How to maintain a youthful body
image courtesy of Daily Burn.

image courtesy of Daily Burn.

If you are visiting this website, it is highly likely you have an interest in health, wellness and longevity. You likely already practice some type of movement, or are thinking of beginning one. The fact that exercise has its benefits is not exactly cutting edge information. We’ve gotten into more detail on the blog in the past HERE. Have a read if you are interested.

What is new and intriguing research about the impact of exercise is its ability to physically freeze time so to speak. A study published in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that exercising regularly may keep the body 30 years younger. 30 years, my friends! Do you realize what this means? If you are 50, you can have the body of a 20 year old. If you’re 70, your body can be that of a 40 year old. This is big news, given that with a simple infusion of a regular exercise practice in your life, you can have a body that is virtually identical in many ways to that of one 30 years younger. No drugs. No surgeries. No injections. No expensive tricks or gadgets.

If you are struggling to make exercise part of your regular routine, try thinking of something you loved to do as a kid. Perhaps you loved swimming or ice skating or jumping rope, or simply playing tag. One of the most effective ways to turn regular exercise into a habit is to find something you really enjoy doing.

Another way is to send this email to a friend to convince them to join you. (Have them subscribe in the meanwhile:). This could mean a walk together a few days a week, taking tennis lessons or a class at your local gym together. Accountability is key to compliance.

If you really don’t know where to start and need a coach, you’ve come to the right place. Both Fatima and I are experienced coaches. We can help you recognize and break through walls that may be holding you back from success or if you are already on this path, we can help you reach new plateaus. HERE is some more information on those programs.

In the next few weeks we will be sending out body part-by-body part mobility protocols to get the joints into gear for exercise. These protocols are ESSENTIAL. They will be a friend to you no matter where you are on the exercise spectrum. For those already exercising, they will boost performance and keep you moving injury free. For those just beginning, they will get you moving and insure you don’t hurt yourself as you get going.

For a full immersion into mobility (a really fun time and so much more), please join us in beautiful MALLORCA this summer. Can you believe it is only 5 months away? We’ve put together a spectacular agenda in the most amazing villa on the island. Come spend the week with us. See HERE to register. Spaces are limited. If you need some more convincing, see the images below!

Gregg CookComment
Managing the Stress Epidemic
Image: MIT News

Image: MIT News

Welcome to the new year! As we close the doors to the hustle and bustle of the holidays, we begin to reflect on the past year and cross the new-year-threshold in anticipation of renewed energy and goals.

What often fastens itself to this expectation is the increased pressure to accomplish - to make this year be THE one that makes a difference, THE one where the big promotion is achieved or the extra 20 pounds is lost. We are also in a climate of uncertainty politically and economically, are in the midst of the season of colds and flus (to boot, it is cold and dismal, at least where we are in NY), and are living in an age where social media instills a false sense of who /where/what we are supposed to be. This combination of unpredictability, seasonal bleakness and self-inflicted pressure, can certainly chip away at the new year’s feeling of optimism and put a damper on one’s mood. This type of chronic stress inevitably leads to a compromised immune system, diseases and infection, and if unattended to can potentially even lead to cancer.

There are many lifestyle changes that can be made to help alleviate stress including meditation or simply getting out into nature, but today we are going to focus on another very powerful strategy. What if we told you that you could decrease anxiety and stress AND increase performance levels by doing what we are about to tell you? What if we told you that this could also fortify your wellness reserves for free and immediately? What if we told you that you already know how, but just need a bit of guidance and practice?

The answer is in your next breath. Yes, breath work. You can literally breathe yourself into bliss. Breath work has been around for thousands of years, but now seems to have been rediscovered and with new science to back it up.


How can the breath be so powerful? Breathing techniques increase vagal tone. The vagus nerve is the longest cranial nerve containing motor and sensory fibers. It passes through the neck and thorax to the abdomen, has the widest distribution in the body and interfaces with parasympathetic control of the heart, lungs, and digestive tract. Breath work has the ability to decompress all unnecessary stress. According to Dan Brule, breath work pioneer and author of Just Breathe, conscious breathing techniques have the potential to transform the quality of your life on every level and on a day-to-day basis. On the other hand, dysfunctional breathing can lead to a laundry list of ailments including back pain, anxiety, lung problems, asthma and allergies, as well as performance, sleep and digestive issues.

Putting it into Practice:

Slow your breath down to about 4.5-6 breaths per minute. This slower rate of breathing alone can have a long lasting effect on heart coherence. It can reduce heart rate, blood pressure and cortisol levels by up to 20%, and increase oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin levels. Just 5 minutes of practicing this has a positive effect that can last for 4 hours or more. It increases alpha brain waves which are associated with stress release, focus and creativity. It is that “zen” or “zone” often achieved in meditation.

To slow the breath down, try cadence breathing. This is mindfully breathing in to a specific count and out to a specific count. The cadences can vary, i.e 1:1 or 1:2. Breathing in a 1:2 inhale to exhale ration is one of the most simple and effective way to increase vagal tone. Breathe in deeply through your nose. Hold briefly at the top. Exhale through the mouth with resistance. Do this by closing the back of your throat. The relaxation is in the exhalation. Repeat as many times as you need until the feeling of relaxation kicks in. Box breathing is another example of cadence breathing. Breath in for a count of 4, hold your breath for 4, exhale for 4 and hold for 4 before repeating the cycle. As you practice, the feeling will kick in more quickly.

Breathe Light to Breathe Right. This method is from the book The Oxygen Advantage by Patrick McKeown. The idea is that over-breathing causes a loss of carbon dioxide (CO2) from the blood and therefore oxygen cannot be effectively released for use in the muscles. There is a direct correlation between CO2 tolerance and increased performance levels, decreased anxiety and stress. To reverse over-breathing, practice very light breathing which builds up CO2 for 3-10 minutes a few times a day. Breathe Light to Breathe right breathing also has a strong way to up regulate parasympathetic tone (to get your body to relax). Another way to reduce over-breathing is to breathe in and out through the nose whenever possible.

The Wim Hof Method of breathing is definitely worth mentioning here as well. It is a proven method for bolstering immune system functioning. We use it regularly and even more extensively if we feel the onslaught of a cold coming on. HERE is a short video on how to do it.

Try one or more of these exercises at least 5 minutes a day. Work it into your day and turn it into a ritual - like showering or brushing and flossing your teeth. Remember, practice is the key to success. New Year, new breath, new stress-free you!!

PS: We will be practicing EXTENSIVE breath work during our Catskills retreat next week, January 11-13, 2019 and still have room for a few more. Breath work, mobility, great food and drinks, the coziest of accommodations and much more are all included. If you are interested, sign up NOW. For more information and to register, see HERE.

Gregg CookComment
January Support

Does it feel as if the beginning of every year mirrors the last? Goals are set with just the right amount of caution to make them feel achievable, but lofty enough to satisfy the desperate urge for change. Vision boards are created, lists made and often times, gym memberships purchased. The month of January is usually one of compliance. (I know this because my classes are overflowing with newcomers)! Then what? Schedules become full, distractions set in, and by about mid-February, we spiral into the habits of the year prior and throw those goals out the window.

Sound familiar?

The problem is not your chosen set of goals. It is not your laziness or your inability to move forward and make changes. Millions of people face the same scenario year after year. Why? Change is not easy. No matter how deep our desire and instinct towards evolution may be, letting go of what was once serving us - be it habits, relationships, work situations - is frightening, as what is on the other side of that, the unknown is uncertain. We hold on to the pain we are experiencing for fear that what lies in the unknown will be worse. It is in our DNA for survival reasons to protect ourselves and hold on to the well-known dark instead of embracing the light of possibility. So how do we take a leap of faith and rewire our habitual set point?

Fatima and I believe the answer lies in one of the foundational tenets of Deep Health Evolution. That is, community, a big part of that being accountability. We can’t do it on our own folks! We need solid accountability every day. There is a quote by Jim Rohn that says you are the average of the 5 people you spend the most time with. It may just be worth your while to think about this. Who are the people you spend the most time with? Do they share your values and support your ambitions? The people we surround ourselves with have a huge impact on our thought patterns and behaviors, and these, in turn, set the course of our lives.

Build your crew. Think of friends, family and coworkers that move you forward, support you and who possess qualities you admire and aspire for yourself.

Coaches can also be instrumental for change. - coaches who can be fully present, help uncover unique strengths and wisdom, and help craft personalized solutions with judgement free support.

Need help finding a coach? Send us a note. Both Fatima and myself are trained and experienced coaches and work both in person in the NYC area as well as virtually.

On that note…want to hang with a small group of like minded individuals? As many of you already know, we are now hosting retreats and have a separate website dedicated to them. The next one is coming up in a couple of weeks. It is a restorative weekend retreat in the beautiful Catskills from January 11-13. We still have some room. Click HERE to sign up. Make unforgettable memories and friends and experience a taste of how we approach a Deep Health lifestyle!

Happy New Year! That this may be the best, brightest and soul-satisfying one yet, in the deepest health.


“The day you plant the seed is not the day you eat the fruit”. - Fabienne Fredrickson

I love this quote because it really gets down to the root of Deep Health Evolution’s existence. And that is to plant the seeds of vitality through six major tenets: movement, nutrition, sleep, stress management, community/connection and environment. Our approach is delicate, sharing our continuously growing library of knowledge, experience and our age-earned wisdom, so as to quietly cajole small evolutionary steps towards enhanced life span and health span. The seeds you plant today in these areas will undoubtedly cultivate an elevated life.

What are some seeds you can plant today? We came up with six daily rituals to help you prioritize “Deep Health Evolutionary” self-care to help get through the holiday season, end the year on a positive note and set the stage for the year to come.  Do them everyday until the end of the year. (And longer).

Of course, in a perfect world we will nurture these seeds and they will grow into steadfast habits. Instead of setting out to revolutionize your world, we'd prefer for you to plant the seeds of evolution and embrace wherever you find yourself on this journey. Do what you can, be unabashedly forgiving of what you don’t get to.

If you choose to join us, let’s support each other on Instagram. Use hashtag #deephealthseeds on stories and your feed and share what you are doing so we can be in it together! If there is anyone you know who may benefit from something like this, please feel free to forward this post to them and have them follow us and join as well. We hope to see you there!

  1. MOVEMENT. Set a timer and move every 30 minutes. This doesn't mean you need to spontaneously drop into pushups or break a sweat. It can be as simple as changing seated positions if you are in a meeting or doing a CARs move or two. Here are some other simple ideas as well. If you have the opportunity to do something more rigorous, go for it.

  2. NUTRITION. Eat more vegetables. With every single meal, make something plant based most of what you eat. Veggie dominant soup for breakfast, extra greens in your shake, a double serving of brussel sprouts with your dinner, the choice is yours! Vegetable powders from Dr. Cowen’s Garden or the Green Juice from Organifi make this easier! (Use code GREGGCOOK for a 15% discount).

  3. SLEEP. Prioritize this. Without good quality/quantity sleep, most of everything else that is life supporting falls apart. Turn off any screens at least 1, preferably 2 hours before going to bed.

  4. STRESS MANAGEMENT. Upon awakening, before you do anything else including rolling out of bed, think of three things you are grateful for. These things needn’t be monumental. Whispers of goodness in your life are more than fine.

  5. COMMUNITY/CONNECTION. Reach out to one person you normally wouldn’t have contact with every day just to check in and say hello.

  6. ENVIRONMENT. Get out in nature for at least 10 minutes a day without regard to weather. Try and get some sun on your skin.

We have some exciting news! We have a new website dedicated to our retreats, Deep Health Retreats. Please visit! Our retreats are all about planting some seeds of health into the lives of our guests. There are a few rooms open for our Catskills retreat in January and registration is closing on Saturday. Join us! We promise you an unforgettable weekend. You will not be disappointed.

Need more information before you commit, contact us!

(Some affiliate link in which we make a small commission above - all tried and true and at no cost to you if you make a purchase).

Gregg CookComment
Time for Wine
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Celebratory times bring with it celebratory drinking - for better or for worse! While drinking wine is not a new thing - there are historical records of grape based fermented drinking dating back to the about 7000 B.C. in China - modern wine production is a whole lot different than the wines created in the past. As wellness, longevity and graceful aging advocates, we can’t honestly promote drinking the sulphate, pesticide, arsenic ridden wines most commonly found on the shelves today. The extra calories, high sugar and high alcohol content in most of these wines will definitely stand in the way of any health and fitness goals you may be working toward.

