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Posts Tagged diet

Exercise Is Not The Main Way To Lose Weight. Diet Change Is.

So the results are in: Changing your diet is the better way to lose weight than more exercise. In spite of what Coca Cola and other sugar companies promise. Check out this video…

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Correcting An Eating Mistake After 60+ Years

Ahhhh. So painful to realize I have been “doing it” all wrong for decades. I am referring to my eating patterns.

My chiropractor father taught me to drink a glass of water just before you eat. Starts the digestive fluids, which will help digestion. WRONG!

I heard this week from a naturopath that water should be ingested 10-20 minutes before the meal, so it can pass quickly through your stomach. Once you start eating, nothing leaves your stomach until it’s been digested. So if you just took in a glass of water, it is going to stay in there with the food. And it’s also going to dilute the stomach acids, which will slow down the speed of digestion.

So you are bloated with the water and stay that way longer, until everything is digested. Duhhhh. In fact the stomach will call for more acid to make up for the diluted acid that is supposed to do all the work. This puts additional strain on the whole system.

No wonder I feel bloated and it takes me so long to digest my food.

Beer and juices with your meal create the same problem. Wine however is acidic, so it helps digestion.

I hope there aren’t too many mistakes like this in other parts of my life…

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I Am Not As Healthy As I Thought

I went to my first naturopath this month. I want to encourage you to consider going too, even though Wikipedia is very skeptical of the benefits.

My father was a chiropractor who was only sick four times in most of his adult life. In those long-ago days, when I was growing up at home, he and his colleagues were called quacks, ridiculed by most medical doctors, and even regarded as fakes. But I often heard at dinner how he was healing people who had come to him as a last resort after nothing else worked. So I have always been open to alternative health practices, including acupuncture and Asian healing methods.

Dad told me that “you are what you eat.” And he taught me to take vitamins every day, avoid excessive alcohol, drugs and cigarettes (although he drank and smoked himself). He also encouraged me to exercise and set a good example here, as he would walk on the golf course, rather than rent an electric cart. By following that advice and being gifted with great genes (parents died at 88 and 94), I have arrived at 75 with good health and the ability to play tennis three or four times a week, while many of my classmates are either dead, using walkers and canes, seeing doctors frequently, recuperating from surgeries and procedures.

So imagine my shock to discover that I have minor problems I never knew about until today. Just heard them after the most thorough analysis of my blood ever. Way beyond what I learn from my annual physical. EVERYONE SHOULD DO THIS!

For example, my lead and mercury levels are so HIGH (95th percentile) that I MUST give up tuna and swordfish for at least a year. Those top of the food chain predator fish are full of the stuff. Drat. I just had delicious tuna sushi last week. Who knew that it was my final morsel. And next I will have my well water tested for lead. Flint, Michigan seemed so far far away…

In spite of taking vitamin B-complex, my B-12 levels are so low that he gave me the first of three injections and then supplements to follow. I should be in the upper areas of a 200-1100 range: but I am only at 283. This huge deficiency might affect memory, balance, energy and make my nervous system so “restless” (rather than calm), that it shakes.

My kidneys need more water, and just like one tennis coach warned me, kidneys are hurt by too much Motrin, which I have been taking for months every time I play tennis to mask the discomfort from my tennis elbow. Now I should only take Motrin AFTER I play if it hurts…not before.

My magnesium level was only 4.5, instead of closer to 6.4. My thyroid is low, which can cause reduced cognition, sluggishness and digestive tract problems.

My Vitamin D level was only 33, instead of 45-plus, which is better for cardiovascular functions and reduced cancer risk. My selenium was also low, only 175, instead of closer to 350.

Now there was lots of good, even great news: no scarring of my liver after the hepatitis and jaundice I contracted in Korea, when I was 22. No Lyme disease, even though I had that in the last 20 years as well. No anti-immune problems, no lupus.

My cholesterol at 172 is ideal (thanks partly to the statin I started seven months ago, and I will begin taking a supplement to eliminate the tightness in my calves and back that is a common side-effect from the statin). I should be eating more plant oils, avocado, coconut, fish oil, shrimp, sardines with oil. These will all stabilize my nervous system.

So a new phase begins. It’s almost a decade since my annual blood test disclosed that my cholesterol at 239 was just touching heart attack range. I had to learn all about cholesterol and what foods cause the high levels. I gave up frequent–sometimes daily–pleasures, like butter and cheeses and ice cream and tasty, crispy, flavored chicken skin. I have survived well. Now it’s time to make some more changes. All a process.

But the results can be worth it…at least they are to me. Now if I can only improve my serve…

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Michael Pollan Advice

Micheal's writing house in CT that he built himself, wrote a book about and that I used to drive by

Micheal’s writing house in CT that he built himself, wrote a book about and that I used to drive by

Michael Pollan writes and lectures about food. I relate to him in a rare way: he used to be a neighbor down the street…about five miles away. We never met, but I still feel somewhat connected.

