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B1 September 18–24,2015

The End of Dieting Healthy & Decadent

Peach Coffee Cake: Absolute Deliciousness


on B5

By Neghar Fonooni


s a reformed dieter and recovering calorie-counter, I know how frustrating the nutritional component of fat loss can be. I know what it’s like to love food (and wine!) and feel like you’re your own worst enemy. I’ve sabotaged myself over and over again, feeling guilty about what I’ve consumed and hating what I saw in the mirror. It took me years to come to the profound realizations I now have when it comes to food, and even longer to develop the successful strategies I use with my clients.

I was a serial caloriecounter for three years— unbelievably shredded and outrageously miserable.

I want to share this with you because I want to see you finally feel free. I want you to feel liberated from food, and I want food to enrich your life rather than control it. While training efficiently is certainly a crucial ingredient of the fat-loss recipe, nutrition is just as important, if not more so. I’ve seen so many women work so hard at the gym, failing to see results because their diet just wasn’t working for them—and it breaks my heart. As a fit foodie and someone who loves to cook, I like to keep nutrition uncomplicated, accessible, and most of all, in harmony with my lifestyle. Therefore, my operating thesis on food is quite simple: Eat in a way that pleases both your palate and your physique.

See Dieting on B6



September 18–24, 2015 MIMOHE/ISTOCK

Harvest purslane plants when they are full of leaves.

Meet the Newest Trending Super-Healthy Green By Conan Milner | Epoch Times Staff

Some Chinese herbalists consider purslane a longevity tonic.

Purslane is an exotic new vegetable popping up at farmer’s markets, the green du jour at trendy restaurants, and a very common backyard weed. This sprawling succulent is something you’ve probably stepped on many times. It has paddle-shaped leaves that look like a jade plant but smaller, and the stems are usually red. Both parts are edible and have a pleasant flavor— crisp and juicy with a mild sourness. Pursane is believed to have originated from India, but now it grows just about everywhere. If you can’t find any wild purslane (avoid stu growing where dogs frequent due to contamination), look for it at a Mexican grocery store. Called “verdolagasâ€? in Spanish, purslane is a favorite vegetable of central Mexico. It is used both cooked and raw in salads, salsas, and stews. Often considered a nuisance to farmers because it spreads fast and is hard to kill, purslane is likely more nutritious than the crops it competes with for space. It is rich in vitamins (A,Bs, and C), minerals (calcium and magnesium), Omega 3 essential fatty acids (mostly ALA, but is also one of the highest vegetable sources of EPA), and other beneficial plant chemicals. It is also exceptionally abundant in beta carotene, vitamin E, and potassium. Purslane as Medicine In many parts of the world, purslane is a vegetable as common as broccoli or spinach, and can easily serve as a spinach substitute. But


Purslane is a sprawling succulent that’s good for hydrating and cooling down the body.

this weed is more than food. It also doubles as a valuable medicine. Purslane’s hardy character gives insight into its medicinal qualities. Like other succulents, purslane is extremely drought tolerant and can thrive in a hot, dry summer when everything else wilts and turns brown. It is a mucilaginous herb (like okra or aloe, but crisp not slimy), and is good for nourishing people who are overheated and dried out. Purslane’s juicy succulence benefits the skin, eyes, and body fluids. In China, purslane is called “ma chi xianâ€? which means horse’s teeth amaranth. Chinese herbalists prescribe purslane to rid the body of damp heat and fire toxins, which includes conditions such as urinary tract infections, eczema, and bleeding hemorrhoids. It can also be used topically for snake and insect bites or to soothe itchy rashes. Persian physicians brought purslane to the West during the Renaissance because of its ability to clear heat, and modern research is just beginning to verify some evidence of its power. Small clinical studies have shown purslane to be eective in treating both dysentery and hookworm parasites. Another study found purslane combined with dandelion resolved nearly all cases of appendicitis. Some Chinese herbalists consider purslane a longevity tonic because its cool, moist nature nourishes the yin, and also because it is remarkably prolific—each mature plant produces tens of thousands of seeds. It will grow virtually anywhere with at least a two month growing season. If the plant breaks, new roots will regenerate from the pieces. Purs-

lane thrives in clay and other poor, dense soil, or even a sidewalk crack. Purslane’s Latin botanical name, Portulaca, means little gate or door—a reference to the seed pod. At the end of the summer, these pods crack open with an audible pop, scattering tiny black seeds in all directions for next year’s crop. How to Use For medicine, wild purslane is preferred. To grow your own purslane patch, harvest seed pods before they pop and keep them in a paper bag some place warm. Once the pods open, the seeds are ready to sow. Harvest plants that are fresh, young, and full of leaves. This herb can be made into a tincture or tea, and pills are also available. Doses are typically large (from 5 to 60 grams). Double the dose if using fresh juice. Purslane is cool and hydrating, which makes it a great remedy for relieving oppressive summer heat. One easy and tasty application is a simple salad. Swap your lettuce for chopped purslane and top with soft goat cheese and a lemon juice and olive oil dressing. Some cultures make a pickled purslane, prepared with salt similar to capers. For a refreshing summer drink, try a purslane and carrot juice. Like anything else, you can overdo purslane. It has oxalate levels similar to spinach, so those with a propensity to kidney stones should avoid too much of the raw plant (cooking neutralizes the oxalates). Purslane has also been shown to stimulate the uterus in animal studies so pregnant women would be best to avoid large quantities as well.