The other side of the coin is that there are some benefits associated with drinking wine as well. In addition to the pleasurable taste and positive social aspects of wine drinking, studies show some positive heart-health benefits to drinking a glass or two in conjunction with physical activity. Red wine in particular, is chocked full of polyphenols, which are loaded with antioxidant properties and are known to fight disease by reducing oxidative stress and neutralizing free radicals.  Furthermore, polyphenols from red wine have a prebiotic effect on the gut, meaning it feeds the gut with beneficial bacteria. We’ve gone into greater detail in the past and have offered different ways to help mitigate the negative affects of wine drinking.


This is why we only drink Dry Farm Wines. They curate 100% natural wines from small European family owned farms, that are lab tested for sugar and alcohol content, mycotoxins, molds and sulphates. Not only that, the wines are also ethically sourced. So…we are especially excited to share this news with you. (We are, after all, all about spreading holiday cheer)! Normally, the only way to try these wines is through their wine club, but for the holidays they are offering one-time only Winter Holiday Collections. There are 3, 6 and 12 bottle gift options available, reds, whites and bubbles, either for your own enjoyment and holiday hosting and/or as incredible gifts! To learn more or to order, click here.

Sorry to sound like an ad, but we really love these wines and think you will too! Give ‘em a try. And just to be completely transparent, we do make a small % from your purchase.

Happy Holidays!

Quick Holiday Anxiety Fix

Have your anxiety levels begun to skyrocket with the holidays on the horizon? You’re not alone. The holidays bring with it a myriad of demands on top of the demands of everyday life - from gift giving and party throwing (and attending) to an influx of family and relatively less time for self and peace and quiet.

Our number one way to kick that unwanted anxiety out to the curb is free and easy to do no matter where you are. Breathing practices can help both rev you up for enhanced performance and help you down regulate to ease stress and anxiety as well as help you to sleep.


The first step is learning to breath through your nose. For those of you who have taken my classes you know I have been preaching this for quite some time. More and more attention is being given to nose breathing. In fact, the NY Times just published an article about nose breathing and its link to better brain functioning, specifically memory. In addition to memory, nose breathing sends a direct signal to the nervous system cueing it to stay calm. In this state, the body can repair, regenerate and digest optimally. Nose breathing is also one of the top defenses against colds and flus. The nose acts as a filter and ensures the air in the lungs is warm and moist which means healthier lungs and greater O2 distribution. To top it all off, nose breathing will allow for the accumulation of nitric oxide in sinuses and all the benefits associated with this. What are these benefits you ask? Nitric oxide is very effective at opening airways and capillaries for great O2 transport to muscle, brain, heart, etc. It also works as an antimicrobial and antibacterial agent to fight potential health invaders. Bottom line? The nose was designed to do most of our breathing - specifically for health and physical performance purposes. Mouth breathing is a back up for emergency cases (including high intensity activities).

For a quick de-stressor in moments of overwhelm and anxiety, try these exercises:

  1. Breathe in through your nose for 4 counts, hold for 4 counts, exhale through the nose for 4 counts, then hold for 4 counts. Repeat. This is also known as box breathing. You can adjust the timing of this breathing as you become more practiced. for example, increase all counts to 5 or up to 10.

  2. Breathe in through the nose for 4 counts, hold for 7 counts, exhale through the nose for 8 counts.

Nine River Road, Callicoon, NY

Nine River Road, Callicoon, NY

Interested in learning more breathing techniques? Join me and Fatima in January at Nine River Road in the Catskills for a truly restorative weekend. We will be taking a much deeper dive into breath work and mobility practices geared towards redefining age and cultivating a bullet proof, resilient, lean and strong body. For more info and to sign up, see HERE. Don’t wait, space is limited!

The Perfect Present

Welcome to the holiday season!  It’s the Cook family’s favorite time of year and while we don’t necessarily love the idea of the commercialism surrounding the holidays, we absolutely adore everything else about it – from the tree trimming and smell of pine that fills the air to the gathering of family and friends for shared meals.  Part of what makes the holiday so special is, ironically, the very thing that renders the season so commercial in the first place - the gift giving.  I personally don’t think it HAS to be commercial.  It can instead be a communication of heart felt love and appreciation.  With some thought, a gift filled with the heartful intention of health and longevity has the potential to change the course of someone’s life.  Forget the socks and ugly holiday sweaters (although, I love both).  I am delighted to offer you a look at 10 alternative perfect present ideas.  I  tried to include a variety of price ranges, so I hope you are able to check everyone off your list!

Nine River Road, Callicoon, NY

Nine River Road, Callicoon, NY

1.     For the ultimate gift of instant recovery from holiday madness, welcome in the new year and treat a loved one (and yourself) to a Deep Health Evolution weekend in the Catskills.  Once all the indulgence and frenetic energy usually surrounding the holiday season has passed, the time for renewal is in order.  This retreat is a commitment to making this the best year yet.  All joining will learn improved mobility and physical conditioning, mental stamina through breath work and indispensable morning practices, will experiment with hydrogen inhalation, eat nourishing and delicious foods, drink clean, low-sugar, keto-friendly wines.  And last but not least have the opportunity to sleep ensconced in the peace, quiet and natural beauty of the Catskills n the comfortable and cozy beds at Nine River Road in Calicoon, NY Here’s a thought.  Buy a beautiful luggage tag, and insert your retreat weekend gift message inside!


2.    Help a loved one break habits no longer serving them, break through plateaus and design their own path to deeper health through our Health Coaching services or Complete Wellness Package.   We offer several packages from a la cart consultations and trainings to full six month packages customized towards your personal goals - improved body composition, better energy, diet help, sports specific training, overall wellness overhaul.  Scroll down to see all our offerings. Buyer beware, fat loss is a common result - you may find those brand new jeans falling right off you once you begin working with us!

This season we are excited to offer something very special. Would you like a personal chef to come into your home with all provisions in hand and cook you an absolutely creative, delicious, nutritious meal? For a limited time, Gregg and I are personally up for the challenge. We will personalize the meal to your tastes and dietary restrictions, provide low-sugar wines and take care of clean up as well! If you are interested in a “Deep Health Evolution” meal, please contact us for details.

Sleep Master Sleep Mask

Sleep Master Sleep Mask

3.    For those who have trouble with sleep and stress, how about putting together a Sleep Intervention Package.  For pitch black darkness, this eye mask will do the trick.  For white noise, this is our favorite little device.  We even travel with it!  For some help falling asleep, relax with some Sleep Remedy – a Navy Seal doctor concoction of Vitamin D, magnesium, L-tryptophan, phGABA, 5-HTP and the tiniest dose of Melatonin.  Take a serving 30 minutes before bedtime and slowly drift away into dreamland. (Use code Cookbooks for a 10% discount).

 For stress management, give the gift of neuro-balancing Hemp Oil.  Safe for children and pets alike, this is the most effective hemp oil in the market (as far as we’ve tested).  It is cleanly sourced and extremely bioavailable.   For more info on the numerous benefits see HERE.

4.    For those troubled by aging (aren’t we all to some degree), our nutritious aging weapon of choice is hydrogen inhalation therapy (or HIT).  This would knock the socks off - as well as a few wrinkles - off of any one using it. The Japanese have long known the benefits of this delicate yet powerful molecule.  With absolutely no negative side effects, the hydrogen molecule is a selective anti-oxidant that will address oxidative damage detrimental to health, while leaving behind those created by stressors that strengthen the body, such as those created during exercise.  HIT puts you on the fast track to reduce inflammation and oxidative stress - the root cause of all disease and aging concerns. Read more about it here. The most efficacious delivery method of hydrogen molecules is through inhalation. The HIT device is not easy on the wallet, but certainly worth it and for a limited time Health & Beauty Wellness, our source, is conducting case studies on the benefits of Hydrogen Inhalation Therapy. It is a 3 month study and upon completion you will receive $250 cash back for your participation. Financing is also possible. To purchase a system and to learn more here. And of course, contact us with any questions.

Want to spend a little less?  How about a clay mask and derma roller from Alitura? This mask is made from a long list of 100% natural, hard-to-find powerful ingredients such as grass-fed colostrum and Rhassoul Clay.  For a one-two punch and skin softer then a baby’s bottom, use it with the Alitura derma roller.  

Another favorite tool for those puffy-faced mornings (you all know what I am talking about) is a jade roller. Basically this tool combats inflammation and puffiness by helping to circulate the lymphatic system. It’s pretty as well!

Miyabi Birchwood Knife Block

Miyabi Birchwood Knife Block

5.     Know someone who loves to cook?  Enhance their pantry with the most delicious and nutrient dense food powders available in the market – and in fact, exclusively through this website.  These powders by Dr. Cowen’s Garden are made from organically and biodynamically grown rare vegetable varieties and gently dried and stored in Miron jars for maximum preservation of nutrients.  And they are delicious.  Our favorites are the Leek Salt, Kale Power and Savory Threefold Blend.  Use code DR.COWENSGARDEN for a 15% discount. How about a package of vegetable powers and a beautiful organic California olive oil?

Anyone who cooks knows the importance of having good knives.  We invested in these Japanese knives a few years ago, and have never looked back. They are indeed spendy, but not only do they elevate the cooking experience to new levels they are also beautiful to look at.  I also covet these handmade beauties.

This is my favorite cast iron dutch oven. It is perfect for large roasts, soups and even baking bread.

This Greek copper pepper mill is divine. I saw it first at a friend’s house in Portland and immediately looked or one for myself. It is would make an exquisite gift. Some other gadgets we find indispensable in the kitchen are the Vitamix Blender (which we’ve had for close to 20 years), Instant Pot, mini food processor, zester and this meat thermometer for perfectly cooked meat every time! (The zester and meat thermometer are perfect stocking stuffers). 

Fellow Stagg Electric Pour Over Kettle

Fellow Stagg Electric Pour Over Kettle

6.    And now for our vices.  Today we talk about our morning vice.  Coffee. We have written extensively about it in the past.  Delicious and full of healthful benefits, a toxin-free, mold-free, organic, high antioxidant very-exclusive coffee is a gift from the gods.  Purity coffee has been tested for molds and mycotoxins as well as for its antioxidant properties and checks off all the right marks.  The coffee beans alone would fit nicely in a stocking and a coffee subscription, a set of beautiful coffee cups, a gorgeous electric kettle or Japanese coffee dripper would make any coffee lover happy (and may even convert those who are not)!  Bonus:  Attach a handwritten note written on parchment with the benefits of coffee listed to your package.

7.    Vice number two. Wine.  We at Deep Health Evolution are all about living a balanced life. This includes enjoying a glass of wine or two a few times a week, especially with friends and family. Unfortunately, the way most wines are made – the way the grapes are grown and harvested and the non-desirable additives put into them, this practice can quickly get in the way of leading a healthy life.  For more information, see here. Fortunately, there are some good people out there making it easier for us to have the best of both worlds.  Dry Farm Wines curates natural, organic and biodynamically grown wines from small producers around the globe.  Every batch of wine is tested for its sugar and alcohol content, insuring that every single bottle is not only low in sugar and even keto-friendly, but also never surpassing an alcohol content of 12%.  This way, the detriments of drinking are minimized and hang-overs are completely avoided (assuming you’re imbibing within reason, of course). Their wines are little known and exclusive, which is a must in terms of gift giving, and best part of all is that they taste fantastic.  A Dry Farm Wine subscription is a great gift idea.  If you are wary of giving someone a subscription, gift yourself the subscription, and give away couple of bottles along with this gorgeous corkscrew and unique wine glasses

Bellicon Mini Trampoline

Bellicon Mini Trampoline

8.     If you have kids of your own or are close to kids in your life, you know that the holidays are really all about THEM.  It is a magical time of year and for kids this is true in magnitudes.  While I am sure toy catalogues have made their ways into your mailboxes already, how about instilling the gift of movement to a child – and the whole family really.  Bouncing is great for a host of reasons ranging from bone density, joint health, balance, cardiovascular conditioning, recovery and immune system strengthening and is loads of fun.  It was be an effective tool for improving fitness and performance as well as a toy!  This is the one we have.  You can customize the colors and tension on it and the legs fold up for easy storage.  For an additional cost you can opt for screw -on legs and other balancing accessories.  Amazon sells many less extravagant ones which are less expensive and also fine, although we can’t personally attest to that! 

9.    Want more than a weekend away and are willing to wait until June?  How about a fully immersive week in Deep Health practices in Mallorca.  With this, I guarantee a life-changing experience that will last forever.  Our first trip to Mallorca was so successful, we decided to repeat it – only this time we’ve learned from our experience and perfected it.  This is a true and deep dive into learning how to upgrade your life.  The retreat will happen while in the midst of the intoxicating natural beauty of Mallorca and pampered in the most luxurious accommodations imaginable - the beautiful bones of an ancient farmhouse meticulously maintained and modernized with all the comforts you could ask for, only a few minutes from the crystal clear waters of the Mediterranean.  You will experience movement as never before, breathwork that will transform the way you perform, eat, sleep, recover and even age.  You will eat nutritious and mouth-watering foods prepared by local chefs, visit local beaches, tour a biodynamic wine farm, cycle, hike, coaster and much more.  Every detail has been taken into account.  This is a family friendly event with a special itinerary for kids 8 and older, timed specifically around the summer school break.  This is THE gift for you and your family.   


