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What my $100,000 Appendectomy Taught Me About Our Broken Healthcare System

Posted by joe rigs on Monday, September 1, 2014,
A few day ago I posted the story about my nearly $100,000 ($89,200 to be exact) appendectomy. The support I received has been nothing short of mind-blowing and heart warming. Thank you, most of all, for your warmth and incredibly kind words. That means the world to me. If you missed that post you can read it here: My $100,000 Appendectomy.

Because of you, we've sold over $500 worth of my product bundle which will go toward paying off the remainder of my medical bills. And that was over a holi...

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My $100,000 Appendectomy.

Posted by joe rigs on Saturday, August 30, 2014,
A year ago this month I had one of the scariest events of my life. It was a Wednesday. I was in the bank talking to my account representative and getting things ready for my first big product launch (The Primal Cooking Workshop). I was excited and nervous. As usual, whenever I'm in that state, my gut let me know. I always get that "nervous stomach." At least, that’s what I chalked the pain in my abdomen up to–nerves.

As the day went on and the pain grew, I began to suspect this had nothing...

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5 Things You Didn’t Know About Your Thyroid (That Might Be Harming Your Health)

Posted by joe rigs on Thursday, May 8, 2014, In : Health 
Every week I get emails from people asking questions about the thyroid. It's no surprise with nearly 200 million people world-wide dealing with some kind of thyroid disorder.


Here are some surprising facts that you might not be aware of.

1. Your thyroid can affect your LDL Cholesterol

When your thyroid is functioning properly, it sends a signal to your liver to upregulate LDL cell receptors. Those receptors pull LDL Cholesterol out of your blood, which your liver uses to make bile so y...

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Book Review: Solving The Paleo Equation

Posted by joe rigs on Monday, February 10, 2014,

“Solving The Paleo Equation” has all the ingredients of a truly great health book: food and sex and spectacle and carbs... and ‘80s movie references.

It also has bacon bashing which kind of sucks. Dammit, Stone! Don’t harsh my mellow!

Actually it’s saying something when a book that generally recommends being pretty chill about food makes one huge exception: Polyunsaturated Fatty Acid (PUFA). Along with recommending we avoid vegetable and seed oils, which I completely and totally...

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8 Most Common GMO Foods (some of these might surprise you)

Posted by joe rigs on Thursday, December 19, 2013, In : Health 
Over the past few year there has been a significant increase in the amount of GMO foods, particularly in the US. Below is an updated list of the most common foods-- some you already know about, others might be surprising.

You're likely aware of the first four GMO foods, but did you know about the last three? Leave me a comment and let me know if your were surprised or not.

1. Corn

Approximately 85% of non organic corn is genetically modified. Corn is modified to resist the poison... er,  herbic...

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6 Foods You're Not Eating on a Paleo Diet and Probably Should Be

Posted by joe rigs on Wednesday, December 11, 2013, In : Health 
This isn’t an article about what is or is not “paleo.” The “is it paleo” discussion is SO 10,000 years ago! A couple of these foods fall squarely within the paleo template but that doesn’t necessarily mean you’re eating them. And if you’re not, you probably should be, providing you tolerate them.

The other foods are, at best, a gray area for most paleo dieters with those who are the most strict about their eating habits avoiding them completely.

In some cases, perfectly heal...

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I have a confession to make and a story to tell you...

Posted by joe rigs on Sunday, December 1, 2013, In : Get your mind right 

This is probably the most honest and transparent blog I've ever written. Please read.


I didn’t write my book Sow for you. I wrote it for me. Let me explain.

Did you know when I originally launched The Definitive Way to go Gluten Free it only sold 55 copies?

Yep, that’s it. I spent 7 months researching, reading studies and writing that book. Then editing and rewriting and rewriting again. It was a ton of work.

The day of the launch I was incredibly excited. I expe...

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What do your food cravings mean?

Posted by joe rigs on Tuesday, November 26, 2013, In : Get your mind right 
When you have severe food cravings it can be a sign of a serious nutrient deficiency.

OR... It's could just mean that you should eat what you're craving because it tastes good!

I'm not trying to downplay the fact that some people have some real issues with food. I have no doubt some folks may even crave the very foods that are harming their health. For many folks however, I don't think that's the case.

I see many otherwise very healthy people completely and neurotically overanalyze their cravin...

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6 Foods to (Almost) Completely Remove From Your Diet

Posted by joe rigs on Wednesday, October 30, 2013, In : Health 

1. Vegetable Oils (including soybean, canola and corn oils)

Why: These oils are loaded with rancid and inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFA). They’re not only a cause of inflammation, but also oxidative stress, obesity, neurological disorders and more.

What to choose instead:
Opt for healthy, natural fats like butter, olive oil or coconut oil. These fats and oils are packed with nutrients and can even protect you from disease. You can even choose natural fats like lard or tallow wh...

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Sugar is going to murder you dead!

Posted by joe rigs on Friday, October 18, 2013, In : Health 
If we in the alternative or holistic health space want to be taken seriously, we’ve got to do better that this.

There are no absolutes in nutrition. What’s true for one person, or one population, will not be true for another.

We can not say sugar CAUSES diabetes or heart problems or... wrinkles? Really? Where’s the research on that?

Sugar does not make you nervous or fat.

The idea that sugar makes you fat is particularly counter productive. It serves to instill more guilt in someone that...

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THE Perfect Diet.

Posted by joe rigs on Friday, August 23, 2013, In : Get your mind right 
My diet is perfect. Not because it’s rigid, flawless and squeaky clean, but because I choose to use the first definition of the word perfect.

adjective: per·fect

1. having all the required or desirable elements, qualities, or characteristics; as good as it is possible to be.

