Crypto ABC’s Part IV

Credit and thanks to Nick Black!

Market cap: The total value of all the coins of a particular crypto. Calculated by multiplying the current price per coin by the total number of coins in circulation. Typically used to rank cryptos, such as on the website As of this writing, the total market cap for the entire crypto space is $1,958,973,106,141.

Maximalist: A person who believes in the primacy of one cryptocurrency over all others. Most frequently applied to adamant Bitcoin advocates: “He’s such a Bitcoin maximalist.”

MetaMask: A browser-based crypto wallet that is installed as an extension. Allows you to send Ethereum to individuals and businesses, store Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens, and store non-fungible tokens (NFTs) and collectibles.

Metaverse: A virtual world where people gather to live, work, and shop. First coined in the 1992 science fiction novel Snow Crash by author Neal Stephenson, the metaverse has gone from a means of “escaping” the real world to a lucrative market that Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley are projecting could reach $8 trillion over the next two decades. By using special hardware and software – such as a smartphone or a dedicated headset like the Oculus – users can have an immersive experience where it actually feels like you’re inside the virtual environment. Corporations are already staking their claim in the metaverse.

Microcurrencies: Microcurrencies refer to a new class of “penny cryptos.” These coins sell for pennies on the dollar but have racked up some of the biggest gains we’ve seen anywhere, even crushing gains made by Bitcoin by 75X, 211X, even 5,567X more in the same time frame.

Mining: The process of using hash rate power to solve a math problem, then verifying the most current transactions and adding a block of data to that cryptocurrency’s blockchain. Mining is used in cryptocurrencies that employ proof of work, such as Bitcoin. The miner that solves the block receives a mining reward of a set amount of the cryptocurrency being mined. Mining success depends on having hardware with a high combined hash rate.

Monero (XMR): This cryptocurrency was designed with a focus on privacy features. It’s extremely difficult, if not impossible, to trace transactions on the Monero network.

Moon: A way of expressing optimism that a cryptocurrency’s price will skyrocket/is skyrocketing, as in “To the moon!” Another popular variant is “When moon?” (See Lambo.)

Mt. Gox: In Bitcoin’s early days, Tokyo-based Mt. Gox was by far the biggest exchange, handling more than 70% of all trading. The name is actually an acronym for Magic the Gathering Online Exchange, as it had started out as a way to trade the digital playing cards for that well-known game. But the exchange was poorly run and subject to hacks that depleted its reserve of bitcoins. Mt. Gox went dark in February 2014, and days later reported the loss of 850,000 customer bitcoins. About 200,000 bitcoins were later found. But with the case moving slowly through the Japanese legal system, former customers have so far received no compensation.

Multi-sig: Short for multi-signature, it means more than one digital signature is required to authorize a transaction. Adds another layer of crypto security. Also can play a role in smart contracts that involve more than two parties.


Nakamoto, Satoshi: The pseudonym used by the person or group of people who wrote the Bitcoin white paper as well as the original code that runs the Bitcoin network. This person or group remains anonymous, as all attempts to uncover Nakamoto’s identity have failed. Australia native Dr. Craig S. Wright claims to be Nakamoto but so far has been unable to prove it.

Nifty Gateway: An online marketplace for non-fungible tokens (NFTs) where people can buy and sell digital goods such as collectibles, gaming items, and digital art. This is Nick’s favorite platform to use and the one he would recommend to beginners.

No-coiner: A person who owns no cryptocurrency. Term is typically used to describe a cryptocurrency skeptic.

Node: Any computer that connects to the Bitcoin network is a node. A computer that maintains an up-to-date copy of the blockchain and is able to verify all the rules of a cryptocurrency is a full node. To run a full node requires a copy of that cryptocurrency’s network software. Any type node can also serve as a wallet.

Non-custodial: This term refers to the private keys that control who can spend or move crypto in a wallet. Non-custodial means the user has the crypto in a wallet they control directly, as opposed to keeping coins on an exchange.

Non-fungible token (NFT): A unique token on a blockchain that cannot be replicated. NFTs can be used to represent digital art or even real-world assets. The sale of an NFT grants ownership of the asset it represents to the buyer. NFTs can be bought and sold like any other asset.


OpenSea: The current leading NFT marketplace.

Oracle: An oracle is an online trusted source of data used by a smart contract to settle the contract. Some crypto projects, such as Chainlink (LINK), were created to serve as oracles.


Paper hands: The tendency to panic sell your crypto at the slightest sign of trouble. The opposite of diamond hands.

Paper wallet: A piece of paper that contains a private key and a Bitcoin address. Somewhat of a misnomer since a paper “wallet” can’t actually store any cryptocurrency.

Peer-to-peer: The exchange of data – or in this case, cryptocurrency – between parties over a network without the need for a third party like a bank.

Pizza Day: The anniversary of the very first commercial transaction with Bitcoin, May 22, 2010. A programmer named Laszlo Hanyecz bought two pizzas for 10,000 bitcoin.

Pre-mine: When the supply of a cryptocurrency is created in advance of its launch, as opposed to the creation of supply over time by some method such as mining. Frequently used by ICOs.

Private key: A very long password used to unlock your cryptocurrency so you can withdraw it from your wallet to spend, sell, or send to another address. Losing or forgetting your private key means permanently losing access to your crypto. Anyone who gains access to your private key can steal your cryptocurrency. Never, ever, ever share your private key with anyone ever under any circumstances.

Proof of stake: An alternative system for securing a network and maintaining a blockchain. In proof of stake, users put up collateral tokens of a crypto (their “stake”) in return for becoming a “validator” of its blockchain – the same function as miners in a proof-of-work system. For each block, the network chooses a validator at random to record and verify the data. The chosen validator earns fees for performing that task; the larger the stake, the higher the odds of being selected to validate a block. Ethereum has plans to move to a proof-of-stake system.

Proof of work: As computers mine cryptocurrency, they expend computing power (measured by their hash rate) in an effort to be the first to solve a math problem. The winner verifies the next block in the blockchain and receives a reward. The computing power expended is the “proof of work” that tells the network the winning miner has earned that reward.

Protocol layers: Think of these as the roads and highways that connect the entire cryptocurrency space. Cryptos like Polkadot (DOT) and Algorand (ALGO) fall into this category.

Pseudonymous: Most cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, are only partly anonymous. Because a cryptocurrency address is simply long string of numbers and letters, it offers some level of privacy. But it is often possible, with some effort, to link those addresses to individuals. Privacy-oriented cryptocurrencies such as Monero have additional code to make it virtually impossible to link addresses to individuals, and are considered truly anonymous.

Public key: The wallet address (the alphanumeric string of letters and numbers) you give to others in order to receive cryptocurrency.


REKT: A phonetic spelling of “wrecked.” This term was borrowed from the online gaming community, where it describes a person who suffered an especially bad beat. In cryptocurrency, it means a severe financial loss: “When Bitcoin crashed in 2018, I got REKT.”

