimed over 4,000 lives worldwide.  Most of them have been in China, and in the vast majority of cases it’s been people with an underlying health condition (compromised immune system) that have lost their lives.  It seems to me we should “make a trade” and not run out of toilet paper.

Don’t get me wrong those 4,000 people have loved ones and their loss is terrible, but that is much, much less suffering, financial ruin, economic strain and death than in the above example.  Not even close and it happens every single year…unnecessarily.

My idea for writing this post came from Dr. Samuel Paul Veissiere Ph.D. who wrote a great article titled, “The Coronavirus is Much Worse Than You Think: How COVID-19 is infecting our minds, not our lungs”  He shares an example in the first paragraph making very clear the extremely minimal risk of dying from COVID-19.  He compares it to a scheme where you decide to gamble all of your life savings despite 98% odds of losing everything.  Your chance of dying from COVID-19 is about the same as beating those odds.

This is simply your “overall” chance of dying. Unless you are very old, very young and/or in very poor health your chances of dying are next to nothing.  You have better odds of a meteor from space landing on your head in all probability.  He goes on to state that around 3 to 5 million people seek treatment for the flu worldwide every year, and between roughly 300,000 to 600,000 die.  COVID-19 is simply another strand of the flu, par for the course.

To quote Dr. Veissiere, “The Coronavirus is quite simply, and almost exclusively, a moral panic“.  Our minds have a tendency to gravitate towards scary numbers, scary things, disasters, bad news, epic failures and lastly just plan bad energy in my opinion.  People are always making a big deal out of things that are not for various reasons that Dr. Veissiere goes into.  It is something I have believed in for as long as I can remember.  As they say in the military, “calm under fire” too many of us are not.

One of the best things you can do is unplug from the craziness.  Our minds are simply not meant to process all the bad news we get hit with every single minute of every single day.  It’s not normal at all.  We are so afraid of “missing out” that we cant put our phones down and it is hurting us in a myriad of ways.

For starters, I have a habit of not looking at my phone the first hour after waking up, nor the last hour before going to bed and its WONDERFUL. I have been doing this long before COVID-19. You should try it sometime because it works, just let go.  We have control over our emotions, see COVID-19 for what it really is, and not what the media tells you it is.  Remember what your mom said? That’s right, everything you see on TV isn’t true;)

If you live with sub-par health and are ready to do something about it please fill out your health history here.  We will sit down and discuss your health challenges and goals in a free 45-minute health consultation over Skype or at the Cafe of Life Chiropractic and Massage office. To learn more about me and what I do please visit



Bart Thurman



The #1 Thing To Improve Your Health

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Yes, I know it’s been a long time, but I’m back:)

After focusing on other aspects of my business for a while, I really came to miss my monthly emails to you guys!  It helps me learn by doing this, and I always learn from our community as well…its awesome! (thumbs up emoji here).

Just last week I presented at the Cafe of Life Chiropractic and Massage office here in Longmont, Colorado.  If you haven’t been there, you’re missing out.  Dr. Jessica Thompson has created a beautiful healing environment filled with fantastic people who love what they do.

So what is the #1 thing you can do for your health?  That was the topic of what I shared last week, and it turns out it’s making sure your gut is in tip-top shape.  According to what the latest science is teaching us, our guts control just about everything when it comes to being healthy…and therefore…happy.


“All disease begins in the gut. One man’s food is another man’s poison. Let food be thy medicine, let thy medicine be thy food.”


Ya Hippocrates had it right over 2000 years ago.  Disease begins in the gut, and what’s on the end of our forks decides who we are. Many consider the next frontier in conventional and holistic medicine to be the gut as millions of dollars of research is being poured into this fascinating area of research.

So what health problems are connected to poor gut health?  Pretty much everything you can think of including allergies, skin issues, gastrointestinal conditions, obesity, arthritis, fatigue, depression, anxiety, autism, alzheimers, multiple sclerosis, cancer, heart disease, etc., etc.  You get the point.

