Be Healthy, Be Happy # 28


“Coconut Oil is Pure Poison!” That is the recent headline of a NY Post article, this message being publicized by a Harvard professor. Back in June 17, the AHA (American Heart Association) also condemned coconut oil.

With several people contacting me once again recently to ask me about this claim, I felt compelled this week to “set the record straight.”

Coconut oil has been touted by many wellness enthusiasts in recent years as a healthy, natural cooking oil. We can find numerous references and research articles from trusted sources about the many benefits of using coconut oil. Here is one link to start with ….

I believe that the various studies and research to make these claims against coconut oil are immensely flawed. Additionally, any evidence from various American sources sets off my alarm bells immediately. After all, the U.S.A. is probably the most unhealthy nation in the world, with record levels of obesity, diabetes, etc …. But much of the rest of the world is catching up also.

There are a number of articles-links-evidence with refute the claims of the Harvard professor and the AHA. I agree and support the articles below “wholeheartedly” – pun intended! When you have time, please peruse-review these articles, and then you can decide personally, if you will now decide to replace coconut oil with vegetable oils. You can easily guess the choice I made!

These articles come from the following sources:
Functional & Integrative Medicine Doctor
Medical Director at Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Functional Medicine
A “real food” Licensed Registered Dietitian Nutritionist
Doctor of natural medicine, and clinical nutritionist


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 27


This week’s topic is possibly a bit sensitive, but something that needs to be considered as we proceed through our lifetimes. Every individual carries a certain amount of body fat, no matter how lean or skinny they may look. A certain amount of body fat is necessary, but how much is too much? Additionally, there are various kinds of body fat we all carry, as this article describes in detail; including these meaningful statements:

“Belly fat is bad. Fat around your heart is bad. Fat in your liver is bad. Subcutaneous fat looks bad and is hardest to burn but might not be too unhealthy. Losing weight will reduce all of it.”

Visceral fat is one that is most concerning to me, as being situated near and around some major organs in our body, it will obviously affect the overall effectiveness of these organs. This link presents an excellent description of visceral fat – including a definition, how it occurs, risk factors for various diseases and conditions, and some suggestions for decreasing/lowering the amount of visceral fat in the body.

It seems to be commonly accepted that as we age, and from what we consider to be our ideal healthy weight – a number of people gain 2-3 pounds or kilos each year. That does not seem like a big number, but after 20-30 years (or less) …. there can be a noticeable and unpleasant change in body composition. Along with a possible decrease in physical activity, individuals may find themselves feeling sluggish on a daily basis, as they struggle to maintain energy levels, while not being as productive as in past years.

In closing, please consider that too much additional weight gain over the years is something to take note of, and it is also something in which we can take action steps to reverse. Have a great upcoming week!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 26

FITNESS & HEALTH – the same thing?!

Many people often seem to confuse these two fairly different concepts. Let’s try to clarify these terms a bit more this week.

According to the World Health Organization, “Health is a state of complete physical, mental and social well-being, and not merely the absence of disease or infirmity.”

AND, regarding fitness, how about this detailed definition and list of components?
– from

Fitness, on the other hand, is defined as a set of attributes that people have or achieve that relates to the ability to perform physical activity. Fitness is made up of many components, and the following factors need to be considered when discussing fitness levels:
1. Endurance (Cardiovascular and Cardio-Respiratory): This is your body’s ability to use and deliver oxygen to your body.
2. Stamina (Muscular Endurance): This is your body’s ability to store, process, and use energy.
3. Strength: This is the ability of your muscles or a muscular unit to apply force.
4. Flexibility: The ability to maximize the range of motion of a joint.
5. Power: The ability of your muscles to maximize their force in a minimum amount of time.
6. Speed: The ability to minimize the amount of time it takes you to accomplish a task or movement.
7. Coordination: The ability to combine several different movement patterns in a single distinct movement.
8. Accuracy: The ability to control a movement in a given direction or intensity.
9. Agility: The ability to minimize the time going from one movement to another.
10. Balance: The ability to control the centre of gravity of your body in relation to your support base.

So, conceivably, an individual can be very fit and even quite strong, but could still be unhealthy in some regards. Additionally, a person can be very healthy, but possibly not very fit. The goal for all of us should likely be seeking out a balance of both fitness and health.

This makes good sense to me, personally. In my earlier years, my mind seemed to focus almost entirely on being fit and strong. I think that some friends and colleagues still view me or think of me as a “physically fit” individual. Yet, looking at the ten attributes here, I definitely have some weaknesses, especially in terms of flexibility. At my somewhat advanced age, I try to think more of “mobility.” I want to be able to MOVE every day – feeling that my various joints are fluid enough to move my body in a variety of ways – whether exercising, playing sports, or doing daily physical chores at home.

In my 50’s and now mid-60’s, my main focus and goals currently reside much more in the overall realm of Health, and overall wellness. I want to feel good not just physically, but mentally-socially-emotionally, and even spiritually. In my quest for more complete health, I now pay much more attention to certain lifestyle factors, such as: better sleep, purposeful nutrition, managing stress, getting sunlight, playing, avoidance of trauma, and conscientiously using my mind.

Sure – I still want to maintain a good physical appearance; I want to maintain a good amount of muscle mass and tone; I desire to improve my sports performance levels, along with enhancing my mobility-flexibility also. Yet, these days I strive for overall quality of life, a long healthspan – free of disease as long as possible; and just feeling capable of daily movement and what might be termed “active aging.” The diagram caption for this post describes this well.

I also very much identify with this description of What Does it Mean to Be Fit? – from my own primal guru, Mark Sisson. His story of being an outstanding and premier triathlete is especially interesting and noteworthy. As he states – he was not actually fit in many ways, and he was definitely not healthy.

So, to each of you – ask yourself about your goals for the coming years – do you want to focus mainly on fitness, or on health – or a feasible combination/balance of these two concepts?!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 25


Greetings Healthy & Happy Friends,

Today’s post contains two links with references to one of the PB (Primal Blueprint) “Laws” – simply PLAY! I trust that all of you have been able to fit in lots of play during these summer months. My summer play consisted of some awesome hikes, and some fun outdoor barefoot workouts with “heavy stuff,” and some relaxing time in our little lake in the Adirondack mountains in upstate NY – some swimming, sun-bathing, and a little kayaking and tennis also. I am looking forward to continuing to play back here in Bangkok!

Enjoy these articles about the Importance of Play, and some interesting suggestions for some Ways to Play.


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