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    115: Why The Mediterranean Diet Is So Good For You w/ Dr. Steven Masley

    How does eating a diet rich in olives, fish, vegetables, and pasta sound? If you think it sounds perfect, then you’re in luck, because the Mediterranean way of eating is the best out there and perfect for weight loss. I’m joined by  Dr. Steven Masley who has researched and written about the Mediterranean diet as a way of bringing health and wellness to America.

     Or listen & subscribe for free on Apple Podcasts | Android

    Steven explains why the Mediterranean diet is so good for weight loss. One of the biggest factors is the lack of processed food and carbs, like bread. Everything is fresh and low in preservatives.

    Another reason why Europeans tend to weigh less than Americans is that their lifestyle is naturally more active than ours. Europeans, especially those living near the Mediterranean, will walk to the market every day for their fresh food. They don’t tend to have large pantries and fridges.

    Steven says that this is a reflection of the quality of the food in Europe. Pesticides and preservatives are seldom used, farmers wouldn’t dream of injecting their animals with antibiotics, and consumers expect to shop regularly for their food. Even after spending just a couple of weeks living in this environment, both Steven and I noticed positive changes to our health… that pretty much reverted within days of being back on the standard American diet.

    In this episode, Steven shares what Mediterranean food habits you can easily adopt into your diet that will improve your health. Because a lot of these foods are naturally lower in acid, you’ll start to feel better quickly. Lastly, Steven talks about what relationships, sex, and intimacy are like in the Mediterranean region and why people are active late into their lives.

    Do you like the light and oily food of the Mediterranean? What would you rate your overall health? Have you struggled to lose weight in the past?

    In This Episode:

    • What makes the Mediterranean diet so good for weight loss
    • How a European lifestyle is naturally more active than an American
    • What the quality of natural food in Europe is
    • How quickly dietary changes can impact your health
    • What Mediterranean food habits you should adopt in your diet
    • How a Mediterranean diet is naturally lower in acid
    • How you can maintain a healthy sex life into older age

    Subscribe to Couch Talk w/ Dr. Anna Cabeca on Youtube

    Quotes:

    “In Europe, there’s a general aversion to anything being put on their crops. They have some, like we do, that’s organic certified. But they have a ton that’s raised in an organic fashion that’s not certified.” (18:01)

    "The ingredients really do matter. I think that’s a key message, find the right ingredients that taste great, are easy to prepare, and are good for your heart, brain, and soul.” (29:18)

    “Adding a Mediterranean lifestyle, yes, it’s great for your health, but the food’s delicious. It’s the easiest thing to do. If you want to bring joy back into your household, your life, and your family, look at cooking, shopping, cooking together, and enjoying meals together. Have a leisurely time and have fun. It’s all about having fun and eating delicious food.” (34:17)


    Links

    The Mediterranean Method 

    Find Dr. Steven Masley Online

    Find Dr. Steven Masley on  Facebook |Twitter

    Join the KetoGreen Community on Facebook

    Buy The Hormone Fix

     

    Transcript

    Dr. Steven:
    Adding the Mediterranean lifestyle is, yes, it's great for your health but the food's delicious. It's the easiest thing to do. I mean, so if you want to bring joy back into your household and your life and your family, look at cooking, shopping, cooking together, enjoying meals together, have a leisurely time and have fun. It's all about having fun and eating delicious food and that just makes it so easy.

    Dr. Anna:
    Hello everyone. Welcome to Couch Talk. Dr. Anna Cabeca here with a dear friend of mine, Dr. Steven Masley. And today we're going to really go into festivities for the holidays, which makes a happy heart, happy home and the Mediterranean way of doing things. The Mediterranean Method is Dr. Masley's new book and I'm just thrilled to share it with you. I've loved everything he has done.

    Dr. Anna:
    I've known him for over a decade now, have cooked with him in his kitchen, ate at his family's table and just really, this man knows exactly what to do. And also I've worked in his clinic, I've consulted with his clients and have just seen the state-of-the-art operation he runs, light years, light years ahead of even executive-level concierge care. So Dr. Steven Masley, how are you?

