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Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--Tip #9

by Dr. Mark Hyman and Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2012 2:39 PM

Tip #9 Eliminate or dramatically limit flour products. That means anything with sugar from any source.

This is a tough one and to some may sound a bit extreme. Here are some suggestions that should help make this more doable. First, for a product to be considered "low sugar," it can't contain more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. As often as possible, choose foods that fall within these guidelines. Avoid products that are sweetened with sugar. To limit flour, choose whole grains like brown rice and oats preferably steel cut. Pasta is a flour product. If you do eat pasta, be sure to choose whole grain, preferably 100% whole grain. Lastly, try replacing the starch staples like pasta, bread, potatoes and rice with high fiber starches choices that are in their whole and unprocessed form like quinoa, lentils, beans, yams.


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--Tip #8

by Dr. Mark Hyman and Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Wednesday, January 18, 2012 11:22 AM

Eat protein with every meal. This helps balance your blood sugar. Include nuts, beans, fish, lean animal protein, and omega-3 eggs in your diet.

For a quick and tasty high protein alternative to eggs in the morning, try quinoa with cranberries and walnuts. This can be prepared in a pot or, my favorite, the rice cooker. Simply cook the quinoa according to package directions, adding in a handful of dried cranberries. After the quinoa is cooked, add in a small handful of walnuts. This recipe is not only high in protein, but the walnuts are a good source of omega-3 fats. Give this recipe a try then let me know what you think.

For more information on quinoa and for more non-animal sources of high quality protein recipes that are very tasty and super easy to prepare, try our cookbook.


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--Tip #7

by Dr. Mark Hyman and Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Tuesday, January 17, 2012 4:00 PM

Balance your blood sugar. Increase your intake of whole foods that contain lots of fiber, such as beans, whole grains, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds.

The following is an excerpt from my cookbook, "10 Minute Healthy Rice Cooker Recipes": "Studies of high fiber diets and blood sugar levels have shown dramatic benefits. In one study, researchers compared two groups of people with type 2 diabetes who were fed different amounts of high fiber foods. One group followed the American Diabetes Association dietary guidelines, which contains about 24 grams of fiber/day, while the other group ate a diet containing 50 grams of fiber/day. Those who ate the diet higher in fiber had lower levels of both plasma glucose (blood sugar) and insulin (the hormone that helps blood sugar get into cells). The high fiber group also reduced their total cholesterol by nearly 7%, their triglyceride levels by 10.2% and their VLDL (Very Low Density Lipoprotein--the most dangerous form of cholesterol) levels by 12.5%."

All the recipes in my cookbook contain a non-starchy vegetable and a whole grain starch or legume both of which are high in fiber. If looking to increase your fiber intake with little effort and still enjoy taste, try my cookbook.


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--Tip #6

by Dr. Mark Hyman and Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Monday, January 16, 2012 9:32 AM

Tip #6 Find ways to relax every day. This prevents diabetes and controls your blood sugar by reducing levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.

Cortisol is just one of the hormones that are released under stress. The following is a list of the different hormones of stress that are released from the adrenal glands and the physiological changes that they bring about:

Hormones of stress (epinephrine, norepinephrine, cortisol)

•norepinephrine and epinephrine increase attention and focus

•increase glucose levels in the blood

•increase fat levels in the blood

•increase heart rate

•increase blood pressure

•lots of short, stressful events lead to increased appetite

•excess food intake results in increased abdominal fat

•chronically elevated levels lead to draining of neurotransmitters such as serotonin and dopamine

Cortisol has also been called "the death hormone" because excessive amounts of it speed up the aging process.

One of the simplest ways to instantly reduce stress, blood pressure, heart rate, with deep breathing. There are relatively inexpensive devices that you can purchase that teach you how to breath deeply and rhythmically. The one I like is called "the stress eraser." you can find it on Amazon. The other relatively easy and effective means of reducing stress is by unplugging. Many of us are dependent on our electronic devices such that we can't go a day without checking in. Try setting aside one day of the week when you completely unplug and instead engage in a family activity, spend time in nature, read a good book, or any other activity that slows you down, is not work related and shifts your focus away from the hustle of our workaday world.


