Fresh from the Natural Gourmet Table at A.Vogel – Home of Herbed Sea Salt® Original 

Vegan Burger1

If you’re looking for a vegan alternative to the traditional beef burger, look no further…Not only are these quinoa burgers outrageously tasty, they’re also packed full of nutritional goodness!


• 1 cup quinoa

• 2 shallots, finely chopped

• 1 clove of garlic, crushed

• 2 tsp paprika

• ½ tsp red chili flakes

• 2 sprigs fresh rosemary, chopped

• 1 sweet potato, chopped into small chunks

• Herbed Sea Salt® Original seasoning salt

• Black pepper, to season

• 2 tsp olive oil

How to make Vegan Burgers with Quinoa & Vegetables

  1. Boil the quinoa, until tender, approximately 15 minutes.
  2. Briefly sauté the shallots and garlic.
  3. Boil the sweet potato, then mash.
  4. In a large bowl combine quinoa, shallots and garlic with the herbs, spices and sweet potato mash. Mix well.
  5. Form the mixture into small patties.
  6. Fry the patties for three minutes on each side.

This recipe is full of goodness

• Gluten-free

• Contains all the essential amino acids

• Great source of B vitamins

Quinoa is higher in protein than other grains and cereals. Protein is necessary for tissue growth and repair. And it’s also a good source of magnesium, a mineral important for nerve and muscle function.

Real Doctor Tries the Intermittent Fasting Trend and Here’s What Happened

There’s crash dieting, and then there’s intermittent fasting. Crash diets aren’t sustainable and rarely factor in healthy food options. Intermittent fasting on the other hand is gaining attention because people are seeing weight come off, and therefore stay with it. It’s being touted as the go-to way to lose 15, 20 pounds within a month or two. Is it just a popular hashtag or can the weight actually stay off leading millions of people to reach their weight goals? To get clarity, we spoke to Dr. Niket Sonpal who not only is Board Certified in Internal Medicine specializing in Gastroenterology; but lost 6 pounds his first week of intermittent fasting when he decided to do it himself. Here’s what he has to say about intermittent fasting.

What inspired your decision to do intermittent fasting?

I noticed the winter weight became the spring then summer weight and I wanted to take off extra pounds that I noticed had crept on. I was with friends talking about how they lost weight during religious observation and that intermittent fasting was a “thing.” I rolled my eyes. I was skeptical. Then I went online and applied my doctor mind to the concepts I was reading about it and went for it.

There are several ways to go about intermittent fasting. Which way did you do it, when did you start and what was the result? 

This is true. The way I chose, and the way I would imagine most people would try, is the one that calls for 16 hours of fasting with 8 hours of eating time per day. This basically means if your last meal of the day is 8pm you will have your first meal by noon the following day, free to eat until 8pm again. I figured since I sleep most of those hours, it wouldn’t be that tough. The 5-day 2-day option of intermittent fasting, calls for normal eating for 5 days and then strict calorie counting for 2 days (500 calories for women and 600 for men). I didn’t want to be obsessing about calorie counting.

What were the challenges (if any) that you faced when intermittent fasting?

I live across the street from a bagel shop in New York City. I also have delicious New York pizza on every other corner. Cravings and temptation were there for me for sure. When I left my home and smelled those fresh bagels my brain said. “let’s eat.”

Coming at your intermittent fasting as a doctor, what were some things you were thinking about that others must consider too? 

I thought when I would fast. When would be my 8-hour eating period. When we start caloric consumption right when we wake up we do better with weight loss. However, that would mean eating from 7 am until 4pm. This would require a later meal around 3pm. Then I thought, does my lifestyle better allow a 12 noon to 8pm food window?

I also thought about the physiological aspect to what happens to our bodies when we fast intermittently. For one thing, it facilitates weight loss by enhancing hormone function. Insulin levels also lower, plus there’s a rise in noradrenaline. This combination is what helps us to breakdown body fat for energy. While this all reads well on paper there is a lifestyle aspect to it that must be factored in. I’ll add that anyone with a condition should consult with their doctor before going all in on intermittent fasting.

Why do you think it is so difficult for people to fast? What are some of the common symptoms people feel when fasting and what causes them?

When people think of fasting they think of starvation and deprivation. They anticipate they will feel terrible will have a growling stomach, dull headaches, and a bad mood. While these are common symptoms felt at first when fasting, the 16/8 intermittent fasting option allows for food every day. When people see quick results, they stick with it.

What was your diet? What did you cut out and add in? 

I looked at my schedule and my overall daily lifestyle and how food was involved. For people who live very hurried lifestyles, food is typically something that is grabbed fast on the go. When we approach food this way no diet will be sustainable. I realized this would require consistent changes in my behavior. It would also require me to get very mindful about what I was eating during the 8 hours of eating time. I chose to eat what I liked in moderation. So, if two slices of pizza twice per week was the lunchtime norm, I reduced to it to once slice. I still ate pasta just not as often and not as much. I also added in a lot more vegetables, proteins, healthy fats and cut out all fast food and soda. Hey, I’m a doctor, but also a human!

