When Sports Illustrated recently reported on the performances and money winnings of the top ten professional golfers in 2012, Rory McIlroy came in at #1 with an average 18-hole score of 68.97 strokes. Not far behind was Ernie Els with an average of 69.87 strokes. Less than one stroke per round separated the two golfers, but the difference in earnings was huge. Rory had earned $2.4 Million so far in 2012; Ernie earned just over $700,000. By being slightly better—remember, we're talking only .9 strokes per round — Rory earned an additional $1.68 million!
This story speaks to me about the power of small changes. Slight modifications in lifestyle habits can add up to a big change in your health. A miniscule difference today — extending your walk by ten minutes, choosing an apple rather than a Danish - can make you feel better tomorrow. Add in slightly larger changes, like opting to reduce your stress with exercise rather than alcohol, and pretty soon you'll be adding years and vitality to your life. Remember, a healthy lifestyle is evolutionary, not revolutionary. The secret to success is to do a little bit more ... every day.View Thread
As you may know, I conduct a 6 week community wellness program in towns & cities throughout the country. I'm just finishing two programs with a combined enrollment of 700 people.
I come to each place one night a week for 6 weeks to educate & motivate on diet, exercise, healthy cooking, stress management and raising fit kids. In between, there are assignments to help people live healthier, one small step at a time.
The results have been astounding. One woman went from a cholesterol of 315 to 174. One man saw his glucose drop to the point where his doctor took him off diabetes medication. And here is a real success story:
"Hi Joe. In September of last year just before my 2 stent operations I weighed 196 lbs.,glucose level-117, my LDL was 135, HDL was 32, total cholesterol 226 and triglycerides were at 293. My cardiologist was shocked when she saw me-I now weigh 174, glucose level of 93, LDL -55, HDL -48, total cholesterol-122, triglycerides- 96. Thank you, Joe. I feel so much better than I have in years!"
So, don't think it takes years & years to see results from healthy habits. These folks have done it in 6 weeks.View Thread
The Mediterranean diet has long been recognized as a booster of heart health. It is linked to lower risks of heart disease, stroke, metabolic syndrome and brain health.
There is no one "Mediterranean Diet" just as foods differ around the Mediterranean. But if you want to eat in the Mediterranean style, include more fruits, vegetables, legumes, cereals, fish and monousaturated oils (such as olive oil), and moderate alcohol consumption (such as red wine with meals..
You would also want to eat less red meat, whole-milk dairy products, saturated fats and transfats.View Thread
It is important to keep physically fit. But it is just as critical to stay mentally fit as well. One form of mental aerobics is to learn a word a day. It will do more than improve your vocabulary; it may also help keep your brain sharp.
Learning new words or doing activity that is mentally challenging - such as reading history books or learning chess - stimulates neurogenesis, the process that allows the brain to regenerate nerve cells throughout life. Pick an unfamiliar word out of the newspaper every day and drill yourself on using it. You can also have a word e-mailed to you daily from www.dictionary.reference.com/wordoftheday.View Thread
There are basically two sources of sugar: "naturally occuring" sugars such as found in fruit and milk, and "added sugars" such as found in candy and soft drinks. Our body does not differentiate one from another. Once a sugar is absorbed, the body sees and reacts to all types of sugar and essentially the same.
So, is one type of sugar the same as another? The main difference is that while foods that naturally contain sugar also contain vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and other beneficial nutrients, those with added sugars contain little or no nutrition, just empty calories. Eating foods with naturally occuring sugars makes sense. Eating foods with a lot of added sugars does not.View Thread
Statin drugs are one of the most commonly used drugs in the United States. In fact, more than 20 million Americans take them, including me. They are very helpful in reducing LDL ("bad") cholesterol. But recently, the FDA has cited some rare side effects that we should be aware of.
The first is an every-day forgetfulness or even memory loss, things like forgetting where you put your keys or forgetting how to balance your checkbook. Some people describe it as feeling "fuzzy headed."
The second side effect is a small increase in the rise of blood sugar, which can result in an increased risk of diabetes. And diabetes, in turn, increases the risk of heart disease, so an increase in blood sugar is not a good thing.
What am I going to do? I need the statin drug to combat LDL cholesterol, but would like to avoid these side effects. Well, I'm not going to stop taking my statin drug. I need to remember that the FDA is not telling me to get off a statin, it just wants me to have the full picture. Indeed, the FDA states that the benefits of statin drugs far outweigh the risks.
At the same time, however, I am going to check with my doctor. Perhaps there is another statin drug or lower dosage that would maintain my LDL benefit but lower side effect risk. And, of course, I'm going to continue to eat a diet that helps me to manage my cholesterol. [br> It is important to be aware of new recommendations and warnings that evolve from current science, but it is equally important to maintain a healthy perspective.View Thread
The triumverate of excessive fat, sodium and sugar are often cited as contributers to obesity, heart disease and type 2 diabetes. Recently, people have become more aware of how much sugar is added to processed foods, resulting in a sugar intake of about 150 pounds a year, and have tried to find healthy alternatives.
Have you tried evaporated cane juice? I did and I got taken in. Touted as a "healthier" sugar, in fact evaporated cane juice is no healthier than refined white sugar. It is simply a less processed form of sugar can that has as many calories as regular sugar. Other names for it include dried or dehydrated cane juice, cane juice crystals, raw cane crystals and crystallized cane juice.
Although there are many names for sugar - white, brown and high fructose corn syrup, to name a few - sugar is bascally, well, sugar. And that applies to evaporated cane sugar as well.View Thread
Many of us simply do not have enough time for our overscheduled and workaholic lives. And feeling perpetually pushed for time often leads to prolonged, chronic stress (or more accurately, distress). Stress can have a terrible impact on heart health. In addition to driving people to skip exercise, eat too much fast food or smoke, it can also cause elevated cholesterol, high blood pressure, blood clotting and arterial inflammation. Help yourself cope by expecting the unexpected; build a cushion into your day. Instead of cramming your schedule, fill it to 80%, leaving 20% for traffic jams, family illness and other surprises. And if there are no surprises you can reward yourself with a little time off!View Thread