Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Holiday Eating Do’s and Don’ts

With Thanksgiving just 4 days away and the holiday season around the corner I know how hard it is to resist all the celebrative eating and drinking (and the weight gain that comes with it) so I put together an awesome guide to eating during the holidays.
You DON’T have to totally deprive yourself during the holidays but you DO have to have some willpower to say no!
DON’T try to convince yourself that you’re going to eat less after the holiday event therefore it’s ok to eat what you want during the event. You will not have as much motivation to diet once the event has passed.
DO eat less for the 3-5 days leading up to the event. When the event takes place, you’ll look and feel better than you originally expected and you will feel less guilty when you enjoy yourself at the celebration.
DO dress sexy. Wear something tight, do your hair up, put on your highest heels etc. This way you will feel less likely to indulge in a huge dinner.
DON”T drink wine or beer. Go for hard alcohol if you must have something. Why? Because you can nurse a hard drink all night, but with wine and beer there’s a higher chance you will want another.
DO position yourself as far away from the appetizer table as possible.
DON’T sit in front of the TV. What’s on TV this thanksgiving? An awesome football game. What’s in front of the TV? Most likely a table with snacks. If you really want to watch the game then do it standing up.
DO bring your own dish to the occasion. Nobody has to know that it’s healthy or low calorie but at least you’ll know how many calories it has and you will have something to snack on.
DO send people home with food if you are hosting a party.
DO sit at the table as far from the unhealthy food options as possible. If you have to keep standing up, putting your drink down and reaching across Aunt Margaret to grab a piece of bread you’re not going to have as many pieces as if it was right in front of you.
Stick to these guidelines and I promise you will keep the weight off while everyone around you gains another 4-8 pounds!
And if you want to actually LOSE weight during the holidays, like many of my personal bootcamp clients are, then stay tuned for a special offer from Indiana Pit!

Committed to your health and fitness,

Terry & Carrie

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Calories and Healthy Eating

There's not a day that goes by where someone doesn't come to me asking for diet advice confused as to why they're NOT losing weight even though they don't eat "a lot"...and even if they're eating "healthy". The truth is that while "quanity" does matter, it's possible to still overconsume calories if choosing the wrong foods.

Some foods, even though they're considered very healthy, carry loads of calories in a very small amount of food. We call these calorically dense foods and if your diet is comprised of a bunch of them, you can easily gain weight even without eating "a lot" of food.

Here are some "healthy" examples of calorically dense foods:

1. Granola - granola, especially the varieties mixed with nuts can pack as many as 500 cals per cup!
2. Pasta - a moderate 1 and 1/2 cups of most pastas yield more than 60 grams of carbs and almost 350 calories
3. Avocado - avocado is awesome and a great source of monounsaturated fat, but one single avocado is over 300 calories and 30 grams of fat
4. Nuts and Nut Butters - nuts are super healthy, but one of the most calorically dense foods around. A few ounces could mean 400+ calories
5. Fruit Juice and Smoothies - all fruit juices are loaded with sugar and so are most "smoothie" shop smoothies (make your own with whole fruit)
6. Dried Fruit - dried fruits remove the water content which dramatically decreases volume...what's left is high in sugar and very calorically dense
7. "Whole Wheat" Breads - even the 100% whole wheat variety can pack a mean calorie punch if you're eating a lot of grains as part of your diet
8. Whole Grain Bagels - a large "deli" bagel is loaded with carbs and calories, many times over 400 cals in a single bagel

While some of the foods above are only "thought" to be healthy (fruit juice, whole grain bagels, etc), stuff like nuts, nut butters, and avocado are foods that I'd recommend in just about everyone's diet and they are indeed great choices.

That said, these calorically dense foods require that you monitor your intake of them closely. A few ounces of nuts, a couple tablespoons of nut butter, and an avocado is NOT a lot of food, but if you ate all of these every day, you'd be getting close to 1000 calories just right there.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Wake up Smoothie

   Wake-Up Smoothie 

1 1/4 cups orange juice, preferably calcium-fortified
1 banana
1 1/4 cups frozen berries, such as raspberries, blackberries, blueberries and/or strawberries
1/2 cup low-fat silken tofu or low-fat plain yogurt

1 tablespoon sugar or Splenda Granular (optional)

3 servings, 1 cup each
Total Time: 5 minutes


1. Combine orange juice, banana, berries, tofu (or yogurt) and sugar (or Splenda), if using, in a blender; cover and blend until creamy. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Facts
Per Serving: 139Calories; 28 g Carbohydrates; 2 g Fat (0 g
 sat, 0 g mono); 4 g Protein; 0 mg Cholesterol; 4 g Fiber; 421 mg Potassium; 19 mg Sodium; 0 g Added Sugars.
Exchanges: 2 fruit, 1/2 low-fat milk.
Nutrition Bonus:
Vitamin C (110% daily value), Fiber (16% daily value).

Thursday, July 12, 2012

The Right Way to Perform Leg Raises

I'm sure you've seen a lot people do leg raises:

Did you know most people do them wrong? They make two deadly

1. They lower their legs all the way down, as in image 1 (left).
2. They don't lift their legs all the way up, as in image 3 (right).

You should lift your legs above your hips because the abs pull the
hips, no the legs.

That's also why you shouldn't lower your legs all the way down:
this works out your psoas and iliacus muscles (two muscles in your
hips), and not the abs.

Here's how to do them well:

For example, in this exercise, the lower abs are relaxed when your
legs are down (image 1). To work them out well, you'd better just
go from knees up (image 2) to knees to the chest (image 3) and back
to knees up (image 2). Never lower your legs completely (image 1):
this relaxes your lower abs.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Why Bring Your Children to Indiana Pit?