For those thinking about intermittent fasting, how would you advise them to proceed? 

I would explain that at around the 2 to 4-week mark, someone may plateau. When you notice this don’t think this is the most weight you are able to lose. This is normal and if you are also exercising with weight or resistance training you may be building muscle mass. Pay attention to how clothes fit, body fat loss and how weight loss shows beyond the scale. Knowing how over time the body gets used to intermittent fasting and starts to store up all that is eaten, leading to less weight loss, I suggest resetting your body by eating small, healthy meals throughout the day for a week and then resuming the 16/8 intermittent fasting option again.

People may happily think that they can fast and then enjoy a big bowl of pasta or cheeseburger. What kinds of foods should people eat during intermittent fasting?

You can get results without cutting out your favorite foods which means enjoy that burger or pasta, I did! However, you can’t binge on fast food and think you’re going to make any lasting changes. You want to up your vegetable intake. Things like grilled zucchini or eggplant make for great sides to a piece of grilled chicken or steak. Avocados are a good staple for healthy fats and are versatile. There are loads of recipes out there so plan out your food options in advance, so you stick with it.

About the doctor:

Dr. Niket Sonpal is Adjunct Assistant Professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, Clinical instructor at Kingsbrook Jewish Medical Center, Brooklyn and on the board of the NY‐ American College of Physicians (NYACP). He is completing his Fellowship in gastroenterology at Lenox and has spoken and presented at over 25 national and regional conferences on his research and is a regular participant in national courses.

Where to Celebrate National Relaxation Day this August 15th

Tomorrow is the perfect day… to relax! Where are you celebrating National Relaxation Day in NYC tomorrow?

As a national holiday that everyone deserves to celebrate, here is a list of the top 5 places to go right in NYC:

  • Premier57, NYC’s 40,000 sq. ft. luxurious spa/water wonderland is the perfect escape this August just a walk away in Midtown. The meditation room, infrared lounge and sleeping room put the ‘relax’ in relaxation lounge.

  • Shibui Spa - From the roof of the 250 year old Japanese farmhouse that adorns the spa’s pool and lounge area to the holistic, nature-driven treatments, everything in the spa is about impressive yet understated beauty.

  • The Spa at Mandarin Oriental - If you’re looking for a particularly lavish retreat, try one of their holistic wellness rituals like the three hour Thai Yoga Journey that uses Thai yoga massage to help you find balance inside and out.

  • Aire Ancient Baths - Stepping into Aire Ancient Baths is like stepping back in time to a classic Roman bathhouse. Lounge like an emperor on heated marble stones or soak in their six candlelit specialty pools.

  • Ohm Spa & Lounge - This cozy spa specializes in targeted massages and skin-loving facials including everything from enzymatic peels to hydrating treatments using pure manuka honey from New Zealand.

We hope you’re able to relax at your choice of the best place to unwind this August 15th and every day.

Dealing with Dementia

Written By Eve Crabtree, Contributing Writer for InFluential Magazine

Dementia is a disease that affects over 45 million people across the globe – a figure that is set to rise significantly over the next three decades. Unfortunately, not many people understand the impact that dementia has on the sufferers and their loved ones. So, here’s what you need to know…

What actually is dementia?

The term ‘dementia’ refers to a number of symptoms such as memory loss and personality changes that contribute to a decline in brain health during the aging process. Eventually, these symptoms can have a detrimental impact on an individual’s daily life and usually lead to death.

There is no cure for dementia; however, there are medications and therapies readily available that can slow down its affects.

How many types of dementia are there?

The most common type of dementia is Alzheimer’s disease which affects around 62% of worldwide dementia sufferers. However, there are also 5 other types which are:

  • Vascular dementia
  • Dementia with lewy bodies
  • Parkinson’s disease dementia
  • Frontotemporal dementia
  • Mixed dementia

What are some of the most common dementia symptoms?

Out of the 6 types of dementia, there are a variety of symptoms that commonly affect the majority of dementia sufferers, regardless of which type they have been diagnosed with. These symptoms include:

  • Short term memory problems
  • Confusion
  • Repeatedly asking the same questions
  • Difficulty finding the right words or understanding certain words
  • Difficulty with numbers and money
  • Becoming anxious and withdrawn
  • Personality changes
  • Difficulty with attention span and tasks that require focus
  • Mood changes
  • Problems with movement
  • Becoming obsessive

Dealing with dementia: Our infographic

In order to highlight the true affects that dementia really has on the global population, and to offer some top tips on spotting the signs and dealing with a diagnosis, we’ve created an infographic. It contains some shocking statistics about the disease whilst walking you through the entire process of recognising the signs to coping with the aftermath.

