A Piece of the Action

Individual health and societal health in our modern world, are of secondary concern to someone getting "a piece of the action."

I'm going to draw a parable between the health business and the pool business, just to make a point. The real problem with our health system is that economic priorities determine health outcomes. About 10 years ago we had a pool and spa built and have relied on services and knowledge about the health and maintenance of our pool on a local pool service company. I go there to have my water tested, buy supplies like salt, sulfuric acid, stabilizer, etc. Through the years, they have provided me with an education of what to do in just about every scenario, that comes with owning and maintaining a pool.

A few months back I noticed a rust spot forming on our spillover. Somehow a piece of metal is exposed to water underneath the tile. Naturally I wanted to seek advice and have it repaired. I first called the installers, where I purchased the pool, but they did not do repairs, referring me to the pool supply store. I explained my problem to the store owner and he called his tile installer and they would call me. Never heard a word, no tile guy, no store owner, nothing.

It's been 3 months now. Going to the store, calling them every 2 weeks. They explained the problem. You see so many pools are being built that they are too busy to do small repairs. Not worth the money. Most tile installers are working for new pool companies or contracted to them. None left to do repairs. Money is too important, so offering a service become secondary, to the situation and not just this situation, any situation can have this outcome. In our society, our health care system, our political system, our food system and of course our education system, are all of secondary concern, to the system of someone getting "a piece of the action."  


My Bigfoot Adventure With Marc Abell (Colorado Bigfoot)!

In late May 2017 I went on a unique adventure with my son David. Driving off road and hiking in the woods and mountains of Colorado. Let me explain how this all began. Since 2011, I have participated in the PAN Brazilian Jiu Jitsu Tournaments, which take place every March in Irving CA. This year I decided to skip the tournament because of injuries I sustained during last year's event. What I didn't know was that my son was going to surprise me by coming to watch me compete. When I made my decision not to attend, my wife Ellen told me about David's plan to attend and she suggested I come up with a special adventure for David and me.

A few years ago, I became fascinated with some YouTube videos from Nathan Rio (Utah Sasquatch) featuring unique tree structures that he indicated were constructed in the forest by Bigfoot. Following other people posting on YouTube, I ran across Marc Abell (Colorado Bigfoot) and watched as he showed me the most amazing areas, with larger and more elaborate structures, that I had ever seen. This is something I thought would be the adventure of a lifetime. I wanted my son and me to experience this together. I contacted Marc in Colorado. We found with some dates that worked for both of us and he agreed to take us to the areas he had been investigating. Our adventure begins on May 19, 2017.

The plan is to drive to St. Louis to meet my son, who will be driving from Michigan. Then both of us will drive together to Vail, Colorado and meet up with Marc. We plan to spend 2 days hiking to areas he calls Bigfoot Universe and Bigfoot World with tree leans, teepees, giant X's and large trees up in the air, stuck in other trees. It really looks like nothing I have ever see. Last week he discovered a new area, which seemed to have a lot of activity. I'm ready to investigate, to experience something new, something impossible!

So, do I believe in Bigfoot? For me that is the wrong question.To me, belief means you have already made up your mind, and this can interfere with my investigation. Disbelief does the same thing, so I intend to remain open-minded and question everything. Questions I have: "How are the structures made? Is it a natural event of weather, electric currents, or is something creating structures for communication, or to hunt from, or for fun? Is there really a creature, an upright hominid, often reported, often heard, hard to capture on film, but living in the wild in every part of the world? They have many names in different areas! Sasquatch, Yeti, Wild Man, Skunk Ape; and descriptions are of a large, bipedal, upright walking humanoid, covered in hair, brown to red or white in color; that lives in family groups, is nocturnal and hunts game and wild plants.

We will be documenting our adventure through pictures, video and field notes. And regardless of what we find, David and I will be hiking in beautiful forests, spending quality time together, and recharging for what comes next.

YouTube Channels I researched: Marc Abell - Colorado Bigfoot, Nathan Reo - Utah Sasquatch,

TimberGiantBigfoot (Jim) in Ontario Canada, Bigfoot Tony in the U.K. and Bob Gymlan.


Day One: Nico, David and Marc. Day 1 Video

My son David and I stayed in Dillon, CO (10,000 ft elevation), about 40 minutes east of Vail.The morning of our adventure began with 3” of overnight snowfall. David and I wondered how this would affect our outing with Marc.  All along, Marc had mentioned that the upper elevations in the Holy Cross Wilderness were all snow bound and we would not be going up there.  This was disappointing because his videos of these places were amazing! Anyway, my FJ Cruiser was covered with snow. Clearing off the car was a reminder of many

winters in Michigan and Canada, removing the snow and scraping the windows clean.

As we drove over to Vail, going down through the passes, the snow on the ground slowly disappeared.  We were relieved. We met Marc at a designated location and had breakfast together as he explained our plan for the day. We were going to the Holy Cross Wilderness lower elevations to visit the “Sundial” he had discovered a few weeks earlier. Just a short ride down the road and we were at the trailhead!

We began our hike on an established foot trail leading up the mountain, nice and easy going through an Aspen forest. About a half a mile up, we left the foot trail and headed straight up the mountain, a very steep climb. I saw my first X with a tree bend around it and knew we were in the right place. Then the Aspen forest ended and the pine trees were before us. There was a game trail leading us to what seemed to be the entrance. It was like another world as we walked in. Everything changed as the tree structures began to appear, and there were tree leans, large and small X’s, vertical, horizontal, some bending, some just off the ground and some high in the air. It was spectacular! When you are actually there in person, you realize something or someone made these structures, and they are not accidental. It’s undeniable!

No human could do this, would do this, nor are the structures the result of wind, or an electrical event, but instead you are left with the unknown ... and Bigfoot. Only something big, hugely strong and intelligent could create this. Video

As we worked our way up the side of the steep mountain, the structures continued and the forest was completely silent; so different from when we began with birds chirping and many sounds of game and insects. Now there was only a slight breeze, accompanied by the sounds of our footsteps. Then, I heard a yelp from just above us, and saw some movement ahead. We continued up. Right at the top of the climb there was a stone structure Marc called the “Sundial.” I looked at it carefully, seeing it had marking stones. I pulled out my iPhone and looked at the compass. It was dead on. North and west with large stones upright and lines of small rocks from the center to each designation of N, S, E, & W. The formation was indeed a compass! David took out his hand held compass, right on the mark!

At this point, we were wondering which way to descend, when I spotted some odd looking structures just east of our location and I took off to check them out. It turned out I had found a whole new area Marc had not been to.  We decided to explore and make our descent through this part of the forest. It was really steep! Hard to get a foot hold, we were slipping and sliding as we went. Structure after structure, tree lean after tree

lean, and X’s all over the place. We were in Bigfoot country! At one point, there was a foul odor around us, skunk like, but skunks usually live in lower elevations and are not found at that elevation. Saw some footprints, large with the toes showing and at one point had that “feeling like we were being watched.” Very creepy!

Altogether we spent over 6 hours on that mountain. We were tired and worn out but felt great. Time for some food and beer. As luck would have it, there was a great microbrewery near our hotel where David and I ate each night, then back to the hotel to fall asleep watching a movie. 

Day 2: Nico, David, Matt and Marc - Day 2 Video

Our second day - We were to meet Marc and also, I had contacted Matt, one of our listeners on TFNN, with whom we often have conversations in the TFNN Chat Room during our Living a Primal Life Style show. We had Matt join us. This time we drove north to the Red and White Mountains just north of I-70.  This area was at a much lower elevation than the day before. That made it a much easier hike and we got to the areas rather quickly. Everything was different and yet the same. We were in an Aspen forest. The structures were there, but they were not as clean, everything was very rough.  What was the same were the types of structures - bends, leans, and X’s.

Then all of a sudden we came upon a wallow, a small pine forest. Neat and tidy. The ground was trampled. The leans and X’s were clean, stripped of branches and leaves - just like the area we visited the day before in the Holy Cross Wilderness. We hit the jackpot again!

This was very interesting, because of the contrast between the Aspen forest and the Pine forest. In the Aspen forest all the structures still had bark and

branches attached to the structures, but in the Pine forest everything was clean, no bark, no branches.  The structures otherwise were the same.

On the way back, we took the access road and went into the bush whenever we saw from the road that there were structures beckoning. One very interesting structure was a pine tree, very low to the ground, curved in an almost complete circle then shoved between two trees and then hooked under another branch to keep it there, It was spring loaded, in a sense to hold it in place. Video

We walked back to the truck letting it all soak in. What a great day! What a great adventure.  Memories to last a lifetime! And time with my son - priceless.

Nico de Haan

A Request for Recipes!

A Request for Recipes!

People ask me for recipes for the Paleo or Primal diet. It's great to refer to recipes, but a better approach is to understand this way of eating and why we are doing it. Then, food choices and preparation are easier.

