Asians do it better… Traditio...

'Dig the well before you are thirsty' (Chinese Proverb) All being well, if you cut your arm (don't try this) what happens? It heals right.  Mira...

Dave Asprey BULLET PROOF Interview

Dave Asprey, the creator of Bullet Proof, is on a mission.... bringing high quality foods and beverages to the World. Foods (cacao and coffee being t...


David Wolfe and I have a chat about how being too 'paleo' or too 'vegan' can ruin your health... It's all in the mind. Are you TOO vegan or TOO...

Pizza Death

No one was hurt during the making of this short, wordless movie... (By Rich Eats and Marc Brickman)...

Asians do it better… Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

‘Dig the well before you are thirsty’

(Chinese Proverb)

All being well, if you cut your arm (don’t try this) what happens? It heals right.  Miraculously, all by itself.  If the human body is sick or out of balance, get it back in balance and it will most likely do the same.  That is one of the goals of Traditional Chinese Medicine – to get the human back into balance; through lifestyle, food, acupuncture and herbs.

Remember the whole Yin and Yang thing? Balance.
Want to live well and long? Balance is your goal.


You good?

I hope so… if so read on..

if not, definitely read on..

This is a  full-on read about the future (and past) of health.

PS. This is not about eating soy 😉



The practice of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) uses some or all of the following in order to achieve balance in the human – lifestyle change (food and stress), acupuncture, acupressure, herbs and massage.

Making changes in life are often the hardest thing for a human to do, even if the outcome of not changing means sickness and early death. Western medicine too often focuses on patching up the symptom (symptoms being messages from your body – HEY SOMETHING IS GOING ON!) where as TCM goes deeper, both soothing the symptoms while getting to the root of the cause.

With Tu Youyou recently receiving a Nobel prize for her life’s dedication to and working with TCM, it is very obvious to me that TCM is about to receive the credit and exposure it deserves.  People often use TCM alongside Western medicine to heal their sickness.

…if you have 2 more minutes do read on.

Note: Western medicine appears to have a place in this World, but with a bit of prevention you just be able to steer clear.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM)

Sh*t hit the fan at the beginning of the 20th century when scientists were confronted with the fact that their most fundamental  principle, mantra, belief if you will, was flawed.  Flawed all the way to the center of the atom (there is an interesting video by Bruce Lipton Phd on this at the bottom of this page)

The basic problem was that they thought the atom was solid, it isn’t.  Inside the atom is energy.

(This situation is kind of like how; they thought the World was flat, and they were ‘right’, but it wasn’t)

2000+ years ago the Chinese had no idea that in 2000 years scientists would finally be getting around to quantum physics – you know, looking inside physical matter at what is actually there – energy.

Thousands of years ago physicians of TCM didn’t know how to look inside a cell, molecule or atom… But they did know that there is more to the human than just physical flesh and bones.  Traditional Chinese Medicine is based on the fact that a human is made of energy (known as Qi) and, that Western medicine began based on a fallacy.

“Even though this energy can’t be touched or measured, they believe that Qi (Life-force energy) is running through us and every living thing in the Universe including food ” (Deperon and Enion, 2015)

Two completely different foundations, and foundations are everything right?  Remember that old age saying; keep building on a shaky foundation and you will end up with an obesity epidemic and millions of people paying billions of dollars for medication(?)

Traditional Chinese Medicine has evolved over thousands of years of research and practice.  The learnings are passed on between practitioners and the herbs and remedies are not protected by patents. 

(By the way, yes I have experienced many TCM treatments including acupuncture and herbs. The more I research and experience treatments (it’s actually awesome for maintenance too) the more I love it and want to share this information with you).

Side note: Western medicine has its place, I’m sure. Because there is a lot of mis-information out out there about Chinese Medicine, often the purpose of this article is to show you the benefits of wisdom from the East that has been around for 1000’s of years.


INTERESTING FACT: Recently (Winter 2015) Tu Youyou (pharmacologist at the China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences) was awarded a Nobel Prize (and $900k+) for her research and work in discovering a therapy for malaria (artemisinin being the specific extract from Artemisia Annua).  Artemisinin was proven to be an improvement on the drug Chloroquine which the malaria parasites have developed a resistance to.   Oh, by the way she’s 84 years old and awesome.


Artemisia Annua

Artemisia Annua





4 insights into Traditional Chinese Medicine:

1) Sickness or illness is viewed as stagnation.  
In order to heal or balance the human the stagnation needs to be relieved – unblocked if you will.

