Approximately 33% of Americans produce more insulin than is healthy to maintain normal blood sugar. The National Institute of Health reports about 60% of Americans are overweight. These statistics could be lowered by simply eating healthier foods to break this cycle of increasing blood sugar thereby increasing insulin release, which produces fat storage and increases the appetite, which goes back to increasing blood sugar.
Sugar makes you fat, so avoiding foods that create high blood sugar such as Halloween candy and cookies, potatoes, white rice, sweetened cereal, soda and white bread, will decrease fat production and use up fat stores more effectively.
Exercise, particularly walking, helps utilize fat as a fuel. Fat is a very concentrated fuel source and needs lots of oxygen to break it down. Trick-or-Treating can be good exercise for you and your kids. Walking one mile, no matter how fast you go, burns 100 calories. A pound of fat produces 3500 calories. So you can burn off a pound of fat in 17.5 miles of walking. Walking 2 miles per day, you can lose a pound of fat in about 9 days.
Eating the right foods can also minimize excess fat storage and unhealthy food cravings. An article in the Journal of the American Medical Association stated: “In 2010, more than one third of children and adolescents were overweight or obese.” This might be a good time to add a few non-candy items to the kiddies’ treat bags to help reduce the temptation to pig-out on sweets.
If you do choose to give out candy, choose non-chocolate varieties with fewer calories like hard candies or licorice. Try raisins, pretzels, juice boxes, mini water bottles, plain cookies and crackers, popcorn and low fat granola or cereal bars.
A trip to the party store can yield numerous non-food items that kids love. Look for small inexpensive gadgets and things kids collect such as pencils, rubber balls, erasers, small toys like ghosts, goblins, witches, or maybe waxed lips, glow sticks, stickers, key chains, bubbles and art supplies like chalk, coloring books and crayons.
Making some changes on this fun holiday might lead to better health habits all year long.
Ok it’s that time of year again where it’s Summer and there’s $1 movies at the Alhambra Renaissance 14 & IMAX Theater.
This year the Summer Movie Express hosted by Alhambra Renaissance 14 & IMAX Movie Theater is sponsored by yours truly and American-1 Airtight Security. Admission is only $1 and it’s only for 10 AM on Tuesdays & Wednesdays. These are all kids movies so the ratings for these movies are G or PG.
If you have time and want to see a good G or PG movie at 10 AM on either a Tuesday or Wednesday then this is your lucky day. Plus you can take the little one to a fun movie and beat the heat by being in a nice Air Conditioned room for an hour or two.
Ok, I know I’m posting this kind of late, but all the good movies are coming up for the month of July.
Show Times at 10AM: 6/25 Rio (G rating), 6/26 Monte Carlo (PG rating), 7/2 Coraline (PG rating), 7/3 Paranorman (PG rating), 7/9 Big Miracle (PG rating), 7/10 The Lorax (PG rating), 7/16 Journey 2: The Mysterious Island (PG rating), 7/17 Yogi Bear (PG rating), 7/23 Happy Feet Two (PG rating), 7/24 Racing Stripes (PG rating), 7/30 African Cats (G rating), and 7/31 Chimpanzee (G rating).
Alhambra Renaissance 14 & IMAX Movie Theater is located at 1 East Main St., Alhambra CA 91801. Phone number for the theater is (626) 300-8312.
Chinese medicine regards the brain as a very special organ, which relies on the health of all the other organs. When you think about it, it makes sense. Oxygen, needed for life, is supplied by the lungs. Oxygen and other nutrients need to get to the brain via the circulatory system, which is powered by the heart. These nutrients circulate with the blood, made by the spleen and bone marrow. Nutrients are obtained through food, and food needs to be broken down by the digestive system. The digestive system comprised of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine and rectum, interfaces with the liver, gall bladder and pancreas. The body needs to be detoxified by the liver, kidneys, intestines and bladder. Each and every organ has an important function, and all contribute to a healthy body.
Qigong, an ancient Chinese form of exercise, focuses on healthy organs, leading to good health and longevity. Qigong has been around for about 3,000 years. Initially, qigong information was kept secret, shared only with the ruling and scholarly classes of society. Since the end of the Cultural Revolution in China around 1976, qigong has been more available to greater numbers of people in China and around the world.
Qigong focuses on moving the vital life force, or chi, through the body. Although similar to acupuncture, qigong does not require the use of needles. Acupuncture and qigong both attempt to remove blocks of stagnant chi in order to restore the body’s own self-correction and thus improve a healthy flow. Once the chi moves, then the blood moves. Think of stagnation causing algae, putrefaction, cloudy water and smelly odors. Once the water gets moving again, all these signs of decay disappear.
Qigong differs from other forms of exercise in that it focuses on the messaging system. The chi circulates messages in our bodies, similar to the way the hormonal system coordinates functions between the various organs. The way you think and the messages that you circulate can influence organ function and many other aspects of the body.
Studies support the benefits that qigong provides, such as improving immune factors in the blood, improving mood, reducing blood pressure, balancing cholesterol, increasing bone density, decreasing joint pain and improving sleep. Practitioners often recommend it for reducing stress.
