A Day at Epcot: Disney RV Trip 2015

Join us as we spend the day at Disney’s Epcot theme park! We really had a blast this day, and I think you will too!

We rode as many rides as we could, and I brought the camera along for the fun! On this day we rode our FAVORITE ride in all of Disney, “Test Track”! We loved it, and I hope you all enjoy it. We also rode other rides, and watched the Illuminations fireworks and laser show that night. Thanks for watching, and enjoy the magic!


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Posted by on November 6, 2015 in Uncategorized


A Day At Disney’s Animal Kingdom: RV Road Trip 2015

Join us as we spend a day at Disney’s Animal Kingdom! In this video you will experience the views of the Kilimanjaro safari ride, the live Lion King Show, the Finding Nemo Musical, and TONS of other amazing live animals! We enjoyed the Animal Kingdom very much, and the quality of the displays and to obvious care the park takes of the animals is nice to see. We would definitely do it again! I hope you enjoy, and stay tuned for Epcot and the Magic Kingdom!

Animal Kingdom_Fotor_Fotor

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Posted by on November 3, 2015 in Uncategorized


Bushcrafting Kit Version 2.0: My Bushcraft “EDC”

In this video I look in detail at my current Bushcrafting kit, I consider it my Bushcrafting “EDC”. This kit is what I use when I head out into the woods for the day just to have some fun…what I always have with me. Process some wood, start a fire, cook some breakfast or lunch, and just generally lounge around and enjoy what God has given us in nature! I hope everyone enjoys it.

Bushcraft Kit 2_Fotor

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Posted by on November 1, 2015 in Uncategorized


Disney RV Trip 2015: A Quick Day at Hollywood Studios

This is the first video in our new RV Travel Series from our recent trip to Disney World in Orlando! We stayed at the Campground at Fort Wilderness and it really was a magical trip!

We arrived on a Saturday afternoon around 1PM and headed to Hollywood studios as quickly as we could. Unfortunately I was not able to video too much that day due to time, but we had a blast! Stay tuned for much better videos from the Animal Kingdom, Epcot, and of coarse the Magic Kingdom. Before we headed home we even made a trip to TALLADEGA Superspeedway for an exciting NASCAR weekend. Thank you all for your continued support, and I look forward to continued fun on the channel!

Hollywood Studios_Fotor


Posted by on October 28, 2015 in Uncategorized


RV Charleston/Savannah Road Trip Day 4

In this video I start the day with a beautiful hike in the marshland and coast of Skidaway Island State Park, and then we make our way to James Island County Park just outside of Charleston, SC. It was a beautiful day, and only around a 2 hour drive through the backwoods of the Lowcountry. Thanks for watching!

GA-SC Vaca Day 4_Fotor

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Posted by on October 16, 2015 in Uncategorized


RV Road Trip Day 3: Fort Pulaski National Monument

Join us on day 3 of our recent RV road trip as we visit historic Fort Pulaski National Monument outside Savannah, GA. The history found inside these 11 foot brick walls is amazing! Enjoy a little history about the fort, and a tour in High Definition!

Thanks for watching! Make sure and subscribe to our channel so you won’t miss our next RV Road Trip video, or any other fun videos…you never know what’s next!

Vacation DAY 3Fort Pulaski_Fotor

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Posted by on September 27, 2015 in Uncategorized


Morning Hike, New Bushcrafting Gear, and VR to Peakbaggers for Cancer (Ridgewalker) about GOD!

Recently Joshua Lyons published a shout out video on his channel Peakbaggers for Cancer entitled “A shoutout to God & Where I’m heading next!” and it inspired me a great deal. I commented on his video and said I would soon post my own shoutout to God, and it is near the end of this video!

This video is a morning hike I took on the Wild Azalea Trail here in Louisiana. I’ll show you in detail where I went, and we visit Clear Creek which is a great place to camp along the trail. I stop and show you some cool new gear I got for my birthday…

My LT Wright GNS Scandi Knife

Wetterlings Bushman Axe by Les Stroud #178

Leather Drawstring Pouch

All of these items are great additions to my kit! Along the way enjoy some of the beautiful scenery found on the Wild Azalea Trail, the longest footpath in Louisiana!

I end with my aforementioned shoutout to God. I encourage anyone out there who shares Joshua and I’s views on Jesus to post a VR themselves and share that word. This is after all what we are called to do…

And He said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men.” Matthew 4:19 NASB

WAT Hike-Bushcraft Gear-God_Fotor

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Posted by on September 24, 2015 in Uncategorized


My Experience Prescribing Diet Pills: An Internist’s Perspective Revisited

My Experience Prescribing Diet Pills: An Internist’s Perspective Revisited

In the last several years a variety of new weight loss pills have been approved by the FDA.  It took several tries to get them approved, and even the approval committee members are impressed by one aspect of the drugs…their apparent lack of data supporting effectiveness.  The rationale for approving them anyway is that they feel physicians need SOMETHING to battle the growing obesity epidemic.  Some have even been tied to the treatment of type 2 diabetes which is a whole other blog post all together!  It’s essentially an “all we got at this point” attitude.  Just think about that!  What a lazy way to approach such a huge problem!

