I absolutely love my nutribullet. For those living in isolation who have never heard of it, you can learn about it here . Nutribullet is the best way to eat superfoods. Sometimes I’ll throw my vitamin capsules in there. Pure vitamin C is a good one for this.
It’s basically a blender running at 600 Watts. A new version just came out at 900 Watts which I will get when my current one needs replacing. I use it everyday to make smoothies. I’m not really sure why it’s better than a basic $20 blender, maybe it’s the shape of the container. The marketing hype says it’s “cyclonic action” that blends the contents better than a blender, but I’m not entirely sure about that claim. Nevertheless, it works great, easy to clean and a super way to drink your vegetables with skin, seeds and fiber (unlike traditional juicers). I finder juicers ridiculously hard to clean and feel you lose all the beneficial fiber.
The nutribullet is the best way to add superfoods like cacao beans, gelatinized maca, goji berry and others to your diet. You can’t do this with a juicer. Load up the plastic container with some vegetables and your choice of superfood with some water, almond or coconut milk and you’re good to go.
I love to add fresh ginger and turmeric. You can get these at your local asian supermarket. I am thankful everyday that I live near several Patel Brothers Supermarkets where you can get many hard to find items like fresh turmeric root and other herbs. You can learn more about Patel Brothers here .
Let’s talk about cacao (chocolate beans). It’s an awesome superfood that you can add to your nutribullet for an extra anti-oxidant and nutritional punch. A great place to get a pound of the stuff is here:
These little crunchy nibs disappear in your smoothie. You can also snack on them (two travel bags are included in the purchase) or add them to salads, nut mixes and yogurt. Cacao increases nitric oxide levels in your body for blood flow and immune system benefits. The good things cacao does to your body are too numerous to mention here, but I bet if you are reading this blog you already know how good for you it is. All i’m saying is put it in your smoothie as a really easy way to add it to your daily regimen.
Sometimes I’ll make a basic smoothie with frozen strawberry, whey protein powder and the cacao nibs. It’s amazingly good!
My heart goes out to those who have had to suffer through the pain of a disc herniation. Many times people will have a disc bulge or a disc herniation and experience no real symptoms. However, sometimes the herniation presses on a nerve and it can cause unrelenting and debilitating pain.
Many of us read stories about acute and chronic pain and don’t really understand what it means. For people who do experience it, it’s almost like a private members only club. The pain from a disc herniation can be unrelenting and it’s not really helped with prescription pain killers. Especially when the pain radiates to other parts of the body like the legs and arms, it’s crippling. Imagine being in searing pain constantly and being unable to move for months.
It happened to me. In a panic, I had to call an ambulance to take me to the emergency room. They injected me and filled me up with pain killers and I was still unable to walk. It’s been a couple months and I’m still dealing with it. Things we take for granted like getting in and out of bed or a car are almost impossible. Getting into the car is so painful, it’s like being asked which finger you want broken before you go out for the day.
Here are some random things I learned that I hope can save someone time and help heal faster.
First, you need an MRI to diagnose a disc herniation. At the emergency room, they took an x-ray and a CAT scan and told me i was pretty much ok, maybe just some soft tissue injury. It would have been nice to know that based on my symptoms, a visit to an orthopedist and an MRI would be helpful. I spent about three weeks afterwards being treated by a well meaning physical therapist for piriformis syndrome. The stretching and exercises made things worse!! Lesson 1..if you throw your back out or feel pain radiating to your sacrum, butt, legs, toes, shoulders, elbows, hands..get an MRI. Be careful with chiropractors, physical therapists and massage therapists. Xrays and Cat only rule out obvious things like fractures.
Second, your diet affects your pain levels. I noticed I had an uptick in pain after every meal. I very soon made the connection between carbohydrates and other inflammatory foods and pain immediately after eating. I was able to drop my pain levels considerably by adopting a low carb diet. I eat grass fed meats and seafood and it helps immediately. I’ve tested it several times. Something interesting I found was that grass fed yogurt made me feel a lot less pain then regular yogurt. That was very interesting. But the best thing I did was cut out dairy and grains (carbs) and I don’t feel any pain after I eat. This was a big discovery for me and is helping a lot.
Third, you can reduce your pain levels by eating a lot of ginger. I put a tablespoon of powdered ginger in my black coffee in the morning. The coffee is inflammatory and hurts, but the ginger overrides it. I was able to reduce my reliance on ibuprofen by getting raw ginger in smoothies and adding powdered ginger to my coffee.
I use the magic bullet to make smoothies. The magic bullet was the best 90 bucks I ever spent in my life. I use it daily and it gets me my vegetables and other supplements very easily.