A friend gave me a book of his (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) that spoke well of hunters, who are part of the landscape where I live in rural Connecticut. Michael moved to California and hosted a documentary I saw recently called “In Defense of Food.” He points out that his best advice distilled from years of exploration is to “Eat food, not too much, and mostly plants.” By “food” he means wholesome and natural edibles and not processed, artificial stuff like potato chips, TV dinners and ice cream.

I have been avoiding red meat, veal and pork for decades. But I still eat chicken and fish. I love ice cream, but cut that out, when I had to worry about cholesterol. Sorbet is the substitute, but that has lots of sugar. I had broccoli soup today, but eating mostly plants seems challenging. Fortunately I am active enough to not have to worry about losing weight. I have to focus on gaining weight.

But giving up good tasting items that you can eat, even if Pollan doesn’t call it “food,” can be very very difficult. If you are trying to not only be healthier but to also lose weight, one trick Pollan suggested to fool yourself is to serve your meals on smaller plates. I wish you the best.

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Confronting Death And Illness

Bella resting

Bella resting

It’s been a confronting month with regards to health and exercise. I am still doing 5-15 minutes of something, whether push ups, flys, etc: yesterday was 1318 consecutive days. I have also been playing tennis 3-5 times a week…even 6 times one week this month.

But I also didn’t pass my annual physical EKG automatically…a PVC (premature ventricular contraction) that necessitated two stress tests, the second with radioactive isotopes to look at my heart muscle with a cat scan. The cardiologist meeting is coming up July 1st, but it sounds like it’s NOT life threatening. She said I could continue playing tennis and to just watch out for symptoms greater than being out of breath for 5-10 seconds after a tough point. One player told me it takes him a minute or two to recover.

I only needed to raise my heart rate during the tests to 124 before quitting after one more minute of fast walking. I went to 170 and 155, which was terrific for my age group. I also started taking a baby aspirin a day, and after two weeks of this, I will have had more of those pills than in my entire life. I do like the citrus flavor.

However I really mind being normal and having health issues like everyone else I know. I am not used to it. I am spoiled. I have been blessed with good genes and also consciously avoiding bad foods and habits. In fact my cholesterol went down again to 187 from 196 last year, 218 in 2008, and 237 in 2005, when I first learned I had a problem. Changing my diet and exercising more often has really paid off. But I still have a slight abnormal blockage in one artery it appears.

I know, I know…it’s better than most guys my age. And nothing worth mentioning compared to others with far more serious illnesses, like cancer. Even my dog has cancer, has received chemo treatments for months and has not eaten for almost two weeks now. I thought we might put her down this morning, but we decided to wait another day. These sick friends and relatives have upset me terribly. I have been down and in a funk, though not depressed. It’s so sad, and I hate feeling helpless.

My dog breed’s life expectancy is 12-13 years. Bella is 12 1/2, so she is right on schedule and has had a great life. I can live with her demise more easily. When my father died at 88, I felt like he had also enjoyed a good run. And I have already had 74 years, so I won’t complain. Though when I had my birthday in April, I realized I may have “just” another 10-15 years…until I was shook up in May by my physical.

But it is very upsetting when friends in their early 50s become seriously ill, like one who died a few years ago at 54. I know Life is not fair, but it still pisses me off to see randomness in action. Living is such an uncertain and fragile adventure. Another friend fell two weeks ago and landed on her chest and knees. No broken bones, but she might have hit her head and been seriously injured. Two days ago I fell over a curb inside a restaurant, where it was dark and there was a gap between the potted plants. Luckily I landed on my knees and hand and didn’t shatter my right, tennis wrist.

I never forget that I could be living in a war zone, or starving, or lacking water. My friends from California who stayed with me this weekend were thrilled to take a shower that lasted more than three minutes. We must all savor the good moments.

Bella on Father's Day

Bella on Father’s Day

I will miss many of those I had with Bella, as she chased tennis balls I hit and flushed pheasants I often missed. She has been a loving friend and companion. As the android said in Blade Runner: “Time to die…”

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Of Course Sugar Is A Drug

Here is a very damning article about sugar. It’s an interview with Robert H Lustig, a medical expert at the University of California. Some of the excerpts below are scary.

The Wall Street Journal asked Americans what are the most dangerous of four substances in America: tobacco, 49 percent; alcohol, 24 percent; sugar, 15 percent; and then marijuana, 8 percent. Sugar was doubly worrisome to Americans than marijuana was. How about that?

Sugar is the alcohol of a child. You would never let a child drink a can of Budweiser, but you would never think twice about a can of Coke. Yet what it does to the liver, what it does to the arteries, what it does to the heart is all the same. And that’s why we have adolescents with type 2 diabetes.

There are three negative biochemical effects sugar has on the body:

One, fructose, the sweet molecule in sugar, is not metabolized like glucose. It’s metabolized in the mitochondria, and it is metabolized in the liver to liver fat. That liver fat mucks up the workings of the liver and leads to a process called insulin resistance. That raises your insulin levels because your pancreas has to make more insulin. That drives all the chronic metabolic diseases we know about, plus it burns out the pancreas, leading to diabetes.

