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Welcome to Start Somewhere, your home for a whole-body approach to vibrance, resilience, and a longer healthspan.  Dr. Debbie Ozment’s thirty-plus years in clinical practice has given her keen insights to health and wellness from a unique vantage point.  Enjoy her fresh perspectives on creating a balanced and healthy environment. Add energy and vibrancy to your life!  Start Somewhere will enable you to create your own environment of sustainable strategies to nurture your mind, body and spirit. Staying healthy need not be stressful or difficult. Dr. Debbie will provide you with scientific insights and practical techniques to guide you on your adventure. 


Living By Design: Knowledge Before Willpower

Developing a strong “Why” is always the first step to lasting change.

Intrinsic motivation (that is a solid reason for making any lifestyle change that is based on what you want for your future) is absolutely essential for modifications to last long term and become automatic.  

Without this internally generated drive, you will naturally feel deprived.  Changes are viewed as burdens! 

A well-developed “Why” changes your  “I need to” into an enthusiastic “I want to!”

Vitality, energy and resilience are what we really crave!

START SOMEWHERE today gathering knowledge to develop your “Why” for modifying your trajectory toward the life you want.  

If you struggle with food addiction, you’re not alone and it’s not because you lack mental strength.  In fact, it is very normal!  You are part of the ongoing war waged by the food industry to transform some part of fresh food into a engineered product (with an extended shelf life) that will taste so good that we will like it so much and buy it over and over.  

Their goal is to entice you to accept these products as real food instinctively.  Think of the last time you had the late-night munchies.  What food came to your mind?  Most likely, it was not an asparagus spear, a carrot, or even an apple!  Salt, sugar, and fat make us crave more salt, sugar, and fat.  These complex combinations can dull the taste of fresh food.  Despite feeling unsatisfied and possibly guilt-ridden after eating “the whole bag,” we reflexly reach for these flavored concoctions repeatedly.    

Here are key points from this week’s blog posts that go into more detail:

  1. Tuesday: The birth of engineered foods apparently started by accident when a graduate student observed a lab rat gobbling Fruit Loops.  This begged the question “What can we do to get people to gobble like that?’’  The food giants started on a quest to optimize taste and texture using salt, sugar, and fat in combinations that compel us to crave these foods and never tire of them.  It’s different with real food.  While we might love a great plate of chicken tetrazzini, we don’t want it everyday.  Nevertheless, our taste buds yearn constantly for processed foods like cheese balls or cookies, and our appetites are never quenched.  In the processed food industry, it is all about the “Bliss Point,” that perfect fusion of flavor, crunch, and mouth feel.

  2. Wednesday:  The business of engineered foods compels executives from America’s top food companies to compete for “stomach share.” This is the amount of digestive space that one processed food corporation can control over their competitors by enticing you to buy and consume their products daily.  They each work extremely hard to get us to crave their products.  Led by Dr. James Behnke, a chemist turned executive at Pillsbury, a handful of these decision makers, gathered for a meeting in 1999 to discuss the health crises, fueled by growing obesity among all ages.  The minority of these leaders had grown troubled by news of overweight children suffering from heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and high blood pressure.  However, the majority of the business leaders concluded that it was not their problem.

  3. Thursday: The burden of engineered food is a multi-million dollar science and profits override the health problems.  The concoction of this exceptionally palatable food makes it irresistible!  The intensely calculated, potent combinations of salt, sugar, and fat are designed to light up the “addiction” area of our brains to make us crave more and more and never tire of it.  David Kessler, M.D., former Food and Drug Administration director refers to this as “conditioned hypereating.”  It is one of the reasons that people in all age groups are increasingly suffering from chronic, inflammatory disorders, also known as “diseases of civilization” that have lifestyle habits at their core.

START SOMEWHERE today recognizing the power of processed foods on your life.  Hunger is not the issue.  In researching this week’s posts, I was shocked by how these foods are designed to hook us.  

