A blog about nothing.

Sunday, December 25, 2011


The thinking used to be that if you were meant to lose your hair, there was nothing you could do about it short of taking Rogaine or Proptia all your life, getting a transplant, or (yikes) wearing a wig.

Recent research tells us otherwise. It turns out that, though there is a genetic predisposition to hair loss, diet plays a key part. Specifically, animal foods such as meat, eggs, and dairy, can accelerate hair loss, especially in genetically susceptible individuals. This includes both gals and guys.

First, a quick lesson in physiology. Hair loss occurs because of the action of a hormone called dihydrotestosterone, or DHT. This hormone is concentrated in the follicles of your hairline, and it causes them to thin and become wispy and eventually erode altogether, giving rise to the horseshoe pattern of hair loss also known as male pattern baldness.

Where does DHT come from? It is a metabolite of another common hormone, testosterone.

Testosterone is made primarily in the testicles, which is why men usually have more of it (and more DHT) than women. But it is also found in the diet. Animal products can contain high levels of testosterone, which are then converted by your body to DHT. Interestingly, DHT also causes beard and chest hairs to thicken and become more dense, as if to compensate for the balding pate.

Evidence for this? Men who have their testes removed owing to medical problems do not go bald, even when they come from families in which male pattern baldness is common. However, if these men are given testosterone injections, hair loss quickly reaches levels similar to that which occurs in their siblings.

Note also that your testosterone production (both males and females produce testosterone, women just produce less of it, and lose their hair less frequently than men) is twice as high in the fall as in the spring. Not coincidentally, your rate of hair loss in the autumn months is twice as high (60 hairs per day) than in the vernal months (30 hairs lost per day). This is a natural cycle and your body replenishes hair with regrowth every six months.

The problem is that diets that contain animal foods keep our testosterone levels artifiicially elevated the whole year through.

Some may argue that testosterone levels occurring in meat are a fraction of what your body produces and so have a negligible effect on DHT levels. While this may or many not be the case, there is no getting around the high fat content of animal products, and high fat diets contribute to high levels of DHT for a number of reasons:

Diets high in fat (the same diets that contain animal protein, since meat, eggs and dairy are major fat sources) contribute to hair loss in three ways. First, fatty foods produce oilier hair follicles. The oil glands are the source of the enzyme that converts testosterone to DHT. Consequently, when they grow in size, more DHT gets produced, and the balder one becomes.

Also, fatty diets increase the production of testosterone (and estrogen) in the blood. They also reduce the amount of sex hormone binding globulin, which keeps testosterone inactive. Reduced amounts increase the likelihood that testosterone will be converted to DHT.

Incidentally, the Chinese and Japanese are known to contain less of the enzyme (reductase, see above) that converts testosterone to DHT, and are therefore much less likely to go bald, a fact which observation supports. However, when Asians migrate to America and adopt the Western diet (or eat large amounts of fast food in their home countries, which is becoming increasingly common) they go bald just like their American counterparts. Assimilation to the extreme.

It should be noted that men with higher cholesterol and a history of heart disease are also more likely to be bald than men with healthier diets. What's the connection? Two words, animal food.

Good news: If you are starting to lose your hair, you can reverse or at least stall the process by modifying your diet. Adopt a diet that is naturally low in fat, and low in animal hormones. Reduce or eliminate the consumption of vegetable oils (high in fat) and animal protein (high in fat and in testosterone).

And enjoy an abundance of lustrous hair for life . . . or at least for a lot longer than you otherwise would.
And yes, Billy Idol is a vegetarian...

Saturday, December 24, 2011


Our friend David, 30-something from Santa Monica, sent in his daily diet for proud display. In truth, big D is actually 40 years young, but he has the healthy glow of someone half his age. Welcome back to high school, big guy! For many of us high school glory is the best it gets, but it doesn't have to be. By eating well and breaking a sweat you can retain the vim and vigor of youth well into the twilight of your life, which in the case of celebrated vegetarians can end up well into the triple digits. With that said, take a gander at:


A typical breakfast smoothie for David includes bananas, berries, flax, lemon, and apple.

