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Review: Buddha’s Herb’s offers a One A Day Mega Omega supplement that is both body effective and cost effective.

5/5 stars – Highly Recommended!

Over the years I have tried to consolidate my supplements. Seriously, how many pills per day can one woman take? And then you have hubby, who hates taking pills, so needs the most bang for the buck in the few pills he will take.

We both have high cholesterol and some joint degeneration, so our physicians have been prescribing us fish oil for the past decade or more. The problem with most fish oil supplements is the low levels of Omega 3 EPA+DHA in each capsule. We would end up taking 4 per day just to meet the prescribed dosage. HighDoseOil

So when Buddha’s Herbs contacted me about doing a review of their supplements and service, I chose their One A Day Mega Omega, which offers 700 mg EPA+DHA per capsule. Hubby and I take two and that meets our mega-dose requirements.

The capsules are smaller than many drugstore fish oils of lower potency, there is no fishy odor, and they do not add lemon to cover the smell, so this is safe to give to your pets. They do offer a standard fish oil product as well.

At a regular price of $23.29 per 200 capsules, Buddha’s Herbs One A Day Mega Omega is a bargain! Plus there are always sales happening. According to Buddha’s Herbs,

We only use the highest quality raw materials available and our potencies are selected by taking into consideration the clinical tests and are thus backed by scientific research. All the Dietary Supplements completely comply with 21 CFR part 3 regulations for Good Manufacturing Practices and all the production process is fully documented. Independent Testing for efficacy, purity and disintegration is done on all the Batches by taking representative samples and Certificate of Analysis of each product is verified.

Safe and effective! And service was smooth and friendly.

Shingles Update

April 3, 2014 — 5 Comments

Shingles Update – pain is manageable with correct medications!

So I made it over to see my physician, Dr. Albert Ahn, on Monday.

At first he didn’t believe that I had shingles on my sciatic nerve. Until he saw the pox.

Because I caught it early, he put me on 1 gram of Valtrex 3x a day, 100-300mg of neurontin 3x a day, and an acyclovir ointment up to 5x a day. Plus naproxyn and benadryl as needed.

I started at 100mg of neurontin, but that was not enough. 200mg does the trick. Am I a little fuzzy? Yes! But not too fuzzy to work.

My problem is that when I feel better on the meds I sometimes push myself. Friday I decided to demonstrate a single upside down push up on the Wunda Chair, and the moment I got off the chair I felt the pain down my leg.

On a side note, I am amazed at how much the meds cost. Seriously, I pain $100 with my insurance for these meds. Worst part? It was the ointment that was a $60 co-pay. The medication that is the least important for stopping the virus, but the most important for my personal comfort. If I didn’t have the money, I would have not gotten the ointment and would be much less comfortable.

The rash is much better this week, but pain is still there. Hopefully just another week and things will be back to normal. I miss exercising.

Fitness Falsehoods Abound In the World of A-List Celebrities

If you think that regular folks like us have issues with our bodies and fitness, you have only part of the story.

Just when I thought I had heard all of the brain-exploding double speak and craziness in the fitness world, one of my pilates clients pointed me in the direction of the latest “Spring Break Edition” Goop newsletter, courtesy of the lovely and talented actress, Gwyneth Paltrow. This issue features an interview with her uncertified fitness trainer, Tracy Anderson.

“Lynda, you have got to read this week’s Goop. Seriously, Tracy talks about puréed food as being pre-digested. You’ll love it!”

Here are just a few of the myths I found in this interview.

1. Crash Diets Are Fine – IF You Also Workout Every Day

Q. We know crash dieting isn’t ideal, but is there a safe and effective way to speed up the loss of 5-10 pounds?

A. Of course there is, but I’m not a fan of this, as I really want people to learn how to plan. Everything you choose to put your body through has a direct impact on your health, appearance, and mental function. For example, I do not advocate people juicing to drop a quick five pounds if they cannot yet show up regularly for their workouts. Otherwise, you will lose five pounds and then gain eight to 10 pounds back the next week. [I bolded that.]

So drastically reducing calories and food consumption is only OK if you also exercise? There is NO EVIDENCE that exercising while fasting or juicing will help keep that weight off once you start eating again.

FACT: You are better off eating a balanced diet, exercising, and slowly losing the weight (1-2 pounds per week) in a way that is maintainable.

2. Puréed Food Is Pre-Digested and Helps Weight Loss

I created a pureed menu years ago as an alternative to juicing so that people could have access to more nutrient-dense, freshly-made foods that are pre-digested but still fiber-filled. Pre-digested food slows the digestive process without stopping it.