10.  Finally, some home made beauties. In only a few minutes you could create some memorable homemade gifts that work as stocking stuffers or equally well as hostess gifts.  Here is my favorite:

Homemade Marshmallows & Grain-Free Graham Crackers S’mores Kit (adapted from The Real Food Dietitians)

For the crackers:

  • 1 1/4 cup finely-ground almond flour (I like the Honeyville brand)

  • 1/4 cup arrowroot starch

  • 3/4 tsp Vital Proteins Gelatin 

  • 1/4 tsp baking powder

  • 1/4 tsp baking soda

  • 1/4 tsp sea salt

  • 1/4 tsp ground cinnamon

  • 3 Tbsp honey or maple syrup

  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

  • 2 tsp organic whole milk (or nut milk of choice)

  • 10-12 marshmallows (home made recipe below)

  • 10-12 squares of chocolate, milk or dark

  1. Preheat oven to 300ºF.

  2. Place dry ingredients in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the blade and pulse to combine.

  3. In a small bowl, whisk together the honey or maple syrup, vanilla and milk.

  4. Add to dry ingredients and process until the mixture forms a ball.

  5. Turn dough out onto a large sheet of parchment paper. It should fit on your baking sheet without overhang.

  6. Dust dough with arrowroot starch then begin to shape it into a log. Then with an additional dusting of arrowroot starch, roll the dough into a rectangle about 1/8-inch thick.

  7. Score dough into 2×2-inch squares using a knife or pizza cutter and poke holes in each cracker using a skewer or fork. (For a more rustic look, skip the scoring and break the cookies apart by hand once cooked and completely cooled).

  8. Transfer the parchment with dough to the baking sheet. With the baking sheet on the middle rack of the oven, bake for 8-10 minutes. The dough will be slightly puffy with edges lightly brown.

  9. Turn off oven and let the crackers to cook in the oven for 20-30 minutes with the oven door slightly ajar. Transfer baking pan to a wire rack to cool completely.

  10. Break crackers along score lines when completely cooled. Store in a covered airtight container for up to 2 weeks.

  11. To package your s’mores gift, place chocolate bar, graham crackers and marshmallows in a wide mouth mason jar. Wrap a pretty holiday ribbon around the mouth of the jar with a handwritten ingredient and instruction label. Alternatively, you can place a few crackers, chocolate and marshmallows in a box with tissue paper.

For the marshmallows:

*You will need a candy thermometer for this recipe.

  • 2 cups water, divided

  • 5 Tbsp. Vital Proteins Gelatin 

  • 1 cup honey or real maple syrup

  • 1 tsp. vanilla

  • 1/4 tsp. sea salt

  •  Arrowroot starch for dusting (tapioca flour works as well)

  • Coconut oil for greasing pan

  • Parchment paper

  1. Lightly grease a 9×13″ baking dish with coconut oil then line with parchment lengthwise and grease the parchment. Line again with another piece of parchment in the opposite direction, and grease. Leave some overhang in both pieces of parchment to help turning the marshmallows out of the pan.

  2. Dust the pan lightly with arrowroot starch.

  3. Pour 1 cup of water into the bowl of a stand mixer with whip attachment (or in a bowl if you are using a hand mixer)

  4. Sprinkle gelatin over the water and allow it to “bloom” for 5-10 minutes.

  5. In the meanwhile, make the syrup. In a medium saucepan set over medium-high heat, whisk together the remaining 1 cup water, the honey or maple syrup. Set up your candy thermometer in the pan.

  6. Bring to a boil, turn down the heat slightly to prevent the mixture from boiling over.

  7. Allow the mixture to simmer rapidly until it reaches 240℉ on the candy thermometer (soft-ball stage).

  8. With the mixer on medium speed very slowly pour the hot syrup into the bowl over the gelatin. Be careful not to pour directly onto the beater or it will splatter.

  9. Once the syrup has been mixed in, add vanilla and sea salt and beat on high speed for 5-10 minutes, or until the mixture is fluffy, white and almost tripled in volume.

  10. Pour the fluffy marshmallow cream into the prepared pan and with a rubber spatula gently smooth.

  11. Allow marshmallows to cool, uncovered for 6 hours or overnight. Transfer marshmallow to a cutting board dusted with starch. Peel away the parchment and dust with starch.

  12. Using a sharp knife, cut into 36 squares. Dust cut sides with additional starch to prevent them from sticking together.

  13. Store in a covered container at room temperature for up to 2 weeks.

And from the internet:

We will be sending you some other ideas in the next coming weeks as we find them ourselves. Happy gifting!

(This post contains lots of affiliate links, which means we receive a small commission if you make a purchase using them).

How to eat on Thanksgiving.
Image via Our Food Stories

Image via Our Food Stories

Our overall philosophy in life in general applies to Thanksgiving as well. And that is, life is to be relished. Thanksgiving is a celebration of gratitude - of health, of happiness, of friends and family, and the opening of the holiday season. Be kind to yourself and please, allow yourself to enjoy - guilt free. One “off-the-rails” meal is likely not going to make much of a difference in your body composition and digestive health overall, but the memories of your Thanksgiving experience will.

If you were hoping we’d give you a step-by-step plan on how to skillfully maneuver in a healthful way the overwhelming amount of food usually served on this abundant holiday, here is a loose one.

  1. Move throughout the day. Take walks. Play some games like touch football or tag with the kids. Put on some groovy tunes and dance while you cook. Throw in random squats, push ups (insert exercise of choice) here and there.

  2. Do a high intensity interval training before the big meal.

  3. If #2 is not possible, a quick 30-60 second intense move just before the meal will help with blood sugar regulation.

  4. Appreciate the food with all your senses - smell, sight, mouth-feel and taste. This not only will feel good but will also slow you down.

  5. Start with greens and lots of them.

  6. If you are going to drink alcohol, choose low sugar wines and cocktails. If you are having a cocktail, mix in some bitters. Bitter herbs are digestive aids, blood sugar regulators and super tasty.

  7. Pace yourself with alcohol. Have a glass of water in between for every drink, or have 2 sips of water for every sip of alcohol.

  8. Make sure to chew at least 40 times per bite. This helps with digestion and helps you to pace yourself.

  9. Speaking of pacing, go for an after dinner walk (or dance or engage in some type of movement)

  10. Deep belly nose breathing throughout the day will help keep your nerves in check. This is especially helpful around mealtime. It will help you stay in rest-and-digest mode. Shallow and/or mouth breathing cues your sympathetic nervous system to up regulate.

Last but absolutely not least, our Mallorca June 2019 retreat registration is OPEN! If you joined us on the last one - this trip is even more luxurious and special. If you didn’t, don’t miss out! More info on our own brand spanking new retreat focused website coming soon, but in the meanwhile, head on over to our fabulous partner's site for details and to register. 

Registration for an adult-only restorative weekend in the Catskills with us will also be opening later this week! It will be the perfect way to start the new year and recover from the holidays. This retreat will take place from Friday, January 11 through Sunday, January 13, 2019. Be on the lookout. As you know, we like to keep things exclusive and intimate, so space will be limited!

Fatima CookComment
Cold & Flu Season Prep

The ominous cold and flu season is upon us. How can we strengthen our immune systems and keep colds and flus at bay? Flu shot you say? Well, maybe. While there is a small chance the CDC got it perfectly right and matched this year’s vaccine formulation with the currently circulating strains of the virus, more than likely this is not the case. Regardless of your dogma - pro-vaccination or not, it makes sense to super charge your immune system and those of your loved ones naturally. Read on and she how we do it.

  • Vitamin C. This is an important vitamin to help prevent colds. In addition,1,000mg per day of a good quality, organic food based vitamin C supplement (or one that is USP grade and produced in a GMP certified facility) can alleviate the severity and shorten the duration of a cold. Here is an example of a good one.

    Aside from supplementation, eating vitamin C rich foods is the easiest way to make sure you are getting enough. Some examples include all citrus fruits, papayas, strawberries, raspberries and pineapple, leafy greens, cruciferous vegetables and parsley.

  • Elderberry. This powerful fruit contains anthocyanins which are known to have potent immune boosting effects. Studies have shown that supplementing with elderberry within 48 hours of the onset of flu symptoms, can reduce the duration of symptoms by four days on average. You can find this in a syrup or juice concentrate, as well as in capsules or tinctures. We make gummies out of the juice or tincture.

    Elderberry Gummy Recipe

    *You’ll need a silicone mold and coconut oil to prevent sticking.

  • 1/2 cup elderberry syrup

  • 1/8 cup gelatin powder

  • 1/4 cup hot boiling water

    Grease the molds with a bit of coconut oil.

    Whisk 1/2 the elderberry syrup with the gelatin powder quickly.

    Add the hot water and stir vigorously until smooth. Pour into the prepared molds and refrigerate until completely firm.

    Store in an air-tight container with parchment in between each layer.

  • Echinachea. Immune boosting and oxidative damage protecting, this medicinal root was first used by indigenous North American Indians. Research shows that it can help prevent the common cold and also reduce its duration by a day or two. It is particularly helpful for respiratory conditions and inflammation.

  • Zinc. Required for multiple functions throughout the body, zinc is a micronutrient important for immune system containing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. Some foods containing high levels of zinc are seafood, especially oysters, meat and cheese. Studies have shown it to have the ability to shorten colds by a whopping 5 days or even longer. The most effective form of zinc is zinc acetate for cold prevention/shortening. Try a lozenge the second you feel a cold coming on and continue taking one every few hours until your symptoms go away.

  • Hemp Oil. We’ve talked about this at length and if you’d like to learn more, read here. In a nut shell, hemp oil is a plant-produced cannabinoid (or phytocannabinoid) from the Cannabis sativa plant that mimics our body’s own internal cannabinoid (or endocannabinoid) system. The main function of this system is to maintain homeostasis and help the body adapt to stressors. When it is out of balance, the digestive, reproductive, nervous, and immune systems suffer. In addition, this system regulates neurotransmitter function, inflammation, mitochondrial function, and metabolism. Use hemp oil regularly as a nutritional supplement to prevent and help the body naturally fight colds and flus. There are hundreds of different CBD oils available now, some more efficacious than others. This is the one we use.

  • Prebiotics and probiotics. A healthy gut equals a healthy body and mind as an estimated 80-85% of the immune system is in the gut. The bacteria in our digestive tract plays a vital role in nutrient absorption, mucosal barrier function, support of gut lymphoid tissue, and immune function. We can keep our gut bacteria happy by feeding it prebiotics (foods that promote the increase of good bacteria in our gut) and probiotics (foods that feed that good bacteria). Some good examples of prebiotic foods are Jerusalem artichokes, garlic, leeks, asparagus, dandelion greens, chicory root, potato starch, green bananas or green banana flour, cooked and cooled white potatoes and cooked and cooled rice. Fermented foods such as kimchee, sauerkraut, beet kvass, fermented pickles, yogurt and kefir are good sources of probiotics. Aside from whole foods, you can boost your prebiotic and probiotic intake through supplements - we like Hyperbiotics Organic Powder and Healthy Origins Fiber All Natural for prebiotics and Klaire Labs Ther-biotic Complete or Primal Blueprint Primal Probiotic for probiotics.

  • Mushrooms. The anti-viral and anti-inflammatory properties of this incredible superfood have long played a role in Chinese medicine and have more recently made its way into the Western world. They contain powerful antioxidants, polysaccharides and triterpenes as well as a long list of nutrients that can help with cardiovascular health, hormonal regulation, thyroid functioning, digestion and skin health. Culinary delights made from enoki, maitake and oyster mushrooms can help fortify the immune system and these mushroom varieties can be found in local and specialty grocery stores. Other mushrooms such as chaga, reishi, turkey tail, lion’s mane and cordyceps are a bit more difficult to source. In addition, extracting their medicinal properties to their greatest potential can get a little more complicated. Luckily, there are companies such as Four Sigmatic and Host Defense that do the job for us. We personally use the 10 Mushroom Blend by Four Sigmatic and My Community Multi Mushroom Extract by Host Defense.

  • Bone Broth. Bone broth contains particular amino acids and lipids that are indispensable for immune system functioning. It is collagen and gelatin rich - two things vital for gut health, and contains anti-inflammatory and immuno-regulating glycosaminoglycans. For more bone broth info (and a recipe), see here.

