Category Archives: Diet, Health & Exercise

Healed by a Holistic Physician

TumiPhotoI would like to give my highest recommendation to Dr. Tumi Johnson, M.D. and her skills as an empathic, extremely knowledgeable Integrative Holistic Physician.

I have been a vegan for 26 years. I am and have always been very active athletically.  My favorite pastime is riding my road bike on 30 to 40 mile sprints or 50 to 100 mile long distance grinds.  Lately, since I’ve moved to Ojai California, I spend a  lot of time on my road bike climbing mountains that ascend above 3500 feet.

Since I can remember I have had a long suffering battle with dehydration and weakness after completing a ride.  Within hours of my completing a ride I start to get a headache and more often than not, it turns into a migraine and the next 24 to 48 hours are waisted recuperating just to get back to normal health.

Being in such good shape and adhering to a disciplined diet; going through this experience almost every time I complete a ride can be very depressing and defeating.

When I explained my challenges to Tumi, she listened very carefully. When I was done sharing with her my challenge, Tumi spoke very direct to me and said, “Hycel, if you work with me for one or two sessions, I can help you rid yourself of this challenge.”  I have to admit that Tumi’s confidence made me very hopeful without the skepticism that I would normally have; I’ve heard this before; but I had not heard that with a few minor tweaks of my diet, I would be able to overcome this challenge.

During our first session, Tumi had me prepare a bit of information about my eating habits and workout regimen.  Tumi took my information and prescribed some minor tweaks in my diet that best fit my physique, diet and workout regimen. Tumi also took the time to explain to me why I was suffering at the end of my rides because of the particular types of foods that I was eating (even as a vegan) before and after my rides.

It has been one month now that I have been following Tumi’s new regimen she prescribed for me, that is meant for my body, my physical workout regimen and my vegan diet; what works for me.  During the week of Thanks Giving, 2015, over five days, I climbed the equivalent of 10,000 feet and 100 miles of mountains; I drank less water than I normally would before and after each ride, I ate less food than I normally would before and after each ride; and with each ride I got stronger with an increasing feeling of physical bliss; this was an experience I have not had in all my years of riding.

Thank you Tumi!  You are a blessing to me and many others I’m sure; you are an angel sent from heaven and an answer to many of my prayers; that early in the morning I may wake up, get on my road bike, ride to my fullest capacity until I’m ready to drop from exhaustion by late afternoon and wake up the next morning and do it all over again.

Dr. Tumi Johnson, M.D. is an Assistant Clinical Professor of Medicine, NYU, an Integrative Holistic Physician and a Certified Yoga Instructor.

Click on the links below to learn more about Dr. Tumi Johnson’s work and to contact her.

The pertinent URLs:
Email contact:

By Hycel B. Taylor III


My Cup Runneth Over

DSC_0420_CroppedThank you for the perfect 70-degree weather this morning, the heavy fog and the mist that bathed me each time I climbed up the Great Blue Hill and then cooled me off each time on my way back down.

Thank you for the singleness of mind that kept me focused, calm, alert and at peace blocking out every stray thought and emotion except for the now moment and the current ground beneath me up the long ascents.

Thank you for the breaks that slowed my steep descents in spite of the heavy moisture that turned to droplets and drenched my rims yet cooled them so that they did not overheat due of my constant breaking.

Thank you for my tires that did not slip, slide or tear under the tremendous pressure and conditions I inflicted on them.

Thank you for the four water bottles that did not leak and contained the fluids that kept me hydrated.

Thank you for the oatmeal I ate just before my ride and the food bars the kept me carb’d and energized during the climbs.

Thank you for the sun that briefly peaked through the heavy clouds when I reached the top of ascent number nine, smiling with its warmth and cheering me on for my final ascent to come.

Thank you for all of the angles I met along my trek.

The jogger who, on his own journey, passed me each time I ascended and descended, politely nodding to each other at first and later sharing with each other passing words of encouragement as we both drew nearer to our personal goals.

The young couple that said, “God bless you!” to me when I reached ascent number eight.

The older couple that paused and joyfully applauded me as I attacked the last 500 feet of ascent number ten.

And the lovely lady I met on my final descent who when asked me why I climbed so many times, held her hands to her cheeks and her fingers to her eyes to fight back tears as I described to her what it was like being in the now moment; we shared a moment with each other and then I bid her a wonderful day.

Seven months ago I was lying on the living room floor of my apartment with a torn right patella tendon, writhing in pain while in the back of my mind imagining this day and the now moments that are now in my past and are apart of my history of wonderful experiences.

Today, I was as agile as a Falcon in the wind, as strong as a bear running in the forest, as peaceful as a monk in meditation and one with the hill.