I would like to give you my experience on prescribing diet pills in detail.  I hope that through my eyes you can ultimately see how I feel about them.  So, here we go.  In 3 years of residency, and going on 10 years of private practice, I have prescribed diet pills a grand total of ZERO times.  Have I been asked for them…many, many, many times.  Why don’t I give them out?

First is the safety factor.  For years diet pills have emerged and one by one they have been taken off the market for unforeseen side effects.  Normally these are not run of the mill side effects; they are normally severe cardiovascular ones.  In my first few months in private practice I was called to the ER to see a 30’s year old female that apparently had congestive heart failure.  I found it odd of course because of her age, and I was curious to talk to her more in detail.  Come to find out she had take Fen-Phen for around ONE MONTH a few years earlier, and had developed severe valvular heart disease which had stricken her with chronic and severe heart failure.  Just telling me the story you could see that she felt like a fool for having done it, especially since she was not that overweight to start with.   What started out as a quest to lose a quick 6-8 pounds had landed her with a chronic incurable problem.  As we all know she was not alone, and this drug was fairly quickly taken off the market due to serious cardiovascular adverse events.

Until recently it had been 13  years since a weight loss pill had been approved by the FDA.  Both drugs recently approved were denied in 2010 due to safety concerns.  The first issue seems to be an increase in tumors when studied in rats.  In addition, the more serious concern is that the drugs could cause damage to heart valves (sound familiar). Is it worth the risk?

So, what do I tell my patients when they ask for pills?  Diets by nature are designed to either be on them, or be off them.  You lose weight when on a diet, and gain weight when off a diet.  If you can transform a “diet” into a permanent lifestyle change then you have a chance of success long term.  Successful long term weight loss on traditional low fat, high carbohydrate diets is uncommon because it is very hard to lose weight in an excess-insulin environment.  Read some books by Gary Taubes to learn more about how low fat diets can actually lead to weight gain long term.  I agree with him not only because I believe and understand the science, but also because I see it week in and week out in my patients.

Diet pills have always been something you prescribe for a short period of time as they are not safe at all over more than a month or two.  Losing weight with pills requires simple steps…insert pill and swallow water.  There is no associated change in eating patterns, exercise habits, meal preparation, etc.  Diet pills do not lead to CHANGE, they simply may lead to minimal short term gain in the form of weight loss.  They do not work long term, end of story.  If there was a magic pill, does anyone think there would be a fat doctor on the planet?!

The Paleo diet stops the insulin train and allows you to control your cravings and hunger with an easy to follow long term LIFESTYLE change.  You cannot “do” Paleo for a few months and then go back…it just won’t work.  That’s the difference between a lifestyle change and a diet plan.  One works…one does not.

Do we know for certain that any of the diet pills that recently gained FDA approval will cause serious side effects?  Of course not.  Do we know that people taking the pill will gain minimal short term success, and very little if any long term success?  Absolutely!  How about working on changing school diets, improving access to fresh and local produce/protein, eliminate misleading advertising on products making them look healthier than they are (my personal favorite would be the “Heart Healthy Whole Grain” sign on a box of Lucky Charms), changing the food pyramid to better agree with the science of nutrition as we know it, or something as simple as requiring calorie information on every menu in the country?  As long as these ideas are harder than “Open mouth, insert pill, swallow water”…we will continue to lose this battle.

Diet Pills?…just go Paleo instead



Posted by on September 14, 2015 in Uncategorized



My YouTube channel has really grown in recent months, and I wanted to thank my subscribers by doing a giveaway once I get to 500 subscribers!  Watch the video and learn what you can win; I tried to make a nice mix of items inclusive of the varied type of content I cover her on PaleoHikerMD.

Entering is as easy as 1, 2, 3

  1. Subscribe to the Channel
  2. Like this video
  3. Comment on this video “Please Enter Me”

Once I get to 500 subscribers I’ll put everyone in a hat and you could be the lucky winner!  Thanks again for all your support, and I look forward to trying to put out more interesting and higher quality videos in the months to come.

Please share, re-tweet, re-blog, +1, etc to get the word out so we can give these goods away soon!

500 Sub Givaway_Fotor

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Posted by on September 12, 2015 in Uncategorized


Statin Drugs, Inflammation, and Paleo: My Take Revisited

I tweeted a link to a study today about the use of Statin cholesterol drugs in essentially any patient over the age of 50, and how routine use in these patients significantly lowered their risk for a significant cardiovascular event (heart attack or stroke).  Now before you just dismiss this as another example of how big pharma is trying to take over the world, let me tell you why you need to pay attention to this study.

First of all it’s big…like 175,000 people big.  In the world of clinical studies, that’s a very impressive number.  The more patients take part in a clinical trial the more powerful it is in general.  This study took 175K people and showed that even in patients with a very LOW risk for heart disease, statin drugs improved their risk of events significantly.  Is this surprising?  Not at all!

