Tantra Outside the Bedroom


Tantra Outside the Bedroom

Tantra is a word commonly thrown around in the yoga world, and let’s face the facts. What do you think about when someone says, “Tantra?” Sex.

There is nothing wrong with this association, as the Tantric worldview encompasses physical intimacy and connection, but it is also very limiting as the tradition contains much greater texture and dimension.



Non-Toxic Home


Non-Toxic Home

Moving to Seattle has been exciting as I step into a new chapter in my life. 

While I don't indulge in retail therapy often, I didn't own much walking in the door of my apartment so I have been shopping everyday. 

Since my health is important to me, I have bought specific things to ensure my home is a part of my healthy living journey. Whether you are already settled in your home, moving somewhere new, or setting up your son, daughter, or nephew in their first apartment/home, I hope some of these tips will support you and loved ones to live in a non-toxic healthful home! 

I want to be clear that I am not a saint and have had to make certain decisions based on finances, so we all have to try to do our best while minimizing toxicity in the space we live.

Living Room:

  • Jute Rug: Natural fiber rugs (jute, seagrass, sisal, coir, abaca, etc.) are biodegradable and do not off-gas chemicals. 
  • Reclaimed Wood Table: Saves virgin wood, has an eco-friendly non-toxic wood finish, and looks amazing! 
  • Couch: Here we enter a bit of a challenging area. Most couches (and mattresses) these days are made using polyurethane foam. While the EPA and industry claim that the foam doesn't off-gas, some beg to differ. Polyfoam is made from potroleum, is pretty toxic to produce, and if it catches on fire (keep your candles far away) it creates a toxic smoke which is very dangerous. The bad and good news is that most couches produced in 2015 and after are no longer sprayed with chemical flame retardants which disrupt the endocrine system responsible for hormone production in the body. The challenge is that couches using latex foam (more on this in a moment) or wool can cost $3,000 and up for a seven footer. If you have the money do it, if you don't opt for a couch that isn't sprayed with flame retardants, make sure to clean your space often (dust mixes with chemical residue and sticks around longer), and even in the winter open windows and air out your living room space every three or so days. 
  • LED Light Bulbs: Save a ton of energy and money, mercury free (compared to CFLs), and reduce energy use which equals less CO2 emissions from coal power plants. Obviously these are not just for the living room. 


  • Mattress:  How many hours do you sleep a night? While sitting on a couch a few hours a day made from synthetic materials is one thing, sleeping on a toxic polyfoam mattress is bad news. Opt for latex mattress (but beware natural latex made from the rubber tree is what you want, synthetic latex is a fake full of toxicity). Wool is also an option but more expensive. Especially if you have children invest for their sake as the younger the human body is the more it will be affected by chemicals.
  • Bedding: Same as above, spend the money especially on pillows for wool or buckwheat hulls. Think how many hours you breathe with your head on a pillow. I also invested in a wool duvet (real down feathers results in many geese dying and many duvets are synthetic), organic sheets, and an organic cotton duvet cover. If I am going to spend 1/3 of my life in bed I might as well by eco and cozy.
  • Bed Frame: While many furniture manufactures are shifting to be more responsible it is taking time, trees are the lungs of our planet. Look for FSC sustainably managed wood or products approved by the sustainable furnishings council.


  • Shower Curtain: If you use one this is one of the greatest sources of toxicity, especially when it interacts with hot steam. Choose chloride-free PEVA vinyl which doesn’t emit harmful chemicals into the air. 


  • Glass: Bowels, tupaware, cups, pitcher, blender, jars, and anything else glass.
  • Stainless Steel: Knives, utensils, serving spoons, measuring cups/spoons pots and pans (cast iron pan is also good and to clean your stainless steel pan use a stainless steel scrub brush, makes it just as easy as non-stick, and Teflon is toxic).
  • Wood: Bamboo is a good sustainable choice for cutting boards, dish rack, and large cooking spoons.
  • Real authentic old-school ceramic cookware is also non-toxic but beware of the new nano version, not enough data.
  • Notice that my kitchen doesn’t have any plastic, simply no need and plastic leaches chemicals with heat, no thank you!
  • Cleaning Supplies: Yes most conventional cleaning supplies have a ton of unnecessary chemicals. Buy or make your own green options, just as potent but no harm involved.  
  • Water Filter: While I prefer tap water over bottled it is vital to filter water especially if your city uses fluoride (now clear it is effective topically but creates problems for the thyroid when ingested). Reverse osmosis or a counter top option like the Berkey are ideal, basic filters like Britta don't do enough. 

This conversation could go on forever but these are some big keys to a non-toxic home especially in the bedroom where we spend a ton of time sleeping. Remember, that besides the big priced items (which are an investment for the long term) most of these choices are extremely affordable and you can find good options at places like Ross (great stainless steel options), Goodwill (or other thrift shops, amazing kitchen supplies), Whole Foods (have these amazing  biodegradable green sponges to replace paper towels), and other stores.