    Dr. Steven:
    I'm doing great and I'm delighted to be with you.

    Dr. Anna:
    I love spending time with you and I'm looking forward to spending even more time with you this coming new year. So for our listeners that aren't familiar with you yet, first let me just say, I have been in envy as I've followed along in your blog and your story as you have sailed around the Mediterranean. So maybe let's start with that, then we'll get into your professional transitions later.

    Dr. Steven:
    Well, that was pretty amazing. I mean some days I literally had to pinch myself to realize I was getting to do this. But I've been following an interest in the Mediterranean diet for years, but it occurred, the recent research has been so powerful for preventing heart disease, for improving cognitive function, preventing memory loss. For weight loss, rated as the US World Report best diet for weight loss. So one benefit after another, let alone, it's the diet that has the longest longevity on the planet.

    Dr. Steven:
    So I wanted to see up close, what was it that made it so special, what beyond the ingredients. So my wife and I, Nicole, who you know, we sailed from Spain all the way to Turkey along the shorelines, stopping at ports, eating, looking at the food, going to markets, being in little mom-and-pop mostly restaurants. It was awesome. Just an amazing trip. But I learned so much about here I've been studying the Mediterranean diet for probably 15, 20 years on paper but this was certainly something new to look at it up close like that, tasting the food and experiencing it at the same time.

    Dr. Anna:
    And that, of course, is near and dear to my heart. Growing up in a Mediterranean lifestyle, growing up with my Middle-Eastern mama and my Portuguese papa. Right. And so both my mother and father are, I'm first-generation American, so our table growing up was, and I didn't know anything different, which was really interesting.

    Dr. Anna:
    However, Steven, which was fascinating to me is I saw the transition between the family from my mother's side that came to the United States versus the ones that stayed living in the Mediterranean. That three out of the eight that came to the United States, well only three came to the United States out of eight brothers and sisters, but all three died in their fifties or early sixties.

    Dr. Anna:
    So what was different eating more of the American way than the Mediterranean way, was the infusion of the grains. Lots and lots of breads and high-sugary sweets and lots of baked goods, which certainly was we grew up saying, "We can drink syrup, we have such a sweet tooth." Right? And so those were things that were outside of the Mediterranean, but the classic greens and vegetables and rolled grape leaves and fresh meats and fresh fish, and that was also something that was different. We weren't getting it fresh anymore, not in small-town, suburbia Pennsylvania.

    Dr. Anna:
    And so those were some interesting findings. I was like, "Okay, well, here we have this culture that's prospered on this Mediterranean type of lifestyle. We have a genetic predisposition towards those heart disease and diabetes when the environmental conditions shift." So I could see that and how that played out in my mom's lives and in her brothers' lives that lived in the United States and that was really fascinating to me, Steven so I just want to get your input on this too.

    Dr. Steven:
    Well, and we see that in Europe now too. In the cities more and more people are shifting away from the Mediterranean diet, more towards American fast food, processed food, and their health is falling apart. Look at right now in children in Greece. Somehow the children in Greece have abandoned the Mediterranean diet. They ate more Mediterranean in Sweden than they do in Greece right now, the children at least, and they have one of the highest overweight rates on the planet right now. So their weights are skyrocketing and their health's deteriorating along with it.

    Dr. Steven:
    So doesn't matter where you are, the closer you follow a Mediterranean diet, the less heart disease, the less memory loss, the slimmer and trimmer you stay and the longer you live. So it doesn't matter if you move to the US from the Mediterranean or if you're in the Mediterranean Sea and you're giving it up. Either way, there's a huge difference in your health and your quality of life.

