Dr. Kristy Appelhans, Naturopathic Doctor and Sports Medicine Consultant

2035 Westwood Blvd Ste 209 Los Angeles, CA 90025 phone: (310) 281-6926
Dr. Kristy Appelhans is a naturopathic medical doctor focused in the treatment of a variety of disorders including digestive diseases, allergies, skin conditions, insomnia, and, hormonal imbalances. In addition, she has a significant background and expertise in therapeutic nutrition for weight management, athletic performance, diabetes, high cholesterol, digestive dysfunction, and optimal health. Dr. Appelhans offers her patients many treatment options using an integrative medicine approach with both alternative or complementary medicine as well as conventional medicine. She feels that educating her patients and the community is an effective way to promote and improve health and healthcare. She has opened her blog to altMD users to further reach the community in talking about common health concerns.

Visit Dr. Kris's blog to stay up-to-date on current health issues, visit her website at www.privatehealthcarenow.com  or reach her directly with your questions at drkris@privatehealthcarenow.com
Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Ensuring that you are getting a wide variety of nutrients is an essential step to supporting the healthy development of your baby and maintaining your own health during pregnancy. Various nutrients are often lacking in our daily diets despite our best efforts. So it is important to continue taking your prenatal vitamin throughout your pregnancy in addition to choosing a healthy diet to make sure you are meeting all vitamin and mineral needs on a daily basis. Other supplements that can help include Omega 3 fatty acids. Omega 3 supplementation offers a variety of benefits and the key components of Omega 3 fatty acids are EPA and DHA. Amongst many other functions, EPA supports important processes involving the immune system while DHA supports the brain, eyes, and central nervous system. Omega 3 supplements vary in their dose of EPA and DHA as well as in their general quality. Up to 300 mg of DHA daily is considered safe for pregnant and lactating women and any product should be used as recommended on the label. As mentioned in the note below, more is not always better. It is also important to find a high quality supplement and if the source of Omega 3 in the supplement is fish oil, be sure that the manufacturer has adequate controls for potential toxins such as mercury. For example, Nordic Naturals is amongst the reputable brands which I would recommend for my patients. Finally, supplementing about 1-2 grams daily of Vitamin C is also ideal as this nutrient is an important immune-supporting water-soluble antioxidant which is generally safe during pregnancy. *Note: it is important to recognize that some nutrients can be harmful to you and your fetus at certain doses. If you are considering additional supplementation other than what is indicated above, you should discuss this with your health care provider to determine what is most appropriate for your individual needs.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Some have been noticing/asking so here it is. I am starting to feel like my old self again. Didn't take much. I dropped about 5 pounds since last week. Less bloating/water retention, a little more definition, energy so much better, mood better, workout stronger. What is my secret? Stop eating too much junk and drink more water, a lot more! Yeah, it was pretty much that simple. Of course after just 1 week, only a small fraction of the weight loss is "real weight", but it makes a big impact visibly and physically (clothes are fitting better) and the motivation from that alone has kept me positive and focused. This allows for the fat loss to be more evident and with these changes in place it is sure to come. And I am not starving or carb deprived. I simply maintained about a 2000 kcal diet depending on my energy expenditure amount and type while factoring in my BMR (basal metabolic rate). I also made sure I consumed enough protein. Everything else fell into place. It helps that I am a retiring pro figure/fitness competitor who has competed for more than a decade, I am very intense in the gym and rarely skip my scheduled workouts (with myself not a trainer), but everyone can get there. You can get to a place where it takes a little less effort and the diet can be reasonable/lenient to maintain your hard earned results. It can be a manageable lifestyle if you want it to be. Fitness and health is not a one size fits all journey though. Finding an individualized diet and exercise program is key. There may be some similar concepts shared in other success stories, but it always comes down to your individual health status, progress, goal type and measurement for success which makes a significant difference in the approach. Interested? Ask me how you can get there!

Saturday, December 19, 2015

I have had so many conversations around this lately that I am going to put a bit of my personal journey out there to show I do believe and practice what I preach. After only a week and a half of more consistently following my own long-standing advice called "just eat a reasonable amount of food and cut out processed and chemically-laden junk in your life", I am down 3 pounds. Just using optimal timing for my eating schedule as well as decreasing my exposures to certain environmental nastiness. Feeling great! No extremes, no starving, didn't change workout at all. It feels like I am not even trying, just being a little more conscious. Many of you may know that I have been a competitive figure athlete for more than 12 years now. However, my only supplements right now are a multivitamin and a fish oil. Keeping it simple for the time being. You may be saying, I want to try this! How long do I do it? 10 days, 21 days, a month or two? You do it for the long haul. Weight loss happens folks, but just need to remember to be honest with yourself and above all, be patient. Without extremes, healthy and permanent weight loss can take months to achieve (years depending on how much you are trying to lose). It is a journey and you must make it your lifestyle. So many things that we are exposed to impact the way our bodies react including water retention, inflammation, emotional health, energy levels, pain and "weight" gain. It is far beyond just calories in and out and. What we feel, breathe, apply, eat, and drink all can affect us profoundly, synergistically, and/or cumulatively. Below are a few basic principles to follow which can make a significant and positive difference in any of the conditions mentioned above and more:

