Be Healthy, Be Happy # 57




It is one of the special times of the year – time to spend with family at Christmas, and then time to get ready for another new year of expectations, adventures and memorable experiences!

As I am confident many of you have heard-seen these tips before, here are some simple suggestions to improve-enhance your overall state of health & wellness. These are all “low-hanging fruit” which we can certainly achieve, with a bit of determination and self-awareness:

  • Prioritze sleep; 7- 9 hours per night desirable
  • Move every day; can be as simple as walking
  • Eat as much real food as possible; and sometimes go without food for an extended period
  • Manage stress; using whatever method works best for you, personally
  • Use your brain; stay mentally sharp
  • Get outside in nature

And one more fun piece of advice comes from a book called Spring Chicken by Bill Gifford –

  • Drink more coffee & wine! Two social beverages which help build and cement interpersonal connections with friends & family. This is much more important than taking some exotic, alluring supplement or magical herb.

Wishing you all a wonderful Christmas & New Year holiday season and an awesome 2020 !!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 56


21-Day Challenge:

HEALTHY & HAPPY in 2020!


Greetings Primal Power – Primal Bob Friends!

It has been a while since I have sent a blog post, as I have been busy working on my own individual wellness habits; along with helping clients enhance their overall fitness & health goals. I am also working on some new projects, including an upcoming new email campaign which will include an offer to join the Primal Power Posse! More details coming out on that in the coming weeks ….

As we all prepare to finish up another calendar year, and look forward to starting a New Year in 2020 – it is time for some reflection and also time to move forward. In that vein, I will soon be sending out a New Year 21-Day Challenge: Be Healthy & Happy in 2020!

At the end of only 21 days, you will have developed new habits for yourself, and you will have started feeling better! You will receive information and advice on how to live an optimally healthy lifestyle, how to maintain energy along with a general level of fitness and proper weight, and to be happy with your choices.

Deadline for Sign-Up:  Friday, January 3, 2020
Challenge Start date:  Monday, January 6, 2020

More specific details to follow next week – feel free to let me know now if you might be interested!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 55


The first official day of summer will soon be upon us, and I always look forward to enjoying time outside in nature …. including getting lots of sunshine on a daily basis. I am also excited about: spending quality time with family; visiting friends we have not seen in a while; hiking (already been out on the trails several times during the past week); cooking – making healthy new recipes for brunches and dinners for family and friends, including slow cooker meals; kayaking-paddleboarding-swimming in the lake; a round of golf with good friends; a challenging game of doubles tennis on my favorite Har-Tru courts at our place in upstate New York; a visit to The Big Apple to hang out with our kids and their friends; seeing all the stars in the night sky; checking out the variety of farmers’ markets in the area; trying out a new restaurant; reading a number of actual books, and not just consuming online information; and getting in some outdoor workouts – playing with my kettlebells and other fitness “toys” on our deck or in the yard outside our place.

I am sure that you all have your own lists of summertime fun you are looking forward to enjoying soon. Hope you all have a wonderfully rejuvenating summer season!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 54


This week, I am sharing two excellent articles, with some specific advice for women and men. I actually sent this out a few years ago in one of my earlier weekly email communications to some of my “followers.”

These articles come from my favorite resource and blog – Mark’s Daily Apple – and I have personally done my best to follow the suggestions for the male list.

Please take some time to read and learn.



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 53


Greetings Primal Power Friends:

I posted this recently on my personal facebook page, but as I deactivated both of my facebook pages soon after this, many of you may not have seen the message. So, here you go ….

I would like to let you all know that I am starting a “digital declutter” process. I will be deactivating my personal facebook page as of today, including my relatively new Primal Bob page also. I have recently started reading an excellent book – “Digital Minimalism – Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World” by Cal Newport. It has become fairly obvious that I have been spending an inordinate amount of time each day staring at screens – either my laptop or cellphone. The use of technology has definitely become a type of addiction, and it is surely not a healthy habit. I need to start making some changes ….

My goal with trying this Digital Minimalism approach (direct quote from book) is:
“A philosophy of technology use in which you focus your online time on a small number of carefully selected and optimized activities that strongly support things you value, and then happily miss out on everything else.”

So, for the coming two-three months, I will endeavor to stay off facebook entirely, on both my laptop and phone which are my primary technology devices; and I have also deactivated my Instagram account. For now, I will keep my WhatsApp account open, so that I can communicate easily with family & friends, via messages or calls.

Yes, I recognize that this is only a small first step in my “digital declutter” journey. As I progress with additional steps/actions, I will try to share via my website, primarily via blog posts like this one.

For those of you who currently contact me via facebook or messenger: If you would like to contact me directly, you can also simply send me an email. For personal messages, I prefer to use –, and for health-fitness coaching purposes, I prefer to use – You will find that I usually respond to emails very promptly.

Additionally, for those of you here in Bangkok, feel free to call my cell phone or send a text message.(+66 81-935-8017). OR – you can reach me another old-fashioned tech way – on Skype (bob.connor7)

AND, I encourage all of you to follow my website:
It is easy to subscribe to the site – just enter your email and click on the green SUBSCRIBE box at this link: There is also a place to leave comments, at the end of each blog post. Please feel free to send comments, questions, and your own thoughts – happy to have a dialogue on any topic! I will continue to publish regular blog posts, sharing my insights along with appropriate educational articles-links, regarding a variety of topics related to health-wellness and fitness.

I will be making a number of revisions on my website in the next few months, and I will likely rejoin/reactivate my current facebook pages in early August – possibly announcing a new online health coaching program as a special offer to all facebook friends. This will be an affordable, viable, attainable plan – with the promise of many direct benefits for your personal health and fitness. If you are consistently dedicated in following the advice/recommendations, you will gain many benefits and positive outcomes-results.

If you would like to know more about anything related to my health coaching services, please email me directly at Helping people with various conditions, nutrition strategies, weight loss, fitness-strength gains, and overall lifestyle habits has become my true passion in life, especially as I personally strive to optimize my own healthspan – “the period of one’s life that one is healthy.”



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 52


For a number of years now, you may have heard that we should be careful about our intake of salt. Actually, I consider salt to be a very important and “vital nutrient” in our daily diet, as explained in greater detail in this excellent article-link by Chris Kresser – an integrative medical practicioner. He is especially “known for his in-depth research uncovering myths and misconceptions in modern medicine and providing natural health solutions with proven results.”Personally, I happen to favor various forms of the Himalayan pink sea salt, which is readily available in most grocery stores now. These days here in Bangkok, with the temperatures remaining very high on a daily basis, I will often add some sea salt to my preferred drinking water – Gerolsteiner, an excellent sparkling mineral water product. You can also add some extra salt to your meals, or perhaps use some good grass-fed salted butter at times. I find that these habits help keep me better hydrated, with proper mineral content also.

For some more reading-evidence, from MDA (Mark’s Daily Apple) – you can check out “Salt: What Is It Good For?”

So, please do not be afraid of consuming enough salt each day!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 51


In my attempt to consume healthy foods & beverages on a daily basis, I do not try to be “perfect.” There are times when I enjoy something that is not on my recommended list of things to eat or drink. My goal is to “eat healthy” at least 80% of the time. As I tell many who ask, I actually strive for 100% compliance, but I accept 80%, which often turns out to be about 90% many weeks. IMPORTANT – I advise that you do not strive for 80%, as that number can easily go down to 60% or less. The exact ratio is not vital, as there is a bit of flexibility as to how I approach my food-drink selections.