  • Load up on Micronutrients. An adequate intake of micronutrients will help keep your immune system intact. While in general we eat a rainbow of vegetables regularly and make sure our plates are 90% plant based, we turn to Dr. Cowen’s Garden for an even broader variety of vegetables to easily supplement our micronutrient intake. Dr. Cowen is a brilliant, forward thinking anthroposophical doctor, author of several books, one of our favorites being How (& Why) to Eat More Vegetables, based in Northern California. He cultivates organic, biodynamic heirloom plants, carefully dries and creates vegetable powders out of them. The powders are stored in Miron jars to preserve their nutrients. Sprinkle any of their veggie powders on foods and drinks and mix them into baked goods. Not only are they beautiful to look at, they are also delicious. Our favorites are the Savory Three-fold Blend, the Leek Salt, the Kale and the Three Beet Powder. The powders are not inexpensive but we think they are worth the price. We are affiliates of Dr. Cowen’s Garden and if you use our code (DRCOWANSGARDEN) you’ll get a 15% discount. Every little bit helps!

  • Sauna. The principal role of the lymphatic system is to keep white blood cells and fat-soluble vitamins flowing throughout the body while moving dead cellular matter out. Stagnant lymph can lead to an accumulation of toxic cellular debris and pathogens - and an impaired immune system. One of the the body’s primary means of detoxification is through the skin. Sweating in a sauna is a great way to circulate lymph fluid.

  • Rebounding. This is another powerful lymph-moving technique. Bounce on a mini-trampoline for about 10 minutes a day to help keep the lymph system decongested. Alternatively, stand on a vibration plate.

  • Sleep. We have talked about sleep and its numerous benefits in the past, but it is so important, it is worth mentioning again. It is during rest that the body is able to renew, recover, and revitalize. This is especially important when the immune system is compromised.

  • AVOID: sugar (including bread and pasta), processed foods, industrial seed oils and gluten. These foods present stressors in the body and place an excessive burden on the digestive system. They divert energy away from our natural immune and maintenance processes.

And what if you do get sick? In addition to the above, here’s the home made cold-busting concoction swear by. Take at onset of symptoms! Mix all ingredients into a paste and eat.

  • Juice from 1 lemon

  • 1 garlic clove, crushed

  • 1/4 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon organic turmeric powder (or freshly grated if possible)

  • 1 teaspoon Manuka honey

  • 1-2 teaspoon coconut oil

  • freshly ground black pepper

(Full disclosure:  Lots of affiliate links above. Yes, we make a little bit of money if you make a purchase using our links, but it is at no extra cost to you.  Rest assured, we wouldn't be recommending them if we hadn’t personally tried and approved of them)!

Additional references:

Fatima CookComment
THE exercise you need to know to feel young forever.
Basic Body Weight Squat

Basic Body Weight Squat

The SQUAT. Yes, the squat. It is arguably the most basic and fundamental exercise every human being on this planet should re-learn how to do regardless of age.* Because it engages more muscle then virtually any other exercise, it is the backbone of health and mobility. While it is not a complicated exercise, it has to be done properly in order for one to a) reap its full benefits and b) avoid injury.

*Side notes: 1. RE-learn because children instinctively know how to squat perfectly. 2. The next equally important exercise we’ll talk about is the dead-lift.

Why is the squat so important?

You need to be able to squat for just about everything you do - to sit down and stand up, to pick things up off the floor, to use the bathroom, even walking up stairs is a series of modified squats. You get the idea. And, these are only examples of partial squats. Ideally, you want to be able to perform a powerful and full squat with some sense of ease. Consider a fall. A powerful squat increases the ability to prevent an impending fall and to move quickly out of the way of incoming and sudden danger. Power also exhibits a strong neuromuscular connection and practicing powerful squats is a great way to maintain that connection. Without this explosive element, you no longer can be completely autonomous and the potential for injury goes up exponentially. Should you actually fall, being able to comfortably squat fully, meaning, butt to calves, will enable you to get up unassisted.

The inability to squat means you have restricted mobility throughout your entire body. Without a proper squat you really lack the strength to traverse the earth. In fact, there was a study conducted in 2012 correlating the ability to stand up off the ground unassisted with longevity, and it makes sense.

It’s important to keep in mind that there are about 100,000 ways to squat - maybe more - as long as you have healthy knee and hip joints. The more ways you can squat the better. The basic squat is a good place to start. Master this, before you move on.


  1. Toes: Keep them pointed straight ahead or slightly turned out.

  2. Feet: They should be hip to shoulder width apart. The tighter you are, the wider your feet will need to be.

  3. Torso: Maintain upright posture. Pay attention to your ribs. Don’t let them pop out.

  4. Weight: Center your weight throughout your feet. Keep your heels down. Imagine you are inside a tight cylinder and avoid bowing your head forward (so as to avoid hitting the walls of the cylinder).

  5. Butt to calves. Actively pull yourself down into the squat. Your hips will shift back a bit. Your tailbone reaches to a target just behind your heels. Your knees stay in alignment with the toes, but track forward as far as needed in order to pull down into the deepest squat possible without losing your balance.

  6. To come out of the squat, imagine you are in that tight cylinder again and keep your torso upright. As you press the floor away with your feet, your hips and torso come up at the same speed. Imagine you are shooting out of the floor like a rocket.


Make a fist with one hand in front of you at chest height and squeeze it tightly with the other hand. Pull your shoulder blades down so you are engaging your lats. Squeeze your arms to your sides as if you were holding something under your armpits.

Corkscrew your feet into the floor and/or spread the floor away with your feet.


Lack of hip mobility, tight ankles and/or a tight back.


The more you practice, the better you will get. Practice squatting more and sitting in a squat for longer periods of time. Sit in the squat position for as long as you can and while down there, explore different positions. Try rocking forward and back, and rotating from side to side. This may feel uncomfortable at first and this is totally ok, just don’t go into pain. Focusing on deep breathing can help. Inhale for 4 counts and on the exhale let the air strongly release.

Use props to help you such as a TRX, door knob, kettlebell, column or a person to counterbalance your weight to help pull yourself deeper into a squat.

Tiny Fencer. Image courtesy of Daily Burn.

Tiny Fencer. Image courtesy of Daily Burn.

Try this exercise. I call it the Tiny Fencer. Kneeling on an exercise mat, step one foot out to the side with your knee bent, toes facing out and heel in line with the opposite knee. Open your arms out on a diagonal and press your forearm into the inner thigh of the inner thigh. Keeping your turned out foot flat on the floor, bend the knee of the leg that is turned out as you press your hips forward and reach your arms out as long as possible. Allow the knee to extend past the toe to feel the stretch in your hip flexors, inner thighs, calf muscles while increasing your ankle mobility. Hold for a few seconds, then practice rocking from side to side. Repeat on the other side.

Practice doing some powerful squats intermittently throughout the day. Do 10-20 jump squats every 30-60 minutes.

Ready for more? Who says you need equipment or added weight? Try these first!


  1. The Pistol

    This is essentially a one-legged squat with the non-working leg straight out in front of the body. Extend one leg in front of you, lower down slowly with control and balance until your butt is on your heels. Push into the floor to powerfully stand back up. In addition to leg strength, before you can do a pistol, you need to be able to do a full, deep squat. You’ll need mobility in your hips, feet and ankles, and good balance. (Image 1 above)

  2. The Sissy Squat

    This type of squat helps to build quadriceps strength. Standing on both feet, keep your torso in a diagonal line with your knees as you bring your knees forward and shoulders back. Drop your knees down to the ground as you push up on the balls of your feet. (Image 2 above)

  3. The Shrimp Squat

    This is another single-leg bodyweight squat requiring tons of strength, flexibility and balance. Bend the knee of the non-squatting leg behind your back (as if you were stretching your quadriceps) and hold that ankle with your hand. Slowly and with control, lower your body until your knee touches the ground, then stand back up. Keep your weight balanced in the middle of your foot as you squat up and down. (Image 3 above)

Need some help with your squat? Is limited mobility, flexibility or stability getting in the way of living a pain-free life? Work with us.

Want a taste of a deep functional mobility and breathing class? Join us at Limelight Fitness in NYC this Sunday, November 11 at 1:30. Details and sign up here.

(Full disclosure:  There are some affiliate links above.  While we make a little bit of money if you make a purchase using our links, it is at no extra cost to you.  Rest assured, we honestly wouldn't be recommending them if we didn't believe in them)!

Gregg Cook Comments
Souper Power!

Summer is no longer lingering here in NY. As the weather has become crisp and chilly - as fall should be - my focus lies on two things. First, making the house feel warm and cozy. We begin to enjoy dinners by candle or oil lamp light. Thick, yummy blankets come out of their summer hiding places to snuggle with us on Friday “movie nights”. Second, I shift how we nourish ourselves. The Instant Pot is out on heavy rotation as I busily conjure up a vast array of chilis, soups and stews. Vast, to keep things interesting for me to make and the rest of the Cooks to eat.

At the base of all my wintry preparations is none other then bone broth. It is the foundation of every chili, soup, stew and the like that I make all fall and winter long. Why?

In a nutshell, the big secret here is collagen (and gelatin). Collagen is found only in animal flesh and connective tissue and is a fundamental part of bone, containing a large amount of amino acids. Aside from water, it is the most common material found in the body. It makes up 70% of the skin, 90% of bone mass and 90% of connective tissue. Believe it or not, our endogenous production of collagen begins to slow down in our 20’s!

Our ancestors practiced nose to tail eating. They never knew when they would have their next successful hunt and couldn’t really afford to waste any part of the animal including skin, bones, hooves, tails and knuckles. What they discovered was that by cooking down the tougher scraps, they were able to draw out all kinds of beneficial nutrients such as magnesium, calcium, and collagen protein. Eating this way is no longer common practice and boosting our collagen is therefore crucial. Bone broth contains the most bioavailable form of collagen.

Here is a list of some of the key properties of bone broth.

  1. Bone broth helps heal your gut. It contains glycine, and amino acid that helps heal and protect the gut through it’s anti-inflammatory, immune regulating and cell protecting properties. Glycine is also a major player when it comes to detoxification, reducing oxidative damage, enhancing insulin sensitivity, and regulating human growth hormone.

  2. Bone broth contains the joint healing nutrients glucosamine and chondroitin.

  3. Bone broth aka Mother Nature’s Botox, does wonders for your skin. The collagen in it helps smooth out wrinkles and stretch marks and can even help reverse sagging skin. Bone broth also contains glycosaminoglycans which help keep the skin plump and supple. In addition, bone broth strengthens nails and encourages hair growth.

  4. Bone broth helps fight inflammation - glycine, proline, glucosamine and chondroitin all have anti-inflammatory properties.

  5. Bone broth is helpful for weight loss. Through its anti-inflammatory and gut healing properties, it allows your body to maintain a healthy GI tract which in turn helps facilitate weight loss. For more on this look into The Bone Broth Diet, popularized by Dr. Kellyanne Petrucci. It combines clean, anti-inflammatory eating with intermittent fasting and bone broth.

  6. Glycine found in bone broth is a sleep aid. It works on the central nervous system to improve sleep quality.

  7. Bone broth is versatile, rich, complex and soul satisfying.

Turmeric Bone Broth Latte

Turmeric Bone Broth Latte

Want to try making your own? Thousands of recipes can be found online, but these are the beef and chicken versions I make. I use an Instant Pot, but the recipe works in a regular old stock pot or slow cooker as well. Instead of the 2 hours in the Instant Pot, simmer for 12-48 hours.

*It is CRITICAL to use high quality bones as it is in the skin and bones that toxins are stored. Go to a trusted butcher and ask for 100% organic grass fed beef bones and 100% organic pastured pork and chicken.

*Adding apple cider vinegar to the pot and letting it sit for 30 minutes or more before turning on the heat will help extract the most out of your bones.

*For a richer flavor, roast the bones before adding them to the pot.


2 stalks celery roughly chopped
2 carrots roughly chopped
1 onion cut into large chunks
5 cloves garlic smashed
3.5-4 lbs grass-fed beef bones (preferably knuckle bones and joints)
1 pastured pig’s foot (optional, but is a great source of additional collagen)
2 bay leaves
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
Kosher Salt
Filtered Water


Place the bones and foot (if using) into the Instant Pot. Add apple cider vinegar, and let sit for 30+ minutes. In the meanwhile, chop your vegetables.
Drop in the vegetables, bay leaves, and sprinkle with salt.
Cover the contents with water, but make sure the pot is not more then two-thirds full.
Cover and lock the lid and set to high pressure.
Set the timer for 2 hours and let the pressure release naturally.
Strain the liquid, discard the solids and place in the fridge overnight. This is simply to let the fat rise to the top and solidify. It makes it a lot easier to skim the fat off the top.
Drink the broth alone or add to recipes - even smoothies!

To substitute chicken for the beef, use 2 1/2-4 lbs of pastured chicken bones (from another meal or a butcher). You can use a pig’s foot here too, and/or about 6-8 chicken’s feet. Follow the rest of the recipe as written.

