Chiropractic: The Essential Element of Nerve Supply (and being healthy)

by admin

How have chiropractic patients had miraculous recoveries from such diverse conditions as infertility, high blood pressure, hearing loss, and enuresis (bed wetting)?  By freeing the master system of the body – the nervous system – from interference, that’s how.

Chiropractors correct mechanical stress to the spine (called vertebral subluxation) that creates irritation and interference to the flow of information across the complex and sensitive nerve system.  This is the same reason why the healthiest families in the world, not to mention elite atheletes like Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods and Jerry Rice, make regular chiropractic care part of their health regimen.


10,000 lbs – You’re joking, right?

by drstephen



“That’s ridiculous,”  I heard myself say out loud.  I was standing in front of the dry-erase board at my local CrossFit , where each day the WOD (Workout of the Day) is posted. And that’s what it said: DEAD-LIFT 10,000 LBS AND RUN A MILE FOR TIME

My brain just reacted to the suggestion that I would even consider subjecting myself to anything close to the demands presented by the workout on that board.  I became defensive, thinking “would that even be good for me?”  I started to get irritated.   I must have felt threatened by the idea that someone else was going to come in here today and actually do this.  Eventually, I dismissed it as a prank – a joke.  Someone from the previous class must have gotten their hands on the dry-erase marker and was standing by to see our faces.  I knowingly looked over my shoulder.  No one.

I am continually amazed by the phenomenon of self-doubt.  At what point do we resist the dominant voice of fear in our heads and simply trust?  How often do we miss experiences, relationships or growth because of hesitation or uncertainty?  How can we master the primal voice of self-preservation and recognize that it is there to serve us – not enslave us.  We are created to be extraordinary beings.  We have enormous capacity.  We just need to learn how to access it.

“People overestimate what they can achieve in a day; and underestimate what they can achieve in a lifetime.” (author unknown)

Life can be overwhelming.  At times, we face challenges that may seem insurmountable.  Breathe.  Evaluate the situation, clarify the objective, and chunk it down.  Identify the highest priority action steps and knock them down – one at a time.  Most of us are already working hard enough, what we really need are better strategies.

50 repetitions of 200 lbs. is 10,000 lbs.  I can do that.  Run a quarter mile, do 25 dead-lifts, run another quarter mile, do 15 reps, run another quarter mile, do 10 reps, and finish with another quarter mile. I can do that.

“11 minutes, 31 seconds.”   I heard Danny Vee bark out over the pounding of my heart.  I had just completed what I knew was impossible 12 minutes ago.

Your 10,000 lbs. may look different than mine.  It may be a sick parent, a difficult child, financial hardship, a failing marriage, or crippling anxiety.  You may look at it with fear and doubt, or get defensive or angry, but ultimately, that does not serve you.

Know that you are magnificent and that you have capacities that you have yet to explore.  Sometimes inertia is our greatest enemy.  Doubt leads to fear, and fear creates paralysis.  Choose to change your perspective and push.  There are two ways to measure the strength of a person:  how much they can move, and how much it takes to move them.

God Bless.


Hormone Balance and Food Combining: How Proteins, Carbs and Fats Affect the Body’s Behavior

by drpaul

Balance your hormones by balancing the things you put in your mouth.  I don’t mean weighing your food or putting them on the scales of justice (although you should justify what you do eat based on how you will feel, both physically and mentally, POST consumption, NOT pre-consumption).  This is more about balancing the types of foods you eat.  That’s right:  the foods that you do or don’t eat and the combinations of them play a major role in the types of hormones that are released in your body.

The western (modern) diet basically tells our bodies one thing hormonally…GROW.  Yep, if you eat like the average American, you are eating a diet that gives you no chance at being healthy or having a “magazine-like” body.  And we’re not talking Cosmo, People or Muscle Media, we’re talking Shape or Women’s/Men’s Health, or any other magazine that depicts people who at least appear healthful.  You see, the average American eats roughly 50% of their calories from carbohydrates, and most of them come in the form of processed grains, sugar and corn syrup.

If you compare this to our ancestors’ diets, you will see a large difference in both the amount and the type.  About 25-40% of our ancestors’ diet was comprised of carbs, and those were pretty much exclusively vegetables with some fruit (not a lot).  This plays a huge role in our hormones and in our size.  Now, it is safe to say that nobody wants to be fat, but from a physiological perspective on the way that we eat in this country, it sure seems like that is the goal.  Not only are we eating tons of these processed carbs, but it is also the way that we eat them.  You see, different hormones are released, based on the food combinations that we choose.

