Aging Successfully Is a Sport. So Train like It.

(Picture of Tom Brady above from Boston Globe)

I hate to admit; I like Tom Brady. A lot.

For those of you who may not know who Tom Brady is.

Let me explain.

I love sports and enjoy watching the National Football League (NFL). Tom Brady plays for the New England Patriots, the arch nemesis of my favorite team, the New York Jets. No Patriot fans like the Jets. And no Jets fans like the Patriots. That’s just the way it is.

Boston (New England) sports fans generally hate New York teams. The feelings are mutual.

But both sides love greatness though. I know because my Redsox friends couldn’t help to admire two New York Yankees greats, Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter. They were even honored in Boston when the year they retired and received a standing ovation.

How could one not like Rivera and Jeter despite being a Yankee hater. They were top performers in their craft even towards the later years of their career.

I too am fascinated with high-level performers, particularly from aging men.

You see, I am obsessed with graceful aging and the science related to it. OBSESSED.

I don’t know exactly why. It might be because as a clinician I see too many men die young leaving families behind. Maybe its because I recently spoke at my high school football coaches funeral who mentally died about eight years ago when diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease.

Or, likely because I recently found out I’m a middle-aged man at 45.

I’m not sure why I am so fixated on longevity and graceful aging. But I am.

Show me good material on anti-aging science, even on mice, and I’m all over it.

Tom Brady is playing at a high level and will participate in yet another Super Bowl in about two weeks at the age of forty. FORTY. That’s eighty in football years.

How is he able to play so well at his age?

It seems like he is completely dedicated to keeping his body in peak shape.

On his upcoming documentary series, Tom vs. Time, he says a power line that resonates a ton with me.

He says, “ If you are going to compete against me you are going to have to give up your life because I have given up mine.”

Holy Crap! I love it!

How is Tom Brady Defying Father Time?

For one, Brady is known for his meticulous diet. Apparently, he eats 80% vegetables; all organic, grass-fed meats, wild game and some whole grains and wild caught salmon.

He doesn’t eat white sugar, white flour. MSG. Never cooks with olive oil. (cooks with coconut oil) And doesn’t use table salt but sprinkle Himalayan sea salt on his food. Brady doesn’t do dairy or caffeine (imagine that?).

Some vegetables that might seem healthy to most people he doesn’t eat, like nightshades, for example. These are your tomatoes, peppers, mushrooms, or eggplants. These can potentially be inflammatory to joints. He also seems to never cheat.

Aging gracefully is like a sport. Notice how I am not calling it Anti-aging. That term is ridiculous. Of course, Brady is aging and so am I. But by doing the right lifestyle things I hope to make it a  graceful process where optimal functionality is maintained.

I actually am loving my forties. I finally feel like have enough wisdom to help my family and others live better.

Anti-aging? Please…

If I know anything about living longer and stronger, it’s that it takes work. It’s just not going to happen by itself. There are no shortcuts.

It might take some obsessive type of discipline to successfully age. So what.

People will make comments about what you eat and call you a fanatic. Those should be taken as compliments. Besides, how healthy do they look?

Here’s the deal; to age with strength and reduce the chances of chronic illness requires the type diligence a serious athlete like Brady has. You have to want it and live with that intention.

And another thing, many life-threatening diagnosis’ are an opportunity, to get yourself together and rebuild your body. Like an athlete.

Tom Brady is not the only one performing well with age

On Tuesday, I saw my eighty-six-year-old patient , Alfred, who does exactly that. He goes to his acupuncturist, once a week, trains with a physical trainer three times a week and eats impeccably. Alfred a nice combination of dietary supplements we worked out his specific needs He also enjoys two glasses of red wine a night. I don’t have a problem with that. By the way, Alfred runs a successful event planning business and has no plans to retire. Did I say he’s eighty-six years-old? Honestly, after our consults, it feels as if I learn more from him than he likely learns from me.

Tom Brady is not the only “old” football player in the patriots who performs well. They just acquired James Harrison, a 39 years-old from the Pittsburg Steelers who did pretty good in the playoffs. His training sessions are sick. Harrison also spends about $300,000 a year on his health squad, which includes; an acupuncturist, two chiropractors, and massage therapist.

Is it worth it? Hell yes! The average football players career is 3.5 years.

Taking care of your body and brain does not only financially benefit athletes, but also helps you.
Imagine being physically and mentally stronger, preventing a life-threatening diagnosis or a recurrence from a previous health scare, and functioning with abundance energy? Wouldn’t you earn more? You would. Regardless if you work for yourself or someone else, the ability to think clearly and prevent illness directly and indirectly increases your productivity.

