Fasting & Keto

Over the last few months, I have been researching for my next venture for my and have found a combo of things to try in an effort to find a healthier lifestyle.

Last year, I focused on giving up all processed foods to see where that gets me on the scale. By phasing out the processed foods and exercising, I dropped only about 25 pounds. I could tell that my body wasn’t craving those processed foods anymore and when I did indulge in something that I used to eat that was bad for me, I would have stomach aches almost immediately. So, my body was clean and my body rejected those  bad foods.

Summer brought a lot indulging and I just watched myself balloon back to my original 230 pounds. With day temperatures around 100+ I stopped taking my nightly walks, I did however swim every night for about 8 weeks.

I have heard a lot of people talk about the Keto diet and I hate the word diet, I’d rather try to change my lifestyle for the long term than try some fad diet.  I guess it took me over a year to read labels and stop buying processed foods by incorporating healthier choices into my daily eating routine.

So, I came across this article on, on Intermittent Fasting (IF) the 16/8 method. I have always thought about doing a fast or a cleanse to clean out my system, but this 16/8 method works pretty well with my current daily routine.

Simply, you fast for 16 hours and then eat within an 8-hour window. You sleep through half of the fasting hours so it’s not too bad. After waking in the AM you can drink water, tea or coffee until you hit your 8-hour eating window.

During this fasting time your body will start burning fat stored in your body for energy. I have quite a lot of fat, so I am happy about this part of the process.

I decided to combine my IF with Keto and Paleo foods. I have never paid close attention to my carb intake because I don’t usually eat a lot of carbs to begin with except my beautiful IPAs, ouch! They are loaded with carbs, 2 of them would max out my carb quota for the day! Check out this website called, it breaks down the carbs in all your alcoholic drinks.

I just got a stationary bicycle that I can ride for the remainder of these hot summer months while it is too hot to walk. I will be continuing my swimming into the fall.

I’m going to try this for 90 days and report back to you once a month with my stats.

Wish me luck!

Himalayan Sea Salt

I started out my research for this month’s blog post on the benefits of consuming Himalayan Sea Salt (HSS), but ended up being drawn to the health benefits of the lamp as well.

These crystals have been forming since our planet’s birth 4 billion years ago. The mines for this salt are 5000 ft below the Himalayan Mountain Range in Punjab, Pakistan. You can find true HSS in pink, whitish red, dark red, black and orange colors. They are composed of the dried remnants of the primal sea from the Precambrian Age, okay- they are very very old.

With 4 billion years of formation, this salt is packed with tons of nutrients, 84 minerals which include; calcium, copper, gold, iron, magnesium, potassium and silver, just to name a few. So, besides this salt making your food better to taste, it has a lot of health benefits too.

HSS helps regulate the water in your body giving you the proper pH levels and aids in vascular health with regenerates cells properties, which might be attributed to it’s anti-aging benefits as well.

At this age, I’ll eat anything that will help with my libido, circulatory health, strengthening my bones, keeping my blood sugars in check and reducing leg cramps.

We buy our grinder of Himalayan Pink Sea Salt at Costco for around $4.

Now, let’s shed some light on this topic…

My wife was recently telling me about the benefits of having a HSS lamp, but I was skeptical about all its reputed health benefits, but I was wrong.

These lamps emit negative ions in small amounts, which cancel out the positive ones. We are exposed to electromagnetic radiation (EM) in the form of positive ions via our televisions, stereos, cell phones, computers, microwaves and so on.

There are 1000s of studies linking the toxic effects of EM, aka electro-smog on our health. EM causes stress, fatigue and weakens our immune systems. Everyday exposure to these low-level radiation ions cause a variety of cancers, increase heart disease and have been attributed to Alzheimer’s disease as well.

The HSS lamp emits the negative ions, acting as a air purifier and also reducing the allergens in the air for people suffering from asthma, allergies, and other airborne illnesses.

The Lung Institute has conducted may clinical trials on the benefits of HSS which include;

  • Anti-flammatory agents
  • immune system oversensitivity
  • removes airborne pollen
  • antibacterial properties

Studies have shown that Halotherapy ( salt respiratory) practices have aided in bronchial illnesses for years.

In conclusion, whether you ingest HSS , breathe it or set the mood with one of it’s calming lamps, you will benefit both internally and externally.


Toolkit for 2018

Happy New Year!

Now with the holidays behind us we can get back to watching what we eat and start exercising again.

Last year, my quest for eating right was to involve cutting out all processed foods and a nightly IPA. I was walking at least 10 miles a week and learned to cut out all processed foods. All that being said, I only dropped about 30 pounds, went down almost 3 inches on my waist and down from an XL to L, which is fine, only to pack  10 pounds back on through the holidays.

I really need to look at the tools I used last year and incorporate some new ones for this year’s eating right challenge.

This year I plan on adding more probiotic products to my diet at least once a week, whether it is kimchee, sauerkraut or kefir, because I want to focus not only on a slimmer gut, but also a healthy one.

More exercise, I don’t think walking is enough. I dread going to the gym, I get so bored going through the routines, but as I am spending way too much time behind a desk these days, I really need to find a way to exercise all my muscles.

I found two good magazines during the year for finding new and inspiring dishes to try out; Eating Well and Cooking Light, I would recommend picking up an issue or two. A lot of the mainstream cooking magazines out there have a lot of fluff and ads, but no real substance.

Mentally, I would recommend word games. Try, they are timed and they have 1000s of them or the weekend WSJ crossword puzzles. WSJ has a new one called, Rows Garden it is sort of a Sudoku for words.  Pick up the Sunday or weekend edition of your favorite newspaper to keep up on current events or read some great in-depth political commentary or the opinion section to see what other people of thinking.

There are also some great programs on Netflix for food related topics. I’m watching, ‘Rotten’ right now that delves more into the food/greed side of that industry.

I watched a documentary on HBO about the key to living a long life called, ‘If you’re not in the Obituary, Eat Breakfast’. Carl Reiner, interviews 90-100 year old actors and entertainers to find out their secret to longevity and it really all boils down to ‘keep moving’. Carl Reiner (95) walks every day, still writes and works on different projects and he meets socially with old time friend, Mel Brooks (91) to watch old movies together. The key must not only to be keeping your body moving, but also your mind.

This is my toolkit for this year’s commitment to Eating Right, hope you all have a happy and healthy new year.

Gut Instinct

The next time you get that ‘gut feeling’, that something is not quite right, listen to your gut. As it turns out, our guts have the same size cortex as our pets do.

Our guts also contain their own type of ecosystem, called the ‘microbiome’. A community of 100 trillion microorganisms (bacteria, fungi, and viruses) makes us more a bacteria, than we are human. There are 10 times more bacteria cells in our bodies, than human cells with up to 500 different species.

What does any of this have to do with Eating Right?

Well, the old saying goes, ‘You are what you eat.’ Probiotic foods, which I have discussed in this blog before, provide us with good bacteria that help boost our immune systems. But sometimes, we get so sick, that we need antibiotics to get well. The problem with antibiotics is that they don’t only kill the bad bacteria, they also wipe out the good bacteria too. That’s why some people get diarrhea or an upset stomach when taking antibiotics, because they interfere with the balance of the microbiome.

Stay clear of those ‘antibacterial’ products  for the same reasons. Whenever I walk into the doctor’s office, I get the germ heebie jeebies too and my first instinct is to lube up with the antibacterial gel, they conveniently have at the reception desk for all the  other ‘germ phobes’ like me , but the gel is taking away the good bacteria from our skin, making it more difficult for our skin to fight those viruses, which they come in contact with.

Eating natural food or using natural cleaning product is going to help maintain the equilibrium of our brain gut axis.

Since starting my Eating Right journey in January, I can now definitely feel the difference of eating healthy, compared to when I cheat and eat something made in a lab somewhere. I can say that my thinking is clearer, which would support the clean gut theory. After a few months your gut will start influencing what to consume or not.

For Thanksgiving this year we’re picking up our Organic Turkey at Costco at $2.99/lb and Trader Joe’s is about the only place you can get Turkey Stock. Cranberry sauce from scratch is a great departure from the old canned version. Stay clear of the chemical laden imitation pumpkin pies out there and pick up the natural Costco pumpkin pie instead.

We are big fans of left over sandwiches the next day or two. I will start with sourdough and add natural mayo, Braggs Amino Acid (instead of salt), black pepper, Hormel uncured bacon, avocado, Brie, Romaine Hearts with a nice dollop of cranberry sauce.

