Dr. Berg's Story
My Health Story: The Meat and Potatoes Kid
a foot long hot dog!"
I had the typical Midwest childhood, living on meat and potatoes, with very few vegetables, if any, and tons of sugar, candy, hot dogs (extra long), and pizza. I was the kid who could never just eat one; it was as much as I could stuff in my mouth. I would down several pounds of Halloween candy in a few days and drink lots of orange and grape soda. I spent a lot of time at my grandmother’s house due to her incredible cooking ability and cake making.
I do remember at age 11, feeling weird lightheadedness after I would eat but it would go away if I ate
something sweet, which I know now was the start of my blood sugar issue (hypoglycemia). But, mostly, my body
felt fine, so there was no motivating push to eat better – I could get away with eating anything.
I then went into football, track, and wrestling and really pushed myself, not knowing about recovery and rest. This led to lots of injuries, and even bone loss (due to trying to cut weight) in high school. I used to starve myself and eat nothing, but drink a small amount of water for three days before a wrestling match to make weight. I lost several pounds, but I was exhausted and stressed. This occurred for three years. Of course, after weighing in and making weight, I would consume a VERY large submarine sandwich. I’m sure you can see where I am headed... Here’s a picture of me going to state, yet so exhausted and depleted.
– I was completely exhausted"
This cycle continued throughout college, and was compounded with lots of throat and tonsil infections (mono) and motorcycle injuries. I was starting to burn out after high school, so of course, I decided to join the army. It was a chance to play war games, shoot an M16 and grenades … so the recruiter told me. Three months later, after very little sleep, pure carbohydrate and STRESS, I could barely pass the physical fitness training.
at Ft. Sam Houston"
During college, I pretty much lived on cheap refined carbohydrates (noodles, pasta, and bread), lots of coffee (Cuban), and again never ate any vegetables. I justified it by telling myself: I’ll eat better when I graduate… right! The closest I came to improving my health was eating skinless chicken, low fat pizza, and whole wheat bread. But I did take my synthetic vitamins (Centrum Silver). I started experiencing right shoulder pain from what I thought was a motorcycle injury. Little did I know that deep fried food (using Crisco) was destroying my liver.
Your liver is on the right side of your body, near the bottom of the rib cage. Adding insult to injury, I
craved and consumed huge bags of salty Doritos and chips. The combination of bad foods, no sleep and college
stress took my health in a downward path.
I started experiencing severe heartburn and I would carry around mega-packs of antacid tablets and swallow them down like candy. I remember waking up at 3 a.m. with the feeling of a tight belt around my chest after consuming a pound of meatloaf; was I supposed to drain the fat?. Whoops. Yes, I know what you are saying... but I had a severe absence of any data on health and was very unaware.
After graduation, I started my practice, which in part, was fueled by a desire to correct my own personal health struggles. I decided it was time to be healthy, so I became a vegetarian... At least what I thought was a vegetarian, but was really a grainatarian. I tried be a vegetarian without eating actual vegetables, only cheap soy products, refined breads, pasta, and lots of prunes (to help my never ending digestive problems).
I also had ample servings of carrot juice, which I now know helped to worsen my blood sugar problem. I was
always tired, but at the same time, I couldn’t sleep. My intestines were like cement, and I had hag bags under
my eyes. I just couldn’t wake up (even after a full night of rest) and always felt half asleep.
Strangely, at night, my legs became so restless I would be forced get out of bed and run at 5 in the morning to get the energy out. I had become completely dependent on naps as well.
I remember going to the park with my kids and feeling like I was 90% still in bed. One time, going out to dinner with my wife, I told her that I had to go back in the car to take a nap, and left her alone in the restaurant. (That didn’t go over too well.) Needless to say, I was searching for solutions. I frequented virtually every vitamin and health food store, and tried all sorts of energy vitamins. I kept thinking maybe I am deficient in some vitamin, but still wasn’t getting results. One day my wife asked me if I knew the definition of hypochondriac. She said it’s the number of vitamins you have in your cupboard. And I had a warehouse!
By age 28, I had arthritis in my mid and lower back, and severe right shoulder pain. My blood sugar level was high and my diet was unhealthful. Through my research, I stumbled onto an interesting book. After reading the first chapter of Mastering the Zone (a diet book that provides information about insulin and protein requirements), I consumed a buffalo burger for breakfast instead of my regular low fat muffin, and believe it or not, I actually felt better. This was the turning point. I shifted my diet from grains and sugars to more vegetables and some protein, definitely including huge salads of kale and greens. Finally my body was bouncing back and I GOT MY ENERGY BACK! This was exciting. I finally was able to keep up with my kids.
I started studying nutrition intensely, quit my full-time chiropractic practice, and delved deeply into food therapy, acupressure, and alternative techniques. I was 32 years old. From personal experience, I was driven to study everything I could get my hands on in the fields of endocrinology, autonomic nervous system physiology, Chinese medicine, nutrition, and exercise physiology. I had a large group of my patients to test what worked and what didn’t. The results got better and better until word had spread, and I ended up teaching these methods to members of the medical profession, chiropractors, and other allied professionals. I even taught at Howard University as an associate professor. I discovered that there were four main body types, each with their own problems, solutions, and eating plans.
I started a seven-year project to write a book on these findings and published The 7 Principles of Fat Burning, which is self-published and in every book store. My mission has been to extract from the sea of confusion these very powerful technologies in the field of health and wellness, so that others can easily recapture their health, and avoid the years of frustration of trying to get your body back.