Ripple: A source of constant confusion outside of the crypto community (and sometimes within it). Ripple is the company that created the XRP cryptocurrency in 2012. It incorporates XRP into its business of facilitating payments between financial institutions. But XRP should not be referred to as “Ripple,” which is a common mistake. And XRP advocates will call you out on it.

Rug pull: A scam crypto project that “pulls the rug out” from investors by enticing them to swap a valuable crypto like Ethereum for a new token that promises massive gains. The scammers then drain liquidity for the coin from its trading pools on DeFi exchanges, making it near impossible to sell and leaving victims with worthless tokens. Also known as “getting rugged.”


Satoshi: The smallest unit of Bitcoin. One satoshi is equal to 0.00000001 bitcoins (one hundred-millionth of a bitcoin). Also referred to as “sats” for short. Named in honor of Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto.

Scamcoin: Cryptocurrencies with no real purpose other than to fool investors, thus enriching the coin’s creators at the expense of the investors. Most often found among ICOs. Sometimes used derisively by crypto enthusiasts for a coin they dislike, regardless of whether it is an actual scam.

Security token: A cryptocurrency backed by an asset such as gold, real estate, or other investable assets such as ETFs. A security token must comply with the Howey test. Allows for a single physical asset to be subdivided digitally among many owners (one gold could be split into 100 security tokens owned by 100 different people). The initial sale of this variant is called an STO (security token offering). Considered a safer, better-regulated alternative to ICOs.

SegWit: A portmanteau of the phrase “segregated witness,” a technology introduced to the Bitcoin protocol in July 2017. By changing how the data is stored, SegWit makes it possible to squeeze more transactions into each Bitcoin block, thus helping to address Bitcoin’s scaling problems. SegWit also fixed an issue called transaction malleability, which opened the door to second-layer technologies such as the Lightning Network.

Sharding: A process of slicing up a large blockchain into smaller pieces to make it easier for the network’s nodes to manage. Instead of each node storing the entire blockchain, it need only process a part of it. Sharding allows less powerful computers to participate in a cryptocurrency network and aids scaling. Sharding is expected to be implemented on the Ethereum network by 2021.

Silk Road: An online market on the dark web (invisible to search engines like Google) that the FBI shut down in 2013. On Silk Road, people could use Bitcoin to buy and sell legal products as well illegal drugs. The association with the illegal activity created a cloud over Bitcoin that lasted for years.

Slippage: On a crypto exchange, a change in the price of a market order between the time it is placed and the time it is executed. The likelihood of slippage increases during times of high market volatility.

Smart contract: A “self-executing” contract that uses cryptocurrency as both the defining and the enforcement mechanism. The contract executes when the software determines that the conditions set forth in the code (and agreed upon by the participants) have been met. Often data from an oracle is used to determine if the contract conditions are met. Once executed, the smart contract is recorded as part of that cryptocurrency’s blockchain database – thus creating a permanent record of the contract.

Stablecoin: A cryptocurrency designed to have constant value relative to some other asset or group of assets. Most stablecoins are pegged to the U.S. dollar, though some are pegged to gold or other commodities. In theory, the administrators of a stablecoin should hold an amount of the pegged asset equal to the value of all the units of that stablecoin. So if there are 10 million units of a stablecoin backed by the U.S. dollar, the administrators should have $10 million in an account to back it.

Staking: Crypto staking involves committing some or all of a particular crypto you hold to help validate transactions on as well as maintain that crypto’s blockchain network. In return, stakers earn rewards at regular intervals. Usually your crypto must be “locked” on the network for as long as you keep it staked.


Token: A digital asset distinct from a cryptocurrency (like Bitcoin), although the terms are often confused. There are three basic types: a utility token, which provides access to a product or service offered by the company that created it; a security token, which represents an asset; and an equity token, which represents ownership in a company (like a share of stock does). Token projects are usually built on top of an existing crypto network such as Ethereum.

Tokenomics: The details of how a specific cryptocurrency works. It includes how the coins are created, the maximum supply, the means of distribution, how many coins are retained by the project’s creators as well as the conditions under which they might be released or sold, and, if applicable, how coins are “burned” (destroyed) as part of supply management.

Total value locked: The aggregate value of all the assets staked in a DeFi platform (usually expressed in U.S. dollars).

Transaction fee: A payment associated with a cryptocurrency transaction. Fees usually go to those who maintain the network (in the case of Bitcoin, miners get the fees). Fees can vary widely depending upon the cryptocurrency, but are usually very small.

Transactions per second (TPS): The number of transactions a cryptocurrency’s underlying network can process in one second. The higher the TPS, the better the network’s ability to handle surges in activity.

Trustless: A quality of most cryptocurrencies in which no party need trust another, a product of having no central authority. With crypto, the network processes a transaction and writes it into the blockchain (the digital ledger) for all other nodes to verify. This eliminates the need for a trusted third party such as a bank to process and verify transactions.

Turing complete: A programmable system capable of solving any computational problem. Some cryptocurrencies, such as Ethereum, are considered Turing complete – programs (known as dApps) can be executed on the network itself.


UniSwap: One of the most popular decentralized crypto exchanges where user can simply “swap” one crypto for another. See decentralized exchange.

Utility token: A type of cryptocurrency token designed to provide access to a particular product or service offered by the company that created it.

UTXO: Unspent transaction output – how a network tracks cryptocurrency ownership. Each time a person receives crypto into their wallet, it creates a new UTXO in that amount. All of the UTXOs in a wallet, and the amounts of crypto they represent, adds up to how much crypto that wallet holds in total.


Validator: On a proof-of-stake network, a participant tasked with verifying transactions on the network. Validators typically must “stake,” or lock, a certain amount of the crypto asset to qualify as a validator. Validators typically earn rewards for performing this role. Validators are the equivalent of miners on a proof-of-work network.

Ver, Roger: One of the earliest investors in Bitcoin, Ver became a tireless evangelist for the cryptocurrency and earned the nickname “Bitcoin Jesus.” Since siding with the faction that advocated for the Bitcoin Cash fork in 2017, Ver has maintained that Bitcoin Cash is the “real Bitcoin” and his influence in the crypto community has waned.


Wallet: A software program or hardware device that receives and stores cryptocurrency. Moving or spending the stored crypto requires the user have their private key. See hot wallet, hardware wallet, paper wallet, cold storage.

Weak hands: Owners of crypto who panic sell on pullbacks.

Whales: People or institutions who hold and trade large amounts of cryptocurrency. It is widely assumed that whales manipulate crypto prices.

White paper: A document prepared by a developer team to describe the purpose, structure, and roadmap of a proposed cryptocurrency. Typically used to entice investors into a new project.