And that comes with eating right, staying away from crappy food and crappy people, physical training, sleeping early (less watching late night TV), and using a proper mix of dietary supplements.

The bottom line is this: Live like an athlete. Make your fitness goals and work for them.  Train hard. Challenge yourself.

And always work on strength and interval training, not just cardio. Push and pull weight against resistance. The stronger you are, the longer you live, especially men.

Final Thoughts on Aging Successfully

There are three things you care (or should care) about; Your family, your work, and your health. And to succeed in all three takes work. There are no shortcuts.

Always, I mean ALWAYS resist the temptation of saying you don’t have time. That’s BS, and you know it. We all make time to do things we value. And we waste plenty of time and procrastinate everyday. I am no exeption.

Watching the news three times a day is a form of procrastination and a waste time, for example. Don’t kid yourself.

Lastly, I admit, I am not as disciplined as Tom Brady. I am not sure I will ever be. I enjoy a good pizza here and then. I tell you what though; I am taking it up a notch after I saw that clip. Oh, yea! in order for us to do better we need inspiration and motivation.

Ultimately, you and I have to decide what’s important and stay focused on that.

It’s not supposed to always be fun. I don’t like anything about vegetables, for example. But I eat plenty of them. Some people detest even the thought of exercise. Do it anyway if you want to succeed in the game of aging.

For me, living long and strong is the long game I want to play.   I’d like to work until I’m well into my eighties like the great baseball announcer Vin Scully (retired at 88 years old) and reduce my risk aging diseases like cancer, chronic pain and overall weakness. I look forward to spending great times with my kids and eventual grandkids. That’s my goal. And I’m scoring.

I’m not saying I will never cheat on my diet or that I will never succumb to a disease, but man, I want to do all I can to do the things I love for as long as possible. I am going to do better.

Why don’t you join me?


“ When I see my self out there I feel like, man I still do this and I am doing it better than I’ve ever done it before, so why should I stop.”   – Tom Brady

Holy Crap! I love it! :))

Here doing a barbell squat 🙂


Last 3 blog posts

The Truth on Dietary Fats & Prostate Cancer

Celebrating 8 Years at XY Wellness

My Stint with Depression

When You Can’t be Young, Think Young

When You Can’t Be Young, Think Young



The Takeaway First

Long-term meditation can help preserve your brain’s gray matter, reports an article published in the journal Frontiers in Psychiatry one month ago (Luders et al. 2015). Both meditators and non-meditators alike will experience atrophies in gray matter, but the study authors found that meditators lost significantly less gray matter from their twenties to their seventies. This provides strong evidence to suggest that meditation, like healthy eating and regular exercise, can help to protect us against some negative side effects of age.

Study Details

  • The study included 100 residents of the Los Angeles area, half of which were longtime meditators.
  • The youngest participants were in their twenties, and the oldest were in their seventies.
  • Gray matter was measured using MRI, and the resulting images were processed using computer software.
  • Researchers observed a significant decline in total gray matter in both control and experimental groups (p < 0.001).
  • In the meditating group, researchers observed significantly less loss of gray matter with increasing age (p = 0.003).

My Take on Meditation

As a general rule, I find that regular, moderate activity protects against most forms of degeneration. This is true of our muscles and bones, for instance. If we disengage our bodies for a long enough time, our muscles revert to fatty, cartilaginous tissue, our bones weaken, and our cardiovascular systems adapt to a lifestyle of little exertion by pruning unused mitochondria and capillaries. According to this new study, our brains respond to inactivity in much the same way.

Many people misunderstand the purpose of meditation and think that it’s a new age practice by which hippies and type-B personalities “find their center.” I believe it’s much more down-to-earth and accessible than that. There are many kinds of meditation, but the most popular kinds (or at least the ones I know of) involve sustained attention to the breath.

Inhalation and exhalation are two of our bodies’ most underappreciated functions. After all, breathing is what provides our blood with oxygen, a key ingredient in the chemical reactions that break down and build up organic compounds. Returning our thoughts to the sensations of this basic, animal function not only results in better insight to our inner lives and easy, free stress-relief, but it also acts as a form of exercise for the attention-centers in our brains. And, if you’re anything like me, you know that sustaining attention on any one thing can be a workout!

What should you do?

If you have never meditated before, I encourage you to try it out. Join one of the thousands of Facebook groups for meditators, and ask about the best ways to start. You may not like the word “meditation” as it may seem too cultish for you. Fine. Take 10 minutes a day to sit still, quietly and do nothing but breathe deeply or pray, if that’s what you are into. That’s it. Just 10 minutes a day.

If you do not have 10-minutes for this, everyday, then you need 1-hour.

