Many people associate sugar in foods as being a bad thing.  Not always the case.  There are sugars that come from natural sources, and while these too can be over consumed, generally speaking, they are not necessarily bad. The tough part is that the carbohydrate breakdown on a food label does not distinguish between natural sugars and those added by man to enhance sweetness.  It is the added sugars that should be avoided.  This video can be very helpful to you in helping you distinguish between natural sugars, and added sugars….

Patti on mountain

Patti had a spinal fusion in February of this year, a MAJOR back surgery.  She came straight to us when her doctor’s released her, and we have been working on strengthening her core to reduce pain and increase her quality of life.  Just a few days ago, I received this email….

“Doug…thanks to you and your crew I was able to hike 2 miles vertical in 8 inches of snow​ at Jungfrau, the top of Europe in Switzerland…with no pain or worries…just an elevated heart rate!  Thanks for helping me get well enough to do this!!!!”

Patti

kefir grains

These are kefir grains! When you put these “grains”, a live bacteria/yeast mixture in milk, it ferments. This results in a tart drink called kefir, which is loaded with beneficial yeast and bacteria called probiotics.

Probiotics are found naturally in the body and are considered the “good bacteria/yeasts”.  Probiotics help maintain a balance of good vs. bad bacteria, and also help replenish the good bacteria after they are killed by a round of antibiotics.  They are a great way to help maintain a healthy gut.  Even those who are lactose intolerant can often enjoy this, as the bacteria and yeast consume the lactose in milk.

Put these grains in milk and set it on your counter (unrefrigerated) and you will have kefir in a day or two, depending on how warm your kitchen is. Let it sit out long enough and it even gets a small alcohol content, which is commonly referred to as a bonus.  Wink!

The kefir grains pictured above is a live culture and is said to give you a wide spectrum of probiotics (40-60 strains).  The stuff in the grocery store is good, but it has been processed and is said to have less variety (around 7 strains).

While many drink kefir straight, I use it as the liquid for my morning smoothie.

Past research had indicated that someone who is fat, could actually be “fit” if metabolically healthy, meaning they had no indications of heart disease, diabetes, etc..  I have had numerous obese clients who say their blood work is perfect…does this mean they are fit and not at risk?

The biggest study on this topic, using 3.5 million people, now indicates that being “fat and fit” is a big fat myth.  The conclusion is that even if your blood work is good and you show no indications of problems, you still are at a much higher risk of developing a condition.  Simply put, just being overweight puts you at increased risk of heart attack and stroke.

Springtime in the apiary is a busy time.  If you remember, last year I lost multiple hives, which I think was from hives that swarmed and did not produce a queen to keep the colony going.  The good news from that was that I took all the honey from the hives that died…and gave it all to my clients for Christmas.  The bad news, is that I am starting over this year with two new hives, and one old hive that survived the winter.

The two new hives are doing well.  Not much to do with them, except make sure the queens are laying eggs, and they are in both hives.  A beekeeper will make weekly inspections to make sure that they do not out grow their space.  When things get crowded a new box (layer) is added so that they have more room for the queen to lay eggs, and to store honey.  Inspections also insure that pests are not invading the hive.

With the old hive, once again my bees swarmed, and they did not produce a queen, so I introduced a new queen just days ago.  I now wait a few days and see if there are eggs being laid.  If so, great.  If not, that means the bees did not accept the new queen and probably killed her.  My fingers are crossed.

This is the time of year when nectar is plentiful and the bees will be making a lot of honey.  As the blooms and blossoms slow down in June/July, honey production will decrease.  So my job now is to make sure they have plenty of bees (a queen laying lots of eggs), and lots of room to store the honey in the hive.

There are often big bucks spent on a study to prove or disprove something.  Sometimes I scratch my head, as the answer is blatantly obvious from the beginning.

This holds true with a study I read about how giving mice alcohol caused them to eat more that they usually would.  But what did surprise me was that it was not because of a loss of restraint, but rather a neural response.  It seems the same neurons that are fired when a body experiences starvation are also stimulated when you have a few drinks.

When these neurons were blocked, the mice did not eat as much, even when given alcohol.

If you are watching your waistline, you should be mindful of your eating when enjoying alcohol.  But also keep in mind alcohol itself is usually packed with calories.  A nice pour from the wine bottle is equivalent to eating a doughnut.

calories from alcohol

Exercising multiple times a week is the best way to keep the mind sharp if you’re over 50, research suggests.

39 studies were reviewed and they found that memory and brain activity was most improved for those that exercised their muscle and their heart. Weight lifting with cardio is a great combination, and this was true for those already showing signs of mental decline. Starting an exercise program at any age is worthwhile.

In a variety of tests on the brain, it was found that aerobic exercise improved cognitive abilities, such as thinking, reading, learning and reasoning, while weight training had a significant effect on memory and the brain’s ability to plan and organize, the so-called executive functions.

A prominent doctor with one study says that doing 150 minutes of exercise a week decreases the chances of depression and dementia by 1/3, and boost mental health at any age. Doing both aerobic and strengthening exercises leads to a greater variety of many other health benefits.

Of course they also said it was equally important to eat a balanced diet, not smoke, and to only drink in moderation. To sum this up….live a healthy lifestyle if you want to be your best.