One purchase at a time you can have a non-toxic home or apartment as well!!!





After reading articles on nutrition I am both happy and at times overwhelmed by all the immense data. 

To counter the feeling of "is anything I am doing really healthy?" I have to remind myself for the most part keeping it simple is the way to ensure optimal health and sanity. 

You have probably have heard all of these recommendations before, but just in case your overwhelmed. 

  1. Stay hydrated. 
  2. Eat unprocessed organic/local non-toxic foods. 
  3. Rotate the foods in your diet so your body gets nutrient diversity. 
  4. Reduce your consumption of refined grains and processed sugar. 
  5. Don't be afraid of high quality fats (grass fed butter/ghee, coconut oil, avocados, poached eggs, olive oil, nuts & seeds-in moderation) 
  6. If you consume animal foods ensure they are pasture raised. 
  7. Get restful and deep sleep. 
  8. Move your body in some way 4 times a week (walks count, but its also important to ramp things up to work your muscles and heart) 
  9. Reduce your consumption of refined & and high in Omega 6 vegetable oils (canola, sunflower, safflower, soy, and corn). 
  10. Increase your consumption of Omega 3 through low mercury fish (sardines, anchovies, salmon, halibut, sea bass, etc.)
  11. Manage your stress. 
  12. Reduce your exposure to toxic chemicals (hello teflon, cleaning products and personal care products). 
  13. Increase your intake of anti-inflammatory veggies, herbs and spices. 
  14. Tell your close family and friends how much you appreciate them. 
  15. Laugh and have some fun! 


Sulfur Baby


Sulfur Baby

I often find myself attracted to subject matters that defy my Virgo nature to box things up and reach a final conclusions. Its probably the reason that I love nutrition. 

Just when I think I have a grasp of something I discover more about how food and the body interact.

In my latest exploration I have been reading and listening about the role of sulfur in regards to health. 

Sulfur works in the background and is key in:

  1. Biological functioning and shape of proteins.
  2. Enzyme functionality.
  3. Detoxification.
  4. Hair, nail, and joint health. 
  5. Maintenance and integrity of cellular systems. 

How can you get enough sulfur in your diet?

  1. Eat more onions, leeks, shallots and garlic (if you find raw too pungent, steam them lightly). 
  2. Consume more cabbage, broccoli, cauliflower, Brussel sprouts, bock chop and other members of the Brassicas family (again lightly steamed is best for sulfur availability). 
  3. Explore grass fed beef, pastured eggs, and omega 3 rich fish.

Especially if you find yourself struggling with depression, fatigue, or high stress add in some sulfur foods and notice if they make a difference. 


Toxic Schools?


Toxic Schools?

It has been awhile since I wrote anything but it is time to break the silence, and with one of my favorite topics. How utterly odd our modern world is. 

The other day I went to drop pick up my nephew from his new day-care class in a school of 150 kids. As always my Virgo eyes scan for danger and toxins hiding in plane site. 

Sadly I wasn't surprised when near the sink I noticed hand sanitizer, soft scrub antibacterial soap, and dawn dishwashing liquid. 

We live in a world where exposing our young to toxic chemicals in not only legal but often way too common. 

If you are thinking how much hard can these products really have? Take a breath! 

  • Hand Sanitizers:
    • Don't really work
    • Create antibacterial resistance
    • Lower immunity 
    • ALTERNATIVE: non-toxic sanitizers like Clean Well or old fashion soap and water. 
    • Want to read more click here
  • Antibacterial Soap:
    • No more effective than normal soap and water
    • Create antibacterial resistance
    • Disrupts the endocrine (hormone) system
    • Gets transferred up the food chain eventually back to us.
    • ALTERNATIVE: Regular soap bar or organic liquid hand soap.
    • Want to read more click here.
  • Dishwashing Liquid:
    • Poisonous
    • Linked to cancer
    • Creates genetic problems
    • Negative impacts on fish population. 
    • ALTERNATIVE: Seventh generation, method, google how to make at home etc. 
    • Want to read more click here

It is time we start protecting our kids not only at home but at schools, where they spend the majority of their time. Reach out to your school and educate.

Clean Well has wonderful resources and pricing options for schools.  





The other day I came back from a run, hadn't shaven my face for days, and felt a bit rough around the edges. 

In that moment something sweet unfolded, I felt like I stepped into a seamless meditation of pampering for the next thirty-five minutes. 

Shower, shave, aftershave cleaning soap with an exfoliating pad, a rejuvenating mask, and then an amazing face lotion infused with revitalizing herbs. 

When I finished up I was amazed how wonderful I felt.

To take time out to simply pamper seems so important, yet so underutilized between being busy or watching TV. 

We take time out in our culture to maintain and care for others, our physical objects, but the body is often remembered last. 

Where and when can you carve out a short amount of time to pamper every week or at least every other week?

Are you ready to step into a life of renewed health, vitality, and empowered living? Checkout this free downloadable e-bookwith easy to follow health tips.