Two, cellular aging. When bananas ripen, they brown. The sugar in the bananas binds to proteins in the bananas nonenzymatically, even in dead tissue. That’s called the cellular aging or Maillard reaction. That happens to everyone all the time, so we brown inside. You don’t want to brown very fast, but we’re all browning because that’s how we age. But sugar makes us brown seven times faster; it basically kills our organs quicker.

Three, sugar is addictive. So a little makes you want more, because of the effect of the reward center of the brain.

For other drugs of abuse, we limit them in various ways. If they’re legal drugs of abuse, we make them expensive and we have all sorts of restrictions on access. But for sugar we have nothing. We give it to newborns, we give it to two-year-olds, we have it at birthday parties and at school, etc. So we have a nation of childhood addicts; just walk into any supermarket and watch these kids nag their parents for the stuff. That’s why we should regulate it.

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Jennifer Lopez Works Out And Watches Diet

J-Lo Abs look good

J-Lo Abs look good

Jennifer Lopez’s abs made an appearance in West Hollywood, California. The singer was spotted pulling a tank top over her purple sports bra and black leggings outside the gym.

In May, Lopez revealed she tried the 22-day vegan diet that Beyonce and Jay Z completed last year.

“I did the vegan 22-day plan and it was really good, and I kept on with it for a few more weeks and now I’ve incorporated a little bit of fish here and there,” she told Ryan Seacrest. “But I’ve got to tell you, I enjoy it. I enjoy eating that way. I never did and I didn’t know how good you can feel when you put healthy stuff in your body. I was so used to just eating the way I grew up.”

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Weight Loss Challenges

I have been bumping into so much discussion about how to lose weight. Yesterday on the radio, Kirstie Alley said she always ate large portions, was very athletic and had no overweight problems. Then she turned 53, and ballooned up for no special reason. I wrote about her in 2011. She had jumped to 230 pounds from 143…and then she lost 75 pounds, gained 75, etc. The key question is how to lose it and keep it off?

So today I read an article suggesting that you lose more weight from exercise in a warm setting than a cold one, because you eat less after the workout.

The comments are illuminating. One says you can’t lose weight from exercise alone:

I have done a lot of research into clinical trials regarding exercise and weight loss. The general theme is around 25% of individuals GAIN weight with exercise. Another 25% remain weight stable. The remainder may lose paltry amounts…or up to 10-15 pounds…only if sustained. The tale is worse for women.

Exercise has been shown to be fairly pathetic for weight loss. Begin with diet.

Another says you have to do larger amounts of calorie burn through exercise and also agrees that diet is important:

What has been shown to be “pathetic” for weight loss is doing a very small dose of exercise. The vast majority of research studies only have persons exercising about 1-3 hours a week and therefore burning only at most about 200 calories a day. Most dieters in these studies are producing deficits of between 500 and 1000 calories a day- no wonder “diet” looks better. As I quoted below, this study showed that when calorie deficits are matched, exercise brings the same amount of weight loss. Of course the exercise has to be at a much higher dose- at least an hour a day of fairly intense exercise http://www.nature.com/nrendo/journal/v3/n7/full/ncpendmet0554.html

Possibly people who gain weight from exercise are those doing this paltry amount of exercise and thinking they are burning more calories than they are, and therefore they overcompensate by eating too much. Studies also show that at whatever kind of diet that is done, 95% regain all their weight within five years- and low carb diets also don’t bring lasting weight loss. Dieting without any exercise necessitates drastic calorie reduction, which is not sustainable for most people. Exercise is an indisputable factor in keeping weight off. My citation explored many studies which show this. I exercise at least an hour everyday and this helped to lose 100 pounds and continuing to exercise has helped me to keep every pound off going on 5 years.

It’s a huge challenge for most people, especially when most can’t do an intense hour workout each day. But I am still convinced from all I have learned that healthier, low fat/low sugar/low carb diet plus exercise is needed to lose weight and keep it off.

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How To Pick Up Girls At The Gym

There are a lot of videos giving advice about how to pick up girls–and guys–at the gym. Very useful. Check out the first minute of this video to also learn something about the Strongman competition from champion Robert Oberst. He eats six times a day to ingest 20,000 calories. He needs the fuel to lift the weight. He also travels through the supermarket emptying out parts of the meat section.

He admits others have the abs…but he has the titles.

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Low Carbohydrate Diet Might Lower Weight

This article offers a perverse reason why people gain weight and then can’t lose it. It’s because there are calories in fat cells that are NOT in the bloodstream…so your body tells you you’re hungry, your metabolism slows down, and you feel the compulsion to eat.

As it turns out, many biological factors affect the storage of calories in fat cells, including genetics, levels of physical activity, sleep and stress. But one has an indisputably dominant role: the hormone insulin. We know that excess insulin treatment for diabetes causes weight gain, and insulin deficiency causes weight loss. And of everything we eat, highly refined and rapidly digestible carbohydrates produce the most insulin.