Yet, I do not consider these “less healthy” choices to be “cheat” items. For me, cheat is a negative perception. Rather, when I have something not considered “primal,” I always enjoy and savor the treat, chewing slowly and relishing each bite, as there is never any shame involved. That becomes just part of my 20%, as I know that I will still maintain good choices at least the other 80% of the time.

So, I imagine that you may be wondering what my “non-primal treats” might look like – here are some of my favorites. First is definitely bread, but a specific one – sourdough. With the fermentation process used in making sourdough, this bread can be considered more healthy than other typical breads like whole-wheat, etc …. And, to make it taste even better – I will usually slather some delicious grass-fed butter on top, along with some olive oil to soak it in – both yummy and healthy additions!

Other treats could be an extra glass of red wine on special occasions, or a nice dessert when out to dinner with my family or friends, possibly in celebration of a holiday or birthday, etc …. Or a nice ice cold beer on a hot day; or an extra square or two of dark chocolate.

For me, this 80-20 rule guides my choices but it does not dictate everything I consume. This can be viewed as a compromise, when fully primal choices are not available. And, I know that I will always get back on track easily in the coming days.

Probably the best quotation to summarize – “Don’t let the perfect be the enemy of the good.”



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 50


A long post today for #50 on my website – a type of “milestone!” Please do your best to get through this one, as it contains many facts about what I consider a very important subject.

People often ask me what they can do to start eating a healthier diet. Typically, I will advise that they eliminate or drastically reduce their consumption of three things: Sugar; Grains (especially refined grains); and Vegetable Oils.

Today’s topic is vegetable oils, which have become fairly ubiquitous – appearing in so many food/cooking products over the last 10-20 years. I have seen numerous research articles and books which highlight the damaging effects of these oils on our overall health. I try to make sure that I very rarely consume any type of vegetable oils, which are sometimes referenced as the three C’s:  Canola oil, Corn Oil, & Cottonseed Oil; and the three S’s: Soybean oil, Sunflower oil, & Safflower oil. Others to avoid: Grapeseed Oil, Rice Bran Oil.

These oils are often main ingredients in many processed food products – crackers, chips, cookies, breakfast cereals, granola, salad dressings, bread, etc …. I make it a point to always check-read the ingredients list on any product I buy in a jar-can-box-bag or any container that lists ingredients.

One of the health-wellness leaders I follow is Dr. Cate Shanahan. She is a board-certified Family Physician, and she has done graduate studies in biochemistry and genetics at Cornell University. Her latest book “Deep Nutrition” is an excellent read!

I was listening to a podcast recently where she made a very illuminating statement – “We knew more about proper, healthy nutrition in 1930 than we do today.” Basically, back in 1930 and for around a couple decades after that, people ate “real food” – as there was not very many “fake-foods” or genetically modified “frankenfood” products – which fill the grocery store shelves these days. Here is Dr. Shanahan’s brief version of the damaging effects that can result from consuming vegetable oils –

(The short version)
‘These oils contain a high percentage of polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). PUFAs are unstable, and break down rapidly when exposed to chemical stress. Ever heard of varnish? It’s what carpenters use to finish wood. Varnish is made from vegetable oils, including soy and linseed (which is rich in omega-3, like canola), because these oils are chiefly composed of PUFAs. PUFAs react with oxygen in the air to help polymerize the varnish into a nice hard coating that helps preserve the wood.

Varnish is good for your floors, but not so good for your brain, your arteries or mitochondria. I elaborate on that below, throughout this blog, and in Deep Nutrition chapters 7 and 8.

A little bit of PUFA is not a problem for us, we actually need some. And when we get PUFA from whole foods like sunflower, chia or flax seeds, it’s well protected by antioxidants nature builds into the seed. These protectants get stripped away during the industrial scale refining of sunflower and the other vegetable oils, and that’s just the beginning of the problems with vegetable oils.

The refining process not only strips away antioxidants, it makes PUFAs toxic by exposing them to heat, pressure, metals and bleaching agents. This chemically alters the molecules into a wide variety of potent toxins with long names like 4-hydroxynonanal and 4-hydroxyhexanol, aldehydes, and others. These molecules are toxic because they promote free-radical reactions that damage our cellular machinery including mitochondria, enzymes, hormone receptors, and DNA.”

(The chart below from Dr. Cate offers an excellent resource list of the good fats & oils, and also the bad fats & oils.)

The following link offers additional insightful information/rationale as to why I steer far away from consuming vegetable oils: Why You Should Never Eat Vegetable Oil or Margarine

Finally, here in Bangkok and at restaurants all around the world now, vegetable oils are used to prepare many of the meals we are enjoying. When I go out to eat, I try to always ask that my omelettes are cooked in butter instead of oil. For dinner, I will ask that any cooking/frying be done in olive oil or butter.

This was a long post this week, but the consumption of unhealthy vegetable oils is a subject which I believe many people ignore far too often. It is time to start checking those ingredient labels, and being careful of what you are putting into your mouth and body!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 49


One of the best (healthy) snacks I try to eat on a daily basis are various kinds of nuts; all kinds really – almonds, macadamias, cashews, pecans, walnuts, pistachios, brazil, hazelnuts – mostly unsalted and sometimes roasted, but preferably not roasted in any type of unhealthy vegetable oil. Regarding peanuts, they are considered a legume, but they do have similar nutrients to the other nuts.

A handful of nuts is usually enough to satisfy any current hunger pangs, providing healthy fats in my daily nutrient intake; along with some protein, carbs and other vitamins.

Additionally, as I mentioned last week, I enjoy some almond butter or cashew butter (or even combined together in a nice almond-cashew butter) for a different healthy snack – sometimes just enjoying a couple spoonfuls, or eating together with celery or a nice green apple – great combination and taste, also providing natural energy to the body. If I want more of a “treat,” then I spread the nut butter on a square of high quality dark chocolate!

For some more information-details, please peruse this article on the health benefits of nuts.

Additionally, this link is an excellent resource from Nutrition Australia.

I always have a bag of mixed nuts around, for when I need something to help keep me going, and especially when I travel – a much healthier option than almost all of the food offered on airplane flights, train trips, etc …. Also a very healthy alternative snack for kids and student-athletes; much better than the majority of pre-packaged processed junk available, which are easier to buy but significantly less healthy than a nice handful of nuts.

So, find yourself a big jar or a zip-lock bag, and go out and buy a bunch of different nuts and mix them all together!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 48


As many of you know, I am a big fan and consumer of good quality, high cacao content dark chocolate – YUMMY! I try to have 1-2 squares of some good dark chocolate almost every day; usually with at least 85% cacao. Here in Bangkok, the Lindt bar is a good choice – available at most grocery stores. 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, as almond butter is a wonderfully healthy fat source!

For all the benefits, choices and other facts of dark chocolate, check out this “definitive guide”

Additionally, this link-article offers a good look on the distinction between Cacao and Cocoa – not exactly the same product.

