Monthly Archives: April 2014

Sugar vs Fat: Which is Worse?

Sugar or fat, which is worse? That’s the question in a recent BBC documentary..

It’s an interesting setup. Two identical twin brothers – both of them doctors – go on a diet for a month. One on an extreme low fat diet, one on an extreme low carb diet (not even vegetables are allowed!).

One twin gave up sugar, the other gave up fat. The findings were more or less what could be expected:


Even though both brothers were at a fairly decent weight to start with, the low-carb brother lost the most weight: 4 kg (9 pounds) vs only 1 kg (2 pounds) for the low-fat brother.

The loss of fat was 1,5 kg on low-carb (a good result in a month) and 0,5 kg on low-fat. Most of the rest was probably fluid. On a very strict low-carb diet you quickly lose a kilo or two of glycogen and water weight.

How much – if any – muscle mass the participants lost is impossible to know as the  test only measures fat mass vs. non-fat mass (including water).

Weight loss should never be the only, or even the most important goal – achieving vibrant health should be the priority; then optimum weight will be the result.

Brain function

For testing the brain function of the brothers the producers chose to make them do stock trading with fake money.

This test is rather dubious, but the low-fat brother wins.

More interesting and relevant is that the low-carb brother complained of feeling “thick-headed”.  Going on an extreme low-carb diet – without even vegetables – can absolutely result in problems concentrating, etc.


For testing their exercise capacity the brothers did “long sessions of uphill cycling”. The low-carb brother predictably loses badly.


The documentary concludes that it’s not about fat or sugar, it’s about avoiding processed food with both fat and sugar in it. This is an excellent start, but not enough.

It’s even more important to focus on what we DO eat. As Dr. David Katz says: “Mostly plant-based diets add years to your life and life to your years.” … and Michael Pollen: “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

So let’s eat lots of fruits, veggies, berries … ie. plants; and focus less on what we should not eat … sugar, fat, etc. That’s a ‘glass is half full’ approach, rather than ‘half empty’. In fact, “the glass is half full and the other half was delicious!” should be our motto!

We have a proven program for achieving vibrant health – just in case you are interested: Transform2014.

Steven Ritz loves Tower Garden!

We were privileged to have Steven Ritz speak at our Juice
Plus+ Conference last week – WOW! Watch his TED talk:

Steven and his Green Bronx Machine have embraced our Tower Garden by Juice Plus+.

Steven is a gifted and inspirational teacher; he and we are
spreading the same message.

Tower Garden has been scientifically studied by the University of Mississippi  with impressive results:

Comparing traditional growing (with near perfect conditions) to Tower Garden growing, the researchers “compared the product yield, total phenolics, total flavonoids, and antioxidant properties in different leafy vegetables/herbs (basil, chard, parsley, and red kale) and fruit crops (bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and squash) grown in aeroponic growing systems (AG – Tower Garden) and in the field (FG). An average increase of about 19%, 8%, 65%, 21%, 53%, 35%, 7%, and 50% in the yield was recorded for basil, chard, red kale, parsley, bell pepper, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, and squash, respectively, when grown in aeroponic systems, compared to that grown in the soil. Antioxidant properties of AG and FG crops were evaluated using 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl (DDPH) and cellular antioxidant (CAA) assays. In general, the study shows that the plants grown in the aeroponic system had a higher yield and comparable phenolics, flavonoids, and antioxidant properties as compared to those grown in the soil.”

The study also confirmed that the Tower Gardens used less than 10% of the water and nutrients required by traditional growing methods.

The Benefits of a Rainbow

We all want to live longer, healthier lives, and perhaps the solution can be found at the end of the rainbow.

rainbowThe phrase “eat the rainbow” has been coined to encourage the intake of a variety of fruits and vegetables. All produce is not created equal, and it requires a diverse diet to provide us with the nutrients we need to increase health and prevent disease.


Red fruits and vegetables are colored by the natural plant pigments lycopene and anthocyanin. Foods such as red bell peppers, cherries, rhubarb and beets are providing more than great flavor, as they contain vitamins A and C, manganese and fiber.

The lycopene that comes from foods such as tomatoes, watermelon and red grapefruit has been linked to a decrease in some cancers and heart disease.


Squash, carrots, sweet potatoes, peaches and cantaloupe are colored by carotenoids – a natural food pigment that has been shown to decrease risk of cancer and other diseases while boosting the immune system. These foods also contain large amounts of potassium, fiber and vitamins like C, B6 and A. Vitamin A plays an important role in the health of skin, hair and eyes.


