Chemical Exposure Linked to Lower Vitamin D Levels – Study

Vitamin D has been called the rock star of vitamins. For an idea about all the good things our bodies get from vitamin D, check out these posts: How good is Vitamin D for you? Infographic, Vitamin D and your body – Harvard.

Exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) and other endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDCs) may reduce levels of vitamin D in the bloodstream, according to a new study published in the Endocrine Society’s Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.


The study is the first to find an association between EDC exposure and vitamin D levels in a large group of U.S. adults. EDCs are chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that can cause adverse health effects by interfering with hormones in the body. The Society’s Scientific Statement on EDCs examined more than 1,300 studies that found links between chemical exposure and health problems, including infertility, obesity, diabetes, neurological problems and hormone-related cancers. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under BPAs, Vitamin D, vitamin depletion

The Worst Breakfast is No Breakfast

There are lots of good ideas here. I know that in the hustle and bustle of working (career or school) folks are sometimes willing to skimp on breakfast. This shows why it is a big mistake.

I did have one small quibble with the general statement on healthy fats. I am a giant believer in coconut oil, a saturated fat. Check out my Page – Coconut oil – Why you should include it in your diet. I start every morning with a spoonful of peanut butter dipped in coconut oil. I eat it; I love it; I recommend it.


I couldn’t resist sharing this.


Athletic Performance Training Center

Breakfast[1]I always enjoy traveling to different schools and organizations to discuss Strength & Conditioning, Speed & Agility, and Nutrition.  Invariably, when discussing nutrition, we touch upon the importance of breakfast.  When I tell the audience that any breakfast is better than no breakfast, I usually get a few sarcastic responses like, “what about donuts?” or some other sweets or junk food.  Although I differentiate between a healthy, nutritious breakfast and a less sensible option, the point is this:  Eat something — anything — within 30-90 minutes of waking.  It will set the tone for the rest of your day.  It’s not that the quality of what you eat is unimportant, but the benefits of eating breakfast are indisputable:

  • Improves physical and mental health
  • Improves behavior and performance
  • Kick-starts your metabolism
  • Improves your mood
  • Boosts your energy level
  • Helps to minimize daytime hunger

Like any other meal or snack, the…

View original post 79 more words

1 Comment

Filed under breakfast, healthy breakfast

Boning up on bones – WebMD

As much as folks seem to know and care about the fat and the muscles in their body, they remain pretty ignorant about their bones. This is a shame because in the case of the skeleton you don’t know can hurt you.


WebMD has thoughtfully provided a test – Myths and facts about your bones to get you up to speed on the subject.

Herewith are a couple of questions that will hopefully encourage you to click on the link and take the entire test yourself.

Number one:

When do bones stop growing?

a  They don’t

b  Puberty

c  Late 20s

I’m not going to spoil your fun by giving you the correct answer.
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under bones

The science of weight loss – Infographic

As I have said repeatedly in these pages, it’s not about losing weight; it’s about living healthy. If you do that, you won’t have to worry about losing weight. I think this infographic supports that.




Filed under Exercise, Weight, weight control, weight loss


What I like most about this post is that it focuses you on your health and not just pounds. I know that when I struggled with my weight – for years – it was because all I looked at was the pounds. As soon as I lost five or ten I went back to my old ways. No wonder I never succeeded over the long term. You need to make a commitment to your health not just dropping a couple of pounds.


All About Healthy Choices


Does this sound familiar?

“I’ve tried dieting, exercising, appetite suppressants and the number on the scale won’t go down!” “I’ve done everything POSSIBLE, so I guess I’ll have to live with this reality.”



Most people did what they were WILLING TO DO under the terms they were WILLING TO DO IT. Without clearly understanding the mechanism of weight gain, they attempted to alter its outcome by throwing various “weight loss” ideas at the problem. This method  worked in the past, therefore, would surely work again. Unfortunately, as we age, it frequently doesn’t!

