The Six Commandments of Healthy Jet-Setters

Airports are filled with gut-busting temptations! For your airport travel, abide by these on-the-go principles for the flight to high health.

1. I will not enter the airport terminal famished, and I will always keep healthy hunger-fighting snacks in my carry-on bag for ready access.

2. Because I may be stressed, pressed for time, or bored, I will be keenly mindful of practicing self-control and prepared to totally ignore the siren calls of ice cream, donut, pastry, cookie, pretzel and candy shops. Additionally, I will strive to avoid stepping within “sniffing distance” of them.

3. If I need to eat a meal or pick one up to take on the plane, I will go straight to the nearest airport terminal map to review all of my dining options so I can make an informed, healthy decision. Better yet, I will plan to review the airport terminal map on the airport’s website prior to my flight departure so I will already be familiar with the locations of the better-for-me dining spots. Keep in mind some are available as mobile apps.

4. Assuming time allows, I will happily walk briskly (no use of trains or moving walkways) to the terminal that has the dining option that best provides the tasty and healthy meal I am proactively seeking.

5. I will keep the cardinal rules of healthy eating in mind when ordering to ensure my meal will be good for me.

6. If time allows and my healthcare provider has approved, I will use my time in the airport to walk briskly as part of my goal to build in at least 30 minutes of daily physical activity even when I am on the road. I will be grateful for my carry on bags that increase the effectiveness of my airport exercise regimen. Not taking advantage of the opportunities to walk in the airport is one of my biggest pet peeves. I am always amazed at the numbers of people just sitting around—in case you don’t know it, prolonged sitting is not only bad for you, but can be deadly!


4 Great Reasons to Eat Hemp Seeds

  1. They provide “complete” (all the essential amino acids) protein that is gentler on your bones, your digestive system, and the environment.
  2. They provide all the essential fatty acids including a big hit of those precious omega 3 fats.
  3. They provide a comprehensive package of minerals including lots of calcium, magnesium, zinc, and iron.
  4. They are rich in vitamins including vitamin E, B-vitamins, and even vitamin D.


Bottom line – Hemp seeds (also referred to as hemp kernels) are one of the most nutritionally complete foods on the planet.

I buy the Nature’s Earthly Choice or the Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts brand of Raw Shelled Hemp Seeds often available from Costco, and sprinkle them in my yogurt, oatmeal, smoothies, and cereal. (Keep them in the fridge to preserve their nutritional goodness.)

Did You Know?

did you knowThe delectable Mediterranean Diet characterized as rich in fruits, veggies, legumes, fish, and olive oil and low in red meat, sugar, and refined carbs has been strongly tied to lower rates of heart disease, type 2 diabetes, metabolic syndrome, dementia, obesity, and depression.

Restaurant Food Just as Bad for the Waistline as Fast Food

waist measure 2Dining out in full-service restaurants offers equivalent risks to your health and your bodyweight as noshing on fast food.  That was the sobering conclusion from a new report that followed the dietary habits of a representative sample of 18,098 US adults over an eight-year period. The researchers found that when Americans dine out, whether in a fast food or a sit-down restaurant, they consume on average 200 more calories than they would for a meal prepared and eaten at home. For perspective in just how frighteningly fattening that can be, note that consuming an extra 200 calories a day translates to about 20 pounds of weight gain over one year! To add insult to injury, the study also uncovered that dining out in sit-down establishments also comes with the added perils of consuming excess saturated fat and sodium. In fact, the analysis found that sit-down dining boosted sodium intake even more than fast food dining.

Based on these study findings and several others that have concluded similar results, I think it is virtually impossible to maintain a normal weight and remain in good health unless you prepare most of your meals at home and proactively limit dining out.(European Journal of Clinical Nutrition, July 2015)


Nuts for Cancer Protection

nut smileIf you love eating your nuts like I do, you will be pleased to hear that nuts’ health credentials just received another notable accolade-cancer protection. For this first-of-its-kind evaluation scientists pooled the results of 36 previously published studies including more than 30,000 study subjects. Overall, consuming nuts was associated with a lower risk of cancer with the strongest links noted for protection from colorectal, uterine, and pancreatic cancers.

This delectable food already has a rock-solid scientific reputation for fighting heart disease and improving weight control, so I encourage you to make them a regular part of your dietary portfolio. My best advice is to include one generous handful (about 1 oz.) of any variety of nuts you enjoy daily. (Nutrition Reviews, June 16th, 2015)


Common Food Additive May Trigger Disease

In a new study published in the prestigious journal, Nature, which really grabbed mt attention, scientists concluded that very commonly used food additives, known as emulsifiers, may be triggering inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) as well as obesity and other metabolic disorders.