We teach leadership skills because they are so important 
in life for two reasons:
1. Because leaders naturally succeed and advance at a pace 
 faster than their peers, so it's an extremely 
 valuable life skill... and...
2. Because if your child naturally becomes the leader 
 within her circle of friends you'll NEVER have to 
 worry about her making the wrong decisions because 
 she gave in to peer pressure or other negative 
Training your child how to become MORE independent and 
develop great leadership skills is one of the most 
important things we teach at Indiana PIT 
But that's not all...
 - Watch as your child learns how to handle stress easily 
 and positively (this too is another important life 
 skill that will help your child become a high 
 achiever in the years to come!)
 - We'll develop your child's courage to say "NO!" to peer 
 pressure. We help promote anti-drug programs. 
 - Your child will learn effective, realistic self-defense 
 skills that could save their lives (or the life of a 
 loved one) in the future! (We teach your child 
 Pit Jitsu, a hybrid form of martial arts that 
 focuses on being able to not only punch and kick but 
 also grapple on the ground. We also stress discipline, 
 responsibility and self-control to make sure your 
 child won't misuse this knowledge)
 - Your child's unique potential will be discovered, explored 
 and developed to its maximum potential through 
 personal attention with each of our qualified 
 - Your child will become "bully proof" as we teach them to 
 'think smart' to stay out of bad situations and stand 
 up for themselves and only use physical force (martial 
 arts) as a LAST resort...
 - We'll teach your child effective goal setting, and success 
 principles that make it easy for her to succeed in 
 virtually any area of life (all high achievers in 
 life utilized goal setting principles to succeed, 
 we'll teach your child this incredibly important life 
 skill so she'll be able to use it for the rest of her 
 - You'll love how your child will have such a positive 
 attitude and outlook in all areas of her life. We 
 teach our students the absolute importance of having 
 a positive mental attitude so they learn from all 
 their failures (without becoming disappointed or 
 depressed and quitting) and they grow even more from 
 their successes. 
 - Your child will learn the importance of sportsmanship, 
 fairness and getting along with people ... even if 
 they don't like them (a great life skill to have 
 when they get older and get a job ... with a boss!)

