Tuesday, August 16, 2011


Of all the controversy surrounding diet and nutrition, experts disagree on many different components. However, they ALL agree on ONE thing – to lose body fat successfully and permanently, you must reduce your caloric intake and increase physical activity. In other words, you must change your behavior and, more importantly, if you overeat, then you need to understand why you overeat in the first place?? To better answer this question, let us look at a comprehensive study done by the National Weight Control Registry (www.nwcr.ws/). According to The National Weight Control Registry, there are 7 common denominators of people who have been overweight and lost at least 30 lbs and kept it off for at least 1 year. Here is what they have in common:
  1. Expect stumbling blocks but keep trying
  2. Don't deny yourself
  3. Weigh often but not daily
  4. Exercise 1 hour daily
  5. Add little bits of physical activity to your daily routine like park farther away, take the stairs, house clean and gardening
  6. Eat a low saturated fat, high complex carbohydrate diet (balanced diet)
  7. Eat 5 times a day (eat small meals often)
So, if you want to successfully lose weight, stay away from diet gimmicks and learn from people who have effectively overcome their own weight issues. In other words, the best diet for weight loss is to follow a sensible eating plan, combine it with plenty of physical activity and deal with the emotional root causes of overeating.


Here are 8 crucial steps to creating the life of your dreams and becoming the person God intended.
  1. Visualize Your Ideal Future. What are your goals and dreams in life? Where do you want to be in 5, 10 or 20 years? Who do you want to become? What kind of positive difference do you want to make in the world? What are you doing right now to realize your dreams? Take at least 10 minutes daily to visualize your ideal future. What you feed your mind today determines your tomorrow! The Bible says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” (Prov. 29:18)
  2. Progressively Realize A Worthy Ideal. What do you really want? A leaner body? More money? A better relationship? Write it down. Be specific. Now break down your worthy ideal into the smallest steps (monthly, weekly, daily or even hourly) and take action. Hint: set a goal beyond your current limits. A goal with passion will drive your life with purpose.
  3. Forget the Past. A major ingredient in failure is dwelling on past tragedies, hurts or unhappy times. Don’t ponder “what if’s” but ask yourself, “How can I?” “What’s the best way?” or “how can I help others?” Remember, no matter how tarnished your past, your future is spotless. (Philippians 3:13)
  4. Don’t Use Excuses. There are many reasons for not having what we want in life. Everyone has hurdles to overcome and these hurdles can become excuses that hold you back. An excuse is nothing more than a reason to justify a failure. Losers use excuses to explain failure. But winner use setbacks to learn and grow and develop… and win.
  5. Take Responsibility. In this age of “it’s not my fault,” it is a rare quality to find someone who takes responsibility for their actions. In reality, no one else can truly make things happen for you, but YOU. You are the one who has to make the plan; you are the one who takes the action; and you are the one who overcomes the obstacles that can hinder your progress. Ultimately you are the only one who is responsible for realizing your dreams.
  6. Stay Focused and Ignore Diversions. Getting side tracked is often a “silent killer” in realizing our dreams. If people or situations present themselves to you that are not in line with achieving your goals, you may need to step back and re-evaluate. Many times, a minor diversion to our goals may look inviting and seem harmless, but in the long run, it can sabotage our focus. Sometimes, when we say NO, we are really saying YES to what’s truly important. “An unforced life is the key to failure.”
  7. Surround Yourself With Positive People. Achieving the life you really want requires help from others. It is very important to surround yourself with positive people who support and encourage you. Positive people are contagious. Being around someone who shares the same desire to live healthy and be successful increases your chances of accomplishing your dreams dramatically. Negative people can drain your energy, zap your drive and drag you down. A good question to ask is, are the people around me positive and encouraging, and do they desire the best for me?
  8. Believe and Achieve. Don't ever stop believing that you are capable of much more than what and who you are now. Your potential is limitless! Stop seeing yourself as the world sees you, and start seeing yourself as God sees you. You are God’s masterpiece, whole and complete (Eph 2:10). With faith, you can realize the abundant life Christ promised. “I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me.”