    Dr. Anna:
    And you know what I think is really fascinating. So this whole, the epigenetics component of it. So in our family for generations, surviving on that Mediterranean lifestyle, knew somehow, that that lifestyle will make their genes thrive. They're warrior genes, their survivor genes, plus with the religious fasting that's part of the Catholic religion and the Orthodox religion, there's many, many days of fasting. So these cultures, these habits that were like these traditions that have arisen, were to optimize their genetic potential.

    Dr. Anna:
    So the Mediterranean food with an active lifestyle, with fasting, periods of fasting these things optimize this genetic potential. It's like the native Americans. I was looking at it that way. They have warrior genes, but these genes in the wrong environment give them diabetes and heart disease. And it's very interesting with the Mediterranean style. So for first generations, Americans like myself, we have got to go back to our traditional ways of eating. We've got to really, my keto-green Mediterranean is so keto green Steven, it's so keto green. So we have to really incorporate this on a regular basis as well as the diet and lifestyle.

    Dr. Anna:
    So I want to go now we're in the holidays and the festivities of the holidays, and think about how traditionally foods and preparation and festivities up through the holidays keep us somewhat feasting but yet balance so that we maintain our heart healthiness and don't completely gain 10 pounds over Christmas. And I never eat any and all of that. Feel sluggish, feel tired, get cranky and then we don't enjoy our good family festivities.

    Dr. Steven:
    Well the Mediterranean diet in many ways, focuses on festivities, on special occasions and on food. And so there are themes I think is that they're eating local, you said, "Fresh." Lots of colorful plant foods. They don't have any deprivation. It's not like they have whole food groups. You can't eat bad or you can't have carbs. They don't really do that.

    Dr. Steven:
    They focus on meals are a joyous occasion to bring family and friends together and they live it up when they eat. So they do have holidays and they do have nice desserts and they really have fun, but it's all-around food. It's about shopping, cooking, serving and a long, leisurely meal, which is, it seems to me like in America, oftentimes the only time we live like Europeans is on our holidays because that's when we do have long, leisurely meals. We have big conversations. They do it almost every day.

    Dr. Steven:
    So they go to more extravagance over the holidays, which I think we do too. But I think we could learn a lot from not just what we eat but how we eat. And the fasting part, I just wanted to comment on that because very commonly, probably several days a week, people living on the Mediterranean, don't eat anything in the morning. They'll have partial and intermittent fast. Not just fasting for religious holidays, but I would say oftentimes they'll just have a black coffee in the morning. They don't have anything until lunch.

    Dr. Steven:
    So basically they didn't need anything from 9 or 10 o'clock at night. Well, if you're in Spain, maybe they ate at 11 o'clock but they don't eat anything until noon or 1 o'clock the next day. So they will several days a week add in a partial, intermittent pass. I think that's, it's interesting when you bring that up that it is part of their culture, and I think it's a really healthy idea.

    Dr. Anna:
    I agree with you. I agree with you. It's essential. And so Steven, what did you notice about the oldest of the old populations that you saw? How are they living out compared to ... compare and contrast elderly along your journey in the Mediterranean, a lot of the coastal communities, to your coastal community in the United States? Steven's in St Petersburg, so St. Petersburg, Florida. So compare and contrast the elderly.

    Dr. Steven:
    Well, they're much more active. I mean they walk to go shopping almost every day. I mean Nicole and I had one of these little carts that we would pull behind, as the little thing that you could put a day or two's worth of shopping in. But almost every day you see little old ladies and little old men out shopping at the market and bringing home and eating fresh, what they got. We're much more likely to drive and buy food for the week or the month and load up the car.

    Dr. Steven:
    And so, I mean that's a huge difference .You are forced to walk up and downstairs and all sorts of things all the time. In the train station if you can't do stairs, oftentimes you're not going to make it. So they have a guaranteed fitness level that you have to stay active and they don't give you a break and they don't have elevators all over the place. So they're much more active.