There are three reasons I recommend changing to a Primal diet, and understanding these three factors makes it easier to come up with a healthy meal, no matter where you are or what you are doing.

The first reason is to understand the need to eliminate processed and starch-based carbohydrates and plant-based proteins from your food choices. These are grains, beans, legumes and potatoes and all products that contain them. This also includes sodas, juices and sports drinks.

These foods cause many inflammatory reactions in our digestive system, immune system, nervous system, vital organs, joints and brain. Most of these plant-based nutrients (especially the proteins) are difficult for our bodies to process and therefore, unavailable to us. These foods also cause our bodies to use insulin to normalize our blood sugar, causing fat storage and shutting down our ability to burn fat as a fuel source. This leaves us using blood sugar as our primary fuel source, so we are constantly hungry, and craving these foods.

Inflammation caused by these foods is a huge problem and shows itself as: poor skin conditions, allergies, frequent colds, poor sleeping habits, loss of energy, mood swings, and weight gain, thus contributing to most of the inflammatory diseases of our modern society.

Eating a low carbohydrate diet also keeps us young and healthy, by preventing glycation. When we eat carbohydrates, they are digested and become glucose.  Glucose is blood sugar, which circulates through our bodies and binds to all the proteins.  These glycated proteins, then, make the very damaging substances called free-radicals.  These then attack all the cells that make up our muscles, skin, brain and organs.  All degenerative diseases come from glycated proteins.  Alzheimer's, Parkinson's disease, heart disease, and cancer are all caused by glycated proteins, and not by fat or cholesterol.

The second reason is to understand that healthy fats satisfy and keep us from overeating. Dietary fat is missing from our modern diet. The low fat craze or the 50-years has most of us confused about what is good for us, especially when it comes to fat. Most of us have heard that Omega 3 fats are good, but, at the same time, we believe saturated fat is bad.

The truth is both are good. The critical issue is the source of the fat.

The bad fats are derived from grains, vegetables and beans. These fats turn rancid very quickly when heated, and many are manufactured trans-fats which takes years for our bodies eliminate.

Good fats are from animals that eat their natural food. Cows that eat grass, instead of grains. Fish that eat other fish, bugs etc. Butter, ghee, lard and fish oils are great sources of saturated fats. Tropical oils, like coconut and palm oil, are also healthy saturated fats which can be used for cooking.  Fruit oils like olive and avocado oil, and some nut oils are great for very low heat and when used cold.

The use of healthy fat in our diet is essential for us to be well and feeling satisfied. I often (a few times a day) take a spoonful of coconut oil or coconut butter to ensure my fat intake is high enough, especially if I am eating away from home. This keeps me satisfied; feeling great, with lots of energy and no need to snack between meals.

The third reason is to eat your food seasonally and locally. Organic vegetables and produce. Free range, naturally and/or wild fed animals, fowl and fish. When we eat food from our local environment, we are better tuned to our surroundings and in harmony with them. Great food spoils rather fast, so if it comes in a can or box it's likely not good. Example; most grains are stored for years before being processed, then shipped and stored again before being sold.

The better the food, the better the result.

I recommend picking out the protein source first. A good portion size fits in the palm of your hand. Whether it's beef, pork, chicken, fish or eggs, build your meal around protein. If these foods are low in fat, then cook them in a good fat source. Eggs in butter, lard, bacon grease or coconut oil. Then you may want to add a little green, I like fibrous vegetables or a small salad as a supplement to my meals, to help build my immune system with antioxidants.

To summarize, this diet consists of high doses of healthy fats, a moderate amount of animal protein and a small amount of fibrous carbohydrates. Avoid grains (bread, cereals, pasta, pastries, etc.), beans, potatoes, fruit juices, soda, and limit your dairy products. Eat seasonal produce, but go easy on the fruit. It's pretty simple. The hardest part for most people is getting enough heathy fat. Once you adjust that, everything else is easy.

As far as recipes go, just google Paleo or Primal recipes and you will have an endless supply.

Nico de Haan


Are You Feeling lucky?

Are You Feeling lucky?

I feel my health begins, with my attitude, with my willingness to set myself up to succeed. With a positive attitude, things appear balanced and in the right place. With a negative attitude, things appear unbalanced and out of place. I learned early in life that I always had a choice, about how I felt about myself, the people I knew, and the things I did.

Definition of Attitude: Manner, disposition, feeling, position, with regard to a person or thing; tendency or orientation, especially of the mind. Position or posture of the body appropriate to or expressive of an action, emotion.

For me, attitude began with my father. He had this attitude he always carried with him. "Can I be that lucky?" he would ask himself. I heard him say it often, but I never really understood until, the summer of 1990, just before he died.

We had all gathered around the table for dinner at my sister's place on my parent's 50th wedding anniversary. My mother, sister and her husband, her son and his fiancé, my mother's cousin and his wife, and myself. My father was at the head of the table. He wanted to tell us a story.

Dad began his story. He said, "When I was young, I was told by someone that I had a hole in my heart and I believed them. So, I told people, 'I was born with a hole in my heart.' I told many people this, until one day someone said to me, ‘That’s impossible, you don't have a hole in your heart, you have a hole in your head.' Needless to say, I never told that story again."

"No hole in my heart, I thought to myself, can I be that lucky?"

“At the age of eighteen, I was in a bicycle club in Holland and met a girl there. Her name was Trudy. I thought she was the most beautiful girl in the world. Over the next couple of years, we spent as much time together as possible and I fell in love. I wanted to marry her, but she live far away in de Hague and I lived in Amsterdam. I thought her parents would never agree to this, and she would say no anyway. I asked myself, 'Could I be that lucky, for her to say yes? Can I be that lucky, for her parents to say yes?' Well, she did say yes and so did they."

"We got married in 1940, during World War II. Things were not easy then. We desperately wanted children, but Trudy had miscarried. We kept trying and Trudy was pregnant when the Germans marched in and occupied Holland. I remember being called to the hospital when it was time for her to deliver. It had been a hard pregnancy, so I rushed to the hospital. All I wanted was Trudy and the baby to be healthy and I thought to myself, 'Could I be that lucky?' Everything was fine and we had a beautiful baby girl. We named her Cornelia Joanna. Again, I was that lucky" 

"Things were getting worse with the German Occupation of Holland. I was working with the Underground Resistance Movement, so I was often in hiding.  In 1944,  during the beginning of the 'Hunger Winter,' I was called to the hospital because Trudy was delivering again. When I got to the hospital the nurse asked me what I wanted, a boy or girl? I told her, as long as it was healthy It did not matter. She said, 'But you must have a preference?'  I said,' We have a girl now, so it would be wonderful to have a boy, but could I be that lucky?' 'You are that lucky!’ she said. My son Nico was born."

After the war ended, I dreamed of moving out of Holland, fearing someday another war would come. I didn't want my children going through what we had just experienced. It would be hard, and so, I asked myself again, 'Could I be that lucky?' In 1951 we had saved enough money to immigrate to Canada. I arrived first by airplane and three months later I was reunited with my wife and children. Again, I was that lucky." 

"Slowly, I sponsored Trudy's two sisters, and their families, her brother and wife, her father, my brother and his family. We were very lucky and we were happy."

"During the early 1960s, things were hard again, there was a recession in Canada. I heard things were better in the United States, but it was difficult to emigrate without a sponsor. A few years earlier, Trudy and I spent some time in south Florida on vacation and I thought to myself.  'Could I ever be that lucky, to ever live in a place like this?'"

"In 1962, I was sponsored by a business friend, found a job in Detroit, saved enough money in one year to buy a house and moved my family from Canada to the States. Then just 10 years later Trudy and I moved to South Florida. Again I was that lucky."

"I got to retire in Florida and life here has been wonderful. Years later, my children moved here and I feel very lucky. As you all know, I now have pancreatic cancer and have only a little time left.  Few of us know when we are going to die.  I ask myself,  'Could I be that lucky to know?' You see, I feel lucky because I can say goodbye and I can thank all of you for sharing with me, my lucky life."

I have many great memories of my father, but that was a special moment, which put my life in perspective and now I find myself asking,  "Could I be that lucky?"

My dad died that December. But, his memory and the lessons he taught me live on.


You Exercising To Lose Weight? 

As a personal trainer, I’m often asked for advice on diet and exercise. Usually it is centered on exercise and losing weight, instead of health or longevity. To me, this indicates short term thinking. Losing weight is usually a short term goal.  The problem is, you weigh too much! So the thinking is all you need is exercise, to work off the fat!

For me, exercise is about health and longevity, improving function and rehabilitation. Exercise improves my skill for sports and recreation activities. To make me look and feel great! Not to lose weight!

Many people are shocked to learn that exercise has little to do with losing weight. It has some effect, but only in the sense of improving shape, movement and the general condition of your body.

