Archive for July, 2011

Green Coffee Extract

July 29, 2011 Written by JP

Last week, I stopped into a popular coffee shop and ordered a large, iced Americano. While waiting to pay, I noticed an advertisement for a new line of icy, fruit flavored drinks that featured green coffee extract. That’s right, green coffee. Combining coffee and fruit may seem like an odd pairing, but, in reality, the flavor of raw coffee beans bears little to no resemblance to the brewed forms of coffee enjoyed the world over. Taste issues aside, you may be wondering why green coffee extract would be included in summery drinks and/or so called “functional foods” in the first place. Read more »

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Posted in Diet and Weight Loss, Food and Drink, Nutritional Supplements | 9 Comments & Updates

Lemon Balm Tea

July 27, 2011 Written by JP

We’re all familiar with medical first aid kits. But, have you ever considered putting together a mental health first aid kit? It might contain a reminder to breathe deeply, a small bottle of lavender essential oil and, perhaps, even an inspirational quotation or two. Herbal teas could also be included. A few that immediately come to mind are chamomile, kava and passion flower teas. Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis), a citrus scented member of the mint family, is rarely included in the top tier of calming natural remedies. This is a shame because modern science and traditional use indicate that it can be a valuable resource for a variety of mental woes. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Mental Health, Nutritional Supplements | 6 Comments & Updates

Dr. Larry McCleary Interview Part Two

July 25, 2011 Written by JP

What I personally look for in a physician, regardless of their specialty, is someone who is an expert in their field, but who also acknowledges and understands the importance of holism. Historical wisdom and recent scientific discoveries make it abundantly clear that it no longer makes much sense to treat symptoms in isolation. These days, physicians need to consider individual dietary, lifestyle and psychological factors in addition to biomarkers and other test results when evaluating a patient’s true health status. Dr. Larry McCleary is an example of a brain specialist who has fully embraced this concept by searching throughout the body for clues that may enhance wellness. Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Interviews, Memory | 1 Comment

Dr. Larry McCleary Interview Part One

July 22, 2011 Written by JP

The term “brain food” is bandied about in magazines, podcasts and television exposés seemingly on a daily basis. Foods such as blueberries, fish and green leafy vegetables are often singled out as supporting neurological health. But, the same is also true of granola bars, low fat diets and even whole grain bread. In short, there are broad and sometimes differing views about what exactly constitutes good choices with respect to brain functioning and wellness. So who better to clear up this confusion than Dr. Larry McCleary? If you aren’t already familiar with the good neurosurgeon, you should know that he brings to the table not only an impressive curriculum vitae, but also a track record of giving back to the community. Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Interviews | 4 Comments & Updates

Practical Health Choices

July 20, 2011 Written by JP

Part of the reason why I make it a point to describe positive scientific studies is to offer hope. Buried within the statistics of clinical trials are dozens, hundreds and sometimes even thousands of individual success stories. But, I fear that’s often forgotten. The people who take part in the interventions I document are just like you and me. They have doubts about their ability to get healthier. They’re pressed for time. They may not even fully trust the people conducting the research in the first place! However, the one thing they accomplish, at least for the duration of the trial, is to act in pursuit of better health. Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Diet and Weight Loss, Heart Health | 4 Comments & Updates

Berry Lime Freeze Recipe

July 18, 2011 Written by JP

Many of the memories formed in childhood remain with us for decades to come. Some are profound like remembrances of formative times spent with family and friends. Others are simple, sensory experiences that take us back to a specific time and place. When I was a boy living in Hacienda Heights, California, one of the most popular treats on hot summer days was a fruit flavored, crushed iced drink available at local convenience stores. “ICEEs” or “Splurpees”, as they were called, sent your taste buds into the stratosphere with an abundance of artificial flavors and sugar. They also colored your tongue unnatural, but very cool, shades of blue, orange or red. As a child this was something rather special. It was a junk food treat that Moms across the nation would rarely endorse, but couldn’t quite keep their kids away from either. Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Recipes | 5 Comments & Updates

