In these five “Blue Zones” – Sardinia, Italy, Okinawa, Japan, Loma Linda, California, Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica, and Ikaria, Greece – the people live longer than anywhere else in the world…

All of these people who live into their 90’s and 100’s eat a mostly vegan diet of beans, grains, nuts, fruits, and vegetables… They do not over exercise, they walk and do their own chores, they are passionate about something whether it is painting, writing or playing an instrument, they have faith whether it is of God, mankind or the Sun, they have something to look forward to every day, they surround themselves with family and friends and they don’t worry about stuff..

A vegan diet is most certainly an important part of the longevity and healthy equation but equally important is in a vegan lifestyle. You have to embrace diversity, community harmony, and purpose in life.

Achieving purpose in life is welcoming to your life people and cities and neighbors and family and friends that share your same purpose in life. Say goodbye to adversity, people that aggravate you, cities that are too polluted and violent, neighbors that cause friction, family, and friends that keep you up at night (in a bad way).

Follow your heart. Turn your hobbies into professions. look forward to Mondays instead of Friday’s. I tell young people that are trying to figure out their life’s path to pretend that they just won the lottery. Now, put aside the expected answer from a 20’ish young person’s wishes like a Ferrari, a penthouse on top of the Four Seasons in Manhatten and an AMEX black card…I ask them what do they look forward to every day – painting, writing, critiquing restaurants, creating fun fashion, skiing, cycling? Turn your passion into cash flow. Become an artist, write a blog, design clothes, be a ski instructor, whatever… The bottom line is to be happy and build your own little or big empire.

My advice is to embrace your passion. Sever relationships that drag you down and only surround yourself with people that share your same goals and ideologies in life. If you hate your job, get a new job. If you hate the 8-5 grind, turn your passions into cash flow. Write a book, paint, teach, become a gardener, travel or start a blog… Some of the most unhappy people I know are the richest people I know. Some of the happiest people I know are the poorest people I know.

“I’d like to live as a poor man with lots of money.” Pablo Picasso

They say, “life is a struggle” and “life is unfair.” I say that life does not have to be a struggle or does it have to be unfair. You make your own decisions in life and your own choices. Choose wisely, you only get one shot at it.

Step outside. Take a long and deep breath of fresh Spring air. A new beginning is within your grasp. If you are unhappy with your job then get a new job. If you are unhappy with where you live then move. If you are unhappy in your relationships then get new relationships… The prospect of change is a powerful moment of happiness and fulfillment… The alternative is counterproductive to peace and well being… Life is short – You only get one shot at it. Make your life a monumental phenomenon…

Enjoy your week and thank you so much for being a part of my page and supporting my passions that I hope are the same as your passions…

thank you Doug for this piece Eric

The other day my dad went to see his doctor. My dad was scheduled to receive results from his latest blood test, but they didn’t turn out as he had hoped. The doctor told my dad that he had high cholesterol. A previous test had revealed he also had high blood pressure. High cholesterol and high blood pressure are contributors toward clogged arteries.

Your arteries are blood vessels responsible for the transportation of oxygen-rich blood from the heart to the rest of the body. A normal artery will be strong, flexible, and elastic. On the other hand, progressive clogging of the arteries is a serious condition called atherosclerosis. It is the major cause of cardiovascular disease, which includes peripheral vascular disease, strokes, and heart attacks.[1-3]

In the U.S., cardiovascular disease is considered the leading cause of death, claiming approximately 600,000 lives every year.[4] It is also known as a silent killer since the condition does not cause any symptoms. That is until the problem becomes more severe.

Symptoms of Blocked Arteries

The symptoms of clogged arteries likely depend on the type of arteries being affected.[5]

