Tag - michelle aslan

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde
Life’s Purpose
Cling To Your Life’s Purpose
Inner Integrity
Energy Distribution
Sourdough workshop at Sprouts, UBC
Sourdough Goodies Workshop at Simon Fraser University
Imagination and Education
High octane Go-Juice

Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde

The very idea that alcohol and wine could possibly be a healthy influence on the body in any way, shape or form, is ludicrous. Alcohol is a poison, and it is a simple, undeniable scientific fact. It has the potential to destroy lives and damage health to an extreme degree, and it does so regularly. It doesn’t matter in the slightest if the alcoholic beverage is made of grapes, peaches, barley, potatoes (vodka), palm fruit, or cactus (tequila), the fact remains that it will seriously and dramatically harm the human body. Alcohol causes immediate and drastic mal absorption of essential vitamins and minerals. Causing direct malfunctioning of the liver, and an overload of fatty deposits.

Alcohol circulates through the body as quickly as water does, because it has the ability to pass through cellular walls and membranes. For this reason, the body has no recourse against it and cannot isolate it or restrict exposure once it has been consumed. It damages every organ and system it comes into contact with. Alcohol abnormally skews brain function, as the brain cannot prevent it from crossing the blood/brain barrier, unlike with most drugs and chemicals.

Unlike alcohol, wine is a beverage that holds a very special place in society and in the mainstream health movement.  No consensus seems to exist as to whether or not it bestows vitality, or destroys it, but a strong movement is underway to paint a picture of wine as a friendly assistant in maintaining health and long life. A devious and misleading tactic that has been heavily utilized to hype up the supposed benefits of wine is to isolate some compound or substance in the beverage that has known cancer or heart-protective properties. For example, wine has been touted as an “anti-cancer” drink because it contains resveratrol, an anti-inflammatory, heart-healthy substance. Conveniently, what is neglected and not mentioned is that one would need to drink a thousand bottles of wine to obtain a dosage sufficient to impact cancer or the heart in any positive way. Well, anyone drinking a thousand bottles of wine to prevent cancer will probably succeed, since they’ll be dead long before cancer has time to develop. The fact that wine is made from grapes and contains traces of grape skin, and grape anti-oxidants, and grape vitamins really has absolutely nothing to do with the issue, and does nothing to make wine a health food anymore than adding lettuce to lard or parsley to paint thinner would make lard or paint thinner a health food or detract from the negative impact that lard or paint thinner has on one’s health.

While it is true that alcohol can temporarily force the blood vessels to widen (due to the toxic and deadly influence of the poison), it seems not to have occurred to the “pro-wine” crowd that part of the reason wine drinkers don’t seem to have heart attacks and strokes as often as non-wine drinkers is because people who drink alcohol tend to die earlier, of other ailments. Alcohol, including wine, has destroyed more lives and families than any other single substance combined. Is it worth drinking even one glass of wine per day to prevent stroke or heart disease, and yet increase ones risk of high-blood pressure, suicide, accident, liver disease, infertility, stomach infection, ulcers, pancreatic infection and inflammation, dementia, esophageal diseases, mouth, breast, throat, and intestinal cancer, and schizophrenia. For the true information seeker, the propaganda gives pause for thought, and isn’t so easily swallowed. Unfortunately, the media blitz promoting wine as a hero in the fight against disease makes it difficult to determine the truth, and is allowing millions to excuse and justify their daily consumption of an unadulterated poison.

Like Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, wine is on the one hand lauded for bestowing amazing benefits on the consumer and touted as possessing the remarkable ability to aid in the prevention of heart attacks and strokes, two of the leading causes of death in western society. Even one glass of wine impairs mental and physical ability. On the other hand there are murmurs of dissent, and quiet misgivings to the effect that perhaps wine contains alcohol and is capable of the same impairment, destruction and damage as any type of alcoholic beverage. These quiet misgivings should be loud and uncompromising.

Common sense should take the lead in helping to determine the truth. The hype about the supposed health benefits of wine is nothing but the last dying gasp of desperation, and the manifestation of a sick society, hoping beyond hope that the precious illusion can be salvaged: that a substance that causes drunkenness, sickness, and death can somehow be justified. The addictive nature of wine and alcohol is directly responsible for the hype, as individuals nearly always seek to justify their addictions by re-imagining them as agents of good.

