Five Hacks for a Longer & Happier Life

Five Hacks for a Healthier and Longer Life

For the first time in a century, life expectancy at birth has stopped increasing in parts of the Western world.  While the US has seen this decline for the last three consecutive years, ¹ the UK has also noted a similar trend in 2019. ²

Longevity is a balance of lifespan (living longer) and healthspan (living better). Though I am personally not a fan of resolutions, the New Year does provide us an opportunity to reflect on one’s life and goals. While most value quality over quantity, I don’t think any one of us would voluntarily choose to shorten our lifespans.

Improve your longevity by incorporating these five  lifestyle hacks.  Changing old habits can prove to be a challenge. Set yourself up for success by implementing small discreet changes until it becomes second nature before tackling the next. 

Move more. “The bad news is that sitting continuously for more than nine hours a day increases your chances of an early death; the good news is that doing anything at all reduces that risk dramatically.“³ Sitting is cited as the new smoking, and has been implicated in rising incidence of both physical diseases (like cancer and diabetes) and neuropsychological ones (like Alzheimer’s and anxiety). ⁴ Physical activity doesn’t need to be fancy, require any special equipment or expensive gym memberships. Even standing while you work, doing dishes, cooking or going for a stroll make an impact. If your work does require you to sit for long periods, don’t forget to set an alarm and walk for a few minutes every hour.

Eat less. Excess calories are aging… moderating your caloric intake (without reducing your nutrient intake) is good for you, no matter how you do it.⁵,⁶ Some people advocate stopping when you are 80% full. Others advocate eating during limited eating windows, also known as intermittent fasting.⁷ If you experience any kind of middle age spread, chances are you are insulin resistant (this does not necessarily imply that thin folks can’t or don’t suffer from insulin resistance too) Insulin is a hormone that allows the sugar in your bloodstream to enter your cells. When you lose the sensitivity, your body will compensate by producing more insulin, which is a very aging hormone. Curbing your appetite, eating fewer starchy foods and fasting especially, helps to restore insulin sensitivity.

Call a friend or family member. Interpersonal connections are associated with reduced levels of stress hormones, improved sleep, lesser risk of cardiovascular disease, slower cognitive decline and heightened immunity. ⁸ Social media use, both in quantity of time spent and number of platforms used, has been associated with increased risk for both depression and anxiety among young adults. ⁹ According to a 2010 study, mortality risks associated with loneliness exceeded those associated with obesity and physical inactivity and were similar to those associated with smoking. ¹⁰

Drink more water. We can survive without food far longer than we can without water. Our bodies are comprised of an estimated 60-70% water content. It regulates our body temperature, acts a transporter for nutrients and lubricate our tissues and joints. It is our universal solvent, which makes it essential for detoxification. Even mild dehydration (1-2%) can impair cognition. Nearly all of the major systems in your body depend on water. A general rule of thumb is to consume 1 cup per 20 lb of body weight.

Eat real food. If it comes out of a package, or has an ingredient list of more than five things, it isn’t food, it is a manufactured food product. I believe you should eat birthday cake (if you want it) on your actual birthday. But routinely eating dessert for breakfast, considering sugar laden ketchup a vegetable (potatoes and ketchup are the top two “vegetables” consumed in North America) or consuming a 700 calorie milkshakes made of huge quantities of fruit, coffee and whipped cream as “snacks” cannot be a logical approach to reasonable nutrition. Keep it simple by making small changes. Start with meal planning and packing lunch. Consuming home-cooked meals as a family leads to healthier and happier kids, and teens who are less likely to use alcohol, drugs, or cigarettes.¹² It creates a daily routine of social interaction, costs less money, and leaves less of a carbon footprint, which by extension, makes all of us healthier. ¹³