Dr. Geo’s Easy First-Time Meditation Guide

  1. Find a quiet space away from your work and a comfortable place where you can sit in a relaxed position.
  2. Set a timer for ten-minutes, or as long as you would like to meditate.       You might consider choosing a gentle alarm sound to avoid a startling end to your session. Your smart phone works just fine.
  3. Close your eyes and begin focusing on your breath.       Breathe in through your nose (expand your belly, not your chest), and breathe out through your mouth, and do this in whatever way feels most natural. Typically a 4 count breath in, 4 count pause, then a 4 count breath-out practice works well.
  4. As you breathe, notice how the air feels when it moves through your body. You will no doubt notice countless other things as you breathe, such as unexpected thoughts or outside noises. It is normal and natural for your attention to be drawn to these things, so don’t be frustrated. But if you notice your attention leaving your breath, calmly bring it back and continue breathing.
  5. When your alarm goes off, open your eyes as slowly as you like, and let yourself feel when you are ready to continue your day.       That’s all there is to it!

Welcome to successful aging folks.



Luders, E., Cherbuin, N., & Kurth, F. (2015). Forever Young(er): Potential Age-defying Effects of Long-term Meditation on Gray Matter Atrophy. Frontiers in Psychology, 5. doi: 10.3389/fpsyg.2014.01551

Coffee: The Steamy Details on the World’s Favorite Drink

Coffee: The Steamy Details on the World’s Favorite Drink




The Takeaway First

Research shows that drinking coffee in moderation (whatever that means) can have some long term health benefits in addition to increased alertness in the short term.

Some Research on Coffee

Caffeine is the most widely used psychoactive drug in the world. We are all familiar with its psychological effects on alertness and tiredness, but what are its effects on the rest of the body? As I was devouring some articles, I found some interesting findings about coffee consumption and male health. According to several articles, a few cups of coffee a day can

  • slightly decrease your risk of developing prostate cancer, including high-grade or fatal prostate cancer (Cao, Liu, Yin, Liu & Lu, 2014; Lu et al., 2014)
  • decrease your cardiovascular risk, including coronary artery disease and stroke (Ding, Bhupathiraju, Satija, van Dam & Hu, 2014; DiNicolantonio & O’Keefe, 2014)
  • slightly decrease your risk of fractures if you are male (Lee et al., 2014)
  • decrease all-cause mortality (Zhao, Zheng, Zuo & Li, 2014; Je & Giovannucci, 2014)

My Take on This

As always, I like to advocate moderation; however, you may need a moderate amount of moderation. In other words, if you drink 8 – 8 ounces of coffee a day then drink 4 of the same amount, that may still be too much for you although you may think its a moderate amount.

Moderation is a relative term. Use it cautiously.

Some of these studies found that consuming relatively high amounts of coffee daily led to positive health benefits. I had to wonder: sure, maybe drinking eight cups of coffee per day has some long term benefits, but what does that kind of daily dosage do to a person in the short term? What kinds of immediate effects do you have to deal with if you’re going to reap these supposed benefits from regular coffee drinking?

Besides the positive psychological effects of alertness and wakefulness, coffee affects the body. For instance, it tends to increase heart rate, which temporarily puts a person at a higher risk of heart disease (McMullen, Whitehouse, Chine, Whitton, & Towell, 2011). It has been shown to increase blood pressure in older people who have hypertension (Rachima-Maoz, Peleg & Rosenthal, 2011). Two other common effects are diuresis, which is an increase in urine output, and natriuresis, which is an increase in sodium in urine. Without proper rehydration, either could be an issue.

There are other drawbacks as well. Coffee creates a dependency, and its withdrawal symptoms are often very unpleasant. According to DiNicolantonio and O’Keefe (2014), the addictive qualities of caffeine could be a helpful way to ensure a daily dose and, possibly, long term benefits down the road. But if the daily dose is too high, side effects can include anxiety, discomfort, and insomnia.

Is a potentially longer life worth the added jitters and occasional sleepless nights? I recommend taking a look at the tendencies of your own mind and body and deciding for yourself.

The bottom line

Coffee apparently has some long term health benefits, some of which are particularly relevant to us men. It creates a dependency (technically not an addiction) that helps to secure those benefits by punishing us when we don’t drink it. Even though high doses of caffeine can have negative side effects, there is always the option of limiting yourself to the appropriate dose. Finding that dose is up to you. Two cups a day, and not more is good. And you should never need coffee to function – if you do, that is a problem. Cheers!



