Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Some people are unaware they are fat but may have health risks from it....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 11-29-2011

Some people are unaware they are fat but may have health risks from it.

1. Yesterday I saw an online health article about the more common way this happens.

It was a poll that found that just since 1990, the average American adult is about 20 pounds heavier.

This was true for both men and women. Both men and women said an ideal weight for them was about 10 pounds heavier than they said in 1990.

But this was the most important statistic: “just 39 percent of Americans classified themselves as overweight, with 56 percent reporting their weight was "about right."

Dr. Earl S. Ford and his colleagues from the CDC's National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion looked at data on nearly 23,000 people aged 20 and older as of 2008.

In 2008 he found that 44 percent of men had waists large enough, 40 inches or more, to have abdominal obesity. In 2008 62 percent of women had waists large enough, 35 inches or more, to have abdominal obesity.

That means as a group half of all Americans in 2008 were too fat. And, of those people two thirds of that group had weights on the scale that registered in the 30.0 or higher range for BMI.

Healthwise the indicator that relates to health risk is the waist measurement. That means that some of the 56% who thought their weight was about right were actually fat enough to be at a health risk because they had too much fat on their stomachs.

Enough people have begun to follow the lifestyle of several packaged desserts, pastries, and salty snacks each day that being pretty fat makes you look like many of the people around you.

But following that lifestyle and keeping it up once you get that much abdominal fat is a surprisingly high health risk for heart disease, cancers, and type 2 diabetes.

2. There are also people with high health risk from excess abdominal fat who eat less and weigh in the desirable range with BMIs under 25.0 and who have waists less than the cut off point for being visibly fat.

How did this happen to them?

They get no exercise at all – ever. They have so much lighter bones and such lighter more flabby muscles, that they have room for a large amount of internal fat. Scans of their insides revealed this to researchers.

And, of course many of them have the same junky foods each day, they just eat less of them.

Conversely, people who are fat but who exercise almost every day tend to stay in good health.

(And the research on this second group shows that people who are fat but who exercise almost every day ARE less fat inside than the people who weigh and measure the same but who never exercise.)

So, if you are in either group, to stay healthy, it is important for you to exercise on most days every week.

You can begin with very short walks and strength training with light dumbbells that just begin to be slightly challenging after lifting them over 12 times.

Second, soft drinks both regular and diet, and packaged desserts, pastries, and salty snacks all add this kind of dangerous fat to you each time you consume them.

Stopping them all totally works and is best for most people.

But if you have several you really like and are unwilling to do that, begin systematically to cut how much of them you have each week in half. Then do it again once you are used to having less. Drop any that aren’t your special favorites. Then only have these things every other day or every other day on weekdays.

And, only use this strategy if you also have begun regular exercise too.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

How to stay healthy on Thanksgiving, 2011....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 11-22-2011

There are two ways to a healthier Thanksgiving Dinner.

Yesterday's post was about ways to prepare a healthier Thanksgiving Dinner.

This post today is on how to stay healthier eating a Thanksgiving Dinner no matter how it's fixed.

There's no perfect way to do either. The focus at Thanksgiving & at Thanksgiving Dinner must be on enjoying the day. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the company. And, enjoy the time off work!

My Brother in Law once said at Thanksgiving Dinner that he did NOT want to hear anything about what he shouldn't eat for Thanksgiving Dinner just in case I had any ideas of doing so.

I didn't then; & I won't this year. I agree with him. I believe as he does that the focus at Thanksgiving & at Thanksgiving Dinner must be on enjoying the day. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the company. And, do nothing to distract from that focus. If anything, help make it happen instead!

That said, here are some ways to stay a bit healthier and leaner and still enjoy the food.

1. Focus on the people. Find out what people have been doing and catch up with what's been happening with them. Enjoy the people you enjoy; and be mellow, courteous, gracious, and if necessary, a bit forgiving with the rest.

2. Practice the strategic sandwich method. Eat a bit less food and make virtually all of it be the healthiest you know how - and, keep up your exercise routine to the very best of your ability at least two weeks before and particularly for the two weeks AFTER Thanksgiving. If necessary, do some kind of workout in your room if you are away from home or cut the intensity a bit; but do your very best to exercise several days a week the two weeks before & after Thanksgiving (& before Thanksgiving next year.).

This method works. Once when I was getting the amount of exercise each week that I should be before and after Thanksgiving and eating right otherwise, I ate very well at Thanksgiving to the point of being very slightly stuffed. And, I gained ZERO pounds for November and December both.

A year ago, blogger Vera Tweed came up with a delightful strategy for thinking about this that I just read.

Think of the Holiday Season the way an athlete trains for a competition. Focus on eating right and exercising as if you are in training during the Holiday Season. Every meal that isn't a holiday dinner or other event eat right and only eat right. And, make sure to exercise during this time.

Her idea that I liked best is to start NOW to do this instead of waiting until January when all you can do is catch up and repair the damage of the holiday season as many people do!

3. Eat strategically. Eat well from the healthiest foods; eat a small portion for one serving only of the less healthy foods that you enjoy; but have them and enjoy them; and do your best to edit out the worst for you foods.

a) The turkey and the vegetables are the best for you. So eat well and generous-sized but not very large portions. (You need to not overdo those so there's enough to go around and YOU have room for at least some of the other foods.)

Cranberry sauce may have sugar and even some kinds have high fructose corn syrup; but the cranberries are a superfood you likely don't eat often; and they add a festive air and are a great pair with turkey or gravy and mashed potatoes, flavor-wise.

Many people rarely have green beans or Brussels spouts or yams or sweet potatoes or cooked onions; but they are often served at Thanksgiving. They are all good for you. And, they fill you up so it's much easier for you to eat smaller portions of less health OK foods than you otherwise would. If they aren't your favorites, try pairing them with a good tasting food. Eat some green beans and then immediately eat a bit of stuffing with gravy and cranberry sauce for example.

A recent article even found evidence that the alpha carotenes in carrots, squash, yams, sweet potatoes, darker greens, and broccoli may be as effective or more in turning off cancers as raw broccoli or cauliflower do with their cruciferous vegetable phyto-nutrients. Alpha carotene was found to be connected to a 39% lower risk of dying from any cause in fact in the study reported. Even better, when cooked and eaten with fats or oils, the carotenes of all kinds in food become more bioavailable and likely to benefit you.

Believe it or not, that specifically means that the filling in pumpkin pie is good for you! For this nutrient, cooked broccoli works in fact. Yams or sweet potatoes or the filling in a sweet potato pie are also good for you.

This year I tried making a dairy free pumpkin coconut oil pie filling. I used two 15 ounce cans of pumpkin puree, the free flowing 9 ounces from a 13 ounce plus can of coconut milk. I used about half a tablespoon each of allspice, powdered ginger, and cinnamon. I added about that much dark molasses and 2/3 cup of dark brown sugar. I stirred those together until smooth over low heat in a cast iron frying pan large enough. I then whisked together 3 extra large raw eggs in a separate container. Then I poured that into the rest and using the whisk, I stirred it in for several minutes until it was thoroughly cooked.

I then let it cool enough to be OK putting into the refrigerator in a glass container large enough.

When I tasted it the next morning it was delightful. I’ll serve it with a bit of pumpkin pie spice to sprinkle on top for people who want that traditional flavor. But, just as I fixed it, it had more flavor and tasted far better than 95% of the pumpkin pie fillings I’ve ever had.

Serving it by itself this way makes it gluten free and grain free as well.)

If raw vegetables are available in a relish tray, the cruciferous ones and the ones with carotenes are the best for you. Broccoli florets, radishes, carrots, and cherry tomatoes are particularly good.

Have very little dip unless you know what's in it. Some dips have hydrogenated oils. My wife and I bring the relish tray. This year we are bringing sour cream with nothing added and hummus with the container showing the ingredients for dips. Hummus is good for you but avoid overdoing it to leave room for the dinner. Sour cream is OK in small amounts occasionally; but don't overdo it. We were bringing guacamole; but no one but me ate any before, so this year, I decided not to. But if your family likes it, do bring some. It's actually a good for you dip.

b) Stuffing, particularly if it was cooked inside the turkey; gravy; mashed potatoes; the filling in the pies, and many other dishes have great flavor but include less than healthful ingredients. If you are exercising and eating right otherwise and have no serious health problems to be very careful of, the strategy I use is to have some of them; but hold myself to one small serving.
That way I enjoy them but avoid overdosing my system with their less OK ingredients. And, having had turkey and vegetables first I don't have room left to eat a large amount anyway.

c) Soft drinks, rolls, biscuits, pie crusts, most commercial jam currently, and candied marshmallow topping for sweet potatoes are the worst foods and drinks for you in a traditional Thanksgiving dinner. Simply don't eat many of those or to the best of your ability pass on them. Or, if you do eat some, have tiny, quarter of normal sized portions. And, only eat the ones that you most enjoy.

If you've already eaten well from the healthier foods that's much easier to do.

Here's personal example of that. I've always loved pie, including the pie crusts. But I've found out since that many, if not most, of the pies I'm likely to get at Thanksgiving have crust made with refined grain flour and Crisco, which is basically massive amounts of Transfats (aka as trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils). What I do now is take small servings of my favorite pie or pies & only eat the fillings. So I can enjoy cherry or blueberry pie filling, pumpkin pie filling, and/or candied pecan filling; but I leave the crust. The only exception I might make is to have one single bite of a browned bit of crust since it has the most flavor. Last year I didn't even do that as I no longer had room for it.

4. Limit your alcoholic drinks to one or two or at most three if you drink. And, drink when you first arrive or at the start of the Dinner. That way, if you need to drive afterwards, the effect will have mostly worn off plus it will be buffered by the torrent of dinner.

