Tuesday, December 29, 2009

The End of The Sweet Tooth

It may alleviate your sweet tooth, do wonderful things for your blood sugar, and minimize your afternoon hunger. What is it? Cinnamon. This common spice apparently can do amazing things for your body. The following article examines some interesting evidence regarding this wonderful tasting product. ARTICLE
Anecdotal evidence for Cinnamon is common, but don't wait till all the hard evidence is in. Enjoy it because it tastes good!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

The Most Important Book You Will Ever Read

Dr. John Sarno in my mind, should win the Nobel Prize. His methodology is so powerful it should be shared by everyone. I became aware of his success on this ABC TV report by John Stossel. Watch this, it's rather compelling.Video

The thought process is rather unique but also empowering. Dr. Sarno actually gives you power over pain and makes you part of the process. This means being responsible for how you feel. This is a new concept for many. It will be hard to accept, but he has too many files on patients who no longer have to be limited by perceived pain or injury.
Here is a two part interview with Dr. Sarno as well. He's rather convincing in his approach.
Part One.
Part Two.

Dr. Sarno's book is HERE on Amazon.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Avoid Looking Old. A Strength Coach's Opinion

Father time can be cruel. The above photo of film tough guy, Clint Eastwood, shows that even the physically elite do not escape aging. The idea is to optimize a strategy to age well. A recent forum post by noted strength coach, Dan John, gave his rather sophisticated approach to fighting the changes associated with abundant time on this planet. I've edited some of Dan's technical terms for more clarity. Insiders in the strength game sometimes talk in another language!

"A couple of quick suggestions: first, the role of muscle building needs to be addressed. One of things that starts to mellow out is the "passion" to train. Honestly, I don't have the answer there, but a few years ago, DHEA was argued to be the answer here. So, whatever it takes to reignite the spark, do it. I suggest camps, workshops, seminars, or any kind of full leap back into whatever lights you up. Relearn everything. I think that might be part of the reason things like the Kettlebells really got me going again. Call it immersion.

With that, the older guy also needs to address specific strength and muscle building issues. Now, be sure to look up tonic and phasic muscles and you really want to build up the deltoids, triceps, rhomboids, and glutes with explosive big movements. Doing stuff like Double Kettle bell Clean and Press or Double Kettle bell Clean and Front Squat will do a lot for you. At the same time, you need to do some flexibility work , but just what you need. I find stretching the pectorals, the hamstrings, the hips, the psoas and the calves to be plenty. Absolutely, things like Bikram Yoga are great, but you can get by with much less.

Don't be afraid to do workouts like my 2-3-5-10 press workout that emphasize one weight but you get 20 reps fast. Do that five times and you have 100 reps...good for hypertrophy, yet little damage to the system.
("It's the exercise where, when people see me, they say, 'Your shoulders have gotten huge! What do you do for them?' What I do is double kettlebell presses. If you want to add size [to your shoulders], here's a series to do: do a set of 2, then a set of 3, then a set of 5, then a set of 10, and repeat that [up to four more times]. Use the same weight throughout and minimize rest between sets. If you repeat that series five times, you've done 100 kettle bell presses, and that's a huge workout. It's just a marvelous workout for building size.")

Passion can come back through gaining muscle and a little fat loss. Take your Vitamin D, follow Atkins's Induction Phase, (see the recent books) and get in the sun. For supplements, do stuff like Acetyl-L Carnitine, Alpha Lipoic Acid and more Fish Oil than you think. Also, pound down the orange flavored sugar free Metamucil. Drink your water, floss twice a day, wear a seat belt and....a big one...donate blood five times a year.

Honestly, that newer Atkins book, something like the companion or something, is a great thing to follow. Eat all you want of fish, eggs, meat, poultry...one cup of cooked veggies a day....3-4 cups of raw veggies and drink a lot of water. If you drink, but the book, "Martinis and Whipped Cream." Too bad "LoCarbCris" no longer has a site. She had great low carbohydrate drink recipes. Crystal Light and either rum, vodka or tequila is a pretty good little "how you doing!."

Sleep is huge. I take ZMA, Z-12, Fish Oil, Alpha Male ( http://www.biotest.net/ ) and some Metamucil before bed (about 45 minutes before bed) every night. I also invested in good shades, good pillows, and I worry about comfort in bed. It's worth every nickel to invest in sleep. If you live in a dorm, buy ear plugs, eye shades and a CD or something that will teach you to relax and sleep. Underrated advice here...

Train in two week blocks. If you do Kenneth Jay's VO2 max, an excellent plan, do it like I do: an 8 minutes workout, a 12 and a 15. Do THAT five times every two weeks. So, week one is 8/12/15 then week two is 8/12 and week three is 15/8/12...you get the drift. Work over two weeks. If you do something like I just mentioned, week two might be three lifting sessions where weeks one and three are two. Also, you need to nail down this issue: do I do light days or off days. I can't do light. I can only workout, so for me, an easy day is "off."
( http://www.dragondoor.com/b39.html )

Don't ignore these final two things: either do Farmer Walks and/or Sprints about twice a week. I call my sprints the "Great 8." I start off slow and taper. I don't measure the sprints and merely strive for 4 "Down and Backs." The idea is to be smooth and get into a sprinting movement. Farmer Walks for distance is something you also need to do. I would argue these last two ideas tie into everything I have said (see tonic and phasic...explosive glute work...two week blocks, whatever), but many people will become addicted to the gym for their answers and the answer is probably outside. ( http://danjohn.org/ )

Having said all of this, remember that part of the victory is simply playing longer than anybody else. I'm 52 and I'm already planning how to beat the crap out of college kids next year. In ten years, I would love to say that these guys will be competing but I have the sense that I will be in the kilt or the ring or the field and they will be discovering Scotch.

Certainly, there is more, but take care of some of this..."

Dan John's book and incredible DVD's can be purchased at www.davedraper.com

Monday, November 16, 2009

The Most Powerful Nutrients

by Tom Furman

Would you like to consume a source of nutritional power that may make you healthier, leaner, and in less pain? If the answer is "yes" then look no further than your spice rack.

The top antioxidant foods including all fruit and vegetables are spices. A new study conducted in Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development is testing how much our bodies actually benefit from eating high-antioxidant spices. How quickly these antioxidants can neutralize an oxidizing agent, is called the ORAC value (Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity).
Do not confuse a higher ORAC value with being better.s Always eat a diet which consists of a variety of fresh foods including fruits, vegetables, and spices.

Here are some of the top spices.

1. Ginger--(Zingiber officinale) One teaspoon of ground ginger has as much antioxidants as a cup of spinach. They have been used for arthritis, bursitis; motion sickness, nausea, and it is a natural anti-inflammatory agent.

2. Cloves (Syzygium aromaticum) are dried flower buds which are native to Indonesia. Cloves are used as spice all over the world. They are rich in antioxidants, and been shown to decrease LDL cholesterol and triglyceride levels as well as improve insulin function.

3. Cinnamon (Cinamomum aromaticum) is a spice derived from the bark of a small evergreen tree. One teaspoon of cinnamon has more antioxidants than several cups fresh vegetables. Adding a little cinnamon to your diet can also help to moderate the blood glucose elevations that occur after a meal. Sprinkling some onto your cereal in the morning or into your coffee may be just what the doctor ordered.

4. Oregano (Origanum vulgaris) A popular herb used in Italian and Greek cooking, it is a high in antioxidant activity and has been used to stave off colds and flu. Oregano has both antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties. Oregano has more than forty times the antioxidant power of an apple.

5. Turmeric (Curcuma longa) is a plant from the ginger family and is native to South East Asia. Turmeric contains curcumin, which is thought to act as a strong pain reliever (by inhibiting the cox-2 enzyme). Curcumin may be useful for the treatment of arthritis as well for Alzheimer's disease, where it is believed to inhibit the formation of amyloid plaques. It’s currently being studied for its role in slowing down the growth of cancer cells as well as its ability to lower LDL cholesterol levels.

6. Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) has a long history of use in connection with chest and respiratory problems including coughs, bronchitis, and chest congestion. Recently, researchers have discovered important volatile oil components of thyme that bring about its healing effects. They are known to include carvacolo, borneol, but most importantly, thymol.