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--tip #5

by Dr. Mark Hyman and Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Saturday, January 14, 2012 9:51 AM

Tip #5 Learn how to detoxify. Support your body's detoxification system and your liver function with these behaviors:

1. Drink plenty of clean water, at least eight to ten glasses of filtered water a day.

2. Keep your bowels moving, at least once or twice a day. And if you can’t get going, then you need some help and this can include taking two tablespoons of ground flax seeds, taking acidophilus and extra magnesium capsules in the form of magnesium citrate. If you have any chronic diseases or problems you have to be careful about taking supplements, you should work with your doctor.

3. You should also eat organic produce and animal products to eliminate the toxins in our food

4. You should eat eight to ten servings of colorful fruits and vegetables and specifically include, every day, the family of the cruciferous vegetables, broccoli, collards, kale, cabbage, brussels sprouts, kohlrabi, as well as the garlic family, garlic and onions, which help increase sulfur in the body and help detoxification.

5. Avoid stimulants, sedatives, and drugs such as caffeine and nicotine and try to reduce alcohol intake.

6. Exercise five days a week with focus on conditioning your cardiovascular system, strengthening exercises and stretching exercises.

7. Get rid of the white menace, which is white flour and white sugar.

8. Sweat profusely at least three times a week, using a sauna, steam or detox bath.

9. Take a high-quality multivitamin and mineral.

10. Relax deeply every day, to get your nervous system in a state of calm, rest and relaxation.

Note--For quick and tasty ways to add a variety of colorful vegetables to your meals, please see our cookbook. Our cookbook also offers information and suggestions about organic. As for high quality multivitamin and mineral tablets, I recommend Nutrilites "Double X."


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--tip #4

by Dr. Mark Hyman: Posted on Friday, January 13, 2012 9:33 AM

Tip #4 Live clean and green. Limit your exposure to heavy metals, pollution, and other environmental toxins -- all of which poison your mitochondria.

We live in a toxic environment and even though our bodies have ways to eliminate these toxins, the load is overwhelming. When our detoxification system gets overloaded, we develop symptoms (see a list of symptoms), but it may take years of accumulated stress and toxins to get to that point. Here are some, but not all, of the factors that can contribute to your total toxic load:

Exposure to heavy metals like mercury and lead, petrochemicals, residues, pesticides, and fertilizers.

Food allergies, environmental allergies, molds, and toxins from molds.

Eating a standard American diet.

Mental, emotional, and spiritual toxins — isolation, loneliness, anger, jealousy, and hostility, all of which translate into toxins in our system.

Medications can sometimes be toxins. Often we need medications, but the reality is that most of us are over medicated and use medications to treat problems for which there are better solutions, such as lifestyle and diet.

Internal toxins–things like bacteria, fungus, and yeast inside our gut as well as hormonal and metabolic toxins that we need to eliminate.

Each of us is genetically and biochemically unique. Some of us are good at getting rid of toxins and waste, and others are not.

How can you reduce your toxic load? Tomorrow, I will post tips on detoxifying. Stay tuned.


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--tip #3

by Dr. Mark Hyman: Posted on Thursday, January 12, 2012 2:52 PM

Tip #3 Consider supplements that help protect and boost your mitochondria. These include Coenzyme Q10 (100 to 200 mg a day), acetyl-l-carnitine (500 to 1,000 mg twice a day), alpha-lipoic acid (100 to 200 mg twice a day), D-ribose (5 g once or twice a day), magnesium (150 to 300 mg twice a day), B-complex vitamins (daily), and NADH (5 to 10 mg a day).


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--tip #2

by Dr. Mark Hyman and Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Tuesday, January 10, 2012 11:44 PM

Tip # 2 To boost your mitochondria, you will need to exercise and build muscle. Try interval training, a technique of exercising fast (like sprinting) for one minute and then more slowly (like fast walking) for three minutes. Repeat this in cycles totaling 30 minutes twice a week.

