Mira Calton, CN, FAAIM, DCCN, CMS, CPFC, BCIH is a licensed certified nutritionist, a fellow of the American Association of Integrative Medicine, diplomate of the College of Clinical Nutrition, a certified personal fitness chef and is board certified in integrative health. She holds a diploma in comprehensive nutrition from Huntington College of Health Sciences, has completed the Yale University School of Medicine's OWCH (Online Weight Management Counseling for Healthcare Providers) program and sits on the American board of Integrative Health. Mira’s interest in nutrition came after having been diagnosed at the age of 30 with advanced osteoporosis. Becoming micronutrient sufficient allowed Mira to reverse her condition, and by sharing the information inNaked Calories, she hopes to inspire others to do the same. The Caltons are among the world’s leading experts on the topics of weight management, lifestyle medicine and micronutrient deficiency. In 2005, they set sail on a 100-country, 7-continent, 6-year global expedition, exploring the dietary and lifestyle habits of people around the world. Their research has led them to conclude that micronutrient deficiency is the most widespread and dangerous health condition of the 21st century. As a couple they bring amazing energy, personal experience, passion and knowledge to an important subject people are just beginning to buzz about—the overwhelming health benefits of a micronutrient sufficient lifestyle. Readers can learn more about the Caltons at CaltonNutriton.com.
Health E-Insights:Can you honestly say the study of micronutrient deficiency is the focus of your life?
Ms. Calton: When I was younger I had no interest at all in micronutrients. I guess that is why I became severely deficient in them and was diagnosed with advanced osteoporosis at the age of thirty. Studying them became a necessity as my husband and I set out to reverse my condition—which we did after only two years by combining improved dietary and lifestyle habits with a very intense regimen of supplementation focusing on something called micronutrient competition. I have always been sort of a research nut. And I was fascinated when I learned that I was not alone in my deficiencies. When I read statistics from the USDA stating that 9 out of 10 Americans are deficient in essential micronutrients I was in shock. You could say that the proverbial rabbit hole just kept getting deeper and deeper. My husband and I have followed the rabbit hole all around the world studying micronutrient deficiency in over 100 countries. So, I guess you could most definitely say that after improving my own micronutrient deficiency disease, studying global deficiency rates, formulating the world’s first anti-competition multivitamin to combat deficiency (nutreince), and writing a book called Naked Calories on the topic of this global micronutrient deficiency pandemic that the study of micronutrient deficiency certainly is the focus of our lives.
Health E-Insights:What is lifestyle medicine?
Dr. Calton: I think of lifestyle medicine as a hybrid between nutrition, holistic medicine and exercise science that recognizes that many of the health conditions and diseases facing society today are caused by disease-promoting lifestyle habits, which can be treated effectively when all aspects of a person's lifestyle are examined. Lifestyle medicine utilizes nutrition, exercise, stress management, and other lifestyle factors to enhance overall health and help in the prevention and reversal of many common health conditions and diseases. So many people today seem to feel that their health is out of their hands. That it’s just a matter of time until they get high blood pressure, high cholesterol or one of the many other chronic lifestyle health conditions or disease that are plaguing our modern world. Using the components of lifestyle medicine, we can guild these individuals to the realization that they are the ones in control of their health. Many of these chronic conditions including obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol and high blood pressure have all been shown to be effectively controlled, prevented and even reversed using lifestyle medicine.
Health E-Insights: Tell us a little about the Calton Institute.
Dr. Calton: We came up with the idea for the Calton Institute of Lifestyle Medicine because we wanted a place where a licensed or certified nutrition, medical or health professional could come to learn more about how micronutrient sufficiency can play a role in the health of their patients and clients and obtain our Certified Micronutrient Specialist (CMS) credential. The Certified Micronutrient Specialist program teaches these health professionals to assess micronutrient sufficiency levels, identify dozens of micronutrient competitions, synergies and everyday micronutrient depleters (EMDs), and help their clients/patients avoid dietary pitfalls, which can lead to deficiencies directly linked to cravings, weight gain, obesity and disease. It also teaches them to determine the micronutrient sufficiency of their client/patients diet, and suggest menus that provide high micronutrient density by replacing processed micronutrient poor foods with healthy micronutrient, rich foods.
Health E-Insights:How much of what you set out to do would you feel you’ve accomplished?
Dr. Calton: As far as Calton Nutrition is concerned, we have literally only just begun. We have so much more that we want to share with the world and have a real vision and intention to continue to be innovators and educators in the field of nutrition and lifestyle medicine for many years to come. On a big picture scale, I feel that we have accomplished so much more than I ever dreamed we would at this point in our lives. Just the 6 years of our travels alone is a dream come true. Now with Naked Calories finally published and two more books on the way (Rich Food, Poor Food in the fall and 4SEASONSFORLIFE next spring), the official launch of nutreince and the upcoming opening of the Calton Institute of Lifestyle Medicine we are literally beside ourselves with excitement and hope for the future of our small company.
Health E-Insights:What do you value most in your day-to-day life?
Ms. Calton: I think that both Jayson and I are so lucky that we work together. None of this would be as much fun or as fulfilling if we weren’t partners in every way. We can share the work load, which gets quite heavy, and then celebrate a clients success, or a strangers email telling us how Naked Calories or nutreince has improved their health. It is nice to know that we are in this together and can count on each other both on camera and off. I think that the best part of day-to-day life for both of us has been the clients and customers. We answer every single email that comes to us with questions or comments, and have already built incredible relationships with so many of them. It is great fun when we can take a break from writing to rejoice in the simple pleasures of a kind email from a new and now healthier friend.
Health E-Insights:You travel a lot. If you could get next to anyone famous on a plane, who would it be and why?
Dr. Calton: Whoever the current President of Disney was at the time of the encounter. It is one of our goals to be involved in the development of a ride at EPCOT one day, which would inspire both children and adults to become healthy using our three-step nutrivore philosophy – eat a diet high in micronutrient rich foods, become aware of Everyday Micronutrient Depleters (EMDs), lifestyle habits that may be depleting you of essential micronutrients, and eliminate or avoid as many as possible, and use supplementation formulated to meet the abc’s of optimal supplementation as health insurance to fill in nutritional gaps. We would love to help develop an imaginative attraction that would use education and entertainment to bring things like local and organic produce and grass fed and pastured meats to the forefront of the vacationers mind. Where families could learn about micronutrient sufficiency and how important it is to their overall health. Guests would also be introduced to the EMDs, which are everyday habits (identified on the ride as sneaky little thief like characters) that if we are not careful can rob us of our essential micronutrients without us even knowing it. We would love to work with the Disney imaginers to create fun and memorable characters that will help people understand the heath promoting power of nutrition and how they can use it live their optimal life.
Sheldon Baker wants to interview you. Contact him at Baker@CentralValleyTalk.com and follow him on Twitter @NutraInk.