“As good as it is possible to be.” Doesn’t that sounds a lot nicer than rigid, flawless and squeaky clean? Doesn’t that leave a lot of room for interpretation?

Let’s add two little words to the end of th...

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It's all about macros... and everything else.

Posted by joe rigs on Tuesday, June 11, 2013, In : Get your mind right 

Beware of anyone who takes an extreme stance against a single macronutrient, and blames it for all the health problems in the world. 

Fat does not cause heart disease.

Protein does not cause cancer.

Carbohydrates do not cause diabetes. 

In and of themselves, none of these are THE cause for anything. 

Fat, protein and carbohydrates from really crappy and processed foods will contribute to health issues but even that is only one part an equation that also includes sleep, stress, environ...

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Link Between ADHD and Obesity Later in Life: Another Study That Says Nothing.

Posted by joe rigs on Monday, May 20, 2013, In : Health 
A new study conducted by researchers at the Child Study Center at NYU Langone Medical Center found men diagnosed as children with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) were twice as likely to be obese in a 33-year follow-up study compared to men who were not diagnosed with the condition.

I just want to note for the record that I copied last line that from the official press release. Please don't chastise me for that ridiculously long run-on sentence.

Link Between Childhood ADHD and ...
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How I Eat (Part 2): Diet Dogma

Posted by joe rignola on Tuesday, April 23, 2013, In : Health 
About three years ago (Dec. 2010) I posted a blog on my old website, Eat Think Wellness, describing how I generally ate, and why. Three years in internet time is a LONG ass time. Back then I think I had maybe 5 or 6 followers-- one, if you don’t count my family. Alright, zero if you don’t count my wife. It was a lonely time for me in the health blogging world.

Things sure have changed since then but one thing definitely hasn’t: Diet Dogma.

Back in 2010 I encouraged folks not to become t...
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Dietary Shocker! (not really)

Posted by joe rigs on Thursday, February 7, 2013, In : Health 
“New” study concludes that PUFA's ( specifically omega 6 in this case), not saturated fat, is associated with heart disease as well as death from all other causes.

This is certainly no surprise to many of us. We've known for a while that omega-6 is highly inflammatory, and inflammation is the underpinning of heart disease (and pretty much everything else). Still, the conventional "wisdom" has been to reduce saturated fats and i...
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The Tao of Wellness (part1): Be Sick of Sickness

Posted by joe rigs on Wednesday, January 30, 2013, In : Get your mind right 

“Knowing ignorance is strength.
Ignoring knowledge is sickness.

If one is sick of sickness, then one is not sick.
The sage is not sick because he is sick of sickness.
Therefore he is not sick.” -Tao Te Ching, verse 71

    Let me start with telling you, once and for all, that there is no such thing as the perfect human diet. Trying to be perfect, when perfection is impossible, will lead to stress. Stress will lead to poorer health. Poorer health will cause you to try to be more perfect. The onl...
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Eat for Heat: Based on a true story of pizza, ice cream and awkwardness

Posted by joe rigs on Thursday, January 17, 2013, In : Health 
A about a week or so ago I posted, on Facebook, how much a enjoyed reading Eat for Heat, I said that I even had a slice of pizza for the first time in a number of years. Not “paleo” pizza. Not gluten-free pizza. Pizza, Pizza. Full on gluten, baby. Well, I figured I had better write a follow up to that status lest people fear that I’m laying in the back ally of a pizza joint in a gluten-induced coma- cheese still stuck to my chin and a piece of crispy crust clenched tightly in my fist.

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Coconut Milk Part II: Sans KY Jelly AND BPA.

Posted by joe rigs on Friday, December 7, 2012, In : Health 
So after my blog post yesterday, I had a few people ask where they could find coconut milk without crap in it.

So, I went to The Wizard again and this is what I came up with. Not only did I find coconut milk without crap (guar gum, carrageenan, KY jelly) I found some in cans that don't have BPA. Score!

Apparently, this company, Natural Value, actually responded to market demand for this product and delivered. See what we can do when we scream loud enough?

Now if only we could find coconut milk ...
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Trader Joe's, Coconut Cream and KY Jelly

Posted by joe rigs on Thursday, December 6, 2012, In : Health 
    I know what you’re thinking... What on earth do those things have in common. Unfortunately, a lot.

    I love all things coconut. Coconut milk, coconut oil, coconut flakes, coconut water and of course, just straight up coconut. I freaking love the stuff. Almost as much as I love bacon. Anyone who knows me knows how much I f&*%$#@ love bacon.

    Coconut is a close second but It’s tough to find real coconut milk without some pretty gnarly ingredients. And I’m talking about the canned...
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The Diet of Disease

Posted by Joe Rignola on Wednesday, December 5, 2012, In : Health 
It's probably the most common questions I get: "What the heck should I eat to be healthy?"

Instead of going into all the things you should be eating on a healthy diet, I'm going to approach this from a different direction. Let's dissect the finer points of getting sick—a radical eating plan that will guarantee that you’ll end up as a sick and miserable human being. I call it...

The Diet of Disease

    This extreme, illness-inducing diet contains an obscene amount of grains, around seven to...
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Tweet: "This guy had a $100k appendectomy. Read his story here."

About Me

Joe Rignola, HHC, FDN Joe Rignola is an author, Certified Functional Diagnostic Nutritionist and Health Counselor. More importantly, I hate talking in the 3rd person. I'm really just a guy who took control of my own health and overcame several ailments including metabolic disorders, digestive issues, depression and ADD. Actually, my recovery from ADD however is questionable.