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

How to Cut and Make Weight

Have any of you ever watched a weight class fight in which one fighter looks far bigger and heavier than the other even though they weighed exactly the same amount the day before? Have you ever wondered how an athlete can lose 10-15 pounds in one day for a weigh in and then gain it all back for the fight with no ill effects?
If you answered “yes” to the two questions above, then you are going to love this month’s article. I am going to cover the basics in the art of weight cutting for competition. If you follow the information correctly in this article, not only will your risk of complications be decreased, but your performance should go to the next level.
Over my last number of years training combat athletes, probably the biggest weakness in terms of knowledge about training had to do with their nutrition. Within the realm of this area was even less knowledge about body weight manipulation, or “cutting weight” for a fight or tournament. I categorize cutting weight under nutrition because of how closely the two are related, but I am not talking about changing diet here. I am talking about the rapid drop in body weight and rapid weight gain before and after a weigh in for a competition.
As I stated earlier, cutting weight is an art form. This means that it takes knowledge, skill and practice. I have seen athletes have horrendous performances by cutting too much weight, cutting weight too fast, cutting weight too slow, not rehydrating correctly, and eating incorrectly after their weigh in. By the end of this article, none of these mistakes should ever happen to you.
Why Cut Weight?
Many people not involved in combative sports do not understand why someone would subject himself to water and food restriction to cut weight in the first place. I usually explain this with the example of weight classes. What this means is that most combative sport competitions have weight limits for certain classes. Since the object of being in a certain weight class would be to be the strongest and heaviest person in that class, many athletes cut their weight down to a lower class only to add weight after the weigh in. In the athlete’s mind, they are then heavier for the actual fight, and have the potential to be stronger than their opponent (as long as they don’t do the exact same thing).
The weigh ins are also usually the day before the fight. This gives the fighters 20-30 hours to reload their bodies following the weight cutting. For anyone that has ever seen Tito Ortiz or Matt Hughes fight, you should understand what I mean. Every time those two athletes fight anyone in the same weight class, they always look much bigger and stronger. The Tito Ortiz/Elvis Sinosic fight, where both fighters weighed in at 204 pounds comes to mind. At fight time, Tito looked 230 and Elvis looked 180. This should hammer home the fact that if things are done correctly, cutting weight has huge advantages.
Don’t Forget The Other Half!
Everyone can quickly think of some ways to cut weight. You could stop eating and drinking, you could exercise to sweat a lot in heavy clothes, or you could hop in the sauna for a half hour. All of these methods will be somewhat effective if done correctly to cut weight for a fight or competition. But what about properly putting the weight back on in a safe and timely manner to be ready for the fight? That is where people don’t have as many answers. If you think you should just eat and drink to feel good, you are going to run into problems. Do not forget that the reconstitution of your body is as, if not more, important in the cutting weight and gaining it back cycle.
Shedding the Pre Fight Pounds
This next section is going to cover the techniques for adequate weight loss. Before I begin though, I must remind everyone that their diet should be solid at this point, and you should always be within about 10-12 pounds of the weight you want to reach before the weight cutting begins. Any more than this value and things start to get very dangerous. This means that you should control your caloric intake long before the fight, and get to 10-12 pounds away from the desired weigh in weight. By doing this, you will have much less to worry about when the fight approaches.
Fluid Restriction
The simplest and most effective way to begin the weight cutting process is to decrease or stop fluid intake. Your body is constantly losing fluid by breathing, sweating and urination. Every minute and hour that this goes by without replacing the fluid, you will lose weight. This process takes no extra energy from a fighter to complete, and you can lose up to 5-6 pounds in 24 hours without drinking. My athletes never go over 24 hours without fluid, and we usually start the fluid restriction exactly 24 hours before the weigh in. Before beginning the fluid restriction, there are some tricks to losing the maximum amount of fluid over that 24 hours.
For the fifth, fourth and third days before the weigh in, I have my athletes consume 2 gallons of water a day. They carry the gallon jug around with them so they know how much fluid they are taking in. At this time, the athlete also can be more liberal with sodium in his diet (we don’t go heavy on the sodium, but a little increase can help later as you will see). This increased water intake triggers hormones in the body to excrete more urine than usual. This response will be essential in losing fluid the day before the weigh in. Two days before the weigh in, the fighter cuts the fluid intake to one gallon of water, and cuts out the sodium from the diet. Finally, the last day before the weigh in, the fighter takes in no fluids, no sodium, and only food that I will describe later. This process is effortless, and only requires a little discipline and tolerance of a dry mouth.
The next most popular way to decrease weight before a weigh in is to sweat out fluid from the body. This can be done in a number of ways, and can take off 5-10 pounds of weight in a short period of time depending on the conditions. This is a great method because even if the athlete is already lean, there will still be fluid that can be lost. The limitations to this method are that it requires great amounts of energy expenditure, and can sap strength from the fight the next day. The goal for using this method would be to take off the weight you need to lose with the least amount of fatigue for the athlete.
The simplest way to use this method is to exercise. That can be as simple as running or jumping rope, to as complex as cardio fight circuits involving punching, kicks, takedowns and sprinting. Depending on how quickly you need to lose the weight and the temperature of the area you are in, you will get a feel for what style you need to use. In addition to the exercise, athletes commonly use plastic suits and heavy clothing to increase the body temperature and enhance the sweating response. Just remember not to overheat. Athletes have actually died from overheating using some of these methods. (I must repeat that the goal is to be within 10 pounds by the day before the weigh in so that any methods you use don’t need to be drastic).
In addition to exercise, athletes can also use a sauna or hot bath or shower to lose fluid as well. A dry sauna is the most powerful of the three for weight loss and this loss should be monitored. Time spent in the sauna or hot showers should be at small 15-30 minute intervals to check weight loss. This brings up a great point that it would be a good idea to travel with your own scale to monitor how much weight you are losing. The last thing you need to do is lose too much weight. We always travel with a scale to keep track of our weight status.
Bowel Emptying
Another method to lose weight is to empty the bowels the day before the weigh in. This is another method that requires no effort and will not hurt performance if done correctly. Your bowels, or stomach and intestines, are up to 28 feet long and contain up to 5-7 pounds of material at all times. The food that has been ingested over the last 24 hours is all still contained along this set of tubes. This material does not help performance and is actually waste. By clearing out the bowels, an athlete can lose another 5 pounds without having to do anything.
The secret is in the methods.Two days before the weigh in, an athlete will already be eating less if he has to lose critical pounds. The day before the weigh in, he should not be eating much at all (to be discussed later). That material that is still in the gut from the day before, however, must be cleared. How we choose to do this is with a very gentle, all natural laxative. There are much more powerful drugs out there that do this, but you should not be using them. They can hurt your performance and leave you feeling horrible. By taking the gentle, natural laxative before you go to bed the night before the weigh in, you should wake and clear your bowels completely. Remember that you would only do this if you felt you were not going to make the weight with the methods listed above.
I hate to even bring this method up, but I must because I have seen them used incorrectly by fighters in the past trying to cut the last few pounds. There are natural and drug diuretics out there that can help you to lose fluids up to or over 10 pounds. I must say, if you were at the right starting point and you followed the methods already outlined above, this should not be an area that you need to worry about. This method is more dangerous than the others, and can lead to electrolyte imbalances and decreased performance. An all natural, gentle diuretic I have used in the past is called Dandelion Root. If this is a must, this should be used the day before the weigh in, so not to have problems during the fight.
Yes, I did put eating as something to do while you are cutting weight. You must make sure that your blood sugar levels are normal during this process or you are going to feel horrible and have no energy for the exercise aspect of the weight cutting. The last thing you want to do is take in fluids with sugar or heavy foods as this point. That is why we use a simple Balance Bar to get the job done. The bar only weighs a few ounces, but it will give you some sugar and fuel that your body can use during the fluid and food fast.
You Made It, Now What to do Next
Ok, you made the weight and you are feeling good. Now as soon as you get off the scale, you need to start refilling your body with everything you lost. As I said before, this piece of the process is as important as the weight reduction. Most people make big mistakes here that end up leading to disaster during the fight.
When you are cutting weight, your plasma blood volume decreases, and your blood pressure can increase as a result. In addition to this, your resting heart rate can go up, you can experience fatigue and feel psychologically weak. You need to make sure you reverse these processes not only as quickly as possible, but correctly and completely. Most people ram a bunch of food and water back into the system right after the weigh in, but they do not finish the job.
After the weigh in, you should eat small meals at regular 30 minute intervals. It is critical that you make sure you take in carbohydrates at this time to regain the proper blood sugar levels. Firing a ton of food down immediately after the weigh in is going to leave you feeling bloated and sick. Your body won’t be able to use all the food at once anyway, and it will just sit there. Smaller meals will clear the stomach and you will be able to eat again shortly. We actually have our athletes continue to eat all the way up to a few hours before the fight the next day. Eat meals that you are comfortable with. Don’t start to do anything different.
More importantly is getting the fluid balance back. You should immediately take in fluids following the weigh in and continue to drink at regular intervals. The ultimate goal for my fighters is to see a clear urine stream before we know we are back. This can take 3-5 gallons of fluid over the next day to replace the 10 or more pounds that has been lost. Don’t rely on the thirst response because it will not be accurate. You need to keep drinking to make sure that the blood plasma, fluid space between the cells and the cells themselves are refilled. An I.V. is also a good option here, but it can and should only be performed by a skilled medical professional. There are many dangers involved in this procedure. This is usually used as a last resort or in a medical emergency. If everything, from the weight cutting to the weight regaining has been done correctly and you have 24 hours until the fight, there should be no need for intravenous fluids.
A Few Pieces of Advice
A main motto of mine is that you never try something new a week before the fight. This stands for new techniques, new foods, new equipment, and especially weight cutting. This is something that needs to be practiced just like ground or stand up techniques. You would never attempt a technique in a fight that you have never tried before. You must think the same way about cutting weight. You need to understand everything about it. You must know how to do it, how long it will take your body to lose the weight, and exactly how your body is going to feel. If you don’t ever practice, you are looking to add stress and potential disaster to the plan. Practice, and the better you master the weight cutting, the easier it will be to perform when the time comes.
Another mistake I have also seen at weigh ins is that a fighter may think they made the weight and then still be too heavy. This occurs when a fighter only weighs himself on his scale and does not use the official scale for the event. Remember that you will have access to the official scale, and you should monitor your weight according to it. This is the only way to know if you have correctly made the weight or not. The last thing you need to be doing is frantically exercising trying to cut weight in the last few minutes. The less stress and adrenaline release, the better.
I hope you have learned something from this article. Remember that weight cutting is an art and must be taken very seriously. When used correctly, it can be a powerful tool that can lead to victory. When used incorrectly, it can be a powerful obstacle that can lead to defeat. This, like any art, must be practiced a number of times in advance. Only then can you begin to truly understand its power.