Check it out below.



Paleo Perfect Gifts

Seeking the perfect gift for the friend following the paleo diet? The following brands make excellent choices… from Paleo Butter Coffee Creamer to the Drynk, which will keep your cold brew coffee chilled for 18 hours!

Coffee++ Paleo Butter Coffee Creamer
For fans of buttered coffee, Coffee++ is the World’s First Grass-fed Organic Cultured Ghee & MCT Oil blend! It does not contain any coffee or caffeine. If you follow a Paleo diet, coffee with a creamy taste is no longer an issue. Just stir Coffee++ into your coffee for a smooth, satisfying, and totally invigorating experience designed to power you through your day with clarity, focus, and energy. It tastes fantastic whether you drink it as is, add a favorite spice, or use natural sweetener. Batch-tested casein-free, lactose-free, whey-free, and gluten-free. Available in two sizes.

Drynk Beverage Containers from Vaya Tyffyn
Not all beverage tumblers are created equal! With a built-in coaster to prevent spills, each Drynk keeps hot drinks hot for up to 12 hours and cold ones cold for up to 18 hours, ideal for those who want to enjoy their cold brew while chilled! Plus, Drynk comes with two different lids to suit your drinking style. The Sipper’s magnet keeps the hinged lid open while drinking so it doesn’t bump noses. The Gulper’s wide mouth is great for sports or cold drinks, or for sharing drinks with the pair of accompanying cups — which also helps cut down on spreading colds and germs. Drynks come in a range of fun colors and two sizes for all ages. Visit

The HyperChiller 
A cold brew coffee is within reach in 60 seconds! The HyperChiller turns any beverage into a perfectly cooled drink in just one minute without ever touching ice! With the HyperChiller’s simple multi-chamber design, your beverage is exposed to the equivalent of over 30 large ice cubes, but protected by two layers of food grade stainless steel — so there’s zero dilution in the process of cooling. Just leave it in your freezer, then take it out, pour your beverage in (coffee, wine, spirits etc.) and the HyperChiller will rapidly chill it in just one minute. You can even use it a couple times in a row. When you’re done, just stick it back in your freezer to use again later. It’s compatible with all brewing methods and even fits directly into most full-size single cup brewers.

Fat Fit Go
Need a delicious, portable paleo snack to go with your cold brew? Fuel your body Fat Fit Go, which offers long-lasting energy from high-quality, blended fats including MCT and other nutrient dense super foods in every serving! With an incredible, fresh taste, these delicious, portable energy packets with real food are perfect for your on-the-go lifestyle. No preservatives or undesirable ingredients. Just clean, nutrient dense energy! Completely Paleo, Keto and Vegan. Peanut, Dairy, Sugar, Soy and Grain Free. Fat Fit Go is made with carefully crafted ingredients, and available in two delicious flavors, Tropical Margarita and Original Chocolate.

Tropical Margarita is a delightful blend of Pecans, MCT Oil, Almonds, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Cocoa Butter, Chia Seeds, Avocado Oil, Salt, Lime Essential Oil, and Stevia (less than 1%). It has 3g of protein, 24g of fat, and 1g of net carbs. Original Chocolate is a carefully crafted blend that includes Chia, Pecans, MCT Oil, Almonds, Coconut, Macadamia Nuts, Cocoa Butter, Chia Seeds, Avocado Oil, Cocoa Powder, Cinnamon, Salt, and Stevia (less than 1%). It has 3g of protein, 24g of fat, and 2g of net carbs. You can learn more about Fat Fit Go at

From Farmer to Fortune, How One Medical Device Revolutionized An Industry

Entrepreneur helps those with lower leg injuries, shares secrets to success 

Each year, many entrepreneurs bring their products to market. Yet, research shows that the majority of them will not make it. Among those new products each year, there will be rare items that not only make it, but that completely revolutionize an industry. That’s exactly what happened with the iWALK2.0, a medical device that is essentially giving crutches and scooters a run for their money and longevity. In fact, the company has seen such success from the sales of the device that they expect to hit their 100,000th unit sold this year.

“Crutches have been around for 5,000 years, but the iWALK2.0 has already earned its place in the industry as the device of choice for those who have a lower leg injury,” explains Brad Hunter, the innovator of iWALK2.0 and the chief executive officer of the company, iWALKFree, Inc.  “Not only have we won multiple awards for the device, but the feedback we’ve gotten and the sales statistics we’re experiencing all point to a robust future for the iWALK2.0.”

The story of the iWALK2.0 begins with a farmer who created the original version to give himself an easier way to be more mobile while recovering from a lower leg injury. Little did he know he was sitting on a billion-dollar idea. It was when Hunter came along and saw the potential in the product that the idea was brought to fruition for the mass market. Hunter purchased half of the company, took the device concept to a whole new level, and introduced it to the world.

