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 http://www.breakfreewellness.net 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



Top Ten ‘Other’ Weight Loss Strategies (#2)

Do you eat real food or food like substances?  When I first heard the phrase, “food like substance” it really struck a chord with me.  The majority of the American diet is precisely that. People everyday put things they believe to be food into their mouths without really thinking about what it is doing to them on a physical, mental or even spiritual level.

What we eat becomes an expression of ourselves, its information and instruction for our cells to do this or that and it is something we have control over. The study of epigenetics hypothesizes that we actually have the ability to turn genes on or off. Cancer genes, diabetes genes, heart disease genes, weight loss genes, etc., etc.  Were beginning to understand that just because Grandpa and his family had disease ‘x’ it doesn’t mean you have to as well.  Same goes for weight loss.


#2: Refined & Processed Foods

So what does it mean to process a food?  Things like smoking, drying, dehydrating or freezing for example are all ways to process the things we eat.  These forms of processing can be quite healthy and make food last longer if done right.

We all know what junk food is and what it looks like.  You have all seen the super colorful bags, boxes and cans displayed at the local grocery store.  I used to work for 7-up and there was a lot of marketing that went into displaying things in a certain way so as to entice consumers to buy our product.  From gizmos, to gadgets to free giveaways and even a lame pin-up calendar of the 7-up truck drivers!  Trust me that was nasty and you do not want to be subjected to it:)


Not eating junk food may seem like a no brainer when it comes to weight loss yet too many people still believe that if what they eat is low-calorie and/or low-fat it will prove to be an ally in their weight battle. Nothing could be farther from the truth.  These franken foods are full of garbage our bodies do not recognize and overtime can wreak havoc as our internal systems attempt to adapt (including blood sugar fluctuations leading to insulin resistance which promotes weight gain and eventually a lovely case of type II diabetes). These lab made foods are created to be quickly and easily consumed which makes us eat more than we should.


All the junk food companies want their product right at eye level so you don’t miss them.  These are the very definition of food like substances (Oreos, Doritos, sodas, pastries, crackers, cookies, cereal the list goes on and on).  Flip them over and check out the ingredients and you will find stuff like: enriched flour, phosphates, sodium bicarbonate, corn syrup, sodium diacetate, (ya I spell checked it) artificial flavor, soybean oil, sugar, vegetable oil, raisin paste, modified cornstarch, etc. Ingredients like these are loosely regulated and vaguely labeled and there is very little knowledge of how they truly affect us.  The only proof is how much better you feel once you stop eating them and opt for real food.  This should be a HUGE indicator that they are doing damage and contributing to the health crisis in all modern economies.

Some of the above ingredients are banned in Europe and other countries as a whole list of health problems are linked to them.  Guess where I found these particular ones? In the elementary school where I teach.  It’s some of what my students eat for breakfast in the form of pizza, corn dogs and something resembling a cookie.  Yes, for breakfast and we wonder why so many kids are overweight, act out all the time, are moody, have ADHD, ADD and a host of other acronyms we like to slap on them in order to make prescribing drugs a lot easier.  I still remember one of my students who was a handful.  They put him on Ritalin and he became a ghost of his former self, almost zombie like.  It was as unnatural as anything I’ve witnessed.

Big Mac Kids

I can eat an entire box of crackers if I want to.  That is a crazy amount of calories and yet I’m still hungry.  Why? Because I have the calories and no nutrition. This is exactly what junk food companies design their products to do. Larger companies even have “food scientists” who engineer foods to appeal to our natural cravings. We love sweet and salty things and as you know most junk food is chock full of one or both. These so-called scientists turn processed foods into drugs which makes it very hard to stop eating them.  A lot of people experience withdrawals when they cut back or quit cold turkey just like with alcohol or street drugs which speaks to how proficient these scientists are at their craft.

Real, whole, nutrient dense foods taste just as good and without question are much more satisfying. When you eat this way you naturally stop when full and your cravings for junk food diminish over time as you crowd them out.  This leads your body to its natural “set point” that Jonathon Bailor talks about in his book, “The Calorie Myth”.   If you’re looking to achieve your natural, healthy set point (weight) look no further than eating real food (including plenty of healthy fats like real butter, coconut oil, olive oil, ghee, avocado, lard, etc.)  It will change your life…and allow you to lose your excess baggage.

If you enjoyed this article and want to learn more about all things health and wellness then please follow my blog (left side of any page on my site) and/or subscribe to my monthly newsletter.  I will send you an excellent, free eBook on the 5 critical pillars of health as a thank you for your newsletter subscription!

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health

What price do you put on your health?