  •  Carotid arteries: When you have clogged arteries in your brain, it is a condition called carotid artery disease. Plaque will block or narrow the carotid arteries, and signs of a stroke may be present. Symptoms include breathing problems, sudden weakness, confusion, severe headaches, loss of consciousness, blurry vision, trouble with speech, paralysis, trouble walking,dizziness, unexplained falls, and loss of coordination or balance.
  • Coronary arteries: When the arteries in the heart are clogged, it is called coronary heart disease, or CHD. In this case, plaque will block or narrow the coronary arteries when the heart muscle fails to get enough blood. As a result, chest pain, known as angina will occur. It feels like pressure is squeezing your chest, but you may also feel it in your jaw, neck, arms, shoulders, or back. Angina also sometimes feels like indigestion. Emotional stress will also often trigger angina. Other CHD symptoms include heartbeat problems and shortness of breath.
  • Renal arteries: Chronic kidney disease will develop from clogged renal arteries in the kidneys. Over time, chronic kidney disease can slowly impair kidney function. There are no symptoms early in kidney disease; however, as the condition worsens, it can lead to loss of appetite, nausea, tiredness, concentration problems, numbness or itchiness, and swelling in the feet or hands. Other symptoms include kidney failure and high blood pressure.
  • Peripheral arteries: Peripheral arterial disease will result from plaque buildup in the arms, legs, and pelvis. These arteries are known as peripheral arteries, and if they are blocked or narrowed, you may experience pain or numbness. On occasion, there are also dangerous infections.

What Causes Artery Blockage?

Atherosclerosis is often referred to as the hardening, thickening, and narrowing of the arteries. A thin layer of endothelial cells that help keep the inside of your arteries smooth and toned lines your arteries. This process allows your blood to keep flowing.

However, several factors will damage the endothelial cells, including platelet cells, increased homocysteine levels, and free radicals from toxins and antioxidant deficiency. Also, vitamin C deficiency and homocysteine will damage the arteries from degradation of a gel-like substance called the ground substance. It is found between the cells and helps maintain the integrity of the epithelial cell barrier.

The plaque will accumulate when various substances are unable to migrate out of the atherosclerotic lesion. These substances include fat, calcium, toxic metals, cellular waste, and cholesterol such as LDL (low-density lipoprotein) cholesterol. A material involved in blood clotting called fibrin is also accumulated when arteries are clogged.

While the exact cause of clogged arteries is a mystery, evidence shows that atherosclerosis is a complex and slow condition that may begin in childhood and develop as you get older. Certain factors may damage your arteries’ inner layers, including smoking, high blood pressure, type 1 diabetes, type 2 diabetes, and insulin resistance.

Other contributing factors of atherosclerosis include lack of exercise, being overweight, a type-A personality, heavy metal exposure, elevated triglycerides, and chronic inflammation from diseases, infections, lupus, or arthritis. High cholesterol and fats in the blood are also possible causes of atherosclerosis. On rare occasions, genetics may also play a factor with elevated production of cholesterol associated with atherosclerosis.

Atherosclerosis can also be caused by oxidative stress through depletion of vitamin C or other antioxidants. Nutrient deficiencies or imbalances may also lead to atherosclerosis. They may include magnesium, potassium, fiber, antioxidants, and methyl donators. Dietary factors also include a diet high in sugar, processed starches, and damaged fats from overheating oils.[1,5,6]

Your doctor may prescribe cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins drugs, or beta-blockers that lower blood pressure. These will help slow the progression of plaque buildup (not without their serious side effects). However, there are also plenty of well-researched foods that can prevent clogged arteries naturally instead:[7]

1. Curcumin (in Turmeric)

Turmeric is a popular spice used in Indian and Ayurvedic cooking, but its true benefit comes from one active ingredient. The primary polyphenol in turmeric called curcumin has long been known for its cardioprotective effects. Turmeric extract is thought to reduce LDL cholesterol and the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

In a 2011 study published in the journal Molecular Nutrition & Food Research, researchers found that turmeric could reduce cholesterol and suppress early atherosclerotic lesions better than the cholesterol-lowering drug lovastatin.[8] Also, a 2006 study on mice suggested that curcumin can help prevent artery damage associated with carotid artery blockage.[9]

2. Garlic

Garlic is also considered one of the better foods that support your arteries. Studies have found that garlic can help prevent heart disease, lower blood pressure, and slow down atherosclerosis. In a study published in the journal Atherosclerosis in 1999, researchers found that garlic could prevent plaque buildup in the arteries.[10]

A review published in the journal Nutrition in 1997 found that clinical trials on garlic had positive effects in the prevention and treatment of atherosclerosis.[11] Another study from 1999 also found that garlic can reduce the risk of stroke and heart attack by more than 50%.[12] Garlic is thought to help against strokes and heart attacks since garlic acts as a blood thinner.

