Saturday, December 28, 2013

Peace, Love and Contentment


Everyone desires to be at peace, to be able to deal with disturbing situations and people. Below, Dr. Kim provides some valuable insights on how to live and deal with others who we perceive as 'difficult'. It's excellent advice but there is one thing about his advice, you,we, have to work at making it ....work. Ultimately though, we will find the effort is more than worth it.

"All behavior is motivated by love or by a need for love.
Whenever someone gave me reason to feel angry, sad, anxious, or fearful, I was able to slow my thoughts and emotions down, remind myself that my antagonist was likely deprived of love, and choose to respond with kindness and understanding.
Okay, maybe I wasn't able to do this every time I felt I was wronged, but I was definitely on a plane of thinking and being that Jesus Himself would likely have appreciated. I was in the zone that Gandhi must have been in while he was allowing himself to get physically smacked around.
Here's the thing: Over the past decade, whenever I have been able to purposefully respond with a generous heart in situations where most sane people would have given me full license to respond with righteous anger, I have always been able to walk away with peace in my heart. Always.
I think that this is the magic of taking the high road. Sometimes, it's human to want to call out mean-spirited and rude behavior. You feel like you need to preserve some self respect. But interestingly, I have yet to feel like I lost anything by diverting or even absorbing bad energy and being compassionate.
Put another way, I have found that peace of mind is a natural consequence of choosing to be kind in every circumstance (And sometimes, being kind entails walking away in silence).
Without exception, in situations where I haven't been able to pause and control the urge to let someone know that he or she just generated some bad karma, I've walked away feeling worse for having "stood up for myself." In such situations, I guess I, too, was motivated by a need for love.
Also interesting is that I've found that the more good energy I put out there, the deeper my well of good energy seems to become. Consciously choosing to walk with a forgiving and compassionate spirit really seems to fortify the intention to lift others up.
This reminds me of the "what do you get when you squeeze an orange" idea. You get orange juice, of course, because that's what's inside an orange.
If we have love and compassion within, love and compassion is what will come out of us when we're squeezed.
Clearly, choosing to give out love doesn't happen naturally all the time. It takes work. It takes daily effort to stay in this zone. I find that I have to fill myself up with uplifting thoughts on a regular basis. I think this is why I tend to have my best days when I begin by reading from anything that inspires me to inspire others.
And when I don't do this work, when I don't take time to consciously choose to give out love rather than demonstrate a need for it, I find that it becomes super easy to slide back into being a reactive person who is easily offended by anything that threatens my ego.
So I guess the main thought that I want to share is this: if you're ever feeling crummy and you're looking for a way to feel at peace, try going back to the well, the well that fuels you to be gentle, understanding, generous, and humble.
Even when you are clearly wronged by someone, I can almost guarantee that if you put your hurt feelings away for just a moment and respond with a gentle, understanding, generous, and humble spirit, you will be better for it. And you can spend the rest of your day knowing that you did your part to create healthy energy for someone else.
I've long believed that consistently feeling peace within is the most important requirement for optimal health. Never mind the toll that emotional stress takes on our physical health; without inner peace, how can any of us consistently make healthy choices?
Here's a short list of books that, over the years, have become steadfast sources of inspiration for me to get back or stay on track in living with a giving spirit:
The Art of Loving, by Erich Fromm
The Prophet, Kahlil Gibran
The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, by Dr. Stephen Covey
A Course In Miracles
You Can Heal Your Life, by Louise Hay
And we can never go wrong in meditating on the following passage on love from the first book of Corinthians, chapter thirteen:
Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.
Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.
One funny thing about love that I've observed over the years is this: the more we give it to others, the more it comes back to us from all over. And the more we demonstrate a need for love by getting easily offended, the less it seems to flow our way.
To the magic of finding inner peace by giving love."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Yes You Can


"No matter what your limitations, no matter how your body looks or feels -- even if you've been in a slump for a year -- if you're willing to undergo the initiation necessary to develop your talent, you will become a body mind master. All the qualities are within you. You may have to direct more energy and time then someone else does in order to bring out the right qualities, but you absolutely have the capacity to do it."

The ability to achieve what you desire exists within you, the big question is,do you really want it?

Saturday, December 21, 2013

The Truth

"No door remains forever locked against the man of indomitable will and courage. What we most lack is the power to continue: continuity and perseverance--the never quit spirit allied to intelligence is the secret key to success: not great natural endowments,powerful friends and favourable environments." By Percy Cerutty.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

A Few Thoughts On.....Vanity

"Vanity, all is vanity." These words are attributed to Solomon, reputed by many to be one of the wisest men who ever lived. It only takes a look around to see that there is a lot of preoccupation with self these days. I mean, we've been told for years by so-called mental health experts that we have to look out for #1(me) first.

This world is loaded with evidence that vanity abounds, for instance:
Some might call the way one dresses or the fact that a person has a multitude of visible tattoos as being examples of vanity. Others would say that an obsessive preoccupation with how and what you eat would be another. I recently spoke at length with someone who was very concerned with what they ate, and what they didn't eat. It seemed as if their vegan diet was a focal point of their life and represented who they were as a person.

Here's my take on all this: it's okay to be concerned with your health and appearance, you should be, but, there are things that are equally as important,  like being civil, patient, polite and caring with other people, people you are not related to. Also,how 'bout working on cultivating greater honesty, integrity and compassion with the same zeal that you study the ingredients on a  box of food at your local high end grocery store?

Many of us need to think of others more, and ourselves less.




Saturday, December 14, 2013

7 Important Requirements For Healing


Learning what it takes to get healthy and stay healthy is an ongoing learning process, consider the following by Dr. Kim:

After badly dislocating my left shoulder while playing basketball during my first year of university, I began experimenting with a variety of strength-training techniques for my shoulders. Over the course of several years, I tried numerous routines that called for dozens of exercises with free weights and machines.
While I benefited from each program that I tried, I eventually realized that some exercises were more powerful than others in their overall effect on my physical strength. For example, I found that doing just a few sets of full body weight pull-ups was far more effective at strengthening my shoulder rotator cuff muscles than doing a dozen or more sets of dumbbell exercises that aimed to work just one rotator cuff at a time.
This was an important lesson for me - the idea that with any objective in life, when a willingness to experiment is combined with mindful observation of one's progress, it's possible to discover ways to most efficiently experience desired results.
When it comes to recovering from any chronic health challenge, there are a number of steps that you can take to align your daily choices with healing. But some steps can produce a greater positive effect on your health than others. What follows are seven action steps that I believe can most efficiently help you heal from any chronic health challenge and keep you healthy over the long term:
1. Reduce or eliminate intake of harmful foods.
In my experience, foods that must be avoided when looking to recover from a health challenge are:
  • Pasteurized dairy products - includes milk, cream, all types of cheese, ice cream, and baked goods that contain pasteurized dairy.
  • Deep fried foods - includes French fries, potato chips, fried chicken, tempura, donuts, and frozen foods that were originally made by deep-frying.
  • All products that contain hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils.
  • Highly processed luncheon meats and sausage.
  • Artificial food additives, especially MSG and aspartame.
  • Products that contain protein isolates - found mainly in protein powder products and soy-based vegan products.
Foods that should be eaten sparingly, if at all, include:
  • Sugar - includes baked goods, packaged foods, and drinks that are rich in sugar, like most commercially available breakfast cereals, fruit drinks, and pop.
  • Large portions (more than 3 ounces per day) of factory farmed beef, chicken, and pork.
  • Non-fish seafood - includes crab, lobster, shrimp, mussels, clams, and oysters.
How to mark your progress: At the end of each day, take note of how many times you ate one of the foods listed above. The goal is to start by avoiding all of these foods for one day during the week, and then to increase this to two days the following week, and to continue with this gradual progression of "clean" days of eating until you consistently reach six days of clean eating per week.
2. Strive to eat nutrient-rich foods that agree with your body.
For every morsel of food that you ingest, you want to maximize the number of health-promoting nutrients that you provide to your cells; your body's self-healing and self-preserving mechanisms are best supported by a regular supply of undamaged amino acids, fatty acids, vitamins, minerals, and other plant-based compounds.
Here is a sample one-day menu of a nutrient-rich and health-promoting diet:
Breakfast:
Smoothie made by blending 1-2 bananas, 1 cup blueberries, 1 cup strawberries, 1-2 cups of unsweetened nut or organic soy milk, and any food-based powder supplements that are available to you. (We add 1 tablespoon of greens and 2 teaspoons of acerola cherry powder to our morning smoothies.)
Lunch:
Salad consisting of any type of leafy green lettuce, avocado, and a healthy salad dressing.
Hummus sandwich made by spreading a generous dollop of creamy hummus on gluten-free bread, and adding some slices of sweet red onion and ripe tomatoes.
Dinner:
Plate of assorted steamed vegetables like broccoli, sweet potatoes, zucchini, asparagus, and green beans with a tahini dressing.
Omelette made with organic eggs and chives, cooked over low to medium heat with a tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil.
Snacks:
Raw pecans, goji berries, ripe fruits like mangoes and melons.
Clearly, there are endless varieties of nutrient-rich foods that you can mix and match to create health-supporting meals. The guiding principle to follow is to eat mainly fresh, plant-based foods, and to consider eating small portions of one or more high quality animal foods that your body is able to digest without difficulty.
How to mark your progress: As described in the previous section, aim to eat only nutrient-rich meals at least one day a week to begin with. At a pace that you are comfortable with, aim to get to a point where you are eating only nutrient-rich meals six days a week. When you get to six days of healthy eating per week on a consistent basis, if you don't have any health challenges, feel free to enjoy a meal or two that may not be super healthy one day per week. Allowing one "cheat" day per week if your health can handle it may be good for your overall health for a variety of reasons, such as enjoying relationships with people who are important to you but who aren't as mindful of healthy eating.
3. Chew well.
Over the years, I've worked with a number of people who followed a nutrient-rich diet but had significant issues with their digestive tracts. A good percentage of these people experienced dramatic improvement by adopting the habit of chewing their foods to near liquid.
Simply put, chewing well is essential for healing because it increases the availability of nutrients in the foods that you eat to your cells. If you don't chew well, it's quite possible that many of the nutrients in the foods that you eat are going through your digestive tract without getting into your bloodstream to nourish your cells.
In cases where thorough chewing is not possible due to dental issues, I encourage regular use of a blender or food processor to ensure optimal access to the nutrients in the foods that you eat.
How to mark your progress: Take note of how comfortable your body - particularly your abdomen - feels after your meals. Thorough chewing tends to promote comfortable digestion with minimal or no gas production. Also take note of how long it takes you to eat your meals. If you're able to eat an entire hummus sandwich and a green salad in five minutes, you can safely assume that you're not chewing well.
4. Get as much physical rest as your life circumstances allow.
The single most important experience in my personal health journey thus far was a 2-week water fast that I experienced in the late 90's, which was directly followed up by a 3-week period of eating nothing but fresh fruits, vegetables, their juices, and a few grain dishes like quinoa and brown rice.
Spending a total of five weeks focusing on giving my body as much physical rest as possible allowed my damaged and exhausted organs to recover and learn how to function optimally again.
Regular physical rest promotes healthy endocrine function, including the release of optimal amounts of health-promoting hormones like growth hormone, testosterone, and erythropoietin - these hormones are essential requirements for your body to heal damaged organs.
Your body is always doing its best to restore your health with whatever energy and resources are available to it. The more rest you get, the more your body is able to heal damaged areas - it really is this simple.
While doing a water fast in a peaceful environment is an ideal way to experience rejuvenating physical rest, just arranging your lifestyle to allow for restful sleep each night can make an enormous difference to your healing potential.
How to mark your progress: You can know that you are getting adequate physical rest if don't consistently feel tired. If you get more sleep but still feel tired, continue prioritizing physical rest, as your body may need to catch up on many hours of sleep debt that you have accrued over time.
5. Don't forget about getting sufficient emotional rest.
If you're getting plenty of physical rest but experiencing significant emotional distress on a regular basis, you are still using up precious energy and resources that could otherwise be used to support healing.
Emotional distress equals greater activity within your sympathetic nervous system, as well as greater output of stress-related hormones like cortisol. And higher-than-necessary sympathetic ouput along with a high level of cortisol in your blood can make it near impossible to recover from chronic health challenges. In fact, these conditions are likely to worsen existing health challenges, and even create new ones.
Getting adequate emotional rest can be more difficult than getting sufficient physical rest because it can sometimes require that you find ways to transcend deeply-rooted emotional scars and issues. Getting over an abusive relationship or any other emotionally traumatic experience may be one of the most difficult challenges that you face during your lifetime.
If you need help with this area of your life, here are some articles worth reviewing:
How to Protect Your Health Against Toxic Behavior
How Chronic Emotional Stress Can Ruin Your Health
How to mark your progress: Take some time each evening before you go to bed to sit or lie quietly while you take note of how peaceful or anxious you feel. It's fine to feel anxious about new and exciting experiences; what you don't want is to experience chronic anxiety. The goal is to get to a point where you feel peaceful and balanced more often than not.
6. Discover and pursue personally meaningful purposes.
I have long believed that it's difficult for most people to stay motivated to make healthy dietary and lifestyle choices without something to look forward to each day.
If you don't currently have interests or responsibilities that drive you to take good care of your health, I encourage you to spend time thinking about moments when you felt deeply appreciated by another person. Whatever you did to have someone appreciate you can be a good starting point when looking to discover and pursue a meaningful life purpose.
For more guidance on finding your unique life purpose, please feel free to read:
Finding Your Unique Life Purpose
How to mark your progress: Take note of how you feel when you wake up each morning. Do you feel excited about the day ahead? If not, spend more time thinking about personally meaningful pursuits, particularly those that involve helping others help themselves.
7. Support your bones, muscles, and ligaments with regular physical activity, acupressure, stretching, and foam rolling.
If your daily responsibilities don't require regular physical activity, I encourage you to find a form of physical activity that you truly enjoy and that causes you to perspire to some degree. Strive to make time for this activity at least a couple of times per week. Doing so will provide essential stimulation to your entire body to stay healthy, but particularly to your bones, muscles, ligaments, heart, blood vessels, and lungs.
For guidance on how to use self-applied acupressure to support the health of your nervous system, view:
Three Acupressure Points that can Significantly Improve Your Health
For tips on preventing injury while stretching all of your major muscle groups, view:
Active Isolated Stretching
For our full archive of foam rolling and stretching tips, have a look here:
Stretching and Foam Rolling Archive
How to mark your progress: In striving to be physically active and using tools like acupressure, stretching, and foam rolling, the goal is to feel light, strong, and flexible, like you can work all day hauling bricks, or jog or run several miles if an emergency called for it. Take note of how physically free and capable you feel on a daily basis and modify or maintain your efforts accordingly.
Beyond the seven action steps described above, avoiding recreational drugs and getting regular exposure to sunlight (without getting burned) and fresh air are additional measures that can facilitate optimal healing.
The main idea that I hope has come across is that by being mindful of your daily choices, you can facilitate efficient healing. The action steps listed above are ones that I strive to take every day to maintain my health. They're also the recommendations that I think anyone with a chronic health challenge should consider following before resorting to conventional medical treatments that involve drugs or surgery.
If you're relatively new to the idea that there's no better way to support health recovery than to consistently make healthy food and lifestyle choices, please feel free to spend some time reading the articles that are referenced throughout this one. And if you're currently working to overcome a chronic health challenge, I hope that this article helps to inspire and fuel your recovery.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Count Your Blessings

We've got it good in this country. We have it so good that it is easy to take things for granted. I catch myself each day taking things for granted.
Being at the top of your game mentally and physically involves focus, determination, accountability, and hopefully, being thankful and not taking things for granted.
Consider the following:

There's 1 death every 14 seconds in this country.

1 out of 5 people in this country struggle to put food on their table.

1.4 million people will be diagnosed with cancer in the U.S. this year.

Hate to be the good humor man here but you get the picture. So---the boss or spouse or someone else is giving you a hard time---maybe you hate your job or your kids are making your life less than pleasant--remember this--it could be a whole lot worse.
Be thankful that you have within you the ways and means to deal with the situation and change your life---IF--you really want to. That's the key word--If.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Depression

Fascinating insights are offered below as to the causes of depression. I particularly like #5.
Fortunately, people today are becoming more aware of the fact that to treat depression you must have an idea of what may be causing it. The answer doesn't lie in just taking an anti-depressant. We must always seek to deal with the cause of the problem first, not the symptom.

Depression is increasing at a rate of 20% annually.

Why has depression become such an issue? Here are eight reasons that are backed by scientific evidence.

1. Toxic food: Poisoning your brain so it cannot function properly

Processed junk food is scientifically connected to depression. A University College London team researched the relationship between depression and diet.

They discovered that people who regularly eat foods such as sweetened desserts, fried food, processed meat, refined grains and high-fat dairy products are 58% more likely to be clinically depressed.

Conversely, those who eat a diet rich in whole foods - fruit, vegetables and lean protein - are 26% less likely to be depressed.

A diet high in processed food is sorely lacking in key nutrition that allows your mind and body to function. Vitamin D, omega 3 fatty acids, magnesium, trace minerals...you don't find these in a pop tart.

2. Heavy metal toxicity: The silent saboteur

Conventional medicine does not consider the risk of heavy metal exposure. The truth is, there is no safe level of heavy metal exposure. If it is in your system, it is doing damage.