Cao, S., Liu, L., Yin, X., Wang, Y., Liu, J., & Lu, Z. (2014). Coffee consumption and risk of prostate cancer: a meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Carcinogenesis, 35(2), 256-261. doi: 10.1093/carcin/bgt482

Ding, M., Bhupathiraju, S. N., Satija, A., van Dam, R. M., & Hu, F. B. (2014). Long-term coffee consumption and risk of cardiovascular disease: a systematic review and a dose-response meta-analysis of prospective cohort studies. Circulation, 129(6), 643-659. doi: 10.1161/circulationaha.113.005925

DiNicolantonio, J. J., O’Keefe, J. H., & Lavie, C. J. (2014). Reply: Effects of Habitual Coffee Consumption on Vascular Function. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, 63(6), 607. doi:

Je, Y., & Giovannucci, E. (2014). Coffee consumption and total mortality: a meta-analysis of twenty prospective cohort studies. Br J Nutr, 111(7), 1162-1173. doi: 10.1017/s0007114513003814

Lee, D. R., Lee, J., Rota, M., Lee, J., Ahn, H. S., Park, S. M., & Shin, D. (2014). Coffee consumption and risk of fractures: a systematic review and dose-response meta-analysis. Bone, 63, 20-28. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2014.02.007

Liu, J., Sui, X., Lavie, C. J., Hebert, J. R., Earnest, C. P., Zhang, J., & Blair, S. N. (2013). Association of Coffee Consumption With All-Cause and Cardiovascular Disease Mortality. Mayo Clinic Proceedings, 88(10), 1066-1074. doi:

Lu, Y., Zhai, L., Zeng, J., Peng, Q., Wang, J., Deng, Y., . . . Qin, X. (2014). Coffee consumption and prostate cancer risk: an updated meta-analysis. Cancer Causes Control, 25(5), 591-604. doi: 10.1007/s10552-014-0364-8

McMullen, M. K., Whitehouse, J. M., Shine, G., Whitton, P. A., & Towell, A. (2011). The immediate and short-term chemosensory impacts of coffee and caffeine on cardiovascular activity. Food Funct, 2(9), 547-554. doi: 10.1039/c1fo10102a

Rachima-Maoz, C., Peleg, E., & Rosenthal, T. (1998). The effect of caffeine on ambulatory blood pressure in hypertensive patients. Am J Hypertens, 11(12), 1426-1432.

Zhao, Y., Wu, K., Zheng, J., Zuo, R., & Li, D. (2014). Association of coffee drinking with all-cause mortality: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Public Health Nutr, 1-13. doi: 10.1017/s1368980014001438

Soup Recipe – Great for the cold winter

Recipe by

Marti Wolfson (


Japanese style fish soup

Nothing tastes better during this flu-season than a nourishing bowl of soup. I was going to name this recipe heaven in a bowl because that’s where I felt I went when I took my first sip. This dish is so delicious and loaded with nutrients including Vitamin C, A, calcium, omega 3’s and fiber. Traditionally this is made in a clay pot but I used a heavy cast iron pot and a dutch oven works just the same. Homemade chicken stock can strengthen digestion, the gelatin provides gut and joint supporting nutrients, as well as minerals in an absorbable form.  If you don’t have homemade chicken stock you can make a quick dashi broth by placing one piece of kombu in a pot and cover it with 1 1/2 quarts filtered water. Allow the kombu to soak for 15 minutes to soften it. Turn on the burner to a high flame. When the water begins to bubble, stir in bonito flakes, and remove from heat. Cover and allow the bonito flakes to steep in the water until they to the bottom, about 10 minutes. Strain the broth, composting the bonito flakes. This will taste better than the store bought chicken broths.

Serves 2


4 cups chicken broth (salted to taste)

½-1 tsp red pepper flakes

¼ cup miso paste

2 scallions, thinly sliced

1 large carrot, peeled and cut into matchsticks

1 daikon, peeled and thinly sliced into half moons

1 heaping cup thinly sliced mushrooms (shitake or cremini)

3 tsp. olive oil

2 6oz pieces wild salmon (Vital Choice our favorite – but any wild salmon i good)

2 T. pre cut wakame (soaked in fresh water for 10 minutes and drained)

2 cloves garlic minced

4 cups swish chard, rib removed and roughly chopped

1 package cooked gluten free noodles (I used brown rice and wakame noodles. Cook the whole package but save half for later use.)



Preheat the oven 325 degrees.

