Wednesday, June 30, 2010

This Drives Me Nuts....

When Sean Harrington entered his freshman year at Arlington High School, he noticed something peculiar: There were no American flags in the classrooms, and no one recited the Pledge of Allegiance.

So Harrington enlisted the aid of his fellow students, and now, three years later, they have succeeded in getting flags installed in the classrooms. But the pledge still will not be recited.

The Arlington, Mass., school committee has rejected the 17-year-old's request to allow students to voluntarily recite the Pledge of Allegiance, because some educators are concerned that it would be hard to find teachers willing to recite it, according to a report in the Arlington Patch.

Harrington had presented school officials with a petition signed by 700 people, along with letters of support from lawmakers including Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass., and Sen. Joe Lieberman, I-Conn.

But the request to have the pledge recited failed when the committee's vote ended in a 3-3 tie.

"I was really heartbroken," Harrington told FOX News Radio. "It's hard to think that something so traditional in American society was turned down."

His fight has received quite a bit of support from the community. "When I was going to school, it was an honor and a privilege to pledge allegiance to the flag," Francis De Guglielmo, 55, told the Patch. He called the ban an "absolute travesty" and a "disgrace."

Harrington, who will be a senior in the fall, said he will continue to fight. "I'm not a person who quits and I don't back down. It's a very righteous cause and needs to be followed through until the end."

Some committee members voiced concerns about forcing people to do something that might violate their beliefs – including religious beliefs. Among the no-votes was committee member Leba Heigham.

"Patriotism is a very personal thing for all of us, but I do not think it is in the school committee's best interest to mandate that any of our employees recite the pledge," she told the Patch.

Harrington said the recitation would have been strictly voluntary.

"If we can't find one teacher who is willing to say the pledge, then the system we have is cracked," he told FOX News Radio, noting that a number of teachers signed his petition.

He said the school's ban on the pledge sends the wrong message. "It tells me that we've basically cast aside what our country is founded on," he said. "It's saying that we don't really care, and it's sad."

Arlington's superintendent of schools did not return a call for comment.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010


Huge turnout tonight at Track 40 plus runners there....We ran 5x800's with 3:30 rest. Chris Smith lead the way for all 5.. Ray Johnson following right behind. Shawn Connolly running strong in group 1 also.....For the cool down

push ups

I ran

The EASIEST Breakfast on the go

Have you woken up late and are 'scrambling' to get out the door? Need something quick to grab to eat on the run? DON'T rely on what you might find at your local cafe...instead, grab an egg!

Keeping a dozen hard boiled eggs in your fridge is one of the simplest things you can do to ensure you've always got a great source of protein on hand.

Plus, starting your day with protein (rather than a starchy bowl of oatmeal or a muffin, aka a piece of cake) sets you up for a day of balanced energy, rather than one in which you're having to constantly fight off blood sugar peaks and valleys. Protein stimulates the release of


, a hormone who's job is the opposite of insulin... an important thing to keep in mind in particular if you're trying to shed pounds, or if you're diabetic!

So - keep it simple- and have an egg!

Monday, June 28, 2010

Know Your Body's Quick-Cooling Spots

You've probably heard that you can pour water over your wrists or neck to cool off quickly, but we've got the lowdown on all the body's best cooling spots, as well as the most effective ways to use them.

Get Acquainted With Your Body's Pulse Points

The reason this remedy works is because your wrist and neck both contain pulse points—essentially, areas where you can feel your pulse because your blood vessels are close to the surface of your skin. Because they are so close, however, you can also cool off your blood and body temperature by getting the area in contact with cool water.

However, your neck and wrists are not the only pulse points on your body (though your neck is arguably one of the most effective). The insides of your elbows and knees are two other common pressure points, as well as the tops of your feet and insides of your ankle (near the area where your ankle bone sticks out). There's also a pulse point on your inner thighs. And, while the forehead is commonly used as a cooling spot, the pulse point on your head is actually closer to your temple and the area just in front of your ear. There are a few more, of course, but these are the most convenient for the purpose of cooling yourself.
Adjust Your Cooling Method to Your Activity

Obviously, not all of these pulse points are going to be convenient to cool down all the time. There are a number of different ways you can go about cooling them down, and you'll need to use the ones most convenient to you at the time. For example, if you're out exercising in the heat, wrapping a damp bandanna (or better yet, a specialized homemade cooling scarf) around your wrist, elbow, or neck (when you can) is an easy way to keep cool.

If you're just sitting on the couch in a hot box of an apartment, though, you'll be able to take advantage of your feet, ankles, knees, or thighs in addition to the others. If you're not moving around, you can use the other popular method of using ice cubes wrapped in a cloth, rather than just a wet bandanna. Some recommend putting the towel-wrapped ice on your pulse points for a minute at a time, but there isn't a ton of consensus on the subject—just do what feels comfortable for you, and make sure it's "cool" and not cold. Don't use just ice; make sure it's wrapped in a towel or something similar (the same rules apply to the water-soaked scarf as well; cool, not cold).