Harrison Ford iWALK Santa Monica.

Harrison Ford iWALK Santa Monica.

During Hunter’s first year, the company had a million dollars in sales, confirming what Hunter had suspected, which was that this was going to be a successful product launch. A serial entrepreneur, he was no stranger to the hard work and dedication that it took to help products find their place in the market. While the device continued to do well, it really saw a huge increase in interest and popularity when Harrison Ford was seen using it. Ford then used it again, for a different injury, which further boosted awareness. Since that time, additional celebrities and athletes have used it, including surfer Kelly Slater and hockey player Nick Bonino, among others.

Hunter knows that there is more that goes into a successful company than just having a great product. His secrets to entrepreneurial success include:

  • Have a clear vision before you start anything and stick with it – no matter what.
  • Do your homework and lay a strong foundation before you make your first commitment.
  • If others say you can’t do it, prove them wrong.
  • Don’t give it 100%. Give it 150%… or more.
  • Hope for the best, but plan for the worst.
  • Mediocrity is the enemy of excellence.
  • Build a strong team.
  • Watch your finances – daily.  Always know exactly where you are.
  • Be proficient at changing hats minute by minute.  Advanced multi-tasking capabilities are essential.
  • Know when to quit. Here’s a hint – never.

“Creating a truly great product is really hard. Building a truly great company is even harder,” adds Hunter. “But if you are dedicated to your vision, work hard, and believe in what you are doing you will increase your chances of success. Believing in yourself is a large part of the equation. I’m thrilled with where the iWALK2.0 is and in its future.”

Sales have soared, the company has won awards for the design and concept of the device, and it is literally revolutionizing the industry. Increasingly, people are opting for the iWALK2.0, which resembles a high-tech pirate’s peg leg, and makes it easier for them to be mobile while they are recovering from a lower leg injury. The iWALK2.0 attaches just below the knee, attaching to and recruits the user’s leg, giving people the ability to stand and walk as they normally do, thus replacing the need for crutches or a scooter. With this route, they are hands-free, which allows them to do things they are used to doing, such as walking their dog, drinking their coffee, using their cellphone, or carrying groceries. In 2017, sales were up 50% over the prior year, and on Amazon the sales were up 154% over the prior year.

The iWALK2.0 is hands-free, easy to learn to use, it’s intuitive, and safe. From the knee up, the leg is doing the same walking motion that comes naturally to it. The device is essentially a temporary lower leg, which gives people their independence and mobility back as they recover from an injury. The device is pain-free and makes it possible for people to engage in many of their normal routine activities, such as walking the dog, grocery shopping, and walking up or down stairs.

Clinical research, the results of which are on the company website, shows that patients using the iWALK2.0 heal faster, and have a higher sense of satisfaction and a higher rate of compliance. The iWALK2.0 sells for $149 and is available online and through select retailers. Some insurance companies may cover the cost of the device. The device can be used with a cast or boot and comes with a limited warranty. For more information on the iWALK2.0, visit the site at: To see a video of the iWALK2.0 in action, visit: iWalkFree.

About iWALKFree

The iWALK2.0 is a hands-free knee crutch, made by iWALKFree, Inc.  It’s a mobility device used instead of traditional crutches and knee scooters. It offers more comfort and independence, with the hands and arms remaining free. The device offers people a functional and independent lifestyle as they are recovering from many common lower leg injuries. For more information on the iWALK2.0, visit the site at:

Tips for Packing Healthy School Lunches on a Budget

Dr. Yum serves up tips on how to pack affordable healthy lunches this school year

Back to school means back to lunch preparation for parents around the country. It’s a challenge that many parents take on, but often struggle to keep healthy. While it’s easy to toss in convenient snacks, it’s not going to do much in the way of keeping their little bodies healthy and developing well. One pediatrician wants parents to know that sending kids to school with healthy lunches each day doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive. In fact, she’s on a mission to help teach parents how to pack healthy school lunches on a budget.

“School lunches may not seem significant in a child’s life, but when you add up that they are eating them five days per week it’s quite a lot of their calorie consumption,” says Dr. Nimali Fernando, a Fredericksburg, Virginia-based pediatrician who founded The Doctor Yum Project. “Teaching them healthy lunch habits from a young age will give them the tools to build lifelong healthy habits.”

Of concern for many pediatricians is the fact that most children are simply not eating enough healthy foods to begin with. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a report earlier this year which stated that only 12 percent of adults meet the daily recommended fruit intake, and only 9 percent reach the daily vegetable intake. They went on to say that most U.S. children do not meet national recommendations for daily fruit and vegetable servings. Add to it the fact they report that 14 percent of preschool aged children are considered obese, and it’s a recipe for health disaster.