1. avoid plastic - do not cook in plastic, store food in plastic, or drink from plastic

2. avoid all perfumes, additives, preservatives, and dyes which can be found in foods, drinks, cosmetics, soaps, lotions, hair products, dish or laundry detergents, cat litter, and other items (one way to do this is by choosing the "free and clear" labeled products)

3. where applicable choose foods that are organic, hormone free, uncured, antibiotic free, and non-GMO

4. if you are going to eat canned goods, choose BPA free cans

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Got a craving to fix and want a filling snack or small meal? Try this low-fat, high-fiber, protein-rich, antioxidant-packed delicious, sweet craving crushing treat! So quick and easy it takes only about  five minutes to prepare.

What you will need:

1 small or 1/2 large sweet potato (cooked)

1/2 Scoop MetRx Protein and Oats Vanilla and Cinnamon Flavor

1Tsp Organic honey

2T of PB2 dried/defatted peanut butter

1/8 cup of egg whites

How to Prepare:

mix PB2, egg whites and protein powder into a bowl until creamy (spreadable)

Spread mixture over open hot sweet potato

drizzle honey over the top


Total Calories: ~260, 8g Fiber, 15g Protein, 2.5g Fat, ~30g Net Carbohydrates

Saturday, December 20, 2014

Today's blog is a short reminder� about commitment. A commitment to your health. When I see a patient, one of the first things that I tell them is that� most � health changes or even the habits of healthy change do not occur overnight. It takes time to fully implement a new routine, diet, or other healthy strategies, but it also takes time for those efforts to affect the body in a positive or tangible way. Weight loss is an obvious one and I know my readers have seen me mention this frequently. Even with extreme caloric deficit through rigorous dieting and exercising, one can really only expect to safely and permanently lose a few pounds a week. If you have 40 or 50 to lose, you are looking at a 12 week commitment at the very least. 12 weeks! So giving up after a month is not realistic. in fact, at 1 month most folks are still implementing change or even making adjustments to recommended changes so that their program is just right for their individual needs and� quite often� additional changes are necessary along the way to find the most effective approach. And I know you have heard this one before - it took how long to put that weight on? So you can expect it can take that long to take it off. Another example is with positive changes to blood or other laboratory analyses. Cholesterol, HbA1C, intestinal flora, and inflammatory markers are just a few examples of targeted outcomes that will not change immediately. There are many processes involved with� maintaining a� "normal" balance in the body and that is without having to fix anything.� Finally, being honest is part of your commitment to health. If you cannot accept the fact that you need to change, you never will. Furthermore, if you enlist a health professional's help, they can only truly diagnose you and implement an effective protocol if you are honest with them. As I have said before, health is a cumulative process and little changes often work together to create a positive outcome. If you are not telling the whole story, you are often doing yourself a disservice because that one missing piece may be key to bringing change about. Additionally, the health professional you choose is (hopefully) an expert and things that may not be significant or obvious to you can often be crucial to their treatment plan and eventually, your success in achieving better results. So be patient� , diligent, and honest with yourself and your health care provider. Health is a lifestyle not a miracle pill. � 

Saturday, March 01, 2014
Many have asked me what supplements I take, which protein I use, and many other things about keeping in shape or getting ready for shows. I must admit that I have several favorites that are staples such as whey protein, pre-workout creatine/arginine/caffeine mix, a multivitamin, green tea, branched chain amino acids with with glutamine, fish oil, egg white protein powder or liquid whites, and the coveted cortisol manager. So that is about it in addition to strategic timing in taking the aforementioned products, consistent and intense training, and some moderation on the number and frequency of those so called cheat days. It is not easy, but it is all possible. I have even stood with competitor moms and you can get back in shape after children and fitness or life in general is not over as you approach 40! It is just the beginning! Most importantly and you cannot hear this too often, never forget that it is a lifestyle and it does not happen overnight folks. You have to commit. In fact, even with all my background, training, and expertise it took almost a decade to become a pro competitor and at the time I was 37. And I am not alone. Some call this a lonely sport because we do all the prepping in solitude on many occasions. However, I have made many friends getting back up on that stage or back in that gym with the same folks that are growing, changing, improving every day for years on end. You cannot give up on being a better you in fitness. That is your reality check today. Stay focussed and you will reach those goals before you know it.
Monday, January 20, 2014

