functional medicine

Off the Grid

off the grid, rest, peace, unplug, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

Sometimes we’ve just got to rest. Sometimes we’ve just got to go off grid. Sometimes we’ve just got to do nothing.

That’s what I’ve been doing this past week and it’s felt so dang good!

I turned my book into my editor last week… I was so ready to hand it off, so needing to disengage to put my brain somewhere else after the four month marathon of editing, following a four year creative…

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Foundational Intensive Nutrition Energy (FINE) Food Plan

FINE food plan, energy nutrition, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD, food as medicine, energy healing,

The Foundational Intensive Nutrition Energy Food Plan (FINE)—a Real Food Plan for Energy Nutrition

This is your foundational energy nutrition healing food plan.

In some ways this food plan is about going back to our roots. To eating real food, grown in favorable conditions, prepared simply and deliciously, shared with those we love, eaten slowly, and just enough to meet our needs.

But its also…

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Get Out of the Way of Healing

healing, nine domains of healing, self-care, self-healing, Karyn Shanks, Karyn Shanks MD

One of my greatest challenges as a physician is to get out of the way of my clients’ healing.

Inspired by wanting to help them feel better, to relieve their suffering, and achieve their goals, it’s tempting to try to “fix” things. To lock in on their pains and problems and employ every root cause-level magic bullet in the toolkit. When what they most need is for me to get out of their way.

What…

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Five Things I Must Do to Start My Day (Hint: Yep, Think Slow)

five things I must do to start the day, karyn shanks, karyn shanks md, wisdom, start slow, practice slow, slow medicine

Aren’t those things we do—and say to ourselves—in those first minutes after awakening, the tone-setters for the whole day?

Jumping out of bed and racing out of the house, coffee in one hand, kid in the other—leads one direction. (Eek! The dreaded time pressure, high survival launching out the door—I remember those days! Oh my gosh—my chest is clenching!)

Versus slow. Slow start. Slow breaths.…

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We’re Special: No One-Size-Fits-All Solutions

functional medicine, N of One medicine, personalized medicine, epigenetics

Dear Ones,

Are we just outsiders? Outliers? Losers?

Or are we unique?

We failed those treatments that came straight out of our physicians’ “practice guidelines” or that we read about on-line. Even those popular “miraculous” food and lifestyle protocols that worked so well for the authors, or our friends, did nothing for us.

What’s the problem?

Guess what? We’re not all the same.

Part of my work…

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Fewer Genes Than a Grain of Rice–Our Genetic Story

epigenetics, human genome, human potential, functional medicine

Yep. As humans, we have fewer genes in our books of life than a grain of rice. Or a worm. Or many of God’s smallest creatures.

Does that mean we’re just puny and insignificant? Do we have far fewer options than we believed? Less wiggle room as our destinies unfold? Did the genome project leave us high and dry?

Not at all. In fact, the truth about our genetic legacy is just the opposite.

Let’s…

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Conventional Western Medicine–There’s A Lot to Love

conventional western medicine, conventional medicine, acute care medicine, emergency medicine, functional medicine, holistic medicine

We’re all familiar with the ways conventional western medicine falls short—sizing us up so fast as to not hear our whole stories or treat us as whole people, not seeking root cause solutions to our problems, parceling us out among specialists who look at just one piece of us (often missing the bigger picture that provides the answers), among other things.

But that’s only because we’re…

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Doctor Do No Harm

so no harm, good doc, whole person medicine, functional medicine, love and medicine, compassionate medicine

I had a new client come to see me yesterday. This previously well, highly active, Nature-loving woman had been in excellent health until falling suddenly ill eight months ago. It took her docs six months to diagnose Lyme disease. She was the perfect candidate for this diagnosis—extensive exposure to ticks, typical symptoms for Lyme, AND her lab tests were overwhelmingly confirmatory.

The…

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Dieting for Weight Loss is a Big Fat Myth

weight loss, functional nutrition, Functional Medicine, Nutritional weight loss, optimal diet, optimal food plan, intensive nutrition, optimal body composition,

How many of us have gone on diets to lose weight? Only to fail, gain it all back, or, worse, lose the weight but feel worse (remember the low fat diets of the last century? Yah, that happened to me!)…

Ultimately it’s all about optimizing body composition—the inevitable loss of fat that occurs when we live our lives in ways that best suit our unique genetics.

That’s right—the road to optimal…

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Focus: My Five Favorite Tools for Diving Deep

focus, focus in, ADD, concentration, ADD treatment, How to focus, healthy brain

Focus Then

Focus has been a lifelong challenge for me. I frankly don’t remember studying in elementary or high school. How’d I get away with that?

I remember being antsy and impatient with reading and problem solving. What was that “x” they were talking about in algebra?!

Partly I didn’t have the tools to organize myself and get down to business (I’d never learned how). But I also had a special…

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