Heat the chicken broth and red pepper flakes just until steaming but not boiling. In a clay, cast iron, or dutch oven pot rub the miso paste all over the bottom and sides of the pot. Layer in the scallions, carrot, daikon, and mushrooms. Pour the stock over the vegetables, cover and place in the oven for 5 minutes. Meanwhile heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium might heat. Add the salmon, skin side down, and cook just until the skin is crispy. Immediately remove the skins, setting them back on the pan to continue to crisp on both sides. Place the uncooked salmon in the pot, cover and continue to poach in the miso broth for 10 minutes. While the vegetables and salmon are cooking, heat the remaining 1 tsp of olive oil on medium might heat and add the garlic. Cook for 30 seconds and then add the swiss chard. Saute until the chard wilts down like spinach.

To serve place a handful of noodles in each bowl. Pour in 2 cups broth with a generous amount of the vegetables and fish. Add in some wakame, garlickly swiss chard and the salmon skin. Enjoy.

Sugar is poison – last night on 60 minutes

The harmful effects of sugar are slowly becoming common knowledge. Did you see 60 minutes last night? They highlighted the fact that sugar (and High Fructose Corn Syrup) are a major cause of obesity, type II diabetes , hypertension and cancer. Yes, cancer. When a Harvard researcher was asked by Dr. Sanjay Gupta, “If you limit your sugar intake would you limit your chances of developing cancer?” The researchers response was simply – “absolutely.” It is commonly said that sugar feeds cancer. Technically speaking sugar does not feed cancer per se but it is does cause an overproduction of insulin and another substance known as insulin like growth factor – 1 (IGF-1) that contributes to the development and progression of cancer.


My take on this:


I have mentioned in previous blog  posts’ that sugar and simple carbohydrates are the major contributors to chronic, systemic inflammation and cancer (prostate.) The most important decision you can make to slow the “aging clock,” prevent heart disease and prevent or slow the progression of cancer cells is to significantly limit the consumption of sugar and simple carbohydrates. How easy is this?

Not easy at all. Sugar has a drug-like effect when consumed not too different from legal (alcohol, cigarette smoking, etc) and illegal drugs. Almost all drugs cause the brain to produce dopamine, which leads to a feeling of euphoria. Sugar intake does the same. In fact, just like most drugs, sugar is dose dependent in order to make you feel good. Another words, the more you take the more you need to make you feel “happy.”

The other challenge is that sugar is blended into many sauces and foods including but not limited to: yogurt, cereals, soups, peanut butter and energy drinks.

Now that you are hopefully convinced that sugar consumption is an addictive drug that causes or contributes to almost all disease – what  should you do?

  • Do a “Reset” of no simple sugars for two weeks. This is not easy. I know. I do it two times a year. For the first two or three days headaches and other withdrawal side effect may be experienced. By day 4, the cravings diminish significantly. By day 7 – 10, you are just tired of it look forward for variety.
  • Exercise with moderate intensity. An exercised body does not produce as much insulin or IGF-1 to metabolize sugar.
  • Snack on healthy nuts. Pistachios, almonds and walnuts are super healthy and controls sugar cravings.
  • Manage stress with exercise, deep breathing and by learning how to problem-solve. When we are stressed we typically look to sabotage ourselves with booze or sugary foods. There are many good books and resources on the topic. This link may also be useful.
  • Fruit juices are as bad as soda. A 12-ounce soda can has 10 teaspoons of sugar just like a 12 ounce glass of orange juice. Pomegranate juice, dark organic grape juice and other dark red or blue concentrated fruit juices are also high in sugar but have powerfully healthy components to them.

Here’s what you do: Mix any of those dark juices (about 2 to 4 ounces) with 4 ounces of club soda. This makes for a diluted, less sugary   soda type of drink with powerful antioxidant health benefits.

  • Fruits (not fruit juice) are the best source of sugar – primarily berries and the dark red, blue and purple kind.
  • Don’t eat any food with guilt. If you are going to have a cup cake, have it and enjoy it. Just know that that cup cake is an addictive substance. Two hour later you may no reach for another cup cake, but you may gulp 8 ounces of orange juice and keep this viscous cycle going.

Bottom Line: Cut your simple sugar intake by half starting now -then cut that to another half in two weeks.  You will experience more energy and mental clarity along with creating a hostile environment to cancer cells. Anyone with a blood sugar disease like diabetes should NOT do this on their own and should seek the help of a nutritionally oriented physician.

If you or a loved one has ever been diagnosed with prostate cancer – join us at our Prostate Cancer Health Retreat and discover how to eat and live and cancer-free lifestyle without deprivation. We have a few more spaces available. All my social network friends and NYU urology patients  benefit from a 10% discount.

See a clip on 60 minutes below on this topic.



60 minutes –;cnav

Byrne MM, Davila EP, Zhao W, et al. Cancer screening behaviors among smokers and nonsmokers. Cancer Epidemiol. 2010;34(5):611–617.