Coconut Whipped Cream

 

I am not a sucker for sweets, but for some reason, every time I see whipped cream my mouth waters and I cannot control myself. Whether it is on top of a pumpkin pie, a key lime pie, sitting alone at a Sunday bar, or on top of a hot chocolate, whipped cream is my kryptonite. In the effort of full disclosure, when I was young, I used to go to the grocery store with my family and hide the heavy whipping cream canisters in the bottom of the shopping cart so that once we got in the car I could be shooting whipped cream into my mouth with no regard for human life.

The truth is, my love for whipped cream has not waned. However, I am fully aware of what dairy does to my digestive system, my skin, and my overall health. So I did a little research and found a great alternative to whipped cream.

The answer: coconut whipped cream.

As you know by now, coconuts are a super food. They have a myriad of health benefits and they also taste great too! So I created a recipe that, if you are a dairy and a sweets lover, this will supplement your cravings and will help you get back on the track towards optimum health.



Why is this good for you?

Coconuts are one of the best things you can eat. They are high in healthy fats and they protect you against heart disease by increasing good cholesterol (HDL) and lowering the ratio of bad and good cholesterol. Coconuts are great for digestion since they are exceptionally easy to absorb and they also help diabetics by slowing the sugar release into the blood stream.

Coconut oil contains medium-chain triglycerides (MCTs), which can increase how many calories you burn compared to the same amount of other fats. One study found that 15-30 grams of MCTs per day increased 24 hour energy expenditure by 5%, totaling about 120 calories per day.

Coconuts are a powerful superfood, and the more coconut or coconut oil you use in your diet, the better off you will be.

This is one of my favorite recipes, and it helps that when I am eating a "sweet", it actually is doing wonders for my OVERALL health!

 

Banana Chia Seed Pancake

 

If you are trying to be healthy and change your lifestyle, you need to start with a healthy and highly nutritious breakfast. However, breakfast can be one of the hardest meals to nail.

Since the 1950’s, Americans have been on a heavy dose of sugary and highly processed breakfasts. Whether it is Aunt Jemima's pancake mix, pop tarts or a myriad of other sugary breakfast cereals, Americans have been poisoning themselves for decades with what we are choosing to put in our bodies, especially during the most important meal of the day.

Breakfast is the foundation in which we take back our health.

Most people do not want to drink a shake, a healthy smoothie, or something bland and boring for breakfast. Most people I speak with think that when you when you need to go on a diet and eat healthy, you have to suffer with what you eat. People know, or they think they know, that being healthy is an uphill battle, but I am here to teach you that it is not hard at all, it is actually easy, and empowering to fuel your body with highly nutritious, and delicious food.

This Banana, Chia Seed Pancake recipe is so easy, and so delicious that you will be in disbelief that you did not learn to make this magnificent dish years earlier. If you like pancakes, this recipe is for you!

What you will need:

*Yields two pancakes

  1.  ¼ cup of Chia Seeds
  2.  1 organic Banana
  3.  2 large organic free range eggs
  4.  Coconut Butter/Ghee or Grass fed butter

For Toppings:

  1. Almond Butter
  2. Assorted berries
  3. Maple Syrup (optional)
  4. Organic chocolate hazelnut spread (optional)

Why is this a good breakfast?

Why are Eggs healthy:

In the recent past, eggs used to have a bad rap. "Health experts" vilified eggs, citing they were high in cholesterol and if consumed on a regular basis, they believed it would lead to heart disease and strokes.

Since we have debunked many of the food myths that we once adhered to as doctrine, we have now learned that eggs are in fact a superfood and one of the healthiest foods we can eat. Eggs contain a good source of healthy fats and they are loaded with high quality proteins. Eggs have HDL, the healthy and "good" source of cholesterol and they have all 9 of the essential amino acids that our bodies need.

Eggs are a powerful source of energy and nutrition, and served alone, eggs make a wonderful breakfast.

More information on what eggs contain:

  • Vitamin B12 (Cobalamin): 9% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin): 15% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin A: 6% of the RDA.
  • Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic Acid): 7% of the RDA.
  • Selenium: 22% of the RDA.
  • Eggs also contain small amounts of almost every vitamin and mineral required by the human body… including calcium, iron, potassium, zinc, manganese, Vitamin E, Folate and many more.
  • A large egg contains 77 calories, with 6 grams of quality protein, 5 grams of fat and trace amounts of carbohydrates.
  • It’s very important to realize that almost all the nutrients are contained in the yolk, the white contains only protein.

Why are Bananas healthy:

Bananas are a superfood. 

Everyone knows that bananas are high in potassium and magnesium, which are great for dealing with and preventing muscle cramps, which make bananas a vital part of any athlete's diet. 

Bananas have a pectin, which is a highly soluble dietary fiber and a natural detoxifying agent. Pectin also contains probiotics which are great for your digestive health and it is also fantastic for your gut flora, the bacteria in your gut.

More information on what bananas contain:

  • Potassium: 9% of the RDI.
  • Vitamin B6: 33% of the RDI.
  • Vitamin C: 11% of the RDI.
  • Magnesium: 8% of the RDI.
  • Copper: 10% of the RDI.
  • Manganese: 14% of the RDI.
  • Net carbs: 24 grams.
  • Fiber: 3.1 grams.
  • Protein: 1.3 grams.
  • Fat: 0.4 grams.

Why are Chia Seeds healthy:

I think everyone who is reading this right now knows that chia seeds are, also, a superfood.

Chia seeds are one of my favorite superfoods. They are amazing in almost anything. They are tasteless, and their texture is quite pleasant if you like a little crunch in your food.

Chia seeds are great for your digestion. They have a large amount of fiber, 11.2 grams per serving, and they are also high in fat at 8.4 grams per serving.

Chia seeds are great for dealing with diabetes and heart disease. "Based on a review of findings from several large studies, The National Institute of Medicine found that diets with 14 grams of fiber for every 1,000 calories were associated with significant reductions in the risk of both coronary heart disease and type 2 diabetes."

Chia seeds have a high amount of omega-3's which lower blood pressure as well as decrease LDL, which is the "bad" cholesterol. 

Overall, Chia seeds are nature's gift to our health. I recommend eating chia seeds with your meals every day, if not at every meal.

More information on what chia seeds contain:

  • Fat: 8.4 grams 
  • Carbohydrate: 13.07 grams 
  • Fiber: 11.2 grams 
  • Protein: 5.6 grams 
  • No sugar

If you do not try these chia seed banana pancakes after I have broken down how healthy they are for you, then I cannot help you.

Let me teach you how to be healthy, eat healthy, while enjoying the food and have fun doing it.

It is that simple...

 

The World's Greated Filet Mignon

 

What if I told you that I could teach you to cook the most unbelievable, tender, mouth-watering steak that you have ever had in your life?

What if I told you that you could make a steak that would cost $48 or more at a restaurant for approximately $12 to $15 whilst in the comfort of your own home?

Do you think this this something that you might be interested in?

I will assume your answer will be an affirmative. Terrific. Now let me amaze you!

The element of creating this dish that is going to blow your mind is the fact that this recipe is going to take you less than 15 minutes to prepare.

You are going to pay a fraction of what it would cost to order this at a restaurant. You are going to be able to show off to your loved one and to all of your friends that you can cook just like any top restaurant chef around. After you eat this steak, I promise you every steak you order out will fail in comparison to this masterpiece.

Why is steak (grass fed beef) good for you?

Not all steak is created equal. It is important to be mindful and conscious when buying beef, chicken and fish. There are many toxins in the food we eat, including what we feed our livestock. When choosing red meat, it is important to get grass fed, but more specifically grass finished beef. Preferably, I like to eat bison, or wild buffalo, because they are always grass fed. In my opinion, bison is even tastier, and it is not gamey and chewy as the critics proclaim.

Most of the meat that we find in our local supermarkets happen to be farm raised and fed a diet of grains, sugar, and even a mass amount of skittles. The meat is filled with hormones and antibiotics. When you buy most store bought meat, you are essentially eating poison.

That is one reasons why people say eating hamburgers is so terrible and bad for you. It is not that eating meat is bad for you, it is that eating meat poisoned with toxins and antibiotics is what actually is harming you.

Roughly 80 percent of antibiotics sold in the United States go to livestock, such as cows, so there is a reason to have a major concern with antibiotics being in the meat. Cows that aren’t grass-fed live on diets of grain and are typically given hormones to artificially increase their weight and hence yield more meat. With grass-fed cows, weight gain is not as high because they eat a healthier, lower-calorie diet. 

An animal’s diet has a profound influence on the nutrient content and the genetic makeup of its products.

When a cow is fed a grass fed, and especially a grass finished diet, beef actually becomes a superfood. With less grains and sugars in their diet, the cows are much leaner, which gives them a lower caloric value, it has many more omega-3’s, which reduces your risk of cancer and it reduces your risk of heart disease, it has a much higher value of vitamin E and it contains the super fat, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA).

CLA has 11 terrific health benefits:

  1. CLA helps with weight-loss and fat-burning.
    • According to a 2009 report published in The Journal of Nutritional Biochemistry, it’s believed that CLA reduces adiposity (fat) because of its impact on:
      • Energy metabolism
      • Abiogenesis
      • Inflammation
      • Lipid metabolism
      • Apoptosis
  2. Regulates blood sugar and helps improve insulin function
  3. Improves immune function and helps fight cancer
  4. Helps build muscle and strength
  5. It has bone building benefits
  6. Improves digestion
  7. Reduces food sensitivities and asthma
  8. Treats rheumatoid arthritis
  9. Reverses atherosclerosis
  10. It has bone building benefits
  11. It reduces the risk of heart disease and cancer

Do I need to twist your arm any further? Is my case settled that grass fed beef is, in fact, good for you?

If your answer is yes, then go to the store and buy a nice piece of meat and spoil yourself and a loved one with this recipe (Trader Joe’s has a package of 2 filet mignons for around $13 dollars).

Eating healthy is not boring or lame. If you do it right, the process is actually exciting and your taste buds will be forever grateful.

Side dishes in photo:

  • Pan seared fiddleheads with grass fed butter, a whole lemon, and 4 cloves of garlic.

  • Cauliflower puree with grass fed butter, garlic and basil.

  • White sweet potato with ghee and Himalayan salt.

  • Mexican avocado with olive oil and truffle salt.

 

The Perfect Salmon

Have you ever gone to someone’s house, or a restaurant, and they prepared a beautiful piece of salmon for you? However, as you take your first bite, you can instantly tell that the salmon is overcooked, it is dry, it is chewy, and it is extremely fishy.

At that point, your meal is ruined.

In my opinion, this is one of the greatest tragedies in the culinary world.

Cooking fish is extremely easy, that is if you know the proper tricks to get the job done right.

Salmon, and fish like cod, Chilean sea bass, halibut and others can be easily ruined if not prepared correctly.

And that is why I am here. I am going to teach you how to make the most unbelievable salmon that you have ever had in your life. It will be delicious, utterly mouth-watering, and it is going to be one of the easiest things you can ever make.

This dish is not just great fresh, but it is also great if you make it the night before and bring it to work on top of a fresh bed of salad (arugula, with maybe an avocado and some cherry tomatoes accompanied with a lemon olive oil dressing).

How easy was that? You can make this whenever you want and as often as you would like. You can eat this dish for lunch and dinner. 

If you are thinking, well isn't salmon really expensive? How can I eat healthy, and buy SALMON and still be on my budget.

Well here is a little secret, salmon is actually not TOO expensive.

I can get a ½ lb filet (which can be cut into two smaller filets) at Whole Foods for under $10.

This recipe is easy, delicious, and cheap. What more can you ask for?

Oh yeah, salmon is actually one of the best things that you can eat. Wild caught salmon is actually considered a super food by most health experts.


WHY WILD CAUGHT SALMON IS GOOD FOR YOU:

Not all fish is created equal.

Salmon, in my opinion, is the healthiest fish to eat. However, not all salmon is healthy and nutritious. There is a big difference between farm-raised salmon and wild caught salmon. Wild salmon, mostly from Alaska and the Copper River, is the super food, and farm raised salmon is essentially a toxin.