3. Ginger

Ginger has incredible anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidative effects. Ginger contains heart-protective compounds like shogaols and gingerols, which can effectively prevent plaque buildup by reducing total cholesterol. According to a study published in the Journal of Nutrition in 2000, researchers found that ginger extract could reduce aortic atherosclerotic lesion areas, cholesterol and triglycerides in the blood, LDL-linked fat peroxides, and LDL aggregation.[13]

4. Cayenne pepper

Something spicy can also help support your arteries. The compound capsaicin found in cayenne pepper can help reduce LDL cholesterol in the blood. Cayenne pepper can also lower your risk of stroke and heart attack, and improve blood circulation. Also, highly-active antiretroviral therapy (HAART) with HIV protease inhibitor ritonavir is associated with accelerating atherosclerosis and pulmonary artery hypertension. A study published in 2009 found that capsaicin could help prevent pulmonary and vascular complications associated with HAART drugs.[14]

5. Lemon

Adding lemon juice in your morning water is a healthy habit and good for your heart. Lemon is known to reduce blood cholesterol levels, and it helps the arteries by preventing oxidative damage. Lemons are also a great source of the potent antioxidant vitamin C. High doses of vitamin C have been found to strengthen arteries, reduce total cholesterol, increase high-density lipoprotein (HDL), inhibit platelet aggregation, and reduce inflammation.[15]

6. Cinnamon

Cinnamon can help reduce many risk factors associated with atherosclerosis and heart disease. A 2003 study published in the journal Diabetes Care in 2003 found that either one gram, three grams, or six grams of cinnamon daily can lower glucose, triglycerides, LDL cholesterol, and total cholesterol in type 2 diabetics.[16] The study observed 60 diabetics for a 40-day period. Researchers concluded that cinnamon can help reduce the risk factors of cardiovascular disease.

7. Ground flaxseed

Flaxseed is another important food for heart health. Ground flaxseed can help support healthy arteries with high fiber. It is also a good source of alpha-linolenic acide, an omega-3 acid that can lower inflammation and blood pressure. In turn, arteries will not become clogged. In a 1997 study published in the journal Atherosclerosis, researchers found that flaxseed lowered the development of aortic atherosclerosis by 46% in rabbits.[17]

Researchers concluded that modest flaxseed supplementation is an effective treatment for reducing hypercholesterolemic atherosclerosis. Also, it is a good idea to grind your flaxseed. They contain greater amounts of omega-3. On the other hand, the polyunsaturated fats in pre-ground flaxseeds will break down over longer exposure to oxygen, and it can become rancid.

8. Fermented cabbage

Kimchi is a popular probiotic Korean recipe that includes fermented cabbage and hot peppers that has been found to slow the atherosclerotic process. A 2007 study published in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry found that an active compound in kimchi called 3-94-hydroxy-3,5-dimethoxyphenyl can help prevent the development of aortic atherosclerosis in high-cholesterol-fed rabbits.[18] Fermented cabbage has also found to degrade toxic chemicals, including bisphenol A and the insecticide chlorpyrifos.

9. Sesame seed

Sesame seeds can help prevent a blocked artery. Evidence shows that they can help prevent the progression of atherosclerosis. A three-month animal study published in the Journal of Medicinal Food in 2006 suggests that the fatty acid content in sesame oil could effectively inhibit atherosclerosis lesion formation, blood cholesterol, triglycerides, and LDL cholesterol levels in mice.[20]

10. Pomegranate juice

The high antioxidant content and punicic acid in pomegranate juice are thought to help decrease plaque formation and fight atherosclerosis. Pomegranate juice also contains important nutrients for heart health, such as magnesium and selenium. In a randomized, double-blind, parallel study published in the American Journal of Cardiology in 2009, researchers found that drinking 240 milliliters (ml) of pomegranate juice daily for up to 18 months slowed the progression of carotid artery disease for patients at risk of coronary health disease.[20]

Other Natural Remedies for Clogged Arteries

Other foods that help prevent clogged arteries include asparagus, avocado, broccoli, chia seeds, fenugreek seeds, and coconut oil. Dietary supplements and nutrients that can help with atherosclerosis include methyl donators like vitamin B6, choline, folic acid, and vitamin B12, as well as antioxidants, such as vitamin C, vitamin E, lutein, zeaxanthin, grape seed extract, and pine bark extract.

Other important nutrients include L-arginine, vitamin D, vitamin B3, fish oils, and coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10).  Other supplements include magnesium, selenium, resveratrol, copper, chromium, and trimethylglycine.