Here are tips from Dr. Yum for packing healthy school lunches on a budget:

  • Plan lunches for the week. Every weekend, sit down and make a list of what lunches you will make throughout the week. Dr. Yum’s Menu Planner can help you plan lunches, dinners, breakfasts and snacks and then gives you a shopping list for the week that is even sorted by department.
  • Buy in bulk. Skip buying individually packaged items like snacks. They are often much more expensive that way. Buy items in bulk, such as at Costco, and use reusable containers to put the items in. Keep it healthy by opting for things like dried fruit, trail mix, unsweetened applesauce, etc.
  • Use leftovers. Plan your dinner meals so that you can make extra and then put some aside for lunch the next day. The Dr. Yum Menu Planner is terrific for this too!
  • Make from scratch. When we buy items, such as muffins, premade at the store, they often have ingredients in them that we would never find in our pantry. Take it old school by going back to making your own items from scratch. Preparing a batch of healthy muffins, for example, and then putting them in the freezer will help you save money and have healthy options on hand at all times.
  • Skip the sugary drinks. Buying sugary drinks is not only expensive, but it puts too much sugar into your child’s diet. Opt for sending them with a reusable container filled with water or unsweetened tea.
  • Take a twist on old favorites. Most kids like a traditional PBJ, but you can add some twists by making peanut butter and sliced banana sandwiches, using a whole wheat tortilla, or putting peanut butter and jelly into a whole wheat tortilla and grilling it like a quesadilla. Each variation makes it a bit different, but very few different ingredients are used, keeping it easy and affordable.
  • Think smoothies. Packing a smoothie like Dr. Yum’s Green Dragon Smoothie once a week is a great way to get kids nutrition, serve them something they like, and make lunch preparation easy. Keep bags of frozen fruits and veggies (like spinach and kale) on hand and whip together a smoothie to put in their thermos. Smoothies are not just for breakfast!

“Get your kids involved in helping to make healthy lunches this year, which will teach them healthy habits and make them more likely to actually eat what you pack together” added Heidi DiEugenio, director of the Doctor Yum Project. “Once you decide you want to serve healthy and affordable lunches, you just need to stick with the commitment and make it happen. It will become a healthy habit for the whole family.” 

Quick, healthy recipe from the Doctor Yum Project website:  Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels

8 whole wheat tortilla wraps

1 cup hummus

1 cup red bell pepper, thinly cut strips

1 cup grated carrots

1 cup yellow bell pepper, thinly cut strips

1 cup fresh spinach, thinly cut

1 cup purple cabbage, shredded


Spread about two tablespoons of hummus on each tortilla, leaving a one-inch border on all sides. Line up a thin layer of sliced vegetables across the hummus. Roll up the tortilla tightly. Cut the roll crosswise into four or five pinwheels and serve. These can easily be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator, ready for a party, snack, or packed lunch! 

Dr. Fernando created The Doctor Yum Project, an organization with the mission of transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. The project offers healthy cooking classes, child nutrition classes, cooking camps for kids, hands-on cooking instruction for families, first foods classes, a teaching garden, and online tools to help families make healthier meals. They also offer a preschool nutrition program, with 40 classrooms and almost 600 participating preschoolers.

Dr. Fernando, otherwise known as Dr. Yum, is a board-certified pediatrician. She is also the co-author of the book “Raising a Healthy, Happy Eater: A Parent’s Handbook” (The Experiment, October 2015). To learn more, visit the site at:

About The Doctor Yum Project

Founded by Dr. Nimali Fernando, The Doctor Yum Project is a nonprofit organization that is dedicated to transforming the lives of families and communities by providing an understanding of the connection between food and overall health, as well as empowering them with the tools to live a healthy life. They offer a variety of community programs to help with those efforts. They are located in Fredericksburg, Virginia, and feature an instructional kitchen and teaching garden for holding classes. To learn more, visit the site at:


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Fruits and Vegetables.

5 Reasons to Consider a Simple Implant to Treat Chronic Back Pain

New minimally invasive treatment for chronic back pain puts patients at ease within three weeks

Dr. Akash Bajaj, board-certified anesthesiologist, pain interventionist and medical director at Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions in Marina Del Rey, California.

Dr. Akash Bajaj, board-certified anesthesiologist, pain interventionist and medical director at Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions in Marina Del Rey, California.

The vast majority of adults know what it’s like to experience back pain. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), around 80 percent of adults will experience back pain at some point in their life. But for most people, that pain doesn’t last long and goes away on its own. About 20 percent of those who experience acute back pain will go on to have chronic back pain, which the NIH classifies as pain that lasts for at least 12 weeks, and even after the initial injury or underlying cause of the acute pain has been treated. The good news for those who are living with chronic low back pain is that there is an effective, simple implant procedure that is bringing people relief within only three weeks.