Losing weight 90% food! And here’s why...

Whether you gain weight or lose weight depends on hormones and not exercise!  Hormones are   Influenced by what we eat and what we eat comes from three macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates and fat. You may be surprised to learn that of these three, only protein and fat are essential. Carbohydrates are nonessential, or optional. Inuit people are proof of that. In our modern world, the focus is on consuming carbohydrates, a far departure from what our ancestors ate. Let's look at these three macronutrients.

Fats and carbohydrates are our fuel, for energy.

Our energy comes from fuel comes in two forms: “ketones,” the energy units of fat, or “glucose,” and the energy from carbohydrates in the form of starches and sugars.

The difference between these two fuels is striking! Ketones, our primary fuel, burn slow and steady. Glucose, our secondary fuel, burns fast and is volatile. Ketones are stored in our bloodstreams, ready to be used as energy, and glucose is stored around our muscles, ready to be a secondary fuel (booster) in case of emergencies.

Protein rebuilds and repairs our muscles, organs, bones and other organs. If protein is over consumed, it can also be converted to glucose (fuel), just like carbohydrates, and with similar affect.

As hunter-gatherers, we prized fat for fuel, we burned fat all day; and when we needed it, because we were lifting something heavy, running after something, or being chased by something or someone, we burned glucose as a booster. 

Agriculture changed all that! Agriculture became the substitute for hunting and gathering. Slowly grass seeds (rice, wheat, rye, corn, etc) became more of a staple, instead of just emergency food, used only during hard times. We became carbohydrate consumers and through the years, we relied on these grains from grass seeds to become our staple food.

Our new agricultural diet changed us from fat burners to sugar burners.  Since the industrial revolution, our consumption of carbohydrates, in the form of processed food, has become epidemic.

Here is what happens when we consume carbohydrates as a staple. We get a spike of blood sugar, which triggers insulin to help equalize that blood sugar. The body becomes busy dealing with the rapid increase of glucose. We burn some and store the rest as fat. Insulin is always overproduced and also gets stored as fat along with the carbohydrates. This process continues until blood sugar is returned to normal, which rarely happens, because, as soon as the sugar drops, you become hungry again, as the fuel (glucose) is depleted and your body cannot return to using fat (ketones.) Now you are caught in a vicious circle of sugar spikes (energy) and drops (hunger.) These cycles are typically 2-4 hours.

The conventional way of losing weight, is to exercise it off and reduce calorie intake, but this is a real problem because when you eat the majority of your food as carbohydrates, you end up storing fat instead. The only way to burn fat at that point is to exercise for 45-60 minutes or more, to activate the fat burning response. Exercise for one hour burns about 500 calories. One pound of fat contains 3500 calories. You stop exercising and you return to burning glucose, storing fat again, get hungry again because your sugar drops again.You can see what a problem this is!

By eating as our ancestors did, we burn fat day and night.  When we need extra fuel, a boost to get away from predators or catch some food, then we switch to glucose for fuel, stored around our muscles. As you change your eating habits to mimic the food of our ancestors, your body begins to normalize and you consume less food, less calories and become satiated by the food.

So forget the mainstream way and research how our ancestors ate. You will discover a liberating way to live and eat!

I recommend reading a new book by Nora Gedgaudas called "Primal Fat Burner." She states:


• Easier weight loss, without excessive hunger or cravings, and long-lasting energy

• Reduced blood sugar issues, lower hemoglobin A1C and other metabolic markers associated with metabolic diseases such as obesity and diabetes

• An anti-inflammatory effect and a dampening of excess free radical activity (which causes harmful tissue damage and is a driver of disease and aging)

• Anti-aging effects, with improved cellular regeneration and repair mechanisms and healthier, younger-looking skin.

• Improved sleep.

• Improved immune function.

• Reduced blood pressure.

• Stabilized neurological functioning in the brain, which makes you less susceptible to migraines, panic attacks, mood swings, and seizures, and reduces your risk of neurodegenerative diseases . . . and more.”

“And all these benefits come from making a basic but consistent modification to your diet, eating moderate protein from clean, sustainable, and nutrient-enhancing sources, ample fibrous vegetables and greens, and as much fat as you need to satiate your hunger.”

Excerpt From: Gedgaudas, Nora. “Primal Fat Burner.” Atria Books. iBooks. This material may be protected by copyright. Check out this book on the iBooks Store: https://itun.es/us/Sptb_.l

Always check with a medical professional before exercising or changing your diet.

Nico de Haan