Take a Hike


Hiking takes you out of your usual routine, fills your lungs with fresh air, and lifts your spirits with the sights and sounds of nature. You might even forget that you’re giving your body a powerful workout that has many health benefits.

A regular trek on the trail is aerobic exercise that is good for the heart and lungs. A weight-bearing exercise, hiking strengthens bones and joints, which helps to prevent osteoporosis. Trails with varied terrain build strength in the hip and leg muscles. You’ll also strengthen your abdominal and back muscles, and improve balance and coordination. Hiking a few times a week, not just once a season, can help you maintain a healthy body weight. Hiking is also good for the mind and spirit. Studies show that exercising in nature lifts symptoms of stress and anxiety better than exercising indoors. When you hike with family or friends, the social experience contributes to good vibes for you and your kin.

Hiking Safety and Fitness Boosting Tips

Pack right. Use a daypack that properly fits your torso so the extra weight you carry (snacks, water, maps, first aid) won’t cause discomfort. If you aren’t properly fitted for a pack, you could risk injury to the back and hips.

Know before you go. Most trail systems have online maps that indicate degree of difficulty and trail conditions. Familiarize yourself with the trail map. It’s always possible for a GPS to lose its signal or battery strength, so carry a paper copy with you. Check the weather; dress and pack accordingly.

Buddy-up. A partner or group can help you navigate and assist if you get hurt.

Start slow. A short, local hike is best for beginners. Gradually work up to trails with hills, rugged terrain, or higher elevation.

Use poles. Poles propel you forward and engage upper body muscles, which gives a more vigorous workout.

Know your limits. Keep tabs on your water and fatigue level. Stay on marked trails.


Simple Grilled Venison Burgers

If you are unsure about the taste of venison, these burgers are a wonderful Venison_Burgersway to try it out. “Foodies” across the globe have embraced venison for its earthy flavor: Deer graze on grass, acorn, berries, and herbs, which lends to a unique taste and texture that is not found with any other cut of meat. The key to preparing venison is to enhance the natural flavors of this organic meat. Venison is usually quite lean, so in order to make sure these burgers aren’t too dry, the recipe calls for egg yolks and olive oil to give it a bit of help.

If you enjoy bacon, and save your drippings (or a few strips), you can add a heaping spoonful of the liquid (or ground strips) into the venison mixture. Just be sure to limit how much salt you are adding.


  • 1 lb. ground venison
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • Fresh ground black pepper and salt to taste


Gently combine all ingredients in a large bowl with a fork. Do not overwork the meat or it will give you very tough burgers. Shape into four large patties and grill over medium-high heat until medium well, about 3 minutes on each side, depending on thickness and the heat of your grill.

These are absolutely perfect topped with a slice of Colby jack cheese and fresh tomatoes.

Source: Brittany’s Pantry. “Simple Grilled Vension Burgers

Red Meat the Healthy Way

A diet high in red meat has been touted to either fatten your waistline and lead to heart disease, or to transform you into a leaner, healthier version of yourself. So what’s the skinny on eating red meat the healthy way?

Beef, lamb, pork, and venison provide quality protein, B-vitamins, iron, and zinc. Depending on the cut, meat can be low in fat. When buying meat, pay attention to the source, cut, processing, and preparation method.

Source. Meat can be derived from grass-fed cattle that has been raised organically and not fed drugs or hormones. After slaughter, organic meats have not had any chemical preservatives added. Conventional meat comes from animals bred on factory farms and usually exposed to hormones. While the scientific jury continues to debate the health benefits of organic cattle, holistic health providers advise choosing organic meats.

Processing. Meat can go through a variety of processing to create what may be some of your favorite foods: bacon, hot dogs, sausage, deli meat. Read the labels to understand exactly what is added to these products. The more words that look like chemical names, the more processing the meat has gone through and the less nutrient dense it will be.

Cut. The leanest cuts of meat tend to have the word “loin” in the name: sirloin, tenderloin, pork loin. Also good options are round and bottom round, chuck shoulder steaks, filet mignon, flank steak, bone-in rib chops, lamb loin, and 90-95% lean ground beef.

Portion size. Three to four ounces, or about the size your palm for a burger patty, steak, or chop.

Preparation. Grilled steak is a favorite for many people, but the compounds that form when meat is cooked at very high heat have been linked to the disease process in many animal studies. Enjoy grilled meats occasionally; more often, choose gentler cooking methods such as braising, stewing, and steaming. If you grill or broil, flip the meat frequently, and don’t set it right on the flame.