Our favorite way to enjoy bone broth is in latte form, blended with a little grass-fed butter, ghee or extra virgin olive oil, turmeric, cumin, a dash or two of cayenne pepper, sea salt and freshly ground black pepper.

Don’t have time for make your own? We like Brodo Bone Broth, available in Wholefoods, Fairway and other grocery stores and Kettle and Fire.

Some interesting related facts:

“All disease begins in the gut”, said Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine. Documented as early as 400 BC, he recognized the healing powers of bone broth and prescribed it to those with digestive disorders.

In 1845 American industrialist, Peter Cooper, secured a patent for powdered gelatin. (Bone broth cooked over a long period of time turns the collagen in the bones turns to gelatin).

Other collagen boosting foods include wild salmon, chlorella, leafy greens, citrus fruits, eggs, berries, tomatoes, pumpkin seeds, avocados, garlic, chia seeds.

Do you eat the tendons, ligaments, joints and bones? Do you eat the skin off your chicken or turkey? Personally, these are some my favorite bits!

Do you eat the tendons, ligaments, joints and bones? Do you eat the skin off your chicken or turkey? Personally, these are some my favorite bits!

(Full disclosure:  There are some affiliate links above.  While we make a little bit of money if you make a purchase using our links, it is at no extra cost to you.  Rest assured, we honestly wouldn't be recommending them if we didn't believe in them)!

Scenes from a Retreat
Selva, Mallorca

Selva, Mallorca

We are thrilled to say that our first retreat in Mallorca this past September was a huge success. It surpassed all of our expectations and reassured us that hosting fully immersive Deep Health “Evolutionary” experiences such as this one is truly a valuable way to share what we do - the way we personally live on a daily basis to maximize overall health and wellness, the habits and techniques we’ve learned, all with a nice balance of our hedonistic pleasures.

What exactly did we do during this weeklong adventure?

We woke up to the most breathtaking sunrises each morning. We enjoyed delicious lemon-ginger-cayenne shots and coffee, then started each day off with breath work, meditation and movement that progressed from addressing the smallest, oft-forgotten details of our bodies all the way to our largest muscle groups, taking our breath away once more. We simultaneously explored the various terrains of Mallorca and challenged ourselves on all levels in the throes of nature, engaging in activities we normally don’t find ourselves doing (especially in NY). We learned about biodynamic wines and olive oils, picked fresh plums from the tree on our property, foraged wild mushrooms, cooked and were cooked for, laughed a whole lot and even had a 10-year old inspired dance party to wrap up the week (definitely a keeper in the program).

Master organizer, Mallorcan connector, incredible cyclist - sweet as can be and hilarious to boot, Laura Cozik of Travel with Lipstick, was a perfect partner for this event. So much so, we are already planning our next family retreat in Mallorca with her from June 29th- July 6th and another adult-only event in Morocco in the fall of 2019. Details coming soon, so stay tuned!

Enjoy some of the photos of our retreat below!

Fatima CookComment
Another reason you may be holding on to fat.
“Famous Chunkies” by Alex Solis

“Famous Chunkies” by Alex Solis

In most cases, variability in life is to be expected. We all go through periods of highs and lows and one of the keys to finding internal happiness is to be OK with both ends of the spectrum, knowing neither will last forever. With respect to glycemic variability, however, this is far from the case. Aside from inflammation, glycemic variability is one of the most important bio-markers we should be giving some attention to.

What is glycemic variability?

It refers to the swings in blood glucose levels that occur throughout the day. This includes fluctuations that happen during hypoglycemic periods, postprandial increases (after eating) and changes occurring at the same time on different days. Basically, it is your body’s ability to process the consumption of carbohydrates. When this fluctuates too much and blood sugar gets too high, the body has two options. It can either store it in the muscles as a potential energy source or store it as fat. For those who are mostly sedentary, that excess energy will turn into excess fat.

You may be wondering what types of foods can contribute to this variability. Sugar may be the first thing to come to mind, but in all reality, sugar, as we commonly think about, i.e., candy and soda, isn’t necessarily the only culprit here. All sugars end up becoming converted to glucose and the body really doesn’t care where it comes from. Even vegetables contain some amount of sugar. Regardless of the glucose source, an excess of it will cause an imbalance in blood glucose levels and begin to cause problems. Don’t get the wrong idea and begin swapping your kale for donuts. Along with sugars, different foods carry in them different nutrient levels and in the long run, we should always opt for those with the greater nutrient density (raw honey v. cane sugar, sweet potato v. pasta). This may seem obvious, but I would be remiss not to mention it.

This means eating too much and/or too often and not moving frequently enough are two major contributors to the extra layers of fat you may be holding on to. In addition, every individual is unique and will have a different response to specific foods. For example, while one person may do well with eating rice, it may shoot another person’s blood glucose levels through the roof.

(Of course there are other confounding factors to this. Not getting enough good quality sleep is a biggie as is too much stress and an overwhelming toxic load).

Back to glycemic variability. There are some ways to take control of it. Here are our top 8 tips.

  1. Strength train. This will increase your body’s ability to drive glucose into the muscles.

  2. Workout in a fasted state in the morning. Studies show this can increase metabolic rate and burn more energy throughout the day.

  3. Move vigorously before eating. Just 30 seconds of high intensity exercise will help regulate blood sugar. Think 30 seconds of burpees, sprints, and/or squat jumps.

  4. Move after eating. This could mean a leisurely post-meal walk or as we like to do at home, a post-dinner mini dance party.

  5. Move all day long. While a dedicated workout is great, moving all day long may be just as good or even better. Set your office or home up for success with plenty of opportunity to keep physically active throughout the day. If you need some ideas on how to accomplish this, send us a note.

  6. Add glucose regulating herbs and spices to your diet. Ceylon cinnamon, berberine, rock lotus and bitter melon extract are all natural ingredients that can regulate high blood sugar. You can opt to take some of these in the form a supplement as well. We like Lean. (No affiliation).

  7. Add fiber to your diet. Not only will it help keep your colon clean, it will also help regulate glycemic variability.

  8. Take a Robb Wolf’s 7-day carb test to determine your tolerance for certain foods. Robb Wolf is a 2x New York Times bestselling author of The Paleo Solution and Wired to Eat. He is a former research biochemist and one of the world’s leading experts in Paleolithic nutrition. 

So there you have it. If you’d like more information on glycemic variability, sleep, stress and other factors that may be getting in the way of fat loss, please feel free to contact us.

Fatima Cook
Lunch Box

How do I get my kids to eat well?  The answer is to offer them and stock the kitchen with only healthy food.  At least while they are within your domain, you have a bit of control over what they eat.  The bonus to this approach is that everyone else living in the household benefits  - you also are happily trapped into making healthy eating choices.  What happens to your child's diet outside your doorstep is honestly out of your control and coming to terms with this (at least for me) is somewhat comforting.  What children eat is important for reasons beyond maintaining physical health.  It will help with proper growth and development, mood, focus and cognition - the alternative (i.e. sugary foods) lead to distraction and sleepiness.

So, school lunches are slightly out of the control of parents seeing as once the kid(s) are out the door, whether that carefully prepared lunch will be eaten, discarded or traded is junior's decision.  My sweet mama did her best to pack me and my siblings healthy lunches.  Tuna fish on whole wheat bread, accompanied by fully oxidized, brown apple slices and a thermos of room temperature milk were frequently served - and often traded for Jiffy and Smuckers or mystery meat sandwiches, chips, candy and Kool-Aid.  As the saying goes, you can lead a horse to water, but you can't make it drink.  To this day, I wonder if those kids who agreed to trade with me and my siblings were intrigued by our lunches or simply felt sorry for us.  In any case, offering up healthy AND delicious lunches could solve this problem.  In my personal experience with my daughter, it totally has.  In fact, she's often reported that her friends often want to try her lunches and friends' parents regularly ask me for recipes.   When thinking of packed lunches, my first line of defense are leftovers.  Whenever possible, that's what I serve up!  Otherwise, I've poked around the internet and have put to the test what seems like hundreds of lunch box recipes.  Below are some of our tasty lunch ideas with links and recipes.  

I am always looking to expand my lunch box repertoire.  What are some of your favorites?


1. Prosciutto wrapped mini frittata muffins (pictured above)

2. Vietnamese Mini Meat Balls (*recipe below)


3. Lettuce Wrapped Chicken Tacos - Wrap left over chicken in butterhead lettuce with sliced avocado or guacamole, shredded carrots, diced tomatoes, shredded cheese or whatever you choose.  Serve with a side of sour cream for dipping.

4. Prosciutto Wrapped Avocado Slices - Wrap sliced avocado in slices of prosciutto.  Secure the wrap by tying a chive around it.

5. Smoked Salmon, Avocado Nori Rolls with Cauliflower Rice (or rice of choice) - Spread rice of choice on a sheet of nori.  Top with smoked salmon and avocado.  Sliced cucumbers work well too.  Roll and cut into bite sized pieces.  Note, if using cauliflower rice, you may need to add a bit of cream cheese to help bind it together.


6. Hardboiled eggs or if you have more time, deviled eggs.  

7. Egg Salad

8. Shaker Salads

9.  Spanish Tortilla Squares

10. Sausage Patties

11. Grass Fed Uncured Pepperoni Sticks

12.  Soups - Broccoli Cheddar, Cauliflower, Creamy Tomato - add shredded chicken, pork or hard boiled eggs for added protein.  This is a great, leakproof container that will keep your liquids warm (or cold) for hours.  


1. Cut veggies:  carrots, celery, fennel, broccoli, baby bok choy, cucumber, mini peppers, cherry/grape tomatoes

2. Homemade chia bars (*recipe below)

3. Homemade chia pudding

4. Seasonal Fruit (berries, orange wedges, small whole apples, or sliced - squeeze lemon juice if to prevent browning )

5. Olives

6. Pickles

7. Homemade crackers

8. Dark Chocolate


1. Hummus

2. Tzatziki

3. Cottage Cheese

4. Plain, whole milk yogurt.  Add berries for variety.

5. Homemade chocolate pudding

6. Seasnax


1. Filtered water 

2. Herbal iced teas, unsweetened

3. Homemade Strawberry Hemp Milk (or milk of choice: almond, cashew, coconut) (*recipe below)

4. Warm Golden Milk


Thai Mini Meatball Recipe, serves 4

  1. Season the pork with salt and pepper and then roll into mini meatballs (or whatever size you choose), place each meatball on a tray as you work. In a small bowl, combine the sesame oil, coconut aminos, fish sauce and honey.

  2. Heat a large skillet over medium heat and cook the meatballs until cooked through, about 5 minutes, turning them 2-3 times throughout cooking. During the last minute or so of cooking, add the sauce and give the meatballs a good toss through the sauce. Cook another minute longer you until the sauce glazes the meatballs. Remove from the heat.

Serve with Basil and Cilantro Yogurt Dipping Sauce

  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil
  • 3/4 cups greek yogurt
  • fresh squeezed lime juice
  1. Add the cilantro, basil, yogurt and lime juice to a blender or food processor. Blend until completely smooth and creamy. Taste and add salt and pepper to taste.


Turmeric & Black Pepper Pumpkin Seed Chia Bar

  • 6 large Medjool dates
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • ¼ cup sprouted pumpkin seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil, melted
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric powder
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  1. Remove pits from dates and pulse in a food processor or blender to form a paste.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix dates and the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Press into the bottom of a baking dish lined with parchment paper, cut into squares or rectangles and refrigerate until firm.

*Variations: Roll into bite sized balls instead of making bars, omit turmeric and black pepper for a “plain” bar, add coconut flakes and/or dark chocolate chips & top with flakey sea salt such as Maldon.


Banana Walnut Chia Bar

  • 3 dates
  • ¾ cup dried bananas
  • ½ cup walnuts
  • ½ cup chia seeds
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • ¼ teaspoon sea salt
  1. Remove pits from dates and pulse in a food processor or blender to form a paste.
  2. In a medium sized bowl, mix dates and the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Press into the bottom of a baking dish lined with parchment paper, cut into squares or rectangles and refrigerate until firm.


Homemade Strawberry Hemp Milk (serves 2)

  • ½ cup hemp seeds (organic, hulled seeds)
  • 4 cups water
  • 10-15 hulled strawberries
  • 1 pitted date (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional)
  1. Blend hemp seeds in water until smooth. 
  2. Add strawberries and blend again.
  3. Strain the pulp from the hemp milk if desired.
  4. Refrigerate. Hemp milk will be good for 5 days.


(Full disclosure:  There are some affiliates links above.  While we make a little bit of money if you make a purchase using our links, it is at no extra cost to you.  Rest assured, we honestly wouldn't be recommending them if we didn't believe in them)!