This article is from Dr. Furhman:

There is not a definite “yes” or “no” answer to this question.  It depends on multiple factors including the consumer’s stage of life and more. There may be important time periods at which people are more vulnerable to the potential harm of pesticide residues on our food: just prior to conception, during pregnancy, and during early childhood. There is evidence that organophosphate pesticide exposure during these time periods is associated with deficits in cognitive and behavioral development in children.1

Also, there are some clear environmental benefits to buying organic produce. However, it is unclear whether there are health risks to consumers from ingesting pesticides from conventional produce.  Nevertheless, there are some produce that more clearly should be, if possible, organic as noted by the , the Environmental Working Group (EWG). Each year  they release their “Dirty Dozen” and “Clean Fifteen” lists. Using pesticide residue data from the USDA, the EWG ranks the highest and lowest pesticide fruits and vegetables. They recommend buying the organic versions of the fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list to minimize exposure to synthetic pesticides.

What is organic agriculture?

This form of growing produce utilizes crop rotation, compost and manure as fertilizers, soil and water conservation practices, and natural methods for managing pests, such as plant-derived, biological, or mineral-based pesticides, and no synthetic pesticides. Some of the goals of organic agriculture, according to the USDA’s organic program, are to promote ecological balance and conserve biodiversity.

Pesticide Restriction

There is very little pesticide residue on vegetables and fruits, even those on the Dirty Dozen list. The Environmental Protection Agency sets limits for safe consumption of pesticides; they estimate an exposure level called the chronic reference dose, the amount of a chemical a person could be exposed to daily throughout life without any harmful effects.

A 2011 study estimated typical amounts of exposure to synthetic pesticides based on the USDA’s pesticide residue data for fruits and vegetables on the Dirty Dozen list. They found that most pesticides were present at amounts one thousand times smaller than the chronic reference dose.  Even the highest pesticide residue detected was only 2 percent  of the chronic reference dose.5 This puts the Dirty Dozen list in perspective: it means that even the highest pesticide conventional produce is very low in pesticides.

Is that small amount of synthetic pesticide any risk to consumers?

Some scientists  think that pesticide residues do not pose health risks, because humans and other animals are exposed to small amounts of naturally occurring toxins in every plant food we eat.  The body regularly breaks down self-produced metabolic wastes and naturally occurring carcinogens in foods, as well as pesticides, and excretes these harmful substances.

Greater concentrations of urinary metabolites* of synthetic pesticides have been found in frequent consumers of conventional produce compared to frequent consumers of organic produce, and several short-term dietary intervention studies have shown that switching conventional foods for organic foods reduces urinary pesticide metabolites.  However, evidence is lacking whether any significant health benefit is gained by consuming organic instead of conventional produce.

Clean organic food

Dirty food

Full article, click here.

  • 50% of all deaths related to heart disease, stroke, and type 2 diabetes are linked to a poor diet. That is 1000 deaths per day.
  • Exercise and a healthy diet have been proven to be more effective in controlling diabetes than medication.
  • Medical doctors get less than 25 hours of training regarding nutrition in 4 years of college.
  • Less than 20% of medical schools require a single course on nutrition.
  • Often a doctor will prescribe one med for blood pressure, one for cholesterol, and one for high blood sugar, while addressing nutrition could resolve all these problems at once.
  • Yale’s medical school now offers a class called Culinary Medicine, where how to cook healthy meals is taught.

Source:

Journal of American Medical Association

National Institute of Health

Harvard School of Public Health

Diet Drink Facts:

~ Who drinks diet drinks? 11% healthy weight adults do. 19% of overweight people. 22% of obese people.

~ Regarding those that enjoy diet drinks. Those of healthy weight consume MORE food calories than those overweight or obese.

~ A study following 3,700 people found those consuming diet drinks gained more weight than those consuming sugary drinks, because those consuming diet drinks eat more.

~ Animals consuming diet drinks showed an altered metabolism and high blood sugar levels, and early sign of type 2 diabetes

~ Many people compensate. “Since I drank a diet drink, I can have a cookie.” The same compensation is documented with exercise. “Since I worked out today, I can have a treat.”

~ “Pre-loading” your stomach with water a half hour before eating has shown increased weight loss.

It can be difficult to eat healthy, because it takes time to cook, and if you are not cooking you probably are not eating healthy. I make a big batch of this and then freeze packets of it. A quick and easy meat filling for sandwiches, enchiladas, stuffed peppers….where ever your creativity takes you.  Super easy!

Shredded Chicken Filling

Makes 5+ cups

Cooking time in slow cooker, 4 to 6 hours on low

1          onion, minced

3          tablespoons chili powder

2          tablespoons vegetable oil

2          jalapeño, or more! Remove seeds is you do not like spice

5          garlic cloves, minced

3          teaspoons ground coriander

3          teaspoons ground cumin

15oz.   can tomato sauce

1½      teaspoons sugar

1.5       pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts, fat trimmed

1.5       pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, fat trimmed

Salt and pepper

2          tablespoon fresh lime juice

  1. Microwave onion, chili powder, oil, jalapeño, garlic, coriander, and cumin in bowl, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Put in slow cooker.
  1. Stir tomato sauce and sugar into slow cooker. Season chicken with salt and pepper, add to slow cooker, and coat evenly with sauce mixture. Cover and cook until chicken is tender, 4 to 6 hours on low.
  1. Transfer chicken to large bowl, let cool slightly. Shred into bite-size pieces. Let braising liquid settle for 5 minutes, then remove fat from surface using large spoon.
  1. Toss shredded chicken with braising liquid add more liquid as needed to keep meat moist and flavorful. Add lime juice and season with salt and pepper to taste.

