Category Archives: men and healthy eating

10 Benefits of Eating Healthy

This is wonderful. Very clear thinking here. Instead of focusing on LOSING WEIGHT, look at the positives of eating and living a healthy life, and you won’t have a weight problem.

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Super Bowl Sunday Snacking

What are you going to be snacking on during the big game?

According to The Supermarket Guru, “It’s estimated that on Super Bowl Sunday, Americans will consume more than double their average daily snack amount; and the average “armchair quarterback” will consume nearly 1,200 calories and 50 grams of fat from snacks alone- not counting meals. To burn that off, you’d have to run for about an hour and 45 minutes!”

Pigs in a blanket – One of the top five fan snack choices says the top five game day snacks are Buffalo wings, pizza, nachos, chili, and pigs in a blanket. I hope for your sake that you are not going this high calorie count empty nutritional value route.

I have written about snacking here before. There was Targeted Snacking in June and Smart Snacking in March. Click on the links for some positive ideas on snacks for the big game.

WeightWatchers suggests, “You can still enjoy some football fare: a chicken wing or two, some chips and dip, a slice of pizza and a cold one. Just don’t overindulge — eat and drink reasonably, keep track of what you chow down on ….

“Consider parking a few blocks from the party or heading outside for a walk instead of watching for the next wardrobe malfunction at halftime (that’s what DVRs are for anyway).”


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Filed under calories, Exercise, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, Snacking, Weight

What are the Mental Benefits of Exercise? – Oleda Baker – Guest Post

Click anywhere to see these full size

Click anywhere to see these full size

As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda last December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.

You might think the most important deterrent to brain cell deterioration is engaging in mind-bending games or doing the daily crossword puzzle. Taxing the brain and learning new skills are excellent activities, but they usually don’t get your heart rate up and pump blood to your brain cells.

Perhaps the most striking brain research discovery of the last decade is that physical exercise can forestall mental decline. It may even restore memory. Animal studies have shown that aerobic exercise increases capillary development in the brain, increasing blood supply, which carries more oxygen to the brain.

It doesn’t have to be formal exercise at the gym. You can play tennis a couple times a week, ride a bike, or walk a mile each day. A combined program of aerobics and weight training will produce the best results.

Fit people have sharper brains; and people who are out of shape, but then get into shape, sharpen their brains along with their bodies.

It was once thought that brain cells do not regenerate as do other cells of the body, but more modern science learned that neurons do continue to form in the brain, even into old age.

Memory does begin a decline when we reach our 40’s, but the progression is not as steep as originally feared. Indeed, forgetfulness may be due less to brain cell loss than other influences, such as taking care of the kids, the job, paying the bills, doing chores, everyday living all competing for cognitive time.

To keep your brain young you need to give it lots of varied stimulation and challenges. Like a muscle, it needs to be exercised, to “strain the brain,” so to speak. Repeating the same mental functions over and over, such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles or watching television, doesn’t help slow cognitive deterioration. Mental stimulation is as important for your brain as physical exercise is for your body.


As so often happens with Oleda’s ideas, they coincide exactly with my own. The only difference is that Oleda has lived longer and more successfully than I have. To read further about the value of exercise to the brain, check out my page Important Facts About Your Brain and Exercise.


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Filed under aging, dementia, happiness, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, Oleda Baker, Weight

A Super Relaxation Technique From Oleda Baker – Guest Post

Click anywhere to see these full size

Click anywhere to see these full size

As you can see from her photos, Senior Supermodel Oleda Baker is aging magnificently. I interviewed Oleda in December. She is a treasure trove of information on everything this blog stands for, namely weight control, healthy living and healthy aging, so I asked her if she would share some of her ideas with us. She has written 10 books on beauty and health. Her latest, written at the age of 75, Breaking the Age Barrier – Great Looks and Health at Every Age – was released in November 2010 and is available from Amazon or from her website where she also sells her own line of health and beauty aids.

Your Body, Mind and Spirit Need a Break … here’s how: Years ago a doctor in New York City told me how he relieved his stress at the end of the day…. I never forgot it and have followed his advice most days.

When he went home, he drew a tub of very warm water and soaked in it for about twenty minutes. “When you get out of bed in the morning, your body’s organs are more or less rested,” he explained. “As the day goes on, those organs, as well as your mind and spirit get out of sorts due to the day’s stressful wear and tear, as it were. Hydrotherapy, a fifteen or twenty minute very warm bath, relaxes me better than anything else I’ve tried. I can feel myself returning to a calm state, and I believe it’s good for my long term health and well-being, too.”

