Wednesday, October 31, 2012

3 things brought me success lowering my blood pressure....

Today's Post:  Wednesday, 10-31-2012

At its worst, my blood pressure was running about 153 over 86.  That’s much too high for best health results but NOT high enough to take drugs to reduce it.

And, I was successfully protecting myself from heart attack and stroke with multiple methods and with the blood tests to prove it was working. Plus I was getting regular, vigorous exercise most days of every week that I’ve continued to do which is quite protective.

More recently, after my job stress went down and my income went up just a bit, I was running about 142 over 78.  That’s still too high but better.

Now it’s 131 over 70!  A bit lower would be nice.  But that reading is no longer high blood pressure even on the top or systolic number.  (That’s almost comparable to the 115 over 75 now thought to be ideal.)

I’m working to remove more of my abdominal fat.  If that works, I may see the 119 over 63 I’d prefer.

But this last drop to 131 over 70 is the one that was most protective and removed me from any level of high blood pressure.

What caused it?

The biggest cause was the  at my desk exercise bike  and the 5 pounds of fat it helped me lose.

I’ve used it now for 8 weeks. 

The two other things that may have helped are:

1.  We live in an area with a lot of traffic during our commute and the rest of our week.  Before, we had a car that I could just get to speed up enough to change lanes when needed. 

But it was often a nearer thing than I wanted.  The car wasn’t horribly short of power but it wasn’t quick either.  So I was more stressed over whether or not I’d make the space I was trying to get to.  And, I realized I was tensing up as if I could somehow boost its performance.

About 4 weeks ago we got a car that was both more crash safe AND which IS quick when you ask it to be.  (It’s an S60 Volvo.) So that kind of working our way through traffic is MUCH less stressful.

2.  My wife finally has enough money to feel financially safe or almost so.  That may have reduced her stress and mine.

More money and lowering stress from a bit too high to only somewhat high are proven to improve health and so those two factors may have done part of the job.

But at least 60 % was from the at my desk exercise and the resulting fat loss.

The 1,000 calories a week of exercise I was getting gave me some decent health benefits.

But adding 1600 to 2000 calories a week to total 2600 to 3000 a week plus sitting with no motion for shorter periods and less total time not only is a big improvement and makes my fat loss more likely and more permanent, it has proven added health benefits.

That apparently includes making my blood vessels more relaxed and responsive and may include removal of plaque to allow more blood to flow.

The bad news is that the recumbent bike and desk takes up a bit too much space to be easy to use or fit in smaller offices.

But if you can use it, it works very well.  It just takes getting used to using it.

To buy one, go to .

My hope is that the much more compact at your desk exerciser that fits most people’s existing desks and offices will be available at some point too.

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Friday, October 26, 2012

Enjoy life to live longer....

Today's Post:  Friday, 10-26-2012

Doing things you enjoy lowers your likely death rate & extends your life!

A study that was in the news last Monday, 10-22 that was done in the UK had striking results.

In a study of what were apparently middle aged people or a bit older, the people who said or tested to be enjoying life during the 10 year period, only 9.9 percent died but in the group in the lowest third of enjoyment 28.8 percent of them died.  (The average for the whole group was 20 %.)

That’s a huge difference.

Clearly part of the reason for that was that the people who kept the best health were most likely to enjoy life and stay alive and the people in the very worst health had less ability to enjoy life and were less likely to stay alive.

But this post is because there is some evidence that it works the other way around.

That means you can add to your years of healthy life and enjoy them by things you can do to make that happen.

Many of those things were in my recent post:  Feel better, have more energy, and stay mentally sharp.... Thursday, 10-18-2012.

Each of the things you can do in that post either make you feel better, make you more mentally healthy and capable, or help keep you healthy, or all three.

Three that stand out are:

1.  If you take a very scientific and analytical and careful approach when things go wrong, you often see that the causes are specific and temporary and even can be fixed in many cases.  And, if you are optimistic that many good things are permanent and that actions you take will help even if the odds don’t look to others as very promising, as long as the actions you take are prudent, you are far more likely to try to improve things and such people often succeed.

It’s already been studied.  If your are like that or learn to become like that, you WILL enjoy life more, you WILL take more actions to protect your health, and you’ll have more friends and better relationships, better health, and over your lifetime you will even make more money than people who aren’t like that.

2.  In everyone’s life there are good and bad events.  People who notice consciously when good things happen and focus on them a bit and even make an effort to recall them a few times a week will enjoy life more than the people with almost identical lives who do not do so.

3.  The supplements found to repair nerve and brain cells make it much easier to feel better and keep your mental sharpness.  AND, one of these, citicoline, has reports that people who begin taking it find their mood improves and they have more energy.

But there are three other ways to add to your enjoyment of life.

a) Regularly schedule things you enjoy doing from re-reading a favorite book for a few minutes a week to making time for your family to taking vacations. 

Yes you have other demands on your time; but if you schedule these things just like you do doctor’s appointments or meetings for your job and manage not to overdo it, you will enjoy life far more.

Better yet, there is solid evidence these things protect your health and rejuvenate you. 

For example people who do knowledge work and concentrate and make an effort to do it well for several hours, begin to experience a kind of mental fatigue and at some point become less able to continue.  A recent study found that re-reading a favorite fiction book or watching a favorite TV re-run works as an antidote to this effect.  Reading a new book by a favorite author or watching a new episode in a series you like is also enjoyable but not quite so restorative this study found.

b)  Notice and associate with people who enjoy life and are fun to be with.  Note who they are and do what you can to see them a bit more often and enjoy them.

c)  Build the number of words that you know that are positive and begin using them more.