“We’ve helped many people to experience a greater quality of life through the implant procedure,” explains Dr. Akash Bajaj, board-certified anesthesiologist, pain interventionist and medical director at Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions in Marina Del Rey, Calif. “People are surprised at how simple the procedure is and how much relief it brought them after recovery. The only regret they have is not having it done sooner.”

Those suffering from chronic pain tend to have higher rates of depression and a lower, diminished quality of life. They are often not able to engage in the activities they would like to, because they are so burdened with the pain. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Pain Research shared the findings of research done on how chronic pain impacts people and their social environment. Researchers reported that chronic pain seriously affects the patient’s daily activities and quality of life, as well as having significant consequences for the patient’s families, and even causes deterioration in the quality of life of those close to them.

Most people with chronic pain search for solutions and try many different things in order to find some relief. Millions turn to taking opioids or other drugs, which can have harmful side effects and lead to dangerous addictions. A new implant procedure is giving people relief and helping them avoid taking drugs to help address the pain.

Here are 5 reasons why more people are considering a simple implant procedure to treat their chronic back pain:

  1. Minimally invasive. The implant surgery is minimally invasive, which means small incisions are made in order to perform the procedure. This means there is a decreased risk for complication, there’s reduced scarring, and it’s more affordable.
  2. Time invested. Most people think that having a minimally invasive surgical procedure would require a lot of time. This one takes only one hour to complete, which most people are comfortable with.
  3. Recovery time. With a recovery time of only around 24 hours, people are able to go back to their normal routines within a day. That means they won’t have to take off a lot of work or avoid engaging in their duties for long.
  4. Benefits. The full benefits of the implant surgery are realized in about three weeks. Those who have the surgery experience full back pain relief within that time, giving them the ability to engage in more activities.
  5. Improved quality of life. Once people experience the benefits that the implant surgery brings, they are able to have a better quality of life. They can enjoy more activities and are better able to enjoy relaxing.

“People see me as a pain expert and doctor, but really what I am is someone who gives people their quality of life back,” adds Dr. Bajaj. “It’s a great day to know that someone will live a better quality of life and be able to enjoy their days because of a procedure I did. That makes my own life even better.”

Dr. Bajaj has found success with a new minimally invasive technique that relieves pressure on the spine and nerves and is largely replacing the more invasive options. Unlike the older back surgery options, the new procedure doesn’t take as long to perform, doesn’t require hospitalization, and offers a quick recovery and healing time.

Dr. Akash Bajaj is an award-winning surgeon and highly regarded pain management specialist who has earned the highly coveted Super Doctors honor. In addition to helping people with back pain, he provides pain solutions for those with neck pain, knee pain, shoulder pain, ankle and foot pain, and more. For more information on services provided or to book an appointment, visit their site at:

About Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions

Founded and run by award-winning surgeon and pain management expert Dr. Akash Bajaj, the center is located in Marina Del Rey, Calif. They provide advanced solutions for those who suffer from all types of chronic pain. They also offer a minimally invasive, highly effective implant surgery for those with chronic back pain. Remedy Spine & Pain Solutions has won numerous awards, including multiple times winning Super Doctors award and the Best of Marina Del Rey award. For more information on services provided, visit their site at:

New Wellness Travel Company Announces 2018 / 2019 Yoga Retreats

Sunny Side Up is First Travel Outfitter Focused on Wellness Retreats in Morocco

As wellness travel continues to surge in popularity, the focus of conventional wellness trips is going beyond the traditional and exploring new boundaries and horizons. Travel company Sunny Side Up is the first outfitter focused on wellness retreats in Morocco and offers spiritual, physical and mental journeys that go beyond the ordinary and bring out the extraordinary. By bringing together world-class yoga teachers with transformative cultural experiences, Sunny Side Up caters to a growing audience of wellness travelers that seek more than just yoga in their retreats and look for discovery and exploration.

Launched in February of 2018, Sunny Side Up crafts their wellness retreats based on a curated immersion into Moroccan culture. Whether it’s a boutique jazz festival in Tangiers or an artist-led graffiti workshop in Marrakech, the trips unveil the vibrant life and cultural fabric of Morocco through a different lens, while also allowing travelers to deepen and strengthen their yoga practice and disciplines. The team behind Sunny Side Up has been deeply involved with travel in Morocco since 2007 and has since developed a genuine friendship and understanding of the local community, fostering relationships with the on the ground creative forces that offer unique access to many hidden and lesser-known experiences.  Based in London, co-founders Nisma Benani and Charaf El Mansouri created Sunny Side Up to offer an authentic and purely wholesome way to experience Morocco. Nisma is a wellness warrior and certified yoga teacher and Charaf is passionate about culture which lends to a harmonious synergy of wellness and culture in all their trips.