Heavy metals such as lead, mercury and cadmium are known to interfere with cognitive function, causing depression and other neuropsychiatric symptoms. These metals accumulate in the body over time, so it doesn't take a major exposure to do long-term damage.

This is an area that demands more research by the scientific community, although the evidence is mounting. See sources at the bottom of this article.

Search for heavy metal detox protocols if you think this applies to you. Common sources of heavy metals: mercury fillings, vaccines, lead-based paint (in homes built prior to 1978, cigarettes, contaminated fish, living near a landfill, working in a dentist's office.

3. Lack of nature: Avoiding what grounds your body

The UK based mental health charity Mind has discovered the 90% of people report significant emotional benefits from eco-therapy. Eco-therapy involves simple outdoor activities such as walking in nature and gardening.

A separate report released from UK charity Ramblers and Macmillan Cancer Support found that as little as two and half hours of walking or gardening per week can save lives by lowering stress levels and keep you healthier and happier.

Another study done by the University of Colorado at Boulder suggests that camping in nature for a week resets your biological clock, brings out positive hormonal change and makes you more mentally alert.

We are disconnected from nature. Our bare skin rarely touches the earth, rarely soaks up sunshine. We live indoors attached to electronic devices and it is affecting our mind and moods.

4. Psychological attachments: Unwittingly seeking old, familiar misery again and again

Psychological attachments occur when feeling miserable is more familiar (and therefore more pleasurable) than feeling good.

If you were raised in an emotionally dysfunctional family, then you were forced to internalize the negative messages you received. These were painful messages, to be sure.

As a child, what did you do with the constant onslaught of emotional pain? You did the only thing you could: you learned to tolerate it. In other words, you developed a tolerance for emotional angst, even though you hated it. This was your only choice at the time.

Now, emotional angst is the norm in your life. Your tolerance for it, coupled with a lack of familiarity for feeling wonderful, encourages you to make choices that keep in the realm of familiar misery.

In fact, because of attachments, many people simply cannot tolerate happiness. It makes them feel strange and scared.

Psychological attachments are the most overlooked mental health phenomenon of our day. Because of them, we unwittingly set ourselves up for misery, even though we are unhappy doing it! Learn about the self-sabotage that comes from these attachments by watching this free video.

5. Consumerism: Desiring stuff that makes you feel empty

Mass consumerism is a modern phenomenon created on purpose by Edward Bernays, the father of public relations. Bernays and his corporate clients had one goal in mind - to program people to desire things that they didn't need.

Bernays and crew called the quest, "the creation of happiness machines." If they associated consumer goods with happiness, status, wealth and power, then people would automatically begin to seek these products like little robots.

It worked. Welcome to America.

Of course, it has made us miserable. Science has proven that consumerism - seeking happiness in stuff that cannot provide happiness, then seeking more stuff to fill the ever-widening void - leads to chronic depression.

Research conducted at Northwestern University shows that people who place a high value on wealth, status, and material goods are more depressed, anxious and less sociable than those who do not.

Materialism is not just a personal problem. It's also environmental. "We found that irrespective of personality, in situations that activate a consumer mindset, people show the same sorts of problematic patterns in well being, including negative affect and social disengagement," says Northwestern University psychologist Galen V. Bodenhausen.

6. Lack of exercise: Willingness to feel lethargic

According to the Mayo Clinic, exercise reduces and prevents anxiety and depression. Moving your body releases feel good endorphins, helps with detoxification, and increases body temperature, which has calming effects.

Harvard University has done a study that reviews scientific literature back to 1981. They have concluded that regular exercise is beneficial for mild to moderate depression. It is easy to see how not exercising at all could lead you straight into its jaws.

Sadly 80% of Americans do not exercise regularly, according to the Centers for Disease Control.

7. Ignorance about feelings: Trapping negative emotions in your body

Feelings like sadness, hurt and grief are meant to be expressed. Unless you block them, they will originate in your torso, then begin to flow upward through your chest, throat, face and out of your mouth and eyes. The natural flow of emotions cleanses the feelings from your body and allows you to recover.

If for some reason you were taught that this natural process was bad, then you learned to block the emotional energy by tightening your stomach, chest, throat, shoulders and face. This effectively prevents the feelings from surfacing.

In other words, clenching and tightening traps the emotions in your body.

As more painful experiences occur, the damming of emotions continues. This requires and tremendous amount of energy. It creates chronic muscle tension. It's exhausting.

Of course, you end up feeling trapped, hopeless, isolated, and ungrounded.

8. It's a diagnosis: Promoting depression

Companies who sell drugs for depression are motivated. They want people to recognize symptoms of depression. They give it a name and package a remedy, then sell that remedy.

Labeling depression is a two-edged sword. For many, it is a relief to understand this the symptoms are something common and real. Others fall prey to the diagnosis. After offering their doctor a few examples of poor mood, the doc slaps on a label and prescribes, drugs. He is surely overlooking other options!

As more and more people are diagnosed, more and more people can fit their experiences into the depression box. Promoting the diagnosis may account for the rise in awareness of depression.

Knowing what you can do to feel better, but not doing it

The real crux of the matter with depression may be how clingy it can be. Many depressed folks can make a list of things they know they can do to feel a little better, yet they don't do those things.

This speaks to psychological attachments, the reasons why we cling to pain as if it were our friend. We've learned to be comfortable inside depression as if it were an old, familiar shoe. So, we avoid doing what it takes to recover.

Severe cases of depression are dangerous, even life threatening. It's not something that is necessarily easy to overcome, yet the causes seem clear. And there is much you can do to feel better.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Cheaters and Role Models


It's funny, I used to really love certain pro sports, now I never watch them. Maybe that just happens to many of us as we age. Actually, I find the major U.S. sports like basketball, baseball and football obscene. You can throw in professional track and field as well as world class marathoning and distance running as well. With the former, I find the millions of dollars paid a year to the athletes really tough to accept, and with the latter, the extensive drug use in T and F and big-time distance running is disheartening. Oh yeah--drug use is all over football and baseball too.
I've heard the argument that the owners of the pro teams make zillions of dollars so the  athletes should get their 'fair' share. No---they shouldn't. Tickets for games are so high that taking your family to an event costs much more than it should. Decent tickets to pro sporting events are not for the average Joe anymore. I could go on--like $60. for a pay per view sports event on TV--but why bother--the majority of sports fans don't even know they are getting gouged because they are too young to recall when sports events were reasonable and affordable. Today is all they have ever known. It sucks but I'm glad I've left it behind, besides, it's better to be a doer than a watcher.
On a related note, I came across the following and thought it was well worth reading. The author nails it. As far as the Ryan Braun reference in this article? He's a drug cheat with no shame that baseball teams are already angling for despite the fact the he got a lengthy suspension from MLB.
What a surprise!


Why sports stars should not be role models

By Martin J. Greenberg


It was difficult to explain to my 7-year-old grandson, an avid baseball and Milwaukee Brewers fan, why MVP Ryan Braun was no longer in left field. Violating the rules, trying to circumvent a level playing field by taking a competitive advantage and deceiving the public, his employer, teammates and friends was a difficult explanation for a 7-year-old to comprehend.

His response, however, was interesting: "I don't think Ryan Braun is my favorite player anymore." How disappointing it was to see the player possessed of Hank Aaron wrists take a shocking fall from grace.

It brings to light the ever-nagging problem as to how we view professional athletes. We should celebrate and emulate their on-field heroics. Dedication, physical prowess, work ethic, perseverance, sacrifice and teamwork are characteristics that set them apart. Professional athletes' on- and off-the-field flamboyance, larger-than-life persona and constant limelight presence make them unforgettable figures in our lives.

We are a nation in search of everyday heroes. We are a nation of sports wannabes. Professional sports give us the time and permit us to spend the money to escape the realities of our ordinary existence.

So prevalent and important is sports and the professional athlete that our youths make an attempt to mimic the behavior, lifestyles and dress of those athletically possessed. It's all about "Be like Mike."

But that's exactly where it should stop. It is most difficult to sustain a squeaky clean image for a professional athlete with today's non-stop media coverage and exposure, and it is even ever more difficult for athletes to escape the consequences of their errors. (Major League Baseball suspended 13 more players Monday as part of its Biogenesis investigation.)

Once the athletes leave the playing field, their lives may take on a different dimension. Professional athletes are just like you and me. They have all the foibles, human deficiencies, character flaws and closet shadows as do all other human beings.

Sometimes, the sports pages read like a criminal rap sheet with reports of anti-social behavior ranging from alcoholism, DUIs, sexual abuse, substance abuse, deceit, paternity, gambling and now even murder. Certainly some of our most idolized sports heroes have been great disappointments, such as Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Tiger Woods, O.J. Simpson and Pete Rose, to name a few.