Vegetable Centric


Vegetable Centric

When I look at the way I eat today I have to partly give thanks to the culture I was born into; Israel.

Even though my diet was McDonalds Centric for the first few years of living in America, eventually I came back to my roots; vegetables at most every meal. 

Vegetables often fall victim to a busy lifestyle because their shelf life is short or people get overwhelmed when it comes to preparation. Add in spread out families and the loss of traditional food wisdom being passed down from generation to generation and you get a processed food epidemic.

Luckily, with a greater awareness of how food impacts our health and the need to heal our ailing planet, many individuals are rekindling their relationship with plant-based goodies.

Being a strict vegetarian is not a requirement but study after study is clear, even if you consume animal foods it is vital to have veggies around. In fact, eating Vegetable Centric can be life saving by increasing fiber, offering the body more hydration, and balancing out the acidic qualities of meat. 

So why dominate your plate with a variety of potent and colorful friendly companions?

  1. Alkaline & Acid: the first and most important contemplation in the internal chemistry of the body is our alkaline and acid profile. To put it simply, when the internal environment of the body is overly acidic (which occurs from low quality processed foods, over consumption of animal foods, toxic medications, and stress) the body is literally crafting a breeding ground for disease. When the internal environment is more alkaline disease is held at bay and the body can thrive.  For example, broccoli, garlic, kale, sea vegetables, pumpkin seeds, and sprouts are more alkaline. Beef, corn chips, chicken, and ham are more acidic. When eating high quality animal foods the key is not to get rid of more acidic foods but instead balance them out with alkalizing foods that will bring the body back to center.  If a typical breakfast consists of fried eggs, white toast, sausage and hashed potatoes, the body is in acid overload. The same meal can be upgraded with poached eggs, whole wheat toast, and adding a side of kale, asparagus, salad greens or lightly steamed bok-choy to shift the acid alkaline equation.
  2. Color Beautiful: the bright diversity of colors in vegetables communicates their high antioxidant properties and variety of vitamins and minerals which fight cancer causing free radicals in the body and help many essential enzymatic processes unfold with ease. Dr. Walter Willet, the chairman of the Department of Nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health writes in his book Eat, Drink, and Be Healthy, that eating vegetables can decrease the chances of having a heart attack or stroke, protects against a variety of cancers, lowers blood pressure, and protect the eyes against cataracts. Visit www.disabled-world.com/img/fruitvegetablecolorchart.jpg for a color based chart for fruits and veggies.
  3. Fiber Power: eating a variety of vegetables contributes to the health promoting effects of fiber, which has impacts on the gastro intestinal tract and other essential systems in the body. Dr. Mark Hyman, author of Ultra Metabolism writes that fiber helps us burn more calories, stay full longer, and helps reduce our appetite. All three benefits occur because whole vegetables foods take longer to break down, provide us with more sustained fuel, and stabilize a potential blood sugar rollercoaster that can occur from fiber deficient foods.
  4. Food to Body Wisdom: the way many vegetables look actually clues us in to the health benefits that they posses. A walnut resembles the folds of the brain and contains vital neurotransmitters for optimal functioning. Celery looks like bones and contains an ample amount of sodium to help replenish the strength of the skeletal system. Avocados support the health of the womb and cervix while creating hormonal balance. Sweet potatoes resemble the pancreas and help the body stabilize blood sugar. 

To include more vegetables in your daily routine get creative, be demanding (and kind) at restaurants for a larger portion of veggies, and experiment with new way to steam, bake, sauté, and eat plant-based foods as is.

Here are a few ideas to get you started:

  • Poached eggs, salsa, yeast free rye bread, and steamed spinach.
  • Soba noodles, sautéed onions, garlic, kale, sun dried tomato paste, olives, olive oil, and goat cheese.
  • Avocado, cucumbers, fresh parsley, squeezed lemon and sea salt on sourdough leavened bread.
  • Carrot, daikon, parsnip, ginger, yellow miso soup (add miso when water is not boiling once all your veggies are tender).
  • Wild Alaskan salmon, steamed with squeezed lemon, garlic, olive oil, fresh pepper, mushrooms, and mustard greens.
  • Salad greens, red pepper, radish, celery, sautéed zucchini and summer squash, sardines, chili flakes, sea salt, olive oil and balsamic vinaigrette.
  • Steamed broccoli with a touch of sea salt and grated raw cheese


Guinea Pig Nation


Guinea Pig Nation

First of all I want to say that the guinea pig is just way too cute and why would anyone want to run experiments on such a fluffy creature? 

Second I know that I continue to harp on this subject matter over and over again but it amazes me how many people put on the blinders when it comes to personal CHEMICAL  exposure.