One Year On The Dolce Diet

One Year On The Dolce Diet  

by MyDolceDiet.com member, Todd H. 
As of March 2012 it has been a year that I have been Living Lean.

The results from this lifestyle change have been clearly evident to me and others around me. When I see people that I have not seen in while they immediately tell me how trim, fit and healthy I look. It is a great feeling and whenever that happens it gives me an extra boost to continue on my path of healthy living.

As I have reported in prior blog posts, I went from 215 to 188 lbs. in just over a month on 3W2S (3 Weeks to Shredded). Using 3W2S as my template I started to change every part of my life, cleaning out the junk and replacing it with pure energy provided by the earth. Now Living Lean has given me yet another boost in the right direction. I love the recipes and workout suggestions, and have made them a part of my daily life.

Speaking of recipes, my favorite is the "Oats & Berries Smoothie." I took it upon myself to name it, "The REAL Big Gulp". It is a welcome treat for me pre-workout or post workout and my wife loves it as well.

My first goal was to get trim, I did. My second goal was to feel better, that came. Other by products of Living Lean were, I got faster, stronger, better cardio, sleep more and better, able to train harder and longer. I have hit all my goals that I set. 
This year's goal is to gain some muscle but stay lean and fast. I have already gone up from 188 to 191 since I have focused on strength (while still retaining my six pack). More weights, kettle bells, tractor tires and old school stuff such as pull ups, push ups, burpees, sprawls, etc.

I know it is hard to break ingrained habits, especially when it comes to food. I encourage you to work hard, break those habits. You WILL see and feel the results and you will never want to look back.

A great movie quote taken from eastern philosophy, Morpheus said, "There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."
Don't just read it, do it, walk the path and others will follow.

Thursday, May 31, 2012

Crossing that Defense to Offense Line

Great article written by Hock Hochheim
Crossing that Defense to Offense Line
These days, we in the American public have much to think and talk about in terms of self defense. How far can self defense go? When does legal self defense cross the line over into illegal self “offense?” I could tell you of many a case I've investigated through the decades when victims became suspects, by overdoing their actions, over-shooting, over-stabbing, over-axing, over-clubbing, over-stomping, kicking and beating an attacker….crossing that line.
On many occasions, such as a recent case in Florida - a victim left a death threat, went to her car, and returned with a gun, shooting at an attacker. This type of incident is quite common, but prosecutors and jurors have always held that if a person can get to their car? They should leave in that car! Take note of this! Going to your car and getting your gun or knife, changes the complexion of your situation and is not self defense. Defense became offense. This woman crossed the line and was convicted of assault.
Look at the other mess in Florida, the Trayvon/Zimmerman tragedy. At what point do you decide you have been downed and beaten enough before you forego all other forms of self defense, draw and shoot an unarmed attacker? The world is a nail and the handgun is the hammer. Has a line been crossed? Riot lines will be.
I recall a sad case I worked where two teenagers fought in a party over a girl. A jumped, teen on his back on the floor, deeply gauged the eyes of a teenager over him that was punching him. The wounded boy was permanently blinded. The attacked “defender” crossed the line and was convicted of aggravated assault. You just can't ravage the eyeballs of each and every attacker who confronts you.
I recall the woman who axed her husband's mistress. She claimed the mistress attacked her in her home. The axe was handy. The system could have understood one or two axe blows in self defense, but over 30? The defender crossed the line. She was charged with murder.
I recall a resident, washing his car in his driveway and was threatened and shoved by a neighbor. The resident reached for a baseball bat in the garage and hit the neighbor. The system would have understood a bat strike or two in self defense. But 18 of them? The defender crossed the line. The neighbor was severely injured. The resident was charged with aggravated assault.
A police officer shoots a man hitting him. The officer, totally untrained and unskilled in hand to hand combat, who shoots 50 bullets once a year for qualification, resorts to the only muscle memory he's been given. BANG! The world is a nail and the handgun is the hammer. He crossed the line. He is browbeaten by the press, demonstrated against, sued multiple times, multiple ways and quarantined from police work.
The line crosses over into training. A “reality-based” martial arts school teacher crossed his arms and proudly growls “that'll show those bums not to bother people,” when one of his students wiped out an over-aggressive, pan-handler asking for money on a parking lot. The bum was hospitalized. Broken bones. The student is charged with aggravated assault and convicted. He crossed the line. But the instructor was proud?
A martial arts instructor opens a school called “The Lethal Force Academy.” What is he thinking? A self defense instructor runs rampant with his mouth and in advertisements, and then finds himself barred from entering other countries for being a vigilante. Other instructors try to talk tough blood and guts in public, but if you've expressed years of cavalier talk about easy violence in articles, pod casts or on Facebook, they will find it. If you shoot your mouth off routinely? You are not a professional. Period. Exclamation point. You are a circus act. You and yours are ticking time bombs if anyone actually uses your training in real life.

