Thursday, April 30, 2015

How to boost performance without brain stimulant drugs....

Today's Post:  Thursday, 4-30-2013

This is an extremely important subject and one that has many parts.

Being very productive and feeling competent and having extra energy reserves and doing so in work that pays well all are extremely valuable.  So is feeling good and being in an up mood.

Here in the Silicon Valley where I live and in some over-competitive schools and universities there are people who buy black market smart drugs and brain stimulant drugs to boost performance and alertness when people decide they need them.

Some of the smart drugs may yet prove to be both safe and effective for this use. 

But the brain stimulant drugs while effective have some real problems best avoided for other reasons such as poor health from lack of sleep or being too speedy to converse with normal people, etc. 

(Then too, black market drugs don’t always contain the stimulant expected or avoid containing dangerous contaminants.)

So if you need to be that productive;
   but want to avoid doing it with those drugs – or stop using them, what else can you do?

That’s what this post is about!

It turns out there is now a HUGE list of effective ways to do just that!

1.  Surprisingly one of THE most important is to work in teams that have people with all the needed skills and work by proven rules to finish projects or key parts of them quickly. 

The system is actually called SCRUM and has proven in practice to enable people to do better and faster work in eight hour days than people working without it can do in 16 hour days.

In short, it can and has enabled people to be extremely effective and work short enough days they can have a life outside work.

To be fair, it also has been used in emergencies to enable 5 people to do the work of 40 when they do work 16 hour days.

But the productivity and focus and socialization in these teams is enough to enable well people to be that productive without needing drugs to do it.

More than that, it has been shown in practice to produce quality work on the first try which is often an enormous time saver.

And, it also has an exciting extra benefit!:

Small teams using SCRUM teams for a few weeks or a few months have in practice successfully delivered results that thousands of people working for YEARS failed to deliver!

The book by the co-founder of the system is:

Scrum: The Art of Doing Twice the Work in Half the Time by Jeff Sutherland.

It’s available both in hardback and as a Kindle book on Amazon.

Surprisingly to be more believable and to underpromise that’s the title.  But the actual system once it’s mastered produces more like ten times as much work in 5% of the time.

THAT readers is some force multiplier!

2. The second group of things that can make you more productive also have other health benefits!

a)  Doing as little as 10 minutes of some kind of high intensity cardio burst with rests or slower sections and as little as two 20 minute sessions of slow rep strength training each week first thing each morning-- makes you dramatically more productive. 

It improves your mood. It literally makes your brain work better all day.  And, it slows aging and is one of the keys to staying that mentally sharp for decades.

It also improves your productivity by helping prevent avoidable diseases so you spend less of your work days in the doctor’s office or hospital or at home too ill to work.

It also is the number one thing to do to prevent or stop insomnia.  And when you get better sleep and enough sleep you feel better and are much more productive and have far more energy reserves.

b) Sleep each night getting up at the exact same time each day and avoid things like late night TV that prevent you from getting at least 6 hours of sleep a night. 

c) Invest in blackout curtains for your bedroom and make sure there are no TVs in it.  If you can, make it quiet and cooler than 70 degrees.

If your work has you too wound up to go to sleep, you can either get back up and WRITE DOWN a brief outline of things to address tomorrow or do things to force sleep faster.

If you are older or you don’t have blackout curtains yet, take melatonin.  Even half of a 1 mg tablet will help and even be enough if you are younger.  If you are over 50 you may do better with 5 mg.  Either way take it as a chewable or as a spray to get it into your system quickly.

If you are stressed and have time to sleep for 7 or 8 hours a half glass or full glass of red wine then or with your dinner can help.  But if you do that, you may need to do the other things later in the night when your body finishes processing the alcohol.  That’s why the extra time can help.

If you are still stressed and need to force sleep:  The herbal supplement valerian works and is safe to take.  The only drawback is that it stinks and that part of it is the anxiety remover!  The work around is in two parts.  First, save it for when you need it most.  When you can likely go to sleep without it, remember you have it since that will be calming and save it for another time.

Secondly, get a glass jar larger than the supplement container and store your valerian in it!

d) If you can eat wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils at least twice a week.  And take DHA and omega 3 oils each day for sure and consider adding NOW nonGMO lecithin for its choline and the herb bacopa.

When added to the exercise this grows and repairs brain cells by optimizing the release of the brain cell and nerve cell growth hormone BDNF.

And, it is anti-inflammatory enough you feel better and are less irritable.  That of course makes you a more effective and productive team member and easier to live with outside of work!

In addition, taking Bacopa has been shown to enable you to focus and do good work even when worried or under pressure and has even been shown to enable learning and trying new approaches when needed.

e)  Is there another supplement like Bacopa?  Not sure if it also helps grow new brain cells as bacopa does; but yes there is!

Lemon balm does a very interesting triple when you take it. 

You feel much calmer.  So it enables you to be effective in high pressure situations and make an extra effort when it counts most.

Since you feel less stress, your energy is drained less at the end of each day so you have more energy tomorrow also.

Secondly, you feel more alert!

Even better, your ability to think and do math and complex analysis and do them quickly when needed has been proven to go up when you take lemon balm!

Surprisingly to me, only Paradise herbs carries these two supplements.  The other supplement companies don’t yet know how valuable they are apparently
f)  Buy a Vitamix and use it to make vegetable juice drinks with organic and nutritious vegetables using three or four kinds each time and drink one of those drinks first thing in the morning and two to four other times during the day.

Your health and prevention of avoidable diseases will jump dramatically.