So – be on the lookout for some good dark chocolate soon, and savor the delicious taste and wonderful feel in your mouth!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 47


In my youth …. Actually up until I reached my mid-50’s, I did not pay enough attention to the overall value and multiple benefits of getting enough sleep each night. My main focus for many years was on exercise, along with trying to eat what was then considered “healthy” foods-drinks (not true, in many cases). Sleep was often my last “priority,” as I figured I could exist and function reasonably well on 5-6 hours of sleep each evening. Doing this for a number of years eventually caught up to me, and my body started to tire more easily, and my energy levels frequently wavered on the lower end. I found that my mental focus and ability to complete daily work tasks were both negatively affected.

In the past 8-10 years, my #1 personal health-wellness priority has become SLEEP! After sleep, I also then strive to eat properly (healthy, real foods); and to exercise regularly. During this past decade, I have usually been able to get 7-8 hours of sleep on a regular basis. Undoubtedly, my energy level is now consistently much higher during the day, and my brain works better too. Sleep is such a powerful tool in our “toolbox!”

Some of the things I do to help my sleep habits:

– Keep the bedroom cold (60-65 degrees F / 16-18 degrees C)
– Wear as few clothes as possible
– Keep the bedroom as dark as possible
– Use bluelight blocking glasses in the evening (and f.lux on computer)
– Get as much exposure to sunlight (natural blue light) in the mornings
– Go to bed near the same time each night; wake up near the same time each morning – consistent sleep schedule (get some good sleep before midnight)
– No television or other monitors in the bedroom

For some more advice, check out this link-article; and this one also for more evidence-based research on the value and importance of sleep.

AND – keep striving to get your best sleep each night!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 46


Just several years ago, I did not even know what a podcast was, and maybe some of you are unaware of podcasts now. A podcast is a series in mostly audio format, which you can download and listen to on your phone or laptop-tablet, or any other listening device. Many topics are highlighted on various podcasts, so that you can listen to stories, the news, and also to a number of people offering information/advice. You can access a large number of available podcasts on your phone – on iTunes/Apple Podcasts, with the majority being free.

I have become an avid podcast listener in the past several years. I listen in the car during my daily commutes, or on longer road trips in the U.S. – if my wife can tolerate whichever podcast I choose! I also listen during my frequent long walks around the city. The information provided is often very insightful and I have learned much from many of the podcasts. These days, I mostly listen to podcasts with topics on health, fitness, nutrition, longevity, etc …. The knowledge I gain has been very helpful for my personal wellness “journey,” while also providing me with new and profound information I can share with friends and clients.

The following are my current favorite podcasts:

– Primal Blueprint Podcast
– Ben Greenfield Fitness
– Get Over Yourself
– Move Your DNA
– Nourish Balance Thrive
– Paleo Magazine Radio
– Renegade Radio (Jay Ferruggia)
– Revolution Health Radio (Dr. Chris Kresser)
– Paleo Solution Podcast (Robb Wolf)
– The Doctor’s Farmacy (Dr. Mark Hyman)
– Fat-Burning Man (Abel James)
– The Joe Rogan Experience
– The Model Health Show
– The Tim Ferriss Show
– Harder to Kill Radio
– Meathead Hippie
– 40+ Fitness

If you are interested, check out some of the descriptions of these podcasts (just google any of them to see if any might resonate with you personally). And, then try downloading and listening to an episode you are curious about. Keep on learning!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 45


A special day today, as I mark another year off my own personal life calendar –
Now 66 years old, and actually looking forward to reaching 70 in the next several years! When I do reach that milestone, entering my 8th decade of life, I hope and expect to feel almost the same as I do now.

As many of you may know, one of my goals is to live as long as I can …. and also to remain as healthy as possible until “the day” I leave this mortal state. In past years, I became a bit obsessed with living to be at least 100 years old …. to reach that magic 3-digit number. Do I still desire to get to that special age …. ? Hell, yeah!!

Yet, these days, living to a certain age (lifespan) is not nearly as important to me as living a long, healthy, active life – healthspan. I can honestly say that these days, I feel more healthy, fit, strong, and energetic than I did 10-15 years ago! I can hear some of you asking …. How is that possible?!

Well, I am definitely doing a better job of taking care of my own personal health, while also now helping others do the same in their own lives. This has truly become a powerful passion in recent years, and it is what drives me each day – my purpose in life, or as the Japanese say – my Ikigai. I firmly believe that each of us needs to feel this life purpose – that thing that gets you out of bed in the morning – looking forward to having another awesome day, interacting with others and also spending reflective time alone, becoming more mindful and grateful.

And, I am very grateful for this opportunity to help others. Gratitude is such an important feeling that we all need to “practice” on a regular basis. I am so thankful for so many things …. For my family, our friends, my colleagues at ISB and former students-colleagues-friends from past years at various international schools – many of them now living in various countries all around the world!

When I graduated from college in the U.S., married my lovely wife Claire just a few months later, and as we embarked on this journey together (44 years ago!), I certainly did not imagine how life would unfold, and where we would be today, and what I would be doing at this time. As the years go by, we gain various amounts of wisdom, as we experience and learn so much; and I will continue to share my own knowledge and perceptions with others, for as long as I can – because that is what gets ME out of bed each morning!

Thanks for listening this week, and for being a friend!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 44


Regarding healthy nutrition, there has been so much talk and advice given over the years to eat a low cholesterol diet, so that we do not add body fat and extra weight; which was also supposed to help decrease our chances of heart disease. We now know that this is not true, as there is a great deal of science-backed research and evidence to show that consuming high-fat foods such as eggs, butter, etc …. will not cause cholesterol increases in our body. Additionally, we need cholesterol for many functions – more on this in future posts.

It has come to light in recent years that the more accurate cause of obesity and cardiovascular conditions is the consumption of highly processed foods, excess sugar and simple carbohydrates. The reason for this is that eating these types of foods often cause spikes in blood sugar, with more insulin being produced. As long as we remain insulin-sensitive, our pancreas will operate at an optimum level. However, if too much insulin is constantly being introduced, some people eventually become insulin-resistant, which can be very damaging to various systems in the body. This excellent article offers a complete explanation, along with some additional details and advice for reducing insulin resistance.

Personally, my goal with my daily nutrition habits is to increase my glucose-insulin levels as little as possible. That is why I eat low-carbohydrates, along with moderate-sufficient protein intake, and a higher-healthy fats amount. This gives me all the energy I need, without needing to snack throughout each day on foods-drinks that will increase insulin and cause hunger again a short time later.

More details to come in upcoming posts, regarding these important topics – as we also consider satiety, hormone secretions, and other energy sources besides carbohydrates-proteins-fats ….



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 43

WELCOME TO 2019 !!

It is that time of year again for many people …. time to make one or more resolutions for the upcoming new year. Resolutions can be incredibly meaningful and powerful for a variety of reasons, not the least being the rationale of becoming a better person. The most common resolutions usually revolve around improving or enhancing our personal health and wellness. These types of resolutions often begin with good intentions and actions that generate positive results in the beginning weeks. Yet, as many of you likely realize, the new habits of more exercise …. better nutrition …. good sleep, etc …. most often last for only a number of weeks and possibly a few months; before we return to past daily practices which may not be as beneficial to our overall health.