Measuring 6-8 cups, this regal repast provides 650 calories, with a carb/prot/fat ratio of 80/7/13, in addition to 38 g of fiber, and 50 percent or more of the daily requirement for 10 nutrients. Fit for a king, David is starting off the day better than many people accomplish in a whole week. Bitchin'!


A representative snack includes 2 oranges and 1 apple, for an addl 200 calories and 8 g of fiber


A typical lunch for David includes beans, greens, and tomatoes, which taken together provide roughly 650 calories and an additional 30 g of fiber.


Dave's do-right dinner is almost without exception clean and exemplary. He often includes a large salad with nutritional yeast and his favorite variety of bean (pictured is black bean) which comes out to 420 calories, and an additional 27 g of fiber.


calories: 1,955

carbs: 385 g (74% of total calories)

protein: 92 g (16% of total calories)

fat: 25 g (10% of total calories)

fiber: 110 g!!!

micronutrients: 100% or more of all major nutrients, except vitamin D (which you can get from sunlight) and vitamin E (which exists in leafy greens, and is also obtainable in a multivitamin, which David takes)

Quite simply, David is . . . doin' great.

Let this holiday season be a time for celebration and cheer. Honor your body and provide it with the nutrition it deserves. With simple choices, you can enjoy a long life brimming over with energy and joy, enough to make each day a cause to commemmorate . . .

The Joy of Being.

Merry X-mas (and Hanukkah) to all, and to all a goodnight!

Friday, December 2, 2011


When you think of big portions, chances are you are GROSSLY underestimating your stomach's capacity. Your stomach is a primary organ of digestion lying just below your diaphragm. It can accomodate 3 L of food easily. This is 12 cups, or more!

While loading up on meat and cheese will cause you to consume excessive amounts of calories long before your bulk needs are met, often what happens when people focus on fruits and vegetables is exactly the opposite: you have to make an effort to eat enough, and eating too much is impossible!

Take this lunch, for instance:

That looks pretty huge. Would you be surprised if we told you that this HUGE bowl serves one??? What is in it, exactly?

4 cups chopped kale
2 bananas
2 oranges
7 dates
2 tomatoes
7 olives
1/2 an avocado
juice of one lemon

At 1,050 calories, this lion-sized lunch provides 35 grams of fiber and over 50 percent of the daily value for 14 essential vitamins and minerals, including 600 percent of the USRDA for vitamin C.

In addition, this lunch includes nearly 4 cups of water, so you'll be hydrated all the way up till dinner.

So go ahead and pile it high. Where nutrition is concerned, quantity counts just as much as quality - maybe more!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Steam, Steam, Steam!

Raw fruits and vegetables are the healthiest foods on the planet. However, there comes a time - usually around 5 or 6 pm - that one gets the desire to eat hearty, savory, warm food.

While cooking methods such as broiling, baking, roasting, grilling and frying are popular, they expose your food to dry heat at very high temperatures. The result is to dry out your food and even to produce carcinogenic (cancer-causing) substances, the presence of which is often indicated by those black streaks one sees on grilled vegetables.

It is best when choosing a cooking method to focus on those methods that produce moisture-rich food at relatively low temperatures. These methods include boiling, sauteeing, and steaming.

Of these methods, steaming is perhaps the easiest. But when most people steam food, they either overcook it, don't make enough to satisfy their appetite, or both. So here are some pictures to help set you on the path to healthy, hearty steamed meals.

First, the veggies which lend themselves to steaming. These include sweet potatoes, kale, and cauliflower. A more detailed list of steaming veggies can be found in my book. Start by slicing these vegetables and setting them aside in separate receptacles, as pictured.

These veggies have different steaming times, so after bringing water to boil, start by throwing in the sweet potatoes. Steam for 5 minutes. Next, add to that the cauliflower and kale and steam for an additional 5 minutes. This will cook the potatoes for 10 minutes and assure they are tender but not overdone.