“Some sources claim that only 50 percent of the fish in our markets are farm-raised, while others state that it could be much more. But one thing we do know: more than 90 percent of all the fish we eat is imported. The problem with imported sources is that foreign manufacturing standards are not monitored and have been linked to having dangerous levels of:

  1.        Mercury

  2.        Pesticides

  3.        Dioxins

  4.        Dioxin-like compounds (DLCs) 

  5.        Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs)”                                                                                                                                                                    

To add insult to injury, farm raised salmon is fed a much less nutritious diet than that of their wild-caught counterparts, farm raised salmon:

  1.        Contain just a fraction of heart-healthy omega-3s 

  2.        Contain a significant level of toxins, pesticides and antibiotics

  3.        Are fed dangerous reddish-pink dye in their food to make their flesh an unnatural red color.

In case I was not clear, let me be explicit in saying that one of the foods you should AVOID eating is farm raised salmon.

Now that we have covered why farmed raised salmon is toxic and should be avoided, let me shed some light on why wild salmon is such a great source of nutrition and why it is classified as a super food.

HEALTH FACTS ABOUT WILD CAUGHT SALMON:

  1.        27g of Fat in a 1/2 lb filet of Salmon.

  2.         Salmon provides a large amount of protein per serving, around 22-25 grams of protein per 3.5-ounce serving.

    • Your body requires protein to heal, to protect bone health, to prevent bone health and to prevent muscle loss.

  3.         There is 100 grams of a vitamin B in a 3.5-ounce serving of wild caught salmon.

    •    Vitamin B1 (thiamin): 18% of the RDI

    •    Vitamin B2 (riboflavin): 29% of the RDI

    •    Vitamin B3 (niacin): 56.3% of the RDI

    •    Vitamin B5 (pantothenic acid): 18.4% of the RDI

    •    Vitamin B6: 37.6% of the RDI

    •    Vitamin B9 (folic acid): 7% of the RDI

    •    Vitamin B12: 236% of the RDI

  4.         These different types of vitamin B are involved in several important processes in your body, including turning the food you eat into energy, creating and repairing DNA and reducing the inflammation that can lead to heart disease 

  5.         Vitamin B12: (236%)

  6.         Vitamin D: (127%)

  7.         Selenium: (78.3%)

  8.         Vitamin B3: (56.3%)

  9.         Omega-3 Fatty Acids: (55%)

  10.         Protein: (53.1%)

  11.         Phosphorus: (52.1%)

  12.         Vitamin B6: (37.6%)

  13.         Iodine: (21.3%

  14.         Choline: (19.2%)

  15.         Vitamin B5: (18.4%)

  16.         Biotin: (15.1%)

  17.         Potassium: (14%)

There are a myriad of health benefits of eating wild caught salmon. Some research shows that it can aid in preventing ADHD within children.

Specifically, various studies suggest that feeding salmon to preschool children helps prevent ADHD symptoms and can boost academic performance.  The nutritional and DNA makeup of the salmon help children focus better and remember more.

Fish oil, as most people who are familiar with functional medicine is great for your skin, but salmon also is great for aging. “The carotenoid anti-oxidants of astaxanthin found in salmon can greatly reduce the effects of free radical damage which causes aging.”

Salmon is a super food, and if you make it right, it can be one of the most delicious things you can eat. Whether you want to put it on top of a salad or have it as a main course, salmon is always a treat, again, if made properly.

This recipe only takes 8-11 minutes to make and can cost you under $10 at Whole foods, or any luxury grocery store. This is not a meal for the elite health conscious, this is a meal everyone can enjoy, and prepare themselves.

Bon appetite!

Bingeing: The Antithesis of Mindfulness.

“My name is Misha, and I am an addict.”

"I am a food addict."

“I binge eat.”

“I just cannot stop eating.”

I said it. Now you know that you are not alone. This is a safe space; now let me tell you my story.

My entire life, food has always been a problem for me. I always over-ate, and I always had seconds. I always snuck a plate of thirds here or there.

Like everyone else, I had my own childhood traumas, and by no means does that make me special. My way of dealing with trauma, starting at a very young age, was to stuff my face, and get into a state, which I notoriously called, a “Food Coma”.

When you struggle from certain trauama’s you use medicators to cope with your life and your reality.

My medicator for the “struggles” in my life was food.

Rather than getting drunk or stoned to deal with discomfort or stress, I would over indulge in any type of food that I was in the mood for. When I am in a food coma, it is as if I am as hungover as a frat boy during the last day of rush week.

Food coma on the "Tube" in London, UK after a dinner at Caprini's. Within 20 minutes of eating, I was sleeping all the way to Sandwich, UK. 

Food coma on the "Tube" in London, UK after a dinner at Caprini's. Within 20 minutes of eating, I was sleeping all the way to Sandwich, UK. 

I am out for the count.

A food coma is loosely defined as:

“A state of sleep or extreme lethargy induced by the consumption of a large amount of food.”

Now that I am more educated in the world of health and nutrition, I can now more clearly explain what was happening to my body, biologically. What I was experiencing was brain fog due to a group of brain cells called, orexin neurons, that are specifically found in the hypothalamus. Orexin neurons are extremely sensitive to glucose levels, which normally spike after a big meal. Those neurons subsequently produce a protein, orexin, which moderates wakefulness in the brain.

When you couple a large meal with the fact that it is also an UNHEALTHY (high in glucose) meal, the “food coma” can become even more intense.

My Story

Before high school, I was one of the chubby kids in class. When I went through a growth spurt, there were moments when I looked trim, but I always had the shame of being the fat kid.

I would get picked on my friends, and even my family for being out of shape.

This constant verbal torment caused me to feel even more shame about my body, and I would constantly suck in my stomach and walk past mirrors, window panes, car door mirrors and anything reflective so that I could inspect my belly or my little (some would argue big) man boobs.

I always was concerned with how I looked.

Always.

Whenever something was going on in my life, or whenever a traumatic, or emotionally straining moment happened in my life, I would medicate with food. I would (and occasionally stil ) stuff my face until I was out of commission, by design.

I would binge.

Food can be used as a tool for health, or it can be used as a weapon. Your fork is a powerful weapon; you are to be mindful in your practice.