Recognizing that diet has an enormous impact on the microbiome (the name given to the complex ecosystem of gut bacteria) and that an altered microbiome resulting in excess inflammation is a key feature of both IBD and metabolic diseases-the scientists conducted an elegant experiment with mice to test how two very frequently used emulsifiers, polysorbate 80 and carboxymethylcellulose, affected gut bacteria. They purposely used “mice” doses of the emulsifiers equivalent to typical intakes for the average American. The results were provocative. They noted that consuming the emulsifiers changed the gut bacteria in the mice in a manner that made them significantly more pro-inflammatory. All told, there were a host of physiologic changes tied to alterations in the mouse microbiomes resulting in excess inflammation both at the level of the gut lining and the immune system in general. For the mice genetically prone to IBD, the emulsifiers triggered full-fledged disease. For normal mice, the emulsifiers triggered low-grade gut inflammation as well as metabolic dysfunction characterized by increased eating, weight gain, and insulin resistance.

It is notable that both IBD and metabolic diseases have dramatically increased in our country over the past 35years, closely correlating with our dramatic increased consumption of processed, industrial foods. The scientists are now planning similar experiments in humans, so stay tuned. Meanwhile, we already know that eating real foods direct from Mother Nature, while avoiding processed foods is one of the fundamental hallmarks of “the healthiest diet” so stick to this dietary dictum for its unequivocal, health-protective power. (Nature , 2015; DOI:10.1038/nature14232)



Did You Know?

did you knowSimply taking a brisk 30-40 minute walk most days offers the following stunning rewards:
  • A 35% reduction in the risk of Alzheimer’s and other dementias.
  • A 30 – 50% reduction in the risk of premature death.
  • A 35% reduction in the risk of heart attacks and strokes.
  • A 30% reduction in arthritic knee pain.
  • Relief from mild to moderate depression on par with prescription antidepressants.
  • Significant protection from cancers of the breast, colon, and uterus, along with significant improvement in the survivorship of breast, prostate, and colon cancers.



Poor Sleep Begets Poor Lifestyle Choices

sleeping girlPoor sleep leads to poorer lifestyle habits. That was the sobering conclusion from a new study that sought to tease out the cause and effect relationship between sleep and lifestyle choices in a scientifically rigorous manner. For this first-of-its-kind evaluation, a group of sleep researchers collaboratively followed and evaluated the sleep and lifestyle habits of over 35,000 Finnish adults repeatedly over several years. In study subjects who maintained healthy sleep patterns, their lifestyle choices tended to be stable or even improve. In contrast, study subjects who developed poorer sleeping habits subsequently experienced significant deterioration in their lifestyle practices. Meaning, poor sleep appeared to make it more challenging to live a healthy lifestyle and vice-a-versa. In terms of the specific adverse health influences noted in this study, the onset of poor sleep was tied to a higher future risk of alcohol abuse, lack of exercise, and becoming obese. (International Journal of Epidemiology, 2015; DOI: 10.1093/ije/dyv063)
Consider your sleep sacred! We now have an overwhelming amount data to conclusively qualify sleep as one of the fundamental pillars of  health and vitality. If you fail to get adequate quality sleep, particularly over time, your health is sure to suffer. Click here to get the lowdown on all the things you can do to improve your sleep.


8 Great Reasons to Eat Eggs

Eggs are an under-appreciated economical superfood. Here are 8 reasons to enjoy them as regulars in your diet.

  1. Eggs have the highest quality protein of all foods. In fact, eggs are used as the “reference standard” for evaluating a food’s protein quality.
  2. Eggs, particularly omega 3 fortified eggs, contain healthy fats.
  3. Eggs provide all the B vitamins.
  4. Eggs are the richest food source of choline, an amino acid vitally important for brain function.
  5. Eggs are an excellent source of iodine and selenium, two key minerals notably hard to find in foods.
  6. Eggs are one of only three foods that naturally contain significant amounts of vitamin D.
  7. Eggs provide the most bioavailable source of the eye-protective compound lutein.
  8. Consuming eggs has been shown to boost HDL (good) cholesterol.


Contrary to what you may think, there is no credible evidence that consuming eggs at any level increases cardiovascular risk in healthy subjects. There is some evidence, albeit not conclusive, that eating more than 5 eggs a week in those who are diabetic may increase disease and mortality risk.


Eggs Make Salad Even Healthier

eggsIf you are looking for a quick and tasty way to get even more nutritional oomph from your salad veggies, simply add some sliced boiled eggs. That was the exciting conclusion from a new study that found adding cooked eggs to a mix of salad veggies significantly boosted the absorption of the vegetable’s carotenoids. Carotenoids are a revered class of potent plant antioxidants prized for protecting the health of our brains, hearts, skin and eyes. Relative to consuming the salad veggies without eggs, when the study subjects added one and a half or three cooked eggs to their salads, their blood carotenoid levels increased up to 2 to 5 fold, respectively. The reason? Eggs are home to healthy polyunsaturated fats that naturally enhance the absorption of other fat-soluble compounds including veggie’s life-preserving carotenoids.  (American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, 2015; DOI:10.3945/ajcn.115.111062)