    Dr. Steven:
    They still cook and when I see them and they're still out in restaurants, but when they do it's usually with family, it's joyous. One thing I don't see is no one's eating and having their smartphone up in front of them. They don't text each other at the table. That's a younger generation thing. So you look at the kids and they may be very well texting but even there, I don't see them texting while they're eating. There's certain social things that you don't snack in Europe very much at all. When you do eat, you sit at a table with other people and there's no screen time. You don't watch TV, you're not on the computer, you're not on the phone when you're eating and I think we could learn a lot from that.

    Dr. Anna:
    Oh, I agree with you. You're bringing up very good points. When I traveled wow, 2006, 2007 we took that year off healing journey around the world and Amanda and Amira were small. They were six and nine turning seven and ten during that time, so this is a decade or so ago. But one thing I noticed, we stayed in, we did some home exchanges. Some people came to stay in our house and we stayed at others.

    Dr. Anna:
    So the points you brought up are true in this European community. We stayed in a Dutch home. They were a family of six, four teenagers, all athletes. Six feet tall athletes, four teenagers, mom, and dad so a family of six. And seriously, their fridge was like our beverage fridge. The size of their fridge was like our beverage fridge.

    Dr. Anna:
    And I was like, "Whoa. What do you do?" And they said, "Yeah. We go ride the bikes down the street to the market every day and get what's fresh and we store a couple of things here." And they showed me a little cupboard, basically, a small drawer that had some dried goods, but everything else was fresh. And then, of course, I asked the very silly question. I said, "Well then you ride your bike there every day to the market?" And she's like, "Yes." And I'm like, "Well, what do you do when it rains?" And she's like, "We get wet."

    Dr. Steven:
    And wear a raincoat.

    Dr. Anna:
    We get wet. And then I learned the Dutch expression, "No such thing as bad weather, only bad clothes." Only bad clothes, so I try to remind myself that. And then there was another thing, Steven too, on our journey. In the South of France we did another home exchange to an area in Marseille in the South of France near Toulouse so a village. And we stayed in this beautiful, old, old house maybe 4 or 500 years old and walked around and fresh markets and fresh. Oh, I mean it just was incredible.

    Dr. Anna:
    But the point was, so here I have these two kids. We're American. We're traveling and we go into the cafe at 2 o'clock. Sit down. We just are through this long journey coming to the cafe and they're like, "Well we can give you something to drink, but no food. I'm like, "What? No food?" "Between 2:00 and 7:00. No, no one's going to feed you between 2:00 and 7:00.

    Dr. Steven:
    Yes.

    Dr. Anna:
    I missed the feeding.

    Dr. Steven:
    Every country has a different time.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. And I thought that was fascinating. You want to, you can't eat. You're going out. You can't eat in the middle of the day. It's not 24-hour free access to food. And so that was like, "Huh, this is a French secret that I wasn't aware of. You can have a cafe, you can have sparkling water or something, a glass of wine maybe, but you're not getting food."

    Dr. Steven:
    Well, and when I would offer someone on our boat a snack, they would not accept. I would be testing a recipe and make something. I'd be like, "You want to try it?" Well, they looked at me strangely and doesn't matter if it's Spain or Italy or Greece, if it's not mealtime where they're going to sit down and have a whole meal, they're not going to have just a bite, a snack, something like that. They don't. It's not part of their culture. It's taboo.

    Dr. Anna:
    Wow. What was one of the most surprising things that you discovered on your journey?

    Dr. Steven:
    When I started off, Spain was the third longest-lived population in the world, now they're the longest. And from watching that, we probably spent almost two to three months sailing around Northern Spain, Southern Spain, up the East Coast in the Mediterranean and just looking at their culture. They're joyous. They're relaxed. They have access to good healthcare. Everybody has healthcare, but they really do follow a Mediterranean diet. They really, they eat lots of vegetables, fruit, beans, and nuts, that is the staple.

    Dr. Steven:
    They help some protein, and it's clean protein. It's not like ours. They drink red wine and they eat fruit for dessert. I mean oftentimes you don't even order dessert there. You get a piece of fruit at the end of your meal and it's free. It's like that comes with lunch or dinner for them to give you a slice of watermelon or a sliced apple or pear or something afterward. That's just part of the meal. I don't think we think of it quite that.

