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Chef Clinic


Healthy Bites                                    May 2013

“12 Steps to a Stronger, Healthier You”


Step 6 ~ How Can I Get More Satisfaction from Healthy Food?"


The answer? Build a better gut (on the inside). Here are some resources to make your gut as healthy as it can be:


a. an excellent patient handout from the University of Wisconsin: FAQs on probiotics and prebiotics (free download)


b. my explanation of the Dannon/Activia/Probiotic controversy (@Bloggess wrote: "I'm so sorry about Jamie Lee Curtis' diarrhea"), covered in the Wall Street Journal (I'm quoted).

c. my favorite, at home, DIY, probiotic Pearls and full-spectrum prebiotic fiber supplement.


Part of feeling full and fully satisfied, and looking and feeling better is how well you absorb food, i.e., how well you extract nutrients from what you eat. That depends on which bacteria are in your gut.  


And your gut holds 100 trillion bacteria: that's a good thing. Your own cells, on the other hand, are only 10 percent of that. 


The bacteria inside you do the work of digesting. And they are one reason that all calories are not the same: everyone has a unique set of bacteria--your "microbiome".  


Your microbiome comes from what you eat, how you live, and whether you take antibiotics regularly.  


If you eat well, you get a diverse set of bacteria, ready to fight anything. If you don't, your resistance (and bacterial diversity) is lower.



n.b. We covered topics like this in Culinary Medicine for Clinical Medical Students: the First Course: we spent 20 percent of the time in the garden and the kitchen! Photos on the blog, and to follow). New blog on Weeks 1 and 2.




The Tao of Treadmills.  

Or, Why Going Longer on the Treadmill Protects Againts Lung, Colon and Rectal Cancer.  

No Kidding. 


What really caught my attention is the new study of 17000 men with measurements 20 years apart at the Cooper Clinic in Dallas.


Those in the top 20% for distance at the average age o 50 got less colon cancer, less rectal cancer, less lung cancer than those in the lowest 20%.  And men who did get those cancers, or prostate cancer, lived longer if they were aerobically fit.


That's where the LifeSpan Fitness Treadmill Desk comes in. Our bodies are made to move and this LifeSpan Fitness Treadmill Desk is a great way to do that while doing other things... working, watching TV, social media, talking on the phone.  Warning: not cheap. But efficient.


Could you get the LifeSpan TR 1200i Folding Treadmill (2013 Model), at $500 off?Yes, you could.


And it would be space-efficient, smart, sturdy and well-tested. Because it is.  And if you don't work in a place that you can walk and talk, I would.  




Quinoa-Stuffed Whole Zucchini with Cheese

10 minutes of prep, 20 minutes of cooking.


For those who don't like squash, but do like Spring. Drizzle with Sriracha, Wok Mei gluten free, sugar free hoisin or Pearl River Bridge Mushroom Soy (amazing) if you like darkness on the edge of town.


A miracle of nutrition and plant production, squash is off the hook productive.  Eat the skin: it's where most of the antioxidants are. This will work with crookneck, chayote, yellow zucchini and calabacita squash too. 


For those squash that don't make it to the main meal, blend one with ice, mint, lime, tequila and touch of creme de menthe: it's a grasshopper green margarita! It blends because squash is 95 percent water.


This dish is just 310 calories and 13 grams of protein. Drop the extra salt if you're watching sodium: the cheese and salsa give it enough.


Print the recipe here


Bonus: How to Cook Good Food That's Good for You (Dr JLP interview, from the Chicago Tribune Archives)  


My Public Appearances: Alice Waters, and the Next Gen Summit at UCSB

I spoke at two local events this month: one, dialoguing with the ever-persuasive, cooly-political Alice Waters of Chez Panisse at UCSB's Campbell Hall.


We chatted/did Q and A for 15 minutes on stage after her awesome talk on why teaching cooking to kids in math, history, social science and art is more effective and fun than isolating it.  


I was happy that Alice loved Annie's Meyer Lemons, and wanted to know how she grew them.  


And it was so great to present "The Biology of Weight" at The Next Generation Summit at UCSB to young entrepreneurs (based on my SXSW talk of the same name). They thought it was hilarious! 


Ask Dr La Puma: Healthy Aging

I love to read and report mail from my viewers.  I answer each one personally.  Thank you for sharing.  


Dear Dr. La Puma,


After cooking with raw meat and chicken, what do you clean your counters and sink with to prevent the spread of bacteria?


Everyone seems to have a different opinion from vinegar to bleach to Norwex cloths.

Lori, Helena, MT


Dear Lori,


I like Norwex cloths, but you have to store them wet. 


I confess to not swabbing counters and sink--just a rinse and spritz of the cutting board with diluted white vinegar.  I do use a separate cutting board for meats. 


A study of 4 different methods (includng bleach, vinegar, water and brush) showed that a spray solution of 1 cup of white vinegar to 3 cups of white vinegar knocked down 98% of bacteria.  That's good enough for me!

Best wishes,

John La Puma, MD



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Happy Memorial Day!

Grill Happily!

My Top Tools to Help You Stay Fit


Fitbit One Wireless Activity Plus Sleep Tracker

More of my patients have a Fitbit than any other brand of self-tracker. Even more than the Omron Pocket Pedometer, which I love for its simplicity, accuracy and reliability.


But the Fitbit takes that to new level.


It tracks your steps--and your sleep for you--wirelessly, in the cloud. All you have to do is wear it.


Combined with the 


 Fitbit Wifi Smart Scale (code-named Aria, sleek, over 1000 excellent reviews, now giving the Withings Wifi Scale a run for its money), you can know what you need to know, wirelessly. And so can your doctor.


This is the future of health tracking--little effort, elegant design, consistent quality, great value. Check it out on Amazon.


N.b. I favor the Fitbit One over the Fitbit Flex Wireless Activity + Sleep Wristband: not waterproof, for example, and doesn't count stairs. But,the LED lights giving you your numbers are awesome.




Not All Blood Pressure Cuffs Are Created Equally

This Omron Wrist Blood Pressure Cuff happens to be accurate and easy to use, and it's hugely popular.  A happy and unusual event ;)


Usual first sign of undiagnosed high blood pressure? Heart attack or stroke. Don't be a chump. Get it measured. Yourself




Dr La Puma's Books/DVDs



Dr John La Puma



Dr. John La Puma is an internationally recognized health & wellness expert, board certified practicing internist, nutritionist and professionally trained chef. He is founder of Chef Clinic®, co-founder of ChefMD® and a New York Times best-selling author, 2x.


He helps to lead a movement to help you lose the gut and build more strength, stamina and energy with what you eat.

Product  & Plan Links

Note: Several images and highlighted product names link to Amazon or another affiliate. If you make a purchase through one of our links, Dr John La receives a small commission that does not add to your cost. At all.


But anything you buy during that shopping trip will help benefit Dr. La Puma's Healthy Bites and keep it free.



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