Great!  Precisely so.  I agree.  I see what you mean.  Good luck to you. I’m pleased that worked so well for you.  Enjoy your weekend.

(It helps to find reasons to like people, notice what they are good at, and forgive them for being grouchy or tired at times or bad at other things.)

This set of words and others like them makes you easier to like and communicate with.

Delicious.  Delightful.  Outstanding.  Smooth.  Just right. Soothing. Interesting.  Wow!

Energizing, exciting, fun.  Refreshing.

Amused.  Pleased.  Stimulated.

The more you practice saying or noticing these things, the easier it gets to notice and remember or even create good things in your life.

And the more you will enjoy your life.  

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Thursday, October 25, 2012

Stop snoring and sleep apnea....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 10-25-2012

1.  After seeing an ad for an alternate treatment for sleep apnea for people who don’t like or do well with the CPAP device, I thought I’d do a new post on this topic.

Then I found a reference to my post on this subject on Tuesday, 5-8-2007

I’ll use some parts of that post in this one.

“If your significant other complains about your snoring or worse --

Or, if you wake up without feeling rested & then have little energy all day or fall asleep when you’d rather not during the day even though you spend enough time in bed sleeping–

Or, if you’ve been diagnosed as having sleep apnea—

There’s information you should know about.

Snoring in your bed partner can deprive you of sleep or restful and efficient sleep while having sleep apnea directly and definitely causes these things.  Sleep apnea is dangerous and can cause high blood pressure, brain damage, strokes, & heart attacks.

Both snoring & sleep apnea can ruin your sex life or strain your marriage. They often deprive people who have them of normal energy & vitality.

There may be a way you can get rid of all or most of that within a few days for & just a few bucks.

Some solutions take a good bit longer.  But even they can be partly done in a few days in many cases.

Snoring can be caused by the flap in your throat partly blocking your air flow while you sleep.  If it’s not too bad, you may be unaffected and not even be aware of it.  But if it’s loud, it can wake your bed partner or disrupt the sleep of your bed partner and cause you problems in that way.

This kind of throat closure can also cause sleep apnea by completely shutting off your air until your body causes you to gasp for air. 

When that happens, even if you don’t wake up, it disrupts your sleep and increases your physical stress all of which makes your sleep far less effective, increases high blood pressure and more.  Sometimes the lack of oxygen from not breathing on a longer breath stoppage can harm you.

Falling asleep while driving and getting killed or harming other drivers or falling asleep enough at work to do it poorly or get fired all have happened to people with sleep apnea.

Worse, a recent study found that as many as half the people they studied had some degree of sleep apnea.

For low level snoring from this cause, one simple solution is to sleep on your side and NOT on your back.  When you sleep on your back, gravity pulls your tongue back into the back of your throat and snoring often results.

For more severe snoring from this cause and for sleep apnea which is mostly caused by this, the wonderful news is that there is a fast and effective treatment.

(Being obese or severely obese makes this bad snoring and sleep apnea far more likely.  So one sleep apnea treatment and sometimes cure is to lose all or most of that excess fat.  We now know this is doable.  But it isn’t easy and may take two to five years if you have enough to lose.  We do posts on how to lose fat permanently quite often.)

The best news is that the fast and effective treatment for this kind of obstructive snoring or sleep apnea has even turned it off in obese people!

It’s called the Pillar Procedure.

(Instead of the previous idea which was to cut out some of this part of your throat which removed its functionality, hurt like hell, and sometimes caused infections, the Pillar procedure simply inserts a small somewhat hard plastic reinforcer to hold the tissue out of your airway.)

The Pillar procedure does a minor implant in the tissue in your throat that slips down to block your breathing. It is reported to work quite well. And the recovery time is so fast, some people have gone to work later in the day when they’ve had it done in the morning.

If you travel a lot or if your snoring or sleep apnea are quite severe, you may want to check it out at .  It also may be worth trying!  (Traveling a lot can make using a CPAP machine almost undoable or at least much more of a hassle.)

The Pillar Procedure costs several hundred dollars. Plus, as busy as many of you are, it can be hard to get that done even if you might have an interest in doing it.

This is because you do need an evaluation appointment with the doctor. You need an appointment to have it done. And, you should have a follow up appointment after you’ve had it done to see how it’s worked for you.

Another treatment is called the CPAP or continuous positive or forced airflow airway pressure device which adds a breathing mask to an air pump which holds your throat open enough to turn off this kind of snoring and sleep apnea.  Some people can’t use it and some won’t.  But for some people who aren’t that bothered by it, they feel so much more rested when using it, they are OK with it.

I like the Pillar procedure better because I’m someone who would NOT like the CPAP device AND when you use the CPAP device it’s like continuing to be sick and having to use a crutch indefinitely while the Pillar procedure is a cure when it works.  By using it, you no longer have the problem!

2.  For some people, snoring can be caused by airflow problems in their nose.  This does NOT cause sleep apnea as far as I know however.

But for snoring problems, it may make the best sense to see a doctor who treats this condition AND performs the Pillar procedure who can diagnose which kind of snoring causes you have.

For someone with the nose problems only, the Pillar procedure may not stop the snoring. is the website for the EOS sleep doctors who do exactly this kind of work.  They do all of the above and are located in the San Francisco Bay/Silicon Valley area of California, in several locations in New York, and in Philadelphia.

3.  What if you are pretty sure you have obstructive snoring in your throat only or you have sleep apnea AND you hate or can hardly use the CPAP device AND for whatever reason, the Pillar procedure is not for you or too expensive?