(Some people are better off not having any. The Martinelli's sparkling juices in yesterday's post over ice can be a decent festive substitute. I love the flavors in a Bloody Mary. So I also recommend the Virgin Mary drink as it has almost the same flavor.)

(And, if you do have more than 3 drinks leave later or stay over or have someone else drive. That way you can enjoy Thanksgiving next year too!)

Do the best you can with these strategies. Enjoy the day and the people.

Have a happy Thanksgiving!

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Monday, November 21, 2011

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Today's Post: Monday, 11-21-2011

Since last month, I lost pound. I’m now a pound lighter than I was a month ago and was three months ago.

But, on the two measures of my waist I take a bit tight and a bit relaxed, I gained a bit about a quarter of an inch.

The half inch losses were from my chest measurement and from my hip measurement.

(My main goal now that I’m close to my goal weight is to lose inches off my waist by adding muscle on my larger muscles like my chest and butt and legs and keep those two measures the same or increase them.

I would have been much happier to keep those the same and have lost the inches all on my waist.)

Also, I weighed half way through the month and lost the pound the first part of the month. That means that my partial fast did succeed in removing that pound and keep me from gaining it back.

But I still need something more to lose the several pounds of belly fat and small bit of weight on the scale I want to lose.

Oh well! Again this month, the results are not bad news; but they aren’t the good news I want either.

(Here’s how that relates to Thanksgiving coming up in a few days by the way.

Last Friday we posted on how to cook for Thanksgiving to still have the traditional favorites but cut the damage to your health and limit the fat gain.

And, tomorrow, we’ll post on ways to eat and enjoy the Thanksgiving day dinner that allow you to have your favorites but which also limit the damage.

To get permanent fat loss you need to keep track of how you are doing at least once a month and take corrective measures when indicated as I have with these monthly posts.

You also will do better if you employ the strategies in these two posts for holiday meals.

Thanksgiving and the other yearly holidays come every year.

By doing these few key things, including keeping up your monthly tracking you’ll not gain much when you enjoy the yearly holidays.

It’s even possible to gain Zero extra fat or pounds on the scale during the holiday season. I’ve done that before and expect to do so this year.

That means if you lose fat and weight and do likewise, the fat you lost will stay off permanently DESPITE enjoying Thanksgiving and other holidays.)

Back to my report for the last month.

I was under extra stress the past month from worry about losing a major tool to stay healthy due to the FDA threatening to remove it completely and a personal medical issue that was and is worrisome.

That tends to cause your appetite to increase and for any fat you do gain to go to your waist.

I found my control of eating almond butter only in small amounts and to eat broccoli each evening was very poor.

These things explain why I gained on my waist instead of losing and why I didn’t lose a second pound the second half of the month.

The good news is I’m still working at gaining leverage and effectiveness at ending the threat the FDA will remove virtually all supplements regardless of their protective value in preventing diseases and the avoiding the costs to treat them.

I made progress just this morning and have an idea of how get a much more powerful person than I to help.

I’m also working at gaining leverage and effectiveness at stopping and reversing the minor medical problem. On that I’ve even seen a bit of progress.

Next month, I will also make an enormous effort to be more controlled about eating less almond butter and always eating broccoli each evening.

For the month from last Saturday to a month from now, I’ll keep a log of those 2 things.

I’ve found that effective to do things new to me when I do it. And for some things, I’ve found if I don’t, nothing happens!

I now need to lose 5 pounds total to return to my goal weight. And, I still need to lose at least three to 6 inches off my waist.

According to pictures I’ve seen, I’m now at about 22 % bodyfat or a bit more, perhaps 25%. To remove my abdominal fat, according to those same pictures, I also need to add enough muscle to stay at or just slightly below my goal weight AND lose about 12% to 15% of my current bodyweight as fat.

This translates into losing 20 to 25 pounds of fat while gaining 14 to 20 pounds of muscle.

My strength training has gone decently lately; but I’ll eventually need to add some heavier dumbbells and go the gym to use heavier weights as well to do that.

That’s mostly true for leg exercises since I’ve not done enough heavier or more challenging exercises for them.

THAT I’ve begun doing something about.

Last month I began doing a set of squats with one leg one for each leg two times a week. I’m only at 8 repetitions once for each leg. But I can clearly keep adding one each time for quite awhile. Eventually that will add some thigh and butt muscle and increase my pounds of muscle. In fact, I may be able to get a more solid balancing post and add a dumbbell of enough weight to make this more likely.

So far, that plan is working but is still at too early a stage to expect much on the scale or tape measure.

(Eventually I’ll also need to get a specialized minibike exerciser I can use while seated at my desk and another I can use while reading at home.

They don’t yet make those that I know of but most people today need them. Given the health harm of sitting too much and how many people do that, these minibikes and chairs that match them well are coming soon I think.

Walking burns about 300 calories an hour. (200 if you are skinny and walk slowly to over 500 if you walk really fast or walk somewhat fast but are much heavier.)

Using a seated minibike exerciser that you use much less effort on but keep moving slowly most of the time you sit can easily burn 50 calories an hour.

Then if like many people today you sit for 6 hours a day, you could easily add an extra 2100 calories a week by using a seated minibike exerciser most of the time you sit at home or at work. That would help people lose about 2 and a half pounds a month for a few months once they got into the habit of always using one.

If I’d used one of the seated minibikes since I began my current fatloss plan, I’d still need to add the extra muscle to be at my goal weight. But I’d be trying to add muscle weight to get back to my goal weight! That’s because I’d be 10 to 15 pounds less fat.)

I’ve also had a new idea. Before sewing machines had electric power, they had an under the work area treadle that was designed to be effective but avoid distracting the person sewing from their sewing.

It may be possible to find an antique sewing machine and find a manufacturer to make a design of that treadle mechanism that would do the same for people working at a desk.

It’s proven to do the job needed in actual use!

A. Last month, my two part plan to eat differently was a bit worse due to following it inconsistently.

1. My plan to eat less almond butter was a bit worse.

I did successfully use the smaller spoon and a bit smaller serving only. The problem was that I ate about four times too many servings!

2. I had also planned to eat a few thawed frozen, organic, broccoli sprouts in place of the almond butter. (I had found before that adding nonstarchy vegetables is effective.)

Likewise, my plan to eat thawed frozen, organic, broccoli sprouts still worked.

But last month, I put the frozen chunks in their container much LESS consistently and ate some of the thawed florets only on a few evenings compared to the months before that.

B. I still had the significant worry most of last month. But I have taken action to try to resolve it. And, I have worked on building a just in case strategy too since last month.

I’ll still worry for quite a while since it will take months to know if my efforts helped, but I’m somewhat calmer emotionally. That will help me avoid gaining fat from eating too many comfort foods.

C. The best good news is that most of what I did to lose the 15 pounds I wanted and 3 pounds extra I lost temporarily is still in place. I’m still doing those things. And, I am still 10 pounds lighter than I was when I started.

I’ll certainly keep doing those things!

D. But one of the better pieces of news is that I was able to sustain my new and added way to cut calories last month.

I read two separate reports on this. One said that fasting one day a week tended to cut pounds of fat without triggering the famine response and even had health benefits. The other said that eating your normal breakfast and then just that one day, skipping your lunch and dinner had the same effect.

I’m not convinced that’s really a benefit to your health when you already don’t pig out on tons of calories of harmful foods. Nor do I think I’m likely to be able to do it or keep doing it.

BUT, I’ve decided to try something along those lines last month.

For lunch on Thursdays, I’ve been eating walnuts, pecans, a half sandwich on whole grain bread, a serving of raw broccoli and baby food winter squash. And, I’ve been eating cooked pinto beans, parmesan cheese, extra virgin olive oil, spices, and nonfat cottage cheese plus pasta sauce for dinner.

Now, on Thursdays only, I’ll only eat the serving of raw broccoli for lunch.

And, I’ll delete the pinto beans and the nonfat cottage cheese and the parmesan cheese and half the extra virgin olive oil and pasta sauce and put the remaining pasta sauce and extra virgin olive oil the baby food winter squash only that I have been eating for lunch.

The calories not in those two meals are close to enough 825 calories to cause a one pound fat loss each month.

It did work the first part of last month. And, I found it surprisingly doable.

The key issue, of course, it will only be effective if I can do it without adding a larger snack or eating extra the following day – AND if I can do it on a permanent basis!

The early reading is that keeping it up is doable for me. But avoiding giving it back by eating extra at other times didn’t work well for the second half of last month.

If my fix by keeping a record of my evening snacks works next month and from then on, that will help!

It’s still possible that if it almost works and is stays doable, I may be able to make it work better by adding some non-caloric fiber so my tummy doesn’t get quite so empty.

(PGX from the kanjac root does work for some people for this purpose and to slow blood sugar rise for people who need that. But I’d prefer to do without the added expense; it may tend to plug me up too much; and it soaks up water enough it may tend to prevent uptake of water soluble vitamins.)

So, I’ll try doing without it first. Then I’ll try half the suggested amount of the PGX just at dinner. If I can do this strategy either of those two ways, this one strategy added to what I’m already doing will cause me to lose about 14 pounds of fat over a year or so.

At worst, I’ll lose back the 5 pounds of fat I’m now carrying above my goal weight and get me back down to my goal weight.

At best, I’ll lose the 14 pounds of fat or more and add 9 pounds or more of muscle from my other work and my waist will finally get noticeably smaller and still have me at my goal weight.

I’ll let you know how these changes work next month!

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Friday, November 18, 2011

Fix a healthier Thanksgiving Dinner, 2011….

Today's Post: Friday, 11-18-2011

Here is my 2011 update on the versions I posted in 2008 & 2009 & 2010.

There are two ways to a healthier Thanksgiving Dinner.

1. Today we talk about ways to prepare a healthier Thanksgiving Dinner.

2. Tuesday next week, we plan a post on how to stay healthier eating a Thanksgiving Dinner no matter how it’s fixed.

There’s no perfect way to do either. The focus at Thanksgiving & at Thanksgiving Dinner must be on enjoying the day. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the company. And, enjoy the time off work!

