Secret Words of Wisdom from a 100-Year Old Teacher

Hall of fame 016I once asked Paul Miller, a 2011 inductee in the National Teachers Hall of Fame and featured this week on NPR, what he viewed as his secret(s) to a long, healthy and happy life.  Here are some of the words of wisdom he shared that if we live by can make this world a better place… Paul certainly has!

  1. Treat everyone with respect:  Paul not only taught but tutored students from all walks of life; for more than 75 years spanning the educational cycle from kindergarten through college, he taught math at public and religious (Jewish and Christian) schools, Universities (Johns Hopkins, University of Maryland, Towson University, Coppin State). In all, he taught at more than 25 different schools, displaying respect for his students.
  2. Love what you do: Paul loved to teach and even after he suffered a heart attack, the first thing he asked his doctor was when would he be able to go back to teaching.
  3. Enjoy being around younger people: Paul especially loved teaching young students and found elementary through high school to be the most challenging yet most rewarding. Young people have energy and an optimism that all too often recedes with age.
  4. Don’t hold a grudge: If Paul had a hard day at school, he would not let it get to him and move on the next day, often forgetting that anything happened the prior day.
  5. Keep your mind active: Paul always did crossword puzzles and solving math problems. Nearing 101, he is still adept at answering square root problems!
  6. Don’t take yourself too seriously: Paul continues to laugh easily and often, even when it is at his own expense.
  7. Maintain a spiritual connection: Believing in a higher power can be comforting and help to reduce stress during life’s most difficult times.


Bergamot: The Sour Fruit with Sweet Benefits


Bergamot citrus

Bergamot citrus is a sour tasting fruit combining orange, lemon and a twist of lime flavor. Although used in aromatherapy, cosmetics and food for many years, Bergamot has recently gained acclaim in medical circles due to studies demonstrating benefits on heart and overall health. Check out some of the benefits based on the published studies listed below and why you should consider Bergamot citrus as part of an overall prescription for good health.

    1. Bergamot lowers cholesterol by reducing  LDL (bad cholesterol) by 15-20%, triglycerides (blood fats) by 20-30% and buildup of cholesterol plaques.
    2. Bergamot has powerful antioxidant activities and may be particularly helpful in diabetes and with other metabolic risk factors.
    3. Bergamot reduces blood pressure and heart rate variability, an excellent measure of how our heart responds to stress.
    4. Bergamot possesses powerful anti-inflammatory properties, and inflammation is one of the hottest areas in heart disease!
    5. Bergamot aromatherapy improves mood, If for no other reason, an uplifting mood will lighten your day.(Photo attribution to Leslie Seaton)


Dr. Michael Miller is a cardiologist and Professor of Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His latest book, “Heal Your Heart…” is available on Amazon with 100% of proceeds donated to the American Heart Association.

Spice up your Summer with Sumac


sumac spice

sumac salad

As we learned during our recent trip, Sumac is a Middle Eastern herbal gem. This tart and sour spice adds a flavorful kick when used as a sauce or sprinkled on chicken, fish and salad (see our peach, beet, almond and greens above). But it is Sumac’s medicinal properties that takes this colorful spice to the next level, making it well worth its weight in “burgundy” gold.

Here are 7 reasons why you should pay a visit to your local Middle Eastern market.

1. Sumac reduces inflammation,  an important contributor to heart disease and other chronic conditions.  (Stay tuned for the results of a landmark study examining the effect of reducing inflammation on heart disease).

2. Sumac improves blood glucose control in diabetics by reducing insulin resistance.

3. Sumac has powerful antioxidant effects.  The powerful antioxidant PON1, is believed to contribute to the heart-protective role of HDL, “the good cholesterol”.  Check out this recent study.

4. Sumac may raise the level of HDL cholesterol.

5. Sumac may reduce growth of certain tumors. 

6. Sumac may slow the aging process.

7. Sumac expands blood vessels that in turn may lower blood pressure.

Bottom Line: Spice up your summer with Sumac…it will not only brighten your day but it’s also good for your heart!

Dr. Miller is Professor of Cardiovascular Medicine at the University of Maryland School of Medicine. His most recent book, “Heal Your Heart…” is available on Amazon with all proceeds donated to the American Heart Association.


Tel Aviv: A Heart Healthy Culinary Destination

carrots israeliisraeli saladsdennis fish

Israel enjoys one of the highest life expectancy rates worldwide, 82.5 years on average (more than 3 years higher than America’s 79.2).  Having recently visited the country, it is easy to see why.  First, Israelis’ are fit- a mandatory 3-year Army enlistment helps in developing lifelong habits for maintaining excellent physical conditioning. In Tel Aviv, there are 44 miles of designated bicycle routes and numerous exercise machines that line the beach making it convenient to grab a workout any time of day or night. Equally impressive are the delicious assortment of fruits and vegetables, amazing spices and healthy culinary delicacies. Among my favorites were the humongous carrots. These antioxidant powerhouses also produce incredibly sweet carrot juice; make sure to check it out when you visit the country. Another culinary gem adding to the Israeli dining experience was the customary assortment of small salads that included hummus, beets, eggplant, tahini, herring, cucumbers, tomatoes and of course, carrots. Of the many outstanding dining experiences, my favorite was Shtsupak (; make sure to try the Denis (sea bream) fish that is native to Israel. It is an excellent source of Vitamins B6, B12 and Selenium that is guaranteed to boost your mood and Heal Your Heart.