Weight lifting or resistance training stimulates the release of a hormone called human growth hormone (HGH). This hormone is most responsible for delaying the aging process and keeping you lean and vibrant. Teenagers naturally have the most abundant amount of this special hormone, but as you get older, you secrete less. However, certain lifestyle habits can affect the amount of growth hormone you release. One of the most important habits you can do to positively affect your growth hormone production is regular exercise, no matter what your age. Weight lifting is the best form of exercise for increasing growth hormone output. Recent studies show that elderly people, ages 75 to 90, who started a regimented weight-training program produced more circulating growth hormone than their sedentary counterparts. They also showed a marked increase in energy level, joint mobility, mental alertness and improved strength, proving that it is never too late to start an exercise program.

A mere 20 minutes of weight training twice a week can increase your output of human growth hormone as much as 3 times compared to inactive people. And you don’t have to pump iron in a gym to stimulate this youth enhancing, fat-fighting hormone. Body weight exercises like standing up and sitting down, pushups or brisk walking up stairs can stimulate this natural fountain of youth. Even if you jog or walk regularly, add brief sprints to your routine to increase HGH. The key is to move your body against gravity (weight train) or increase the intensity of your aerobic exercise (sprint).


Practicing regular deep diaphragmatic or belly breathing has many health benefits, and is one of the hidden keys to optimum wellness. In fact, people who practice deep belly breathing as little as 10 minutes a day have a much less chance of developing cancer and heart disease, handle stress more effectively and generally have better overall health and well-being. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is one of the simplest yet most effective ways of improving one’s health with the least amount of cost and time investment.

To help you realize the importance of deep diaphragmatic breathing, here are 12 benefits to regularly practicing this healthy habit:

  1. Reduces the risk factors for heart disease such as lowering bad cholesterol (LDL), raising good cholesterol (HDL), lowing blood pressure and stabilizing blood sugars
  2. Cuts chances of cancer by as much as 400%
  3. Reduces negative stress by lowering the stress hormone cortisol)
  4. Helps reduce cravings for processed carbohydrates (junk food)
  5. Cuts chances of diabetes by strengthening the insulin beta receptor sites
  6. Improves quality of sleep by improving stage 1 and stage 4 sleep cycles
  7. Lengthens the cell’s life span by cleansing the cells more thoroughly through increased lymphatic flow
  8. Slows the aging process by increasing the secretion of human growth hormone (the anti-aging hormone)
  9. Optimizes the immune system by strengthening T-cell formation and improving lymphocyte production
  10. Improves your mood by elevating the “feel good” hormone, serotonin, and other positive endorphins
  11. Improves mental focus and concentration by increasing blood flow to the Pre-Frontal Cortex of the brain
  12. Improves the quality and effectiveness of meditation by changing brain wave activity from the more stressful beta wavelengths to more relaxing and healthier alpha and theta brain wavelengths.

Here’s how to reap the amazing benefits of deep diaphragmatic breathing. Sit in a comfortable chair with your eyes closed and inhale very slowly thru your nose using your diaphragm (your belly should expand while you inhale with little or no chest movement). Once your lungs are full and your belly has expanded, hold your breath for about 6 to 12 seconds. Then slowly exhale thru your mouth making sure you use your belly to push the air out. Once your lungs are empty and your belly is contracted, repeat the cycle. Your goal is to complete 10 cycles (inhale, hold, exhale) or 8 to 10 minutes of deep diaphragmatic breathing a day.

The best times to practice this type of deep breathing is first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. To enhance the benefit of deep breathing, I suggest visualizing your goals or picturing your ideal life while practicing this habit. Personally, I pray while practicing deep diaphragmatic breathing.

For the next 30 days, I challenge you to practice deep diaphragmatic breathing for at least 10 minutes a day everyday. This is one of the best prescriptions for improving your health and optimizing your wellness. Good luck and good breathing.