By casting athletes as role models, we are setting ourselves up for disappointment. We need to readjust our expectations for athletes once the game is over. We require athletes to be more than what they are, and we scorn athletes for what they are not. Even worse, if they win, we forgive and forget.

Athletes get paid to beat opponents; athletes don't get paid to be paradigms of morality. In our sports-crazed society, too much emphasis is put on the athletic enterprise, Professional sports is a big business — one of the largest business enterprises in American society — and has become an industry of multimillion-dollar contracts and an invasion of corporate America. Let's not forget, we're talking about games and a form of entertainment.

Yes, maybe professional athletes should be role models, but they aren't. Former NBA player Charles Barkley said it so well, "I'm not a role model. Just because I dunk a basketball doesn't mean I should raise your kids."

We must put our perspectives in balance. Emulate doctors who save lives, lawyers who protect the constitutional rights of citizens, professors who light up bright minds, scientists who make life-changing discoveries, an artist who creates a work of art and the wealthy who share their fortune for a worthy cause.

The heroes in our life — those who we should place on an emulated pedestal — are those people who teach us right from wrong. Hopefully that is a parent's obligation to mold their children in their formative years and teach them responsibility and accountability. Responsible parents should be our real role models — not rock stars, Hollywood, celebrities or professional athletes.

We are a nation that forgives and forgets. We are a nation that grants second chances. We don't care if pro athletes screw up unless they screw up with the football in their hands. Don't confuse game statistics with character.

Braun will be given another chance to excel on the field, and we may forgive, but we will never forget.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Why Athletics Are Important

Leave it to Yiannis Kouros to remind us of the fact that sport can be more than it appears on the surface.The following is an excerpt from a recent news article:

'Yiannis Kouros, a brave and uncompromising soul, teaches us to endure the struggle with human nature as well, as he says "sport is a parallel of each feat of life." '

Saturday, November 30, 2013

A Little Encouragement

"Do not be discouraged because you may affirm that you were not born strong. It is true that some types seem to inherit the factor of physical strength, just as some seem to inherit more brains. However, life has taught me in very many examples I have known personally, that with some natural flair for anything at all we can achieve heights quite exceptional if we will only believe in ourselves, and do the essential work, find the true way."
"Indeed--those who are hell-bent to succeed are those who often do what others believe to be implausible or impossible ".  Percy Cerutty.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Most Important Message

With Thanksgiving and Christmas almost upon us, it's a good time to think and reflect, consider the following:
When people who were about to die were questioned about any regrets they had or anything they would do differently, common themes surfaced again and again. Here are the most common five:

1. I wish I’d had the courage to live a life true to myself, not the life others expected of me.
This was the most common regret of all. When people realize that their life is almost over and look back clearly on it, it is easy to see how many dreams have gone unfulfilled. Most people had not honored even a half of their dreams and had to die knowing that it was due to choices they had made, or not made.

It is very important to try and honor at least some of your dreams along the way. From the moment that you lose your health, it is too late. Health brings a freedom very few realize, until they no longer have it.

2. I wish I didn’t work so hard.
This came from every male patient that I nursed. They missed their children’s youth and their partner’s companionship. Women also spoke of this regret. But as most were from an older generation, many of the female patients had not been breadwinners. All of the men I nursed deeply regretted spending so much of their lives on the treadmill of a work existence.

By simplifying your lifestyle and making conscious choices along the way, it is possible to not need the income that you think you do. And by creating more space in your life, you become happier and more open to new opportunities, ones more suited to your new lifestyle.

3. I wish I’d had the courage to express my feelings.
Many people suppressed their feelings in order to keep peace with others. As a result, they settled for a mediocre existence and never became who they were truly capable of becoming. Many developed illnesses relating to the bitterness and resentment they carried as a result.

We cannot control the reactions of others. However, although people may initially react when you change the way you are by speaking honestly, in the end it raises the relationship to a whole new and healthier level. Either that or it releases the unhealthy relationship from your life. Either way, you win.

4. I wish I had stayed in touch with my friends.
Often they would not truly realize the full benefits of old friends until their dying weeks and it was not always possible to track them down. Many had become so caught up in their own lives that they had let golden friendships slip by over the years. There were many deep regrets about not giving friendships the time and effort that they deserved. Everyone misses their friends when they are dying.

It is common for anyone in a busy lifestyle to let friendships slip. But when you are faced with your approaching death, the physical details of life fall away. People do want to get their financial affairs in order if possible. But it is not money or status that holds the true importance for them. They want to get things in order more for the benefit of those they love. Usually though, they are too ill and weary to ever manage this task. It is all comes down to love and relationships in the end. That is all that remains in the final weeks, love and relationships.

5. I wish that I had let myself be happier.
This is a surprisingly common one. Many did not realise until the end that happiness is a choice. They had stayed stuck in old patterns and habits. The so-called ‘comfort’ of familiarity overflowed into their emotions, as well as their physical lives. Fear of change had them pretending to others, and to their selves, that they were content. When deep within, they longed to laugh properly and have silliness in their life again. When you are on your deathbed, what others think of you is a long way from your mind. How wonderful to be able to let go and smile again, long before you are dying.

Saturday, November 23, 2013

More on Protein

I know I've posted on this subject before but what you are about to read is vitally important to your physical and mental health. What you put into your mouth, or don't put into your mouth will effect you mentally and physically.... eventually. Most people believe that their nutritional 'sins'  will only effect their waistline. The reality is that it will impact every part of your body including your brain.
The following is in response to yet another person proclaiming the miracles of veganism. Just deciding you will eat no animal products whatsoever without thinking it through is at best foolhardy. A long term deficiency of quality protein in your diet will lead to premature aging, a lack of vigor, and eventually, a multitude of health problems.
I classify food faddists like I do those who espouse vegan or raw food diets as those who smoke or drink too much alcohol, just because they don't experience any ill effects from their personal choices currently they continue them.
Knowledge is power.




Protein 101: What It Is, Why You Need It

Proteins are known as the building blocks for the body. If you think about this phrase ‘building blocks’ for a moment you’ll understand the importance of continually giving your body the protein it needs to not only survive but to thrive. It’s what the entire body system is built upon.
Proteins are long chains of amino acids linked together by peptide bonds. These twenty different amino acids are each unique and perform specific and different services for the body. From digestion to the building of tissues and muscles, proteins are essential for the body to stay healthy and age well.
Vital organs, muscles, tissues and even some hormones of the body are made from proteins. Additionally proteins create hemoglobin and important antibodies. Proteins are involved in just about every body function from controlling blood sugar levels to healing wounds and fighting off bacteria. More recently many people tout high protein diets as a way to lose weight and get a flat belly too.
Simply put, without proteins life would not exist. If you don’t get the adequate amounts of proteins in your body on a regular basis (out of the twenty amino acids the body can only produce fourteen on its own) and from the right sources you’ll be certain to feel it not just short term (muscle weakness, fatigue, low energy) but down the line as you age too (cataracts, heart problems, weak muscles leading to falls, etc.)

Are You Getting the Right Kind of Proteins?

Knowing what to eat, how much, and when can be overwhelming for many. It seems today in order to stay healthy and keep your family healthy you need a degree in nutrition – and even with that there all seems to be conflicting evidence and studies. I want to help to simplify this sometimes confusing topic for you.
When it comes to protein there are a few basic guidelines to follow; first you must understand that you (and your loved ones) need to consume protein on a regular basis; secondly, you must eat the right kinds of protein for it to have the desired, positive impact on your health. With those two guidelines in mind, let’s explore the eight best natural sources of protein.

The 8 Best Natural Sources of Protein

Grass-fed beef

If you’ve been a regular reader of my articles then you already know that you should always be choosing grass-fed beef as opposed to the cattle that are fed grain and other foods they are not intended by nature to eat. In fact, standard practices in feeding cattle calls for including candy (wrappers and all), as well as other unsavory ‘foods’ (like recycled restaurant grease) in these animals’ diets. Grass-fed beef provides a complete protein for the body. That means the body can obtain all of the amino acids needed that the body cannot make on its own. Grass-fed beef has superior nutritional content than traditional grain fed beef. It also contains cancer-fighting CLA and healthy saturated fats. Other good sources of protein similar to beef include bison, venison, and lamb.

Organic chicken

Chicken is used often by body builders to do–what else–but build their muscles. As with the case above it’s vital to choose organic, free range chickens that eat natural diets and are not raised in unhealthy living conditions for the optimal nutrition content and to minimize exposure to toxins.

Free range eggs

Be sure you know the difference between the labels on your eggs. Free range, organic, and cage free do not have the same meaning. You want to be sure that you eat eggs that are from chickens living in the most natural setting. This means they aren’t mandated to their cages all day and night, they’re allowed to feed according to their natural instincts, and they are able to roam freely during the day. One way to ensure you get the healthiest eggs is to raise them yourself. It’s easier than most people think. You can also find a local farmer in your area who sells pastured eggs.