Michael James Wong

Michael James Wong

Supported by some of the most revered wellness teachers in London, from Michael James Wong to Mona Lisa Godfrey and others, Sunny Side Up has just announced their lineup of wellness retreats starting in September of 2018 through May of 2019. Below is the just released schedule for 2018/2019:

Hotel Le Mirage · Tangiers, Morocco

Hotel Le Mirage · Tangiers, Morocco

Jazz x Yoga w/ Christian Coelho (September 19th – 23rd, 2018, Tangiers)

Joining from Rio de Janeiro, Christian Coelho will be leading this music-themed yoga adventure to the mystical town of Tangiers, its intimate jazz festival and its historic medina. Prepare for an unforgettable experience where the Atlantic Ocean meets the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Pricing: £1320 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1720 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 4 nights at Le Mirage hotel, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Tangiers Int’l Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, Tanjazz Festival (Friday night), immersive medina tour in Old-Town, night out in the Casbah, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit

Sufi Gnawa x Yoga with Christian Coelho (September 25th – 29th, 2018, Essaouira)

Brazil-based Christian Coelho will be leading this music-themed yoga adventure to the stunning Riad Baoussala on the outskirts of Essaouira, an ancient port town and home of the spiritual sufi Gnawa music.

  • Pricing: £1020 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room; shared twin room); £1210 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room; shared suite); £1490 private room
  • Includes 4 nights at Riad Baoussala, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Essaouira Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, hike down to a desert beach on the Atlantic Ocean, Tour of Historic Essaouira, Intro to Sufi-based Gnawa Music, 3 breakfasts, 3 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit

Art x Yoga with Mona Lisa Godfrey (November 17th – 21st, 2018, Marrakech)

Deepen your practice with Mona Lisa Godfrey in the magical city of Marrakech, one of Africa’s most creative cultural hubs. Meet some of the most creative local minds, practice yoga in beautiful settings, and unwind in the beautiful setting of our boutique hotel, The Source.

  • Pricing: Standard Room – £1120 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1420 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Suite – £1270 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1620 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Extra Large Suite – £1420 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1820 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 4 nights at La Source Hotel, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, meet the creatives leading the Marrakech art scene, Pottery Workshop with Bouchra Boudoua, exclusive immersion into a private artist residence, 4 breakfasts, 3 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), Sunday dinner not included, 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit

Hiking x Yoga with Mona Lisa Godfrey (November 21st – 25th, 2018, Atlas Mountains)

From the breathtaking heights and sights of the Kasbah Bab Ourika, join Sunny Side Up for this very special yoga adventure led by Mona Lisa Godfrey to the heart of Morocco’s ancient Berber culture for an inspiring 4 nights of yoga, hiking, and meditation.

  • Pricing: Standard Room – £1260 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1710 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Suite – £1340 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1850 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room); Extra Large Suite – £1410 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £2010 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 4 nights at Kasbah Bab Ourika, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, 2 hikes through the Atlas Mountains, Hammam and massage, camel ride, 4 breakfasts, 4 dinners (includes ½ bottle wine per person), 3 lunches. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit

Meditation & Yoga with Michael James Wong (May 26th – June 2nd, 2019, Marrakech & Atlas Mountains)

Join Michael James Wong in the magic of Morocco for a cultural adventure and an escape into the unknown. Start the journey with an immersion into the vibrant sights and sounds in the ancient city of Marrakech. With daily yoga classes & meditation, dive deep into the experience and have a great time doing it.

  • Pricing: £1490 per person, double occupancy (2 persons per room); £1949 per person, single occupancy (1 person per room)
  • Includes 5 nights at Kasbah Bab Ourika, 2 nights in a Marrakech Riad, all on-site transport, airport transfers from Marrakech Airport, daily yoga sessions (all levels), guided meditations, Atlas Mountain hike, Marrakech Medina hustle challenge, wholesome Moroccan cooking class, 7 breakfasts, 6 dinners, 6 lunches, water and tea for all meals. International flights are not included.
  • For specific itinerary details, visit
  • Interested travelers can reserve a spot for one of the above retreats with a small deposit of £350 which is fully refundable within 7 days. Email or visit for more information.

In an effort to give back to the local community, Sunny Side Up has partnered with Education for All (EFA) to help combat illiteracy with Moroccan women. In Morocco, 84% of women living in rural areas are illiterate. Very few girls from rural communities in Morocco get the opportunity of continuing their education after primary school. Every trip Sunny Side Up hosts funds one year of housing and education support for a girl from the Atlas Mountains. Through their partnership with Education for All (EFA), Sunny Side Up is able to provide a safe space, food and room and board close to schools, as well as tutor support to ensure all girls are able to complete their education. EFA builds and runs high-quality boarding houses for girls from 12–18. Everything is provided for free. They offer 3 nutritious meals a day, hot showers, beds, access to computers, study support via an international volunteer program and dedicated, local housemothers. The overall environment makes it easy for the girls to settle in and thrive in their studies. They see an average of 90% pass rate across all years and now have 50 EFA girls enrolled at the university.