Winklevoss, Tyler & Cameron: Twins who became known for suing Mark Zuckerberg for stealing the idea for Facebook from them while all three attended Harvard University. The “Winklevii” invested part of their $65 million settlement into Bitcoin, and have since founded a crypto-related enterprise, the Gemini Exchange. Their Bitcoin holdings are believed to exceed $1 billion.

Wright, Dr. Craig S.: An Australian-born computer scientist who claims to be Bitcoin’s creator, Satoshi Nakamoto. However, Wright has failed to prove that he has control of any Bitcoin that Nakamoto is known to have mined. Wright remains a controversial figure who also helped drive the creation of the Bitcoin “Satoshi’s Vision” (BSV) hard fork, which he maintains is the “real Bitcoin.”


XRP: See Ripple.


Yield farming: A way to earn more crypto on your existing crypto by lending it to a DeFi operation like Uniswap. In return for supplying liquidity, yield farmers earn fees and usually rewards in the form of crypto tokens. Yield farmers will move their money frequently as they search out the highest returns. Also known as liquidity mining.

Crypto ABC’s Part III

Credit to Nick Black and the Crypto and Coffee Team!

Game theory: The process of modeling the strategic interaction between two or more players in a situation containing set rules and outcomes, often employed by Nick Black to determine the best strategy for profiting from a crypto investment.

Gas: The unit used to calculate the computational effort required to execute a transaction on the Ethereum network; in essence, the amount of gas required sets the transaction fee. The Neo cryptocurrency also uses the gas method to calculate fees.

Genesis block: The very first block of data created in a blockchain.

Ghost chain: A cryptocurrency with a high market cap but little to no real-world usage. Frequently used as an insult, often without justification.

Halving or halvening: An event in which the block reward given to miners for solving a block is cut in half. Bitcoin has had three halving events so far. The first reduced the mining reward from 50 bitcoins to 25; the second reduced it to 12.5 bitcoins; the third reduced it to 6.25. This type of event only applies to cryptos that use a proof-of-work (PoW) system.

Hardware wallet: A physical device designed specifically to store the private keys of your cryptocurrency offline (in cold storage). These devices are sold commercially.

Hash rate: The speed at which a computing device (e.g., mining hardware) can convert a set of data into a “hash” – an alphanumeric string of characters. It’s described in hashes per second. So a “megahash” is 1 million hashes per second, and a “gigahash” is 1 billion hashes per second. The power of mining hardware is determined by its hash rate – the higher the better. The higher the hash rate of your mining equipment, the more likely you are to solve a block and receive the block reward.

HODL: A term that describes a crypto investor’s determination not to sell regardless of price action. A person who does this is called a “HODLER.” Originally a misspelling of the word “hold” in a Bitcoin forum post in 2013, it is invoked often by crypto enthusiasts on social media. Also understood to stand for the phrase “hold on for dear life,” as derived from the component letters.

Hot wallet or hot storage: A cryptocurrency wallet connected to other networks or the Internet, and thus considered more vulnerable to hackers.

Hoskinson, Charles: Co-founder of Ethereum and founder of the Cardano (ADA) cryptocurrency.

Howey test: A test created in 1946 by the Supreme Court to determine if an investment fits the definition of a security. Using the Howey Test, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) views most Initial Coin Offerings as securities – meaning they were sold to the public illegally. The criteria are: 1) whether money was invested; 2) whether the investor has an expectation of profits; 3) whether the invested funds are pooled in a common enterprise; and 4) whether any profits made derive from efforts and operations outside the investor’s control.

ICO: Stands for initial coin offering, a form of crowdfunding done in which an organization creates a cryptocurrency and then offers a portion of the total for sale to buyers. The money raised is used to fund the project, much as capital raised in a stock IPO is used to fund a new company. Some ICOs were later revealed to be scams that simply stole investors’ money. Also, the format used by most ICOs runs afoul of the Howey test, making most of them illegal.

Lee, Charlie: Lee is the computer scientist responsible for the creation of Litecoin (LTC), which he based on the open-source Bitcoin code. He sold nearly all of his Litecoin in 2017 to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest. He remains the managing director of the Litecoin Foundation. His brother, Bobby Lee, founded the Chinese cryptocurrency exchange BTC China.

Lightning Network: A second layer on top of a blockchain network that enables near-instant, low-cost, secure transactions by creating payment “channels.” Plans are for the fully developed networks to allow for millions of transactions per second (a credit card system like Visa can process 45,000 per second). When fully developed and deployed, Lightning will solve Bitcoin’s scaling issues. Lightning also facilitates atomic swaps between different cryptocurrencies.

Litecoin (LTC): A cryptocurrency derived from Bitcoin’s code base by Charlie Lee and released in October 2011. Employs faster block generation times than Bitcoin (2.5 minutes rather than 10 minutes), a larger maximum number of coins created (84 million rather than 21 million), and a different hashing algorithm.

Crypto ABC’s Part II

Again, with Special Thanks to Nick Black and the Money Map team!

dApp: Short for decentralized application, a kind of application that runs on a distributed, decentralized network, such as the Ethereum network, rather than a device such as a smartphone or PC.

Decentralization: The concept of having no central authority such as a company, a government, or a central bank in control of a blockchain (only the code governs the system) as well as having dispersed infrastructure (nodes and miners) to prevent any one entity or group from gaining too much influence.

Decentralized exchange (DEX): A crypto exchange that allows for peer-to-peer cryptocurrency transactions (often called “swaps”) without the need for an intermediary. Part of the DeFi ecosystem. See Uniswap.

DeFi: Short for decentralized finance. It’s a catch-all term for a digital ecosystem of smart contracts, decentralized exchanges, and special-purpose tokens built mostly on the Ethereum network.

Deflationary: A condition in which a currency gains value (i.e., buying power) over time. Some cryptocurrencies, most notably Bitcoin, are designed to be deflationary by gradually constricting the supply until it reaches a hard cap, after which no more coins will be created.

Diamond hands: Owners of crypto who refuse to sell no matter what’s happening in the markets. The opposite of paper hands. Also see HODL.

Difficulty: On a proof-of-work network like Bitcoin’s, the difficulty is a number representing how much mining power (hashrate) is required to solve a block. The Bitcoin network adjusts the difficulty every 2,016 blocks to try to keep the rate of new blocks steady at one every 10 minutes. As more mining power is added to the network, the difficulty rises. If mining power leaves the network, the difficulty falls.

Digital Fiat Currency (DFC): See Central Bank Digital Currency.

Discord: A popular communication platform within the cryptocurrency community that gives investors a way to chat with other investors directly or even create a larger community where you can share information instantly through direct messages (DMs).

Dollar-cost averaging: Borrowed from the world of conventional investing, DCA is buying a specific amount of a particular investment at regular intervals. Usually this buying is automated, with the investor setting up the parameters at their brokerage or exchange.

ERC-20: A standard for building new cryptocurrency tokens based on the Ethereum network, ERC-20 tokens are created via Ethereum’s smart contract capabilities. Most ICOs have been ERC-20 tokens.