Wild salmon

Salmon is an excellent source of protein providing an average of 30+ grams per six ounce serving. It’s essential to choose wild salmon over farm raised salmon. The nutritional content of wild salmon is far superior and the risk of toxins is lower in wild salmon than in farm-raised salmon.

Nuts and seeds

Good ole nuts and seeds are great sources of protein. Almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds are all excellent sources of protein. Be sure to know the average amount of protein per serving as these are lower in protein count than meats, fish, and eggs.

Legumes

Beans such as kidney, lima, and lentils also provide the body with much needed protein. Many of these legumes are also very high in antioxidants as well.

Mushrooms

Often overlooked as a source of protein, mushrooms do give the body some protein. Again this amount is much lower than in many meats so you must be sure you’re consuming enough each day.

Raw dairy

Raw dairy products such as milk, yogurts, and cheeses are another excellent non-meat source of protein. Be sure you’re buying milk that is raw and not highly homogenized and pasteurized.
These above listed eight foods are the best sources of protein for you. Combine a variety of these foods throughout the week and you’ll be sure to be giving your body what it needs to maintain proper functioning today and into tomorrow.

A Word about Protein Powders

As with many nutrients we often look to supplements to ensure we’re getting enough of each. I always recommend looking to your diet first, but sometimes we need a little extra help. With protein powders (as with many supplements) it’s essential to choose the right one in order to help, not hurt the body.
Many protein powders you’ll find on the grocery or drugstore shelves are actually more harmful than helpful to your health containing toxins such as artificial sweeteners, food dyes, and unnecessary additives and preservatives. If you want to use a protein powder I suggest choosing a raw protein powder from a reputable company such as Raw Protein by Garden of Life. With a raw protein powder you get the most bio-available nutrition available from a supplement on the market.

Getting the Right Amount of the Right Proteins

The average recommended amount of protein a person should consume each day is based on the following formula: take your weight in pounds, divide it by 2.2, multiply that number by 1.5 and that equals the average amount of grams of protein you should consume each day.
But don’t get too caught up in the numbers. Remember, quality is more important than quantity!
Remember too when you choose your proteins to use the eight best sources listed above. Following the above list will ensure you’re getting the best kind of protein along with other healthy nutrients.

There are the fundamentals for everything, including nutrition.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Something To Think About


Leave it to the Mahatma (as in Gandhi) to speak the truth and tell it like it is---Contemplate the following:


7 Deadly Social Sins


Politics without principle


Wealth without work

Commerce without morality

Pleasure without conscience

Education without character

Science without humanity

Worship without sacrifice


Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Essence


The Four Secrets to Longevity

1.Energy balanced diet(do not consume more energy than you exert).

2.Physical activity.

3.Close knit human bonds,

4.A sense of purpose.

I like this list, I believe the author nails it as far as longevity. The big one for me and the one that I see over and over in other people is #4, a sense of purpose. People who have something they are passionate about doing, be it serving others, teaching, performing, etc., these are the people who live longer, and are most content. They have a quality and richness to their lives. I have, particularly as I've gotten older, had an interest in why people thrive and other seem to wither as they age.Having a purpose is the answer. I dare say that for many, a sense of purpose even makes up for their violating any one or more of the other 3 'secrets'.

In closing, is there a purpose to your life?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Brain Damaging Habits



To reach the top of our game, our brains have to be nourished and not abused. Writing this leads me to consider how incredible our bodies are, they can take a huge amount of abuse for decades without any apparent deleterious effects. But, sooner or later, you will have to "pay the piper" if this maltreatment continues.
So, what can we do, and not do to, to ensure brain health? The following is a great place to start.


1. No Breakfast
People who do not take breakfast are going to have a lower blood sugar level.
This leads to an insufficient supply of nutrients to the brain causing brain degeneration....

2. Overeating
It causes hardening of the brain arteries, leading to a decrease in mental power.

3. Smoking
It causes multiple brain shrinkage and may lead to Alzheimer disease.

4. High Sugar consumption
Too much sugar will interrupt the absorption of proteins and nutrients causing malnutrition and may interfere with brain development.

5. Air Pollution
The brain is the largest oxygen consumer in our body. Inhaling polluted air decreases the supply of oxygen to the brain, bringing about a decrease in brain efficiency.

6. Sleep Deprivation
Sleep allows our brain to rest. Long term deprivation from sleep will accelerate the death of brain cells.

7. Head covered while sleeping
Sleeping with the head covered increases the concentration of carbon dioxide and decrease concentration of oxygen that may lead to brain damaging effects.

8. Working your brain during illness
Working hard or studying with sickness may lead to a decrease in effectiveness of the brain as well as damage the brain.

9. Lacking in stimulating thoughts
Thinking is the best way to train our brain, lacking in brain stimulation thoughts may cause brain shrinkage.

10. Talking Rarely
Intellectual conversations will promote the efficiency of the brain.


I don't know about you, but there were several on this list I was unaware of.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Three Prerequisites For Success

If you want success you must:

1. Nurture an unshakeable belief in yourself. Far too many people really don't believe they have the ability to reach the goals they set for themselves.
Why others? Why not you?

2. Have a supportive environment. The people who are closest to you in your life should understand that you feel a need to accomplish something that you believe is important. They may not be able to relate to what you are attempting, but they should respect the fact that you are committed to doing something. Strife in your personal environment is toxic, it can sabotage your quest for success.

3.Confidence that you know you have done the necessary work. If you are an athlete, it's the mental as well as the physical work.
Here's the thing, for those seeking success, you are always learning, always evaluating. You are not living like the average Joe who works, goes home, eats, watches the tube, goes to bed and then repeats the process the next day.
There is a purpose and a passion in your life.

Sunday is a new week and potentially a new beginning.

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hard Times

I've noticed that a lot about getting to the top of your game mentally or physically depends on how you handle adversity. It's all about attitude and how you deal with the setbacks and roadblocks that inevitably arise. Those who take a fatalistic or why me approach are in serious danger of not reaching their goal(s).

Don't despair when times get tough because they are an opportunity to learn and grow as a person and recognize your limitations, limitations that can be overcome with time and work.

Again, it's all about your attitude.

It's easy to quit and leave your dreams unfulfilled. It's easy to become a watcher and not a doer, but it's more satisfying to live a life of purpose. Don't be one of those who live lives of quiet desperation.

Next post this Saturday.

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Alarming News!

I don't understand why the media gets pre-occupied with the stories it does. Politics and the bickering that goes on in Washington between two political parties seems to be what the media loves to cover. Two parties which appear to be only concerned with getting the upper hand and not with the best interests of its citizens.
The following story has for the most part been flying under the media radar. It has to do with the health of millions of people as well as the stability of our environment.
It relates to the impact of the Fukushima nuclear plant explosion (meltdown?) a few years back. If you feel I'm being an alarmist, simply Google anything relating to Fukushima and nuclear and you will see what I'm talking about.
A the end of this article I will leave a link where you can read more on this fascinating, yet frightening story.

For some who may have missed this, I will be posting stories on Wednesday and Saturday each week instead of daily.

Now for the story:

28 Signs That The West Coast Is Being Absolutely Fried With Nuclear Radiation From Fukushima

radiation
The map below comes from the Nuclear Emergency Tracking Center.  It shows that radiation levels at radiation monitoring stations all over the country are elevated.  As you will notice, this is particularly true along the west coast of the United States.  Every single day, 300 tons of radioactive water from Fukushima enters the Pacific Ocean.  That means that the total amouont of radioactive material released from Fukushima is constantly increasing, and it is steadily building up in our food chain.  Ultimately, all of this nuclear radiation will outlive all of us by a very wide margin.  They are saying that it could take up to 40 years to clean up the Fukushima disaster, and meanwhile countless innocent people will develop cancer and other health problems as a result of exposure to high levels of nuclear radiation.  We are talking about a nuclear disaster that is absolutely unprecedented, and it is constantly getting worse.  The following are 28 signs that the west coast of North America is being absolutely fried with nuclear radiation from Fukushima…
Fukushima Radiation
1. Polar bears, seals and walruses along the Alaska coastline are suffering from fur loss and open sores
Wildlife experts are studying whether fur loss and open sores detected in nine polar bears in recent weeks is widespread and related to similar incidents among seals and walruses.
The bears were among 33 spotted near Barrow, Alaska, during routine survey work along the Arctic coastline. Tests showed they had “alopecia, or loss of fur, and other skin lesions,” the U.S. Geological Survey said in a statement.
2. There is an epidemic of sea lion deaths along the California coastline…
At island rookeries off the Southern California coast, 45 percent of the pups born in June have died, said Sharon Melin, a wildlife biologist for the National Marine Fisheries Service based in Seattle. Normally, less than one-third of the pups would die.   It’s gotten so bad in the past two weeks that the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration declared an “unusual mortality event.”
3. Along the Pacific coast of Canada and the Alaska coastline, the population of sockeye salmon is at a historic low.  Many are blaming Fukushima.
4. Something is causing fish all along the west coast of Canada to bleed from their gills, bellies and eyeballs.
5. A vast field of radioactive debris from Fukushima that is approximately the size of California has crossed the Pacific Ocean and is starting to collide with the west coast.
6. It is being projected that the radioactivity of coastal waters off the U.S. west coast could double over the next five to six years.
7. Experts have found very high levels of cesium-137 in plankton living in the waters of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and the west coast.
8. One test in California found that 15 out of 15 bluefin tuna were contaminated with radiation from Fukushima.
9. Back in 2012, the Vancouver Sun reported that cesium-137 was being found in a very high percentage of the fish that Japan was selling to Canada…
• 73 percent of mackerel tested
• 91 percent of the halibut
• 92 percent of the sardines
• 93 percent of the tuna and eel
• 94 percent of the cod and anchovies
• 100 percent of the carp, seaweed, shark and monkfish
10. Canadian authorities are finding extremely high levels of nuclear radiation in certain fish samples…
Some fish samples tested to date have had very high levels of radiation: one sea bass sample collected in July, for example, had 1,000 becquerels per kilogram of cesium.
11. Some experts believe that we could see very high levels of cancer along the west coast just from people eating contaminated fish
“Look at what’s going on now: They’re dumping huge amounts of radioactivity into the ocean — no one expected that in 2011,” Daniel Hirsch, a nuclear policy lecturer at the University of California-Santa Cruz, told Global Security Newswire. “We could have large numbers of cancer from ingestion of fish.”
12. BBC News recently reported that radiation levels around Fukushima are “18 times higher” than previously believed.
13. An EU-funded study concluded that Fukushima released up to 210 quadrillion becquerels of cesium-137 into the atmosphere.
14. Atmospheric radiation from Fukushima reached the west coast of the United States within a few days back in 2011.
15. At this point, 300 tons of contaminated water is pouring into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.
16. A senior researcher of marine chemistry at the Japan Meteorological Agency’s Meteorological Research Institute says that “30 billion becquerels of radioactive cesium and 30 billion becquerels of radioactive strontium” are being released into the Pacific Ocean from Fukushima every single day.
17. According to Tepco, a total of somewhere between 20 trillion and 40 trillion becquerels of radioactive tritium have gotten into the Pacific Ocean since the Fukushima disaster first began.
18. According to a professor at Tokyo University, 3 gigabecquerels of cesium-137 are flowing into the port at Fukushima Daiichi every single day.
19. It has been estimated that up to 100 times as much nuclear radiation has been released into the ocean from Fukushima than was released during the entire Chernobyl disaster.
20. One recent study concluded that a very large plume of cesium-137 from the Fukushima disaster will start flowing into U.S. coastal waters early next year
Ocean simulations showed that the plume of radioactive cesium-137 released by the Fukushima disaster in 2011 could begin flowing into U.S. coastal waters starting in early 2014 and peak in 2016.
21. It is being projected that significant levels of cesium-137 will reach every corner of the Pacific Ocean by the year 2020.
22. It is being projected that the entire Pacific Ocean will soon “have cesium levels 5 to 10 times higher” than what we witnessed during the era of heavy atomic bomb testing in the Pacific many decades ago.
23. The immense amounts of nuclear radiation getting into the water in the Pacific Ocean has caused environmental activist Joe Martino to issue the following warning
“Your days of eating Pacific Ocean fish are over.”
24. The Iodine-131, Cesium-137 and Strontium-90 that are constantly coming from Fukushima are going to affect the health of those living the the northern hemisphere for a very, very long time.  Just consider what Harvey Wasserman had to say about this…
Iodine-131, for example, can be ingested into the thyroid, where it emits beta particles (electrons) that damage tissue. A plague of damaged thyroids has already been reported among as many as 40 percent of the children in the Fukushima area. That percentage can only go higher. In developing youngsters, it can stunt both physical and mental growth. Among adults it causes a very wide range of ancillary ailments, including cancer.
Cesium-137 from Fukushima has been found in fish caught as far away as California. It spreads throughout the body, but tends to accumulate in the muscles.
Strontium-90’s half-life is around 29 years. It mimics calcium and goes to our bones.
25. According to a recent Planet Infowars report, the California coastline is being transformed into “a dead zone”…
The California coastline is becoming like a dead zone.
If you haven’t been to a California beach lately, you probably don’t know that the rocks are unnaturally CLEAN – there’s hardly any kelp, barnacles, sea urchins, etc. anymore and the tide pools are similarly eerily devoid of crabs, snails and other scurrying signs of life… and especially as compared to 10 – 15 years ago when one was wise to wear tennis shoes on a trip to the beach in order to avoid cutting one’s feet on all the STUFF of life – broken shells, bones, glass, driftwood, etc.
There are also days when I am hard-pressed to find even a half dozen seagulls and/or terns on the county beach.
You can still find a few gulls trolling the picnic areas and some of the restaurants (with outdoor seating areas) for food, of course, but, when I think back to 10 – 15 years ago, the skies and ALL the beaches were literally filled with seagulls and the haunting sound of their cries both day and night…
NOW it’s unnaturally quiet.
26. A study conducted last year came to the conclusion that radiation from the Fukushima nuclear disaster could negatively affect human life along the west coast of North America from Mexico to Alaska “for decades”.
27. According to the Wall Street Journal, it is being projected that the cleanup of Fukushima could take up to 40 years to complete.
28. Yale Professor Charles Perrow is warning that if the cleanup of Fukushima is not handled with 100% precision that humanity could be threatened “for thousands of years“…
“Conditions in the unit 4 pool, 100 feet from the ground, are perilous, and if any two of the rods touch it could cause a nuclear reaction that would be uncontrollable. The radiation emitted from all these rods, if they are not continually cool and kept separate, would require the evacuation of surrounding areas including Tokyo. Because of the radiation at the site the 6,375 rods in the common storage pool could not be continuously cooled; they would fission and all of humanity will be threatened, for thousands of years.”
Are you starting to understand why so many people are so deeply concerned about what is going on at Fukushima?

http://www.slate.com/articles/health_and_science/science/2013/09/fukushima_disaster_new_information_about_worst_case_scenarios.html

 

Thursday, October 31, 2013

The Nescessity of Athleticism

Just a quick note to let everyone know that posts will no longer be out everyday but will be published each Wednesday and Saturday.


"I will go so far as to say that it is only the athletes, in this broad sense, who truly 'live'; who can savour life in all its aspects. And being fit, being an athlete, in no way debars one from being a poet, an artist, a musician, or any other creative endeavor." P.W.Cerutty.

To be at the top of our game mentally and physically we have to achieve a degree of fitness that is probably higher that what most people believe is necessary.

There is something special about the state one realizes when the body is optimally fit and the brain as been fed and challenged by reading, study and involvement in stimulating mental activities.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Yes You Can

Sometimes in our desire for success a little voice inside says that we don't have the 'goods' or the talent, that it's other people meant for success, not us. Consider the following by philosopher, coach and athlete, Percy Cerutty.  He worked with athletes of varying skills, talent and ages.

"I do admit freely, frankly and fully, that we are not all born equal in graces, brains and ability, but I do affirm that no power exists,  human or superhuman, that opposes the genuine aspirations and sincere attempts of any personality to advance itself."

In all of us is the ability to go beyond what we think we can accomplish.

Sometimes I wonder if saying we can't, really means, I don't want to bother trying, I don't want to make the effort.

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Keeping a Training Journal


For those who are serious about achieving athletic success, it is essential to keep a journal or diary. Consider the following:

"One of the reasons why athletes stop running,or training, is that they lose their belief in future development. Without a training journal, the athlete cannot see the pattern of training that preceded his own best performances and his own best seasons. Nor can he see the differences that led to poor performances and poor seasons. The diary keeps track of the quality and quantity of training and allows one to plan on which of these should be emphasized depending on event and time to train. Evaluations, predictions, comparisons, and future planning can be made with greater accuracy and reliability as a result of information accurately recorded in a diary. The benefits available are well worth the relatively small effort involved in the daily upkeep of a diary."

As I was forced to eventually admit, my refusal to keep a journal was because I was too lazy to keep one. Don't let that happen to you.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Two From Teddy

It's a short day today so I'm going to give you two from my favorite quotemeister--Teddy Roosevelt.
This man lived a full and robust life, in addition, he had a unique and special way of expressing himself.

“If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.”

“Believe you can and you're halfway there.”

