Sense of purpose and self-worth- We must have a purpose to live. Without a purpose to get up each day, our health will fail. Being involved in a community of people, whether that is with family, church, neighborhood, etc., can help give us a sense of purpose and can also be an important way for acknowledging and gaining self-worth. I like to encourage people to volunteer in soup kitchens or some kind of charity within their community. If there is one thing we learned from the pandemic, it was that people need to be with one another. When we are involved and actively engaging in the world around us, we tend to be happier and feel better about ourselves. We also tend to have a more positive outlook on life, and this in turn can affect our overall health.
The term Blue Zones has been used to describe places where people live long and healthy lives. What exactly does it take to live a long and healthy life? What is the science and the secret behind longevity and life extension? In this series, we are talking to medical experts, wellness experts, and longevity experts to share “5 Things You Need To Live A Long, Healthy, & Happy Life”. As a part of this series, I had the distinct pleasure of interviewing Dr. Darrin Starkey.
Dr. Darrin Starkey has been a board-certified naturopathic physician since 2000 and is a member of the American Alternative Medical Association (AAMA). He has worked for Trace Minerals since 1991 and is their VP of Training and Education. He is considered an expert in the field of mineral and trace mineral nutrition, balance, and deficiency, and focuses his training and education on the building blocks of a healthy diet and the important role trace minerals play in health and nutrition.
Thank you so much for joining us! Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’?
I began working in the supplement industry in the mixing department at Trace Minerals while I was in college, and honestly, in the beginning, I never thought it would become my career. But I quickly found myself fascinated by the different properties and medicinal values of the herbs and trace minerals I was working with and ultimately this led me to seek a career in the nutritional industry as a naturopathic doctor.
Can you share with us the most interesting story from your career? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?
In 2016 I was working on my family’s property cutting up some downed trees when I cut my leg with a chainsaw. Initially, I had thought I had cut through my femoral artery and in that moment, when I thought, I was going to die, it made me think of the things I love in my life, my passions. Thankfully I had missed the artery, but I did cut through about 80% of my patella tendon, so during my struggle to get home, I thought a lot about how I wanted to enjoy my passions moving forward. Long story short, once I made it to my home, I had my wife pour ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops into my wound because I knew the benefits of those trace elements. Once at the ER, the doctor was surprised at how much my body was already mending. In fact, after having surgery, the surgeon mentioned that he had to cut through a significant amount of “webbing” that had already formed to sew up my tendon. In a strange way, this made me even more passionate about the ConcenTrace, and especially as I went through the recovery process. I applied the ConcenTrace topically to my wound and was sure to take it internally. To look at my leg now, you would never know how bad my situation could have been. My scar is hardly visible, and I have no issues with mobility or range of motion. In the end, this accident made me appreciate my family even more because I am still able to go and do things with them and be a part of their lives, and cutting my leg taught me even more about the healing power of trace minerals!! If I could heal my body this well using trace minerals, I knew others could do the same. As a result, I am now even more passionate about sharing the benefits of ConcenTrace with others.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful for who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?
Matt Kilts is both my mentor and dearest friend. Matt is now one of the owners of Trace Minerals and is the company’s CEO. He introduced me to ConcenTrace many years ago, and then later invited me to work at Trace Minerals. Under his leadership, the company has grown, and I have been fortunate to be able to be a part of that growth as I have continued to trust and follow Matt along my career path. Throughout the years, it has been Matt’s passion and vision for the Trace Minerals’ brand that encouraged me to expand my knowledge. And, as my understanding of trace minerals has grown, it has kept me motivated and committed to making education and training on Trace Minerals’ products, especially the ConcenTrace Trace Mineral Drops, my life-long mission.
You are a successful leader. Which three character traits do you think were most instrumental to your success? Can you please share a story or example for each?
Desire- Years ago when I was working the, far from a glamorous job, in the mixing department at Trace Minerals, I truly wanted to have a better understanding behind the various herbs used in the formulations. I also enjoyed learning about ConcenTrace. Back then we had even less of an understanding than we do now of how trace minerals work, but I was fascinated by how everything fit together, and would read as much as could on trace minerals and other nutrients to increase my knowledge.
Passion- While trace minerals are complex in many ways, I appreciate their simplicity. I have always wanted others to be able to appreciate the benefits of the tiny minute elements in the ConcenTrace too. When I saw how trace minerals conducted electrical impulses for the first time, I knew that if others were able to see that, through a simple demonstration, it would spark an understanding that could be built on. I sought ways to connect with customers on a personal level so that I could relate and express the importance of the ConcenTrace for their health and well-being.
Commitment- There were times through the years when I really wondered if I was making a difference, and it would have been easy to just give it all up, but there were two things that helped keep me committed. The first was my own experiences with the ConcenTrace. This included experiences I had had on my own and experiences family members and close personal friends had had after they had become educated. The second thing was hearing back from people I had educated along the way and learning about their stories and experiences after I had educated them on the importance of trace minerals. Hearing these life-changing moments in others motivates me to keep pressing forward constantly searching for “just one more person” to educate.
Ok, thank you for all that. Now let’s shift to the main focus of our interview about health and longevity. To begin, can you share with our readers a bit about why you are an authority in the fields of health, wellness, and longevity? In your opinion, what is your unique contribution to the world of wellness?
I don’t necessarily see myself as an authority in these areas. I see myself more as a traveler along a path who is gathering knowledge from other travelers along the way. Since the science of trace minerals is still expanding and changing, I see myself as a student who is still trying to learn as science evolves its understanding. There is always someone else who understands and knows more about trace minerals than I do, and so for 32 years, I have made it my mission to constantly be continuing to learn from those people and share what I know with anyone who is interested in hearing what I have learned.
Seekers throughout history have traveled great distances and embarked on mythical quests in search of the “elixir of life,” a mythical potion said to cure all diseases and give eternal youth. Has your search for health, vitality, and longevity taken you on any interesting paths or journeys? We’d love to hear the story.
I don’t believe that by consuming a certain elixir we can live forever. But what we need to focus on is making the time we have the best we possibly can, and I do think there are things we can certainly be doing to assist with that. I often say the ConcenTrace is the cure to nothing but is the foundation to everything. That is probably true for a lot of things in our lives. It’s everything working together that provides us with our final outcome. Personally, throughout my career I have discovered that maintaining a positive attitude can be more powerful than anything we eat or drink to help us enjoy whatever time we have on this earth. But I have also learned that our mental well-being is often impacted by how we are feeling physically, and that is certainly a reason to feed and nourish our body as best we can. When I cut my leg with the chainsaw, I realized very quickly that so much of my body’s ability to properly repair itself came from healthy choices I had been making for years before my accident. I also discovered how quickly an injury or illness could change one’s mental attitude. It is interesting to note, that during those first few days after my surgery, I struggled mentally. But, putting my knowledge and understanding to work, I realized that the stress of the injury was depleting my body of needed vitamins and minerals. As I leaned into my previous good health choices, being sure to supplement with the ConcenTrace, I concentrated my efforts even more during my recovery, and I was able to heal quickly. I think being able to “bounce back” is more the secret to longevity than anything, and that takes being consistent doing the little things for our health day in and day out.
Based on your research or experience, can you please share your “5 Things You Need To Live A Long & Healthy Life”? (Please share a story or an example for each)
- Hydration- When we think of hydration, we naturally think of water. But water is really only a vehicle for the minerals it contains, and these minerals are actually what help hydrate our bodies. Among other things, these minerals help ensure proper muscle contraction is occurring. They also assist with water balance within the cells, which helps eliminate toxins and regulate the body. But we fear our environment, and rather than drinking water sources that Mother Nature intended us to, such as ground, spring, creek, and river water, we drink bottled, filtered, distilled, or RO water. We feel more comfortable with these “clean” water options. But remember, while these types of water do remove the contaminates often found in Mother Nature’s water sources, they are not just removing the unwanted things; they also end up removing many, if not all, of the minerals too. So, it is important to consider remineralizing your water to give your body a boost to stay properly hydrated, and the ConcenTrace is an excellent option for that.
- Nutrition- The long-held saying “we are what we eat” is true — mostly. While it is important to focus our diet on raw fruits and vegetables, nuts, seeds, whole grains, legumes, and protein (whatever that looks like for you), the fact is we are what we absorb. While vitamins, minerals, and trace minerals should be found in our foods where Mother Nature naturally spreads them out in varying and balanced amounts, unfortunately, due to the depletion of these nutrients from the soil, they are not as prevalent as they once were and now our diets rarely provide the complete spectrum of nutrients at the amounts we need. This can, in turn, create issues with absorption. In the end, a vicious cycle of improper nutrition and malabsorption of nutrients takes hold, and this ultimately impacts our health negatively and can shorten our lives. Supplementing with minerals — both macro and trace, vitamins, and other important nutrients proactively is useful in addressing nutritional deficiencies that are often lacking in the foods we are consuming. For those who want to just give their body a boost, a good multi-vitamin, like Trace Minerals’ Electro-Vita-Min, is a great idea.