My cup runneth over.

Hycel B. Taylor III



Da da da… Da da da…

ImageIt’s been almost three months since I tore the right patella tendon from my kneecap and had it operated on four days later.  Well today, some really cool X rays of my knee were taken and it’s all good.  The cable in my knee was put there to help insure that my right patella tendon does not tear during the healing process.  The cable will be removed in about two weeks; then my real physical training starts in earnest (I’m going to play the Rocky theme song every morning).

ImageI want to say to everyone who called my cell, sent me an SMS message, dropped me an email and wished me well on FB a huge, THANK YOU!  Your positive energy and blessings greatly helped my recovery and keeps me ever mindful of just how grateful I am for my health, my good looks and everything that I have.

ImageHey, if you like extreme fitness like I do, then sooner or later you may end up on crutches; OK, maybe not as major an injury as I have; but I’m just saying.  Besides at the time I tore my patella, my energy wasn’t good and I’m a firm believer in the law of attraction that states the energy you give out is the energy you get back.  Sometimes a good knock to the ground is what one needs to become present and gain perspective.

Not once, since I’ve had my injury, have I been depressed about it.  On the contrary, when I was lying there on the living room floor of my apartment all alone and writhing in pain, I actually said to myself, “OK Hycel, you’ve got no place to go but up”.

So, on with the challenge, on with my rehabilitation, on with my new way of positive thinking, on with my being grateful for everyone and everything that I have; on with my new life.

Da da da… Da da da…

Hycel B. Taylor III

The Zen In Climbing

DSCN1728I recently read an email where a colleague described the repeat climbing of the Blue Hill service ramp as a “bore-fest”. I chuckled when reading it; I suppose that can be true depending on how you look at it.  When I first started climbing the service ramp, I thought that way about it too. But I have since changed the way I think about it and experience it. Now it’s kind of zen like; I, the bike and the hill become one. Here’s what I’ve learned and now experience each and every time I make my trek up and down the hill.

If you ride hard and fast to defeat the hill; the hill will always defeat you.

Set your pace and do not veer from it; sit up strait, loosen your arms and your grip on your handle bars.

Feel the strength, heat, burn, motion and power within the muscles of your thighs, knees, calves, ankles, feet and toes as you push and pull through your peddles in each degree of every 360 degree rotation.

Breath deeply, slowly and mindfully; sense your heart beating, the oxygen and flow of energy pulsating throughout your body with every inhalation.

Fully take in and experience your surroundings; the coarseness, smoothness, bumpiness, irregularities and constant changes of the ground beneath your tires; the gentle breeze flowing down the hill weaving in and through the trees; the homily of the trees as they bend and twist from the breeze and sing ever so softly from the fluttering of their leaves;  the cool, crispness and subtle changes in temperature as the breeze reaches you caressing each blade of hair on your legs and arms dissipating the sweat seeping from the band of your helmet rolling down your temple to your cheek.  Yes!  Take it all in!  All of It!

Let your thoughts be not about reaching the top of the hill but only about the current moment, the space that you are currently inhabiting in the now moment you are in; there you will find peace and pure bliss.

When you get to the top of the hill, take a moment;  take a few deep breaths and down a few gulps of water; then take a bite out of your energy bar.  Now take a moment to appreciate what you have just done; take a few more deep breaths and then begin your decent.

Heighten your senses as you again take in every now moment.  Even though you are rapidly descending down the hill at a much faster pace than your climb, if you concentrate only on the present moment, time will slow down and you will again experience peace and pure bliss.

When you reach the bottom, again, pause for a moment, take a few deep breaths and appreciate what you have done; then begin the climb again.  You may eventually find that the math of climbing the hill is simple; Peace + Bliss = Joy.

By Hycel B. Taylor III

So You Want To Become A Vegan

Dear Amy,

I’ve received a letter from you stating that your husband, Mike, has suffered a mild stroke.  So you, your husband, son and mom have decided that you want to transition to a vegan diet and you want to know how to get started.


There can be no sustainable diet change unless you have the knowledge to go with it.  Thus, without the knowledge of what it truly means to be vegan and the advantages therein, it will not be inculcated within your being. At most you will enthusiastically sustain a vegan diet for approximately two weeks. Then you will slowly start to wane until you make enough excuses to quit your vegan diet all together.


You must have the right motivation for moving to a vegan diet.  Do not move to a vegan diet because you no longer want to be sick or because you think you’re too fat or because you don’t think you look pretty, etc.  Those motivations for moving to a vegan diet are negative ones.

Move to a vegan diet because you want to be well.  Keep your reasoning and motivations positive.  It will make the transition from a carnivorous diet to a vegan diet much easier.  Not being sick, losing weight, looking awesome and feeling better than you ever have before in your life are merely the side affects of a good vegan diet.