As usual, dietary supplements have recently come under fire in the media. A fairly prominent study questioned the validity of multivitamin supplementation in its proposed role in disease prevention or progression. There are many questions about� ssupplements�nbsp;that have steadily impacted the nutrition and supplement industry and I will continue to address those questions in future blblogsThe question addressed in this blblogs as follows:

Who need supplements? Or what supplements are â??necnecessary�

Answering the question above certainly requires much more scientific discussion than a single blog blog. However, it is also important to first understand the different intentions behind supplement use. Supplements may be used to provide for nutritional needs not fully acquired through daily dietary intake and/or to address nutrient/ingredient depletion which can be caused by certain medications. Common examples of using supplementation to restore an ingredient is when CoQ10CoQ10etion occurs with statistatinor when beneficial flora decreases with antibiotic use and providing a probiprobioticviates or prevents GI distress. Also, it is standard practice to prescribe Vitamin E with certain anti-psychotic medications because of the depletion of this important nutrient during therapy. The list of examples goes on and on, but just these few are justification enough for supplement use. From here, the better question to ask is how else can we explore the benefits of nutritional science, not how can we argue its rightful use in the clinical setting. Additionally, the right population needs to be studied to prove or disprove the hypothesis of any study. Progression of disease or even the apparent health implications of dietary intake expresses fairly uniquely to the individual. There are a number of factors that come into play with this issue and include metabolic differences, the general ability to compensate physiologically, age, and gender. If these variables are not controlled during a clinical study, the analysis of the ingredient or nutrinutrientÃ?otential benefit(s) is likely to be skewed either favorably or negatively.

So in the case of the multivitamin questions that have been asked recently, it is important to understand that multivitamins vary by composition meaning that the strengths, dosages, and qualitquality�(including bioavaibioavailabilitych ingredient vary between brands. Furthermore, each ingredient has a different role in general disease prevention or therapy (either proven or theoretical). For this reason,� a specifc specificent or combination of ingredients should be used to establish efficacy for adjunct or therapeutic use of a specific condition. The use of a single brand name product for research purposespurposes�lls short in this respect.� 

Saturday, January 04, 2014
In a pinch for a quick meal that tastes good and won't wreck your diet? Well, this healthy personal pizza recipe may be just what you are looking for!

Ingredients: 1 high fiber pita round, 1/4c marinara, 1/3 cup lowfat mozz cheese, and a handful of turkey pepperoni

Place pita on stovetop burner on low/simmer setting, sprinkle cheese over top and leave pita on burner until cheese starts to melt, heat up marinara and spread lightly over top with butterknife for even distribution, heat up pepperoni and place on top and voila!!!

Whole prep time about 5 minutes. Total calories about 350, 10g fat, 25g protein, 25g carbohydrates, and 8g fiber. Enjoy!
Saturday, December 07, 2013

This blog is about as honest as it gets because I think so many of the folks that I help with weight management need to be more realistic about these types of goals. When I initially wrote this post, I had my fellow competitors in mind. I have seen so many fitness/bodybuilding competitors (both male and female) come off of their competition season with nothing but guilt and fear. Guilt for finally indulging in "normal" diet and exercise regimens and fear of how that� normalcy� will sabotage all their hard work. However, this is not much different than the struggles that many non-competitors have in trying to stay healthy or� achieve/maintain goal weight and ideal body composition. I have seen many cases where the guilt or fear of what you did or didn't do turns into a vicious circle that ultimately ruins our best efforts to make positive changes. The next several lines may seem very familiar, but what I am finding is that perceptions are becoming so skewed by media or envy of something that is otherwise projected in an unrealistic way, many of us need a reality check! With that I would say the most important thing to keep in mind is that this is YOUR journey! I cannot stress enough that you need to identify your personal goals and only strive to meet them; not someone else's and certainly not by what you think others may want you to strive for. You may want to improve your physique or clean up your diet, but your progress should be measured against your reality rather than what you think someone else is doing. It is also so important to remember that personal ideals vary greatly as do the routes that any one individual may need to take to achieve them. Also think about why you want to achieve your goal. For competitors this may seem straight forward, we all want to win and do whatever it takes to get there! But it can also be more complex than that. Why do we want to win? Is it for public recognition of our personal achievements? I know it is not for fame and fortune as that so rarely happens in the fitness industry compared to how many strive for it! Or is it to say that we look like the guy/girl in that magazine that has been captured in the most optimal although brief moment in time which they could actually look the way they do? I mean, we all know by now that a competition physique or even or the most popular fitness magazine images are not sustainable or healthy physical goals for most individuals right? In fact, that magazine image can look drastically different even in as little as 24 hours! There are many tricks to manipulating the way a physique looks on a certain day with hydration techniques, diet and supplementation. Some of you have even read 'how to' blogs that I have written about these types of tricks! And we all know how a photo can be manipulated to create an image that is very different from the original model.