While you are steaming, dice up a few fresh vegetables and ornaments, including olives, avocados, tomatoes, maybe a little tofu. We've also included some leftover lentils, which are so savory!

When your steaming is through, add the three vegetables into a big bowl and let them marry.

Mix them up with your favorite spices, maybe a little lemon, some liquid aminos, tabasco is also good, a little nutritional yeast, perhaps some light coconut milk, and voila! Don't be intimidated by the portion size. You can handle it.

I know we did!

Wednesday, August 31, 2011


By simply changing your approach to food, you can do all this and more:

1. Lose fifteen pounds or more, in just three weeks![1]

2.  Eat as much as you want and still lose weight.[2]

 3. Increase your metabolism, naturally.[3]

 4.  Cut your cholesterol in half, without medication![4]

5. Virtually eliminate your risk of diabetes. If you are diabetic, reduce your insulin requirements, and possibly discontinue medication altogether.[5]

6. Cut your risk of high blood pressure in half. If you have hypertension, reduce your blood pressure naturally, without medication.[6]

 7. Improve your memory.[7]

 8. Prevent and reverse heart disease, without invasive procedures or expensive medication.

9. Be twice as active as your friends.[8]

10. Live longer.[9]

Sweets, Greens, Beans, Seeds. It's that simple.

[1] Shintani TT, Hughes CK, Beckham S, et al. “Obesity and cardiovascular risk intervention through the ad libitum feeding of traditional Hawaiian diet.” Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 14 (1994):491-496.
[2] Schroder KE. “Effects of fruit consumption on body mass index and weight loss in a sample of overweight and obese dieters enrolled in a weight-loss intervention trial. “ Nutrition.  (2010 Jul-Aug): 727-34.
[3] Poehlman ET, Arciero PJ, Melby CL, et al. “Resting metabolic rate and postprandial thermogenesis in vegetarians and nonvegetarians.” Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 48. (1988): 209-213.
[4] Esselstyn CJ. “Introduction: more than coronary artery disease.” Am J. Cardiol. 82 (1998): 5T-9T.
[5] Anderson JW. “Dietary fiber in nutrition management of diabetes.” In: G. Vahouny, V. and D. Kritchevsky (eds.), Dietary Fiber: Basic and Clinical Aspects, pp. 343-360. New York: Plenum Press, 1986.
[6] Appleby PN, Davey GK, Key TJ. “Hypertension and blood pressure among meat eaters, fish eaters, vegetarians and vegans in EPIC-Oxford. Public Health Nutr. 2002 Oct; 5(5):645-54.
[7] Orgeta RM, Requejo AM, Andres P, et al. “Dietary intake and cognitive function in a group of elderly people.” Am J. Clin. Nutr. 66 (1997):803-809.
[8] Krieger E, Youngman LD, and Campbell TC. “The modulation of aflatoxin induced preneoplastic lesions by dietary protein and voluntary exercise in Fischer 344 rats.” FASEB J. 2 (1988): 3304 Abs.
[9] Singh P et al. “Does low meat consumption increase life expectancy in humans?” Am. J. Clin. Nutr. 78 (2003): 526S-532S.

Friday, August 19, 2011



Yes you heard it right, Bill Clinton moves away from chicken, steaks and dairy and embraces fruits, vegetables and beans. Or as we call them: greens, beans and sweets.

As he says, "I like it, I like it a lot."

We do too! And so should you!

Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Animals raised for slaughter are robbed of their natural habitat and subjected to a savage cruelty that makes Hitler's concentration camps look like Club Meds.

Just because cows and pigs speak a language we cannot understand should not make us deaf to their cries of pain. In fact, the nerves of many animals are many times more sensitive than humans, which means they feel pain that is worse than our worst nightmares!

By eating chicken, beef, pork and fish, and even dairy and eggs (which are produced by subjecting animals to inhumane conditions) we participate in the misery of these unfortunate creatures and take in the toxic residues of the antibiotics, pesticides, hormones and fertilizers that make up their lives and their pain.

