Sudden cardiac arrest is associated with sexual activity far more often in men than women, research suggests.  But sex is a rare trigger for sudden cardiac arrest.

Only 34 out of the 4,557 cardiac arrests examined occurred during or within one hour of sexual intercourse and 32 of those affected were men.

Dr. Chugh said his study is the first to evaluate sexual activity as a potential trigger of cardiac arrest.  The research was presented at a meeting of the American Heart Association.

A cardiac arrest happens when the heart malfunctions and suddenly stops beating. It causes someone to fall unconscious and stop breathing and unless treated with CPR, it is fatal.  This differs from a heart attack, where blood flow to the heart is blocked.

It is known that sexual activity can trigger heart attacks, but the link with cardiac arrest was previously unknown.

Dr Chugh and his colleagues in California examined hospital records on cases of cardiac arrest in adults between 2002 and 2015 in Portland, Oregon.

Sexual activity was associated in fewer than 1% of the cases. The vast majority were male and were more likely to be middle-aged, African-American and have a history of cardiovascular disease.

Read the entire article, by clicking here.

You are burning calories from the time you get up every day.

Let’s say you are an avid exerciser and remain active all day. At day’s end what has burned the most calories?

Does the answer change if you live a sedentary life and only walked to the couch to watch the rebroadcast of Iowa demolishing Ohio State in football?  If so, what has burned the most calories at the end of the day for this person?

Answer:

Whether you are an avid exerciser and live an active lifestyle, or are a sedentary individual, the answer is the same!

Your resting metabolism will burn more calories on a day to day basis than any exercise program or activity ever will. Your resting metabolism is the calories burned to support life….breathing, digestion, heart pumping, healing, etc., etc..

Some facts about metabolism….
1. Overweight people have a slow metabolism. Wrong. Actually because of their increased mass, they can have a higher metabolism.

2. A slow metabolism is the cause for being overweight. Wrong. While there are very rare cases of metabolic disorders that could be the cause, lifestyle choices are what makes most people overweight. Genetics and some medications can also contribute.

3. Weight training to increase your muscle tone and mass will increase your metabolism. While not many calories are needed to keep fat “alive”, muscles are hungry for calories to keep themselves sustained. If your increased muscle tone only burns a measly 50 calories a day, that adds up to over 18,000 calories a year, the equivalent of over 5 pound of fat per year.

If you are trying to lose weight, calorie reduction and cardio will have the quickest results, while weight training will provide the biggest benefit for the long-term.

overweight man

If you are expecting me to tell you to restrict your calories and give up holiday treats, you are wrong. While the holidays are in no means a “get out of jail free card” when it comes to calorie consumption, you should most certainly enjoy the fine food and drinks that accompany the season. And yes, you will gain weight.

Depriving yourself is not a part of a healthy lifestyle. Deprivation only leads to more desire for the “forbidden fruit” and this often leads to binging when you inevitably break down.

The holiday season should be treated the same as a vacation. A time to enjoy yourself, which includes dietary treats! Gaining a couple of pounds should not make you feel guilty or ashamed. Guilt and shame are emotions that often fuel unhealthy eating behaviors. Accept the few added pounds, tighten up the lifestyle after the holidays, and the weight will come back off over a few weeks.

For those of you currently overweight, you must realize one thing. It is not what you eat between Thanksgiving and New Years that makes you overweight. It is what you eat between New Years and Thanksgiving. Those 11 months are your lifestyle.

I do not believe in depriving anyone of tasty foods or trying to make Thanksgiving dinner a low fat meal, what kind of celebration is that? Instead, I suggest that you look at Thanksgiving in the same light as this feast’s origin in 1621, a single meal.

To gain one pound of fat you have to eat 3500 more calories than you burn. Therefore, if you put on a “few” pounds, it tells me that maybe your Thanksgiving celebration is more than a single meal.