Finally, exercise is considered just as important as dieting for cardiovascular health. Exercises that reduce stress are important, including meditation, yoga, tai chi, and qigong. Aerobic exercises, gardening, walking, or running can also help combat atherosclerosis. Exercise for about 30 minutes daily for five days a week.

Disclaimer: Specifically, anyone on blood thinners needs to consult their physician before taking additional blood thinning dietary factorsThis information is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment and is for information only. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions about your medical condition and/or current medication. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking advice or treatment because of something you have read here.

Cleanse and detox are two pretty well-known terms now -Many take part in cleansing regimens annually or practice daily detox habits such as drinking lemon water or organic vegetable juices. While the actual term ‘detox’ may be an overall misleading/incorrect term, which indeed – it is – as you are never able to fully ‘detoxify’ your body from all toxic matter.

These practices, however, which are known to BE cleansing or detoxing, can serve much benefit, keeping in mind that it is still physically impossible for your body to be ‘squeaky clean.’

Taking the stress away from your digestive system by nourishing your body with whole pure foods, drinking more water, getting more sleep, eliminating caffeine, alcohol and toxic habits, are all examples of positive and beneficial cleaning/detox practices which may decrease your overall toxic load.

This is why after completing a cleanse, most people experience an increase in energy, clear skin, elimination of bloating, improved digestion, better sleep, a vibrant mind and much more.

As a holistic nutritionist, cleansing is not new to me – in my life ventures and journey to where I am today – I have taken part in countless cleansing and detox regimens, and while I’ve felt many benefits (and side effects) – I’ve simplified my practices over the years.

What I practice in my own lifestyle, and what I recommend to my clients and readers, is one in the same. I promote taking part in daily detox practices that work behind the scenes long-term, without debilitating you, like some short duration, high-intensity cleanses can.

Some ways you can detox daily include:

  • Drinking warm lemon water upon rising.
  • Eating organic when possible, including cold-pressed vegetable juices.
  • Eliminating trigger foods: wheat, cow dairy, refined sugar, inflammatory fats, processed and packaged foods.
  • Switching to natural personal care products.
  • Dry brushing.
  • Taking a detox bath with Epsom salts, Himalayan salts or alkali bath.
  • Getting in optimal water intake.
  • Being mindful of caffeine intake.
  • Keeping alcohol for an occasion.

Daily detox practices like this may be beneficial in decreasing your overall toxic load so that you can thrive & be vibrant every day!

During a change in seasons, at the beginning of a new year, and after a period of stress, are all examples of opportune times to emphasize cleansing practices by adding in something to additionally support your detoxification organs.

Dark Arts Elixir

Made with few ingredients: filtered water, lemon juice, activated charcoal, pure maple syrup and Himalayan salt.

While all of the ingredients serve a purpose in this elixir – for more than just taste – the activated charcoal provides several noted benefits for this ‘black lemonade’ to be a simple + effective cleansing option.

Activated Charcoal

First and foremost, activated charcoal is not barbecue charcoal. So don’t go eating coals from your bbq or fireplace. Activated charcoal is non-toxic and is designed for supplementation and personal care (it can also whiten your teeth and make a great face mask).

Activated charcoal is manufactured by burning a source of carbon, commonly wood or coconut shells. The high temperature removes all the oxygen, and the steam activates the carbon, creating an adsorbent material with very fine mesh like pores, which can capture, bind, and remove certain poisons/toxins which have thousands of times more weight than the charcoal itself .

Briquettes from your barbecue, on the other hand, are carcinogenic, these are designed to be used as fuel and are 100% NOT safe for ingestion. Charcoal briquettes are more similar to lighter fluid, and all charcoal briquettes are toxic.

Just as with Diatomaceous Earth (which you can learn more about here), and how it comes in 100% food grade and then a toxic form, not safe for human consumption – the same for activated charcoal. If anyone asks me if they can use the coals from their barbecue to make this elixir – I’m going to lose my mind! See my product recommendations for safely activated charcoal below.

In my own personal experiences I have been successful in my ventures with activated charcoal to whiten my teeth, make a bomb face mask, alleviate gas and bloating, eliminate digestive issues while traveling and of course, drinking my Dark Arts Elixir for a short-term digestive cleanse.

Activated charcoal is used in the medical field to treat drug overdose or poisoning, due to its ability to bind to toxins in the body, which prevents the body from absorbing them (known as adsorption) [3]. Unfortunately, studies on activated charcoal are very inconclusive on which toxins activated charcoal can and cannot eliminate.