But what few people know is that you get an equally dramatic productivity boost! 

As with getting a night of unusually good sleep for enough hours, people who do this feel calm AND energetic and in a good mood in a totally gentle way.  People find that things that would have stressed them thing they can deal with relative ease.  And they find they have an unusually high reserve of energy they can feel if they need it.

g)  Are there ways besides sleep to restore your energy after work?

Surprisingly, there is a very powerful one that is little known.

When you solve problems and exert extra effort or will power and learn complex things and try new solutions you literally use up neurotransmitters. 

Did you know there is an enjoyable way to restore them?

Were there fiction books you read as a child or as a teen or even lately that you really enjoyed?

Keep them around in book form or re-acquire them and re-read your favorites.

Do that for even half an hour and you will restore those neurotransmitters to full strength!

(Watching them as movies on DVD also works but the blue light late at night keeps your body from releasing melatonin and can keep you awake or less asleep.

So if you do that, do it early in the evening or wear blue blocking sunglasses while watching.)

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Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Does bad diet or lack of exercise cause obesity?....

Today's Post:  Tuesday, 4-28-2013

Depending on how much you know or how you want to use the information, this is either a silly question or a very serious one.

The true answer is that they BOTH do!

But it depends on what you decide as public policy or plan to do personally with the information that determines which part of the overall research and knowledge is relevant to you.

1.  People who mostly eat foods and drink drinks made out of fatteners and heart attack starters will get fat -- and if they keep doing it, they will stay fat. 

And, much if not most of the obesity epidemic HAS been caused by exactly this situation in the United States over the last 50 years and even more so over the last 35 years.

a) On Thursday, 4-9-2015, I heard Dr Robert Lustig speak at Stanford who made a very convincing case that people who drink soft drinks and eat foods made out of high fructose corn syrup and sugar and hydrogenated oils and refined grain and artificial sweeteers not only become fat; but they get serious chronic diseases they could have avoided. 

This drives health care costs higher and higher and is a serious drain on the economy.  Dr Lustig even found an article by an investment bank arguing that high taxes on these food components is needed to enable reasonable economic growth.

b) His books with similar themes have critics saying that the situation is more complicated than that and that he doesn’t address the other parts of the causes of the obesity epidemic.
This is both an accurate critique and irrelevant if not paid for by the companies that sell these fattening foods and drinks!

Some people are fat or much fatter due to their lack of exercise or how totally sedentary they are.
And some people are fat or much fatter because of medical conditions or the drugs they take for medical conditions. (Dr Lustig himself treats young people with some of these medical conditions.  So he is well aware they exist!)

Research even found recently that some kinds of gut bacteria are direct causes of obesity!

c) But these accurate facts are beside the point!

*If we want to keep the costs of avoidable obesity and chronic diseases enough lower to stop this harm to people and to the economy, these food ingredients need to be banned or taxed heavily or both.
Worse, the commodities these foods and drinks are made out of are now subsidized; and that must stop totally!

*If you are fat and would rather not be, you will be much more successful and do it much faster and more easily if you stop eating and drinking ALL of these foods and drinks and ingredients!

2.  In addition, the people who do eat and drink none of these ingredients and processed foods  -- and  every day they eat 6 to 10 servings of organic vegetables and one or two pieces of organic fruit and eat some nuts and beans and wild caught fish and organic organ meats and eggs from pastured chickens and very little else will over time come to have a BMI of well under 24.5 and sharply improve their health too.

This has been shown to be true even of people who get little or no exercise.

3.  It’s also been shown the people who do eat the harmful foods and eat them in excess will be fat even if they get awesome amounts of exercise each week.

One case in point is the fat the Japanese Sumo wrestlers have who purposely overeat including eating huge amounts of rice each day.

4. But it’s also true that lack of exercise and physical activity cause obesity!

Research was done at Stanford that found that AFTER the big jump in fattening food and drinks occurred people still were getting more obese! 

And, they were able to show that this effect was almost entirely caused by the sharp increase in sitting time and people becoming totally sedentary.

5.  It’s also true that some kinds of exercise DO remove excess fat and that some kinds of exercise do not.

Effective strength training and progressive HIIT or higher intensity interval or variable paced cardio – even done for 10 to 20 minutes a day enable you to be less fat several ways:

Your muscles and bones get heavier and burn more calories even when you are at rest.  And, IN ADDITION TO THAT you burn calories for up to several hours after you exercise!

And, this enables you to eat at a calorie level consistent with getting and remaining lean but eat enough more food to avoid becoming too hungry to continue. 

In fact, people who lose fat they keep off virtually all do this kind of exercise because of this fact.

Note that this is for moderate amounts of the foods that help you get and stay lean only! 

People who eat more calories than even this kind of exercise burns and which includes sugary treats and grains actually can do this effective kind of exercise and still GAIN fat or stay fat!  And, in fact, this is common among people who still allow themselves these foods.

(Moderate exercise and physical activity burn calories and also enable you to eat a bit more and are very good for your health compared to sitting still; but they are less effective at removing excess fat to not effective.

Surprisingly, large doses of high effort but continuous exercise like fast running of long distances by contrast is now known to be potentially to actually damaging and NOT very effective at causing fat loss.  The cortisol this releases is fattening enough to overcome or even more than overcome the calories burned!)

6.  And, it’s also true that becoming more active doing moderate physical activity instead of being totally sedentary helps you be less fat.

This is what the Stanford study found in reverse.

More people today watch TV or do games or other activities on their computers for so many hours, they literally burn that many fewer calories.