I could go on and on about this with hundreds of case examples of crossing the line in real life, in ads, or in training, but the controversies go even further. Take for example this hair-splitting situation in the photo. You have disarmed the knife attacker. On paper, as soon as the attacker loses his weapon, the situation changes. Many armchair reviewers will claim you no longer can be as violent, or use deadly force as you could scant seconds before on an unarmed man. To do so is crossing the line? But, think about this, now there is a gun or a knife on the floor, easily reached and you are still moving around and fighting for your life. It is still very much a deadly force situation. Explain this properly.

The “judged by 12, carried by 6” flashy, shallow line perpetuates the overkill myth (by the way, DO NOT arrogantly quote that line to the police or repeat in court while on the stand. Trust me on this). Whether it be American law, or European law, Australian, Canadian, or the laws of most countries, or whether it be the use of force rule of police and correctional standards, or the military rules of engagement, we still hear the tenant ''force no more than absolutely necessary.” When it comes time to be judged by that wicked, usually ignorant, half-asleep “jury of one's peers,” that “use-necessary force” mantra is always chanted. Imagine the difference between a jury in the Piney Woods of East Texas and a vegan jury in Berkeley California. This brings a whole new meaning to the word “peers.”
In policing and in the legal, gun-carrying world, it has always been advisable to "shoot to stop, not to kill." Never say kill, for all the aforementioned reasons. In fact, the law enforcement model is a good legal standard for citizens to follow. Remember when the police fist or gunfight with someone, and the suspect is hurt when the event is over, they always call an ambulance. This is somewhat situational too, but this the professional standard. The attacker's "well-being" is really not my main point here, or often the true goal. It is still actually YOUR well-being for which I speak now, so that you can best survive AFTER the attack. You should do what you have to do, then stop doing it when its time to stop, based on the situation.
All this violence leaves you where? Sometimes okay. Sometimes in jail. Sometimes sued. Usually marred mentally and, or physically marred and often with a hefty legal bill, unless you escape from the scene and then you'll be a fugitive for awhile, or a war criminal or sought after for revenge?
It is very hard to split legal hairs, during the splitting of heads. Hard to see the invisible line the law does not want you to cross. Each case of self defense is highly situational. Who, what, where, when, how and how? Who are you, your size, age, shape, strength, gender compared to the attacker? Who is the criminal, what is the attacker doing, where is it happening, when is it happening, how and why? Tens and tens of big and small questions must be asked and answered.

"It is very hard to split legal hairs, during the splitting of heads."

If you do the right thing, you must explain and record why, like the example of the loose knife or gun on the floor that I offered earlier. Believe me, all these questions will be asked when considering your fate. Even the U.S. Supreme Court has taken the “given what you knew at that instant” approach when reviewing acts of citizen or police violence and safety.
We all like vigilantes in books and movies, but you probably won't like being one in real life. There's a line. Know the line. Try not to cross it. If you are real survivor, you'll train to survive the aftermath.
Adios amigos

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Get Eye Relief Caused by Allergies

It’s the beginning of allergy season, and there are many things you can do to find relief for eye-related allergies. Here are a few tips: 
  • Use wrap-around sunglasses can help protect your eyes to allergens in the air, especially on windy days.
  • Visit your eye doctor to get the right prescription eye drops. Many over-the-counter (OTC) eye drops have preservatives that cause other allergy problems and can make your eyes red with extended use. There are prescription eye drops to treat redness, itching, or swelling.  You only need to take many of these drops once a day.
Your eye doctor can also rule out a condition known as dry eyes. Dry eyes can feel itchy, burning, and cause blurred vision just like allergies. Dry eyes happen when you don’t make enough tears or when the there is a chemical imbalance in your tears. Your eye doctor can use a special microscope to look at the tear film on your eyes to find if your symptoms are due to allergies, dry eyes, or both.
You should also ask your eye doctor about medications you might be taking that cause dry eyes. Dry eyes can be caused by cold medicines, heart and blood pressure medications, plus hormonal changes, contact lenses, and medical conditions such as diabetes and arthritis.
During allergy season, your eye doctor can be your best friend. Schedule a visit today so you can enjoy the season.