Like an infection that raises the body temperature set point, high consumption of refined carbohydrates—chips, crackers, cakes, soft drinks, sugary breakfast cereals and even white rice and bread—has increased body weights throughout the population.

People in the modern food environment seem to have greater control over what they eat than how much. With reduced consumption of refined grains, concentrated sugar and potato products and a few other sensible lifestyle choices, our internal body weight control system should be able to do the rest.

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Eat Like A Caveman

Here is the article that talked about the movie Fed Up. In addition to describing the movie, there are some excerpts that endorse low-carbohydrate/high protein diets, which some friends have been describing as paleo/caveman diets: eat like a caveman…nothing that is from cultivated, starchy products, like potatoes, grains, bread, etc.

Are all calories equal?

Dr. David Ludwig, the director of the obesity program at Boston Children’s Hospital, argues in the film that they are not. In recent studies, Dr. Ludwig has shown that high-carbohydrate diets appear to slow metabolic rates compared to diets higher in fat and protein, so that people expend less energy even when consuming the same number of calories. Dr. Ludwig has found that unlike calories from so-called low glycemic foods (like beans, nuts and non-starchy vegetables), those from high glycemic foods (such as sugar, bread and potatoes) spike blood sugar and stimulate hunger and cravings, which can drive people to overeat.

Studies also show that calories from different foods are not absorbed the same. When people eat high-fiber foods like nuts and some vegetables, for example, only about three-quarters of the calories they contain are absorbed. The rest are excreted from the body unused. So the calories listed on their labels are not what the body is actually getting.

I am still convinced that if you eat less and exercise more, most people will feel better and lose weight. Now that it appears if you eat less carbohydrates you will lose even MORE weight, that should make it easier to see lower numbers on your scale.

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Would You Pay To See A New Film About Sugar?

So here comes a new documentary for movie theaters claiming that the cause of obesity, diabetes, overweight is the sugar and fat in our food. One in three Americans will have diabetes by 2050. 95% of our population will be overweight or obese within 20 years (it’s 66% now) Sugar is in 80% of all processed food products. The sugar and junk food lobbies deny there is any problem at all. This is like when the tobacco companies swore that cigarettes weren’t harmful.

This crime is so obvious, I can hardly believe people don’t know it. A man asked me today at tennis how he could lose a few pounds around his mid-section. I said eat less, especially sugar, and that includes wine, which metabolizes into sugar. Another man mentioned that it’s also important to enjoy life, and wine helps people do that.

I agree. I have always had a sweet tooth for baked goods. It’s almost impossible for me to give up those great sweet tastes. But I do eat less ice cream and sorbet (no cream/cholesterol) and pies and cakes and cookies. The effect of sugar on the brain appears to be identical to what cocaine does. Pretty seriously addictive.

However I seem to have more discipline than the average person. I am determined to stay fit and healthy in addition to living longer. This is a huge challenge for most people. How do you handle it?

The film was produced by Larry David’s wife, Laurie David, who also produced An Inconvenient Truth with Al Gore, and former CBS-TV news anchor, Katie Couric. I am sure Laurie’s association with the political left will inhibit many Republicans from watching the film or considering its message. Too bad. Sugar is bad. Avoid it to whatever degree you can.

Your life and health depend upon it…

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A Moment On The Lips, Forever On The Hips

Un momento en los labios, para el resto en las caderas. That’s the phrase I bumped into in a Spanish language phrase book. The editor sure has a sense of humor.

I remember my capoeira mestre telling me he never ever drank a drop of alcohol. It was like taking poison. It would affect his athletic performance for sure. Yet just two days ago a friend who is considering expensive stem cell injections in another country stated that if he gave up drinking, he would grow more stem cells naturally. But he loves his wine or liquor too much.

I know former alcoholics (they would say they are never “former”) who refuse to take one drink for fear that their old compulsions will take hold. I understand completely how one little slip can lead to much bigger deviations. On a recent trip to Spain and France, it was impossible not to be served meat, cheese and cream in the food. It was everywhere, and these are three foods I gave up to keep my cholesterol low. I definitely miss chorizo sausage, so I had one little taste. Suddenly I was eating cured ham, salamis, lamb. Heavenly tastes. I tried cheeses I used to eat, had vegetables in cream sauce, and many flans with egg yolks. It was all delicious.

Of course I thought neurotically that I was on the way to killing myself. Ridiculous. But I started rowing again in a hotel gym on that trip. That kind of cardio really burns up the cholesterol. Thank goodness I left after 12 days of this food orgy. I was thrilled to get home and eat more normally for me. Much healthier.

But the idea of a short term deprivation for a longer term benefit is too difficult for most people. Whether the goal is to lose weight, be healthier, or save money. Humans want the immediate gratification. Just heard about a recent study testing whether people could give up some money in the short run to make more over time. If they had to wait a few hours or a day, they could. Wait a few days or a week…forget it. No wonder people can’t save money or invest in long term projects with payoffs years away. It’s how our species functions…maybe how we have survived for centuries. We will see if this pattern works when dealing with commodities shortages and climate change. In the short run, see if you can give up one food pleasure for a week. Catholics do it for Lent, right? Isn’t that 40 days?

