Is Your Lifestyle Killing You?

Learn how Maximized Living doctor, David Jockers’ lifestyle was killing him so that you can see what changes you may need to make to live your own vibrant life

I was born in 1981, and grew up in a time when we were told by public health authorities that fat was evil. So, we did whatever we could to consume more carbohydrates and less fat.  My family, like most people in those days, thought that foods like orange juice, cheerios, pasta, and potatoes were “health” foods.

My mom was vigilant about keeping sugar and candy out of the house and never really spoiled us with sweets.  We were considered the “healthy” kids and my mom was considered radical for restricting processed meats and sugary foods from the family.  The only animal products we regularly consumed were fish, eggs, and dairy, with a little bit of poultry from time to time.

This Was My Typical Diet:

Breakfast:  A bowl of corn flakes with low-fat milk, a banana, and a glass of orange juice.

Lunch:  A peanut butter and jelly sandwich on whole wheat bread with pretzels, and an apple.

Dinner:  Pasta with tomato sauce, parmesan cheese, and garlic bread, or vegetarian burritos with flour tortillas, refried beans, veggies, and processed cheese.


As I developed, I became very interested in performance and health.  I was an athlete throughout high school and my mom taught me that nutrition played a big role in my performance.  I began to ask for kale, garlic, fruit, peanut butter, canned tuna (for protein), and lots of pasta and bread (for carbs).

But My Body Was Breaking Down on the Inside.

In my early 20’s, I was a personal trainer and extremely active and fit.  However, on the inside, I was struggling.

I would have periods of tremendous intestinal cramping that would leave me lying on the ground squirming in pain.  I struggled with constant bouts of diarrhea and constipation that were unpredictable. I thought this was normal and no big deal, especially, since I was living a much healthier lifestyle than just about anyone that I knew.

I was a lacto-ovo vegetarian and never ate what I considered “junk food” like candy, fast food, or pastries.  I exercised daily and looked great on the outside so I thought I was doing everything right, but I really had no knowledge of how to truly care for my body.

By ignoring these smaller problems, I was allowing them to get worse and worse, and eventually spiral out of control.  That is when the “little things” completely disrupted my life.

My Typical Diet Plan as a Personal Trainer:

Breakfast:  A bowl of Quaker Oatmeal squares, berries, skim milk, dry roasted peanuts, and whey protein (processed – not the raw, non-denatured that Maximized Living currently recommends).

Lunch:  A salad consisting of spinach, cucumber, onion, tomato and processed soy burger, or tuna fish with olive oil, table salt, and pepper.

Snack:  Nuts, fruit, processed protein, and energy bars.

Dinner:  Farmed salmon with veggies and olive oil, or a soy burger on a whole-wheat bun, and salad drizzled with olive oil.

Before Bed:  Protein shake with skim milk, berries, and
whey protein.


As you can see, this diet was better than my childhood diet because I was consuming more vegetables and nutrients, but I still took in a lot of carbohydrates and processed foods that were dressed up as “health foods.”

Both of these diets were highly inflammatory and, in my case, the lifestyle factors I will describe going forward destroyed my digestive system.  This led me to have low energy, cramping, bloating, and constipation.  I was also sleepy all the time with major brain fog.

Here were some of the issues with my “healthy” diet:

Drinking Water:

I was drinking tons of water (which we all know is healthy)—at least a gallon a day, but unfortunately, the water was not filtered very well and contained chlorine and fluoride, which both have a detrimental effect on our gut microflora and intestinal lining, and increase the risk of cancer development1, 2.

Artificial Sweeteners:

I knew better than to eat a bunch of sugar, but at the time, I didn’t realize how bad Splenda was for my body.  I never purchased Splenda directly, but I ate processed protein bars and whey proteins that contained this dangerous ingredient.  Splenda has been shown to disrupt normal gut microflora and liver cleansing enzymes leading to both digestive and liver problems3.

Pasteurized Dairy: 

I would consume a lot of skim or low-fat milk, yogurts, and cottage cheese.  Unfortunately, most of these products were not organic.

Subsequently, I ended up consuming extreme amounts of hormones and antibiotics, which created dangerous chemicals that inflamed my body and distorted my hormones4.   Eating conventional meat from grain-fed cows, which were forced to eat corn and soy-based feeds with high levels of omega 6 fats, also contributed to this inflammation.

Farm Raised Fish:

I frequently ate salmon and tuna because I thought they were healthy.  Unfortunately, like most people, I ate a low-quality farm-raised variety that I would purchase because I didn’t know the difference between farmed and wild caught.  Farmed fish is fed genetically modified (GMO) grains that are laced with pesticides and herbicides that damage the gut lining5.

Gluten and Grains:

I would eat oatmeal or Quaker oatmeal squares every morning.  I would use whole wheat breads and pastas and lots of brown rice.  I thought this was healthy, but grains, in general, are inflammatory and the lectin components can be extremely hazardous to gut health and the overall nutritional status of
the body6.

Soy Products:

One of soy’s primary isoflavones, genistein, has been shown to inhibit the enzyme tyrosine kinase in the brain.  The highest amounts of tyrosine kinases are found in the hippocampus, a brain region that is essential to learning and memory7. So, high soy consumption actually blocks this mechanism of
memory formation.

Processed non-organic soy is also genetically modified (GMO) which makes it quite hazardous for a number of reasons.  It is best to avoid soy, or at least use fermented soy such as tempeh or miso.

Processed Proteins:

I was a huge fan of processed protein bars, protein shakes, and getting shakes at smoothie places.  I remember that I would even drink Ensure because I liked that it had protein and vitamins/minerals in it.  I didn’t realize these nutrients were in dangerous synthetic forms that are not well tolerated by the body.

Unfortunately, these products were all synthetically created and had tons of dangerous additives, preservatives, and artificial flavorings. All of these add to our toxic load, inflame the body, and damage the gut lining and the microbial diversity in the digestive system.


I suffered with headaches all throughout my childhood and would frequently take Ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAID’s).  When I played high school sports, I took more to control pain and help with injuries.  Unfortunately, NSAIDs place a lot of stress on the liver and kidneys and wear down the stomach and intestinal lining8.


Many of the people around you, including those who look healthy and fit, are living destructive lifestyles.  It may not catch up with them immediately, but if they continue in the direction they are heading, they will eventually have problems.

What is your lifestyle like?  Are you doing what it takes to live a lifestyle that brings health, hope and happiness?

Find out what you need to do to live the abundant life at our next blockbuster workshop: “Is Your Lifestyle Killing You?” Go to to find a doctor in your area.


Dr. David Jockers is a Maximized Living doctor, functional nutritionist, corrective care chiropractor, exercise physiologist, and certified strength & conditioning specialist. He currently owns and operates Exodus Health Center in
Kennesaw, Georgia.



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