Many people eat more than typical on the days prior to the holiday, enjoy a gluttonous feast on the holiday, and then have days of leftovers afterward. Halloween is a perfect example. You do not gain a few pounds from the candy you eat on Halloween night, but rather from the candy you nibble at for the weeks surrounding it. Substantial weight gain at Thanksgiving is a reflection of this type lifestyle choice and usually not a single meal or a single day.

My best advice is to have your lifestyle include a consistent exercise program with the foundation of your every day eating habits being good, clean, healthy foods so that when you “celebrate” it has little or no impact. A well-established exercise program is a very effective shock absorber for the extra calories. I tell all of my clients that if you exercise and eat healthy on a consistent basis, you can and should enjoy special occasions.

Here is a light-hearted way of thinking about it. A “moment” is a brief period of time, and we all have “moments” when we cheat on our diet. But when these moments are too frequent or too long, they become “moo”-ments and we start looking like a cow!

Whether you are currently living a healthy lifestyle or not, it is important to enjoy the time with family which includes the delicious foods that this single meal celebration brings with it. And don’t be alarmed if you weigh significantly more the day after Thanksgiving as the foods that are high in sodium may have you retaining some water. So stay off the scale for a day or two!

It is what you do on the days that are NOT holidays, that make you overweight!

It is common for those overweight to jokingly say “I don’t have abs!”  The fact is….yes you do!  Everyone has the same musculature in the mid-section, but not everyone can “see the 6-pack”.  There are a couple of reasons why you might not be able to see your abs, and this video will reveal them both.  Yes, you too can see your abs, but it demands a lifestyle that is more rigid than most.  Are you willing to pay that price?  Is it worth it?

While many people tend to put on a few pounds over the winter months because of decreased outdoor activity, there are many dedicated individuals who brave the cold and refuse to let the weather be an excuse for a decreased fitness level. While the risks of exercising in the heat have many risks, there are also special considerations that you should be aware of when exercising in the cold.
While extreme cold does have legitimate dangers of hypothermia and frostbite, exercising in the cold mainly has many unwelcome complications. This would obviously include having proper insulation, but also modifications before, during, and after training.
No matter what the temperature is outside, you should always dress to maintain comfort during the activity, and not for the start of the activity before peak body heat is reached. The first layer of clothing should be a fabric that wicks sweat away from the body, while the middle layers should have strong insulation properties. The outermost layer should be zippered, which can be opened as your body heats up. The goal is to stay warm without having a significant sweat accumulation in your clothing. Much heat can be lost through the head so proper covering is essential, along with protection for areas in danger of frostbite such as the ears, fingers, and toes.
When exercising in the cold it is recommended to take the extra time needed to warm up your core temperature, to consider wind direction and velocity, and to avoid prolonged exposure to the cold after your activity. If you are training in windy conditions it is a good idea to “go out” facing the wind and to “come back” with the wind at your back which limits your exposed skin to wind chill while being sweaty. Any veteran cold weather exerciser will tell you that no matter how cold it is you will sweat if you are exercising at proper intensity!
After exercise it is important to add clothing or seek a warm environment. When you stop exercising your body heat production stops while at the same time the amount of heat loss remains high. This can lead to hypothermia.
Exercising in cold enough temperatures to reduce your core temperature can impair endurance exercise performance, while brief exposure to cold or training in a cool climate can actually improve performance. Optimal performances in long distance cycling and running events usually occur in cool climates.
The colder weather is not a reason to stop exercising, but is often instead used as an excuse. Ha, ha.

Exercise is known to be beneficial to bone health but there is reluctance to use high intensity programs in older women with low bone mass because of the risk of fracture or other injury. A new Journal of Bone and Mineral Research study found that only 30 minutes twice a week of high intensity resistance and impact training improved functional performance and bone density, structure, and strength in postmenopausal women with low bone mass, without adverse effects.

The results indicate that closely supervised exercise training interventions of this type are effective and safe for bone.

“We were delighted to find that even women with very low bone mass could tolerate the high loading required to increased bone mineral density as long as it was introduced gradually with close attention to technique,” said Dr. Belinda Beck, senior author of the study. “The simultaneous improvement in functional performance suggests our exercise program provides dual protection from osteoporotic fracture by also preventing falls.”