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Amanda Loses 88 Pounds In A Year

After the previous post about how Americans eat too much, this lady shows us what it’s like to lose weight. Amanda lost 88 pounds over a year by reducing her portions, eating fewer carbs and undertaking moderate exercise. We all know how hard it is for most people to drop a few pounds, much less 88 pounds. But Amanda has obviously inspired many people, because the pictures she posted led to almost three million views.

She sure does look different!

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Why Americans Are So Fat

I lost weight in Mongolia and in the week or so before the trip: about five pounds. So now that I am back home, I am stuffing food down my gullet as though I were a goose being bred for pate…but fasting, attending parties that only offer red meat I won’t eat and skipping meals, because I am too busy catching up, definitely do not help gain weight. I still have almost three pounds to go!

So here is a NY Times article suggesting that the ONLY reason Americans are overweight is because we…they…eat too much. Pigs at the trough. What do you think?

Hard Truths About Our Soft Bodies
By FRANK BRUNI

I was steering my cart through Costco the other day, wondering whether to waddle to the aisle where they sell cashews by the quarter-ton or to the one with thousand-piece packs of chicken thighs, when an epiphany pierced the fog of my gluttony.

Actually, two epiphanies. The first? I needed to have kids, four or five or better yet a baker’s dozen. Only then could I take full advantage of the savings around me.

The second? Costco as much as anything else is why the land of the free and the home of the brave is also the trough of the tub o’ lard, our exceptionalism measurable by not only our G.D.P. but also our B.M.I. That’s body mass index, and our bodies are indeed massive.

I don’t blame Costco per se. I blame what it represents: an American obsession with size, with quantity, that manifests itself as surely in supermarkets and restaurants as it does on our highways. We drive minivans and sport utility vehicles; we rip into veritable feed bags of potato chips and wedge our steroidal Thanksgiving turkeys into refrigerators more capacious than some European cars. This doesn’t redound to our benefit.

And while the notion that we weigh too much because we buy, order and eat too much may be obvious, it’s increasingly obscured. Study after study and report upon report looks at more particular reasons for obesity and excess pounds, focusing on the edges and the aggravators of the problem instead of the flabby core. And the number and variety of these investigations, not to mention the prominent showcase we in the news media give them, create the impression that alchemy, not appetite, is our enemy, and that if we could just fine-tune our daily schedules, rejigger our protein-to-carbohydrate ratios or wallow sufficiently in fiber, all would be well.

It’s as if we’re micro-focusing on less daunting and less damning culprits to distract ourselves from the one that’s most fearsome and difficult to change, which is the sheer volume of food that many Americans are accustomed to consuming. Read the rest of this entry »

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Mongol Meat Diet Helped Them Conquor Pasta Eaters

The second secret weapon of the Mongols was that they lived off their horses: the meat, the milk, cheese and the blood, if they needed. This high protein diet gave them much more energy than their Chinese and European enemies who were “falling asleep on their diet of rice, pasta and porridge. Of course these pasta-eaters were easy prey for the meat-eating Mongols,” according to one of the authors I read.

This is definitely food for thought today. How do vegetarians compare in healthfulness to those who eat meat? Do they have as much energy as their carnivorous friends? I have actually felt more energized, since giving up red meat/veal/pork decades ago. But maybe my protein intake from fowl and fish gives me more than enough protein.

Here is the section on the Mongol warrior’s diet from a different book…including the origin of steak tartar!

“A Mongol warrior ate large quantities of meat, milk and yogurt. Thanks to this high-protein diet, they were robust men with healthy teeth and strong bones.

“According to Marco Polo, each Mongol warrior traveled with a supply of dried meat and dried curd that made lighting a cooking fire unnecessary—he could eat these rations while riding. In addition, every warrior had 10 pounds of milk dried down to a paste. By mixing a handful with water, he had a high-protein meal that could sustain him all day.

“Polo also tells us that if a Mongol were lucky enough to get fresh meat, but had no opportunity to cook it, he placed it under his saddle to tenderize it for eating later. This is said to be the origin of steak Tartar (Tartar being a name the Europeans used interchangeably for the Mongols.)

“The peasant conscripts who fought for the Chinese on the other hand, lived almost entirely on a carbohydrate diet of various types of grains usually boiled down to a soupy gruel. The lack of protein stunted their growth, weakened their bones, rotted their teeth, sapped their energy and made them susceptible to illness.

“An adult metabolism burns through carbohyrates quickly, and an army of infantry on the move even more so. If a Chinese infantryman had to go without rations, within a day or two he would be weak from hunger. The protein-fed Mongol on the other hand, could fast for a day or two with his strength barely diminished. If necessary he would renew his strength by making a small incision in his horse’s neck and drinking its blood.”