The solution is some way to exercise while at work or doing these things away from work.

But the technology for those solutions is not very good yet.

The three current workarounds that seem to help are:

a)  Limit TV watching to 10 or 15 hours a week.  (Watching TV burns fewer calories than sleeping!  And the ads are for the foods and drinks that make you fat!) 

Best of all, the several hours you no longer watch TV can enable you to do the short sessions of strength training or interval style cardio that remove fat!

b) If you can get an exercise bike to ride while you watch TV that helps.

c) Some people find counting their steps and achieving a bit higher level over time reduces sitting time and can help avoid excessive sitting time even though it removes very little fat, it is health protective.  And some people enjoy doing it.

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Thursday, April 23, 2015

YES! Omega-3s beat depression like a drum!
Today's Post:  Thursday, 4-23-2013
Most people get depressed sometimes.  Even extremely resilient and proactive people get slammed hard enough by life to feel a bit off sometimes.
But when depression is bad enough to make you fell miserable or lasts long enough or gets worse or prevents you from working or having a decent life you would like the depression to stop.
How soon do you want depression relief then?  Right away if you can manage it!
And, when do you want depression to return?   Never if you can manage it!

a) Because the drugs now available to doctors to do this are ineffective and harmful and even addictive, they are an extremely bad choice.  (We cover that in more detail a bit later in this post.)
b) The good news is that there ARE now things that cause depression to stop totally right away.
c) There are things that do stop depression but take a while to work.  (These actually work relatively quickly but take a while to get them in place and get them working well.)
d) And, there are things that literally repair the physical damage that causes some kinds of depression that take a bit longer to work.  (These too can get some faster relief but because there is damage to repair, they work best when used until the repairs are completed.)

But the things that work really fast are not yet ready for prime time.  And, even after they become available to help you make the effort to do the things that take longer, doing those things that take longer too is essential to keep the depression from coming back.
But wouldn’t it be great if there was something that tended to make you feel better right away AND that also helped multiply your other efforts AND helped boost the repairs when you have physical damage.
YES! omega-3s beat depression like a drum!
Taking omega 3 oils helps stop depression quickly.
Thanks to an email from Dr Al Sears, I recently found out that of the things now available and doable, the best first thing to do to stop depression is to is to take a good overall omega 3 supplement AND a DHA supplement.  
(DHA is the omega 3 oil most essential for good brain and nerve function.)
(Of course he makes a good but expensive supplement that has both.  But the omega 3 supplement from Nordic Naturals is good quality and available in most health food stores.  And the Jarrow DHA supplement, MaxDHA, is also.)
Dr Sears may have found the two most important things to do first!  He makes a VERY strong case for it:

He says that research found that DHA, in particular, directly acts on the sections of your brain that influence your mood!

(This suggests that DHA may be the omega 3 that produces fastest depression relief!)

Taking omega 3 oils and DHA also helps people to be less irritable and grouchy. That has the extra benefit of making your bad moods stop causing the people around you to treat you badly.

a) Because the drugs now available to doctors to do this are ineffective and harmful and even addictive, they are an extremely bad choice. 
In Al Sears recent email he found that:
If some depressed people feel stressed as they report their mood to their doctor, their doctor may often prescribe benzodiazepines. 

These are somewhat effective at relieving anxiety and feeling overstressed but tend to blunt your ability to make extra efforts when needed and your mental quickness and make depression a bit worse.  That’s a mixed review but they aren’t effective for depression.

But recent research found that:  taking benzodiazepines is a potent cause of Alzheimer’s disease.

This is particularly so for long term use which people in bad situations or with persistent heavy stress are likely to need!

To Dr Sears and to me, this is not acceptable.  So we think no one should do this.  For me it may be OK but with only very rare exceptions for short term use in some situations.

Or their doctor may prescribe and SSRI.  BADD idea!  

Vitamin D3 boosts brain levels of serotonin.  So if you haven’t already been taking vitamin D3 with a real optimal intake of between 3,000 and 10,000 it may also be helpful to begin taking 10,000 iu day of vitamin D3. 

(Note that vitamin D2 while even cheaper is not very effective and can be harmful at the levels where vitamin D3 is optimum and quite safe.)

Not only do SSRI's not raise brain levels of serotonin at all well or at all, they cost money and have side effects and are addictive enough the side effects of stopping an SSRI that isn't helping your depression is almost a disease like event.

Worse, even if you happen to be taking the one out of three that may make you feel a bit better it may take 6 to 8 weeks before you know if it will do that.

To me this flunks out totally.  

If depressed people are at a point they will ask for drug help or accept it if offered, they want relief SOON, later today if possible -- and no later than a few days, two or three perhaps, after they start taking it!

And the LAST thing they need is side effects on top of feeling lousy!

They also need reliable help.  Eighty percent is worth betting on and trying but what they want and need is 100%!

In my view they don't need a single drug.  They need a protocol that delivers both FAST and reliable relief and relief that they can depend on lasting.


We list the other things that are fast acting and those that ensure lasting relief later in this post.  Dr Sears makes a case for omega 3 oils as acting quickly and repairing an underlying cause of depression.  They ALSO make the actions reversing two of the causes of lasting relief work better!

In the email that Dr Sears sent me on Monday, 4-20, he leaves out many of the things that can add faster relief and a lot of things that can ensure the relief lasts.

But Dr Sears may have found the two most important things to do first!  He makes a VERY strong case for it in his email.

He says that research found that DHA, in particular, directly acts on the sections of your brain that influence your mood!

(This suggests that DHA may be the omega 3 that produces fastest depression relief!)