There are no photographs of me at my peak weight, but this is a photo of me at around 250 lbs. And I am sucking in my belly for the picuture :).

There are no photographs of me at my peak weight, but this is a photo of me at around 250 lbs. And I am sucking in my belly for the picuture :).

To quote Spiderman, “With great power comes great responsibility.”

You can read more about it in my blog focused on my transformation, but essentially I got to the point where I was 296 pounds, hating myself constantly, and perpetually shaming myself every time I stepped on a scale, or every time I looked in the mirror.

When I reached my peak weight, I knew there was something I needed to do in order to change my life, and I knew I had the answers right at my fingertips.

I thought to myself “I can heal myself with the exact thing that is slowly, but surely killing me: food”.

As Socrates so eloquently put it, “Food is medicine, and medicine is food.”

My Transformation

As I was standing on the scale, looking as the dial hit 296 pounds; I decided to change my life immediately.

I started a basic elimination diet where I avoided all gluten, dairy, and sugars. I was on a Ketogenic diet, eating mostly healthy fats. I was able to lose all of the weight in 7 months, and my lowest weight was 198 pounds.

Eating disorders are tough. With the help of life coaches, and my father, who is a functional medicine doctor, I was able to use my skills and background in nutrition to change the course of the rest of my life.

However, I was lucky. It is hard to face having an eating disorder alone. You need support and community.

And that is what I am here to do. I am here to help you with your arduous struggles with food, and how you view yourself and your body.

Why Eating Disorders are so Tough:

Unlike most addictions, you cannot go “cold turkey” from eating food. You need food and nutrition to survive.  

You cannot (always) avoid having a meal.

In our society, we are encouraged to eat 3 times a day, and most of our social structures have a focus on food, or going out to eat. Imagine if you are a heroin addict and every time you go out a server handing you a menu of various types of heroin to choose from.

It would be impossible to avoid.

You cannot get “Sober” from eating:

  • An eating disorder is unlike any other addiction, you cannot go “cold turkey” from eating.
  • Sugar is 8x more addictive than cocaine.
  • It is in your face 3 meals a day (or more if you are snacking healtily.
  • You have to go to others homes and out to eat and you have your “drug” or mediator thrust at you.
  • People think that you can just “control” yourself.o
  • It is a biological addiction.

You cannot just have one skittle. You cannot just have one bite of cheesecake. If you can, I commend you. Most of us mere mortals do not contain that type of self control.

The Solution: How to Heal

I cannot claim that I have the answer for everyone, but I know I have the answer for myself, and I have guided others with the same advice:

“Become mindful and conscious of every decision you make in your life. Be mindful of your relationships, your time, your actions, and most importantly, what you use to fuel your mind, body, and soul, food.”

As a global society, we have forgotten that food is the root of community, longevity, family, and life, in the rudimentary form. If we do not eat, we will die.

Like all long-term relationships, the same is with our relationship with food, most relationships become toxic. Food used to be a sacred form of ritual, tradition and even survival for our ancestors. Now, we have more fast food restaurants than grocery stores. We live in an instant society, and we have forgot the essence of what mindfulness actually means.

We are too busy rushing around, taking pills given to us by doctors who are being paid by big Pharma rather than taking a moment to think about why we are sick, what are we doing to contribute to this pandemic, and how can we make a change in our lives.

We want the quick fix, but more often than not, we don’t want to see the root cause. The big picture.

The big picture is that food is medicine, as Socrates so eloquently stated thousands of years ago.

With someone who struggles with an eating disorder, I have derived that food does not have to be a trigger, a malignant crutch, or a medicator, but it can actually be the solution.

If you follow my meal plans and the fundamental principals of a Ketogenic diet and only eat whole, real, organic foods, you can eat as much as you want without the guilt, and the ramifications of eating junk and unhealthy food options.

Trust me. Just try it out.

Give yourself some love. Be mindful of every decision you make.

Be a Warrior.

 

 

What is your Favorite Therapy?

What is your favorite therapy?

I am not talking about sitting on a couch talking about your life story with a Sigmund Freud impersonator, I am asking you a different question.

What is your favorite type of healing therapy or treatment that you use in order to stay, or help you become healthy?

People’s answers range a myriad of topics including eating fresh, and whole foods to juicing, to fasting, to exercise to even meditation and yoga. I adhere to all those ways of self-medicating, but my favorite was not on that list.

My Favorite Therapy

My favorite therapy, which I use to self-medicate my mind, body and soul, is to take an extremely hot sauna or steam bath.

Saunas are one of the best ways to detoxify your body, your mind, and soul.

I try to go into a hot sauna at least once a week. My favorite place is in New York City, New York, at the Turkish and Russian Bath house at 268 East 10th Street.

This specific North American Turkish bathhouse was built in 1892, and the radiant heat in the Russian Room is hotter than any sauna I have ever been in.

And I LOVE IT!

There are now regulations for how hot saunas can go, but this Sauna was is grandfathered in because it was built before the law was made. Lucky for me. In my opinion, the hotter the sauna, the better!

This sauna is a place of refuge for me. It is one of the only places on the planet where I can actually fix my body, and loosen up my muscles.

I grew up as a basketball player, and we would always do the classic, static stretching that most children do in sports. What I was not told until much later in my teens was that static stretching is terrible for your muscles, and it can lead to injuries since it does not properly warm up the muscles.

After spending my entire youth playing basketball, my back, my hamstrings, and my quadriceps began to fight back, and I was in constant pain and discomfort.

I had the most unbelievable tightness and pain in the aforementioned areas. My back was that of an 80 year old ex gymnast. I was cracking and popping every time I moved my body, and every morning there was a symphony of muscle cracks and pops.

While in high school, my hamstrings and quads were so tight that I would have a 340 pond football player walk on me before games, so that I could get my body loose and opened up.

My body was against me. It affected my mind and my soul. I never was pain free.

Until I learned about steam rooms, and saunas, I was always in agony. I could not sit still without having to stretch..

Now, with a little bit of oil to help work deep into my muscles, I walk into a sauna and come out a new man.

I am encouraging anyone to take a steam bath, a sauna, or go to a Russian or Turkish bath house. It will change the way you feel from the inside out.