Highly studied combinations of salt, sugar, and fat have drug-like qualities.  This knowledge is empowering!  When this is understood, steps can be taken to  intentionally start avoiding them and wean the taste buds off.  You can do it.  I will help you!

#AskDrDebbie:  from Brianna H:   “I have endometriosis and am wanting to avoid another surgery.  I would like to have a baby but have been put on birth control pills in an attempt to control this problem.  What ideas do you have to fight endometriosis naturally?”  

Hi Brianna:  I’m sorry that you are suffering from this painful disorder.  Although the cause is unknown, endometriosis is associated with increased inflammation and increased oxidative stress (the balance between free radicals and antioxidants) in the surrounding tissues.  Here are three simple places to START SOMEWHERE and evaluate how you feel:

  • Avoid gluten.  In a clinical trial of 295 women with endometriosis, those 207 who stopped gluten for two weeks started feeling better.  At 12 months, 156 were still gluten free and reported a decrease in pain. For some people, gluten can increase inflammation.

  • Take Vitamin C and Vitamin E.  These both decrease oxidative stress.  In a studyof 59 women ages 19 to 41, there was a decrease in inflammation in those taking 1,000 mg of Vitamin C and 1,200 mg of Vitamin E over those taking placebos.  

  • Try an anti-Candida program.  This consists of decreasing or eliminating sugar and yeast-containing carbohydrates.  The Yeast Connection and Women’s Health, by William Crook, M.D. and Living Candida Free by Ricki Heller and Andrea Nakayama are both good resources.  The possibility of Candidiasis must be considered if you have had recurrent vaginal yeast infections or a history of treatment with antibiotics, oral contraceptives, or steroid treatment.

Do you have questions? Send them to and Dr. Debbie will answer them on Friday’s!

Eating Healthy doesn’t mean it can’t taste good! This weeks recipe is proof of that!

Classic Hummus  (adapted from The Complete Mediterranean Cookbook)

Hummus, composed of only a few simple ingredients, is becoming more popular in our culture.  I absolutely love it!  Some of the recipes I’ve found are too complex for me — requiring soaking the chickpeas and then skinning them.  This is the best way if you have time!  

Here’s what you will need to create a delicious, vitality-enhancing snack:

¼ Cup Water

3 Tablespoons fresh Lemon Juice

6 Tablespoons Tahini

2 Tablespoons Extra-Virgin Olive Oil

15-ounce can or bag of Chickpeas (also known as Garbanzo Beans), rinsed

1 small clove of Garlic, minced

½ Teaspoon Himalayan Salt

¼ Teaspoon ground Cumin

Pinch Cayenne Pepper

Here’s the drill:

  1. Combine water and lemon juice.  

  2. In a separate bowl, whisk tahini and olive oil together.

  3. Process chickpeas, garlic, salt, and cumin together in a food processor until almost fully ground, which is about 15 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.

  4. With machine running, add water/lemon juice mixture in a steady stream, process for one minute, and then scrape down the sides of the bowl.  

  5. Again, with machine running, add tahini/olive oil mixture in a steady stream and process until smooth and creamy, about 15 seconds.  

  6. Sprinkle with Cayenne

The method of pureeing really works.  It keeps the chickpeas from feeling grainy.  This deliciousness can refrigerated for up to five days.  Drizzle with extra olive oil before serving.  Serve with fresh vegetables.  Try jicama for a tasty crunch!

It’s all about relationships! Living a joyful, purpose-filled, vibrant life is the goal of this blog.  These earthly bodies are going to eventually go away but they are the vehicles for our time on earth.  Lucy Larcom, an American poet and author, puts it well:  

“Everything in nature has its own intrinsic charm, as the work of its Creator’s hand; but the chief beauty of the whole lies in its suggested relations to humanity.  Things announce and wait for persons.  The house would not have been thus beautifully built and furnished, except for an expected tenant.”  

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