Freeze in portion sizes of your choice!

Your sex, your style of cosmetics, your hair dye, and your preference of beer or wine are all revealed by analyzing the molecules left on your cell phone!  Scientists in California using a technique called mass spectrometry looked at 500 samples taken from the mobile phones of 40 people.  They also said that can tell your sex, if you drink coffee, like spicy food, take antidepressants, and if you enjoy being outdoors.

They say this method of testing can identify a person’s identity, even if there was no fingerprints.  It also could be used to confirm if patients were taking their medication.

The molecules are thought to be transferred from your skin to your phone, and even thorough hand washing does not prevent this.  Some things like mosquito repellent and sunscreens linger on your skin, even when they have not been used in months.  This could help determine if a person’s lifestyle included a lot of time outdoors.

The senior author of the study, Prof Pieter Dorrestein, said there were at least 1,000 different microbes living on the average person’s skin, in hundreds of locations on the body.

I recently read an article that I found very interesting that talked about the onset of dementia and its correlation with blood sugar.  According to Dr. Steven Masley, elevated blood sugar levels are now considered the biggest reversible risk for memory loss.  He calls dementia “Type III Diabetes”, or “Diabetes Brain”.

His article details the huge impact that elevated blood sugar levels have on brain tissue, not to mention weight gain and all that that brings.  Elevated blood sugar levels are the #1 cause of cardiovascular disease, and a strong risk factor for memory loss.

All of this is reversible with some basic lifestyle changes that include:

  • Eat more fiber
  • Engage in activity every day
  • Get in the right amount of vitamins/minerals/essential fatty acids
  • Manage your stress

The entire article can be seen by clicking here.

Test for body fat

I used to test people’s body composition (body fat test) frequently.  I quit doing this a long time ago, unless it is requested.  I felt it pushed people in the direction of unhealthy eating behaviors, like deprivation for example.  Depriving yourself of treats or foods you enjoy is the wrong way to approach weight loss.  After a period of deprivation, you will binge and just make lifestyle change more difficult.  Anyway, if someone knew a body fat test was approaching they would eat super healthy, thinking it would impact the test.  Wrong.

If I were ever to surprise someone with a body composition test, they immediately would say “Oh, last night I met friends and had a glass of wine!”  A body composition test is more of a measurement of what you have eaten the past weeks or even months.  The past weeks and months is your lifestyle and this determines if you are fat….not what you ate last night.

I recommend people trying to lose weight to keep a food journal so that they can look at a full week in one glimpse.  Then take a highlighter and mark all the foods that are unhealthy or questionable.  If you see lots of highlighted items, work on knocking this number down.  Unfortunately, it is extremely rare for me to find someone who has an accurate understanding of what is healthy or questionable.  Most people have misconceptions, which explains the all to common “I am eating healthy and not losing weight”.

So back to body fat testing.  It can be a great tool, especially if you are strength training, as it will show the changes to your body fat levels, as well as lean muscle mass.  If you struggle with eating behaviors, or if this form of testing makes you self-conscious, I would stay away from it.  Instead, use how your clothes fit and how you feel.  After all, the main goal is health and feeling great right?

Most diagrams of the human body are shown in the correct “anatomical position”. This position is when the body is in an erect posture, facing forward, arms at side, palms of hand forward, with fingers and thumbs in extension. It is designated as the zero position for defining and measuring joint motions for most of the joints of the body.

The anatomy and physiology of human muscle is fascinating.  It is very complex, yet simple.  An example of this is Sherrington’s law of reciprocal inhibition.  This law states that when a muscle is activated, or contracting, it opposing muscle will relax.

Imagine you are doing a bicep curl, or simple lifting a water glass to your mouth.  If the bicep is contracting, trying to give you elbow flexion, the opposing muscle (triceps) must relax the same amount.  If the triceps did not relax, the elbow joint would be in a tug-of-war with one muscle trying to flex and the other muscle trying to extend the joint.

This is all carried out by the central nervous system and is done without thought or intent.  It allows for smooth and coordinated movement in the human body.

healthy tortilla

This is the tortilla that earned my endorsement many years ago. They are raw, and need to be browned in a skillet, but the end result is a much more flavorful tortilla. I actually will eat one plain while cooking the rest.

Outside of the flavor, the best part is that there is only 5 ingredients in these, with no preservatives. Once opened, they will grow mold after several days….a great sign that you are eating real food!

Two thumbs up from me!

Here is a freebie from our Muscle Anatomy DVD’s, and also from our award winning TV program.  Time for a human muscle anatomy lesson with the pectoralis major…your chest.  You must, you must, you must improve your bust!

