Archive for December, 2008

Even a Tiny Bit of Flab Raises Heart Failure Risk

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 28, 2008

Once again, we see that for men especially, bodyfat is no friend. Not only does excess bodyfat increase inflammation, increase female hormones like estrogen, decrease testosterone, increase the risk of diabetes and increase the risk that our significant other will not find us attractive – a new study shows that even a small increase can increase the risk of heart failure.

“…researchers who tracked the health of 21,094 U.S. male doctors for two decades found that even those who were only modestly overweight had a higher risk — and it grew along with the amount of extra weight.”

“The benefit of exercise in cutting heart failure risk was seen in lean, overweight and obese men, the researchers found. But regardless of the level of activity, higher body mass index also meant higher heart failure risk.”

Fat is a chemical factory – spewing out estrogen and inflammatory cytokines. Women need healthy estrogen to function properly so fat on a woman is better tolerated than in men. Men need only a little estrogen, and excess fat tends to shift the ratio of testosterone with estrogen unfavorably. This leads to all types of maladies, heart failure only one of them.

Bottom line: Women – keep bodyfat levels in check, do not exceed 25% tops. Men need to stay leaner – we are the hunters after all and often would spend days hunting with no food to show for it. Our bodies are adapted to survive in that environment. Not one where food is ample and we sit around all day. Get up and exercise! Eat less, exercise more! Simple enough right?



Posted in Body | Leave a Comment »

Why I Believe in Santa Claus (And Why You Should Too!)

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 25, 2008

Ho, Ho, Ho?

Ho, Ho, Ho?

After watching Dennis Leary’s “Merry F#@&* Christmas” Special I realized that I am not the only one burned out on the ‘season to be jolly’. There is a lot to be turned off by; the crowds, the gross and flagrant consumerism, the stress over the whole gift thing. Its a time when people are literally trampling over others in their attempts to get the next best deal. It’s not just the high and mighty on Wall Street who are trampling over their fellow man. Shoppers at Wal Mart trampled a man to death in a buying frenzy. I’m sure most of us have experienced the insanity – from the parking lot jostling to the long check out lines. From buying madness to Bernie Madoff the world often seems to spin out of control.

Then you have the secular issues, from scholars that deconstruct the myth of Jesus, to others who claim the overdone Christmas holiday undermines the celebration of their religious holiday. And with the economy heading further and further south, its hard for anyone, let alone an anarchistic atheist like myself to have Christmas Spirit. Until I was saved by Santa!

Sure, Santa, like Jesus (God) are conformity enforcers, “He knows if you’ve been bad or good…” where kids get presents for being good and adults get heaven. But lets not throw the baby out with the bath water, Santa, like Jesus, offers the open mind an invaluable insight on life that most never get.

So this is how I found my way back to believing in Santa:

Reason #1: Faith In Santa:
Forget about Jesus, lets look at an even more difficult guy to believe in: Santa Claus. Every adult knows Santa does not exist. And yet Santa Claus has in some small way made parents all over the world more compassionate and generous with their children. Even the gift giving among adults is in some way nurtured by the story of Santa.

Think about it – Santa is the symbol of compassionate giving. A man who flies around the entire world giving children gifts as a reward for them being good. In our hearts all humans yearn to be good, to do whats right, to act Noble. Children in particular want to be good, since often they have not yet been scarred by traumatic events that can twist their developing psyches. And Santa adds a measure of accountability to their self-awareness of being good. Children, like adults, often do better when they feel they are held accountable.

Santa does not just give his children gifts, he gives all children gifts. He is a compassionate giver – with no prejudice. He has an open heart, and his love flows freely. This is the real symbolism of Santa that everyone seems to forget. But the hope and possibility for all of us to wake up and realize the hidden power in these stories is given to us year after year.

I have faith in the Power Of Santa and his open heart. This is one reason why I believe in Santa.

Reason #2: ‘Santa’ Does Exist- Really!

The story of Santa is real, no matter whether a real man called Santa (or Kris Kringle) ever existed. And the story of Santa, we can all agree, is what we call an idea or “information”.

If the idea of Santa does exist, that’s as good as him really existing. Think about it for a second – all reality is what we call information. You are made of genes, units of biological information. Our brains and computers share and store information as well – ideas, facts, theories, etc. This entire world manifests from the ‘formless’ to ‘in form’ – hence the word information. Good ideas, like good genes, tend to get spread around. Santa, like God, seems to have been a good idea. Hence their popularity.

We store good ideas, facts, memories, stories, etc – in our minds. All reality is a story my mind creates for me. So Santa, like Jesus, and Einstein, all exist only in my mind. I never met Martin Luther King but he and his speech (“I have a dream…”) live in my mind and still continue to inspire me today. So Santa, like Einstein, does exist, where everything else exists – in our minds.

In Mel Gibsons “The Passion of the Christ” Jesus said “I am the Word” meaning of course, that it is the words (information) that are what matters, not the flesh.