    Dr. Steven:
    So it was definitely the ingredients. The ingredients are fantastic. They're local, they're fresh and their food is clearly less expensive. Processed food is expensive, but when you look at fruit and vegetables in the market, we would just fill up a bag, a backpack that we would carry on our bicycles or something and it hardly cost anything and the quality was amazing. It was delicious. I mean everything. It was just, I was floored to some degree at what because they insist on it. They demand fresh, local, delicious food or they won't buy it. They're very picky and very selective.

    Dr. Steven:
    Traveling around, those were some of the really the keys and how they shop and the ingredients they have available and the stuff we sell here, they wouldn't buy oftentimes. So we should be pickier as to what we ... I really think we need to get more picky about what we buy at the store and what we're willing to accept.

    Dr. Anna:
    And the frequency, right? The frequency of how often we're shopping fresh local fairs and things like that. And tell me about the whole glyphosate issue. Is there GMOs? What is the environment around that?

    Dr. Steven:
    They're still using, but there's an aversion to it. Here there's an acceptance like it's just normal and the FDA says, "It's safe," so we have to, we're supposed to trust them, which I don't but in Europe, there's a general aversion to anything being put on their crops. So they have some like we do, organically certified, but they have a ton of food that was raised in an organic fashion and it's not certified, but they never received any pesticides or herbicides at all. So it's much cleaner.

    Dr. Steven:
    And they wouldn't even dream of giving hormones to cows to increase dairy production or to animals to fatten them up. I think they would literally lynch a farmer for doing something like that locally if they found out. They're much more pristine about their environment and what's in their food and if there's chemicals or not. They take it far more serious. We could learn a lot from that, being selective and insisting. I mean, here are the only way to do it is to buy mostly organic, which I'm much more likely to do now when I'm back home again.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. And you'll probably feel a difference if shopping nonorganic just doesn't sit as well probably with your physiology at this point too. Steven, this reminds me too, another interesting observation I made too, as we traveled around the world was milk, right? I mean I don't remember anyone, milk was not a staple. Cereal for breakfast was not ... The only place that we had that was in Australia.

    Dr. Anna:
    But what I noticed, which was very interesting because I was thinking about that this morning. I mean really milk became a food for starvation issues, right? What other species drinks another species milk? I see the cheeses and the fermented cheeses and I saw a lot about that but did you see anything with the milk, anything struck at?

    Dr. Steven:
    No, I didn't. I hardly saw milk served at all, but I saw a lot of yogurts and most of their yogurt is plain basically, or plain organic yogurt. So instead of all of these sugar and sweeteners, I always see it in my patients. Which has more sugar, ice cream or yogurts with fruit in it? And they're usually shocked to hear that yogurt with fruit in it has more sugar in it than ice cream does.

    Dr. Steven:
    That's really different. Most of the yogurt there is plain and people eat plain yogurt, it's the staple. So of the dairy they have, it's a fermented form. It's got a nice probiotic in it and it's good for your gut. So no, I really saw very little milk consumption. Maybe an occasional latte or cafe au lait but much more likely that they drink their coffee, it's black, it's espresso, so it's no milk added.

    Dr. Steven:
    I did see quite a bit of cheese, but the portion of cheese, it's a little bit graded or it's a couple of little crumbles or it's one little small piece after a meal and it's not what we have here for cheese, which comes in plastic. There it's oftentimes raw. Again, it's probiotic-rich and it's a small portion that they have. So they do have dairy but yeah, it's probiotic-rich.

    Dr. Anna:
    What was fascinating to me when we came back from the trip, Mira at that point was 10, and prior to leaving she'd have a lot of ear infections and asthmatic symptoms. Actually, I remember her having an asthma attack as we were heading out on our trip. And so when the rest of the journey she didn't. She wasn't, no congestion, none of my kids, none of us got sick at all. We came back and we were back one week and she had an ear infection, tonsils were swollen and angry, having difficulty breathing again and the difference was she was eating cereal with milk again. Cereal with milk, so the mucus increased. Mucus production for her it's certainly a food sensitivity, but how fascinating just to see that quick shift. Just a quick shift from one dietary change.