This is also suggested by the effects of taking DHA on your heart disease risks.  In his other work with DHA, Dr Sears also found that to protect your heart you want to lower your triglycerides and increase your HDL (an indicator you have sharply decreased the level of the small particle LDL that causes heart disease) and he found this happens in a few days NOT weeks!

(Of course ALSO stopping high fructose corn syrup and refined grain wheat foods that increase triglycerides and totally stopping hydrogenated oils that directly increase the amount of small particle LDL will increase the effect of taking the DHA on heart protection.  And, there is some evidence it will increase the anti-depressant effects too.

b) The good news is that there ARE now things that cause depression to stop totally right away.
Besides taking DHA and omega 3 oils and eating wild caught fish and stopping the things that have the reverse effect, there are 3 things that are coming that STOP even severe depression very fast.

Here are two that you may have access to at some point.

*First the drug Ketamine that causes some anesthetic and other undesirable effects does slam even severe depression to a total stop but the effect only lasts 24 hours. 

If it could do this but leave the person taking it functional, that would enable them to start taking the omega 3 oils and DHA and several other things that help turn off depression but take at least a few days to work.

Recent research found just exactly that!  It seems there is a metabolite of Ketamine that DOES have the immediate effect on stopping depression but does NOT cause anesthesia or other side effects that leave the person taking it unable to function.

But this takes hours to work and it’s not yet clear that it’s safe or effective to do it every day for a week or two.

*The best one is the one that uses specially designed quick pulses of electromagnetic stimulation in the brain.  It’s that effective AND it only takes ONE hour to work.

It also looks like it may be safe to use it once a day for a week or two while you get enough other things started that take longer to lift the depression to work!

Besides taking the DHA and omega 3 oils and eating wild caught fish high in omega 3 oils AND stopping eating the things that have the reverse effect, are there other things that are fast that you can use now?

There are two that seem to help and recent research found a third one that may help.

*Doing a brief session of vigorous exercise allows you to feel competent while you are doing it and energizes you by increasing your circulation and breathing; but most of all, it takes enough mental focus while you are doing it to take your mind away from feeling depressed.

*If you are feeling frazzled and depressed at the very high level of stress you are under, there is an herb that has a delightful double effect. 

You feel much calmer; but you also think better and are more alert.  That way you feel considerably better and more mentally energized and can see solutions or potential solutions to the things stressing you.  And every bit of that has anti-depressant effects!

It’s called lemon balm.

Another way to get stuck in depression is to keep thinking about the things that are stressing you over and over again instead of doing something useful or enjoyable. 

One way to stop that of course is to write down ideas of things that might stop the stresses. Then make definite plans to try the more promising ones; then set the list aside and then do something else that will focus your mind.  A brief bit of vigorous exercise will do it.

And recent research found another way to reduce this kind of thinking.  Astonishingly, it’s taking a probiotic supplement.

Why not do all three? Take the DHA etc; get and take the lemon balm; and take the probiotics.  By doing that for a week to a month, it should help. 

And if you haven’t been taking 10,000 iu of vitamin D3 yet, boosting your brain levels of serotonin by doing so may also help.

c) There are things that do stop depression but take a while to work.  (These actually work relatively quickly but take a while to get them in place and get them working well.)
*Talk therapy where you practice stopping repetitive negative thoughts thinking STOP forcefully when you catch yourself at it has been proven effective in as little as 4 to 8 weeks.
A skilled therapist also helps you to be very analytical about the causes of bad events and helps you find ways to be optimistic you can make things better.
Something bad happened which had specific causes this time but may not happen again if those causes stop or you find a way to stop them. 
When people talk to themselves as if those bad things always happen or will keep happening no matter what, small wonder they feel depressed!  Talk therapy helps you stop that and think more productive and far less depressing thoughts.
Learning to do this exact and more positive analysis of bad events and finding ways to be more confident you can do things that will help and can make an extra effort over and over again if necessary helps stop depression quite effectively. And the skilled coaching and guided practice have been proven to help!
*Other things like getting regular vigorous exercise and stopping watching depressing TV news and making your room darker and cooler and scheduling more sleep time give you a MUCH better mood and more feeling of energy and well being.
It can take a few weeks to do and get used to; but it IS effective.
*Taking the DHA and omega 3 oils and eating wild caught fish and stopping the foods that do the reverse also work better the longer you do them.
BUT, they do even more!
d) And, there are things that literally repair the physical damage that causes some kinds of depression that take a bit longer to work.  (These too can get some faster relief but because there is damage to repair, they work best when used until the repairs are completed.)
Once you do vigorous exercise most days of every week, every time you do it, your body releases a special nerve and brain cell growth hormone, BDNF.
AND if you also take the DHA and omega 3 oils and eating wild caught fish, guess what?
Your body releases even more BDNF!
That means that if part of your depression is caused by minimal brain damage of some kind, DHA plus exercise will turn that part off and keep depression from returning.
In fact, brain scan studies of US veterans with PTSD found that talk therapy that works finds  increases in the amount of physical repair that varies together.  Better talk therapy causes more repair and better repair causes more effective talk therapy.
Similar studies of US veterans with PTSD who began regular exercise and did it for only 12 weeks found the veterans were far less depressed AND showed more brain repair!
*Besides exercise and DHA combined it’s been found that adding food or supplement sources of choline increases the repairs!  These include taking the supplement lecithin that contains choline, taking choline supplements directly, and eating yolks or whole eggs from chickens fed only on pasture.  This has even partly reversed early stage mental decline with the brain cell repairs it causes. (NOW supplements makes a NON GMO lecithin and Whole Foods carries that AND the one I shop at carries two kinds of eggs from pasture fed chickens!)
And there is an extra benefit to choline.  Like vigorous exercise and DHA getting extra choline increases your HDL and is also for that reason heart protective!