This is only a partial list of the top spices. The wonderful thing is, as you become more adept at spicing your food, the more consistent you will be at consuming these powerful foods. They are cheap, easily accessible, and improve the quality of your meals.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Hormone Replacement Therapy with Dr. John Crisler

By Tom Furman

I enjoyed attending a workshop with Dr. John Crisler at the Life Extension Foundation Conference on Anti-Aging, "Yes We Can ...Think Outside The Box" on Sunday, Oct. 4, 2009. It was held at Nova University in Davie, Florida, less than a parking lot away from the Miami Dolphins training camp.

Dr. Crisler is famous for his Hormone Replacement Therapy protocol, but calls himself, "a country doctor". He basically believes in common sense. Part of that common sense is the understanding of what is "optimal" and what is normal. He specializes in men's anti-aging medicine. He views loss of hormone with aging as a manageable condition that not only improves the quality of life, but prevents disease and lengthens life.

Here are some of the diseases associated with less than optimal hormone levels.
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic Syndrome X
  • Osteoporosis
  • Depression
  • Dementia (including Alzheimer's)
  • Erectile Dysfunction
Dr. Crisler strongly disagrees with the use of Anabolic Steroids in Sports. People in general, associate HRT with steroid use. Even some physicians do. Nothing could be further from the truth. HRT is simply restoring hormones to optimal levels, while Anabolic Steroid use in athletics may be using doses at an incredibly high level. Using blood thinners in the proper amounts is life-saving for some individuals. Using 15 times the dose of blood thinner will kill the same patient.

The speech and presentation were top-notch, informative and funny. The first segment, on Testosterone, is available HERE, in Powerpoint format. I highly recommend you download it.

The second segment of Dr. Crisler's presentation was "The Un-GHRT". It revealed his beliefs on Growth Hormone replacement. He believes it is more important to restore rather than replace. With that philosophy he uses GHRP, or Growth Hormone Releasing Peptide along with supportive measures. Primarily GHRP-6. The basis of his treatment with both GH and Testosterone is very specific blood testing. Nothing is guesswork as this area of medicine has been the Doc's specialty for over nine years. His UnGHRT lecture is also in Powerpoint format and very detailed. You can download it HERE.

Dr. Crisler has been very charitable with his time and knowledge. As anyone inside the fitness business can tell you, he's been the "go to" source for solid information about hormone replacement therapy on fitness and strength forums for years. His own website has a forum for questions on a variety of subject. He's a great source of referrals for HRT physicians as well. His website is www.allthingsmale.com .

I highly recommend checking out Dr. Crisler, then talking to your physician if the signs of low testosterone creep up on you. What are those signs? Here's the Doctor's own list. Good Luck.
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of muscle mass
  • Fat gain
  • Poor recovery
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Decreased memory
  • Lack of libido
  • Erectile Dysfunction

How To Eat Right

(Our Monday night dinner: Chicken Stir Fry and veggies in toasted sesame oil).

by Tom Furman

Humans are designed to eat enough food to grow to maturity, reproduce, and die. The human body is flexible enough to deal with poor nutrition, adequate nutrition and excess nutrition. This is not to say there is not a balanced state of optimum nutrition. Unfortunately modern man is but a shadow of his efficient hunter/gatherer ancestors. Plentiful hunting grounds and lush vegetation have been replaced by spacious supermarkets and jumbo sized food courts. No longer do muscular legs hunt prey and gather fruits and nuts, but withered limbs use escalators to deliver the overfed masses to restaurants which will feed you 10,000 calories for ten bucks.

The deep fried carbohydrates being sold hardly qualify as food, but rather a cleverly designed caloric delivery system. They leave you satiated, undernourished, and overfed. The bottom line is, if you are overfat (pinch an inch), you are eating for a specific feeling that the food chemistry gives you. You are not eating for nutrition, you are not eating because the food tastes good, you are eating food for something OTHER than survival, nourishment, pleasure, or socialization. If you have clinical or morbid obesity, you are structuring your life specifically to have food present and available wherever you are. Your life is geared around food.

Calories count, period. There is no magic. Eat less calories and you will lose weight. There are more efficient macronutrient breakdowns to prevent muscle and bone loss, but no REAL magic. If calories are reduced, nutrients must be dense to provide for adequate nutrition. This requires VERY specific food choices. A benefit of reduced calories is its anti aging effect. All mammals, under low calorie conditions resist and reverse aging mechanisms.

Very important is the awareness that pastry, bread, bagels, potatoes, rice, juice, cereal, and pasta are simple starches and will rapidly feed the fat stores in your body. These foods should be replaced with low sugar fruits, greens, and vegetables from a variety of colors. Even with this beneficial trade, IT IS THE TOTAL AMOUNT OF CARBOHYDRATES IN THE DAY that counts. It goes back to the idea of the TOTAL AMOUNT OF CALORIES. There is no free lunch.

Carbohydrates vary in density and quality. You should totally ignore, and I repeat, totally ignore the labels on food that show "23 grams of carbohydrate, and only 8 grams of sugar". This is fantasy. In the case of juice, bread, breakfast cereal, and "energy bars" this is VERY misleading. The carbohydrates in those products RAPIDLY turn to sugar in the body. In fact many popular foods such as potatoes, pizza, and bagels are served in portions that exceed anything that would resemble a normal, human, carbohydrate intake.

Proteins must come from lean sources. There are healthier sources of fat than the fat that surrounds incorrect protein choices. Therefore the leanest protein choices combined with healthy, 'smart', fats from separate sources are your best bet. Lean sources from animals would be seafood, particularly coldwater fish like cod and salmon. Appropriate poultry sources would be turkey breast and chicken breast. The other parts of these birds are close to lower grade beef in terms of saturated fat and cholesterol. Some beef can be found that is less than 5% fat. This would be perfectly suitable as high grade protein source. Eggwhites, devoid of the fat-laden yolk is also a good source. Many scientists debate on the effect of the egg yolk's on blood cholesterol. This argument may go on for years, but other components of the yolk, namely arachadonic acid, and saturated fat have bad effects on blood chemistry and health. Other sources such as wild game are excellent and closely represent what our hunter/gatherer ancestors ate. These would include, ostrich, buffalo, elk, and venison. By all means, try to find sources of these alternative proteins. Lastly, dairy products like low fat milk, cottage cheese, and yogurt provide top grade protein and an excellent form of calcium.

Fat is nothing to be feared, it must be understood. There is fat to avoid, like trans and rancid fat. Then there is fat to be embraced such as monounsaturated sources and fish fat. Fat is a dense source of calories, so a little bit goes a long way. Many low fat food sources can be enhanced in nutrative value and satiation by adding the correct fats. Simply adding fish to the diet, or fish oil, has a tremendous effect the betterment of ones health. The inclusion of olive oil, macadamia nuts, almonds, and avocados provide flavor, nutrients, and a healthy dose of friendly fats. Never eating anything fried is another simple tool that points your metabolic compass in the right direction. Burning fats or exposing them to excessive air or heat is to be avoided entirely. A simple list of good fats vs bad fats, and some simple storage and preparation guidelines are all that is needed to integrate fats into a proper fat loss and fitness program. One quick postscript on fat,..under no circumstances are potato chips, french fries, or bacon good. They represent the rotton end of the bad fat spectrum. I have never seen a potato chip walk the earth. Once again this goes double for frying,...DON'T. You are using an effective delivery mechanism to induce rancid, overheated fat to your body and the body of your loved ones.

You must have short term goals, and a long term outlook. You must have a plan to reformat your lifestyle and get lean. The idea that diets do not work is an interesting one however. Any diet, by any design,has to work. It is based on a reduction of calories. Physics work, try dropping a pen and see if it hits the ground. Most frequently, it will. That means the laws of physics are intact. You can safely assume that increase activity and decreasing intake will result in a reduction of stored energy (BODYFAT).

That leaves the ball in your court. Since this energy formula works for everyone, only you can be responsible for your degree of obesity. In life, most often, the individual determines what goes in his mouth and how active his/her day is. NO ONE else determines this. The exceptions of course are things like concentration camps with inadequate calories and forced labor. Magically, everyone is devoid of fat, muscle, and health, through inhumane treatment. The example is relevant however. There is not ONE obese person in the crowd that is resistant to the energy in versus energy out formula. The opposite case of losing control over choice is the child whose diet is governed by misguided or uninformed adults. Then the natural energy demands of growth, childhood activity, and high metabolic rate, are outgunned by a diet of densely caloric foods that are rich in bad fats, loaded with simple carbs, and highly accessable by clever marketing. The average adult, therefore, is totally responsible for their bodyfat levels.