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BRYANT PARK YOGA WITH TIFFANY CRUIKSHANK There’s nothing quite like de-stressing from a long day at work. Tiffany Cruikshank’s yoga classes are guided by a strong anatomic focus intermingled with her characteristic playfulness. You will leave her classes with a deeper awareness of how your anatomy relates to practice. No need to bring mats, they will be provided on site.


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EVENING YOGA ON THE HUDSON There’s no better way to welcome fall than by ending your day overlooking the Hudson River and a beautiful sunset. Come ready to relax and stretch with Hatha yoga. Suitable for all fitness levels. Please wear loose, comfortable clothing and bring your own mat. Wednesday, Sept. 23 6:30 p.m.–7:30 p.m. The Plaza at 66th Street, Riverside Park South Free, search: Hudson Yoga 23

33RD ANNUAL QUEENS COUNTY FAIR AT FARM MUSEUM Enjoy the beauty of NYC’s largest historic farm and the fun of a traditional country fair. There will be live music, a corn maze, blue ribbon competitions, pie eating and corn husking contests, pig races, hay and carnival rides, jugglers, magicians, acrobats, and of course farm animals. It’s fun for the whole family. Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 19 & 20 11 a.m.–6 p.m. 73-50 Little Neck Parkway, Floral Park Cost: Adults $9, Children 12 and under $5, free for farm members




Come in your ’80s-themed PJ’s for an active Friday night of roller skating disco dancing at the Lefrak Center at Lakeside, Brooklyn Park. Get tickets in advance, this event may sell out. Guests must be 21 or older.

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o your legs feel heavy? Is it a discomfort that you can’t quite describe in words? If so, it may be time to see a vein specialist. There is a common misconception that only if you have varicose veins—those bulky, twisting, rope-like veins—that you need to see a vein specialist. That is not the case. Dr. Donna Mendes, a senior vascular surgeon at Mount Sinai Health System, emphasizes the importance of vein checkups if you feel any kind of discomfort; there can be something amiss in your veins even if you can’t see the signs yet. “If anyone has questions about why their legs don’t feel good, they should be referred to a vascular or vein specialist,” said Dr. Mendes, who currently runs her own clinic called Mendes Vein Care in Midtown Manhattan. Veins have one-way valves that help direct blood back up to your heart. These valves can easily be weakened or damaged with age, being overweight, standing or sitting for long periods of time or pregnancy. Having a family history of varicose veins also increases your risk. Damaged veins allow blood to pool in the legs creating a sensation of heaviness, one of the symptom patients often present with. “If your veins aren’t working properly, there is a backup of blood in the legs, almost like the George Washington Bridge during rush hour,” Dr. Mendes said. If a vein problem goes unchecked, it can lead to serious health problems such as deep vein thrombosis, a blood clot that forms deep in the leg. Clots can also travel to an artery in the lungs and obstruct blood flow. Minimally Invasive Treatment Fortunately, you no longer need to go to a hospital or have open surgery to treat your veins. Minimally invasive laser procedures are performed in the doctor’s office. Dr. Mendes performs endovenous laser treatments (EVLT), which close off a malfunctioning vein with laser energy. The vein closes and scars and your body eventually absorbs it. Blood is re-routed to normal veins. The procedure is a big improvement over surgical vein stripping, where incisions are made in the groin and ankle or knee, and the whole vein is physically pulled out. EVLT takes 45 minutes to an hour, requires




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only local anesthesia, and one small incision the size of an ear piercing. Sometimes Dr. Mendes combines it with sclerotherapy, which involves injecting a bit of solution to help the vein close. Patients can walk immediately afterward. Some people wonder if the procedure burns— it doesn’t and is essentially painless. And Dr. Mendes takes extra care to make sure patients are comfortable during treatments. “Music is extremely important during a procedure,” said Dr. Mendes, who has been doing EVLT since 2007. “Patients can either bring earphones or we play whatever they want to listen to.” Like surgical treatment, the recurrence rate after a laser procedure is extremely low. But Dr. Mendes said it is important to follow up after the initial treatment. She usually sees her patients two weeks after the procedure, then one month later, then once a year.

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A growing number of lice have adapted to resist common over-the-counter chemical treatments. These mutants, known as super lice, have been found in over half the states in the United States. But no need to panic parents. Just because common chemicals don’t work, doesn’t mean they can’t be killed using other means. Home remedies that smother lice with things like mayonnaise or olive oil can still work. You can also do a thorough comb through with a fine-toothed comb, using mayo, olive oil, or a number of other lubricants. Essential oils are being used in medicine to help combat antibiotic resistant microbes and there no reason to believe super lice would be resistant to them. The Mayo Clinic reported that some evidence shows that essential oils like tea tree, anis, and ylang ylang can be toxic to lice. Essential oils are potent and occasionally cause allergic reactions, so dilute with a carrier oil and consult a healthcare professional before using on young children. Another chemical-free treatment option is heat. One FDA-approved device for people over the age of 4, the AirAllé, uses dry, warm air to dehydrate and kill both lice and eggs. Claire Roberts, CEO of Lice Clinics of America, which offers AirAllé treatments, said that nearly all people who come in for the treatment have super lice. Treatments take about an hour and Roberts said the majority of people don’t need a second round. And while some parts of the head

(like the hairline on the neck) can be more sensitive to the amount of heat needed to kill lice, most patients find treatments comfortable, she said. “Some clients have told us it feels like getting a spa treatment, and others have actually fallen asleep during treatment,” Roberts stated in an email.

Some evidence shows that essential oils like tea tree, anis, and ylang ylang can be toxic to lice. An AirAllé session is also followed by combing and costs around $170 (sometimes covered by insurance). And to be extra safe, when you have a lice infestation you should wash and dry all bedding on high heat. If pillows or stuffed animals can’t get wet, the heat of the dryer can suffice. Clean all hats, helmets, headphones, and hair care items and accessories. The Mayo Clinic said you can seal unwashable items in a plastic bag for two-weeks, at which point the lice will certainly be dead because they can’t live more than two days without a human host. Lice can’t infest pets so no need to clean cats and dogs.




Healthy and Decadent Peach Coffee Cake


REGENERATIVE MEDICINE To Relieve Back or Joint Pain

By Christine Beal Dunst & Stephanie Rapp


At the Spine & Joint Center we have a very broad perspective on treatment options for pain —from nutritional therapies, to acupuncture, and regenerative medicine. Our goal is to choose the right combination for you.

offee cake is that beautiful, delicious, yet forbidden treat that begs to be eaten at every coffee shop and bakery, every brunch and morning gathering. It smells of cinnamon and sugar, is dense and satisfying, and is usually laden with calories and sugar. Not this one! Our peach coffee cake with pecan crumble is everything you crave in a sweet bread without any of the guilt. It is gluten-free and void of any processed sugars. So go to your local farmers market and pick up a bag of freshly picked peaches—they are still amazing—and make this cake for your next party or tomorrow's breakfast. We also love it for dessert alongside a scoop of "nice cream" (blended frozen fruit and nuts) or frozen yogurt.

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Baking Time: 55–65 minutes

Place all of the ingredients for the crumble in a food processor or blender (we used our Vitamix) and blend until the pecans are chopped into small pieces and a sticky paste is formed. Put the paste in a bowl and set aside.

INGREDIENTS For the Pecan-Crumble • 1/3 cup pecans (raw, organic) • 1 tablespoon shredded coconut • 1 tablespoon brown rice flour (or other gluten-free flour) • 1 tablespoon honey • 1 medjool date (pit removed) • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • Dash of sea salt For the Cake • 4 peaches (organic), 2 sliced and 2 peeled and diced • 4 eggs • 1/4 cup honey • 1/4 cup maple syrup • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract • 1/4 cup coconut oil (melted) • 2 1/4 cups brown rice flour (or other gluten-free flour) • 1 teaspoon baking soda • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger • 1 teaspoon fresh squeezed lemon juice (about 1/2 lemon) • 1 teaspoon cinnamon • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg • Dash of sea salt

Heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Grease a 9-inch cake pan and set aside.

Two natural compounds—one in apple peel and one in green tomatoes—may fight the effects of aging on muscles. Elderly mice fed the compounds saw a 10 percent increase in muscle mass and 30 percent increase in strength. “Many of us know from our own experiences that muscle weakness and atrophy are big problems as we become older,” said Christopher Adams, professor of internal medicine in the University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine and senior study author. “These problems have a major impact on our quality of life and health.” Previously, Adams and his team had identified ursolic acid, which is found in apple peel, and tomatidine, which comes from green tomatoes, as small molecules that can prevent acute muscle wasting caused by starvation and inactivity. Those studies set the stage for testing whether ursolic acid and tomatidine might be effective in blocking the largest cause of muscle weakness and atrophy: aging. In their latest study, Adams’s team found that ursolic acid and tomatidine dramatically reduce age-related muscle weakness and atrophy in mice. Elderly mice with agerelated muscle weakness and atrophy were fed diets lacking or containing either 0.27 percent ursolic acid, or 0.05 percent tomatidine for two months. The scientists found that both compounds increased muscle mass by 10 percent, and more importantly, increased muscle quality, or strength, by 30 percent. The sizes of these effects suggest the compounds largely

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Then blend or beat the eggs, honey, maple syrup, coconut oil, and vanilla on high for 30 seconds to 1 minute until well combined and bubbly.