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Tuesday, April 21, 2015

How to make low carb fat loss work, part 2....
Today's Post:  Tuesday, 4-21-2013
This post in a way is part 3 in a series. 
 First: The post I did on Thursday, 4-9-2015 on Why always read labels -- includes the details that virtually all the carbs you want to stop to help with fat loss are MADE OUT OF ingredients that are proven heart attack starters and health harmers besides being fattening.
Then: The post I did on Thursday, 4-16 last week, the initial How to make low carb fat loss work, has how to use recent research to eat the best proteins to go with stopping bad carbs to help with fat loss with my comments and upgrades. 
AND, it has a proven strategy to make a simple switch in mental focus proven to reverse from “I can’t resist” to “I don’t eat what that’s made out of anymore.”
I began using it and found it to work.  Then I saw research that shows the switch actually moves the focus inside your brain which is one reason why it works so well.
Then we include habit change upgrade specialist James Clear, brilliant comments on how doing it this way both makes the change happen for sure AND dramatically EASIER to do!
If you just read and use those two posts you can be much more successful at knowing what bad carbs you can easily get rid of and how to actually do it in practice.
Today’s post has two parts.
1.  A couple of strategies to use to make doing a low bad carb fat loss diet and what to eat instead.
2.  Some workarounds that help.
Here’s the strategies:
1.  A couple of strategies to use to make doing a low bad carb fat loss diet and what to eat instead.
Know WHY you want fat loss.  The strategy is to interview yourself. Then expand on why you want each thing.  Then put each part in the what I get form!
The trick is to know exactly and what you get out of your efforts that is custom tailored to you.
Here again, if you focus on getting MORE of things you really want, you’ll succeed.  If you focus only on giving up things, you’ll go back to them and fail at fat loss.
So, what do you want fat loss for?
Many people really want to look better.  Do you? If so, how?  Do you want to lose belly fat as I do?  Some women want to remove fat from their arms and hips?  Do you want to look younger? Write down what losing fat will help you do to look better.
Do you want better health reading when tested to get your doctor off your case?  Stopping the bad things and adding the good foods and exercise can solve and has solved that problem!
Is that something you want?  Write it down.  “By taking action to lose fat and doing each part, the day will come when my doctor will marvel at my improvement and get off my case!”
Do you want better health?  How? Do you want to avoid a heart attack?  Do you want to avoid Alzheimer’s disease?  Do you want to avoid prostate cancer or breast cancer?  Do you want to avoid osteoporosis or being in a walker for many years when you CAN avoid it?
Write it down!  “By taking action to lose fat and doing each part, the evidence is I’ll avoid that disease or health problem when I would have gotten it otherwise. And, I want to avoid getting it!”
2.  If you do even one of the two empowering things at a level SO EASY you can do it for sure, research finds it changes your self-image and quite literally multiplies your ability to do more.
Which would you rather do first?  Add even one regular day of an easy exercise or make a small improvement in the exercises you do now?
Or, would you rather add even one health OK vegetable or protein food on one day a week first?
(You can always add the other one later and do more of each one.  But to get there it’s proven to empower you to do that if you choose one to begin with.
So, which one will you do first?)
We post often on what to eat instead of bad carbs and did that recently too in our 10 ways to live long and prosper:
“5.  Eat (or drink in a Vitamix drink) 6 or more servings of organic vegetables each day. 

(Greens and cruciferous vegetables and onions and yellow and orange vegetables are all great!)

(Those who do this -- or do it with the help of the new Vitamix 750 -- slash their risk of heart disease, cancer, and everything else.  Even 3 to 5 real vegetables other than some kind of potatoes a day is far better for you than less. 

AND if you do it, you will find it easy or even done for you to lose excess fat and easy to keep it off!)

[Just pick one kind one day a week to start and do that!]

6.  Eat one or two pieces of organic whole fresh fruit each day. 

(This too cuts your risk of heart disease. Fruit tastes good. And despite being easy to do, dramatically cuts your risk of both kinds of strokes!)”


“8.  Vigorous exercise: Get some carefully built up to but vigorous exercise in sessions of 10 to 25 minutes each most days of every week.  That’s essential. 

(Vigorous exercise slows aging and keeps you mobile and protects you from almost everything from Alzheimer’s disease to heart disease to osteoporosis – even some cancers. 

It helps people keep off excess fat they lose and if well done can help them lose it in the first place.)“

Did you choose to do exercise first?
Make a super easy start at doing it regularly.
Think you can do 10 to 20 pushups?
Pick one morning a week to do a set of 7 pushups.  To start you can do a few over 7 but only if it’s still easy to do.
Then that day each week for several weeks do at least that one set of pushups.
Fifty years ago they found that people who do even that little and it is super doable begin to see themselves as someone who takes action to protect their health and is able to do so.
Astoundingly, once that happens, they find every other kind of better health action EASY to do and find themselves doing more of things they knew to do but weren’t before!