Ethereum (ETH): A cryptocurrency created by Vitalik Buterin in 2015, Ethereum is second only to Bitcoin in market cap and influence. Built as a platform, Ethereum can run as a global, shared computer, making it Turing complete. That makes it capable of running specialized apps, known as dApps. In addition, hundreds of separate cryptocurrencies based on the ERC-20 standard run on top of Ethereum.

Exchange: A business or website that facilitates the trading of cryptocurrencies for fiat money (such as U.S. dollars), as well as trading between cryptocurrency pairs. Can be centralized (a company like Coinbase) or decentralized (an automated market maker like Uniswap).

Faucet: A website that dispenses tiny amounts of cryptocurrency for free. Visitors earn crypto by playing simple games or performing some other task such as watching videos. Popular in the early days of crypto. Generally not worth the time or the effort now.

Fiat currency: Money created by a central bank, such as the U.S. Federal Reserve (U.S. dollar) or the Bank of England (pound sterling). Many cryptocurrency enthusiasts believe fiat currencies will someday fail and be replaced by crypto.

Five Ts: A framework created by Nick Black in order to evaluate a new crypto investment, the 5Ts include team, technology, tokenomics, timing, and the problem.

Flippening: The unseating of Bitcoin as the dominant cryptocurrency by another crypto. The term became popular in mid-2017, when Ethereum’s percentage of the combined market capitalization of all cryptocurrencies rose to within seven percentage points of Bitcoin’s. Since then, Bitcoin reasserted its dominance. The Bitcoin percentage of the total crypto market cap typically hovers at about 60%.

FOMO: Short for “fear of missing out,” this describes the anxiety investors feel watching the price of a cryptocurrency skyrocket while they sit on the sidelines. Typically leads to poor investment decisions (buying at or near the top), but adds fuel to a strong rally.

Fork: Changes to the software that runs a blockchain – the software run by miners and people operating nodes – that creates a new version of the cryptocurrency. Soft forks tend to be benign, either used to launch a new crypto project (for example, Charlie Lee used Bitcoin’s codebase to create Litecoin) or to fix errors in a cryptocurrency’s codebase (no new crypto is created). A hard fork usually creates a new, competing version of a cryptocurrency, such as the Bitcoin Cash fork from Bitcoin. In a hard fork, the resulting two cryptos share a common transaction history prior to the fork. In addition, people who hold any amount of that crypto before a hard fork own equal amounts of both after the hard fork.

Crypto ABC’s

It’s been a while since I’ve posted on the blog, as I’ve used social media (IG and Twitter) for the past year as my primary means of sharing info. The markets are changing quickly and so now its time to get back in the blog, and see where it goes!

The reason that cryptocurrencies are called cryptocurrencies is that they all have the commonality of being a digital asset that uses a decentralized ledger secured by public-key cryptography. Cryptocurrency is a digital unit of value that belongs to a private key. Users send and receive funds through public addresses, which are supported by cryptocurrency wallets (interfaces that allow for easy interaction with a blockchain) system for generating public addresses and private keys.

Most of the questions I see lately revolve around Crypto. With the help of a few friends at Money Map Press and Nick Black, I have assembled this basic list of terms and definitions to familiarize yourself with! Good luck! Come back soon for more!

Address: A long string of letters and numbers (in the case of Bitcoin, 26 to 35 characters) that represents a destination for one or more payments. The network ensures all addresses are unique. Payments received to an address are visible in the public ledger.

Airdrop: Cryptocurrency distributed for free based on some particular criteria. For example, to receive some airdrops, you had to prove you owned Bitcoin; how much you received was based on how much Bitcoin you owned. In other cases, airdropped coins are “earned” through tasks such as sharing news or downloading an app. Crypto projects often use airdrops to generate interest in a new coin.

Altcoin: Any cryptocurrency that is not Bitcoin. That includes such top cryptocurrencies as Ethereum (ETH) and Cardano (ADA).

Atomic swap: A trade of one cryptocurrency for another made outside of an exchange and without the use of a trusted third party. Instead, it uses the “smart contract” feature built into most cryptos to ensure each party receives their coins (and can’t cheat their counterparty). The Lightning Network is a platform that supports atomic swaps.

Automated Market Maker (AMM): A system that provides liquidity for automatic crypto trading without the need for an order book or third party. Used by decentralized exchanges like Uniswap.

Bitcoin (BTC): The cryptocurrency that started it all launched in January 2009. Trades under the ticker BTC.

Bitcoin/Crypto ATM: A physical machine similar to a bank ATM where a person can exchange fiat money, such as U.S. dollars, for Bitcoin and sometimes other cryptocurrencies. Coin ATM Radar tracks the locations of crypto ATMs worldwide.

Bitcoin Cash: Created in 2017 by a hard fork of the original Bitcoin protocol. The main difference from the original Bitcoin is that it allows for larger-sized blocks in its blockchain (and thus for more transactions). Trades under the BCH ticker.

Bitcoin Core: The name for the full node software that runs the Bitcoin network. Has also become a nickname for the original Bitcoin in the wake of multiple hard forks that have created multiple versions of Bitcoin, including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Bitcoin Diamond (BCD), and Bitcoin SV (BSV). A website run by Roger Ver that purports Bitcoin Cash is “the real Bitcoin” and sells both BCH and BTC. An open-source website created by Satoshi Nakamoto and maintained by the Bitcoin developers. It’s dedicated to raising awareness about Bitcoin as well as providing resources and information to general users.

Bitcoin ETF: A Bitcoin exchange-traded fund (ETF). A Bitcoin ETF makes it easier for both retail and institutional investors to invest in Bitcoin by providing a way to gain exposure to the asset without holding it. The first Bitcoin ETF – the ProShares Bitcoin Strategy Fund (NYSE: BITO) – launched in October 2021 and made for the second-most heavily traded debut ETF in history.

Block height: In a blockchain, as the blocks are created sequentially, each block is assigned a number according to its place in the chain. Events like forks can be scheduled to occur at a particular block height, such as 478,559.

Block reward: The amount of cryptocurrency a miner receives for “solving” a block. Often, as is the case with Bitcoin, the rewards are halved at regular intervals (“halving”).

Block size controversy: A fight within the Bitcoin community that raged from 2015 to 2017. One side wished to keep the size of the blocks at 1 megabyte; the other felt that the block size needed to increase to accommodate scaling of the network. The fight ended with the fork of Bitcoin Cash, giving each side the version of Bitcoin it desired. Later, the Bitcoin Cash group had its own split over further increases to the block size, creating Bitcoin SV (Satoshi’s Vision) in November 2018.

Blockchain: The public digital ledger of all of a cryptocurrency’s transactions, made up of individual blocks of data created either through mining or another process. It secures the transactions on the network and prevents double spending.