To give the readers some perspective, based on a standard drinks served in North America below are some facts:

  • Five ounces of wine with 12% alcohol by volume contains 0.6 ounces of alcohol
  • Five ounces of spirits with 40% alcohol by volume contains 0.6 alcohol
  • Twelve ounces of beer with 5% alcohol by volume contains 0.6 ounces of alcohol.

When one has a blood alcohol concentration of .05% one should not be driving and a person is considered criminally negligent when their blood alcohol level is at .08%. Someone imbibing in alcohol regularly whose blood level is about .30% can loose consciousness and .40% alcohol blood level could induce a coma or may cause die.

When viewed in the context of the above information, the very idea that alcohol or wine could possibly be a healthy influence in any way, shape or form, becomes ludicrous. It is clearly a disease promoting, health destroying substance, to be avoided by anyone desiring long life and productivity throughout their years. Common sense should make it clear that any substance that impairs ability in any way, in even the smallest dose, cannot possibly be building health or vitality.


“Moderate Alcohol Intake and Cancer Incidence in Woman”. “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” Retrieved Jan 28th, 2018.

“Alcohol Consumption May Increase Pancreatic Cancer Risk”.  “Medicalnewstoday.com” Retrieved Jan 28th, 2018.

“Can alcohol be good for you?” Cancer Research UK.

Marc; Kleber, Herbert D. (1 July 2008). The American Psychiatric Publishing Textbook of Substance Abuse Treatment (4th ed.). United States of America: American Psychiatric Publishing Inc. p. 114. ISBN 978-1585622764

Driving While Affected by Drugs or Alcohol, Retrieved Jan 28th, 2018 from, https://www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/transportation/driving-and-cycling/road-safety-rules-and-consequences/drug-alcohol

Lindsay B., Vancouver Sun, “B.C. expands mandatory Serving It Right liquor-handling program to include — just about everyone”, Retrieved Jan 28th, 2018 from http://www.vancouversun.com/expands+mandatory+serving+right+liquor+handling+program+include+just+about+everyone/10673678/story.html

Serve It Right, Retrieved Jan 28th, 2018 from, https://www.servingitright.com


Life’s Purpose

That which we avoid, stops us from living our life’s purpose. The challenges in our lives are building blocks, that strengthen us to be better, stronger and force us to tap in to our hidden potential in a way that we have never done before. My biggest breakthroughs came about when I stopped avoiding the path I had to take.


Our emotions never lie. They give us an indication of what is truly going on inside. When one does not pay attention to their emotions, the body takes over, and one gets sick and the mind seeks for ways to escape the “what is”. When one truly experiences the “what is”, they will discover their hidden potential. It takes commitment, effort and time to look inwards. One has to plough through millions of years of conditioning. Taking action on a consistent basis, with regular course correction is an absolute must! to achieving one’s life purpose.

Cling To Your Life’s Purpose

Your passion feeds your resolution when obstacles are in your way. Use your challenges as a jumping point to strengthen your resolve, to get you one step closer to your life’s purpose.

Inner Integrity

If one thinks that their assets are what they have in their bank account and the house they own, they have truly devalued themselves. Your inner integrity is the most valuable asset you have. If you can be honest with yourself and take a good look inside, you will see that you can make do with out your assets, but you cannot thrive without inner integrity.

Energy Distribution

Everyday when we wake up in the morning, we go through an energy distribution phase where we make a decision, consciously or unconsciously on what we are going to focus on. Empowering habits lead to a successful life. Whereas, disempowering habits lead us to mediocrity in every aspect of life.

Sourdough workshop at Sprouts, UBC

I am excited that I have been invited to teach a cultured sourdough workshop by Sprouts cafe at University of British Columbia on March 30th.  In this workshop graduate students at UBC  will discover how to make healthy sourdough bread without using any baking soda, baking powder, commercial yeast or corn starch.  Most baked goods that are produced commercially are not health sustaining long term. As they contain too much sugar, butter, and undigestible flour. Sourdough baking is a delicious, sugar and dairy free alternative, that not only tastes good but is easy to digest.

The amazing thing about cultured sourdough baking is that the carbohydrates are pre-digested during the process of culturing and the nutrients are made more bio-available. The lactic acid in sourdough slows down the rate at which glucose is released in the blood stream. And also lowers the cultured baked good’s glycemic index.