Not only that, the stress hormone cortisol as well as other stress chemicals including catecholamines get released when an animal is slaughtered.1 These powerful substances make their way into the animals tissues. High levels in humans are associated with posttraumatic stress disorder and major depressive disorder2, conditions characterized by anxiety, difficulty concentrating, sadness, guilt and sleep difficulties. 
Side effects of excess cortisol include weight gain, a moon face and a buffalo hump. Not pretty.

It is not a great leap to argue that artificially elevating cortisol and catecholamine levels – by feeding ourselves foods rich in these chemicals - may exaggerate our own stress response, exacerbate these and other mood and anxiety conditions and even play a part in their etiology, or cause.

Enjoy a stress free diet and life. Focus on foods that regenerate the environment and nourish your body. Sweets. Greens. Beans. Seeds. It's that Simple.

Monday, August 15, 2011


The word diet commonly refers to the food you eat, especially as part of a weight-loss regimen, and may invoke painful memories and images of restriction and suffering. Let's pull ourselves outside of the box. As we shall see, the broader definition of the word includes everything you take in and experience repeatedly.
            Diet derives from the Middle English diete, from Latin diaeta, from Greek diaita, and ultimately from diaitasthai, meaning to lead one's life.
            Literally, your diet is your manner of living, or your lifestyle. It is who you are, and you are not only what you eat, but where you go, whom you spend time with, what you do and how you think and feel.
            This dietary assessment is an exercise in introspection. It has intrinsic value, which means that the benefit resides in filling it out. It will clarify your lifestyle, identify your personal goal and assist you in achieving, provided you are honest and thorough. In fact, the next hour promises to be one of the most important hours of your life – provided you are honest and thorough.
            Please be completely honest and thorough.
            As you complete the questionnaire, you’ll notice that some of the questions have answers which are assigned numerical values. For these, choose the number that corresponds to your answer, and at the end of the assessment, tally your score. To see where you stand, or sit, or fit. You get the drift.

I. Goal

1. Which of the following is MOST important to you? (choose only one)

[  ] Weight loss

            - How many lbs?

            - By what date?

[  ] Increased energy

[  ] Better overall fitness and muscle tone

[  ] Get better grades

[  ] Do better in sports

[  ] Clear up my complexion

[  ] Pain relief (specify):

[  ] Make better food choices

[  ] Eliminate food cravings, sensitivities and allergies

[  ] Reverse chronic illness(es):

[  ] Decrease my medication (specify):

[  ] Overcome addiction (specify):

[  ] Raise healthier kids (you may also choose another)

II. Vital statistics

2. Current weight:

3. Adults - weight when you reached your adult height:

4. What do you think is your ideal weight?

5. Do you own a scale? Y (1) N (0)

6. When (date) was the last time you weighed yourself?

7. Circle how often you weigh yourself: once a year (-1), once per month (0), once weekly (1)

8. Please use a tape measure to record the following values:
Height (without shoes):
Hips (at widest point):
Wrist measurement (where your wrist bends):
Waist measurement (at narrowest point):
My BMI is between 17 and 22 (1), between 23 and 25 (0), above 25 (-1)
My BFP is between 1 and 19 (1), between 20 and 29 (0), above 29 (-1)

III. Personal history

9. Relationship status: married/spoken for (1), single/dating (0), divorced/bereaved (-1)

10. Kids/ages:

11. Type of work/grade in school:

12. Hours per week:              

13. Do you drive or take the bus to work/school?
If yes, daily commute in minutes (round trip):

14. Most of my day is spent sitting (-1)/standing(0)/walking(1)

IV. Medical history

15. Date you were last seen by a physician:

16. Reason for visit:

17. Menstrual cycle (if applicable)
            Average length:
            Age at menarche (first period)
            Age at menopause (if applicable)

Medications (list all)

18. prescription: Y(-1) N (1)

19. non-prescription (include supplements):

20. multivitamin? Y(1), N(0)