My Brother in Law once said at Thanksgiving Dinner that he did NOT want to hear anything about what he shouldn’t eat for Thanksgiving Dinner just in case I had any ideas of doing so.

I didn’t then; & I won’t this year. I agree with him. I believe as he does that the focus at Thanksgiving & at Thanksgiving Dinner must be on enjoying the day. Enjoy the food. Enjoy the company. And, do nothing to distract from that focus. If anything, help make an enjoyable stress free dinner happen instead!

That said, there’s a very large list of ways to make the dishes for the Thanksgiving Dinner either better for you or less bad for you -- for those dishes you make yourself.

If there is a family favorite that you’ve made forever that has not so great ingredients, make it anyway or move it just a bit in a healthier direction to make it a bit less bad for health. Do your best to make a version that people will still really like.

However, to the extent you can reduce or replace any of these next ingredients with healthier alternatives, it’s a good idea.

1. Sugar.
(Real sugar or brown sugar or maple syrup are least bad for you and most likely to be in some holiday dishes. Artificial sugars and agave nectar are NOT OK for health and many hate the taste of Stevia.) The key is to have very little the dinner before and after the dinner and Thanksgiving day and eat the dishes with sugar only after eating some protein and vegetables.

2. High fructose corn syrup. (Much of it contains mercury and the research finds it harmful.)

3. Refined grain. (Spikes blood sugar more than sugar! Minimize grain as an ingredient and use 100% whole grains instead if the dish works at all that way.)

4. Salt. (Use some but don’t overdo it. And, have some salt free choices for those who need them. For example, be sure to include some unsalted vegetables raw or cooked to counter balance it with their potassium.)

5. Saturated fat and fat from grain fed animals that is also high in omega 6 oils. (You’re virtually guaranteed to have some. But where you can in recipes substitute some fat from animals that are 100% grass or pasture fed or substitute extra virgin olive oil.)

6. Transfats (aka as trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils). (Deadly stuff! Use NONE of it voluntarily. Use no Crisco or other trans fat based shortening. Use no margarine -- which also is high in omega 6 oils besides the trans fats. Real butter is better! And real butter from grass fed cows is best if you can get it. Just use a bit less or when you can, use extra virgin olive oil.)

7. Soft drinks. (Both regular and diet, these are the worst fatteners consumed by humans. The rest of the Thanksgiving dinner feast is enough already! Add no more fatteners! Since these are the worst known, refuse to bring them or drink them on Thanksgiving.)

1. Sugar.

Make or serve slightly smaller portions of foods with sugar. Even 10 % less will help. (More than 20 % less will likely cause a request for bigger portions or a second helping.)
Make enough for 1 and a half servings each instead of two or three.

Let people serve themselves that food. That way people who prefer to not eat the sugary food get no sugar from it all.

Use 10 to 20 % less sugar in the recipe. The flavored sugars such as brown sugar, honey, maple syrup, and dark molasses can make this hard to detect since there is still a good bit of sugar AND their distinctive flavor to make sure the sugar is noticed.

Substitute raisins or sugared dried cranberries (You have to make dried or sweetened cranberries yourself such as using un-dried cranberries cut in half and then simmered in real maple syrup but only use the cranberries. The store bought dried and sweetened cranberries use high fructose corn syrup) or substitute walnuts or pecans for part of the sugar if no one is allergic to the nuts. For some foods, bits of bittersweet dark chocolate might work. If it will work in the recipe OK, use flavored sugars, brown sugar, honey, or 100 % real maple syrup. The flavor will make up for the sugar reduction somewhat. If the recipe works with it, add cinnamon for the same reason. In addition, it helps your body handle the sugar you eat it with.

Or, use 25% less sugar but replace that sugar with the natural but no calorie sweetener, erythritol. (Using more than 25% erythritol may not taste as good and will cause your body to crave more sugar. Try the recipe ahead of time if you can to check it for taste.)

(In 2009, we suggested using Agave nectar or syrup. Do NOT use it!
Since then I tried it and found it not to be a very good substitute for sugar. I found it to have a harsh undertone.

AND it’s basically straight fructose which is actually WORSE for you than sugar. No worries if you like it. But things like maple syrup or brown sugar taste better and actually are better for you!)

2. High fructose corn syrup. Currently, this means no store bought pies or other desserts. Too many of them still contain this. Do your best to get homemade with real sugar instead even if you have to trade favors with the cook if you don’t cook or haven’t time.

Make a strong special effort to not serve or use jam or jelly unless you’ve read the label and it ONLY has real sugar. It’s changed but at one time, over 90 % of store bought jams and jellies still had high fructose corn syrup instead of sugar.

Similarly use real maple syrup only in recipes that call for it instead of other kinds. Over 90 % of those that just are syrup for pancakes etc still have high fructose corn syrup while 100 % real maple syrup has only sugar.

And, either substitute a bit of brown sugar or real maple syrup with a bit of a mild tasting or bland extra virgin olive oil instead of commercial marshmallows as I’ve read they also tend to have high fructose corn syrup. At least read the label first or cut the amount per serving in half.

(Since I wrote this section initially it came out that about 30 % of all high fructose corn syrup including in name brand foods is contaminated with mercury. Has this been fixed since then? I very seriously doubt it.)

(Pretest recipes before you cook the one for the Thanksgiving Dinner if you can, for best results!)

3. Refined grain.

Use organic, sprouted grain breads (such as Food For Life Ezekiel or Genesis Bread) for bread or toast crumbs for the stuffing. They contain sprouted whole grains and are higher in fiber and protein than refined grain breads. Even many diabetics find these breads do NOT spike their blood sugar like refined grain breads do.

If you’ll serve rolls, do your best to find whole wheat rolls and serve one only to people who ask for one.

Experiment with gravy made with lightly toasted whole wheat flour or gluten free buckwheat flour &/or canned black eyed peas that have been run through a blender for refined grain flour in the gravy. It also works to add button mushrooms or diced onion that has been sautéed in extra virgin olive oil. (Minced garlic and sautéed mushrooms and extra virgin olive oil and pureed cooked black eyed peas and a bland extra virgin olive oil make a decent vegan gravy I found. It also has zero gluten.)

Use whole wheat flour or gluten free buckwheat flour for pie crusts and make pies with a bottom crust only or a top crust only instead having a crust both places. Or use the lattice style on top.

Also try to avoid commercially baked pies if you can. With the possible exception of those from Whole Foods Markets, or a custom, to-order bakery, they all contain refined grains.

Even worse, most to almost all commercial pie crusts use shortening or other hydrogenated vegetable oil and trans fats. That stuff is heart attack starter. So do NOT use or eat commercial pie crust except those that only use butter or use slightly healthier oils as the special pie crust shells at Whole Foods do. (Since I discovered that, if I’m served commercial pie, I eat the filling only and leave the crust.)

4. Salt. Try to use no packaged or commercial foods as they virtually all have added salt and two or three times as much as they should or have the salt when it’s not needed. If you can, make it yourself instead &/or use fresh or frozen vegetables instead of canned. And, use a bit less in recipes that otherwise would be a bit salty. (Unless you are making a dish just for someone who cannot have ANY salt, leave in at least a quarter teaspoon or so per serving or two as a recipe that normally has salt tastes “off” with none at all. And/or use sea salt as it has salts of other minerals besides sodium in it. Of course, in many dishes, you can substitute a bit of minced raw garlic or a very small bit of cayenne pepper for some of the salt for a dish that still tastes good. (Pretest this before you cook the one for the Thanksgiving Dinner though, for best results!)

5. Saturated fat.

Cook the stuffing on the stove top instead of inside the turkey. (Inside the turkey stuffing soaks up a lot of saturated fat—and in grain fed turkeys omega 6 oils.)

Serve a small pat of butter or two on top of a dish after it’s cooked and still pretty hot instead of using more in the recipe. (You get the great taste but with a lot less of the fat and calories that way.)

Where you can, substitute extra virgin olive oil. For example you can strain out the fattiest bits out of the turkey drippings and mix that half and half with extra virgin olive oil for the gravy. Or you do 2/3 turkey drippings and 1/3 extra virgin olive oil. If you include lightly toasted whole wheat flour &/or button mushrooms or diced onion that has been sautéed in extra virgin olive oil or a bit of minced, fresh garlic, the extra flavor makes up for less turkey broth.

Also consider adding dried and pitted (& checked for being pitted) dried sour cherries to the gravy and the stuffing. They add a tasty, festive touch AND help your body process the saturated fat. Diced cranberries also work and fit the traditional Thanksgiving taste themes.

To the extent you can, let the turkey drippings drip out of the turkey before it’s served.

Minimize cheese dishes or make small portions.

Precut butter into small pats instead of serving it by the quarter pound.

Lastly, to the extent you can, include onion and fresh minced, garlic in the foods unless one of the guests will dislike them or be allergic. They help your body process the saturated fat.

If you can reliably get a truly pasture raised turkey to cook, it will have less saturated fat and omega 6 oils even before it’s cooked than a grain fed turkey will.

Use whole wheat flour for pie crusts and make pies with a bottom crust only instead of one on top as well. Also try to avoid commercially baked pies if you can. With the possible exception of those from Whole Foods Markets, or a custom, to-order bakery, they almost all use Crisco which has trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Use butter instead. It’s better for you than Crisco. You just make pies with only a bottom crust so there’s a bit less butter in them.

6. Transfats (aka as trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils).

Avoid buying commercially baked cookies or biscuits as most still have this junk. And, either substitute a bit of brown sugar or real maple syrup with a bit of a mild tasting or bland extra virgin olive oil instead of commercial marshmallows as I’ve read they also tend to contain hydrogenated oils. At least read the label first or cut the amount per serving in half.