  1. Woolf SH, Schoomaker H. Life Expectancy and Mortality Rates in the United States, 1959-2017. JAMA. 2019;322(20):1996–2016. doi:
  3. Ekelund Ulf, Tarp Jakob, Steene-Johannessen Jostein, Hansen Bjørge H, Jefferis Barbara, Fagerland Morten W et al. Dose-response associations between accelerometry measured physical activity and sedentary time and all cause mortality: systematic review and harmonised meta-analysis BMJ 2019; 366 :l4570. doi: doi: 
  4. Lakerveld J, et al. Sitting too much: A hierarchy of socio-demographic correlates. Preventive Medicine. 2017;101:77.
  5. Leanne M. Redman, Steven R. Smith, Jeffrey H. Burton, Corby K. Martin, Dora Il’yasova, Eric Ravussin. Metabolic Slowing and Reduced Oxidative Damage with Sustained Caloric Restriction Support the Rate of Living and Oxidative Damage Theories of AgingCell Metabolism, 2018; DOI: 10.1016/j.cmet.2018.02.019
  8. Holt-Lunstad J, Smith TB, Layton JB (2010) Social Relationships and Mortality Risk: A Meta-analytic Review. PLOS Medicine 7(7): e1000316.
  9. Ariel Shensa, MA, Jaime E. Sidani, MPH, PhD, […], and Brian A. Primack, MD, PhD Social Media Use and Depression and Anxiety Symptoms: A Cluster Analysis. Am J Health Behav. 2018 Mar 1;42(2):116-128. doi: 10.5993/AJHB.42.2.11.
  10. Vannucci A, Flannery KM, Ohannessian CM. Social media use and anxiety in emerging adults. J Affect Disord. 2017;207:163–166.
  11. Riebl SK, Davy BM. The Hydration Equation: Update on Water Balance and Cognitive Performance. ACSMs Health Fit J. 2013 Nov;17(6):21-28. doi: 10.1249/FIT.0b013e3182a9570f. PMID: 25346594; PMCID: PMC4207053.

Why Use Homeopathy?

why use homeopathy

People often ask me why I focus on the use homeopathy in my practice and what motivates to continue my professional development in this area. The answer to that question is quite simple, “It works.” In my eighteen years of practice, I have yet to witness any supplement or dietary change or combination thereof, to have as profound an impact on a person’s health and well-being as a well selected homeopathic remedy.

Homeopathy is a system of medicine that utilizes the body’s own healing power through a law of cure, termed “Like Cures Like.” This law states that a substance that can produce symptoms in a healthy person will cure similar symptoms in a person who is sick. The therapeutic potential of a substance is explored through giving it in very small amounts to healthy people and a careful analysis is made of its effect on the mind and body of those taking the substance. Thus, the remedy is not so much for a particular disease process as much as it is for a person who expresses disease in a particular pattern. The homeopath’s task is to determine that individual’s pattern of disease expression and then choose a remedy that matches that pattern to bring about relief. The pattern often will resemble a pattern of a substance found in nature, as remedies are usually made from natural substances – typically animals, plants, or minerals.

How does a remedy work?

Homeopathic remedies stimulate the body’s innate capacity to cure itself. They are prepared in homeopathic pharmacies, as homeopathic remedies are regulated by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as drugs. Extremely small amounts of these remedies are given, the minimum amount necessary to stimulate a reaction in the body.

My favourite analogy is that of a computer program that has been infected by a virus. The virus distorts the information in the program and causes the program to malfunction. Once the virus is identified and removed, the program goes back to functioning normally. In the case of a person, the program is the body’s innate natural intelligence, or what we call the vital force in homeopathy.

When did homeopathy start and where is it used?

Homeopathy was established in Germany in the 18th century by the physician Samuel Hahnemann. It spread to all continents and is probably the most popular form of holistic medicine in the world. It is practiced by both physicians and non-physicians and is incorporated into the health-care system of many countries. It was brought to the United States in the 1830’s and has been a part of the American medical system ever since.

The fundamental principles of homeopathy and other holistic therapies.

  1. The body heals itself. The human organism has always shown a remarkable ability to adapt and survive. It is the “biological imperative” of the organism to create an optimal level of healthy. The body has a sophisticated immune system and natural intelligence that seeks to maintain health of the whole organism – mind, body and spirit – at all times. Homeopathy works by helping the body heal itself. Healing takes place through the conscious awareness of the body’s own healing power. Only then can the word “cure” be used. This is the goal of homeopathy.
  2. Homeopathy always treats the whole person. All functions of the body and mind are connected. The complex physical and psychological make up of a person creates a unique pattern for each individual. When we become sick, it is the whole body that is sick, even if symptoms express themselves only in one part of the body. Only by re-establishing a total balance will health be restored. Therefore homeopathy treats the whole person, not just the disease.
  3. There is an energetic “thread” that connects all functions of body and mind. Homeopathy belongs to a philosophy of healing that believes that we have an energetic “life force” that permeates all functions of the body. It is this “life force” which maintains health or creates disease through imbalance. This has been understood for thousands of years. In China it is called “Chi”, in India “Prana” and by homeopaths as “Vital Force”. It describes a phenomenon that exists in all nature. Modern physics is now exploring these dimensions of reality. There is a dynamic, living energy that permeates both body and mind. It is a consciousness, like a memory. It is this energy that keeps the body alive and well.
  4. Symptoms of disease are a result of an imbalance in the body/mind. Symptoms may express themselves in many ways. Some are purely physical, some are emotional, and some are combination of the two. However, it is important to know that they are an expression or a result of an imbalance in the whole organism. Symptoms are not the cause of a problem, only to be suppressed by drugs, but are an indication that something is not right in the whole system. They are a warning that something is not in balance and has to be changed.