The word RESPONSIBLE sounds heavy, but is wonderful news. If you created it, you can change it. You have ABSOLUTE control over your bodyfat levels. Many people live in a world of avoiding responsibility, and living with a highly developed excuse-making mechanism. They are not responsible for ANYTHING in their lives. They always lay the blame for poor decision making elsewhere. They blame bodyfat on addictions, stress, hormones, genetics, horoscopes, relationships, and nationality, yet fail to realize that the one common denominator mathematically involved in all of these excuses is THEM. For them, they are not fat because of choices they made. Diets do not work for them. It's as if some scary little gnomes from the movie "Phantasm" come in their bedroom at night and stuff cream pies in their mouth while they are asleep. They wake up magically more obese than they were the night before! Remember this, if you have control, you have the ability to change anything, if you don't have control, someone else does. Let's hope that someone else is adequately schooled in diet and exercise to force you into a good program.

In a discussion of fat loss it is important to mention genetics. If you want a lean, fit, body, with little effort, choose your parents correctly. Make sure they are tall, lean, and have well defined muscles. Also make sure those parents enjoy physical activity and learning. The truth is you are stuck with the cards nature dealt you. Even if you have hormonal problems, injuries, and obesity on both sides of the family tree, your body is subject to the energy formula. The manner in which you get fat, in fact, is determined by genetics. Your genes control the amount of muscle mass, bone length, neurological efficiency, and hormonal make up. This means that only you can determine where you want to take the vehicle that you call your body. We all know someone who eats everything and is naturally thin and fit. They may say that they were athletic when they were young, or worked on a farm or other labor intensive job in their youth. This they claim, may be why they have been fairly strong and slender all of their lives. They of course may also believe in Bigfoot and Crop Circles. The reason they have a superior genetic make up is their gene pool. Dribbling a basketball will not make you 7 feet tall, your parents determined that. A 22 inch waist on a woman is determined by heredity and not training. In fact, a small waist is less stable and probably under-muscled. 300 pounders and 7 footers die sooner than folks of average height. Enter the realm of reality and live in the now. How you looked in high school, during football, in your twenties, at your wedding, before your first child, yadda-yadda,...WHO CARES? You cannot change the past, and it is gone anyway. You have definite control over the NOW. You have the power to make decisions, you can understand the grade school math, you can decipher the middle school physics, and you can reproduce the high school physical education exercise program and be successful.

The pathway to fat loss begins with accountability. Be responsible, look in the mirror and point the finger at the only person in control. Do not blame your parents, your youth, your genetics, your spouse, your friends, the food industry, fast food restaurants, addictions, allergies, depression, hormones, doctors, or the media. Take control and wield the power of change. Don't be the person stuffing food down their pie-hole whining about everything, but doing nothing. In fact take a photo or video of your self and use it as a reference as you are successful in your fat reduction program. Also forget the nonsense that the camera adds ten pounds. That would mean that many people have six cameras pointed at them at once. Use simple measurement tools like a bathroom scale and a tape measure for the waist. Do not get hung up on the numbers, just realize there will be a non linear reduction over a period of time. The closer you are to VERY lean, the harder it is to get leaner. This is why the exercise is SO important. It gives shape to the body that was covered previously with pounds and pounds of fat.

The last component, is the need for coaching. No one is born with all the specialized knowledge in the world. You may need a guide or coach to inform, motivate, and entertain you on your journey. There is no need to reinvent the wheel. Find someone who can give you clear guidelines, sensible rules, and appropriate distinctions. If anything they say sounds like it is something for nothing, ...run away. Dietary voodoo promises magic but delivers only smoke and mirrors. Remember though, mystery holds more attention than logic. The elaborate spin attached to special diets may only be masking the authors denial of reality. Physics work, voodoo dieticians and trainers don't. The simple energy formula with a basic understanding of food groups and the application of physical activity will work magic in the right hands. There is NO need for dis-illusion, illusions, or new age flamboyance. Keep it real, keep it focused, and keep making small decisions that will forever change your bodyfat levels and fitness profile.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Supplements That May Aid in Weight Loss

by Robin White

I took notes here on a lecture by Dr. Stacey Nottingham at "Yes We Can...Think Outside the Box" Conference on Science-Based Medicine at Nova Southeastern University on Sunday, October 4, 2009.

"The Science of Weight Loss"

Just a note: This is a subject that is so controversial, but it is such a popular subject these days, I decided to cover it in the blog. I do want to also note, that the idea of taking a pill in the place of exercise and proper eating is abhorrent to me, I also recognize that some people need some extra help to jump start and so this article may be of some help. Additionally, these supplements are by no means the only ones that can be used. I encourage you to write to us with your own experiences and thoughts.

Her lecture divides into 3 parts: 1) The body's ability to burn fat, 2) About Your Brain & 3) It's About Balancing Your Hormones

Your body is an energy machine. every activity requires energy.

The Hidden C's: Carbohydrates (converts to sugar in the blood)

Insulin Resistance. (She was asked so much about this topic, she felt it necessary to explain in detail)

When the body has an overload of insulin pumped into the bloodstream, after a long time of insulin "reacting" and trying to get sugar out of the bloodstream and into the muscles/ liver or fat, it becomes "tired" or "saturated" with the message and begins ignoring the call for insulin. It is at the this point that the body has become "insulin resistant". This is the beginning of type 2 Diabetes.

Dr. Nottingham noted that she had battled years of being overweight and has found supplements that helped with her own weight loss.

She explained her theory on what to use and why to use them.

1) Green Tea. Green tea's main advantage for weight loss is that it pulls sugar out of the blood, combating insulin resistance.

2) Vanadyl Sulfate. She uses this for what she calls "stubborn sugar". She describes stubborn sugar as those people with a glucose level of over 100. It is composed of vanadium and mimics the effects of insulin and also helps with insulin resistance. Diabetics can use this with their regular medications. Suggested dosage is 7.5mg 2x per day.

3) Fiber. Pectin, Guar, Psyllium. Metamucil is NOT considered fiber in Stacey's book. This kind of fiber is like a paste. You eat it maybe 30 minutes before a meal. It makes you feel full. It is important to use very little at first, because it can cause a lot of gas. Start with 1 gram and go up as needed.

4) Magnesium. If you take 160-325mg before bedtime, it helps keep you regular and increases GABA in the brain, so it is very relaxing.

5) Carb Blockers. Amylase Enzyme or White Kidney Bean capsules (445mg 2 x day with meals) There is a brand called "Cheaters" which she named.

6) Fucoxanthin with Pomegranate Seed Oil. It is made from Brown seaweed, it activates mitochondrian uncoupling protein in fat tissue (Take 1-2 caps with every meal) Prevents regular fat cells from becoming "mature" (big) fat cells.

7) 7 KETO DHEA. This drives liver cells to burn fatty acids for energy. (100mg in the AM, and 100mg at lunch)



Unknown to many thin people, a great many overweight people do not feel full when they eat. Hence they do not have any signal by the brain to tell them when to stop. Leptin is the hormone responsible for this, produced from the fat cells. It tells us when we are full. Overweight people were found to have very high levels of Leptin, which seems like an oxymoron.

Their cells are leptin resistant. (Similar to insulin resistance, in that the sensitivity to the hormone is lost.) So the leptin they have actually has no effect on the brain anymore.

She combats this in two ways:

1) Irvingia Gabonesis. Combats Leptin resistance. Increases Leptin sensitivity by inhibiting glycerol-3 phosphates dehydrogenase (takes up to 8 weeks) Not an appetite suppressant. (Two 150mg caps per day)

2) Fish Oil. Helps out the "feel full" mechanism.
Note: Fish oil is so good for you in so many ways, Reverse Magazine believes you should definitely be taking it. This is just one more reason to try it.


Three reasons: Emotional, Biological and Physiological

Stop Carbohydrate Cravings by increasing Serotonin in the Brain.

2) L-Tryptophan converts to serotonin in the brain (500 to 3,000mg before sleep)


For those under the age of 40, unless you have severe symptoms, hormone balancing is not usually an issue. If you are over 40, then it is possible that you may have hormone imbalances, which can cause you to gain undue or sudden weight in the stomach area.s

Balance out Estrogen, Progesterone and Testosterone. Correct estrogen dominance by having a hormone panel and getting on bio-identical hormones if necessary. Compounded directly to your body's needs. You will need a physician who is versed in bio-identicals to do a hormone panel, prescribe the right dosage based on that panel, and then monitor you periodically, every 6 months to a year, after you are balanced. The blood or saliva panel and diagnostic is probably around $300. The cost is very low for the actual compound, only about $40 per month.

1) The Stress Hormone - Cortisol. When we are stressed, the hypothalmus via the pituitary directs the adrenal glands to secrete Cortisol and Adrenaline.

During Stress: The Fight or Flight mechanism is activated.

A) When stress occurs, fat is broken down via the adrenaline rush, but then it dissipates.

B) Cortisol stays high, because it is needed to refuel the body after your stressful fight with the saber-toothed tiger or angry boss. Cortisol acts as a storage messenger to store the fuel.

Today, we have constant stress and no physical activity to get rid of that extra fuel.

Result: We get overweight more easily.

Cortisol stays high. It also messes with Leptin. It takes a small fat cell and makes it into a big fat cell.

Cortisol should be higher in the morning, but because of our longer hours, more stress, we end up flipping that curve, being sleepy in the morning, and often wide awake at night.

Most who would classify themselves as "night time eaters" would find their cortisol levels are probably higher at night.



a) L-Theanine - relaxes (100-400mg day)
b) Lemon Balm - reduces anxiety (600mg day)
c) Meditation

Decrease Cortisol (take in afternoon)
a) Vitamin C 3000mg day
b) Phosphatidylserine (300mg) Blunts release of cortisol
c) Omega 3 Fatty acid (Fish oil)

Dr. Stacey Nottingham is a local physician, and that can be found at: www.LifeExtension.com

To wrap things up again, the content of this material is controversial. My take on it is as follows. If you have very stubborn fat, which does not respond to a clean, limited portion diet, devoid of starchy carbs and sugar AND moderate daily exercise, then you may want to experiment with one or some of these supplements and treatments. I would start with one at a time and see how they work for you. I would not advocate spending lots of money. You could be spending a lot and get little to no results. Some people may do well, and others may not respond at all. This is really how it goes, so careful and sensible experimenting is the way to go.

Let us know your know your thoughts.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Obesity in the Workplace

By Tom Furman and Robin White

Interview by Reverse Magazine with Dr. Steven Joyal, author of "What Your Doctor May Not Tell You About Diabetes" Dr. Joyal is also the Vice President of Scientific Affairs and Medical Development for Life Extension Foundation, based in Fort Lauderdale, FL.

Reverse Magazine caught up with Dr. Joyal at the "Yes We Can...Think Outside the Box" Conference on Science-Based Medicine at Nova Southeastern University on Sunday, October 4, 2009.

Reverse: Dr. Joyal, In light of the huge increase in obesity in the US, we would like to talk to you specifically about obesity as a problem in the United States workforce and how you believe it directly affects productivity in the workplace?

SJ: "The condition of obesity has such a profound impact on health and is associated with such a wide variety of diseases such as heart attack, stroke, hypertension, metabolic disorder, diabetes, sleep apnea, colon cancer, prostate cancer, asthma and so many other risks that can be incurred by obesity. This loss of health and disease can be directly attributable to loss of productivity in the workplace."

Reverse: Everyone may have a different idea of what obesity is, so for the record, we would like to get your definition of obesity.

SJ: "My definition would be a BMI over 30." (BMI is Body Mass Index, wikipedia describes this calculation as weight in lbs. x 703, divided by your height squared.) Another ‘real world’ way to understand obesity is about 30 lbs. or more over ideal body weight assuming a person is about 5’4” tall.”

Reverse: Well, ideal weight might also be a little subjective, for instance we remember those Health charts that insurance companies used to send out about ideal body weight and thought they were a little bit heavier than ideal.

SJ: "That's interesting, because according to most of those charts, I am considered obese at 195 lbs." (Dr. Joyal does not look obese, he is about 6'1'' and quite trim) "Those charts do not take into consideration waist size. For instance, a man with a 40 inch waist at 195 lbs. would be considered obese, but if he is 195 lbs. with a waist of 32 inches, then not at all. So, body composition must also be considered."

"So, to further elaborate on this, what we also use to characterize metabolic disease risk in the context of determining obesity, is if a man has a waist size over 40 inches and a woman has a waist size of over 35 inches, we consider them to be at significant risk of disease."

Reverse: Ok, so then that brings us back to the workplace. We feel that one of the big obstacles is the workplace itself. We are wondering what your ideas would be on how to get companies to give incentives to workers to stay healthier, because after all, it would improve their bottom line.

SJ: "An on-site gym is one of the best ways to encourage workers to get healthier. There is so much data that shows the enormous benefits that moderate exercise for an average of 30 minutes per day can effect on body composition, lipids, glucose levels and a host of other health indicators. The quality of the workers lives, how happy they are directly affects their productivity. A happy worker is a productive worker."

"Another idea if an employer cannot put in a gym, is to offer incentives of wellness credits toward a gym membership"

"Flexibility in the workplace is another idea. Allowing workers the freedom to work from home also helps employers to retain highly skilled and productive workers."

Reverse: It would be cool for employers to give memberships to Life Extension.

SJ: "Yes, employers could offer an automatic membership to Life Extension Foundation where they could take advantage of all the latest scientific information we publish in our monthly publication, as well as discounted supplements."

Reverse: One last question. How do you see the new proposed Obama Healthcare plan as affecting obesity in the workplace? Do you think it will help, hinder or have no effect at all?

SJ: "I think that there is a growing awareness in the highest levels of government that our modern system of healthcare s based on a "disease model". It is good at treating acute illness, and not very good at the prevention of it."

"I think they realize that it is easier and less costly in the long run to prevent disease. We are in a unique advantage right now that baby boomers are starting to reach retirement age and they do not seem likely to settle for the same quality of life as their parents did. They want a greater quality of life. So, that huge population may well have a greater influence on the medical community to be more responsive to the prevention of disease."

Reverse: Thank you Dr. Joyal, we appreciate your time in answering our questions.

Life Extension Foundation can be found on the web at: http://www.LifeExtension.com

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

We Will Reverse Your Aging

Young, healthy muscle (left column) appears pink and red. In contrast, the old muscle is marked by scarring and inflammation, as evidenced by the yellow and blue areas. This difference between old and young tissue occurs both in the muscle's normal state and after two weeks of immobilization in a cast. Exercise after cast removal did not significantly improve old muscle regeneration; scarring and inflammation persisted, or worsened in many cases. Credit: Morgan E. Carlson and Irina M. Conboy, UC Berkeley

Clock Turned Back on Aging Muscles, Researchers Claim

By Robert Roy Britt, Editorial Director

Scientists have found and manipulated body chemistry linked to the aging of muscles and were able to turn back the clock on old human muscle, restoring its ability to repair and rebuild itself, they said today.

The study involved a small number of participants, however. And the news is not all rosy.

Importantly, the research also found evidence that aging muscles need to be kept in shape, because long periods of atrophy are more challenging to overcome. Older muscles do not respond as well to sudden bouts of exercise, the scientists discovered. And rather than building muscle, an older person can generate scar tissue upon, say, lifting weights after long periods of inactivity.

The findings are detailed today in the European journal EMBO Molecular Medicine.

"Our study shows that the ability of old human muscle to be maintained and repaired by muscle stem cells can be restored to youthful vigor given the right mix of biochemical signals," said study leader Irina Conboy of the University of California, Berkeley. "This provides promising new targets for forestalling the debilitating muscle atrophy that accompanies aging, and perhaps other tissue degenerative disorders as well."

More research would be needed before any anti-aging products might result from the work, however.

Strong mysteries

Scientists know that muscles deteriorate rapidly in old age. Mechanisms that prevent muscle breakdown work less effectively in people over the age of 65, a study earlier this month found. Other research has shown that neurons have to yell louder to kick aging muscles into gear.

Yet much about how and why muscles respond to exercise, and atrophy without it, remains unknown.