It goes without saying that I would like to see more often than not that the physical goals of my patients are primarily aligned with achieving health or fitness goals, but the definition of what is healthy or fit for someone is also very unique to that individual and/or the specific point there are at in their journey to achieve it. And finally, think about your strategies for achieving goals. Are you consistent? Are you really allowing enough time or putting in enough effort for major changes to take place? How much time should it realistically (there is that word again) take to achieve your goals? Are you considering that there are a variety of factors which impact health or weight outside of how you eat or how much you exercise? In fact, for many individuals, a comprehensive fitness program includes seeking guidance and care from a qualified medical professional.

So I have shown there are a lot of questions to answer when mapping out your personal health or weight management strategies. For this reason, I cannot stress enough how important it is to seek out support at any point when you feel lost or need help bringing it all together. In the meantime, keep watching for more posts about mapping out your personal health journey and some helpful tools for achieving this!

Saturday, August 10, 2013

Okay everyone. Time to get back to basics. I get a lot of questions about how long it takes to lose weight and the answer to this will vary greatly between individuals. Many of you know but continue to deny the true fact of the matter and that is, it takes work which comes from maintaining a "sensible" diet, a fairly rigorous exercise regimen, and consistency with both of these factors over a significant duration of time. So here are some facts to keep things in perspective:

1. In order to lose 1 pound in a week, you need to create about a 3500 calorie deficit in a week's time either with diet or exercise or a combination of the two. The tricky part comes in with metabolic adjustments during weight loss and the type of weight you are actually losing such as muscle vs fat. Another confounding variable is introduced if you are a chronic dieter and are eating so few calories already that you metabolism has suffered by way of down regulating itself over time. Also, reduction in water retention which naturally occurs during weight loss will also lower total body weight. However, to put this in a simpler perspective for the sake of this basic discussion, a high intensity 1 hour weight training and 30 minute cardio workout will burn about 500-700 for an average individual. So I am sure you have done the math, you would need to do this about 5-6 times a week for a 1 pound weight loss. So 10 pounds? 10 weeks. 1-2 pound weight loss a week is a good, safe, and usually permanent rate for most provided that the new diet and activity becomes a lifestyle.

2. Calories add up! Remember you are trying to create a caloric deficit so say about 1/2 that will come from calorie restriction and the other half comes from exercise. Based on a 3500 calorie deficit goal, you will need to restrict approximately 1750 calories from your food each week to lose 1 pound. A bite of cake or cookie or piece of chocolate or 10 french fries or 1/4 of a bag of snack size chips could be as much as 50 calories each. Say you nibble 2 times a day (100 calories) for 7 days, that is 700 calories or approximately 1 highly intense hour and a half gym routine with weights and cardio and it was "just a couple bites here and there" you might say! If all other things stay constant, you might see a ½ pound weight loss for the week with those seemingly insignificant nibbles.

3. Use a good online calorie counter to save your sanity. I recommend www.fitday.com . This is a very user friendly application with lots of helpful tracking features for macro and micronutrients, hydration, weight loss, and more. The best part, it is free!

4. Stay hydrated and eat quality foods with ample fiber (minimum 25g per day) to keep things moving and avoid artificial sweeteners, colorings or other additives to help relieve water retention and other physiological responses that can impede weight loss.

5. Be patient! This stuff takes time and dedication. Every bit of improvement is one giant step towards a healthier and more fit and active lifestyle for you.  The information above is a guide to help identify basic strategies for creating caloric deficits. The mental focus should be balanced, not obsessive. And sometimes the scale doesnâ??t change on a weekly basis. Sometimes gaining lean muscle will make your weight seem like it is at a plateau but your body may take a firmer and smaller shape during this time. Be honest with yourself, seek professional guidance to work through all the nuances that are you as a unique individual, and you will see results.

*It is recommended to consult with a health care professional regarding your individual weight loss needs and the safest/most effective ways to incorporate diet and exercise into your lifestyle.

© 2017 altMD, LLC. All rights reserved. Use of this site constitutes acceptance of altMD's terms of service and privacy policy and cookie policy and Health Disclaimer. The material on this site is for informational purposes only, and is not a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment provided by a qualified health care provider.