Since doing my own research on the matter, I’ve found activated charcoal to be called both a miracle supplement and a load of crock. Now, I am not making any claims on this product, as so there are so many views on this supplement – but not enough conclusive studies, in my opinion. However, I like to work from experience, so don’t stop reading now.

I’ve been making and drinking this Dark Arts Elixir every day for a two week period now, and I have personally noticed a huge improvement in my digestion, I have not been bloated, I feel lighter, my skin is clear and glowing, I have been having amazing #2’s, I’ve been sleeping like a baby and I wake up with more energy and vibrancy than what’s normal for me. That says something about the effectiveness, does it not? 

I’ve also got clients, family, and random strangers loving this elixir because of the positive effects! The best part is that I have experienced all of this positive radiance, without changing anything else in my diet or lifestyle, and that’s a good note in my book for my dear friend, activated charcoal.

By the way, activated charcoal literally saved me in Peru from a terrible digestive experience I had 1 month into my 3-month trip. I’ve also been using this product to brush my teeth, and I feel squeaky clean and bright like I just left the dentist. You can see what else I do for natural teeth whitening, here. But back to the good stuff –

Here is how you can make this simple detoxing elixir to kick things up a notch, while still keeping things simple!

Makes 4 servings

What You Need:

  • 4 cups filtered water (I use reverse osmosis with trace mineral drops)
  • 1/3-1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (more or less to taste, I like more)
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup (Grade B or No.2)
  • 1 teaspoon (about 3-4 capsules) activated charcoal (available in powder or capsules)
  • Pinch of Himalayan salt


  1. Juice your fresh lemons using a citrus juicer – this handheld juicer will maximize your lemon juice yield and make your citrus juicing life way easier. Add your fresh lemon juice to a pitcher.
  2. If you’re working with activated charcoal that comes in capsules, like this – gently squeeze and twist the capsule to open it, and carefully pour all of the contents into your pitcher with the L juice. Activated charcoal can be messy, so be mindful!
  3. Add the rest of your ingredients to the pitcher, then whisk well to combine and refrigerate evenly.
  4. Enjoy on an empty stomach, 1-hour before a meal or before bed. You will have to stir the mixture again as the charcoal likes to settle at the top/bottom.
  5. Portion out servings into sealable mason jars for convenience (optional).
  6. Lasts 5-days when refrigerated.


I like to prepare this in a 1L mason jar, I adjust the water accordingly so that everything fits, to prepare I simply add my ingredients, screw on the lid – shake, shake, shake and refrigerate. Advertisement

Activated charcoal is designed to detox – symptoms include, but are not limited to headaches, nausea, foggy brain, skin breakouts, irritability and low energy. With any new regimen, start slow and listen to your body! These symptoms will pass, and then you should experience increased energy, clear skin, decreased bloating, better sleep, positive vibes and more.

You can enjoy this for several days as a cleanse, or you can prepare as needed.

Who Shouldn’t Use Activated Charcoal

Do not use activated charcoal if you are pregnant or breastfeeding. Consult with your practitioner if you are taking any other medications before consuming. Activated charcoal is a powerful detoxifier and is not selective on what it flushes out.

Using activated charcoal may decrease the effectiveness of your medications. Always take activated charcoal on an empty stomach, away from food or other supplements as it can interfere with nutrient absorption. Drink and cleanse responsibly &

If you’ve ever experienced digestive problems such as constipation, diarrhea, bloating, excess gas, stomach pain, or small intestinal bacterial overgrowth (SIBO), or looked into how the body works, you might have heard about the digestive enzymes we need to break down food. These digestive enzymes are crucial, but they’re not the only digestive enzymes your body uses. There are three other types of digestive enzymes you need and where they come from might surprise you: celery juice.

Medical research and science doesn’t yet know that celery juice contains completely different digestive enzymes, which perform a separate function to the digestive enzymes that break down food in your stomach. These digestive enzymes are completely unique to celery juice, meaning you can’t get them from any other food. As I share in Medical Medium Celery Juice: The Most Powerful Medicine of Our Time Healing Millions Worldwide, celery juice’s digestive enzymes are “like little capsules that are activated by pH change when they enter the small intestinal tract. One celery juice enzyme can reignite, revive, and reactivate multiple weakened digestive enzymes from other sources that are hanging around in the small intestine.”