Keep in mind this isn't necessarily the end-all, be-all of cooling techniques. Attacking your pulse points should cool you off slightly (depending on your situation), but don't expect it to be a 100 percent cure for the heat. Make sure you're still doing everything you can to keep cool, like running your air conditioner if you can, finding a comfortable, air-conditioned space, trying alternatives to air conditioners, generating less heat in your living space, and, of course, staying hydrated and out of the hot, beating sun. And as always, be sure to share your own tips in the comments.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

What is the Strongest Muscle?

There are many ways to define the question of which is the strongest muscle, but we will define strength as the force exerted by the muscle itself. The force, or tension, created by an individual muscle fiber does not vary significantly, making the case that the strongest muscle is the one with the most muscle fibers, or the most overall area.

Therefore, the strongest muscle would be the quadriceps (front of the thigh) or the gluteus maximus (butt). So if you want to get strong as fast as possible, get those muscles big by doing your SQUATS.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Rosemary- Not Just Something Tasty to Eat!

Did you know that In the lab, rosemary has been shown to have antioxidant properties? Antioxidants help to ward off free radicals, which disturb cell membranes, cause cell death and damage DNA. It also appears to have antimicrobial properties.

Add it to your roasted veggies or throw it in the soup- tasty and healthy to boot! A touch of this herb, which literally grows like a weed, can turn plain veggies into a tasty, easy dish.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Balance with a barbell, not a ball


Perhaps the biggest source of confusion in training is the assumed correlation between the difficulty of a movement and its benefit for injury prevention and sport performance.One situation is the increased use of instability toys, such as balance boards and inflatable discs or balls, in every population from mothers to professional athletes. It is easy to understand why people have gravitated to these exercises because they are difficult and pose a challenge. Try squatting on a ball or disc, and you will be determined to get back on it after you fall. I cannot argue with the difficulty of adding instability devices to a movement, yet the rationale of such exercises to improve the body’s stability is flawed, and there are better choices.

Canada is one of the leading countries in sports science, and their Exercise Physiology society released a 2010 statement on the best practices to improve stability. The review discusses how the same, if not higher, core muscle activation found in unstable conditions can be achieved with ground-based free-weight exercises, such as Olympic lifts, squats, and dead lifts. The position continues to explain that the addition of unstable bases to resistance exercises can decrease force, power, velocity, and range of motion, the very characteristics that make ground based exercises effective (see Sparta Point 3/24/10). Therefore, in weightlifting, you can get the same injury prevention benefits from stability, yet further bolster your resilience by greater increases in strength, flexibility and stiffness.

While the lower loads and controlled tempo of unstable surfaces could play a role in the first couple weeks of rehabilitation periods, such as directly after surgical procedures, the intense nature of sport requires higher speeds and weights to truly prepare and protect the body.

We must remember to prioritize our training choices, as time is the true obstacle in all of our lives. Others might spend their workout hour falling on and off an inflatable disc, believing the difficulty must translate to the greatest gains in injury prevention and performance. Meanwhile, our athletes will just continue to refine their weightlifting technique to become more stable, more flexible, and faster, and all this occurs within the same movement!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I'm Popeye the sailor-man.....

I've always had trouble eating "healthy." To be honest, I've been known to go for more than a few days without eating a single fruit or vegetable. Granted, the past couple of years have seen major improvement as I've adopted a Paleo/Primal approach -- but I still struggle to get 5-10 servings a day. One thing that has helped me is making green smoothies. They look nasty, but are seriously tasty, contain ALOT of greens, and you can add fruit to taste. I've posted this before, but thought it was worth revisiting. You can use any combo of greens and fruits. I personally think spinach is best (thus the Popeye reference) but you can use kale, collard greens, various lettuce, etc. The ingredients:

1. Slice pineapple
2. 1/4 cup juice (I usually use 1/4 of a real orange, but didn't have any handy)
3. 1/4 cup almond milk (you can use real milk or yogurt)
4. As much spinach as will fit into your blender. If you're lazy like me and buy the prewashed bags, this is at least 1/2 a bag.
Blend the crap out of this. Blending is key. I'm talking 3-5 minutes in a normal blender. I recently purchased a kick ass blender and it takes only 1-2 minutes.
The result:

Now, about those Popeye muscles...

You are only as good as your HDL


Everyone wants a high HDL. But too high in one study had adverse outcomes in non-diabetics with high CRP levels (marker of inflammation). There is an explanation for this study. The QUALITY of HDL is also important.

I recently read a review in Nature Review Nephrology which has opened my perspective on this issue. It is more than quantity of HDL but also QUALITY. Which makes me think of the quote by Dr. BG: "you are only as good as your mitochondria." What I am going to try to prove is that HDL needs to be added to that statement. In fact, dysfunctional mitochondria through inflammation will also lead to suboptimal HDL.

HDL has the following properties:

* antioxidant
* anti-inflammatory
* anti-thrombotic
* involved in Reverse Cholesterol Transport (RCT) - meaning bringing cholesterol from the peripheral tissues back to the liver for processing. On the liver, HDL binds to the receptor SRB1 causing endocytosis (engulfment).

In patients with CKD, the following occurs with HDL:

* reduction in HDL cholesterol
* impaired HDL maturation
* elevation of immature HDL
* elevated HDL triglycerides

One of the mechanisms is a decrease in the enzyme LCAT which causes the maturation of HDL from HDL3 (small, dense) to HDL2 (large, buoyant). A heightened oxidative state (inflammation, free radicals) causes a down regulation of LCAT and apoprotein A1 (apo AI).