    Dr. Anna:
    Is there something, okay, every one of us really needs to do this. I would think to myself, okay, what's the first thing that comes to my mind when I want everyone to do one healthier thing and it's like eating more fresh olives. Not black olives. Eat more olives like Mediterranean olives and olive oil. That would be I think we need more olives and olive oil, oleic acid and the benefits of that. That would be my holiday staple on the table this Christmas. Beautiful, fresh Mediterranean Kalamata olives or Greek olives, Spanish olives, and olive oil. What about you?

    Dr. Steven:
    I really liked the olives because that's the most popular common appetizer we ever saw. And oftentimes they would give us, you might even get olives for free before a meal because again, just like you have a piece of fruit at the end of the meal, you might start your meal. So there'd be a little bowl with some mixture of green and black olives and they weren't pitted. They were pitted olives so they had more flavor. So I liked that and obviously I like cooking with olive oil.

    Dr. Steven:
    For me, it would be that you need a big portion of vegetables at every meal and to me, that was really the theme. And oftentimes you have to order as a side dish, so it doesn't even come with it, but everywhere you look, people almost always order a big vegetable side dish, whether it's broccoli or Swiss chard, green beans, spinach, it's the varieties endless.

    Dr. Steven:
    And usually, it's cooked with olive oil, a little salt, and pepper, a sprinkle of some herbs like thyme or fresh rosemary or something that, and then maybe a little lemon rind and lemon juice at the end. So over and over they have that combination. That's one of my favorite side dishes is some vegetables like that, that you saute at low heat with olive oil, garlic, some Italian, French herbs and some lemon at the end. I mean that is the hallmark to me and it's a big portion, it's a big part of your plate. So I think that would be number one. For me, that's number one.

    Dr. Anna:
    Okay. Right. I want to change or just tie my number one with some good red wine. Let me just tie that too. Hold on. I'm good. Okay Steven, so I have a question. So do you know that's a very alkalinizing diet? That's a very keto alkaline diet. Were you checking your urine pH? Did you see if anything made it more, less or any-

    Dr. Steven:
    Honestly, I didn't bother because three-fourths of what we ate were vegetable, fruit, beans, and nuts. And there are big vegetable portions and the meat portions, they do eat meat, they'll have seafood most often or some poultry. Rarely any red meat but the portion size is small. We're talking three, four ounces would be the portion size. And the other thing that you know is acidic besides meat would be grains and there weren't very many grains.

    Dr. Steven:
    And I mean in some places they're still offering bread but usually Nicole and I, we'd just pass on, we would aim most of the time to pass on the bread. And if you did get a grain dish, which they do serve, it's again a little tiny portion, a big portion of vegetables and a little portion of grains. So the only thing with acid in it is usually a small occasional portion and the alkaline foods are big and abundant at every meal. So I would say if you're following the Mediterranean diet, it's far less. You could check out of curiosity. I think you would just be curious to see what it is.

    Dr. Anna:
    Yeah. Yeah, definitely.

    Dr. Steven:
    It becomes far less necessary when you eat that way all the time.

    Dr. Anna:
    Plus you're very in tune with how you feel. Right? Less arthritic pains, more mobile, more energetic and memory and clarity. This is something that's interesting in our different cultures, right? Our older generations are losing their memory, increased risk of dementia and Alzheimer's. So how does that look overseas?

    Dr. Steven:
    They have places in Greece where they say people never get dementia, and in Southern Italy where it's really no one ever thinks about it. SO the foods they eat, the lifestyle they have, their memory ... We're having an epidemic of premature memory loss and decrease brain processing speed. It's far, far less common. In Europe, I'm used to seeing 80 year olds who are still active. They're out chopping every day, they're walking around, they stroll after dinner and go for a walk. The eat these long, leisurely meals with their family. Here, we're almost institutionalized from memory loss and disability by the time we get to our eighties, so the difference is striking.