This is the infamous “Baby Food Diet” that was floating around a few years ago. Puréed food is easier to digest (that’s why we give it to babies), but is not “pre-digested”.

FACT: Frankly, vomit is pre-digested food. We have all watched momma birds go off, eat food, and return to the nest to vomit the pre-digested food into their babies’ mouths. I will just leave that for you to think about.

Adults should eat whole foods, unless they are sick.

3. You Are NOT OK Just The Way You Are

If something is out-of-balance with my health or in my body, I don’t believe in embracing it—I believe in fixing it. This is a tough conversation for all of us to have with ourselves, and a hard middle ground to find: It’s easy to alternate between wanting to accept ourselves as we are, full stop, and then becoming obsessive, or seeing this as an exercise in vanity.

Somehow, this idea that we can fix obesity, illness, and other imbalances in our bodies simply through good old hard work is still floating around. This view ignores other important factors, such as endocrine (hormonal) imbalances and environmental and emotional factors.

FACT: Negative judgment promotes negative body image and self image. It does not promote a healthy body weight and fitness level. Love yourself!

4. Traditional Functional Strength Training Promotes Imbalance

The brain maps muscle movements, which means that muscles get very smart, very quickly. Performing new patterns that have the same outcome but different ways of getting there is powerful. Performing new patterns of movements that all have different outcomes is messy. Performing the same patterns while adding weight leaves room for weaknesses and builds strength in an unbalanced way.

First of all, muscles don’t get smart. The brain controls muscles, and I am not sure what “mapping” means in this context. In fact, this entire paragraph is meaningless.

FACT: Functional training prepares the body for movements it will have to do in daily life. For example, squatting teaches you how to sit down and stand up, which is helpful for getting up and down from the toilet. Lunging helps with stairs, walking, and kneeling to pick things up. Shoulder presses help us put boxes on higher shelves, or bags in overhead compartments.

Unless you can pay people to do chores for you, functional training is key!

5. Muscle Sculpting Is More Important Than Strength

When you just lift heavy weights with your limbs as a lever against your core there is a depletion, which causes micro-tears in your muscle fibers. Training muscles by lifting heavy weight creates a cycle of repairing, rebuilding, and ultimately, muscle growth. Yes, this creates strength—but in isolation, and in a compartmentalized way. I pair certain resistances with certain movements for certain people very carefully—after all, our muscles are tools to create incredible art with our bodies.

This makes me feel like how I look is more important than how I function. And that is just plainly false! This also equates lifting heavy weights to getting bigger, which for the majority of women is just plain wrong. Finally, the idea that we can spot-tone has been debunked time and time again over the past 30 years.

FACT: Lifting heavy weights will not make women larger. Lifting heavy weights will strengthen your muscles and your bones. Muscle is denser than fat, so it takes up a lot less space. And bone and muscle strength is crucial for avoiding osteoporosis and joint degeneration.

Lift heavy and focus on form!



Review: Healthy Joints for Life by Richard Diana, M.D.

Highly Recommended 4/5 stars

Inflammation is a word that seems to be on everyone’s tongue lately, responsible for everything from tendonitis and back pain to rheumatoid arthritis. NSAIDs (non-steroidal anti-inflammatories), like naproxyn and ibuprofen, have become the painkillers of choice for many Americans. Unfortunately, these medications also have side effects that make them a problem for some people.

In Healthy Joints for Life, Dr. Richard Diana makes the case for a lifestyle change to support healthy joints, including a change in diet, the addition of supplements, and a regular, joint-friendly exercise program. Dr. Diana is a clinical instructor at Yale School of Medicine, a private medical practitioner, and a former professional football player for the Miami Dolphins who played in Super Bowl XVII.

Between watching helplessly as his mother’s life was severely compromised by rheumatoid arthritis and seeing the effects of football on his fellow players and himself, Dr. Diana felt a need to alleviate joint pain in his medical practice.

Dr. Diana begins by outlining the causes of joint pain and degradation, including the main cause of inflammation, and then lays out an easy to follow, eight week program in Healthy Joints for Life, offering scientific backing for every suggestion he makes.

What he offers will not be new for many people. What is different here is how clear and simple his program is to understand and follow.


Nutrition for Joint Health

Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Harlequin Nonfiction from Healthy Joints for Life by Richard Diana M.D. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Diana

The Eleven Nutritional Commandments for Joint Health
By Richard Diana, M.D,
Author of Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again

1. Thou shall respect insulin as the body’s primary inflammatory hormone and recognize that it is secreted in direct response to eating carbohydrates.

