With the hundreds of supplements on the market today, it can be confusing to pick the right ones for you and to know that they are safely manufactured with the best ingredients. The FDA does not evaluate supplements before they reach the market so it is up to the consumer to know if what they are taking is healthful and beneficial.
Dr. Stephen Barkow began to see this as a problem in his practice when many patients would come in asking about a particular supplement. He noticed that most people don’t have a direction when taking supplements.
Out of those experiences, the idea for Illuminutri was conceived. Dr. Stephen Barkow and his wife, certified clinical nutritionist Pamina Barkow, decided to combine their expertise to create their own line of supplements to use with their patients as part of a comprehensive health plan.
“Patients come in with a variety of pain, from inflammation to complications from surgeries to chronic pain. I ask myself, ‘What can I do more naturally to reduce pain?’ and then I come up with recommendations for patients. It’s more of a lifestyle change than easy fixes,” said Dr. Barkow.
Pamina Barkow then works with patients to plan a diet that fits with their needs. Their supplements work within this framework to ensure that patients get adequate nutrients. They also update the Illuminutri blog with videos and articles to help others learn more about nutrition and health.
The Barkows believe that their supplements differ from most on the market today because they have a superior quality and adhere to only the highest standards. They are organic whenever possible, and all except the Omega 3 are vegan. Instead of producing a product that may or may not help people, Illuminutri’s formulas are created with the patient in mind. Formulas such as Joint and Disc Support and Natural Sleep Ease combine the best natural extracts and tell users exactly what they do and how.
“My plans for patients are customized to a point, but there are common threads that go through them; for example, I always encourage patients to eat nutrient dense and anti-inflammatory foods; with a lot of programs, that’s where they leave it. On top of that, we also try to avoid pro-inflammatory foods, like discouraging high glycemic index foods, omega 6 oils, and meats from poor sources,” said Dr. Barkow.
For a well-balanced lifestyle plan, the Barkows encourage optimizing weight through consuming adequate calories and starting an exercise program of both aerobic and strength training exercise. Adequate sleep, reducing stressors, and using whatever else is useful like physical therapy, acupuncture, or yoga is also recommended by Dr. Barkow.
“One of the first things I tell people is that health is a choice, a healthy lifestyle is a choice,” said Pamina Barkow. “We can’t always choose a chronic health problem like cancer, but it is true that health takes work. No one likes to say that, but it’s true.”
For the New Year, the Barkows advise instead of making large, wholesale commitments that are easy to make mistakes with, consider starting by cutting out or reducing your intake of high glycemic index foods, avoiding fatty meats, or switching to whole grain and alternative sweeteners. Add in exercise where you can and pick something you can stick with. Start with smaller steps, and by setting smaller attainable goals, you’ll experience success and it will be easier to add to that success.
image via Illuminutri.com