What if a few drops of a cheap, store-bought liquid could boost your energy, help you lose weight and improve your mood?
I am talking about what I read, as a kid, regarding Vermont Folk Medicine (see the book by D.C. Jarvis). The cheap ingredient is what often common salt is fortified with to prevent goiter. Can you guess what it is?
Congratulations for those who answered iodine.
You see, a lack of thyroid can not only lead to swollen thyroid glands, but a host of other health problems. An under active thyroid can cause a person to be excessively cold, tired, have muscle cramps, gain weight and become depressed.
So, before you reach for an anti-depressant, an appetite suppressant or low Calorie snack or beat yourself up for being lazy, think about your thyroid. Your thyroid is your body’s thermostat. When it is out of whack, so are you.
Your loyal thyroid needs a minimum of 150 micrograms of iodine per day to be healthy. Good sources are iodized salt, sea food, fresh vegetables and grains. And, of course, supplementation. (Toxicity is rare, but use common sense.) Also, foods like Brussels sprouts and broccoli and drugs like Sulfonamide can inhibit the absorption of iodine.
So, without starving yourself with some whacko diet and exercising to exhaustion, simply add more iodine to your diet and see whether or not your health improves. It can be as simple as that.
Learn some other little known methods for health and flatter midriffs in my book: Flat Gut After 50. (It works for teens and 20 something too!)
Born Dec.4, 1860, Helen Louise Leonard began singing under her stage name of Lillian Russell at age 18. By the late 19th century, Ms. Russell had starred in many stage shows and was sought after by several suitors. She had a long-time relationship with one of the world’s most richest man, “Diamond Jim” Brady.
Despite gifts of jewels and a gold-plated bicycle, Lillian refused to marry the multi-millionaire.
Throughout her life, she recognised the importance of exercise. Hiring a trainer and exercising on her own, she usually kept her weight between between 140 and 160 pounds. At the peak of her career and fame, she weighed between 181 and 200 pounds. Even at 200 pounds, standing at five feet, seven inches (168 cm), she was considered one of the world’s most beautiful women. Despite a high Body Mass Index (BMI), Lillian had measurements worthy of top models, Playboy models and beauty contestants:
42″/107 cm Bust
27″/69 cm Waist
40″/102 cm Hips
If you calculate her waist-to-hip (WHR) ratio you will find that it is below the critical number of under 0.8, which indicates good health and also makes a woman’s figure most attractive. Ms. Russell had a WHR of .68. Coupled with her posture, grace and charm, made her an icon of beauty in the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
Having wingless arms is a simple process…if you know what you are doing.
As a kid, I’ll never forget being yelled at by an old woman for running around her flower garden. (It was the other guy, really.) While she yelled and pointed at a bunch of us kids, I watched in fascination and horror her sagging tricep that flapped about as she shook her finger at us.
Later on, I learned that some people developed these wings over the course of time. Never saw much use for sagging triceps, let alone flapping arm wings. At least if you want to stay active.
It only takes a few minutes a week to trim the arms on guys or gals. Just be consistent and train right.
Here is a simple solution which can be done with light weights or rubber cables.
One set upright row 15 to 20 reps
One set arm curls 15 to 20 reps
One set of tricep extensions or French Press 15 to 20 reps
Most important is to warm up first, use weights or cables that you can safely perform between 15 and 20 repetitions AND a minimum of 15 seconds between exercises. And that is it. Done. Add it to your workout or exercise routine. Although you will tend to get best results training your arms separately from heavy training days.
Before you know it, any wings will be replaced with beautiful horseshoe-shaped triceps.
The Blues haunt me. Sometimes. On occasion, I get a visit from the Black Dog of depression. Especially, those long days of no progress, fatigue or too much reflection on death, dying, love-lost and a dozen other crappy topics.
There were dark times when I went down that lonely, what’s-the-use road of depression. This once happened when I was walking up and down the cold streets of the one of the coldest North Amercian cities, Winnipeg (aka Winterpeg). For some reason, I could not think straight or decide where I was going to have lunch. I finally tossed a coin. The winning place was this awesome little restaurant on Osborne Street. The chicken and soup special was something like $7.50. Good food always boosted morale and lifted the blues.
But, that was just a short fix. I was deep in debt, recently broke up with my girlfriend, partially employed and no heat at home.
So, who to really blame? I got in over my head with some real estate costs and over-extended myself, my savings and my credit and lost out on a good relationship. Somewhere under definition of failure, there was a picture of me. Age 38. Practically a bum.
O.K. take responsibility. Next, I had to take stock of what I had left. Over 50 things were still going right. Everything from my friends to having 20-20 vision. I might have been carry a massive debt over me, but I was not like a skid row derelict. Heck, no. A bit of the blues. But, not in the land of no return.
So, what was next, genius? Well, the confusion, too much work, not asking for help, not hiring the right professionals, not thinking things through and the fatigue. Maybe some PTSD leftover from my U.N. tour. It was not too hard to figure out who was responsible at over-extending themselves.
Jim Carey had once described being depressed as needing Deep-Rest. That I agree. Especially when you are burning both ends of the candle… with dual flamethrowers.
Doing too much, too soon reminded me of a couple of people who decided to run a full marathon after minimum preparation. One quit part way through and the other was taken away in an ambulance.
I knew then, that I needed energy and mental focus without burning out. Energy could be build through exercise, nutrition and proper sleep. Exercise had to be regular of both strength and endurance building, without over-training. That meant high protein food to feed my nerves, brain and muscles. Sleep had deep to be uninterrupted. Mental focus came from practise and rest.The nutrients that I had strayed away from were: high protein meals, such as eggs, beef, chicken and fish. B vitamins from food, like beef liver, molasses, vegetables and supplements. Herbs, like St. John’s Wort, for mild depression and Gingko Biloba for concentration. I would grow simple bean sprouts that were packed with nutrients.
There were things to avoid as well. No coffee, colas, alcohol or sugar products. If you look at the destitute parts of town, the drunks and the homeless mostly consume starch, coffee and booze and smoke like chimneys. I made a pact that I would not drink until I was fully employed and out of my neighbourhood.
Then, there was sunlight. Something that too many people avoid through fear of skin cancer or being indoors too much. People’s bodies cannot process calcium properly without enough vitamin D. I was alright with that factor as I worked outside in construction and with the army reserves.
Sleep was a problem. My neighbourhood was noisy at night and my car tires had been slashed one time. I had to move soon. I would make sure that I slept over seven hours per night. I would buy L-Tryptophan supplements when I could afford them, to help me sleep.
And work. I needed more work. Work was more than just income. It got me out contributing to the community. That week, I jumped right into the climb out of the hole plan. I ran, lifted weights and trained at a cheap martial arts club.Nutrition: I ate eggs, canned beans, salad, oatmeal, beef liver, sprouts and brown rice to keep up my energy and save money. Later, I bought multi-B vitamins, L-tryptophan and St. John’s Wort and Gingko Biloba. (Later yet, I learned to harvest St. John’s Wort for free!)
I found a better place with a friend and found day work and part-time work in the evening. Two years later, I was in university full-time, instructing fitness classes in the evening, working for the army reserves most weekends. I had completed two full marathons and won a kick-boxing title. I even starting dating again. I was too damn busy to think about the blues. I cover many of the techniques that I used in Flat Gut After 50.
Strong calves aid balance, power and stamina to human movements. Well-developed calves are both functional and attractive. They both aid and assist in movements like dancing, skipping, sprinting, hiking and racquet sports.
Fortunately, they respond quickly to proper exercise. I found the following routine from Kurt Brungartd’s book: The Complete Book of Butt and Legs and have used it with hundreds of trainees. Not only do the calves respond quickly to this routine, but also the proprioceptor (balance) muscles and the good ol’ glutes (butt muscles).
Here it is:
stair, curb or any fixed object that you can balance on the balls of your feet
and allow your heels to be lowered.
With your toes and balls of
your feet on the platform (eg. Stair), lower your heels as far as they can go
and then raise up as high as you can go. That my friend, is a simple calf raise.
be performing three sets of calf raises. Please follow the sequence with no
more than 15 seconds delay between each set.
1st set, toes forward 10 to 30 repetitions
2nd set, toes inward (pigeon toed) 10 to 30 repetitions
3rd set, toes outward 10 to 30 repetitions
out with 5-10 repetitions and only increase the repetitions to 30 when you can
complete all three sets in good form. At
the end of the three sets, lower your heels and gently let the muscles stretch
out. Do this routine one to three times
per week for eight weeks.
At first, you may experience
tightness. but later you will be able to
gain greater range of movement and may also see an improvement with your posture
and balance as well as diamond-cut calves.
After instructing regular and army reserve courses for decades you get a feel for recruits who are toxic. Not the socially awkward, over/underweight or seemingly crazy, but plain destructive. Maybe even a bit evil.
Two things I clued into when recruit “H” showed up. One, he was a know-it-all wise-guy and Two I recognised him from over 25 years ago. Right away, he started making lewd comments to the female recruits and was trying to be the hot-shot recruit. He even invited me to watch him compete in a karate tournament. I was not impressed (was I supposed to be in awe?) and read him the riot act on conduct and trying to be personal. Then, I told him that I knew who he was and his new name had no bearing. He was a sneaky little sexist creep who had not learned.