Halloumi Cheese and Grilled Vegetables

July 15, 2011 Written by JP

Every year when Father’s Day rolls around, all the “kids” in our family struggle to find a group gift that Mr. Healthy Fellow Sr. would genuinely enjoy. Why is this so challenging? Well, he’s made it clear that he doesn’t much care for having “more stuff”. So all of his adult children and grandchildren usually try to come up with an experience instead, whether a special meal at a 5 star restaurant, a mini-vacation or tickets to a spectacular concert or play. This past year we went out on a limb and bought him some stuff that was also an experience. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 12 Comments & Updates

Good News About Red Wine

July 13, 2011 Written by JP

What we choose to focus on, whether consciously or subconsciously, has a dramatic influence on our perceived quality of life. I’m frequently reminded of this truism when discussing diet and lifestyle considerations with clients, family and friends. From an evidence-based standpoint, certain activities and foods tend to promote health while others detract from it. In order to help someone achieve greater wellness, items need to be added to the “health promoting” column and subtracted from the “health risk” side. When I explain this straightforward concept, some view my recommended changes as difficult or restrictive. Others see the upside of my proposition: they can eat many foods they previously thought of as forbidden and they’ll feel much better for it. The information I share and the suggestions I make are the same. However, the way they’re interpreted makes all the difference in the world. Read more »

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Posted in Diabetes, Food and Drink, Heart Health | 15 Comments & Updates

Ecklonia Cava Research

July 11, 2011 Written by JP

What do natural health aficionados and oceanographers have in common? Well, for one thing, they’re part of a small minority of people who are familiar with an edible brown algae known as Ecklonia cava. In alternative and integrative medical circles, a “unique polyphenol complex” derived from E. cava is marketed under the name of Fibroboost or Seanol. The manufacturer and resellers of the product claim that it possesses both fat and water soluble antioxidants which are capable of addressing and improving a wide array of conditions and diseases. But are the implied claims made in the product literature and on various websites accurate and responsible? Read more »

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Posted in Exercise, Heart Health, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments & Updates

Natural Interactions

July 8, 2011 Written by JP

In the field of natural medicine, interactions are most often associated with a potentially harmful interplay between dietary supplements and prescription medications. This is a reasonable concern that is taken seriously by both alternative and conventionally trained medical professionals. But there’s more to the interaction story than just drug/food, drug/herbal and drug/nutrient conflicts. Even the most health promoting foods and supplements are capable of presenting contra-indications under certain circumstances.
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Posted in Alternative Therapies, Nutritional Supplements | 4 Comments & Updates

Catching Up With Dr. Barry Sears

July 6, 2011 Written by JP

One of the reasons I chose the Internet as my primary mode of communication is that it allows me to continually and publicly update my points of views without much lag time. If a new study is published that contradicts or modifies my opinion about a health topic, I can spread the word about the breaking data almost immediately. The same is not true of books, magazine articles or print newsletters. This reality often leaves me wondering what some of the finest minds in integrative medicine think about current headlines that don’t make it into their finished work. Fortunately, on occasion, I’m able to follow up with some of the health experts I respect the most and ask some of the questions that have been left unaddressed.
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Posted in Diabetes, Heart Health, Interviews | 5 Comments & Updates

Double Chocolate Brownies

July 1, 2011 Written by JP

If you’re a chocolate lover, you’ll almost certainly relate to this scenario. Diet or no diet, there comes a time in every chocoholic’s life when they throw caution to the wind and succumb to the powerful temptation of a rich, decadent brownie or two. In the eyes of cocoa devotees, brownies are everywhere. You’ll see them in bakeries, mail order catalogs and even health food stores. And sadly, denial and willpower only take you so far. In those instances where a brownie simply cannot be denied, consider making this healthy reinvention that you can truly feel good about enjoying. Read more »

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Posted in Food and Drink, Nutrition, Recipes | 13 Comments & Updates