Dr. Len Lopez, DC, CCN, CSCP, CSCS
Doctorate of Chiropractic
Certified Clinical Nutritionist
Certified Sports Chiropractic Physician
Certified Strength Conditioning Specialist
Brief Introduction/Tell Us About yourself (where you are from, etc)
I grew up in San Antonio, Texas and graduated from the University of Houston in 1982 with my business degree. I grew up playing sports as a kid and all the way through high school, but it wasn’t until the last couple of years of high school, I started reading various fitness, and muscle magazines, which got me to learn more about nutrition, fitness, sports conditioning….I kept reading and learning more as I went through college and beyond.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in nutrition?
I probably have to give credit to the Applied Kinesiology groups I started listening to when I was in chiropractic school, back in the early 90’s. As I was learning more about the structural component from the chiropractors views, it was the Ak-ers and the practitioners I was learning from who educated me on not just the importance of bone alignment, but what you put in your mouth is just as or more important if not more….specifically when dealing with so many of the common degenerative health conditions that plaque our socity.
How did you become passionate about healthy eating?
It started from all the weight lifting and exercising I was doing since high school, and continued through my adult life. I realized and learned that 15-20 percent of my fitness results come from my actual workout….another 15-20 percent of my results come from Rest and Recovery…..and 60-80 percent of my fitness results actually came from my Diet. But it wasn’t until I got into private practice and some of the athletes I was helping and had to start practicing what I preached, in that I needed to quit eating so many Oreos and chocolate ice cream to really achieve greater results or to get more out of all my time, energy and efforts. I used to always tell people in my younger years, that, Yes you could look like this with a diet of Oreos and ice cream. Little did I realize, that it would be wise for me to listen to some of the same advice I was giving my patients and started doing a better job with My TEAM…..My Time, Energy And Money.
What kind of training did you undergo/certification you received?
It started with my DC license and as I was studying more AK Applied Kinesiology, they taught lots of nutrition, so I went I became a CCN, and from my AK training and the guru’s I was learning from, I got Certified in Sports Medicine and as a Strength and Conditioning Coach.
What do people look for in a nutritionist, dietician or doctor?
Commonality is probably first, but I always tell patients and clients upfront. The 3 things everyone wants to know is 1) Can you help me? 2) How long will it take? 3) How much will it cost? I always respond on the 2nd and 3rd question after I have a chance to see how they filled out my Health Assessment Profile. From there I could basically give them a better idea as to how long and how much. Let me also add what my father taught me…. you don’t ask a Poor man how to make money, and you don’t ask an overweight person how to lose weight……so commonality plays a lot into picking a doctor or nutritionist….someone into yoga or endurance training may not be or feel as comfortable with someone who looks like Mr. America.
If you could persuade people to change three things about their diet, what would they be?
That’s easy. 1) Sit, Eat and Relax…..too many people eat their food on the run, on the go, in a hurry….This is a leading cause to so many digestive problems because when you eat on the run, you don’t allow your digestive System to turn on, and produce all the necessary Digestive Juices (enzymes and hydrochloric acid) needed to breakdown the food you just eat. Remember, Just because you ate it – doesn’t mean you Absorbed it! Keep in mind, that if you don’t provide the necessary Digestive Juices to come out and breakdown your food, YOU end up with a lot of partially digested food, rotting and putrefying as it runs through your small and large intestines. Which leads to further irritable bowel problems, leaky gut, etc….2) I recommend the 5 and 2 diet. Five days treat your body like a temple, 2 days treat it like an amusement park. I don’t expect everyone to eat perfect healthy meal every day/week….but if you eat more healthy meals than unhealthy meals in a week….that’s a good thing. It would be great for someone to have 21 good meals in a week, but realistically I believe most people would be happy eating 15 good meals and 6 bad meals in a week. 15 steps forward and 6 steps backwards, still has you moving in the right direction. 3) Don’t ruin a good healthy meal with a little or small portion of garbage, junk food. I know when I go out and I am ready to eat ice cream, I’m not going to buy the salmon. And when I know I am going to eat healthy, I will keep the whole meal healthy, It Makes For Better Digestion and Absorption
What would you make as a quick and healthy dinner option, if you have 30 minutes of preparation time?
First of all this is kind of like a trick question for me….as All my meals are done in 30 minutes, as well as, all cooked in one pan. Also, I have to make meals that my kids will eat too, so one of the meals I like cooking for my family starts with some rotessiarre chicken, throw in some type of rice/peas cauliflower veggie in coconut milk. There is this spicy chicken that I recently found that makes me feel like I am eating Thai food. It’s yummy and done in 30 minutes with only 1 pot to clean.
What is your favorite snack?
Pecans with dark chocolate chips…..that’s the healthy snack that I can also take with me in my backpack. I’ll also at home make some Plain Whole Yogurt and add hemp seeds, pecans, dark chocolate chips, cinnamon and honey and an ounce or two of raw milk.
Plant based living is becoming more and more popular. When eating a mostly plant based / vegetarian diet, are there certain foods to focus on to make sure we’re getting enough nutrients and protein?
First and foremost, any and all fruits and veggies are better than anything packaged. Yes some fruits and veggies have different properties or specifics, but they are for the most part loaded with vitamins, minerals and various compounds that our body needs to produce those important hormones, antibodies, neurotransmitters, endorphins, enzymes, etc..that are body needs. I’m also a big believer in raw foods, and typically eat more raw foods with my meal, as opposed to having a salad to get my raw foods. Either way, I’m getting my fiber and all the nutrients needed.
Speaking of plant based, you previous told me you’re a huge believer and chlorophyll and the many properties it posseses. What are the benefits of consuming Chlorophyll Water?
In all honesty I wasn’t too familiar with Chlorophyll Water, that being said, if it can bring those important nutrients and compounds, that the average person isn’t getting because of poor dietary choices, I’m a Big Fan. And this sounds like a simple way to help move people into becoming healthier by drinking Chlorophyll Water. Good Stuff.
What’s one of your favorite organic/natural supplements or vitamins you recommended?
Having formulated and manufactured nutritional products in the past, I have a bit of knowledge in this area. Let me also say that the majority of people don’t need 80 different skews or nutritional products to get or stay healthy. That being said, most nutritional companies don’t like me because I think that 80% of the population can be helped with 5-10 nutritional products, instead of 80, so I will say there are 4 supplements i always recommend. Fish Oils….we need those Omega 3’s and there are so many reasons that I don’t have time to discuss …..Green drinks…..it’s your basic multivitamin, that is also loaded with lots of green chlorophyll, more importantly they help you become more alkaline…..Digestive Enzymes…..almost everyone I see in my office has digestive problems….it is probably the most common malady, that doesn’t get mentioned enough…..Lastly Adrenal Support……Stress depletes our adrenals and everyone is complaining about too much stress
Any favorite health / nutrition podcasts or books you recommend to our readers?
Other than my books or video’s…..i’m a fan of Dr. Phil Maffetone “In Fitness and Health” I like the Price Pottenger foundation and information.
Where can our readers find you? (Instagram, Facebook, etc)
Fyi….I am also the author of 2 books, The 10 Biggest workout Mistakes and To Burn or Not to Burn – Fat is the Question.