Food Details - Micronutrients and Nutrient Density

We've often mentioned micronutrients and eating nutrient dense foods on the blog, but what exactly are we talking about?  Let's start with the small stuff.  

Micronutrients are vitamins, minerals and antioxidants not produced in the body and derived from food.  They are needed in small amounts, but are nonetheless  are vital to development and disease prevention and contribute to functions such as DNA repair, slowing of oxidative damage, protection against infection, energy generation, nervous system balancing and bone mineralization.  Every system in the body depends on micronutrients to thrive.  According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control), over 2 billion people worldwide, including 1/2 of the children up to age 5, are deficient in at least one micronutrient.  Examples of micronutrients include calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, selenium, folate, vitamins A, D and K, zinc, and a whole suite of B vitamins - biotin, niacin, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, thiamin.  Below is a list of micronutrients and their specific functions in the body, taken from the book, Paleo Takes Five - or -  Fewer, by Cindy Sexton.  


Now what about nutrient density?  Very loosely, nutrient density is a term referring to the amount of nutrients packed in a food by volume.  Certain foods such as organ meats and oysters are so jam packed with nutrients, a single serving once a week will supply the body with all the nutrients it needs.   When thinking about which foods to include in your regular meal rotation, it's important to keep this in mind.  What foods give you the biggest bang for the buck?  Aside from organ meats and oysters, herbs and spices, nuts and seeds, cacao, fish and seafood, grass-fed beef, lamb, veal and wild game, vegetables, pork, pastured eggs and dairy (especially grass-fed butter), pastured poultry are at the top of the list.  

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The next question is, can one overdo it?  The answer to that is yes.  Just about everything in life is dose dependent.  We increase the chances of developing a food allergy towards foods we over consume.   (The same goes for foods we don't consume enough of)!  This problem is naturally resolved for us by Mother Nature.  It is one of the reasons vegetables grow at specific times of the year and why the availability of animals for hunting and seafood for fishing varies throughout the course of a year.  We are designed to nourish ourselves accordingly, and benefit from the diverse number of nutrients each food has to offer.  Now that we have access to any food we can imagine at anytime of year, it has become easy to abuse the consumption of foods, with the push of a button.  And there, my friends, is an important argument for eating seasonally and locally.  

Having this information makes it somewhat easier to make decisions about what foods are important to have on the menu on a frequent basis.  For us, it is especially useful for feeding our daughter while we still have the ability to control what she eats to some degree.  Now that we are approaching the end of summer and she will be going back to school, you can bet we load her lunches with as many nutrient dense foods we can get in there without totally making her feel like the "weird" kid in her class.

Our next post will be specifically on lunch ideas.  You won't want to miss that one!

Your Daily Detox

Detox programs abound left and right.  All over social media you’ll find celebrity endorsed juice cleanses and diets suggesting they are THE answer to those last, stubborn 5 pounds stuck to you like an over-jealous boyfriend or the remedy to that feeling of endless exhaustion no matter how much sleep you seem to get.  Want the real deal?  Keep reading!

Ilfede / istockphoto

Ilfede / istockphoto

True, we are living in a toxin-saturated world.  Think of the pesticide-sprayed lawns we walk by every day, the chemical-laden products we use on our skin and hair, the chemicals leached from the plastic container last-night’s take out was delivered in and the seat on the airplane (or your child’s pj’s for that matter) drenched in flame retardant.  These are only a few examples.  We are currently estimated by scientists to have over 700 contaminants rummaging around in our bodies.  As we accumulate these toxins such as heavy metals (ex. lead and mercury), chemicals (ex. parabens and pesticides), air-borne pollutants, they lovingly embed themselves in our tissues, primarily fat, as well as in our brains and bones.  What happens when we couple all of this with the ever-persistent onslaught of stress of modern day living, the lack of proper sleep and full-range, frequent movement?  Our bodies internal detoxification mechanisms - the liver, the kidneys, the gallbladder, the skin and even the respiratory system - don’t stand much of a chance.

Do juices and detox diets work? 

True, detox juices usually contain several herbs and vegetables such as cilantro, milk thistle, dandelion, garlic, and chlorella that do indeed work to gently pull toxins from the body – same for many of these detoxing diets and can be wonderful as part of a maintenance protocol.  However, they fall short of a full, true detox protocol.  Why?  While they help your body to release toxins from tissues, they generally do not contain any binding agents to properly flush them from your body.  These toxins end up circulating the body and getting reabsorbed.  This often exacerbate the situation, sometimes making the symptoms much worse.  Examples of some binding agents are charcoal and various types of clay. 

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If you’ve tried everything and nothing seems to move the needle in the right direction or you feel worse after a juice cleanse or detox diet, there are a handful of comprehensive detox systems in the market today that might be more effective.  They usually need to be supervised by an experienced physician (usually a functional medicine, naturopathic or alternative medicine practitioner).  If you want more info on this, send us an email.  

Some signs you may need a deeper detox include: brain fog, hormone imbalances, thyroid issues, diabetes, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, weight-loss resistance, autism, autoimmune diseases and even cancer. 

On the sunnier side of things, there are ways to minimize exposure to toxins – and they are simple and inexpensive (mostly).  Here are our top 13 detox tips:

1.  CHOOSE YOUR FOOD WISELY.  Whenever possible, choose organically grown and locally grown food, high quality grass-fed meats, and wild, well sourced seafood.  Avoid inflammatory seed and vegetable oils at all costs.  Gut nourishing foods such as cleanly sourced collagen and fermented foods also help fortify good gut bacteria which in turn will down-regulate inflammation and help heal the gut which will help protect you from toxic elements. 

2.  DON’T CHOOSE FOOD AT ALL.  I am talking about water fasts, and not necessarily prolonged ones.  Periods of not eating allow for the body’s own cell-cleaning mechanism, known as autophagy, to take place.  Studies have shown that the magic number of hours to fast seems to be 16 hours.  In other words, eat your last bite of the night at 8pm and don’t ingest any calories until 12pm the next day.  Another option would be to eat 2-3 meals, breakfast, lunch and even dinner if you choose and simply make sure to finish your last bite 16 hours before the next meal.  For example, be done by 4pm and eat breakfast at 8am.  Water, black coffee and tea are fine while fasting.  The key is to avoid any calories, including supplements.  

3.  WATER.  Drink lots of water and always be sure that is filtered from fluoride, a known neuro-toxin, pesticides, chlorine and other harmful, potential endocrine disruptors.  Solid block carbon filters or reverse osmosis filters work well, although they can be costly.  Alternatively, and even better if you have access, opt for a clean source of natural spring water.  Here is a link to find one near you.  Avoid water bottled in plastic!

4.  AIR.  Invest in a high quality air filter with the ability to remove chemicals and allergens.  We use a Molekule filter and love it.  It destroys air pollutants such as VOCs, allergens, mold spores, bacteria and viruses and looks pretty snazzy to boot.

5.  AVOID PLASTICS.  Bring your own glass or stainless steel containers to restaurants if you normally bring home leftovers.  Replace any straws with glass or stainless steel ones.  Stay away from plastic bottles and storage containers.  In a pinch, plastics #2, 4 and 5 are the best options.

6.  MOVE MOVE MOVE.  Movement helps keep moving toxins out of the body.  HIIT training, bouncing on a mini-trampoline (or rebounding) are ideal.  As a bonus, quick and intense movement first thing in the morning for about 3-5 minutes helps move the toxins that have built up in your body while lying still and will reset your circadian clock…which leads to the next tip!

7.  SLEEP SLEEP SLEEP.  This could be one of the most important tips of the bunch!  This is the body’s processing and detoxing time in the spotlight.  The brain uses this opportunity to clean house, create memories, and un-gunk the mind of any plaque build-up.  In addition, it improves mood, immune function and mental and physical performance.

8.  DRY SAUNA and PHOTOBIOMODULATION (infrared light) THERAPY.  These are the priciest suggestions of the bunch, but well worth looking into.  Just a few times a week in a sauna for a mere 11 minutes will have a tremendous impact on the mobilization of toxins through the skin.  While not usually thought of as such, the skin has a high fat content, and as mentioned above, fat is a prime hiding location for toxins.  Photobiomodulation is a therapy involving specific wavelengths of light applied to areas of the body to improve functioning of that particular tissue.  This type of therapy has a profound effect on energy metabolism.  We use the Joovv.

9.  STRESS-LESS.  Meditate, get outside and balance your circadian rhythm, laugh, and hug someone.  Hemp oil, adaptogenic herbs, medicinal mushrooms are examples of things that can be helpful.  (We've written much more about hemp oil in the past, so we won't go into it here).   Stress inhibits our ability to detox.  When we are in fight-or-flight mode, our energies go towards surviving.  As an example, you wouldn’t worry about cleaning the house if it were on fire. 

10.  COVER your skin as much as possible when on an airplane to avoid contact with the flame retardant-ridden seat.

11.  DRESS CLEANLY.  Be aware of clothing sprayed with flame retardant and/or other toxic chemicals.  Children's pajamas are notorious for this.  While we do not want our children catching on fire in their beds, what are the chances?  The risk of exposure to noxious chemicals is much worse in our opinion.

12.  UNCOVER your skin.  Allow your skin to receive regular doses of sun before applying a non-chemical laden sunscreen.  The benefits of sunlight reach far beyond vitamin D…benefits a supplement cannot possibly capture! 

13.  POOP.  Our bodies are designed to get rid of wastes and pooping at least once a day is critical for eliminating toxins.  If you have trouble, take a look at your fiber intake and make sure you are drinking enough water throughout the day.  Stress can also get in the way.  If you are looking for a supplement, magnesium helps with both stress and to loosen the bowels!

Bonus Tip:  Learn some breathing exercises to help with detoxification.  The Wim Hof Method is one of our favorites. 

Incorporate these strategies in your daily life, keep your body as free of toxins as possible and live an overall much happier and healthier life! 

(Full disclosure:  We are affiliates of a few of these brands listed above.  While we make a little bit of money if you make a purchase using our links, it is at no extra cost to you.  Rest assured, we honestly wouldn't be recommending them if we didn't believe in them)!

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Skin, so strange, and spectacular - if you really think about it.  It is our largest organ, our interface with the outside world.  Incredibly, it has the ability to take in vitamins and nutrients, protect us from harmful bacteria and frankly, holds our insides together, keeping it from spilling out into world.  The countless receptors in our skin signal our body how to react to stimuli (think FIRE) and adapt in terms of body awareness, balance, and stability throughout the entire system.  

On a deeper level, skin mirrors our wellness.  The nutrient density of our movement, eating, and sleep patterns coupled with our stress and happiness levels are all reflected in our skin's elasticity, clarity, tone and texture.  It is directly connected to our liver and our ability to flush out toxins.  Given all of its functions, feeding our skin, from the inside out and outside in, really should be right up there next to breathing, with regard to priorities in my humble opinion.

What are some ways to show your skin love?  Today I won't be taking a deep dive into movement, food, stress management or sleep.  I'll cover those topics in a later post.  Instead I'd like to steer the conversation to ingredients in products and slightly more fringe skin health concepts.

Did you know that the EU has banned over 1300 chemicals from cosmetics, while the US bans only 30?  With this in mind, we need to be our own detectives and label scourers.  

What are some ingredients to BEWARE of?  Here is a list of our top 11 (there are many more).

1. SLS or Sodium Lauyl Sulfate.  This ingredient is found in shampoos, body and face washes, makeup mouth wash, toothpaste as well as cleaning products.  It is that thing that makes products foam up.  It messes with the skin's microbiome, is an eye and lung irritant, and a hormone disruptor.  If you get acne around your chin, SLS may be one of the causes!

2. Formaldehyde.  This preservative used in many skin care products to prevent the growth of bacteria, is a known carcinogen.  It has been linked to several types of cancers, weaken the immune system and cause allergic reactions on the skin.  Formaldehyde can be found primarily in nail polishes and other nail products, but also in shampoos, conditioners, cleansers and eye makeup.

3. BHA.  A known human carcinogen, butylated hydroxyanisole, or BHA, can cause the loss of skin pigmentation and liver damage, and can interrupt normal thyroid function.  It can be found in skin exfoliants, perfumes and colognes.

4. Parabens.  These are preservatives used to prevent bacteria and are commonly found in moisturizers, shampoo, shaving cream and makeup.  They are estrogen mimicking and problematic, as excess estrogen can disrupt thyroid function. They can be linked to almost every type of cancer, as well as infertility and skin disease.  Some other terms for paragons are: benzylparaben, butyiparaben, propylparaben, methylparaben, ethylparaben,isobutylparaben.  Be on the look out!

