What Is the Functional Medicine Approach to Weight Loss And Obesity
June 18, 2021

According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), 39.6% of Americans are obese, and that there are more than 100 million obese people in the USA. NHANES estimates that these numbers will rise drastically with time, and by 2030, almost 50% of the global population will be obese. This article discusses the functional medicine weight loss approach.

January 5, 2018

After the holidays most of us suffer with some form of weight gain.  I must say that I certainly enjoyed all the festivities that revolve around that time of year, however I now have the extra pounds to show for it.

Resolutions never seem to always work for me, but feeling very uncomfortable in my clothes did.  Fortunately, the help that I needed was as close as my fingertips.  Dr. Lieberman has many practical ways to help with weight loss.  One that always works for me is the “Hunter and Gatherer” diet, also known as the “Caveman” diet.  It consists of eating only those foods that are grown (vegetables), hunted (fish, meat and chicken-not fried or battered) and gathered (berries and nuts).  This diet eliminates all fast food, processed food and most dairies and sugars.  (Remember, these are the foods that got you into trouble in the first place!).

I always feel so much better after I am on this diet, and the weight seems to fall off! I also try to do some type of exercise each day.  Some exercise is better than no exercise.  Walking up and down a small flight of stairs for 7 minutes a day alone can get your heart rate up and help to burn off some of those calories.  Any type of activity that you can do each day that gets you a little winded such as brisk walking is all part of the plan to help you lose weight and get you in better health.

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss
January 5, 2018

If you’ve ever wondered how to ‘eat healthy’, you’re not alone. And if you’ve been wondering for a while now, you already know that there are many health trends that come and go as theories of nutrition are proposed, adopted, then disproved.

One theory that most of us remember is the theory that a fat-free diet is the healthiest diet. For more than a decade, the orthodox medical establishment said that we should do everything possible to avoid eating any fats. It took quite a while before we started to hear about “good fats” and “bad fats”, and even now there are lots of people who think that they should be completely fat-free except for a bit of olive oil here and there.

If you still have some reflexive guilt whenever you don’t eat fat-free, think about the fact that many nutrients are fat-soluble and are best absorbed by your body when you take them with some food that contains fat. For example, patients of Dr. Lieberman are told to take their Vitamin D supplements with a meal with some fat in it.

Most cuisines seem to combine nutritious foods with some kind of fat- in western cultures, we’ll use butter or olive oil with cooked foods and salad dressings with salads. It’s sort of ironic that dieters were warned to eat salads with no salad dressing for so long, because dressings not only makes salads taste better, but the fat they provide improves the body’s absorption of nutrients in the salad ingredients.

If you make your own dressings from a few simple ingredients you probably already have, you won’t just be saving money on expensive bottled dressings from the grocery store (although saving money is a nice feature). Bottled dressings have a variety of preservatives, dyes, stabilizers, chemicals that have no nutritional value, and may not be all that good for you. If you have food allergies, you’ll need to read your labels carefully to avoid problematic ingredients.

Making your own dressings allows you to decide which ingredients to use & how much to use. You’ll be customizing for your dietary preferences, so you won’t add anything you don’t like or are allergic to, and you control how much- if any- sugars, yeasts and sodium get added to the mix. You can also tweak the spices and herbs for a variety of flavor options, and use different kinds of vinegars & flavored oils. The basic rule of a vinaigrette dressing is 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar, but some people go half and half, and you can do what tastes good to you. I’m not a measurer- I just eyeball the quantities, then adjust if needed, so if you’re new to making your own dressings, follow a recipe at first to get the hang of things, then do your own thing.

Here’s a link with a few basic recipes:

A Google search for “home-made salad dressings” will provide you with some more creative ideas that you may enjoy. Remember that if you’re doing yeast eradication, we recommend that you substitute lemon juice for vinegar in your basic vinaigrette, and be careful about what else you add.

The standard oil for dressings is olive oil, but Dr. Lieberman is recommending extra-virgin coconut oil for many of his patients because it is a good source of medium-chain triglycerides. Since coconut is a solid at room temperature, you may want to try keeping the bottle on your refrigerator or another warm spot in your kitchen so that the oil will remain in liquid form. You may find that you really like the flavor that coconut oil adds to your salad dressing.

Salads are a great source of nutrients and fiber, but you don’t want to eat the same exact salad each time. Switch things up with different kinds of greens, vegetables, fruits, nuts, etc. and your own home-made dressings.

January 5, 2018

I have been asked to wright a blog about healthy eating. At first I wasn’t too sure about it, then I thought, why not, it’s a great subject and maybe, I too, can get something out of this. So, here is my first blog about healthy eating, I think you will be quite surprised to find some very good ideas and some really great recipes. Please know, these recipes are not my own. I have found them by using cookbooks and researching the internet. I am hoping that through writing this blog for all of you, I will be able to help my family as well as yours, to eat healthy and “enjoy it!”