Reason #3: Reality Is An Illusion We All Agree To:
After all, what is reality anyway? Nothin’ but a collective hunch” Lily Tomlin

My friend Howard Bloom devotes an entire chapter of his book, ‘Global Brain’ to explaining in detail that reality is a shared hallucination. Whats the difference between the information of Santa and his story, and Einstein and his story? My choice of whether I believe in them. And my choice is deterimed in large part by the collective choice of society. My reality tells me to say ‘No’ to Santa and ‘Yes’ to Einstein. But they are all information. The only thing separating good (yes) information from bad (no) information is how our minds choose to process them.

Information always comes from one place: energy. Energy is still a mystery to science. But its the fabric of reality – a reality that all great teachers from Jesus to Buddha to Einstein have said is an illusion. For example, when you touch someone, the energy from the atoms of their skin triggers energy in your body to travel up to your brain where you perceive touch. Its all just energy acting in both positive (attractive) and negative (repulsive) ways.

If I saw the “real” Santa, energy in the form of photons would hit my eye and send energy to my brain where the software program in the brain (a horribly outdated program I might add. You think Microsoft sucks?) would translate the information to me: “Flying Fat man on Sleigh, Red Outfit, White Beard – must be Santa Claus.” I then believe the story of Santa.

If I read a book on Santa, the photons send me the same message as above. If I am told the story of Santa by someone else – the energy in the sound waves hit my ears where a pulse of energy from my eardrum goes to my brain and once again, my software translates the information to me.

In the end its all information and if the information inspires us we act from it. From Santa and Jesus, to Einstein and MLK, it’s the information of each of these that inspires me to act. And after all, all information ends in it’s ability to inspire where you begin. Ultimately the choice to act from information is a personal one.

And I choose to act from the inspiration of Santa. Christmas is one of a million reminders to me that I can wake up to the real story of Santa and Jesus, and act from that awareness.

So Have a Merry Christmas All!

If you enjoyed this, please feel free to share it with others

Posted in Did You Know?, Inspiration, Spirit | 1 Comment »

“The Roof, The Roof, The Roof is on Fire!”

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 16, 2008

Yes, the roof is indeed on fire on all levels. The planets roof is heating up, the roof of Pax Americana is also burning, and the roof of your body – your immune system is also heating up! But we don’t need no water, let the cooling effects of living in harmony with our body and collective bodies (society) put out the flames!

There is an order to the world around us that is astounding – from the micro to the macro the same truths apply. Just as we run cooler (aka stay & look healthier) by getting clean energy from organic, natural foods the way nature intended, the planet runs cooler (& healthier) if we get clean energy from sources like solar, wind and geothermal. This short video shows part of the connectedness with you and your world!

If man lives, earth dies. If man dies, earth lives. This is one of the only planets in the universe where life can survive. We can’t afford to have this planet die...” Keanu Reeves as the Alien in “The Day The Earth Stood Still”

In the end of the movie, the god like aliens give mankind another chance. Lets hope the real gods give us another chance as well! In the meantime, think of creative ways to reduce your carbon footprint. If you can walk, walk. Its’ healthier for you. You’ll save energy and reduce emissions. In years to come our children’s children will wonder how we could use 4000 lb vehicles to move 150 lbs of human around. It takes a lot of energy to move 4000 lb of steel!

Buying more organic sends a message of support for sustainable agriculture and helps turn the tide toward ecologically sound practices on farms.

The bottom line is most people do not really care about the planet – its an abstract word, an ethereal concept that brings no immediate pleasure. So bring it back to yourself – after all it is all about you! Walking more, eating healthier – is good for you. You get to look and feel healthier! And you might decrease the chance of getting some painful disease like cancer or a paralyzing stroke. Simple enough!

Posted in Body, Collapse, Environment, Inspiration, See | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Why I Stopped Working Out

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 11, 2008

Relaxed, Centered, Being

Relaxed, Centered, Being

Muscles tense, heavy thinking

Tense, Forward, Thinking

I’ve taken the last two months off training at the gym. Not because I lost my motivation, but because I no longer wanted to act from motivation. Instead I wanted to act from inspiration. There is a big difference. As one of my clients admitted stress (and fear) is what gets him out of bed in the morning. He needs it to stay motivated.’. Motivation is a fear based action. Now, there is nothing wrong with this, I’m merely sharing my own personal insights. God knows many people may not relate to how I think about life, but that does not make them wrong.

Inspiration on the other hand is different. It comes from a mind free of fear and mental chatter. It desires nothing other than to simply express the passion inherent in the existence of being! Inspiration literally means ‘in spirit’ – to breathe in the Divine and act from this Presence, in the present.