Use whole wheat flour for pie crusts and make pies with a bottom crust only instead of one on top as well. Also try to avoid commercially baked pies if you can. With the possible exception of those from Whole Foods Markets, or a custom, to-order bakery, they almost all use Crisco which has trans fats or partially hydrogenated oils. Use butter instead. It’s better for you than Crisco.

To repeat, most to almost all commercial pie crusts use shortening or other hydrogenated vegetable oil and trans fats. That stuff is heart attack starter. So do NOT use or eat commercial pie crust except those that only use butter or use slightly healthier oils as the special pie crust shells at Whole Foods do. (Since I discovered that, if I’m served commercial pie, I eat the filling only and leave the crust.)

7. Soft drinks.

Serve Martinelli’s sparkling apple juice, their sparkling cranberry, apple juice blend or a similar combination and 100 % real fruit juice instead.

Club soda and iced tea also work.

In very careful moderation, Champagne or a Sparkling Burgundy or Sparkling Pinot Noir also works.

Do your very best to avoid serving regular or diet soft drinks unless you know your guests will be extremely unhappy. Or if only one or two guests want soft drinks, politely request they bring their own. At least you won’t help enable their bad habit. If this will cause a problem for them in enjoying the dinner, don’t do it. And no matter what, don’t talk about it at the dinner.

But the evidence now is that drinking abundant amounts of regular or diet soft drinks is about as bad for you as smoking. It just makes you fat and tends to cause type 2 diabetes & heart disease -- instead of directly causing cardiovascular disease and cancers as smoking does.

8. Add some good for you foods that help people fill up without the extra amounts of less good for you food components.

Be sure to include good tasting vegetable dishes and a salad or two served without dressing that people can add their own serving of dressing to; and provide a couple or three almost OK kinds in various flavors.

For example, my wife and I also now bring the relish dish. We include raw organic broccoli florets, radishes, pitted olives, carrot sticks from peeled carrots, and sometimes celery sticks or raw chunks of cauliflower. We take real sour cream with curry powder; hummus, and a health OK Ranch dressing from Whole Foods for dips. (Guacamole is OK even good for health but no one but me used any. So we stopped bringing that. It didn’t work for the rest of my family. Yours might like it. Try it and see.)

We may try using some of the thick low fat Greek yogurt instead of sour cream this year. If the taste is rich and good enough it does have less saturated fat, calories, etc and it has protein compared with sour cream.

9. As we discuss tomorrow in how to enjoy Thanksgiving Dinner no matter how its fixed, in your own eating, eat a bit more of the protein foods and a lot more of the healthier vegetable dishes and smaller servings of the less healthy stuff that you actually like and virtually none of the less healthy stuff that you find OK but not great. That way you’ll certainly be full enough to feel like you’ve been to a feast and eat foods you enjoy -- but with minimum damage!

Do the best you can.

Then focus as much as you can on enjoying the food and the people. It won’t be perfect; but it can be better. Let yourself enjoy it; & focus on the parts that ARE going well.

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Thursday, November 17, 2011

Why and better ways to quit smoking for the Great American Smokeout....

Today's Post: Thursday, 11-17-2011

If you are reading this, you may well be one of the smokers who already would like to quit.

Or you may know someone you care about who smokes. That could be a member of your family, a friend, or someone you work with.

Today is a day to not smoke just for today or smoke less and not around other people just for today.

But it’s also a day to learn more about why smoking is so remarkably harmful and decide yourself to do something about it!

The two key messages in this post are:

1. Smoking is dramatically more harmful than about 99% of all smokers have ever heard about.

Cancer is a greater risk than you may have heard. But some smokers escape it.

The big problems with tobacco smoke, however, are certain and harm every smoker every time! Not one smoker in a 100 knows this.

Knowing that in detail makes it far easier to quit.

If you smoke and quit, you will escape far more harm than you might now have any clue about.

2. There are some key ways to quit that load the dice in your favor.

Bottom line, it’s critically important to stay away from tobacco smoke!

A. Here’s part one.

Smoking is dramatically more harmful than about 99% of all smokers have ever heard about.

Cancer is a greater risk than you may have heard. But some smokers escape it.

The big problems with tobacco smoke, however, are certain and harm every smoker every time! Not one smoker in a 100 knows this.

Knowing that in detail makes it far easier to quit.

If you smoke and quit, you will escape far more harm than you might now have any clue about.

a) The cancer risk is one most smokers know a bit about. But they know some escape it. So they just kid themselves they’ll be one of the lucky ones and keep smoking.

But the cancer risk alone is bit worse than is often known.

In heavy smokers who most like smoking, a full 25% do get lung cancer.

Why keep doing something you like that will kill you? Find some other and safer things you like that much!

Because the radioactive element polonium used in the fertilizer for tobacco gets into the tobacco, if you breathe tobacco smoke or put tobacco in your nose or mouth, you just increased your cancer risk. The polonium gets into your blood and goes everywhere in your body.

This is a huge reason why tobacco smoke causes 30% of ALL cancers. Prostate, breast, colon, brain, and more kinds of cancers do come from this source.

Every expert on ways to prevent cancer starts with staying completely away from tobacco smoke!

Would you walk into the hot part of a nuclear reactor each day with no protection? No?

Then don’t smoke or stay around people who are smoking!

b) But some smokers do escape lung cancers and other cancers.

So why not assume you will be one of the lucky ones & keep smoking?

That’s what some smokers tell themselves if they fail to try to quit or to go back to smoking.

The huge problem with smoking is that there is no such thing!!

All smokers have bad luck and are harmed.

Absolutely NO smokers or people exposed to second hand smoke escape harm.

That’s because the really BIG problems with smoking are the ones that most smokers don’t know about and do the most harm. They are in addition to the cancer risks!

Just like you don’t build a brick building instantly but need to put down bricks one at time, every exposure to tobacco smoke adds to your damage inside your lungs and blood vessels.

EVERY puff or breath you take of tobacco smoke is like building the building of your future strokes, heart attacks, mental decline, and erectile dysfunction and more.

Each and every one adds a brick to your future bad health, suffering, higher medical bills, and shorter life.

For example, lung function is a key indicator for good health in many categories. If it’s high, your health is good and likely to stay that way. If it’s bad, you are more likely to be sick or get sick and die sooner.

Oops! Even small and short exposure to tobacco smoke harms your lung function.

Here’s how that helps you quit.

They tested the lung function of teen smokers. When they saw their lung function was about where an older middle-aged person was, twice as many were able to quit. They assumed they were too young to be harmed before that. WRONG!

The coaches who once told me smoking cut down on your wind were right. But they WAY understated the case!

But the biggest harm of smoking is that it relentlessly causes heart disease.

Every exposure to tobacco smoke adds damage and plaque inside your arteries and begins to restrict your circulation.

But there’s more! Exposure to tobacco smoke can cause sudden surges in how fast your blood will clot and how much.

So people with some of this blood vessel damage who would have escaped getting a heart attack WILL have a heart attack if they are exposed to tobacco smoke.

That’s why communities that mostly or completely ban public smoking almost immediately see WAY fewer people going to their emergency room with heart attacks.

The payback financially is significant and immediate.

So, if you are a bit older or have smoked for a few years, if you want to avoid going to the emergency room with a heart attack, STOP smoking and avoid second hand smoke.

B. But what if you smoke now?

The second purpose of the Great American Smoke Out is to have people stop for just today.

Some people who want to quit anyway will realize that if they can do it for one day, they can just keep being a nonsmoker.

You could be one of them. So why not give it a shot?!

Now that you know, unlike most smokers, how horribly bad for you it is, it may be a good bit easier to do!

(If you can’t do that, at least limit your smoking today to times you are by yourself. That way at least you can help more people avoid second hand smoke today.)

What if you’ve tried to quit before and not found it easy or successful?

Knowledge is power. Suppose you knew your home was about to be hit by a Tsunami or other devastating disaster in 48 hours. It would be a LOT of work and effort to move you and your family & most important possessions far enough away. But you would manage it.

The knowledge in the first part here about how harmful smoking really is and that the harm is 100% certain is precisely the same.

Compared to most smokers, your chances of quitting have at least doubled by knowing that! Most doctors know it. But so far, not one smoker in 100 does.

Now that you are one of the few, you will find you can quit more easily. Not that the temporary side effects are any less nasty if you get those. But you now know a lot more about what’s at stake.

Here are some other ways to multiply your chances to succeed.

1. Use Effective thinking strategies:

a) Think through in detail why you want to quit and the benefits of it

Are there health harms you are extremely determined to prevent?

My Dad died of heart failure caused in part by the several heart attacks he survived. And, he might have avoided those if he hadn’t smoked earlier in his life. And he might not have gotten the first one at that young an age if he hadn’t been visiting a city where so many people exposed him to second hand smoke.

I’ve made a decision to make a continuing effort to avoid what happened to him.

Do you have anyone where you don’t want to suffer what they did?

The more you focus on that, the easier quitting gets.

Do you hate being unable to do the things you want most to do?

Do you prefer being able to walk and hike and live independently?

Do you want to keep being able to enjoy sex?

Smokers who develop really bad lung disease and erectile dysfunction cannot do these things at all.

Do you want to wind up there? If not, focus on avoiding it!

The more you focus on that, the easier quitting gets.

Are you money motivated?

Unless national governments are completely unaware of the facts and if they keep needing tax revenues, taxes on cigarettes and tobacco will keep going up.

If you make enough money now to have some left over each pay period where you don’t have to raid savings to pay your bills, guess what?

If you quit and put all the money you really have been spending on smoking each month into savings and invest it decently once it builds up, you will have a LOT of money in as little as 10 years.

But there’s more.

Do you like being ripped off and cheated when the people doing it are doing it on purpose?