New Year, New You

Learn how to live strong in 2015

This time of year many people think about their priorities and what will help make them happy. Then they start down that path after setting a few New Years resolutions and by February its back to the status quo.   Frustrating for sure and a big reason this happens is because they do not have the support they need. Someone to empower, coach and hold them accountable until they have, “learned to fish” and can feed themselves.

My Facebook page states, “The Groundwork For All Happiness Is Health”, words that I live by and deeply believe in.  Physical health yes, for sure but health is much more than just that. Eating kale all day and working out will only get you so far if you hate your job.  Anybody with me here?  In the past I have been super fit but absolutely loathed my career which greatly affected my happiness.  We spend most of our time working so its critical we enjoy what we do for a living or our health and happiness suffer.  Same with our relationships. If you can’t stand your partner try eating more kale and see if it fixes the problem.  Not going to happen.

People will drop $600 for a new iPhone, $175 for new shoes or the cable bill but freak out if they have to spend an extra 75 cents on an organic apple or pay a few more dollars per pound for grass-fed beef.  What the hell?  Can you enjoy your shoes, your new gadgets and watching TV if you feel like crap all the time?   How much money have you wasted on drugs, surgeries, doctor visits, hospital stays, etc., much of which is preventable?  What are you missing out on in your life by accepting sub-par health on any level?

Most of us just don’t realize how much control we have over our health.  Yes it may cost you more at the grocery store. Yes it may mean giving up or cutting back on some things you think you can’t live without.  Yes you will have to exercise and get some sun. Mostly it means taking your life back, saving thousands on future medical expenses, being a whole lot happier than you are now and just kicking ass when it comes to life.  Are you ready to break free?

If you or anyone you know could use a little hand holding in the above areas then please send them to www.breakfreewellness.net.  Its my job to guide my clients in improving their quality of life…for life.  If you don’t have your health your missing out on a lot of things you should be enjoying. Your missing out on life.  Empower yourself, I’ve got your back.

Om Shanti,

Bart Thurman–Break-Free Wellness
FDN & IIN Nutrition Practitioner
1507 18th Ave
Longmont, CO 80501
720-849-0124 Office
Break-Free, Own Your Health

30 Day Intro Real Food Challenge!


Happy New Year!

Are you ready to break free of the current paradigm?

Your journey to health starts small…with just one step.  I remember several years ago deciding okay, I’m going to not eat anything with high fructose corn syrup after researching its many negative effects on the body.  I figured this would be ALL I did because what a pain in the a$$ that was!  Fast forward to today and I can honestly say its much easier.  It took me awhile to get to where I am and my quest continues.  I feel great, I maintain a nice lean weight without obliterating myself working out, my focus, clarity and mood are vastly improved, my tennis elbow is all but a non-factor and I have healed myself from a health condition my doctor could do nothing for among many other things.  We have SO much more control over our health than we realize. This all started with one small step that is allowing me to live a fuller life than I was previously.

Think about everything you put in your mouth as a choice.  Over time making small healthy choices can have a profound impact on your health. With this in mind I decided to create the 30 Day Intro Real Food Challenge and invite my clients, newsletter subscribers, my blog followers, friends and anyone else in the universe to join the JERF (just eat real food) parade. Starting Friday January 9th we will begin with a simple 3 day cleanse and then slowly start to eat more and more real food.  In fact the first few weeks are dedicated to this so its okay if you don’t know how to eat 100% real food yet.  The important part is to just take that first step.

The point of the challenge is to help you begin to crowd out the less healthy foods with better choices as the month progresses.  As you eat more real food you will naturally eat less garbage. The last week of the challenge, week 4, the goal will be to eat 100% real food the entire 7 days using the recipes, ideas, experimentation and knowledge you’ve gained from everyone in the group up to that point.  To help us get started I will be including a 1 week meal plan to give you an idea of how to rally up and do this. If there is one takeaway from everything I have learned in my nutrition studies and hours of research is that it always comes back to eating real food…always.

We will work, communicate, support and share within the Facebook group, 30 Day Real Food Challenge.  Lastly don’t forget to join my newsletter for monthly articles, tips and advice on the latest in health and wellness. Upon doing so you will be entered into a drawing to receive a free bottle of doTERRA essential oils and you will get a fantastic free e-book on the 5 critical pillars of health.

Om shanti,

Bart Thurman–Break-Free Wellness
FDN & IIN Nutrition Practitioner
1507 18th Ave
Longmont, CO 80501
720-849-0124 Office

Break-Free, Own Your Health

Are you waiting to be sick?