So let us get a few things clear:

  1. There are 80,000 unregulated chemicals in the majority of personal care,  cleaning products, and common household items people use. Unregulated means there is no government agency responsible for testing this shit. It is all based on testing the companies conduct. They decide whether it is SAFE or UNSAFE. What? 
  2. YES! So it is vital to remember that most corporations DO NOT care about your HEALTH, they care about their bottom line. I know it is SHOCKING that people would abuse the system and get rich while you poison your body, well actually it's just what humans have been doing since the beginning of time. Anyone getting upset yet?
  3. Chemicals in the body create disruption for our endocrine system. Have you had any experiences with HORMONES? I bet you have and you know that these critters are very very POWERFUL! So now imagine how these chemicals are altering your internal functionality, or even worst your kid's.
  4. It all comes down to what you are breathing, what you are putting on your skin, and what you are eating. These are the major ways in which toxic chemicals get into our body and wreck havoc. 
  5. Take off your BLINDERS and take action!
  6. -REDUCE plastic from your life and NEVER HEAT it.
  7. -EXCOMMUNICATE any personal health products, and I mean ANY, that have an above 3 rating on the the Skin Deep Personal Care Product Database.
  8. -THROW OUT all cleaning products (including dishwashing soap, dishwasher packets, and laundry detergent) that are not made with nature's brilliance and have a warning label on them. If they can poison you, your kids, or our waterways there is no need to have them around.
  9. -UNDERSTAND which foods are more heavily sprayed and buy them organic.
  10. -CONTEMPLATE how your home might be an off gassing factory from cheap synthetic curtains, pillows, teflon pans, blankets, couches, mattresses and carpets. Switch to non-toxic home items. 

It might be overwhelming at first but at the end of the day if you buy anything that can't be traced to natural source it might be hazardous to your health. 

I know what you are thinking, he's crazy, the human body is strong, a little toxicity here and there isn't a real big problem. REALLY?

Let me help you unlock a little DELUSION. Remember that old saying the dose makes the poison? "It means that a substance can produce the harmful effect associated with its toxic properties only if it reaches a susceptible biological system within the body in a high enough concentration*."

When it comes to the majority of chemicals we are exposed to today this concept DOESN'T APPLY!

They are nicknamed endocrine disrupting chemicals because even a little can throw the body into a substantial tailspin.

This is why it is so important to be vigilant! STOP being seduced by low prices which hide the full story of what you are buying, and negate your health and the wellbeing of workers and our planet. 

Are you sick and tired of being a guinea pig?

Support companies who have your interest in mind, who care about your health, and those that concider the environmental impacts of their products.

They EXIST, it just might take an extra minute or two on Google and a willingness to give up Starbucks for  a week so you can save a little $.

 It is time to take a stand! By you making different choices and sharing this information with others we can send a clear message that unregulated toxic chemicals are simply UNACCEPTABLE!!!

Want to learn more and get involved? Watch this film Unacceptable Levels


Plant Power


Plant Power

I am currently in a phase of space as I moved out of my housing before I left for St. Louis and India over a month ago.

While I am staying with gracious friends, one of the things I miss most are my plants.

Since living in the majestic Green Mountain state of Vermont in 2005 I have become addicted to nature, and especially the color green.

Whenever I set up my home anywhere there are two things I need to do to feel settled:

  1. Set up my altar.
  2. Set up my plants. 

I am more alive when there are living rich green creatures in my abode, and come to find out this intuitive  connection actually holds a bit of science based weight.

Studies have shown that having a plant in a space increases concentration and productivity, raises humidity levels to generate more energy, supports recovering patients to heal faster and helps clean the air.

The color green is also associated with ease for the eyes (did you really think the color of my website was random?), abundance, growth, and spaciousness, which all help counter states of distress.

Finally, it simply makes sense. Back in the day people used to spend much more time outdoors.

By having even a little bit of nature in a concrete environment we can pause and remember that we are nature embodied and that we belong to a much larger web of existence. 

So what are you waiting for, go buy or plant some plants! 

P.S. if you want to buy the most air purifying plants check out this list based on research done by NASA



Recipe for Cancer


Whenever I hear about another person with cancer my heart breaks a little. It seems like such a ruthless disease and the treatment creates havoc on the body. 

While I have compassion for everyone who has struggled to heal and mitigate cancer cells in their body, I also know that much of cancer in our modern culture is preventable. 

Yes it is true that family history matters and that genetics play a role in our susceptibility to this life threatening disease, but there is another part to this story. 

"Epigenetics are chemical markers attached to our DNA that have ability to essentially turn genes on and off. DNA doesn't change over the course of our lifetime, and it's exactly the same in every cell in our bodies*." 

So how do cells become diversified? "The difference is in the epigenes; these markers turn on the genes that tell a skin cell to behave like a skin cell, while turning off genes that it doesn't need, such as those that would make it act like a brain cell*."

Do  you see where we're going? Everything we do in a sense communicates with these epigenes. So Epigenetic modifications can occur in response to environmental stimuli including our lifestyle and daily food intake. 