Blockchain-as-a-service: A cloud-based service, based on blockchain technology, offered by a company, usually to other companies. Both IBM and Microsoft have blockchain-as-a-service products.

Buterin, Vitalik: The Russian-Canadian computer programmer who created Ethereum. He remains one of the most prominent figures in the cryptocurrency community.

Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC): A digital currency created and maintained by a central bank such as the U.S. Federal Reserve or the People’s Bank of China. These blockchain-based digital tokens would represent the fiat currency of that central bank. Most of the world’s central banks are studying CBDCs but none has yet launched one. Sometimes referred to as a Digital Fiat Currency (DFC). A website that tracks the value by market cap of all cryptocurrencies and tokens. Includes basic info on each coin, price charts, and the markets where it trades.

Coinbase: A major United States-based cryptocurrency exchange, largely considered the easiest way for beginners to buy crypto. It is a publicly traded company under the stock ticker COIN. (There are MANY exchanges to choose from and this is not an endorsement of Coinbase)

Cloud mining: The purchase or rental of a set amount of crypto mining power operated by another (typically a commercial enterprise such as Genesis Mining). In this way, a person can mine crypto without owning or operating any mining equipment themselves.

Cold storage/wallet: A cryptocurrency wallet not connected to the Internet. Includes hardware wallets and paper wallets. Recommended as a more secure way to store crypto.

Consensus: On a crypto network, a condition in which all the participants (nodes and miners) agree on the order of the blocks in the blockchain as well as the veracity of the transactions contained in those blocks. This the “normal” state of a properly functioning crypto network.

Cryptocurrency: A digital medium of exchange secured by strong cryptography.

What is an NFT?

Phunky Ape Yacht Club NFT

An NFT is a digital asset that represents real-world objects like art, music, in-game items and videos. They are bought and sold online, frequently with cryptocurrency, and they are generally encoded with the same underlying software as many cryptos.

Although they’ve been around since 2014, NFTs are gaining notoriety now because they are becoming an increasingly popular way to buy and sell digital artwork. A staggering $174 million has been spent on NFTs since November 2017.

NFTs are also generally one of a kind, or at least one of a very limited run, and have unique identifying codes. “Essentially, NFTs create digital scarcity,” says Arry Yu, chair of the Washington Technology Industry Association Cascadia Blockchain Council and managing director of Yellow Umbrella Ventures.

This stands in stark contrast to most digital creations, which are almost always infinite in supply. Hypothetically, cutting off the supply should raise the value of a given asset, assuming it’s in demand.

But many NFTs, at least in these early days, have been digital creations that already exist in some form elsewhere, like iconic video clips from NBA games or securitized versions of digital art that’s already floating around on Instagram.

For instance, famous digital artist Mike Winklemann, better known as “Beeple” crafted a composite of 5,000 daily drawings to create perhaps the most famous NFT of the moment, “EVERYDAYS: The First 5000 Days,” which sold at Christie’s for a record-breaking $69.3 million.

Anyone can view the individual images—or even the entire collage of images online for free. So why are people willing to spend millions on something they could easily screenshot or download?

Because an NFT allows the buyer to own the original item. Not only that, it contains built-in authentication, which serves as proof of ownership. Collectors value those “digital bragging rights” almost more than the item itself.

How Is an NFT Different from Cryptocurrency?

NFT stands for non-fungible token. It’s generally built using the same kind of programming as cryptocurrency, like Bitcoin or Ethereum, but that’s where the similarity ends.

Physical money and cryptocurrencies are “fungible,” meaning they can be traded or exchanged for one another. They’re also equal in value—one dollar is always worth another dollar; one Bitcoin is always equal to another Bitcoin. Crypto’s fungibility makes it a trusted means of conducting transactions on the blockchain.

NFTs are different. Each has a digital signature that makes it impossible for NFTs to be exchanged for or equal to one another (hence, non-fungible). One NBA Top Shot clip, for example, is not equal to EVERYDAYS simply because they’re both NFTs. (One NBA Top Shot clip isn’t even necessarily equal to another NBA Top Shot clip, for that matter.)

*Source Credit – Forbes

This Challenge Just Might Save You!

Welcome back! If you have been following me or read any of my posts you must be bored! Or did you notice that I took some time off? The real question is why? Because I challenged myself to take some time off and focus on the things that were important to me.

As a result, I have this challenge for you! It just may save your life, your career, your marriage/relationship, and more! Are you ready?

STOP! Take a break and slow down! My challenge is simple and as follows;

Tell your family and friends you are taking a 24 hour break, then turn everything off. No phone, no social media, no television or radio. Nothing. Can you do it?

There is no doubt that across this country and around the world we are all dealing with the challenges of COVID in different ways. As if that were not enough, we are facing unprecedented level of racial tension, political upheaval, and divisions that are tearing our country and our lives apart.

In a world that has become accustomed to having information at our fingertips, it’s overwhelming to have so much bad news being slammed in our faces no matter where we turn.

Social media like IG and FB? It seems everyone ranting on and on about the challenges they face and how the world problems are impacting their lives. It’s hard NOT to absorb these feelings and the stress that friends, family and everyone has during these times.

The evening news on whatever channel you watch? It’s nothing but reports of violence, riots, protests, or the latest COVID stats and why everyone in my state of Florida refuses to take precautions.

Then there are the conspiracy theories (it’s all a big scam), the end of the world preppers, the pissed off sports fans, the Us vs. Them groups, and on and on.

I am NOT advocating that you should not care about matters that are important. Not at all. What I am suggesting is to take a break! I wrote a little about this back in March when the COVID crisis first broke, in my article titled “What Do I Tell My Family During this Global Crisis?” (if you didn’t read it, go back please!)

          I am also NOT a doctor, so I am not prescribing a magical feel good pill that will make all your worries and problems disappear by sampling hitting the Off button. What I do know is that stress is on the rise across the country. And stress will kill you. I’ve seen behavior from people I thought I would never have to see, at least not in this country. Why are people acting out with such rage and frustration? Because they are stressed out.

          It’s a simple fact that unplugging from the drama, even for just a short period of time, will put you in a better mood. Plan ho w you want to spend your 24 hours of media freedom! Get outside, take a walk or a bike ride, cook a meal with family, and spend some time to reflect on the things that matter most to you like friends and family.

          Did you know, according to, that 5-10% of Americans meet the criteria for Social Media addiction? Addictive social media use will look much like the symptoms of other substance abuse including mood modification, conflict, and even withdrawal symptoms. If you couple this with the fact that most people use social media as a means for coping with stress, loneliness or depression, it’s understandable why this kind of addiction can become so harmful.

And after you take my 24 hour challenge, ask yourself how you felt before and after? Were you stressing the whole time, wondering whom was doing what, or did you feel better, liberated, and stronger for getting refocused on the things that matter most? I can promise you this; the news will still be there, your friends and family will still love you, and your “followers” will understand. Good luck!