I tried it not knowing if it would work for me…It did work! Ever since, I have soaked in a relaxing tub of warm water every day I possibly can. Until you try it it’s hard to believe how well it works. Here’s why:

Hydrotherapy – an Ancient Healing Practice

Hydrothermal therapy (hot water treatment) has been used as a traditional treatment for disease and injury by many cultures, including China and Japan. Asklepios, the ancient Greek god of healing, advocated the use of water as medicine. Similarly, Roman physicians, Galen and Celsus, used therapeutic baths for many remedies. So, water therapy has been used for centuries to heal the sick.

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Filed under aging, happiness, life challenges, men and healthy eating, men's health, Oleda Baker, relaxation, stress

Public Largely Ignorant About Obesity Risks

It shouldn’t be surprising that since 60 percent of us are overweight and 30 percent obese that many people don’t understand the risks of obesity. Duh. This is twice as many as 20 years ago. Even our children are getting fatter. Among young people, 15 percent of those ages 6 to 19 are seriously overweight. That’s nearly 9 million, triple the number in 1980.

Maybe if people had a better idea about how damaging obesity is, there wouldn’t be so many overweight.

About one out of four people think it’s possible for someone to be very overweight and still be healthy, according to a poll by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Only seven percent of people in the survey mentioned cancer. Yet doctors have known for years that fat increases the risk of a number of cancers. It was recently reported that cancers of the esophagus, uterus, pancreas and kidney have risen despite declines in cancer rates. Experts said that excess weight triggers production of insulin and hormones that play a role in cancer growth.

Also, with overweight people excess fat makes it difficult to spot some tumors.

John Seffrin, the American Cancer Society’s chief executive officer, said in a statement.”For people who do not smoke, excess weight and lack of sufficient physical activity may be among the most important risk factors for cancer.”

As an arthritis sufferer, I was not surprised to learn that excess weight takes a toll on one’s joints, especially the knees. Only about fifteen percent of people were aware that obesity can contribute to arthritis, which then aggravates joint pain and makes it harder to exercise creating a vicious downward spiral in health.

The study also found that half of the people think their weight is just about right and only 12 percent of parents think their child is overweight. Nevertheless, about 60 percent of adults and 30 percent of children and teens are either overweight or obese.

If you want to know how much you should weight, please check out What is My Ideal Weight?

The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research study took place between late November and mid-December, by phone interviews with just over 1,000 adults.

For significantly more detail on obesity, you can read How Does Obesity Affect You posted here in May. Or you can click on the obesity tag at the right for a number of similar items.



Filed under arthritis, body fat, childhood obesity, fat, fat kids, general well-being, health, healthy eating, heart problems, men and healthy eating, men's health, obesity, Weight

Healthy Holiday Eating Tips

Christmas season is in full flourish now in the first week of December. Shoppers are shopping and holiday get-togethers are being planned and taking place. This is the red zone for weight control weakness.

With that in mind, here are helpful tips on dealing with the holiday social events from Dr. Griffin Rodgers Institute Director of the National Institutes of Health.

1. Holiday pressures can interrupt a person’s routine and make it even more challenging to follow plans to stay healthy.

2. Don’t “save up” for big meals, rather have a light snack beforehand; keep an eye on the drinks, alcohol in particular adds calories and enhances appetite; and go easy on dessert. He also recommends being realistic.

3. Regular physical activity during the holiday season may boost your energy, clear your mind, manage any health problems like diabetes or high blood pressure, and help get some items checked off your holiday “to do” list.

4 The holiday season is not the time to abandon healthy eating and exercise habits.

5. Don’t let the holidays become a free-for-all. Overindulgence only adds to your stress and guilt. Continue to get plenty of sleep and physical activity. If you do overindulge in eating too much, don’t be too hard on yourself up. Get back on track at the next meal.

6. Share your family health history. Ask questions. Talk about common health problems like diabetes and high blood pressure and whether anyone in the family has these conditions.

You can have happy holidays and still remain aware of your body’s real needs. Doctor Rodgers offers some useful advice. I hope you can put it to good use.

Eat less; move more. Words to live by.


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Filed under calories, diet food, Exercise, fat, happiness, holiday eating, life challenges, men and healthy eating, portion size, stress, sugar

Thanksgiving – Giving Thanks

thanks·giv·ing noun \thaŋ(k)s-ˈgi-viŋ also ˈthaŋ(k)s-ˌ\
1: the act of giving thanks 2: a prayer expressing gratitude (Merriam Webster)

The Thanksgiving Holiday tomorrow is uniquely American. Other countries have a similar celebration but not on the fourth Thursday of November.