Here are 13 very important daily practices that promote nutritional wellness and allow you to look and feel your best, and help you stay younger.
  1. Drink 12 to 24 ounces of water first thing in the morning preferably with 1 tablespoon of lemon or limejuice.
  2. Always eat a healthy breakfast consisting of whole grains, fruits and/or quality protein-rich foods.
  3. Eat 3 meals and 2 to 3 small snacks per day.
  4. Try to eat every 2 to 4 hours during the day and DON’T SKIP MEALS.
  5. Eat a quality protein-rich food (>10 grams) and/or a high fiber food (>3 grams) with each meal. Good protein sources are fish, nuts, seeds, chicken, turkey and low fat dairy. Excellent fiber-rich foods are beans, legumes, whole grains, vegetables and fruits.
  6. Eat a green vegetable salad or at least 2 servings of fibrous vegetables (green leafy) daily.
  7. Consume healthy fats and oils in the form of nuts, seeds, fish, olive oil and canola oil. For optimum health, supplement with fish oil daily.
  8. Eat fiber-rich foods every day. Try to eat at least 25 to 30 grams per day. Good sources are beans, lentils, oats, peas, ground flax seeds, pectin fruits and whole grains.
  9. Drink at least 8 ounces of green tea daily. Minimize the consumption of processed carbohydrates such as white flour and refined sugars. Limit alcohol to 1 or no drinks per day and avoid artificial sweeteners (i.e. aspartame, sucralose, acesulfame potassium & Truiva).
  10. Avoid or minimize the 3 S’s: Saturated fat, Sugar and Sodium.
  11. Avoid High Fructose Corn Syrup, Trans-fats and Monosodium Glutamate (MSG). Become a food label expert.
  12. Drink at least 8 glasses of water per day, minimizing the consumption of coffee, soft drinks and other caffeinated beverages.
  13. Avoid or minimize eating any food (especially processed carbohydrates) one to three hours prior to your regular bedtime.


If your goal is to be your healthiest, then what you put into your body is of utmost importance. Below are the world’s healthiest foods based on nutrient value, taste, acceptance, availability, affordability and nutrient density. All of these foods have one thing in common – they are whole (God-made) not processed (man-made).
  • Almonds and walnuts
  • Asparagus
  • Apples
  • Avocados
  • Bell peppers
  • Blueberries (and all other berries)
  • Cherries
  • Cold-water fish and/or fish oil
  • Yogurt and kefir
  • Eggs (whole)
  • Flaxseed (best when ground and added to food or mixed in juice)
  • Garlic and onions
  • Ginger
  • Green tea
  • Leafy green vegetables like spinach, kale and broccoli
  • Lemon and lime
  • Lentils and other beans
  • Oatmeal (old-fashioned steel cut oats are best)
  • Pineapple
  • Pomegranates or pomegranate juice
  • Sweet potatoes
  • Tomatoes


How can you measure physical wellness? Is body mass index (BMI) a good indicator of wellness? What about body-fat percent? How about blood pressure or fasting blood glucose? Is cholesterol a good measure of wellness? Well, all of these measurements can tell you a lot about your health and should be measured regularly? However, based on extensive studies there are two indicators that best predict your overall physical wellness.

One measurement is your waist circumference. Waist circumference is strongly associated with abdominal fat, which is an independent predictor of many disease risks. Your waist circumference, which is measured across your belly button, is the simplest and one of the best predictors of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other leading diseases. Data shows that women with a waist circumference of less than 35 inches and men less than 40 inches have a much lesser chance of developing chronic diseases compared to those with greater waist circumferences. Bottom line, know your waist circumference and do something about it if it is too high.

Another measure of wellness is a comprehensive blood panel. Your blood is one of the best indicators of what is happening in the 60 trillion cells of your body. Millions of adults, even those who appear healthy, live with undetected illnesses many months or even years before they manifest themselves. An appropriate blood panel assessment gives you information to help you make decisions that impact your health and change your life.

There are biomarkers in your blood that could indicate many conditions and diseases including: cardiovascular disease such as heart attack and stroke, cancer, metabolic disorders such as diabetes and metabolic syndrome, autoimmune disease including rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, viral and bacterial infections, hormonal imbalance including menopause and testosterone deficiency, thyroid deficiency and nutritional deficiencies.

