Rob Zukowski is a New York State LMT, certified by the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage & Bodywork, a Certified Medical Massage Therapist and holds a degree in Occupational Studies, with a focus on massage therapy, from the prestigious Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences. He has advanced training in sports massage, various relaxation therapies, and training in multi-therapeutic approaches to massage for oncology.

In addition to private practice, his experience includes being a massage therapist, lead therapist and member relationships manager in assorted fitness centers, spas, clinics and holistic healing settings and working in corporate wellness environments. Rob also works as a client services manager at a healing center, authors his own column on the subject of complementary and alternative medicine in a national HIV/AIDS magazine, works in student outreach and lectures on therapeutic massage for various pathologies.

Friday, January 17, 2014

Get a GoodBelly

More and more people are becoming "intolerant" to one food thing or another. Why? The answer you get depends on who you ask.

The medical name for food intoerlances is non-allergic food hypersensitivity. Non-allergic food hypersensitivity should NOT, NOT, NOT be confused with true food allergies. Some people are allergic to shell fish or nuts for example. That's a whole other, very serious issue and one you should should see a doctor about as it can be life threatening.

Food intolerance reactions can include pharmacologic, metabolic, and gastro-intestinal responses to foods or food compounds. Celiac disease, for example, is said to be an autoimmune disorder caused by an immune response to the protein gluten. Personally, I am lactose intolerant. Give me two slices of pizaa and within 20 minutes I have all the signs and symptoms of gastro intestnal distess. There have been times that I bloat so bad that I cannot close my pnats; not that I open my pants when I eat cheese, you get the point.

My system just doesnt like dairy products. Can you imagine a life without cheese? What a cruel world. Grwoing up with a primarlit Italian family we lived on cheese. Yes, yes, I know; fat, cholstroal and the like, but no one ever mentioned cholerstrerol to a ten year old Italian kid in 1977 when grandma was making homemade pizza. Medicine has come a long way since I was a child and we know a lot more about these things then we used to. I am not ten years old anymore and my reaction to dairy products is much like those slef help help books of the "bad boys and why we love them" genre.

Lactose intolerance is also called lactase deficiency and hypolactasia. It is the inability to digest lactose, a sugar that is found in milk and to a lesser extent milk derived dairy products. They say, whoever they are, that lactose intolerance is not so much a disorder, but a genetically determined characteristic.

Enter probiotics. Probiotics are living microorganisms. When taken in adequate amounts, they have a beneficial effect on the body. There are many kinds of beneficial bacteria, but not all beneficial bacteria are probiotics. To be clasified a probiotic, the strain must be shown to survive the stomach’s acidic environment in order to reach the rest of the digestive tract where it does the majority of its work.

After ingestions, probiotics will evebtually make their way out of the stomach and do numerous important things to assist in digestive health. For example, they dwell in the intestine, thrive off of the same nutrients as undesirable bacteria and help to lower the gut’s pH. They are not a one time, quick fix. They will pass through your syetem when the cells of the intestinal lining shed. So probiotics are something you shoudl add to your normal, dailt routine.

I have tried a number of different probitioc products in pill, chewable and liqaid form. The one that works best for me is product called GoodBelly. Goodbelly is a probiotic juice drink. It is soy free, gluten free, lactose free and non GMO. Not ony do I use the product daily, but when I am going to give in to my urge for cheese or milk or products that contain milk and dair products, I have and extar serving. Typically, I do not have any of usial synptions of my food intorance at that point, and if I do, they dont last long.

This past summer, I was speding a few days on Fire Island with a friend for his birtheday. Whenever I travel, I tend to pack food. Two staples are granola and GoodBelly. While I am not vegan, I do my best to eat as vegan as I can for reasons of health. The only two places that I know of in Manhattan to get GoodBelly is Elm Health, I go to the one on 7th Avenue and 14th Street, and Whole Foods, I frequnet the one on 7th Avenue and 24th Street. Wouldnt you know it, I had forgotten to pack my GoodBelly. We were alomot to the ferry when I realiozed that I had left the product at home. Lucky for me the GoodBelly web site has a map of locations where their products are availble. Unlucky for my firned; I asked him to drive almost 10 miles out of the way just to get my GoodBelly.

From the GoodBelly web site:

"GoodBelly probiotic drinks contain live and active cultures of the probiotic strain, Lactobacillus plantarum 299v (LP299V®). This particular strain was chosen out of many, due to the 16 well-documented research trials that indicate their ability to promote healthy digestion.* Additionally, these trials substantiate that LP299V® has a superior ability to survive the stomach’s harsh acidic environment in order to inhabit the intestine.

LP299V® has been used by millions of people safely for almost two decades. LP299V® was initially developed for use by gastroenterologists in Sweden to help their patients recover from surgery.

We offer a variety of products to suit individual tastes. All GoodBelly products contain 10 – 50 billion colony forming units of probiotics per serving.** It just depends on which product you choose, but even the minimum of amounts has been documented to be adequate in populating the intestines when used on a daily basis."

If you suffer from poor digestive ghealth, wheter it be non-allergic food hypersensitivity or just in general, you shold do some reaserach and talk to your doctor about adding probitics to your routine. If you get the go ahead, try some GoodBelly. They even have one of those "try us for 12 days" challenges. You can get details at and

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