Are you a Carboholic?

Sugar is addictive, perhaps more addictive than cocaine. And, the actions it produces in our bodies such as releasing insulin are wreaking havoc on our systems, driving the obesity epidemic and the plague that is known as metabolic syndrome: a pernicious cocktail of high blood pressure and high blood sugar that can lead to stroke, heart disease, diabetes and dementia.

According to an article in the NY Times: “Sugar stimulates brain pathways just as an opioid would, and sugar has been found to be habit-forming in people. Cravings induced by sugar are comparable to those induced by addictive drugs like cocaine and nicotine. And although other food components may also be pleasurable, sugar may be uniquely addictive in the food world.”

The article continues: “Today added sugar is everywhere, used in approximately 75 percent of packaged foods purchased in the United States. The average American consumes anywhere from a quarter to a half pound of sugar a day. If you consider that the added sugar in a single can of soda might be more than most people would have consumed in an entire year, just a few hundred years ago, you get a sense of how dramatically our environment has changed. The sweet craving that once offered a survival advantage now works against us.”

In another article in the NY Times by renowned science writer Gary Taubes, it states “Since insulin levels after meals are determined largely by the carbohydrates we eat — particularly easily digestible grains and starches, known as high glycemic index carbohydrates, as well as sugars like sucrose and high-fructose corn syrup — diets based on this approach specifically target these carbohydrates. If we don’t want to stay fat or get fatter, we don’t eat them.”

“This effect of insulin on fat and carbohydrate metabolism offers an explanation for why these same carbohydrates, as Dr. Ludwig says, are typically the foods we crave most; why a little “slip,” as addiction specialists would call it, could so easily lead to a binge.”

So what do we carboholics do? The easiest thing to say is to just stop eating sugar. But unfortunately this is as difficult or more as quitting smoking or worse. You can’t just stop eating sugar. You need to start doing other healthier things in return like eating more healthy natural foods: fats and proteins to reduce the cravings and put you back in charge of your life.

For motivation and information from BoomerangFit, click HERE to sign up for their newsletter.

Stress is making you older. But what can you do about it?

“Stressful events in life, such as the death of a child, divorce or being fired, can age the brain by at least four years as reported by the BBC this week.

Don’t we have enough trouble already these days? Politics, global warming, health care, our kids coming back home to live with us and now we can’t just enjoy a little stress?

The study, reported at the recent Alzheimer’s Association International Conference in London, looked at performance in memory and thinking tests of 1,300 people in their 50s to gauge brain health.

“Although the research could not establish any direct link between stress and an increased risk of dementia, stressful experiences are known to have an impact on brain function, which could then lead to dementia in the longer term.”

Brain age and dementia could be linked but just as important we don’t want our brains to age prematurely any more than we want our muscles to atrophy and our mobility to be impaired. The idea is to not just increase lifespan but also to increase your “healthspan” – how long you can live while doing that which you enjoy whatever it is.

Stressful experiences across all groups included educational difficulties, financial insecurity, serious health problems and psychological trauma. The thinking goes that stress increases inflammation and that inflammation can cause premature aging of the brain. Inflammation is also probably a key factor in other major problems like cancer and heart disease.

So, now what? The most obvious thing to do is to reduce stress, right?  Good luck. Most people can’t just decide to reduce the stress in their lives. But if you can certainly try. Maybe kick that millennial kid out of the house. But what else can we do? The next best thing to reducing stress is to improve how your body reacts to it and two great ways to do that are meditation and exercise.

What strategies have you used to reduce stress?

For more information on how to stay motivated and to get back to the fitness for what you want to do to enjoy your life, REGISTER HERE for our newsletter.

What does a Stone Cat have to do with Alzheimer’s?

The Stone Cat Marathon and 50 mile trail races take place at Willowdale State Forest in Ipswich, MA. This year it happens on November 4th.  The name seems to have come from a brand of beer that might have originally sponsored the event or at least been imbibed afterwards. There is also a myth about a “stoned” cat that may or may not have been found wandering around the course at some point. This raises the question of how a cat gets stoned? Cat nip?