I know some of you like facts, so here is a list of 10 facts that prove why saunas are so good for your health.

Facts

  1. During a session in a sauna, most people’s heart rate increases 50-75%, which is roughly the same as a physical workout.
  2. Saunas can help you reduce fat and reduce cellulite.
  3. Saunas help with fatigue and joint pain.
  4. Saunas help blood circulation.
  5. Sweating opens your pours and you can detoxify your skin and detoxify other pollutants that are in your system.
  6. During a sauna session, your skin temperature shoots up to over 40°C, while the internal body temperature rises up to 38°C. This might trigger a mock fever state, which stimulates the immune system to produce antibodies and disease-fighting white blood cells. Fever is considered as a natural mechanism to enhance the resistance to diseases.
  7. Saunas are a simple yet effective mechanism to enhance the quality of sleep. It is recommended for people suffering from insomnia and it is estimated that a brief spell of 15-20 minutes spent in a sauna is almost equal to 1-2 hours of a brisk walk or workout.
  8. The high temperatures experienced during a sauna session result in a surge in the internal cellular energy production, which in turn ensures efficient healing. Many disease-causing pathogens like viruses and tumors are destroyed by this heat, thereby preventing recurrent infections.
  9. Saunas ensure enhanced mental precision and a marked decrease in allergic conditions. Research studies have shown that liver and immune functions recorded significant improvement after sauna therapy. Saunas also expel heavy metals and cancer-causing toxins completely, thereby preventing traumatic disease conditions and birth defects.
  10. Saunas are one of the easiest ways to detoxify your body, and to get a jumpstart on your day, or to wind down from a stressful day at the office.

For thousands of years people have been using saunas, steam baths, and hot baths for medicinal purposes. From the far east to the west, most native cultures had their version of a ritualistic sauna, or hot room.

When I was 18 I engaged in sweat lodges and performed rituals with Native American elders. I know first hand how heat has been used to help heal people for thousands of years.

The strong, and intense heat as healed me.

I am nowhere perfect in terms of my health, but I continue to try to reach a level of optimum health every day. From exercising, to yoga, to mediation, to eating well, I practice everything that I can learn about. But my favorite, and one of my most effective ways of therapy, is sitting in a sauna for as long as I can, and letting the heat take over my mind, body, and my spirit.

Now that you know I love saunas, tell me what YOU love to do to medicate yourself! 

Tell me what your favorite therapy is!

 

 

How to Transform Your Health: Become Your Own Doctor

Does it almost seem impossible to find a doctor that can help you reach your health goals?

Have you tried every possible diet to help you lose weight, or try every type of medicine that is available to you? You have tried eastern medicine, western medicine as well as all the trendy diets, but nothing seems to work.

Well, then maybe you need to change your approach. 

Become an investigator. 

Become a Health Warrior.

Become your own doctor.

People have forgotten that we have the most powerful, and healing tool at our fingertips: our forks.

As my father, Dr. Mark Hyman, a 10 time New York Times best selling author describes our relationship with food, like any long-term relationship, over time, this one that has become toxic.

For the most part, the reason we are sick is because we have perpetually allowed ourselves to put "fuel" into our bodies that is not adequate to flourishing health and thus allows us to slowly diminish our immune system to the point where disease and obesity become a regularity. 

For the most part, we are the reason we are sick.

Nutrigenomics

Let me introduce a concept to you if you are not already aware will transform the way you look at food: nutrigenomicsNutrigenomics is the idea that food is not just something that we need to eat to survive, but it is in fact valuable and precious information. This information plays a vital role in our overall health and wellness, and contributes to whether we suffer from certain diseases and a myriad health ailments. 

The information that we receive with every bite of food turns and on and off different and specific expressions in our genes. Solely by our food choices, we can become obese, we can lose 94 pounds (as I did), we can increase our energy, or we can deplete it. 

When we eat nutritionally empty food, such as french fries, cheese burgers, ice cream, and other junk foods, we are not sending beneficial information to our genes. 

However, we do know (or so we think) one element of information that is in food: Calories

We are a nation that is fixated on calories.

We count calories as if we were using an abacus, methodically adding and subtracting crucial, invaluable data.

 But sadly, not all calories are not created equal.

For example, my favorite book that my father wrote, "Eat Fat Get Thin" illustrates this point eloquently. 

As we know, fat contains more calories than processed carbohydrates and refined sugars. Does this mean that good fats are worse for you? Most "experts" in the field of "health and nutrition" would tell you to eat a low-fat diet. But all that really means is that you need to add sugar and carbs to your food in order to make it actually taste good. Which we know is NOT a good idea.

In the absence of processed carbohydrates and refined sugars, healthy fats have the power to shut down cravings, speed up metabolism and has been documented to reverse, and NOT cause heart disease. 

Fats have more calories than sugars and carbs, but are they worse for you?

The evidence is undeniable. The caloric density of food is not the end-all-be-all argument for what is good for you, however that is a debate for another day.

This brings me back to my initial point. Become an investigator, become a Health Warrior. Become your own doctor.

In 2017, you can't tell yourself, or anyone, that you DO NOT KNOW how to do something.

You can find about almost anything on Google. 

But "becoming your own doctor" seems daunting. You may ask yourself, "How can I be my own doctor? Won't this be too hard?"

No.

The answers are all there in front of you (again, google). And I am here to help you.

First, you need to understand that reaching your optimum health is not going to be an uphill battle. It will actually be a liberating and inspiring experience that will invigorate you to set new goals and reach new heights that you once never thought was possible.

If you follow these 5 steps, you will be in love with your journey of reaching your optimal, and desired health.

1.) Inform your Community of your Journey, and Encourage Them to Join

Going on a "health kick" alone can seem intimidating, and almost even embarrassing. 

Pardon me for raising my voice, "CHOOSING TO BE HEALTHY IS NOTHING TO BE EMBARRASSED ABOUT". In fact, you should be applauded, since this is the first step of your liberating journey.

Make an effort to tell your community of family and friends that you are embarking on such a great quest, and you should invite them to join you on your path to health and wellness. It is much easier to accomplish tasks in a community, or in a group, than alone. 