What does this mean for your body?

First, it’s important to understand that almost everyone today has digestive enzymes that are not as strong as they’re meant to be. The reason for this is because the liver plays a critical role in producing one essential type of digestive enzyme––a truth which is decades away from being discovered by research and science. But the problem is that nine out of ten people right now have livers that are overburdened and sluggish from having to deal with so many toxins, pathogens, pollutants, poor diet and lifestyle choices, alcohol, medication, drugs, cigarettes, air fresheners, colognes and perfumes, and more. A struggling liver impacts the production of the type of digestive enzyme the liver is responsible for, which in turn affects digestion and contributes to other problems within the body. This is one key reason why so many people experience digestive issues of some kind over their lifetime. If you’ve been fortunate enough to have not experienced any digestive issues yet, it’s still important to take preventative steps now to avoid suffering with them in the future.

Celery juice’s digestive enzymes are a saving grace to these weak enzymes almost everyone has. They come along and reinvigorate these weary enzymes so they can do their job better. Plus, celery juice’s enzymes re-stimulate enzymes from food that are in the small intestine. Celery juice also revives the liver so it can produce stronger bile-related digestive enzymes in the first place and helps strengthen the pancreas and ignite pancreatic enzymes. In addition, the enzymes in celery juice themselves are profoundly powerful for the breakdown, digestion, and assimilation of certain nutrients that neither bile nor hydrochloric acid addresses, because the digestion process is that complex. Medical research and science do not yet fully understand how digestion works and how intricate, involved, and miraculous it is.

The benefits I’ve shared here are just a handful of the ways celery juice’s enzymes are instrumental in improving the health and functioning of your body. There’s many more ways they support you. Celery juice actually contains well over two dozen varieties of enzymes, most of them undiscovered and involved in the breakdown of waste matter inside the intestinal tract. But it’s the healing benefits the three special undiscovered enzymes I mentioned above provide that are one of the main reasons so many people feel better and heal when they drink 16 ounces of straight celery juice on an empty stomach every morning. You can read more about celery juice’s digestive enzymes and the other incredible healing benefits of celery juice in Medical Medium Celery Juice.

Celery juice isn’t a short-term fad or trend that is going to soon pass. It’s not something that’s popular right now but will soon be a distant memory. That will never happen with celery juice because its healing power is too great. It has made that much of a difference in millions of people’s health and lives already and will continue to help many millions more. Celery juice, when consumed in the specific way I share in Medical Medium Celery Juice has the potential to bring improvement and healing to all kinds of chronic illnesses and symptoms, including acne, eczema, psoriasis, acid reflux, bloating, SIBO, migraines, anxiety, depression, dermatitis, allergies, fatigue, mood swings, reproductive issues, fibromyalgia, streptococcus, and much more.

This humble herb’s medicine, extracted through the juicing process, is truly the most powerful medicine of our time healing millions worldwide. I want nothing more than for you and your loved ones to try it for yourself as I describe in Medical Medium Celery Juice so that you too can experience the healing benefits it provides. In Medical Medium Celery Juice I also answer hundreds of questions I receive daily about celery juice and give you exact instructions for how to get the most healing benefits from celery juice. Thank you for your support and commitment to healing. It means the world to me.  

Learn more about the healing powers of celery juice in my new book Medical Medium Celery Juice.

whole plant-based lifestyle and Veganism are the healthiest lifestyle in the world. By eating living foods, you encourage your body to maintain a healthy weight while fueling your body with all the nutrients to sustain perfect health and cut the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and obesity by 80%.

Dieting is not so much what you eat but what you don’t eat. If you are serious about toning your body and looking better than you have ever looked before, follow my lifestyle. Don’t call it a diet because diets never work. You must replace foods that are making you gain weight with foods that create balance and enhance your vitality.

The foods that I will recommend to you will eventually taste like the foods that make you fat. You have to mentally learn to enjoy food for what it does for your health rather than what food does for your palate.
First and foremost – STOP eating anything in a box, can, jar, frozen and has a shelf life. Don’t consume processed oils, salt, sugar, refined grains, flour, condiments, etc. Don’t eat anything fried, cut out all bread, commercial hummus, crackers, anything that says “vegan” and “organic” other than fresh organic fruits, vegetables, whole grains, beans, seeds, and nuts.