While much more research needs to be done in this field, there are some early signs that certain foods (turmeric, cruciferous vegetables, green tea, high quality soy) affect our genome in a more life-enhancing way which helps mitigate and prevent certain diseases including cancer. 

While it is not 100% fool proof and some people get cancer even when they are doing everything "right", it is clear that for the majority, our day-to-day choices have literal consequences. 

So if you want to effect your epigenes to promote cancer cell growth here are a few things to add to your daily life:

  • Consume lots of white sugar in the form of candy bars, muffins, doughnuts, pastries, cookies, and ice-cream at least 7 days a week  
  • Make sure you use nutrasweet, sweet and lo, and splenda on a daily basis
  • Eat factory farm red meat 4-7 days a week 
  • Consume a ton of tuna and other fish containing heavy metals 
  • Skip all fruits especially berries 
  • Stay away from all herbs like parsley, cilantro, dill, turmeric, ginger, and cinnamon
  • Vegetables are for hippies, you don't really need them
  • Especially avoid all the green veggies, they are vile! 
  • Have a sandwich with white flour thin-as-air bread daily
  • Consume conventional dairy (don't forgot 3 cups of milk a day), lunch meats (sodium nitrate, yay!), and factory farmed eggs. 
  • The more foods you eat out of a packaged box the better, don't forget the sugary cereal 
  • Avoid all omega 3 foods and consume many more omega 6--soy, corn, canola--foods
  • Drink tons of unfiltered tap water or waste money and buy plastic water bottles infused with lovely toxic substances
  • Smoke cigarettes 
  • Clean with toxic chemicals and close your windows, don't want any of that goodness to escape
  • Use a conventional dry cleaner and enjoy the toxic residue on your clothes
  • Heat your food in plastic Tupperware in the microwave
  • Sleep on a conventional mattress and pillow so you can breathe toxic fumes more often, have off-gassing carpets everywhere, and buy furniture sprayed with flame retardant chemicals
  • Paint your walls with normal paint and enjoy the volatile organic compounds 
  • Watch the news often and get stressed out as much as you can 
  • Bitch and moan about everyone that is annoying you in your life but never actually do anything about it
  • Worry, worry, worry
  • Keep secrets especially in your most intimate relationships
  • Never address any of your childhood wounds or trauma, stuff them down
  • Sit on the couch and watch TV 3-4 hours a day, 7 days a week, skip moving  your body
  • Use conventional sunscreen with lots of chemicals in it all the time blocking out all vitamin D 
  • Don't use any sunscreen at all and sit in the sun all day long, burn your skin
  • Stay away from nature, be indoors, go to the mall as often as possible, buy pointless stuff to fill your house with
  • Remain busy at all the time, TV, magazines, smartphones, phone calls, movies, going out, work, never schedule yourself a break
  • Workout with the wise motto "no pain, no gain," give it 110% 
  • Use conventional brand shampoos, conditioners, big brand makeup with toxic metals and other personal products with unknown chemicals
  • Breathe lots of polluted city air

I'm sure there a few more rituals we could add but I think this will do for now. 

What daily choices are you making?



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The Good Death


The one guarantee in life, is that at one point in time it will come to an end.

As I usually do, I was listening to NPR and loved that they had the courage to actually talk about this often taboo subject. 

Death is a natural part of life and we see it everywhere in nature. Everything expires, and in a sense becomes food or energy for something else. 

In a way nature is the master recycler, she takes energy and turns it into form and at the end of its lifecycle the form composts back into the larger matrix, only to provide more fuel for other entities to take shape once more. 

In the news story I listened to they interviewed Caitlin Doughty, a mortician and writer who runs the website called The Order of the Good Death

I love some of the ideas that embody her order:

  • Making death a part of your life.  
  • Accepting that death itself is natural, but the death anxiety and terror of modern culture are not.
  • Reclaiming personal ritual for our own death and when loved ones pass.
  • Exploring what we want to do with our body once we die. 
  • Getting comfortable with contemplating our own passing and stepping up to have the conversation with older or sick members of our family. 
  • Putting things in order, so when we die we avoid leaving a mess for loved ones to deal with. 

One of the most disturbing facts about modern society is that we  have put a middle-man between us and death. Expensive caskets to give the false idea of preservation, tombstones to hold onto our memory, embalming chemicals to prevent decay--haven't we had enough chemical exposure while being alive?--and rituals which often don't celebrate our life. 

But there are so many other options. Dying at home, celebrating the final moments, being cremated and having our ashes spread, or having a green burial where we are returned to the earth raw as we are. 

While some people avoid the conversation of death, ask my friend Dahlia and she'll probably tell you that I'm on the other extreme of the spectrum. Whenever I get on a plane--totally irrational because flying is safer than driving a car--I remind her of my wishes:

  • A weekend extravaganza
  • Everyone wearing colorful clothing 
  • Healthy nutritious food--only things Danny would approve
  • Dance music
  • Reminiscing about sweet memories 
  • Some tears, but also laughter 
  • And my ashes scattered in nature (the Mediterranean in Israel because that is where I was born) and in Vermont (I love the trees)

Last year I also did what I have been thinking about but putting off for years. I signed a will basically leaving everything I have of value to my little nephew. 