When patients came to me with specific health concerns, I didn’t simply reach into my bag of “experience” and “pull out” things that worked with other patients. I went through a thorough health history, examination and diagnostic testing (which might have included blood work, MRI’s, ultrasounds, CT scans, evoked potential…

View original post 435 more words


Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, weight control

New study helps to predict human life spans

Some few of us are predisposed to age faster than others according to a study by the U.S. Department of Health and  Human Services. They may even die early despite a healthy lifestyle.

Needless to say, these were not welcome words to me. I spend my life eating intelligently and exercising daily to keep my mind and body aging as well as humanly possible. In light of the fact that I am 76  years old and going strong, it seems to be working.


The international team of scientists analyzed DNA in blood samples from more than 13,000 people in the United States and Europe and used an “epigenetic clock” to predict their life spans.


The clock calculates the aging of blood and other tissues by tracking a natural process (methylation) that chemically alters DNA over time, the researchers explained.

“We discovered that five percent of the population ages at a faster biological rate, resulting in a shorter life expectancy,” said principal investigator Steve Horvath. He is a professor of human genetics and biostatistics at the University of California, Los Angeles. (my emphasis)

I took some encouragement from these data. If five percent of the population is aging faster, then 95 percent of the population is aging normally. So it is 19 to one that you are not one of the unlucky ones with these bad genes.

“Accelerated aging increases these adults’ risk of death by 50 percent at any age,” Horvath added in a university news release.

“While a healthful lifestyle may help extend life expectancy, our innate aging process prevents us from cheating death forever,” he said. “Yet risk factors like smoking, diabetes and high blood pressure still predict mortality more strongly than one’s epigenetic aging rate.” (my emphasis. Sounds to me like more good reasons to continue living a healthy lifestyle.)
Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, aging brain, biological clock, successful aging

The link between depression and smoking – Infographic

You all know how strongly I feel about the dangers of smoking. I have a Page with what I consider to be chapter-and-verse on why you shouldn’t smoke – How many ways does smoking harm you?

Here is a fascinating infographic linking depression and smoking.

Since it seems smoking follows depression, you might want to check out these posts:

How bad is depression?

Vigorous exercise may help restore mental health

Can the holiday season bring on depression?



Leave a comment

Filed under depression, smoking, Smoking dangers

CSPI’s Nutrition Action Healthletter Grades the Changing American Diet

Cheese Consumption hits All-Time High; Americans Still Consuming Too Much Beef & Soda Despite Declines, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI)

I’m sure it comes as no surprise to regular readers that the CSPI gives a barely passing grade to the quantity and quality of food we are consuming.


Americans are eating too much of everything, and it’s not just how much, but what we eat, that needs work, according to a report card on the changing American diet published today in Nutrition Action Healthletter.  The average American consumes about 2,500 calories per day, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates.  That’s up from about 2,000 calories a day in the 1970s. (my emphasis)

(Ed. note:  CSPI is hosting a quiz about America’s Changing Diet. Take it now, if you like, since spoilers follow.)

Continue reading


Filed under American diet, CSPI, healthy eating, Weight, weight control

Are you fit enough for surgery?

I have written a lot of words on the benefits of living a healthy life by eating intelligently and exercising regularly. We have the opportunity to live long healthy lives with our mental abilities functioning as well as our bodies do. We need only follow a few simple rules of good health. Our bodies are organic machines that need proper care and maintenance or they will fall into disrepair just like our inorganic machines, autos, refrigerators, etc., do.

Now the Wall Street Journal illuminates another aspect of fitness. The other side of good health, namely hospitalization and surgery.

“In health care, we often bring patients into surgery without fully addressing their chronic medical conditions,” says Dr. Solomon Aronson, executive vice chair in the anesthesiology department at Duke University School of Medicine in Durham, N.C. By improving their health before surgery, he says, “we can significantly diminish the risk of complications.”

The item cites a seriously overweight man who had a knee replacement in 2013, but the hardware began to come apart leaving him hobbled and in pain. The failed knee had to be removed. The patient was warned about the dangers of his being overweight. “No one had ever mentioned to me that this might be a problem…”

“The reason many patients don’t do well is because they are already deconditioned as couch potatoes, and then they get a big operation which makes them even more frail,” says Michael Englesbe, a University of Michigan transplant surgeon and associate professor who led the study and directs the Michigan Surgical and Health Optimization Program. Dr. Englesbe says that the program “empowers patients to have control over their outcome,” and recommends all patients train for elective surgery, much as they would before athletic competition.

Maybe this will be the final reminder for folks who are currently letting themselves go physically. There is always hope. It is never too late to improve your physical condition. Your body will respond to good behavior and nutrition and you can begin to flourish again on your own and before you need medical intervention. The choice is still yours.



Filed under Exercise, exercise benefits, fitness, fitness facts, Wall Street Journal

9 Ways Eating Bananas Can Benefit Your Health

I have a banana in my smoothie every morning. It’s one of the excellent foods.

For more on bananas check out these posts:

20 Health benefits of bananas – Infographic

7 Amazing facts about bananas – Infographic

More good reasons to eat bananas – Infographic



Our Better Health

If you’re like many people, no trip to the grocery store is complete until you add a bunch of bananas to your cart.

Bananas are inexpensive, tasty, and versatile, but the best reason to eat them is their health benefits. Read on to learn how this curvy, yellow wonder can help you stay well.

1. Tames Your Tummy
If you’ve ever had the stomach flu or food poisoning, you’ve probably been told to eat the BRAT diet during recovery. BRAT stands for bananas, rice, applesauce, and toast. Bananas are included in the acronym for good reason. They are bland enough to pass through the digestive tract easily, their potassium helps replenish lost electrolytes, and their fiber adds bulk to your stool to help calm diarrhea.

Some pregnant women report that bananas help ease morning sickness. It makes sense since bananas are high in vitamin B-6. One medium banana provides about…

View original post 1,212 more words


Filed under bananas, blood pressure, health benefits of bananas, stroke

Harvard on resuming bike riding

This seems particularly timely as I wrote about my own cycling – Riding a bike on Chicago’s Lakefront on Chicago’s Lakefront yesterday.

The Harvard Health Publications has a nice positive blog post on starting cycling again presumably as a senior.

Heidi Godman, Executive Editor of the Harvard Health Letter, states that she loved riding as a kid, but now only rides occasionally.


“It’s fun, it’s socially oriented, and it gets you outside and exercising,” says Dr. Clare Safran-Norton, a physical therapist at Harvard-affiliated Brigham and Women’s Hospital. Plus, cycling is an aerobic activity, it’s easy on the joints, and it helps build muscle and bone. Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under aging, cardio exercise, cycling, regular bike riding, safe biking, Weight

Riding a bike on Chicago’s Lakefront

I have been writing in these pages for nearly seven years about riding my bike on Chicago’s Lakefront. But, I haven’t shared much with you in the way of photos. So, this post is my attempt to rectify that omission.

First of all, I have a You Tube video that I made back in 2010 when I was still new to my iPhone. You will see the Lakefront, Buckingham Fountain (with its rainbow!) 12th St. Beach, Northerly Island. The huge parking lot that I rode in was the Soldier Field parking lot where the Bears play. As you may guess, I am a big Willie Nelson fan, hence his music behind it.

The second video, just 20 seconds, is one I shot of a squirrel I was feeding. As you probably already know, I ride my bike with my dog in the front basket most of the time, when temps are over 4o F. So, I stop often and take her out of the basket to stretch her legs and have some treats. Although I live on Chicago’s Lakefront, I have a wonderful world of wildlife around me. You will have seen ducks in the first one. In this, I have a squirrel that I was feeding. Rabbits and geese also abound.

I usually ride early in the morning and often before the sun comes up. Here are some shots of the sun and clouds that I get over Lake Michigan.

This next is brand new, I shot it on the morning of September 27, 2016. It only lasts 29 seconds, but you get to see a rainbow in Chicago’s famed Buckingham Fountain.



This was sunrise on 13 September 2016.


Here is a shot looking south from the bike path just after sunrise. The buildings are illuminated by the risen sun.


This is looking directly east as the sun is rising. Aren’t the clouds cool?

If you have enjoyed the photos and would like to see more, I invite you to my Pinterest Page  which has around 100 more pics.

I hope it is obvious that I get a lot more than just good cardio on my rides.