Furthermore, HDL by RCT is involved with picking up OXIDIZED cholesterol and phospholipids and bringing them back to the liver.
In CKD patients, there is an elevation of HDL triglycerides due to the decreased levels of hepatic lipase which is an enzyme causing a clearance of triglycerides and phospholipids from HDL.

HDL possess natural antioxidant enzymes: paraoxonase and glutathione peroxidase. Moreover, it also contains acetylhydrolase which inhibits thrombus formation by inactivating platelet-activating factor (PAF).

In summary, inflammation not only causes an decrease in HDL and increase in triglycerides (metabolic syndrome) but there also a decrease in the quality of the HDL. HDL instead of being an anti-oxidant becomes pro-inflammatory. Furthermore, the anti-platelet capacity is decreased thus increasing the risk of thrombus formation. Reverse Cholesterol Transport is decreased. This will allow accumulation of oxidized cholesterol and phospholipids in the peripheral tissues enhancing the risk of vascular disease. Why? Macrophages will detect the oxidized cholesterol, like in LDL, and engulf them. This will then lead to an enhanced inflammatory state causing a recruitment of other WBCs. And as such, coronary artery disease later appears with chronic inflammation like the metabolic syndrome.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Dump the Peanuts........Here's Why

Great blog from

"Our clients don’t typically balk at the removal of the actual peanuts from their diets – there are plenty of other nuts they can consume for healthy fats. The trouble comes when we take away their peanut butter. Long promoted as full of “good” fat and high in protein, peanut butter has probably been a staple in your diet since you were a kid, and unfortunately, PB has few comparable substitutes (as those of you who have tried almond butter already know). So for you hold-outs practicing “Paleo + Peanut Butter”… we get it, but we still want you to ditch the PB. Need convincing? Here's why we don't eat peanut better- not even the organic, all-natural stuff.

It’s not the ingredients in the peanut butter we don’t like, it’s the peanuts themselves. When peanuts grow, they can harbor carcinogenic mold called an “aflatoxin“. This goes for conventional and organic peanuts. They longer they sit (during shipping, for example), especially in warm temperatures and high humidity, the more mold grows. And as it’s nearly impossible to buy peanuts “local”, as they are only grown in a few Southern locations, more likely than not that even your organic peanuts are suspect.

The far bigger concern, however, is that peanuts contain lectins which are believed to have inflammatory and atherogenic potential. Most plants contain lectins, some of which are toxic, inflammatory, or both. Many of these lectins are resistant to cooking and to digestive enzymes, and some have been scientifically shown to have significant GI toxicity in humans. Lectins from grains (especially wheat) and legumes (including peanuts and soybeans) are most commonly associated with aggravation of inflammatory and digestive diseases in the body.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Saturday June 19th Trails....

Ran with the old crew this morning at 6:30. It was my first time out in a couple of months as I have been battling a touch of knee pain along with more than a touch of laziness. The weather was gorgeous in the early morning and I was so happy I got up to do this. I ran 2 miles without stopping (yay!) and then did a walk-run-shuffle on the way back. Baby steps....

The Aftermath Joan's Jaunt

The Shamrock's show up in full force on Thursday night.The Shamrock took the first 8 spots.. Chris Smith lead the charge with a 29.02 with Mike Girouard right behind him with 29.11..Matt Manney was out there and didn't lose a step running 35.04. Ralph cracked the sub 35 time..We had a bunch people right around the 40 min mark ....We going to get them all sub 40 with more Burpees..........

Friday, June 18, 2010

Race Report Joan's Jaunt

A nice turn out for this years race.The Weather was good for running. Started warming up about 6 o'clock for some reason it felt like forever before the start time at 6:30. The first mile is a fast one and had some speedy guys up front, Chris Smith ,Mike Girouard and Dan Connolly. The race starts Chris takes right off with Mike and Dan right behind. I'm running along and I hear Demaris say I don't want to get dragged along with these guys..Good call , I check my watch 400 meter at about 1:30. I can't hold that, pull back a touch and relax, time to worry about my own race. I quickly loss sight of the Big 3..Hit the first mile 6:27 right around where I wanted to land. Mile 2 6:44 feeling good waiting for my favorite part the race nice long decline down Lexington St into the backside of the pond hit mile 3 on the trail 6:23. I could see Dan way out in front of me but I was not able to make up any distance. Mile 4 6:38. The last mile trying to hold on to the pace.The race seem to go by very fast. Coming up Arlington St getting ready for the last hill and 200 last 200 meters. It only takes 50 steps to get up the hill on Hudson. Hit the top and whatever you have left let it rip for the last 200. The last mile ran 6:57 not sure what happen I didn't feel like I drop off that much. Finished up at 33:10 wanted to land in the 32's but it is what it is............Race Results

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Sports Science Update: Heavy Weights, Plyos, or Circuits?

by Matt Fitzgerald

There are various types of resistance training that runners do. Among them are heavy weightlifting, plyometrics, and circuit strength training. Which one would improve your running more? Researchers from Finland’s University of Jyväskylä recently sought to answer that question.