As we head into the holiday season, it’s going to be tough to eat all the right foods, but when possible I would recommend acting on those gut feelings for a better you and happy holidays.


It would be remiss of me not to include a review of eating a traditional Oktoberfest meal, since my wife is German. So, you might think we have some fancy German dishes, but actually we enjoy just the simple brats, sauerkraut and mashed potatoes, that any other American family might toss together to celebrate Oktoberfest and of course, don’t forget a good German Pilsner to wash it all down with.

But when we take a closer look at the ingredients of these three dishes, we move from minute to a plethora of nutritional values. Let’s start with brats. In general, any type of sausage should send up a red flag on the ingredients that are shoved into those intestinal casings. If you can’t pronounce them, don’t buy, let alone eat them! Brats should only have pork or veal and some spices, that’s it. Costco has some great ones on sale right now.

  • Boil the brats in water, wine or beer for about 30 minutes and then transfer them to the grill or skillet for another 7 minutes for a perfectly cooked brat.

Mashed Potatoes are never instant in our home and Yukon Gold are probably our favorite.

  • Cover the potatoes with at least a ½ inch of water, add a teaspoon of salt, bring to a boil and then lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, prick the potatoes with the tines of a fork to see if they are tender.
  • Strain the water out of the pot, add unsalted butter and whole milk or ½ & ½ and you can hand mash them first and then use a hand blender to smooth out any clumps. Add more milk or cream until you get your desired level of creaminess.

Sauerkraut, raw fermented cabbage, is where you will find a powerhouse of healthy bacteria to give you a nice healthy and happy gut. We Americans usually like to boil the shit out of the sauerkraut, but unfortunately by doing so, we are pasteurizing all that good bacteria out of the dish. We will eat it raw to get the full benefit of the sauerkraut, but if you would rather have it warm, heat it over a low heat.

Here is a funny riddle:

‘What do you call a grouchy German?’

‘A Sauerkraut’.  (I like this joke, my wife, not so much!)

Of course, don’t forget some good German Senf (Mustard).

I would recommend a good German Pilsner to compliment this wonderful German traditional meal, like Warsteiner, you can find mini-kegs at Trader Joe’s for about $10.

Guten Appetit and Probst!



Kimchi is a spicy condiment that has helped Koreans maintain the No. 2 slot for the least obese people on earth, just behind Japan. Koreans consume about 40 pounds of this spicy vegetable in many different forms; cabbage, radishes, cucumbers, carrots and more. This fermented cabbage made it’s debut around the 7th century, but the version we commonly use today started in the 18th century with the addition of chili peppers to the mix. For Koreans this is more than one of their staples, it is a comfort food and it is actually good for you.

How many of your comfort foods are good for your body? In our twisted Westerner’s mindset, we have equated comfort food as something that is a once in a blue moon guilty indulgence, something that is actually bad for our health. Mac n’ Cheese, Fried Chicken and Gravy just clog my veins with unhealthy fats and toxins just thinking about it.

If you really can’t live without your comfort foods, doctor them up with Kimchi. Mac n’ Cheese tossed with Kimchi, Kimchi Grilled Cheese, Kimchi Tacos, Kimchi Omelette. I always like to top off my favorite grilled cheeseburger with some Kimchi.

Cabbage helps detox the body, ridding the body of toxins clinging to the walls of your intestines. Kimchi stimulates your bowel movements, cleans out your digestive tract and fights constipation. Kimchi is an excellent source of probiotics to aid your cardiovascular and digestive systems. In addition to limiting obesity, Kimchi can assist with diabetes, cholesterol, gastric ulcers, cancer  and has anti-aging properties.

You can find Kimchi in the produce section of some grocery stores or go to an Asian store, a 32 oz. jar of Kimchi Cabbage (usually bok choy) is around $5. If you are a spice wimp like me, you can dip it in a dish of soy sauce or better yet, use Bragg’s Amino Acid sauce, to take the sting out of it’s bite.

You could also make it yourself, if you don’t mind the stench of fermenting cabbage in your kitchen. A nice substitute for the bok choy would be Napa cabbage. Here is a nice easy Korean recipe from epicurious.

