Monthly Archives: September 2008

Random Health Thoughts

Inspired by Seth.

It amazes me everyday that science fails to override the wive's tales and opinions that are rampant in the fitness industry. Twain was right when he said "The truth is easy to kill. But a lie well told is immortal."

The presidential candidates today want desperately to fix the health care system (or do they?). I put to you that there is nothing wrong with the system per se. There is simply too much wrong with people.

Typical scenario: Doc says: "Your cholesterol is too  high. Takes these drugs." You do. 6 months later you have a little liver trouble and muscle weakness. Because of this you injure yourself playing golf, you can't enjoy a glass of wine and due to the added effect of COQ10 declination in your blood caused by the cholesterol lowering drugs, your health begins to suffer. More drugs are needed to counteract the situation.

Now you are less active because you feel lousy. You eat more (more sugar usually since you can't have meat and fat since your cholesterol is too high) because you are a bit down in the dumps. Thus, blood sugar rises. A couple of years of this and now you have pre-adult onset diabetes. More drugs are now needed. The cycle continues.

Two years ago you were lean, active and happy and now you are fatter, have type-II diabetes, your liver enzymes are too high and you are inactive and depressed. What happens as a result? Your health care cost rises to meet your declining health.

Follow? If we want to fix health care let's stop making people need it.

Misinformation on health and fitness abound. To me the plethora of misinformation is so staggering I've often considered throwing in the towel and selling real estate. (But today, that would be a big time boo-boo.)

Why does the American Heart Association continue to advocate aerobic exercise when orthopedic injuries caused by such activities dwarf the amount of benefit received?

If we do have a finite number of heartbeats available to us why would we want to waste them doing daily cardiovascular exercise?

Why do so many think weight lifting is dangerous for kids yet gladly send them off to football or gymnastics camps?

Why does the American Diabetes Association advocate the ingestion of blood-sugar raising dietary carbohydrates when doing so requires taking medication to lower it?

Why does the American Medical Association support the use of statins when ALL of the scientific evidence shows no benefits to taking them and instead shows tremendous detriment? Worse, far worse, why is it that when you educate people as to this fact they fight with you about it?

Since eating fat and protein is known to be essential for health, why are we being taught that is is bad?

How come the government food pyramid indicates that most of our daily calories should come from grain based carbohydrates – a food group that is completely non essential to human life?

If rigorous physical activity is so healthy for us, why are the vast majority of athletes careers over at age 30?

It appears than ethanol (gasoline with added alcohol made from corn or sugar) fuel gunks up the engines of cars. Most engineers agree that this stuff is garbage for the cars circulatory system and recommend that fuel thinners be used to keep the engines from ceasing up.  Might this be true of our circulatory system as well?

Why did the American Council on Exercise (a leading fitness organization that pledges it's soul to help educate the gen pop on health and wellness of which I have been a member of for 2 decades) send me 2 letters asking me to let them know about what I do to help the fitness community when I am a bestselling fitness author and the owner of a popular NYC gym?

Why do we cheer on marathon runners when the activity is so physically detrimental? It would be like cheering on a throng of people trying to see how fast they could smoke 10,000 cigarettes. (If you disagree with this, think about it for more than a second.)

Explain to me the logic behind an insurance company paying for gastric bypass and not for an exercise program?

Why do insurance companies ask you if you smoke and what your cholesterol is but not if you are a runner or are vegan?

Why do we think exercise will cure our obesity when the lack of it is not how we got fat in the first place?

Why do many women say they don't want any muscle and then in the next breath say they want to feel tight and toned?

How come comic book characters and action figures have turned from lean athletic figures into impossibly gigantic muscle monsters?  Hoes does this affect a child's self-perception?

Why do you need to be 21 to smoke but not to buy a can of Mountain Dew?

If our normal core body temperature is ~98.6 degrees and 100 degrees is a fever, why are we dictated to warm up before we exercise? I put to you that it is essential to cool down before an exercise program not warm up.