Previous research in animal models led by Conboy revealed that the ability of adult stem cells to do their job of repairing and replacing damaged tissue is governed by the molecular signals they get from surrounding muscle tissue, and that those signals change with age in ways that thwart tissue repair. But the animal studies also showed that the regenerative function in old stem cells can be revived.

Meanwhile, there is no fountain of youth for aging muscles. The best advice for now: Eat well and exercise regularly throughout life.

Human muscle atrophy

In the new study, a team of researchers compared samples of muscle tissue from nearly 30 healthy men. The young group ranged from age 21 to 24 and averaged 22.6 years old, while the older group averaged 71.3 years old, ranging from 68 to 74.

Muscle biopsies were taken from one quadriceps (upper leg muscle) of each test subject, who then had that leg immobilized in a cast for two weeks to simulate muscle atrophy. After the casts were removed, the men lifted weights to regain muscle mass. More muscle tissue samples were taken.

Analysis showed that before the legs were immobilized, the adult stem cells responsible for muscle repair and regeneration were only half as numerous in the old muscle as they were in young tissue. (Muscle stem cells produce other muscle cells.) The disparity increased during exercise, with younger tissue having four times more regenerative cells compared with the old muscle.

Muscles of the older participants showed signs of inflammation and scar tissue formation during immobility and again four weeks after the cast was removed.

"Two weeks of immobilization only mildly affected young muscle, in terms of tissue maintenance and functionality, whereas old muscle began to atrophy and manifest signs of rapid tissue deterioration," said Morgan Carlson, another UC Berkeley researcher and the study's lead author.

"The old muscle also didn't recover as well with exercise," Carlson said. "This emphasizes the importance of older populations staying active because the evidence is that for their muscle, long periods of disuse may irrevocably worsen the stem cells' regenerative environment."

The researchers warned that in the elderly, rigorous exercise after immobility can cause replacement of functional muscle by scarring and inflammation.

"It's like a Catch-22," Conboy said.

Restoring powers

Previous studies have shown that adult muscle stem cells have a receptor called Notch, which triggers growth when activated. Those stem cells also have a receptor for the protein TGF-beta that, when excessively activated, sets off a chain reaction that ultimately inhibits a cell's ability to divide. In aging mice, the decline of Notch and increased levels of TGF-beta ultimately block the stem cells' ability to rebuild muscle.

The new study found the same process at work in humans. But it also revealed that an enzyme called mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) regulates Notch activity.

In old muscle, MAPK levels are low, so the Notch pathway is not activated and the stem cells no longer perform their muscle regeneration jobs properly, the researchers said.

In the lab, the researchers cultured old human muscle and forced the activation of MAPK. The regenerative ability of the old muscle was significantly enhanced, they report.

"In practical terms, we now know that to enhance regeneration of old human muscle and restore tissue health, we can either target the MAPK or the Notch pathways," Conboy said. "The ultimate goal, of course, is to move this research toward clinical trials."

The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine, the Danish Medical Research Council and the Glenn Foundation for Medical Research.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Just Quit Smoking

There are many things you can rationalize. [rational lies] Smoking is not one of them. It is a filthy, killer that not only kills the practitioner, but those around them. I have always been anti smoking. Almost all of my relatives smoked during the WW2 years, then quit. These were not stressed out accountants, but mill workers and coal miners. Many of my Uncles started smoking at age 11 in fact. They all quit. As I've aged I have become more tolerant of behavior which I would think is a sign of maturity. I have no tolerance for smoking. None. I saw someone associated with a cancer benefit smoking recently. I don't understand that behavior and trying to will only build frustration with such stupidity. Here are some government facts on smoking and the diseases it causes.

* Cancer is the second leading cause of death and was among the first diseases causually linked to smoking.
* Smoking causes about 90% of lung cancer deaths in men and almost 80% of lung cancer deaths in women. The risk of dying from lung cancer is more than 23 times higher among men who smoke cigarettes, and about 13 times higher among women who smoke cigarettes compared with never smokers.
* Smoking causes cancers of the bladder, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx (voice box), esophagus, cervix, kidney, lung, pancreas, and stomach, and causes acute myeloid leukemia.
* Rates of cancers related to cigarette smoking vary widely among members of racial/ethnic groups, but are generally highest in African-American men.

Cardiovascular Disease (Heart and Circulatory System)
* Smoking causes coronary heart disease, the leading cause of death in the United States. Cigarette smokers are 2–4 times more likely to develop coronary heart disease than nonsmokers.
* Cigarette smoking approximately doubles a person's risk for stroke.
* Cigarette smoking causes reduced circulation by narrowing the blood vessels (arteries). Smokers are more than 10 times as likely as nonsmokers to develop peripheral vascular disease.
* Smoking causes abdominal aortic aneurysm.

Respiratory Disease and Other Effects
* Cigarette smoking is associated with a tenfold increase in the risk of dying from chronic obstructive lung disease. About 90% of all deaths from chronic obstructive lung diseases are attributable to cigarette smoking.
* Cigarette smoking has many adverse reproductive and early childhood effects, including an increased risk for infertility, preterm delivery, stillbirth, low birth weight, and sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS).
* Postmenopausal women who smoke have lower bone density than women who never smoked. Women who smoke have an increased risk for hip fracture than non smokers.

By the way, adding cigarette smoking to alcohol is not additive in its destructive, killing, power, it's multiplicative. You really want to die.

Here is a link to the Mayo Clinic's article on great strategies to stop smoking. LINK

Let's also use some visual tools. Here is what your lungs look like when you smoke.

Here is what your lips look like from smoking.

Sometimes appealing to the ego is more effective than appealing to logic.
Good Luck!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Fighting Father Time

In the photo above you see what happens when you set your mind on something and don't let it stop you. Bill Superfoot Wallace, American, National, Grand National Karate Champion. Undefeated PKA Middleweight Champion. Actor and stuntman. He is 64 years old, has had a double hip replacement, and he still keeps on kicking and moving. He ignores the number, and realizes that 90% of life is showing up. He is at a fighting workshop and teaching the young fighters what a battle hardened veteran can still do. He doesn't use a cane or wheel chair or have a big gut over his belt. Bill is a lifelong athlete and son of an athletic coach and has no time for getting old. Think of Superfoot when you do your workout tomorrow!

Age is Only a Number

In the photo above, Jon Hinds, owner of the Monkey Bar Gym in Madison, Wisconsin, is teaching his 79 year old Mother how to do a handstand! She didn't start here, but began over months with a slow progression to this point. Nothing is impossible if you believe. Nothing.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

What Type of Belly Do You Have?

As a youth, I heard the term "beer belly" quite a bit. In Pittsburgh and the surrounding areas, the concentration of "beer gardens" made the "Ripley's Believe It Or Not" list. There was adequate anecdotal evidence of this occurrence in my youth for me to make some idiotic assumptions that this phenomena actually existed. That by consuming liquid calories in the form of a central nervous system depressant would actually stretch the abdominal wall and make a large, hardened, abdomen seemed to be a reasonable concept. Men would actually be proud of their distended thorax and tell you that "it isn't flab". I was actually challenged as a young child to punch a guy in the gut. It hurt my hand and wrist. I viewed it almost as a sign of robustness and strength. It actually took a health class and a reasonable teacher to explain what was going on. Not medical journals or Pub Med studies, although those added more clarity in later years. My teacher, Mr. Zona, pointed out that we stored fat in different areas. The most common were underneath the skin ( subcutaneous ), and in the abdominal cavity ( visceral ). He told us that excess fat was a health risk. He did not elaborate since it was sixth grade and we have FAR more data now about body fat.

In health news as seen online, in print, and on TV, we hear about the pear and apple shapes. We have been told that the pear shape, is unhealthy, but not as high risk as the apple shape. Storing excess fat in the subcutaneous region of the belly, buttocks, and thighs, while unsightly, is a safer state. The apple shape represents fat stored around the organs. The fat has a rich blood supply and increased the risk of high blood pressure, heart disease, and associated illnesses dramatically. Below is an example of the difference in body shape.

Remember, those with subcutaneous fat are not off the hook. Excessive body fat still represents risk, even with good blood results. Those pounds are adding stress to your knees, feet, and back. This will cause deterioration of the connective tissue which will reduce mobility and minimize the ability to burn calories. Remember, immobility is death. Mobility is youth and life.

