about maximal being

Our Mission

Be An Optimal Human

Cereal for breakfast, pizza for lunch, pasta for dinner. We meander through the day like zombies, sit on the couch watching TV until we pass out, then wake up feeling groggy…wash rinse repeat.  Sound familiar?

As humans most of us exist every day in fluorescent caves.  The animals we consume are raised in boxes, and the food we eat is stored in packages, bottles, cans and containers.  Our society has progressed from farm fresh foods that we can identify to a chemistry experiment, which can survive years sitting on the shelf. 

Thanks to years of misinformation such as the food pyramid, low carb diets and TV dinners, we have damaged our food ecosystem.  As a result, we have created franken-foods that are not found in nature and most of us cannot even pronounce. 

Due to these lab experiments we call food today; our bodies react to these substances in unfamiliar fashion.  This has led to the surfacing of irritable bowel syndrome, gastroesophageal reflux disease, obesity and gluten sensitivity. 

Eating real food, eating enough food and eating seasonal is tough.  But breaking free of our boxed lives is liberating!  Let us take you on a journey toward healing your gut, your mind and your body.  Let us the health care professionals, work on caring for your health and maximizing your being.

Doc Mok

It was at mile 8 that I realized, maybe this plan is not working!  In 2014 I was running 8 miles every other day, eating 1,200 calories per day, working 80 hours a week, and I felt like I was getting nowhere. I am a doctor; I should be the model of health to my patients, right? More calories out than in equals fat loss, right? It’s simple math, so why wasn’t it working? I looked back on my medical education and realized that the 6-hour course I had on the food pyramid probably was not an adequate basis for understanding nutrition and weight management. I, like many others, had fallen victim to conventional health and wellness fads and the idea that the same plan will work for everyone. So, with the help of others, I went back to the books and educated myself. 

I credit my good friends RN Graham, Stephanie and Erik Walker at strongfigure.com for catalyzing my re-education in health and nutrition. By getting back to basics I have built a healthy, sustainable lifestyle that is easy to maintain. In this journey, I have discovered an interest in how the gut influences food choices and how food choices influence the gut.

I am an advanced endoscopist which is a type of gastroenterologist who specializes in treating cancer.  I was born in New York City. I grew up in New Jersey with my awesome parents and two wonderful younger sisters.  I received a Master’s degree in Biomedical Sciences and a Medical Doctorate from Ross University.  I completed Internal Medicine residency and Gastroenterology fellowship in New Jersey and completed an advanced endoscopy Fellowship in Pennsylvania. I now reside in Ohio where I practice medicine.

In my practice, I see and treat patients daily with the goal of using lifestyle choices to improve health. Patients struggling with chronic gastrointestinal symptoms or cancer and healthy patients alike can benefit from improved nutrition. In my work here at Maximal Being, I would like to offer my expertise to help you improve your health. Let’s work together toward a healthy gut, mind, and body for everyone!

Richard graham

Hey guys! So, a little about me. I’m happily married, 2 wonderful children and living in Fort Lauderdale area of South Florida. I am currently working the nightshift as a registered nurse in a medical intensive care unit. In the last 10 years, I’ve evolved quite a bit in my career, personal life, and fitness life. I believe because of this, I can give sound advice on how to start and maintain a healthy lifestyle in today’s busy, drive-thru, pushbutton, instant gratification world. So, a little background about my fitness journey.

I was always the super skinny kid growing up; I mean someone hand this kid a sandwich skinny! Tall and lanky, I felt like my awkward teen years crept well into my 20’s. It was not until my wife was pregnant with our first child that I became conscious about my health and fitness. My mentality, “I’ve got to try and live forever for this kid”. At this time in my life, I worked as a medical assistant in a busy doctor’s office outside of Princeton, NJ. I was lucky enough to have this insanely smart and motivated friend that worked beside me. We were fortunate enough to have access to a gym during our lunch break which we utilized for roughly 30-45 mins four days a week. Initially, I just wanted to go in there and toss up weight, but my friend, as mentioned before was crazy smart. He showed me the importance of doing research and how to maximize our allotted time. We read all the fitness magazines and I learned that fitness is more cerebral than physical. So, while others would take their two 10-minute breaks to go puff on their cigarettes, we would simply just walk around the parking lot. Fast forward to 2015 my friend is now in his last year of residency and I am entering my journey into nursing school. I also found myself doing something I never thought I would ever do; walking across the stage at the largest National Physique Committee competition in South Florida. Being the modest and shy person that I am I was trembling on stage, but it was such a big accomplishment to go from that scrawny guy in his late 20’s to placing 4th out of over 50 competitors in the physique at 35 years of age.

So here we are in the present. As stated above, I now work as a night nurse in an ICU and my friend is one of the top GI docs in Cleveland, Ohio. Both extremely busy and demanding careers, and unfortunately, we both see many people who if they made better health choices in life would not be in our care. My friend approaches me with the idea of doing a health and fitness blog from a health professional’s point of view. What I hope to bring to you in my portion is guidance on diet choices and fitness routines that have been proven by evidence-based tried and tested facts to help you reach your fitness goal.