A double jointed muscle (one that crosses two joints) can reach a length at which it cannot produce a significant amount of force.  This condition is called “actively insufficient”.  For example, when on tries to achieve full hip extension, while maintaining full knee flexion…the hamstrings (double jointed muscle) are unable to shorten enough to produce a full range of motion of both the knee and hip at the same time.

overweight person

You have probably heard of people that get out of prison and have a hard time adapting to life outside of the jail cell.  After spending years in prison, it becomes the “norm”.  Although an incredibly rough place to live, with often times very ugly things happening, and surrounded by potentially evil people…it becomes a normal way to live…and when this person enters the free world, they struggle greatly.  Their brain becomes reprogrammed, and life in prison is comfortable.  Movies have been made from this stuff…Shawshank Redemption is a classic.

People caught in vicious cycle of weight loss are the same way.  Eating crap and being inactive becomes the norm.  For years and years and years a person maintains unhealthy eating habits, and does little physical activity.  Attempts of being healthy are often switching to Lean Cuisine’s, starting a casual walking program or other exercise program that inevitably  performed at 50% intensity, instead of 90.  This person tells themselves that they are living healthy, but with marginal results at best, lose motivation and go back to the “norm”…the default position of an unhealthy lifestyle.

We all probably realize that the battle ground of weight loss is between the ears.  I have had countless clients have incredible results.  “I am off my insulin, am sleeping better, and am in jeans I have not worn for 6 years…I feel great.”  I think that they have “seen the light” that a healthy lifestyle brings, but no, they quit and go back to the prison of a crappy lifestyle.

I like the analogy of an unhealthy lifestyle being like hitting yourself in the head with a hammer.  Each blow of the hammer can be something like high cholesterol, having a fat butt, Diabetes, flabby arms, not being able to sleep, having no energy, a big belly….the list is endless.  And instead of living a healthy lifestyle, people instead say…..”No, give me that hammer….I want to hit myself in the head some more.”

People who have never been to prison cannot imagine how horrible it must be to live behind bars.  Likewise, people who embrace a healthy lifestyle cannot imagine how horrible it must be to live unhealthy and carry all the baggage it brings.  The first step in successful weight loss is reprogramming your brain.  Chances are you are not thinking clearly.

Many factors come into play with the return of muscular strength.  Weakness could have originally be caused by nerve involvement, atrophy from lack of use, stretch weakness, pain, or even fatigue.  Likewise the return of muscular strength can happen because of recovery from a disease process, healing of nerves after injury or trauma, hypertrophy of muscle fibers, increase musculature from exercises, or increase in strength after a stretch or strain has been relieved.

Musculoskeletal conditions often show patterns of muscle imbalances. This could be imbalance in strength, flexibility or both. Imbalance that affects body alignment is an important factor in many painful postural conditions. In the human muscle anatomy, imbalance may result from occupational or recreational activities in which there is persistent use of muscle, often without adequate exercise for the opposing muscle group.

“My mom was fat.”  I often hear this from overweight people, and sometimes it sounds like an easy way to condone an unhealthy lifestyle.  We do take on the genetics of our parents, but is obesity part of this genetic code?  Many professionals say no.

Consider that our genes only change about 2% every 20,000 years, and you can understand the critics that say genetics is not the biggest factor of obesity.  About 35% of American’s are obese today, but this was not the case 20 years ago.  And in 30 years it is predicted that 50% will be obese.  Is your genes changing this quickly, or could it be that we are eating about 152 pounds of sugar per year?  And 146 pounds of white flour!

Here is a segment from my TV show where a client spoke of her horrendous genes of obesity….

The general public often confuses ligaments for tendons, and sprains for strains.  Ligaments and tendons are two separate tissues in the human anatomy, with one of these connective tissues supporting one bony structure with another, and the other connecting muscles to bones.  When either of these tissues are injured, it is referred to as a sprain or a strain…but careful because they are not interchangeable and each term is specific to the type of tissue injured.  This video gives you an explanation of these two tissues of the human anatomy, and the correct terminology for describing injury to them.

105 year old man

This guy is 105 years old and just set a bicycling record in his age group of 14 miles in one hour.  Robert Marchand said that he could have done better.  His legs were not sore but his arms were from his “rheumatism”.

I feel bittersweet when I see things like this.  One side of me smiles from ear to ear in amazement and joy.  The other side of me gets extremely frustrated, as I see plenty of people less than half his age that come up with some kind of bull sh$t excuse on why they “can’t bicycle”, “can’t walk”, or “can’t exercise”.  The “excuse” used is actually the best damn reason why they should be doing something….bad knees, bad back, high blood pressure, etc.

With movement of the human body, the origin of the muscle is generally fixed.  When the origin is fixed and a muscle contracts, it will pull the insertion toward the origin.  This is always not the case however, as there are some instances when the insertion can be fixed, which will cause  the origin to move toward the insertion.  This is often the case with strength training exercises.  For instance, when doing a chin-up, the insertion of the bicep (near the elbow) is fixed, and the origin is getting pulled toward the insertion.  This is not the case with a traditional bicep curl, when the origin is fixed (near the shoulder), and the insertion gets pulled toward the origin.

How many New Year’s resolutions have you kept?  This is the time of year where mainstream gyms are packed with those chasing the scale…wanting to lose weight.  It drives the regular gym users crazy, as everyone knows they will all be gone in a few weeks.  In my opinion, a New Year’s resolution of losing weight is a waste of time.  Or at least the way people go about it is.