Some individuals think liposuction or abdominoplasty is the answer. The photo below shows that while the fat apron on this morbidly obese individual has been reduced,... the visceral fat, (white area in the body scan) is exactly the same even though the subcutaneous areas have been sucked out or cut off.

Liposuction is not a method of weight reduction. The body can recreate new fat cells when you over eat and your existing fat cells reach a size limit. It's very efficient at storing energy. Cutting off rolls and fat aprons is restricted to those who have undergone massive weight loss and have excessive skin. This excess may limit mobility and represent a higher risk of skin infections.

The bad part is, the "beer belly", is simply visceral fat. It increases your chances of checking out. The good part is that it's the first place the body uses for energy in a negative calorie balance. Eat less food than you need, burn more calories than you take in, and your visceral fat will reduce in size. Your mobility will increase and you can pursue more vigorous activity to get in even better shape. It's really that simple. It's your responsibility to take charge of what is put in your mouth.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Fat Loss Urban Myths and Legends

I feel it's appropriate at times to dismantle myths and legends regarding fat loss, diet, and exercise. I picked a top ten list from a "fly on the wall" conversation.

1. "The older you get, the more your metabolism slows down. It's normal to be heavier as you age".
As you age you are less active. Thus your lean body mass decreases and the amount of calories you burn with activity using your muscles goes down. If you continue to consume the same amount of calories, you add fat. For an excellent article on this go HERE.

2. "More meals raises your metabolism".
Nothing could be further from the truth. The Thermal Effect of Food (TEF) is considered to be 10% with normal mixed meals. Many bodybuilding magazines and personal trainers suggest multiple small meals as a way to "stoke your metabolism". This is rubbish. A big meal gives a big burn, a smaller meal gives a smaller burn. When you add them up, there is no difference. Once again, I suggest you read the research. Check it out HERE.

3. "Take this pill, it will help you lose weight".
Everyone has the belief that some over the counter pill sold at a pharmacy, convenience store, or gas station will be their answer to weight loss. ( I always go to gas stations for health advice and pharmaceutical needs. ). Stimulants (amphetamines) will increase your pulse rate, blood pressure, and cause you to burn more calories. Ephedra, caffeine, and cocaine fall in this category. The jittery hands, racing pulse, and profuse sweat is a sign that it's working. I'd suggest you discuss this with your doctor and law enforcement representative. There is NO magic bullet. Billions of dollars are spent on 'diet aids' every year and we still have plenty of fat people. Check this article at Dr. Gabe Mirkin's site. HERE

4. " I just want to lose tummy fat!"
Fat loss is systemic. You cannot lose body fat in a particular region without losing it all over your body. Men gain in the abdomen and sides. Women gain in their hips, thighs, and breasts. During mid life hormone levels reduce for men and women. They begin to store fat similarly. Women gain more abdominal fat and men gain more weight in their chest regions. The cure of course is in prevention. Keep your body fat low and stay fit.
There is more data from Harvard. HERE

5. "Some people are naturally thin".
People vary in height, bone structure, coloration, and many other factors. Metabolism differences are not that dramatic. They don't have to be. If your friend burns 100 calories more than you per day, and you eat the exact same diet, you will be one pound heavier in 35 days. It's about calories in and calories out. PERIOD. The best breakdown of this law is found HERE.

6. "Carbohydrates stimulate insulin. Insulin makes you fat".
Without insulin, you would die. Many diet books and kool aid drinkers believe that only carbohydrates make you fat. Well your body is perfectly able to convert calories to fat without insulin. Read this article and get a clue. HERE.

7. "Sugar Alcohol is not sugar and does not go to fat. My protein bar says only two grams of sugar, but 24 grams of carbs".
Sugar alchohol has calories. Excessive calories above your needs will make you fat. Label it any way you like, it's still calories, and calories count.

8. "My diet balances Acid and Alkaline".
If you could vary the PH of your body too dramatically, you would die. It's carefully controlled like body temperature. Dr. Gabe Mirkin tears this ancient myth apart HERE.

9. "I went on a Detox Diet to detox my system and clean the decaying red meat out of my colon."
According to many people, detox diets caused them to lose weight, have better skin, and better well being. After all, a lower calorie, fiber rich, healthy diet should work that way shouldn't it? I'm fortunate to have special organs that detox me. They are called a liver and kidneys. I also have a colon. Remember John Wayne's colon was filled with 40 lbs of rotting red meat, wasn't it? Let's check it out HERE.
Then there is the whole concept of detoxification. Let's let professional skeptic Brian Dunning take a shot at it HERE.

10. "Weight Lifting gives women large muscles. They should practice Yoga or Pilates to give them long muscles".
The size of muscles is determined by genetics. It's largely how long the bellies of the muscles are and the abundance of muscle fiber. If you want big muscles, choose your parents carefully. When female bodybuilders or strength athletes display large muscles, it's the product of training and use of male hormones. The average woman does not have the hormones capable to build large muscles. Even most men are not capable of getting really big. Lance Armstrong and Tiger Wood are both weight trained athletes and yet are relatively slender. The statement that, "I don't want to lift weights because I'll get too big!" is interesting. It's like saying, "I don't want to jog because I'll be forced to run a Marathon or compete in the Olympics".
As far as Yoga or Pilates lengthening your muscles, these activities increase your range of motion around your joints and in some cases the stability. They do not produce longer muscles. To do that you would have to surgically detach the muscle and move it to a more stretched position on the distal end. That could be expensive.

Have any more questions or statements you wonder about related to fitness, longevity and health? Email them to Physicalstrategies@gmail.com

Monday, August 10, 2009

Is Cooking in a Microwave Dangerous or Unhealthy?

This is a myth I put to rest in 1977. Luckily my late sister was a nurse at Presbyterian University Hospital in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She had access to some of the best medical minds in the country. I asked her point blank about microwaves and she told me, based on evidence, the truth. I believe in FACTS. Peer reviewed. But if you have faith, you don't need facts. I also had my own group of experts. My teachers. What few people know is my background is not in Exercise Physiology, or Nutrition, or Theatrical Technology. I have a degree in Electronics. Most of my teachers had extensive experience with Microwaves and explained the physics to me with peer reviewed FACTS.

Two pieces of research that provide clarity-

Nutritional benefits of microwaving.

"Although you may think that microwaving is an "easy-way-out," using a microwave to cook your food has its nutritional benefits. More vitamins and minerals are retained with microwave cooking than with many other methods of cooking. This is because microwave cooking requires a shorter cooking time, covered cooking and little to no water. Too much water, surface exposure and overcooking can rob foods of nutrients."
-- Yale-New Haven Hospital

According to the American Institute for Cancer Research comprehensive report on diet and its relationship to cancer prevention (titled, "Food, Nutrition, Physical Activity and the Prevention of Cancer")... whose recommendations were created by a panel of 21 renowned researchers and peer-reviewed by additional researchers:

"Microwaves are a form of electromagnetic radiation. They cause vibration of water molecules, which produces heat. There is no evidence that microwaves have any specific effect on food composition beyond that of heat."

On a more entertaining note is this article by Brian Dunning.

Death in Your Kitchen: Microwave Ovens

Today we're going to walk on the wild side and eat some microwaved food. You've never really lived until you've lived dangerously, so let's put our lives on the line by testing the claims that microwaved food and water are toxic.

First, a little background info. Microwave ovens work by passing microwave-band electromagnetic radiation over the food at 2.5 GHz. Molecules that are electric dipoles, of which water is the most efficient, rotate back and forth in this field. The friction between them creates heat. This is called dielectric heating. More complex molecules, which are not as clearly dipolar, are not affected. It's an efficient and clean way to heat food.