Beefy alternatives. Bison/buffalo, venison, and ostrich are lower in saturated fat than beef, high in protein, and good sources of vitamins and minerals.


Secrets for Sexy, Healthy Men

Most men know the basic health drill: eat more fresh, mostly organic foods; don’t smoke; exercise; and get an annual health exam. But there’s more to being a healthy, sexy man than choosing organic beef and hitting the gym a few days a week. Follow some of the “secrets” we list here and, in just a couple of weeks, you’ll see a boost in your vitality—and you might just live longer, too.

Take a time out. Getting into the Zen of the present moment reduces stress, lowers blood pressure, increases energy, and improves memory and immunity. A relaxed man also has better sex. Slow down for just 10-20 minutes a few days a week: try deep, belly breathing; getting outdoors for a walk (without your headphones); taking a yoga class; or checking out a meditation app.

LMAO. Here’s a good excuse to go to a comedy club with the guys: Laughing eases stress, promotes social bonding, and lowers blood pressure. It may even boost your immune system. So bring some humor into your life, whether it’s with friends, a funny book, or a movie.

Power-up the morning. Skipping breakfast will make you feel lethargic and give you middle-of-the-day cravings for sugar and other foods that will expand your waistline. A balanced breakfast—say, a bowl of oatmeal topped with raisins, walnuts, and a dash of flax seed, plus a side of eggs—will rev-up your metabolism and maintain your energy. Plus, fiber in your daily diet regulates digestion and can moderate inflammation, cut your risk for diabetes, and promote healthy cholesterol levels.

Pour a cup of green. Drinking a few cups of green tea each day can improve memory and cognition in men. Rich in cancer-fighting polyphenols, green tea is also credited with boosting immunity, firing up your metabolism, and lowering blood pressure. Low in caffeine, green tea is the next best thing to a glass of water for hydration, too.

Eat a rainbow. Every meal should include a variety of fruits and vegetables so you can reap the health benefits. Vibrantly colored produce is packed with flavonoids and carotenoids, powerful compounds that help reduce inflammation. Antioxidant-rich dark leafy greens may be some of the best cancer-preventing foods. They also help with weight management and regulate digestion.

Look sharp. You know to protect your skin with daily use of sunscreen with at least SPF 15, but don’t forget about protecting your eyes. Get your Joe Cool style and protect your eyes against cataracts, cancer, and even sunburn by choosing shades that provide 99-100% UV absorption or UV 400.

Hit the sack. Jimmy Fallon might be funny, but the late hours won’t do much for your health. The number of hours of sleep needed varies for everyone. What’s most important is the quality of sleep you get. If you feel refreshed and ready for the day when you wake, then you’re getting good sleep. If you don’t, it’s time to change your pre-bedtime habits: Turn off digital devices an hour before bedtime; eat your last meal before 7 p.m.; stick to a regular sleep-wake schedule and … watch Jimmy the next day while you’re working out.

Sex it up. A relaxed, well-rested man has better sex. In turn, sex can make you look and feel younger, reduce stress, boost immunity, enhance sleep, protect against prostate cancer, and improve cardiovascular health. Some studies even suggest a link between the frequency and enjoyment of sex with longevity. Yes sir, sex just might help you live longer.

Your wellness provider can help keep you in good health, but the responsibility ultimately falls on you. Check in with your doc once a year for cholesterol and blood pressure screenings, and a colonoscopy and prostate exam. There are not many cancers that we can either prevent or detect early enough to make a difference, but these are two. You’re worth it, right?


Food for Thought. . .

“The best gifts anyone can give to themselves are good health habits.”
— Ellen J. Barrier


Tonifying the Colon with Triphala

Constipation and improper elimination seem to be at an all-time high in many societies today. As a result, people looking for natural solutions may turn to ongoing magnesium supplementation; foods known to move the bowels, such as prunes; and herbs, such as cascara and senna. There are some potential harmful effects of using cascara and senna on an ongoing basis, as they do not address the cause of constipation. Considered “natural laxatives,” they can create dependence and disrupt peristalsis (the natural contractions of the bowel).

Instead, an herbal formula that can be very helpful to relieve constipation and restore normal bowel function over time is Triphala. This is a formula made of three herbs: Amalaki (Emblica officinalis), Bibhitaki (Terminalia bellirica), and Haritaki (Terminalia chebula). High in vitamin C, linoleic oil, and other nutrients, Triphala offers nutritional benefits, as well as blood and liver cleansing actions. It contains some anthraquinones that help to stimulate bile flow and peristalsis. Scientific research and clinical reports demonstrate Triphala to be an effective blood purifier that stimulates bile secretion as it detoxifies the liver, helps digestion and assimilation, and significantly reduces serum cholesterol and lipid levels throughout the body. As a result, it is regarded as a kind of universal panacea and is one of the most commonly prescribed herbal formulas in India.

