Friday, December 28, 2012

Health Resolution ideas....

Today's Post:  Friday, 12-28-2012

Health and fat loss resolutions are some of the most common that people make this time of year.

But to get results and reach goals, after you set the goals, you need to take action.

And, for exercise and eating right, many people don’t have the background to make a list of things they can start doing to put their program in motion.  Or they find they can start but don’t keep exercising.

So, here are some ideas that work for people that solve these problems:

If you find even one idea here that works for you or helps you that’s great!

Or if you think of or find a method that these ideas makes you think of or look for, that’s great too!

1.  Exercise is the one best thing you can do for better health. 

Regular exercise slows aging and directly prevents heart disease.  It also helps prevent Alzheimer’s disease and other kinds of mental decline.  And regular vigorous exercise helps prevent type 2 diabetes.  Regular exercise helps improve the sex lives of both men and women.

Regular exercise slows aging!

Regular exercise, while eating right IS required, helps you lose fat faster and is essential to keeping it off after you lose it.

Even better, the longer you are a regular exerciser the better it gets at giving you all those good effects recent research found.

So, if your resolution is to begin to exercise in 2013, why not do it?

a) Maybe you never exercised before.

If so your first action is to find a way to learn to exercise and try it beginning in early January or tomorrow!

You can take a group martial arts class. 

You can join a gym with aerobics classes and go to one of their group classes.

You can hire a personal trainer to teach you.

You can buy many kinds of exercise videos to try at home.

b) Maybe you know how to exercise but never seem to keep doing it.

You can take a group martial arts class. 

You can buy many kinds of exercise videos to try at home.  If you find one you like or you like the music in the videos that can make it enjoyable enough to enable you to keep it up.  (It also can help to do this first thing in the morning if that works at all for you.  That helps you keep going and it helps you get fully awake faster!)

You can join a gym with aerobics classes and go to one of their group classes.

You can hire a personal trainer to help keep you going – besides getting their know how and encouragement.

I got lucky and found a group of men who did power lifting together because my friend was a member of their group.  I went with him and began to work out with them.  Before when I’d lifted weights on my own, I’d improve at first but then couldn’t keep improving.  Then I’d get frustrated and quit.  But when I joined this group, when that happened I went anyway because my friend was there and I’d gotten to know the other guys.  So I went and did what I could that day.  But then a wonderful thing happened, because I kept going every week, the progress I couldn’t reach before showed up!  In my poorest lift, I got to an almost respectable level.  And, in my two better lifts, I got pretty strong.

Similarly, for a while before she stopped for other reasons, my wife was in a class run by the personal trainer at a local gym.  She felt like going sometimes.  But often on the days she didn’t feel like it as much she went anyway because she realized the other women in the group would miss her and she would miss seeing them.

Or maybe you find you simply don’t have time in the evening to go exercise or you have so many demands on your time you find you keep missing sessions or you haven’t the money to do many of these things.

That happened to me once.  I had no time or money to go lift weights at the gym.  So I did nothing at all. My wife said I was silly not to find something I could actually do at home.  I realized I could take the one light dumbbell we had and do a set of exercises with it one hand at a time and do it first thing every morning. I also worked out some leg exercises I do at home.

At first, it wasn’t much.  But I added a used Nordic Track and did that.  Since then I’ve added a jump rope and a kettlebell and several heavier dumbbells. I also worked out some leg exercises I do at home.

 I still would do better to go to the gym for heavier weights too. (But when I did go to the gym too for a while I kept up my morning exercises and found when I had to miss going to the gym in the evening a time or two I lost no strength and could restart where I left off when I went back!)

BUT, given that’s it’s first thing in the morning and only takes 6 to 30 minutes depending on which day, I hardly ever miss a day and my arms and shoulders look decent and both my upper body and legs are clearly muscular and well exercised.

Thanks to my wife’s saying “Why not find something you CAN do and try that?” I’m dramatically healthier and stronger than I was or would have been.

That’s the key idea for you here.  Pick something to try and do it. 

If you find it works, keep doing it!  If it doesn’t, something you CAN do will work.  Try something else until you find what does work for you.

But to achieve your resolution or most or even part of it, pick something to try right away and do it!

2. Eating right and fat loss are often New Year’s resolutions.

It’s a two part process.

a) Find out what foods and drinks fatten you or harm you and stop ingesting them and cut back by over 90 % the ones that you still want to keep on an occasional basis.

Find out the many foods support your health without making you fat and find ways to eat them regularly and ways to fix them you enjoy eating.  And, eat MORE of them!

To find out what foods and drinks fatten you or harm you read our posts and browse previous posts.   If it’s packaged or sold at a fast food restaurant or advertised on TV, it likely will pay you to always avoid it.  Avoid all soft drinks!

b) For what to eat instead, check out the Sonoma Diet that we posted on yesterday or look up what’s in a Mediterranean Diet or the DASH II diet or look up the many Super Foods books.

(In the Super Foods books, the only things that I think don’t belong are whole grains and soy.  Everything else, and that’s a LOT of foods, is good for you and not likely to make you fat, particularly if you also exercise.)

Essentially health OK protein foods, health OK oils and fats, and low glycemic vegetables and fruit that are very high in nutrition are what to eat instead.

What kinds of wild caught fish or seafood do you like?  Find a recipe using cooked beans or lentils or black-eyed peas that you like.  Find a source online or at Whole Foods for beef or lamb fed only grass for occasional meat treat dinners.

If you aren’t allergic, try raw walnuts, pecans, or dry roasted almonds.  Try adding sliced avocados or guacamole to your salads.

Eat organic and only organic berries, apples, pears, peaches, plums, etc.

Eat organic green or nonstarchy vegetables of at least 3 kinds in at least two meals every day.  Cruciferous vegetables are often the best in many ways.  Try to eat one or more servings a day of a raw or steamed cruciferous vegetable.

Susan Powter once said, “If it doesn’t grow that way, don’t eat it.” and Michael Pollan said, “Eat real food, mostly plants, and not too much.”

The three key exceptions to that are extra virgin olive oil, cooked tomatoes or tomato or pasta sauce, and moderate amounts of red wine.

Make a list of those foods that you already like or eat.  Make a list of those foods to try out in January.  Then keep eating that way! And learning more foods you like that are actually good for you also helps.

Hope for you the things you try soon and in early 2013 work out well for you!

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Thursday, December 27, 2012

Enjoy eating for health with the Sonoma Diet....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 12-27-2012

Because the most important guide to eating for health is to simply stop eating and drinking virtually all the foods and drinks that are harmful, it can seem depriving.

Similarly, the two most important guides to losing excess fat and keeping it off are to stop eating and drinking virtually all the foods and drinks that are harmful and to find a way to cut back calories a bit too.  Same deal. It can seem a bit depriving.  (Most of the harmful stuff is super fattening too and why waste limited calories on the other harmful stuff!?)

BUT, there IS much better news.

There are literally hundreds of foods that neither fatten you nor harm you.  And, there are thousands of recipes using these foods that are really good.

Even better yet, a slightly upgraded Mediterranean diet using these foods is precisely that. 

The Mediterranean diet using these foods also uses recipes that taste really good in recipes from cultures that love good food.

What if there was a book on these exact subjects written about the United States version of the Mediterranean diet using these foods?

1.  There IS one!

The Sonoma Diet:
Trimmer Waist, Better Health in Just 10 Days! by Connie Guttersen and Stephanie Karpinske (Dec 27, 2005) was the original version.

& the new version is: 
The New Sonoma Diet:
Trimmer Waist, More Energy in Just 10 Days by Connie Guttersen (Jan 4, 2011)

Both are available on Amazon right now.

The focus is on what TO eat and how to enjoy it.

The Sonoma Diet spends very little time on what not to eat, though it’s clear the author knows the health benefits of dropping that stuff.

Most of its focus is on what foods are best for you that fit in the California, or Sonoma in Northern California, version of the Mediterranean diet.

It’s particularly strong on a large variety of dishes using foods most people can go to the store and buy.  And, its very large list of sauces and salad toppings of many flavors is even better.

If you need a good tasting version of any Mediterranean food but haven’t found one you like yet or you need some variety once or twice a week to be comfortable eating right all the time, the Sonoma Diet may be just what you’d love to have!

2.  And one of its drawbacks might be a strength for you.  And it is for sure for some people who insist on continuing to eat bread and other grain foods. 

Except for quinoa and using nut flours and the like, even 100 % whole grain breads and other whole grain foods are nearly as high glycemic as the clearly harmful refined grain foods.

But the take of this book is that 100 % whole grain foods can be OK if they are consistently a minority of your overall meal and eaten with health OK protein foods and nonstarchy vegetables.

3.  The second drawback the Sonoma Diet has is also a strength for some people.  They include ham and chicken etc from grain fed animals.  They do suggest the leanest and most fat trimmed versions and eaten in small moderate servings along with nonstarchy vegetables.

Eating these foods from animals fed only their natural diet or eating wild caught fish or beans IS better for you than ham and chicken etc from grain fed animals.

BUT, using the leanest and most fat trimmed versions of ham and chicken etc from grain fed animals IS doable by people who don’t have access to those foods from animals fed only their natural diet.  And, some people are allergic to beans or fish or dislike them.

4.  The other concern I have is that they use Splenda as a sugar substitute in some recipes.

It’s an artificial sweetener that can continue the sugar addiction for some people.  Artificial sweeteners tend to act as drugs increasing the desire for sugary foods.

But my main concern is that Splenda, sucralose, contains chlorine which is otherwise used in chlorine containing compounds in pesticides and nerve gasses. It seems safe so far; but with chlorine in it will long term safety show the same?  My bet is that it will not.

The two strategies I prefer are:

To mostly avoid recipes with any sweeteners or to use real sugar but rarely –

OR to use one third of the amount in the regular recipe of a flavored sugar such as honey, brown sugar, or dark molasses and one third erythritol so the food is almost as sweet but with one third the sugar and it has that extra flavor associated with sweet foods.

(From Wikipedia:

Erythritol ((2R,3S)-butane-1,2,3,4-tetraol) is a sugar alcohol (or polyol) that has been approved for use as a food additive in the United States[1] and throughout much of the world. It was discovered in 1848 by British chemist John Stenhouse.[2] It occurs naturally in some fruits and fermented foods.[3]

At the industrial level, it is produced from glucose by fermentation with a yeast, Moniliella pollinis.[1]

It is 60–70% as sweet as table sugar yet it is almost noncaloric, does not affect blood sugar, does not cause tooth decay, and is partially absorbed by the body, excreted in urine and feces.

It is less likely to cause gastric side effects than other sugar alcohols due to its unique digestion pathway.

Under U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) labeling requirements, it has a caloric value of 0.2 kilocalories per gram (95% less than sugar and other carbohydrates....)

5.  Their fat loss program is to eat the foods on smaller than usual plates and eliminate the moderate use of red wine for a phase one to create fat loss.

Since the food is good and you can have extra vegetables this is decently workable and likely does produce fat loss.

Based on what I've read, it might be better to eat this slightly calorie reduced way two non-consecutive days a week all the time.  And, then to gradually add a lot of moderate and vigorous exercise each week.

That would be less likely than their all the time version to trigger the famine response but keep the fat loss going forever instead of just the initial every day restrictive period.

But if you love good foods and want a really good tasting way to go, for sure the Sonoma Diet is something you will enjoy having and using in every other way.

Other than these few reservations which may or may not fit or worry you, I strongly recommend the Sonoma Diet.

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Friday, December 21, 2012

Protect your hearing and improve your health....

Today's Post:  Friday, 12-21-2012

1.  Hearing is extremely important for many reasons.

If you set up to cross the street and hear a car coming at high speed, you’ll stop.

If you can’t hear it, you may miss seeing it and not live to cross the street because you didn’t hear it.

Being able to speak to and listen to other people is so important that as hard on people as it is to be blind, deaf people tend to be less happy and emotionally healthy than blind people.

Similarly, older people with severe hearing loss tend to die at younger ages than people who can hear.  Part of that may be caused by the same thing such as impaired circulation from diabetes or heart disease.  But it’s quite likely that the lack of companionship and socializing from the hearing loss is part of the cause of the bad health and early death.

And, if you love music of any or many kinds, if you can’t hear it, it’s all gone!

2.  Of course, you can do the obvious things.

You can avoid extremely loud noises.  You can use ear plugs or sound deadening ear muffs when around loud noises.

You can in many cases choose a quiet place to live. Or you can make your living space quieter with sound insulation or noise cancelling technology or both.

You can keep the volume turned down below super loud when you use earphones or a head set.

You can only use a single earphone when walking around to avoid stepping in front of moving cars.  And you can keep the volume low enough you can still hear the cars and not damage your hearing.

3.  But loud noises sometimes show up unexpectedly.  Or you may need or want on occasion to go somewhere that’s loud all the time.

And, even people who try to avoid loud noises don’t do it 100% of the time. It’s quite common to turn up music you really, really like for example.

So wouldn't it be great if there was a way to loudness proof your ears and make them recover easily from minor damage from loud noises too?

This is even more important to the military.  Firing weapons that are hand held or huge guns is really loud.  Explosions are extremely loud. Battles with both are often extremely loud.

It seems that the military and some research doctors discovered that people who take a supplement called NAC, n-acetyl-cysteine, get exactly this effect.

They can withstand louder and more sustained loud noises then people who don’t and their hearing is less impaired during and just after the loud noise and they recover their normal hearing more completely and sooner than people who don’t take this supplement.

On Wednesday, 12-19 two days ago the "Health Watch" email I got from the Institute for Natural healing reminded me of this.

It seems that a good bit of the damage to hearing from loud noises is caused by it generating a lot of free radicals.  This happens in the critical inner ear where vibrations are turned into nerve impulses that your brain can allow you to sense and therefore to hear.

That means that if you took or generated an unusually effective antioxidant it would indeed protect your ability to hear.

Their email reports two studies on this.  In one in a steel manufacturing plant in Taiwan the workers tested had been exposed to over 90 decibels of noise every day for over 16 years.

That's louder than the 85 decibels of heavy car traffic on city streets already known to cause hearing loss in people exposed to it for hours at time.

Once the workers in the experimental group had been taking NAC for a while (they also had a placebo group), the hearing tests showed that the group taking NAC could hear better right after their shift than the placebo group could.

They also noted another study with comparable results.

And, I also remember reading once before that the US Military had done some comparable research before as well.

But, surprising as it may seem, this story is even more important than the hearing protection!

One of the most powerful antioxidants our bodies make is called glutathione.

People who are high in glutathione are far less likely to be seriously ill from almost all diseases than people who are low!  And they are likely to live longer too!  There is also evidence being high in glutathione tends to prevent all kinds of mental decline.

In fact, one doctor who wrote a book I read, found that for his sicker patients who were tested as low in glutathione he could speed their recovery and make it more likely by directly injecting them with glutathione.

So the fact that makes taking NAC so powerful is that taking NAC causes your body to release a lot of glutathione!  Taking 500 mg of NAC once a day or twice a day does the job.

I've taken NAC myself ever since I read that taking it helps prevent mental decline. 

Now it seems that this also helps protect my hearing!  Nice!   

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Thursday, December 20, 2012

Overcoming junk food and soft drink addiction....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 12-20-2012

As if the tons of extra fat and the diseases caused by soft drinks and various kinds of junk food wasn't enough, there’s worse news!

For a while now and just recently, there have been studies showing that the several times a day intake of these things that has become common, is somewhat physically addicting.

1.  Part of it is caused by the rebound hunger effect from consuming refined grains, high fructose corn syrup, excessive regular sugar, and artificial sweeteners.

When you eat or drink these, your body notes it and releases insulin to fight the expected blood sugar spike.

Then somewhat later for consuming refined grains, high fructose corn syrup, or excessive regular sugar, the insulin overshoots and your blood sugar falls a bit too low.

Then you get extra hungry and worse for sugary or sweet foods to compensate for your low blood sugar.  Worse, when you eat or drink high fructose corn syrup, you tend to want something with that sweeter taste.

With artificial sweeteners this effect is stronger and faster!  There was no blood sugar spike to begin with, so the lower blood sugar happens sooner and the extra hunger for sugary foods happens sooner.  Worse, artificial sweeteners taste even sweeter than high fructose corn syrup which tends to make you want high fructose corn syrup or a LOT of sugary foods to compensate.   (It’s no accident the diet soft drinker tend to have bigger fat bellies than beer lovers!)

The good news is that once you realize that these effects make these foods and drinks perfect fatteners, making you hungrier and fatter at THE SAME TIME, your motivation to drop them from your life tends go up a lot..

Trying to lose fat and keep it off while ingesting this stuff is like not wanting your home to burn up and dropping lit matches all over it several times a day!

These foods and drinks actually cause you to eat more than your body would otherwise have caused you to want.

The best news is that if you start your day with a good breakfast including some health OK protein or even a lot of it and some fiber from lower glycemic foods you can even include some whole fruit.  That gives you a sweet taste and good flavor but does NOT set you up for this addictive process to kick in.

Drink real coffee, tea, or green tea for caffeine or drink strong cocoa from brewed cocoa beans or unsweetened cocoa instead of soft drinks.

Drink cold water instead of soft drinks or drink chilled carbonated water with nothing else added.

For a treat with crunch and good taste – and some fat but a healthy kind, have some nuts as a snack instead of a sweet snack.

Avocados or guacamole also work.

Both nuts and avocado ARE high in fat.  But they spike your blood sugar and cause fattening insulin release not at all.  Even better, they are so filling in part because of their nutrition and fiber too, that you automatically become LESS hungry for other foods to compensate.  So unless you force feed these snacks to yourself, you do NOT tend to gain any weight from eating them.

Contrast getting less hungry and no rebound hunger from these snacks with just getting hungrier and fatter with soft drinks and other high carb and high glycemic junk foods!

It’s a huge difference. 

It also helps when tempted to realize all the health harmful components of soft drinks and these junk foods.

They not only have these fattening and sweet things in them, they also tend to have one or more harmful ingredients. 

30% of all high fructose corn syrup has some mercury in it.  Some people have reported bad health reactions to some kinds of artificial sweeteners.

These foods tend to always contain oils high in pro-inflammatory and disease causing omega 6 oils that come from GMO crops.  Worse, many of them contain these oils that have been all or partially hydrogenated which turns them into heart attack starter.

They often contain excessive salt too.

The research has been done.  The less of these things you ingest, the fewer nasty disease you’ll get, the lower your medical bills will be, and the slower you will age.

I’ve literally looked at the packages foods I use to eat and like such as commercially baked chocolate chip cookies and found that after removing these ingredients there was hardly anything else in the cookies!

It makes me resistant to even having one!

2.  If you really understand how severe this is, a great way to break the addiction it to just go through your house and kitchen and throw out all of this stuff.

(Jillian Michaels strongly recommends this to her fat loss clients. 

She points out that if you realize how fattening and harmful this stuff is, you don’t even consider giving it away!)

For people like me who like giving people things and hate to waste money, that’s not easy to do.

But these foods and drinks are really too awful to wish on anyone else.

2.  In addition to NOT eating packaged snacks and some packaged dinners, always read labels.

If it lists MSG, anything ending in glutamate, autolyzed yeast, natural spices, or just spices, do NOT eat it. (Natural spices or spices COULD be harmless; but I’d venture a guess that well over half the time, that food, spice blend, or condiment contains MSG as the natural spice!)

MSG is not only a flavor enhancer that is somewhat addictive, we now know that it and other glutamates tends to harm your brain and make depression dramatically more severe.

Studies also found that people eating a lot of MSG were fatter than people who did not and ate the SAME number of calories.

That means that MSG and other glutamates are also perfect fatteners.  They are addictive, harmful, and fattening.

If you really like dramatic and extreme flavors, things like horseradish and cayenne pepper, and diced hot peppers can do far more than MSG but without the harm and excess fat added to your body.  They are also less addictive than MSG.

3.  For people addicted to fatty foods, there are also remedies.

One is to know what the oils and fats are that will harm you and by how much, and simply eliminate those from what you eat 100 % of the time.

These fats and oils tend to always be, or the foods with them contain, oils high in pro-inflammatory and disease causing omega 6 oils that come from GMO crops.  Worse, many of them contain these oils that have been all or partially hydrogenated which turns them into heart attack starter.

Nuts, avocados, and extra virgin olive oil and even sparing amounts of butter and cheese from cows fed only grass, when eaten in moderation can do the positive jobs for you.

Omega 3 and DHA supplements and fatty wild caught fish that’s also very low in mercury also work and have anti-inflammatory and other beneficial health effects.

These oils and foods tend to satisfy your fat cravings.

The populations of people who eat virtually all those kinds of fats and oils and ONLY those kinds tend to be healthier than everyone else on the planet.

And, they have worked well in cooking for thousands of years!

Just like soft drinks and junky foods and MSG, the best cure for the bad kinds of fats and oils is to just toss them in the trash.

So, once you know all of WHY these foods and drinks harm you and make you fat, and you know what to replace them with, it still takes some effort to break the addiction to them.

But the good news is that once you do, it becomes easier than you might think to keep doing it.

The very best news is that by doing this set of things, something truly magical happens.

You can lose anywhere from 5 to 305 pounds without being any hungrier!  

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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Why you may be at risk from too little vitamin B12....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 12-18-2012

A.  Many health oriented people avoid animal protein foods for all kinds of good reasons.

1. Avoiding all or almost all beef and hamburger from cattle fed grains or worse and “finished” in massive feed lots has many significant health benefits for example. 

Some people eat animal protein foods from more naturally fed fish and animals.  But some eat very little even of those animal protein foods.

2.  Some people are vegan vegetarian for reasons other than health but are health oriented.

They eat NO animal protein foods at all.

3.  Some people are environmentalists and avoid eating almost all animal protein foods due to the energy and water use and water pollution industrial farming almost always creates.

B.  Many older people eat less food, and with limited incomes less animal protein foods, AND they have too little stomach acid at their age to take in the vitamin B12 in such foods.

People such as me who take anti acid medications for heart burn or acid reflux are also at a similar risk due to less ability to get vitamin B12 from their food.  And, like overweight and many other modern health problems, LOTS of people have reflux now.

C.  Similarly, lots of people now have type 2 diabetes or blood sugar high enough to approach that level. 

The one otherwise safe and effective drug to lower high blood sugar and add to exercise and diet upgrades is Metformin.  New drugs may arrive.  But virtually all the others besides Metformin now in use cause other health problems.  These have included the heart attacks you lower high blood sugar to prevent!

Metformin also may help combat some kinds of cancers recent studies found.

But taking Metformin has been found to deplete vitamin B12!!

Due to its benefits, I think the best strategy is to use Metformin if you need it but get extra B12 too!

All these people are at risk of being severely deficient in vitamin B12. And the majority of them may be at significant risk due to not getting the extra vitamin B12 they happen to need.

I was reminded of this by a recent health email I got.

The email said that many older people over 65 and particularly people over 80 get severe mental decline of some kind.

This goes from one out of 8 to close to one half!

We've posted on the many ways to help ensure you avoid being in that half!

But here’s the significant news I did NOT yet know:

Up to half of that entire group of people may have arrived there in part because they were and are deficient in vitamin B12!

B12 deficiency specifically causes increased confusion and inability to focus and memory problems.

And, worse, it’s no accident.  Part of this is caused by brain shrinkage.  You can’t use what you no longer have. 

A recent study found that part of this brain shrinkage is caused by lack of vitamin B12 AND getting enough B12 helped prevent or reverse this!

(Regular exercise and taking the omega 3 oil DHA or eating fish high in it each also prevents or helps reverse brain shrinkage.)

Lack of vitamin B12 also often causes: 

Irritability and mood swings, Low energy and weakness, Persistent sleep problems, Dizziness or lightheadedness, Digestive problems, Weak immune response, Hearing and vision loss, Tingling in your hands and feet, AND-- lack of B12 can contribute to osteoporosis!

This all reduces your quality of life!

Worse, to treat these conditions individually and to find out what may be causing them if B12 is not tested first, can cause inconclusive or no results but take huge amounts of time, doctor visits, and money for tests. 

You can even wind up taking drugs you actually didn’t need if you had enough B12 to begin with.

This happened to the author of the email I got before he found out he was deficient in vitamin B12.

Why take methyl B12?

The author of the email said  that taking the methylcobalamin form of B12 is best.  He said research found it to be most effective.  He also said that most experts recommend taking a minimum of 1,000 mcg a day of sublingual methylcobalamin.

Taking that amount of methyl B12 once a day or taking that amount twice a day is enough to give you extra health benefits and begin to rapidly reverse vitamin B12 deficiency.

Dr Mark Hyman also says that all nutrients that are “methyl donors” such as the methyl form of vitamin B12 is give you extra health and antiaging benefits.

Why sublingual? 

If you suck on the lozenge or chew it up and let it stay in your mouth a bit, the B12 goes directly into your blood stream!

That way if you can’t digest the B12, you still get it into you where it can benefit you!

Initially the effect is also faster.

There are other sources for sublingual vitamin B12.  But my wife and I take the methyl B12 from NOW. 

It’s inexpensive and uses a natural low cal sweetener in tiny amounts.  It is in a small enough tablet it dissolves quickly.  So it’s not a pain to take it.

So, if you are in one of the groups above and you have or would like to prevent some of these things, whatever else you do, it would pay you to take the sublingual form of vitamin B12.

And, if avoiding mental decline is important to you, be sure to do so!

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Monday, December 17, 2012

My monthly fatloss progress report....

Today's Post:  Monday, 12-17-2012

1.  This month’s report is a bit poor.

I gained two pounds on the scale and gained back the half an inch on my waist.

I am still over 2 pounds less than I was 7 months ago.  So, using the recumbent bike over the last month likely helped me gain less back.

In fact, given what happened in the last 4 weeks, the damage likely was far less than it would have been otherwise.

Before, on Thanksgiving, I did eat well though carefully and didn’t gain much. But for years, it was just that one day.

 This year though, we hosted Thanksgiving and wound up with leftovers too good to not have some of.  And, my wife baked pies and cakes all month too.

So, although the waist gain was irritating, the 2 pound scale gain was quite small compared to what I ate!  I did minimize it a bit.  But all of the food I did eat was extra – on top of my normal eating.  And, some of it had extra sugar or butter or even some refined grain flour.  (The pie crust and cake had only real and grass fed butter and no hydrogenated oils.  So that helped minimize the health damage.)

Clearly I have to do more to compensate each of the several months.

But I think that’s doable. 

(The holidays end in 8 or 9 days.  So I’ll be fighting less of a headwind of temptations from foods not that bad for health and that I really, really like.)

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

Over the last several weeks, I’ve been too lax at taking Every opportunity to use it and begin pedaling.

Today, I made a special effort to take 90% or more of the opportunities to do so.  So far today, it’s working.  I just need to sustain it.

I think I can soon sustain over 10 hours a week total each week and build up to over 15 hours a week by just being consistent every day in doing this.

That’s 2,000 to 3,000 calories a week.  I have been averaging a bit over 1600 calories a week.

So that added 800 to 900 calories a week has a shot at helping me lose a pound a month if I  succeed in doing it and keep doing it.

My goal is still to push past 3,000 calories a week. (2,000 + on the recumbent bike and 1,000 + in my at home exercises totaling 3,000 +) because the people who lost over 30 pounds and still are keeping it off average just a bit less than that, about 2950.  I need to average that much or more.

I’ve made it a week or two but need to average that or more week in and week out and do it almost every week.

3.  The other way I’m working to lose my belly fat is to build muscle.  And there I may have made some further progress. 

Although I’ve not yet added enough muscle to reduce my waist, my plan to build back to the using the slightly heavier dumbbells is working. 

I was able to do that last week with no extra pain all day after building back to it for 4 or 5 weeks after hurting my shoulders a bit.

I need to do more for my chest back and legs with heavier weight at the gym at least one day a week to really make progress.  Adding just a few pounds to these larger muscles will really help when I can get to it.  The extra growth hormone released will also help.

But what I can now do is back to working decently.

And, I’ve begun to plan the program I’ll have when I can take that time without harming my income.

I’m enthusiastic about how well I think it will work.

4.  I’ve found that when I get good results in my full monthly weigh in and measure session, it motivates me to keep doing what I have been. 

And, when I gain weight it motivates me to be more careful with how much I eat in the part of what I eat that varies.  It also motivates me to be sure to keep up the recumbent bike and at home exercises.

I finally decided to do just the easiest weigh in each Saturday morning in between my monthly full measurement sessions.

I already started that 3 weeks ago and think it may have helped me lose a pound from the middle of the month I might not have otherwise. 

Because it may give me a pound a month extra leverage to do, I plan to keep doing it.

Hopefully, it will help.

5.  I got access to some extra funds to try some of the promising fat loss supplements.

a) After trying Irvingia and Fucoxanthin for a month, I think they are likely not that effective beyond a placebo effect in some people.

The promise was that I’d lose from 4 to 8 pounds in that month.  Instead, I gained about the 2 pounds I should have gained. 

Had these two supplements worked as well as their PR, I’d have lost 2 to 6 pounds instead. 

Eating the actual wakame seaweed the Fucoxanthin comes from might work due to co-factors in the whole food and wakame being a nonstarchy and filling vegetable.  (I’ve actually found a restaurant that serves a good tasting wakame salad & eaten it several times.)

b) However, I got some news suggesting that green coffee bean extract may work.  So I’ll try that starting next week.  Even modest intake of sugars naturally in some foods causes insulin release; and insulin causes added fat deposits and less released fat.  The article I saw said that green coffee bean extract reduced that effect.

This means it may well help treat, prevent, or reverse insulin resistance too given a health OK diet.  For people with type 2 diabetes or near it that could be a good extra method to use.

If that less insulin released effect is real and the metabolism boost reported is real, I think taking green coffee bean extract may well help lose fat and prevent fat gain back.

So, I plan to try it starting a week from now.

(To be sure it doesn’t raise my blood pressure, I’ll take that each evening this week; and then do the same next week.)

c) Win or lose on the green coffee bean extract, next I plan to try a waist band found to cause fat loss specifically in the waist. Visible reductions of several inches were on their website.

Since I’ve lost from about 191 to 167 pounds overall on the scale but only a half inch or so on my waist, that sounds promising. 

It also sounded not possible without a believable triggering cause.

So I checked out their ingredients list. 

Much to my surprise, it actually might work and be safe to use!

(I want to try the green coffee bean extract first since it looks likely to work and be safe to use.

Clearly losing some of the 16 pounds overfat I am will help lose inches on my waist; and even the 6 pounds of that I am over my goal weight would help and possibly lose a full inch from my waist.)

What the waist band people have in their band product is a milder but ephedra like compound and two caffeine like compounds.  That combination does boost metabolism and has helped people lose fat.

But taking it by mouth overdrives your system and has caused some people harm. 

But this looks interesting.  Instead of flooding your whole body to remove fat from your waist (or for other people their thighs or hips or arms that are not a problem for me) this product only gets those ingredients where you have the extra fat you want to lose.

It may be an effective, less expensive, but safer way than liposuction to do this.

You overall get way less of these ingredients in your whole body; but the fat you want to leave gets the full dose.

(To be sure it doesn’t raise my blood pressure, I’ll take my blood pressure several evenings each week while I’m taking it..)

If my blood pressure stays the same or drops a bit and my waist measurement is two or more inches less, that would be interesting indeed.

And, it looks possible.

Just like the green coffee bean extract, whether it spikes my blood pressure or removes fat is an experimental question.

So over the next one to four months, I plan to try these two methods too.

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Friday, December 14, 2012

More good news on stopping depression....

Today's Post:  Friday, 12-14-2012

This is a very large and important problem because the drugs prescribed for depression today we now know when ALL the studies were found including the negative ones enabling a complete evaluation, these drugs are often no more effective than placebo.

And, even in the people they have helped, it quite often takes 6 weeks of taking today’s antidepressants with no effect on the depression before the drugs seemed to help.

Often people with depression need much faster initial results!  And, they want much more effective methods.

The first bit of good news is that they found that using Ketamine almost instantly reverses even severe depression.  But it has side effects in long term use or even just a few days instead of just one day that it is not safe to continue people on it.

And, we now are beginning to know effective cognitive and physical therapies not using drugs for long term success in reversing depression.  They are well over 75% effective if you use them all.

(We described these in our Thursday, 10-18-2012 post AND have added it at the end of this post for you if you want to begin using the methods yourself.

If you use them all and keep working to use them better, they do work and have well over a 75% success rate. 

But they take several weeks to a few months to install successfully.)

Some of these rebuild your nerves and brain cells -- damage to which caused the depression in many cases.  They take time to do this while Ketamine apparently enables these nerves to deliver full function temporarily.

Beginning those methods immediately after Ketamine use or even the day it’s working does look promising.

But it still would be good to have something that lasted longer than Ketamine until this nerve and brain cell rebuilding does enough repair to begin to help reverse that part of the depression.

The NEWS this week:

Earlier this week a story about a new drug that may do this was in Medical News Today!

What apparently happened is that someone decided to try to create a drug that did what Ketamine did almost as well but without the side effects so it could be continued for the several weeks to a few months needed to put the other things in place. 

This report suggests that the effort to find a Ketamine like but very low side effect and continuable drug may have succeeded!

“Novel NMDA Receptor Modulator Significantly Reduces Depression Scores Within Hours
Naurex Inc., a clinical stage company developing innovative treatments to address unmet
needs in psychiatry and neurology, today reported positive results from a Phase IIa clinical trial of its lead antidepressant compound, GLYX-13.

Article Date: 11 Dec 2012 - 0:00 PST”

For now, Ketamine use to enable you to get a short break from depression and so you can feel directly for yourself that recovery IS possible -- IS available.

And, clearly beginning the methods that work but take time immediately makes sense. 

But the good news is that the “missing link” we need to have a complete cure may be on its way!  This drug may well prove to do that job safely.

PS:  By the way, some of the things in the multipart method in our earlier post we include next, do begin working much sooner.

Moderate exercise can help. 

But even short amounts of vigorous exercise well within your limits often produce immediate if temporary relief from depression. 

It’s like a mild Ketamine effect you can do on your own when you need it.  Of course doing such exercise several times a week almost every day begins the process of growing new brain cells too!

And, for some people, taking supplements such as B complex vitamins,  B12, omega 3 supplements – especially DHA, and taking enough vitamin D3 (2,000 to 5,000 iu a day), and the supplement citicoline get faster results. 

So, like exercise, beginning those right away is a good idea.

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 (haven’t yet arrived) and are doing the things we list but 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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