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Chris Pratt Gains/Loses Weight And Abs All The Time

Chris Pratt gained 60 lbs over six months for a movie role

Chris Pratt gained 60 lbs over six months for a movie role

Here is another actor who has the ability to gain or lose dozens of pounds and create abs each time he is lighter. Chris Pratt was in Zero Dark Thirty and wanted to look good when he was hanging out with Navy Seals. Right after that, he gains 60 pounds for a role in Starbucks. Then six months later he is Mr. Six Pack again to play a super hero in Guardians of the Galaxy.

How do these people do this, when it is almost impossible for most people to lose even 10 pounds? Makes you wonder about will power and the motivational influence of being on screen and earning money. Maybe the solution to the obesity epidemic is to film everyone who is overweight and post their bodies in bathing suits on public billboards!

Chris BEFORE he gained 60 lbs

Chris BEFORE he gained 60 lbs

Here is Chris before he gained the weight.

The “Parks and Recreation” funny man showed off his massive six-pack during an appearance on “Conan.” Pratt displayed his toned abs by flaunting an iPhone photo of himself standing in front of a mirror flexing while wearing only boxer-briefs.

Pratt said his six-pack is the result of getting in shape for his role as a Navy SEAL in Kathryn Bigelow’s upcoming Osama bin Laden takedown film, “Zero Dark Thirty.”

Chris AFTER gaining the weight

Chris AFTER gaining the weight


are those abs still under there?

are those abs still under there?

To play a lawyer in the comedy flick Starbuck, the 33-year-old actor was asked to put on a significant amount of weight.

“I gained 60 pounds in about four and a half months. I just did it the old fashioned way: eating and drinking my face off,” Pratt shared on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno Dec. 10. “I’ve lost a little bit of it, but it was hard. It was probably just as hard as losing weight. You wouldn’t believe it, but it is. It’s these same principle: It’s all about pain.”

showing off his abs again 60 pounds lighter

showing off his abs again 60 pounds lighter

After gaining all that weight, the 34-year-old actor underwent a physical transformation for his part in the upcoming “Guardians of the Galaxy” film. Pratt, who stars in the sci-fi movie, showed off his ripped body this week, taking to Instagram to post a shirtless photo of himself.Pratt attributed the transformation to six months without beer, hashtagging “GOTG” to confirm that the makeover is for the superhero film.

This isn’t the first time Chris, who stars in the sitcom, “Parks and Recreation,” has drastically transformed his physique. In 2011, Chris lost 30 pounds for the drama “Moneyball” and then, shortly afterward, gained 50-60 pounds for the comedy “Ten Year.”

“I went from 220 pounds that I cut down for ‘Moneyball’ to almost 270-280 pounds for ‘Ten Year,’ ” he said. “I gained like 50 pounds to play this fat, alcoholic character. I would drink dark beer every night.

“I would have a double order of pancakes every morning. Burgers for lunch. Fries, snacks, candy. I ballooned my weight up. It was probably very unhealthy, but it was so fun.”

Pretty impressive that he has so much control of his weight. Lots of discipline showing here!

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Love This Doctor!

He gives great advice

He gives great advice

A friend sent me this advice from a doctor he met. I love the insights and contrarian views.

Q: Doctor, I’ve heard that cardiovascular exercise can prolong life. Is this true?
A: Heart only good for so many beats, and that it… Don’t waste on exercise. Everything wear out eventually. Speeding up heart not make you live longer; it like saying you extend life of car by driving faster. Want to live longer? Take nap.

Q: Should I reduce my alcohol intake?
A: Oh no. Wine made from fruit. Brandy distilled wine, that mean they take water out of fruity bit so you get even more of goodness that way. Beer also made of grain. Bottom up!

Q: How can I calculate my body/fat ratio?
A: Well, if you have body and you have fat, your ratio one to one. If you have two body, your ratio two to one.

Q: What are some of the advantages of participating in a regular exercise program?
A: Can’t think of single one, sorry. My philosophy: No pain…good!

Q: Aren’t fried foods bad for you?
A: YOU NOT LISTENING! Food fried in vegetable oil. How getting more vegetable be bad?

Q : Will sit-ups help prevent me from getting a little soft around the middle?
A: Oh no! When you exercise muscle, it get bigger. You should only be doing sit-up if you want bigger stomach.

Q: Is chocolate bad for me?
A: You crazy?!? HEL-LO-O!! Cocoa bean! Another vegetable! It best feel-good food around!

Q: Is swimming good for your figure?
A: If swimming good for figure, explain whale to me.

Q: Is getting in shape important for my lifestyle?
A: Hey! ‘Round’ is shape!

Well… I hope this has cleared up any misconceptions you may have had about food and diets.

AND REMEMBER:

Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well-preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways – Chardonnay in one hand – chocolate in the other – body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming “WOO-HOO, what a ride!!”

AND…..

For those of you who watch what you eat, here’s the final word on nutrition and health. It’s a relief to know the truth after all those conflicting nutritional studies.