I must confess, a large part of my motivation for the gym was to maintain a certain image I had of myself. I wanted to be seen a certain way; athletic, fit and looking like a ‘personal trainer’. Muscle was my friend, fat was my enemy. I was at war…with myself. One of my female clients on this topic noted ‘I’m in here for a similar reason: resale value. I feel the need to keep looking fit and trim so my husband is still attracted to me. Or, God forbid, if I am ever single again, which is always a possibility. I need to be seen a certain way…’

Long ago my kung-fu teacher taught me the essence of martial arts. “When you relax and let go, and have no fear, just being present, the art will flow from you naturally. Think of the Buddha, as opposed to Rodin’s ‘Thinking Man’ who symbolizes the Western mind – he is tense, leaning forward, and heavy in thought,” he said. The two images above depict this contrast.

Men are motivated to conquer the world, to think of clever ways to make a ‘killing’ on Wall Street. Inspired, they seek to be at one with the world, to exist in peaceful harmony. Someone once said ‘its easier for a rich man to go through the eye of a needle than to enter the kingdom of heaven’ referring to the different lives people of motivation live versus those who live from inspiration.

Now moving from inspiration, I go hiking most weekends. I chop and stack wood, or go out in the forest for my walking meditations. If I feel like it – I will do some pull-ups on a tree branch, or some push-ups on a rock. When you are in the flow of life, you will want to move, to exercise, to play! For me this natural inspiration happens easier in the natural world, not in the concrete jungle of the gym.

Now that winter is here, I’m returning back to the gym, but my workouts have changed. I am now making it a priority to do whatever feels good – I am experienced enough to know how to train myself intuitively and make my workouts productive but fun.

I know for me committing to inspiration over motivation has made all the difference in the world!

Posted in Body, Conversations with Clients, Exercise, Inspiration, See | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »

Healthy Granola Recipe

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 11, 2008

Healthy Granola Here!

Healthy Granola Here!

In a recent post I listed 5 healthy breakfast ideas. One of them involved granola. Truth be told I am not a big fan of commercial granola formulas. Most all of them have some type of vegetable oil, which may be adulterated and/or high in inflammatory Omega-6 fats. Plus they often have too much sugar. Worse – if they add fruits or nuts, chances are those items were heated and as such have lost most of their nutrient value. Not good.

So I set out to make a healthier granola. I went to Tommy K’s to get the best prices on my ingredients. I was shocked – a pound of organic cinnamon was $6.95! I am a big fan of herbs and spices and buy in bulk to save money – so $6.95 for organic (high potency) cinnamon is a deal. In case you do not know, cinnamon is great for normalizing blood sugar levels and this can decrease AGE (advanced glycation end-products). So if you want to lose weight or slow the formation of wrinkles (glycation of proteins), or have a family history of diabetes, cinnamon is great to help regulate blood sugar.

(Note: If you live out of town or want items shipped to you, call Tommy K’s at (203) 325-9544)

Here is how I made my granola:
– 2 cups of whole oats (not instant)
– 2 tablespoons of Quinoa (a grain) to add more crunch (not required)
– 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds
– 1 table spoon vanilla extract
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 cup maple syrup
– 4 tablespoons coconut oil

– Preheat oven to 300 degrees
– Put all solids in a bowl (so whatever you add, nuts or seeds as well, go in the solids bowl)
– Heat coconut oil on pan to liquify
– Add all liquids in separate bowl (oil, vanilla, syrup)
– Mix liquids and then pour in solids bowl.
– Mix all together
– Place mix in glass or metal baking tray.
– Heat mix in oven for 25 minutes (stir occasionally)
– Allow to cool so oats become dry and crispy

Thats is! Then I add my blueberries, ground flax seeds, yogurt, coconut milk, cacao chips and if needed, some stevia to sweeten. Coconut oil is one of the healthiest oils to cook with, very stable at high temperatures (no adulteration), and it takes great!


Posted in Eat, Nutrition, Recipes | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Functional Training: Who Needs The Gym?

Posted by myhealthexperts on December 5, 2008

I stopped working out in the gym for about two months now, for reasons I explain in another post. However, I’ve still been active, and as this video shows – using house chores to get a workout in. There is no excuse not to exercise – everyone has plenty of house chores to do and why not squeeze the most out of them (Kill 2 birds with one stone) and make them a mini-workout! Talk about upping your productivity!

And of course it is functional – after all, training in the gym is designed to make you more functional in real life. So picking up groceries is not a roll of the dice on when you throw your back out, but instead, a chance to practice your deadlift technique!

Other ways to get more out of your day:
– Use stairs instead of elevator
– get up from your desk (set an alarm) every hour and stretch, do a few sets of push-ups, a few sets of body squats. In 5 minutes you can do a good invigorating workout!
– Park far away so you have to walk to the store.
– Carry more objects rather than use equipment designed to make it easy.

In essence – do more work yourself! You will reap the rewards for NOT being lazy!

(If this article was helpful, please share it with your friends and family)

Posted in Body, Environment, Exercise | 1 Comment »