I do not weigh people at Sensible Fitness, because this puts the focus on weight, and drives people to chase a number on the scale.  It also messes with your self-esteem when you gain a pound or two, and a scale does not measure self-esteem.  I have actually toyed with the idea of getting rid of the scales in the bathrooms.  Ask someone who is thin and lives a healthy lifestyle “how many times do you weight yourself each week?” and the answer could likely be “I do not weigh myself.”  A scale does not measure a healthy lifestyle, and a healthy lifestyle is what makes you thin.  So ditch the scale.

I challenge you to either add a healthy trait as a resolution, or get rid of an unhealthy one.  I have challenged a couple of clients to use a cutting board 5 of 7 days each week.  Why?  If you are using a cutting board, you are killing two birds with one stone.  First, you are shopping in the produce aisle, and this produce will need to be chopped up.  Secondly, you are cooking.  When the majority of your food comes from a box or package (processed food), or from a restaurant, you are NOT living a healthy lifestyle.

If you would rather ditch an unhealthy trait, consider never skipping breakfast or stop eating 3-4 hours before bed.  Strengthening, firming, sculpting, and boosting your metabolism happens in the gym.  Weight loss usually happens in the kitchen, as this is where most blow it!

Healthy oil for Cincinnati residents

I personally eat a very large salad every day for lunch, putting olive oil and balsamic vinegar on it for dressing.  I also use olive oil to cook with the majority of the time.  I did this because of the belief that olive oil was “healthier” than other oils.  But Dr. Fuhrman, a nutrition expert, says no!

Here is just a piece of what he says in an interesting article…

Olive oil is not a whole food—it is a fattening, low-nutrient, processed food, consisting of 100% fat. One tablespoon of olive oil has 120 calories, as do all oils. One-quarter cup has 500 calories. Healthy salads are definitely a way of life for people who want to lose weight or improve health, but many of the benefits of a salad are lost when the calorie count is increased ten-fold with oil.

Olive oil polyphenols (like the polyphenols from berries and other plant foods) have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activity.  Also, because olive oil is rich in monounsaturated fats, using olive oil in place of animal fat or other oils higher in saturated fat reduces total and LDL cholesterol.  When olive oil is substituted for animal fats, there is a reduction in risk because you are replacing a more dangerous fat with a less dangerous fat. Olive oil is a better choice than animal products or other vegetable oils, however nuts and seeds are a better choice than olive oil.

Top your salad with nuts and seeds instead of olive oil.

Nuts and seeds, are associated with reduced cholesterol levels and dramatic protection against coronary heart disease and sudden cardiac death. Since fats help you absorb the nutrients in vegetables, replacing the olive oil on your salad with nuts and seeds reduces cardiovascular risk and calories absorbed while providing the maximum nutrient value from the salad.  In addition to increasing the absorption of nutrients in vegetables, nuts and seeds supply their own spectrum of micronutrients including plant sterols, minerals, and antioxidants. Plus several seeds and nuts (flax, hemp, chia, walnuts) are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, beneficial for heart and brain health. Some seeds—flax, chia and sesame in particular—are rich in lignans, plant estrogens that protect against breast cancer.  Nuts and seeds also promote a healthy weight and protect against diabetes.  Replacing olive oil-based dressings with vinegar, fruit and nut-based dressings are definitely the way to go. Nuts and seeds, not oil, have shown dramatic protection against heart disease. We need to get more of our fats from these wholesome foods and less from processed oils.

To see this entire article, click here.

Researchers have found that a honey and water solution can be a useful weapon in fighting infections in hospital patients.  They have found that this solution can stop bacteria from forming on the plastic catheters of patients.  They are also looking into flushing catheters with this honey dilution to keep them clean while they remain in the bladder.

Honey has been used as a natural antiseptic for centuries, and also has been used to treat burns and wounds.  Even at the low dilution of 3.3%, the honey solution stopped the bacteria from clustering together.  Nobody knows exactly how or why honey works as an antibacterial.

The researchers are currently looking into how well the bladder will tolerate honey, as not to irritate it.

raw blue ash ohio honey

The bad news in 2016 was that I lost 3 hives.  This could be because of beekeeper error, but my mentor says it could just be “beekeeping”, as you never really know why this happens.  While I was letting all 3 of these lost hives build up honey stores for the winter, when they die, guess who gets the honey?  You do!  All clients got a bottle of honey for Christmas this year.  This honey was simply put through a strainer to filter out wax or pollen particles, and is as raw as it can get.  Super sweet stuff!

For those newsletter readers that are not clients, let me explain the Uncle Donkey’s honey name.  When my young nephew could not pronounce Uncle Dougie, “Uncle Donkey” was born…HEE HAW!

This is the time of year to prepare for spring by building more hive structures if needed.  I am set and will be capturing a couple of swarms this spring to have a total of 3 hives…being optimistic that my current colony will survive the winter.

Your patella is more that just a kneecap.  Take a minute to watch this quick lesson….

Betty zipling

85 years young!  At 85, Betty decided to try zip-lining and loved it.  After going once, she exclaimed “That was fun!  Can we do it again?”, and of course she zipped a second time.