Health and Wellness over Age 50 – Blood Lab Test Results – Part 3

On April 17, 2020 I published the second article about health and wellness and understanding lab test results. This post is a follow-up to the first two pieces I wrote. No post would be complete without a legal disclaimer; I am not a doctor nor am I giving medical advice – I am simply sharing thoughts from my journey to creating a stronger body and mind! I hope they help you along your journey.

Please feel free to go back and read the first two discussions on my blog if you have not seen them yet, or reach out to me directly if you have questions you don’t feel comfortable posting!

In the first two articles I gave you an idea of the basic readings to test for, and what some of them mean. Most of us, if you are remotely health conscious, are aware of your lipid panels (cholesterol) and maybe some of the basic vitamin and hormone levels. Unless you are diabetic, most people are not aware of their glucose levels or insulin.

In this final piece (for now!) about blood lab test results, I want to talk several additional endocrinology reproductive hormones, and why they are important. If you are someone who need actual medical attention to address your own health issues, please seek professional help. I cannot stress this enough. If you are someone who just has questions, or wants to learn more, make an appointment and ask your primary care physician to draw these labs, sit down with you, and explain them.

The following readings are part of the regular panels I monitor;

  • Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH)
  • Prolactin
  • Luteinizing Hormone
  • Progesterone
  • Estradiol
  • DHEA-5
  • SHBG
  • Testosterone
  • Free Testosterone
  • IGF-1
  • Cortisol

I won’t go over all of these readings here and now but let’s focus on a couple of them and why they’re important! (Please note I am referencing for the medical terms)

Follicle Stimulating Hormone (FSH) is an important part of the reproductive system. It’s responsible for the growth of ovarian follicles. Follicles produce estrogen and progesterone in the ovaries and help maintain the menstrual cycles in women. In men, FSH is a part of the development of the gonads as well as sperm production.

High FSH Levels in Women

If you’re a woman with high FSH levels, this may indicate:

  • a loss of ovarian function, or ovarian failure
  • menopause
  • polycystic ovarian syndrome, which is a condition in which a woman’s hormones are out of balance, causing ovarian cysts
  • a chromosomal abnormality, such as Turner’s syndrome that occurs when part or all of one of a woman’s X chromosomes is missing

High FSH Levels in Men

If you’re a man with high FSH values, this may indicate:

  • Klinefelter’s syndrome, which is a rare condition in men caused by an extra X chromosome that can affect male development
  • testicles that are absent or not functioning properly
  • testicles that have been damaged by a disease such as alcohol dependence
  • testicles that have been damaged by treatments such as X-rays or chemotherapy

DHEA or dehydroepiandrosterone, is a hormone that’s produced by your body. Some of it is converted into the major male and female sex hormones testosterone and estrogen. Its effects can be driven by the actions of testosterone and estrogen after this conversion occurs, as well as by the DHEA molecule itself. Understanding your DHEA level could be the key to better understanding things like libido, weight gain or loss, an even depression. Before you consider taking any supplements for this, be sure to consult your doctor.

Cortisol is a stress hormone released by the adrenal glands. It’s important for helping your body deal with stressful situations, as your brain triggers its release in response to many different kinds of stress. However, when cortisol levels are too high for too long, this hormone can hurt you more than it helps. Over time, high levels may cause weight gain and high blood pressure, disrupt sleep, negatively impact mood, reduce your energy levels and contribute to diabetes. Understanding your cortisol levels is an important aspect of your overall health but remember, they are highest in the morning so if you have this checked in your labs, make sure you do it early in the morning!

Last but not least, testosterone. I saved the best for last because this is certainly one of the most discussed/debated and highly talked about of the hormones!

Testosterone is a hormone produced by the human body. It’s mainly produced in men by the testicles. Testosterone affects a man’s appearance and sexual development. It stimulates sperm production as well as a man’s sex drive. It also helps build muscle and bone mass.

Testosterone production typically decreases with age. According to the American Urological Association, about 2 out of 10 men older than 60 years have low testosterone. That increases slightly to 3 out of 10 men in their 70s and 80s.

Men can experience a range of symptoms if testosterone decreases more than it should. Low testosterone, or low T, is diagnosed when levels fall below 300 nanograms per deciliter (ng/dL).

A normal range is typically 300 to 1,000 ng/dL, according to the Food and Drug Administration. A blood test called a serum testosterone test is used to determine your level of circulating testosterone.

A range of symptoms can occur if testosterone production drastically drops below normal. Signs of low T are often subtle. Here are signs of low T in men.

  • Low sex drive or difficulty with erection
  • Fatigue and loss of energy
  • Hair and muscle loss
  • Mood changes
  • Increased body fat

If you’ve enjoyed reading these updates, let me know. Also, please reach out and let me know what you would like to read more about. As I build this blog, my IG account, and my You Tube Channel (eventually), and my businesses, I will start sharing more about my own personal journey to health and wellness. Thank you!

Americans are Just Too Fat! *Five Ways to Make Better Life Choices*

It’s your body and it’s your health, yet why are so many American’s afraid to make healthy choices? In February of this year the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a study indicating the prevalence of obesity rose from 30% to a staggering 42% over the past 18 years. Here are just a few figures to consider;

  • The CDC defines an adult as “obese” if Body Mass Index (BMI) is greater than 30
  • The CDC defines an adult as “overweight” in the BMI is over 25
  • Obese Americans incur an average of $1,429 more in medical expense per year
  • Obesity is proven to lead to diabetes, heart disease, stroke and even cancer
  • More than 70 million Americans are obese and more than 100 overweight

It’s Not Education…

            Twenty years ago it would be easy to blame knowledge for obesity. We just didn’t know was an easy excuse, almost like living under a rock. Today however, health and wellness information is everywhere literally at the touch of our smartphones. There are hundreds of apps to support wellness, workouts, diet and exercise.

It’s Not Convenience…

            Fast food drive-thru, snack foods and soft drinks were always the go to excuse for “I didn’t have time to have a healthy meal.  Much like the knowledge aspects above, technology has helped change all of this for the better. Yesterday afternoon I logged into my Amazon Prime account, placed my order, and left the office. By the time I got home and settled in, the delivery guy was dropping everything off at front door. If anything, the new COVID economy has proven just how easy it can be to access almost anything we need from Uber Eats to local produce delivery.

What’s the Reason?

            We just don’t care. Let that sink in for a minute. We have become an instant gratification society of people who want to feel good NOW, and worry about the consequences later. That’s problem number 1. Better yet, there must be a pill to take or something that can help me drop weight later, or feel better when we decide we do care. That’s problem number 2. It is estimated that over 4.5 billion prescriptions will be filled in 2020 as US spending on prescriptions far exceeds any other country in the world. We the worlds most medicated country.