Either way, this year Team BoomerangFit will be participating this year in the Stone Cat Trail Marathon (26.2 miles) in order to raise money for the CureAlzeimer’s Fund.  If you want to join us in the run to raise money, you can register HERE. Registration is limited however so decide quick and let us know.

Alzheimer’s disease is a horrific fate for anyone, and I know this first hand because my grandmother, my mother, my aunt as well as several neighbors and friends have either died from or are now suffering from this horrible disease.

Today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. Payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050 and most likely bankrupt the healthcare system as we know it.

Since its founding, Cure Alzheimer’s Fund has contributed more than $56,000,000 to research, and its funded initiatives have been responsible for a number of key breakthroughs. Cure Alzheimer’s Fund supports some of the best scientific minds in the field of Alzheimer’s research. Fully 100 percent of funds raised by Cure Alzheimer’s Fund go directly to research—the Board of Directors covers all overhead expenses.

If you have been touched by Alzheimer’s Disease or simply want to help defeat this awful disease, please click HERE to donate.

 

How a puppy can help improve your hip mobility?

And other crazy tips to stay fit

WARNING: I have just recently rescued a puppy from a shelter here in Boston. This may or may not have been a good decision. But so far we are very happy.

An unexpected benefit of getting a new puppy however has been an increase in hip mobility. How did this happen?

If you have ever had a puppy or even a human baby, you will be familiar with gates that are used to prevent them from going places. We now have gates and fences both inside and out to corral the little thing (her name is Lucy and she is an unknown mix of breeds). These gates and fences require me to lift up my feet fairly high to step over so I don’t have to continually take them down or open their impossible little doors. The repeated lifting up of both legs have increased my hip mobility demonstrably.  (The yoga hasn’t hurt either but thats a different post.)

The larger point is that you don’t have to commit large periods of time each day to your health.  Small little actions throughout the day can also have a measurable impact. Examples of this include stepping over the gates, taking the stairs where possible, getting a standing desk, taking a short walk after lunch, stand up during meetings or better yet do some squats or lunges during conference calls. You get the idea.

What kind of things do you or could you do every day to make progress? Comment below so that we can all learn.

Also click HERE to get access to information, inspiration, motivation, reviews of books and equipment, interviews with masters athletes, coaches and other experts, tips and tricks as well as an invitation to participate in virtual and physical challenges to increase motivation and raise money for charities such as the CureAlzheimer’s Fund.

Why the world is really in trouble?

Hint: It has nothing to do with Donald Trump

Climate change, taxes and health insurance and all of the other hot button issues of the moment are certainly important to the long-term success of our country and our world.

However, there are perhaps more imminent threats to our society that have less to do with Donald Trump and more to do with health, nutrition, exercise, inflammation, obesity and disease.

According to a new study published on July 6th, 2017 in the New England Journal of Medicine
, “more than 2 billion adults and children globally are overweight or obese and suffer health problems because of their weight.” That is Billion with a “B” and that is 30% of the entire world! And it is getting worse.

Furthermore, “the United States has the greatest percentage of obese children and young adults among the 195 countries and territories included in the study.”  We fret about destroying our children’s future with climate change and government debt, but what if they don’t live long enough to find out?

This isn’t just about weight gain or body mass index either. Diseases like cardiovascular disease and diabetes that are essentially directly linked to obesity and metabolic syndrome are growing as well. And, other diseases with indirect links to obesity, metabolic syndrome and nutrition like Cancer and Alzheimer’s Disease are also growing rapidly.

For example, today, 5.3 million Americans are living with Alzheimer’s disease. By 2050, up to 16 million will have the disease. According to the CureAlzheimer’s Fund, payments for care in 2012 were estimated to be $200 billion. Without a cure, these figures will nearly triple by the year 2050 and would most likely bankrupt the healthcare system as we know it.

Alzheimer’s Disease alone could bankrupt the healthcare system. Then add in growing rates of Cancer, Cardiovascular Disease, Diabetes, and the aging baby boom and it seems that we might just be re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic arguing over insurance premiums.