21. Medical conditions (list all):

22. On a weekly basis, I suffer (mark all that apply):

[  ] Migraines/headaches

[  ] Asthma/breathing difficulty

[  ] Acne/eczema

[  ] Gas/bloat/stomach upset

[  ] Diarrhea/constipation

[  ] Fatigue

[  ] Bad breath

[  ] Body odor

[  ] Sleep difficulties

[  ] Excessive mucus

23. List any conditions that run in your immediate family:

V. Diet

24. Which term most closely describes you?

[  ]            vegan (3)
[  ]            vegetarian (2) (if so, do you eat milk or eggs?)
[  ]            pescatarian (1)
[  ]            omnivore (a little of everything) (0)
[  ]            carnivore (meat at most meals) (-1)
[  ]            junk food addict (-2)
[  ]            other (please describe):

25. How many calories do you eat a day (you may “guesstimate”)?

26. How many grams of protein do you eat each day?
a. less than 50 grams
b. more than 50 grams
c. don't know/care

27. How many times do you eat out (restaurants, cafeteria, deli/grocery, salad bar, take-out)?
a. more than once per day (-2)
b. once per day (-1)
c. more than once per week but not every day (0)
c. rarely, if at all (1)

Complete the following sentences

28. MOST of my meals are prepared by me/a loved one (1)/a personal chef/housekeeper (0)/a stranger (-1).

29. I eat most of my meals alone/with company.

30. On average, it takes me more than(1)/less than (0)20 minutes to consume a meal.

31. I chew each mouthful more than(1)/less than (0)20 times.

32. MOST of my meals are eaten:

Raw/Steamed/Boiled/Sauteed (1)

Broiled/Baked/Fried/Microwaved (-1)

33. At the market, which section do you spend the most time in?  produce (1), packaged (0), meat (-1)

34. Which section do you spend the most money in? produce (1), packaged (0), meat (-1)

35. Where do you do most of your grocery shopping?

36. How much is your weekly grocery bill?

37. Do you like to cook?  Y(1), N(-1)
If so, what is your favorite dish to make?

38. Name your favorite:


39. How often do you use a microwave? Daily (-1) Weekly (0) Never (1)

40. Do you own a blender?

41. Do you smoke cigarettes? Y(-1) N(1) How many per day?

42. Do you use any illicit drugs (specify)? Y(-1) N(1)

43. Do you drink alcohol?
If yes, how many alcoholic drinks per week (one drink is 12 oz beer, 5 oz wine, or a 1.5 oz shot of hard liquor)? More than 14 (-1) Between 7 and 14 (0) Less than 7 (1)

44. Do you drink coffee?
If yes, how many 5 oz cups per day? More than 2 (-1), 1 or 2 (0), None (1)
Sweetened? y/n (specify type)
Milk/milk substitute? y/n (specify type)

45. How many glasses of water do you drink a day (1 glass is 8 oz)? less than 4 (-1), 4 or more (1)

46. List other beverages you regularly consume:

47. What do you eat on a typical day? (if no day is typical, use yesterday; if you can't remember yesterday, go to www.fitday.com and record tomorrow's intake) be specific, including portion size whenever possible)







48. How many servings of the following foods do you consume per day? Less than 10 (-1) Between 10 and 20 (0) 21 or more (1)

Vegetables (1 cup)

Fruit (1 cup, or 1 medium)

Beans (1/2 cup)

49. How many servings per day? More than 4 (-1) Less than 4 (0) None (1)

Nuts (serving size is 1 oz, or 20 nuts)

Grains (bread, rice, pasta, cereal, etc.)

Fast food/fried food

Salty snacks

Sweets/desserts (including dark chocolate)

Soft drinks

50. How many servings (per week)? More than 10 (-1) Less than 10 (0) None (1)





Peanuts/tree nuts




51. Name the three packaged foods you eat most (packaged is anything in a box, bag, bottle or can, not including fruits, vegetables, beans, water or condiments).