There are literally millions of people in the world who are not seriously sick but at the same time are never seriously “well” either.  They all suffer things that keep them from ever functioning at 100% and these “things” prevent experiencing a full life. The sad truth is that most people just come to accept their suffering and rationalize it away blaming it on age or something else they cant control for example.  What they MUST realize is that they do have control! However because they do not understand this they go to the doctor and he/she prescribes a pill, potion, cream etc., and they just deal with it and see it as normal.  Trust me, its not. Some of these symptoms include:

  • Sweet cravings and roller coaster blood sugar levels
  • Digestive distress of all kinds (gas, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, etc)
  • Struggling to lose weight
  • Poor sleep quality
  • Low level, chronic background stress that never really goes away
  • Flat out high intensity stress/anxiety
  • Up and down energy levels including the afternoon crash
  • Skin issues

What many people don’t see is that these symptoms are anything but normal and instead are signs that your health is slowly declining and your body is malfunctioning.  They rarely tend to go away on their own and if left unchecked can lead to very serious health conditions farther down the road of life. This is because they are warning signs that something isn’t running right inside your body.  Your body is amazing and will do everything in its power to adapt and continue the fight but eventually you will break down if something doesn’t change.

Woman trying to sleep

Lets use an airplane analogy.  If the pilot see’s warning lights on the dashboard indicating there is an engine problem he is going to land and address the issue.  If he ignores the warning it isn’t hard to figure out what might happen.  Lets talk for a second about why you shouldnt ignore these symptoms:

  • Digestive problems.  Most people accept constipation, loose stool, bloating and gas as routine but they can lead to serious, deeper problems.  Everyone has heard by now how important gut health is, it truly is a place from which much of our health begins.
  • Low Libido & general fatigue.  Do you have a hard time just getting through the day? Do you crash all the time after lunch?  Is it extremely difficult to get out of bed most mornings? Is your sex drive non-existent much of the time? Again most folks see these things as rather normal and part of the aging process but they are important to address and correct in order to avoid more serious pitfalls.
  • Aches and pains.  Do you constantly have aches and pains in your joints/muscles?  This is very likely a sign of underlying inflammatory processes and might just be simply something your eating.
  • Weight problems.  Approximately 1/3 of Americans are obese and another 2/3 are overweight.  The health problems associated with being over weight are well documented.
  • Sleep problems.  Studies show that people who get fewer than 7 hours of sleep are at higher risk of death and have a harder time keeping the weight off.  Poor sleep is a sign of distress (physical, emotional, mental, etc).
  • Background chronic stress, depression, anxiety, brain fog.  We now know that cognitive & and mood disorders can be caused as least in part by inflammation inside the body.  Stress itself can increase internal inflammation.
  • Skin breakouts.  Most of the time skin issues can be traced back to whats going on internally.  Breakouts are another sign of underlying inflammation inside the body.

Hopefully the above symptoms are not something you deal with frequently but if they are there is good news.  I have read account after account of individuals who have suffered these problems as well as more serious conditions and everyone of them will tell you that there were a handful of “controllable” variables that played the largest role in their healing process.  I’m talking basic things here that just simply get taken for granted.  Things that we do not understand the power of so do not make them a priority in our lives:

  1. Exercise/movement.  We were born to move, it’s that simple.  The exciting thing is you don’t have to kill yourself at the gym to move.  Start by just finding any opportunity you can to move more.  When you do exercise keep it short (10-20 min) and include intense bursts of movement that really get your heart rate up no matter what kind of activity your engaged in. Research is showing that this type of exercise is much more effective than plodding along on the treadmill for an hour at a steady pace for example.
  2. Diet.  Eat more nutrient dense, real food.  If you give your body what it needs it will function at a higher level…the level is up to you.  Cut back on the processed, fake, sugary foods that are so abundant in our country. If it has more than 5 ingredients think about finding something else.
  3. Sleep.  Your body has to recover on a daily basis.  Deep tissue healing and recovery need to occur each night and it does not happen if you’re not sleeping.  Make sure your room is dark, take at least 30 min to wind down before going to bed, keep the gadgets and electronics out of the bedroom, don’t eat a large meal right before bedtime, and start a simple breathing/meditation practice before hitting the pillow.  Start by making sleep a priority, few do. There are many, many steps you can take to enjoy a more restful nights sleep.
  4. Manage/control stress.  Again a simple meditation practice can work wonders when it comes to stress like the 4-7-8 breathing technique (inhale four seconds, hold for 7 seconds, exhale for eight seconds, repeat for a total of 4 breath cycles twice daily at least).  Read books like, “The Power of Now” by Eckart Tolle which instruct on how to be more aware and conscious of what we are doing so we can stop negative behavior in its tracks.

Do you suffer with any of the above symptoms?  What have you tried? Please share these and any other thoughts in the comments section.

Bart Thurman

Break-Free, Own Your Health