I make my own hummus which is very nutritional and fat-free. I take a half a pound of dry garbanzo beans and soak them overnight. I then thoroughly rinse the beans and put them in a pot covering them with water. I bring to a boil and simmer for about fifteen to twenty minutes until the garbanzo beans are tender. I rinse the beans again and throw them in a high powered blender or you can use a food processor… I add the juice of five or six lemons (depending on your taste and enough water to give it a creamy texture. Add the water as you need to when blending. That is it. I love the taste of garbanzo beans. When you add tahini, olive oil, garlic and salt, you are compromising the taste of the garbanzo beans… Oil and tahini add lots of fat too….

Make huge salads. I make enough for two or three days at a time. I chop fresh local organic beets, celery, carrot, red cabbage, and parsley, kale, spinach, radishes (include all vegetables that are locally grown). You can add a half an avocado, lemon and organic apple cider vinegar with each serving. I use apple cider vinegar on all my salads, no oil. I also add hemp seeds, chia seeds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and, walnuts for additional protein, calcium, fiber, and antioxidants. I eat this salad for breakfast and sometimes lunch. It has a lot of fiber, enzymes and all of the vitamins you will possibly need. You can add any vegetables you like that are locally grown and in a season… Try adding blueberries when in season…

For dinner, lunch, and breakfast eat quinoa, millet, amaranth, and buckwheat – add lentils too. as these grains only take fifteen minutes to prepare. I add chopped tomatoes, parsley and lemon. Another meal choice is an organic yam or butternut squash. Just add lemon on the yam, the squash needs nothing. Embrace the wonderful natural flavors of real food – Don’t disguise the taste with oils and salt.

Eat just an organic salad for dinner; kale, spinach, red cabbage, celery, carrots, parsley with 1/2 avocado and organic apple cider vinegar. Last night I had two large organic artichokes with fresh lemon (less than 100 calories, no fat, highly nutritional). Tonight I am going to have two bunches of lightly steamed spinach with organic chopped tomatoes and lemon.

Who doesn’t like to snack? I always have organic radishes, cucumbers, cauliflower, apples, pears and red bell peppers on hand to snack on. These healthy nutrient-rich vegetables and fruits have zero fat and practically no calories and they are very filling. One of my favorite snacks is roasted garbanzo beans. I soak a pound of garbanzo beans overnight. I rinse them thoroughly the next morning. I then put the garbanzo beans in a large bowl and toss with Bragg Amino. I place the beans on a stainless steel sheet and roast in the oven at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes to 45 minutes. I live in a high altitude so it takes a little longer. I snack on these beans all the time. They are loaded with protein, fiber and an abundance of nutrients…

If you must go to restaurants, drink warm lemon water and ask for a plate of steamed or raw vegetables. If they don’t have any, then don’t eat, just socialize. Restaurant food is the worst and the most deceiving. So, when I go to restaurants, even Vegan restaurants, I will have raw vegetables. One of my favorite restaurant meals is just a plate of parsley with lemon…

Don’t try and starve yourself, your body will go into a defense mode and store fat. Eat like there is no tomorrow of the foods that burn calories. Drink lots of organic green or white tea. I also drink freshly squeezed organic grapefruit juice which I find burns fat. Infuse water with healthy herbs, fruit, and vegetables. I also drink a lot of chickpea miso. I buy Miso Master as it is organic and 100% vegan. Many miso pastes are infused with fish oil or fish flakes. If you eat at any Asian restaurant, the miso, even though they will tell you the miso is vegetarian, is loaded with fish oil and fish flakes. Another thing Asian restaurants do is steam the vegetables with fish, fish oil or fish flakes. They consider fish to be vegetarian and most Asian restaurants do not know what vegan is… They use fish as a seasoning and a staple.

Cut out coffee and I hope you are not drinking sodas, even the zero calories. Again, do not drink or eat anything that sits on a shelf. I never shop at a supermarket. I buy all my produce from organic farmers and a health food store that I go to where I know exactly where they buy their produce. I have visited the farms. Substitute your doctor for your organic farmer. Make your organic farmer your best friend and the most important person in your quest for pristine health… I call my organic farmers “Doctors.”

I buy all my grains and beans from Bob’s Red Mill. They source the freshest organic products. Natural food stores, even Whole Foods buys their bulk from distributors that have been sold and traded as many as a dozen times. Those grains and beans sit in the bulk section for weeks, sometimes months and are constantly being exposed to humans many times a day… Bob’s Red Mill is the highest quality resource there is for grains, beans, and oats. They ship FREE!!!