Cultured Sourdough Baking Workshop
Sprouts UBC
March 30th, 2017
2:30 pm to 6:30 pm

Sourdough Goodies Workshop at Simon Fraser University

I am very excited to be teaching a “Sourdough Goodies” workshop through the Graduate Students Society, for grad students at Simon Fraser University.

In this workshop students will discover how to use sourdough starter to transform conventional pastries into more nutritious sourdough treats that taste delicious and will make one feel great. Sourdough cookies, pies, cakes and loaves become more bio-available through fermentation.

During the workshop students will sample various sourdough pastries, see a presentation on sourdough goodies and receive a demo on making a sourdough piecrust, cakes and cookies.


Imagination and Education

I have been invited to speak and facilitate a workshop at the 10TH International Conference on Imagination and Education on July 2nd to July 4th, at Simon Fraser University, downtown campus. The workshop I am facilitating is on how to go from Stuck to Unstoppable in Education. In this workshop conference participants will discover how to:

  • build a growth mindset culture in classrooms
  • change student’s thinking about success and performance to manifest positive change
  • collapse disempowering behaviors and habits to improve a student’s productivity and enhance their performance 

High octane Go-Juice

Coffee plays a large and extremely powerful role in the lives of millions of people. It is a comfort and a ritual in the morning for legions of workers, and its vast collection of affectionate nicknames is a testament to the favorable eye and fond heart with which it is viewed. From the simple but familiar sounding “cup of Joe”, to the more exotic and dramatic “morning thunder” or “liquid gold”, and even the more accurate “jitter juice”, it is clear that in the minds of the majority, coffee is an elixir and potion capable of injecting a certain desirable emotion and power into life that would otherwise be lacking. Unfortunately, this beverage brings with it serious and long lasting destructive effects on the human brain and body, often unexpectedly and without warning.

The tragedy is that coffee’s dark side is unknown to most. Strenuous educational campaigns have been mounted against alcohol, tobacco, and illegal drugs like cocaine. But coffee seems to have slipped through the cracks unnoticed, where it can work its insidious damage in plain view, undetected. Unlike other “recreational” drugs (and make no mistake about it, coffee is a drug), where use decreases with age, when it comes to coffee, the older a person gets the more likely they are to identify themselves as a coffee drinker. By the age of 18, 30% of Americans consume some type of coffee beverage on a daily basis. By the age of 50, the number has doubled to at least 60%. Some studies indicate that consumption among senior citizens may be as high as 75%. The fact that older people drink even more coffee than younger people dispels the popular myth that people drink coffee just to function at work or in school, or to party all through the night.

So why and how has this toxic, destructive, caffeine laden beverage crept into the very fabric of society? How has it embedded itself thoroughly and seemingly irrevocably into the framework of interaction, of work, play, and amusement?

The answer is deceptively simple: coffee offers the sweet and seductive temptation of something-for-nothing, with beautiful promises to endow the user with almost supernatural powers of charm, endurance, vitality, and intelligence: Feeling down? Drink some coffee! Still feeling down? Drink some more coffee! Didn’t get enough sleep last night? Well, have a cup of liquid lightning! Conversation stalling over the dinner party with the Jones? Who’d like a cup of coffee? All better? Great! What’s that you say? You need to pull an all-nighter because there’s a big presentation tomorrow? Don’t worry, have a cup of brain-brew! You’ll do just fine! Make it extra strong! High octane Go-Juice is what we need!

All of which is fine and even miraculous until the day the headaches and nausea start to kick in, which is the signal to “up the dose”. Try 4 cups instead of 2 and the problem might go away. For a little while.

When the inability to sleep, combined with the cardiac arrhythmia gets to be too much, it might be time to move up to 6 or 7 cups a day. If the acid reflux and heartburn persist, try 12 cups. If your bones start crumbling due to osteoporosis, well, no amount of coffee in the world is going to fix that. Caffeine, after all, requires a tremendous amount of calcium to neutralize. And the anxiety, the irritability, the diarrhea, the dizziness, the high blood pressure, the high cholesterol, the nutritional deficiencies, the tremors, the pounding heart and the depression? Well, you can’t have super-human vitality without a little inconvenience, after all!

All sarcasm aside, the simple fact of the matter is that the primary active ingredient in coffee, caffeine, is a powerful and degrading substance. This stimulant triggers the release of adrenalin, the “fight-or-flight” chemical responsible for ensuring that the strength and energy necessary to survive an extreme encounter with a wild animal or dangerous situation will be there when it is most needed. In this context, adrenalin makes sense, and will preserve life.

With coffee, however, the adrenalin induced “fight-or-flight” response is being triggered each and every day, week after week, and year after year. No organism can withstand that form of stress without reaping the consequences of such traumatic conditions. Imagine, for a moment, a human being who was forced to encounter and endure an ambush and fight with a dangerous wild animal every single day of their life, several times a day, struggling for their very survival. Would that human being grow up to be healthy and strong, living to a ripe old age in good health?

Absolutely not. Over the course of the years, their physiology would be worn down from the constant strain and fear, and their organs would begin to break down from the constant onslaught of the toxic chemical cocktail produced by an organism in severe mental, physical, and emotional trauma. They would die an early death, robbed of decades of life and happiness.

Every cup of coffee stimulates the exact same condition in the human body as what has just been described. As the body detects the presence of caffeine invading and breaching the brain/blood barrier, it reacts by triggering an emergency response. The heart beats faster, the lungs work harder, and the blood vessels leading to the brain become narrowed in an attempt to channel the dangerous substance out of the body as quickly as possible. For it must be unequivocally stated: caffeine is an absolute, unadulterated poison. Just 10 grams of caffeine accumulated in the bloodstream would result in immediate death. Caffeine injected directly into the muscles results in sudden and severe paralysis.

Fortunately, the human body is so remarkable and resilient that it calls the kidneys and liver into action to strenuously prevent any accumulation of this concentrated deadly substance. But the result is a nation and world of human beings whose very organs and nervous systems are being worn down by the stress of life-and-death battle taking place inside the body as it struggles mightily to preserve itself. Eventually, of course, it becomes too much. Not only are the liver and kidneys worn down and devitalized, but the very linings of the bladder and stomach become too damaged to resist ulceration and cancer. Blood pressure becomes chronically elevated, and diabetes sets in as the body no longer retains the vitality to regulate normal metabolism.

In this context, it becomes clear why consumption of coffee increases with age. Robbed of the natural health, energy, and vitality that are the birthright of all beings, people turn to coffee in the hopes that it will provide what they desperately know they are lacking. As the body becomes more and more damaged, numbed, and destroyed by the toxic influence of caffeine, the individual needs ever larger and larger doses in order to stimulate any sort of favorable response.

The adrenal glands eventually are so over-stimulated that the coffee drinker needs to intake massive quantities of caffeine just to feel “normal.” Bowel movements even began to become dependent on the stimulation of caffeine, as the intestines themselves fall prey to the fatigue and stress of constant stimulation. At this point, a vicious cycle is the order of the day, as the very poison responsible for the havoc and destruction is applied as the cure.

Is there a way out of this tragic situation? Can human beings enjoy steady energy, productive work, stimulating conversation, motivating activity, and physical well-being without this veritable cocktail of destruction? The answer is yes, absolutely and with certainty. But it requires an attitude of maturity, and a realization that it is only in the world of fairy tales, con men, and real estate seminars that the promise of “something-for-nothing” is presented as a serious option. In the real world, vitality and personal power, wealth, and health are accumulated through simple but regular and consistent, cause-and-effect actions, not through quick-fix potions and concoctions.

By applying the principles of a healthy lifestyle, and by scheduling life in such a way that adequate fresh food, exercise, and rest are not neglected, energy and long life can be mutually compatible. Literally years and even decades of life can be preserved and enjoyed by embracing and listening to the body’s messages and requests, and by refusing to succumb to the siren-song of coffee and the artificial stimulation that is its attendant nurse, bringing liquid disease and death.

Michelle Aslan



Allen, Stewart Lee (1999). The devil’s cup : coffee, the driving force in history. Soho: Random House. ISBN 156947174.

Lovett, Richard (24 September 2005).  “Coffee: The demon drink”. New Scientist (2518). Retrieved 2009-03-2010.

Bolton, Ph.D., Sanford (1981). “Caffeine: Psychological Effects, Use and Abuse”. Orthomolecular Psychiatry 10 (3): 202–211.

Smith, A (2002). “Effects of caffeine on human behaviour” Food and Chemical Toxicology 40 (9): 1245, 1249.doi:10.1016/S0278-6915(02)00096-0.PMID 12204388.Retrieved March 14, 2010.


Copyright © 2017 Michelle Aslan.