Of course, we at Sensible Fitness have known this for decades and encourage the proper intensity and exercise form.  You have probably heard us say “no challenge, no change”, and this certainly goes for increasing bone density.  When a tissue or bone has a challenging stress put on it, it encourages the structure to become stronger to handle this stress.  This is why we encourage the last few reps of your exercises to be very challenging.  Let’s say your goal is 15 reps, but you could probably get to 20 if gave it 100%….well then, you need to increase the weight being lifted.

When a new person starts with us who has been exercising on their own, but not getting results, we start their workouts on the high side of moderate intensity.  This is simply because we do not know their abilities and want to be safe.  But 99.9 times out of 100, even at moderately-high intensity, this client will say “I never push myself this hard”.  One of the biggest mistakes/oversights a person can make with exercise is not using proper intensity to get results.  This reinforces the importance of a trainer, because you will always work harder when someone is keeping an eye on you.  High intensity exercise, with proper form, is not dangerous and will not “bulk you up”.  Simply put, high intensity exercise gives you results.

Article source: Click here

Something as simple as a feces sample reveals whether you can lose weight by following dietary recommendations characterized by a high content of fruit, vegetables, fibers and whole grains. This is a finding of a new study conducted at the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

The bacteria we all have in our gut may play a decisive role in personalized nutrition and the development of obesity. This is shown by several studies that have delved into the significance of these bacteria.

“Human intestinal bacteria have been linked to the increasing prevalence of overweight and obesity, and scientists have started to investigate whether the intestinal bacteria can play a role in the treatment of overweight. But it is only now that we have a breakthrough demonstrating that certain bacterial species play a decisive role in weight regulation and weight loss” says Professor Arne Astrup, Head of the Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sports at the University of Copenhagen, Denmark.

If you want to read this article in full, click here for the full article.

A statement that I often hear is…”For weight loss, it is 90% diet and 10% exercise”. Is this true? Watch this video to learn the truth!

wax moth larvae

These cute little worms are the larvae from wax moths.  And they are not cute or little.  When a beehive is weakened, because of low bee populations for example, the wax moth can enter the hive and lay eggs.  When the eggs mature they turn into these larvae.

The wax moth larvae have a ferocious appetite for beeswax, which is the foundation of the comb that bees store their honey.  This can destroy a hive in no time.  I found the pictured destruction in one of my hives and am currently working on saving the hive.  I am trying to combine 2 weak hives into 1 strong hive.  The problem is that if there are any unseen wax moth eggs, the problem will continue.  Wish me luck!

This is a great time of year to reflect. We are far from the “holidays”, so what you are doing right now is your lifestyle, and it is your lifestyle that is the biggest influence on your health and appearance.

And being a fitness guru, I can’t help but reflect on the changes in the health and fitness industry. You have heard the cliché “the more thing change, the more they stay the same”. This certainly holds true in the weight loss world.

Just look at dieting in the last decades. Many years ago, the Adkins Diet was going full steam. Although originally written in 1972, it did not gain popularity until the early 90s, when the desperate overweight community was tired of the fat-free craze. The term “bad carbs” was coined, and everyone blamed their fatness on the carbohydrate. The poor, innocent, nutritious, and healthy carbohydrate was the scapegoat. Everyone should have instead stood in front of the mirror and uttered the words “bad choices”, instead of “bad carbs”.

The Adkins Diet faded and other diets gained popularity. South Beach Diet is one, but go to the local bookstore or Google the term “diet”, and you will find thousands. Diets change, but the thing that stays the same is that people are searching for something magic. Constantly searching for the diet that will let them keep their unhealthy sedentary lifestyle, yet somehow magically end up with a naughty beach body.

