Dear Vegans,

Vegan diets have become more popular in the last couple years.  Don’t get me wrong:  a vegan meal can be very healthy.  Vegetables are necessary and so good for you; they’re the best!  But for some nutrients – zinc, B12, protein, D, omega 3s, and iron – the best source for these are animal proteins.  The problem with vegan supplements is what they’re made of.  Most vitamins are synthetic and made in a laboratory.  For example, synthetic, lab-produced B vitamins are made from things like coal tar and fermented sewage.  I shit you not, so to say.    Many long-standing vegans and vegetarians will argue that all those nutrients are found in plants.  But I said the “best source” for those nutrients not just “any source.”  Some things are more bioavailable and easily absorbed in some forms than in others.  And some really are just NOT found in plant-only sources.  Some examples of those are vitamin D (but you may say “my body makes vitamin D!”  Yes, because you are an animal 😉 but you still need to get it through your diet); DHA Omega 3 (so essential for brain health); and B12.   Oh, and this:  there are no traditional cultures that are vegan.  This is a really new concept for the human body, and one that I don’t think will sustain the test of time.  Because, think about this, it takes protein to make a human body.  So, if you’re wishing to procreate at some time in your future, you really are going to need some source of animal protein to do so with ease.   Many...

Antidote to Technology Addiction

How do you feel about “namaste?”   I don’t say it.  You’re supposed to say it at the end of yoga class with your hands in prayer position, but I typically rebel against most things you’re “supposed to do.”   Mostly it’s because I don’t really understand the meaning of it.  I’m not Hindu and I won’t pretend to be for someone else’s comfort.   Another phrase that I instantly turned up my nose to was “holding space,” as in “you need to hold space for someone…” “Holding space,” phhhft.  “What a bunch of hippies!” Now you still won’t catch me saying those words; it helps if you say it with an ultra-spiritual voice, “holding space.”  But I have come to understand the meaning. And the meaning is important.   Listening to someone without interrupting is holding space.   Being with someone as they’re going through some intense emotional shit is holding space.   Pretending to be Rainbow Dash when your daughter asks you to play my little ponies with her is holding space.   Scheduling time for an acupuncture treatment is holding space for yourself. Holding space means taking the time without being overly concerned about the time being taken.   And I think it may be the antidote to all the craziness we’re dealing with:  consumerism, violence, Netflix-and-iphone-techno-binges, sexism, racism, classism, hey, it’s starting to sound like a John Lennon song here.   So how about for the holidays, you hold some space.   Namaste.  ...

The Breakfast Test

What are the best breakfasts? Yes, some foods are healthier than others, and a lot of what your body needs to eat depends on, well, your body, and your needs will fluctuate over time as well. Do the “breakfast test”    Take 4 or 5 different ideas for breakfast and just carefully track how each makes you feel for a few hours afterward.  Of course, eat the breakfasts on different days, not all in the same day!  And I would even try one breakfast meal idea several times over a longer period of time before forming an opinion to how it makes you feel.   When I did my own breakfast test, these were the meals that I tested out: Breakfast #1:  bacon and eggs Report:  decent energy and satiated until afternoon Breakfast #2:  yogurt with nuts and fruit Report:  low energy and hungry almost instantly afterward Breakfast #3:  bacon, eggs, and sprouted grain toast with butter Report:  OK energy but hungry just a few hours after Breakfast #4:  eggs and kale salad Report:  great energy and full until lunch time Breakfast #5:  eggs, bacon and kale salad Report:  the best energy and full until almost 2 or 3 pm I’m not saying that I found the one true breakfast for everyone, because we are all different, but since I am carb-sensitive (and I know many of you are too!), one of the lowest carb meals with the highest fat content won out.  Just eggs and bacon was OK, but I definitely noticed better energy when I added in some vegetables. Try it out: See what your body is...

A Must-Read for People with Chronic Allergies

Last month I started coughing – with no other symptoms – and it was really bad.  Like hacking up a lung kind of bad.  I tried every single herbal remedy and vitamin I could get my hands on.  It would get a little better, but it just kept coming back. Out of desperation, after 2 weeks of coughing, I finally went to a MD.  He wanted to test me for the flu (I know what the flu feels like and this wasn’t it) which I refused.  Then he tested me for my lung capacity … which was low.  Big surprise there.  He gave me an inhaler which he guilt-tripped me into trying.  I did, and I hated every anxiety-inducing minute that crap was in my body.   Then he gave me a prescription for antibiotics and a cough suppressant.  Which is exactly what I expected him to do.  And I took them like a good patient does.  Except that inhaler.  I tossed that in the trash as soon as I could.  I know I’m not an asthmatic.   I didn’t take the antibiotic prescription lightly.  Taking antibiotics is what got me into Chinese medicine in the first place.  In the past – over 22 years ago – I kept getting prescribed antibiotics for things that were not due to bacteria!   And here I was again.  I was really torn, emotionally, about taking them, but I did take them. The prescription antibiotics worked nominally, but I certainly was not 100% better.  On my last dose of antibiotics I was coughing so hard that I vomited on my floor.  Right...

When It Rains It Pours

When you have your health, everything runs so much more smoothly.  Your job is easy; your home life is fun; you sleep good at night; it’s all good. It’s like Spring-time.   Just as sure as there is spring, there is winter.  And, yes, I’m speaking in metaphors here. When you are in a personal winter-time, it’s like you just can’t catch a break.  One illness leads to another.  The pills aren’t working.  It starts to impact your mood.  Your mood and low energy start to impact your work.  Which impacts your money and time.  Which impacts everything else. In spring, be thankful.  Also, stay vigilant.  Keep up your health maintenance:  eating healthy; maintain proper sleep habits; exercise.  Because winter is bound to be right around the corner. Hopefully it’s a short one. If you’re in winter, keep hope, because spring is...