And guess what trade had ACCEPTED this creep. Yep. The military police.
I always took pride in my recruits and saw many go onto to good careers and lives. Not this one. I spent much of my free time researching his background. Call it fate, but one information source told me that H was a former sex-offender.
Game on, creep. I pulled every trick in the book, wrote volumes of reports and let the military police know of the trouble coming their way. (It helps to have friends every where.) Soon “H” was gone.
Maybe it seemed unfair. Maybe it was the wrong approach and he might have turned a new leaf. But, then again, maybe I saved someone’s life from being ruined.
The main speaker had just proposed something ridiculous.
As a result, I changed my mind about the meetings. It was too bad as I was looking for answers about my drinking habits and life patterns. It was what had brought me to the Adult Children of Alcoholics meetings in the first place.
I was not an alcoholic. Maybe I had shared some of the common alcoholic traits, sure. I drank. But, nothing like my aunt, uncle, former step-father and sister. Heck no. There had been similar habits. But not those of a fall-down, blacking out, alcoholic.
Sure, there were some patterns: like drinking, hanging out with drinkers and low self-esteem. My habits almost fit the bill. So, I wanted to make sure that I was not one of those boozers. This led me to reading books like Adult Children of Alcoholics by Janet Woetitz’s and It Will Never Happen to Me! by Claudia Black. It sparked my interest and led me to the study of Adult Children Of Alcoholics.
So, I visited a few of the ACOA meetings. Here, we could talk about our experiences. And each week, learn a bit about the different characteristics of ACOAs, like fear of authority, people-pleasing and low self-esteem. There were also specific personalities like: the enabler, the hero, the rescuer, the scapegoat, the lost child and the mascot. (Man I hope that I was not the last two.) It became a game of what-kind-of ACOA-am-I and why-I-am-messed-up.
Maybe it explained why so many people like (approval-seeking) sales people and actors are so good at what they do? Maybe some of these imperfections are what made people ambitious?
At first, ACOA meetings felt great. Many of us felt accepted and could talk about our problems. Sort of like a bunch of old guys moaning and groaning about their aches and pains.
But, then the pivot point came for me. One of the group leaders, who always wore a camouflaged bandana, insisted that we have a picnic.
“And,” he had added. “We all come dressed as children so we can relive our childhoods.”
O.K. this was going strange really fast. Then and there, I realised, while the meetings never really explained how to get out of the rut! It became apparent that many of the members LIKED hanging around and talking about their problems. That was my cue to leave.
I left and learned to recover quicker on my own.
Firstly, I re-focused on my nutrition, fitness and meditations to strengthen my mind and body. I started taking college courses and met different people. Best of all, I filled my mind with better thoughts and material than the old childhood programs of not being good enough or “you’ll never do that.” I changed jobs and studied at journalism at college. To fill those empty moments, I kept up my running and martial arts training. Later, I met and I dated a nice gal.
Yes, the lure of the old drinking crowd was always there. But, I had dozens of other things to do that was more fulfilling and definitely cheaper in the long run. It just took effort and imagination.
If you are in this rut, start taking action to reduce your alcohol craving. First, feed yourself properly, exercise and keep your mind active. Follow a high protein, low grain, low sugar diet and take extra B vitamins. This will minimize the alcohol damage and allow you to think more clearly. That is what got me out of the drinking routine and gaining 40 pounds of muscle.
Ever see drinkers on construction sites and offices? They often arrive late or barely on time, cigarette and coffee in hand. Breakfast is non-existent and lunch and dinner are usually fast food . Those habits have low blood sugar and malnutrition written all over it and make it harder to leave the drinking routine.
When you are well-nourished, your mind and body are more energized and able to resist alcohol cravings than if you are malnourished.
My book: Reduce Your Alcohol Craving can show you how to eat and get the right nutrients to protect yourself against the effects of alcohol and keep you energized throughout the day.
Why does alcohol makes some people sleepy, others tired, aggressive or silly? Why do some people drink with little reaction, while others get violently ill?
Part of the answer lies in our genes and biochemistry. For instance, many people of Asian background lack the alcohol dehydrogenase enzyme and cannot process alcohol very quickly, if at all. Meanwhile, some people from Eastern and Northern Europe are born with a high level of the alcohol-processing enzyme. Some cultures, like most Europeans, have built up a tolerance to alcohol and drink high quality spirits with little effect.
If you can understand how alcohol effects you, you can learn how to minimize it’s effects and still occasionally enjoy it.