There is a device you put into your mouth when you sleep that does the same thing as the Pillar procedure or the CPAP and holds your airway open.

I recently saw an ad for one:

Their ad said it was an effective alternative for people who hate or won’t use the CPAP device.

4.  Even if you cure your sleep apnea or treat it successfully with one of these methods, if part of the reason you had them was because you were obese or severely obese, being overfat; underexercised; or both can also harm your health & ruin your sex life.  Losing fat can also improve your results in stopping snoring and sleep apnea in many cases.

So, if you also suffer from those conditions, please stop eating refined carbohydrates, high fructose corn syrup, & drinking ANY soft drinks. Eat a lot more green, nonstarchy vegetables & lean protein & beans -- & nuts if you are not allergic to them. And, carefully add some regular walking & strength training to your life each week.

Within days or at most a few weeks, you’ll be much healthier. And, if you keep doing it from now on, you’ll be a LOT less fat.  That will also improve your sex life & will help protect you from even more expensive to treat & dangerous diseases.

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Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Maybe hormone replacement for women CAN be safe....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-23-2012

After our introduction, we cover some important news on how hormone replacement can be made much safer.


At menopause, many women have some kinds of problems.  Hot flashes can be very uncomfortable and many women have problems with weight gain, lower mood, and less energy, or a shrinking or even disappearing libido.

Some women also develop osteoporosis or become more at risk for heart disease.

A kind of hormone replacement for women was created using synthetic hormone drugs, made from mare’s urine I’ve read.

The good news is that many women who tried that synthetic HRT found it did turn off their hot flashes and they had less of the other problems.  There was also hope that this would protect them from osteoporosis and heart disease.

Then a long term study found that women getting this kind of HRT had significantly more cancers and breast cancers and not that much heart protection.

Suddenly women were scared to take it and most women don’t use it now.

But in some ways that was unfortunate since many of the women who used it did feel dramatically better.

And, to counterbalance the risks and get more health protection there ARE things you can do directly to do so.

For osteoporosis prevention, NOT drinking any soft drinks which are so acidic they leach calcium from bones in people who do drink them helps a lot by turning off a major cause. The same is true of getting weight bearing exercise, taking magnesium supplements and at least 3,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 plus eating FOODS high in calcium and taking vitamin K2.

For cancer prevention, staying away from all tobacco products and tobacco smoke cuts out at least 30 % of ALL cancers.  Taking turmeric or curcumin supplements with black pepper and eating some curried foods that have the yellow turmeric in the spice mix cuts back on cancer risk.  Regular exercise, which can be the same walking or strength training that prevents osteoporosis slows aging and cuts cancer risk.  Eating a lot of raw cruciferous vegetables not only helps prevent cancers, it helps prevent aggressive cancers connected with sex related body parts.  It also helps prevent fat gain or helps lose it. And taking at least 3,000 iu a day of vitamin D3 or possibly closer to 5,000 to 8,000 turns down your risk of man cancers.  Since it also helps prevent osteoporosis, that too does double duty.

For heart disease prevention, staying away from all tobacco products and tobacco smoke cuts out even MORE heart disease risk than it does cancer risk!  Second hand smoke and smoking not only cause heart disease the longer you are exposed, they trigger heart attacks too!  Stop ingesting ANY hydrogenated oils.  See our post last Friday, 10-19-2012.  Stop drinking soft drinks, eating foods with high fructose corn syrup, and foods made from refined grains. And cut WAY back on regular sugar intake.  It’s not yet widely known but each and every one of those causes heart disease, and tends to cause type 2 diabetes and obesity. (People who still ingest this stuff have too high blood sugar and insulin and dramatically higher triglyceride levels.) Regular exercise ALSO helps prevent heart disease in addition.

So taking the original synthetic hormones can be done more safely and with more of their intended health benefits by following these other practices too.  And, it may also cut risk by gradually taking a bit less of the hormones once you find how much you need to feel better.

The big news:

But now there is a way to measure the risk that takes weeks instead of years. 

Even better, we now know there are significant protections that target the causes of cancer even more precisely that people can do. 

Best of all, you can do a retest to see if you need to do more after a few more weeks.

Lastly, there as always been a significant chance that using bioidentical hormones instead of synthetic ones would remove the risk of having hormone replacement therapy.

But even though it makes excellent sense conceptually, there hasn’t been a quick and reliable way to test that idea – or of even more importance – to test it in YOU if you try using the bioidentical hormones yourself.

The wonderful news IS that there are two tests that indicate conditions likely to cause bad health effects that get worse when women take the synthetic hormones.

But you can take steps to turn down each of these conditions directly!  The even better news is that many of the steps above also help improve these two conditions.

AND, if you take the bioidentical hormones, you can get these two tests after a few weeks to see if it puts you more at risk to do so!

Then, even if it does in your case, you now have a choice between stopping them or continuing them while taking steps to turn down the two risks.

There was a more recent study with fewer women who took the synthetic HRT for 4 years starting when they just began menopause.

In that time period, they didn’t develop the problems found by the longer study over a longer period of time.

Jenny Thompson of HSI looked at the details of the study however.  Oops!

The researchers DID find evidence of two conditions known to cause heart disease and make cancers more likely.

“But here's what IS meaningful. Triglycerides went up. C reactive protein went up. Those are serious red flags. They both mean that inflammation is an issue.”

But she missed the positive implications!

We now know what two things to measure to know what the risks of HRT are.

We now know more precisely what to do to counter those risks.

And, we now know how to get a fast and objective test of using bioidentical hormones within weeks – NOT years – of starting them!

Don’t know about you.  But to me these 3 things are extremely important news events!