Even though I love life and appreciate it as the most valuable gift, it feels amazing to step into this conversation of death.

To have a clear plan, to be real, to put things in order, and trust that just like everything else in nature when it is time for my ending, it will only usher in something new, unknown, that yes brings up fear, but still a threshold I am willing to cross with open arms, curiosity, and a ton of gratitude!  

Want to dive in further? Checkout tips on the Good Death at The Order of the Good Death blog. 


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Shrimp Education


Being a pescatarian allows me to enjoy fish a few times a week and ensure I'm getting enough protein, calcium, and omega 3 fatty acids for the health of my body.

Not all fish are equal so I'm vigilant about choosing the highest quality fish for ecological sustainability and low toxicity. 

While I consume fish, I have never enjoyed the taste of shrimp but recognize that this is a minority experience. 

Americans alone consume 4.10 billion pounds of shrimp every year (data from 2010). 

But guess what? While they might taste good going down, there is a whole lot missing from this picture that needs some education, as shrimp production has a huge impact on the einvlorment and our own health. 

Even though you might hear a lot about choosing wild vs. farmed fish, wild shrimp are caught using fine mesh nets which end up scooping up many other fish--known as bycatch--which are simply disposed and not sold. 

In fact 1.8 million tons of wasted marine life is produced every year due to shrimping. Luckily fishermen are mandated to install turtle excluder devices which prevent endangered sea turtles from getting caught and killed, but no such luck for other ocean life.

This method also hurts underwater habitats like coral reefs as the nets scrape near the ocean bottom to collect the little crawlers.

What to do? As a conscious consumer there are a few "Best Choices" for wild shrimp which minimize bycatch and are sourced sustainably:

  • Spot Prawns from British Columbia, Canada
  • Coonstripe, Northern, Pink & Sidestripe Shrimp from Alaska

Turning to farmed shrimp we enter a whole different universe. The majority of shrimp are not only farmed, but they are imported from countries that have very little regulation (Asia and South America).

Similar to modern-day factory farm feedlots, shrimp farms result in environmental havoc for coastal eco-system and mangrove forests.

Shrimp swim in tainted water, given a huge amount of feed to quickly fatten them up, and antibiotics are used to mitigate disease outbreaks caused by the crowded conditions. 

As a consumer the first thing to do is to look at the country of origin label (required by law) when buying shrimp at the store. When you're eating out, make sure to ask the waitstaff where the shrimp is from.

Here are the best choices for farmed shrimp:

  • U.S. Farmed Giant River & Malaysian Prawn Freshwater Shrimp 
  • U.S. Farmed in Fully Recirculating Systems of Inland Ponds Pacific White and West Coast White Shrimp
  • Southeast Asia Black Tiger or Tiger Shrimp / Farmed, Selva Shrimp Verified Farms

If you can't find both these wild and farmed "Best Choices" don't freak out. The Seafood Watch program (you can get the app on your smartphone) has a few other good alternatives to the ones above. 

If you are a shrimp lover please spread the word and let us create a win/win, for our personal health and the health of our eco-system. 

Especially the oceans, they need a few friends! 




Brazil Nut Revolution

Brazil nuts

What do most people do when they encounter the Brazil nut in a mix of other nuts? You guessed it, they take it out. The poor nut more than often gets excommunicated from the party. 

Why such discrimination? Well I can't say that I blame the average person, Brazil nuts are intense. Their flavor is overwhelming and they tend to overshadow the other players in the mix like an adolescent high school bully. 

The other night I went to a lovely cooking class and unbeknownst to me my life was about to change. As I walked into the room hungry, I was excited to see a bowl of popcorn sprinkled with a mysterious cheese like crumble waiting for me at my seat. 

I took a handful and started chomping. My tastebuds where in heaven. It really tasted like cheese, but there was no dairy in this little concoction. 

The Brazil nut had gotten a makeover. Grating it changed everything.

From a  dominant flavor it turned into a delicate delight. And the truffle salt mixed in didn't hurt either.

I was amazed how such a little shift could change the whole equation.

Imagine if everyone had this kind of first encounter with this misfit nut. It might become their best friend and for good reason.

Brazil nuts are high in selenium which support healthy thyroid functioning and also serves as a co-factor for one of the body's most important cleansers (glutathione). It is also high in vitamin E which translates into skin health and has "good fat" to help lower LDL cholesterol. 

So next time you encounter the Brazil nut, get out your grater, mix it with some sea salt and/or dried herbs to create an amazing topping for popcorn, salads, or anything else your heart desires. 

Welcome back Mr. Brazil, it's time for you to step into the limelight and show 'em what you've got! 




Tea Sensation

I'm in St. Louis, MO and while I brought the sun with me from San Diego, the temperature is low enough to warrant the indulgence of the ritual of tea.