Why do we become sick?

We become sick when we can no longer adapt appropriately to the circumstances of life. These circumstances may seem to be due to external factors, such as allergies, the weather, stress, germs, etc or may just seem to be an inability to feel well. In homeopathy, we look at both the internal factors and the external ones, seeking to understand the circumstances of life that may be influencing the health of the whole person. Much of modern medicine focuses on the external causes of disease – germs for example – and drugs are given to kill them. While that serves an important role, homeopaths also ask the questions “why do some people get sick while others do not?” and “what can be done to help the body’s own immune system fight off germs (or other factors) more effectively?” Merely killing the germs does not always lead to great health as the body has not cured the problem itself and some drugs merely suppress, which can sometimes make things worse in the long run. In this case, the same or more serious symptoms tend to recur and the problem may become more chronic and difficult to cure. Homeopathy and other holistic systems of healing seek to establish a higher level of health and in so doing prevent illness as well as helping to cure it.

What conditions does homeopathy treat?

Homeopathy is able to treat most physical and emotional conditions – such as asthma, allergies, skin rashes, acne, depression, lupus, tinnitus, rheumatoid arthritis, anxiety, insomnia, gas and bloating, just to name a few. A homeopathic consultation involves an analysis of the whole person. Each person is unique and the homeopath needs to understand as much as possible about all the concerns a person has. This allows the homeopath to understand the underlying causes of any disease state. The correct remedy choice will allow the whole person – body and mind – to realign to a more optimal state of health. An overall wellness should be the result, including any particular condition a person is experiencing.

What does a homeopathic treatment involve?

The initial interview takes place between 45 to 90 minutes. During this time, the homeopath begins to investigate the particular features of your nature as well as the conditions that the patient experiences. Sometimes, the patient doesn’t feel that we are talking medicine anymore! But rest assured, it is all relevant in finding the best remedy to improve your health. Once a homeopathic remedy has been chosen, another appointment will be made 3-6 weeks after the first visit.

5 Simple Strategies for Radical Health

5 simple strategies for radical healthThe busyness of the holiday season has come and gone…and many of us find ourselves wanting to make a fresh start for the New Year. It is easy to get lost in all of the confusion, as the newly promoted diet/workout/health strategies all compete for our attention.   However, the basic tenets of good health actually do not change much.  Here are the ones that are tried and true:

  1. Sleep.

    Sleep is the healer of all things, and few of us manage to get regular decent, uninterrupted sleep. Aim to get eight hours for best health.  Studies show that sleep deficits are cumulative and that we often underestimate sleep deficits in our performance.

  2. Eat well.

    A plant-based foods diet is one that will sustain your health long-term. I tend to follow the 80-20 rule – I aim to eat super well 80% of the time, and give myself some leeway for the other 20%.  When in doubt, eat more vegetables – they are truly the diet underdogs, and deliver the most nutrition of any food group.  If you desire weight loss, it doesn’t really matter which “diet plan” you choose.  Just be consistent in making healthy eating choices and reducing processed food intake. Water is also important for optimal health – be sure to drink a minimum of at least eight glasses of good quality (preferably filtered alkalized) water daily.

  3. Move.

    Our bodies were designed to move.It doesn’t have to be CrossFit – you can go for a humble walk, plant a garden, play with a child, or clean the house.  Consistency is key, aim to do something active every day.

  4. Socialize

    We are social creatures and our busy days can make it easy to forget to stop and say hello. Pick up the phone for a long overdue chat with a friend, or find the few minutes it takes to just sit with a cup of tea with your spouse and discuss your day. Chronic loneliness has been shown to reduce longevity by up to eight years. Interpersonal relationships are critical not only in creating longevity, but also happiness.

  5. Be grateful

    An attitude of gratitude seriously impacts both physical and psychological health. As a result, we are happier, more likable, have better career aspirations, and less stress.  One popular strategy is to journal three things or events for which you are grateful on a daily basis.

How do we know these practices work? When we examine “blue zones” (areas in the world noted for their remarkable longevity), these are the practices that stand out as part of their daily lifestyles.  These communities are:

  • Okinawa, Japan
  • Ikaria, Greece
  • Sardinia, Italy
  • Nicoya, Costa Rica
  • Loma Linda, California

People in these communities often live well beyond 100 years. Let’s adopt their tried and true wisdom for very, very long purposeful and joyful lives.