Here is the first recipe I am going to share with you. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family and I did.

One of my favorite foods and yes I say “one” as I do have many is the almighty “Cheeseburger!” As I was scanning through this healthy cookbook, and I saw a recipe for cheeseburgers, I had to investigate: and yes, a cheeseburger can be a healthy choice, if done right.


4 whole wheat hamburger buns
Nonstick cooking spray
16 oz 90% lean ground beef, formed into 4 patties
Freshly ground black pepper
4 slices 2% reduced-fat-milk cheese, such as Borden’s
1/3 cup fat free mayonnaise
2 tablespoons no-sugar-added ketchup, such as Heinz
2 tablespoons no-sugar added sweet relish.
4 leaves romaine lettuce, broken in half
4 slices tomato
4 slices red onion


1. Preheat a grill pan over high heat
2. Split the buns in half, and spray the split surfaces lightly with cooking spray. Place the buns, cut
side down, on the grill. Allow the buns to char slightly, and then transfer them to a platter.
3. Hold the grill pan away from the stove while you coat the surface with the cooking spray. Season
the burger patties with salt and pepper to taste. Place the burger patties on the grill, and cook for
about 21/2 minutes per side for rare… During the last minute, put 1 slice of cheese on each burger.
4. In small bowl, mix together the mayonnaise, sweet relish, and ketchup… Set aside.
5. To assemble the burgers, place the burgers on top of the bottom buns. Pile lettuce, tomato, red
onion, and Russian dressing on top of each burger, and set the bun tops in place. Serve!**

So now that the ingredients are listed and directions are followed here is the big surprise….
Only 15 grams of fat and 368 calories!!! WOW! If you omit the cheese – save another 50 calories, if you omit the Russian dressing save 28 calories.

I do believe this is my new favorite Cheeseburger Recipe.

Don’t forget to exercise!!! Eating healthy is only one part of getting healthy – the other part is exercise. Just start slow – make it a special time for you. Maybe with your spouse or family and simply take a walk… That’s all, a walk.

I hope you enjoyed this blog and the great recipe. Until Next time… Good Eats!

**Recipe by Rocco DiSpirito, Chef

Chef Rocco DiSpirito’s Cheeseburgers


Posted in Blog, Weight Loss
January 5, 2018


• 2 quarts chicken broth
• 1 turkey carcass, all meat removed
• 1 onion, halved, plus 1 onion, minced
• 1 carrot, halved lengthwise, plus 1 carrot, minced
• 1 whole stalk celery, plus 1 more stalk, minced
• 2 bay leaves
• 3 cups dark turkey meat
• 2 garlic cloves, smashed
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 1 carrot, minced
• 1 stalk celery, minced
• 3 cups leftover cooked Thanksgiving side vegetables (Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, green beans)
• 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage leaves


Put chicken broth, turkey, onion halves, carrot halves, 1 celery stalk, and 1 bay leaf in a large stock pot. Bring to a boil, then simmer about 1 1/2 hours. Finely dice the remaining onion, carrot and celery and reserve.

Dice the turkey meat. Make sure meat pieces are no larger than the size of a soup spoon. (If preparing soup the next day, be sure to store leftover turkey meat in an airtight container before placing it in the refrigerator, top with 1 or 2 ladles full of broth to keep meat moist.)

Before straining broth, remove large bones and carcass with tongs. Strain the broth through a sieve, covered with wet cheese cloth. Discard the solids. Transfer broth to a bowl set in a bath of ice water, which will cool the broth quickly and help keep it fresher longer. This can be done the night before and stored in the refrigerator until the next day.
In a large soup pot, heat garlic cloves in the olive oil. Allow to brown slightly and add minced carrots, celery, and onion. Sweat over medium-low heat until softened, about 7 or 8 minutes.

Dice the leftover vegetables (here Brussels sprouts, sweet potatoes, and green beans). Add the chopped sage to the soup pot along with the turkey broth and the remaining bay leaf. Bring to a simmer. When simmering, add Brussels sprouts, green beans and diced turkey meat to the soup. Bring it back up to a simmer. Finally, add the sweet potatoes to the center, and gently push them down. Turn the heat off and cover. Allow to sit and steam for 5 to 7 minutes.

Let simmer for 5 more minutes and serve.