I first learned about the claims of danger from a chain email sent by a friend of mine who tends to believe anything that's anti-establishment or on the fringe. A few Internet searches of some keywords reveal a huge number of holistic, organic, and other alternative web sites repeating these same claims. Just to give you a flavor of how far-out these stories are, give a listen to this list of "Ten Reasons to Throw Out Your Microwave Oven". As I read these off, notice that not one of them makes a specific or testable claim; they are all merely scary sentences constructed using scientific sounding words. And, as you can tell from the brief description of how microwaves work, few of these have any remote connection to fact:

1. Continually eating food processed from a microwave oven causes long term — permanent — brain damage by "shorting out" electrical impulses in the brain, de-polarizing or de-magnetizing the brain tissue.
2. The human body cannot metabolize the unknown byproducts created in microwaved food.
3. Male and female hormone production is shut down and/or altered by continually eating microwaved foods.
4. The effects of microwaved food by-products are permanent within the human body.
5. Minerals, vitamins, and nutrients of all microwaved food is reduced or altered so that the human body gets little or no benefit, or the human body absorbs altered compounds that cannot be broken down.
6. The minerals in vegetables are altered into cancerous free radicals when cooked in microwave ovens.
7. Microwaved foods cause stomach and intestinal cancer tumors. This may explain the rapidly increased rate of colon cancer in America.
8. The prolonged eating of microwaved foods causes cancerous cells to increase in human blood.
9. Continual ingestion of microwaved food causes immune system deficiencies through lymph gland and blood serum alterations.
10. Eating microwaved food causes loss of memory, concentration, emotional instability, and a decrease of intelligence.

One clue that might encourage you to regard these claims with some skepticism is that fact that ever since microwave ovens came on the market in 1954, not one person has ever exhibited a single symptom of any illness resulting from having eaten microwaved food, or from having used water that had been microwaved. Burns are the exception, but burns are caused by heat from any source; that's not unique to microwaves. But if you believe the claims by the anti-microwave fringe, whom I call the Microwave Militia, practically everyone on the planet should be gravely ill with cancer, radiation poisoning, malnutrition, and mental retardation.

The same chain email, and many of these web sites, also state that giving a plant water that has been microwaved will kill it. There is even a series of unsourced photographs of two plants, one of which withers and dies while its sibling flourishes. The awesome web site Snopes.com tested this particular claim. They took three plants of each of several types, and watered one with tap water, one with water that had been boiled over a stove, and the third with water that had been boiled in a microwave. Unlike whoever took the pictures that often accompany the chain email, Snopes actually controlled for other variables. I'm sure you won't have to stretch your imagination very far to guess how the plants did. They all did exactly the same. Snopes has complete details and photographs on their web site. Somehow these plants managed to escape the guaranteed death sentence that believers say microwaved water carries.

This whole paranoid suggestion is based on the presumption that a microwave oven somehow changes or poisons water. If true, wouldn't you be able to perform some kind of a test on water, and see if it has ever been microwaved? Water is H2O, whether it's ever been microwaved or not. But here's an even deal for you. If you truly believe that H2O carries some permanent damage as a result of being microwaved, and that it's possible to detect this damage through any means you choose, there's a million dollars in it for you. As you may know, the Skeptoid podcast is a qualifying media outlet for the James Randi Educational Foundation's Million Dollar Paranormal Challenge. I'll walk it through for you and I'll become your biggest cheerleader. Are microwaves really a danger to humanity? If so, it would be immoral for you to do anything else but take that million dollars and use it to educate and save the world.

Probably the most flagrant error that the Microwave Militia propagates is that microwaved food or water contains what they call "radiolytic compounds" — new chemicals created by the tearing apart of molecules in a microwave. These new chemicals are said to be dangerous, cancerous, radioactive, unnatural, or otherwise harmful. This is a demonstrably false claim. Radiolysis, which is a real process and which the Militia believes creates these radiolytic compounds, is the process by which molecules are dissociated under ionizing radiation. Water can be dissociated under ionizing alpha particle bombardment, which is a natural process. Microwave radiation, as mentioned earlier, is not ionizing radiation. It is thus scientifically incapable of causing radiolysis. The differences between microwave radiation and alpha radiation are huge. With the claim that microwaves cause dissociation of water molecules, the Microwave Militia is either deliberately lying, or they are grossly ignorant of the very subject on which they claim superior expertise.

Swiss vegetarianism advocate Dr. Hans Hertel is perhaps the most vocal of the Microwave Militia fringe group. He is quoted in virtually every book written on alternative foods or holistic health. A top-selling book on Amazon called Perfect Balance, by an author known simply as "Atreya", writes:

In spite of the political pressure, Hertel has continued his studies and won the support of many other scientists in Europe for his findings and methodology. Hertel concludes that microwaved food alters the blood chemistry of people who eat it. The manufacturing companies are trying to keep this information suppressed through court orders.

Dr. Hertel seems to have managed to gain this claimed following even without producing the most basic of information that prospective groupies should request: a specific, testable claim about what this change in blood chemistry might be; or a single victim. He is best known for his most publicized test. In 1989, he and seven fellow vegetarians confined themselves to a hotel and consumed only milk and vegetables, prepared in different ways, for two months. When he emerged, he announced his results: That microwave ovens cause cancer and degenerative diseases, despite no cases of cancer or illness among he or his group. His research, if you want to call it that, was never peer reviewed or published in any reputable journal, and yet it has become the foundational magnum opus of the anti-microwave agenda.

You'll also find that there are a large number of studies out finding changes to the nutritional content of food that has been microwaved, and the Microwave Militia loves to point to these. Chemical reactions happen whenever any food is cooked, so this has more to do with cooking than with the cooking method. Moreover, such changes are generally well below any perceptible threshold, and have always been found to be safe.

The Microwave Militia also makes claims such as microwave ovens are illegal in Russia or other parts of Europe. This is just a straight-up lie. Microwaves are perfectly legal in Russia and everywhere else in Europe. In fact I was not able to find a single country in the world that bans microwave ovens. They're regulated, of course, like all electric appliances; but regulation should not be mischaracterized as a ban.

So what's the sum total of our evidence? Billions of people have been eating microwaved food for decades, with no ill effects, and no plausible expectation of ill effects. The best evidence put forward by anti-microwave activists is based on shameless lies and irresponsibly bad science. Thus, a truly skeptical process leads us to the conclusion that there's nothing at all wrong with microwaving your food. However, I'm drinking coffee right now made from microwaved water, and it's entirely possible that this has caused profound mental aberration, and made me spout nonsense.

Source: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4080

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Oatmeal is the breakfast of choice!

This is a great way to prepare it
by Robin White & Tom Furman

Oatmeal Part One

Oatmeal Part Two

Tom and I like to cook our Old Fashioned Oatmeal in the microwave for 3 minutes on high, fill to top of oats with water, covered with a paper plate. I add my chopped strawberries and blueberries afterward. He likes his cooked on the bottom, so he puts his in with the oats covering it.

After the oats are steaming from the microwave, we add in protein powder, chopped almonds, wheat germ (all optional) and mix them altogether for a breakfast that will hold you for four to five hours and is very nutritious and healing to the body.

Oatmeal is high in Gamma-linolenic acid (GLA) is an essential fatty acid (EFA) in the omega-6 family that is found primarily in plant-based oils. Some clinicians and preliminary clinical research suggest that gamma linolenic acid (GLA) and may be useful in the treatment of: Diabetes, Eye disease, Osteoporosis, Menopausal symptoms, Premenstrual syndrome (PMS), Eczema, Allergies, Rheumatoid arthritis, Attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), Alcoholism, Cancer, High blood pressure and heart disease and Ulcers. GLA is also found in the plant seed oils of evening primrose, black currant, borage, and fungal oils. Spirulina (often called blue-green algae).

Hope you'll try this recipe. Let us know your thoughts!

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Diane Seekamp is 81...and going strong!

by Robin White

I met Diane Seekamp this past Friday in Delray Beach at the Arts Arena Gallery. She was helping her daughter lug around several heavy pieces of art from the car to the gallery. She was dressed in the latest fashion and I thought, this is a vibrant, lovely lady! And how sweet she is to help her daughter. Somehow we got on the subject of health and diet, and she mentioned she had just had open heart surgery in March. "Wow", I said "you look good." Then she said, "yeah and I am 81". That's when I knew we had to bring her to the attention of our readers!

People often think what Tom and I preach about is science fiction. Then, when I meet people who are so vibrant and healthy, both physically and mentally...I feel we need to highlight them, so people know...THIS IS POSSIBLE!

Diane said she feels like she is really more like 40. And she moves and talks and looks like it too. This makes me realize even more how important your body image really is to your overall health. YOUR BODY WILL OBEY WHATEVER YOUR MIND TELLS IT. So, if you adjust your mind to say "I feel young, I feel active, I feel flexible... you will be!

Diane, you are an inspiration to us all! Keep shining.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Well My Doctor Says,....

