Why green tea?

I have recently gotten into the habit of drinking green tea in the afternoon and thoroughly enjoy it! As we all know, green tea is a very healthy beverage to drink. Green tea has been consumed for approximately 5,000 years, first in China. Last year, I purchased the book, The Kaufmann Protocol: Why We Age and How to Stop it, which has a section on EGCG (Epigallocatechin gallate), the main component in green tea. What differentiates green tea from black tea and oolong tea is that green tea is not fermented. The plant’s (Camellia sinensis) leaves and buds are simply brewed. Dr. Sandra Kaufmann states: “Let’s answer the big question first. Can EGCG actually help you live longer? The answer is a resounding yes….”

Green tea’s health benefits

The above book mentions green tea’s known health benefits. Among others, it has: 

  • Antioxidant qualities
  • Anti-inflammatory properties
  • Anti-tumorigenic effects
  • Weight loss effects (over time)

Also, green tea may help strengthen bones: “EGCG has an osteo-inductive effect on stem cells, meaning the cells are steered into making bone cells versus any other cell.”

And when it comes to the brain, consuming green tea helps with “learning and other brain activities…EGCG exerts protective effects against seemingly eventual age-related cognitive declines and neurodegenerative diseases.”

In summary

This is a precious beverage indeed! With all these health benefits no wonder people have been drinking green tea for centuries! A cup of tea has between 70 and 90 mg of EGCG. Right now, I consume an organic sencha green tea, but there are numerous other organic options. Matcha, a green tea in powder form, is one of them. And to get more of the benefits green tea has to offer, I also take one capsule of Thorne Green Tea Phytosome each day. (Of course, you want to check with your physician first if you decide to do the same). Maybe it’s a cup of green tea a day that keeps the doctor away. Who knows?


Kaufmann, Sandra, et al. The Kaufmann Protocol : Why We Age and How to Stop It. Kaufmann Anti-Aging Institute, 2018, p. 249-57.

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Why olive oil?

How about a big colorful salad of mixed lettuces and greens with a diced avocado and a few other in-season picks? Then add a couple of sliced hard-boiled eggs, a can of fish, a few pieces of cut-up roasted chicken, or any other protein for that matter. And for the homemade vinaigrette, use extra-virgin olive oil only. Did you know “that we cannot absorb some of the most important nutrients in salad greens unless the dressing or the meal it’s eaten with contains some type of fat”? To this statement, Jo Robinson, author of Eating on the Wild Side, adds that according to a 2012 study, olive oil turns out to be the best oil to use in order to get those nutrients.

The composition of olive oil

We usually consider olive oil to be a monounsaturated fat because it contains 77% monounsaturated fatty acids, but it also has 13.5% saturated fatty acids, and 8.4% polyunsaturated fatty acids. The book Superfuel emphasizes that “[o]live oil, particularly high-quality extra virgin olive oil, contains oleic acid and polyphenol, which can dramatically reduce the susceptibility of LDL to oxidation and promote healthy lipid content.” So the higher the polyphenol content, the better. And a recent Ben Greenfield podcast highlights the fact that oleic acid, as well as DHA found in fish/fish oil, are the two fats most beneficial to the brain. Furthermore, Fat for Fuel, by Dr. Joseph Mercola, lists the following health benefits regarding olive oil:

  • Antioxidant powerhouse
  • Heart protection
  • Anticancer activity
  • Anti-aging benefits
  • Bone health

How to shop for olive oil

Shopping for olive oil requires a bit of vigilance as “[e]ven ‘extra-virgin’ olive oil is often diluted with other less expensive oils, including hazelnut, soybean, corn, sunflower, palm, sesame, grape seed and/or walnut. These added oils will not be listed on the label, so most people will not be able to discern that their olive oil is not 100 percent pure,” state Dr. James DiNicolantonio and Dr. Joseph Mercola in Superfuel. The “use by” or “sell by” date for olive oil is not the best indicator of freshness. It’s the “harvest” date” or “pressed on” date that is to look for on a bottle, and it should be under six months old. In the same way, you want to consume olive oil within six months. Also, it is best to only buy “extra-virgin” olive oil because when the label mentions “pure” or “light” oil, “olive oil” or “olive pomace oil,” this means that the oil has gone through “chemical processing.” I like to use the unfiltered Bragg organic extra virgin olive oil.

How to use olive oil

As olive oil is sensitive to air, light, and heat, you want to keep your bottle(s) in a cool area away from light and right away put the cap back on the bottle after each use to minimize oxidation of the oil. If you have a high-quality extra-virgin olive oil with a high polyphenol content, it can be used for cooking at moderate temperatures. Otherwise, it is best to use olive oil for dressings and to drizzle over your food, as mentioned in my article about The Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid. If the olive oil tastes rancid, has a fusty, moldy, wine, or vinegar flavor, you should discard it. These are the basics to know about olive oil. As a final note, I would highly recommend the above podcast which goes further into details about What Olive Oil Should Taste Like, The Scary Truth About Olive Oil, Can You Cook With Extra Virgin Olive Oil & Much More! To your daily dose of olive oil!


Dinicolantonio, James, and Joseph Mercola. Superfuel : Ketogenic Keys to Unlock the Secrets of Good Fats, Bad Fats, and Great Health. Carlsbad, California, Hay House Inc, 2018, pp. 88-93.

“Extra Virgin Olive Oil: What It Should Taste Like & What To Look Out For.” Ben Greenfield Fitness – Diet, Fat Loss and Performance Advice, 8 Feb. 2020, bengreenfieldfitness.com/podcast/nutrition-podcasts/extra-virgin-olive-oil/. Accessed 15 Feb. 2020.

Mercola, Joseph. Fat for Fuel : A Revolutionary Diet to Combat Cancer, Boost Brain Power, and Increase Your Energy. Carlsbad, California, Hay House, Inc, 2017, pp. 90–92.

Robinson, Jo, and Andie Styner. Eating on the Wild Side the Missing Link to Optimum Health. New York Little, Brown, 2013, pp. 37-38.

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Bone broth: its many uses

I love having a cup of bone broth at the end of the day, especially when it is cold outside. Nothing better to warm you up and energize you at the same time! Bone broth has been used for thousands of years as a healing beverage by traditional cultures. A South American saying declares that “bone broth raises the dead.” Dr. Catherine Shanahan “consider[s] bone broth a missing food group.” You can directly drink the broth just like I do or/and use it whenever you want to make stews, soups, or sauces instead of using plain water. 

What bone broth offers

In Your Personal Paleo Code, Chris Kresser emphasizes the fact that “[t]he nutrients in bone broth are particularly helpful for restoring the integrity of the gut barrier when it’s damaged.”

In Food Rules, Dr. Catherine Shanahan states that the “broth infuses your blood with molecules of collagen and glycosaminoglycan that affect your body in amazing ways…. This gives bone broths an ability to rejuvenate all your worn-out bones, joints, connective tissues, and the structural supports for skin.”

In Boundless, Ben Greenfield explains in great detail what bone broth offers. Here are some of the nutrients he mentions with their benefits:

  • Arginine (which is critical for immune system and liver function)
  • Glutamine (which assists with cellular metabolism)
  • Glycine (which aids in glutathione production and improves sleep quality)
  • Alkylglycerols (lipids from the marrow in bone both that are crucial for the production of white blood cells)

How to make a basic bone broth

All you have to do when making bone broth is add the bones (joint bones with the cartilage and marrow bones) of a well-sourced cow, chicken, pig, lamb, fish, etc. to a pot of water and letting that simmer for several hours up to 24 or even 48 hours. You can add some vegetables too, of course. I usually add some onion, garlic, carrots, various herbs, salt, and pepper. And that’s it! Your broth is ready to enjoy day after day. To your health and wellness!


Greenfield, Ben. Boundless : Upgrade Your Brain, Optimize Your Body & Defy Aging. Las Vegas, Victory Belt Publishing Inc, 2020, pp. 360–1.

Kresser, Chris. Your Personal Paleo Code: The 3-Step Plan to Lose Weight, Reverse Disease, and Stay Fit and Healthy for Life. 1st ed., New York, NY, Little, Brown and Company, Dec. 2013, pp. 174–5.

Shanahan, Catherine. Food Rules : A Doctor’s Guide to Healthy Eating. Bedford, Nh, Big Box Books, 2010, p. 67-68.

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Attending a yoga class

I have started attending yoga classes again. I hadn’t attended yoga classes in 30 years. When I was raising my children, I did practice at home a few asanas (yoga poses) on and off, along with some ballet stretches. Now, as a chiropractic assistant, I am familiar with the main yoga poses. So taking part in a yoga class again is not like a brand new experience. It just feels like something I shouldn’t have waited 30 years to start again. 