1. The Japanese eat very little fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

2. The Mexicans eat a lot of fat and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

3. The Chinese drink very little red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

4. The Italians drink a lot of red wine and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans…

5. The Germans drink a lot of beer and eat lots of sausages and fats and suffer fewer heart attacks than Americans.

CONCLUSION: Eat and drink what you like. Speaking English is apparently what kills you.

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Plastic Is More Harmful To Your Health Than You Ever Imagined!

I saw the two-hour TV documentary Plastic Planet about how pervasive plastic is in our lives and how horrible it is for our health. Unbelievable. Unimaginable. It’s in our food, water and even our blood. We cannot escape it. It causes allergies, obesity, cancer, heart disease and even sterility. We are in big trouble here. Shrink wrap, food containers, baby bottles, pacifiers, ketchup bottles…plastic is everywhere.

You can see some of the story in the trailer above and the two video excerpts in English below. Not sure where you find the whole movie in English, but here is the link to it with German subtitles, but much of the language is English. The film was made by Werner Boote over 10 years and by visiting 14 countries. I am going to stop drinking out of plastic bottles, definitely not refilling them, and switching to glass storage containers. Lucky for me, I made it this far in my life without serious damage. But I remember my father could only wear white socks, because the dyes in colored socks gave him itching rashes. Who knows how much the plastic in your life is affecting your health. Check it out.

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Keeping Sports In Perspective And Dealing With Envy

I write this after a week of sadness from the Boston bombings. Right now the manhunt is on for the second suspect.

I have been playing a lot of tennis: tomorrow will be 12 out of 18 days. When I missed shots yesterday, I couldn’t get upset—I was alive and safe. I was healthy enough to be active, while others my age are dead, too sick to run around, or not fit enough to play. Yesterday I hit the best lobs of my life. My ground strokes are improving after I learned a new technique. My serve is a bit harder.

I also had a physical and received the blood work: my cholesterol is still below 200 (197) and my PSA is healthy. Avoiding all those delicious cream sauces and desserts and buttery breads has some benefit. I do miss them though.

I am certainly proud that all the hard work and discipline is paying off. Some boys in their 20’s tell me that I still inspire them with my healthy living. Unfortunately, there are people who are older who find my good health and physical activity “irritating.” They seem to be envious and don’t want to hear about it. They resent my good genetic inheritance. They are jealous that I am able to make myself avoid certain foods, minimize alcohol and fat intake. It is frustrating for me that I have to hide this physical success. Yet here I am the second time in 10 days dealing with other people’s annoyance at my achievements. But it is how humans are. Some things don’t change…you can see infants fighting over who is better and who should keep the toys. Adults are often just infants in grown up bodies…

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How To Lose Weight

I love this site. Simple instructions and information…

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20 Fitness Tips From Some Experts

looks like Arnold did squats too

looks like Arnold did squats too

the pain shows, doesn't it?

the pain shows, doesn’t it?

This article sounded questionable, when I clicked on it. But it has many familiar suggestions that I agree with, and it also leads to decent videos and other short articles. So check it out. I was especially interested to read that squats are better than crunches for building abs, and that sleep plus decreased carbohydrates should reduce female belly fat.

Let’s hope these ideas will work. I am going to do some squats right now—just after two hours of evening tennis—to get in shape for two more hours of tennis tomorrow morning.

tips for squats

tips for squats

are squats better than crunches?

are squats better than crunches?

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Amy Serfass’s Fitness Camp For Women

Amy Serfass (left) leads her Booty Camp

I met Amy Serfass at a Tough Mudder obstacle course she was traversing and wrote about her abs. Now it’s Amy’s turn to write about her views on fitness, diet and health and especially her group training program for women.

Ladies—Make group training your new gym membership and avoid becoming an overweight statistic.

Two thirds of women are trying to lose weight at any given time, but 64% of women are still overweight and unhappy, according to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control & Prevention). Even if you’re not in the fitness industry, the average female acknowledges obesity is on the rise and, in-fact; more women (35%) are obese compared to men (32%). This had me thinking. What is truly keeping women from working out? I polled fellow females and found these common reasons:

Amy is always ready to get tough with her ladies

1. I don’t have time – #1 reason!!!
2. I don’t have anyone to exercise with
3. I don’t feel comfortable working out at a traditional box gym
4. I don’t know where to begin or what to do
5. I don’t have any motivation or energy

I got into this industry and became a certified personal trainer because I wanted to help women from becoming an overweight statistic. I wanted to motivate them to exercise while making them feel better about themselves and their bodies. That’s why I decided to specialize in women and weight loss and create group training experiences specifically for females.

Group training for women provides a platform to meet other females with similar health and fitness goals. In a group setting, you find the energy and motivation that one-on-one training can’t always provide. It eliminates the need to know where to begin or what to do, because you’re following a professional that has your best interests in mind. Group training also reduces the risk of boredom, helps you avoid exercise plateaus, and provides much needed exercise variety to keep you coming back.