The employees said they had never seen someone her age go zipping before and offered a few extra free passes for next time!

The quality of life that health and fitness gives a person is the ultimate reward.  For myself as a trainer, and for the client that gets to live large.

Kathy has lost over 100 pounds, but that is not the best part.

When Kathy started, she walked from our parking lot straight into the bathroom to sit on a toilet and rest…she was exhausted just walking a couple hundred feet.

Recently, Kathy worked for days including plenty of lifting in preparation for a fundraiser….but it gets better. The night of the fundraiser, she danced ALL night!    Kathy said that last year at the fundraiser, she only sat and watched people dance.  It was incredible to see this transformation in quality of life.

Kathy Dancing

Dan without diabetes

Not only did Dan insist on being put in our newsletter, but he also suggested that his achievement can compare to those of Jeremy Hedman, our most inspirational client of all time (his post is available if you scroll down a ways).

Dan is actually worthy of being in our newsletter, as he came in for a workout on Monday, had knee surgery on Tuesday, and then attended his normally scheduled workout on Friday.  While this does not put him anywhere close to Jeremy’s league, it is commendable and a statement of dedication to his health.  He is certainly making those that cancel for a measly “sore knee” look bad, when he comes in just a few days after surgery.

skip-workout

My best story of all-time with “refusing to cancel an appointment” comes from April Kerley.  April was born with only one hand, and while in a foot race in here against another client, twisted her ankle and broke her foot.  Now imagine a woman with one hand and one foot, using a crutch, hobbling around yet never missing a single workout.  April came to Sensible Fitness to prepare for the Paralympics in Beijing, China, and successfully represented the United States.

The knowledge and experience of Sensible Fitness means that you never have to miss a workout!

Time for me to vent a little bit.  Most people associate weight loss with starving themselves.  Itsy-bitsy portions, and always being hungry…never satisfied.  BULL CRAP!  Now if you are eating calorie dense food, portion control is a huge factor in losing weight, as most people eating a traditional American diet are pounding down sugar, fat, and salt.  But if you are eating healthy, many of your food selections will have unlimited portion sizes.

doug-sidechest-close

But can you lose weight will eating huge portions sizes?  Oh hell yes!  First let’s be more specific.  I am talking about losing fat, and not necessarily losing “weight”.  Most people diet away a bunch of muscle with their fat, and end up with a super-slow metabolism.  With the proper nutrition program, you will eat so much you will be sick of eating, and still lose fat.

Case and point.  Here is a picture of me as Mr. Ohio, with about 2% body fat.  During this phase in my training, my portions for meals were HUGE.  A dozen egg whites with oatmeal, three times a day.  Two full chicken breasts with pasta and veggies twice a day, a full bag of rice cakes…all examples of massive quantities.  And I lost fat.  While this is an unrealistic example of a diet for you to follow, I do not want you miss my point.  Eating healthy means eating a lot.

Part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle includes the knowledge of nutrition that goes along with it.  And thinking that you have to eat like a bird to lose weight is totally false.  It all boils down to what you are eating!

While on the topic of weight loss, let’s touch base on the holidays.  The holidays is not the time to focus on weight loss.  In fact, maintaining weight or just gaining a pound or two is a victory!  You should not deprive yourself of holiday festivities, but at the same time it is not a “get out of jail free card” for gluttony.  Thanksgiving dinner is only one meal, so that will not have a big impact unless you turn it into a feast over several days.  Enjoying the multiple parties and holidays in December/January will have a greater impact, but remember it is not the time between Thanksgiving and New Years that make you fat….it is the time between New Years and Thanksgiving.  Lifestyle, lifestyle, lifestyle!

Here is a graphic that Patty shared with me that is a great visual to this topic….

weight-loss-diet

Exposure to bright light can lead to greater sexual satisfaction in men who have low sexual desire, a new study suggests.

Scientists from the University of Siena in Italy found that using a light box, similar to those used to treat some forms of depression, increased testosterone levels.  And this led to greater reported levels of sexual satisfaction.

The researchers carried out their study on 38 men who had been diagnosed with disorders which cause a lack of interest in sex.

One half of the group was treated with a light box, while the other half was treated with an adapted light box which gave out significantly less light.  They were treated for half an hour early in the morning for two weeks.

When they retested the participants, they found that the group exposed to the bright light tripled their sexual satisfaction scores while the control group’s scores stayed roughly the same.

Light therapy is where a special lamp called a light box is used to simulate exposure to sunlight. A light box contains very bright fluorescent tubes – usually at least 10 times the intensity of household lights.  They are commonly used to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.

Some people seem to need a lot more light than others for their body to function normally.

In the northern hemisphere, the body’s testosterone production naturally declines from November through until April and then rises steadily through the spring and summer with a peak in October.  You see the effect of this in reproductive rates, with the month of June showing the highest rate of conception. The use of the light box really mimics what nature does.

Men should avoid looking directly into the sun, no matter how good it feels, as this can cause blindness.  Ha, ha!

The gift that keeps on giving would certainly be a healthy lifestyle.   It could be a session or two to learn a program to do on your own, or a package of sessions to insure a successful transition into thinner, firmer, healthier, and happier person.  From now until December 15th, we are offering 20% off of your gift certificate purchase for a new client.