    Dr. Anna:
    That is. And I just want to encourage our listeners too. In this, how you've practiced and how we've practiced, and how we've tested our clients. We've seen these markers improve with however we're feeling, however, your parents are feeling, who's listening here today. Your parents, you're a caregiver and you're seeing that dementia, it's never too late. We've seen cognitive function, brain speed. We've looked at the coronary marker, certainly carotid intima-media thickness, right? Carotid artery intima-media thickness and with ultrasound, CIMT for short, and we've seen improvements there.

    Dr. Steven:
    Well at least for my clinic, you're very well aware that in our clinic we documented hundreds of people who shrunk their artery plaque by 10%. And most of my patients have an improvement in brain processing and cognitive brain processing speed and cognitive function. So commonly I would see people's brain function, not only not diminish but get better. People become sharper and clearer on their shrinking their artery plaque. All those things are part of following this lifestyle. But you feel better, your trimmer and protecting from memory loss and protecting from heart disease, I mean those are the two big killers in America today and so it's super important.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well, tell us a little bit about your book, the Mediterranean Method.

    Dr. Steven:
    This was really fun and it comes with, they actually put photos. This is the first time I've ever had a book where they had 20 photos in it, of the meals. So that was neat, that create 50 recipes and then photograph some of them and make them look beautiful for a holiday meal. So I really loved putting this together. It was the easiest book I've ever written because it was so natural for me. The idea of how does following a Mediterranean diet prevents heart disease? How does it enhance your cognitive function, prevent memory loss? How does it make you live longer? Why is this rated as the best diet for weight loss by US News And World Report? There's so many things that I wanted to put the tips in.

    Dr. Steven:
    My real goal was how do you make this easy? What steps can you take to simplify it so you can put the food in your pantry, prepare the meals easily? Your family and friends love what you're cooking. That was really my goal was the how-tos and I really wanted to point out some myths. There's a whole, some people think, okay, if it's Italian, if I'm meeting pizza or tomato sauce on it, it's more than that. The ingredients really do matter. And I think that's a key take-home message from the book is finding the right ingredients, it tastes great, that are easy to prepare and they're good for your heart, brain, and soul.

    Dr. Anna:
    I agree and I'm looking forward to sharing those recipes with my community. There'll be a link below, but also can get it right at anywhere books are sold, right Steven?

    Dr. Steven:
    Anywhere books are sold and starting December 31st and if anyone orders preorders, it early, I have a special offer. On my website, I'm offering cooking classes, so I'll give them a free series of cooking classes on making an appetizer, a main dish, a soup or salad and side dish, a dessert. How do you incorporate, so some videos with cooking classes with me here in this kitchen, how do you make it easy? So if you preorder it or order it when it first comes out, you can get that bonus on my website DrMasley.com.

    Dr. Anna:
    Oh, I love it. I love it. I love it. Okay. Dr. Masley. DRMASLEY.com. So we'll get that there and we'll put a link below in the show notes too. Okay, one more question, Steven. So, you know I'm all about intimacy, romance, connection. So we know, what about longevity in marriages, what did you see? What about libido and sexual function? Did you sit at a dinner table with others 60 and older and ask them, "How is your sexual function?" Maybe you didn't but I'm curious.

    Dr. Steven:
    When we think about romance is an important part of the Mediterranean lifestyle. I mean, there's still courting going on between couples regardless of their age. You see men and women out buying flowers to take home in their seventies and preparing romantic meals by candlelight and dancing and you see hugging. And I think they're a little less affectionate in public than we are, but the general rule is that once you get in the bedroom they become tigers. So there's this idea of passion.