We are all looking for simple answers. But all too often when they are presented we reject them in favor of something far more complicated. It seems as if simplicity is scary because it allows us to take action. Confusing and complicated answers are easier to accept because they disallow action.

Eat real foods and keep your muscles strong in the safest way possible.

There. I've just cured the health care system. Will you vote for me?

Lies the Vegans Tell You

I’m battling a teeny cold this week and decided to nip it in the bud by drinking a tall glass of green vitamin filled liquid veggie juice. I loathe the stuff but I thought it would do me some good.

The best place to get such a potion near where my gym is located is at Gary Null’s Whole Foods market on Broadway and 88th street. So off I went.

As I was walking up Broadway I came upon the giant gold-colored, wind-fluttering Gary Null banner. (His offices are on Broadway and 82nd street.)

Not a second later a taxi pulls up to the curb and Gary Null himself emerges. My first thought was “What a freaking coincidence!” My second thought was “Wow – he doesn’t look very healthy.” For those who don’t know of him, Gary Null is a vegan/vegetarian health guru. Now, I don’t say the following to be mean or to denigrate Gary. I am simply stating an observation. He looked really awful. Gaunt, drawn and puffy. Not the picture of health you’d expect him to be.

Anyhow, I strolled another few blocks uptown and went into his store. I got my Green Magma Health Boost Power Shake with added flax oil and aloe vera. Yum.

Attempting to digest the liquid, I strolled around the store. I saw that the woman behind the vitamin counter, Patricia A. Duncanson, CN was available for free nutritional counseling. Since no one was there, I asked her a question.

I told her I suffer from acid indigestion on a fairly regular basis. (NOTE: Even though I keep my carbs under 40 grams a day I still have issues with reflux. If you recall I mentioned Dr. Norman Robillard’s book Heartburn Cured a few months back and what he says about carbs is true. When I was eating a lot of carbs years back my heartburn was FAR worse. Still, I suffer from it.)

Here’s what Ms. Duncanson had to say.

She said that I must not eat wheat at all. I was impressed since there is ample evidence to support this advice. I told her I don’t eat any grain at all in fact. She said Quinoa and millet was OK to eat, but I told her that to me eating that fare was like eating cardboard.

Then she said you must also cut out all meats. Yup. All meat. “Really?” I replied. “Yes!” she insisted. Her hands nearly flying off the counter at me for emphasis. I asked her why and she said “Did you know that all meats sit in your stomach for 4-6 hours and putrefy there?” “Really?” I said again. This of course is entirely untrue.

She then said that humans don’t have the enzymes to eat meats of any kind. I tried to say something about cellulose being the substance that humans don’t have the enzymes to digest but she was on a roll. She spouted out all kinds of notions on how long the human digestive tract was and that because of this we are designed to eat only plants and grains – like other herbivores.

Before I go on let me say that Ms. Duncanson herself was, like Gary Null, not exactly the picture of health. Is it just me or do other people notice how unhealthy vegans look? Why don’t they themselves see this?

I asked her if she had any scientific evidence to support the claim that a piece of meat will sit in my stomach for hours completely impervious to hydrochloric acid and refusing to breakdown. She skirted the issue by saying that no animals are designed to eat meat. “Really?” I said for the 19th time. “Even lions?”

“Yes!” she asserted hands flying and then told me that if you follow biblical teachings you will discover that at one time before the great flood all animals ate grass and were all kind to each other.

“Really?” I said (again) and with that she said that the great flood wiped out all vegetation and this is why lions now eat animals.

I said “But there’s grass on the plains now – how come they don’t eat grass now?” Without a thought she said “Dogs eat grass when they are sick have you noticed that?” To this I said “Yes they do and they do this in order to make themselves vomit.” This seemed to give her pause. But only momentarily.

“Well it’s too late now they (lions) are used to eating meats.” she said. Then she said that we see all kinds of diseases today caused by the ingestion of meats. Too frightened to go there, I asked her “Well, what about sharks? They never had a chance to eat grass in the first place.” She froze for a second seemingly unable to form a response. Her eyes went kind of glassy as if looking right through me yet hating me at the same time.