20% off personal training

Experts have recently found that milk from a Tasmanian devil can kill hard-to-treat infections (superbugs), including MRSA.

They believe the peptides in the milk help their young grow stronger, as they are raised in very dirty environments.  These peptides have also been found in the milk of wallabies, opossums, and they are now looking at koala’s.

A recent review has warned that by 2050, superbugs could kill one person every three seconds across the world unless critical action is taken.

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This is a great article forwarded to me from a client that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.

Click here to read it.

A giant hairball was found in a 38-year old Arizona woman’s stomach, after she developed sudden vomiting and constipation.  During this, her stomach swelled as it filled with liquids and gas.

Surgery revealed a 6”X4” hairball in her stomach and a smaller one in her small intestine.

There are not a lot of documented cases of “Rapunzel syndrome” which is caused by people eating their own hair.  This syndrome has two elements to it. One being Trichotillomania, which is the irresistible urge to pull out hair, and Trichophagia, which is compulsively eating hair.

Although incredibly rare, Rapunzel Syndrome usually is seen in children under 10 years of age.

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As winter approaches, the population of the hive decreases and all the boys (drones) are kicked out, as they are useless this time of year.  The only time they are really needed is in the spring and summer when a queen needs mated, otherwise they perform absolutely no duties around the hive.

As the temperatures drop, the bees form a cluster around the queen and buzz their wings to generate heat and keep her warm.  The temperature in the hive will stay 92 degrees, no matter how cold it gets outside.  The cluster will migrate around the inside of the hive to reach the stores of honey, which they eat to survive.

It is not advised to open the hive until the temperatures get above 55 degrees in the spring, although some beekeepers take a quick peek to look for low honey stores, which could require emergency feeding.  Many colonies die of starvation in winter and especially early spring, before flower plants give them a food source again.

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If I had to pick one person to represent the success of Sensible Fitness, it would be Jeremy Hedman. Hands down. Nobody else comes close.

Imagine waking up in a hospital of a foreign country, missing an arm, needing a ventilator to breath, unable to communicate, and not remembering anything from recent history. This is only an abbreviated version of injuries to Jeremy who was in a tragic industrial explosion, while working in Brazil for a local company. But from Jeremy’s life changing tragedy, comes a story of triumph and inspiration.

In 2008, Jeremy was admitted into a Brazilian hospital, after an industrial furnace he was working on exploded, traumatically amputating his right arm, crushing his trachea, causing head/brain injuries, sternal fracture, two collapsed lungs, ruptured jugular vein, trauma to his aorta and subclavian arteries, and damage to his spine. Others were killed.

After spending a lengthy term in a Brazilan hospital, he was transported to Cincinnati, where his hospital stay continued. To add insult to injury, it became apparent that Jeremy had suffered a stroke at some point in time, causing catastrophic loss of muscle control throughout his body, which disastrously included his only remaining arm.

Without the use of muscles in his left arm, Jeremy’s independence and quality of life would be minimal.  The muscles that straighten his elbow, and the muscles that control his wrist and fingers were non-functional.  This means that Jeremy could not perform the simplest of tasks.  Imagine not being able to straighten your elbow or to use the muscles in your only remaining hand.  You could not reach for and pick up a fork, a toothbrush, or a tissue to blow your nose.  You become dependent for everything.

To increase his functional ability, Jeremy underwent a series of surgeries to transfer muscles in his left arm.  The biceps, a muscle that bends the elbow, was detached and moved to help assist in straightening the elbow.  Other muscles were also moved that gave him minimal control of his wrist. Still more were moved simply to allow him to move his fingers.  While these surgeries increased his ability to move his elbow, wrist, and fingers in some directions, it hindered his ability to move in others.  Simply put, you cannot rob Peter to pay Paul when it comes to function….something pays the price somewhere.  None-the-less, the surgeries were the lesser of two evils.

After post-operative physical and occupational therapy, Jeremy was discharged, while still being severely limited in his ability to perform many of the daily tasks that you and I take for granted.  He remained largely dependent on others, and had a diminished quality of life.

This is when Jeremy’s employer, being dedicated to his full recovery and providing all means necessary, brought Jeremy to Sensible Fitness.  Knowing of our education and experience, and also that we embrace challenges, hoped that something else could be done to help him.

Jeremy walked through our doors barely able to walk to the bathroom independently, and had the simplest of goals. He wanted to be able to walk through Wal-Mart without getting tired, and he wanted to fasten his own seat belt.

Putting together a plan of attack for Jeremy’s program was not easily done. It took a few sessions to simply figure out which muscles were working and which were not, as his medical records did not agree with the reality of what I was seeing from a functional sense. Jeremy jokingly said that his medical records should simply say, “broken”.

Exercises for Jeremy had to be uniquely designed, because of his compromised functional ability. When muscles that gives your body a certain motion are not working, you have to strengthen accessory muscles and find other means to accomplish the task at hand. More and more exercises were developed as Jeremy’s fiancée (now wife), Amber, shared her thoughts on improving his day-to-day function, as she was witnessing his struggles first hand.