Food Choices and Hormonal Response
What is a typical breakfast in the States (if it is even eaten)?  Cereal comes to mind, along with pastries, pop tarts, packaged waffles, bagels or toast right?  We’re not sure how mainstream media switched the good ol’ fashion steak and eggs to a sugar slap first thing in the morning, but it has happened.  Eating like this is just like a slap or a punch to the pancreas, telling insulin to be released and telling the body to grow, grow, grow.  We would have never eaten that high a sugar content or anything remotely like these foods in our hunter-gather days.  And remember, we are the same – our genes haven’t changed much, if at all, in the last 40,000 years.

You may be wondering what you should eat for breakfast; we have some ideas.

Carbs are going to spike our insulin, no matter what; however, we can curb that spike to some degree if we eat some protein and fat along with the carbs.  We are in no way recommending a high carb, high processed food diet.  It’s important to take it one step further when eating fruits and veggies.  It is best when we eat a balanced diet by consuming protein, fat and healthful carbs together at every meal.  This is the basis for The Zone Diet prescribed by Dr. Barry Sears.  Where we at Bonfire Health differs from Dr. Sears is when it comes to quality of food.  He goes into this somewhat, but we want you to focus on eating natural foods (from the earth, not processed), as well as balancing the macronutrient content (protein, carbs and fats).

By eating healthful carbohydrates (fruits and veggies), you will dramatically decrease the insulin released, which will decrease your body’s message to grow and store fat.  By going a step further, eating a small portion of lean protein (grass-fed beef, turkey, chicken, etc.) and fats (avocados, nuts, seeds) along with those carbs, you will in fact be balancing your hormones, which will keep you healthy or move you toward health!

For more info on balancing hormones through foods, as well as other great nutritional info, visit:

What is The Zone Diet

Crossfit Nutrition

The Paleo Diet

Robb Wolf

Wiki on Hormones

Grains – The Pillar of Disease

by drpaul


… and give us today our daily bread. - Matt 6:13-19

Come on, if it’s in the bible, even part of the Lord’s prayer for crying out loud, how can bread be bad? (I guess that would include bagels, pizza, cereal and crackers because they’re just variations of bread; for that matter, beer too – it being ‘liquid bread’.)

Are you sitting down? Are you ready for this – there are many, many respected scientists, researchers, doctors, athletes, and everyday people who, as part of their healthy lifestyles, do not eat bread or any wheat products (this includes the founders of Bonfire Health). Not because they have celiac disease or other gluten allergy, but because they understand how eating wheat will undermine their health in many ways.  One respected health lecturer has gone so far as to create and sell WHEAT IS MURDER tee shirts [click here if you don't believe me].

Grains are hard to digest, contain anti-nutrients gliadin and glutenin which cause intestinal permeability, promote inflammation, and cause high insulin levels – that’s a recipe for disaster/disease in the form of diabetes, obesity, cancer, heart disease and autoimmune disease (not to mention diverticulitis, a precursor to colon cancer).

Dr. Loren Cordain cites evidence in his book THE PALEO DIET, as well as his and other published research, that whole grain products frequently contribute to an elevated glycemic load because of the quantity of total grains the USDA recommends (8 ounces per day, equivalent to 8 slices of bread). Wheat in particular is problematic because it contains the proteins gliadin and glutenin, both of which are shown to increase intestinal permeability in celiac patients as well as in healthy persons.

Cordain notes that increased intestinal permeability promotes passage of a gut borne bacterial substance called lipopolysachharide into the bloodstream, producing a low-level chronic state of inflammation called endotoxemia (see Maelán Fontes’ article on Type 2 Diabetes and Endotoxemia). Endotoxemia likely underlies many chronic disease states, particularly cardiovascular disease and a number of autoimmune diseases, according to Cordain. [source: Dr. Loren Cordain comments on the  U.S. Federal Government's 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans]

I know, this is a shocker – after all, aren’t whole grains one of the pillars of health? Actually and resoundingly, NO!  It’s true – one of the quickest ways to get healthier is to stop eating grains of any sort, but especially wheat.

One problem besides the fact that people eat wheat at nearly every meal, grains in general and wheat in particular, are ‘hidden’ in many, many foods. Here’s a great article Hidden Sources of Grains.

In our house, we make cookies out of almond flour, Yambanana Bread with yams, bananas and nuts – you’d be surprised how you can still eat a healthy ancestral diet with modern recipes.


PS. The photo at the top, has another ‘devil in disguise’ – can you figure it out?


That’s right, fried food – it’s number three on the The Top 10 Disease-Producing Foods


PS. PS. Yes, although I don’t eat bread, I do still drink beer, which is in essence liquid bread – I love a good hand-crafted IPA.