Compare that to “you have illness X and here are you pills”.  Not cool…  Or do you like taking the pills?  TCM can get stagnation flowing again in a number of ways, often starting with lifestyle and eating habits, closely followed by acupuncture and then herbs (taken orally or applied topically).  Know that there is no actual order for the treatments and it is a human by human diagnosis and administration of treatment.  So, in TCM illness is viewed as something that is happening in the moment rather than a final diagnosis.

2) The medicine you eat/drink/take is herbs.
After balancing food and lifestyle then come the herbs.  They’re potent and get to work performing a number of functions depending on the symptoms (messages from the body).  Some dry from the inside out, some add moisture, some warm, other cool, some give energy and others calm.  The combination of herbs you are given will be based on you.  (more on this in point 4 below).

IMPORTANT NOTE: herbs are not to be depended on (unlike many of the unnecessary prescriptions in Western medicine), they are to help create balance while other changes are being made (lifestyle and food)

Note: Herbs are sometimes prescribed straight away depending on the practitioner and the state of the human.

3) The body is viewed as a mini version of the Universe and that it is completely connected to the immediate and greater environment.

I love the perspective of Dr Bruce Lipton who lectures about the body being made of cells, inside the cells are molecules, then atoms and inside the atom?  Energy (Qi)

(This is a key principle in TCM and it is science- quantum physics).

4) Everything is comprised of the ever changing Five Elements. Fire, Earth, Wood, Metal, and Water symbolically represent everything.

Metaphorically speaking too much of the ‘fire’ element in a human could manifest as night sweats or acid reflux.  Too much of the ‘water’ element might show up as ‘loose poop’.  The critical factor in treating imbalances in the elements is the correct diagnosis followed by the right balance of herbs and lifestyle changes to address the imbalance.  An example; someone that has too much fire and water would both need to dry the water and cool the fire (symbolically speaking of course).  It’s important to remember that the elements in the environment are always changing too (Think seasons – summer is more fiery than winter, which is cooler and perhaps more damp) and so that is one reason it is beneficial to eat local because the food will be in season and in tune with the environment it is born from.


Other awesome stuff they do in the East:

– Squat to poop.  I started doing that when I was around 21, and in so many years have only downed one toilet – yep, the whole toilet fell onto its side and I ended up with one foot in and one out (re-pooping thankfully).  When you squat (butt below knees) you relax your insides allowing an easier poop and for more volume to be released.  By doing this safely over time you also strengthen your knees and open your hips – useful in old age – just ask your nanna or someone elses’.


– They eat white rice. It’s more easily digested than brown rice which contains the whole husk.  White rice is not necessarily great for someone who urgently needs to burn fat but for the most part it’s more easily digested and generally recommend as part of a meal for someone especially if they have a weak digestion.  The labor intense lives of the Chinese, especially a few hundred / thousand years ago, was well suited to the fast releasing carbs like white rice.  Oh my, so much more to say on that subject but I will leave it there for now.

– Seaweed is a staple in the Asian diet (not wheat).  Seaweed is a great (real food) source of iodine giving 3000 to 5000 micrograms of iodine per day.  In the the West they simply added an extract to table salt which is inferior real food and potentially dangerous (Mercola, 2013)

– Asians tend to eat much more fish than Westerners giving them a more balanced Om3 to Om6 ratio. (‘Are fish safe to eat?’ and ‘are we killing all of the fish?’ are a whole other conversation).

– They tend to eat most of the animal including making broths and soups by boiling the bones to pull out much needed minerals.

– Asians meditate and walk more than most in the West.

– Fermented food is common in Asia – this is a process that helps remove the plant’s natural defense mechanism making it more easier to digest.  AND the fermented foods (like cabbage and tea) nourish the human with brilliant bacteria.


Advantages of Traditional Chinese Medicine:

+ Using herbs means no chemical.   

+ It works to heal rather than destroy.  Western medicine appears to focus on destroying the problem and everything in it’s path often including the immune system and bacteria critical to the health and healing of a human being.

+ Side effects are few and far between – increasing compliance – people more likely to actually take the herbs knowing they are going to feel alrigh (NCBI, 2001).  Compared to common side effects of pharmaceuticals; death, nausea, constipation, drowsiness, pain and you have a no-brainer.

+ Cost is minimal (especially in comparison to pharma)

+ Can heal and prevent major illnesses which would often be diagnosed as terminal in Western medicine.

+ The job of the TCM practitioner is more than just healing you.  Remember the old ‘give a man a fish’ metaphor?  This is the way TCM is helping the human race with its health – offering learning on finding and keeping ones own balance.

+ Western medicine defines health as the absence of illness.  Fuck not being ill, what about being awesome!

+ ‘Fresh, local food and herbs when needed’ is pretty much their eating ‘philosophy’

Getting Traditional Chinese Medicine right:

– Herb quality is very important – like food, soap even deodorant if you use it – anything that goes in your body should be the most nourishing as possible – especially medicine.  You can get this right by having your practitioner referred to you by someone in the know and doing a little research yourself first.

– It can take longer to cure a disease using TCM but TCM is known for curing, removing the tail or root of the disease rather than merely covering up a symptoms.

– It takes commitment by the patient (you might have to boil herbs to make the medicine) where in Western medicine you just take a pill, though some TCM practitioners use herbs in capsule form.

– If you are taking Western medicine and see a practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine it is critical that you report this to your new doctor, and vice versa (NCBI, 2001).

– It can take a bit of time finding the right practitioner for you.  My experience was as well as seeing my awesome acupuncturist in LA I used to drive to San Francisco to see a specialist too.

The antibiotics factor:

“Antibiotics” Phillip Ward, Practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine says  “When it comes to treating a life threatening infection there is no other type of medicine/herb that has benefited the world as much as antibiotics.  He goes on to say “The fact that they <antibiotics> are widely over prescribed is a whole other issue.  But, for example, if you have a legitimate infection in your heart or kidneys there is no time to mess around and antibiotics should be prescribed immediately.  In general, TCM does not deal with urgent illnesses of that nature and magnitude as well as Western medicine.  This is why hospitals in China use the best of both worlds (TCM and Western pharmaceuticals) to treat patients.  The beauty of living in this time of existence is that we can use more modern medicines like antibiotics to rid ourselves of a dangerous infection and then use TCM to recover and strengthen our system to prevent possible infections in the future. Although, there seems to be a shift brewing with medical doctors on the horizon western medicine’s biggest pitfall is educating patients on how to stay healthy.  They focus on treating diseases and put very little if any emphasis on staying healing and the importance of a balanced life (healthy eating, proper sleep, adequate movement and exercise, healthy relationships)  This is where TCM does its best work. We (TCM practitioners) have the means to treat serious illness but our primary focus is to keep our patients healthy. The forefathers of TCM realized 3000 years ago that it is easier to stay healthy than it is cure a disease”.


I would LOVE to read your thoughts and comments about this (this is your queue to write a comment)

And… Follow @RichEats on Twitter  Instagram and Facebook


The Bruce Lipton video I mentioned on going inside the atom:


And a funny video about how to poo:


Lu, Henry C. Phd Chinese Natural Cures – Traditional Methods for Remedy and Prevention Black Dog & Leventhal publishers inc. 2005

Lu, Henry C. Phd Chinese System of Food Cures. Prevention and Remedies. Sterling Publishing company inc. 1986.

Mercola, Joseph. 2013. Iodine Supplements may be too much of  a good thing.

Pitchford, P. Healing with Whole Foods. Asian Traditions and Modern Nutrition. North Atlantic Books. 2002

Craze, Richard & Jay. Richard ‘The Tao of Food’ Sterling Pub Co Inc. 1999

Chene, Jung Shi MD. Medicinal food in China

Strengths and Weaknesses of traditional Chinese medicine and Western medicine in the eyes of some Hong Kong Chinese. 2001.
Segerstorm and Miller. 2006. Psychological Stress and the Human Immune System:  A Meta-Analytic Study of 30 Years of Inquiry.

If you like this you might also like these health articles:

Is Soy good for me?

Tea Basics


Dave Asprey BULLET PROOF Interview

Dave Asprey, the creator of Bullet Proof, is on a mission…. bringing high quality foods and beverages to the World. Foods (cacao and coffee being two of his biggies) selected based on research into their integrity. I like this bloke and his products. Make up your own mind when you’ve watched these videos and tried the foods he is bringing to us…

I met a few of the Bullet Proof staff, one of whom I interviewed at the Bullet Proof Cafe launch party in Santa Monica about why she left a more than comfortable corporate job creating and delivering F**ked up marketing strategies aimed at kids, for a more ethical journey… (yep this lady is one of the brains behind toys and ‘happy’ style meals) Well done to *** for seeing the light and leaving ***…. check her out here:

This is the Dave Asprey Bullet Proof diet web page full of citations and sources

Some of the sources on mycotoxins and coffee right here for you:


David Wolfe and I have a chat about how being too ‘paleo’ or too ‘vegan’ can ruin your health… It’s all in the mind.

Are you TOO vegan or TOO paleo? When does health become an obsession?

Could your healthy way of eating become a new kind of eating disorder? Too much ‘control’ and aversion? Too much thinking and energy spent on your next meal…

David Wolfe is always fun to interview, we chatted more about the paleo diet, the vegan diet and how mindset plays such a huge role in…. well in everything! If your mind is causing you tension it can undo all of the good foods that you’re nourishing your body with.

A quote from our forthcoming book “Your body doesn’t care what your food philosophy is, it needs what it needs”. That’s not to say don’t be vegan or don’t be paleo… it’s just how you think about it and feel when you’re eating and who you’re judging while you’re getting on with your meal/life.

If you’re vegan and a paleo hater or paleo and a vegan hater I’m going to suggest you’re not adding the kind of energy to yourself or the planet you might think you are. We are all on our journey making mistakes, learning and growing… the person in the ‘opposite’ food-religion as you needs you hating them as much as you do them.

Granted there are some very important questions and changes to be made in the way animals are treated but if you’re vegan and feeling anger and tension towards paleo peeps then that anger is only doing you an injustice. If you’re paleo hating on vegans…. same deal.

The fact that paleos and vegans both consider the integrity of their food and how it affects them, in my opinion, is a brilliant thing. Where each person grows from there is their own journey. Learn, encourage, share, be passionate, give yourself a break and ease up on the hate.

PS. I speak on this from my very own strict, fairly intense Paleo past.

If you liked that video click on this part of the David Wolfe interview

Pizza Death

No one was hurt during the making of this short, wordless movie…

(By Rich Eats and Marc Brickman)

Tea Basics

Tea: fast facts
– Tea has been used as medicine for thousands of years

– If your tea is not organic or known to be from a wild and clean source it is almost guaranteed to have been grown in fertilisers and pesticides – this is bad for you and your environment

– Organic tea is a base level option tea (never non-organic) and if you can find wild, living tea choose that

– Tea is more than just a warm beverage, unless it’s just a warm beverage

– All tea comes from one tree, Camellia Sinensis (*)

– Sitting in silence drinking tea for a few moments each morning is a kind of meditation that can calm and direct your mind before you take on the day

– Tea for many is a meditation and way of calming, healing and feeling the inherent connection we have with this planet (unless it’s non-organic tea then it’s just hypocrisy. More on that in this blog post 😉

– British tea is not black tea in China, it’s red tea

Tea Information

Tea time!

When I ‘officially’ started out on the Rich Eats world travel extravaganza I was more focused on fat burning and vanity than holistic health and wellbeing. Well, tea was a HUGE part of this shift. In this article we are going to find out how tea is so much more than a dried and ground up leaf in a cup of hot water…

Tea is medicine (living tea that is…)

As well as the innate physical healing properties of tea, the X factor comes when we stop and think about what it stands for. Taking a moment out of the day to shut up, sit, think through the leaf to the mountain, to the sun energy growing the 500, 1000 even 2000+ year old tree, and how that tree is nourished by some of the cleanest water on the planet; it breathes the purest air and is a living part of a mountain ecology. As you sit and think about how one tree gives its leaves once per year and one family go to the tree to retrieve its gifts and guide them through this journey before being ready for your bowl (or cup), there is no deadline, no bill, or car that needs fixing… stress disappears and the feeling of peace and connection re-emerges. That is healing.

The tea ceremony – shhhhh…

When I arrived in LA I’d already had a taste of the real deal… teas from wild trees that is. t was at a tea bar in London where she first ‘spoke’ to me; unfortunately that great place no longer exists. (More about ‘talking tea’ here.)

With this knowledge of a tea world outside chemically grown bagged powders, there was no turning back, and like experiencing world travel outside the packaged holiday resort, that all inclusive convenience will never taste or feel the same. Back to LA, I found the tea world in Venice Beach, invited in.

The tea ceremony is about feeling the ever present connection with each other and nature, it is about drinking a healing medicine, allowing the qi energy to work its magic through your body and soul, letting go of judgement, the material man-made world disappears, financial status disintegrates into that which it is – just a number, in the ceremony we acknowledge and feel each other as equal living beings.

There is silence, sometimes hours (it’s a rarity in this day and age to sit with another person in silence and just feel), sometimes people cry from the emotions that are released (maybe that’s the tea working its magic), we engage in conversation (sometimes about tea, or whatever comes up), and as a wise Chinese Emperor once never said: it’s a moment to shut up and be.

Thinking bigger, choosing organic (foods as well as tea) is not about saving the planet but about preserving our place on this blue and green rock.

A nice interview with tea master Wu De… Watch it to find out more about this beautiful leaf!:

I want to give a big shout out to my amigo Colin who travels to Taiwan to meet the families and farmers who look after the living trees trees and process the leaves. He has an amazing company Living Tea and is my first port of call for everything tea!! Legend!! Thanks mate!

‘Once Again’ Nut Butters – SENSORY!

They’re clean and nourishing from the inside out… Once Again Nut Butters are employee owned and nourish the farms in Central America as much as you… It was really beautiful spending time with these guys…

(Organic and Non- GMO = LIKE!)

Some key ‘take-aways’ and my notes from our interview:

1) ‘Raw’ on the label of a food product can be misleading (and when it comes to nut’s even meaningless)

2) ‘Raw’ in itself does not necessarily mean a ‘good thing’. Eating a fad Raw food diet because you think it’s good for you might not be the best thing for you. When it comes to finding your best meal and food selection it ALWAYS depends.

3) Looking after your suppliers (the farms) is a HUGE piece of the puzzle. There was a specific nut shortage a few years ago, because Once Again Nut Butters were taking care of their farms in Central America, they still had supplies. (they said their competitors were even coming to them for nuts!! NUTS!!)

4) Nuts in General are not the easiest things to digest, nut butters are easier.

5) In Traditional Chinese Medicine, a practice I am very fond of, they consider nut butters to be ‘dampening’ and so if you are prone to phlegm then hold off on the nut butter for a bit…

6) Gael and Roy (in the interview) are legends!

7) Always check the mic.

David Wolfe (on ALIEN FOOD?) BEHIND THE SCENES (Longevity NOW 2015)

David Wolfe – I like this guy, he’s a fascinating one…

Superfoods, medicinal mushrooms, phytoplankton, vegan, paleo… so much went on during this interview… This is a just 2 minutes of 40!

If you like this part you might also like:

Longevity Now 2015 interview:

David Wolfe Longevity 2013:
David Wolfe on SIRT1 gene LSD and supplements:

Dave Asprey interview:

Nadine Artemis Interview:

And… this is a nice little interview with Addictive Wellness Chocolate on XYLITOL and STEVIA available at Erewhon in Hollywood and throughout California:

And this is a full interview on Addictive Wellness Chocolates and their Mission (full of medicinal mushrooms and healing herbs)

Castle Rock Water on Everything Water + Glass or Plastic bottles?

This video is featuring the awesome Castle Rock Water, and see if you can see how deep the messages go…

Castle Rock Water are on a great mission. For so many reasons, not just their contribution to and collaboration with the community of Dunsmuir where the water caves are but also what they stand for – using glass bottles, providing water from a source so pure and nourishing (water is not just water).

Like when people buy organic foods and choose local produce or dine at restaurants supporting local farms, by choosing water from glass bottles you’re helping yourself (not ingesting the plastic) and the environment.

The mountain where this water comes from is a magical place. Yeah I guess that could sound a little bit hippie but if you ever get the chance to visit Mount Shasta you will know why…

This interview with Castle Rock Water @CastleRockWater at Expo West and at their plant near Mount Shasta was a nourishing one!! I love these guys, their messages and everything they are standing for.

Castle Rock Water is one of the Worlds best water. They even won an award for it in 2014. But their mission and message is wider and deeper than this…. watch the video now if you’re yet to do so… get in!

Oh, and, we are not saying to start shipping this water all around the World, simply if you’re fortunate enough to be in this area to try it. And wherever you are in the World to choose a water source that is clean and nourishing for your body and mind and that is supporting the local community rather than depleting.

This is a nice preview of the 2015 interview with David Wolfe – I wonder if he likes Castle rock Water?

Macro Life – Natural Products Expo – Expo West

This is a lovely little chat with the Jing Slingers exposing their skills with Macro Life Naturals at the Natural Products Show, Expo West.

Check out the very awesome Jay and Joy Jing Slingers here

And, the tasty nutritious Macro Life here

Better Life by Clean Happens (Video Interview)

These Better Life by Clean Happens cleaning products are so clean you can literally eat them!! (I’m not saying go eat them, just making the point that it’s possible)

The simple and basic fact that we breath in the chemicals that are on our clothes, bedding and cleaning products makes the decision for me very simple – whichever brand I choose, I’m always going to choose something that I’m comfortable spraying on my skin or getting in my mouth BECAUSE it goes in passively anyway