2.  Some workarounds that help.
a) Always eat breakfast and include a large serving of some kind of health OK protein.  And, because your body processes carbs best at breakfast, eat some organic whole fresh fruit.
People who always eat breakfast eat more food and more total calories than people who don’t BUT they weigh less and have smaller waists.
Between being less fat and being able to eat more so you don’t feel deprived, this is enormous help with fat loss and keeping it off!
AND, at mid-morning and later in the day at dinner, studies show that you resist bad carb foods and stuffing yourself MUCH better in practice if you always eat breakfast.
At first, it can be as easy as eating one piece of cheese from grass fed cows and one banana if you haven’t been eating any breakfast.
b)  If you aren’t allergic, eat raw, unsalted, and not oiled nuts at least twice a day.  Like eating breakfast, people who do this eat more calories and weigh less and have smaller waists than people who do not. Just like eating breakfast, between being less fat and being able to eat more so you don’t feel deprived, eating nuts is enormous help with fat loss and keeping it off!
And, there is a bonus, eating some nuts each day was found to cut your risk of dying or getting heart disease.  You literally may live 7 more years of healthy life if you eat nuts!
d)  One author, David Schwartz, said to afford to dress well, buy half as many but twice as good. 
For fat loss, that is a golden rule for eating in restaurants!
Instead of eating in fast food places five lunches a week, take health OK foods for lunch four days a week and eat at an upscale restaurant once a week.
Then, instead of accepting the rolls that are cheap fatteners and heart attack starters, insist they not be brought out or taken back. 
Instead, ask for a small salad or vegetable appetizer they say they can bring out quickly and insist they do that.  And ask for extra virgin olive oil or extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar on the salad --- or to bring out a dressing you like the taste of but on the side and then eat it sparingly.
If they can give you fast bar service asking for one glass of red wine of your choice also be brought out to you right away.
(I’ve done it.  And this works as well or better to avoid being starving hungry by the time your order arrives.)
Order a health OK protein and two servings of  a health OK vegetable.
Ask that no rice or potatoes or bread be included.
A good restaurant can and will do this and they are beginning to see more people do it!
Eating out is still festive and enjoyable and you’ll be full at the end of your meal!

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Monday, April 20, 2015

My monthly fatloss report....
Today's Post:  Monday, 4-20-2013
[This month’s report is a mixed review with some positive and some negative events to report. I both gained some leverage and lost some. That status seems like AND IS where I’ve been stuck for some time!
My hope of course, is that I’ll gradually make progress by relentlessly continuing the things that have lost and kept off the fat I no longer have;
Having the things I’ve added get traction and gradually help lose some more fat;-- AND find things with more leverage that work well when I try them -- and then keep doing them also!]
A.  This month’s report:
1.  The big news is that my new scale had me at 166.8 lb up 4.3 pounds from 162.5.
Pretty sure what did it: 
a) Lower fever and less coughing than the previous month but still not having my exercise routines 100% back did part of it. That likely caused at least a pound of the 4.3 pounds I gained.
(I’ve had this one happen before:  For me, being sick despite doing far less exercise, I tend to lose weight; but the month after I also tend to gain it.  So I’m sure this had an effect this time.)
b) My wife got us some of the almond butter that caused me to gain 6 pounds in a month last time I had it in the house.  Love the stuff! Though I was much more able to eat one spoon on occasion instead of uncontrollably eating two to five every day, the one or two a few times as an extra food I did allow myself, easily could have added one of the four pounds.
c) Much to my surprise, my stress load from outside pressures went up so much the last 4 weeks I drank extra wine and may have eaten a bit extra too. 
(I once saw evidence that the two extra glasses a week more of wine I’ve been drinking if I keep doing it indefinitely, will add 3 pounds of fat.)
So that likely added at least two pounds of the 4.3 pounds I gained.
What I’ll do now:
a) I’ve already begun getting back to my normal exercise routines.  That should help!
b) Mercifully my wife decided on her own to not buy any more almond butter.   That WILL help!
c) I may make some progress on turning off the cause of the outside stress in the next 4 weeks which will likely help.  The work has been started and it may begin making progress during the month.
Then too, I’ve been delayed in getting a supplement I think I can take instead of half a glass of wine as stress relief when I first get home from work.  I finally found out how to get it and will be able to start trying it soon! Whew!
(Lemon Balm does have a calming effect.  My hope is that taking one capsule plus a half glass of red wine will cut my stress as much drinking one glass of red wine before. That’s what my hope is. And I’ll soon be able to try it to see!)
If that works, instead of drinking 2 glasses a week of red wine over my weekly goal, I may well be able to drink 3.5 glasses a week of red wine less!
d)  I’ve planned an increase in my vegetable intake for after I get a Vitamix and a reduction in milk and oatmeal. 
But this recent jump of how much I am over my goal weight from 1.5 pounds to 5.8 has motivated me to try some workarounds now to do that before I get a Vitamix.  (More on that later in this post.)
2.  The other bad news is that my waist and other measures went up – all by at least half an inch.
My waist and hips went up a half inch which was clearly fat.
The only good news is that my chest went up by an inch more besides that half inch for a total of one and a half inches.  Oddly, the only exercise that got better over the last 4 weeks was pushups.  So maybe an inch of that was muscle.
(I’ve decided to add a more accurate tape measure to my planned purchases for tomorrow.  I did get in some extra money. So that small a buy is doable.  The problem with my inch measures is not the tape.  It’s measuring myself with two hands when a third one is needed.  The tape I’ll buy solves that by cinching up when someone measures with two hands providing a kind of replacement for the third hand.)
Summary for the past month is simple:
For several reasons, I gained fat last month.  Two are temporary.  And, I hope my plan to turn off the third one works
3.  My cardio program upgrade news:
a)  Several months ago I wrote:
“Apparently, the progress in my new PACE or high intensity cardio session of 5 sets I added of abdominal exercises -- both toned my muscles and tightened them up or maybe added some of the three pounds over the last two months as muscle.
I’ve now gone from 14 reps to 90 of the 98 reps I plan for each of the new 5 sets!
Clearly it has helped me to gain muscle instead of fat.  I may well be burning 300 calories or more each week than I was a few months ago.”
b) Month before last I wrote: “Since we moved and slightly before, everything is so changed and cramped, to get to work on time, I’ve had to almost eliminate that whole extra cardio program!” (I also had to give up my once a week Nordic Track.)
c) Since that report, I dropped the most time consuming and unpleasant and least effective of the five new sets and have found a way to resume doing the remaining four new sets besides the four high intensity ones I’ve long ago become so skilled at doing. Once again, I’m doing all 8 sets, the 4 previous ones plus the 4 new ones three times a week.  So when I get the new 4 sets back to 98 reps each, I expect to lose some extra fat.
Last month I wrote: The bad news is that the 4 new sets are challenging enough and the weather has warmed up enough it will be more challenging to get from 56 reps per set to 98 per set again.
This month I’ve lost ground instead of gaining it: Getting the rotten cold and the resulting chest congestion cut me back to 28 again.  I have gotten back up to 42; but it will be at least two months before I see 98 again.
So, this upgrade will eventually cut a pound or two of fat I think.  But it will take a few months.
But I’ll keep on it until I get back to 98 each!
4. I have kept up the added vegetables.  I’m actually doing well with maintaining it each week!
Losing enough more fat to cut it from my belly fat as I want to do will mean adding even more vegetables than I eat now as Vitamix drinks.
My routine clearly still lacks enough intake of daily organic vegetables.
(Over a week it averages about 4 a day now and for fat loss it needs to be 7 to 10 each day.)
But the fair intake 5 days a week and good intake on my two strictest days each week is now stable and routine and I can continue that easily.  So any fat it has helped me keep off or any health benefits of it will stay as good as they are until I can do more!
Several months ago I bought and read a book that suggests that both adding even more vegetables AND taking one week in four where I also eat less of many other foods – other than vegetables, may produce net and sustainable fat losses.
I’m still limited in what I can do now.  BUT, I am on the right track and will do what I can get to now and plan for much more when I can.
(Possible change in this one!  See the last piece of news at the end of this post!)
5.  As I mentioned above, one of the continuing good news stories is my strength training
The progress is still VERY slow but if I continue getting stronger every week or two AS I HAVE BEEN for the past several months and continue for another few years and am able to add back more safe to do leg exercises and make that progress with them, I will keep adding muscle when most people 15 years younger than I lose that much muscle or even more in the same time period!
a) Much to my great shock, I’ve actually gotten stronger on a few upper body exercises despite the disruption from our move!  Hooray!
(Between now and my April report, I’ve thought up a new way to see if I can boost my one weak exercise without setting back the ones in which I’m doing well.  I’ll put it last. That way while it may be a bit weaker at first the extra effort I add will allow my strong sets to keep progressing.
Nope.  The cold has prevented that from being a wise thing to do.  For now, I’m back to just working to make progress on the sets I have been doing.)
b) Two months ago I reported that I had a small setback on healing the stress fracture in my left foot.  This was understandable from the need to carry so many boxes during our move and focus more on getting the job done than being careful with it.  “I’ll just pause my rehab a week or two longer.  I’ll get it healed and strong again eventually. It was already a several month project.  So adding a week or two won’t make that much of a change.”
Since my February report and less stress on it from the carrying for the move, the stress fracture seems a bit better and my VERY slow rehab is not bothering it. I didn’t have to pause my progress after all!
AND, I found an old post I’d forgotten that shows research found that adding the supplement strontium DID cause new bone cells to form AND that, besides your bones becoming heavier and denser, taking strontium ALSO leaves your bones flexible with the result of far few fractures!
So, once my order for the strontium supplement comes in, my healing of my stress fracture AND preventing new ones looks likely to do VERY well indeed!
My strontium finally did come in. I also added a new kind of vitamin K2 since last time which I’ll continue. Now I can depend on simply rehabbing slowly confident the stress fracture repair will keep holding up, I’ve already begun the faster pace rehab with no trouble!
c) Overall, my muscles LOOK a bit bigger, particularly my arms and shoulders; and though my middle is still fat, my thighs have some definition and are clearly hard and toned.
So even though I’ve not gained enough muscles in size or weight to increase how much they weigh and the calories they burn as I’d like to do ---  After another year or so, I may gain a pound or two of muscle at an age when most people lose 5 pounds of muscle instead!
6.  It’s just a matter of time too to the day I can get and use the Vitamix to boost my vegetable intake enough to lose some fat that way.   
a) I have plans already begun that may speed that up. And, I made some progress on each of the three ways to get it done since last time.
b) The over 4 pound fat gain got my attention in another way.  I’ve developed a three part workaround and will try a fourth one by next time.
It will only remove a pound or two a month by my calculations.  But it might keep doing it for a year.
Next month, I’ll see if I’ve done it successfully as I have currently planned to do.  I’m confident it will work if I can establish doing it.
My partial conclusion is that by doing the things I have planned to add between now and next time, I have a shot at reversing the 4 pounds of fat gain and may do even better than that.

So the overall conclusion is that despite being hammered more than usual by outside negative influences, I’m still maintaining most of my efforts that lost fat for me to begin with.  AND, I’m still adding promising new things that are working already or might work.
AND, I plan to both continue doing that and have even more in the pipeline for as soon as I can manage to add them.  
B.  New & earlier news on ways to do more than I have been able to until now:
1.  One of the health emails I got had a new supplement that you had to pay to get and get information on that promised to almost wipe out the effect of stress on abdominal fat.
This sort of thing usually is smoke and doesn’t work in practice. 
But it WAS a potential solution to the exact problems I have.  If true, it would enable me to lose as much as the entire 24 pounds of belly fat I’m still carrying.
I then looked up the information that WAS in the ad on Google to see if there was more information elsewhere for free.
Here’s what I found: 
The effect may in fact be real but not enough by itself to do more than half the job without adding a safe way to boost my level of growth hormone closer to my youthful levels.
(And the existing supplements using it have other ingredients to help it boost heart health which I’ve already done.  So not only are those likely a bad fit for me, they might not be entirely safe as my heart indicators have almost gone past optimum now!)
However, this class of active ingredient is in lemon and orange peel. 
And, at Whole Foods I can get the organic lemons and oranges that would make them safe to add to my Vitamix drinks often enough to at least lose 12 pounds of belly fat.
This is VERY interesting to say the least. 
Last month while eating at a restaurant, I got a fish dish and ate most of the lemon rind.  I found this easier and far less sour than eating the main part of the lemon!
And, I got some organic lemons and an organic orange at Whole Foods to try in the next few days. I was also able to eat the peel for those with no trouble eating them.  But the set up was a bit more time to do than I have had since.
I WILL need the Vitamix to add enough EVERY DAY consistently enough to do much. 
And I think I may be more in need of the safe growth hormone boost I don’t yet know how to get.
If drinking the whole organic lemons in a Vitamix drink only helps me cut 3 pounds of belly fat once I begin it, I’ll be very pleased.
And when I add the Vitamix and more organic vegetables every day, I may lose another 9 pounds of belly fat.
The other possibility is that adding back two faster recovery supplements might enable me to do more on my strength training and get some growth hormone boost and lose more belly fat from that.  (Astaxanthin is one of them.)
2.  Wow! I’d forgotten a post I’d written on a natural compound that acts as if it was an anabolic steroid but has NONE of the expense or lack of safety or side effects of anabolic steroids!
Ursolic acid is the compound.  It seems to make the growth hormone and fat removal hormones you already have much more effective. 
This was so true in the tests, it looks like it may make you stronger, your muscles bigger, and make you less fat even without exercise.  (This was thought by the researcher to be possibly a way to help cancer survivors and people in nursing homes who can’t currently exercise maintain to their muscles.)
Needless to say when added to a decent strength training program, it likely would be a massive help.
A month’s supply of the supplement costs $89.95!  So it was out of reach for me at the time and now.  But there is some in Brewer’s yeast and the oregano and basil I add several days a week to my dinners.  I’ve been making do with that small amount as what I could then and now afford. (The richest source is red apple peels.  But it is extremely hard to get apple peels – even those listed to be organic – that haven’t been sprayed with something you’d not want to eat tons of.)
BUT, now I’ve been reminded, I will try the supplement when I can afford it!!
3.  There are two vegetables that when juiced at the level of the Vitamix, cause drops in blood pressure comparable to the drugs for high blood pressure or even better but which have ZERO side effects if the vegetables are organic!
a)  Celery for those not allergic to it, has an ingredient that does this.  But in order to work, you need to eat the celery itself to get the ingredient in massive and affordable doses AND along with the cofactors in the celery it needs to work!
b)  Juicing beets also has a similar effect with a big extra work out boost!
It seems that to get the boost in nitric oxide that relaxes your blood vessels and improves the health and flexibility of your endothelium, the insides of your blood vessels, you need to get nitrates from vegetables in contact with the saliva in your mouth.
The workout bonus is that besides the much better blood flow, this also may boost growth hormone levels after your workouts!
In fact, beet juice has been tested to show performance enhancement!!
So, I’ve long planned to add this one!
But I’ve no funds yet for the Vitamix for either one.
c) Here’s the brand new news!
I’ve got to make do with what of this I can do with our existing blender if I want to avoid taking drugs that will ruin my quality of life because our recent move’s stress drove my blood pressure up enough it will harm my kidneys if I don’t do that OR get it done with this!
And, I CAN afford the organic celery!  Plus, I CAN afford the nitrates plus not have to have the mess of beets!  The superfood dark greens like kale and cabbage and water cress I already should be eating more of ALSO have that level of nitrates.
I plan to have a positive report on that next time!
So, the conclusion is that some of what I’m doing and will keep doing is working.  I’ll keep doing them all!
And I have several planned improvements likely to work and these new and very promising things that might – one of which I’ll try before next time.
Report on this for March:
I’ll keep up the beet root extract supplement in case it has some effect.  But for lowering my blood pressure, it looks like I’ll need the Vitamix and more vegetable intake daily.
Or I may need to clear out some calcified plaque buildup in my arteries or get even more stress relief.
So far the supplements haven’t dropped my blood pressure enough.  So I need to do more.
The good news is that the nitrates are a MUCH better solution than the blood pressure drugs.  And that is certain! 
Report on this for April:
So far, despite doing great at taking the beet root supplement EVERY time I planned, it’s had little effect on my blood pressure.
Clearly I need to find a way to add the actual vegetables too and get more effective stress relief besides the supplement.
I ‘ll try my new workarounds to add some of the vegetables and the new stress relief supplement and my plans to lower the stress -- each may help.
Hope to have progress to report on those next time!

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