Like diets and life in general, the more exercise gizmo’s change the more they stay the same. Promises of easy weight loss and muscle toning, either without exercise, or with only minutes a day. The sad thing is that people are so lazy, and desperate to be thin, that they do not see through the lies. They stimulate the economy with purchases of diet books that will be partially read, and exercise contraptions that will collect dust.

weight loss book

I mentioned before that people are always desperate and searching for an easy way to maintain fitness. To validate this, I included the cover of a book that I found in the attic of a house. The copyright date of this book was 1941, and they were sucking people in then, with the same empty promises you hear today. People 70 years ago were looking for an easy way to get results in 10 days or less. This should be wake up call for anyone who has tried a fad diet, or an exercise program promising easy results.   Give up on the idea of anything changing your appearance without dedication and work being involved. You are wasting your time.

I ask you to think about what direction your fitness is going. As we enter the final years of a decade, now is a great time to reflect. What size were you in 2010? How much did you weigh? This gives you an excellent picture of the direction you are heading, and the quality of life you will have in 10, 15, 20 years if everything continues.

If there is one thing I would like you to take out of this article, it would be that small changes to your lifestyle will add up to big changes over time. What if 10 years ago you quit eating late night meals, gave up the snacking habit, or started eating a healthy breakfast? Where would you be today if you took your time, but stayed on track toward a healthy lifestyle over the past 10 years?

Listen to me. Implement the KISS technique: Keep It Simple Stupid. Make one positive, yet permanent change to your lifestyle every few months. Do this and you will win the battle.

Many often ask which form of strength training is better, free weights or machines.  They both are advantageous, but one may help you more than the other, depending on your ability and fitness goals.  I think this video will help you get a stronger understanding.  Enjoy!

Lisa before and after weight loss

Lisa came to us in her 50s and has since totally transformed.  Proof that it is never too late!

To learn more about her story, you can click here.

weight gain from choices

I interviewed a intern from Germany on my TV show who spoke openly about gaining weight when she came to America. She said “You people sit all the time. You even sit and get food handed to you through your car window.” Proof of this is pictured….the line at Dunkin’ Donuts went all the way around the building this morning.

Today’s tip: if it is handed to you through your car window…IT IS CRAP, NOT FOOD!

Emily started coming to us while still in high school, and now at 22, still has the personality that shines.  When I would not let her take this statue home, she decided to compete against it in a bodybuilding pose-down.  The judges had her winning by 4 points!

Fitbits and other fitness tracks miscalculate calories burned by a huge amount! The best models are off by 27%, and the worst by 93%.  This can be disastrous should a person adjust their calorie intake based on this information.  The good news is that many fitness devices did a decent job in monitoring heart rate.

To read the entire article, click here!

The fallacy of personal training is that a “certified” personal trainer could easily lack even the most basic knowledge.

There is currently no regulation of personal trainers, no liability insurance requirements, nothing. Anyone can claim to be a personal trainer. Go ahead and print your own business cards and start today. There is no law stopping you. And to become “certified”, means you only have to one test, offered by an organization that also has no regulation.

I am not sure why the government requires your hairdresser or manicurist to go to college, pass a state board exam and be licensed, but not a personal trainer. Are there risks of heart attacks and musculoskeletal injury that I am unaware of when you get your fingernails painted?

Human anatomy and physiology is incredibly complex, and I am sorry, but passing one test does not make a person qualified, or anywhere close to being called an expert. Nor does taking a weekend workshop and then being called a “specialist” in post-partum, senior fitness, functional training, etc.

The lack of regulation is largely why the lucrative income of the personal training industry has many trainers with very little knowledge of anatomy and physiology, but plenty of experience in bull sh#$ing their way through.

Am I out to slam the certified personal trainers of the world? Certainly not, as many are exceptional and highly qualified. But I feel it is important for the public to be aware of the truth regarding the qualifications of those in the industry, so they can place their health in the right hands.

If you have an ache or pain, should your trainer know the musculature and kinematics of the involved joint in order to improve this problem? Should they know what to avoid? Should they know enough about the anatomy of the lumbar spine to avoid movements that can lead to a herniated disc? The answer should be “yes” to all these questions.

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.

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