Five Ways to Make Healthy Food Choices

  • Start Simple A good friend gave me advice years ago and it’s always stuck with me. If it was a food 100 years ago, you can eat it! Fruits and Vegetables? Yup, they were here. Chickens, cows, etc.*(if you are a meat eater!)…yup, they were here too! Nacho chips, soft drinks, and other processed foods…sorry, no go!
  • Pick 1 Thing You can’t change your lifestyle overnight or in one day, so start by choosing one thing. You already know what that one this, as you probably thought of it as you were reading this. Instead, replace that one thing with something healthy that you know you already like. Say it out loud and while looking in the mirror! Today I will stop eating Snicker’s bars, and start eating avocado!
  • Self-Esteem You will feel better when you make healthy choices. It won’t be instant, and it’s counter intuitive if you need a quick fix but I promise, every time you make a healthy decision you will feel a little better about it. Resist the urge to step on a scale a week or two after you make these changes. It takes time, but do think about how you feel. Do you have more energy, are you sleeping better, and do have find it easier to concentrate on things? After a while, this kind of healthy behavior starts to become a way of life, and as your health changes, so will your attitude, and your self-esteem, and your total wellness!
  • 1% Better – Remember the expression Rome was not built in a day? Neither was your body. It takes time to make changes but don’t try to set unrealistic goals. If you can be just 1% better today than you were yesterday, that’s progress! Over time, those 1%’s add up and will have a tremendous impact on your wellness.
  • Surround yourself with people who share the same goals – This is important not only for your physical health, but your overall total wellness. Likeminded people will encourage, support, and help each other to make smart decisions which improve their lives. If someone is not supportive of your personal goals, you really need to rethink why that person is in your life. Negativity has no place when it comes to making healthy choices for you! Good luck and stay the course!

Maine – The Way Life Should Be

As you drive north on I-95 heading up from Boston’s Logan airport (there are not a lot of non-stop flights into Portland), you start to notice the scenery changing. More trees, less cars, fewer buildings…and a subtle serenity begins to slowly take over. Regardless of the temperature outside, I always like to roll the windows down and take a big, deep breath of fresh air. And then the sign – Maine The Way Life Should Be. I’m instantly relaxed as my blood pressure drops and I get that feeling that’s difficult to describe. It’s not just home, it’s a way of life.

Growing up in Maine is something that made me who I am today. I often tell people about what it was like and they look at me like I must be fabricating a story. We left our doors and windows unlocked, I never saw theft or crime, there weren’t problems with drugs or the stereotypical urban life stories I hear from my other friends. Instead, we grew up cycling, camping, hiking, playing hockey, and generally enjoying the outdoors. We didn’t care what kind of clothes kids wore, what kind of car you drove, or how fancy your home was. It just didn’t matter.

Maine is also where I learned the value of hard work. Growing up in New England and enduring the cold winters was not something we ever thought about – it was just a fact of life. That meant chopping wood all summer to fuel the wood stove in the winter. It also meant gardening, learning how to can fruits and vegetables for the winter months, and running out the door on “snow days’ to earn money shoveling driveways and walkways. As a young age, the entrepreneurial spirit just came naturally as my buddy Patrick and I gradually took over other boy’s newspaper delivery routes. We found a way to attach baskets to the front, back and sides of our ten speed bikes, and carry twice as many papers as the other kids.

There is a noticeable friendliness many out-of-staters notice the first time they visit Maine. People still look you in the eye, say hello, and offer a firm handshake. There are a few other traditions such as honking the car horn when you pass friends and neighbors on the road. There’s also the “nod” when driving and passing a friend in an oncoming car. I can only describe it by saying this; the forefinger ONLY lifts from the right hand on the steering wheel WHILE AT THE SAME TIME the driver lifts his head slightly and opens his mouth as if taking in a breath. You have to see it to know what I mean.

Last but not least the food. Especially the seafood. I never realized how lucky we were growing up with such an abundance of fresh, cold water fish. Everyone knows about the lobster, but the mussels, scallops, haddock, cod and bluefish are just a few of the tasty plates you can find at any local spot.

I spent most of my youth looking forward to the day when I would be old enough to leave Maine and see the world. Nowadays, I spend most of my time thinking about when I can get back there to retire, or semi-retire, and enjoy life the way it truly should be.

Health and Wellness over Age 50 – Blood Lab Test Results – Part 2

On March 20, 2020 I published the first article about health and wellness and understanding lab test results. This post is a follow-up to that article. No post would be complete without a legal disclaimer; I am not a doctor nor am I giving medical advice – I am simply sharing thoughts from my journey to creating a stronger body and mind!

                In my last article I suggested some of the basic readings your doctor should ask for when sending you for routine blood panels. They included the following;

  • Lipid Panel – Total Cholesterol, Triglycerides, HDL (good cholesterol), LDL (bad cholesterol), Risk Ratio, HS-CRP (C Reactive Protein)
  • White Blood Cell Count, Red Blood Cell Count, Hemoglobin, Hematocrit
  • Glucose, Sodium, Potassium, Chloride, Calcium, CO2, BUN, Creatine
  • eGFR, Magnesium, Uric Acid, Protein, Albumin
  • HGBA1C, Insulin, eAG
  • Cortisol, IGF-1, FSH, LSH, Free Testosterone, Estradiol, Progesterone, DHEA
  • Vitamin D, Vitamin B-12, Folate, Ferritin
  • Estrone, PSA

Now let’s do a quick review of why these readings are important and how they can help guide you towards a healthier life!

Lipid Panel

Everyone knows about cholesterol so I won’t harp on this too much. Yes, your total cholesterol should ideally be below 200, but some cholesterol is actually good for you. Your total cholesterol is calculated by adding your HDL plus you LDL, and adding 20% of your triglycerides level. It can act much like a lubricant for your blood, as well as produce Vitamin D. It’s even an important building block for hormones. But yes, too much cholesterol is a bad thing because it leads to the buildup of plaque.

LDL, or low density lipoproteins, are also known as your Bad cholesterol. Ideally your LDL level should be less than 100 mg/dl as elevated levels of LDL will increase the likelihood of clogging in your arteries. Elevated LDL levels are caused by a diet high in saturated fats and trans fats.

HDL, or high density lipoproteins, are also known as your Good cholesterol. Ideally your HDL level should be above 50 mg/dl…and the higher the better! HDL attacks the LDL in your blood and actually helps scrub your artery walls. A plant-based diet has been proven to increase HDL levels, and lower LDL levels and should include foods like avocados, olive oil, fruits, and whole grains.

Triglycerides are another type of fat that is carried in the blood. Ideally your triglyceride level will be under 150mg/dl as increased triglyceride levels have been linked to diabetes and heart disease. If you regularly consume more calories than you burn, your body stores these as triglycerides or fat, to use later for energy. High triglyceride can also lead to heart disease, diabetes, and even a hardening of your artery walls known as arteriosclerosis.