So what do we do? The easy answer is eat right and exercise more. In a nut shell, if the food or food-like substance is advertised on TV then you probably should eat less of it or cut it out completely. If it has a label that includes ingredients that you don’t recognize then don’t eat it. In general just eat less processed food and sugar. Oh and move more, stand up, walk, etc.

But we all know this isn’t easy or we would all do it. So, I have started a group called BoomerangFit that is focused primarily on helping people in their 40s and above including myself to eat better, get fit, reduce the likelihood of getting struck by disease and increasing the likelihood of enjoying a long, energetic and active life.

As a part of this group, you will get access to information, inspiration, motivation, reviews of books and equipment, interviews with masters athletes, coaches and other experts, tips and tricks as well as an invitation to participate in virtual and physical challenges to increase motivation and raise money for charities such as the CureAlzheimer’s Fund. If you would like to start today towards a healthier future for you and our world, click HERE.

Grads & Dads Watch This Video Today!

You other folks can watch it too . . .

Here is a recording of one of the best commencement speeches around save maybe Steve Jobs’ at Stanford. The speaker is Naval Admiral William McRaven, a former commander of Special Operations and a Navy Seal.

What other great commencement speeches or for that matter TED talks etc have you seen that you found motivating?

Is Coconut Oil Really Bad for You?

American Heart Association says it is.

Long a staple of the health conscious community and low carb fans, coconut oil has recently come under attack by the American Heart Association.

“Because coconut oil increases LDL cholesterol, a cause of CVD [cardiovascular disease], and has no known offsetting favorable effects, we advise against the use of coconut oil,” the American Heart Association said in the Dietary Fats and Cardiovascular Disease advisory.

Unfortunately there are a couple of problems with this statement.

  1. Eating cholesterol doesn’t increase your cholesterol. Apparently the body is pretty good at regulating the amount of cholesterol in your blood. Your body manufactures most of what you need anyway and, if you are otherwise healthy, eating foods that contain cholesterol shouldn’t matter. “The body creates cholesterol in amounts much larger than what you can eat, says Dr. Steven Nissen on the website of the Cleveland Clinic. So avoiding foods that are high in cholesterol won’t affect your blood cholesterol levels very much.” Actually cholesterol plays a very important role in our bodies and is involved in creating cell walls, sex hormones and vitamin D among many other things. Perhaps this is why there are seemingly so many side effects from cholesterol-lowering drugs like statins.
  2. High cholesterol doesn’t seem to cause heart disease. According to an article in the Telegraph in the UK last year, “Cholesterol does not cause heart disease in the elderly and trying to reduce it with drugs like statins is a waste of time, an international group of experts has claimed. A review of research involving nearly 70,000 people found there was no link between what has traditionally been considered “bad” cholesterol and the premature deaths of over 60-year-olds from cardiovascular disease. Published in the BMJ Open journal, the new study found that 92 percent of people with a high cholesterol level actually lived longer.”

So, what are people to think?

It appears based on the most recent studies that it is inflammation that causes heart disease and this inflammation by and large is probably coming from eating sugar and processed foods and too much stress. Stay away as much as possible from Sugar and Processed Foods and try to reduce stress through meditation, better sleep and exercise.

Another big red flag is the number of big food and big sugar companies that are sponsors of the American Heart Association. It certainly be good for them to come out in favor of eating less cereal.

What do you think? Do you consume coconut oil? Would you reconsider that decision now?

What do you know about Ketones or Ketosis?

What are Ketones or Ketosis? You may have heard of it or even tried it but what is really going on?

When your body doesn’t have access to carbohydrates, your liver starts to turn your fat into these fancy molecules called Ketones. Your body can then burn these Ketones for energy instead of sugar. Your brain and heart do especially well burning Ketones for energy.  This happens naturally when you fast, when you don’t eat carbohydrates or even to a small extent when you sleep.