Jeremy had horrendous balance issues from his injuries. He also could not pour his own glass of milk, or even get up from the floor independently. As time went on, Jeremy’s list of goals increased, yet remained simple goals of performing daily tasks. Weeks into his program, Jeremy was gaining more function, as his muscles were getting stronger. As he got stronger, more advanced exercises could be added, that further enhanced his abilities. The goal of fastening his seat belt was reached, and a new goal of being able to drive was established.

Jeremy had no use of his chest muscles, and was unable to completely turn a steering wheel to the right. Again a series of unique exercises were developed, which included turning a 100 pound suspended weight plate that mimicked a steering wheel.

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Today, Jeremy is not only fastening his own seat belt, but he is also driving independently.  He is getting up from the floor independently (with weights added), and pouring his own glass of milk.

And what about Jeremy’s goal to walk through Wal-Mart without getting tired?  To date Jeremy has completed four 5K (3.1 mile) walks, and recently celebrated a belated honeymoon in Yellowstone that included much walking.  Amber also says he is not dropping and breaking dishes like he used to, because his grip/arm strength is greatly improved.

Jeremy is in continual total-body pain from the trauma to his central nervous system, and he never speaks a word of it.  He will have this pain for life.  Even though he is always hurting, Jeremy comes to every personal training session and does everything that we ask of him, without complaint.  He is happy to have the ability to perform the exercises we give him.

Jeremy is an amazing man, and has humbled many clients at Sensible Fitness, as the modest ache or pain does not seem worthy of complaint after seeing the challenges he overcomes each and every day.  He demonstrates incredible courage and bravery….you know, the stuff movies are made of.  I am proud to say he is my most incredible client ever, and my friend.

A two-year study was performed to find the effectiveness of wearing a FitBit, or other fitness tracker.  500 people were split into two groups, with one wearing a fitness tracker.  By the end of the trial the group wearing the tracker had lost less weight than the group not wearing the device.

Although the popularity of fitness trackers is growing, there are very few studies that look at their results.  One study done by the University of Pittsburgh found that volunteers who wore the device lost 8 pounds, while the control group (not wearing) lost 13 pounds.

A drop off in the usage data occurred as the study went on, suggesting that the novelty of the device wore off.  The doctor leading the research also thought that people might become fixated on exercise while wearing the device and not concentrating on nutrition as well.  “You might think to yourself ‘I’m being more active, so now I can eat a red velvet cupcake’”, said Dr. Jakicic.

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For the exception of taking folic acid and vitamin D, multivitamins taken during pregnancy do not boost the health of mothers or babies.  And surprisingly, too much vitamin A can cause harm to the baby.

Researchers made these statements in Drug and Therapeutics Bulletin, saying they looked at all evidence.  A balanced diet of fresh fruits and vegetables is recommended along with folic acid and vitamin D supplementation.

They recommend women resist the marketing claims that taking multivitamins will give their baby a better start in life.

A neuropsychopharmacologist from London, David Nutt, claims that a synthetic he patented will eliminate hangovers completely.  “Alcosynth” will be dispensed into your cocktail and you will enjoy all the pleasure without damaging your heart or liver.  Alcosynth affects the brain in a similar way to alcohol, Nutt says, but doesn’t cause mouth dryness, nausea, headaches or other long lasting health issues.

Critics are very skeptical, saying, “there’s no free ride in the brain” and feel some other side effect will present itself.   They added there are plenty of ways to consume alcohol that do not result in a hangover, and the incentive to chose something that is “hangover free” is low, unless you are a binge drinker.

Nutt says that his product can completely replace alcohol by 2050.

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Exposure to germs often strengthens the body’s immune system and this is the explanation for nail biters and thumb suckers having less allergies among 1000 people followed in New Zealand.

About 1/3 of the children followed until age 32 were nail biters or thumb suckers, and by the age of 13, were significantly less likely to have allergies. This protection appears to last into adulthood.

In a study done at Sensible Fitness, we found that biting the nails of a personal trainer has been proven to boost your immune system the most, and Doug is currently booking appointments in 5 minutes increments

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Odor analysts have determined that polyester gets much smellier than cotton or wool. But sweat is not to blame, because sweat itself does not stink. It is the bacteria that live in your armpit and groin that produce the funk.

Up to 300 types of bacteria inhabit your armpit. Some are associated with normal body odor, while others produce more unpleasant smells. Interestingly, the bacteria that has a “normal” smell is more prominent in a female armpit, while men tend to have more of the stinky version.

But why does this affect your clothes? Natural fibers like cotton absorb moisture (and stink) where they are trapped and cannot reach our noses. Not the case with the moisture wicking synthetic fabrics, which do not absorb moisture. Instead they attract oils from your sweat, which sits on your clothing like a buffet, waiting for stinky bacteria to eat it up.

The Sensible Fitness beehives are down to one.  Mid-summer, I lost a queen in two hives and am not sure why.  This led to the loss of both hives, since it is too late in the year to introduce a new queen and get the populations back up for winter.

While I have not ruled out being a bad beekeeper, my mentor who has tremendous experience says no, it is just a part of beekeeping.  The remaining hive has been treated again for mites and appears healthy and strong.  It has plenty of honey to survive the winter, which is a primary concern.

In a month, I will need to prepare the hive for the colder temperatures of winter.   I will be sharing those chores with you in the next newsletter!

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