        A Risk Ratio is calculated by dividing your total cholesterol by your HDL number. For example, my total cholesterol was 185 and my HDL was 53, producing a Risk Ratio of 3.49. According to the American Heart Association your risk ratio should be below 5, with an ideal level of 3.5. According to the Framingham study, a report often used by doctors to assess a patient’s risk level for heart disease, men have double the risk of heart disease if their risk level reaches 9.6, and women have double the risk of their level reaches 7.

What can I do to lower my total cholesterol? For sure, diet and exercise are the two most important factors which can have an immediate impact on your heart health. If you smoke, quit. It’s as simple as that. Did you know that one egg has 186 mg of cholesterol? Most people should limit their daily cholesterol intake to 300 mg, and under 200 mg for those at higher risk. In parting, here are a few tips to help lower your cholesterol (and LDL) and increase your HDL. Foods high in antioxidants help lower cholesterol and can be found in blueberries, strawberries, pecans, artichokes, beans, cabbage, kale, spinach and beets. These are just of few of the things you can add to your diet in moderation! Next time, we will continue going through some of the other suggested levels mentioned above. Please follow my blog on my website to learn more as I continue to document my journey to better Health and Wellness Over age 50!

My Secret Ingredient for a Healthier Isolation

For the past several weeks (or more) we’ve all been dealing with the stress of working from home, managing life, deciding what to watch on Netflix and hopefully taking time to reflect on the things that are important in our lives. If you’re like me, this slowdown from the hectic pace of life has given me a chance to get back to the basics and focus on wellness for my family and myself.

Bullet proof coffee was all the rage a few years back, and everyone discovered the benefits of ghee butter, MCT oil, and turbo boosting the morning cup of Joe. Like all fads when they fade away, most of us forget and simply move on to the next best new thing! (Not me by the way – I am still dressing like I live in the 80’s and sure enough, preppie fashion is now “hipster”!) One of the other things I held on to was my love of MCT oil and my belief in the benefits of adding this to my daily routine!

According to Medical News Today, MCT oil is a dietary supplement that is made up of MCT fats, which are fats that can be found in coconut oil, palm kernel oil, and dairy products. MCT oil is mainly used by people looking to lose weight, or boost their endurance during a workout. Some supporters of MCT oil also claim it can improve the ability to think, as well as help with various forms of dementia. I like using this supplement in the morning as I definitely feel the benefits from an immediate boost of healthy fats as fuel for my brain and body.

Fats are made up of chains of carbon atoms, and most of the fats in a person’s diet are made up of 13 to 21 of these atoms. These are called long-chain fatty acids. In contrast, short-chain fatty acids are made up of 6 or fewer carbon atoms. MCTs refers to medium-chain triglycerides that sit in the middle of the other two types. They are of medium length and made up of 6 to 12 carbon atoms. Too much scientific lingo?

MCTs are found in coconut oil and are processed by the body in a different way to long-chain fatty acids. Unlike other fats, they go straight from the gut to the liver. From here, they are used as a source of energy or turned into ketones.

We have all heard of ketones as the “Keto Craze” has been popular for over 5 years now. What are ketones? Ketones are substances produced when the liver breaks down a lot of fat, and they can be used by the brain for energy instead of glucose or sugar. Hence the Brain Octane brand of MCT oil (which I love) and other products which promote increased cognitive abilities, memory and more through their use.

For most people the idea of getting their body into Ketosis is the goal, as the state of ketosis is when your body burns fat (in the absence of glucose) to use for fuel. As the calories in MCTs are used straightaway, they are less likely to be stored as fat. This principle is the basis of the ketogenic diet, which many people believe is an effective way to lose weight. I will talk more about ketosis and the ketogenic diet later this month, but for now my secret ingredient to Surviving Isolation? Try a little MCT oil in your morning routine and see if you don’t notice a difference!

I Didn’t Have Time for Breakfast

I was running late because of the kids. I did an extra 15 minutes of cardio and didn’t have time. I overslept and didn’t hear the alarm go off. How many times have you said these things to yourself and justified the reason to skip breakfast, arguably the most important meal of the day? Even worse, have you convinced yourself that lowering your caloric intake will help you lose weight and stay healthy? Guess again!

            Intermittent fasting has become one of the latest fads in the dietary world of health and fitness. I am not a doctor so I am not giving you medical advice; I’m sharing my thoughts in exchange for what you paid to read them – nothing! That being said let’s walk through some common thoughts regarding to eat, or not to eat!

            People who skip a healthy breakfast will consume between 200 and 400 calories LESS in a day. TRUE. But does this lead to a hungry feeling which results in mid-morning snacks or eating a bigger lunch? PROBABLY!  Scientific studies and researchers agree that your brain functions BETTER when given the proper nutrients to function at its peak. Compared to fasting, the results are conclusive.

            Can you kick start your metabolism by consuming a healthy breakfast? YES! Again, studies have shown that your body will metabolize carbohydrates more efficiently DURING the day and LATER in the day if your metabolic process begins in the morning instead of mid-day. Think of your body like a power plant – once you turn those burners on and the plant is running, your entire body is ready to function at full capacity instead of running on fumes until you reach lunchtime.

            The key factor is recognizing the words I have used throughout this article – a HEALTHY breakfast! A sticky bun or bear claw, three donuts and a coffee, or biscuits smothered in gravy and bacon is probably 800-1000 calories of inefficient food your body doesn’t need. Instead, take the time to understand healthier options that give your brain, and your body, the fuel you need to start your day off right! Here are just a few of the healthy options I like to rotate through my morning routine. All of these are 300 calories or less!

  • 1 Cup of steel cut whole Oatmeal, 1 sliced pear or banana, 2 tbsp honey, 1 tbsp chopped almonds
  • 1 egg omelet with 2 egg whites, 2 tbsp organic salsa or Pico  de Gallo, ½ cup baby spinach
  • 1 large avocado, slice in half and fill opening with egg white, drizzle olive oil, shred cheese on top of both halves and bake at 350 for 15 minutes
  • Whole Grain Cereal (I prefer bran!), almond milk or soy milk, sliced fruit or blueberries
  • Waffle Sandwich – I like the low carb protein waffles – with 2 tbsp honey, one slice of cheese OR 2 tbsp skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 ½ Cup Greek yogurt, 1 tbsp honey, ½ cup granola, ½ cup blueberries or strawberries
  • Protein Smoothie – 1 cup almond milk, 1 cup blueberries, flax seed, chia seed, MCT oil, 2 cups ice cubes, 1 cup spinach, 1 tbsp ghee butter, 1 scoop of your favorite protein powder
  • PB Bagel Sandwich, 3 tbsp all natural peanut butter, 1 granny smith apple sliced on the bagel
  • Wrap Sandwich, 2 egg whites, ½ sliced avocado, 1 slice low-fat Swiss or mozzarella cheese, 3 slices of turkey bacon or fake bacon

Thanks for taking the time to read this article. Keep a lookout for more article on health and nutrition as I share my journey to health and wellness over the age of 50!