Monday, April 30, 2012

Childhood Obesity: An Epidemic That's Growing Up Fast

Of the many statistics about childhood obesity, one in particular highlights the urgency of the problem: One of every three children in America is now considered overweight or obese, and childhood obesity has more than tripled in the past 30 years. How did we get to this place? And even more important, how do we stop the growth of this epidemic?
Being obese or overweight is determined by a percentile measurement of Body Mass Index (BMI), which uses height and weight to determine if a person is normal, underweight, overweight or obese. The BMI is an indirect estimate of body fat that is valid for most individuals. Since children grow in height as well as weight, the standards for children need to be matched for age and sex. A BMI-for-age of 30 places a child in the 95th percentile, the determining number for obesity. A BMI-for-age of 25, or at the 85th percentile, is considered overweight.
A child who qualifies for the 95th percentile is advised to have an in-depth medical assessment since this amount of body fat is also associated with high blood pressure, elevated levels of lipids (fats) in the blood and an increased potential for obesity-related diseases that include type-2 diabetes, asthma, hypertension, high cholesterol, liver and gall bladder disease, bone and joint problems, and sleep apnea. It is also linked to a range of social and psychological issues including poor self-esteem, depression, withdrawal and poor peer relationships.
But as complex as the causes of childhood obesity are, the baseline equation is simple: Too few calories are being burned for the amount of calories being consumed. What's complicated is that this calculation is mediated by a host of behavioral, environmental and genetic factors.
Heredity contributes a risk factor of 5 to 40 percent for obesity, and studies indicate that 50 to 70 percent of a person's BMI is determined by genetic influences. If both parents are overweight, the children have a 75 percent chance of being obese. If one parent is obese, the probability is 25 to 50 percent. But while the connection between genetics and obesity has been established, the problem is usually caused by multiple genes interacting with environmental and behavioral factors. Given that the genetic characteristics of a population change slowly, the rapid weight increases in America show that skyrocketing obesity rates are probably due to behavioral and environmental factors combining with genetic factors, rather than genetic predisposition alone. The upside is that making some basic changes in lifestyle and nutrition can make a big difference.
TV Time
One of the biggest culprits is a sedentary lifestyle dominated by TV watching, computer activities and video games. It's estimated that American kids are spending 25 percent of their day watching television, and that those who log the most TV hours have the highest rate of obesity. First, because they're not burning enough calories, and second because they're usually eating unhealthy snacks while they're watching.
What they're watching is also a factor. A March 2007 study found that kids age 2 to 7 see an average of 12 food ads every day, while kids age 8 to 12 see 21 ads, and teens view up to 17 food ads daily. As Dr. Margo Wootan of the Center for Science in the Public Interest says, "If companies were marketing bananas and broccoli, we wouldn't be concerned, but ... most marketing is for sugary cereals, fast food, snack foods and candy." A 2006 study showed that for each additional hour of television viewing, kids consumed 167 extra calories. So it's obvious that limiting TV time is one of the best health care decisions you can make for your family.
A healthy focus on nutrition can't be underestimated. Hectic schedules, both for kids and parents, have resulted in a decline in breakfasts and an increase in dinners outside the home. Use of fast food restaurants with their high calorie, high salt and high fat and carbohydrate entrees, along with their super-sized, sugary soft drinks, is a big contributor to our current obesity epidemic, especially among the lower socioeconomic groups.
Supervising mealtimes will help you control what your kids eat and create an opportunity to offer encouragement. It's also important to cut down on the snacking, as well as on processed, pre-prepared food. Making healthy foods easily accessible is key, so have fresh fruit washed and ready to eat in a big bowl where everyone can reach it. Same with washed and cut vegetables and low-calorie dip. What you eat is important, too, because kids develop preferences based on foods their parents eat.
As discussed in last week's blog on sleep, shortened duration of sleep is associated with weight gain and obesity. So making sure that your child avoids sleep deprivation is an important step in combating overweight and obesity.
At Home
For parents, be a role model, not a nag. Eat healthy yourself and get lots of exercise. The family will follow your lead, especially if you turn exercise like bike riding and rollerblading into family outings. (Not hang gliding, though.) Introduce healthy changes gradually. Go from serving whole milk to two percent, and then to skim milk. Keep portion sizes moderate, eat from smaller plates and skip seconds. Instead of frying, better to grill, steam or bake. And try to establish a regular eating schedule for the whole family.
Out and About
Walk instead of drive whenever you can and take the stairs instead of the elevator. Look for a parking space farther from the store, and walk. At the store, select the checkout line with the batteries and the gift cards, not the candy. At restaurants, skip the buffet and choose low-fat, low-sodium or heart healthy dishes.
Childhood obesity is a problem that's not only influenced by what your kids eat, but also by how the family lives. And given that overweight adolescents have a 70 percent chance of becoming overweight adults, the time to address childhood obesity is today. It's easier than you think. Next week, we'll talk about how new skills at the grocery store can impact the health of your whole family.

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Finding Your Ideal Weight

Most of the people in magazines and on TV are far slimmer than average, yet this is the “ideal” that many people aim for. Before you decide that you won’t be happy until you get down to a certain number of pounds, consider:
  • Your age. You probably wish you could get back to your college weight. But current research shows that it’s not unhealthy to gain a bit as we age.
  • Your gender. In general, men have more muscle and heavier bones than women, which means that healthy men usually weigh more than healthy women of the same height.
  • Your current weight. If you are very heavy, focus on losing a smaller amount (such as 10 percent of your body weight). Losing just 5 to 10 pounds can improve your health.

Your Body Fat Percentage

A pound of muscle weighs the same as a pound of fat, but it takes up less space. Think of a trained athlete and a “couch potato.” Even though they may be the same height and weight, the athlete looks fitter, is healthier, and probably wears a smaller size of clothing. If you are muscular, a body fat test may be a more accurate measure of your ideal weight than the bathroom scale. Talk to your healthcare provider, who can help you set appropriate goals for yourself.

Diabetes: Understanding Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein

Diabetes: Understanding Carbohydrates, Fats, and Protein

Food is a source of fuel and nourishment for your body. It’s also a source of pleasure. Having diabetes doesn’t mean you have to eat special foods or give up desserts. Instead, your dietitian can show you how to plan meals to suit your body. To start, learn how different foods affect blood sugar.


Carbohydrates are the main source of fuel for the body. Carbohydrates raise blood sugar. Many people think carbohydrates are only found in pasta or bread. But carbohydrates are actually in many kinds of foods.
  • Sugars occur naturally in foods such as fruit, milk, honey, and molasses. Sugars can also be added to many foods, from cereals and yogurt to candy and desserts. Sugars raise blood sugar.
  • Starches are found in bread, cereals, pasta, and dried beans. They’re also found in corn, peas, potatoes, yam, acorn squash, and butternut squash. Starches also raise blood sugar. 
  • Fiber is found in foods such as vegetables, fruits, and whole grains. Unlike other carbs, fiber isn’t digested or absorbed. So it doesn’t raise blood sugar. In fact, fiber can help keep blood sugar from rising too fast. It also helps keep blood cholesterol at a healthy level.

Did You Know?

Even though carbohydrates raise blood sugar, it’s best to have some in every meal. They are an important part of a healthy diet.


Fat is an energy source that can be stored until needed. Fat does not raise blood sugar. However, it can raise blood cholesterol, increasing the risk of heart disease. Fat is also high in calories, which can cause weight gain. Not all types of fat are the same.
More Healthy
  • Monounsaturated fats are mostly found in vegetable oils such as olive, canola, and peanut oils. They are also found in avocados and some nuts. Monounsaturated fats are healthy for your heart. That’s because they lower LDL (unhealthy) cholesterol.
  • Polyunsaturated fats are mostly found in vegetable oils such as corn, safflower, and soybean oils. They are also found in some seeds, nuts, and fish. Choosing polyunsaturated instead of saturated fats is healthy for your heart.
Less Healthy
  • Saturated fats are found in animal products such as meat, poultry, whole milk, lard, and butter. Saturated fats raise LDL cholesterol and are not healthy for your heart.
  • Hydrogenated oils and trans fats are formed when vegetable oils are processed into solid fats. They are found in many processed foods. Hydrogenated oils and trans fats raise LDL cholesterol. They are not healthy for your heart.