Personally, I am taking a few moments to appreciate my current life, and what I have accomplished in 2018; as simultaneously I look forward to the years ahead. I am trying (not always successfully) to give less focus to material possessions, while striving to cherish memories and moments of new relationships formed with a number of people. Interacting with family and friends is vital to our emotional-social health. This can be somewhat accomplished using various forms of social media, but face-to-face conversations and experiences are more effective and longer-lasting.

In terms of a resolution, I hereby restate my main goal and purpose in life – continue to: help others maximize the benefits of exercise, sleep, nutrition, and other lifestyle factors in order to optimize their healthspan. Following my passion and desire, I aim to support others in discovering what I have found in recent years – how to live an optimally healthy lifestyle, to maintain energy along with a general level of fitness and proper weight, and to be happy with my choices.
( )

A few well-known quotes for additional inspiration ….

“In the New Year, never forget to thank your past years because they enabled you to reach today! Without the stairs of the past, you cannot arrive at the future!”
—Mehmet Murat Ildan

“Year’s end is neither an end nor a beginning but a going on, with all the wisdom that experience can install in us.”
—Hal Borland

“By taking the time to stop and appreciate who you are and what you’ve achieved—and perhaps learned through a few mistakes, stumbles and losses—you actually can enhance everything about you. Self-acknowledgment and appreciation are what give you the insights and awareness to move forward toward higher goals and accomplishments.”
—Jack Canfield

I wish all of my family, friends and “followers” a fantastic New Year in 2019 !!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 42


As another year comes to a close soon, I would like to share a number of reasons why I follow a primal lifestyle; including a variety of tips/suggestions for maintaining a consistently high level of daily energy and overall wellness. Looking through this list, I can honestly say that I have strived to pay attention and practice every one of these 26 recommendations, especially during the past 5-7 years. Combined, they are wonderful tools in helping me achieve one of my main goals – to slow down the inevitable aging process.

Without further ado …. direct from the man himself, my own guru, Mark Sisson – here is your A-to-Z Guide. ENJOY!

If you are interested in learning more about the practical aspects of this lifestyle, and you want to make some positive and significant changes in your own daily life – please contact me directly via email or on facebook. I am very passionate about coaching people to achieve their own individual optimum health and fitness. (Check out these comments from people I have worked with in recent years.)

Enjoy what is left of 2018!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 41


As we all approach the upcoming Christmas holiday season, with extended time off from the daily work schedule and routines, I thought it would be good to share some ideas/tips on doing your best to stay healthy, and refrain from adding extra holiday pounds also.

For some people, trying to eat well and stay active can be a challenge, but it is definitely possible. Many of the tips in this article will resonate; these are basic ideas, which are very sensible and feasible for all of us; with some recipes included also.

There will surely be some big meals, with wonderfully delicious food on the table, and family & friends to share these bountiful feasts together. For those of you who have tried or are interested in experimenting with some fasting during the holidays, this second link offers a variety ways/methods for “FASTING & FEASTING”.

Hopefully, this will help you begin 2019 in a positive and healthy frame of mind!



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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 40


It is that time for many people, either at the end of one year or at the start of another …. time for your annual physical examination. These exams are fairly important, as the results can help point out various conditions or levels of substances in the body that need to be addressed and hopefully adjusted to the so-called “healthy” numbers. As we get older, the results can often seem to become more alarming, with the effects of various unhealthy lifestyle habits causing the numbers to start moving outside the recommended levels. Also, the typical (AKA “Conventional”) doctor’s recommendations seem to be the same for many of us.

For interest sake, and maybe for some additional clarity, I thought it would be illuminating to share my own results from my last four exams (not done annually), done here in Bangkok at the world-famous Bumrungrad Hospital. I will also share the doctors’ comments/recommendations, and conclude with various tests that I have added to the exam, which are usually not included in various exam packages.

From 2004: (Following typical SAD – Standard American Diet)
“Rather high cholesterol, but the pattern is still considered normal because the level of good cholesterol (HDL) is also high. However, you should exercise regularly along with low fat diet.”

From 2008: (While following a vegetarian diet)
“Cholesterol is normal. Regular aerobic exercise (20-30 minutes/time, 2-3 times/week.)”

From 2014: (After transitioning to a primal-aligned diet for 5+ years)
“Cholesterol is slightly high. LDL-C (bad cholesterol) slightly high. Exercise regularly with low fat diet.”

From 2018: (After maintaining a primal-aligned diet)
“Cholesterol high. LDL-C (bad cholesterol) high. LDL-C can be decreased by low cholesterol diet, exercise regularly, weight control. Repeat blood test for lipid profile within 3-6 months. If the result is still abnormal, consult doctor for proper management.”
( The term “proper management” very likely means a statin drug prescription, which I would not recommend to anybody! )

Regarding overall blood lipid numbers/results, there is one ratio that is not examined by the majority of conventional doctors, but which is now recognized by many medical experts to be the most important indicator for risk of heart attack and/or stroke. This ratio is Trigylcerides divided by HDL. Preferably, you would like to have no higher than a 2:1 ratio of trigylcerides to HDL cholesterol – meaning if your triglycerides are 100 mg/dl, your HDL cholesterol should be 50 mg/dl or higher. Generally, doctors recommend to keep your triglyceride number under 150 mg/dl.

For my own personal risk of heart attack or stroke, I now give utmost attention to this ratio. Here is now my numbers have changed during the past 14 years with the four physical exams:

2004 Triglycerides = 87 / HDL-C = 57; RATIO = 1.53
2008 Triglycerides = 72 / HDL-C = 55; RATIO = 1.31
2014 Triglycerides = 46 / HDL-C = 60; RATIO = .77
2018 Triglycerides = 47.7 / HDL-C = 79.7; RATIO = .60

As you can see, my Triglycerides have gone down significantly from a high of 87, down to almost my lowest level, now at 47.7; additionally, my HDL-C level has steadily increased from 57 in 2004 to the highest current level of 79.7; AND – most importantly, the indicator for risk of heart attack or stroke has decreased from 1.53 all the way to .60 in my most recent exam. This is very encouraging, giving me hope with this direct evidence of the positive effects of living an overall primal lifestyle!

Finally, other tests which I have added to my exam in recent years (2014 & 2018) includeC-Reactive Protein (CRP) and HbA1C. C-Reactive Protein is a blood test marker for overall inflammation in the body. If the number is lower than 1.0 mg/L, your risk of heart disease is low. If level of CRP is between 1.0-3.0 mg/L, this indicates a moderated risk of heart CVD (heart disease); if CRP number is more than 3.0 mg/L, there is a high risk of heart disease issues.

In my past two exams, my CRP was .35 in 2014, and then decreased all the way down to .03 – indicating very low inflammation in the body.

HbA1C refers to a hemoglobin test, which indicates your average blood sugar level over the past three months, approximately. More info from webmd website:
“For people without diabetes, the normal range for the hemoglobin A1c level is between 4% and 5.6%. Hemoglobin A1c levels between 5.7% and 6.4% mean you have a higher chance of getting diabetes. Levels of 6.5% or higher mean you have diabetes.”

In my past two exams, my HbA1C was 5.7 in 2014 – a bit higher than desired; and then decreased to 5.3 – down to the normal range, in my 2018 test.