52. List your three favorite spices.

53. Do you cook with/use oil? Y (-1) N (1)

54. How often do you read labels? most of time(1)/some of time(0)/not at all(-1)

55. How often do you buy organic produce? Most of time(1)/some of time(0)/not at all(-1)

56. Have you ever sprouted or grown your own food? Y(1)N(0)(specify)

Take this short quiz.
57. Which food has the most protein, per calorie.
[ ] Whole wheat bread
[ ] Filet mignon
[ ] Lentils
[ ] Spinach

58. Which food has the most cholesterol?
[ ] Olive oil
[ ] Soybeans
[ ] One large chicken breast
[ ] One large egg

59. List the food with the most fiber (per calorie).
[ ] Raspberries
[ ] Oatmeal
[ ] Spinach
[ ] Chicken breast
[ ] Walnuts

60. Circle one source of vitamin D.

61. Circle one source of vitamin B12.
nutritional yeast/garbanzo beans/whole grain bread

62. Which food has the most calcium (per calorie)?
a. Milk
b. Spinach
c. Beef
d. Garbanzo beans

Answers: 57. Spinach 58. Egg 59. Raspberries 60. sunlight 61. Nutritional yeast 62. Spinach
(For each correct answer give yourself 1 point.)

63. How many grams of fiber do you eat per day?
Less than 25 grams (-1)
Between 25 and 50 grams (0)
More than 50 grams (1)

VI. Lifestyle

64. How many days per week do you exercise? None (-1) Less than 4 (0) 4 or more (1)

65. How many minutes per week? Less than 3 hours (-1) More than 3 hours (1)

66. List the exercises you do on a weekly basis?

67. Which do you prefer, the gym or outdoors?

68. Rank each exercise in order of preference:

[  ] strength (weights, resistance)
[  ] stamina (cardio)
[  ] stretching (yoga, Pilates, massage)

69. If you could only do one exercise, which would it be?

70. Hours of sleep per night: less than 7 (-1) more than 7 (1)

71. Do you keep a journal? Y(1)N(-1)            If so how often?

72. How many times per week do you brush your teeth?  Less than 7 (-1) 7 or more (1)   Floss? Less than 7 (-1) 7 or more (1)

73. How many hours of TV do you watch per week? Less than 7 (1) 7 to 10 (0) More than 10 (-1)

74. When and where was your last vacation?

75. When was the last book you read cover to cover? Over a month ago (-1) Within the past month (1)

76. When was the last time you went either to the beach or to a park? Over a week ago (-1) Within the past week (1)

77. How many minutes do you spend each week in direct sunlight? Under 1 hour (-1) More than 1 hour (1)

78. How many bowel movements do you have per week? Less than 7 (-1) Between 7 and 10 (0) At least 10 (1)

79. Do you have Morton's toe? y/n/don't know

VII. Rewrite the goal you listed at the beginning of this questionnaire.

80. On a scale of 1-10, 1 being not at all, 10 being the most important thing in the world, how important is it to you to achieve this goal?

1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

If you did not choose 7 or higher, name a goal that is more important to you:

81. On a scale of 1-10, how confident are you in your ability to achieve this goal?

1     2     3     4     5     6     7     8     9     10

If your confidence is not a 7 or higher, take a moment and modify your goal to make its accomplishment more attainable.

Rewrite you goal here:

Score Card
If you scored:
-21 to -40: Help, we’re dying! your insides are screaming. Seriously, your habits are in the red. Shape up or a hospital admission awaits – if you’re lucky. The coroner is not far.

-1 to -20: Er, there is room for improvement. As in, several hundred pages of room. As in, reread this book. The second time around will often result in a substantially better score.

0 to 24: not bad; but not great either. In other words, average. You’re on the right track, but we know you can do better!

25 to 50: your diet – and all that makes it up - is pretty snazzy. You’ve read and applied the Paradigm Principles. Congrats and keep it up!

[1] To calculate BMI: http://www.nhlbisupport.com/bmi/
[2] To calculate BFP: http://www.healthstatus.com/calculate/body-fat-calculator-navy