$1440 a Day

by drstephen

dollar bill

Can I have 20 bucks? I am not going to give it back, in fact, it’s absolutely unrecoverable.  It’s not really going to go towards anything worthwhile, honestly. I am just going to blow it – on nothing, absolutely nothing. In fact, how about $60?

Time is the great equilibrator. Everyone gets exactly the same amount, everyday. This is a highly unique quality of time. With the exception of the day that you are born and the day that you die, you get exactly 1440 minutes to spend. Everyone, everyday.

How will you spend it?
I’ll suggest that we would all do better with our time management if we had a “Time Register” that functioned like our Check Register. Every morning at 12:00 am 1440 minutes gets deposited into our Life Time Account, which of course was emptied the day before.  What’s your plan – your budget?

How will you leverage this resource? Do you invest it? (Think study, rest, explore, experience, relate…) or will you squander it? (Think waste, worry, fear, regret, retreat…)

We would all do well to examine our “spending habits”. The Heath Brothers introduce the concept of Grasp and Twist in their book Switch. Teach a new concept by using another widely understood concept (Grasp) and then make a slight adjustment to convey the new idea (Twist).

Each moment is spent like a dollar. Every minute is invested in something. And in its own unique way, time is given to everyone equally; it cannot be stored or hoarded. It cannot be recovered or regained. It can only be used to purchase experiences. Minute by minute.

Now breathe and go do something worthwhile.

Dr. Stephen Franson

Why Whole Foods?

by admin

Why Whole Foods?
Our first priority is to eat whole, fresh foods.  This is what makes us healthy; it’s also what we have been genetically designed to eat – what is found in nature, not what is created in laboratories or mass food-producing factories utilizing chemicals.  Today, so many of our foods have no resemblance to what one would find out in nature.  These foods are simply a concoction of man-made chemicals and manufacturing processes that are sold as food.  For now, let’s concentrate on whole foods.

A loose definition of “whole foods” is that the food is eaten in the form as close to the way it’s found in nature as possible, with minimal to no processing.  There are obvious variances and limitations to these criteria, depending on the food.  For example, foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts and seeds should be eaten in their raw state, which provides the highest level of nutrients (i.e. fiber, phytonutrients, antioxidants, enzymes, water, etc.).  When those foods are frozen, canned, baked, fried, salted, etc. and/or prepared with other processed foods (e.g. an apple that is made into a “turnover” made with white flour, hydrogenated oil and high fructose corn syrup), they are moving away from the way they are found in nature and in the process, losing the majority if not all of their nutritive value and now have disease-promoting additive chemicals. In the apple turnover, the once naturally-found food, the apple, has now crossed the line from being simply non-nutritious to actually becoming a disease-producing food (the white flour and high fructose corn syrup are major contributors to the development of diabetes; the hydrogenated oil is a known causal agent for heart disease and cancer).

On the contrary, other foods such as olive oil, almond milk, and whole grains can only be eaten after a certain amount or degree of processing.  Then there are differing degrees to that processing.  For example, a cold-pressed virgin (first press) olive oil is a much better food than heat-processed oil; fresh made almond milk versus store bought almond milk differs greatly in their ingredients and nutritional make up.

The Basics
We are all part of the animal kingdom.  Yes, God has made us different from other animals in many ways; but when it comes to how our bodies function physiologically, we are no different than other animals.  Would you feed your pet dog, cat, bird, or rat chips, fries, soda pop, ice cream, cookies, crackers and expect them to be healthy?  (By the way, Dr. Paul’s kids have pet rats – they feed them raw vegetables, nuts, and avocado trimmings/leftovers, etc.).  Why not?  It’s obvious, because the pet would get sick, right?  But you say, “They’re animals!” Well, guess what?  So are we!

It is so important that you understand this concept that we have to eat naturally for our bodies to be healthy.  Our bodies are made up of between 70 – 100 trillion cells – and those cells will function according to the raw materials we provide.  In other words, the health of our cells and therefore the health of our bodies is determined by the food we feed ourselves.  YES, IT’S THAT SIMPLE!  Perhaps no other single factor has contributed to the decline in man’s health than the (self-imposed) changes that have occurred to our food supply over the past 350 years. More

Want To Be Happier? Could It Be This Simple?

by drstephen

We all want to be happier.  Even the happiest among us want to be happier still.

Know this:  Harvard University is deeply engaged in the study of happy people.  They have teased-out the common traits and behaviors of the happiest people they could find.  Here are some of the high points:

1.  Use your strengths. It turns out that when we get to do things that come easier to us, we are happier. Humans like to be good at things. Remember that the next time that you apply for a job, encourage your child or ask your spouse to help you do something.