In addition to offering set group wellness retreats, Sunny Side Up also can organize private trips and retreats for travelers. If a family getaway on the Atlantic Coast is of interest or a bachelorette party in Marrakech or a road trip to the Sahara Desert, Sunny Side Up can curate a custom-tailored trip showcasing the incredible experiences Morocco has to offer with their network including eco-lodges to the unsung heroes of Moroccan Cuisine and more. Sunny Side Up also handcrafts inspiring, hassle-free yoga retreats in Morocco. From coordinating transport and logistics, or booking activities, Sunny Side Up can handle all trip details and organize the perfect yoga retreats. From beautiful boutique hotels, off-the-beaten path experiences, authentic human interactions, and transformative experiences, Sunny Side Up can create the perfect yoga wellness retreat for yoga enthusiasts worldwide.

About Sunny Side Up

Launched in February of 2018 Sunny Side Up is the first travel company focused on wellness retreats in Morocco. By bringing together world-class yoga teachers with transformative cultural experiences, Sunny Side Up caters to a growing audience of wellness travelers that are looking for much more than just yoga in their retreats. From their headquarters in London, co-founders Nisma Benani & Charaf El Mansouri launched Sunny Side Up to offer an authentic, wholesome way to experience Morocco. They have been deeply involved in travel in Morocco since 2007 and have developed a genuine friendship and relationship with a local community of creative thinkers that offer unique access to the behind-the-scenes experiences curated by Sunny Side Up. They are supported by some of the most revered wellness teachers in London, from Michael J Wong to Mona Lisa Godfrey.

Doctor Gives Patients Veggies With Cooking Instructions

Just Saying “Eat Your Vegetables” Wasn’t Enough

Dr. Joseph Galat

Dr. Joseph Galat

Dr. Joseph Galati was talking to one of his patients about the need to put more vegetables into her diet and mentioned that cooking eggplant would probably be a good idea.  The patient had never cooked eggplant before and had no idea how to do it.

“That is when I realized that I had to do more than just tell people to eat more vegetables,” says Galati (, author of  Eating Yourself Sick: How to Stop Obesity, Fatty Liver, and Diabetes from Killing You and Your Family.  “My patients that did try to eat more vegetables would rely on only one or two kinds and they got bored with it so they stopped. They were unaware of the variety of vegetables available and how to prepare them.”

With more knowledge about what kinds of vegetables to select and how to cook them, Galati believed more of his patients would comply with his prescription that they eat more vegetables.

So he started the “Great American Produce Giveaway” promotion in his office.  He bought a bushel of squash, and then gave his patients a squash in a brown paper bag along with instructions on how to cook it.  Different types of vegetables were given away regularly when his patients visited his office.  It resulted in more of his patients eating a greater variety vegetables. Patients reported back that this was the jumpstart they needed to improve their nutrition and health.

“We had to give them really specific recommendations,” he says. “We have to realize that we are living in a new era of an under-educated and under-informed public when it comes to nutrition.”

Dr. Galati offers these tips on getting more vegetables into your diet:

  • Snack with veggies and fruit. Instead of chips or cookies, have healthy alternatives around the house like baby carrots and hummus, celery and peanut butter or a piece of fruit. And leave these healthy snacks in plain sight. You are more likely to snack on fruits and veggies if they are on the counter instead of tucked away in the cupboard.
  • Make soup. Homemade soups can be a great way to increase your vegetable intake.
  • New veggie of the week.Try to experiment with a new fruit or vegetable each week.  Experiment and find interesting recipes for this week’s selection.
  • Vegetable kabobs. Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.

Galati says many of his patients enjoyed learning more about vegetables and how to cook them.  He added that everybody knows they should eat more vegetables, but a surprising amount of people don’t know how to prepare those vegetables with a meal.

But, he says, with a little research on the internet or with a cookbook, preparing vegetables can be fun, tasty and easy.

About Dr. Joseph Galati

Dr. Joseph Galati ( author of  Eating Yourself Sick: How to Stop Obesity, Fatty Liver, and Diabetes from Killing You and Your Family, is a hepatologist who specializes in caring for patients with liver diseases, obesity and nutrition-related disorders based in Houston’s famed Texas Medical Center.  He is currently Medical Director of the Sherrie and Alan Conover Center for Liver Disease and Transplantation at Houston Methodist Hospital.  He attended medical school at St. George’s University of Medicine, and received further training in Internal Medicine at SUNY-Health Science Center-Brooklyn/Kings County Hospital Center.  He obtained further expertise in Liver Disease and Transplant Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center.  He has been involved in clinical research in liver disease for more than 30 years.  Since 2003, Dr. Galati has hosted “Your Health First,” a one-hour radio program each weekend on iHeart Radio’s 740 am KTRH, and streamed globally on the iHeart app.