Most of the risk reducers we list in the introduction, lower triglycerides and the chronic and excessive inflammation measured by the HSCRP test.

BUT some of them attack these two risks directly!  And, there is a set of things not included there that lower inflammation by quite a bit.

1.  You CAN lower high triglyceride levels.  Over 150 is quite dangerous! Over 100 is undesirable. And, less than 50 is the desirable and achievable level to shoot for.

In fact, if a woman wants to use either synthetic or bioidentical hormone replacement, she will be far safer if she begins the practices that lower triglyceride levels right then if she isn’t already using them.

“Stop drinking soft drinks, eating foods with high fructose corn syrup, and foods made from refined grains. And cut WAY back on regular sugar intake.  It’s not yet widely known but each and every one of those causes heart disease, and tends to cause type 2 diabetes and obesity. (People who still ingest this stuff have too high blood sugar and insulin and dramatically higher triglyceride levels.)”

In addition to that set of things, regular exercise, particularly regular vigorous exercise even if for a few minutes at a time, lowers triglyceride levels.
2.  Exercise, doing the things that lower triglycerides, and eating an abundance of vegetables and fruit high in antioxidants, each lower inflammation. So does taking antioxidant vitamins and minerals. 

Taking curcumin or turmeric and eating curried foods directly lower inflammation.  That, in fact, is a major way doing those things prevents cancer.  And, lowering chronic inflammation cuts heart disease formation and risk also!

But there is another major way to reduce chronic inflammation.  Most people have high inflammation today because they take in WAY too much omega 6 oils and hardly any omega 3 oils.

It IS doable to stop your excess omega 6 oil intake. And taking omega 3 supplements and DHA supplements – a brain and nerve protecting omega 3 oil -- AND eating wild caught fish low in mercury and high in omega 3 oils gives you far more omega 3 oils.

Not only do you need omega 3 oils to balance the omega 6 oils you eat, omega 3 oils are directly anti-inflammatory!

How you cut back on omega 6 oils is far more complex.  BUT it IS doable!

Stop eating foods made from refined grains.  Not only does that lower triglycerides, refined grains are very high in easily digestible omega 6 oils.

Stop eating ALL corn and soy oil.  They are almost pure omega 6 oils. And, cut way back on canola oil too.  Despite it having some plant based omega 3 oils, it too is way high in omega 6 oil.  (A far safer way to get plant based omega 3 oils is to eat walnuts. You eat less total oils and the fiber helps get rid of any excess omega 6 oil.)

Extra virgin olive oil is very low in both saturated fat AND omega 6 oils.  Using that instead of these cheap omega 6 oils has proven health benefits!

Unfortunately, factory farms feed grain to the animals they harvest for meat.  So their fat is LOADED with excess omega 6 oils.  Eat meat from animals ONLY fed grass or eat super trimmed, fat reduced, lean versions of foods with fats from animals fed grains.

What to eat instead?

The DASH II and Mediterranean diets each remove most of the foods high in omega 6.  Eating a combination of them including extra virgin olive oil and removing refined grains and adding extra vegetables is ideal.  

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Monday, October 22, 2012

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Today's Post:  Monday, 10-22-2012

1.  This month’s report is far less positive than last time.

I gained back a pound on the scale and about half an inch on my waist.

I am still over 5 pounds less than I was 6 months ago.  So, using the recumbent bike over the last month may have helped me gain less back.

But still, my hope for continued progress this month didn’t happen.

2.  My main effort will be to boost my minutes ridden each day at work on the recumbent bike. 

Last week my estimated calories burned was 1600 on the bike and 1,000 from my regular exercises.  That’s 2600 total which is less than the 2900 people get who do the best job of losing all their fat and keeping it off.  2600 during that week was also less than the 3500 calories a week of exercise tested to have the best health results.  And, much of the previous 3 weeks was similar in my total calories burned.  The problem was that I wasn’t beginning to use the exercise bike at work in the morning but only pedaling it from about mid-day on.

So, today I made an extra effort to begin in the morning and it’s working so far.

I’ve done 2,000 + on the bike in a week and so far today I’m on track to do that this week.

Once I can do that almost every day, that will help. I’ll be over 3,000 calories total for the week and over 2900.

Then I think I can gradually build up to 3,000 + a week on the bike from there.  That will put me above 4,000 a week total and well over the 2900 and 3500 marks.

(That extra calorie burn might well have prevented my gains since last time by itself.)

3.  The other way I’m working to lose my belly fat is to build muscle.  And there I may have made some progress.  I’ve actually added three things since last month in fact.

I did find a way to increase my strength and muscle building efforts, see my post on Thursday, 8-16 where I describe it. 

Initially, it was working.  Then I apparently overdid a bit and hurt my shoulders some.

Last month I posted this:

“The bad news is that it stopped working. I was using it successfully and am still stronger than I was.  But I developed some mild muscle tears in my shoulders that have so far kept me from continuing to improve.”

Since then I’ve been using lighter weights by two levels than I was.  After about 3 weeks I can finally tell it’s working and just this morning began the process of moving from two levels down to one.  So far that is successful.

Even better there are two reasons to believe the repair will work and I’ll resume making progress. 

These two methods are not only likely to work but to continue to help me add muscle successfully for two reasons. 

One is temporary and will only work for a few more weeks.  That though will help me with recovering from my minor injury now.  The nights have finally turned colder here which gives my natural testosterone level a boost each fall and has done so starting a few days ago! So muscle repair and gains will do extra well for the next few weeks!

The second method is a major breakthrough!  It will keep working every day I keep using it!