To get Mike back to good health quickly, you should follow the recipes located in the book I recommended that Mike read, Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease.

It is important that you really read these books now as you’re moving into this diet.  Please do not underestimate my suggestion.  The knowledge you’ll gain from reading these books will have a huge impact on your ability to transition smoothly and steadfastly into your new life as vegans.

Each day, as a family, you should share with each other what you have learned from your reading.  Once each of you completes the book I have suggested for you to read, read the other two as well.

Best Regards,


Congratulations and welcome to the wonderful world of eating vegan.  Great things are about to happen.

Need For Speed

When I was five years old, my father took me on my first real bike ride.

I was knee high to a grasshopper and weighed a little more than nothing. I was too young to have a bicycle, but I had a Big Wheel.  And, boy, did I love my Big Wheel. I was on it almost every morning just before eating my Lucky Charms cereal and heading off to kindergarten.   And as soon as got back home, I hopped right back on.

It was my pretend motorcycle.  My mom would walk me across the street to the apartment complex where my best friend, Randy, lived.  Randy would cheerfully greet me on his Big Wheel.  We would race each other around the brick complex over and over, each time creating new adventures: cops and robbers, firemen on our way to an emergency, or simply two five year olds racing each other back and forth until the sun went down.

Until that fateful day, when my dad picked me up and sat me down in the square steel wire basket attached to the front of his sparkling olive drab Schwinn ten-speed, I’d just assumed the experience he was having on his bike was the same as I was having on my Big Wheel.

But, when dad rode me down my first big hill and I felt my stomach crawl into my throat, heard the roar of the wind rushing past my face, and felt the tears roll down my cheeks as my wide eyes tried to take it all in, I was blown away.  It was the speed, the thunderous sound of the wind, as I looked down through the basket and watched the front wheel making distance over the Tennessee roads – I was hooked.

After my first ride on a real bike, riding my Big Wheel was never the same.  It just wasn’t fast enough.  From that day on, whenever I saw anyone riding a bicycle, my heart would start to race.  My excitement was only muted when the rider just didn’t seem to be riding fast enough. “Why isn’t that person riding as fast has he can?” I would wonder.

Each time my dad sat me in that basket and we went down my favorite hill, I would silently urge, “Faster!  Go down Faster!”

Today, I turn 47 years old.  Just as it was 42 years ago, from the moment I hop on my favorite road bike or mountain bike, I want to go fast.  I want to go fast from the moment I get on the bike ‘til the moment I step off or fall off from exhaustion.  When I see others riding slowly, I still don’t fully get it, but I try to respect their experience.  And when someone zips past, going faster than me, my heart sings with the joy of what I believe he/she is feeling.

Last year I was fast.  This year, I’ll be even faster.

Ten-Minute Mushroom Sauté

A few of my friends are trying their hands at a Vegan diet.  So, I wanted to share with them one of my recipes that does not require a $500 Vita Mix and a $300 Omega juicer – a meal that is inexpensive to make, takes less than 10 minutes to prepare, and is very tasty and healthy, of course.

I have just the recipe for them.  It’s one of my favorites and I make it almost everyday for lunch.

So, to Gregg and Braxton and anyone else who wants to try a tasty, healthy vegan dish, I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.  But, first off, I hope you like mushrooms.  If not, this recipe won’t be much good to you:-)


  • ½ tablespoon of virgin olive oil
  • One teaspoon of Celtic sea salt
  • Adobo seasoning (The kind without MSG)
    • I use, Frontier Organic ADOBO Seasoning
  • Mixed pepper seasoning
    • I use, Drogheria & Alimentari Organic Four Seasons Peppercorns
  • One or two scallion stems
  • Two celery stalks
  • ½ clove of garlic
  • 10 ounce container of button mushrooms, wiped clean


  • One knife
  • One cutting board
  • One spatula
  • One pan or skillet


  1. Slice up mushrooms if not already sliced.
  2. Place pan on stove and turn burner on high.
  3. Put olive oil in pan.
  4. Add mushrooms.
  5. While mushrooms start to simmer:
    • Chop the scallions into little rings.
    • Chop the celery into little slices.
    • Chop garlic into to a few slices.
    • Occasionally shuffle the mushrooms in the pan.
  6. Lower burner to medium high.
  7. Time to season the mushrooms:
    • Add the ½ teaspoon of Celtic sea salt.
    • Sprinkle the adobo generously over the mushrooms.
    • Sprinkle the pepper generously over the mushrooms.
  8. Add the celery, scallions and garlic to mushrooms.
  9. Sauté for another 30 seconds.

Bon appetit!