So what is the mitochondria and what does it do? It is a tiny factor that turns food and oxygen into energy. In each cell there are hundreds to thousands of these little energy factories.

It is in your mitochondria that your metabolism is happening. It is where the oxygen we breathe and the food we eat is used to make energy. When the mitochondria are not working properly, you suffer all the symptoms of low energy: fatigue, memory loss, pain, rapid aging and more.

For optimal aging, we need to keep our mitchondria in top shape. The reason we poop out as we age is the constant insult and injury we give our mitochondria. They are very sensitive to damage. The injury comes from uncontrolled oxidative stress, which results from toxic insults, infections, allergens, stress and just eating too much poor quality food.

In addition to exercise, building muscle and avoiding the things that damage the mitochondria, we might want to add alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine to our supplement regime (some multivitamin/mineral supplements contain at least one of these). In one study, Dr Bruce Ames, renowned scientist out of UC Berkeley, gave old rats who were tired, wouldn’t get on the treadmill anymore, and couldn’t find the cheese in the maze, or swim very far, two molecules that boost metabolism, that make the mitochondria run better. They are alpha lipoic acid and acetyl-L-carnitine. Overnight these rats became young rats. They got up on the treadmill themselves, swam long distances without fatiguing and could easily find the cheese in the maze like young healthy rats.

*Note--The effects of supplements may take months to show up due to a principle called "Nutrition Triage" which I will write about on a future post. Essentially, the body uses nutrients in order of priority. The first priority is survival. If a nutrient is lacking and there is an influx, the nutrient will go first to the assist with survival needs. Increasing your energy level, hair growth, nail strength, etc. may well not be top on your body's list of survival needs so these effects may take a while to show up.


Ten Tips to Help You Live a Longer and Healthier Life--tip #1

by Dr. Mark Hyman and Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Monday, January 09, 2012 11:53 PM

Dr. Mark Hyman is a functional medicine practitioner and one of my mentors. He is Chairman of the Institute for Functional Medicine. He's written several best selling books and has been a featured speaker on public television. He is also founder and Medical Director of The UltraWellness Center in Lenox, Massachusetts. For those of you not familiar with functional medicine, consider these well supported and very helpful tips your introduction. I will post a new one each day for the next 10 days. To find out more about Dr. Hyman, his work and functional medicine, check out his website at

Tip #1 Increase your intake of omega-3 fats. These improve blood sugar control by working on the same cell-signaling mechanisms as resveratrol. Eat wild fish (salmon, sardines, black cod, and herring) or take omega-3 fatty acid pills (1,000 to 2,000 mg of EPA and DHA a day).

As a side note, for those of you not familiar with resveratrol, it is a potent antioxidant found in high amounts in grape skins and red wines and in lower amounts in grape juice, mulberries and peanuts. It is demonstrating promising anti-aging effects by switching the body's resources from fertility to tissue maintenance. If tissue maintenance is improved then longevity and quality of life is greater. Pharmaceutical company, GlaxoSmithKline, is investing $700 million in researching these effects in humans. If found effective, resveratrol will be used in new and yet-to-be-developed "anti-aging" drugs.


The Thirteenth Day of Wellness

by Frances O'Neil, RD, MSW, CDE: Posted on Saturday, January 07, 2012 1:31 PM

On the thirteenth day of wellness, I gave to myself the gift of combining exercise with healthy eating. Permanent weight loss can only happen when regular exercise is combined with choosing healthy foods using the 80/20 rule. At least 80% of the times that you eat, you are choosing healthy foods. As for exercise, it is medicine. It changes the body chemistry in a spectacularly favorably way without any negative side effects. But you have to “take your medicine” regularly just like you would any prescription drug. Those positive shifts in body chemistry have to happen on a regular basis for that state to be the norm. This shift in body chemistry then also provides the much needed motivation to continue "taking your medicine." One other important note about exercise, for those who have not exercised in a long time or who simply don't have blocks of time to commit to exercise, even the smallest amount exercise will provide feel good rewards. For these individual, try exercising for a few minutes, even one minute, at a time.

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