Focusing on your breathing

As explained in Yoga for Rejuvenation by Nergis Dalal, “Without pranayama – the science of the control of the breath – there can be no yoga. Every asana has its own breath pattern and breathing forms the basis for all yoga practice.” The first yoga class I attended this month was focusing on very simple poses, reinforcing the importance of deep breathing. Box breathing, that I have described in 4 Easy Breathing Exercises for Relaxation, was practiced as well. What a nice way to start the morning!

Core strength, balance, and flexibility

The second class I attended covered traditional yoga poses: tabletop position, to cat/cow, to child’s pose; warrior II and warrior III poses, downward dog, plank, cobra, and mountain pose, among others. Along with paying attention to your breathing, this set of poses reinforces your balance, flexibility, and the importance of building adequate core strength. Still according to Nergis Dalal, “The alternate stretching and contracting movements of the asanas help muscles to retain their tone and keep bones strong and lung tissue healthy. The heart is strengthened and made more resistant by being subjected to alternate pressures, thus improving the circulation of blood to the body.”

In summary

Maintaining muscle tone and flexibility, improving balance and breathing skills, strengthening how organs can function through various poses, all these are good reasons for practicing a few yoga asanas every day if you can. Yoga helps reduce daily stress too. What else is there to say? Is there something you haven’t done in 30, 20, or 10 years that you would like to start again?

Nergis Dalal. Yoga for Rejuvenation : Revitalizing Techniques of the Yogis. New York, Thorsons Publishers, 1984, pp. 11–17.

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Why counting calories is not needed

We’ve heard for years that we have to burn more calories than we take in in order to lose weight. This phrase is too insufficient of an explanation. This makes us think that it doesn’t matter whether those fewer calories come from nutrient-dense foods or from junk food. In Keto Answers, by Dr. Anthony Gustin and Chris Irvin, it is stated that, “[a]s nutrition journalist and author Gary Taubes explains, obesity is a disorder of fat accumulation rather than excess calorie consumption.” So if too many calories is not the main issue, then what is triggering this fat buildup?

Why consuming too many carbs may be what keeps you from losing weight

Not all calories consumed are going to be utilized by the body the same way. It is important to keep in mind that when a food triggers a high insulin (an energy storage hormone) response, this high insulin level in the bloodstream is going to prevent the body from burning fat or in other words from losing excess accumulated fat. Consuming high-glycemic foods on a regular basis will probably precipitate this fat-storage pattern. It is also important to keep in mind that we are all different individuals with different metabolisms and genetic predispositions, so we are not going to respond to the same foods consumed the same way. Even a single individual is going to handle various foods differently as the years and decades go by. We constantly have to adjust and see how our body is responding to the foods we eat.

What works for weight loss

What we want are calories from whole, nutrient-dense foods, not from processed foods. Healthy fats are what can keep us satiated for long periods of time (especially if we want to lose weight) as mentioned in the previous blog post: What are Ketones? As a side note, Dr. Mark Hyman wrote Eat Fat, Get Thin, which highlights how healthy fats are far from being our enemy when we want to lose weight and stay healthy.

In summary

Counting calories is really not a primary requirement for weight loss. In most cases (as we are now aware), it’s having high insulin levels that can prevent fat burning and appropriate hormone balance.


Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, pp. 96-98.

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5 affirmations to start 2020

So what did you decide to tackle in 2020? I have no specific New Year’s resolution besides continuing the routine I have set for myself to keep my energy levels and health as they are right now. That alone is work and that is plenty for me. That said, I have a set of affirmation cards (Affirmators! by Suzi Barrett) that can give oneself a nice little boost when the moral is not at its best. Reminding ourselves of what truly matters in life on a regular basis can make a world of difference over time. Out of this set, I have picked 5 affirmations to start this brand new year: 

  • Follow your heart: “I’m always rewarded when I follow my heart. I trust that the GPS in my heart knows all the best routes. And when it seems like it’s taking too long to get where I want, I know that’s because there’s some cool, weird stuff to see along the way.”
  • Generosity: “ I give generously to those around me, no matter how much (or how little) I have. I know there is more than enough to go around, and that the key is to allow it to keep going around without stopping. If I stop the flow, I’m like the one person at the stadium who doesn’t do the wave.”
  • Impermanence: “Life is always changing, and I drift easily through those changes, good and bad. As I drift through hard times, I can take comfort in knowing that I will leave them behind. As I drift away from good times, I can take comfort in knowing that more will come my way. Impermanence is an equal-opportunity nonentity.”
  • No judgment: “I release myself from any and all judgments. I find my inner critic, call it into my office, and tell it to take a vacation. As it leaves the room, I let out a sigh and begin to enjoy the joy of simply being. Who hired that guy anyway?”
  • Power: “I am strong, I am grounded, I am powerful. I am like a cross between a dinosaur and a tank. But not a tank that is used for war. I am like a peaceful, loving dino-tank who feels so strong it doesn’t need to do anything but be.”

In summary

These are 5 powerful affirmations that I think can go a long way to help us wherever we are in life. So beyond the different resolutions we may take this new year to better or maintain our health and wellness, it seems to me that feeling grounded is what can allow us to take on new healthy habits and keep them beyond the first month.

To your health and wellness, and to this brand new year!

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How about limiting our sugar intake for the new year?

If limiting the amount of sugar in your diet is your New Year’s resolution, then this post is for you! “Hidden” sugars are in most processed products. If undetected, hidden sugars can easily impact your blood sugar even when you might think your diet is reasonably healthy. Reading labels is really important. There are numerous names for sugar in processed foods, so being familiar with those names is helpful to stay away from all this unwanted added sugar. Getting rid of foods containing hidden sugars might be the best first step in your step-by-step approach to getting rid of foods that do not contribute to sustaining your health and wellness.

How to spot “hidden” sugars in labels

What follows is a list of most of the various names for sugar in processed foods, as stated in Feeding You Lies, by Vani Hari:

  • Agave nectar                                                     
  • Barbados sugar                                                 
  • Barley malt                                                        
  • Beet sugar                                                         
  • Blackstrap molasses                                         
  • Brown sugar                                                      
  • Buttered syrup                                       
  • Cane juice crystals                                          
  • Cane sugar                                                        
  • Caramel                                                           
  • Carob syrup                                                       
  • Castor sugar                                                      
  • Confectioner’s sugar                                          
  • Corn syrup                                                        
  • Corn syrup solids                                              
  • Crystalline fructose                                             
  • Date sugar                                                        
  • Demerara sugar                                              
  • Dextrane                                                          
  • Dextrose                                                            
  • Diastase                                                            
  • Diastatic malt                                                       
  • Ethyl maltol                                                      
  • Evaporated cane juice                                   
  • Fructose                                                             
  • Fruit juice                                                       
  • Fruit juice concentrate                                  
  • Galactose                                                     
  • Glucose
  • Glucose solids
  • Golden sugar
  • Golden syrup
  • Granulated sugar
  • Grape sugar
  • High-fructose corn syrup
  • Honey
  • Icing sugar
  • Invert sugar
  • Lactose
  • Malt syrup
  • Maltodextrin
  • Maltose
  • Maple syrup
  • Molasses
  • Muscovado sugar
  • Raw sugar
  • Refiner’s sugar
  • Rice syrup
  • Sorbitol
  • Sorghum syrup 
  • Sucrose
  • Sugar
  • Syrup
  • Treacle
  • Turbinado sugar 
  • Yellow sugar                                                                                                            

What about “sugar-free” products?

Beyond this helpful list that can allow us to spot “hidden” sugars much more easily, another thing to stay away from are “sugar-free” processed foods. Why? Here’s an example of why, as explained in Keto Answers, by Dr. Anthony Gustin and Chris Irvin:  “[W]e have tested a lot of “sugar-free” snacks and have seen huge increases in blood sugar. A notable brand here is SmartSweets, which provides gummy versions of our favorite candies and markets them as only having 3 grams of sugar per serving. The catch? They use 30 grams of low-quality fiber syrups that they can label as fiber on the nutrition facts but act just like sugar in your bloodstream.”

In summary

If cutting down your sugar intake is one of your top priorities for the new year, becoming familiar with the various types of sugar and staying away from “sugar-free” processed foods are two major steps to take. Of course, this leads to eating whole foods. Whenever you want to use sugar in a recipe (beverage, dessert, or other), make sure you use healthy sugar substitutes instead of the traditional refined sugar. 

Have a Wonderful New Year!


Gustin, Anthony, and Chris Irvin. Keto Answers : Simplifying Everything You Need to Know about the World’s Most Confusing Diet. Middletown, De, Four Pillar Health, 2019, p. 396.

Vani Hari. FEEDING YOU LIES : How to Unravel the Food Industry’s Playbook and Reclaim Your Health. Carlsbad, California, Hay House, Inc., 2019, p. 101.

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“On-the-go” healthy snack options can be a lifesaver

During the busy Holiday season, having on-hand healthy snack options can be a big help when we have a weekend-to-do list that is longer than usual. To avoid snacking on unwanted foods, doing a little prep at home beforehand can be a lifesaver. “On-the-go” healthy snack options are easy to put together. And to have those ready when you need them will make you feel good about still taking care of your health while having a zillion other things to do.

12 snack options to have on hand

  • Artichoke hearts (with water, preferably in glass jars)
  • Avocados 
  • Beef jerky (homemade or minimally processed)
  • Dark chocolate: 85 percent cacao or above being better
  • Canned fish: sardines, anchovies, and oysters are my favorites
  • Cut-up raw vegetables with nut butters or guacamole
  • Hard-boiled eggs
  • Low-glycemic fruits like berries
  • Nuts and nut butters (not to overdo on those though). As a sidenote, peanuts are a legume, not a nut.
  • Olives
  • Pasture-raised/grass-fed or organic cheese made with raw milk (directly from a farm ideally)
  • Slices of cold meat or poultry (with primal/paleo-approved condiments if needed)

The protein bars I enjoy having on hand

When pressed for time, primal/keto-approved bars can be pretty handy too. I particularly enjoy the Bulletproof Collagen Protein Bars, Primal Kitchen Bars, Epic Bars (I mentioned the EPIC brand in a previous post regarding pork rings as a snack), and the Design for Health KTO BARS. Having one or two protein bars in your purse or bag at all times is a sure way to satisfy any arising hunger and to stay away from unhealthy snack options.  

In summary

This short list of easy to prepare healthy snack options, paired with occasional good quality protein bars, is an awesome way to stay primal even on the most hectic days!


Perlmutter, David, and Kristin Loberg. Grain Brain : The Surprising Truth about Wheat, Carbs, and Sugar–Your Brain’s Silent Killers. New York, Ny, Little, Brown And Co, 2013, p. 247.

Sisson, Mark. The Primal Blueprint : 21-Day Total Body Transformation. Oxnard, Ca, Primal Blueprint Publishing, 2016, pp. 105, 118.

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In today’s world, convenience foods are everywhere and cooking from scratch has become quite rare. Who has the time to prepare home-cooked meals on a daily basis? We are always on the go, and weekends can be just as busy as the rest of the week. What we don’t realize, though, is that when we reach for convenience foods and on-the-go meal options, we do not fuel ourselves with real food – with nutrient-dense food. We fuel ourselves with processed foods that are filled with toxic chemicals, labeled or not labeled. Only home-cooked meals made with whole foods can give us the right nutrients required for proper metabolic function. Home-cooked meals are the meals that sustain health and wellness.

What cooking at home can lead to

In a recent Bulletproof podcast, “What the heck should I cook, Dr. Hyman?”, Dr. Mark Hyman states, “If people just got off the crap and started eating real food, and literally unplugged from the industrial food system, their health would dramatically improve.” He adds, “We would reverse climate change. We would end social injustice and poverty. We’d have money enough for free education, and free healthcare for everybody, and can support the neediest among us with no effort, and have lots of money left over to do cool stuff and create new science, and solve all the world’s problems just by cooking at home.” These are strong statements and I encourage you to listen to this podcast which highlights so many truths we have become oblivious to.

What to use in simple home-cooked meals

Home-cooked meals imply cooking with whole foods, which means using nutrient-dense ingredients that have not been tampered with. To find out what to buy to prepare home-cooked meals, you can check several of my previous blog posts: What to Buy Organic, Which Fish are Okay to Buy, How to Source Beef, Why Eating the Egg Yolk is Perfectly Fine. In What are Ketones? I list several healthy fat options that can be consumed as snacks, as well as which oils to use for cooking. My article on The Primal Blueprint Food Pyramid sums up this list of nutrient-dense foods to use in home-cooked meals.


You don’t have to cook every single day in order to obtain an optimal level of health and wellness. Most of us have busy schedules and aren’t able to set that time aside each day. Instead, you can implement a few different strategies into your weekly routine in order to obtain the same goal. One strategy you can implement is to set some time aside on the weekend to prep several dishes for the week. You can store these in the fridge or freezer, as required. Also, something that I was doing a lot when my children were growing up, is to cook a meal big enough to cover at least two dinners. Like that, when there are after school activities to attend, dinner doesn’t have to be an end-of-the-day ordeal.

In summary

It may seem impossible at first to change the way we have approached cooking in our day-to-day life. But if we take it one step at a time, we can enjoy home-cooked meals every day. As Dr. Hyman highlights, not only are home-cooked meals made with whole foods better for our health, but they are also better for a host of other issues we are dealing with in today’s world. Home-cooked meals sustain health and wellness in so many ways!

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