Health + Performance: Optimization With Adaptogens

It’s well documented that genetic expression is sculpted by environment.

“A substantial body of research reveals that specific genes can be expressed at different times in an organism’s life. Whether a particular gene is expressed and the degree to which it is expressed depend strongly on the environmental conditions experienced by the organism.” (1)

Epigenetics is a word for this fascinating study, of how our genes are affected by stimuli and behaviors. One simple example is temperature or climate, and resultant adaptation. It stands to reason that a person who has experienced and adapted to both tropical and wintry climes would be more resilient. Or that an athlete well trained at altitude in either hot or cold, dry or humid, would have an overall advantage in international competition.

There’s also a growing body of Nutrigenomics research concerning how food is biological information the compounds of which interact with the genome. This knowledge we have some of already, in ingesting different foods for specific and medicinal effects.

More than nourishment, food can be used to trigger or “unlock” genetic enhancement. (2) This is taking more of a programming approach.

Furthermore, the microorganisms or bacteria involved may exchange information from the food matrix via horizontal gene transfer to help adapt to surrounding environments and achieve upgrades, an extraordinarily complex and benevolent partnership. (3)

Adaptogens are plant substances, or medicines, that enhance performance, well being and reduce stress.

Among those well known for potency are: Astragalus, Ashwagandha, Ginseng, Turmeric, Chaga, Holy Basil — that is naming just a few. Their medicinal properties and uses have been established by centuries of study and tradition — traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda for example provide a lot of information — and the discoveries of the extent of Earth’s bounty of course continue.

Adaptogens may be ingested to achieve a beneficial genetic activation or horizontal gene transfer through their valuable compounds and microorganisms, the result of that plant’s evolutionary path and *its advantageous adaptations. In a way this could be viewed as an exchange of currency or information, even a sort of social interaction.

Including varied vitamin and mineral rich foods as well as the deliberate inclusion of adaptogens for specific issues optimizes health by prevention and by enhancing overall performance. Especially beneficial are nutrient dense foods to which one hasn’t been exposed to before.

One can also best set oneself up for longevity and optimal health by believing in it and by enjoying an indefinite life worth living.





OCTAVES New Music Friday: Artemis Amenti — Flight Of Imagination

Out today for New Music Friday is this vocal remix / rework of Starstuff, Artemis Amenti’s “Flight Of Imagination” and it is quite simply about going with one’s own creative flow to feel the joy of life.

Apple Music || Spotify || Beatport

Studio Shangri-La Fine Art Feature: Classic Deco Botanicals

See the Portfolio page for more

I started making these a couple of years ago and these are some good representations of the first wave below. The above is second wave. It’s an immense joy to take the photos to another surreal multidimensional level. Nature is already beautiful, sacred and pristine. This is just another way to celebrate that and that of nature which we cannot see with the naked eye so to speak, such as electromagnetism or the view of a flower through the compound lens of an insect. And this is an easy way to bring nature indoors! Available for high resolution download.

OCTAVES New Music Friday + Upcoming


Odd Circuit — STARSTUFF

Available on Apple Music, Beatport & more.

Genre / Subgenre = Electronic Music, Dance, Progressive House

This uplifting track features legendary cosmic Carl Sagan samples.

“We are a way for the cosmos to know itself… The cosmos is also within us…”

Stay tuned for next week’s new release, which is a STARSTUFF rework:

Artemis Amenti — Flight Of Imagination

Chemistry + Longevity: Redox, Iron Oxide & Reverse Rusting

Studio Shangri-La Industrial

Sometimes a mere change in verbiage can expand perspective. Case in point: Referring to a gain in electron flow as “reduction.” When it comes to nature though, gains and losses are actually exchange because energy cannot be destroyed. (1)

The oxidation-reduction reaction is a complimentary process of electron transfer referred to as “redox” in which an electron moves from one atom to another.

A biological example of redox is that the imbalance of charged particles or ions across cell membranes signals muscles to contract and extend. In this electrochemical process, imbalance is vital.

Rusting or corrosion is oxidation and so can also be viewed as a redox reaction. Iron combines with oxygen and water, and produces Iron Oxide.

Nontoxic and biocompatible, Iron Oxide plays an important role in biological and geological processes, as a catalyst. Oxidized iron is also an integral part of heme – and hemoglobin – in the blood, responsible for oxygen transport. (2)

While oxidation is portrayed sometimes as having negative effects, in the above case it is clearly productive. The same goes for unpaired electrons, or “free radicals.”

Current Iron Oxide research – pun intended – includes the attributes of superparamagnetism and “Reverse Rusting,” a process at the nanoscale which involves slowing down oxidation and even reversing it using pressure, temperature and a Transmission Electron Microscope. (3) The development of Iron-air batteries that make use of reverse rusting are even underway here in Massachusetts.

Side note :: On a more practical everyday scale, potato and lemon [acid] can be used to remove rust. And utility poles have Magnesium Ion stakes that prevent iron’s oxidation.