I’ve known that reports have it that taking in whey protein right after exercise has been reported to help.  But even though I bought some whey with no stevia in it which I HATE the overpowering taste of, I hardly ever used it because I used a blender which is a royal PAIN to wash.

Since then though I discovered the good news on whey was WAY understated!  Research long ago established clearly that taking in protein with the same amino acid balance as your body has builds muscle far more effectively than just getting more protein generally.

Just a few days ago I found that whey comes very close to have the same amino acid balance as the human body!

With that extra motivation I invented a way to add whey to my first glass of milk I drink right after my exercise.  AND it worked and is continuing to work!  I just use a fork.  Some of the whey blends in OK but I actually use the fork to strain out the rest and simply eat the paste off the fork.  The taste isn’t bad and overall this adds 23 grams of the effective amino acid balance protein each day right when my muscles need it most for repair and gains!

BINGO!  And, unlike the temporary fix from the weather, this one I can do all year long!

Next month, I expect to be able to report more progress in my muscle building and strength training efforts.


Between cutting more calories with the exercise bike at work and adding that extra muscle in my at home strength training, I expect to see no more weight gains on the scale AND see some lower waist measurements!  I’ll lose fat and add muscle.

If it works, as it looks like it already is, the added muscle will burn more calories and I may also begin to lose weight on the scale too.

We’ll see how next month does!  

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Friday, October 19, 2012

Why have heart attack starter with your coffee?....

Today's Post:  Friday, 10-19-2012

As my regular readers know, partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils are extremely harmful if ingested.

But they are still legally in a huge list of foods.  Just read the labels and pass on anything that lists ANY partially hydrogenated oils or hydrogenated oils!

The problem is that they cause heart and blood vessel disease if ingested and likely help cause cancer and osteoarthritis too.

They cause the LDL in your blood to have far more of the small particle LDL that is one of the major causes of heart and blood vessel diseases.

These particles are literally so tiny they fit into the chinks in your blood vessel walls.  They tend to stick there and cause inflammation.  Then your body adds more to try to repair the damage.  Your plaque builds up then and begins to harden and close your blood vessels.

(You can see this in your lipid panel blood test because your protective HDL will go down and your harmful triglycerides will go up. And your HSCRP blood test of chronic inflammation will go up.)


That tends to increase your risk for heart attacks, strokes, ED, and high blood pressure. The inflammation tends to cause osteoarthritis and helps cause cancers.

If you add eating excess salt, it also tends to cause gout.

But there is worse news yet!

When you eat partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils, in part because they are not natural foods your body has evolved to process, your body takes weeks to get rid of half of what you ate.

THAT means that if you eat partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils --even a little every day, you gradually build up a level that ensures these harms will befall you.

Case closed.  There is NO safe amount of partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils.  Eating less is still dangerous! 

The only exception is if you accidentally have some a few days a year, your body likely rarely has a high level.  But ingesting partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils several times a week is still extremely dangerous if you keep doing it too long.

It couldn’t be simpler. 

Partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils are heart attack starter!

OK. So why the title of this post?  “Why have heart attack starter with your coffee?”

Because with the exception of some added ingredients, nondairy creamers are mostly partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils.

And while coffee itself is mostly good for you -- between its increase in mental sharpness and its high level of antioxidants, if you add partially hydrogenated oils and hydrogenated oils by adding nondairy creamer, it’s no longer safe to drink any!

Meanwhile millions of people in the United States drink several cups of coffee a day with nondairy creamer.


What can you drink instead? 

Some coffee tastes good enough and its level of harshness on your throat is low enough you can drink it black.

You can have a bit of half and half in your coffee on occasion.  Though this is high in saturated fats, the amount is not large and it is MUCH safer than nondairy creamer.  It’s particularly likely to be OK if you eat right and eat very little saturated fats otherwise. (For convenience, you can get the small packages of half and half that many restaurants serve.  They don’t need refrigeration.  And what you don’t use right away can simply be tossed.)

It also works to use a bit of two percent lowfat milk.  That works for my family and it has far less saturated fat than half and half.  Most workplaces have a refrigerator where you can keep a quart of two percent lowfat milk.  You also get a bit of protein that way.

The other solution is to have tea or green tea after your first or first two cups of coffee.  Tea with a bit of cooler water to drop it to drinkable temperature is OK with no milk.  In fact, it has more health benefits that way!

So, if you use nondairy creamer, one of the best things you can do for your health is to stop using it and never buy it again!

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Thursday, October 18, 2012

Feel better, have more energy, and stay mentally sharp....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 10-18-2012

A.  There are many effective ways to feel better and turn off depression. 

1.  A psychologist called Stephen Ilardi wrote a book called, The Depression Cure: The 6-Step Program to Beat Depression without Drugs.  He found that 75% of the people who made a good faith effort and kept going on all 6 things were no longer depressed. 

Regular socializing with people you treat well and getting enough sleep and getting regular exercise and eating wild caught fish or taking omega 3 supplements are some of the things on his list of 6.  Getting enough omega 3 helps people be less crabby and irritable which helps with socializing for example.

Completely STOPPING ruminating about bad things also helps.  One way to do that is write them down; decide which ones are worth fixing, what you’ll try to do to fix those and when. But then insisting on dropping any thoughts about it until time to do one of those things.  Vigorous exercise or contacting someone who is fun to talk to or simply doing a chore you are good at are things you can do immediately to help do that.

I found that often shorter bouts of vigorous exercise is more effective and works faster than longer and slower exercise.  They are certainly easier to fit into a busy day!