    Dr. Steven:
    So you won't see a lot of people groping themselves or each other in public, they're a little more private than that. But they talk about intimacy and they talk about romance, well into their eighties and nineties so there's no hesitation here. And certainly the young, the young have no lack of romance and intimacy going on.

    Dr. Anna:
    Now that's really, and I how you say the word "romance," right? You're bringing the romance in. It's part of the culture. The flowers brought to the table, the chair being pulled out, holding. I would see hands being held, respect. I mean all of those, a twinkle in the eyes, a special smile, those interchanges, throughout the longevity of the keeping that up.

    Dr. Steven:
    Yeah, it's not just having sex. There's all this romance that goes along and builds up to it and I think it makes it sweeter. At least, I'm in my mid-sixties and for Nichole and I, it's still a really important part of our lives and I hope it is for the next 20, 30 years.

    Dr. Anna:
    Well said. Yes.

    Dr. Steven:
    But I learned a lot from you over the last decade, on how it starts in the morning by getting up and making coffee for someone.

    Dr. Anna:
    So true. So true. That is early morning foreplay. Absolutely. And it is inside, outside the bedroom too, for couples that are struggling, how do we bring kindness, consideration outside the bedroom first, right? So there's that whole concept of foreplay starts in the morning, that bring me that coffee, that is something that pleases you, that makes you feel special or you've been thought of. And from both sides, remembering to be grateful and to focus on the positive.

    Dr. Anna:
    And you and I ask you these questions because number one, I know you'll answer me and number two, you and Nicole have the most amazing, amazing relationship. And you just see that you guys are in love, continue to be in love and plus yeah dance together. You will hold hands. You'll give her an affectionate touch and it's mutual. So you see that and that's really special, and that's good health and longevity all the way around.

    Dr. Steven:
    Absolutely.

    Dr. Anna:
    So thank you for modeling this for those of us that get to watch you, and I am looking forward to your cooking classes. And I look forward to cooking with you when I come down your way hopefully around New Year's, so look forward to that. For our listeners, make sure you're on our Facebook page because we'll definitely do some live stream cooking for you too. So pay attention to that and our Instagram. And Steven, I'm sending you off with a big happy holiday and thank you for being on our show today. Any final words or sayings for our audience as we sign off this Christmas Couch Talk?

    Dr. Steven:
    Adding the Mediterranean lifestyle is, yes, it's great for your health but the food's delicious. It's the easiest thing to do. I mean, so if you want to bring joy back into your household and your life and your family, look at cooking, shopping, cooking together, enjoying meals together, have a leisurely time and have fun. It's all about having fun and eating delicious food and that just makes sense obviously.

    Dr. Anna:
    I agree. Well, thank you and thanks to all our listeners. This special holiday season, I want to send you my warmest blessings for this beautiful holiday season and to your family. And I think one thing that internationally increases our longevity is this time of connection and community. And the holidays can stress us and we can forget that. We feel the stress of the holiday and we may feel we want to hibernate or be secluded or we're disconnecting. And I always joke about my story on the Christmas divorce. I'll have to tell you all that sometimes if you want to hear it. It's a really high amount of stress can make us feel like we're in the wrong relationship.

    Dr. Anna:
    And I just want to encourage these little tools, healthy body, healthy mind, healthy soul, healthy relationship, that we continue through this holiday season with this self-love, self-kindness and focusing on the positive in others. Nourishing our body with just the right thing, just the right ingredients, just the right touch. The little things make a big difference in the long run. And as we do this, as we prepare, ideally letting go of the stress and preparing the love, that just adds the special ingredients but we all can use extra help in self, during this holiday season. So thank you and happy holidays and we'll see you all next week.

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna Cabeca

    Dr. Anna is a Triple Board Certified OB/GYN, Anti-Aging Medicine expert, and author of the best selling book, The Hormone Fix.

    Dr. Anna helps women heal the 9 most dreadful symptoms of menopause with natural, safe solutions. Follow her for content on hormonal imbalances, vaginal dryness, menopause (and more) that are medically backed, and created to empower women — not just treat them.