I am again very happy and encouraged with these two results also, as I attribute these positive reductions to eating a primal-aligned diet, while also exercising regularly (but not over-exercising!), and focusing on good sleep, less stress, exposure to sunshine, using my brain more, enjoying some play, while trying my best to avoid trauma and poisonous “stuff” – all basic tenets of The Primal Blueprint “The Rules of Living 10,000 Years Ago!”

Anyway, I hope the long post this week offers you some new ideas and information for your next physical examination; regarding what you can and should look for in your results.


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 39


As I am sure many of you will notice, I sign off each week on my blog, and on my primal email address with this closing …. GROK ON !

In the primal “universe,” Grok is the ultimate caveman character, the guy back in the Paleolithic era – who has become the modern-day image of the Primal Blueprint ethos and philosophy. When making various daily lifestyle choices, if applicable and feasible in our modern-day surroundings, I try to ask myself as much as possible – “What would Grok do?”

You can find our more and “meet Grok” here –

I hope you enjoy this description of this primal character, and that you will embrace your own inner Grok!

AND, as always ….


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 38

HONEY – Health Benefits

How many of you consume honey on a regular basis? I enjoy a little raw, organic (or pure) honey almost every morning with my green tea. Honey can be considered as a “natural sweetener” and there is also much evidence for various health benefits.

If I ever feel any upper respiratory discomfort, such as a scratchy feeling in my throat especially, I will take a big spoon of honey, topped with some cinnamon (usually from Ceylon), and that usually seems to provide quick and effective relief; often preventing the symptoms from worsening.

I also use raw, organic honey in some of my primal-paleo recipes for healthy “comfort foods,” such as pancakes, muffins, energy bars, and even cookies at times. My wife often reminds me that I need to keep her supplied with her favorite chocolate chip cookies, made with either almond flour or coconut flour, along with honey and a few other ingredients.

One important consideration is to be sure that the honey you consume is actually pure honey. There are many brands of honey sold in stores everywhere that include additional ingredients which are usually not healthy. All you want is pure honey, with nothing added. Here is a short video, sharing some ways to test the quality of your honey.

As for taste, I personally prefer a darker honey, which may have more antioxidant qualities; and I also enjoy the flavor more than lighter color honeys. My own favorite brand of honey here in Bangkok is Dr. G. Longan Flower PREMIUM quality – dark and delicious!

For all you honey lovers out there, be sure you are enjoying the best quality possible.


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 37


A fascinating subject this week …. Metabolic Flexibility (or Metabolic Efficiency) – how our body’s metabolism works, especially regarding the fuel we each use on a daily basis to stimulate and nurture our biological systems. Over the past 10+ years, I believe that I have definitely become much more flexible and efficient in terms of my metabolism. How do I know this?

First, my daily energy levels have remained quite high consistently, whereas in earlier years, I would typically feel sluggish and tired during a mid-afternoon slump. Additionally, I can skip meals almost daily, as I often go for 6-8-10 hours without any solid foods; although I do have some sustenance consisting of an early afternoon ice coffee (unsweetened) on most days; along with water when thirsty. I do not really need to “snack,” as I basically eat W.H.E.N. – “When Hunger Naturally Ensues.” Also, I have experienced strength gains during my own workouts, which are shorter but more focused and structured with only brief rest breaks, as needed.

I usually only eat 1-2 meals each day. These days, it seems common for many people to see how much they can eat each day, without gaining any weight. My goal is often to see how little I can eat and still maintain my ideal weight, along with adequate energy and strength for my daily efforts and responsibilities. I also feel that my brain works better, as my cognition usually increases during these periods of “caloric restriction.”

From my favorite health website (MDA – Mark’s Daily Apple), a “Definitive Guide to Metabolic Flexibility” – which offers many excellent insights on the importance of this concept.

AND – this second article-link explains more about how we can transition our own fuel-partitioning, so that we are able to control our metabolism by using both carbs and fat as our energy sources.

Finally, I truly feel that my body can actually burn fat during the day, between meals. This is something that I strive to achieve with my own clients, helping them become fat-adapted; to adjust from being somewhat of a “sugar-burner” to thriving as a “fat-burner.”

Enjoy the weekend!

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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 36


Reminder:  Get Adequate Sunlight is one of the 10 Primal Blueprint “Laws!”

We are constantly advised to stay out of the sun, and to put large amounts of sunscreen on our bodies whenever going outside. It is thought that the UV (Ultra-Violet) rays from the sun are all very damaging. Yet, humans basically evolved in a daily outdoor setting. Regular exposure to the sun is a necessary and vital aspect of living, as we need a small dose of sunlight to enhance our health. We do not want or need to burn the skin from sun exposure, but we should consider getting enough to help your body make some vitamin D. Additionally, some natural sunlight can elevate your mood, and also help you sleep, helping regulate your circadian rhythms.

Vitamin D is an essential supplement, with many benefits affecting a variety of functions in the body, such as:

• It is essential for bone mineralization. Without vitamin D, your body won’t be able to do anything with the raw building blocks of bone, like calcium and magnesium.
• It improves insulin sensitivity and increases fat loss.
• It’s required for the production of testosterone..
• It prevents tooth decay.
• Our immune systems need vitamin D to function.
• It reduces systemic inflammation.
• It plays a role in protection against many (if not all) cancers.
(from Mark’s Daily Apple:

And, we really only need a small amount of sunlight for the benefits. I try to get outside almost every day, and expose as much of my body as possible to the rays of the sun. I have gradually built up to getting about 30 minutes of full sunlight on as many days as possible. Regarding sunscreens, they will usually prevent vitamin D from being created. If you use a sunblock product, try to apply to skin after you have been in the sun for 20-30 minutes; so that you benefit from some vitamin D production.
If you are interested in additional information, including research and resources, please review these articles-links:
Sun exposure and Sunscreen options ….
​Have a great upcoming weekend!​


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 35


Did you know that you can actually clean out some bad cells in your body?! This process is called Autophagy. Definition of autophagy: “The word autophagy is derived from Greek words “auto” meaning self and “phagy” meaning eating. Autophagy is a normal physiological process in the body that deals with destruction of cells in the body.” (

Personally, I feel that I can induce this process through various means, which will then assist in one of my main goals of anti-aging enhancements. How is this possible? Through a consistent exercise program, intermittent fasting on some days, and leaning more towards a lower overall carbohydrate intake in my nutritional plan. There are many benefits to inducing autophagy, as illustrated in this article –

This just sounds like a natural process that can occur in the body …. if we decide to let it happen!

“Take care of your body; it’s the only place you have to live in.”


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 34


I am sure many of you have heard or seen the term “Superfoods” in various articles or on social media sources. Another term to consider are “Brain Foods.” What can we consume in order to keep our brains functioning properly, and even which foods have the potential to enhance our brain power? After all, our brain is quite vital to our daily existence and overall quality of life. The brain is basically our body’s control system, as it helps our heart and lungs work best, while also encouraging us to move, to feel, to just think. Therefore, it stands to reason that we should focus on keeping our brains in optimal condition. The various foods that each of us consumes will definitely be a factor in maintaining brain health, while also positively affecting our concentration and memory, both short-term and long-term. Additionally, the antioxidants included in some foods can increase our alertness and even positively enhance our mood.

In doing a little simple research (via Google), I compiled a fairly long list of so-called brain foods, which I also consider to be beneficial to our overall physical health.