Treating almost everyone with courtesy and respect and looking for reasons to like people and for things they are legitimately good at help make socializing easier & also helps.

2.  It’s been found that periodically writing down things you are thankful for and a few events that went well each day is effective too.

3.  Being very analytical and precise in thinking about things that go wrong in order to see that they are actually limited in time and potentially fixable due to their causes also helps. 

Being optimistic about things you will attempt to do enough to try to get them done also is effective.  Oddly, it’s effective even if you overestimate your chances of success.  The one key way to make that effective is to be prudent and careful of doing risky thing when you do this.  One of my college professor said this:  “If you’re doing something risky, jump in feet first instead of head first!”  If you are optimistic enough to try actions and prudent in doing them, you’ll be more effective and have more control over your life even if your chances don’t’ look good to most people.

Martin Seligman, PhD studied this and people who are high in both these things are happier, have better health, have more friends and make more money than people who are low in both. 

They feel better and are less depressed and get over it when it happens more surely and quickly.  His book is called, Learned Optimism.

BUT some people are still depressed or in such harsh circumstances these things can sometimes not be enough.

As Rev Bob Schuler once wrote, Tough Times don’t last.

But what about people for whom better times and doing the things we list are still depressed.

The good news is that this is caused by damage to the brain or its nerves BUT we now know some things you can do to rebuild those nerves.

One of the reasons regular ex.

As Rev Bob Schuler once wrote, Tough Times don’t last.

But what about people for whom better times and doing the things we list are still depressed??

The good news is that this is caused by damage to the brain or its nerves BUT we now know some things you can do to rebuild those nerves.

One of the reasons regular exercise and vigorous exercise are effective is because doing them grows new nerves and brain cells due to your body releasing a growth hormone BDNF when you exercise.

The news is that there is one supplement by itself and a set of three supplement one of which is related to the first supplement that have been tested as effective in doing this job.

There is even a drug, Ketamine, that immediately stops severe depression by doing this.  But the effect only lasts a few days.

Starting the other things we list and these four supplements before it wears off may make even severe depression curable!

B.  Many of the things above also help you have more energy because you get more sleep and better sleep and feel less stressed.  But the first supplement we list also directly makes people taking it feel more energetic!

C.  There are many ways to prevent Alzheimer’s and other kinds  of mental decline that we have often posted about that prevent damage to your brain such as following a health oriented and heart safe eating plan and taking turmeric with black pepper and at least 3,000 iu a day of vitamin D3.

And, we have posted about exercise as a way to prevent this due to its help in regrowing brain cells.

The very good news is that 3 of these supplements have tested at helping to prevent mental decline and even may reverse it in the early stages.  And the fourth is related to one of the three!

The first supplement is called, citicoline.  It was developed in Japan as a treatment for stroke victims that might boost their levels of choline in the brain and help grow new brain cells enough to improve things.  And, I’ve read it’s now in use in Europe for that purpose.

The best news is that it’s available as a supplement AND people who take it report their mood improves and their energy level goes up!

The other 3 were tested as helping to prevent or reverse mental decline and tested to show this was due to the growth of new neurons and an increase in their interconnections!

They were taken together and the man who set it up made a combination supplement of the 3 things that was used in the research.

But you don’t need his supplement because each of the three parts are available as supplements you can buy!  They are choline, DHA, and uridine.

Did I start doing this when I read that research?  Indeed I did!

I already took choline which is in the lecithin I take and the egg yolks I eat for breakfast.  (Now I’ll add citicoline too.) Choline also increases the protective HDL and protects your heart and brain circulation!

The second of the 3 parts is DHA.  It’s the omega 3 fraction that has the most brain benefits and is behind the reputation of fish as brain food.  (Note that the taking omega 3 supplements and eating wild caught fish like salmon in Dr Ilardi’s set of steps provides DHA in addition to EPA and other omega 3 oils!)  Due to DHA’s super reputation, I also take the DHA supplement by Jarrow each day in addition.

The third component, uridine, is hardly known but is apparently a growth initiator.  The really great news is that single heaping teaspoon of Brewer’s yeast mixed into water and drunk provides more than you likely need of uridine each day.

Solgar makes the Brewer’s yeast I take in this way and have since I read this research. 

Brewer’s yeast is also high in almost every amino acid protein component your body needs and B complex vitamins.  So you get extra health benefits.

AND taking the brewer’s yeast may work even better than uridine by itself to grow new brain cells because of this!

Note that if you are depressed and have low energy, many of the steps we list above are enough trouble to do it may be hard to get yourself to do them well enough.

So another way to use the four supplements is to start them first!

Then when your brain is working better and you feel a bit better and have more energy, do the other steps too!

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Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Why avoid taking acetaminophen....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 10-16-2012

For starters, taking Acetaminophen is often done to lower a fever. 

Fevers are a protective effect generated by your immune system.  Unless quite high, you are more likely to return to health more quickly by drinking a lot of extra water and get a bit more rest if you take nothing at all to lower fevers.  That’s true for both adults and kids.  The extra water is essential.  The extra rest is quite desirable.  But lowering fevers below about 105 degrees F. with ANY OTC drug is actually a BAD idea because of this.

Acetaminophen, aka Paracetamol in the UK, does relieve pain but is quite risky to take -- it's fatal for some people -- and may make Asthma in children and Alzheimer's disease in adults more likely.

1.  Despite now being an over the counter drug, Acetaminophen is quite risky to take and can be dangerous to take. Liver damage from Acetaminophen can be hard to reverse and if bad enough it has killed people.

Some things make that more likely:

Do you take statin drugs?

Or, do you take the much safer and more heart protective niacin?