If you purchase high quality tea the makers might put a reminder on the box of how long to steep it for to create a cup of perfection, but incase the info isn't there or you use loose tea a friend emailed me this handy picture, what a useful resource! 

There is an art to making tea and the first step begins with water temperature and the amount of time you steep the tea for. 

If you get really passionate you can buy a kettle with variable temperature settings, or just buy a tea thermometer to measure the temp of your water.

While it might be easy to simply boil water and steep for a random amount of time, making tea in this way ushers in a whole ritual of mindfulness, awareness, and is guaranteed to increase your enjoyment, on a cool winter day. 

*original source for photo



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Chia Delight


My mom was visiting from Israel just before the New Year and on one of our lunch outings in Los Angeles we stumbled across a delectable and simple coconut milk chia pudding. 

Ever since that day I have been experimenting with variations on this creamy tasty delight. 

The best thing is how simple it is to make:

  • 1 can of unsweetened light coconut milk
  • 5 tbsp of chia seeds
  • 3 tbsp of maple syrup 
  • Mix and let sit overnight, covered, in the fridge
  • Serve with cut up berries, figs, mangos, chocolate, toasted coconut, and/or dates

Best of all is that coconut milk is dairy-free, contains high quality fat, and chia seeds are full of fiber, vegetarian omega 3's, and help stabilize blood sugar. 

With many flavor variations on this base template, chia seed pudding might just become one of your best friends in 2015. 



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Play Time


I am savoring some time with my nephew over the holidays.

When I reflect on the hours in his day, most of them involve some sort of play.

My sister's household also has two dogs, and in watching them I am struck by how much time the two spend soft biting one another and chasing each other around. 

If life shows us so many examples of play, why is it that adults spend less time in this mode and more hours obsessing about the past, future, finances, and time management--to name a few?

Dr. Stuart Brown, head of a nonprofit called the National Institute for Play defines play as something that's done for its own sake. It's voluntary, pleasurable, and offers a sense of engagement into what it is that really you enjoy. It takes you out of a sense of time and the act or the experience of play itself is more important than the outcome*.

When we play it has benefits, such as keeping up memory and sharpening thinking skills. It also increases wellbeing and positive mood, reduces depression, and can boost creativity and work efficiency.

Have you turned into an overly serious person who has forgotten that even as a grown up you need some time to let your hair down and play?

Reignite this amazing need and capability we all have today:

  • Put on your favorite dance song and move your body
  • Invite friends to your place for a board game night
  • Go to an arcade, play video games, miniature golf, laser tag, or go carting
  • Wrestle or tickle a close friend or your beloved 
  • Join an extracurricular sports team 
  • Spread some large white paper on the ground with newspaper underneath, get some non-toxic washable color, paint with your hands, feet, body. 

Ask your friends for more ideas on how they like to play, make a large resource list, and use it! 


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Counting Calories


Count your calories! Sound familiar? This has been a common strategy for health and weight loss for decades, but does it really work? 

More and more researchers, scientists, and doctors are finally waking up to the reality that quality is what is most important, as calories from different sources influence the body in different ways. 

Dr. Dariush Mozaffarian an associate professor of medicine and epidemiology at Harvard says: "...100 calories of fat, protein and carbohydrates are the same in a thermodynamic sense...But in a complex organism like a human being, these foods influence satiety, metabolic rate, brain activity, blood sugar and the hormones that store fat in very different ways*."

Also the number of calories you see on a label isn't necessarily what the body ends up absorbing: "When people eat high-fiber foods like nuts and some vegetables, for example, only about three-quarters of the calories they contain are absorbed. The rest are excreted from the body unused*."

But why is the emphasis on eating fewer calories and exercising more so pronounced? 

Enter the processed foods industry. If the conversation is steered towards this idea that all calories are equal, then they never have to change the low quality, highly processed, sugar loaded, lifeless things they call food and drink. 

The reality is that this is a blatant lie. Many who go on diets which include restricted calories and continual movement get frustrated because they never lose the weight. Or lose it and then gain it all back. 

Why? Because no one ever talks to them about quality. A higher quality food with higher calories is simply a better choice then a low quality low calorie food. 

So how do you apply this to day-to-day life, especially if you are trying to lose a bit of weight? 

  1. Trust the intelligence of nature and life. Add more high quality fats (ghee, coconut oil, avocado), proteins (clean fish, eggs, free range/grass fed meats), and carbs (veggies galore, quinoa, brown rice, millet).
  2. Make sure you eat enough. Calorie restrictions often throw the body into starvation mode which leads to fight or flight. In this state the body will hold onto fat because the it thinks it is in survival mode and needs fat as fuel. 
  3. Move your body at least 30-minutes 4x a week (even a walk counts). Add some sort of relaxation modality into your life 1x a week (the body will balance weight better when it is in a state of calm) 
  4. Do something you love 1x a week, fun is just as important as food!
  5. Stop counting and run the experiment for 21 days.