- Movement- As Newton’s law of physics goes, a body in motion will stay in motion. We have to move! I say move because it’s not just about exercising. Movement stimulates our muscles and helps keep our immune, circulatory, and digestive systems working properly. In addition to helping with the management of weight, it can also contribute to mental well-being through the release of endorphins. Research also shows that the more movement you have in your day, the better the quality of sleep at night.
- Sleep- The better you sleep, the more energy you have the next day. Ultimately, better sleep can benefit our overall well-being in numerous ways. Turning off the tv or our devices early so we can catch a few extra Zzzs to give our body time to repair and regenerate can help our immune system. In fact, 1–3 days of less than 6 hours of sleep per night raises our risk to develop diabetes, so this makes sleep a very important piece of the puzzle for our health and longevity.
- Sense of purpose and self-worth- We must have a purpose to live. Without a purpose to get up each day, our health will fail. Being involved in a community of people, whether that is with family, church, neighborhood, etc., can help give us a sense of purpose and can also be an important way for acknowledging and gaining self-worth. I like to encourage people to volunteer in soup kitchens or some kind of charity within their community. If there is one thing we learned from the pandemic, it was that people need to be with one another. When we are involved and actively engaging in the world around us, we tend to be happier and feel better about ourselves. We also tend to have a more positive outlook on life, and this in turn can affect our overall health.
Can you suggest a few things needed to live a life filled with happiness, joy, and meaning?
This ties in perfectly with having a sense of purpose and self-worth in my opinion! Research shows that those who regularly engage in activities where they are serving others live longer. Another benefit of serving others is that you tend to be able to better manage stressful situations as they come up. Given the impact chronic stress can ultimately have on our health, lending a helping hand seems like a great way to make yourself feel good and reap its benefits.
Some argue that longevity is genetic, while others say that living a long life is simply a choice. What are your thoughts on this nature vs. nurture debate? Which is more important?
While we would all love to have perfect genetics, we can’t control what we are born with, but there are many things we can do to nurture our health. I have had the privilege of knowing many people who have been born with health conditions that have outlived their life expectancy by choosing to focus on healthy life choices. These friends of mine are also people who have had great positive outlooks on life, so I think that is another aspect as to why they lived longer than they were expected to. On the flip side, I have also known several people who come from families with so-called “good genetics” who have died much earlier than you might expect given their family history. Bottom line: I don’t believe we should worry so much about our genetics, rather, control what we can by trying to live as healthy as possible. I also think supplementing with a product, like ConcenTrace, can patch the cracks in our health foundation to support and nurture our health into the future.
Life sometimes takes us on paths that are challenging. How have you managed to bounce back from setbacks in order to cultivate physical, mental, and emotional health?
For me, I think it has been a combination of maintaining consistency with good health choices, surrounding myself with positive people, serving others, and finally just embracing “the suck”. Sometimes life will suck, but I try to always look for the positives in each experience knowing that if I push through “the suck” it won’t last and that I can learn from the experience, and it will make me stronger.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Do you have a story about how that was relevant in your life?
“Doing the little things consistently can make the biggest difference.”
When I reflect on how I have applied this quote to the way I live, I can’t help but think about the lesson learned in Aesop’s fable “The Tortoise and the Hare”. From my health to my career, to my personal relationships with family and friends, everything I have done has benefited from my striving to maintain consistency. In a go-go world with lots of flashing lights that encourage us to “go big or go home”, I have found that it is by small and simple things that the greatest things have happened in my life. I learned the value of little things even more when I began to learn about trace minerals and the huge impact these tiny elements can have on our health. Through the course of my career, I have come to appreciate the concept of little things making a big impact over and over again! Ultimately, living by this motto, not only helps me prioritize what is most important in my life, it also helps me tackle “big things”, such as projects for my job, my chainsaw accident, family health challenges, etc. without becoming too overwhelmed. Additionally, I have also discovered that many times I will “go the extra mile” for others because when it comes down to it, little things don’t always seem like big things in the moment, and this makes it easier to do more without feeling like I am doing a lot.
You are a person of enormous influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂
I like to call trace minerals the building blocks of our health. If I could start a movement, it would be to get people to take the ConcenTrace to empower their health. I want to remineralize the world one person and one drop at a time!
What is the best way for our readers to continue to follow your work online?
This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent on this. We wish you only continued success.