Several years ago the so called JUPITER trial looked at the ability of statin drugs to lower what is called highly sensitive CRP (hsCRP).  Studies have shown a very nice correlation between hsCRP levels and short term risk of heart attack.  Levels below 1 are good, between 2-3 are moderate risk, and between 4-10 are high risk for badness.  This trial took 18,000 patients with low LDL (bad cholesterol) and no cardiac risk factors and put them on statins vs. placebo.  The results were so beneficial for the statin group that the study was called off early to allow the placebo group the chance to take a statin.  The marker used to track benefit was a consistent drop in hsCRP in the statin group.

So what does that mean?  CRP is what we call a marker of inflammation.  A regular CRP measures levels of inflammation throughout the entire body, while hsCRP was developed specifically to look at inflammation in the cardiovascular system.  So if we can lower the hsCRP it means that we are lowering the inflammation in the cardiovascular system (easiest way to look at it).  In turn, if statins lower hsCRP, then they must have anti-inflammatory activity right?

That is absolutely right.  It has always been known that statin drugs have a kind of two tiered mechanism of action.  The significant improvement we see in cardiovascular risk seen in patient’s taking statins is too great to be coming only from a simple drop in the patient’s cholesterol.  Statins go into the inflamed walls of diseased arteries and block inflammation.  They are what we call “Plaque Stabilizers.”  Heart attacks and strokes occur when an artery wall is inflamed and swollen with inflammatory markers and cholesterol.  A plaque can be “stable” when it is relatively dense, or “unstable” when it is fluffy and chock full of inflammation and fat.  One little irritation in the cap of an unstable plaque leads to a lighting fast inflammatory response and acute blockage of the artery with a clot.  Anything downstream does not get oxygen; if its heart tissue you get a heart attack, if it’s brain you get a stroke.  So statins without doubt lower your risk of heart attack by lowering your cholesterol, as well as lowering the inflammation in your arterial walls.  This is essentially fact.

Another action statins have on the inflammatory cascade of heart disease is that they counteract the known inflammatory effects of Omega-6 fatty acids.  In our world where the fat pendulum has swung almost completely to the Omega-6 (over Omega-3) side of the aisle, there is no surprise that statins help so much.  Again, this is essentially fact.

The mistake that was made many years ago was in believing that statins purely lowered heart disease risk by lowering blood cholesterol levels.  Linear thinking led to the belief that lowering dietary cholesterol and fat MUST in turn lower heart disease risk as well.  Good idea, just not the right idea!  Statins REALLY work through their anti-inflammatory properties to lower cardiovascular risk, but we didn’t figure that out till later!  Easy mistake to make, but now that we know the rest of the story, we need to go back and correct our thinking.  Unfortunately that is proving more difficult than many of us would like.

One other thing to discuss is side effects of these medicines.  I am completely amazed at the generalized fear and misrepresentation of the side effects of statin drugs.  They have clear and known potential risks, particularly concerning the liver and with generalized muscle weakness.  That being said, I can say in my clinical experience these drugs are generally very well tolerated and safe.  I have been prescribing statins for near 11 years in both training and private practice, and I know of one definitive case of rhabodomyolosis (life threatening muscle breakdown) and only a handful of cases involving significant (but fully reversible) liver inflammation from the drugs.  Are statins for everyone? No.  Are they the most dangerous drugs in the world that should be pulled off the market?  Absolutely not.  They are safe, and they work.

So, what am I saying?  Does everyone need to be on a statin?  Well, if we don’t change our dietary ways as a society the answer may be yes!  In my humble opinion there is a better way of course!  Say for example we significantly curtail wheat in our diet, as well as any other similar proteins that can cause generalized inflammation in our bodies.   This should in theory lower our overall CRP levels, and likely our hsCRP levels as well.  In addition, what if we concentrated on changing the fatty acid profile of our foods to shift the Omega-3:Omega-6 ratio back to the side of Omega-3s.  This would be like turning back the hands of time in our food supply to a time when corn, soy, and wheat did not dominate our agriculture.  We know (fact) that Omega-3 fatty acids are not atherogenic so we would easily lower our cardiovascular risks as a whole.  With these two actions as a society we would accomplish the same thing as giving everyone a statin.  Amazing huh?

The problem is that these changes would be very hard to bring around.  It is easy for us to sit on our Paleo high-horses and state the obvious, but it will be a real battle.  A fundamental change in the way we raise our protein in America and around the world will be a daunting task.  Finding ways to affordably feed the world’s population without a dependence on extremely cheap wheat based products will take years of work.  It is not easy, but I feel it must be done.

I hope this helps you think twice next time you see a headline about the benefits of a drug.  Before you spout off some diatribe about the evils of big pharma, look closely at what it’s all about.  Are statins overused?…according to this study they should be used more!  And, we likely WILL use them more.  That being said Statins work, they are safe, and most interestingly they teach us a great deal about inflammation, heart disease, and why our beloved Paleo lifestyle works.

I hope this all made sense to everyone.  If you have any questions leave a comment or feel free to tweet me at @PaleoHikerMD.

In the end…it’s ALL about inflammation!


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Posted by on September 11, 2015 in Uncategorized

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