Then her eyes came back to life and she said “Sharks eat a great deal of seaweed.” “Really?” “Yes!” she said in a triumphant tone.

I could see that if I kept the conversation going, I might lose my mind. I decided to let her win.

So I bought the bottle of enzymes she suggested and went my merry way.

The saddest part of the entire  experience was, as I was paying for my enzymes a down trodden looking man walked up to her and said “Hi. My mother is dying of cancer. What can I do to help her?”

Ford’s Focus

Henry Ford was a genius. He also did not get past the 8th grade. And, as rumor has it, had only a 5th grade reading level.

But his library is impressive.

I visited the home of Henry Ford last month. My nephew and his fiance (now wife) chose the historic Ford home as their wedding place. It is truly a magnificent property.

Before the wedding got under way I moseyed around the mansion and came upon the mavericks library. Most of the books were enclosed in plexiglas and I was told these were part of his original library.

I was amazed at how many books there were on health and fitness. Literally dozens and dozens of books on how to live well, eat well, exercise well and so on.

I was drooling.

I took a picture of the few I could as the plexiglas made it extremely difficult to snap a pic without glare.

Here is one of my favorites. I do not know this author but since my book's subtitle is '…exercise that will change your body in 30 minutes a week.' it has a tender place in my heart.

IMG_1915 

Here s a serious of others:

IMG_1916

I REALLY wanted to break in and read the Scientific Fasting by Hazzard. But I refrained.

In the pic below we se that Mr. Ford mixes business with pleasure:

IMG_1918

These two I'd love to read.

IMG_1920

There were many more. Ford lived to be 83. Being born in 1863 this is equivalent to living to 100 or so today.  He stayed lean and active till his dying day. (I'll bet he ate low carb.)

Clearly Ford had a focus on healthy living. And look where it got him.

Mighty Mesotherapy

Some of you know that for years I studied martial arts. Since I was but a lad
I've been kicking, punching, rolling and flipping and my body has paid the price.

By the time I was 36 my knees and hips were in so much pain not to mention my thumbs and knuckles that I began to forget what it felt like to be pain free. I decided then to call it quits.

Now don't get me wrong – I loved it. I often took first place in inter-dojo (inter-school) Kata competitions as well as intra-dojo competitions. I wasn't a bad fighter either. I think people were afraid of me a bit because I look so much like Chuck Norris.

Chuck
 Broadway book photo

Separated at birth?

Anyhow, as the years have rolled on and after many hundreds of mistaken 'Are you Chuck Norris?' queries, my knees have finally started acting up again. Being severely bow-legged doesn't help matters at all.

I hate taking any kind of meds for pain. I know how bad they can be on the stomach. I tried glucosamine to no avail. The only thing that relieves the pain is a good Slow Burn workout. But it is a short lived relief.

A client (and friend) of mine from years past reemerged from his travels to China and France where he furthered his medical expertise by becoming certified in acupuncture and mesotherapy. He was an ER physician for almost 20 years and decided he wanted to give patients more direct care combining western medicine with holistic approaches. His name is Alexander Kulick, MD and he specializes in a pain management technique from France called mesotherapy.

Dr. Kulick told me all about this and I decided to give it a try. All I can say is WOW! After 1 session my knees were markedly better and now almost never have the searing pain they had before. It's been the best therapy I have ever had thus far – much better than the knee docs injections of Synvisc.

If you are in the NYC area and you have pain in one or more joints, you owe it to yourself to give Dr. Kulick a call. He's very thorough and spends a good deal of time with each patient sometimes on the order of over an hour per visit, listeneing and making holistic and western suggestions for total body health.

Contact Information

NYC Location
169 West 78th Street
New York, NY 10024

212.579.9320
info@seriousstrength.com

Montclair, NJ Location
25 Watchung Plaza
Montclair, NJ 07042

973.233.1013
infomontclair@seriousstrength.com

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