Protein helps the body build and repair muscle and other tissue. Protein has little or no effect on blood sugar. However, many foods that contain protein also contain saturated fat. By choosing low-fat protein sources, you can get the benefits of protein without the extra fat.
  • Plant protein is found in dry beans and peas, nuts, and soy products such as tofu and soymilk. These sources tend to be cholesterol-free and low in saturated fat.
  • Animal protein is found in fish, poultry, meat, cheese, milk, and eggs. These contain cholesterol and can be high in saturated fat. Aim for lean, lower-fat choices.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Improve Your “Internal” Plumbing With Omega-3 Fatty Acids

Improve Your “Internal” Plumbing With Omega-3 Fatty Acids
By Kevin DiDonato MS, CSCS, CES

Omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve a number of different health conditions.

Conditions include: improving heart and eye health, lowering inflammation, and improving endothelial function of your veins and arteries.

Omega-3 fatty acids, according to some studies, have been shown to reduce inflammation, which could be present in your body and which may significantly improve the function of all systems in your body.

One system in particular, your vascular system, could play an important role in heart health.

One test, flow mediated dilation (blood flow through your vein), gives doctors, scientists, and cardiologists a pretty good indicator of the health of your heart.

Now, a recent study published in Atherosclerosis, could show the effects of omega-3 fatty acids on the health and function of your vascular system.

Omega-3 and Vascular Health

There have been many studies showing the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and risk for cardiovascular disease (significant improvements).

It also showed that omega-3 fatty acids may affect endothelial function as it relates to flow-mediated dilation and endothelium-dependent vasodilation.

Flow-mediated dilation refers to blood flow through a vessel.  This blood flow dilates the vessel to allow for smoother travel.

Flow-mediation dilation has been used as a way to assess the health and function (or dysfunction) of your endothelium and vascular system.

Endothelium-dependent vasodilation refers to substances (nitric oxide and prostacyclin) that are produced by your vascular endothelium.  These substances cause relaxation of the endothelium, which allows for smoother blood flow.

The researchers wanted to see how omega-3 fatty acids affect the function of healthy endothelium.

The design of the study was a meta-analysis (collection of many studies related to their topic), where they looked at omega-3 fatty acid supplementation and endothelial cells.

They used 16 studies that included over 901 subjects.

The omega-3 dose was between 0.45 grams/day to 4.5 grams/day.

They noted, compared to the placebo group, omega-3 fatty acid supplementation showed a 2.30% increase in flow-mediated dilation.

In subgroup analysis, the researchers showed that the improvements from the omega-3 fatty acids could be associated with the overall health of the subjects, or with the dose of omega-3 fatty acid supplementation.

The researchers, however, did notice no change in endothelium-independent vasodilation when supplemented with omega-3 fatty acids.

Through their research, they concluded that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids could significantly impact endothelial function without affecting endothelium-independent vasodilation.

The Amazing Benefits of Omega-3 Fatty Acids

The number one killer in the US, and in the world, happens to be heart disease.

Heart disease encompasses many different aspects such as high cholesterol, stiffening of the arteries due to endothelial dysfunction, and increased inflammation.

Omega-3 fatty acids, however, have been shown by research to lower inflammation and cholesterol, which may improve your heart health.

Now, omega-3 fatty acids have been shown to improve vascular health, which may reduce the effects associated with endothelial dysfunction.

Including omega-3 fatty acids into your daily routine could lead to significant improvements in many different areas of health - especially heart health.

Everyones Favorite Exercise Burpee

How to do Burpees Burpees are an excellent strength and conditioning bodyweight exercise that incorporate rapid, explosive movements that will quickly get your heart pounding. Burpees include three exercises into one explosive movement: Sprawls, Push Ups, and Squat Jumps. Looking to take your interval training to the next level? Add Burpees.
Purpose/Focus: Strength, Conditioning
Body Parts Used: Core, Legs, Arms, Shoulders, Chest, Back
Difficulty: Moderate

Exercise Steps
Step 1 From a standing position, put your hands on the ground and kick your feet behind you, putting yourself in a push up position.
Step 2 As soon as your feet are back, perform a single push up. From there, kick your feet forward in between your hands and explode up, swing both arms forward, and jump as high as you can into the air.
Step 3 Absorb the impact from the jump by dropping your hands and performing another repetition.
Tips Make sure you absorb the impact from the jump with your legs; do not land with your knees locked, or try to immediately return to a standing position. If Burpees are too difficult initially, perform Sprawls instead until you have built up the conditioning necessary for Burpees.
Exercise Pictures
Bodyweight Exercise by Mark de Grasse: Burpee Step 1 Bodyweight Exercise by Mark de Grasse: Burpee Step 2 Bodyweight Exercise by Mark de Grasse: Burpee Step 3