I like Thanksgiving and wanted to start my celebration of it here on the blog.

I was riding my bicycle this morning and some of the things I have to be thankful for began rolling through my head and I wanted to share them with you.

This is a rare view of the Chicago skyline from behind the Adler Planetarium.

The thing I am most grateful for is my current state of superb health. I retired 12 years ago and think I currently enjoy the best health of my entire life. I can’t run as fast or jump as high as I did in my 20’s and 30’s but my general health, mental and physical, is the best ever. One of the main reasons for that wonderful health is co-writing this blog. And for that I am deeply grateful to John for suggesting we write a blog on diet and good health back in March of 2010. It’s funny how the blog has worked for me. It brought a health-oriented focus to my mind that has not wavered in nearly three years. So thanks, John, much appreciated.

Once we started writing the blog, I signed up for various courses from The Great Courses (formerly The Teaching Company). Three of the most valuable were Nutrition Made Clear, taught by Professor Roberta Anding, Baylor College of Medicine and Texas Children’s Hospital. Lifelong Health: Achieving Optimum Well-Being at any Age, by Dr. Anthony Goodman, Montana State University and Cornell Medical College and Stress and Your Body by Professor Robert Sapolsky, a MacArthur Foundation Genius Grant recipient, Stanford University.

As you can see from their titles, information flowed from them through me to the blog. They added breadth and scope to our efforts.

What I learned from them has helped to reshape my life in the last three years as I put their lessons into daily practice.

Because of my good health, as a senior citizen, I daily have the blessing of being able to ride my bike and enjoy it with the same pleasure I did as a child. I mostly ride along Chicago’s beautiful lakefront. You can see one of the photos  from my ride today above. I also write a blog on my own called WillingWheeling which has the singular focus of the beautiful elements in my life. Feel free to take a look.

I shot the skyline of Chicago to share with you a view that very few people who actually live here ever see. It is from the eastern-most point behind the Adler Planetarium. Few Chicagoans even know there is anything behind that building. I ride my bike there often.

I am also grateful for this November to remember weather we are experiencing. Temperatures have been more than 10 degrees above normal this week. The 50 and 60 degree F temps are ideal cycling weather. I pedaled over 40 miles in today’s balmy air. Some call this Indian Summer.

My daughter and myself at her fashion show for the Wounded Warriors.

I am also grateful for my beautiful daughter, Kate, who has just been accepted into a university and offered a four year scholarship. I am very proud of her. The photo of us was taken at a fashion show she produced which raised several thousand dollars for the Wounded Warriors.

Last but not least, I am grateful for my little canine companion, Gabi, who I adopted six years ago and who makes me laugh every day of my life. I wrote the strange story of my adoption of her here.
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Filed under aging, biking, brain, Exercise, general well-being, happiness, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, men's health, stress, Weight

A Love Letter to Hostess Ho Ho’s and Twinkies – NOT

Full disclosure: I ate Ho Ho’s and Twinkies as a kid and loved them just like the other kids. But, I was a child and didn’t know any better. I’m not a kid any more and wouldn’t think of eating them now. We didn’t know better back in the 40’s and 50’s. My mom used to give us Wonder Bread slices slathered with butter and topped with sugar as a treat. My dentist safaried in Africa on that treat years later.

Let’s look closely at a package of Ho Ho’s. There are three cupcakes inside. I was amazed to see that the serving size is all three, the whole package. Usually, they break it down to a smaller number to reduce the caloric count. One serving of the Ho Ho’s yields 370 calories, according to Calorie Count.

If you don’t pay much attention to calories, let me explain. I weigh around 150 pounds and can consume 2100 calories a day to maintain that weight. The 370 calories in a serving of Ho Ho’s comes to nearly a quarter of my daily allowance of calories. That takes the place of almost an entire meal.

The three cupcakes contain 17 grams of fat of which 13 grams are saturated fat. That’s a mouthful, or should I say an artery full of fat. The government recommends that we not eat more than 21 grams of saturated fat in a day. This is more than half that amount in a single snack.

There are 30 mg of cholesterol which doesn’t seem too off-putting.

Some 220 mg of Sodium are high, but I have seen worse.

Total carbohydrates come to 54 grams. Okay.

Only one gram of fiber. Most of us are lacking in fiber intake. This snack doesn’t help. Adults need around 40 grams of fiber a day. Ho Ho’s leave us 39 grams short.

Sugars come to 42 grams. A teaspoon of sugar amounts to 4.2 grams, so this is 10 teaspoons of sugar. Gag much?

Lastly, there are two lonely grams of protein. The average adult needs over 50 grams a day. So, again, Ho Ho’s pretty much leave you at the starting gate when it comes to your need for protein, nature’s building blocks.

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Filed under arteries, body fat, calories, cholesterol, fast food, heart problems, men and healthy eating, protein, Snacking, sugar, Weight

What About Eating Movie Popcorn?

I grew up going to the movies. Every Saturday we would go catch the Western double feature along with cartoons. My mom gave me money for admission and a box of popcorn. So movie watching has always been a munching experience for me.

I live in downtown Chicago. There is a wonderful AMC Theater about a mile from my door. That Multiplex is usually my go to theater. With a choice of 10 screens I almost can’t go wrong. The only fly in the ointment is the popcorn. I am always sorely tempted to buy one of their tubs to munch on while watching. Unfortunately, AMC  popcorn can turn any movie into a horror flick.

A large AMC popcorn has 1030 calories, 443 mg of Sodium, 31 grams of total fat with 27 grams of saturated fat. The only good news is 13 grams of protein but at an awful nutritional price.

A look at the breakdown yields the following. The 1030 calories amount to half of my calorie budget for the day. The 443 mg of Sodium are about a quarter of my salt allotment. Lastly, 27 grams of saturated fat are 6 grams higher than the total amount suggested as a maximum for the entire day. The only reservation I have on this is it might be that the saturated fat comes from coconut oil which is wonderfully healthy for the body. Check out my write up Why you should include coconut oil in your diet.

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Filed under calories, Fiber, heart, men and healthy eating, popcorn, portion size, protein, Snacking, Weight

What Blog Just Passed 200,000 Visitors?, the blog you’re reading, just passed having 200,000 visitors since its launch in 2010. Also, Monday, May 14, was our busiest single day ever in terms of unique visitors. We’d like to thank all our visitors, followers and other bloggers who have reblogged our postings and made us the success we’re becoming.

I’m John…


We started with the simple thought that men don’t think enough about their health nor about the impact on their health of what they eat.

We’ve evolved into much more than that, providing recipes, insights into health studies and men’s health best practices. We’ve also offered ongoing monitoring of the calorie and nutrition contents of some of the most popular, but least healthy, fast food menu options like McDonald’s Cherry Berry Chiller, and given you less harmful alternatives. Continue reading

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We Should Have Fruit at Work More Often

I’ve been writing about a recent trip to London where I went through training for a new job I’ve taken in the Chicago office of a British employer.

The office in London had many differences from the one here, some a bit quirky but at least one that I found very pleasant, and healthy.

Twice a week there, cartons of fresh fruit are delivered to the office and put out in bowls throughout the place. Apples, bananas, I think oranges as well.

And people flock to the free fruit. I grabbed the last apple the morning after a shipment from the previous day, it was the only piece of fruit left. I had a banana the second day they were delivered (I think deliveries were Tuesday and Thursday). Continue reading

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Green Tea for St. Patrick’s Day… and Every Day

“BETTER to be deprived of food for three days, than tea for one.”
Ancient Chinese proverb.

If that really is an ancient Chinese proverb it must be referring to green tea. Don’t know about green tea? You are in for a treat. reports that in 1994 the Journal of the National Cancer Institute had a study showing that green tea drinking cut the risk of esophageal cancer in Chinese men and women by nearly 60%.

Nadine Taylor wrote an entire book on it – Green Tea: The natural secret to a healthy life.

Green tea, beautiful benefits

HealthMad lists 10- benefits of green tea.

1 Used to treat Multiple sclerosis
2 Cancer treat/prevent
3 Stop Alzheimer’s/Parkinson’s
4 Raises metabolism and increases fat oxidation
5 Reduces risk of heart diseases and attacks by cutting risk of thrombosis
6 Reduces risk of esophageal cancer
7 Inhibits growth of certain cancer cells, reduces level of cholesterol in blood, improves ratio of good over bad.
8 Used to treat rheumatoid arthritis and cardiovascular diseases
9 Used to treat impaired immune function
10 May help prevent tooth decay by killing bacteria that causes dental plaque

What makes green tea so special? said it is the high quantity of catechin polyphenols. These are powerful antioxidants that not only inhibit cancer cells, but kill them outright without harming healthy tissue. It also lowers LDL cholesterol (the bad cholesterol) levels and inhibits the abnormal formation of blood clots which can cause heart attacks and stroke.