People are more likely to be overweight and obese if their friends are overweight than if their parents are overweight. People tend to assimilate to their community's behaviors and tendencies, therefore if you choose to change your lifestyle, there is a higher likelihood of your friends deciding to change their lives too.

2.) K.I.S.S. Method (Keep It Simple Stupid)

When choosing a diet, most people don't know where to begin. There is so much alternative information out there, and do I dare say "Alternative Facts", that confuses the devoted disciple of health.

That is why I tell my clients over and over and over again, follow the K.I.S.S Method.

"KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID!"

When you dig deep into the research, diets are not about what we should eat, but rather what we should NOT eat. (However, I am telling you to eat more healthy fats)

With regards to my knowledge of health, I consider myself extraordinarily blessed. I have been following my fathers work for 27 years and I have been a guinea pig of his genius revelations into the health and nutrition field. I have not spent a day in medical school, and I am not a certified nutritionist, but I know more about health and wellness than a lot of people I know in that field, solely due to the fact that I had my father, a pioneer in western medicine, preach to me for as long as I can remember.

The reason why I bring this up is because you may tell me that it is easy for me, and simple for me, but it may not be simple for you with regards to being smart and conscious about your health.

But it is. It is easy.

Without getting too deep into what I would recommend to individuals depending on their specific goals, most people should eat the same things, or NOT eat the same things. But I will deliver it with the K.I.S.S. Method:

  1. Do not eat grains
    1. (Some people may be able to tolerate small amounts of whole grains).
  2. Do not eat dairy.
    1. (Occasionally you can have some goat cheese, and I subscribe to grass fed butter and ghee).
  3. Do not eat sugars
    1. (Carbohydrates should be limited, but you can have a sweet potato here and there).
  4. Do not eat fish with toxic metals and cattle that is not grass fed.

When you look at this list, there are a LOT of processed and refined foods that you CANNOT eat, but the list of fresh vegetables, whole foods and good meats and fish is endless. 

This is not a sentence, this is an opportunity for new doors to open and for your tastebuds, and immune system to thank you!

3.) Cook your Meals and Make a Food Journal

Remember, with nutrigenomics, we now have proof that "Food is Medicine".

If you can cook, great! Let us put your skills to the test. 

If you cannot cook, let me ask you a second question. Can you read? If you are reading this, then the answer is YES. So if you can read a recipe, than you can cook. 

Going out to eat with your partner or with your friends can be fun, but if you are trying to be healthy and live a specific lifestyle, restaurants can be some of the most stressful and anxious places.

When you are trying to be health conscious, watching others order whatever they want can be disheartening at best. If you have unrelenting will power, then more power to you, but if you are like the rest of us and find it tough to go out to eat with others who seemingly are taunting us with THEIR food choices, than I am right there with you. The struggle is real.

Also when you go out to eat, you do not always know what the chef is putting in the food, and especially in the "healthier menu items". Have you ever went out to eat and thought you were ordering something that was healthy, and within 30 minutes you are in a food coma? I have been there countless of times.

By cooking your own meals, it is more cost effective, it is more fun (maybe not the clean up, but that cannot be the deal breaker that comes in the way of you and your health), and it is much healthier for you.

People think it is more expensive to eat at home than it is to eat out, and that is one of my favorite myths when it comes to getting in the way of health.

I am going to do a blog and a video on the cost effectiveness of buying your own food versus eating out in the coming weeks, but if you don't buy what I am saying, go to your grocery store (even Whole Foods) and get a weeks worth of veggies, and some chicken, steak and fish, and tell me it would be cheaper than going out to eat for a family of 4.

Once you start cooking for yourself and you want to be vigilant about what you eat, I suggest you start making a food journal. There are countless of apps that you can download on your phones to assist you, but an old fashion pen and paper still does the job.

By chronicling your food on a daily basis, it makes you more accountable and it allows you to actually see progress in your eating habits while encouraging you to keep up the good work. 

4.) Spend 30 Minutes a Day Exercising

It is important to move everyday. You can walk (at a fast pace), run, play a sport of your choice, or go to the gym and get your cardiac rate up, but any form of exercise, for at least 30 minutes a day, will help you on your path to optimal health.

You can't work your way out of a bad diet. If you eat one Big Mac, it takes running 4 miles a day for 7 days for you to work that off.

If you don't dedicate yourself to eating healthy and whole foods, working out will not do a whole lot. But if you combine a optimally nutritious diet with a daily exercise regime, reaching your goals are exponentially improved.

If your excuse is that you don't have time to work out, or do any form of exercise, than you are just lying.

High-intensity interval training (HIIT), also known as high-intensity intermittent (HIIE) or sprint interval training (SIT), is something that you can do in just minutes a day. It is a form of interval training, a cardiovascular exercise method with short bursts of intense anaerobic exercise with less intense recovery periods. It sounds complicated, but this is something you can do in just minutes a day in your office, at home watching TV, or before you hop in the shower to start your mornings.

If you want to be healthy, you have to take care of your body, in more ways than one.

5.) Give Yourself 30 Minutes a Day to Love Yourself

Once you have told your community of your journey, followed the K.I.S.S. Method, started cooking and logging your meals, and getting your heart rate up through exercise, it is time to give yourself some love and gratitude for embarking on this quest to optimal health.

The conversations we have with ourselves can be chaotic, busy, and negative.

It is important to know that the person who is talking in your head is not you, it is just a reflection of how you are viewing and perceiving the world. Sometimes, the voice in our head can be our worst enemies.

So if you are on this journey of health and wellness, it is important to thank yourself. 

I suggest giving yourself 30 minutes each day where you meditate and sit alone, and bask in the love and encouragement that you so greatly deserve. 

If you don't meditate, you can do yoga, read a book, or just sit in silence and reflect on your progress (calmly sitting and quieting the mind is progress alone). 

When you give yourself time to sit and be, it is amazing how you notice that the mind quiets, the chaos dissipates, and how your solutions will often appear.

Now with these simple five steps, you have a basic and simple road map to take back your health, and change your life.

Do you want to make a change?

The tools are there, awaiting for you to take the plunge.

The time is now.