What do you have to lose? 


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Sugar Smart


I know that for some this is basic 101 territory, but recently several of my educated nutrition minded friends have been appreciative of a reminder on how to be sugar smart.

When it comes to consuming sugar the first step is the "Holy Question." Get the most unprocessed form possible.

Raw honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar, dates, other sweet fruits, and as a last resort raw unprocessed cane sugar. 

While this is a good first step, what many people forget is that sugar is still sugar regardless of how high or low its quality. 

It reacts the same inside of your body, asking the pancreas to produce extra insulin which then results in more fat storage in your tissues. 

A glass of orange juice compared to a can of soda sounds much healthier and in one regard it is, but the comparatively 12 oz of OJ has 31.2 grams of sugar while a 12 oz soda contains 33.6 grams. Not much of a difference, and our body treats the sugar of both in the same way.  

If you're thinking, "well I haven't gained weight from my sugar habits," drop it, as you might be  a "tofi," thin on the outside fat on the inside. 

Tofi folks don't show outer fat symptoms but the degradation of internal functionality is exactly the same as someone who is obese. They still experience brain fog, higher blood pressure, kidney exertion, increased risk of diabetes, and higher probability of certain cancers. 

So what's the solution? It's all about playing chemistry with food. 

Sugar won't spike our blood sugar if we ensure there is ample fiber or fat/protein to accompany its absorption:

  • This is why fruit is a better choice then fruit juices. If fresh juice is your favorite opt for more of a smoothie juice which has the fiber, or drink your juice with your meal if your digestion can handle it. 
  • When using honey consume it with a nut butter, or have a spoonful at the end of a meal. 
  • Love a drizzle of maple on morning oats? Not a problem, add a 1/4 teaspoon of ghee (clarified butter) and a sprinkle of cinnamon.
  • When it's chocolate time choose one that has nuts and/or coconut oil. 
  • When making a sweet smoothie put in some nuts (better than nut milks who's fiber is removed), a high quality protein powder, and coconut oil. 
  • If baking, use ghee and high quality eggs. 
  • When eating a baked potato put some high quality butter and organic grass fed sour cream.
  • If the salad dressing has honey or maple, put ample nuts, seeds, or another source of protein.

If you are not sure about the sugar content of a food look it up in the Glycemic Index (which will also tell you its glycemic load)

Even if you are a health nut, it's time to get sugar smart! 




Daily Slump


Have you ever noticed that around 3pm in the afternoon you begin to feel a bit of a slump? 

When it happens, many people reach for a cup of coffee,  sugary chocolate bar, or another sweet treat to provide an injection of energy.

Sadly, these substances provide fake fuel, providing temporary relief but in the process throwing the internal chemistry of the body out of whack.

What would actually serve you better is to close your eyes and take a brief nap, as what is occurring in your brain at around 3pm is exactly what is supposed to be happening. 

John Medina, a developmental molecular biologist notes: "Napping is normal. Ever feel tired in the afternoon? That’s because your brain really wants to take a nap. There's a battle raging in your head between two armies. Each army is made of legions of brain cells and biochemicals–-one desperately trying to keep you awake, the other desperately trying to force you to sleep. Around 3 p.m., 12 hours after the midpoint of your sleep, all your brain wants to do is nap."












Instead of coffee or the sugary snack, put your legs up the wall, listen to soothing music, and cover your eyes to add a bit of darkness. Even 5-10 minutes will provide a boost of energy (be mindful to not nap for too long 30 minutes max, to avoid disrupting night sleep patterns).

Make it an office wide event. 

It seems that even though our ancestors didn't have scientific insight on how the brain functions, they sure knew the importance of the afternoon siesta. 



Fed Up!

fed up movie poster large_0

Many people in my life know that I am a sugar nazi (to read why click here) and some believe I am a bit too extreme, but after watching this documentary I am even more fired up. 

What is going on around us every single day is absolutely barbaric and criminal.

Profit is being prioritized over the lives and health of so many, and the saddest part is that kids are being affected most.  

Every part of the broken system ensures that eating healthy is a challenging uphill battle, but there is HOPE! 

Society came together and stood up against the tobacco industry--which argued relentlessly that their products were safe--and we are seeing the same pattern emerge today as food companies battle to ensure the public stays disempowered and confused about how to eat right.  

Please spread the word on this film. Every school teacher, principle, doctor, politician, and child should watch this and get inspired to take action.  

The Documentary Web Site also has amazing resources even if you already eat healthy. And beware, SUGAR is even lurking in all your "healthy foods." Yes evaporated can juice and raw sugar are better options, but they can create just as much havoc in the body if not combined with other more blood stabilizing foods and if they are used in excess.  

Just because a product is carried at your Co-Op, whole foods, or farmer's market doesn't mean it has your best interest in mind. 

It is time to stand up and say enough is enough! 

To watch the documentary get on iTunes/Apple TV or click here only $3.99