Oily-Fatty Fish (wild salmon)
Red Grapes
Greek Yoghurt
Beans, Lentils
Flax Seeds
Smart Oils: Olive, Walnut, Avocado, Flax, Coconut
Pumpkin Seeds
Sunflower Seeds
Chia Seeds
Dark Chocolate
Green Tea
Sage & Rosemary
Bone Broth
Sweet Potatoes
Brussel Sprouts
Dried Fruits

This is obviously a very inclusive list, showing that many foods can help keep our brains healthy.
Looking at this list, I calculated that I consume about 25-30 of these on a daily or weekly basis. Take some time to review, and count how many you currently include in your nutritional intake. How often do you consume these “smart foods?”

One Life – One Brain – One Body …. ONE CHANCE!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 33

Staying Fit for Life

In the past, I was definitely what you might call a “chronic fitness freak” – usually working out or playing a game/sport for 6-7 days each week. These days, I have definitely slowed down a bit, yet I still do my best to find time to “move” as much as possible throughout each day. I now follow the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid, shown here:

You can see that the base of the pyramid is mostly about just moving, and I often go for long walks on the weekends, for up to 2-3 hours at times (with breaks); or for a relaxed ride on my Elliptigo bike. This can serve as my own form of meditation, or I often listen to an educational podcast. Next up on the pyramid is the more recognized fitness advice – I do some form of strength/resistance training, but usually only up to twice each week. And finally, I try to do some form of sprinting-moving fast about once a week or so. This can be barefoot sprinting on a nice grass field, or doing some intervals on a rowing machine, elliptical machine, spin bike, or even some quick sprints in a swimming pool. You will also note the very important PLAY and RECOVER facets included in this “program.”

Overall, this model is surely feasible for most people to achieve. Many athletes, including the long-distance endurance crowd, are discovering that they can train less – if they are smarter and more intuitive about their training. By resting more and including some strength training in their regimens, they find the value in keeping difficult workouts shorter, and the easy sessions more relaxed and longer.

In conclusion, I think you will find that this excellent article offers a good number of parameters for your own personal goal of staying Fit for Life – especially in our world today, when many people often feel stressed on a daily basis, or as the distractions and tasks increase – we fail to find time for some form of exercise or just some movement.
There are a great number of tips included, as you will hopefully find several that resonate with your own personal situation and daily schedule. Have a great upcoming weekend!

“Just because some is good doesn’t mean more is better.”


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 32

What’s Most Important for Weight Loss – Exercise or Food Intake ?!

As we get older, many of us experience an inevitable weight gain, as a few pounds or kilos seem to be added on to our bodies each year. Just think – you add on only two pounds or maybe even two kilos a year, and in 20 years you are 40 pounds or 20+ kilos heavier. Just looking at people in various public places, and you can easily see the increased number of heavy and even obese bodies. There are many reasons for this development, with two primary factors being lack of activity/exercise, and also improper nutrition habits.

In my own experience especially in my earlier years (from mid 20’s-early 50’s), I figured I could basically eat whatever I wanted, as my levels of daily exercise were quite high – I would just burn off the calories from any type of foods I was eating – including bagels, bread, pasta, pizza, ice cream, potato chips, pretzels, crackers, sodas, etc …. I believe that many people today still feel this way. Yet, you can easily surmise that the “quality” or nutrient density of these so-called foods mentioned is not ideal, for sure!

In recent years, as I have started to advise friends and colleagues who have asked about the best ways to lose any amount of weight, I have stressed nutrition as being the main factor, with exercise not being as important. I still believe one of the main concepts of my Primal lifestyle – “that 80% of your body composition is determined by your diet, not how you exercise” – but I also realize that exercise can also play a very important role in weight loss. My own health & fitness guru – Mark Sisson, explains this very well here – Why Exercise Does Actually Matter for Weight Loss.

As mentioned in the article, the focus should likely be “fat loss” and not just weight loss. I have heard received a number of requests/comments from friends-colleagues and current clients in recent years; regarding their desire to lose fat in various areas of their bodies – their midsection, backside, legs, arms, etc …. A common occurrence as people seeking to lose weight/fat increase their daily exercise level – their clothes start to fit better, even though they may not have seen the number on the scale go down. They are able to wear clothes that were previously tight and are now more comfortable – this is a great start in their quest to reduce weight and/or fat! Eventually, that number on the scale should also start moving down, especially when combined with a healthier diet of primal, real nutrient-dense foods and beverages.

Thanks for listening this week, and there will be more to come on this topic next week.

“Exercise because you love your body, not because you hate it.”


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 31


Last week, we talked about Sarcopenia – this week we delve into Osteopenia; Wikipedia definition: Osteopenia is a condition in which bone mineral density is lower than normal. It is considered by many doctors to be a precursor to osteoporosis. However, not every person diagnosed with osteopenia will develop osteoporosis.

Bottom line is – we need to keep our bones healthy and strong. As we age, our bone density will gradually decline, but there are various ways to maintain adequate strength in our bones. Diet, exercise and supplements can all help enhance our bone density.

For a bit more detailed look at this aging condition, check out this article/link.

Bones are obviously crucial to our daily existence, but many people seem to take our bones for granted. As we go through life, it is important for us to keep paying attention to the vital skeletal system in our bodies. This second article this week focuses on a variety of factors for overall bone health.

Are you consciously taking care of YOUR bones?!

“Make yourself stronger than your excuses.”
(Adding a new motivational slogan at the end of each post ….)


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 30


This week’s topic is sarcopenia, which is basically a loss of muscle tissue and muscle mass, which occurs as part of the ageing process. Yet, it is definitely possible to maintain desired muscle mass, and hopefully reverse the process of sarcopenia.

Just a few days ago this NY Times article discussed the topic of sarcopenia, focusing mainly on “older” people – past 50 is old?! This condition can actually start in people as early as their late 30’s and 40’s, and progress if not addressed properly. Maintaining muscle mass is one of the main reasons for my regular resistance/weight training program, and I fully believe that it helps slow many other factors in the overall ageing process. Reminder from the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid – two times per week of strength training is adequate. AND – strength exercises always just makes me feel better! Just pick up and put down some heavy things each week – with good form!

The second article this week delves much deeper on sarcopenia, and how to prevent/decrease/reverse any symptoms of this condition. Check for yourself to see how many of these ten methods for addressing your own muscle mass/muscle deterioration you are currently practicing!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 29


For many years, most people pursuing fitness and athletic endeavors-accomplishments have thought it best to use carbohydrates as a source of fuel. We have been told (and are still being informed) by the so-called experts, that having a big high-carb meal of pasta-spaghetti, etc …. the night before a big game or event will serve as the best energy source. I was definitely stuck in that paradigm (rut) for years, trying my best to load up with starchy carbohydrates especially, but eventually and especially in longer bouts of exercise or long races, my fuel (glycogen stores) would diminish.

Yet, in the past several or more years, the science of fueling for exercise has evolved significantly. Now, many exercise physiologists are recommending healthy fats sources to athletes and everyday exercisers. Participants in longer distance events are now often seen fueling on fatty treats like almond butter or coconut butter packets. There is much evidence now, to prove that fueling with fats should be considered as a main source of energy, and for your overall metabolism. This article best explains this paradigm shift.

