Category Archives: Drinking

Healthy Drinking – How to Avoid a Hangover

Some studies show that moderate alcohol consumption is beneficial for long-term health.  In fact, moderate drinking, defined as one to three drinks per day, is associated with the lowest mortality rates in alcohol studies.  This gives us all another reason to have an occasional drink (or two) and enjoy a rich social life.  With that in mind, below are some simple ways to minimize any potential negative effects of alcohol consumption:

> Step 1: Choose a clean alcohol source with the least toxins.  Selecting an alcoholic drink wisely should mean a good time tonight and less of a hangover tomorrow.  The list below ranks alcoholic beverages in order from best (cleanest) to worst (most toxins):
=> potato vodka (least toxic), grain vodka, gin, tequila, whiskey, other distilled spirits, champagne, dry white wine, white wines, red wines, dessert wines, beer (most toxic).

> Step 2: Block the conversion of alcohol into aldehyde.  Aldehyde is the most potent hangover-causing metabolite that may also increase the signs of aging (especially in the skin).  To block this toxin take: a.) Vitamin C (250 mg), along with b.) N-Acetyl Cysteine (500 mg) before each drink.

> Step 3: If you want even more protection, add c.) Vitamin B1 (100 mg) and d.) R-Lipoic Acid (100 mg) before each drink.  Or, you can take this nutrient combo before your first and after your last drink.  For a final layer of protection you can supplement with e.) Liposomal Glutathione (2 mL).  This supplement is expensive, but very useful as one of the most powerful whole-body detoxifiers available (Bulletproof Glutathione is recommended).

> Step 4: Absorb any toxins with a binding agent.  To bind toxins in the digestive tract take 2-4 capsules of f.) Activated Charcoal after you’re done drinking.  If you chose beer or wine, you may want to take 1 capsule with each drink.  Activated charcoal works like a sponge to bind toxins, including aldehyde, in the intestines so they don’t absorb into the blood stream.

So enjoy the summer, drink in moderation, and have good tomorrow.  Cheers!

Coffee & Health: Pros and Cons

Ahh Coffee… such a wonderful way to wake up in the morning.  This little bean has literally transformed culture, trade and minds throughout history.  It is so powerful, in fact, that coffee is the second most traded commodity worldwide – second only to crude oil!   When it comes to the health benefits of coffee there is much to say.  The overall picture is a mix of positives and negatives, so this post will take a look at both sides so you can make an informed decision:

The Good:

  1. Coffee has a large dose of anti-oxidants.  For most Americans, coffee is the #1 source of antioxidants.  Coffee contains numerous antioxidants, and in addition, caffeine itself is an antioxidant.  The caffeine in cocoa, tea, and coffee is a powerful antioxidant that can even protect against Alzheimer’s.  Note that roasted coffee beans have a higher antioxidant content.
  2. In many lab tests it has been shown to improve cognitive ability in terms of memory recall and overall performance metrics.
  3. In some studies, coffee has been shown to improve insulin sensitivity (and therefore improves blood sugar).  Long-term coffee drinking is associated with a lower risk of type-2 diabetes.  The more coffee you drink, the lower the risk (however, coffee alone should not be relied on for this effect).
  4. Coffee has strong thermogenic properties, meaning it increases metabolic rate and stimulates movement.  It also increases fat mobilization and oxidation may promote fat loss.  

The Bad:

  1. Caffeine can cause anxiety and sleep disturbances for some people. Keep in mind that the alkaloids in coffee need 12 hours to be completely eliminated from your body.
  2. Coffee is a diuretic, causing increased urination and possibly dehydration as result.  Chronic dehydration can lead to a host of problems, including muscle aches and poor recovery after exercise.
  3. Coffee strongly stimulates the adrenals.  Over the long-term, the morning cup may deplete the adrenal reserves even to the point where the coffee no longer “works” like it used to.  This adrenal effect may also raise blood pressure, which can be a serious medical concern for some people.
  4. Many of the chemicals in coffee irritate the stomach lining.  The result may be an increase in stomach acid and eventually, chronic digestive disorders, including gastritis.
  5. Lastly, most coffee is contaminated with fungal toxins – some estimates say that 85% are contaminated.  These fungal or mold toxins are often the reason people feel jittery or have side other effects.  Good coffee should not have these side-effects.  The best approach is to buy a coffee from a single origin plantation, not a blended coffee that comes from multiple locations and suppliers.  Also, doing research on how the coffee was fermented and processed is important.

Tips for Choosing a Better Quality Coffee:

  • Avoid decaf.  The caffeine content protects the beans from mold.  In addition, the decaffeination process can add new organic toxins and increase molds. 
  • Never drink robusta (cheap, instant) beans. Robusta coffees have a higher mold content, which is why they are higher in caffeine too (as a defense against mold on the bush). Drink arabica.
  • Single estate coffees are generally the cleanest and highest quality.  Major brands often mix beans from many sources, and commonly any toxic molds are blended it into the coffee.