The man knew what he was talking about--his quotes come from experience, not from speculation and dreaming.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Simple Rules

I recognize that many of my posts are filled with nutrition and related information but it is vital to be well informed in this area. Health and freedom from illness are never fully appreciated  until we become sick.
The beauty of it all is, is that what is needed to achieve optimal health is not difficult to understand or do. It's the implementation, at least in the beginning, that is difficult.

If you want to have a long, healthy life:


   Proper Food Choices: Generally speaking, you should be looking to focus your diet on whole,   ideally organic, unprocessed foods. For the best nutrition and health benefits, you will want to eat a  good amount of salads and raw fruits and vegetables. Avoid sugar, and fructose in particular. All forms of sugar have toxic effects when consumed in excess, and drive multiple disease processes in your body, not the least of which is insulin resistance, a major cause of chronic disease and accelerated aging.
I believe the two primary keys for successful weight management are severely restricting carbohydrates (sugars, fructose, and grains) in your diet, and increasing healthy fat consumption. This will optimize insulin and leptin levels, which is key for maintaining a healthy weight and optimal health.

           Regular exercise: Even if you're eating the healthiest diet in the world, you still need to exercise to reach the highest levels of health, and you need to be exercising effectively, which means including high-intensity activities into your rotation. High-intensity interval-type training boosts human growth hormone (HGH) production, which is essential for optimal health, strength and vigor. HGH also helps boost weight loss.
    So along with core-strengthening exercises, strength training, and stretching, I highly recommend that twice a week you do peak fitness exercises, which raise your heart rate up to your anaerobic threshold for 20 to 30 seconds, followed by a 90-second recovery period.
Stress Reduction: You cannot be optimally healthy if you avoid addressing the emotional component of your health and longevity, as your emotional state plays a role in nearly every physical disease -- from heart disease and depression, to arthritis and cancer.
    Meditation, prayer, social support and exercise are all viable options that can help you maintain emotional and mental equilibrium.
Drink plenty of clean water. Get a water filter, it's as important an investment as food.
Maintain a healthy gut: About 80 percent of your immune system resides in your gut, and research is stacking up showing that probiotics—beneficial bacteria—affect your health in a myriad of ways; it can even influence your ability to lose weight. A healthy diet is the ideal way to maintain a healthy gut, and regularly consuming traditionally fermented foods is the easiest, most cost effective way to ensure optimal gut flora.
Optimize your vitamin D levels: Research has shown that increasing your vitamin D levels can reduce your risk of death from all causes. You can get vitamin D from the sun but you must be cautious and sensible in regards to exposure.
Avoid as many chemicals, toxins, and pollutants as possible: This includes tossing out your toxic household cleaners, soaps, personal hygiene products, air fresheners, bug sprays, lawn pesticides, and insecticides, just to name a few, and replacing them with non-toxic alternatives.
Get plenty of high-quality sleep: Regularly catching only a few hours of sleep can hinder metabolism and hormone production in a way that is similar to the effects of aging and the early stages of diabetes. Chronic sleep loss may speed the onset or increase the severity of age-related conditions such as type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity, and memory loss.Too many people do not get enough sleep.

In closing--I know people who have a beautiful home, cars and clothes. They have no problem spending large sums of money on adult 'toys' yet are misers when it comes to buying quality food. What is wrong with that picture? It's a cliché but there is a lot of truth to the saying, 'we are what we eat'. Buying quality food is a better investment than buying a nice home or car because you are investing in your long-term health.

It's all about priorities and looking down the road.

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Oh Yeah



 "Each athlete and person is responsible for providing his own internal motivation. And nothing can compensate for the lack of will to fight when the situation demands. In every competition or life situation, there may be one moment(or more) when a person wants to quit and needs internal motivation to survive the crisis. Otherwise, the penalty is defeat.There is no defeat, no failure like ceasing to try."

Develop your will, find the way to develop your will, then personal success will follow.

The meaning of success is often highly personal, what constitutes success to one person, may seem like anything but to another.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Be Honest With Yourself

It's funny how we can get used to less than ideal personal behavior just because it  becomes a regular part of our lives.

Consider this:

Thoroughly check the conduct of your daily life. Really think about it.

Do you avoid responsibility?

Do you make excuses for your shortcomings and failures?

Do you lie or tell half truths?

Know this:

It takes a certain kind of person to face up to life's responsibilities.

The more one admits his own failures, the greater are his chances of doing something about them.

The definition and meaning of character is not quite what it once was, now there are 'conditional' things(excuses) that make allowances for behavior that was once considered a personal shortcoming.

Don't buy the lie, good character consists of qualities that are changeless.

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Consider This

To be at the top of your game mentally and physically, we must be willing to think and consider.

There is so much to learn from people who have travelled down the same road we are now on.

Take time and give give thought to the following:


"One should not torture himself over a single mistake. What is essential is one's presence of mind hereafter. When one makes a mistake, he should not be hesitant to correct it. Making a mistake and not correcting it, this is the real mistake."

"Do all things with patience."

 "The impatient athlete tends to be a self-defeating one."

 "Be master of mind rather than mastered by mind."

 "We do not rise to the level of our expectations. We fall to the level of our training."

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

More Than Just the Body

As I have said before, no one should consider missing a day of working out (training). It is as vital to your health and well being as eating and sleeping.
Too often what exercise does for the brain is overlooked in favor of building 'the body beautiful'.

"Exercise encourages your brain to work at optimum capacity by causing your nerve cells to multiply, strengthening their interconnections, and protecting them from damage. There are multiple mechanisms at play here, but some are becoming more well-understood than others.
For example, a number of animal studies, including the featured rodent study, have demonstrated that during exercise, the animals' nerve cells release proteins known as neurotrophic factors. One in particular, called brain-derived neurotrophic factor or BDNF, activates brain stem cells to convert into new neurons. BDNF also triggers numerous other chemicals that promote neural health. Further, exercise provides protective effects to your brain through:
  • The production of nerve-protecting compounds
  • Greater blood flow to your brain
  • Improved development and survival of neurons
  • Decreased risk of heart and blood vessel diseases
  • Altering the way damaging proteins reside inside your brain, which appears to slow the development of Alzheimer's disease. In animal studies, significantly fewer damaging plaques and fewer bits of beta-amyloid peptides, associated with Alzheimer's, were found in mice that exercised."
Work-out like your life depends on it because it does.

5k time trial--won't even get into the time here. 5 minute warm up and 10 minute warm down. Lots of walking and stretching after.

How was your day?

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

The Four Tenets of Athletic Bliss

I feel sorry for those who regard much of their training as being hard, unpleasant or worklike. I'll never forget a conversation I had with an outstanding runner from my hometown of Buffalo, New York, he said his training was like a job to him. I thought to myself, why train? I  no longer felt envious of his running success but glad that I wasn't him. It reinforced my belief that success in running couldn't be measured by time or how you finished. Thanks to C. Bergland for the following.

The Four Tenets of Running Bliss

1.Presence of positive emotions.

2.Physical pleasure.

3.Meaning or significance(you believe your activity is 'worthy' of your time and involvement).

4.Sense of achievement(no matter how small or insignificant that achievement may appear to others).

Live the life you love, do the things that are positive and edifying.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Aerobic Exercise

I frequently hear from certain people who say that aerobic work is overrated in regards to achieving a high degree of health and well being. It reminds me of what I heard the other day from two guys on TV who said that The Beatles, musically, were a 60's version of  'boy bands' like NSYNC and The Backstreet Boys. The stupidity of comments like that trigger a feeling of embarrassment that someone could be so ill informed to make such a remark. The same goes for those who say aerobic work is 'overrated'.
As a reminder, aerobic work means in the presence, or with oxygen. I'm not talking oxygen debt workouts here. Consider this:

"Everyone needs to be able to efficiently take oxygen into their lungs and blood and pump it to their working muscles where it is used to oxidize carbohydrates and fats to produce energy."

As far as weight workouts that build big muscles, is that the be all end all of exercise?

"How strong you are, how well-sculpted your body is, and how good you feel about yourself will not be sufficient consolation to you if you become seriously ill.
Your muscles are the primary target organ of aerobic training. Aerobic training increases the muscles' ability to use fat as a source of energy. Aerobic training improves the condition and efficiency of your breathing muscles and your heart ( the most important muscle)."

Ultimately it all comes down to this:

"When your muscles need oxygen, your aerobic (cardiovascular) system must be able to efficiently deliver it to them. When your body has waste products that need to be expelled (carbon dioxide and metabolic waste products), your heart lung complex must be up to the task. These two tasks form the functional basis of aerobic fitness."

There are so many other things aerobic training accomplishes.

Aerobic work is essential if you want to feel good and be healthy, it is the most important type of training you can do.

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Perseverance

As we strive to achieve our goals, the word perseverance always comes up. Do we recognize all that this word means or do we just say, 'oh, that's about sticking to it.' Well, there's more to it then that, consider the following:
"Perseverance means showing firmness, steadiness, determination, tenacity and backbone. Perseverance is the ability to endure adversity until the problem is overcome. Perseverance is remaining confident and faithful to yourself while the odds appear to be mounting against your chance of success. Perseverance is being able to progressively attack adversity in an intelligent aggressive manner until the task is mastered."

Although the above was written by Del Hessel  for athletes, it's obviously applicable to everyone.

 10 minute easy jogging warm-up followed by 25 minutes over a hilly course--10 minute warm down, stretching after.

How was your day?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Code of Conduct

Below are the traits needed to achieve athletic success, written by someone who achieved much:

* Dedication and Persistence.

* A passion and love for your chosen sport.

*Competitiveness.

*Focus.

* Strong work ethic.

The often forgotten trait, 'A passion and love for your chosen sport.' When you truly love your sport, the training rarely, if ever, seems like work.

Tomorrow begins a new week, for many, a new beginning.

Friday, October 18, 2013

Advice For Athletes and Other People

We all want to be at the top of our game mentally and physically. We all want happiness and contentment in life. The following is as good advice as you'll read on that subject. Very well put.

Here are Christopher Bergland's eight central tenets of a positive psychology of exercise. "If you live by these rules," he writes, "your life will be in good shape."
  1. "Take care of your body: "Get seven to eight hours of sleep, exercise for at least twenty to thirty minutes most days of the week. Respect yourself, don't be self-destructive."
  2. Family and friends: "Strong personal relationships mean more than money, status, or your job title…. Fortify your sense of community as an athlete and nonathlete. Join a club or a class at a local gym or community center."
  3. Laughter and levity: "People laugh thirty times more when they are in the company of others than when they're alone. Laughter heals, stress kills. Lighten up…. Have fun working out with people…. Trigger neurobiological joy by smiling when you work out. Smiling and laughing sends a signal to your nervous system that all is well and you're having fun."
  4. Look forward to something: "A sense of anticipation makes people healthy and happy. Put things on the horizon that you can look forward to. A sense of curiosity and eagerness gives you a sense of purpose and a reason to seize the day."
  5. Gratitude and simple joys: "Take time to count your blessings from little things like a good meal to big things like watching your children grow up…. Take pleasure in every breath and the celebration of being alive—the joy of movement and sweat."
  6. Do something well: "You want to hone a skill and become really good at something…. Mastery is the key to fulfillment. Mastering an athletic skill is an easy place to start, even if it is just becoming the best spinner in spin class or the best stepper in step class. Master it."
  7. Develop coping mechanisms for hardships: "The mechanism for getting through hard times is threefold: a belief that you are a survivor, an understanding that it is temporary, and a willingness to reach out for your support network."
  8. Give something back: "Try to practice selfless acts of kindness toward family, friends, and strangers every day. This can be altruistic—and should be—but it also creates a positive feedback loop of feeling generous and appreciated and will bring you reciprocated kindness."
Now for the challenge, actually incorporating it into our lives.

35 minutes running today with 8- 45 second pick-ups mixed in throughout the run--stretching and calisthenics after.

What did you do?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

The Big C

Cancer--just the word stirs up fear and anxiety in most of us. Cancer is on the rise in this country. Interestingly, each year billions of dollars are spent by mainstream medicine and society trying to find a cure while the answer is right in front of us. The real cause lies in our personal and environmental pollution. Consider the following if you are a skeptic, and remember, cancer was never the major disease that it is today. What has changed? The source of what you are about to read is from a medical doctor with an open mind and is someone who looks at the big picture. It's well researched data he offers, not just speculation.

"Based on studies of human remains ranging from 5300 B.C. to the mid-19th century, we know that cancer used to be quite rare.
This is not the case anymore... in 2012, more than 1.6 million new cancer cases are expected to be diagnosed, and more than 1,500 people will die from it every day. Cancer now accounts for nearly one out of every four deaths in the United States.1
What might surprise you is that even the American Cancer Society states that about one-third of cancer deaths could be prevented by making lifestyle changes, as they’re related to excess weight, physical inactivity and poor nutrition (and this does not even account for cancer related to smoking). In fact, the American Cancer Society said that Americans could realistically cut their cancer death rate in half by doing nothing more than making some simple lifestyle changes


15 Top Tips for Cancer Prevention
I believe the vast majority of all cancers could be prevented by strictly applying the healthy lifestyle recommendations below.



  1. Avoid sugar, especially fructose. All forms of sugar are detrimental to health in general and promote cancer. Fructose, however, is clearly one of the most harmful and should be avoided as much as possible.
  2. Optimize your vitamin D. Vitamin D influences virtually every cell in your body and is one of nature's most potent cancer fighters. Vitamin D is actually able to enter cancer cells and trigger apoptosis (cell death). If you have cancer, your vitamin D level should be between 70 and 100 ng/ml. Vitamin D works synergistically with every cancer treatment I'm aware of, with no adverse effects. I suggest you try watching my one-hour free lecture on vitamin D to learn more.
  1. Engage in regular exercise.  There have been loads of recent studies that show a very powerful effect of exercise in dramatically lowering your risk of cancer. It most likely does this through optimizing insulin and leptin signaling.
  2. Avoid unfermented soy products. Unfermented soy is high in plant estrogens, or phytoestrogens, also known as isoflavones. In some studies, soy appears to work in concert with human estrogen to increase breast cell proliferation, which increases the chances for mutations and cancerous cells.
  3. Improve your insulin receptor sensitivity. The best way to do this is by avoiding sugar and most all grains even organic ones as if you are one of the two thirds of the people that are overweight they could likely be worsening your insulin and leptin signaling.
  4. Maintain a healthy body weight. This will come naturally when you begin eating the right foods and exercising. It's important to lose excess body fat because fat produces estrogen.
  5. Drink a quart of organic green vegetable juice daily. Please review my juicing instructions for more detailed information.
  6. Get plenty of high quality animal-based omega-3 fats, such as krill oil. Omega-3 deficiency is a common underlying factor for cancer, and since most cancers have an inflammatory component, with up-regulated Cox-2 enzyme activity, omega-3 fats – particularly EPA – will directly interfere with the inflammatory process.
  7. Curcumin. This is the active ingredient in turmeric and in high concentrations it can be a very useful adjunct in the treatment of cancer. For example, it has demonstrated major therapeutic potential in preventing breast cancer metastasis.2 In fact, the biomedical literature now confirms that it has potential in preventing and/or combating well over 100 different types of cancer.3 It's important to know that curcumin is generally not absorbed that well, so I've provided several absorption tips here.
  8. Avoid drinking alcohol, or at least limit your alcoholic drinks to one per day for women, two for men.
  9. Avoid electromagnetic fields as much as possible. Even electric blankets can increase your cancer risk. Also be very cautious with your cell phone usage.
  10. Avoid synthetic hormone replacement therapy, especially if you have risk factors for breast cancer. Breast cancer is an estrogen-related cancer, and according to a study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute,4 breast cancer rates for women dropped in tandem with decreased use of hormone replacement therapy. (There are similar risks for younger women who use oral contraceptives. Birth control pills, which are also comprised of synthetic hormones, have been linked to cervical and breast cancers.)
  11. If you are experiencing excessive menopausal symptoms, you may want to consider bioidentical hormone replacement therapy instead, which uses hormones that are molecularly identical to the ones your body produces and do not wreak havoc on your system. This is a much safer alternative.
  12. Avoid BPA, phthalates and other xenoestrogens. These are estrogen-like compounds that have been linked to increased breast cancer risk, found widely in plastics, personal care products and other household goods.
  13. Watch out for excessive iron levels. This is actually very common once women stop menstruating, and also in some men. The extra iron actually works as a powerful oxidant, increasing free radicals and raising your risk of cancer. Fortunately, checking your iron levels is easy and can be done with a simple blood test called a serum ferritin test. I believe this is one of the most important tests that everyone should have done on a regular basis as part of a preventive, proactive health screen. Ferritin is the iron transport protein and should not be above 80. If it is elevated you can simply donate your blood to reduce it.
  14. Make sure you're not iodine deficient, as there's compelling evidence linking iodine deficiency with certain forms of cancer. Dr. David Brownstein,5 author of the book Iodine: Why You Need It, Why You Can't Live Without It, is a proponent of iodine for breast cancer. It actually has potent anticancer properties and has been shown to cause cell death in breast and thyroid cancer cells."
The most foolish thing we can do is to put off till tomorrow what we should begin today. The second most foolish thing? Saying that cancer only happens to 'other' people.

On a lighter note--45 minutes easy running through the park---a lazy day--stretching--walking and calisthenics after.