Order Triphala here.

As always, addressing the root cause of improper elimination is first and foremost. So, before starting on any substance or formula, discuss the best strategy for you with your doctor or qualified healthcare practitioner.


Power Up Your Gut with Fermented Foods

Fermented foods may be setting trends on The Huffington Post, but these nutrient-potent foods have been around for thousands of years in Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and German cultures. For people living without modern medicine and refrigeration, fermentation was a simple means of food preservation and a way to imbue foods with the health-enhancing properties of the live bacteria the gut needs to stay in balance. Fermented foods are a potent source of probiotics, which research has shown are essential to powering up the mucosal immune system in your digestive tract and producing antibodies to pathogens. Both are key to helping you maintain vibrant health.

You may not even realize just how many fermented foods you already enjoy in your diet (see list). Incorporate more of these probiotic powerhouses into meals, and put those good-for-you organisms back into action in your gut.

Fermented Foods Short List

  • Cultured Dairy: Yogurt, kefir, buttermilk, sour cream, some cheeses
  • Veggies: Beets, radishes, tomatoes, onions, garlic, kimchi, green beans, sauerkraut
  • Condiments fermented at home or commercially: ketchup, relish, salsa, chutney
  • Other: Miso, tempeh, tofu, soy sauce

Fermented Food Facts & Tips

  • All fermented foods must be kept cool to maintain the live cultures.
  • Food labels must be marked “fermented.”
  • Fermented and “pasteurized” do not go together. Pasteurization kills live cultures.
  • Pickled is not the same as fermented (unless indicated on the label). Pickled foods are soaked in vinegar or brine.
  • Choose organic, non-GMO items or locally farmed products.
  • Start with small servings of fermented foods, one to two times a day.
  • Toss fermented veggies into salads; enjoy as a snack or as a side dish.
  • Add a spoonful or two to your morning smoothie (e.g., beets, kefir).

Make your own kimchi.


Colonic Irrigation


Colonic irrigation, also known as “colon hydrotherapy,” is the use of clean, temperature- and pressure-regulated water to flush out the lower intestines. This gentle flushing can aid in the elimination of toxin-containing waste in the colon, and relieve constipation by reestablishing regular bowel movements.

While the use of enemas is ancient, this particular therapy dates back to the early 1900s and has a long history of clinical evidence from physicians who routinely saw the difference it made in their patients’ symptoms. It is also surrounded in controversy, as many alternative healers make wild and fantastical claims of its benefits.

Colon hydrotherapy is so gentle and effective that it is frequently used as an alternative to oral laxatives before a colonoscopy. In addition, this therapy is used to treat people who suffer from fecal incontinence, children with chronic constipation, and those diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Finally, it is used to relieve the multitude of physical and emotional symptoms that frequently accompany chronic constipation, poor elimination, and various bowel diseases such as IBS.

As with any health procedure, it is important to work with a trained and certified colon hydrotherapist. When this procedure is done by a trained professional with proper equipment, the rate of adverse reactions is extremely low. This is a helpful and scientifically supported therapy used by all different types of physicians around the world.

Resource for finding a certified therapist:

  • Christensen, P., and K. Krogh. “Transanal Irrigation for Disordered Defecation: A Systematic Review.” Abstract. Scandinavian Journal of Gastroenterology 45, no. 5 (May 2010). doi: 10.3109/00365520903583855.
  • Mooventhan, A., and N.L. Nivethitha. “Scientific Evidence-based Effects of Hydrotherapy on Various Systems of the Body.” Abstract. North American Journal of Medical Sciences 6, no. 5 (May 2014):199-209. doi: 10.4103/1947-2714.132935.
  • Pizzorno, J., and M. Murray, eds. Textbook of Natural Medicine. Seattle: John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine: 1985.
  • Preziosi, G., et al. “Transanal Irrigation for Bowel Symptoms in Patients with Multiple Sclerosis.” Abstract. Diseases of the Colon and Rectum 55, no. 10 (October 2012).
  • Richards, D.G., D.L. McMillin, E.A. Mein, and C.D. Nelson. “Colonic Irrigations: A Review of the Historical Controversy and the Potential for Adverse Effects.” Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine 12, no. 4 (May 2006): 389-93.