If not, why the dickens spend ANY money on tobacco products??! Do you realize THEY know the damage their products do to you?

Some people get angry when things like that happen to them. Are you one?
If so, refuse to keep paying these rotters to make you sick!

Why give them even a dime of your money!?

Smokers cost health plans 25% more on medical bills. Employers and governments can’t afford to pay for the costs now. And the costs will go up a lot more soon!

Soon they will all charge smokers the extra 25% UP FRONT.

If you still smoke, that money will come directly out of your pocket and your current spending.

Would you like to avoid that?

You can. Quit smoking!

The more you focus on that, the easier quitting gets.

Are there people you care about who you will let down or harm if you continue to smoke?

Do you have children living at home who you want to protect instead of harm? Do you want to be around and healthy to help them when they need it? Do you want to see them grow up?

Are there coworkers or friends you smoke around now you don’t want to harm?

Do you have older relatives where you would prefer not to be the cause of a heart attack they could have avoided?

Many people have succeeded in quitting because of these motivations.

Do any of them fit you?

The more you focus on that, the easier quitting gets.

b) Here’s how that helps:

People who focus on why they'd like to do something that harms them tend to do it anyway.

But when they learn to focus on the harmful consequences, they have little trouble with leaving it alone.

The key is to practice reviewing the negative consequences you want to avoid until you are very familiar with them.

Then when you are under stress or a smoker tries to talk you into doing it too with them, it's doable to remember the negative consequences you want to avoid. That has proven to help people decline successfully and stay free of the addiction.

2. Use effective ways to quit:

a) There once was a story about a castle protected by four knights. Each one was bigger and more intimidating than the one before.

Many got by the first one. A few of those got by the second one too. But only one attacker managed to be skilled and courageous enough to get by all the frst three. And, hundreds had started out to do so. Each of the knights was a skilled and determined fighter.

(The one man who got by the first three and was still courageous enough to take on the huge and final fourth knight in black discovered, he was really the smallest and youngest brother who was just barely big enough to get on his horse in his intimidating get up.)

One key secret to quitting successful is to plan ahead of time to use their strategy. Do as these brothers did!

Plan to take your best shot at the simplest and most direct way to quit. There are many people who have succeeded with just that one strategy.

BUT plan in advance to go to the second strategy if you need to do so.

Then use the second strategy right away if the first one doesn’t get it done! Some people have succeeded with just the second one. But here again, plan in advance to add the third strategy if you find you need to do so.

You don’t need to do them in this order.

But here are the three safest and most effective methods.

1. Quit cold turkey. Throw out all the tobacco you have in your home, at work, in your car, etc. Stop buying more and don’t “bum” any or accept any as a “gift.”

You can be a permanent nonsmoker today or tomorrow if you do this and it works.

For those where this works, it’s the fastest and simplest way to go.

It doesn’t work at all for some people. For others it may take a few tries.

Who it works best for:

If you are a very self determined person who almost always gets what you set after, this may be a good choice.

If you are extremely consistent, organized, and focused and self-disciplined in the rest of your life, this may be a good choice for you.

If one or two of the reasons to quit has a HUGE emotional impact for you, this may be a good choice for you.

It also may work for you if when you tried quitting before, you didn’t have that much trouble with the side effects of nicotine withdrawal.

2. The second way to quit is for people a bit lower on the skills needed to quit cold turkey but who do well with coaching and support from people who believe in what you are trying to do.

For quitting smoking, there are experienced and knowledgeable people to do this for free or at very low cost.

It was in Health Day’s article earlier today that: “Smokers can call 1-800-QUIT-NOW from anywhere in the United States.”

They also note that the “American Lung Association offers the "Freedom From Smoking" online program.”

Your HMO or employer may offer a program. And one employer who is about to charge smokers 25% more for health care coverage is also offering to pay all costs for a smoking cessation program for their employees who smoke who will make an effort to quit.

Your local chapter of the American Heart Association or the American Cancer Association may also have programs in your area.

If this sounds like you or your cold turkey attempt didn’t quite take, try one of these programs immediately!

For those they fit, they double or triple your success rate.

3. Some people find they get truly harsh side effects from nicotine withdrawal. They get grouchy and irritable. They have trouble concentrating. They feel unwell.

If you’ve tried to quit before and found that happens to you all day long, the over the counter nicotine patches may work for you.

If you do OK most of the time, but crave nicotine about at the times in your day you used to smoke, the over the counter nicotine gum or a prescription nicotine inhaler can help.

(The two drugs that can help have dangerous enough and obnoxious enough side effects, like smoking itself, they are best avoided.

Only use either if you have tried everything else first and really worked at it.

And, only use either if you have great support at home and see your doctor every week while you are taking them.)

Depending on who you are and how your body works, you may want to try these 3 methods one at a time.

Or you might want to start out doing all 3 at once.

President Obama smoked and found his nicotine withdrawal side effects quite harsh. (In his job, he also had a lot of stress!) As his doctors cheered him on, he kept using the nicotine gum and succeeded.

The oil entrepreneur J. Paul Getty became a billionaire due to how effectively determined and active he was at doing the work necessary. One night, he was about to walk to the store in the rain to get cigarettes.

He suddenly realized his addiction to smoking was about to make him do something quite disagreeable. He got really angry that his habit was so bad it was controlling him.

But once he realized that, since he would not tolerate being pushed around, he simply never smoked again.

In my own case, I got lucky twice.

I smoked for a bit as a younger man even doing so heavily for a short time. But I simply had no addiction to it. When I skipped it for a few days, I had zero side effects. It was more a way to discharge my nervous energy by giving me something to keep my hands busy.

Then one day when I was smoking heavily enough my hand had a yellow stain on it, I went to the doctor with the kind of bad cold that had me spitting up heavy green and yellow gunk and was giving me asthma from impeding my ability to breathe.

I always HATED that kind of cold.

The doctor I saw, looked at my hand and said, “You know if you didn’t smoke, you wouldn’t get this sort of cold as often.”

That was it! I was done smoking the second I heard him say that!

I would have done even more to have that kind of cold less often!

I felt like I’d been sprung from jail. (In fact, given what I now know, I may also have spared myself a death sentence.)

What will work for you may be different from any of these stories. But if you use the information in this post, you will find one!

b) People who focus on why to quit and become emotionally determined to do so, do often succeed

We’ve covered that above. But remember to keep focusing on the several reasons to quit that mean the most to you.

Doing that is almost as effective as having magic wand to use when you need it.

So stay in practice so it works when you do need it.

3. Adding exercise doubles your success chances.

Of course if you have been smoking and not exercising, take it very easy and slow for the first few months!

But surprisingly, those who exercise already or who add exercise immediately as they quit double their chances of success a study found.

Do it! You get a double benefit. You double your ability to quit successfully. And, you also begin to recover from the health harm faster.

4. Planning a smoke free life

a) Cut way back on spending time with smokers or at least when they are smoking.

Trade emails or talk on the phone instead of meeting them in person. Or hang out with more nonsmokers. Or only see your smoking friends in places that will throw them out if they smoke.

b) Find, learn, and use other ways to energize yourself and turn down stress.

One of the reasons exercise doubles your chances of success is that it does both.

A single fast set of situps or pushups can energize your brain. And a walk on a pretty day when it’s sunny and you are around trees can do a great job of lifting your stress.

Another method that adds extra stress relief and has been tested as being the best way to do so is to learn and practice Tai Chi at least for 10 minutes a day.

c) Find ways to repair the damage and protect your health.

Read this blog for ideas or do your own research or do both.

Exercise definitely fits here.

You just got done pushing up your risks for heart diseases of all kinds and for all kinds of cancers before you quit.

The more ways you learn to use and then do -- that prevent heart disease and that prevent cancer – the faster you will begin to recover from what you were doing to yourself.

Making this commitment to protecting your health also will virtually bullet proof you from beginning to smoke again.

At that point smoking or being around smokers would set back something you are trying to do.

So you’ll protect your efforts to stay healthy by not doing that.

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Tuesday, November 15, 2011

How to prevent prostate cancer and aggressive prostate cancer....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 11-15-2011

Given our family history, both my grandfathers had it and my dad did also, I’ve known it was likely I’d get it too.

My plan has been to make it less likely, smaller, slower growing, and keep it from being or becoming the aggressive kind.

I've done many things to do so. And, there is research showing each of them works!

The few PSA tests I've had have been low but not zero. If memory serves, they have run about 2.7 but not gone up. I think this fits my supposition and given the things I've done to prevent the aggressive kind of prostate cancer, cancer in general, and any prostate cancer in particular.

I summarize most of what I do in this post. Some of it is NOT that hard and gives surprisingly effective protection.

[The FDA has announced plans to pull virtually all the supplements included in my efforts! They must want health care costs and suffering and disability to go up.

(Of course they and their friends in the less ethical drug companies will be very pleased taking in this money and with the undeserved monopoly.)

My long term efforts are to prevent cancer and prostate cancer including the supplements if possible. So, my efforts now include my aggressive short term efforts to prevent this harm from the FDA.

Even more than just our health, our economy will be severely harmed if the FDA is allowed to use its proposed policy. That's because this added health care cost hit will be on top of the added surge in health care costs from the aging of my, baby boom, generation and surge from the heavy consumers of soft drink and junk food generations that follow us.]

A. Here's what I do to prevent aggressive prostate cancer. If the research is correct, I'm cutting my chances of getting it by 50 to 75% or even more with just these two things.

1. Men who eat RAW broccoli florets or cauliflower florets at least once each week cut their risk of aggressive prostate cancer in half. Since I read that, part of my every weekday lunch is to eat a serving or two of raw broccoli florets.

(My younger brother on hearing this said he wasn’t that fond of either broccoli or cauliflower but might be able to get used to it.