The pain from something like a disc herniation is unbearable. It also takes a really long time to heal. This long healing time takes a toll on family and friends. Someone suffering from this pain feels isolated, stranded and very lonely. The emotional toll on someone feeling chronic pain is never really talked about but is very serious. It can literally destroy a person’s life.
Can high dose fish oil cure brain injury? Apparently the theory is that since the brain is composed of a lot of Omega 3 fatty acid and…fish oil has a lot of fatty acid…it just might make sense that consuming lots of fish oil can help the brain heal itself.
Check out this recent article here.
One of the doctors cited in the article said this:
If you have a brick wall and it gets damaged, wouldn’t you want to use bricks to repair it? said Dr. Michael Lewis, founder of the Brain Health Education and Research Institute. By supplementing using (omega-3 fatty acids) in substantial doses, you provide the foundation for the brain to repair itself.
One of the patients featured in the article took 20 grams of fish oil a day. He began to show improvement almost immediately.
Be careful when dosing medications and eating spices and herbs like Long Pepper. These substances can slow down the breakdown and removal of some substances increasing the amount that gets in your blood. This has the added benefit of lowering your dosage. Many people save money dosing PDE-5 inhibitors like Cialis and Viagra by taking some Long Pepper with it.
Long Pepper (Piper Longum) or “Pippali” is a spice and medicinal that has a long history of use in asia for a variety of ailments. It’s considered a powerful aphrodisiac and a tonic for the whole body, especially the digestive system.
It looks like this and you can buy them in online or in indian supermarket where they sell herbs and spices:
Did you know that if you take turmeric with Long Pepper you will absorb the active ingredient curcumin 2000% better than when taken alone?
The article states that One study found that when even 2g of curcumin was ingested, its serum levels were very low. However, when 20mg piperine was added to curcumin the bioavailability increased by 2000%. The bioavailability, serum levels and levels of absorption of curcumin all improved dramatically. Thus, if one takes turmeric, most of it is unutilized unless supplemented by addons such as black pepper.
As stated above, the ability to absorb more curcumin fromm turmeric is due to long pepper slowing down the breakdown and removal of curcumin in the body, so more is absorbed.
It’s very possible to overdose on your medication if you’re not aware of this fact. Grapefruit is another seemingly innocuous substance that can overdose your medication. Grapefruit juice also slows down the removal of some medications in your body and thereby increase the absorption rate.
On the flip side, you can increase the effectiveness of medications with Long Pepper. Especially if some of those substances are hard to absorb. Do your research and always check with your doctor first.
A study showed that a 3 week “pistachio nut” diet improved erectile function in men and at the same time improved cholesterol and hdl/ldl levels. However, interestingly enough, testosterone levels were lowered.
You can read the study here.
We have shown that 3-week pistachio diet applied to patients with ED resulted in a significant improvement in erectile function parameters (PCDU parameters and IIEF scores) with additional improvement in serum lipid parameters without any side effects. Further studies are needed with increased number of patients and longer follow-up evaluating the relationship between pistachio nuts and ED pathogenesis.
In the study, participants ate about 100 grams of pistachio nuts at lunch for three weeks.
Here’s another study that showed pistachio nuts improved endothelial function in humans, you can read by clicking here.
In this trial, we demonstrated that a pistachio diet improved blood glucose level, endothelial function, and some indices of inflammation and oxidative status in healthy young men. These findings are in accordance with the idea that nuts, in particular pistachio nuts, have favorable effects beyond lipid lowering that deserve to be evaluated with prospective follow-up studies.
It’s time to reconsider high intensity training routines that are becoming a popular exercise trend. The theory is that short bursts of intense exercise are similar to what our ancestors experienced and are more effective at burning fat and releasing growth hormone. However, for older more sedentary weekend warriors, perhaps this strategy is not the best strategy for fitness.
Andrew Marr, journalist and BBC TV presenter, recently had a high profile stroke caused by intense exercise on a rowing machines. You can read about it here.
Apparently, Mr. Marr damaged his carotid artery during an attempt at a short, high intensity training exercise on a rowing machine. Contrast this approach with internal martial arts training. In traditional internal chinese martial arts, one is taught to hold pressure in the lower abdomen and not in the chest, neck and head. There is intense pressure on the lower half of the body, while the upper body is relaxed. One is taught to avoid “chi rising”. Obviously, I’m not saying Mr. Marr’s stroke was caused by “Chi Rising”. We’ll never know what caused it–could be a random event and it was just the time for to happen, or it was genes. diet and environment.
