Are You A Health ‘Free Thinker’

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30 years ago the federal government decided, for the first time in its history, to design 'Dietary Guidelines'. Now here we are in the midst of an obesity, diabetes, and pill popping epidemic. Blindly following conventional wisdom, and not thinking for yourself, may cause more harm than good. Here are some reminders that may help you follow your own path when it comes to making sense of what is right and wrong for your health. 1. Change your mind as often as the facts change. 2. Ignore people who refuse to change their minds when the facts change. 3. Read more books and fewer articles. 4. Read more history and fewer conventional forecasts. 5. You have no obligation to have … [Read more...]

My Interview With a Hunter-Gatherer

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There I was, sitting down for dinner after my first afternoon tracking animals in the Kwara Camp of Botswana, Africa. The thick aroma of what smelled like a mixture of wild animals, along with dung and an unfamiliar earthiness, made me realize I was in a macrocosm of life far removed from the sterile man-made environment I had traveled from 24 hours prior.   I couldn't help but wonder if there might be some trace of an olfactory memory encoded in my genes of this land I had left behind hundreds of thousands of years ago. I closed my eyes, inhaled the air deep into my lungs, searching for any remembrance of my past.  Nothing.  All I felt was  hunger after a long bumpy ride through the … [Read more...]

Strive To Non-Strive

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Warning: Today's post is all about me.  According to the wise men of the world I have a problem. I need to go into rehab. I admit it. I STRIVE. Asking me to stop striving is like asking me to stop breathing. It is something I continually wrestle with. The picture you see here is on my dashboard.  It has been there for years.  I am continually 'striving' to work on all these areas, but when I get to the non-striving part I hit a brick wall. I have a feeling I have been like this all my life because I remember my Dad saying, "Penny, you need to lie in bed and stare at the ceiling once in a while." We are told that we need to continue to grow, change, achieve, better ourselves. Just Do It. … [Read more...]

Are You Under-Minding Your Training?

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Pressure makes diamonds. Train hard win easy. Never surrender. These are some of the motivational motto's that Americans thrive on.  With the Olympic trials in full swing we are even more aware of how hard we strive to become 'the best we can be'. So how do you know how much of a good thing is too much?  Are you over-training?  Are you over-working? Over-working is similar to when an athlete over-trains.  When they exercise, practice, drill, rehearse and compete too much.  When they over do it, their mind dulls and their body weakens with fatigue.  They get stuck.  They feel slow, stagnant and beat. When exercise, work, etc., is done in moderation it is healthy, but when you over do … [Read more...]

This Is Your Brain On Exercise

Everyone knows exercise is good for you, but most people do it to 'lose weight and get in shape'.  Burn off that bodyfat and tone those muscles!  Exercise does so much more than simply burn fuel and shape our muscles, it makes us feel good!  It increases the blood flow to not only our muscles, heart and lungs, but also to our most important body part...our brain.  Exercise stimulates muscle AND brain cell growth.  It makes you smart AND good looking! One of my favorite books on this subject is Spark by John J. Ratey, MD.  I read it back in 2008, so when my son's fourth grade teacher, Miranda Reagan, decided to "spark" her students' brains to help them relieve stress and increase … [Read more...]

The Poison in Peanuts

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I am not nuts about peanuts!  They are not even a nut.  They are a legume...a bean.  Actually, they are the seed of a legume. Before I get too deep into all the reasons I cringe when my clients tell me they eat peanuts, check out this email I got last week from a friend in Georgia: "I noticed today, the farmer who leases our property "burning" his empty peanut seed bags. Every time he would fill his planter hoppers he would burn the empty bags on the spot. I happened upon this partially burned seed bag label that was laying in one of the ash piles at the end of a row. I scanned it for you to read and tell me if you think the peanut butter you're eating is safe?????" Yeah, I … [Read more...]

How to Find Your Whey (Protein Powder)

How do you go about finding a high quality Whey Protein Powder?  This can be a daunting task.  The shelves are crammed full of different makes and models.  Deciphering the labels, and all the benefits they claim, can seem overwhelming without a degree in Organic Chemistry.  Below is a condensed list, thanks to Dr. Mercola, of 9 important rules to follow when trying to decide if that can of whey protein you're considering ingesting, is not just a can of overly processed, additive enhanced, nutrient devoid, glorified talcum powder.  The video below will also help explain the benefits of whey protein powder and why this may be just what you need to include as part of your REAL food … [Read more...]

Does A Fire Truck Cause The Fire?

In my last video blog (vlog), about how to grocery shop, I mentioned that saturated fat doesn't cause heart disease, the number one killer in the USA.  I quipped that saturated fat isn't bad for us, and that inflammation is the primary cause of heart disease.  Even though my video wasn't meant to be a lecture on nutrition, I got quite a few questions about that statement.  Apparently, there are a lot of people who have never heard this, and are a bit skeptical.  How can you blame them?  Since the late 1950's we have been taught, by the scientific and medical industry, that cholesterol and saturated fat are artery clogging.  Mainstream media continues to this day to perpetuate this … [Read more...]

Grocery Shopping For REAL Food

At last!  Here is the video I have received the most requests for…how to navigate a big chain grocery store in search of REAL food. I compare this type of shopping to walking through a casino.  Everything is set up to keep you shopping as long as possible, to squeeze as much money out of you as possible, and make all the products as alluring as possible.  The music, the lighting, and the positioning of the products on the shelves are well thought out by the food industry.  I guess you could say we are just pawns in their chess game.  Let's see if we can out maneuver the aisles and hold onto our King (our health). This video is not about nutrition education, that takes a few … [Read more...]

A Video Tour of Hydroponic Heaven

What exactly is hydroponics?  I have been pondering this ever since visiting my friend's restaurant, Windhorse in Eustis, FL, where they have hydroponic towers in the outdoor dining area.  They use these towers to grow food for their salads.  It is an amazing site and a culinary delight.  When I stumbled upon Innovative Hydroponics in Alcoa, TN I was determined to finally get to the root of it (pun intended!).  So, with video camera in hand and my inquisitive husband in tow, we swooped in on Andrea Rzad to pick her brain and her plants. Hydroponics is a method of growing plants using mineral nutrient solutions in water, without soil.  The Latin derivative hydro, is 'water', and … [Read more...]