 

 

My Transformation: Becoming a Health Warrior

I consider myself one of the luckiest people on earth.

I am the son of a world renowned pioneer in the health and wellness industry, Dr. Mark Hyman. Throughout my life, I have been exposed to the frontier of western medicine through my father's work, and I have been closely monitoring what he is doing at the Cleveland Clinic and their newfound focus on Functional Medicine. Many doors would not have been opened for me if I did not have such a respected doctor, and health guru as a father; and for that I am eternally grateful.

However, with all this knowledge, and with all this information that I attained through osmosis, by living with Dr. Mark Hyman, on how to live at your highest vibration, I was unable to internalize my father's teachings and methods and create them into a practice until much later in my life.

You could say that I was too close to the source. I knew what was good for me, but since I was being (no pun intended) force fed this life-style, I rebelled.

I, Misha Hyman, a Health Warrior, have an eating disorder. I suffer from body dysmorphia and I have a tendency to binge when I eat, unless I am careful.

Food is my drug of choice.

As a child, I was always heavy for my age. I vividly remember a moment in time that scarred me for life. My 3rd grade class was working on mean, medium and mode for math class. My teacher had everyone stand on the scale in front of the class room so that we could get the mean, medium and mode of the classes weight. 

The two heaviest children in my class were 79 pounds. I thought I was safe. I was not as round and as pudgy as they were, but I was also a solid 2-3 inches taller than both of them.

It was now my turn to step on the scale. I put both feet on the piece of plastic that I always dreaded, and there it was: I was the heaviest kid in the class. I was 90 pounds. The next thing I knew, my teacher began to chuckle, and the entire classroom erupted into a chorus of laughter. This was one of the most humiliating moments of my young life.

Ever since that moment, I have had an issue with my weight. 

I can sympathize with anyone who does not love their body, does not love their weight, and who wants to be different.

That was me, and honestly, I still suffer from that yearning to lose the extra few pounds. It is a daily struggle.

Eating Disorders by the Numbers

Here are some mind numbing statistics that everyone needs to see:

  • 1 in 5 women struggle with eating disorders or disordered eating.
  • Bullying about body size and appearance is the most common form of bullying in schools
  • 42% of 1st-3rd grade girls want to be thinner (I am not a girl, but this applied to me)
  • Girls who diet frequently are 12 times as likely to binge as girls who do not diet.
  • 25% of American Men and 45% of American women are on a diet at any given time.
  • 4 out of 10 individuals have either personally experienced an eating disorder or knows someone who has.
  • 81% of ten year-olds are afraid of being fat.
  • 52% of Minnesota High School females and 20 % of high school males fast or skip meals to control weight.

(Statistics brought to you by The Emily Program Foundation)

I know that was a lot of information to take in, but all of those stats are just an illustration that if you are reading this, and you have an eating disorder, you are not alone.

And I am here to help you, by telling you my story, and showing you that I can lead you on a path to ultimate health and wellness.

My Story

After that ill-fated day when I stepped on the scale in front of all my peers, I have continued to struggle with my perception of my weight and my body. 

Until I was a junior in college, every day was a struggle. I walked around sucking in my belly and always flexing my non-existent 6 pack. In pictures I would suck in my cheeks and I perfected the "Duck Face". I knew all of the tricks.

In my Junior year of college I met a beautiful woman, and I will omit her name and race. I found out early on that she was a chubby chaser, and this was actually exciting news for me. It was the first time in my life I did not have to worry about my appearance (my fat belly). And of course it did not take me long to make her my girlfriend. For those of you who do not know what a chubby chaser is, Urban Dictionary defines it as such:

A Chubby Chaser: A person, male or female, straight or gay, who is interested romantically in another person who varies from being slightly over-weight to obese.

At the time, I thought this was the greatest gift from the Universe. I had a gorgeous woman who wanted me, and she did not mind that I was a little chubby. She actually loved it. Ultimately, she encouraged me to gain more weight. She would tell me she wouldn't love me if I lost a pound.

So I ate.

This was me while working for the Washington Wizards, I lost up to 50 pounds here. Imagine what I looked like with an extra 50?

This was me while working for the Washington Wizards, I lost up to 50 pounds here. Imagine what I looked like with an extra 50?

And I ate.

And I ate...with no regard for human life. And especially my own.

Since I was 16 years old, I hovered around 210 and 220 pounds. When I met my girlfriend, I was 216 pounds. Within the first week of dating her, I stepped on the scale and was 231 pounds. 

Within 6 months, I had ballooned to 292 pounds. I was doing everything you should not do. I was eating gluten, I was eating dairy, and I was having sugar. I was drinking soda with my alcohol (Captain Morgan and Dr. Pepper was my college favorite - we called it Captain Pepper or Doctor Morgan). I was eating fast food late at night. I was eating her left overs when we went to restaurant. I joined eating contests to impress my lady. I was an eating machine. 

But in my mind, I knew what I was. I was a fat slob.

There are no photos of me for over a 7 month period. I only have photos of myself when I was around 245 pounds. From 292 pounds to 245 pounds, there is not one photo of me on the internet, one anyone's phone, on anyone's laptop. I was a ghost. 

I had no photos of my college graduation, and I have no photos of myself moving to Washington D.C. where I would be starting my dream career in the NBA. 

I was so disgusted in myself and my body, I lost 7 months of my life in pictures. That is probably the saddest part of the what happened. I was unable to love myself to the point that I would not let anyone take a picture of me in that physical state.

Once I realized that my relationship may be toxic for my health and my mental state of being, I was ready to embark on a road to ultimate wellness, alone. 

The Solution

It took me 4 months to lose the first 35 pounds. I was working in the NBA with the Washington Wizards as an intern, earning $10 an hour. Going on a diet was not in my budget, and buying food was also tough due to my minimum wage income. I lost the initial 35 pounds by going to a local Vietnamese restaurant in DC and for $13 I would order an enormous bowl of spicy Pho. I would eat that every day during the week and on the weekends I would make a plate of greens and some grass fed steak or hamburgers in a lettuce wrap.

After working with the Wizards, I knew I had to get a job where I could serve people and help raise the level of consciousness on the globe. I got a job with the largest Life Coaching company in the world, and was on a mission to make a difference.