Twenty-eight recreational runners were recruited to participate in the study. All of them engaged in six weeks of preparatory strength training while continuing to follow their normal running schedules. When that was completed, the subjects were separated in three groups. For eight weeks, while continuing to run, some of the subjects engaged in heavy weightlifting, others engaged in plyometrics training, and the rest did circuit strength workouts. Finally, for 14 more weeks the subjects continued to perform their designated form of resistance training at a reduced level while still running.

During the intensive resistance training period, members of all three groups experienced gains in strength, muscle power, and velocity at VO2max (an excellent indicator of running performance), while members of the plyometrics group also exhibited improved running economy. During the 14-week reduced resistance training period that followed, velocity at VO2max increased further in the heavy weightlifting and plyometrics groups but not in the circuit training group. Running economy also improved in the heavy weightlifting group during this period.

The researchers concluded that heavy weightlifting or plyometrics performed concurrently with endurance training enhances running performance more than circuit strength training performed concurrently with endurance training. This study also shows that it’s a good idea to devote a period of several weeks to intensive resistance training to maximize gains in strength and power and then reduce resistance training to fully translate these gains into improved running performance.

The results were published in the International Journal of Sports Medicine.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Six Paces Training

If your goal is to maximize your performance then you have to optimally train all the muscle fibers that are active and contribute to performance during your chosen event. There is no "training a muscle" or "overloading a muscle". Instead there is "training individual muscle fibers" and "overloading individual muscle fibers".

The only way to train a muscle fiber is to overload that fiber. A fiber that is not overloaded will not adapt or improve.

In order to overload a fiber you have to fatigue that fiber. Fatigue = overload.

Muscle fibers do not all fatigue at the same time. Different fibers have different rates of fatigue. Slow twitch fibers fatigue at a much, much slower rate than Fast A fibers. Fast A fibers fatigue much slower than Fast B fibers.

Furthermore, fibers of the same type are not all exactly alike. Instead, fibers of the same type vary widely in their contractile properties. For example, the average Slow Twitch fibers is slower, weaker, but more enduring than the average Fast A fiber. But that's just the average. There are Slow Twitch fibers that are slower than the average Slow Twitch fibers, some that are average Slow Twitch fibers, and some that are faster than the average Slow Twitch fiber. In fact, there are some Slow Twitch fibers that are as strong and fast as some Fast A fibers.

The same thing exists in the other fiber types too. In other words, there is a continuum of contractile properties (a bell curve) in all muscle fibers - from slower to faster, weaker to stronger, more enduring to less enduring.

The endurance continuum found in your fibers ranges from a few seconds to several hours. In other words, you have fibers that fatigue in seconds, some that fatigue in minutes, and some that take hours to fatigue.

The amount of time it takes to train (i.e. overload) a specific fiber is dependent on the individual characteristics of that fiber. For example, a fiber that can contract for an hour before it fatigues will be minimally overloaded during exercise that lasts a few minutes.

Therefore, training (i.e. fatiguing) all your widely different fibers (or as many as is practical) requires using a wide variety of training loads.

Train all your fibers

For runners racing distances between 100 meters and the marathon I suggest 6 distinct training paces / workouts in order to train to fatigue as many fibers as is practical.

The 6 training paces:
1. Marathon pace
2. 1/2 marathon pace
3. 10k pace
4. 5k pace
5. 2k pace
6. Sprint pace

These 6 training paces will train as many fibers as can be reasonably trained.

Optimally training as many fibers as you can reasonably train is the path to maximum performance.

Marathon pace workout = long runs (12 to 25 miles) conducted at easy to moderate intensity. This workout maximally trains the weakest but most enduring of Slow Twitch fibers.

1/2 marathon pace workout = medium long run (8-12 miles) conducted at a moderate intensity (slightly faster pace than marathon pace). This workout maximally trains the average Slow Twitch fibers and the slower Fast A fibers.

10k pace workout = medium distance (5-7 miles) run conducted at a moderate to moderately hard intensity. This workout maximally trains the fastest Slow Twitch fibers and the average Fast A fibers

5k pace workout = shorter distance (2-4 miles) run conducted at a moderately hard intensity. This workout maximally trains the above average Fast A fibers and the slowest Fast B fibers

2k pace workout = short distance (1-2 miles) run conducted at a hard intensity. This workout maximally trains the fastest Fast A fibers and slower Fast B fibers

Sprint pace workout = very short distance (100 meters - 1200 meters) sprints / intervals conducted at a very hard intensity. This workout maximally trains the average to above average Fast B fibers.

All 6 workouts cannot be done in a single week - the intensity will be too high and overtraining will likely occur.

The 6 workouts can be conducted over a 2 week training schedule:

Week 1: Sprint workout, 5k workout, 1/2 marathon workout
Week 2: 2k workout, 10k workout, Marathon workout

Week 1
Monday - sprint pace workout
Wednesday - 5k pace workout
Saturday - 1/2 marathon pace workout

Week 2
Monday - 2k pace workout
Wednesday - 10k pace workout
Saturday - Marathon pace workout

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Hip Exercises Reduce Knee Pain

by: Dr. Mercola

New research shows that a twice weekly hip strengthening regimen proved effective at reducing or eliminating the kind of knee pain referred to as patellofemoral pain (PFP) in female runners. Stronger hips may correct running form errors that contribute to PFP.

