Tag Archives: Study

The Mind Body Connection is REAL


A couple of months ago I committed to a summer-based exploratory health initiative involving morning meditation and I promised to report back with an update. The results have been profound. And the most noticeable outcome was completely unanticipated.

For nearly my entire adult life, I have experienced IBS-like symptoms, rotating through ongoing unpredictable bouts of constipation, diarrhea and normal stools. I was never able to detect an etiology or pattern of behavior that would explain my condition and it was very difficult to cope with and manage. Just like Groundhog Day, each time I would complain about these symptoms to my primary care provider at my annual physical, he would tell me that I needed to eat more fiber. I knew this was not accurate, as I have always eaten a lot of fruits and vegetables. My doctor even went as far as giving my samples of the medication Linzess, indicated for IBS symptoms, but I never took them and don’t ever plan to.

Not until recently – until I started meditating for 10-15 minutes each morning – did my IBS symptoms completely vanish. And within days of starting my meditation practice too. I now enjoy regular bowel movements each and every morning like clockwork, something I have NEVER experienced before and previously deemed unattainable.

I shared these results with my integrative practitioner recently and she had a very logical explanation for why this is happening. In addition to the relaxation response of me meditation – SCIENTIFICALLY – our organs, namely our our brains and stomachs, require glucose to function optimally. Anyone who experiences stress on a daily basis (i.e. me) requires more glucose to help their brains function. As my integrative practitioner pointed out, anytime my brain is competing with other organs for glucose, my brain will win. And now that I have been giving my brain a rest for 10-15 minutes each morning through meditation – before doing anything, including speaking with others and/or touching my iPhone – my GI tract is opportunistically utilizing this additionally available glucose to vastly improve my digestive process and output. It seems like a miracle but, really, it’s just science. And I love it!

I am so fascinated by and appreciative of the fact that we can dramatically improve our lives through minor lifestyle modifications. Although I could have never anticipated this particular mind body connection, it is now something I swear by and absolutely recommend to others. I have even done a little research on it and stumbled an article from Harvard that validates my claim and takes a deeper dive into the science behind this phenomena. Needless to say, I plan to continue my morning meditation indefinitely!

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Seriously…What The Health?


So….I’m sure you have heard of this new Netflix documentary entitled “What The Health”. If you haven’t yet, go watch it.

What The Health is a compelling account of how we need to pay far better attention to what we eat, where our food is sourced, how the vast majority of food manufacturers show a general lack of concern for public health, the negative implications of the “American Diet”, etc.

Knowing that I’m a wellness enthusiast, a few friends recently asked me if I have seen What The Health, as they found it rather revelatory and were profoundly impacted by its message. While I was thrilled to hear that my friends intend to make some positive changes in their diet as a result of seeing the film, something far deeper occurred to me when I heard this. My first knee-jerk thought was….haven’t you already seen Food Inc, Forks Over Knives, and all of those other documentaries with an identical message?? My second thought was – SHIT – have you never read my blog?! 

Half joking aside, this same exact “food revolution” type of content has been presented to us over the years time and time again. Yes, admittedly the information is always one-sided and very dramatic (by design), but it all centers around a profoundly true message. The message is very clear and easy to understand. If we all collectively adopt more of a plant-based diet, we will improve our health, the health of animals and the health of our planet. There is absolutely no way to scientifically dispute this fact.
While I certainly appreciate What The Health and other films which promote this altruistic message — and it IS entirely altruistic, as the producers of the films stand to gain ZERO if you adopted a vegan diet — I truly wonder when this message will finally “catch on”. I wonder if it will happen in my lifetime. I wonder if it will ever happen at all….