2. Thou shall control blood sugar levels by understanding the glycemic index and load of specific carbohydrates and by eating slower-digesting complex carbohydrates.

3. Thou shall help control blood sugar levels with fiber.

4. Thou shall avoid high fructose corn syrup.

5. Thou shall avoid trans fats.

6. Thou shall eat “smart” saturated fats, minimize processed polyunsaturated fats, and beware of fried foods, especially those fried in polyunsaturated fats.

7. Thou shall maximize omega-3 fatty acids.

8. Thou shall remember that omega-6 fatty acids are unsaturated and essential but still need to be minimized, because they are so easily oxidized and are the basis for inflammatory pathway building block, arachidonic acid.

9. Thou shall eat as much fish as possible, keeping in mind that salmon is preferable to all others.

10. Thou shall choose healthier animal proteins, like buffalo, chicken, and turkey, and leaner cuts of those proteins, like the strip and breast.

The Bonus Commandment:

11. Thou shall combine healthy fats and proteins with healthy carbohydrates in order to effectively reduce the glycemic index (GI) of the carbohydrates.

The types of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins we choose to eat can have a dramatic effect on how our joints feel. You can control inflammation and joint pain by eating joint-healthy foods. Sorting out which foods are beneficial to joint health is fairly easy as we eat only three categories of foods, namely, carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. That’s basically it.

You can get picky and debate where to put alcohol or sugar alcohols, but for our purposes it’s worth reemphasizing that if you eat it, then it’s a carbohydrate, fat, or protein. I often refer to those food groups as The Big Three. If you learn to balance The Big Three you will be one step closer to controlling joint pain.

Excerpted with permission from the publisher, Harlequin Nonfiction from Healthy Joints for Life by Richard Diana M.D. Copyright © 2013 by Richard Diana

Author Bio
Richard Diana, M.D., author of Healthy Joints for Life: An Orthopedic Surgeon’s Proven Plan to Reduce Pain and Inflammation, Avoid Surgery and Get Moving Again, retired from the Miami Dolphins after Super Bowl XVII to attend Yale School of Medicine. He has been an orthopedic consultant to several collegiate athletic programs as well as to the Boston Red Sox. Dr. Diana is a board-certified surgeon and has been named a Top 100 Doctor in America. He is a clinical instructor at Yale School of Medicine and attending surgeon at Yale-New Haven Hospital. For more information please visit http://www.healthyjointsforlife.com

Obese Adults Get No Exercise

February 22, 2014 — 2 Comments

Obese Adults in the US exercise less than 4 hours per year!

At minimum, for basic health, human beings should get about 20-30 minutes per DAY of vigorous, sweat producing exercise.

According to a recent study, obese Americans get about 1-4 hours per YEAR.

Basically, they move from chair to chair, rarely exerting enough to sweat or elevate their heart rates.

This finding shocked researchers!

“They’re living their lives from one chair to another,” said Edward Archer, a research fellow with the Nutrition Obesity Research Center at the University of Alabama at Birmingham. “We didn’t realize we were that sedentary. There are some people who are vigorously active, but it’s offset by the huge number of individuals who are inactive.”

Basically, people drive or ride the bus or train to work, and then sit at a desk all day. Then they drive or ride home, read or play some video games, and go to sleep.

All I can say is, Wow! This is some serious sh*t we have gotten ourselves into.

Fitness pros, what can we do to change this?

We tend to preach to the choir and work those who already exercise.

How do we reach the mass of people who don’t leave home or office?


Is Pilates Stunted?

February 21, 2014 — 9 Comments

Is Pilates Stunted?

I recently read a press release regarding London personal trainer James D’Silva and his new Garuda machine, which is slowly making its way to the US.

In the article, which discusses the reasoning behind the Garuda, D’Silva is quoted as saying,

Over the years I have found Pilates quite stunted, so I have come up with a contraption which amalgamates Pilates machines into one and adds some features. I found the whole repertoire quite boring after so many years and I thought I could take it somewhere else. It has worked really well.

I always wonder how anyone could find Pilates stunted. With the mat work and all of the apparatus (including some that almost no studios have anymore – like the baby arm chair, guillotine, and head harness) and props, there are literally thousands of possibilities.

In fact, the longer I do and teach Pilates, the more complex and varied it gets. There is just so much that you can do within the system of Contrology (that’s what Joseph Pilates called it).

Here is the Garuda in action: