(14). Books that I am reading this month. You?

Combining long winter nights in Johannesburg and a public sale at Exclusives, is an ideal excuse to collect a number of books to occupy my mind-space for a few weeks.

The following are my recent purchases, and a précis of each as I understand the motives of the authors to write about the topics. (And why I am reading them.)

The Wisest Man in the Room – How to harness psychology’s most powerful insights.
Thomas Gilovich and Lee Ross

Understanding about knowledge, insights and wisdom, – how our thinking process are packed with biases, mostly unconscious, that results in poor judgement, and all it’s consequences (intended and unintended).

(Improves my insights into brain health, determinants of quality of life and optimizing decision-making. Love picking out the biases of others, but not even noticing my own.)

The Power of Silence – The riches that lie within.
Graham Turner

A world wide search for and documentation of individuals, societies, or corporations that deeply value times of silence, – a committed breakaway (minutes, hours, days, months, or years) from the nonstop noise of modern life. The sounds of silence are indeed golden. Sorry Simon and Garfunkle.

(Fits in with my seventh adventures in wellness: Digital Detox and the Art of Stillness/Silence.)

Unbound – How eight technologies made us human, transformed society, and brought our world to the brink.
Richard Currier

A concise longitudinal review of major changes in technology – from tools, spears, fire, wheels, clothing, huts to music, art, language, ethnicity, and more recent accomplishments of ships, writing, clocks, machines. And of course, now the Digital Age of the World Wide Web. Does this understanding give a positive or negative future trajectory? There will be a number of blogs about these insights.

(Informs my digital online teaching platforms.)

The Story of Food – An illustrated history of everything we eat.
DK – Penguin Random House.

A Cooks Tour (!) with illustrations, through the origins, nutritional values, and cultural uses of the ten major food groups: nuts and seeds; fruits; grains and cereals; vegetables; herbs and spices; oils and condiments; (processed) sugar; meat; fish; and dairy (milk, cheese and eggs).

(Fits in with my view on the primacy of superfoods versus junk-foods. Another of the seven adventures in wellness)

Your book(s) you are reading, now?

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Contrarian Psychiatrist
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

Seven common sense lifestyles to build a child’s brain.

Imagine you could optimize your brain health as you could to a child’s brain!?

From Sarah McKay.

All children differ in their biological susceptibility to life experiences in a -for better and for worse- manner.

Some kids are particularly sensitive to both highly stressful and highly nurturing environments.

Like orchids, such children bloom if lovingly cultivated, but wilt and wither if neglected.

In contrast, adaptable, resilient children who do not get easily stressed are like little dandelions; they will grow and thrive anywhere.

The seven influential lifestyle choices are.

1). Attachments and relationships

2). Language development

3). Sleep

4). Play

5). Physical movement

6). Nutrition

7). Executive Function skills.

Read more…




(2). Professor Sir Tim Noakes?

On Friday 8th June, the public release of an important verdict by the Health Professional Council of South Africa exonerated Tim Noakes of all charges, induced by a few worded tweet about weaning an infant.

This was part two (rejection of three appellant appeals, 3:0), of a four-year drama. The first part concluded in April, 2017 (10:0) in favor of Prof Noakes. The trial is well documented in the book, The Lore of Nutrition.

I read the book in late 2017. I was impressed by the evidence, pushing the momentum of my four year plus comprehensive research into the background of dietary guidelines, current nutrition science and the persuasive influence of Big Pharma, Big Food, Big Science. What emerged was a clear gap between eating junk food and real food. I was overweight, pre-diabetic, gluttonous and slothful. There were clear vested interests in my journey into the wild, wild jungles of food politics and economics, from farm to fork.

In brief, on 22nd December, my wife and I decided to go LCHF, our considered interpretation of the facts,  to follow the lifestyle choice of eating low carbohydrates, moderate protein, and healthy fat foods. Out with processed foods, vegetables oils, and all things sugary. In with superfoods! Lots of non-starchy veggies. Clearly, it was a combined long term lifestyle, not a quick faddish diet.

Six months later, we can report that the food choices are sustainable, enjoyable, and provide a host of healthy effects. For example, personally, loss of 12 kilograms (five to go!); six notches down on the belt; normalized blood pressure; increased physical and mental energy: no antacids; running again for the first time in twenty five years and wrote 70 lectures for my online teaching program in two months. And more resilient, the ability to bounce back quickly to tranquillity, when irritated, upset or feeling down.

On the day the appeal process was released, the British Queens Honor list (Sirs, Dames, …) was also announced. If South Africa had such a tradition, no doubt Tim could add ‘Sir’ to his name. Thank you, and your team, and well done!

The health-effects evidence of LCHF is now overwhelming –  personally, my wife, so many anecdotal accounts, scientific reviews, and now a comprehensive medico-legal review.

Dr Jonathan D Moch
Special Expertise In Optimizing Brain Health

YouTube Playlist Link. Dr Jonathan Moch

Listen to “Jun 10, 2018” by Jonathan D Moch https://anchor.fm/jonathan424/episodes/Daily-Blogs-Eat-Real-Food-e1kb9f/a-a3u1b2

Online teaching platform.
Building Resilience in the Digital Age


Fermented foods for better gut health

Kelly Bilodeau    Executive Editor, Harvard Womens Health Watch

Fermented foods
Naturally fermented foods are getting a lot of attention from health experts these days because they may help strengthen your gut microbiome—the 100 trillion or so bacteria and microorganisms that live in your digestive tract.

Researchers are beginning to link these tiny creatures to all sorts of health conditions from obesity to neurodegenerative diseases.

Fermented foods are preserved using an age-old process that not only boosts the food’s shelf life and nutritional value, but can give your body a dose of healthy probiotics, which are live microorganisms crucial to healthy digestion, says Dr. David S. Ludwig, a professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health.

Not all fermented foods are created equal

The foods that give your body beneficial probiotics are those fermented using natural processes and containing probiotics. Live cultures are found in not only yogurt and a yogurt-like drink called kefir, but also in Korean pickled vegetables called kimchi, sauerkraut, and in some pickles.

The jars of pickles you can buy off the shelf at the supermarket are sometimes pickled using vinegar and not the natural fermentation process using live organisms, which means they don’t contain probiotics.

To ensure the fermented foods you choose do contain probiotics, look for the words naturally fermented on the label, and when you open the jar look for telltale bubbles in the liquid, which signal that live organisms are inside the jar, says Dr. Ludwig.

Fermented foods for better gut health

WHO calls for elimination of trans fats in five years.

WHO calls for trans fats to be eliminated within five years Removing trans fats may prevent 500 000 cardiovascular disease-related deaths, says WHO.

Tom Miles, Reuters / 14 May 2018

WHO unveils plan to remove trans fats. s.

The world could eliminate industrially-produced trans fats by 2023, the World Health Organisation (WHO) said on Monday, unveiling a plan that it said would prevent 500 000 deaths per year from cardiovascular disease.

Trans fats are popular with manufacturers of fried, baked and snack foods because they have a long shelf life, but they are bad for consumers, increasing heart disease risk by 21% and deaths by 28%, a WHO statement said.

“Why should our children have such an unsafe ingredient in their foods?,” WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in the statement.

Implementing the WHO’s strategy for replacing trans fats, including promoting healthier alternatives and legislating against the harmful ingredients, would remove them from the food chain and score a major victory against heart disease, he said.

Several rich countries have already virtually eliminated trans fats by putting limits on the amounts allowed in packaged foods. Some have banned partially hydrogenated oils, the main source of industrially-produced trans fats, the WHO said.

“Trans-fat is an unnecessary toxic chemical that kills, and there’s no reason people around the world should continue to be exposed,” said Tom Frieden, a former head of the US Centres for Disease Control who now leads the Resolve health initiative.

Earlier this month WHO issued its first draft recommendations on trans fats since 2002, saying adults and children should consume a maximum of one percent of their daily calories in the form of trans fats.


These 5 Habits Can Add 14 Healthy Years to Your Life.

NEWS: 5 Habits Can Add 14 Healthy Years to Your Life, According to Science

Science confirms what we know from our research and study of centenarians in “Blue Zones” regions.

The longest-lived people in the world share nine commonalities: they move naturally in their daily lives; eat a plant-slant diet, go to happy hour and drink Wine at 5; they wake up in the morning with purpose; find ways to down shift and shed stress; eat to 80 percent full; belong to faith-based communities; always put family first; and have close friends with similar values – we call these the Power 9.

According to new research published in the American Heart Association’s journal Circulation, five very similar lifestyle habits have been shown to increase life expectancy at age 50 by 12 to 14 years. The study is the first comprehensive analysis of the impact of adopting low-risk lifestyle factors on life expectancy in the U.S.

Researchers at Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looked at the following to determine how they affect longevity:

Not smoking
Eating a healthy diet
Regularly exercising
Keeping a healthy body weight
Moderate alcohol consumption

Along with lifestyle and medical data from adults in the Nurses’ Health Study, the Health Professionals Follow-up Study, National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), as well as mortality data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), researchers determined that in the more than 30 years of follow-up, following all five lifestyle habits improved projected life expectancy at age 50 by 14.0 years for women and 12.2 years for men.

“This study underscores the importance of following healthy lifestyle habits for improving longevity in the U.S. population,” said Frank Hu, chair of the Department of Nutrition at Harvard Chan School and senior author of the study. “However, adherence to healthy lifestyle habits is very low. Therefore, public policies should put more emphasis on creating healthy food, built, and social environments to support and promote healthy diet and lifestyles.”


Genius Foods. Raw Fruit And Veggies Improves Mood, Mental Functioning.

Controlling for the covariates, raw fruit and vegetable consumption predicted lower levels of mental illness symptomology,

such as depression, and

improved levels of psychological well-being including positive mood, life satisfaction and flourishing.

These mental health benefits were significantly reduced for cooked, canned, and processed fruits and vegetables.

This research is increasingly vital as lifestyle approaches such as dietary change may provide an accessible, safe, and adjuvant approach to improving mental health, Dr Conner says.

The top 10 raw foods related to better mental health were:




dark leafy greens such as




citrus fruits,

fresh berries,

cucumber, and




Gary Taubes. The Case Against Sugar

Science writer Gary Taubes has a knack for subverting conventional wisdom.

Sixteen years ago, he published a groundbreaking feature article in The New York Times Magazine arguing that decades worth of government-approved nutritional advice was flat-out wrong, ideologically motivated, and contributing to rising rates of obesity and diabetes.

Traditional dieting guidance attacking fatty foods and praising carbohydrates, he wrote, was based on a big fat lie.

Back then, Taubes was excoriated.

(Reason published pieces both attacking and defending him.)

But today his thesis is gaining ground among health and nutrition researchers.

His work has been highlighted everywhere from The New York Times to Time magazine.

Protein-rich regimens have taken off after millions of Americans found that stocking their pantries with supposedly “heart-healthy” snacks such as granola bars and fruit juice failed to improve wellness.