Monthly Archives: January 2012

New video: Now you can watch the Steve Ritz talk that brought down the house at TEDx Manhattan 2012

TEDx Manhattan, Changing The Way We Eat, just posted Stephen Ritz’s talk that brought down the house last week.

These shorts will help you get to know Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine and the amazing work that he’s doing.

This is your gut on junk food: A mouth-2-anus adventure

Thanks to artist Stefani Bardin, TEDxManhattan 2011 Fellow, for creating this 4-minute video about her cool “smartpill” project on processed and unprocessed food.  The experiment works like this:

Subjects swallow a pill camera (called M2A for mouth to anus) that collects video


a smart pill that measures pressure and pH data from within the GI tract


a meal.

Along with her collaborator, gastroenterologist Dr. Braden Kuo of Harvard University and Massachusetts General Hospital, Bardin observes and visually documents the difference between whole foods and processed foods in the digestive tract.  (Think Gatorade and gummy bears vs fruit and vegetables.)

Its a smart, brilliant, beautiful presentation—and, best of all, it’s funny. Bardin doesn’t take herself too seriously. Find out more about her work on her website, where she describes this project,  M2A™:The Fantastic Voyage, as “an installation built around the first ever clinical study to use wireless gastroenterology devices to look at how the human body responds to processed versus whole foods.”

When this clip was screened at TEDx Manhattan Changing the Way We Eat 2012, host Laurie David challenged audience members to take this viral.

I know! Let’s try putting the word anus in the title.  Did it get your attention?

Holistic Health: How to Make Great Decisions

Little feel-good things, like watching a sunrise or sunset, can help you make better health-related decisions, according to new research published in the Archives of Internal Medicine. Read more, including the self-affirmation script used in the study, on newswise.

Watch the speaker who got a standing O at TEDx Manhattan Changing The Way We Eat


These shorts will help you get to know Stephen Ritz of Green Bronx Machine and the amazing work that he’s doing.

Holistic Health: TEDx Manhattan shows Jamie Oliver’s TED Talk


Watch Jamie Oliver‘s TED talk, Teach every child about food, from a couple of years ago.

Holistic Health: Great sustainable eating advice from a kid

Check out 11-year-old Birke Baehr’s take on changing the way we eat.

What the new pollution standards will mean for your health

Found this info graphic from the White House on

Holistic Health: The dangers of NOT being mindful


Distracted walking, distracted driving, distracted eating, it’s all dangerous.  The Shots blog reports on study findings that suggest distracted walking can be pretty deadly, too.

Pay attention.

The study, published online by the journal Injury Prevention, is from researchers from the University of Maryland School of Medicine who looked at pedestrian accident data from a variety of sources between 2004 and 2011. They found 116…read more

Is holistic a dirty word?

Does CAM=crazy?  Some think so.  Since I gave this blog a tagline about holistic health, I’ve discovered negative connotations connected to terms like holistic medicine or complementary and alternative medicine (CAM).  Some people equate them with the experimental, fringe, risky—even unscientific and absurd. Others act as if its all just code for rejection of modern medicine, belief in alien abductions or good old witchcraft.

So sad!  I use them as synonyms for integrative or patient-driven medicine, preventative health or wellness or comprehensive healthcare.  Maybe even ‘the best of both worlds.”  In fact, the NIH says integrative medicine “combines mainstream medical therapies and CAM therapies for which there is some high-quality scientific evidence of safety and effectiveness” but it’s still got a reputation for being, well, wacky.

The misconception is prevalent.  Even Dr Weil–who defines integrative medicine as “medicine that takes account of the whole person including all aspects of lifestyle. It emphasizes the therapeutic relationship and makes use of all appropriate therapies, both conventional and alternative”–has to deal with the mix up.  His renown website dedicates a few columns to explaining the difference between integrative or holistic medicine and alternative medicine:  Any therapy that is typically excluded by conventional medicine, and that patients use instead of conventional medicine, is known as “alternative medicine.” It’s a catch-all term…An alternative medicine practice that is used in conjunction with a conventional one is known as a “complementary” medicine. Example: using ginger syrup to prevent nausea during chemotherapy. Together, complementary and alternative medicines are often referred to by the acronym CAM…integrative medicine “cherry picks” the very best, scientifically validated therapies from both conventional and CAM systems.

So there you have it. I’ve tweaked my tagline to include patient empowerment, because this blog is about integrative medicine and the importance of understanding all the wellness strategies and treatment options “out there”.

No anal probes required.

Holistic Health: What NOT to Say About Mindful Eating

Gotta love this critique of insensitive reporting and over generalizations.  I’m surprised these types of negative responses aren’t publicized more often.

Spiritual leader Yogiraj Gurunath Siddhanath issues official statement in response to CNN report on “mindfulness” and eating, saying report “trivializes” Eastern thinking and philosophy.  Read more