If you do either, taking acetaminophen may be risky due to heavy strain or stress on your liver.

Do you drink regularly though at a light moderate level?  Do you drink more than that regularly?  Do you binge drink sometimes having 4 or more drinks?

If so, morphine may be much safer for you to take than Acetaminophen.  Definitely taking extra strength Acetaminophen several times a day for days at a time could put you at extreme risk.

Do you take Ny-Quil or DayQuil or other OTC symptom removers that include Acetaminophen?  If so, taking Acetaminophen in addition may harm your liver since these other OTC products already have it.

2.  I recently read that children taking Acetaminophen are more or much more likely to get asthma.

It’s possible that this is because parents who give kids a pain killer too easily instead of hugs and help getting well or using other ways to make their kids feel better are also more likely to live in polluted neighborhoods or less able to clean their homes often.

But the correlation with asthma also may be due to the effects of Acetaminophen or the effects of Acetaminophen on the liver in children.  I’ve not read of such a correlation with taking NSAID’s for example.

Aspirin is not recommended for kids and young people as it has caused Reyes Syndrome.

Not taking a pain killer too easily; occasional use of an NSAID drug -- or an opiate drug prescribed by a doctor for more severe pain, looks like it may be a better choice than taking Acetaminophen.

3.  I also recently read that adults taking Acetaminophen are more likely to get Alzheimer’s disease.

That too may have the cause in the other direction to be fair.  People who never exercise or get too little exercise generate fewer endorphins and tend to have more aches and pains.  They also tend to get brain shrinkage and their risk of Alzheimer’s disease is higher.

But here too, I’ve not read of such a correlation with taking NSAID’s or aspirin.

NSAID’s may have some heart risk.  So taking them sparingly for only short periods is likely wise.  But unless you know you are at above average heart risk, taking an NSAID for a short time may be safer than using Acetaminophen.

Aspirin has a significant risk of bleeding.  So some people who are on blood thinner drugs cannot take it.  But usually taking a reasonable amount for a short time is safe.

So, avoid treating most fevers if you want to get well quickly.

And for adults, not taking a pain killer too easily; occasional use of an NSAID drug or aspirin-- or an opiate drug prescribed by a doctor for more severe pain, looks like it may be a better choice than taking Acetaminophen.

Personal note:  A friend of mine was someone who took some cold OTC drugs that contained Acetaminophen and took Extra Strength Tylenol too – even more Acetaminophen -- wound up in the hospital with liver damage.

His doctors thought it might be permanent and other than temporarily stopping drinking alcohol and for sure stopping all Acetaminophen, they didn’t know what else to tell him.

Mercifully a relative knew to tell him to take 3 capsules of milk thistle 3 times a day for several weeks.

He did that and gradually his blood tests show his liver recovered.

Now you know about Acetaminophen, hopefully you can avoid that kind of hassle.  

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Monday, October 15, 2012

Bulldoze the causes of stage fright and speak well....

Today's Post:  Monday, 10-15-2012

In setting up to speak well for good health and because I gradually learned effective methods to overcome stage fright and speak well, I realized, what I knew could work as a Kindle book.

You can have it because it’s now available for sale!

So, if you want to overcome stage fright,

if you want to overcome stage fright better,

if you want to speak well, make a good presentation, and speak effectively,

or—if you have an important speech coming up or
       you will speak to a much larger audience than you have done before –

check this out:

       How you can overcome stage fright:
                          Learn how to bulldoze the hidden causes out of your way,

This new Kindle eBook shows you how to overcome them so well that it's like pushing them out of your way with a bulldozer!

Instead of worrying you’ll forget what comes next, the farther you get into your talk the better you will remember it!

It also shows you how to overcome stage fright and speak even if you haven't turned down the fright to zero yet.

Once you master each of these techniques, you have the basics of speaking well.  So this eBook can also be used as a fast start introductory course in public speaking.

It even has ways to help you speak before large groups -- and turn down trigger happy stress reactions.

It's now available on Amazon and there is more information about it at this link:  .

(To find it without the link, go to & look under Books & look up:

How you can overcome stage fright .)

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Friday, October 12, 2012

Nuts as a superfood and new information....

Today's Post:  Friday, 10-12-2012

Several months ago I saw an article which said that people who were not allergic to them who ate a serving of raw nuts once a day lived 5 to 7 years longer than similar people who did not.

That’s so important it’s incredible! But I’ve never seen the information repeated.

That’s the kind of longevity increase and associated better health that stopping smoking or taking up regular and vigorous exercise gives you!!!   Wow!

It’s a huge and significant advantage to the people who eat nuts!

But I keep getting different kinds of supporting information.  So I think this longevity boost is quite real.  See below!

(Important note:  Beside the people who are allergic to tree nuts and who cannot eat nuts there is something else important.

Some commercially available canned or packaged nuts are heavily salted and cooked in oil.

This is about like pouring arsenic in the soup! 

Try to virtually never eat such nuts.

Raw and dry roasted nuts with no salt added ARE a superfood! 

But excessive salt intake HAS recently been nailed by new research as very harmful to eat causing damage to the inner surface of the blood vessels, the endothelium, which then causes chronic inflammation,
excess uric acid and gout,
high blood pressure which then gets even worse if the high salt intake continues –
ALL of which contribute to heart disease and stroke risk.

So super-salted nuts are a BAD idea to eat.

The oils used are mostly soy and corn oil due to their low price.  But those are excessively high in omega 6 oils which also cause inflammation!  Plus virtually all the soy and corn they come from are from GMO crops which we don’t yet know to be safe to eat long term.