Lastly, you might be asking why green tea and not black, or Earl Grey? reported that while the teas all come from the leaves of the same plant, the green tea leaves are steamed which prevents a very valuable chemical compound (EGCG) from being oxidized. Other teas are made from fermented leaves which results in the EGCG being converted into other compounds that are not nearly as effective in fighting disease.

The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition published the results of a study at the University of Geneva in Switzerland that showed men who were given a combination of caffeine and green tea extract burned more calories than those given only caffeine or a placebo.

Speaking of caffeine, green tea contains only 30 to 60 mg of caffeine in 6-8 ounces vs 100 mg or more in coffee.




Filed under aging, green tea, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, St. Patrick's Day

Why a Blog … Our Second Anniversary

John and I have known each other for close to 30 years. We have commiserated about our weight problems for much of that time. Early in 2010 he said he thought we ought to write a blog about diet, exercise, healthy eating, etc., since we had talked so much about it for so long.

I said I didn’t know the first thing about blogs, but would be happy to write stuff for it if he wanted to set one up. As he not only knew about them but had actually worked on blogs for several years, he said he could. He did and you are looking at the result.

Poochie and me at a group bike ride … after getting caught in the rain.

I am thrilled to have participated in this for the past two years. It is great fun finding items on our posts and writing them up. There is a learning process involved and a teaching process in each item. That’s what being a journalist always has been … at least for me.

It is nice to look back on this body of work over the past two years. Lots of interesting items. I am amazed at the breadth of our coverage.

I am also amazed at the fact that this year I am in the best shape of my life and feel even more confident now than I did when we started that I can control my weight exactly. I had good tools going in with the Lose it! app and my own appetite for biking. But, now as a result of items I have read and written up here. I also understand better than I ever did the relationship between cardio and weight work. Also  I have learned about the great benefit to the brain from exercise. As a senior citizen this is critical info for me. And, most gratifying to share with you, too. I consider aging to be another subject that fits into our purview here.

December 31, 2011 marked the end of our first complete calendar year publishing this blog and we had over 100,000 visitors.

Thanks to all of you who have found us and continue to come back. We couldn’t have done it without you. The good news is that our numbers are growing this year.

This is a partial update of a blog item I wrote a year ago.  John is currently ‘across the pond’ working in London and may want to write further on it when he gets some time.


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Filed under aging, brain, calories, Exercise, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, men's health, Snacking, Weight

Going Safe for Dinner in London — A Steak and Fries

By the time I got back to my hotel Monday evening after arriving in London at 5 a.m. local time, I’d been up for a very long time and was extremely tired, so I opted for room service.

The hotel menu had some interesting-sounding British dishes, like pan fried black pudding, but my sense of adventure was pretty weak after a busy day, so I opted for something safe, steak and French fries, or steak frites.

Steak Frites, I left most of the butter sauce in the little server/

The steak was listed as 250 grams which is almost nine ounces. LoseIt! doesn’t list rump steak, it’s not a cut you might see in a U.S. restaraunt although rump roast is sold in U.S. supermarkets and other meat outlets. I found a calorie count of 35 per ounce for rump steak online, so my steak was 308 calories. Continue reading

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Who Are

Tony and I were talking over the weekend about how many times readers of our blog don’t seem to realize there are two of us writing here.

I’ll have friends writing and chiding me about something Tony wrote while he gets stopped by neighbors asking him why he’s writing about his weight troubles when he has none (those are my posts).

I'm John...

So, first, we each sign everything we write at the bottom, please read our posts to the ends before writing one of us about them. Continue reading

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Tony’s Top Ten Favorite Foods Last Year

John has been wonderfully candid and courageous in enumerating his eating habits as reported by Lose It! over the past year. There is a lot of food for thought there.

I thought that in the interest of full disclosure, I should enumerate my favorite foods, too. As is the case with John, my four favorite foods are the four elements of my breakfast each day. As an old retired guy, I have the same thing for breakfast every day.

On 365 days, I started with a hard boiled egg and a cup (or two) of coffee.The egg calories amounted to 28,470 for the year. The coffee (I use powdered milk and sugar) totalled 23,750 calories for the year.

I love my cuppa Joe in the morning

The third and major element of my breakfast is my morning smoothie.  A brief summary includes a fresh banana, strawberries, blueberries and celery, green tea and apple cider. You can get all the details here.

This amounts to 350 -400 calories per day or 123,900 for the year. I need a good energy boost initially because I often take the bike out for a ride after walking the dog.
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Filed under calories, Exercise, healthy eating, men and healthy eating, portion size, Snacking, Weight