The point of the article about his incident is that perhaps for older people, high intensity training is probably not a good idea. Chinese internal martial arts, with it’s breathing patterns, scientific relaxation techniques, intense leg pressure and posture training is probably a great choice for fitness. Many people don’t realize how hard authentic internal chinese martial arts like taichichuan are to practice and how you can get a great core workout that rivals any pilates or yoga class.
Here’s a good example of good taichichuan. It’s an excerpt of the chen style 2nd routine that is done with more power expression and a faster tempo:
Walking vs Running?
Check out this article from Time–it says that walking is similar to running with regards to health benefits such as reduction of heart disease, diabetes and hypertension. However, when you read the article, walking is almost TWICE as good as running. Not JUST as good as:
Here’s what the researchers found:
Running significantly reduced the risk for being diagnosed with hypertension by 4.2% while walking reduced the risk by 7.2%
Running reduced the chances of having high cholesterol by 4.3% and walking by 7%
Running lowered risk of diabetes by 12.1% while walking dropped the risk by 12.3%
Running reduced coronary heart disease risk by 4.5% compared to 9.3% for walking.
You can read the whole article here.
The way I read this, walking is almost 2x as good as running for hypertension, almost 2x as good as running for high cholesterol, just as good as running for diabetes, and again 2x as good as running for heart disease.
So forgot running. I feel that too much running increases inflammation in the body and breaks it down.
Go enjoy your walk!
Bone Broth for superb health. What is bone broth? It’s what many cultures call “soup stock”. It’s not the broth you buy in a can or carton at the supermarket. Real bone broth is made from….bones and other gelatinous parts of beef, pig, goat, chicken, fish etc. I’ve been reading about bone broth being great for bringing your gut back to health. The gelatin and other amino acids reportedly heal the lining of your intestines. It’s great for people who suffer from IBS, Crohns, SIBO, colitis, gastritis and other gastro-intestinal complaints.
The gelatinous liquid is not only soothing to the internal lining of the digestive system, research is indicating that perhaps the gelatin is feeding the good bacteria in your gut.
It’s naturally salty and can be drunk alone as a tea or tonic several times a day. When you drink it, your body knows it needs it.
I bought several soup bones from a local butcher. I put a few in a slow cooker with a piece of cow foot.
Add a couple tablespoons of apple cider vinegar and cut up a leek. You can add crushed garlic, ginger or other herbs. However, I feel it’s best to keep it simple. Add water to cover and let the slow cooker do its magic for 24-48 hours.
Some recipes say to skim the junk that floats to the top in the first couple of hours, however, I haven’t seen it yet in two batches.
When it’s done, you can strain into glass jars and refrigerate. I use mine pretty quickly, so I don’t need to freeze it but you can freeze it for longer storage.
Here’s the cool part: When it cools in the fridge, the fat will solidify on top of the gelatinous broth. You can separate it easily if you’re not interested in drinking fat. The jury is still out on that. Some people swear by it, some people swear equally that you should discard it or cook with it.
If your broth is not turning into gelatin in the fridge, it’s because you haven’t added any bones that contain cartilage or other connective tissue like tendon or cartilage. Use beef tendon, cow foot or knees, oxtail etc. to get the healthy gelatin.
And remember the vinegar! It is said to be required to help get the calcium, magnesium and other minerals out of the bones.
Add this healing elixir to your daily routine. Your skin, hair and gut will appreciate it!
Seems like this isn’t exactly new news, however, researchers have announced that they have discovered one of the reasons why red meat consumption could cause heart disease. It seems like it doesn’t have much to do with fat and cholesterol, as we’ve been led to believe over the years. Believe it or not, it could be caused by our gut bacteria! Researchers have found that our gut bacteria consume the carnitine in red meat and convert it a substance called TMAO. The TMAO encourages plaque build up in our arteries!
You can read about it here.
Some sites are claiming probiotic supplements can help protect us against this conversion. I’m not so sure about that until scientists can identify exactly which bacteria is doing it. They did say if you take an antibiotic, you will not make this substance.
In either case, I think it’s cool that we are figuring out how important our digestive systems are to our overall health and in particular, how important our individual gut bacteria is. Everyone is different and their gut bacteria is different. Think of the times you had to take an antibiotic and wiped out your gut bacteria! What replaced it?
Now we may know why red meat and eggs could accelerate heart disease.
Here’s an interesting research study.
Scientists researching the effects of yogurt on obesity and weight loss fed two groups of mice a Junk Food Diet and a Regular Diet. Then they gave half the mice in each group extra vanilla yogurt.
The mice eating the yogurt grew bigger testicles, had shinier hair and a “swagger” about them. They mated with more females and got to them faster than their counterparts who did not have yogurt.
What does this mean? The researchers think it was due to the probiotics in the yogurt.
They probably need to do more studies to figure out if yogurt increased testosterone or grew the testicles through some other mechanism.
According to the article:
Reflecting on their unpublished results, Erdman and Alm think that the probiotic microbes in the yogurt help to make the animals leaner and healthier, which indirectly improves sexual machismo.
The findings could have implications for human fertility. In ongoing work, a team led by Harvard nutritional epidemiologist Jorge Chavarro has looked at the association between yogurt intake and semen quality in men. “So far our preliminary findings are consistent with what they see in the mice,” Chavarro says.
Bigger Balls Shinier Hair With….Yogurt!
I was really enjoying making my milk based kefir. I got the ratios correct to make creamy, sour milk kefir that was not only delicious, but good for you. Then I saw the video, Forks Over Knives. Suddenly, my delicious and healthy probiotic dairy drink didn’t seem so healthy. For those of you who are not aware of this video, it’s a must see. It’s available on Netflix.
The video is all about how we should be eating a plant based diet and eschew any animal based products from our diets. Doing so can virtually start to eliminate risks for so many diseases that affect us. It’s never too late to start!
But this isn’t about a vegetarian diet and it’s health benefits. It’s about Coconut Milk Kefir and how darn good it tastes!
So, take those milk kefir grains and instead of adding fresh milk, add a can of coconut milk. It will be ready in 24-36 hours depending on how much kefir grain and coconut milke you use. I used to think there were alot of calories in coconut milk until a checked yesterday. A can of coconut milk only has about 200 calories. There’s a good video at this site that shows you how easy it is to make.
I think Coconut Milk Kefir is a great compromise. You get the super benefits of probiotics and the great health benefits of coconut fat..and you don’t consume dairy products.
I’m still working out how to make kefir. I put too much milk one time and the kefir was a little watery. One night this week I made it perfectly. The next day it was creamy and fizzy..something like a light beer mixed with creamy milk. Sounds weird, but it was delicious. However, one thing I noticed was extremely vivid dreams..I mean full length feature films all night.
I’m curious about the gut/dreaming connection. I noticed a lot of people on the net are reporting vivid dreams and probiotics. Home-made kefir is a super probiotic. Kefir Vivid Dreams Try it!
Most people know yogurt, but not many people know Kefir. Kefir has almost 10x as much probiotic power than yogurt, and it’s really easy to make.
First, get some Kefir cultures. They look like this:
And you can get them here from Fusion Teas on Amazon
Then get some whole milk and add these to them. Let it sit overnight in a glass jar and you’ll have some awesome, tangy life giving liquid. Like it stronger? Let it stand 24-48 hours.
Strain out the grains (they would have grown a little) and add them to a new batch of milk.
I like the idea of trillions of beneficial bacteria vs billions in yogurt. These bacteria make vitamins in your gut and can cure lactose intolerance!
My first batch tasted pretty good but will need to keep working at it. The Kefir grains reportedly will last forever!
I found out there are many forms of turmeric. Some sources indicate there are over 70 different types of this wonderful herb used in cooking and medicine. Many people are familiar with the popular type used in most curries and other recipes. It is sometimes called “Madras.” It contains the main chemical curcumin, which is the star of this herb due to it’s anti-inflammtory, anti-bacterial and overall healing properties. There are thousands of studies of this chemical and herb that you can read about on the net.
However, I recently learned there’s another main form of this herb called “Allepey”. It’s a darker orange color and has about 6.5% curcumin vs 3.5% for Madras turmeric.
The lesson here is find out what kind of turmeric your application or recipe calls for. Allepey turmeric has a different taste and aroma since it’s much stronger than Madras turmeric.
You can buy both versions of the spice at my favorite shop in NYC, Kalustyans. This site has a good overview of the different types of turmeric.
Believe it or not, there’s a very simple way to raise testosterone naturally and reduce cortisol. You don’t have to ingest anything nor do you have to take any injections! You can raise your testosterone levels by merely assuming a “power pose” for 2 minutes. Power poses are natural postures you assume when you feel dominant or powerful. For example, standing with your fists on your hips or with your arms in the air like a victory pose. The research proves you can boost testosterone by only doing this!
Here’s a awesome video of Amy Cuddy speaking about the research:
If you find yourself hunched over, collapsed or submissive, you’re not only feeling low, your cortisol levels are higher than they should be and your testosterone levels are low! Don’t do it anymore! Straighten up and take up space. As Amy says in the video, “Fake it till you make it!”.