What Your Bowel Movements Reveal about Your Health

Unless you’re the parent of a toddler who has just mastered “going potty,” poop is probably not a hot topic in your household. But the composition of what you deposit into the toilet has important implications for health. Did you know the features of fecal matter–such as the size, color, shape, odor, and consistency indicate how well the gastrointestinal (GI) tract is functioning? Those same features also provide clues about how your body is (or isn’t) faring against threats of infection and more serious diseases like celiac disease, hepatitis, urinary tract infections, malabsorption disorders, inflammatory bowel disease, pancreatitis, and cancer.

To give you an idea of what healthy, normal stool looks like, check out the Bristol Stool Chart. The healthy range for fecal matter is of a consistency that is not too hard, not too soft, and mostly solid–as opposed to lumpy, pellet-like, or liquid. Normal stool color is in the light-to-medium brown range and is not offensively odorous. Also, bowel movements (BMs) should pass easily from your body to the toilet.

5 BMs that Require Medical Attention
Unless you are aware of dietary changes or a medication that could produce the following types of stool, it’s advisable to seek medical attention if you observe the following changes in BMs.

  1. Stool that is hard to pass, requires straining, or is accompanied by abdominal pain.
  2. Black, tarry stool might indicate infection or GI bleeding, while bright red stool could indicate infection and/or bleeding in the GI tract or anus. Seek immediate medical attention.
  3. White, pale, or grey stool could indicate problems with the liver, bile ducts, or pancreas.
  4. Yellow stool could indicate serious infection or gallbladder problems.
  5. Mucus in the stool can indicate inflammation, infection, or even cancer.

How Often Should You Go?

How frequently you have a BM is important, too. And, what’s typical for you may be different for other people in your family. For most people, three weekly BMs are considered the norm. No matter how often you poop, you should not have to strain or experience pain while excreting. Additionally, be aware that the appearance and frequency of BMs will vary based on what’s in your diet, sleep and exercise patterns, hormonal changes, travel, stress, hydration level, medications or supplements you are taking, and exposure to toxins (from nicotine to industrial toxins).

How Low Should You Go?

There’s also evidence that the position you take to evacuate the bowels has health implications for the physical structures of the GI tract. So much so that some scientists indicate sitting to poop is a contributing factor in the development of colon and pelvic diseases. Before potty training, young children squat to poop in their diapers–they don’t sit. Yes, there’s a difference between squatting and sitting. The modern toilet places the thighs at a 90-degree angle to the abdomen, whereas squatting has a much deeper angle that gives more motility to the intestinal muscles and organs. Evacuating the bowels is much easier on the body in the squatting versus seated position. Toilet position should be a consideration for everyone over the age of five, but is especially important for the elderly, the disabled, and individuals with compromised mobility.

Click the pic to learn more and see videos.



Homemade Kimchi

Kimchi (aka kimchee or gimchi) is a traditional fermented Korean main dish

A bowl of traditional Korean napa Kimchi with white rice.
A bowl of traditional Korean napa Kimchi with white rice.

made of vegetables with a variety of seasonings. It is often described as spicy and sour. There are hundreds of varieties of kimchi made from napa cabbage, radish, scallion, or cucumber as a main ingredient. In traditional preparation, kimchi is fermented in jars stored underground for months.

Brine: For each cup of vegetables use 1 TBSP raw vinegar and/or fresh squeezed lemon and enough water to cover the vegetables.

Try turnips, okra, beans, eggplant, or other favorite vegetables that are in season.

  • 1 daikon radish or a few red radishes, sliced into half moons
  • 2 carrots, sliced into half moons
  • 2 green tomatoes or tomatillos, chopped
  • 1 medium onion (leeks, scallions, or shallots may be substituted, to taste)
  • 6 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium-size chile peppers (jalapeno for mild heat, habanero for more kick), chopped
  • 3 tablespoons freshly grated ginger
  • 1 tablespoon any brand Himalayan pink salt


Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. “Massage” the mixture with your hands, grabbing handfuls and squeezing repeatedly until vegetables are wilted and excess water is squeezed out.

Spoon kimchi mixture into a quart-size jar with a wide mouth. Pack tightly, pressing hard until brine rises; the vegetables must be submerged to avoid mold forming. Loosely cover jar with a lid.

Allow kimchi to ferment at room temperature for about a week. Each day, press the mixture down to keep vegetables submerged in the brine. The longer it ferments, the more sour it becomes.

When kimchi has fermented to your taste, store in the refrigerator.