The gut is the main focus of my practice because every single thing we do every moment of every day either promotes or degrades our “gut garden”.  This includes food especially as this is what “feeds” the millions of microbes in us.  If they do not get what they need, then they do not have the tools in their toolbox to create health for us.


We can program ourselves to create health, or sickness. Epigenetics is the study of how we have control over this “expression” of our genes towards disease or not.
Other lifestyle choices form the foundation for robust gut function including enough deep sleep, movement, and stress management/elimination.  In fact, stress is connected to most doctors office visits.  All these things and more affect the ratio of “good vs bad bugs”.

Lastly, our guts are intimately connected to brain health and therefore things like depression and autism.  Did you know that 95% of the serotonin we need to help regulate our mood is manufactured in our guts, not our brains?

If you live with sub-par health (and most people do) and are ready to do something about it please fill out your health history here.  We will sit down and discuss your health challenges and goals in a free 45-minute health consultation over Skype or at the Cafe of Life.  To learn more about me and what I do visit

One of my favorite quotes reads, “The Groundwork of all Happiness is Health”.  No one has a monopoly on our health, it’s up to each one of us (not our doctor) to own it.  Like I tell my students all the time, it’s hard to be happy if you aren’t healthy because it affects everything you do in life.


Bart Thurman

Copyright © 2019 Bart Thurman (Break-Free Wellness), All rights reserved.

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Kale and blueberries won’t fix your life


One of the most important things I have learned in my functional and holistic training is the idea of primary food.  This is food that does not go in your mouth.  I share with my clients that you can eat all the kale and blueberries you want, but if you hate your job for example, food will not “fix” the problem.  In fact you can have the perfect diet for you, but if you are dissatisfied and unfulfilled at work, in your relationships, have no spiritual practice, and don’t move your body, you will be unhealthy and unhappy too much of the time.

Most of us could use some serious work in one or more of these areas, and don’t realize just how much power they have over our ability to truly thrive.  Maybe you have the movement part down. You feel fit, have great energy, are confident in your body, etc., but are not happy with your relationships (partner, or anyone else you spend time around). Or you have a great career, and enjoy a deeply loving connection with your partner, but do not move your body in the right ways, and have no consistent spiritual practice.

Primary Food 3

These voids severely limit what I like to refer to as “background peace”.   How much noise is in the background of your life?  Do you feel heavy? Stressed out? Have existential angst? Always think about the past and future?  Worry too much?  You get my drift.  The list goes on and on and on.

In the past I used to think diet and exercise were all that mattered…now I know better. Over the last couple years I have focused intently on these four areas in my own life with wonderful results.  I have changed teaching positions at the school where I work, I have began to learn to move my body in different ways, and I have developed a consistent meditation practice.  I’m also working on the relationships in my life.  I cant begin to describe how much this has helped to increase my background peace, and reduce the “noise” in my head.



Its a constant work in progress, but a priority of mine and something I help my clients to focus on in their own lives.  Its also a balancing act, but balance is required.  It may never be perfect but there cannot be any gaping holes in your primary food or your happiness will suffer, a lot.  An unfulfilling career is one of the biggest contributors to unhappiness.  This is also the area most people ignore the longest, many their entire lives.  All the money in the world wont help much if you hate your boss, and/or what you do is meaningless for example.


 According to a non-profit New York based research group, 52.3% of people in the United States are unhappy at work. This number indicates that millions of people everyday drag themselves into work.  What kind of toll is this taking on their health?  Stress like this is constantly being linked to all kinds of diseases.  That’s right, you can literally make yourself sick, even die, because you opted to not make a change, or actively manage your stress.  Is it worth it in the end to spend everyday doing something you don’t want to just to pay the bills?

If you enjoyed this article and would like to learn more about breaking free and owning your health, then please sign up for my monthly newsletter here. If you are ready to chat about your health goals and challenges, then you can fill out your individual health history here.  I will be in touch promptly to set up your free, 50 minute wellness session to see if my program is a good fit for you. You can also visit to learn more about me, and my passion of helping others to not accept sub-par health.

Bart Thurman, FDN-P, INHC

Break-Free, Own Your Health