The Ketogenic Diet, or eating what will naturally create and burn Ketones, has been known for over 100 years. It was first studied as a way to treat seizures in children who had epilepsy and is still to this day used to treat epileptics that don’t respond to medication. The Ketogenic Diet also has a lot of other very positives effects such as weight loss, improving mental clarity, increasing energy and reducing muscle wasting when you age. It has also been discussed as a possible way to treat or avoid dementia. If you want more information on any of these things, just Google Ketogenic Diet and whatever effect you want more info on.

The biggest problem with Ketones and Ketosis is that you need to eat a very small amount of Carbohydrates every day to get there. By small amount, I mean 25-50 grams per day. Since Carbohydrates have 4 calories per gram that is only 100-200 calories per day or maybe just one piece of bread or a big salad.

So, the question is, can you get some of the benefits of Ketones and Ketosis without eating such a minimal amount of Carbohydrates. The answer just might be yes. By drinking Ketones directly, your body can go into Ketosis and start to mimic what it does when you don’t eat Carbohydrates.

I just started working with a company called Pruvit that has created a Ketones product in partnership with some research scientists like Dom D’Agastino (HERE is a link to his TED Talk). If you would like to understand more about how it works, go to boomerangfit.experienceketo.com or send an email to ketones@boomerangfit.com.

 

Can you avoid the side effects of pharmaceuticals?

Nature has some alternatives...

A fairly common treatment for respiratory issues is Prednisone. Unfortunately, like many drugs today, this treatment comes with a long list of potential side effects.

Among the side effects listed on Drugs.com are the following.
* blurred vision, eye pain, or seeing halos around lights;
* swelling, rapid weight gain, feeling short of breath;
* severe depression and seizures (convulsions);
* coughing up blood;
* pancreatitis;
* low potassium (confusion, uneven heart rate, extreme thirst, increased urination, leg discomfort, muscle weakness or limp feeling); or
* dangerously high blood pressure (severe headache, blurred vision, buzzing in your ears, anxiety, confusion, chest pain, shortness of breath, uneven heartbeats, seizure).

As would be expected, many people would like to avoid these side effects and somehow try to treat their issues and symptoms more naturally. Unfortunately most doctors are either not aware of the more natural options or are discouraged from recommending them due to risk of malpractice law suits and insurance headaches. So what are people to do if they want to try to help themselves before submitting to pharmaceuticals and surgery.

In many cases, health issues can be address through changing the way you eat and adding in some exercise. Don’t use the D word – Diet – because you don’t necessarily need to go on a diet to feel better and be healthier. Just change some of the things you eat. To start just eat less processed food and less added sugar. Eat a lot of vegetables and some fruit, add in grass-fed and organic meat if you aren’t vegetarian or vegan. Don’t eat things in a can or a bag with a lot of ingredients you can’t pronounce.

On the exercise side, you really just need to walk regularly and maybe occassionally speed up beyond your typical pace, go up and down stairs or up and down a hill, whatever you can accomplish without going into too much distress.

Additionally, you need to take responsibility for your life and educate yourself on what is available beyond what the medical community is willing or able to offer. Other cultures have been using alternative therapies for 100s if not 1000s of years with great success so why not give it a try. Talk to knowledgable alternative therapy practitioners or to other people in your community with similar challenges. Try something new.

A great example is Dry Salt Therapy or Halotherapy. Due to its natural anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial and absorbent qualities, salt has been used medicinally for 3 thousand years, all the back to ancient Egypt. More recently in about the 13th century, people in Eastern Europe discovered that salt miners tended to not get sick and to not have any respiratory or skin issues like others in the community. Now we have figured out how to take what is good from the salt mine and make it available to everyone through Dry Salt Therapy or Halotherapy.

Halotherapy is simply breathing in very fine particles of pure dry salt to reduce inflammation, reduce the affect of any microbes you have breathed in as well as absorbing what is in your lungs and helping you expectorate it out of your body.

If you are on the Southcoast of Massachusetts and would like to try Dry Salt Therapy, CLICK HERE TO BOOK.