AeroShot Pure Energy

AeroShot Review by Mark de Grasse of My Mad Methods MagazineProduct: AeroShot Pure Energy
Producer: Breathable Foods
Price: $29.99
Where to Buy: AeroShots.com
Here’s the situation: you’re on day 30 of your workout plan, it’s 5:00AM, the only time you have to workout all day. You’re tired and sore and you just aren’t “feeling it” right now. You don’t want to mix a pre-workout drink; no motivation to make a pot of coffee. You’re about to lay back down when you reach for your AeroShot, take a breath, and BAM! Nearly instantaneous energy and alertness.
AeroShot is an innovative new energy supplement developed by a Harvard Professor.  It’s basically a shot of caffeine and B vitamins in a simple (but very creative) delivery system. Open it, take a puff, and you’re done! The light powder instantly dissolves in your mouth and into your system (no need to wait for your stomach to get around to digesting the caffeine from a pre-workout drink or cup of coffee). Each canister contains about 100mg of caffeine, about the same as a large cup of coffee without delay, coffee breath, stained teeth, or the list of additives found in pre-workout supplements.
AeroShot was not created specifically as a pre-workout supplement, but we could see the advantages over typical workout-boosting solutions: it hits quick, it’s super portable and doesn’t involve mixing messy powders, and it doesn’t contain who-knows-what that typical supplements like N.O. Xplode contain. After using it several times in a variety of settings, I can say this: AeroShot is awesome!
As much as I like to keep things “pure” when it comes to fitness, the truth is, I couldn’t operate my business, enhance my fitness levels, and have any kind of life without a boost every now and then. I don’t like the taste of coffee, I’m guilty when I drink Red Bulls (even if they’re sugar free), and I never purchase pre-workout supplements because they make me jittery and unfocused. AeroShot delivers quickly and easily, and I’ve found that the “boost” is just enough to help me focus and get moving without making me bounce off the walls. For my workouts, the extra pep helped me excel without making me nauseous. As an assistant to completing this magazine late into the night and early in the morning, it was perfect.
Here’s a tip: when you use AeroShot, don’t treat it like some kind of deep-breathing exercise; avoid the temptation to suck it all down at once, you’ll just get a mouthful of bleh. In that quantity, AeroShot doesn’t taste great, however, if you break it down into smaller doses, you’ll find the taste enjoyable and it will start to grow on you. At this point, I really can’t wait for this product to be available in bulk.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

8 secrets to maintaining a weight loss

8 secrets to maintaining a weight loss

By Tanise Edwards, M.D.

When you make an effort to slim down — and reach your goal — it can be very satisfying. You did it! You feel great — and you're at a healthy weight.

But, here's the question: How do you sustain your success?

Certainly, you have reason to be proud. But, remember this: A healthful weight is not a single destination. You've taken a significant first step on a lifelong journey toward better health. So, read on for a road map to true staying power.

First, think balance
Maintaining your weight over time comes down to this: The calories you eat must consistently equal the calories your body uses.

If you go back to your old habits, you'll likely see those pounds start to creep back on. In studies of people who kept off the weight they'd lost, most continued to keep their portions and calories in check. And, they did something else, too. They used exercise as a go-to maintenance tool.

Are you ready to enjoy that same lasting success? Rely on these eight stay-slim habits:

1. Have a long-haul mindset. Think about what made you successful at losing weight. For example, maybe you stayed busy when you had the urge to overeat. Or, you set goals that kept you energized. Make your successful coping skills your lifelong habits.

2. Don't stop working out. Keep walking, swimming, jogging, dancing — whatever it is that gets you moving. For general good health, most people need at least 2.5 hours of moderate physical activity a week. But, to maintain a weight loss, evidence shows that some people may need twice as much — five hours or more. For safety's sake, talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level.

And, in addition to aerobic activity, add strength-building exercises on at least two days a week. You'll maintain, or even build, muscle. That helps you stay fit — and more muscle burns more calories.

3. Go for extra credit. Try to sneak calorie-burning activities into your day whenever possible. Slip on your sneakers to run an errand. Give your vacuum a good workout. Or, play a lively game of tag with your kids.

4. Plan meals and snacks. This helps guarantee that you'll always have healthful options. And, be sure to put plenty of fruits and veggies on the menu. They're low in calories and fat, but rich in nutrients — and they're high in fiber, which can help you feel full, too. To avoid impulse buys at the grocery store, have a list in hand — and don't shop when you're hungry.

5. Join the breakfast club. People who skip breakfast are more likely to overeat later in the day.

6. Eat slowly. This gives your stomach time to let your brain know it's satisfied.

7. Keep an eye on the scale. You don't have to watch it like a hawk. It's normal for weight to vary a bit. But, steady upticks can be a clue that you need to move more and eat better.

8. Be cheered. Gravitate toward friends and loved ones who support your healthy lifestyle. Maybe you'll find an exercise partner — or just get a "Good for you!" when you really need it.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Calisthenics making a comeback

Calisthenics — making a comeback!

By Tanise Edwards, M.D.

Jumping jacks. Crunches. Lunges and squats. Do these exercise basics take you right back to P.E. class?

Your gym teacher was on to something.

Old-school calisthenics are still a great way to get a fitness routine essential: a strength-building workout. And, there's no special equipment needed. You simply use your own weight to work your muscles. Of course, that makes them a good — portable — option for frequent travelers, too.

A retro revival
Calisthenics are certainly classics. But, today, you could even call them trendy. They appear to be making a comeback in the fitness world.

One sign: the popularity of boot camp programs. The American College of Sports Medicine has these military-inspired workouts on its list of hottest trends for 2012.

High-paced boot camp workouts usually combine calisthenics with kicks, sprints and other moves. So, you get a cardio and strength workout in one.

Back to basics
Maybe you're thinking you're not quite up for full-out boot camp. That's OK. You don't have to jump in that vigorously to benefit from simple strength-building exercises.

Check the chart below to see four classics — and the muscle groups they can improve.

But, drop ... and get your doctor's OK first. For safety's sake, it's always best to talk with your doctor before significantly increasing your activity level. That's especially true if you have been inactive — or have injuries, health concerns or a bone or joint condition.

Exercise Region Muscle groups
Lunges Lower body
Buttock (gluteal)
Thigh — front (quadriceps) and back (hamstrings)
Squats Lower body
Buttock (gluteal)
Thigh — front (quadriceps) and back (hamstring)
Push-ups Upper body
Chest (pectoral)
Shoulder (deltoid)
Arm — back (triceps)
Crunches Middle body (core)
A trainer's tip: Start with a short warm-up for your muscles. For example, walk or march in place for five minutes.