Well, hopefully, this “short” story helps you guys get to know me a little better. But know that I am incredibly grateful for each one of you. So, whether you are someone that is trying to figure out how to fit your fitness goals into your busy life or looking to try something new, I hope that I can guide you on your journey. I understand that everyone’s goals are different and look forward to giving you the advice to succeed at yours. Here’s to your success in your first step or continued journey into a healthier life.

GI Jeff

My journey as a health enthusiast (my wife would use the term health fanatic) started a long time ago. At the age of 8 I was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes, so really for most of my life I have had the unfortunate necessity to deal with chronic disease. Naturally, there were times when I felt sorry for myself, or times when I did not want to be bothered with managing my diabetes. Fortunately with time, experience and education, I used my chronic disease as a reason to focus on my health and well being.

I am now almost 40 years old, and for 32 of those years I have lived with it. Without question, I am in the best shape of my life. I have truly understood the way in which the food can impact my body – both in the short term and in the long term. The consequences of the decisions we make for ourselves are on my mind every minute of every day. When I speak with my patients about these issues, about the importance of not only smart choices but also of prevention, I am not paying them lip service; I am most definitely practicing what I preach.

I graduated from medical school and almost immediately began to pursue a career in Gastroenterology. This medical specialty suits me for several reasons. I have the ability to perform procedures when they are necessary, and also have the opportunity to establish working relationships with patients over the long term to help them manage disease. Plus, nutrition and food are an integral part of what I do, so talking about food is always nice!

I spend most of my free time in the gym. I am an enthusiastic Crossfitter (usually 5-6 days per week) and in 2016 obtained my L1 Crossfit trainer certificate. In addition to avidly training in Crossfit, I also enjoy yoga (mostly to ease the strain on my aging knees). It drives my wife crazy that every time we travel, I always make time to exercise (even on our honeymoon).

I enjoy cooking, travel and watching Jeopardy. My wife tells me I am a nerd. I am happily married, close with my whole family, and my wife and I are expecting our first baby late this summer. I am thrilled to be contributing to this site!

DEX Z

Hey, all of you maximal beings! I am delighted to contribute to this website and embark on this journey with Doc Mok, RN Graham, and all of you. We live in an exciting era. There has been a rapidly accelerating movement for some time now in medicine, health science, education and government geared toward empowering individuals to be accountable for their health. 

Each of us has a wonderful gift: free will. Waking up every day, we can choose how we will continue through life. We can accept that we are at greatly increased risk of heart disease, diabetes, cancers, and Alzheimer’s dementia through poor lifestyle choices. Or we can choose to pursue healthiness, or what Doc Mok likes to describe as being an optimal human

Although the information on healthy lifestyle choices is easily accessible now more than ever before, it can be quite a daunting task to filter through it all and know what is safe and beneficial for long term wellness. In the news and social media, which is good for us one day is deemed unhealthy the next. Not to mention, we are inundated with fad diets, quick-fix exercise routines, and expensive supplements many of which are not backed by peer-reviewed science. We are here to help you with that.  

I am currently practicing anesthesia as the Chief Anesthetist in a large community hospital in Ohio. As an anesthetist, I deliver anesthesia for many different patients requiring various surgical procedures. My older brother and I were born to incredibly hard-working immigrant parents in Ohio. My formal education began in Kentucky with a premed-focused undergraduate degree in biochemistry/molecular biology. I continued my academic career at Case Western Reserve University where I earned my first master’s degree in biochemical research. I spent the following two years working in genetics research involving the human genome project while resuming my studies in physiology. Completing my master’s degree in anesthesiology in 2002, I have been practicing here in Ohio ever since. I am grateful to have two amazing children and an incredible wife. In my nearly two decades of anesthesia practice, I have seen patients come to the OR with many different injuries and diseases. I am always affected most by those that have become ill primarily because of chronic diseases directly linked to unhealthy lifestyles. This fuels my motivation continue learning, sharing, and empowering others.  

I had been an athlete throughout my entire young life. After completing my scholar-athlete days in college, I became a fitness and nutrition fanatic spending much time reading and researching with a desire to build on my knowledge about what it means to be healthy. We cannot simply ‘exercise-away’ an unhealthy diet, poor sleep habits, mismanaged chronic stress, substance abuse, and other detrimental habits. Although nutrition and fitness are the cornerstones of a healthful life, there is more we must consider on this journey to optimal health. We are grateful to have you with us. 

Thanks to all of you maximal beings who chose to join us in this pursuit of healthy.

Elle mok-Taylor

I am a licensed clinical professional counselor (LCPC) in the state of Maryland and has been working in the field for over 6 years. I currently work as a psychiatric therapist at an outpatient clinic for children and families through Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. 

I work with families and children/adolescents who experience a range of difficulties, specializing in using expressive and cognitive-based techniques to combat trauma, depression, self-harm/suicidal behaviors, anxiety, and behavioral concerns. I received a Masters of Science in Mental Health Counseling from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Penn State (WE ARE!).

In my free time, I enjoy snuggling with my fur baby, Rue, exercising and being outdoors, doing puzzles and watching college sports with my husband.