Here’s what I suggested:

Most of my broccoli is in my weekday lunch. I finish my breakfast about 6:10 am and eat my lunch at about 11:40 am plus the broccoli is the second thing I eat. That saying hunger is the best sauce is quite true.

Both are crunchy but not difficult to eat. That part I like!

Some things I eat or don't eat because I know their effects and have decided to virtually always go by that regardless.

Beyond that, you do begin to get used to and appreciate what you eat most of the time.

If you need more, try eating them with a dip you like two or three times each week. Low fat Greek yogurt with a curry powder you like, a hummus you like, or guacamole if you like -- it all tastes great and each has health benefits too.

2. I've taken the supplement tri-boron from Twinlab for many years because I read I'd be enough more alert each day to make it worthwhile if I did. Of course I still do.

So, I was delighted to read that research shows that doing just that ALSO cuts my risk of aggressive prostate cancer in half! Al Sears MD wrote that taking boron as I’ve been doing also cuts your risk of aggressive prostate cancer in half.

B. Key ways I prevent all cancers including prostate cancer:

Eating raw cruciferous vegetables of all kinds several times a week also helps prevent all kinds of cancer because of the two or three phytonutrients in it that fight all cancers. (Cooked, they have other benefits some of which help fight cancer somewhat also. But the most effective cancer fighters in them are destroyed by heat.)

Staying away from all tobacco smoke or taking every opportunity you possibly can to avoid any or move briskly away from it cuts the risk of ALL cancers of the people who do it by 30 % or a bit more.

(Snuff and chewing tobacco may do this a bit less.)

This is partly because it was recently found that one of the reasons for this is that ALL tobacco today contains the radioactive element polonium because it's in the fertilizer used on tobacco. So, if you once breathe it in or eat it, the polonium gets into your blood stream and goes everywhere in your body.

New research has found two major ways that both prevent all cancers and very well may prevent Alzheimer's disease as well.

1. Eating curried foods with turmeric and black pepper both in them -- or taking turmeric or curcumin supplements with a bit of black pepper on a spoon once a day does this.

(I'd begun doing both to prevent Alzheimer's disease. Since then I learned doing so also prevents most cancers.

And doing so at the same time as ingesting black pepper has been found to multiply this effect in both cancer prevention AND Alzheimer's disease in separate research! For cancer prevention the well thought of doctor expert in that field who wrote the book, Anticancer said adding the black pepper increases the effect by as much as 200 times!)

2. Your body kills cancer cells and prevents damaged cells from becoming cancer by killing them off with its immune system. But research has found that the killer cells of your immune system need plentiful access to vitamin D3 to be fully operational, armed, and effective.

So, because of this, people who take between 4,000 and 10,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 get far fewer cancers. (It too helps prevent Alzheimer's disease apparently by helping your immune system clean the amyloid plaques from your brain better. Turmeric and black pepper does this also; but in addition prevents most of the damage by slashing the amount of tau protein that causes it to begin with.)

I take 8200 iu a day of vitamin D3 with the 5,000 iu part at lunch. (For comparison, a two hour walk or swim on a sunny mid-summer day causes your body to make 10,000 to 20,000 iu a day of vitamin D3. So, despite the large sounding doses, 4,000 to 10,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 is a reasonable amount.)

C. A few years ago, it was in TIME magazine that men taking 30 mg a day of the carotenoid lycopene with a bit of oil had their prostate cancer shrink and their PSA readings go down. This had been tested because it was found that men who often ate tomato sauce with extra virgin olive oil or even junk oils in Italian foods or even Pizza had less prostate cancer at all.

Since I read that, I've done both every week. I take 30 mg of lycopene daily and 5 to 7 days a week I have a pasta sauce with extra virgin olive oil as part of my dinner.

I take 30 mg of lycopene each morning with some lowfat milk. And, six or seven evenings most weeks, I eat either wild caught, canned Salmon or cooked pinto beans with a good tasting tomato based pasta sauce with some extra virgin olive oil.

C. More ways to prevent prostate cancer include these:

1. I do NOT take man made vitamin E. A study the headlines said found taking vitamin E made prostate cancer more likely.

The study did no such thing!!

It found that men who took a double dose of the cheaper man made vitamin E had this result.

A key identical to the one to your home but the mirror image of it won’t let you in your house because it won’t fit into the lock!

In the same way more complex organic molecules have a right handed and left handed version. Sometimes they both are beneficial.

But often only one of these forms is the natural version. When that happens, it’s common for the mirror image version to be somewhat harmful. That means a mix of half the natural one and half the reverse one is not that great for you either.

BEFORE this research was done, knowledgeable people already knew that only the natural version of vitamin E was beneficial and that the mirror image version was problematic.

2. In fact, an earlier study, likely using natural vitamin E, found that taking it REDUCED the incidence of prostate cancer.

But there’s more. Alpha tocopherol is only one of the natural components of the vitamin E complex. In foods, it tends to appear with beta, delta, and gamma tocopherol.

Why is that significant?

Research has found that natural gamma tocopherol for sure cuts the incidence of prostate cancer!

There are gamma tocopherol supplements for that exact reason.

Because gamma tocopherol may work best taken along with the other tocopherols, I take Solgar’s 200 iu natural vitamin E with mixed beta, delta, and gamma tocopherols. And, I eat extra virgin olive oil, raw walnuts, raw pecans, and almond butter.

That way I get my vitamin E in foods AND each of these foods has its own additional health benefits. Avocadoes and guacamole also fit; but I eat it less often.

Except for people allergic to tree nuts, these health benefits are so good people who do this have better health and live longer!

3. In the artificial vitamin E study, they did find one effect that prevented the artificial vitamin E from causing extra prostate cancer! The people in that subgroup also took the antioxidant mineral selenium.

In the 200 mcg size sold as a once a day supplement, selenium is an antioxidant that some research has suggested helps prevent all cancers. Apparently it does help prevent prostate cancer. And, I’ve take one a day for years now.

(Note that selenium is toxic in large doses. So taking more than one a day is likely not wise!)

Lastly, if the FDA manages to remove all supplements as it is threatening to do, one brazil nut a day contains about 200 mcg of selenium.

In fact, that may be a superior way to take it. One man reports that the selenium in brazil nuts is more bioavailable than it is in the supplements.

Given our family history, I think I've done the prudent thing.

And, any of this you do, I believe will give you similar protection.

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Monday, November 14, 2011

More on preventing and getting rid of colds and flu....

Today's Post: Monday, 11-14-2011

This has turned into a four part series to add some more helpful and effective information in today's post.

a) See the post last Tuesday, 11-8-2011 also. It was on ways to prevent colds and flu. By far the best solution is not have them & have them last zero time by simply NOT getting them at all!

b) The post on Thursday, 11-10, had the most important strategy to protect you from being limited and debilitated or harmed if you get a fever.

c) On Friday, 11-11, our post had some effective information on minimizing how bad chest colds get.

It had some information that added ways to kill off viruses in your nose and keep it from being stuffed up.

And, it added some supplements and foods that can also help.

This post has two ways that each help you prevent most colds and flu and make them milder and shorter if you get them anyway. Each of them cuts your chances of getting sick about in half. And when you do get sick, it’s less severe and leaves a day or two sooner.

a) People who take a probiotics supplement daily get fewer colds and may get fewer cases of the flu. In fact, it may prevent up to half of them.

I’ve not seen research showing why this effect exists; but there are 3 reasons I think this is so. Your immune system is tuned up from checking on the probiotic bacteria when -- without them to check each day, it might be half asleep when a cold or flu virus shows up. It also has the probiotic bacteria as a comparison that’s fresh, so when an upper respiratory bacteria or a cold virus or a flu virus shows up, your immune system will see it as different sooner. That likely enables it to attack sooner too.

But that’s not all. Your probiotic bacteria likely also attack them directly! And, that attack may be quite effective. The first strong antibiotic, penicillin, was a substance produced for just such an attack. This may even mean that your probiotic bacteria might have or develop a way to kill bacteria that are resistant to many antibiotic drugs!

b) Just since last year, I found out that people who take the supplement astragalus each day also get fewer colds and may get fewer cases of the flu. It too, may prevent up to half of them!

In fact, this has been known and well supported by research for years I found out on the website, www.wholehealthmd.com . But I only learned it and began taking astragalus myself a few months ago.

c) Does that mean that taking both probiotics and astragalus can help you avoid as much as 75% of colds and flu by cutting your chances in half twice? It’s possible though I do not know of any direct test. Since my wife and I now take both, I certainly hope so!

d) There are two times that you can get a scratchy throat that can cause you some discomfort, cause a dry cough, or make it hard to speak.

The first time is when you first get sick.

For that I like to empty out a 30 mg zinc capsule and put it into my mouth to try to get it to my throat AFTER getting a glass of water. There’s some chance that if a virus is a cause and it has only attacked your throat so far, that might kill it off. In fact, this has seemed to work for me a few times.

(However, it turns out spraying zinc into your nose is harmful to your mucous membranes. So do NOT do that! Use the steaming we describe in an earlier post in this series for that purpose. Unlike using zinc, the steam does NOT cause pain that sticks around and damage but it does kill viruses.)

But if you tried getting the zinc on the back of your throat and are definitely getting sicker anyway, what can be done to relieve that scratchy feeling or the dry cough or enable you to speak normally?

I once tried several kinds of cough lozenges. I found them all completely useless.

But there is now something called Thayer’s lozenges. Instead of being a hard candy with a flavor or having a numbing agent, Thayer’s lozenges use a soothing herbal called slippery elm that coats over the area that feels scratchy and directly stops the irritation.

I found the effect astounding in comparison to the normal cough drops. I chewed up two and swallowed them. (I’m a bit too impatient to suck on them for a long time.) The first few seconds I felt no effect. But within a few more seconds, there was no more feeling of irritation! It was all gone. It was as if I’d hit it with a 20 pound sledge hammer. No drama. The irritation just was no longer there!