The pigment chlorophyll colors our favorite fruits and veggies green. Broccoli, asparagus, kiwi, artichokes and those green leafy vegetables like spinach, kale and bok choy provide us with calcium, iron and lutein – an antioxidant that appears to play a substantial role in the health of our eyes.


Eggplant, blackberries, red onion and blueberries are colored by anthocyanins – antioxidants that improve the health of blood vessels, skin and the brain. Try a purple carrot or potato to reap some of these colorful benefits.


White fruits and vegetables such as bananas, cauliflower and parsnips look the way they do thanks to anthoxanthins. These foods provide vitamins C and K, folate, potassium and fiber. Onions and garlic contain allicin, a possible heart healthy and anti-bacterial compound.

Eating a rainbow of foods is not only more aesthetically pleasing, but it provides us with far reaching benefits. As we increase the diversity on our dinner plate with plant-based, colorful foods, it becomes easier to meet recommended daily servings of fruits and vegetables, while moving us closer to the healthy lifestyle we all seek.

And as I wrote recently Eating More Vegetables Can Almost Halve Your Risk of Dying – and that’s proven!

Read the full article and Bridge the Gap with Juice Plus+

Eating More Vegetables Can Almost Halve Your Risk of Dying

Fruit makes a difference too, but fresh veggies have a larger effect .

We’ve all been told to eat our vegetables, and even if we don’t like it, we know they’re good for us. But a new study shows just how good for our longevity they may be.

7-13-servingsSeven or more portions of fruit and vegetables a day can lower your risk of dying by an astonishing 42%, according to a new study published in the Journal of Epidemiology & Community Health. The more fruits and vegetables the participants ate, the less likely they were to die at any age, and the protective benefit increased with consumption.

The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends anywhere between one to two cups of fruit daily and one to three cups of vegetables daily, depending on age and gender. This equates to 7 servings for a girl aged 4 and 13 servings for a young adult male. Their slogan follows, “Fruit and veggies — more matters.”

When compared with consuming less than one portion of fruit and vegetables a day, the risk of death by any cause was reduced by 14% by eating one to three portions; 29% for three to five portions; 36% for five to seven portions; and 42% for seven or more. Eating seven or more portions also specifically reduced the risk of dying from cancer by 25%, and heart disease by 31%.

168837404“The clear message here is that the more fruit and vegetables you eat, the less likely you are to die at any age,” lead study author Oyinlola Oyebode, of University College London’s Department of Epidemiology and Public Health, said in a statement. “Vegetables have a larger effect than fruit, but fruit still makes a real difference. If you’re happy to snack on carrots or other vegetables, then that is a great choice, but if you fancy something sweeter, a banana or any fruit will also do you good.”

The study is the first to associate eating fruits and vegetables with all-cause, cancer and heart-disease deaths in a nationally representative population, and to quantify the benefits by portions. Researchers looked at results from the Health Survey for England between 2001 and 2013, which detailed the eating habits of 65,226 people.

Read the full article … and Bridge the Gap with Juice Plus+.

Do coffee and tea really dehydrate us?

(Thinkstock) I’ve long believed that tea and coffee dehydrates us, but this article has made me think and ask: “what does the evidence say?”

Every day people around the globe drink 1.6 billion cups of coffee and around twice as many cups of tea (I contribute a lot to that number!)

They enjoy the taste and the fact that the caffeine wakes them up. But when we’re exhorted to drink six or eight glasses of water a day, it’s usually emphasized that drinks like coffee and tea don’t count towards your daily liquid total because they’re dehydrating.

Perhaps we should ask “What’s the evidence?”

Although tea and coffee contain many different substances the one on which most research focuses is caffeine. Even then there is so little research on the topic, that one of the most frequently mentioned studies was conducted way back in 1928 with a sample of just three people. The three men were studied over the course of two winters. Sometimes they were required to drink four cups of coffee a day; sometimes they drank mainly tea and at other times they abstained or drank water laced with pure caffeine. Meanwhile the volume of their urine was measured regularly. The authors concluded that if the men consumed caffeine-laced water after a two month period of abstinence from both coffee and tea, the volume of their urine increased by 50%, but when they drank coffee regularly again they became inured to its diuretic effects.

Very large doses of caffeine are known to increase the blood flow to the kidneys and to inhibit the absorption of sodium which explains why it could act as a diuretic, dealing with the sodium which hasn’t been absorbed. But the exact mechanism is still a matter of debate.

But when you look at the studies of more realistic quantities of caffeine, the diuretic effect is not nearly so clear. A review of 10 studies by Lawrence Armstrong from the University of Connecticut concluded that caffeine is a mild diuretic at most, with 12 out of 15 comparisons showing that people urinated the same amount, regardless of whether the water they drank contained added caffeine or not.

So why do so many people think they need the loo more often when they’ve been drinking tea or coffee? As the review indicates, most studies give people pure caffeine added to water, rather than cups of actual tea or coffee as you might drink at home. Is there something about the combination of substances contained in coffee and tea that make the difference?

In a rare study where people drank nothing but tea for the 12 hour duration of the trial, there was no difference in hydration levels between them and the people who drank the same quantity of boiled water. When it comes to the consumption of coffee, one study did find a 41% increase in urine, along with a rise in the excretion of sodium and potassium. But these participants had abstained from caffeine before the study, so this doesn’t tell us what would happen in people who are accustomed to drinking coffee.

A second study found no difference in hydration between those drinking water or coffee, leaving us with conflicting findings. Then came new research earlier this year from Sophie Killer at Birmingham University in the UK, who not only measured the volume of urine, but tested their blood for signs of kidney function as well as calculating the total amount of water in the body. The men in the study drank four cups of coffee a day, far more than the average coffee-drinker. Yet there was no evidence they were any more dehydrated than those who drank water alone. This research was funded by the Institute for Scientific Information on Coffee, whose members are coffee companies, but it has been published in a peer-reviewed journal and the authors confirm that the Institute played no role in gathering or analyzing the data or writing up the research.

So although we might notice needing the loo more when we’ve been drinking coffee, the mistake is basing our observations on a comparison with the time we’ve drunk nothing, not with a similar amount of water. If you chose a glass of water instead of a cup of tea, you’d probably see the same effect.

Read the full article … and drink that water (whatever the research says or doesn’t say!)

Mindless Eating

Could “mindless eating” be the answer to the perennial problem of getting children to eat their greens?

Most parents have experienced a tense stand-off with their offspring over a dinner plate, a floret of broccoli standing in the way of everyone involved getting on with their lives. But utilizing a certain bad eating habit could be the trick to get your child to eat their greens, says one expert.

Mindless eating is when you eat food without really registering it and nearly all of us do it, says Jane Ogden, professor in health psychology at the University of Surrey and author of The Good Parenting Food Guide. It’s why many people overeat – they unthinkingly munch on what’s in front of them regardless of what it is, portion size or if they’re even hungry. But if it’s properly controlled parents can make good use of it.

“It’s going to happen so utilise it,” says Ogden. “When your kids are watchingTV slip a bowl of chopped apple or carrots in front of them. Be casual, the trick is to get them to eat without realising what they’re doing. If they eat carrots in front of the TV one day put them on their dinner plate the next, they can’t argue they don’t like them. Kids learn to eat food through familiarity, it’s about getting them into the habit of eating fruit and vegetables. Snacking on rubbish is not good for children but eating fruit and vegetables between meals is not a problem.”

Make it as simple as possible, use food that is easy to hold and eat. Frozen peas are good, they can easily be popped in the mouth rather like Smarties. But like most things with children there is a golden rule: even if they eat their own body weight in broccoli don’t make a fuss or a big deal of it. Praise will give them power and they will use it against you, warns Ogden. You’ll be back to face-offs over those florets.

Read the full article.

Superfoods Anyone?

jp handThis picture says it all!

Every day we get 26 powerful superfoods – carefully grown, better-than-organic, vine-ripened, nutritionally dense, gently dehydrated fruits, veggies, berries and grains.

Then  drinking our daily shake (or two!) adds another 15+ superfoods.

Could this be the reason we are SO healthy? In our late 60s, taking no medications, living life to the PLUS+!

From Farm to Capsule

Juice Plus+ is second to none in terms of quality, effectiveness and affordability.  It’s  “the next best thing to fruits and vegetables” only because it’s dehydrated fruits, vegetables, berries and grains – it’s not exactly the same as “the real thing”. Yet it is SO powerful, because it’s made from the very best produce, grown in the very best conditions, by the very best farmers we can find.

Here are some of them:

The 10 Commandments of Fitness and Wellness

NY 85 2I discovered years ago the difference between health and fitness. I was known as “the fittest sick fellow” or “the sickest fit bloke” by my friends and family. I had fitness, but I did not have health; that’s me on 5th Ave. in the New York City Marathon way back then.

You see, it’s clear to me now that you can have fitness without health, but you cannot have health without fitness.

So I am excited to share this article by Eric C. Stevens. It’s very clever and full of profound truth. Thanks Eric:

I’m no Moses, but I’ve certainly experienced enough in my many years of fitness to establish my own ten commandments when it comes to fitness and wellness:

1. Thou shalt have no other gods in fitness besides health.

Behind every extrinsic fitness goal, such as wanting your body to look a certain way or getting your body to perform in a certain functional or athletic capacity, should be a lasting intrinsic motivator. All extrinsic goals will fail in the long run. All bodies age and atrophy and all athletes eventually retire. However, stand-alone concepts such as the expression of health and love of fitness can last the duration of our lifetimes. Make sure you aren’t bowing down to the temporary material physique and making a God out of what your body should look like.

10commandments2. Honor thy father and mother in fitness.

Regardless of whether you had great parents or a less than desirable upbringing, express yourself in fitness and wellness the way you should have been taught growing up. That is, demonstrate sportsmanship on the field of play, and demonstrate empathy, grace, and beauty in the realm of fitness and wellness. Always act with integrity in everything you do.

3. Thou shalt not take the name of fitness in vain.

Fitness should be synonymous with health and wellness, not vanity. The way your body looks isn’t your most valuable possession, your health is. Aesthetic fitness isn’t really fitness. Ultimately, the way your body looks isn’t an indicator of functionality, health, or even fitness. The people that truly matter to you don’t care that you have ripped muscles. You aren’t going to forge meaningful relationships, successful endeavors, or a sense of lasting happiness because you’ve sculpted the perfect physique. Everyone wants to look his or her best – I get it. But your guiding principle should be something bigger and deeper. Your grandmother was right. It’s what’s inside that matters.

4. Though shalt not kill…yourself in the process of getting fit.

For years, my goal was kill it at the boxing gym and in the weight room every day, often twice a day. I beat myself up a lot in the process, always winding up in some sort of physical therapy along the way. During those years, a wise man said to me, “Eric, you can either age gracefully or age foolishly. Which camp do you want to be in?” Solid advice, which I finally heard years later after my body gave me the same message the hard way. True fitness is finding a balance for your body, mind, and spirit.

5. Thou shalt not cheat, lie, or steal, in the name fitness.

Finish reps. Don’t half-ass your workouts, take shortcuts, or make excuses. More importantly, don’t profit by selling those same false hopes to others. If you don’t plan to face yourself in the world of fitness and wellness, do yourself a favor and just stay at home. There are no shortcuts, as we all know when it comes to anything worthwhile in this world. In fitness this is especially true. When it comes to being fit or healthy there are no magic pills or supplements and no six-minute abs – just the willingness to face your shadow at the fitness studio, gym, and dojo.

6. Thou shalt commit to thy exercise and fitness plan as a lifestyle and not a quick fix.

One of the things that bothers me the most in the fitness world is the before-and-after photo. As if in real life there’s an after photo. In life there’s just you, the process of aging, and the finish line. The sets and reps in the middle are what count. You can either live a life of integrity by working hard in everything you do or you can look for that brief momentary after-photo moment in the sun. Each time you hit a goal, pause to look at that after photo and the hard work behind it, and then put it away and move forward because the pursuit of health and wellness is forever.

7. Thou shalt not make any graven image that is not in the name of fitness and wellness.

We are fed countless images in the media of how we should look. Don’t make graven images out of what the media and societal pressure says you should look like. Those images are not necessarily akin with being healthy or fit. They also are not necessarily attainable. Be your own personal best body and level of athleticism and fitness. All of us have unique and special gifts, talents, and looks – perfect yours, not someone else’s.

8. Thou shalt not bear false nutrition in eating unnatural, processed, or diet foods.

Many in fitness are trying to sculpt physiques and lose weight by eating food that isn’t real and is disguised as healthy. Everyone over ten years old knows deep down that food is meant to be real and whole. Stop fooling yourselves in the believing that ingredients you can’t pronounce, food that comes in a box, and food that is chemically altered is “good” for you. We know we burn calories and get results the same way we always have – by working hard and getting uncomfortable. The same goes with our nutrition. We have to learn to like fruits and vegetables, eat more of them, and eat less packaged and processed foods.

9. Remember your rest day and keep it holy.

I despise apathy, laziness, and slothfulness. However, I despise arrogance more. Not being able to recognize that your body has limitations is one of the worst kinds of arrogance, as it flies in the face of what is health is really about – balance. Pushing too hard isn’t admirable. It’s arrogance. Every spiritual faith has a root in humility and the pathway to enlightenment runs right through the middle of downtown Humble Town. Do yourself a favor and give yourself the proper care and rest your body needs.

10. Thou shall not covet thy neighbor’s ass.

Lasting success is about knowing yourself in and out of the gym. Trying to prove others wrong, trying look like the picture taped to your fridge, and trying to keep up with the Joneses may work as a short-term motivator. However, only the deep level of satisfaction in discovering your own talents and best body will keep you motivated for the long haul.

Read the full article.

Now I have health AND fitness thanks to Juice Plus+ and a much improved diet.