Today, my primal eating habits consist of a good daily amount of healthy fats, used either for cooking or eating – butter, ghee, avocado oil, coconut oil, avocados, olives, nuts & seeds, coconut products, olive oil, nut butters, etc …. I would guess that my nutritional/macronutrient intake would be about 50% fats, 30% proteins, and around 20% carbohydrates (mainly from vegetables, quinoa, wild rice and a bit of fruits). My daily energy levels have been consistently high throughout the day, with very few lulls; whereas I used to pften experience a late afternoon energy crash. I attribute much of my current daily energy to my food-drink intake. It is obvious that my body has adapted, and changed from my earlier carb-heavy days as a “sugar-burner” to now becoming fully fat-adapted and a “fat-burning machine!”

I hope many others can follow a similar path to becoming fat-adapted. More to come on fat, cholesterol, etc …. in upcoming posts. For now, try adding more healthy fats into your daily nutrition plan!


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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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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 24


Greetings Healthy, Happy Friends!

During these summer months when I am at home, I enjoy food shopping, and then preparing/cooking our daily meals – especially our dinners. As I peruse the items available in various stores, I try to remember which organic foods to purchase. I realise that many organic products are usually more expensive, but I feel that the extra cost is worth the benefits to be gained.

This article offers one list of recommended items to buy organic –

Another great resource is the EWG – Environmental Working Group. Their “mission is to empower people to live healthier lives in a healthier environment. With breakthrough research and education, we drive consumer choice and civic action. We are a non-profit, non-partisan organization dedicated to protecting human health and the environment.”

Every year, the EWG publishes their updated list of The Dirty Dozen and The Clean Fifteen. It is highly recommended that you buy organic for the dirty dozen, while the clean 15 are OK to buy conventional, or non-organic. You can review these items for 2018 at the above links.

As I return to Bangkok soon, I will keep this list close by in our kitchen, to remind me during upcoming grocery shopping trips.

As the saying goes …. some “food for thought!”


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 23

Is Juice Really Healthy?!

Dear Friends,

I can remember growing up and enjoying a big glass of orange juice every morning, often along with a bowl of the latest flavour of boxed cereal (with lots of sugar as a main ingredient), and a few pieces of toast. Or I might include a big bagel with margarine (supposedly healthier than butter!). I continued eating this way often through my college years, and into my life as an adult – thinking that this was a fairly healthy way to start my day. In reality, I was giving myself a massive influx of sugar, causing my insulin to skyrocket; and then ending up hungry again just 2-3 hours later – and then eating/drinking another insulin-surging snack.

But I digress a bit – the main topic this week is JUICE. The number of different juice choices you can find in a grocery store these days is astronomical – so many brands, so many flavors – all claiming to offer a myriad of health benefits. Yet, as I am confident that many of you have become aware of in recent years – many of these juices contain more sugar than typical sodas/soft drinks. For those of you with children, please take special note.

A recent article, written by two pediatrics professors, describes a more illuminating look at the actual effects of ingesting any type of fruit juices on a regular basis.

Another resource – Authority Nutrition (evidence-based), agrees with the unhealthy effects of fruit juices.

Again, as many of you likely know, it is better for us to eat our fruits and vegetables in their “whole” state, instead of juicing – which can produce more insulin in the body, while also missing out on the fiber from eating the actual fruit or vegetable. Yet, another common practice among people seeking better health through nutrition is the process of juice cleanses. I have never been a fan of “cleansing,” as my option would be more along the lines of some type of fasting (more on this in future posts!) Yet, I realise that some people may have enjoyed various effects of a juice cleanse. This article offers some information and a “bottom line” on juice cleanses.

OK, that’s all for this week. Have a great upcoming weekend!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 22

Belated Happy July 4th to all my American Friends!

As many of you know, I am a big fan of Vibram five finger shoes, which I wear almost every day. Recently, I have taken my new V-Trek shoes (see attached photo) out for some test runs on some great hikes, both in New Hampshire and here in the Adirondack mountains in upstate New York. I even had a “trail mate” for a short stretch on the route today – see attached video!​


The new shoes were fantastic during the hikes, handling all of the uneven terrain both uphill and downhill wonderfully! Hiking/trekking remains arguably my favourite form of exercise, and more importantly – my favourite form of movement. Inevitably, I always feel re-energised with renewed vigour during and after my journeys on the trail – sometimes enjoying some forest bathing along the way – see blog post # 16.

Speaking of movement, I am currently reading an excellent book by Katy Bowman – “MOVE YOUR DNA – Restore Your Health Through Natural Movement.” This book has been an eye-opener for me, as it offers an entirely new and different look at movement and exercise – working at the cellular level. The book has also motivated me to spend much more time barefoot, which is easier to do here, being close to nature – spending time at our lake/beach and out on a paddleboard also.

Hope you enjoy these inks about preparing for barefooting and transitioning to more of a barefoot lifestyle! AND – I trust that you will consider spending more time being barefoot soon – both inside and outside!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 21

The Benefits of Being Social

Greetings Healthy & Happy Friends!

Today’s main topic is your social life. Having a close network of friends you can count on is wonderfully beneficial to the overall health and wellness of your lifestyle.

A special thanks to one of my dedicated fitness clients – Vera Day, for sharing this insightful TedTalk about one way to extend your life. Only a 16-minute video, so please find some time to enjoy soon!

Next, an article from my own guru, Mark Sisson from Mark’s Daily Apple – regarding how our friendships can have such a positive impact on our overall health.

Finally, I think we can all identify with this quotation from the Dalai Lama:
“Basically, a human being is a social animal. So, if you create some short moment of happiness for people, you get deep satisfaction.”

Have a great day, enjoy the upcoming weekend, and I hope many of you are also enjoying the excitement and amazing passion of the World Cup matches these days!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 20

The Power of Gratitude

Happy Summer Everybody!

THANK YOU! Two words that are spoken by us every day, often just as a habit in reply or response to something somebody has done for us. I have made a recent effort to “practice” gratitude each day, which always puts me in the most positive frame of mind. At this time, my wife and I are visiting family in California, and enjoying some wonderfully sunny, warm days outside with long walks-hikes, some other exercise and soaking in lots of natural vitamin D! I am very grateful that we can spend time with my brother-in-law and his lovely wife, as we catch up and often laugh at/with each other, sharing stories together.

There are many ways that gratitude/being grateful can impact our lives on a daily basis. This article is one of many which illustrates the wonderful benefits of gratitude, ending with a powerful quote from the Dalai Lama.

AND, please know that I am very grateful that YOU have chosen to follow along in my new journey to help others in various ways, which are hopefully personally meaningful.

Hoping you all enjoy the summer, and please try practicing more gratitude in your daily life!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 19

“IKIGAI” – Life Purpose & Longevity

Greetings Healthy & Happy Friends,

Well, another school year has come and gone – officially the last one for yours truly – as I transition into my “next career.” This week’s main topic is “ikigai” – the term comes to us from Japan. This can mean our purpose for living, our reason for being – something that we truly and genuinely value, basically that which makes our life worth living!

For me personally, my new venture as a health & fitness coach is what drives me at this point in my life – it is what I am passionate about, and what gets me excited about getting up each morning to start a new day. As I also focused on longevity, this article explains about how ikigai can support our goals and our quest for a long “healthspan.”