12 Tips To Enjoy The Holidays

enjoy winter


    1. Breathe.

      Focus on taking deep and relaxing breaths all day. Feeling rushed – take a minute or two to breathe deeply and then set about your day.

    2. Simplify.

      Just because you did it last year (and the year before and the year before), it doesn’t mean you have to still do it. Let go of the things that do not bring you joy.

    3. Slow down.

      The pressure is on this time of year, honor yourself and trust that the world won’t end if you ease the pressure.

    4. Take time out.

      Practice just being, whether alone or with your family.

    5. Have funEmbrace your inner child – be silly, let go, and have some fun. You’ll be surprised how good it feels.
    6. Move

      There are so many reasons to exercise. It helps to relieve stress, up your metabolism and energy, and increase your feelings of self worth. Whether is it is a simple walk, a favourite yoga class, or dancing in the living room. Feel like you have too much to do? Get moving – it will give you the perspective you need to get through it all.

    7. Read

      Who doesn’t love a good (e)book? We are all storytellers and listeners at heart.

    8. Be Generous.

      Exercise compassion. Practice patience and kindness. Be purposeful and intentional.

    9. Practice gratitude.

      Remember to express gratitude for everything in life. Practice gratitude throughout the day.

    10. Water.

      Drink a glass or two. Make your favourite tea. Have a relaxing shower or bath.

    11. Eat well.

      Eating balanced meals will help you from overindulging in sugary treats/alcohol, and give you the energy and the mental stamina needed for the extra holiday festivities & activities. Do it all, in moderation, of course.

    12. Connect

      Share thoughts and ideas with each other. Reflect on the events of the year and the goals for the future.  Watch a movie together or better yet, play a game.



Guidelines to Improve Health for You & Your Family

Improve your family’s health by following the guidelines below:

  1. Make sure you get the best nutrition available, i.e., organic, whole foods. Avoid processed foods. By doing this you will prevent an increase of further toxicity with heavy metals, pesticides, flavour enhancers like MSG, color additives, GMOs, preservatives and chemicals.
  2. If you are going to eat bread, choose sourdough bread over yeast bread to prevent the binding of zinc and magnesium to an insoluble complex with phytic acid and to enable the assimilation of nutritional zinc and magnesium. Since whole wheat sourdough bread is often very heavy, it would be better to start with lighter sourdough bread.
  3. Drink pure filtered water without copper or other toxins.
  4. Avoid the use of the microwave for all food and drinks; avoid also as much as possible plastic containers and packages.
  5. Avoid sugar as much as possible, sweets in general and artificial sweeteners. It is poisonous to the intestines and pancreas and several other tissues. Sugar also inhibits the production of EPA and DHA , both omega-3 fatty acids that are of crucial importance to the brain tissue.
  6. Provide a quiet and peaceful environment for you and your family, eliminating excess stimuli such as TV, gaming systems and computers.
  7. Make sure you are well grounded to the earth. Static electricity may give rise to both emotional/mental disorders and physical complaints. Synthetic clothing, insulating shoes (rubber or plastic soles) and synthetic floor coverings should therefore be avoided. Walk barefoot as much as possible. Eliminate all electric appliances in the bedroom such as electric alarm clocks, TV, computers or audio equipment. Turn off Wi-Fi during the night (and day).
  8. Ensure a healthy sleeping environment for you & your family.       A healthy bed should not contain any metal. If possible, have your child sleep facing north or east. A dark room is important for the production of melatonin (sleep hormone).
  9. Avoid antibiotics since they impair intestinal flora and consequently increase underlying problems. In case of infection, opt for naturopathic solutions.

Struggling with the Blues ?

Mind & Spirit, Uncategorized
December heralds the busyness that goes with Holiday Celebrations.

In addition to the fewer daylight hours, the added pressure that accompanies Christmas can unfortunately for many people make the holiday season less than cheery.

When stress goes up, your mood can go down. Stress influences many biological and biochemical processes that begin in the brain and spread through nearly all body systems. When the stress response is triggered, the adrenal glands produce the classic stress hormones – epinephrine and cortisol – while the brain releases neurotransmitters that can increase emotional response and influence memory and concentration. Some neurotransmitters have excitatory effects, whereas others are thought to help promote a sense of calm (GABA), happiness (dopamine), and well-being (serotonin). Continue reading

Calm your nervous system with deep breathing exercises

deep breathing

Here are some deep breathing exercises to help calm your mind and soothe your soul…taking a few minutes several times throughout your day will help to give your stress response a break from an otherwise hectic day…
Continue reading