5. Phthalates.  This group of chemicals are known endocrine disruptors, linked to insulin resistance, breast cancer and reproductive defects in both men and women, and developmental problems in children.  They are used to increase pliability and softness of plastics can be found in just about everything from nail polishes, lotions, moisturizers, to perfumes and hair spray.  They are tricky additives as in the US it is not required  specifically disclose their inclusion on labels and are often hidden under the "fragrance" umbrella.

6. Petroleum.  In case the question popped up in your head, yes, this is the same stuff you find in motor oil.  The EPA classifies this as a probable cancer-causing carcinogen because it contains 1,4-Dioxane.  In addition, it forms a barrier on the skin, not allowing the skin to breathe or moisture to be absorbed from the environment.  Be aware that it hides behind some other names including liquid paraffin, mineral oil, xylene, toluene and petrolatum.

7. Triclosan.  Technically, this is a pesticide and in addition to being a hormone and thyroid disruptor, is terrible for the environment.  It is used as an antibacterial in soaps, deodorants and toothpastes.

8. Retinyl palmitate, retinyl acetate, retinoic acid and retinol.  These highly carcinogenic ingredients rapidly oxidizing in sunlight and are common ingredients in moisturizers and sunscreens and damage the skin when applied topically.  You can safely say they are aging-accelerators for the skin.

9. Fragrance.  In the US, the term "fragrance" is a mystery and could mean just about anything.  The FDA allows companies to keep these ingredients hidden to protect them from being copied, but this lack of regulation opens the doors to health anarchy.  According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), the average fragrance has over a dozen "secret" chemicals in it, many of which are linked to hormone disruption and allergies.  

10. Hydroquinone.  This is the active ingredient in skin lighteners.  It decreases the formation of melanin and is a bleaching chemical.  In high concentrations, it can potentially cause ochronosis, a permanent skin pigmentation condition.  Products with this are often paired with toxic mercury, which can cause severe brain inflammation, among many other unwelcome issues.  Steer clear of anything with the words "mercury, calomel, mercurio or mercurio chloride" in the ingredient list.

11. Synthetic Colors and dyes.  Artificial coloring and dyes are made from carcinogenic coal tar, known to irritate and cause sensitivity by depositing heavy metals on the skin. Keep your eyes peeled for anything with FD&C or D&C in it.

What TO look for.

Aloe Vera.

Aloe Vera.

Basically, you want to know that if you ate your skin products, although they may not be pleasant to the taste buds, they would do you no harm.  Why take such a strong stance on this?  Anything you put on your skin is absorbed right into your bloodstream.  As I mentioned earlier, your skin is a reflection of what is going on internally, both physically and psychologically.  If your organs are bearing a heavy toxic load, it will inevitably be reflected in your skin.  

Some of my favorite ingredients:  jojoba, coconut, avocado, olive, almond, argan, and tea tree oils, coconut, cacao, mango and shea butters, apple cider vinegar, raw honey, aloe vera, sea salt and essential oils such as lavender, geranium, palmarosa, sandalwood, rose, frankincense, helichrysum, carrot seed, lemon seed, neroli, sea buckthorn.

And other "fringe" skin secrets.

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1. Photobiomodulation.  As most of us learned in elementary school, light is not simply what it appears to be to the naked eye.  Just as food can be broken down into vitamins and nutrients, each supporting a specific function, so can light be broken down into several colors, each having a different effect on our bodies.  There is research dating as far back as the late 1800's describing the benefits of red light on health.

Light therapy, or photobiomodulation, is basically specific wavelengths of light applied to areas of the body to improve the functioning of that particular affected tissue.  With regards to skin health, I am talking the appearance of scars and boosting collagen production (hello fresh young skin)!

Bonus side note:  This type of therapy also helps with a broad range of ailments from pain, muscle aches, osteoarthritis, and depression.  It boosts testosterone production and even improves eye sight.  The idea is that light, red light in particular, has a profound effect on energy metabolism.  While the other colors of light, ultraviolet, blue, green and infrared, are absorbed by the skin and not able to penetrate it, red light and near-infrared light are able to activate enzymes associated with mitochondrial respiration, in other words, affecting cellular health.  Powerful indeed!  Our favorite device for this type of therapy is the Joovv light.  While not the most pocket friendly piece of equipment out there, given all of its benefits, it is definitely worth the investment. (We have the Joovv light original). 

If you want to learn more, here are a couple of studies to satisfy your inner geek.

2. Derma Rolling.  This basically involves stabbing your skin repeatedly with tiny needles.  Doesn't that sound great?  I've tried it and its actually not painful at all.  Why would you do that?  Micro-needling your skin has been around for several years.  We've talked about hermetic stressors in the past, and this is one you can apply to your skin.  By creating micro-punctures in your skin, you induce an inflammatory response which stimulates cell growth, oxygen and blood flow.  It also a pathway for nutrients to enter the body so that incredible, organic, edible mask, moisturizer and skin serum you just bought can have an even more pronounced effect!  I use the one from Alitura Naturals.  In fact, I love most of their products.  The clay mask and night cream are my absolute favorites.

3. MELT Method 50-Second Face Lift.  This may sound crazy, but let me tell you from personal experience, it works!  Sue Hitzmann, the creator of the MELT Method, developed a quick hydrating treatment that stimulates the cells and relaxes the entire face using the Large Soft Ball from the MELT Hand and Foot Treatment Kit.  She calls it the 50-Second Face Lift.  She has another face lift treatment as well using the MELT Soft Roller.  The entire MELT Method has been a game changer for us in terms of body maintenance and definitely worth checking out.  

4. Prebiotics.  Your skin has it's own microbiome that needs feeding, just like your gut.  Many of the cleansing products out there will strip the skin of its natural oils and good bacteria, starving your skin of the "food" it needs to keep itself healthy.  Skin probiotics encourage the growth of necessary strains of bacteria and can be super helpful in treating conditions such as eczema and rosacea, calming the skin and controlling breakouts.  Our family uses Aleavia body wash and mist.  The lavender is great too, and smells delicious!

5. Contrast Therapy.  This may be the easiest and most affordable treatment for the skin of all.  Showers with alternating between periods of cold and hot water temperatures have significant health benefits, one of them being an anti-aging effect on the skin.  They help boost circulation and the removal of toxins and waste products from the tissues and also have an anti-inflammatory effect.  Other health benefits are increased mental and physical alertness, the upregulation of oxytocin (happiness hormone) and the ability to convert white fat (responsible for fat accumulation) to brown fat (stimulates tissue to burn fat for energy).  There are several ways to do this.  Some ideas: Start with 30 seconds of cold followed by 30 seconds of hot, ending with a cold cycle.  Or, take a normal shower and end with 1-5 minutes of cold, particularly on your head, neck, shoulders and upper back regions.

(Full disclosure:  We are affiliates of a few of these brands listed above.  While we make a little bit of money if you make a purchase using our links, it is at no extra cost to you.  Rest assured, we honestly wouldn't be recommending them if we didn't believe in them)!

Wine Drinking Made Healthy (ier)
Rudd Oakville Estate, Mt. Veeder

Rudd Oakville Estate, Mt. Veeder

Anyone who knows me well, knows how much I love a glass of red wine.  For me, there is no better way to enjoy an evening.  I love the smell, the taste, and how the flavors change as the wine travels to different parts of the mouth.  I especially love the rituals I have created around it.  It marks the end of day, and usually the welcome of friends and family for a shared meal, conversation and connection.  It opens the doors to relaxation, enjoyment and play time in my mind and body. 

In addition to the pleasurable experience of wine drinking, there are compelling studies showing some positive heart-health benefits to drinking a glass or two.  While drinking wine alone does not do much in terms of improving health markers such as cholesterol, blood glucose, triglycerides or other inflammatory markers, coupled with physical activity, it can be a good thing.  This is true for both red and white wine drinking.

The benefits do not end there.  Red wine in particular, is a polyphenol powerhouse.  Polyphenols, for those unfamiliar, are loaded with antioxidant properties and are phytochemicals found in natural plant foods.  They are known to fight disease by reducing oxidative stress and neutralizing free radicals.  Furthermore, polyphenols from red wine have a prebiotic effect on the gut, meaning it feeds the gut with beneficial bacteria. 

So, shall we move happy hour to noon in the name of health?  Not so fast.  As always, there are two sides to every story.  Wine drinking, especially overconsumption, can lead to a cascade of undesirable issues including liver damage, addiction, depression and gut disruption (from the ethanol).  In addition, the truth is, most wines today are not a simple concoction of fermented grapes, especially the cheaper wines.  In the case of wine, you truly do get what you pay for! 


Conventional grapes are one of the most highly pesticide ridden crops out there.  Most of us make a point (or at least SHOULD) of seeking out organically grown, pesticide free foods, but not many of us think about this when considering wine.  Perhaps we convince ourselves that the alcohol in the wine will kill any of the pesticides lingering on the grapes.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.

Aside from pesticides, toxic additives of all kinds are insidiously mixed in to improve the color, texture and flavor of wine.  We are talking about some seriously dangerous junk here.  The FDA approves a variety of chemicals, fillers, coloring agents, added sugar and sugar concentrates in winemaking.  Arsenic is a major culprit, for example.  Arsenic at levels up to 500% or more than what’s considered the maximum daily intake was found in 60+ bottles of very common and well known wines.  The effects of arsenic toxicity is well documented and include several types of cancers, skin disorders and neurological conditions.  Personally, I don’t understand how this can possibly be legal.

Water is another issue.  Because irrigation is used as a method of watering the vines of 95% of American wines, nasty contaminants found in water such as fluoride, chlorine and even birth control pill run-off may be making their way into the soil and ultimately into the grapes.  This can lead to a variety of health issues including hormonal dysregulation and impaired gut health.  Honestly, it is just flat-out disgusting.

Basically, in the US, there are no laws dictating what wine makers must disclose in terms of what is in their product, how they producing their products and the environmental effects, or how they treat their employees.  It’s truly a secret society!

Sad, empty glass.

Sad, empty glass.

This slow poisoning would put the kibosh on any pleasure I would normally gain from my wine drinking rituals. 

Fortunately, I have found some ways to continue filling my glass with luxurious goodness and cheer without the deleterious additives and I am happy to share this with you! 

1. Try drinking Natural Wines.  What is a natural wine?  Natural wine refers to the way the wine is produced, ideally with as little intervention as possible.  These wines are organic, often biodynamic (more on this below).  They are like bread baked from scratch, from grains grown, cut, and milled by hand.  Natural wines are made with wild yeast, native to the land in which the grapes are grown (terroir) and exude the character of the land, contain no additives and low to no sulfur is added.  The end result: a clean, fresher, often earthier and funkier tasting wine, with a lower alcohol content (drink more, suffer less).  These wines are also more beneficial to the gut flora because of the wild yeasts used during fermentation.  The production of natural wines is historically commonplace in Europe, and is a growing movement in the US.

2. Look for organic and/or biodynamic wines.  Biodynamically grown grapes are grown according to a process based on the teachings of Rudolf Steiner, where the vineyard acts as its own ecosystem, dependent on its surrounding, sun, moon and stars.  They are intrinsically organic.  Organic wines are made with grapes grown without the use of pesticides and added chemicals, but are not necessarily grown in a biodynamic manner.  This is important because conventional grapes are one of the top listed items on the Dirty Dozen list due to the high levels of pesticide residue found on them, which then become part of the wine created from them.  The cleaner the grapes, the cleaner the wine, the better off we are, the better off the people handling the grapes are, the better off the environment.  Win, win, win.

3.  Seek out dry farmed wines.  This is a type of farming without irrigation and relies solely on natural annual rainfall for growing grapes.  The reason for this is twofold.  One is water conservation.  Dry farming can save as much as 16,000 gallons of water per acre annually.  Two is grape quality.  Dry-farmed grapes are smaller, and denser.  Dry farming also ensures the quality of the water hydrating the grapes is clean.  (Irrigation is illegal in some regions of Europe, so in a pinch, choose old-world style European wines over American.

4.  Minimize sulphites. It is very difficult to make high quality wine without added sulphites, which act as a stabilizer and preservative. Unfortunately, this is also what can cause headaches, migraines and lethargy.  Wines produced by smaller, artisan producers tend to have significantly less sulphites than large production wines. Organic wines are allowed a certain amount of sulphites to be added to wines during the wine making process, but at much lower levels than non-organic.  (Another reason we should choose organic).  Older, high-quality European wines and properly aged wines contain lower levels of sulphites.  While their standards of wine making are slowly becoming more relaxed, in general, their practices are much higher and more tightly controlled.  “Old European Winery Laws” protect the land. 

(Side note, white wines usually contain more sulfites then red)!