That was nice!!

So, what I do now is always have some with me. If I get that kind of irritation, I give it a few minutes first because most of the time, it will go away by itself since I wasn’t coming down sick. But if after a few minutes, the irritation is still there or a bit worse, I chew up two of the Thayer’s. I talk on the phone in my job, so having something that effective in reserve when I need it is very nice indeed.

It helps mild sore throats a bit; but for bad ones, the pain is underneath the area the Thayer’s protects and too strong. So, if you have strep throat, you will still have the pain.

The second time you get a scratchy throat that causes you some discomfort, or a dry cough, or makes it hard to speak is when you have had a chest cold. You’ve coughed a lot and irritated your throat. BUT you no longer are coughing anything up. All you have is the left over irritation.

The Thayer’s lozenges work great for that!

The key is to wait until you no longer bring up anything when you cough. If you do, even just a bit, your body will cough until you get rid of it. For stopping that the Thayer’s won’t work. And you are better off getting rid of what you cough up anyway.

But if the irritation gets tiresome, you can use the Thayer’s for that. You will still cough. It will just be easier to take.

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Friday, November 11, 2011

How to get rid of colds and flu better and faster, part 2....

Today's Post: Friday, 11-11-2011

a) See the post last Tuesday, 11-8-2011 also. It was on ways to prevent colds and flu. By far the best solution is not have them last zero time by simply NOT getting them at all!

For example, taking an optimum level of vitamin D3 as we described there boosts your immune system’s killer cells so much you are less likely to get colds and flu. But the same effect is still there if you get a cold or the flu anyway. That means if you do while taking the 4,000 to 8,000 iu a day of vitamin D3, your immune system will kill it off sooner and more reliably.

Another example, the pneumonia vaccine we recommend there is very effective in people who take the optimum level of vitamin D3.

That means if you do that and then get a bad chest cold or flu that would have led to pneumonia, you will NOT get the dangerous and painful pneumonia follow on disease. So you will be far less sick, get well faster, and be dramatically safer.

b) If you get either a cold or flu and then have a fever, drink extra water.

To repeat, if you have a fever, DRINK A LOT OF EXTRA WATER!

In yesterday’s post on Thursday, 11-10, we explained how dramatically helpful and protective this is and some tips on doing it well enough.

c) If you are in the very early stages of a nose cold or if you have little gunk but the inside of your nose hurts from the viral attack, you CAN fight back!

Making the temperature of the inner surface of your nose greater than 150 degrees kills the viruses directly research found.

The simplest way to do this is to boil water in a teapot that has a wider base than its top. Take the water off the heat and away from the flame and move it to over a sink to prevent harm if any spills.

Then sniff the rising steam with each nostril. If you begin to feel it’s too hot for you, stop and switch to your other nostril. Try to do each one two or three times.

If that’s all you have time for, it will help. But if you catch it early and/or have time, heating the water back up to boiling and repeating the process two or three times will help.

c) Thick mucous in your nose is uncomfortable and since it tends to stay there you can get a secondary bacterial infection. It also can make it harder to breathe and sleep.

The steaming we just described can sometimes help.

But there are two other effective ways to get rid of it. Doing those two before the steaming can make the steaming more effective to remove and thin the mucous left over. And, this also gives the steam better access to the inner surface of your nose and the viruses sitting on it.

First, eat some form of hot pepper or foods that contain such peppers or rinse your mouth with water that has hot sauce or red pepper – or eat some kind of Mexican or Chinese food that has such peppers.

What you want is the kind that makes your forehead sweat after you ingest it. Why? Because your eyes also water a bit and your mucous gets so much thinner, your nose tends to run.

If the problem is mild that may be all you need!

Second, get a Neti pot online ahead of time before cold and flu season or buy one at the drug store.

You heat the water to the temperature of a very warm bath but not much more. Adding a bit of salt may help. Then you turn your head sideways and while standing over a sink, pour the water into your higher nostril. It will flow over to your lower nostril and pour out into the sink. Gradually the thick mucous will get thinner and wetter and leave with the Neti pot water.

If you have time then, follow up with breathing steam.

d) Thick mucous in your lungs is worse. When you cough to get rid of it, you have to cough much harder. And, you don’t get it all up. So you keep coughing longer. Worse, you may well then get a mild secondary chest infection or bronchitis.

That makes you sick longer and reduces your lung capacity longer.

The good news is that the hot peppers cure works really well for this.

If you once get this kind of lung congestion even a little bit, use it at virtually every meal or that many times a day.

Have hot sauce on your fried eggs at breakfast; eat a hot Mexican dish for Lunch; and have a spicy hot Chinese dinner.

(Note that in hot Chinese dishes, they often leave in the red pepper itself or more than one in the food. Then the heat from the pepper is gradually picked up by the oils in the food.

Eat the oils and the food, BUT do NOT eat the PEPPERS. It feels like you took a blowtorch to your gullet. And it lasts awhile too!

So, before or as you eat, every time you see one of the these green bean sized red peppers, remove it entirely from your food!

(Eating breads and drinking alcoholic drinks NOT water is what you need if the heat is too harsh for your mouth or you are so unfortunate as to eat a Chinese pepper.

Drinking cold water does NOT help until the chewed up bread carries the oils the heat is in away and the oils the heat is in dissolve into the alcohol in the drink.

Only then will cold water help. But water does NOT remove the oils. And until the oils are gone, the heat from them stays put.)

This works to prevent bronchitis pretty well. We know that because studies found that people who eat such hot foods get chest colds, they hardly ever get bronchitis.

Then, if you have time, taking a long hot shower and breathing deeply while in the shower can add to the effect.

But use the hot spices or sauce or food first for best results.

e) If you are not very sick, don’t have a higher fever, and don’t have it in your chest, doing your normal exercises can help you get well sooner. It boosts your mood because you feel more capable and in control. And you’ll maintain doing regular exercise.

DO, cut it back though. Do easier paced cardio for less time or for shorter distances. Do fewer sets. Use less weight in your strength training and for fewer repetitions.

The idea is to make it feel and be easy but get you a bit active and breathing well and increase your circulation without overexerting yourself.

I’ve done it. And, the combination of the very easy workout but feeling virtuous for doing one is a very nice positive when you are sick.

This will often speed your getting rid of the illness too!

However, if you have a high fever, or feel physically horrible even though you have been drinking extra water, or you have a chest cold, just rest instead. (And use steam, hot showers, and hot spices as needed.)

f) The information I’ve read is that neither taking vitamin C nor zinc will prevent colds. (The one exception is taking enough vitamin C for those who compete athletically or do very vigorous exercise. Taking enough vitamin C and eating and taking other antioxidants can help prevent some colds.)

However, taking 500 mg of vitamin C 3 or 4 separate times during the day and taking 30 to 45 mg of zinc once a day can make your symptoms less and help you get rid of your cold or flu in fewer days.

Also, the when you first are sure you are sick, taking an extra 30 to 60 mg of zinc can help. But do NOT do so after that because the positive effect of the extra only works at first. Then if you take extra, strangely it stops protecting you entirely.

There are currently different ways to take elderberry. It’s been found that doing so cuts back on flu symptoms and duration.

I like to take Nature’s Way Bilberry supplements in part because they have more elderberry in them than bilberry. And this is far easier and less hassle than taking elderberry syrup or tea.

I also now take this supplement every day so it may help me prevent getting flu too.

g) Eating the foods and spices that boost your immune system or help prevent cancer due to how much they boost it also helps you throw off colds and flu sooner.

Mushrooms, carrots, broccoli florets both raw and cooked, tomatoes raw and particularly cooked or purred with extra virgin olive oil, squash, pumpkin, sweet potatoes, yams, and mustard greens are some of these foods. (Taking lycopene as a supplement also can help>0

Onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric or curries that contain it, oregano and many more spices also do this.

The good news is that these foods and spices often taste good and are very good for you even if you aren’t sick!

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

How to get rid of colds and flu better and faster....

Today's Post: Thursday, 11-10-2011

a) See the post last Tuesday, 11-8-2011 also. It was on ways to prevent colds and flu. By far the best solution is not have them last zero time by simply NOT getting them at all!

For example, taking an optimum level of vitamin D3 as we described there boosts your immune system’s killer cells so much you are less likely to get colds and flu. But the same effect is still there if you get a cold or the flu anyway. That means if you do while taking the 4,000 to 8,000 iu a day of vitamin D3, your immune system will kill it off sooner and more reliably.

Another example, the pneumonia vaccine we recommend there is very effective in people who take the optimum level of vitamin D3.

That means if you do that and then get a bad chest cold or flu that would have led to pneumonia, you will NOT get the dangerous and painful pneumonia follow on disease. So you will be far less sick, get well faster, and be dramatically safer.

b) If you get either a cold or flu and then have a fever, drink extra water.


The doctors say to do that but normally don’t tell you how much it does for you and how protective it is!

They are correct. But it’s way more helpful than their low key way of saying it suggests!

When you have a fever, you lose water more quickly and feel bad enough you may not notice you are getting thirsty or have a dry mouth sensation.

The dehydration that can lead to can cause fainting and even worse problems!

At best you feel weak, in capacitated and unable to move around much.

But why go there?! Drinking the extra water prevents that!

As soon as you find you have a fever, go get an extra large drink of water, immediately. Then as soon as you find you have to go to the bathroom from the extra water, immediately go get an extra large drink of water again. And, keep doing this process as long as you have a fever.

Also any juice or tea or coffee or milk you normally would drink, do so. Drink that in addition to the extra water.

The benefits are dramatic. You still feel bad. You still feel sick. BUT you avoid feeling weak and incapacitated. You can still function well if you need to. If you don’t, you may be forced to lie down or sit down and stay there. Yecch!