2. Savor the moment.  Apparently we needed research to tell us to stop and smell the roses. (Or at least I did.) As the world speeds-by, it seems that those who stop to appreciate how freakin’ fortunate we all are experience greater happiness. I’ll have to schedule that.

3. Engagement. Once again, the evidence frowns on multi-tasking. It seems that trying to focus on more than one thing at a time not only interferes with accuracy, quality, creativity, production and safety; it turns out that it robs us of our happiness as well.

Do this: Embrace the fact that it is not only what we do that matters, but how we do it.  Accept that your mind is a magnificent single-processor that blooms in the light of purposeful work; do something that allows you to express your natural virtues and engage in the splendor of the here and now.


Dr. Stephen Franson

Functional Fitness – Training to Get Fit for Life

by admin

At Bonfire we recognize and advocate that being physically fit is one of the major cornerstones of being healthy.  Physical fitness does, however, incorporate a wide spectrum of concepts, theories and elements.

In addition to the many, many benefits that being physically fit creates within the realm of being healthy, we also recognize that life is filled with unpredictable physical events that require simple to complex body movements at any given moment.  Not only do we want our bodies to be able to handle these unpredictable life events without injury, but we want our level of physical fitness to enable us to negotiate them with great success throughout our lives, as did our fit ancestors.

The term functional fitness is one that simultaneously defines, describes and includes the “holistic” physical fitness objective within the Bonfire Program, which could also be called “life fitness.”  It means doing exercises or activities that imitate “real life,” full body movements through wide ranges of motion. It could be described as Compounding Fitness.  It is a form of fitness designed NOT to isolate particular muscle groups or body parts. For example, rather than performing a “bicep curl” on a machine, a functional movement exercise would be to lift a weighted object off the ground from a squatting position to a standing position, holding the object overhead – all done with careful attention paid to safe and proper body biomechanics and posture techniques.

“Functional movements are  natural, effective, and efficient locomotors of body and external objects. Functional movements are compound movements – i.e., they are multi-joint. But no aspect of functional movements is more important than their capacity to move large loads over long distances, and to do so quickly. We believe that preparation for random physical challenges (i.e., unknown and unknowable events) is at odds with fixed, predictable, and routine regimens.” []

Finally, a fitness regimen incorporating functional movements can be had by anyone, at any level, and at any age.  It doesn’t require elaborate equipment or facilities; it does, however, require effort.  Functional fitness is not, contrary to popular belief, confined to elite athletes or “strongmen.”

Here are two more great articles on this subject:
Being Fit vs. Being Healthy: The 10 Facets of Physical Fitness
Short Interval, High Intensity Exercise

Sunshine and Insulation

by drstephen

sunshine and insulation

When you build a house in New England, temperature management is a critical consideration.

The highs and lows of our seasonal temperature variations are some of the most impressive in the world.  You don’t build a house for severe winter and you don’t build a house for extreme summer – you build one that will perform well in both.

Two key considerations here: Insulation and Windows. Insulation will keep your hard-earned dollars from radiating out the roof in the winter, and well-placed windows will allow the heat of the sun to pour into your home from the Southern Skies.

This dynamic speaks to the art of raising a person as well– and not necessarily just a child, either.

People need insulation and sunshine. 

Insulation comes in many forms: intestinal fortitude, self-image, personal security, financial stability, emotional harmony, familial and social community, etc.

The same can be said of sunshine: praise, love, support, grace, honor, respect and acceptance, etc.

But often, sunshine comes in disguise. Sometimes you sense more heat than light. 

Responsibility is this type of sunshine.

I fear that all too often today leaders, teachers, and parents can be too focused on insulation, and miss the benefit of a little sunshine. We would do well to shift our focus from insulating our people in an effort to protect them. Rather than trying to keep them from struggling, we should trust our people to try and fail successfully - cope, rebound, and try again.

Plants grow toward sunshine. Innately, a plant will twist, turn, reach, and sprout toward sunlight. People, especially kids, are a lot like plants. Give them responsibility and let them have at it – they will grow to it.

Now go grow,

Dr. Stephen Franson


by MJ

Sprint Routine #1

  • Warm up with 5 minutes running at recovery pace (a little slower than your average running pace)
  • 3 rounds of: 2 minutes sprinting pace (as fast as you can), then 2 minutes back at recovery pace
  • Over time, increase to 6 rounds, and then increase your sprinting pace
Sprint Routine #2
(great if you have an outside running track near your house)!
  • Warm up with a lap around the track
  • 4 rounds of:
  • 800 m sprint
  • 200 m recovery