5.  Purify your wine to remove sulphites.  There are a couple of ways you can go about doing this.  First, there is an Australian based company producing food grade hydrogen peroxide drops you can put into your wine, without affecting the taste and quality while minimizing sulphur dioxide gas.  It’s called Pure Wine and is available for shipping worldwide.   Second, there are a couple of products on the market available for removing sulphur either by the bottle or by the glass.  Check out Ullo Wine Purifier and The Wand by Purewine.  We haven’t tried either product, but they both sound promising.  I’ll update you once we give them a whirl!

Funny how people pay so much attention to what they eat, but so much less often what they drink.  While industrialized food has gotten so much attention in the past decade or so, industrialized wine is only now being explored.  Beautifully made wines are becoming much more accessible in the US.  This is an exciting progression.  Need some proof?  We’ve got some resources for you below.


There are some people looking out for fellow health-enthusiast-wine-lovers, sourcing natural wines for the US market.  We love Dry Farm Wines.  Dry Farm Wines procures wines from smaller, mostly European sources and lab tests every batch for sugars, alcohol content, mycotoxins/mold and sulphites.  It’s a wine club so the specially curated wines are delivered to your doorstep monthly, or at whatever speed you desire.  Easy!  We’ve loved the taste and clearly feel a difference drinking the wines we’ve received from them.  Full disclosure, we are affiliates of Dry Farm Wines.  While we get a small kickback for every order placed using our link (with no additional cost to you, of course), we would not be recommending them if we did not truly believe in them.

If a wine club is too much of a commitment, our friend Matt Franco owns a beautiful little rare wine shop in Lower Manhattan appropriately named MCF Rare Wine.  He is not only passionate about the wines he carries in the shop, but also about his clients.  Going into the shop is true boutique experience.  He knows every single bottle on his shelves and each visitor is treated with personal attention and care.  He has a knack for selecting just the right wines for your palate or occasion and can help steer you in the right direction in terms of natural wines.  Worry not if you don’t live in NY.  He also delivers. 

For incredible California wines, we love Rudd Wines.  They are a small, family-owned winery, based in Napa Valley, California and truer wine artisans, you will not find.  Passionate about their vineyards, they are 100% organic and currently integrate biodynamic farming into their practices.  They produce 4 world-renowned craft wines, 2 reds and 2 white, all of which are absolutely exquisite.  I had the pleasure of visiting the estate and fell in love not only with the property and the wines, but the family, their vision and their practices.

Rudd Oakville Estate

Rudd Oakville Estate

 (Full disclosure:  We are affiliates of a few of these brands listed above.  While we make a little bit of money if you make a purchase using our links, it is at no extra cost to you.  Rest assured, we honestly wouldn't be recommending them if we didn't believe in them)!

Fatima CookComment
Keto Part 2
Bacon tasting at PRESS, St. Helena, CA

Bacon tasting at PRESS, St. Helena, CA

So now you that you've read my last post, Keto Part 1, and have a little bit of background info on the ketogenic diet, I'd like to share a bit about my personal keto journey.

I had been hearing/reading/learning about the ketogenic diet for years from some of the leading scientists and doctors in the field including Dom D'Agostino, Peter Attia, Stephen Phinney, Jeff Volek and Robb Wolf.  The scientific process behind the diet fascinated me - still does - and its benefits became too tempting to resist trying for myself.  So, I made the leap and jumped on the keto bandwagon.

This leap, I must profess, was more a short hop then a surging one.  My starting point was advantageous, as my diet was already very clean, paleo-esque, and with a relatively low carbohydrate profile, most of those carbs coming from starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, other root vegetables, and a tasty low-sugar cocktail here and there.  Because of this, I was able to avoid the headaches, grouchiness and fatigue associated with transitioning to the ketogenic diet, also referred to as the "keto flu".  For most, this flu lasts about a week or two, and basically is the period of transition for the body as it shifts from using carbohydrates for fuel, to fats.

What I did have to get used to, was getting an adequate and pretty high amount of fat into my diet.  I have no problem with dairy, and this made it a bit easier.  I ate gobs of butter and added heavy cream and sour cream to fill in the gaps.  I ate all the fat surrounding the pork chops Fatima made - off my own, hers and my nine-year-old daughter's as well.  Side note, if you are going to eat animal fats like this, be sure you are getting them from grass-fed, pasture raised sources of meat because toxins are stored in fat, including your own...but that conversation is for another post)!  I could have easily sustained the Mexican economy solely on my consumption of avocados, was eating spoonfuls of coconut oil and poured olive oil or MCT oil on everything.  Side note: MCT oil enhances the flavor of just about anything you put it on, especially sushi (thank you Ben Greenfield for the tip).

Macadamia nut bread

Macadamia nut bread

Bacon & avocado roll-ups

Bacon & avocado roll-ups

Fat, fat and more fat.  You get the idea.  

I also ate as many non-starchy vegetables and fermented foods as possible to ensure I was getting in enough micronutrients and good bugs.  Fatima tripled her time in the kitchen (it's amazing she got anything else done) figuring out how to make my favorite foods "keto-friendly" - and boy did she do a good job.  Macadamia nut breads, fat bombs, and low carb desserts kept my diet quite varied and interesting.  Within a few days, my ketone blood-prick monitor registered that I had indeed arrived in keto-land.

How did I feel?  In a nutshell, INCREDIBLE.  I had tons of energy, my mind felt sharper then ever and my body quickly shed any bit of fat I had been holding onto.  I was already lean, but eating this way propelled me into a whole other level of leanness.  For me, this was merely a side benefit.  The most fascinating and rewarding thing I experienced - and one I became slightly addicted to - was the effect fueling primarily with fats had on my brain.  I had not felt as focused and clear in as long as I can remember.  

As a highly active, fitness oriented person, I knew I would need to somehow begin cycling in carbohydrates to replenish my glycogen stores and keep my hormones balanced.  There are different ways to do this, and the frequency and depth with which to do so vary greatly from person to person.  I had to play around quite a bit to figure out what would work for my body composition and level of activity. So, once I had fully transitioned to becoming a fat burner, I began to experiment.  

Experiment 1, Carb Backloading.  I used this strategy 1x/week.  I ate in usual keto fashion until dinner time.  For dinner, I ate a lower fat, much higher carb meal.  My carb intake on those days was somewhere between 100 and 150 grams.  I didn't keep exact count, but basically, ate carbs to satiety.  I always made sure I scheduled my heavy training days for the days I knew I'd be carbing-up in the evenings.

Experiment 2, Carb Saturdays.  Another method of refueling with carbs is to chose a day to bag the keto diet, and eat carbs all day long.  Naturally, I chose Saturdays so I could enjoy pancakes, pasta, pizza, oh, and on of my favorite dishes, feijoada (the delicious Brazilian national dish of black beans, all kinds of meats and rice, my mother in laws specialty).  I threw this into my repertoire once every 2-3 weeks.

Another side note:  Of the two strategies, I definitely prefer carb backloading.  I find my body works much better fueled with fats during the day, and carbs at night with regards to digestion, energy balance and getting a better night's sleep.

I kept this dog and pony show up for about a year and it was fantastic for me - almost the entire time.  Why almost?  Well, eventually, I began to feel a little less vibrant - I wasn't firing the way I was used to and there was a little less pep in my step.  I found myself naturally waking up at 3:30 or 4 in the morning and feeling like I didn't need the extra few hours of sleep, but felt my nervous system was rev'ed up and my family was bearing the brunt of it.  My ladies (Fatima and Solé) report that I was grumpier then usual and less patient.  I started to feel like I was getting a little too lean as well - a little sunken and cadaver-like.  My body and mind were overstressed.  This all happened in combination with the launching of a new business (hi), and the enormous amount of stress associated with that endeavor...and of course the normal stresses of being a human being of this time, in NYC.


It has been about 6 months since I decided I needed some space from my keto-relationship.  I still practice carb-backloading, saving all my carb-rich foods for dinner time, but am not focusing on eating keto during the first part of the day.  I admit, my mind is not as clear or sharp as it was, but after weighing out all the pros and cons, for now, this is the right thing for me.  I use the ketogenic diet strategically now - when I know I'll need to be extra clear and sharp mentally, as an adjunct to a detox program, or when I need to lean out a bit for photoshoots.  

The takeaway from all this, is to listen to your body.  It needs different things at different times.  This may be the most important thing to be aware of for your continued quest towards your greatest health.  This relates to all aspects and modalities of health - training, breathing, sleeping, stress-management and of course diet.  Ask me what I am doing in another 6 or 8 months.  I can almost guarantee it will be at least slightly different.

Keto Part 1

The ketogenic diet is a controversial one these days.  It spans the spectrum from being a miracle weight-loss, disease curing, life-changing diet to being a dangerous fad only to be tried by radicals and circus clowns (ok, maybe not clowns).  I've long been studying this diet and anyone who knows me, knows that by this I mean I not only immersed myself in science and literature on the subject, but also tested on myself.

This post will be strictly about what this mysterious diet really is.  Keto part 2 will reveal my personal experience with it - guts and glory.


The ketogenic diet is derivative of research dating back to the early 1900's.  Researchers noticed that patients with severe epilepsy experienced extraordinarily fewer seizures while fasting.  When the body is fasted, muscle and liver glycogen is depleted.  (For those unfamiliar, liver glycogen is a stored carbohydrate).  When this happens, the body shifts into a state of ketosis, i.e. produces ketone bodies from fat and these ketone bodies are used for energy, particularly by the brain.  Ketones provide a much more stable source of energy for the brain as compared to glucose.  The brain is able to shift from metabolizing about 2/3rds of its energy from glucose to ketones.

The ketogenic diet mimics the features of fasting by drastically reducing carbohydrate intake, increasing fat intake and keeping protein intake at a moderate level.  Aside from benefitting the epileptic population, this macro ratio (macros = fats, carbs and protein) has shown remarkable effects with conditions such as type 2 diabetes, some cancers, neurological disorders, fat loss and contrary to popular belief, even in athletic performance.  Seemingly instantaneous weight loss and brain clarity are two of the benefits most appealing to those using the ketogenic diet without a serious health condition.

The basics keto breakdown would be something the following:  

Super low carb - approximately 20-30 grams per day or 5-10% of your daily intake, all from low glycemic, non-starchy, nutrient dense vegetables.  This will vary depending on activity level and metabolic health.

High fat - 70-80% of your daily intake from health fats.  This will vary depending on whether your goals.

Moderate protein.  20-25% of your daily intake.  This will vary greatly depending on height, weight, activity level and personal composition.

As you can see, this is a very personalized diet and differ greatly between individuals.



Meats, poultry, seafood, eggs, non-starchy vegetables, healthy oils and fats, nuts, seeds, full-fat dairy (if tolerated).


Grains, processed foods, starchy vegetables, fruits, legumes, sugar and alcohol.


Aside from the conditions mentioned above, there are several reason one would choose to follow a ketogenic diet.  Robb Wolf spells it out nicely in this handy-dandy chart pulled directly from his website.  Robb Wolf is a former research biochemist and best selling author, among many other things.  He is extremely knowledgable and smart about all things nutrition, metabolism and exercise.  He is one of my go-to resources.


So now you must be saying to yourself, "Great, bacon and cheese, less body fat and a quicker, sharper brain???  I'm all in".  Well, not so fast.  There are some downsides as well...


Some of the downfalls of this way of eating range from hormone dysregulation, especially for menstruating women, adrenal dysregulation, thyroid imbalance, and low libido.  There are ways to get around these conditions, such as tinkering with your carb intake on certain days or in the evenings, but there is a lot trial an error involved in determining what works for each individual.

Keto is not easy to sustain.  Until one gets used to how much of each macro they need to eat to maintain the state of ketosis, there is a lot of measuring, finger pricking (Ketones are most commonly measured in the blood.  Other methods use breath).  

If the goal is weight loss, it can be difficult to determine how much fat to eat.  Simply because it is a fat-intense diet, does not give an individual carte blanche on fatty foods as fatty calories can add up pretty quickly.  It's easy to over due it.  This goes for protein as well.  As intake of protein is unique to each individual, establishing personal guidelines can be tough.

Because it basically requires cutting out a macro from your diet, namely carbs, many people end up lacking some key things.  One is fiber.   Constipation is a common issue.  This isn't a problem per se, but one needs to consciously address it.  

Mineral deficiencies, specifically potassium, magnesium, sodium, and calcium are common in those not fully versed on how to troubleshoot the keto diet.  Supplementation is often necessary.

Such a precise diet where food often needs to be measured and weighed and macros calculated can easily instigate disordered eating for those with an existing unhealthy relationship with food.

Lastly, there's keto breath, and boy is it gnarly!    

I've experimented greatly with the ketogenic diet.  The next post will give you the lowdown.  I will share my personal experience with it, how to do it right and how to use it as a tool to upgrade your life.  If you have any specific questions or concerns you'd like me to address, let me know.




Gregg Cook