Qigong is older than tai chi, easier to do and has more instantaneous health benefits. The practice can be done daily and will continue to provide benefits if continued. Practicing qigong not only reverses unhealthy conditions, but can also prevent disease from occurring in the first place.
Here is another tool to add to your box of health remedies, one that not only helps with brain function, but also helps to improve all of the organs in your body.
Do you know someone over 80 years old who still participates in sports, does regular physical activity, is mentally sharp, still working or doing community work, and continues to be outgoing and social? I have seen those who were surfing, bicycling, driving or dancing into their seventies. I can think of a few 90-year-olds who are still quite active and look 20 years younger. My son-in-law’s grandmother is just shy of 100 and still travels to Europe, drives a car and maintains an office in New York City.
Apparently, staying active and mentally sharp is one of the top concerns of the “Baby Boomer” generation. They expect to work longer. Some don’t even plan on retiring and they strive to remain healthy their entire lives.
One of the major complaints of Western healthcare is that, despite great strides in technology and life saving procedures, this hasn’t helped with living long healthy lives. We would all rather be healthy until the day we die, and it would also be cheaper on our pocketbooks. That money could be used to help build a future rather than supporting a miserable demise.
The following statistics are ones which we would probably want to reduce:
One in eight older Americans has Alzheimer’s Disease, about 5.4 million people, and the projected number by 2050 is 16 million. It is now the sixth leading cause of death, and one that most say doesn’t have a cure. If the numbers turn out as predicted, by 2050 the costs for treating Alzheimer’s alone is expected to be over $1 trillion.
There are an estimated 15 million Alzheimer’s and dementia caregivers, amounting to 17 billion hours of unpaid care, valued at over $200 billion.
If we could get our aging population to be independent in their homes for just one additional year, we could save an estimated $26 billion in care-giving and healthcare per year.
So, how do we change these statistics or prevent this from happening? I believe it is never too late to make changes. I always tell my patients that as long as there is life in the body, there is always the possibility to make positive change. Here are my recommendations:
1) Eat healthy. Add more vegetables and fruits, mostly organic, fresh and raw, to your diet. Chew food 30-70 times per bite. Eat when relaxed and happy. Eat at regular intervals. Don’t skip breakfast. Avoid processed sugar, animal protein raised on unnatural diets like corn instead of grass, and fried foods.
2) Drink water, preferably before or after you eat and NOT with meals. Stop drinking sodas and sugary drinks. Think about how much caffeine you ingest. One cup of coffee contains approximately 150 mg of caffeine, a therapeutic dose, and black tea has about 85 mg, while green tea has only 15 mg, plus it is full of antioxidants.
3) Supplement your diet with fish oil that has been purified of heavy metals, take multivitamins, antioxidants and other supplements as needed. Coconut oil is good for the brain, as are fish oil and probiotics.
4) Move more frequently. Life is movement. Find an activity that gives you joy and makes you feel better. Not everyone is meant to run. Some like to dance and others like to walk. Do what you enjoy.
5) Laugh more. Laughter stimulates good chemicals in the body and makes you healthier.
6) Make new friends, cultivate stronger healthier relationships and do good things for others. No one likes to hear complaints, judgments or orders. Be nice to others.
7) Learn something such as another language or a new skill. Read a book, do a puzzle, play cards and engage yourself in community activities.
Life is too short to be waiting for things to happen or postponing activities until you have more time or money. Be proactive and create a life full of great times and great adventures. You are capable of making masterpieces come to life.
Norman Cousins wrote a book called Head First, The Biology of Hope. In the book, he wrote about a judge he had been asked to help. This man had been diagnosed with a throat cancer that was in advanced stages and was given two months to live. He became severely depressed which worried his family, as he had always been the patriarch and had given strength and guidance to his family. They didn’t know what to do, since he was always the rock keeping the family stable and functioning.
When Norman Cousins met him he said to this man, “You are a very intelligent man and so am I, and we both know that you will probably be dead in two months. However, I would like to point out that you are not dead yet. Do you realize what your behavior is doing to your family? Why don’t you use these last two months of your life to help your family transition to life without you. Besides, don’t you want your family to remember you as you have always been, rather than remember you in this state?” This man snapped out of his depression and proceeded to guide his family to the next phase of their lives without him.
I think about this story when life gets a little too serious or when I start to feel sorry for myself. I have come to realize that life is a journey and always brings change, surprise and obstacles that we won’t necessarily feel prepared for. It helps to be able to switch gears and change our way of thinking to maximize our efforts to achieve the best outcome.
We all have stories and memories of people who have touched our lives and helped us to focus on what is important in life. When it comes down to the wire, material things may not matter as much as people who care about us and make life worth living.
A newspaper story described a pastor who was a former drug addict and had his life turned around by a kind soul who directed him to the path he has taken today. Now he hosts a karaoke night at his church for the homeless and others who feel unwanted and invisible, giving them a chance to express themselves and feel appreciated. All it takes is one act of kindness to make others feel like they matter. You never know what kind of chain reaction you might create.
So don’t waste any more time. Make each moment count. You can create a difference in lives, including your own.
I focus on the topics you care about most.