To help you measure your physical wellness to a greater degree, I recommend the following blood panel to be done at least twice a year:

  • 25-Hydroxy Vitamin D
  • C-Reactive Protein
  • Cholesterol
  • Complete Blood Count (CBC)
  • Comprehensive Metabolic Panel
  • DHEA-S
  • Estrogen (Women Only)
  • Fasting Blood Sugar
  • HgA1C
  • Homocysteine
  • Omega-3 Fatty Acid Level
  • Progesterone (Women Only)
  • PSA (Men Only)
  • Testosterone - Total & Free (Men Only)
  • Thyroid - TSH, T3
For more information on blood tests and their acceptable ranges, go to the following websites:

Tuesday, August 9, 2011


Based on extensive research at Tufts University, there are 4 markers that determine how well you age. They are (1) genetics, (2) physical activity, (3) nutrition, and (4) attitude. You can’t control your genetic makeup, but can control how much you exercise, what you eat and especially your attitude. In this study, it was found that having a positive mental attitude is the number one marker for slowing the aging process. Attitude is defined by “a manner of acting, feeling, or thinking that shows one’s disposition. Simply put, your mindset, be it positive or negative, is the key to your aging.

The Bible tells us “let all that I am praise the Lord for He heals all my diseases, fills my life with good things and thru Him My youth is renewed!” (Psalm 103:1-5) The Bible also tells us “to be careful how we think for our thoughts (attitudes) determine the course of our lives” and “a cheerful heart is good medicine.” (Proverbs 4:23, 17:22) It’s amazing how scientific research is now proving what the Word of God has been saying for thousands of years.


Total wellness involves optimizing the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual
components of your personal life. To maximize the physical aspect of total wellness, I
suggest using the B.A.S.E principle. The B.A.S.E. principle is:
  • B – Breathing: Practice deep diaphragmatic breathing everyday. Deep diaphragmatic breathing is breathing deeply using your belly (diaphragm) instead of your chest. A suggested deep breathing cadence is breathe in slowly for 4 to 6 seconds, hold your breath for 8 to 12 seconds, and exhale for 4 to 6 seconds (1-2-1 cadence). This counts as one cycle. For optimum results, deep belly breathe at least 10 minutes or 10 cycles a day.
  • A – Activity: Be physically active for at least 30 minutes a day, 4 to 6 days per week. This includes moving, lifting and stretching type activities. The goal is to break a sweat and increase your heart rate. Make physical activity a fun habit!
  • S – Sleep: Achieve at least 7 hours of sleep per night. There is mounting research showing that people who sleep between 7 & 8 ½ hours per night are more productive, more focused, leaner, less sick, age slower and live longer than people who sleep less than 7 hours per night.
  • E – Eat Healthy: Healthy daily eating is defined as – eating a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables, eating 4 or more servings of 100% whole grains, eating 3 serving of protein-rich foods like beans, nuts, seeds, fish, poultry and low-fat dairy, and minimizing the consumption of the five S’s. The five S’s include sweets, refined simple carbohydrates, saturated fats, high sodium foods and artificial sweeteners.


Based on extensive research involving healthy cultures, hormonal implications relating to body and obesity and anti-aging studies, here are seven important components of healthy eating:
  1. Under eat at every meal and be mindful of the food you eat. Avoid eating to complete fullness.

  2. Always eat breakfast and try to avoid skipping any meals.

  3. Eat small meals every two to four hours throughout the day.

  4. Always eat a protein-rich or healthy-fat (or healthy fat) food with each meal. Healthy protein-rich foods include legumes, fish, low-fat cottage cheese, chicken, turkey, eggs, low-fat milk and low-fat cultured dairy products, such as yogurt and kefir. Healthy-fat foods include nuts, seeds, cold-water fish, olives and avocados.

  5. Minimize or avoid late night eating. Going to bed on an empty stomach stimulates
    fat-burning and anti-aging hormones during sleep.

  6. Eat as close to nature as possible and reduce your consumption of processed foods.
    Eat more “God-foods” (natural) and less “man-foods” (processed).

  7. Avoid eating “foods that kill” like artificial sweeteners, high fructose corn syrup, hydrogenated or trans-fats, MSG (mono sodium glutamate), hormones found in milk
    and many meats, food additives, food coloring, pesticides on produce, fried foods and
    especially sugary (junk) foods.