The study used a pain scale of 0 to 10, with 3 representing the onset of pain and 7 representing very strong pain. The injured runners began the six-week trial registering pain of 7 when they ran on a treadmill, and finished the study period registering pain levels of 2 or lower.

According to Science Daily:

“PFP, one of the most common running injuries, is caused when the thigh bone rubs against the back of the knee cap. Runners with PFP typically do not feel pain when they begin running, but once the pain begins, it gets increasingly worse ... PFP essentially wears away cartilage and can have the same effect as osteoarthritis.”

Monday, June 14, 2010

How to Strength Train:

The way to go about this is not the traditional high reps, low weight method. Instead, it is the complete opposite, higher weight low reps. The reason is that when lifting heavy for only a 1-4 reps or so, the enhancements in strength are almost entirely neural. Contrary to popular belief, muscle size gains come when working in the middle zones because the intensity is just high enough and the volume high enough to elicit a large enough protein breakdown for adaptation. On the other hand, heavy weight, low reps work does not elicit enough of a protein response to trigger big changes in muscle size because the volume is so low. Therefore, heavy training with low reps is the way to go for neurally induced gains in strength and muscle fiber recruitment.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Popular Diets Are Nutrient Deficient

According to a study newly published in the online Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, many of the popular weight-loss diets fail to provide enough vitamins and minerals to sustain optimal health. Holistic nutritionist Jayson Calton analyzed daily menus suggested by four diets: Atkins for Life, South Beach, DASH, and Best Life--for their vitamin and mineral composition. He found that all four diets failed to provide the minimum RDI of all 27 nutrients analyzed. Calton calculated that, on average, the diets would have to have provided roughly twice the 1,745 calories they did provide to supply adequate amounts of most of the essential vitamins and minerals. According to Calton, this means that persons who follow any one of these diets could see their health compromised even as they lose weight. Ironically, the nutrient deficiency of these popular diets could also make them less effective for weight loss, as there is some evidence that vitamin and mineral malnutrition encourages overeating.........

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Omega 3 Fatty Acids and their mechanisms

Everyone knows that fish oil (omega 3 fatty acid) has beneficial aspects for the cardiovascular system. But I wanted to briefly look into how does this work.
It is known that omega 3 fatty acids may have: (1)

* anti-arrhythmic effects
* lowers triglycerides
* increased vascular relaxation
* anti-inflammatory
* decreased platelet aggregation
* enhances coronary plaque stability
* anti-atherosclerotic effects
* improved enothelial function
* lowers blood pressure

The omega 6s like sunflower, safflower, soybean, and corn oils are more proinflammatory as they generate more inflammatory chemicals referred to as prostaglandins. Whereas, omega 3s have less inflammatory or antiinflammatory prostaglandins. Drugs like ibuprofen inhibit these prostaglandins. There also the COX-2 inhibitors as well like Celebrex or Mobic.

All cells have a bi-lipid membrane that is composed of cholesterol and lipids. Depending what type of fats you consume, this is what will be incorporated into these cellular walls. During an inflammatory state, the cholesterol in these cell walls is used to generate arachidonic acid which leads to a cascade of inflammatory prostaglandins and other chemicals. These cellular walls can consist more of omega 3s or omega 6s. (click here for a more detailed explanation - my previous post) More omega 6s leads to higher states of inflammation. Our ancestors had an omega 6 to 3 ratio of less than 2:1. Moderns Westerns are closer to 18:1.

How does omega 3 fatty acids decrease inflammation? by the following:

* decrease the chemoattractant cytokines (chemicals that cause attraction and adhesion of WBCs) - these are ICAM, VCAM, MCP-1
* decreases the master inflammatory protein NF-kB
* decreases other inflammatory cytokines like TNF-alpha, IL-6, CRP, IL-1B, IL-8
* decreases platelet aggregation by decreasing the activity of the cytokine thromboxane
* vasorelaxation also by decreasing thromboxane
* activation of PPAR-alpha which positively regulates lipids - i.e. triglycerides
* they improve fluidity of the cell membranes. Meaning that omega 3s will cause the cellular membrane to be "elastic." Important, as having a rigid cellular wall will compromise cellular function.
* anti-arrhythmic effects by stabilizing cell wall NA+ (sodium) channels. They reduced excitability of the cell. Moreover, there was less excitability of the calcium channels in rat studies.
* improving lipid profiles by decreasing the expression of SREBP-1c
* there will also be incorporation of omega 3s into the coronary plaques (good thing)
* can suppress the COX-2 enzyme
* decreases Apo CIII levels which leads to increased lipoprotein lipase. Apo CIII is found on VLDL lipoproteins and chylomicrons (large cholesterol filled particles absorbed from the intestines). By increasing lipoprotein lipase there is increased clearance of triglycerides by splitting the glycerol backbone of triglycerides from the three fatty acids. (click here for a detailed explanation)

It appears that having a normal omega 6 to 3 ratio is very important based upon the mechanisms above.