However, I was now at 242 pounds and I knew I had to get to my ideal weight in order for me reach my optimum level of self. Living in this body was not a pleasant state of being, and this was not the way I was going to continue to live my life. I had to find a solution. If I was going to be a good life and health coach, I could not be over weight and sloppy if my job was to inspire others perform at their highest level.

As it turned out, my father was working on his latest book at the time, Eat Fat Get Thin. Through his research, he sent me a lot of information about high fat diets, ketogenic diets and studies that illustrated the impact of this specific way of eating.

In March of 2015 I went on a "guys ski week" in Montana. We rented a beautiful house on the mountain and we were not going to go out to eat, every meal was going to be cooked at home. 

The one who rented the house just started a ketogenic diet 4 weeks earlier and he looked spectacular. He was 57 and had a cut six pack, bulging pecks and he said he felt better than he has ever felt in his life. He also told us that we were all going to be embarking on his ketogenic diet as well.

This is me at 198 pounds. A total of 94 pounds lost.

This is me at 198 pounds. A total of 94 pounds lost.

During the next 7 days, I lost 15 pounds going on a ketogenic diet.

I ate seconds. I helped myself to thirds.

I thought to myself, "I have just been exposed to the holy grail of weightless and well being."

For the next 30 days I continued the high fat/ketogenic diet, and I lost 35 pounds. I was now at my lowest weight as an adult: 198 pounds. Since I was 15 years old, I have been over 200 pounds. My transformation truly inspired me, I had this newfound knowledge and I knew I had to help people change their way of thinking when it came to diets and getting healthy.

To me, this was the answer.

This was the golden ticket.

After mastering cooking gluten free, dairy free, sugar free meals, I decided I needed to cook for others, and share my gift. Within 2 years of cooking for family and friends and working as a Private Chef while moonlighting with my life coaching company, I decided I needed to branch out, and on a larger scale. I wanted to share my dream of transforming the healthcare industry, the way people eat, and how to reverse most chronic diseases and other behavioral issues through food.

Essentially my purpose was to package everything my father has worked on throughout his career, and put it on your plate. 

"From white coat to white apron." From the Doctors office to your kitchen.

The Health Warrior Way

I have created The Health Warrior Project because I know that fighting for your ultimate health and wellness can seem like a constant battle, or even a war. Often times you believe that you are losing the war, and there is nothing to do but retreat and indulge in your comfort food of choice. 

But Warriors fight, they never surrender in the heat of battle.

I am here to show you that there is an easier way to reach your dream regarding your body, and your health. I am here to walk you through the simple foundational steps, and serve and educate you in person if you choose to hire me. 

I am on a mission to create millions of Health Warriors so that we can all be soldiers against this pandemic our world currently faces when it comes to proper nutrition and overall health. No matter your age, your race, your weight or your religion, anyone can become a Health Warrior.

Let me teach you, let me lead you. Let me teach you to be a leader in your family and your community.

Become a Health Warrior and fight to take back your health. Your fork is your weapon of choice.

It is that simple...

 

I am a Healer. I am a Medicine Man. I am a Health Warrior.

My name is Misha Hyman. In the simplest of forms, I am a healer. Since I was born I have known that my purpose on this planet was to serve and to help others. From massage, to life coaching, to cooking people healthy and nutritious meals, healing has always been my calling.

Some believe that you can only heal yourself [from chronic diseases] through medication and altering your lifestyle. I agree with them on one account. You can change your lifestyle, and heal your bodies and minds through revamping your lifestyle, but you do not need medication for every single ailment that you chronically struggle with.

We have forgotten that food is medicine. To summarize my father, the 12 time New York Time Best Selling author, Dr. Mark Hyman, “Healing begins when we take off our white coats and put on our white aprons.” This simply means that we need to start healing our chronic illnesses in the kitchen and not in the doctor’s office.

From the east to the far west, and from all the corners of the world, people have been curing diseases and ailments through a myriad of holistic, and natural remedies since antiquity.

The people who gave out such medicines, or natural therapies, were the first form of healers, some would even call them the first doctors.

But there were no medical schools for them to attend; there was no training worth hundreds of thousands of dollars for them to spend their family’s earnings on. The way of the medicine man was a gift, a calling. They were healers in the purest of forms.

There was no formal education that could have taught them everything they knew. A shaman, or a medicine man passed down his teachings from generation to generation. This was the schooling of our first doctors.

I am not a doctor, nor do I play one. But I am a healer. As long as I can remember, I have been either feeding people healthy and nutritious food, and doing my form of bodywork, stretching with high heat, and a deep touch.

However, I am not just a healer. I am a Health Warrior. In a time where companies such as Monsanto try to poison us with harmful pesticides and food industry continuing to brain wash the public by wrongfully informing us about what is “good for us”, healers and “health warriors” have lost their collective voice.

Health Warriors need to band together and illuminate a path of ultimate health for people to follow while showing people that the way to optimum health is not through struggling through a myriad of diets and exercising your way out of bad food choices. There are simple rules, simple guidelines to have optimum health. A true warrior has to learn to see that, but that is why it is a war.

By creating The Health Warrior Project, I am embarking on a mission to change the way people view the battle against their health. Once you are a health warrior it becomes fun and exciting, and even easy to eat, love, and play at your highest vibration.

The path to become a health warrior is a way of life.

It is not a diet, and it is not a fad.

Health warriors have been around for thousands of years. They are the medicine men. They are the shamans. They are the people who, throughout history, have been there to help people in times of both spiritual and health crises.

My mission in life is how to teach everyone who struggles with weight issues, chronic health problems, and diabetes how to radically change their way of life by cooking food that is delicious and absolutely, fundamentally healthy for you. Once you can cook for yourself, you will begin to cook for those you love. Once I teach you to become a health warrior, your community will watch your transformation and they will want to know what your secret sauce is.

All the answers to your optimum health is within reach, all you have to do is ask for help. All you have to do is wake up and know that you have the ability to change your life forever. The fight against chronic illness and obesity is daunting, but once you have trained to become a Health Warrior, there will be nothing that can stop you. There will be nothing that can stand in the way of your optimum health.