Grains and beans are a powerful nutritional food high in protein, vitamins, fiber and calcium and low in calories and fat. I buy bulk organic barley, wheat berries, brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, mung, garbanzo, black and adzuki beans. You have to soak them for twenty-four hours, rinse them thoroughly and simmer them together for about 30 minutes until tender. You can add vegetables at the very end by turning off the heat and allowing the vegetables to steam in the beans and the grains. For seasonings, I use fresh grated turmeric, cumin, sage, basil, garlic, paprika, and ginger.

Exercise has a lot to do with maintaining your weight, health and mental clarity. You don’t have to run on a treadmill for two hours or go crazy in the gym. Just walk briskly, park your car furthest from where you are going to the mall or work, take the stairs, do your own house cleaning, play sports, ride a bike, dance around the house or do like I do and play with your grandkids (I feel I have accomplished my goal when my four-year-old granddaughter says, “Papa, you are making me so tired.”)…..Do activities that you enjoy and look forward too. I hate the gym and exercise classes so I walk a lot and ride my bike.

You might say that my diet is expensive, time-consuming and restrictive. Well, so is diabetes, heart disease. obesity and cancer. Think of this new vegan lifestyle as preventive medicine and the only path to extend your life and live healthy long into your 80’s and 90’s. Your mind will be clear, your body will be clean and your energy level is amazing.

I eat like this regularly so I don’t call it a diet, these are the foods that make me feel vibrant and have kept me doctor and prescription drug-free my entire life.

Good luck – ask me anything you want, I will be more than happy to support and encourage you. Please message me…..

“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food”…….. You can do it! ……Doug

How does this homemade pickled cabbage compare to the pickled cabbage in a jar in the supermarket? What about pickled cucumbers or pickled garlic, also popular commercial choices

There seems to be a bit of confusion going around about fermented foods and the difference between what you make in your kitchen and the pickled versions that are available on the supermarket shelf. For example, in one of my video lessons, I demonstrate how to make sauerkraut in the traditional manner.  After the shredded cabbage ferments on the kitchen counter for a few days, it is then refrigerated or kept in a cool cellar where the sauerkraut remains naturally preserved for extended periods of time.

Alex Lewin, author of Real Food Fermentation explains that the confusion comes from the overlap in definition.  In a nutshell, not all fermented foods are pickled and not all pickles are fermented. Still confused?

Foods that are pickled are those that have been preserved in an acidic medium.  In the case of various types of supermarket pickles on the shelf, the pickling comes from vinegar.  These vegetables, however, are not fermented (even though vinegar itself is the product of fermentation) and hence do not offer the probiotic and enzymatic value of homemade fermented vegetables.

Vegetables that you ferment in your kitchen using a starter, salt, and some filtered water create their own self preserving, acidic liquid that is a by-product of the fermentation process.  This lactic acid is incredibly beneficial to digestion when consumed along with the fermented vegetables or even when sipped alone as anyone on the GAPS Intro Diet has discovered (cabbage juice anyone?). In other words, homemade fermented veggies are both fermented and pickled.

What about alcoholic fermentation?  In the case of wine and unpasteurized beers, fermentation occurs as the result of certain yeasts converting sugars into alcohol but there is no pickling that takes place despite the common expression that a person who has had too much to drink is “pickled”.

Home fermentation of vegetables preserves without the use of any pressure or heat unlike supermarket versions of the same foods.   It  allows the ubiquitous and beneficial lactobacilli present on the surface of all living things – yes, even your own skin – to proliferate creating lactic acid which not only pickles and preserves the vegetables, but also promotes the health of those that consume it in the following ways:

  • Enhances the vitamin content of the food.
  • Preserves and sometimes enhances the enzyme content of the food.
  • Improves nutrient bio-availability in the body.
  • Improves the digestibility of the food and even cooked foods that are consumed along with it!

So don’t be fooled by unhealthy supermarket pickled versions of homemade fermented foods. These modern foods are the product of high heat and pressure which destroys nutrients and do not in any way enhance health.   The one exception to this rule are the various fermented foods in the refrigerator section of many healthfood stores. These products are actually fermented and pickled. The only drawback is that these gourmet items are rather expensive compared to the pennies per ounce it costs to make them yourself.