Btw, I didn’t know that you can feel happier by faking a smile too. Very interesting.
The chinese are well known for making tonics for drinking and for applying to injuries. Anyone who has practiced chinese martial arts is familiar with ‘dit da jow’ or ‘hit medicine’. Dit da jow is usually a secret combination of herbs soaked in alcohol for several months to years and applied to injuries to speed up healing.
Taken internally, the tonics are often called ‘Spring Wine’. You can make your own chinese tonic spring wine with just a little bit of money and lots of time! I believe these home brews are much more powerful than anything you can buy in a bottle or pill at an herb shop.
I love to drink Shou Wu Chih and decided to make my own a few months ago. I bought a bottle in a chinatown herb shop and asked the owner to make up a batch of the raw herbs so I can soak them in rice wine and enjoy a fresh powerful home made batch. I had to buy 4 bottles of the highest percentage alcohol (38%) rice wine at the liquor store around the corner. When I got home, I added a bit of Rou Cong Gong, baji tian, du zhong and American Ginseng to add some kick to it. I tried a bit the other day to see how it was progressing and it was powerful! First of all, I slept like a baby after drinking a few shots. It was so strong, I had to mix some raw honey in there to make it palatable. Also, I have to say that this stuff increases nitric oxide production in the body. After a few days on this, my thinking was clearer, I easily felt 10 years younger. It makes you feel strong and powerful. So now I have a gallon of this stuff to work through! I didn’t measure my testosterone levels, but if I had to go by physical indicators, this stuff boosts testosterone levels!!
So, not stopping there, I found a great recipe for another batch here. This site has a jpg you can print out with the formula. It costs $15 in the united states to make up this batch (plus the alcohol). The owner remarked that this was a great formula and was really impressed that came in the store with it. However, I wanted to kick it up a few more notches. I added deer anter glue, korean ginseng, shou wu (fo ti) and goji berries. The blogger, happyhomemaker88 also had the same idea to add goji berries but complained they soaked up a bit of the wine.
The herbalist was impressed with my knowledge of chinese herbs and confirmed those were good additions. I wanted to do even more but was told “enough”..it was strong enough! Now I have to let this stuff soak a few months. I’ll try an early taste in 2-3 months and give a good 6 months.
Green Coffee Bean Extract is getting a lot of attention now. Even Dr. Oz jumped on the bandwagon. He gave it to two fans of his show to take for five days. One girl lost two pounds and another lost 6. A pound a day.
Check this out this clip from youtube:
I also read that Green Coffee Bean Extract may potentiate nitric oxide! This amazing stuff lowers blood sugar and increases nitric oxide.
It is recommended that you take two 400 mg capsules twice a day before a meal. This will slow the release of sugar into your blood stream and theoretically slow down the fat creation process.
I’m excited about losing about a pound a day..what about you?
I was shopping at Vitamin Shoppe the other day and decided to pick up a jar of Soy Lecithin Granules because of the choline content of lecithin.
You can get it on amazon here:
What a surprise when I found out that lecithin can improve ejaculate volume, sperm and fertility! In addition it can also improve testosterone levels! These studies were conducted in rabbits, but nevertheless are extremely interesting. You can read it here.
Here’s the abstract:
A total of 28 adult V-line rabbits were fed ad libitum a control diet or a diet supplemented with 0.5%, 1.0% and 1.5% soybean lecithin (SL) for 12 weeks. Bucks that received 0.5%, 1.0% or 1.5% dietary SL had a higher ejaculate volume, mass motility, sperm concentration, total sperm output and total motile sperm. Dietary SL reduced the percentage of dead sperm and increased the normal sperm, and this concurred with an increase in blood testosterone concentration. Blood and seminal plasma total lipid, acid phosphatase and seminal plasma alkaline phosphatase were significantly increased because of inclusion of SL. Interestingly, SL reduced blood and seminal plasma thiobarbituric acid-reactive substances while increasing blood and seminal plasma glutathione content, glutathione S-transferase, glutathione peroxidase and superoxide dismutase activity. Conception rate and litter size at birth and weaning were also significantly improved. Practically, it could be suggested that SL is a suitable supplement for improving semen quality, antioxidant status, reproductive traits and the economic efficiency of V-line rabbit bucks and 1% is an adequate concentration.
Low Carb diets are making a huge comeback after news that an Atkins style diet can burn up to 300 calories a day more than a low fat diet! However, there’s a catch–researchers are saying inflammation markers and cortisol could increase. A good compromise? They recommend a low glycemic diet instead. It won’t burn as much extra calories as a really low carb diet, but you won’t have as much cortisol and inflammation.
Check out this newstory here.