1) Adkins Y, Kelley DS: Mechanisms underlying the cardioprotective effects of omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids. J Nutr Biochem. 2010 Apr 9.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Aspartame(Nutrasweet) – The World’s Best Ant Poison

… contributed by Jan Jensen of WELLthy Choices

We live in the woods and carpenter ants are a huge problem. We
have spent thousands of dollars with Orkin and on ant poisons
trying to keep them under control but nothing has helped.

So when I read somewhere that Aspartame (Nutrasweet) was
actually developed as an ant poison and only changed to being
considered non-poisonous after it was realized that

a lot more money could be made on it as a sweetener than as an
ant poison, I decided to give it a try. I opened two packets of
aspartame sweetener, and dumped one in a corner of each of our
bathrooms. That was about 2 years ago and I have not seen any
carpenter ants for about 9 to
12 months. It works better than the most deadly poisons I have
tried. Any time they show up again, I simply dump another
package of Nutrasweet in a corner, and they will be gone for a
year or so again. Since posting this information I have had many
people tell me of their success solving ant problems with this
substance, when nothing else worked.

We found later that small black ants would not eat the
aspartame. It was determined that if you mixed it with apple
juice, they would quickly take it back to the nest, and all
would be dead within 24 hours, usually. I have found that
sometimes it will kill them, and sometimes it does not. Not sure
why, may be slightly different species of ants or something.

Fire Ants: We got our first fire ant hill about 2 weeks ago.
Poison did not work. We tried aspartame and the ants ignored it
until we got a light rain. It was just a sprinkle, enough to
moisten the Nutrasweet and ground, but not enough to wash it
away. They went crazy, hundreds of them grabbing it and taking
it back into the mound.
When I checked the mound 2 days later, there was no sign of the
fire ants. I even dug the mound up some, and still saw none of

How it works:
Aspartame is a neuropoison. It most likely kills the ants by
interfering with their nervous system. It could be direct, like
stopping their heart, or something more subtle, like killing
their sense of taste so they can’t figure out what is edible, or
smell, so they can’t follow their trails, or mis-identify their
colonies members, so they start fighting each other.

Not sure what causes them to end up dying; just know that for
many species of ants, it will kill them quickly and effectively.
As with any poison I recommend wearing gloves and washing any
skin areas that come in contact with this poison, and avoid
getting it in your mouth, despite anything the labeling may
indicate. I suspect it will work for other insects such as
yellow jackets as well, but have not tested that yet.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

What is insulin resistance?

Insulin resistance is an inability of some of the cells of the body to respond to insulin. It is the beginning of the body not dealing well with sugar (and remember that all carbohydrate breaks down into sugar in our bodies). One of insulin's main jobs is to get certain body cells to "open up" to take in glucose (or, more accurately to store the glucose as fat). Insulin resistance happens when the cells essentially don't open the door when insulin comes knocking. When this happens, the body puts out more insulin to stabilize blood glucose (and so the cells can use the glucose). Over time, this results in a condition called "hyperinsulinemia" or "too much insulin in the blood." Hyperinsulinemia causes other problems, including making it more difficult for the body to use fat for energy.

What problems does insulin resistance cause?
Besides general weight gain, insulin resistance is associated with abdominal obesity, high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and low HDL ("good cholesterol"). These conditions are part of a constellation of problems called metabolic syndrome (also called insulin resistance syndrome). Because this group of symptoms occurs together, it's hard to know what causes what, but metabolic syndrome is a risk factor for heart disease and Type 2 diabetes.

If insulin resistance is the first step, what comes next?
If the pancreas keeps having to put out high levels of insulin, eventually it can't keep doing it. The common explanation is that the beta-cells in the pancreas become "exhausted," but it actually may be that the high insulin and/or even slightly higher blood glucose starts to do damage to the beta cells. In any case, at that point, blood glucose starts to rise, even more and the path towards Type 2 diabetes is truly begun.

When fasting blood glucose reaches 100 mg/dl, it is called "prediabetes," and when it reaches 126, it is called "diabetes." You can see that these are invisible lines along a path of increasing inability for the body to deal with sugar: First, insulin is less effective, and then not enough insulin is available to do the job. The sooner we can intervene in this process, the better off we will be

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

June 6, 1944,

June 6, 1944, 160,000 Allied troops landed along a 50-mile stretch of heavily-fortified French coastline to fight Nazi Germany on the beaches of Normandy, France. The D-Day cost was high -more than 9,000 Allied Soldiers were killed or wounded....

Saturday, June 5, 2010


It doesn't get much better than this.......
1 mile run
100 pull ups
200 push ups
300 body squats
1 mile run
The running can not be broken up the rest can... weight vest is optional......

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Lowdown On Lectins

From Mark's Daily Apple

Little known to the public at large. Little understood by the health community.Proven to be at least mildly detrimental for everyone and downright destructive for the more sensitive (and often unsuspecting) among us. We’re talking lectins today: common natural agents on the one hand, cloaked thugs of the anti-nutrient underworld on the other. Our popular health media, if they’ve heard of lectins, certainly never make mention of them. Famous health gurus never deign to speak of them. In short, lectins thrive in the American diet basically unfettered, unscrutinized. Make no mistake, however. They’re a menacing power to be reckoned with.