The photo above is actor/wrestler Ric Drasin. He currently trains six days a week, and follows a strict diet. He takes responsibility. Read more here.

"Well my doctor says,..." by Tom Furman

"Well my doctor says, I have a / an (allergy, bad back, high blood pressure, arthritis, bad knee, fibromylgia, carpal tunnel syndrome, sensitive stomach, restless legs, walking pneumonia, shin splints, acid reflux, heart burn, uneven hips, herniated disks, L5 subluxation, yadda-yadda)". My reply, "Your doctor says THAT, what do you say to yourself?" What type of self talk is going on? At what point did you decide you wanted to adopt a limitation rather than viewing a challenge or a message as an opportunity to improve your game, your knowledge, or your condition? Rather than moving forward, around, through, or over obstacles, you choose to lie down, quit, or treat them as pets. You feel more comfortable talking about your bad knee than doing something about it. Your condition gives you ample stories and attention. You become closely identified with your injury or condition. You are "Suzy with the bad back", or "Bob with the tennis elbow". ( If you don't get enough attention verbally, you can always wear a brace or splint to inform others of your plight.) You will seek out medical sources that lend fuel to the fire as well. This removes the responsibility of taking charge of your own life rather than giving the power to a physician. This may be a good thing though, since we know Doctors NEVER make mistakes.

I had a conversation with a Doctor at a medical convention once. I asked him why he didn't insist his patients adopt a healthier diet, fitness routine, and stress management tools instead of prescribing blood pressure medication. He had a beautiful, one word answer. "Adherence." He told me that I was correct in my life style change approach, but he knew that most everyone would fail at the challenge of change. He would rather keep them alive and do no harm rather than, "Having them check out on my watch." It's kind of scary when you look at causes of death from 100 years ago and now, and "drug interaction" is so high on the list currently.

Wear and tear is part of the game. Not feeling 100% percent is too. The alternative is death. It's how you deal with the bumps, bruises, and detours that determine your character and determine the quality of your life. My first suggestion to dealing with life's "issues" is to read Dr. John Sarno's book, "The Divided Mind". His works are simply the best of the best. You have no right complaining about injury or many so called illnesses until you read, re-read, and study his method. The second part is actively taking responsibility. That means you have the reins. Not your doctor, not anyone else... YOU. That seems weighty, but if someone else has the power ( it's not my fault,.. I'm not to blame,.. Well my doctor says.) then THEY are in control. If you assume all the power, then YOU are in control. How incredible is that? Every result, every circumstance, every outcome can be traced back to YOU! It's actually the path to ultimate power and in the scope of our theme, REVERSING our way of thinking about aging.

Most injuries can be overcome or adapted to. Your next comment will probably be, "well my doctor says,..". Here is the case of strength coach Louie Simmons,

"I broke my fifth vertebra twice, ruptured my left patella tendon, and detached my right biceps from the bone. I rehabbed myself to the point of being able to set a record squat of over 900 lbs in my 50s!"

I'll bet strongly that good old Louie has had a rougher path than you have and he's still plugging along. He's taken responsibility for his course and done something with it. The other thing is that he believes in physics. He understands the idea of being strong, being mobile, and being fit. Those three things form the triad of anti aging's physical tool box. If you are 45 and have bad knees, I have a few questions to ask.

Me- "How much did you weigh in high school?"
You- "Oh, 155 lbs.
Me- "What did you squat?"
You- "275 lbs for 10 reps in football camp!"
Me- Great. "What do you weigh now?"
You- "Around 230 and a nickel."
Me- "So you need to lose 80 lbs. and start squatting again."
You- "Oh, I could never get down to 155 lbs!"
Me- "Why? Have your bones gotten heavy?"
You- "My doctor says that squatting is bad for your knees."
Me- "Really? Then how do you sit on a toilet seat?"
You- "What are you telling me my problem is?"
Me- "My knees would hurt too if I wore an 80 lb. weight vest.

My point is, being proactive is always better than the knife. If you don't believe me, maybe you'll believe the New England Journal of Medicine.

" A report in the New England Journal of Medicine shows that knee surgery to remove cartilage is worse than doing nothing. The headline from Baylor Medical School, where the landmark study was performed, is that "Study Finds Common Knee Surgery No Better Than Placebo." Patients with osteoarthritis of the knee who underwent placebo arthroscopic surgery were just as likely to report pain relief as those who received the real procedure. The researchers say their results challenge the usefulness of one of the most common surgical procedures performed for osteoarthritis of the knee. Lead investigator Dr. Elda P. Way states, "The fact that the effectiveness of arthroscopic lavage or debridement in patients with osteoarthritis of the knee is no greater than that of placebo surgery makes us question whether the one billion plus dollars spent on these procedures might not be put to better use."

There are similar levels of research surrounding many, many, many, maladies. That doesn't mean illness and disease does not exist, it just means if you want a problem, there is a whole industry of medical professionals, natural healers, and voodoo practitioners who are quite adept at surgically removing money from your wallet to help you stay "ill". It's because they have the power to do so. They got that power because YOU gave it to them. You do what they say, because, "the doctor says". The question is...WHAT DO YOU SAY?

Monday, July 13, 2009

Coffee May Reverse Alzheimer's Disease!

Time to gulp down that magic liquid and put off cognitive decline!
Coffee 'may reverse Alzheimer's'

Drinking five cups of coffee a day could reverse memory problems seen in Alzheimer's disease, US scientists say.

The Florida research, carried out on mice, also suggested caffeine hampered the production of the protein plaques which are the hallmark of the disease.

Previous research has also suggested a protective effect from caffeine.

But British experts said the Journal of Alzheimer's disease study did not mean that dementia patients should start using caffeine supplements.

The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve
Dr Gary Arendash University of South Florida

The 55 mice used in the University of South Florida study had been bred to develop symptoms of Alzheimer's disease.

First the researchers used behavioural tests to confirm the mice were exhibiting signs of memory impairment when they were aged 18 to 19 months, the equivalent to humans being about 70.

Then they gave half the mice caffeine in their drinking water. The rest were given plain water.

The mice were given the equivalent of five 8 oz (227 grams) cups of coffee a day - about 500 milligrams of caffeine.

The researchers say this is the same as is found in two cups of "specialty" coffees such as lattes or cappuccinos from coffee shops, 14 cups of tea, or 20 soft drinks.

When the mice were tested again after two months, those who were given the caffeine performed much better on tests measuring their memory and thinking skills and performed as well as mice of the same age without dementia.

Those drinking plain water continued to do poorly on the tests.

In addition, the brains of the mice given caffeine showed nearly a 50% reduction in levels of the beta amyloid protein, which forms destructive clumps in the brains of dementia patients.

Further tests suggested caffeine affects the production of both the enzymes needed to produce beta amyloid.

The researchers also suggest that caffeine suppresses inflammatory changes in the brain that lead to an overabundance of the protein.

Earlier research by the same team had shown younger mice, who had also been bred to develop Alzheimer's but who were given caffeine in their early adulthood, were protected against the onset of memory problems.

'Safe drug'

Dr Gary Arendash, who led the latest study, told the BBC: "The results are particularly exciting in that a reversal of pre-existing memory impairment is more difficult to achieve.

"They provide evidence that caffeine could be a viable 'treatment' for established Alzheimer's disease and not simply a protective strategy.

"That's important because caffeine is a safe drug for most people, it easily enters the brain, and it appears to directly affect the disease process."

The team now hope to begin human trials of caffeine to see if the mouse findings are replicated in people.

They do not know if a lower amount of caffeine would be as effective, but said most people could safely consume the 500 milligrams per day.

However they said people with high blood pressure, and pregnant women, should limit their daily caffeine intake.

Rebecca Wood, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Research Trust, said: "In this study on mice with symptoms of Alzheimer's, researchers found that caffeine boosted their memory. We need to do more research to find out whether this effect will be seen in people."

"It is too early to say whether drinking coffee or taking caffeine supplements will help people with Alzheimer's."

Neil Hunt, chief executive of the Alzheimer's Society, said previous research into caffeine had suggested it could delay Alzheimer's disease and even protect against vascular dementia.

"This research in mice suggests that coffee may actually reverse some element of memory impairment."

"However much more research is needed to determine whether drinking coffee has the same impact in people.

"It is too soon to say whether a cup of coffee is anything more than a pleasant pick me up."

Story from BBC NEWS: