Let's face it, this weekend you are going to do indulgent and potentially stupid things. But, a new year starts on Sunday. So, once you have gotten all your hedonistic compulsions satisfied on Saturday night, and taken Sunday to recover and repent your excesses and idiocies, consider what you want your new year to look like and make some changes.

No matter what your health and wellness plan is in 2023, here are some tools and resources to help you.

Download the FINCH app for setting daily, weekly, and one off goals. This gamified app keeps you accountable to your avatar, a virtual pet bird. There are journaling and mindfulness tools embedded, all free.

Read "Atomic Habits" to learn easy ways to change habits. It's concise and well written. It has lots of Jedi Mind Tricks to help you manifest your best self.

OK. Good luck!





It's the final week of 2022, which means it is time to contemplate Resolutions for the New Year.

Most of mine are mostly the same: Practice Dark Magic*; learn languages (mainly Spanish, but also Welsh) using the DuoLingo app; five minutes of upper body weight training daily; reading daily; writing daily; and practicing music at least weekly.

I'm adding a Resolution to take online continuing education courses for personal development (I already do this for professional development, as mandated by my job). I'm going to mainly use the Coursera app (free online classes) for this, but may also use the Udemy app (not free, but very inexpensive, online classes).

The End.

*Note: Dark Magic comprises daily exercise and mild caloric restriction, in the context of a plant based vegan diet, toward health and wellness goals (mainly weight loss, but also feeling great and sleeping great).



On this site, I share tips and tricks for improving your life. My credentials are several degrees - in psychology, biology, public health, science journalism, and psychotherapy - as well as certification in functional nutrition counseling.

When it comes to health and wellness, everyone is a little bit different, although not nearly as different as many people like to think. There are some universals when it comes to living a high quality life (defined as a long life, largely disease free, and a fairly painless death in old age).

One of these universals is eating a healthy diet. The challenge here is two-fold. First, there is a lot of information AND misinformation out there about what defines a healthy diet. Second, because everyone is biologically and physiologically a little bit different, an ideal dietary pattern for one person may not be as ideal for another. But, again, there are some universals here too. For example, no scientific study has ever found that eating more whole food fruits and vegetables is bad for your health. Ever. The more whole, minimally processed plant foods you can eat, the better your health will be. You may not be in perfect health, but plant foods will improve your health no matter what your existing health issues.

When I do functional nutrition coaching (separate from my marriage and family therapy counseling practice), I conduct a comprehensive intake assessment with clients to get a better understanding of their presenting health issues, life history, and nutritional patterns and deficits. There are three "non-negotiable" interventions that all clients start with. This is the removal from the diet of gluten, refined sugar, and dairy for at least a fortnight (and ideally three months, if they can manage it), followed by sequential re-introduction of these foods, to assess any health and wellness impacts from these dietary components. If health improves when these dietary components are removed, it tells a story about what is going on in the body, and leads the functional nutrition counselor (me) down the likely correct path to what the underlying health issue is.

Clients are also encouraged to add some universal elements to their nutrition plan, including, but not limited to, a source of omega 3 essential fatty acids (that the human body needs, but cannot make, and so can only be obtained from the diet, which is often deficient in these fats), B vitamins (essential for many healthy functions in the body), and magnesium (a mineral that aids digestion and sleep).

The mainstream media contributes to a lot of the misinformation the public has about nutrition. They like to simplify and sensationalize the science, which is often complex and nuanced, in order to make it more entertaining and digestible (pun intended) for their audiences. They often make leaps of logic that are not supported by the data, such as suggesting that red wine is healthy because it contains resveratrol, a substance shown to improve health outcomes in rats. First off, rats are not humans. Secondly, rats do not drink wine. Thirdly, to get the amount of resveratrol equivalent to that used in the rat studies, a person would have to drink so much red wine that they would LITERALLY die from alcohol poisoning. As it turns out, a simple apple provides an incredible amount of healthy phytonutrient antioxidants and soluble fiber that benefit health - the apple a day adage is actually based in fact.

Exercise is also universally beneficial for human health. As with diet, exercise type may vary from person to person. But universally, getting one's heart rate up daily and building muscle slows the aging process and can prevent disease.

The End.



There is a lot of controversy and drama about eating a vegan diet. A lot of it is in the form of microaggressions toward those of us who choose to eat vegan. We get snide comments sometimes about how "challenging" it is to get together to eat because of "the vegans." Right back at ya, omnivores! Notwithstanding that the Standard American Diet is 70% plant based already, putting vegans on the right side of nutrition, and that no scientific study has ever concluded that more fruit and vegetables is bad for health, people still tend to over-focus on the food and nutrition part of the equation, while missing out entirely on the ethical basis for eating only plants.

Once you go to a plant based vegan diet, the blinders come off. You no longer have to selectively hide from the environmental costs of eating meat or the horrendous suffering of animals that the meat/dairy/poultry industry causes. Once you become aware of those facts - and they are incontrovertible - eating animals becomes a moral and ethical impossibility (assuming you have ethics and/or empathy). Eating animals and caring for the planet are mutually exclusive, by definition [SOURCE]. Eating animals and preventing animal suffering are also mutually exclusive [SOURCE]. Believing that you meat, milk, and eggs are humanely sourced is delusional in this age of industrial agriculture. Eating local and organic does not help and unless you never eat at restaurants, it is 100% certain you are causing some animal somewhere to suffer.

A good day to you.


Another perk of my healthy living is that I now find that I do not require as much sleep. I fall asleep quickly and stay asleep. My sleep is solid, restful, and dream filled. I wake up restored after about 6.5 to 7 hours of sleep. It's given me about an extra hour of time each day to be active and accomplish more. At first I thought that waking up too early was a sign of insomnia, but I'm never tired or exhausted when I wake. I am full of vigor and my cortisol cycle appears to be in balance (energized in the morning and relaxed at night).

I'm going to experiment with my mood lamp and see if I can use it to increase sleep time a little bit. I read in "The Depression Cure" that for people who wake up too early it is beneficial to have some intense blue light exposure around 4 to 5 PM each day. So, I'll try that and see if anything changes. But as far as I can tell, my early waking time is not a pathology, because my mood is surprisingly great and I feel rested and energized all the time. In fact, this is one of the first winters where I have not noticed much Seasonal Affective Disorder. I attribute this to both whole food plant based eating AND daily aerobic exercise (which keeps my endogenous endorphins consistently elevated). And, contrary to what my wife Deborah believes, my cognitive function and memory are much sharper too.



Why are some people so threatened by someone's choice to eat a vegan diet?

There are basically two reasons:


Both reasons create cognitive dissonance for some people who eat a typical omnivorous diet.

It's liberating when you go vegan and can finally stop avoiding reality.



I didn't realize how improved my brain power is, since going whole food plant based vegan, until recently. Fairly average people seem dopey to me now, like they are drunk or high on the brain damaging Standard American Diet. Conversely, maybe they are just drunk or high and I'm wrong about my improved brain power, since I also don't drink or do drugs much anymore (in fact, not at all...though it's not entirely off the table if the occasion warrants it).

I realized recently too that one of the reasons I have lost my enthusiasm for rocking is NOT the rocking itself, but that I really don't care for the shitty bar scene anymore. Once you've tasted a house concert performance setting, shitty bars just can't compete. It's house concerts from here on out for me. Notwithstanding the infrequency of such gigs, the quality of them is exponentially superior to shitty bar gigs.

I hope HIATVS comes off hiatus soon, so we can start house partying again.



BOOK REVIEW: Skinny Bitch


I read (via audiobook) "Skinny Bitch," by Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin. After getting past the fat-shame-y and somewhat caustic first chapter (to be clear, some people do enjoy being ridiculed and cajoled into action, but it's not for everyone), the rest of this fairly short and concise book is informative and entertaining. The casual parlance of the prose can get a bit annoying after a while, but the book covers a lot of ground on nutrition, health, and the toxic food industry. I didn't need or want the food planning recommendations at the end of the book, because I'm already compliant of this way of living. 

Read this book if you are looking for forthright, yet acerbic, guidance on how to eat right and adopt a healthy lifestyle toward weight loss and wellness.



I heard on NPR this morning that COVID cases may rise to "pre-pandemic" levels after the holiday get togethers that will serve as super spreader events.

But...I'm confused. Isn't pre-pandemic levels of COVID what we want? I would think it's pandemic levels of COVID that we want to avoid, not pre-pandemic levels. Pre-pandemic levels were great...because there was no fuckin' pandemic then.

What am I missing?



The turkey holocaust is nigh.

The End.


I came across this new study: https://scitechdaily.com/remarkable-weight-loss-study-finds-new-benefits-of-a-plant-based-diet/.

I'll just leave it here for you.

Happy Holidays!


The Hard Way

There's an easy way and a hard way to learn that eating a whole food plant based diet is ideal for health, wellness, and weight loss.

The hard way is to follow a Standard American Diet (SAD) - rich in animal protein, cholesterol, refined oil, and sugar - for many years. At some point, this way of eating will invariably cause a horrible chronic disease (heart disease, cancer, diabetes, autoimmune disorders, endocrine dysfunction, arthritis, obesity, etc.) and quality of life will drop precipitously, followed by a long and miserably slow death.

The easy way is to eat a whole food plant based diet 95-100% of the time and feel great every day, while living a healthy life well into old age, then dying peacefully in your sleep.

The problem, of course, is if you choose the hard way, there's no coming back from that. Once chronic illnesses set in, they are hard or impossible to reverse (with the exception of heart disease and Type 2 diabetes). Then you can only regret not having heeded this blog post and the advice of health professionals, when you had the chance.

All else held constant and assuming everyone has about the same likelihood of being creamed by a bus, whole food plant based eating is the way to go.

This blog post is intended to guide you gently toward the easy way. But if you feel like you need to do it the hard way, good luck to you, because you will need it.

The End.


REVIEW: Deep Nutrition by Catherine Shanahan, MD

Give it a miss.

The "science" this overrated book is based on is dated to early and mid 20th century misogynistic (patriarchal, male-dominated) and ethnocentric research and waxes of eugenics, notwithstanding the author's explicit claims to the contrary.

With claims like "beautiful people are healthier," it's laughable.

Read The China Study instead. It's much more objective, empirical, and free from subjective and ethnocentric biases.


Time for Change

Who wants to feel great, mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, and socially, as well as avoid the vast majority of debilitating chronic diseases and live a long and fulfilling life?

If you raised your hand, subscribe to this blog and join our Facebook group, "Healthy as !@#$." The combination of these two actions will provide you with all the knowledge and tools you need to find the path that leads to achieving the goals outlined in the first paragraph. However, in full disclosure, knowledge is not enough. Knowledge removes obstacles and hands you a toolbox, but the rest is ENTIRELY up to you. We are not your coach or your mom or your nanny. You are.

To get from where you are now to achieving said goals requires ACTION. This is usually the point where we lose 80% of our readers. But that's OK. We aren't interested in wasting knowledge and tools on those who are not DOERS. If you are in the 20% who are still on board, WELCOME! You are about to embark on a fantastic journey to excellent health and wellness. Are you sure you are in the 20% and not the 80%? Because, there is a simple test you can take to determine that, if you are not sure...and I'm going to give you the opportunity to take this test before the end of this post, so you can in good conscience decide what proportion of the population you are in - the 80% who cannot actually rise to the task or the 20% who can.

This is not one of those sites that make you jump through hoops to achieve questionable health outcomes (with an insidious agenda to capture and sell your contact information) and then make you pay money before you know what you are actually paying for. We don't care about any of that. We don't want your money or your demographic data. We don't even care who you are...as long as you care about who you are and who you want to be. Our goal is 100% altruistic. We believe it would be unethical not to share the health and wellness knowledge and tools with you, and it would be equally unethical to charge you money to gain access to your best possible self. You deserve it, if you truly want it. It's your right!

That being said, it is entirely up to you to decide whether to travel this path to optimal health and wellness. Again, are you in the 20% who can? We don't know or even care. The question is DO YOU CARE? Because we are only here to give you the knowledge and tools. You then must incorporate the knowledge and apply the tools. 80% of you will balk at this and continue on your current, comfortable, familiar path. And there is nothing wrong with that. You need to decide who you are and then BE THAT, wholeheartedly and unapologetically.

Are you ready to determine what proportion of the population you fall into? Don't read any further if you are not, because you may be in for an eye opening shock. 80% of you still reading this likely firmly believe you are in the 20% who can revolutionize their lives and achieve ideal health and wellness. But that's mathematically impossible, and the following test will firmly ground you in reality. Ready?

In order to achieve the goals outlined in the first paragraph, you have to be able to commit to ALL of the following statements:

1. I will adhere to a 95%-100% whole food, plant based diet. This is the dietary pattern that has been shown in population studies to optimize physical health and longevity. If you have any thoughts or feelings of doubt or resistance as to your ability to adhere to this type of eating pattern, stop reading now...you are in the 80% who are not willing or able to change. And that's OK. We don't want to waste your time or ours.

2. I will exercise moderately for at least 150 minutes every week. Exercise intensity is determined uniquely for every individual and any type of exercise will do. But what matters is putting in the time. 150 minutes is the minimum required amount of time. That 150 minutes can be divvied up however you like - all in one go or broken up into several episodes. Again, if upon reading this requirement for ideal health and wellness, you experienced any doubt or resistance, stop reading now...you are in the 80% who are not willing or able to change. And that's OK. We don't want to waste your time or ours.

3. I will minimize or eliminate recreational alcohol and drug use, respectively, from my life. There really is no healthy amount of alcohol use. However, "experts" have defined low risk of harm from alcohol use as: no more than two standard alcoholic drinks on any one occasion for women; no more than three standard alcoholic drinks on any one occasion for men; no more than seven standard alcoholic drinks during any given week for women; no more than 14 standard alcoholic drinks during any given week for men. If you read the previous criteria for risk of harm from alcohol use and found yourself trying to calculate how to maximize your alcohol use within those safety parameters, stop reading now...you are in the 80% who are not willing or able to change. Also, there is no safe level of recreational drug use. If you cannot eliminate recreational drugs from your life, embrace the fact that you are relegated to the 80% who cannot achieve the health and wellness goals in the first paragraph of this post. And that's OK. Again, be your authentic self, wholeheartedly and unapologetically. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that. You just are not in the 20% of people who can revolutionize their lives for optimal health and wellness. No judgment.

That's pretty much it. If you can embrace those three criteria, you are in the 20% of people able to achieve ideal health and wellness. Are there some additional nuances? Sure. But those three criteria explain 95% of the variability between those who have ideal health and wellness, and those who do not (a fancy statistical way of separating the proverbial wheat from the chaff).

You may be wondering why not smoking or using nicotine is not one of the three criteria for ideal health and wellness. If you have to ask, you are obviously not in the 20% of people who can revolutionize their lives for optimal health and wellness. Of course, this post assumes the reader does not use nicotine. By now, everyone should understand that smoking and nicotine use completely preclude having good health. If you currently use nicotine in any form, I am surprised you are even here - quit using nicotine today and return to this post in 10 years, when your body has sufficiently detoxified itself from the damage nicotine causes that you can review the three criteria again and see where you stand. Cool?

So, if you are still reading and you think you are truly a part of the 20%, subscribe to this blog and join our Facebook group. It's here and on the Facebook group that we share additional knowledge and tools for ideal health.




Today, there will be rocking. And it will change the future. By definition, of course, since the parallel universe in which there is not rocking today will have a completely different future.

The End.


Free Day

When pursuing a health and wellness goal, it sometimes makes sense to give yourself a free day, in which you don't pursue or engage in the goal activity.

With exercise, a free day allows your muscles to heal, actually making them stronger quicker.

With diet, a free day allows you some flexibility without completely falling off the wagon. 

Some people think it is hard to change to a whole food plant based diet. So they don't. But just like with exercise, it is possible to go meat free SOMETIMES. Research suggests that if everyone cut meat consumption by 50%, humanity could hit climate change goals set forth in various global climate change summits (like The Paris Climate Accords of 2015). All that would require is for meat eating people to decide to only eat meat three times per week (a little less than half the time), while generally eating the typical amount of meat on the free days.

Of course, 100% whole food plant based veganism is ideal for the health of individuals and the planet. But, we need to be realistic about what is achievable.

I challenge everyone who currently eats meat, dairy, and eggs, to a 30 day challenge. For 30 days, can you only eat animal based foods three days per week. Or, at least fewer days per week than you currently eat animals.

If you accept the challenge, leave a comment below and let us know how it went.

Have a fantastic day, week, month, and year.


One Vessel

You only have one body to live your entire life in. Treat it well.

You only have one planet to live your entire life on. Treat it well.

The End.


Be Awesome

It's time for you to be awesome. Ditch the problem saturated story and re-author your future. Set SMART goals and achieve them.

What does your ideal life look like? What roadblocks keep you from having that life? Identify them and remove them. That may mean taking baby steps to get where you want to be. So, take them.

Your life isn't going to live itself.