In summary, I encourage you to weigh the pros and cons and then go forth and enjoy whatever cup you brew!  And don’t forget to drink tea.  The next post will cover the wonders of tea, which has a few more pros and cons…

Get Electrolytes!

Electrolytes are essential muscles and neurons.  As most of you know, the over-sweetened sports drinks are not the answer to real hydration.  Below are 4 ways to replenish your electrolytes naturally and give your body some serious nutrition at the same time:

  1. Juice Celery + Apple + Lemon – This juice combination works wonders for replacement of electrolytes. The celery has a natural source of sodium, potassium, magnesium, chloride, and phosphorus. Apple provides additional potassium and natural sweetness. Lemon is the highest electrolyte containing citrus fruit.
  2. Stir Sea Salt + Baking Soda + Lemon Juice + Maple Syrup into 8 ounces of Water – This is a great natural remedy for serious endurance athletes – You might think drinking baking soda is a little weird, but it’s been used for centuries to treat various aliments. In this case, it’s added to the mix because it makes the body less acidic and provides an additional source of sodium bicarbonate.
  3. Shake Raw Coconut Water & Chia Seeds – Raw coconut water has a ton of electrolytes and potassium that will not only help you stay hydrated but also keep your body from getting any cramps. It is completely natural and very low in sugar. Combine this with a packet of chia seeds and you have a 1-2 punch! Chia seeds are an incredible energy food – full of omega 3 fatty acids, protein, fiber. These seeds have the ability to keep you from getting dehydrated because of they can hold 9 times their weight in water!
  4. Blend Frozen Banana + Almond Milk + Kale – This smoothie is extremely hydrating. The banana provides a good source of potassium and magnesium which help regulate your fluid stores. Almonds are extremely rich in magnesium and potassium. When you make your almond milk, make sure you add sea salt (store bought almond milk already has salt added to it). Kale is a superfood and another excellent source of magnesium and calcium.

Three Teas for the Belly

Suffering from common stomach ailments? These three teas are easy ways to ease some of your discomfort.

Peppermint is a fresh tasting tea that older children won’t mind drinking. Peppermint improves the flow of bile so that food may pass through your digestive system quickly, and it calms your stomach muscles. It may help with digestion, nausea, irritable bowel syndrome, diarrhea and gas. Avoid peppermint if you have gastroesophageal reflux disease, however.

Ginger contains chemicals that stimulate the production of saliva, bile and other gastric secretions to aid your digestion. Ginger may calm an upset stomach, nausea, and motion sickness.

Chamomile helps relax muscle contractions in your intestinal tract, and is used to help ease stomach cramps, diarrhea, indigestion, and gas.

Eat Good Fats, Drink Good Wine

Sounds easy huh?  Eating “Good Fats” and drinking “Good Wine” to stay healthy…  These are two of the best things in life, so I invite you to enjoy them!  Fat is, indeed, the “Vehicle of Taste”.  It is the substance that gives food a full flavor in the mouth and a satisfying feeling in the belly.  And wine, well, it tastes wonderful, makes you feel good and has some healthy effects to boot.  Read on and discover how eating more fat can keep you healthy.

The age of the “low-fat diet” is over and research is showing that a healthy diet is not found in reducing fat, instead, it should be based on eating the right fats.  The standard American diet is loaded with saturated animal fats and processed vegetable fats.  These types of fats and oils have the potential to cause a host of health problems that most of us have heard about – including atherosclerosis, high blood pressure and others.  The good fats, however, have the complete opposite effect on the body.  Good fats protect against atherosclerosis, lower blood pressure and have a whole range of additional benefits.  In fact, the good fats can even make you thinner – Take that, low-fat diet!

So how do we get the “Good Fats” then?  The simple answer is to eat unprocessed foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids.  Some of the best sources of omega-3 fatty acids are flax seeds, hemp seeds, walnuts and coldwater fish such as salmon, herring, mackerel, sturgeon, and anchovies.  One key to getting the best health benefit from these delicate fats is to make sure that they are as fresh as possible and not exposed to heat.  For these omega-3 fatty acids, as with most “real” food, heat, air and light are the main causes of spoilage Keep this in mind when cooking a nice piece of salmon or buying flax seeds:  To preserve the health benefits, cook salmon lightly with a bit of fresh ginger & eat your flax seeds raw and grind them just before use for the maximum benefit (see next article on flax seeds).

The benefits of omega-3s include reducing the risk of heart disease and stroke while helping to reduce symptoms of hypertension, depression, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), joint pain and other rheumatoid problems, as well as certain skin ailments. Some research has even shown that omega-3s can boost the immune system and help protect us from an array of illnesses including Alzheimer’s disease.  “It not only plays a vital role in the health of the membrane of every cell in our body, it also helps protect us from a number of key health threats,” says Laurie Tansman, MS, RD, CDN, a nutritionist at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York.As for wine, not nearly as much needs to be said.  Just buy a nice bottle of red and enjoy a glass in the evening as you put your feet up and take a deep breath… Everything in moderation, right?