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June Newsletter 2021

Food Rules: This is the name of a book written by Michael Pollan, the guy who wrote The Omnivore's Dilemma a few years ago. He is the one who managed to reduce thousands of books on diet and health into one all-meaning and very succinct sentence which is: Eat Food, Mostly Plants, Not Too Much. Think about that. This is really all you need.

In Food Rules, a tidy little book published in 2011, he says this about the Eat Food part in the sentence above: "These days this is easier said than done, especially when seventeen thousand new products show up in the supermarket each year all vying for your food dollar. But most of these items don't deserve to be called food - I prefer to call them edible food-like substances. They are highly processed concoctions designed by food scientists, consisting mostly of ingredients derived from corn and soy... and they contain chemical additives with which the human body has not been long acquainted. Today, much of the challenge of eating well, comes down to choosing real food and avoiding these industrial novelties." There you have it. As Sherry Rogers, M.D. has long said, "eat nothing from a bag, box, can, jar or wrapper." If you do this and take a few supplements, you will be fine and healthy and live a long and robust life filled with loving friends and family and with interesting and rewarding things to do, read, see, hear and experience.

Revisiting gene variants of the aged: It's called the "Nice Young Man" gene. This gene is restricted to women and it may strike as early as 50, but it will certainly be in full expression by the age of 70. Generally and luckily for all, this expression will mostly remain hidden in the silence of the frontal lobes of the women in question. But, unbeknownst to her, it may pop up in unexpected places like The Home Depot, when she is looking for a whimmy-diddle (Appalachian idiom meaning watchamacallit) to replace something that broke in her Reverse Osmosis Water Filter. At that moment - with the broken whimmy-diddle clutched in her hand, and panicked by being in the overwhelmity of The Home Depot, she finds herself saying to herself: "I need to find a Nice Young Man to help me find this whimmy-diddle replacement."

Of perhaps she is in Whole Foods and she notices that the item she wants - goat milk - is on the very top shelf of the dairy section and since she is quite short there is no way in God's name that she can possibly reach it from the floor and since she is too old to hike herself up on a lower shelf in order to grasp said carton of goat milk she's in trouble. But, on second thought, she might try anyway... Then she thinks about how embarrassing it would be if she slipped and fell to the floor breaking her hip. Anyway, her shoulder hurts, too... So, again, she finds herself saying to herself "Let me go find a Nice Young Man to help me reach the goat milk."

Why should I eat grass-fed beef? (That is, if you eat meat - vegetarians, you can skip this part). Dave Asprey has noted that there are 5 good reasons to eat grass-fed:

1) Factory farms are deplorable places, putting cows in inhumane situations where they stand in their own poop day in and day out. We all know this, though. However, do you know this? Factory farms create aggressive and pathogenic bacteria, like e.coli and it's taking more and more antibiotics to keep the cows relatively healthy (80% of the antibiotics in the USA are sold to feedlots.) But here is the biggest, most serious problem: Some bacteria will escape into your burger and make you sick.

2) Industrial beef destroys soil but grass-fed beef creates soil.

3) Grass-fed beef is better for you. If you eat feedlot beef, you will be getting meat that is the product of what they have been fed, i.e. corn and soy.

4) Corn and soy used in feedlots are universally sprayed with harmful glyphosates. Glyphosates are dangerous chemicals and can disrupt your gut bacteria.

5) And lastly, grass-fed beef prevents animal abuse. It's bad enough for an almost-vegetarian (me) to eat meat, but to eat meat where I know that the animal has been ritually, systematically and horribly abused is (almost) enough to drive me into a meat-less lifestyle.

Surprising New Benefits for Gotu Kola: At least it was surprising to me. A patient told me this new information after doing some research on Dr. Google. Why had I given her this new herb with the funny name? (I learn tons of stuff from patients, by the way). I have been routinely giving it to older women because it is good for preventing ischemia and assisting blood flow. Well, my patient found that it is also a sedative and she has been taking it for sleep. I tried it, and YES! It is wonderful for deeper sleep. If you are taking it, try taking your 2 Gotu Kolas before bed and see what happens.

Thought for the day: Have you noticed how hard it is to avoid fear? We are drowning in a sea of fear: Fear of COVID, the vaccine, the president, the "other" political party. Should I wear a mask? Is it really safe? Blah, Blah Blah, ad nauseum. Remember that your time on this planet is precious; don't waste it by filling your brain with what other people think you should be thinking about. Or being afraid of. Be mindful about what you allow into your personal space, and fill your life with the things that inspire you. The sun's out, spring is truly here and it's time to play outside, folks!

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