Also, short of fevers over 103 degrees, fevers are GOOD when you are sick. Fevers signal your immune system to launch and build up its counterattack. That shortens the illness. And you get well sooner.

Drinking the extra water enables you to avoid taking an over the counter fever reducer when you have the typical lower fever that helps you get well sooner.

You also can then avoid the expense and side effects of taking the over the counter fever reducer too.

If you get a fever of 104 or more of course, do take the over the counter fever reducer and make your extra water ice water until your fever drops a bit.

We will add part 2 of this post next time.

But just with what was in Tuesday’s post and drinking the extra water, you can make a HUGE difference in how much less sick you are and feel. And, you will get well faster!

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Tuesday, November 08, 2011

Prevent colds, flu, and pneumonia....

Today's Post: Tuesday, 11-8-2011

Why feel rotten or have your work or life temporarily put on hold or slow speed when you can avoid it?

Why risk damage to your lungs or death if you can avoid it??

To a surprising degree you can by preventing colds, flu, and pneumonia!

Each of these methods reduces your risk. If you use all or most of them, your chances of escaping this stuff go WAY up.

Unfortunately this is the season for catching these and bronchitis besides.

The good news is that you can make catching any of them MUCH less likely.

Today we list many ways to prevent these. Do as many as you can that you aren’t already doing.

Many of the ones that work best cost very little. Taking vitamin D3 has truly astounding other health benefits besides. We also list two methods that cost very little that also may help prevent you from getting colds if you overdo your exercise or do competitive athletics of some kind.

Let’s start with the most important ones.

1. You can’t avoid all the risk. But I’ve read over half the risk comes into your house and into YOU on your hands.

If you touch the corners of your eyes and inside of your nose ONLY when using a clean tissue or toilet paper or handkerchief and NOT your fingers directly, you cut your risk.

But even more important, touching things like ATM keys and debit card number entry keys and gas station self-serve pumps and grocery store cart handles or ever visiting a hospital for any reason exposes you to an astounding amount of bacteria and viruses from simple colds to almost incurable bacteria like MRSA.

So, every time you come home from work or have touched such things before you eat, ALWAYS wash your hands!

You can sing the Happy Birthday song if you like to wash long enough even if only silently.

But I think that inaccurate and silly myself.

This works better:

Use a liquid hand soap you can squirt onto your hands. Do the hand washing motion until all of each hand is covered. That action WITHOUT water puts the oils on your hands and the viruses and bacteria in them into suspension. Then turn on the warm or hot water and repeat until most of the soapy feeling is gone. Then turn on the cold water and repeat the hand washing motion about that long. These two parts ensure all the soap and the oils and viruses and bacteria in it have gone down the drain!

This is more accurate and easier to do than just singing. These are the 3 parts that do the job!

2. Take the optimum level of vitamin D3 each day; get flu shots each year, and the pneumonia vaccine once every 10 years.

That combination is extremely effective if you do each of them!

You’ll get far less cases of the flu, over 85% perhaps will miss you completely. Over 90% of the times you would have gotten pneumonia, you’ll escape it. And, you’ll often be the only one at your work who misses the cold that everyone else is getting.

Vitamin D3 is to your killer cells in your immune system is what ammunition is to guns. We now know that without optimum levels of vitamin D3, your immune system’s ability to help you prevent all viral and bacterial disease is much less. Not having enough vitamin D3 is like disarming a good bit of your immune system’s killer cells.

Most people today work inside and play inside so much, most of us get little vitamin D from sun exposure often even during the summer. So most people today are from severely deficient to low in their levels of vitamin D3.

(People used to get over 3,000 iu a day from sun exposure even in winter because they walked so much and over 10,000 iu a day from sun exposure during summers because they walked so much and did things outside on evenings and weekends. Very few people do this now!)

Similarly, it’s been found that your body will use about 3,000 iu of vitamin D3 a day if it’s available. And, recently there have been a lot of studies done on giving people 4,000 to about 10,000 iu of vitamin D3 a day. (Since people get little sun in the winter and most people who don’t work outside today get very little sun most of the time, these studies were important to do.)

(Getting close to the 3,000 your body actually uses looks to be quite safe. The studies I’ve read say the optimum level of intake is 4,000 to 8,000 iu a day. Also most researchers in the field tend to take 10,000 iu a day. Only take over 10,000 iu a day if a doctor has measured your blood levels and recommended it. Wikipedia says it takes 100,000 iu a day to begin to be harmful. But you get that much in 4 days at 25,000 a day. Since I’m a bit conservative, I think for some people 25,000 iu a day or more may be a bit too much.)

It seems that taking 4,000 to about 8,000 iu of vitamin D3 a day boosts your immune system well enough it looks to help prevent all cancers. (A recent study using the 400 iu of vitamin D3 daily that used to be the recommended amount, by contrast, did not show cancer protection. The amount was simply too small.)

This immune boosting has been found to help prevent tuberculosis. (The old idea of getting TB patients extra sun may have actually helped some people because of this effect.)

Even more important, I read last year that in people with low vitamin D levels, the pneumonia vaccine tended not to work. But in people with high levels of vitamin D, the pneumonia vaccine was quite effective.

Because of the many reports of this strong immune system building effect, I suspect that taking 4,000 to about 8,000 iu of vitamin D3 a day also very likely makes flu shots much more likely to be protective.

Without extra vitamin D3, flu shots may prevent only 57% of the cases of the flu recent research found. Still worth doing in my opinion. But with even taking 4,000 iu of vitamin D3 a day it may be 75 or 80% or more instead!

Similarly, getting flu shots every year likely gets you above 57% protection. For the strains that were the same in prior years your immune system just needs a reminder and likely works better for those than starting new. And, you still will have some immunity to strains from prior years that are NOT in this year’s shot.

Flu shots are free from many HMO’s or about $25; and pneumonia vaccine only needs to be gotten about every 10 years and is free from many HMO’s or about $25! And, taking 4,000 to 8,000 D3 now only costs about $20 a month. Getting both shots and taking the vitamin D3 costs at most $50 to start and $20 a month or so after that.

Not only will doing these three things slash your risk of getting flu and pneumonia (and TB), it will also very likely make you less likely to get colds.

And, over a 10 year period the cost of doing all three is about $20 a month. Plus you’ll save MORE than that in antibiotics, cold medicines, doctor visits, and time off work.

(And, there’s even more benefits to taking that much vitamin D3 each day. I discovered recently it protects your DNA enough that it will slow aging by 5 years if you do it long enough.

Taking 4,000 to about 8,000 iu of vitamin D3 a day also looks to prevent many autoimmune diseases. Not only does taking vitamin D3 each day help your immune system kill the invaders it should kill, it apparently also helps it avoid harming parts of YOU that it should leave alone.

Do you get SAD during the darker days of winter and get the “wintertime blues”? In many people, taking 4,000 to about 8,000 iu of vitamin D3 a plus mid-day outside exercise often turns that off.

Vitamin D3 also helps prevent heart disease and Alzheimer’s disease. So you get many extra benefits besides being a lot less likely to get sick if you take enough vitamin D3.)

3. Here are two more inexpensive ways to prevent colds and flu. (The second one also helps prevent allergies.)

These two may help prevent you from getting colds if you overdo your exercise or do competitive athletics of some kind.

People who exercise a bit too much or too vigorously tend to lower their immune response. If they do, they can come down sick. Two times I had this happen to me. First time was when I set a personal best for running a mile, for example.

But a study of runners found that this is much less likely to happen to people who take antioxidant supplements and eat foods high in antioxidants. Natural vitamin C, natural vitamin E only, alpha lipoic acid, and others do this. So does eating foods like raw broccoli florets and bananas and organic wild blueberries and many other foods high in vitamin C. So does eating raw, unsalted nuts; eating avocadoes; and using extra virgin olive oil since these are high in the whole natural vitamin E complex.

Last year in I read in an article in Early To Rise, an e-zine dedicated to making money, improving your health and quality of life. (For a complimentary subscription, visit http://www.earlytorise.com.)

In it I found an article by a woman, Kelly Herring.

In her article she said that red onions, the red apple peels of whole apples, and broccoli and tea are each high in a nutrient called quercetin. (You can also buy quercetin as a supplement.)

She found that an article in the American Journal of Physiology quoted research showing that quercetin by itself negated the dip in immunity that comes with physical fatigue.

So that’s another way to get this protective effect. So if you work hard physically or exercise vigorously or dance or do even low level competitive athletics, use these two methods to stay well.

4. Taking the herbal supplement astragalus twice a day has also been found to boost your immune system. This is new to me since last year’s similar post. But I recently found that multiple research supports this and the website www.wholehealthmd.com lists it as long known and well supported.

So I’ve been taking that since.

5. Taking probiotics also has been shown to boost your immune system. So, since I learned that, I’ve taken that also.

I’ve read that people who take probiotics do get fewer colds and cases of the flu.

I like this one since I think it works two ways.

Your immune system “sees” these beneficial and harmless bacteria every day-- which I believe keeps it tuned to up to check often and gives it a model to compare newcomers to. That means it hits back at the bad guys faster when they show up.

But the other part is what I like best. In your body these good guy bacteria are in residence. So when invaders show up, your body is their turf. That means your immune system has help! Your beneficial bacteria fight back too!

To sum up, at the very least, always wash your hands; get your flu shot each year; and your pneumonia vaccine every 10 years—and begin taking 4,000 to 8,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 if you haven’t already been doing so.

(Get the flu shot and pneumonia vaccine within the next few days if you haven’t had your flu shot yet this year or ever had the pneumonia vaccine.)

I think the other supplements boost your protection enough that I take them myself. But the first group are the heavyweights.

The heavyweights cut your risk by about 60 to 90%. So always do those.

The other supplements cut about half the remaining risk. So the result is your risk is then cut by about 80 to 95%. I like those numbers better, so I add those too.

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