Thanks for your time.



Filed under biking, Chicago Lakefront photos, regular bike riding

Research Reveals How A Single Choice Affects Mental Health More Than Medications

Regular readers know that I have stressed the importance of exercise for the brain. So, it seems a logical corollary that food also affects the brain as well as the body.



Our Better Health

“We need to get serious
about the critical role played by nutrition.”

– Julia Rucklidge, Clinical Psychologist

We pretty much all agree that good nutritional habits are vital to good physical health, yes? But what about mental health? Do good nutritional habits translate to a healthier mental state? On the surface, it would make sense. After all, the food that we eat contains nutrients – and these nutrients are transported throughout our entire body via our bloodstream. We already know that the brain requires nutrients to operate effectively…so, yeah, it makes sense.

But is eating right more important to mental health than prescription medicine?

Ah, this is a bit trickier. After all, pharmaceuticals are research-intensive and science-based products that have undergone extensive trial and error, often over a period of multiple years. These same products have earned the coveted “seal of approval” from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA)…no easy…

View original post 690 more words


Filed under brain, brain health, nutrition, nutritional value

Walking an hour a day best for longevity – Study

I have written numerous times in these pages that walking is the Cinderella of the exercise world – totally unappreciated. I have an entire Page on the Why you should walk more so I was more than a little pleased to read the American Cancer Society study on the benefits of walking an hour a day.

“Researchers from the National Cancer Institute, the American Cancer Society, and others have found that getting 3 to 5 times the amount of recommended leisure-time physical activity results in the greatest benefit in terms of a longer life. The study was published online in JAMA Internal Medicine. One way to achieve this benefit is by walking an hour a day.


“The US Department of Health and Human Services and the American Cancer Society are among organizations that recommend adults get at least 150 minutes (2.5 hours) of moderate intensity or 75 minutes (1.25) hours of vigorous intensity activity each week, preferably spread throughout the week. Moderate-intensity activities are those at the level of a brisk walk. Vigorous-intensity activities increase your heart rate and breathing, and make you sweat. Continue reading


Filed under aging, Exercise, exercise benefits, walking

“Super-aging” seniors retain healthy memory abilities – Study

Because I have both Alzheimer’s and dementia in my family, I am extremely sensitive to this kind of news about the aging brain and memory. Check out my Page – Important facts about your brain (and exercise benefits) to read further.

Some loss of memory is often considered an inevitable part of aging, but new research reveals how some people appear to escape that fate. A study by Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) investigators examines a remarkable group of older adults whose memory performance is equivalent to that of younger individuals and finds that certain key areas of their brains resemble those of young people.


The study published in The Journal of Neuroscience is the first step in a research program aimed at understanding how some older adults retain youthful thinking abilities and the brain circuits that support those abilities. The program is led by Bradford Dickerson, MD, director of the Frontotemporal Disorders Unit in the MGH Department of Neurology and Lisa Feldman Barrett, PhD, MGH Department of Psychiatry, who are co-senior authors of the new study.

 Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under aging, aging brain, brain function, successful aging

Stop Letting Your Feelings Color Your Thoughts

In view of the upcoming elections, I thought this was a particularly timely post. Whether you want to trumpet the Donald or pillory Hillary, there are some worthwhile ideas here.




Our Better Health

Imagine getting into a political discussion with someone who is highly passionate about their beliefs. If the conversation is a good one, those beliefs will likely, at some point, come under question. If their emotional PH is high enough, they’ll interpret that as not only their ideas being threatened, but their identities too. Soon, you’re not having a conversation anymore, but a back-and-forth defense match. It’s not about listening, it’s about being right. You reach for over-generalizations, they argue with singular, personal anecdotes, you make sweeping assumptions, cite studies you read once-upon-a-time, their faces widen with bewilderment at how you cannot possibly see what’s so logical and self-evident to them.

This is a really common example of what happens when people allow their emotions to color their thoughts.

Being passionate is fine. Feeling a lot is fine. But when you lose your ability to differentiate what you feel from what…

View original post 333 more words


Filed under dealing with stress, emotions, relaxation, stress