Most importantly, you are part of a positive community, creating lifelong friendships, and accomplishing goals you never thought possible. I have had clients complete their first 5k together, their first mud/obstacle run, organize marathon parties, or attend social events as a unit. All of these events have been accomplished from meeting other females at a group fitness program dedicated just for women.

Achieving or maintaining a healthy weight is not just about fitness. Weight loss is at least 80% nutrition, 20% fitness. With my group training program, known as Amy’s Booty Camp, I focus on nutrition by providing guidance from a certified nutritionist. Members are also required to log their food, which keeps them accountable and disciplined. One rule of thumb is cutting carbohydrates past 3pm. It’s necessary to have good carbohydrates in your diet, such as whole grains, because they act as your immediate source of energy for the body. Your brain uses about 450 calories of carbohydrates every day. However, if eaten in excessive amounts, the body changes them into fats and stores them in that form. By eating good carbohydrates before 3pm you allow your body more time to burn them off, so they are less likely to be stored as fat.

Offering nutrition expertise while working out at least 2 days per week has led one female to lose 27 lbs and 14.5 total inches in just 2 months with Amy’s Booty Camp!

group support helps the inches disappear

Many of us feel that we don’t have time to work out. The women in Booty Camp MAKE the time to commit because they are unable to get the results on their own. Booty Camp also provides personal time away from work, family, and the daily stresses of life. By making the class fun, friendly, and full of variety, I am able to keep members continually enrolled. Booty Camp is also for the early risers. We train two days per week for 5 weeks at 6:15 am for an hour. Statistics show that 90% of people who work out in the morning stick to their exercise routines.

After each 5-week Booty Camp program, we take no more than one week off before starting the program over again. I stay in touch with the ladies via email and Facebook during their week off, continually offering them healthy tips and guidance to stay connected and keep them motivated. The program runs exclusively in the Upper East Side area of New York City at a studio on 67th Street & 3rd Avenue.

For more information on my growing Booty Camp program please visit my web site.

Amy Serfass
NASM Certified (National Academy of Sports Medicine)
Master Trainer at Australian Institute of Fitness

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TV Anchor Jennifer Livingston’s Obesity Creates Ruckus

Here is a story about a woman who works out 2-3 times a week, runs in triathlons and 5k races, and is still overweight, called fat, and measures as obese. Her husband said it’s due to a thyroid condition.

But Jennifer Livingston is also a TV morning show news anchor who received a letter criticizing her as a poor role model for the community. She fought back by reading the letter on air and damning the writer’s insensitive bullying. Her actions went viral and national, so here is an ABC segment in which she is quoted and interviewed.

One person who commented on line and defended the letter writer had this to say: “…don’t hide behind bullying, this man is not bullying you, he is just asking you to do something about your excess weight. GIVE UP A FEW BURGERS AND CUT THE CHEESE. START MOVING JENNIFER!”

Oh how confusing life is. How it looks so different to people watching from various angles. I have to admit that I believe one can lose weight by eating less. Exercise can help burn off calories as well. But that doesn’t mean the exercise doesn’t also increase your appetite, and that for some people it’s seemingly impossible to not have the cheese and to skip the dessert. What do you think?

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325 Continuous Days Of Exercise

When I do my 10 minutes of exercise tonight, it will be the 325th day in a row. I am already wondering if I will stop at 365, go for 400, or do it forever? After an evening of tennis, when I was working too actively to exercise before the games, I come home and relax for an hour or two, before I can make myself exercise. Then I eat after 11 pm or so. Not healthy. But I played/practiced tennis six out of seven days from September 18-24. I was tired. Cramming in exercise was NOT easy. Yet I did it.

I have proven to myself and anyone who knows about this challenge that I can be disciplined enough to exercise daily no matter where I am in the world, no matter what the day’s events and demands. At this point, it’s still a source of pride that I made it this far, but it’s also a simple fact. It was the new me before. It’s who I have become at present.

Now my daughter came home for the weekend and brought creamy cheeses like brie and St. Andre. I ate those high-cholesterol bites with great pleasure. Then she made some chocolate sauce with much butter and maple syrup. I ate it on one spoonful of ice cream with extraordinary delight. She is a bad bad influence. I think it would be hopeless to avoid those unhealthy, fattening foods (for me) if she lived here. My secret is to not have the food in the house.

I did see a friend in Manhattan last week who has lost 15 pounds and is walking each day with Heavy Hands. He looks great, is walking more briskly and his posture has improved. He gives my fitness efforts some credit for reminding him to lose weight. His girl friend sees some tone in his arms, and he is feeling better…we all do it whenever we do…if we ever do.

At a dinner party recently with people in their 50’s and 60’s, there was lots of talk about limbs that didn’t work, backs that had been operated on, illnesses that were affecting life styles. I know lots of good health is dumb luck, some genetic proteins that work better, and being blessed by circumstances (like clean water and anti-biotics). While I can play and move, I will. I just won’t brag about it to anyone over 50. Too antagonistic…though it shouldn’t be. I’d rather be an inspiration than a source of depression and resentment. Oh well.

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