I believe the only way this message has the potential to catch on is if/when someone with SERIOUS INFLUENCE makes it a priority to educate the masses, tell everyone that we are all moving in a very dangerous direction and we desperately need to course correct. And I’m not talking about some hippie MD that no one knows….I’m talking about someone that everyone knows, trusts, likes and respects. The deterrent is that any major progress in this area unravel the entire animal agriculture industry. The ramifications on our nation’s economy could be fairly widespread — some negative (meat and dairy industries) and some positive (out-of-control healthcare spending spiral). I’m guessing the uncertainty of it all is why we don’t see more of a concerted effort in this manner being served up by any of our public leadership? Perhaps with a healthy side dish of apathy? Not to mention threatening the “free will” that Americans so cherish so deeply. Because if someone wants a cheeseburger, they should be able to snap their fingers and get a cheeseburger….right?? UGH.

Americans may not realize this, but we have had some “close calls” over the years when it comes to the concept of national dietary overhaul. Bill Clinton effectively REVERSED his heart disease by adopting a plant-based diet. I wish that Bill and the Clinton Foundation was more involved in promoting his incredible story of transformation to the masses but, since there really isn’t any money to be made in it, nothing much has become of it. And Michelle Obama tried to fight childhood obesity more recently through her “Let’s Move” program, but this was just barely scratching the surface of the issue and didn’t have sharp teeth. So while there has been some activity around this subject, no one of any relevance has made this their UNWAVERING CAUSE and changed our collective mindset on food. I think we may need an upheaval to initiate a total overhaul in how we eat and it must come soon. I believe that the issue of public health is AT LEAST on par with the climate change issue and, like climate change, I’m afraid we may potentially be past the point of return. We are too divided on the topic, it is too controversial and the damage is done. I sincerely hope I am wrong. I hope I will see this change in my lifetime. Our health depends on it.

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Find & Follow Your Truth

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Four years ago, I began documenting my physical – and very much mental – dietary transformation.  I called it TRUTHOLOGY, because it described my personal quest to discover the optimal human diet.  Over the course of the last few years, I have come to find that there are multiple truths and the optimal human diet is subject to the individual. Continue reading

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The reason I stopped PORKING OUT

From time to time, I am asked why I don’t eat pork tenderloin. After all, from a nutritional standpoint, it is comparable to a skinless chicken breast. So if it’s a relatively low-calorie lean source of protein, why do I choose to avoid it?

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Diet and Religion

It occurred to me this holiday season that diet and religion have striking similarities.

Following are the Top 10 reasons for my perspective:

1. All diets, like religion, have guidelines to follow. Be it Atkins, Mediterranean, Nutrisystem or The Zone, all diets have a specific set of rules to abide by.

2. People start diets just like they turn to religion. It is commonly  done with the hope of self-improvement and it often gives people a sense of purpose. Continue reading

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Mind the odds

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

This year’s football season is now in full swing.  If you are like me, you are celebrating this time of year by participating in NFL survivor pools, fantasy football leagues, etc.  These weekly wagering moments can be awfully challenging, because they pose multiple difficult decisions.  Invariably, the safest thing to do each week is to use the established odds to your advantage.  In the survivor pool, I typically pick the team that is favored to win by the greatest margin, based on the Las Vegas point spread.  In the fantasy league, I routinely start the players who are projected to score the most points, based on the analysis and opinions of the professionals.  Once in a while I will deviate from this strategy, but this is a rare occurrence and it is the exception to the rule.  More often than not, I choose to go with expert opinions.

Now consider this very same scenario as it pertains to eating.  I believe that there is a strategy to eating and I believe that there is such a thing as eating with the odds, so to speak. Continue reading

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How to be a Ten Percenter

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An abundance of retrospective clinical research has been performed on the subject of weight loss.  The consensus of the results of these studies is that 90% of the people who diet eventually gain all of their weight back.  This is a fascinating, albeit disturbing, conclusion which merits investigation.  How could the vast majority of people, who mustered the motivation AND successfully achieved a desired result, revert to their former eating habits and find themselves right back at square one??  Many anecdotal theories attempt to explain the reason for this phenomenon, led primarily by the notion that diets are unsustainable.  I agree and disagree with this theory.  I agree that diets, from a behavioral standpoint, are unsustainable.  If you view your diet as activity-driven, you are unfortunately doomed to fail.  The successful dieter, what I am terming as the “Ten Percenter”, views a diet as mindset-driven. Continue reading

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