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss
January 5, 2018

HO! HO! HO! It’s that time of year again. Everyone is so very busy – shopping, working – going to many Christmas and Holiday parties. And, oh, parties, so much great food!!! This is the time of year we all tend to put on that extra few pounds… we don’t eat right, we don’t exercise. WHY? Because we are all so busy. I can give you a few good ideas to help you get that exercise in, even if it is just 15 minutes here and there. While you are out in the stores or the mall or where ever you need to go, before you shop, WALK! You can start your shopping by taking a 15 minute walk around. Don’t stop to shop or even look, walk and you will have some exercise in. That’s how easy it is!

Now, how about the cookie exchanges at the office? Well, here is a great recipe for Chocolate Chip Cookies. They are called, “Skinny Low Fat Chocolate Chip Cookies”.

Skinny Low-fat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Servings: 12 • Size: 2 cookies
Calories: 170.7 • Fat: 5.0 g • Protein: 1.4 g • Carb: 34.5 g • Fiber: 1.4 g • Sugar: 25.4 g
Sodium: 113.1 mg


• 1/2 cup granulated sugar
• 1/2 cup brown sugar
• 2 tbsp butter, melted
• 1 egg white
• 2 tbsp apple sauce
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 1/2 cup whole wheat pastry flour
• 1/2 cup all purpose flour
• 1/4 tsp baking soda
• 1/8 tsp salt
• 1/2 cup mini chocolate chips


Preheat oven to 350°. Line two cookie sheets with non-stick silicone baking liners such as Silpats (I highly recommend for best results) or lightly spray cookie sheets with cooking spray.

In a large bowl, combine the flour, baking soda and salt and stir to blend. In another bowl, whisk the sugars, butter, egg white, applesauce and vanilla together until light and fluffy.

Whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in two additions until the batter is very well blended. If the batter looks more “crumbly” than smooth, add just a drop of water at a time (ONLY if needed) until it smooths out

Fold in chocolate chips
Drop by level spoonfuls about 1 inch apart onto baking sheets.
Bake 8 – 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, and let them stand 5 minutes before removing the cookies from the pans to cool on wire racks.
Makes 2 dozen cookies.
Adapted from Cooking Done Light

I hope you enjoy these guilt free (almost) cookies!

Happy Holidays, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

Posted in Blog, Weight Loss
January 4, 2018
We are pleased to have you visit our website and request you to check back regularly and participate in the discussions.
Our first blog is about the types of people who come for treatment at COEM. While the center is based in Charleston, SC our patient population actually comes from all over the world!  There are several reasons for this:
1. Reputation of Doctors
2. Quality of Care
3. Value
4. Personal Attention
COEM believes in looking at the “total body stress load” for every patient that comes to our center.  We compare the human body to an elevator:  an elevator may have a maximum capacity of 2,500 lbs.  The elevator does not know who gets on and who gets off, it just knows that after it reaches 2,500 lbs it cannot function the way it would like to.  Our bodies respond the same way;  allergies, exposures, diet, work-related stress, and depression are just a handful of the many ‘passengers’ that get on our elevators.  We work to eliminate some of the ‘passengers’ through allergy testing, chelation therapy, dietary supplementation, nutritional counseling, and other techniques.
COEM prides itself on the sincerity we take with our patients. We know that you have
choices and can seek care anywhere. What sets us apart is the attention to detail and the attention to the individual. We genuinely care for our patients and that shows in the numerous personal referrals we get of friends, co-workers and family members. It is not uncommon for us to treat 3 generations of one family!  Here are just a few comments from patients that we have received:
“Everyone was pleasant, helpful and knowledgeable” – Columbia, SC
“So full of information, took time with me, I felt like everyone truly wanted to help you.  I was not pushed out the door in 30 minutes with a bag full of medicine that would not help.  I feel I have found the right place to help with my problems.  Thank you” –  Walterboro, SC
“Exceptional value” – Hilton Head Island, SC
“My experience at COEM was very personal.  My historian and Dr. Lieberman were great listeners and showed concern for me personally” – Lyman, SC
“I have renewed faith in doctors.  Not only are you thorough- you actually listen” – Charleston, SC
Would it surprise you that we see patients from the far East, Middle East, Europe, and all over North America?  What is the farthest distance you would be willing to travel to seek help for you or your loved one’s conditions?  What do you most value when you visit physician offices?
Our approach to medicine is more holistic and we try to help your body heal itself.  Do you want to take a more holistic approach to healing?
The purpose of this blog is to get both current and prospective patients to interact with us.  Tell us what you want from a doctor, tell us what you already like about the Center, share with us news articles pertaining to what we do or medicine in general.
TELL US what you want to see from this blog!
Become a fan on Facebook- search Center For Occupational and Environmental Medicine.
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Check back regularly under the “What’s New” section of our website, as well as be on the lookout for web alerts we send to your email.
Thanks for allowing us to be a partner in your healthcare.
COEM Staff