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« To Improve Your Brain and Sharpen Your Memory - Try Blueberry Juice Twice a Day and Start Learning Something New | Main | Sundays with Judy Collins. A Couple of Movies, Some Exercise, Some Music, Cooking Sunday Supper, and Maybe a Little TV »

February 20, 2010


Ellen MacDonald

Dear Librarian,
Thank you so much for your information. Your posts are truly inspirational, very informative and helpful. Loved the music links, now drinking cocoa with cinnamon and cayenne and trying to walk more every day. Please keep it up!



Dear Libriarian,

Thank you so much for your informative posts. I smile everytime I see your posts in my inbox. I recommend your blog as often as I can. You have made a difference in my life and the lives of many others since I share your information with many people.

Please keep writing. You are truly helping people.

Gratefully yours,


Trying hard in Vermont

Dear HHLL,
You are quite amazing!I am a true devotee and plan on reading backwards through all your postings since the beginning. Today's post was chock full of the most helpful information. I truly appreciate how clearly you filter the research so we can all understand and benefit from it. The one thing I'd like to add is a breathing/stress relief exercise I learned long ago from Dr. Andrew Weil. When I feel anxious or if I can't fall asleep, I always find great success with his technique called 4-7-8:
it's the second exercise listed here. I plan on reading this current post again and checking my GI foods! Thanks again for all your dedicated work and your sharing!

Claudia Kay

You are a Godsend!
I think I had seen an intelligent comment you made on a NY Times article, and that is how I discovered you. I signed up for your e-mail, and never got anything. And now this wonderful, humorous, inspiring article.
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
I haven't digested the article, yet -- just a quick look through. But I take exception to your final comment: "And that's enough for now!" Can there ever be enough when one's health and life are at risk? Maybe say: "And I'll count my blessings when I go to sleep."
Again, thank you, thank you, thank you!


Love this piece (and this blog)!
I did notice that in Dr. Ludwig's editorial, he included oats in the high insulin response group along with wheat and potatoes, yet you mention it in with the low GI foods like quinoa and beans - am I missing something? I did think oats were fairly high in the GI Index ...


barbie friedman

I'm day by day implementing a bit more of healthy eating into my diet. You've mentioned the last several weeks about the value of 70% cocoa, and I'd like to be able to add some to my TJ's non-fat Greek Yogurt- it would be easiest to just add in the cocoa powder- But is there 70% cocoa powder? I seem only to be finding it in bar form-
Thanks for the awesome information you send out way!

The Healthy Librarian


Here's the thing--I left out the detail about "oatmeal" bread because it was confusing--but good detective work--you tracked it down.

Processed oatmeal bread is high-glycemic, just as is instant oatmeal.

Anything 55 and under is low-glycemic.

Unprocessed oats are low-glycemic. Steel cut oats (my personal favorite) are rated as 42. Rolled oats (the kind you have to cook) are rated at 50.

Hope this clears things up.

The Healthy Librarian

Hi Barbie,

You definitely want to use cocoa powder--it's 100%, no added sugar or cocoa butter. You want to be sure that the label says "natural" and that it is NOT Dutched, or uses alkali--which is used to get rid of the bitter taste.

The richest tasting--and the most expensive cocoa is from Scharffen Berger. Next comes Ghiradelli, and then Hershey's Natural unsweetened. There are probably other fancy brands, but I haven't seen or tasted them. The ingredients on the label should only list cocoa.

The best part of using cocoa is that the calories are low, because there is no fat.

I prefer Pacific Hazelnut milk to almond milk for hot cocoa--but try the yoghurt mix.

Here's the super high ORAC antioxidant rating of unsweetened undutched cocoa:

It has an impressive ORAC score of 80933 per 100 grams or 3.5 ounces. That works out to about 23,124 per ounce (28g) or 3854 per tablespoon. Compare that to an orange at 1,819

Hope this helps.

The Healthy Librarian

Thank you everyone for your very very kind words and wonderful feedback! It always makes my day and is so appreciated!

Vermonter--thanks for the Dr. Weil 4-7-8 breathing exercise link. It's an excellent instruction, and I recommend folks check it out. I've done this occasionally in yoga classes and it's so relaxing. Great idea to try it when it's hard to sleep.


You are right! And I really do count my blessings, daily!!! Sorry if I sound cavalier.

Cynthia Bailey MD

I found you through the New York Times' Well Blog where you posted a very thoughtful and information rich comment. Your blog has the same qualities. Wow, this post is right on the money and very solidly backed up by science. You've put together the puzzle pieces for exercise, belly fat, diet, stress reduction and overall health in one excellent post. Your hitting all the points that I've found to be true in my own experience, and you've explained them in a way that's accessible to lay readers using expert sources. Well done!
Cynthia Bailey MD


Love it too as so many readers before as it sums up quite scientific evidence is a quite easy package and really inspires to take on some of the ideas in your daily routine.



As always, I am blown away by the quality of the writing and the distillation of concentrated information. What a fantastic post--so useful and so well researched! I'd need a thesaurus to tell you how much I enjoy your blog. Thank you so much for what you do! It really is appreciated.

The Healthy Librarian


WOW is all I can say! You really know how to make a librarian feel good! You've made my day.

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