So salted and oil roasted nuts in cans or packages are foods to be avoided!)

Meanwhile, raw and dry roasted nuts with no salt added ARE a superfood! 

Their list of health benefits is literally so strong and long that it gives believability to the longevity increase finding.

I just got new information about Brazil nuts so will close with that.  But check this out first.

(Peanuts by the way are NOT tree nuts but a nut like legume more related to soy beans and green peas.  Many people and children are allergic to peanuts and related foods.  And, the positive health profile of real nuts is NOT shared by peanuts.  They have too much omega 6.  Worse, at this writing, many people eat peanut butter to which hydrogenated oils have been added.  Those oils are heart attack starter.  For all these reasons we do NOT recommend peanuts, peanut butter, or peanut oil!)

a)  People who begin eating relatively small amounts of tree nuts regularly find their HDL cholesterol goes up. 

b)  Most people ingest too little magnesium for good health and normal blood pressure and nuts are quite high in magnesium.

c)  Tree nuts, like avocados and extra virgin olive oil are highest in monosaturated fat. So they have very little saturated fat which can be harmful in excess.  Even better, they are quite low in the pro-inflammatory omega 6 oils.  There is even some evidence that the omega 6 oils they do have are far less inflammatory due to their slow release from the fiber and the balance of them with the other oils.  Walnuts are the prime example of this.

d)  People who eat nuts find it far easier to eat less fatty grain fed meats.  Part of the health benefits of eating nuts are from the foods people then eat LESS of.

e)  People who eat nuts find it far easier to avoid sugary and salty packaged foods and treats which is a HUGE health benefit!

f) A related point is this:  People who need to lose fat or avoid gaining it – which is most of us – can safely snack on raw or dry roasted nuts.

Because nuts turn off hunger 4 ways and have zero glycemic effects, research has found that people who eat nuts in any reasonable amount gain….zero weight!

That’s because nuts turn off hunger so incredibly well people who eat them automatically and without effort eat less of other foods!

 That’s despite the high caloric content of nuts. 

Here are the four ways eating nuts turns down hunger.:

1. Nuts are chewy and taste good. 
2. Nuts have enough protein to turn down hunger. 
3. Nuts have enough fiber to turn down hunger. 
4. Nuts have enough health OK oils to turn down hunger.

(Note:  Nut butters such as Almond butter have all the health benefits -- if only the nuts are in them.  But they are so concentrated and less chewy, they do NOT work well for fat loss and often cause fat gain.  They are so good they are also a bit addictive as well.

I should know because allowing myself almond butter recently caused me to go from losing fat and weight to gaining them. I stopped that when I stopped buying and bringing home the almond butter!

Author Tim Ferriss in his 4-Hour Body book says he had the exact same experience also!)

g)  Every single one of the previous health benefits from a) to f) is heart and blood vessel protective.  That means eating tree nuts regularly cuts your risk of getting heart attacks, strokes, PAD – peripheral artery disease, heart failure, strokes, and erectile dysfunction.  This also along with exercise keeps the circulation to your brain good which lowers your risk of Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia!

That longevity increase is beginning to look even better supported.

Could there be more yet?


h) Eating nuts helps prevent most cancers!  In addition to helping you avoid excess sugars and omega 6 oils which has that effect, nuts are high in all the parts of the vitamin E complex.

Natural vitamin E from nuts and wheat germ and extra virgin olive oil and avocados helps prevent cancer.

(The recent study with the reverse headlines tested double doses of ARTIFICIAL vitamin E which was already known to be harmful in such doses! 

By contrast, nuts have the real thing!)

In fact the most effective part for cancer prevention of the vitamin E complex is gamma tocopherol NOT the alpha tocopherol.

There is a gamma tocopherol supplement you can get.  But eating nuts and pecans in particular works better and costs less.

Gamma tocopherol specifically helps to prevent prostate cancers.  That likely means that it also helps prevent breast cancer, uterine cancer, and ovarian cancer.

The bonus is that pecans are one of the tastiest nuts!

But there’s more yet.

i) Brazil nuts are high in selenium and eating an average of one a day apparently is more bioavailable and effective at cancer prevention than the 200 mcg a day supplement!

And selenium is an antioxidant with cancer prevention effects.

Would there be some extra benefits to Brazil nuts?


(But first note that if you take 200 mcg a day of selenium and eat an average of one Brazil nut a day plus other nuts adding  more selenium intake is OK.  BUT it begins to edge toward a toxic amount of selenium. So stick to an average of one Brazil nut a day and NOT more than that!)

The other benefits include:

Author Tim Ferriss in his 4-Hour Body book says in his experience eating Brazil nuts with their bioavailable selenium and other ingredients boosted his testosterone and libido!

I tried it and notice little difference.  But he did things like measure his testosterone level to check. So he may be correct.

A study reported in the journal, Nutrition Research,  tested 37 severely obese women. The initial blood level of these woman was low in selenium AND all the other anti-oxidants. 

But after only 8 weeks of eating Brazil nuts their selenium level AND the level of other antioxidants went up.  And, another study of Brazil nuts found that in people who ate them their HDL went up and their LDL and triglycerides went down!

Guess what?  More antioxidants means less oxidized blood lipid or fats  -- PLUS more HDL -- AND  -- lower LDL and triglycerides means dramatically lower risk of heart and blood vessel disease!

PS:  Whole Foods sells bulk raw nuts already shelled for you for reasonable prices!

They have higher quality unsalted and not oiled raw nuts AND for much lower prices than the packaged nuts available elsewhere cost!

I buy walnuts, pecans, and Brazil nuts at the Whole Foods I shop at. 

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