Endnote: When iron oxidizes it is returning to its natural state as ore, so that too could be viewed as a reversal process.


Studio Shangri-La Conceptual Photography: SO FLL PT II

This is the continuation of the February SO FLL Collection. The aesthetics are modern, art deco, noir, with a touch of surrealism and the subject is the seaside environment. The original photos I took in Fort Lauderdale.

For commissions and inquiries, please reach out through the Contact page.

Upcoming On OCTAVES Music: Odd Circuit — “Starstuff”

Out 3.3.23

Coming up 3.3.23 on OCTAVES Music is “Starstuff” by Odd Circuit, a progressive house track laden with atmospheric and inspiring Carl Sagan quotations.

Click here for Pre-Save

Odd Circuit on Apple Music

Odd Circuit on Beatport

New Art In February: SO FLL Part I

The latest batch features more beautiful South Florida nature. The opening piece is “Physalia Physalis” aka the very poisonous Portuguese Man Of War, the most prominent blue and pink being its bladder!

Along the path of tropical flora, there’s also CALLITHAMNION the genus of algae, among lots of other fascinating sea plants. Algae and plankton are vital to global oxygen, and jellyfish help regulate them.

More celebration of the majestic ocean and surrounding environment to come.

Featured Artwork + Concept: Nanostructures

This featured artwork takes on the subject of MIT Nano Building 3, specifically the evocative looking clean room on the ground floor. The idea of this series is turning the architecture of the building into a multidimensional microelectronic style rendering, a tribute to the tiny nanoscale world, to beauty and ingenuity, to the institution itself. It’s also influenced by Escher’s folds and infinite corridors — Finding infinity and comparable, if not fractal, structures at different levels of existence, or magnification.

Featured Artwork + Concept: “Decision Tree”

With “Decision Tree” I was inspired by the evolutionary choices of species that leads to different adaptations. The overlapping Cubist style layout in both is an abstraction of overlapping decision trees, expressive of possible paths of one or more species or situations. These are photos I took of actual trees, so in that way there is realism, taken to the surreal and conceptual, a birds-eye view outside time. The original image I was inspired by to create these was a graph of the diverging evolution of plants and animals, and how one element or decision can cause striking differences among related species.

Inspired by evolutionary biology, Decision Trees can apply to optimize any decision to be made from conditional variables. They can be shown graphically as a flow chart for many situations. The concept appears in Data Science, Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence in the form of “Evolutionary Algorithms” for complex evolving computation. Speaking of which, AI seems to “love” art.

The influence of nature upon science and back again is present and in these artwork Decision Trees. I made them in vibrant complementary colors to represent robust possibilities, being an unabashed optimist and idealist. Every choice moves one forward.

“Optimism is a faith that leads to success.” ~ Bruce Lee

Studio Shangri-La Podcast: Culture + Evolution — Uprooting Misogyny & Bullying For A Richer, More Enlightened Society

Homepage on Anchor FM

Stick with this one until the end — there’s a lot of important points for all humans.

Shangri-La Green February Promo Products — From Compostable Phone Cases To Hemp Underwear 🌿

Mitopure | Nature’s Answer Extracts | Pela Case | Wama Hemp Underwear

This month’s featured promo products so far feature a game changer in waste reduction — the compostable phone case, as well as longevity and preventative natural health items from Timeline Nutrition and Nature’s Answer, plus breathable healthier Hemp underwear by WAMA. Shangri-La Green represents beneficial lifestyle mods and improvements in materials both with the in-house and promoted products.

Shangri-La Green 🌿 Top Shelf Recipe + New Products

Delightfully sweet and satisfying, SuperFood Magic Squares are easy to make — just mush and freeze — but they’re also available in the Shangri-La Green shop. They feature two great promotional products: Vegan Un-Honey & Green Vibrance powder, as well as other top shelf ingredients for nutrient density.

Shangri-La Green SuperFood Magic Squares, package of 6

Organic Ingredients: Dried Gogi, dried wet apricot, dried white mulberry, walnut, cashew, Single Origin Food Company Vegan Un-Honey (coconut nectar + flower pollen), *Vibrant Health Green Vibrance, Chaga powder, Hemp Seeds *not completely organic A serving of six 2×2” squares that comes in plastic free packaging. Refrigerate or freeze upon receipt. Shipping included in price.


New in Cosmetics are updated containers and serving sizes, as well as a new product: Triple Red Lip Balm. The name ‘Triple Red’ comes from the ingredients gogi, rooibos and tart cherry, a soothing antioxidant and mineral rich combination.

Triple Red Lip Balm

Ingredients: Refined Shea butter, unrefined shea butter,* argan oil, dried gogi,* red rooibos powder & leaves,* tart cherry juice* *organic Human tested & plastic free. Refrigerate — Domestic Shipping included in price.


Shangri-La Green came into being from the desire to create no-nonsense beauty and lifestyle products that are designed to be beneficial and nourishing, without unnecessary additives. These products are home cooked in Somerville, MA with marble and metal utensils, with attention to waste reduction.