High in fiber, Kimchi is packed with Vitamin A, B1, B2 and C, with a nice amino acid package and minerals like; iron, calcium and selenium.

Put Kimchi on your next shopping list and start adding it to your diet, you can eat it with almost any meal.

Eat Right & Be Well!


Probiotics are healthy bacteria that promote a healthy digestive tract, where 60-80% of your immune system can be found. For good gut health the body needs good bacteria (probiotics).

Some excellent choices for adding probiotics to your daily diet include;

Ginger, Kefir, Kimchee, Miso, Sauerkraut, Greek Yogurt, Dark Chocolate (70+%), Green Beans, Olives, Sour Dough Bread, Cottage Cheese, Tempeh, Soft cheeses (cheddar, gouda, parmesan, swiss), beer and wine.

Here are some ways to enjoy these fantastic probiotics;

Grate Fresh Ginger: I add fresh Ginger to my juice schorle every day.

Kimchee: Pick up some at your local Asian store, I add some of Bragg’s Amino Acid to reduce the spiciness.

Miso: You can buy white or red miso paste at Sprouts. Add it to your soup broth or stirfry.

Beat Summer Heat

Here in Phoenix, when the average temperature runs around 110, we get a little sensitive about HEAT. We are so sensitized we can feel the heat from a light bulb inside the house, so you can imagine what stove top cooking does and we try to never use the oven in the summer.

When the sun sets, we fire up our grills and enjoy our family meals on the patio – ok, but it is still hot.

Grilling up some vegetable favorites one night, can be used for several lunches or dinners the following nights.

If you like a bitter lettuce, try Radicchio. Cut it into quarters, drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with S&P. I use a small grill basket with holes in it to control the burning.

  • Remember veggies have a lot of water in them and need extra time to cook, so don’t put your meats on until your veggies are done, they can just hang out on your upper shelf to stay warm while you grill your meats.

Toss the grilled Radicchio with olive oil and balsamic vinegar and add crumbled Roquefort or Goat Cheese and toss.

Try grilled Eggplant. Cut into ½ slices and before grilling sprinkle with salt and let sit for a while, this will help draw out the water. Pat Dry and place on a low flame.

  • These will take some time to soften and you will have to stay diligent about flipping them so they don’t get too charred. This goes great with your grilled meats or salad. I take the left over slices and place them in a zip lock and toss them in the fridge.
  • The next day I will prepare a baba ganoush adding chick peas, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice and some salt and cumin, then hand blend it. This is a great side dish for meats.

Next try Sweet Roasted Mini Peppers, they come in bags at Kroger or Safeway, multi-colored mini sweet peppers.

  • I just throw them in the grill basket like the radicchio and toss them until they go limp, then I transfer them to the upper grill while I grill the meats. These go great with grilled meats or in salad. I toss the leftovers in a zip lock and use for sandwich toppings during the week.

Three easy grilling recipe ideas for helping you stay cool and nutritiously fed during these hot summer months! Enjoy!


Used by the Chinese and Indians for about 5000 years, this root has powerful health agents to aide just about all that ills you.

Rich in antioxidants and anti-flammatory  qualities.

1.       Stomach

·         Reduce gas

·         Improve digestion

·         Help with diarrhea

·         Good for nausea

2.       Weight Loss

 *       You can actually burn calories eating ginger

3.       Blood Circulation

–          Increase blood flow

–          Relieves migraines

–          Menstrual cramps

–          Libido

4.       Other Health Benefits;

–          Lower LDL cholesterol and increase HDL

–          Common Cold  remedy

–          Create odorless sweat

–          Joint pain and arthritis

Grind some into your AM juice or tea. I add it to my PM juice schorle. Very tasty and almost addictive. Enjoy!


The Indians have been using this medicinal herb for thousands of years. I read a story one time where an Indian recounted of when he broke his arm as a child and his mother would put a little Turmeric in his cocoa everyday to help heal his arm.

It is a powerful anti-inflammatory and super antioxidant, which is good for both your brain and body.

Helps block the plaque associated with Alzheimer and its anti-inflammatory agents are beneficial to arthritis sufferers.

 Turmeric is the color yellow in curry and American mustard.

 If you are not into Indian food, you can get in a capsule form (fermented Turmeric) or as a tea.

 I add it to my omelets or smoothies.