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Add in the flour, baking soda, ginger, lemon juice, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Blend on low for 30 seconds to 1 minute until mixed together. Blend again on high for 30 seconds. Fold in the diced peaches.


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Pour the batter into the cake pan and smooth with the back of a spoon or rubber spatula. Place the sliced peaches on top of the batter, making circles. Top with the pecan crumble. Bake for 55–65 minutes until cooked through (use the toothpick test). Let cool and then share with friends and family and enjoy!

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Acid in Apple Peel Beefs Up Aging Muscles By Jennifer Brown

restored muscle mass and strength to young adult levels. They report the results in the Journal of Biological Chemistry. “Based on these results, ursolic acid and tomatidine appear to have a lot of potential as tools for dealing with muscle weakness and atrophy during aging,” Adams said. “We also thought we might be able to use ursolic acid and tomatidine as tools to find a root cause of muscle weakness and atrophy during aging.” Adams’s team investigated the molecular effects of ursolic acid and tomatidine in aged skeletal muscle. They found that both compounds turn off a group of genes that are turned on by the transcription factor ATF4. This led them to engineer and study a new strain of mice that lack ATF4 in skeletal muscle. Like old muscles that were treated with ursolic acid and tomatidine, old muscles lacking ATF4 were resistant to the effects of aging. “By reducing ATF4 activity, ursolic acid and tomatidine allow skeletal muscle to recover from effects of aging,” said Adams. The study was conducted in collaboration with Emmyon, Inc., a biotechnology company founded by Adams and based at the University of Iowa. A grant to Emmyon from the National Institute on Aging, as well as grants from the Department of Veterans Affairs and the Fraternal Order of Eagles Diabetes Research Center at the University of Iowa, funded the study. This article was originally published by the University of Iowa. Republished via under Creative Commons License 4.0.

HYDRODISSECTION A Holistic Treatment Without Drugs Or Surgery


PAIN IN LESS THAN AN HOUR When nerves fail to interact properly with muscles, whether through overuse, injury or age, the nerve can get stuck, no longer allowing for normal motion. From this loss of quality of life from pain, chronic pain or other sensations can develop. This often leads to major long-term pain management methods and medications, or even surgery.

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September 18–24, 2015

The End of Dieting Dieting continued from B1

Despite what you may have been told, it is entirely possible to simultaneously lose fat, build muscle, and enjoy the food you eat.

If you only take one thing from this article, let it be that. Eating for fat loss is not deprivation or restriction. It doesn’t have to mean eating food that bores you, or lacking culinary creativity (please never eat anything you don’t love). Physique-friendly nutrition is really as simple as blending your body’s needs with that of your taste buds, and finding a happy medium that pleases both equally. Despite what you may have been told, it is entirely possible to simultaneously lose fat, build muscle, and enjoy the food you eat. In fact, I firmly refuse to eat anything that doesn’t rock my world because, you know what? Life is too short for steamed broccoli and bland chicken breast. The “Please Your Palate and Physique” method, or Triple P as I call it, is the key to an enjoyable fat-loss journey. There aren’t any crazy tricks or secret weapons. There’s just delicious, healthy food and a few very simple steps. Eat an Abundance of Protein How much protein you need is going to vary greatly from body to body, but nine times out of ten, I find that the women I work with aren’t eating enough protein. The general recommendation is 0.8–1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight, or about 5 palm-sized portions of protein per day—with average women coming in at barely 50 percent of that. Protein is absolutely imperative for muscle repair and growth, and muscle mass is an integral ingredient in the fat-loss recipe. Not to mention, when you fill up on protein you’ll help curb your hunger and craving and will be less likely to reach for junk food. I suggest you aim to eat protein with every meal, focusing on visual portions (such as 1–2 palm-size portions) as opposed to stressing out over the total grams. If you make your protein source the start of your meal and build your plate around it, chances are you’ll consume enough.


Great Protein Choices • Lean ground beef, chicken, or turkey • Fish such as salmon, tilapia, and halibut • Ground pork • Grass-fed steaks such as filet and top sirloin • Chicken breasts and thighs • Pork loin • Eggs and egg whites • Chicken sausage • High-quality whey protein powder • Plant-based protein powder • Mushrooms

A fitness and lifestyle coach, writer, veteran, and mom, Neghar Fonooni lifts weights and is passionate about empowering women through strength.

It’s extremely important to note that for your overall health, all animal products should be of the highest quality possible and come from farms with ethical practices. If at all possible, buy local. Grass-fed, cage-free, and sustainably raised are all important, but chances are if you buy local, you’ll get just that. Not to mention that highquality animal products actually taste better, allowing you to dine in true Triple-P fashion.




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For resources in your area, see the Local Harvest website ( For high-quality animal products delivered directly to your door try US Wellness Meats. As much as possible, I consume whole, minimally processed foods. But when I finish up an especially tough workout, I really look forward to my post-workout shake made with either BioTrust Low Carb or Tera’s Organic Whey. It curbs my sweet tooth, satiates my hunger, fuels my muscles, and is always made from the highest-quality ingredients. For vegans and vegetarians, protein shakes made with Vega are especially important, since protein intake tends to be generally low.

Some of My Favorite Shakes Mocha Muscle • 6-8 ounces iced coffee • 1-2 scoops chocolate protein powder • 1 tablespoon raw cacao powder • 1/2 avocado • Ice Pumpkin Spice • 1/2 cup organic canned pumpkin • 1/4 cup full-fat coconut milk • 1–2 scoops vanilla protein • Pumpkin pie spice • Ice Fill Up on Produce Veggies reign supreme when it comes to fat loss, but that doesn’t mean fruit should be thrown out entirely. In fact, in my extensive experience, I have found that women who completely eliminate fruit tend to have debilitating sugar cravings, usually resulting in sugar binges. So veggies are your priority, but fruit is by no means off-limits. I suggest indulging in veggies to your heart’s desire and keeping fruit to about one to two servings per day. You’ll want to eat a wide variety of vegetables and fruits (or the rainbow, as they say) in order to expand your palate and absorb your vitamins and minerals. But remember, the Triple-P approach—don’t eat any veggies you hate. There are hundreds of veggies to choose from and just no reason to eat the ones you don’t like. Produce is especially important because it contains more fiber than most whole grains and leaves you feeling satiated and energized without adding unnecessary calories. I recommend filling up about half your lunch or dinner plate with veggies and incorporating them into just about every meal. When I have an insatiable snack attack, I reach for veggies first. I always keep cucumbers and raw green beans around to munch on with my homemade dip. This way, I get to snack but while loading up on fat-burning foods. If for whatever reason, getting enough veggies in proves to be a monumental task, try Athletic Greens. It’s an incredible greens supplement made from raw foods with absolutely no artificial ingredients. In general, I recommend consuming fruit and starchy vegetables such as butternut squash and sweet potatoes on especially intense training days. Go Full Fat Fat-free products are finally being exposed for what they are—horrifying science experiments. Unless something is naturally fat-free, you really should avoid it. I mean think about what they put back in after they remove the fat. If you take a look at fat-free sour cream, for example, you’ll see things such as starches and chemicals, whereas full-fat sour cream simply lists milk or cream as its ingredients. Healthy fats such as those found in avocados, grass-fed butter, and nuts, can actually be beneficial toward your fat-loss goals as long as they are consumed in moderation. Fat is essential for cell growth and function and can really help you feel satiated—meaning you are less likely to binge later. It’s important to educate yourself as to what a serving actually looks like in order to avoid overconsumption (solid fats: roughly a handful; liquid fats: roughly a tablespoon). Once you do that, you’ll want to incorporate healthy fats into your diet to enhance the natural flavor of whole foods. Plain steamed veggies become divine when butter or ghee is added. A boring green salad turns into a delicious meal when you add mashed-up avocado. And that chicken breast you’ve been eating? How about dipping it in an egg wash and “breading” it with coconut flour and unsweetened shredded coconut? Fat is your friend when it comes to the Triple-P method. To increase the many anti-inflammatory and healing benefits of healthy fats, I recommend regularly taking an omega supplement as well. And note, a giant bag of trail mix is not one serving and will not help you lose body fat. I did that experiment so that you wouldn’t have to. You’re welcome!

Wine and weight loss is like oil and water.

Drink Up Water, that is. While I do love my Malbec, the effect that alcohol has on fat loss is rather unfortunate. I know, I don’t like it either! However, drinking lots of water will keep you hydrated and energized, which is integral for fat loss. Drinking plenty of water (especially at room temperature) is wonderful for your digestion and helps encourage feelings of fullness and satiety. In fact, I drink a full glass of warm lemon water with cayenne pepper every morning when I wake up, aiding in digestion and promoting faster metabolism. Tip: Ditch the plastic and treat yourself to a stainless steel Kleen Kanteen. I’ve had mine for five years, and it’s still going strong. Eat Enough, but Not Too Much I’ve seen countless women struggle with fat loss both because they consumed too little and too much food. There are several ways to calculate suggested calorie and macronutrient intakes. You can measure and weigh portions and account for every last gram of sustenance. And guess what? You’ll lose fat. But you’ll probably gain a whole lot of crazy while you’re at it. I know I did. I was a serial calorie-counter for three years, unbelievably shredded and outrageously miserable. The funny thing is, if we pay attention to our body, we don’t need any formula to tell us how much to eat. Remember the Triple-P method: Food is for energy, but it’s also for enjoyment. So instead of stressing out over calories and fad diets, try the following simple steps: • Start with 1–2 palm-size portions of protein, depending on how many times you eat per day. • Fill the rest of your plate with veggies. • Add a small amount of fat. • Eat slowly and mindfully in order to appreciate your food and be alerted of your fullness (so much information on this in the Lean & Lovely handbook). • If at all possible, consume meals with others. • Limit sugary treats and alcohol to very special occasions, such as holidays and weddings. • Let go of guilt. You know the scenario: You found yourself unable to decline the strong temptation of pie while celebrating Thanksgiving, or you had one too many glasses of vino while out with your girls. We’ve all been in situations where we’ve indulged more than we planned to. But so what? Let me ask you, does giving yourself a hard time about it allow you to turn back the clock? Will it get you any further along your fitness and fat-loss path? Of course not. But you know what guilt is capable of? It can paralyze you. Guilt over food can leave you feeling dejected, defeated, and ultimately pessimistic. You had a cookie, Hun, you didn’t fail. It’s not the end of anything. But we seem hard-wired to give ourselves grief over nutritional indulgences. What if we just relaxed? What if we acknowledged the guilt, made a conscious decision to be more mindful, and then simply let it go? Giving yourself grace is a powerful tool in letting go of food obsession. You can release that guilt. You just have to choose: misery or happiness? When you do this, you’ll become more capable of making good decisions for your body. You’ll ditch the “I suck” mentality that sometimes leads you to throw in the towel and overindulge. You’ll make decisions out of love for your body, rather than coming from a place of self-loathing and constant castigation. Let go of guilt. It has no place in your journey. This Is Not a Diet No two women are exactly the same, and we all respond to different methods and approaches. That’s why my nutritional approach isn’t a diet. How can one diet possibly be effective for so many different types of women, with unique preferences, schedules, and complications? Not to mention, the word “diet” usually implies a start and a stop—are you planning on quitting eating anytime soon? Probably not, which is one of the many reasons diets don’t work. Sure, diets work at first. You’ll put yourself on some sort of dietary restriction, and you’ll likely lose a lot of fat, resulting in a drastic transformation. But chances are, once you start eating normally again, you’ll gain most of it back. This rebound will likely depress and defeat you until you start the next diet, repeating the cycle all over again. Neghar Fonooni is a fitness and lifestyle coach, entrepreneur, and founder of Eat, Lift, & Be Happy.



September 18–24, 2015



the End of Summer Blues

By Agnes Kowalski

Life is here to challenge us and accepting this fact frees us from unrealistic expectations.

September means back to school for children and teens and also marks the end of summer let down for everyone else. The ending of anything is a great measure of our attachment to it, how long we grieve, complain, or feel anxiety about the closing of something is a great indicator of how hard we are holding on to it. The Buddhists have a wonderful four steps or “noble truths” as they are called, which can help us cope with the summer goodbye among other things. I have explained them in digestible chunks that may be helpful for those of us struggling with change, moving on, or are simply resisting what is now.

prise, spontaneity, and divinity in our lives. Not to seem pessimistic, but setting intentions then letting them go and being open to all kinds of miracles is very different from always wanting what we don’t have. Singer and songwriter Sheryl Crow said in one her lyrics; “It’s not having what you want. It’s wanting what you’ve got.”

Step One The first step is accepting that life is not perfect and it doesn’t need to be. Accept the reality of each situation that meets you instead of living in the past or future. Instead of dreading the end of warm weather, accept what is in front of you today—there is freedom in getting out of denial. The less we fight how things actually are instead of how we wish/want/imagine them to be the faster we will get to our goals and dreams. Life is here to challenge us and accepting this fact frees us from unrealistic expectations.

Step Three The third step is letting go of our attachments. Sometimes we need to do something to acknowledge the passing of a season, a birthday, or a new stage in life. Grieving is appropriate and commemorating the end can help give us closure to be able to move on. We must mature spiritually to the understanding that nothing is “ours” we don’t own summer or childhood or any relationships, the circumstances and consequences of our lives are in constant change and are “on loan” to us until further notice. The more we can practice this idea on a daily basis, the more we will train ourselves

Step Two The second step is realizing that most of our struggle comes from always desiring. It is exhausting always wanting something because inevitably you cannot get everything you want and then disappointment follows soon after. Our expectation that life should be perfect and we should get everything we want when we want it eliminates the possibility for sur-


to embrace change and enjoy the moment Fall is a time instead of fearing an imminent time in the of grieving future, or dwelling in the past where we think and letting go, we would be happier. but we can't let sorrowful emotions Step Four Finally the fourth and final step is to follow a overwhelm us. balanced path that keeps us on the right track. Incorporating fun, exercise, meditation, kindness, compassion, and some self-care in our everyday lives helps us to maintain equilibrium. We are less likely to be in denial about the present, get overly attached to any one thing, or to desire more than we have if we are feeding ourselves a nurturing emotional diet of self-love. This is the best weapon we have against change because, as the Greek philosopher Heraclitus once said, “You can’t step into the same river twice.” Agnes Kowalski writes for, where this article was originally published.

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Old Wives Tales: Will Eating Garlic Repel Mosquitoes? By Tatiana Tobar-Darzi Ramandi Epoch Times Staff According to lore, vampires cannot stand the scent of garlic. By this logic some people believe that eating garlic will repel the vampires of the insect world—mosquitoes. However, while garlic is certainly a boon to your health in many ways, research has not shown it to keep you bite-free. A double-blinded, placebo-controlled trial published in Medical and Veterinary Entomology found that whether participants ate garlic or a placebo before exposing themselves to hungry mosquitos did not seem to matter to the bugs at all. And if you don’t like mosquito bites, watch how much you drink because a few beers

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may make your blood tastier to mosquitos. A 13-participant study in the journal of the American Mosquito Control Association (AMCA) found that “mosquito landing on volunteers significantly increased after beer ingestion compared with before ingestion.” Retired U.S. Navy entomologist and AMCA spokesman, Joseph M. Conlon, told ABC News that garlic could possibly help you ward off mosquitos if applied topically. “If you take garlic and squeeze it on your skin, that portion of your skin will be repellent to mosquitoes for about 20 to 40 minutes.” However, with this approach you might repel your friends too. So if you wish to drive these little pests away with natural products but keep your relationships, give essential oil-based repellents or citronella candles a try.


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September 18–24, 2015

Deep Core Muscles Having a strong core is a lot more than flat abs or a six-pack. Your deep core muscles do everything from aligning and stabilizing your spine to firming up your sacrum, and yes, if they are strong, they can also flatten your midsection.


Longissimus and Illiocostalis. These are the deepest muscles of the erector spinae group, which run along the whole length of the spine, keep it extended, maintain good posture, and help you bend to the sides.


Psoas. A long muscle that runs from the lower vertebrae to the top of the femur. It attaches to the diaphragm and works to stabilize the spine every time you breathe. The psoas also helps the hips flex and legs rotate outward.


Pelvic Floor Muscles. These muscles at the base of the pelvis function to support pelvic floor organs, assist bowel movements, aid sexual performance, and stabilize the joints of the pelvis.








Internal Oblique (IAO). This muscle joins connective tissue that covers the lower back to the pelvis, and aids breathing. By pulling the ribs down it supports the abdominal torso and due to the oblique angle of its fibers, it also rotates and bends the torso.



Transverses Abdominus (TVA). The innermost layer of abdominal muscles (underneath your six-pack muscles and obliques). It compresses the contents of the abdomen providing stability to your chest, upper back, and pelvis. The TVA interlocks with the diaphragm and if either don’t function well, the nervous system will fail to recruit other muscles properly.

Multifidus. A series of small muscles between the vertebrae from the sacrum to the upper neck. They give support to the spine.

An X-ray of the pelvis colored to show the psoas (dark red) and pelvic floor muscles.


Build Deep Core Stability By Ashley Whitson Everyone is talking about core stability these days. Many of my female clients come to me wanting to get rid of their “pooch,” the part of their stomach that sticks out below the belly button. They think that countless crunches and sucking in their belly will give them a strong core and the sculpted look they desire. But they don’t realize the potential damage being done to their spines and posture. What they are actually doing is destabilizing themselves by moving too much at the lower back and neck, putting themselves at risk for injury. Much of the general public still believes that “sucking in” or “hollowing out” the belly is the correct way to achieve a strong stable core and protect the spine. This action isolates the transverse abdominus, the “waist cincher” muscle that wraps around the torso and interlocks with the diaphragm, a dome-shaped muscle that lies at the base of the rib cage and functions in respiration. When we suck in our bellies, we are only activating the transverse abdominus. The chest tends to lift, and the ribs flare outward, throwing off the function of the diaphragm and the timing of core-muscle activation. When this happens, other muscles like the obliques become inhibited (shut down), and the muscles of the neck and chest, which are already working overtime for most people, are further facilitated (or overactive). As a fitness professional, I have realized over the years that it is vitally important to change how people think about the core, to help them understand how to train it. If we want to exercise and move our bodies efficiently in space, we need to have a core that is reactive and contracts quickly enough to stabilize us. A reactive core cannot be achieved by performing countless crunches. Yes, crunches will train our six-pack muscles (the rectus abdominus), but this muscle is not a part of our inner unit of core muscles, which are the group of deep muscles that are responsible for stabilizing the spine and pelvis. For true core strength, we need to use our inner unit of core muscles in a concerted way throughout the entire lower torso, without overusing muscles in the neck. The following sequence will help you learn to engage your true core muscles. Step 1: Crocodile Breathing In an ideal contraction of the diaphragm, the entire muscle pushes down into the abdominal cavity. This contraction should expand the lower rib cage and the abdominal wall in all directions. Without a proper diaphragm contraction, the intra-abdominal pressure created during the

For true core strength, we need to activate our inner unit of core muscles in a concerted way.

Crocodile breathing.

breathing process will not reach all the way air into the side and back of your ribs will allow down to the lower back to create the stabilizayou to feel like you can still inhale. tion needed for movement and to support the Maintaining the brace while breathing freely spine to prevent it from collapsing. will get easier as you develop more movement in your thoracic spine (upper-middle back) To assess the functioning of your diaphragm, you can hold your fingers around your lower rib and ribcage. cage and waist to feel if there is lateral (side-to-side) expansion and posterior (back) expansion. You should be able to DNS send pressure into dead bug. your hands. Many people have trouble properly activating the diaphragm. If SA MIR AB OU this is the case for you, I recommend AO U/E PO CH getting help from a practitioner who is certiTI M ES fied in postural restoration or a Dynamic NeuStep 4: Challenge romuscular Stabilization (DNS) practitioner. The next step is to improve endurance by maintaining the brace while moving your arms Step 2: Abdominal Brace and legs. The next step is to learn the “abdominal brace.” Rather than “hollowing out” your belly by A good exercise for this is the “DNS dead bug.” pulling your navel to your low back, try making Lie on the floor with your head toward a wall. your abdominal wall stiff as if you were getting Bring your arms overhead and press your hands ready for someone to punch you in the gut. You into the wall. Your ribs may pop out off the floor, so make sure to pull them back down. can also try coughing or laughing. Even imagYou should feel the back of the ribs on the floor ining you’re constipated works. According to Stuart McGill, a professor of spine throughout the whole exercise. biomechanics at the University of Waterloo Inhale to pressurize your abdomen and bring and expert on spinal rehabilitation, this action your legs up to table top (hips and knees at 90 will not only engage the transverse abdomidegrees). nus (waist-cincher muscle), but will also actiMaintain the brace and breathe while you vate the internal and external obliques (muscles continue to press the hands into the wall. Then responsible for rotation and resisting rotation of stretch one leg slightly away from the torso. the torso), which will provide much more staBring the leg back into table top and switch sides bility than just the transverse abdominus alone. continuously. Do as many as you can do well. Notice that when you use abdominal bracing, Step 5: Integrate your ribs should pull down toward your pubic After you are comfortable with Steps 1–4, it is bone, rather than pull up toward your neck. To get better at this, you can add resistance by time to transition from proper abdominal actiblowing up balloons. This may sound silly, but vation into more dynamic exercises where the core must react to various forces. Planks and it will help your motor control system learn the bird dogs are a reasonable progression, followed brace. You will feel your whole abdominal wall activate as you pull your ribs down to exhale by chops and lifts and Pallof presses. air through the balloon. Try to inflate the balOf course, the way to progress and the choice of exercises depends upon your indiloon as much as possible by expelling as much vidual needs, but these simple exercises should air as you can. help provide you with a good foundation for movement. Step 3: Breathing Freely For optimal spinal stability and back You will find that by having a core that actihealth, the next step is to learn to breathe vates more readily, all other aspects of your exerfreely by maintaining your abdominal cise program will become easier. You may also brace. start to notice that your mid-section is firmer and more defined as a result of true core stability. This may take some time and patience, especially if you have been consciously or unconsciously (yes you can say that because once it Ashley Whitson is an ACE-certified perbecomes habit, it becomes more automatic) sonal trainer, Pilates-certified instructor, prepracticing the “hollowing” technique. and postnatal exercise specialist, Functional Once you are comfortable with the abdominal Movement Systems professional, Neurokibrace, practice maintaining the brace throughnetic Therapy practitioner, and professional out the whole breath cycle. At first, you may feel dancer in New York. For more information, like you cannot get enough air in, so sending the see



Diaphragm. A dome-shaped muscle in the lower rib cage that is the primary muscle of respiration.



A strong core is important for a stable and pain-free spine.


Epoch Fit 9-18-2015