NYTimes: Questions About Coffee and Health: We Have Some Answers

Further coffee clarifications.


Responding to readers’ questions about decaf, tea and more.

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Those Mysterious Extra Shoelace Holes On Your Sneakers Actually Serve A Brilliant Purpose

Wow. I never knew this, but I’m trying it out today today to see if I feel the different fit. If you try it let me know in the comments what you think!


“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

NYTimes: More Consensus on Coffee’s Benefits Than You Might Think

I’ve been following the research, and telling people this for years…maybe people will start waking up to one of the true wonders of holistic health! If not, please, stop chastising me for how much I drink, I won’t even count coffee as one of my vices anymore!

Happy days.


A review of studies shows that coffee’s reputation as being unhealthy is undeserved, with the potential health benefits surprisingly large.

“ Talent hits a target no one else can hit; Genius hits a target no one else can see. ” – Arthur Schopenhauer

Training with Intent

INTENT. 1 a : the act or fact of intending : purpose; b : the state of mind with which an act is done

When you go to the gym and exercise/train, what is your intent? That is, what do you intend to accomplish? Do you even think about it, or do you just go to the gym and “do a bunch of stuff” and hope for the best? If so, have you thought about what you’re actually hoping for?

It’s shocking how many people in the gym never think about any of this. Working out without intent is akin to being given a destination to a town somewhere in North America that you never heard of, and told to find your way there without using a road map, gps, or any other device more complicated than asking random people for directions. Good luck finding your way. You might, but it’s not likely.

Intent can be very personal if you actually have any, but I’m going to try to break it up into a few categories; some specific and some necessarily broad and vague, in alphabetical order since importance is an individual decision:

1: Anaerobic- body building/body shaping
2: Aerobic/anaerobic-weigh loss/weight management
3: Aerobic/anaerobic-cardiovascular health
4: Aerobic-Athletic endurance performance
5: Anaerobic-Athletic performance for strength and power
6: Aerobic/Anaerobic-sports specific performance
7: Anaerobic-anti aging
8: Aerobic/Anaerobic-Health
9: Entertainment

Once you’ve chosen the intention of your exercise, you have the opportunity to make an informed choice about what kind of exercises to engage in. Want to train for the next NYC marathon?  Do you want to just finish, or are you trying to see how fast you can finish? #’s 2,3,4,6 apply to you for sure, #’s 9 and 10 might if performance isn’t an issue. Engaging in exercises that adhere to #’s 1,5,7 could prove very counter productive to your immediate goals.

In the coming weeks I’ll touch on training methodologies to best carry out each of the above categories.

NYTimes.com: Cornell?s Chocolate Milk Fills Refueling Gap

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Cornell?s Chocolate Milk Fills Refueling Gap


At Cornell, the benefits of having an on-campus dairy extend beyond a diverse dining hall menu to helping change workout recovery habits.

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Copyright 2015 | The New York Times Company | NYTimes.com 620 Eighth Avenue New York, NY 10018


Milk is bad for you. You must stop consuming all dairy products immediately. It will destroy your health, your GI tract, your immune system, yada yada yada. I mean it! Are you on board?

No. I don’t mean it at freaking all.

You’ve heard these arguments before, but they don’t hold up to scientific scrutiny. Follow the statements to the research and you find one or a few small sample studies conducted under dubious conditions that themselves are often difficult to verify having ever actually taken place. As opposed to the 10’s of thousands of studies showing milk to be healthy, and safe fo large segments of the human population. So where does all this dairy hate come from?

Like the hate for sugar, salt, gluten, and until recently, eggs, much of the hate stems from misapplied causality. Many people are, in fact, lactose intolerant, which affects about half the world population upon reaching adulthood. This does cause great discomfort because the milk sugars (lactose) cannot be properly digested by certain individuals, causing “gastric disturbance”; ie bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, etc. if you suffer these effects when consuming dairy products, it is easy to conclude that dairy is unhealthy. Proponents of this misapplied causality like to use instant logic to bolster their claim by pointing out that no other species on planet earth consumes milk into adulthood, and no other species consumes milk from another species, therefore it is self evident that cow/goat/other milks should not be consumed at all. Logical. Right?

Wrong. First, never consume any food that causes you gastric disturbance if you can help it. For me, that’s broccoli. If it causes gastric problems, that means your body cannot properly digest it, and that further means whatever nutrients that consumable food source contains is not being effectively absorbed by your body anyway, so the calories are empty and wasted. Should I conclude that broccoli is unhealthy for the entire human race? After all, I’m far from alone in my broccoli intolerance. Of course not. Broccoli is quite healthy for those that digest it properly. Just like gorillas eat leaves and other flora that would leave us dying of malnutrition, we need to select foods that work for us, thru trial and error.

What about the lessons from nature, proving that we shouldn’t consume milk past childhood and never consume other animals milk regardless?

Also pure bullshit. First other animals can and often do ween animals from different species when the circumstances are right. Dogs have been known to ween kittens, and cats to ween puppies. Search YouTube and you can find cats that ween ducklings, and tigers getting weened by dogs. There are even types of ant that herd and milk certain kinds of worms, while protecting the worms from other predators. 

Well, okay, you might say, but not into adulthood! Every adult animal stops drinking milk at some point. It obviously becomes unnatural!

Let’s look at other “unnatural nutrition” and unnatural activities no other species engages in besides us:

  • Using fire to cook. All other animals eat all food raw in nature. 
  • Agriculture. No animal besides humans farm.
  • Locomotion. No animal uses any means of movement beyond what nature gave them except humans. We unnaturally invented the wheel. No other species on earth uses wheels. Then we domesticated horses, mules, oxen, etc to first pull carts carrying us and then to ride directly upon. We invented canoes and ships to let us travel across water. Submarines to let us travel under water. Then we invented bicycles and motor vehicles to travel across land faster, then airplanes to give us flight. No other animal has ever done any of these things. 

So, getting back to food, you want to eat your chicken raw? Your beef? Your eggs? Try eating raw potatoes or squash. No aboriginal society has ever not cooked their animal derived food since the discovery of fire. How did this stop being self evident? We are discoverers. Our brains allow us to figure out how to do things better. 

Milk? For me the answer is: Yes please, can I have some more? For you? Maybe, maybe not. But please avoid the blanket condemnations please.


And no human culture possessing access to either cow or goat milk hasn’t discovered many healthy uses for it. That’s what’s natural for humans to do, that no other animal can do; discover new things, to think outside the bounds of typical animal behavior.

Stop “demonizing” foods that may not be healthy for you but are just fine for others. Sugar is fine. Gluten is fine. Eggs are fine. Milk is fine. If there’s a problem, the problem is yours, and yours to deal with.


Certification renewal and professional skill

Below is a link on a piece about doctors, but it reflects a frustration I’ve felt for a long time in my industry. It’s not exactly the same, as medical science undergoes some serious advances in the how and why frequently, but the reality of day to day practice is often quite similar with CPT’s like me.


Board Certification and Fees Anger Doctors

I feel exactly the same way about fitness certifications. I’ve been practicing as a Certified Personal Trainer for 24 years, and 6 more years earlier I  was working as a Personal Trainer before certifications existed. Every individual certification I took once they became available enhanced my general expertise though did not add much to what was already generally known, and provided specific knowledge of a new area of fitness. The process of renewing all these certifications is utterly pointless, however. The fact is, and I mean this literally, is that in terms of general fitness, the knowledge base is exactly the same as it was in 1950. The only change that has occurred in terms of exercise related science is that the theories of how and why aerobic and anaerobic exercise works were CONFIRMED. That’s it. The only areas of fitness that have undergone any appreciable change deals with training a healthy pregnant and postpartum woman, and even there, the science has not changed in 15 years. Yet every two years I’m forced to sit thru the exact same workshops and listen to mostly the same exact presenters tell me the same exact information every two years, at some considerable personal expense and time to me, and then submit forms to my certifying body that I have done so and pay them a significant renewal fee. Failure to pay the fee, or take the redundant classes, means loss of certification, which is treated in our industry as if ACE, NASM, NSCA, and the dozens of other certifying bodies, will somehow retroactively siphon everything I’ve learned and put into practice out of me. 

I’m not arguing that specific exercise techniques don’t deserve certification. A trainer should have to prove expertise in Power Lifting if they want to call themselves a Power Lifting Coach or Expert. Power lifting has a very complex skill set that must be mastered. Same is true for CrossFit. Body building. Or any specific sports conditioning. But once the knowledge is honestly acquired, it’s done. Again, how and why these exercises work has nothing to do with the specifics of the exercise. They all adhere to the same basic principles of exercise science and that has not changed in 100 years. There is nothing new in the world of aerobic exercise or anaerobic exercise. Nothing. Differing systems or ways to organize a workout don’t change the science one bit, so why do I need to keep proving I know the fundamentals at personal expense?