Be Healthy, Be Happy # 12

Are Saunas Healthy?

Dear Healthy & Happy Friends,

This week’s topic is about Saunas. I am including articles from two people I follow quite regularly – for health, wellness, and even medical advice at times (Dr. Kresser).

From most everything I am reading/researching about saunas, I am trying to find a place where I can use a sauna for several times a week, 20-30 minutes at a time. The overall benefits seem to be amazing! Of course, living here in Bangkok often feels like we are in a sauna much of the time just being outside!

Dr. Chris Kresser shares some of the specific health benefits of using saunas on a regular basis; and ….

Ben Greenfield (former top triathlete, fitness trainer, fitness podcaster, biohacker extraordinaire, and professional obstacle course racer; named in 2013 and 2014 as one of the world’s top 100 most influential people in health and fitness) – offers 10 scientifically proven reasons for taking a daily sauna.

Next week – an opposite subject – benefits of cold exposure ….


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 11

Our “Second Brain” – Your Gut Microbiome

Happy Friday All Primal Friends!

A new topic this week – as many of you may not be aware …. our “gut” is actually thought to be our “second brain.”

First, here is an explanation from a past article in the Primal Blueprint archives:

“Second Brain”
“Within the human gut lies a “second brain”: a vast network of neurons located along the intestinal lining. It’s called the enteric nervous system—enteric as in “pertaining to the gut”—and for years researchers assumed its sole province lay in regulation of the digestive process. Researchers now know that the enteric nervous system also relays and sends neurotransmitters like serotonin and GABA, responds to emotions, and has a direct conduit to the brain via the vagus nerve.

The gut is not the site of higher-level cognition. The neurochemical processes responsible for writing emails, doing trigonometry, and reading this blog post occur solely in the brain. But though decision-making and conscious thought happen up top, the gut has a lot of input on how those thoughts and decisions develop. About 90% of traffic along the vagus flows from gut to brain, and it’s not all information about intestinal contractions. The second brain is likely the province of instinct, subconscious response, and emotion. In other words, gut feeling, gut instinct, butterflies in your stomach, and got the guts? aren’t just figures of speech. They hint at real physiological processes occurring along the gut-brain axis.

Emerging evidence is showing that our enteric nervous system, and the gut bacteria, probiotics, and prebiotics that comprise and affect it, have effects on how we think, feel, perform, and respond to the world around us.”

AND – more from a definition standpoint:
“The word microbiome is defined as the collection of microbes or microorganisms that inhabit an environment, creating a sort of “mini-ecosystem”. Our human microbiome is made up of communities of symbiotic, commensal and pathogenic bacteria (along with fungi and viruses) all of which call our bodies home. We are dependent on these bacteria to help digest our food, produce certain vitamins, regulate our immune system, and keep us healthy by protecting us against disease-causing bacteria.”

Next – impacts of various bacteria on our health

AND, one more – how this second brain can affect our mood and well-being ….

A bit lengthy this week, but all on this one topic. This gives me some pause as to how I sometimes advise people to “Go with your gut feeling!”


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 10

N.E.A.T. & Some Uncommon Exercises

Greetings Healthy & Happy Friends,

A new topic this week – N.E.A.T. – which stands for Non-Exercise Activity Thermogenesis. This article gives you some ideas on how to keep our metabolism working without having to do an actual “workout.”

Next, some different types of exercises/movements for keeping up your strength, agility and power as we get older. These are actually good suggestions for anybody at any age​!​


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 9

Nutrient Density & Low-Carb Diet Effectiveness

Good morning!

First topic today – Nutrient Density
Here is one list (of many out there) of the most nutrient dense foods for us to consume. A definition of a nutrient-dense food:

“Food that is high in nutrients but relatively low in calories. Nutrient-dense foods contain vitamins, minerals, complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and healthy fats.”

I currently consume most of these foods, except for liver/seaweed/oysters – I hope to try and incorporate these also into my diet in the coming months/years. Note that cacao is on the list – I try to have 1-2 squares of some good dark chocolate every day; should be up to 85% cacao. The Lindt bar is a good choice – available at Villa and other places. It may take a while to get used to the slightly bitter flavor, and you could also add a little almond butter for sweetness and increased nutrient density – almonds are on this list also and almond butter is a wonderfully healthy fat!

Next – Regarding diets/weight loss, etc … there are many different plans/programs to lose weight. From what I have researched in the past several years, a low-carb (primal) diet has the most benefits for overall health and weight loss, if desired. This article is a good explanation of the effectiveness of a low-carb nutrition plan. There is also a lot of research which shows that people who have lost various amounts of weight on a low-carb plan typically keep the weight off, instead of gaining it back – which often happens in numerous other diet plans.


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 8

Sprinting & Hiking

Happy Weekend Primal Friends!

This is the third message somewhat “in order” ….
Two weeks ago the topic was walking; last week was running; and we conclude this week with sprinting & hiking!

For those of you with good memories, you will recall that SPRINT is at the top of the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid – shared with many of you in earlier emails and attached again here.

There are many benefits we can gain from a sprinting-type exercise/movement.

Additionally, sprinting does not have to mean running fast, as there are many different ways to “sprint.”

Hiking is also included at the base of the PB Fitness Pyramid – Move Frequently at a Slow Pace. Unfortunately, there are not too many hills here in Bangkok, so we need to plan our trekking getaways! As for hiking/trekking, this is currently my absolute favorite type of exercise, as I believe it also offers numerous health benefits. During the summer months, I frequently go off for half-day and day-long hikes in the mountains in upstate New York. Nothing like fresh air, some sunshine and mother nature to get the juices flowing!

Here are some great tips for hiking!


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