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Bobbie Barbrey, RPh, CCN, a registered pharmacist and a certified clinical nutritionist, is the owner of Medicap Pharmacy in North Raleigh, a full-service retail pharmacy, which also offers compounding and nutritional counseling.

Bridging the Gap Between
Prescription Drugs and Health

By Bobbie Barbrey, RPh, CCCN

The search for the magic cure to your ailments can be frustrating, right? It leads you from one doctor to another, from one prescription drug to another, from one treatment regimen to another. Does this sound familiar? What if I had the magic potion, something you could take today and in a short period of time feel better? Would you sign up to improve your health? I know that if you are frustrated enough with your level of health you would sign up in a heartbeat!

“This 11-year-old fast food meal—so typical of the Standard American Diet—may look edible,” observes Mr. Barbrey, “but the chemicals that preserved it made it just as unhealthy when fresh as it is now. A healthy diet is based on living foods—not processed and preserved calories.”

What is this magical solution to your health issues? Food. Living food. Now before you discount my recommendation with a smirk and hearty laugh, keep reading. I know you are eating food. But are you eating food that will make you healthy? Let me give you a simple test for the healthy foods you should be eating. Could you have picked this food off the ground (dropping a French fry on the ground and picking it up does not count!), dug it out of the ground, picked if off a tree or bush, caught it in a stream or ocean, robbed the nest for eggs, or harvested an animal in the woods? If so, you are eating a healthy, living foods diet. It is exactly the way you are genetically engineered to eat. Your paleolithic ancestors are very proud of you. This is simple: if your diet is not oriented to these foods, your health is deteriorating every day. Is that ok with you?

Your body is a magical, amazing machine, very complicated yet extremely adaptable or tolerant to poor choices. It will try to make it work until it just can’t function properly anymore. It takes a lot to damage the chemistry in the body. That’s why young people can get away with poor health habits often with little consequence. But at some point, the cumulative damage leads to the symptoms that you may be experiencing today.

Your body needs adequate amounts of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and amino acids to run optimally. Sounds simple right? You’re taking all of these in supplements; isn’t that enough? No. You can not supplement your way to a healthy body while continuing to eat processed food, being exposed to toxins, and living with uncontrolled stress every day of your life. Supplements alone will never be able to overcome these obstacles.

Don’t get me wrong. Supplements are very beneficial. I take them every day. Just don’t think they can be a substitute for poor health habits. One reason is the toxic chemicals in processed foods and the side effects of stress steal the very nutrients you are trying to optimize.

What about the keto diet, intermittent fasting, the Whole 30 program, among others? Yes, these are additional strategies that have helped many to help move the body back to a healthier state, but I always recommend starting by eating real food to see where that leads you. You may be surprised at how much better you will feel with this small change.

An Important Lesson From My Dad

I have practiced as a pharmacist for over 30 years and there is one constant that is predictable: unless you choose to actively participate in your health, someone will likely be dispensing the next magic drug to you. Pharma seems to always have a drug to match your diagnosis code. I watched that process play out with my dad. It was always one more drug that was going to improve his health. In the meantime, he continued to smoke, drink, not exercise, eat a poor diet, and ignore the stress that kept a vice grip on him. He died a painful death on eight medications and I always felt I should have done more for him. I am a pharmacist. I have been trained in the power of prescription drugs! Why did these not work for him?

As my passion continued to grow for health and wellness over time, I realized that drugs were not the only solution to his health issues. He had the opportunity to step up with healthy habits to make a difference but he never did. Prescription medications were never going to save him without his active participation in his health. I know that now. They will not save anyone but may lull you into thinking you are better.

My dad could have chosen a different ending but he did not. That became the lightbulb moment for me and guided me towards my Board Certification in Clinical Nutrition in 2001. My goal and mission today is to help every patient I come in contact with to bridge the gap between their prescription medications and optimal health. I want to educate you so you can take action and make a difference in your health. It is not complicated either: water, movement, quality sleep, targeted nutritional supplementation, stress management, breathing, laughter and joy, and—most important of all—a living foods diet. Explaining the steps you can take today is what gets me excited to come to work every day!

Let Me Help Guide Your Healing Journey

It’s easy to say “just change your diet and you’ll be healthy.” I know that in reality it is not that simple. We have triggers everywhere, long standing habits, and well-meaning friends and family who may not share this new path. The truth is, it’s often hard to make and sustain these changes alone. It is easier with a coach and a plan. That is my specialty and my passion. I love meeting with people one on one, and helping them see what needs to change to move towards optimal health. It is not the same for everyone. For some it is a simple as cutting out junk food, but usually it’s more involved than that.

Will you be the healthy deviant—the one who deviates from the pack and takes charge of your health? Give these questions some thought: What is more important to you, that next dessert or being healthy enough to enjoy activities with your children? That next McDonald’s meal or getting to see your grandchild grow up and get married? Will it be one more simple processed carbohydrate or being able to walk for hours as you tour your favorite European city? What is it that you will miss the most because you did not take care of your health?

Let your actions be guided by your commitment to the powerful emotional goals you identify for yourself. Start the new year off with your health as a priority. Call to schedule a consult where we come up with the plan that will work for you. Let me be your partner on this journey. As your first step, look at the foods you are eating and see if you need to make some changes. Then take the next step. Make a plan so you know where you are going and how to get there. It’s worth it!

Changing What You Eat Will Change Your Life!