Wishing you all a wonderfully healthy weekend!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 18

Healthy Travel !

Dear Friends,

As many of us are preparing to leave Thailand (or other countries) soon for the upcoming holidays, I thought it would be appropriate to share some ideas about how to best survive (& maybe thrive!) during the extremely long flights to your many destinations around the world.

I found this article recently (apologies for some profanity included); and I have used-followed a number of the tips/advice mentioned, specifically:

– refraining from eating any airplane meals (I always bring my own healthy snacks, such as nuts, dried fruit, jerky, etc ….); although I will sometimes eat some fresh fruits served on the plane. Additionally, I will often fast or restrict calories on long flights, while drinking lots of water and green tea, if available.

– no alcohol

– wear compression sleeves on my calves

– move around whenever you can; my “routine” is usually to watch a movie, and then get up, walk around and find a place in the back of the plane where I can do some light exercises-movements (squats, lunges, arm circles, and other simple activation stretches); for about 10-15 minutes. I then go back to my seat, watch another movie, and get up and move, and just repeat several times ….

– As much as possible, I try to schedule my longest flights to arrive at the final destination in the morning; so that I can get outside and take a nice long walk – getting some time in the sun, and also some barefoot time in some nice grass or even better – on a beach!

– I also try to get in some kind of short workout to get a bit sweaty, and helps re-energize after such long periods of sitting on the flights.

– Stay up until normal bedtime in your new time zone. This is very important, and I might also use some melatonin to help adjust my sleep schedule.

Finally, I was able to find a natural, homeopathic product, which I regularly use on all long flights in any direction, to help prevent-reduce the effects of jet lag. I found this in a Whole Foods Market store in the U.S. several years ago, and I have been using it ever since, with wonderful success in helping reduce my jet lag significantly.

OK, that’s all for this week –


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 17

Grass-Fed (& Grass-Finished) Beef

Greetings Healthy & Happy Folks!

This week features a fascinating look at why grass-fed beef could be considered as The Most Vegan Item In The Supermarket ! This section of the article is what I have believed and understood for a number of years now –

“Sadly, in the practice of agriculture it is impossible to not cause endless suffering to many living creatures. One could argue that the most suffering of all is caused by annual agriculture, the cultivation of vegetables, including grains, beans, and rice, that only take one year to grow from seed to food. We displace countless wild animals from their homes and lands when we cultivate annual crops. Not only that, we also kill thousands of creatures when we till the soil.”
But, to be completely fair and impartial – here is another differing viewpoint on this issue.
Personally, when I do eat meat/beef, I try to consume grass-fed & grass-finished products. I do believe that this is the healthiest option for me, as I enjoy the flavor and also the superb nutrients I obtain from the beef. Overall, each of us makes our own choices on how to stay healthy in terms of nutrition – whether you are vegan, vegetarian, omnivore, carnivore, etc …. Whatever works best for you as an individual, in terms of staying lean, strong and maintaining adequate energy levels – is the way to go!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 15

Female Health & Fitness Focus! (Men must read also!!)

Dear Healthy & Happy Friends!

As you may know, there are many women who receive these weekly messages, so we will give our main attention this week to the “stronger gender” – the fantastic, fabulous females! The information and advice presented will focus mainly on our “better halves” – but all of us men should certainly want to know more about what happens in female bodies and minds throughout our years together …. Remember guys – empathy and compassion are vital characteristic traits for all of us!

First, here are some important tips for primal women

AND – what about hormonal changes and physiological developments that can occur in women as you age, and how that could affect your fitness routine/regimen ….

I hope you all enjoy and learn a bit from these great articles and links!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy! # 14


Greetings Healthy & Happy Friends!

This week’s topic is sarcopenia, which is basically a loss of muscle tissue and muscle mass, which occurs as part of the ageing process. Yet, it is definitely possible to maintain desired muscle mass, and hopefully reverse the process of sarcopenia.

This is a condition which can start in people as early as their late 30’s and 40’s, and progress if not addressed properly. Maintaining muscle mass is one of the main reasons for my regular resistance/weight training program, and I fully believe that it helps slow many other factors in the overall ageing process. Reminder from the Primal Blueprint Fitness Pyramid – two times per week of strength training is adequate.

Hope you enjoy this week’s article about sarcopenia, and how to prevent/decrease/reverse any symptoms of this condition!


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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 13

Gut Microbiome Revisited, & Cold Exposure Benefits

Dear Healthy, Happy Friends,

FIRST – thanks to Nat Whitman for sharing this article on diet soda, as a follow-up to how our gut microbiome (“second brain”) can be adversely affected by artificial sweeteners and the many other additives that are prevalent in numerous processed foods/drinks. Great research, Nat!

NEXT – as promised, and in contrast to last week’s info about the health benefits of saunas – we get into the positive effects cold exposure can have on the body and the mind ….

Starting with a list of reasons for us to welcome the feeling of being cold –

AND – some benefits of a nice cold shower ….

One habit I have tried to include in my daily routine is finishing off a hot shower with cold water for as long as I can take it. This is obviously a shock to my system initially, but invariably I end up feeling more refreshed and awake-alive! If any of you have similar experiences with any type of cold exposure, please feel free to share.

OK, that’s all for this week ….


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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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Be Healthy, Be Happy # 7

Running: How Much / How Fast is Beneficial ?!

Greetings Healthy, Happy Friends!

So, last week we talked about the many benefits of walking ….

Moving on this week, we get into running – as I am sure many of you may run/jog at times, or you have run in the past. I used to run/jog 40-50 miles per week, and I often enjoyed the endorphin rush people get during a nice run/jog. These days, I do not run too much – except maybe on a tennis court, or doing some sprints once a week or so, or maybe some very light, easy jogging in the park. I believe, and much evidence shows, that I can still get “cardio” benefits from my regular strength training sessions and/or HIIT – High Intensity Interval Training.

This Tedx Talk features Dr. James O’Keefe, a cardiologist in the U.S. –
It is 18 minutes long, so I hope you can find that much time sometime soon, to watch and learn some interesting things about running.

“The fitness patterns for conferring longevity and robust lifelong cardiovascular health are distinctly different from the patterns that develop peak performance and marathon/superhuman endurance. Extreme endurance training and racing can take a toll on your long-term cardiovascular health. For the daily workout, it may be best to have more fun and endure less suffering in order to attain ideal heart health.”

As I have mentioned several times in previous posts, my main goal is to live long and live healthy – for as many years as possible. I am basically moving/exercising for longevity, which is different than training for peak fitness. My current level of overall weekly exertion is enough to keep me in an optimal conditioned state. For all of you runners out there, I know that many of you are consciously supplementing your training with strength workouts, stretching or activities like yoga. That is highly commendable. And for you “non-runners,” remember last week’s post and keep walking as much as you can. AND, when possible or the opportunity presents itself (not likely here in BKK), go for a hike up and down some nice hills. For me, going for a nice, long hike is my favorite form of exercise – more coming on hiking/trekking benefits soon ….

Please take some time to watch this Tedx Talk, and as always, feel free to send any questions/comments/concerns regarding the content.

If you do go out for a run or jog this weekend, think about going a bit slower and for a shorter distance also …. if you believe this message from Dr. O’Keefe, that is ….


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