What Are They?

Foods with the highest lectin activity include: grains of all kinds (especially wheat), legumes (especially soy), nuts, dairy, and nightshade plants (e.g. eggplant, tomatoes, potatoes, peppers, etc.). Add to this list the oils and other derivative products from these food sources. And yet another, lesser known category: GMO food, since lectins are often spliced into modified varieties in order to enhance “natural” pest and fungal resistance.

What Do They Do To The Body?

Lectins’ stickiness allows them to bind with the lining, particularly the villi, of the small intestine. The result? Intestinal damage (with impaired cellular repair potential), cellular death as well as compromised intestinal villi, which means reduced absorption of other nutrients, including minerals and protein. Add to this altered gut flora, which can allow certain harmful bacterial strains like E. coli to run rampant. Furthermore, because the body is now responding full-time to the needs of the injured gut lining, proteins and other resources are redirected from other basic growth and repair processes. Furthermore, lectins have been associated with leptin resistance (PDF), a pre-diabetic condition linked to obesity.

Perhaps the most insidious impacts lectins can leave in their wake is this: leaky gut. Leaky gut is a term for the breach in the intestinal lining created by lectins hand in hand with other antinutrients. Once the intestinal breach exists, lectins and other particles (like partially digested food, toxins, etc) can “leak” into the bloodstream.

Once lectins open the door, so to speak, out of the small intestine, they and other fugitive particles are now free to move about the body and bind to any tissue they come across (anything from the thyroid to the pancreas to the kidneys). Of course, the body reacts to these invaders by directing an attack on these particles and the otherwise perfectly healthy tissue they’re attached to. Enter autoimmune mayhem. That’s why lectins are linked with autoimmune disorders like IBS, Crohn’s, colitis, thyroiditis, fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue syndrome, and arthritis. Specific lectins have been associated with particular ailments (like wheat with rheumatoid arthritis), but more research is needed to trace and confirm these connections. What is clear, however, is the potent autoimmune destruction that can result when the intestinal lining experiences this level of damage.
Primal Advice For Limiting Lectins

As mentioned, lectins are literally everywhere. Although it’s impossible to eliminate them altogether, you can significantly reduce your intake.

* Purge the worst offenders. That means grains and soy more than anything, but I’d add other legumes to the list as well. Eliminating the foods that contain the highest lectin activity will slash your overall lectin intake – and impact.

* Cut back on other higher lectin sources. Not everyone wants to nix every dairy or nightshade option. Look at how you can reduce your overall intake of these items while keeping enough to enjoy their flavor and nutrient advantages.

* Gauge your sensitivity. For those of us who are most sensitive to lectins, more dramatic measures might be needed. If you know or believe that you’ve already suffered some serious intestinal damage, you might do well to steer clear of as many high and moderate lectin level foods as possible. That means perhaps forgoing nightshades, dairy, legumes and even nuts and eggs in addition to all grains and processed foods. Reintroduce desired foods back into your diet by “family” (e.g. dairy, etc.) and be mindful of any physiological effects (however minor) that accompany them.

* Take up old traditions like soaking, sprouting and using bacterial fermentation techniques for any moderate/high lectin foods like beans you choose to keep in your diet. Fermentation methods are especially effective, virtually eliminating lectins in one study of lentils. All those kitchen rituals you remember from Grandma? They’re adaptive, essentially pre-digestive techniques practiced by traditional cultures around the globe. Going old school on your favorite nut varieties, for example, cuts those lectin levels dramatically.

* Don’t go wholly raw. Yes, there are legitimate reasons to enjoy raw plants in your diet, but I don’t support the practice as a movement or exclusionary principle for eating. Humans have been cooking for well over a hundred thousand years. Some nutrients are enhanced by heat. Some anti-nutrients (like lectins) are at least partially “disarmed” by it. Cooking methods with a mind toward maximizing overall nutrient value and bioavailability make good Primal sense and can lower your exposure to lectins.

* Diversify! Restrictive diets make us even more susceptible to the downsides of our foods. (Soy formula fed babies being a dramatic example of this principle.) Make Grok proud and forage more widely for your dinner. Research shows that simply rotating primary foods was enough to limit lectin-related damage in rats that were given rounds of soy feed. A healthy, mostly low lectin diet will offer enough balance and protective nutrition to blunt the impact of the occasional moderate level lectin sources.

* Avoid GMOs. Hidden lectin is just one more reason to leave GMO products on the shelf.

* Maintain good overall gut health. Our modern existence sometimes seems like one giant assault against our digestive tracts. Minimize cumulative negative effects and increase positive, protective factors. Eat a healthy diet with Primal doses of probiotics, prebiotics and good fats. Limit stress and the use of medications like aspirin, NSAIDs and antibiotics (as well as secondary exposure through antibiotic-administered livestock). A healthy gut will be better equipped to weather the effects of inevitable but reasonable lectin intake.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The Sweep.......

1 year after winning the State Titles in the 100m, 200m, 400m, and 800m
as a freshman. Hallie Kuhlman sweeps the 100, 200 400 800 again in 2010 Kansas State Track and Field Championships..We will have keep an eye on her..........


Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Football Player Dies of a Heart Attack at 37

In the NFL, size matters. Coaches want tall wide receivers, quarterbacks with "big" arms, and linemen the size of 4x4's - no joke. Bam Bam Bigelow size!

Norman "Big Wiggle" Hand was no exception. He played nine seasons in the NFL, weighing in at 6'3, 310-plus pounds.

Norman died of a heart attack last Friday, at the age of 37. A former athlete dying so young, no way! But in football, it happens a lot - a lot, a lot!

Norman played defensive tackle, so he had to be big. It's simple, pack the interior of the D-line with big beefy dudes, stuff the run, force the opposing offense to throw, and let your defensive ends get at the quarterback.

And it works - just ask Tony Siragusa and the 2000 Ravens. But, big comes with a price. Carrying around all the extra weight has been shown time after time to put former NFL players at increased risk of heart attack.

Last year, 26 year old Gaines Adams died from cardiac arrest caused by an enlarged heart. And hall of famer Reggie White passed away in 2004 due to a cardiac arrhythmia. Reggie was 43.

In Norman's case, he also had an enlarged heart, due to high blood pressure. He collapsed at his home, and later died at the hospital. But even still, big is paramount.

And, to reach mammoth proportions, some players go berserk with the eating - insanely berserk!

In 2007, while serving a 60-day stint in jail, Bengals defensive tackle Tank Johnson spent $700 food. His list of nom-noms included 162 beef sticks, 40 honey buns, 35 blocks of summer sausage, 35 bags of barbecue chips, 9 tortillas, 9 packages of jalapeno cheese, 6 packs of refried beans, plus cookies, Swiss rolls, butterfingers, Reese's cups, and Jolly Ranchers.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


Nutrition is an important factor influencing physical performance. I’ve heard it said that training is 20 percent of physical performance while nutrition and recovery are 80 percent. I don’t know if those percentages are correct, but I do know that nutrition and recovery are of equal importance and a missing ingredient in today’s athletes. Compared to 20 years ago, there is far less controversy regarding protein requirements and strength/power athletes.

There are six essential nutrients critical for humans—protein, carbohydrates, fats, vitamins, minerals, and water. Proteins are an essential structural component of the human body. Excluding water, protein is the most abundant substance in the human body with skeletal muscle its largest depot. Proteins are made of smaller, basic units called amino acids. Amino acids are made of basic elements of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. There are 222 amino acids and nine are considered essential, meaning they can’t be made by the body and must be obtained through diet. When the essential amino acids aren’t obtained in the diet, the body’s protein production ability is seriously impaired and many negative side effects (deficiency diseases) including death can occur, depending on the length and degree of deficiency.

Dietary proteins containing all the essential amino acids are complete proteins and considered to have a high biological value. Proteins of animal origin (meat, dairy products, eggs, and fish) are complete with eggs having the highest biological value. Proteins lacking one of the essential amino acids are incomplete and have a lower biological value. Incomplete proteins are usually of plant origin (grains, legumes, nuts, and seeds). This may pose difficulty for both vegetarian athletes and non-athletes. When all the essential amino acids aren’t consumed in the same meal or within one hour of each other, the body’s ability to make new protein (build muscle) is adversely effected. As a result, other amino acids can’t be used optimally, which causes increased nitrogen excretion (possible/probable cannibalization of lean muscle tissue). The body thrives on homeostasis (steady state or balance). It has an incredible ability to adapt and heal itself when functioning optimally. This balance is a tension of opposites. Too much on either end of the spectrum can create dysfunction or illness. The body will get the amino acids it needs by diet or cannibalizing lean muscle tissue.

Over the past 20 years, there has been considerable investigation into the effects of exercise on the use of protein and branch chained amino acids (leucine, isoleucine, and valine). According to the literature, the branch chained amino acids are used as an energy source during exercise. The percentage of branched chain amino acids used is dependent on the glycogen stores (sugar stored in the liver and skeletal muscle) and the type of exercise (aerobic or strength/power). Research also shows that approximately 1 gram of protein per pound of body weight supports protein synthesis, resulting in increased muscle mass along with elevations in the enzymes associated with the anaerobic metabolism used in strength/power sports (weight training, bodybuilding, and powerlifting). This is maximized when sufficient calories are consumed with a balanced diet of the low glycemic carbohydrates and good fats. A rule I tell my students is if man makes it, be cautious. Nature tends to be more balanced. Both aerobic and strength/power athletes appear to benefit from more protein when combined with a balance diet. However, on a practical level, bodybuilders have known for years that high protein diets work. A side benefit is that with an increase in protein, there is an increase in creatine due to the animal source (beef, chicken, or fish).

A summary of the research shows that all athletes need more protein compared with the regular population. (For most athletes, this can be obtained through diet as long as calorie restrictions aren’t in place. Exceptions are bodybuilders, wrestlers, dancers, and gymnasts). Approximately 1 gram per pound of body weight is needed. This is maximized when combined with a balanced diet containing the six nutrients. Complete protein sources are best because they have a high biological value (meat, dairy, eggs, and fish). If you are a vegan, make sure you’re properly combining complementary incomplete proteins and consuming them within an hour of each other.

New research shows a nutrient timing component. It isn’t just the right foods but also the right foods at the right time. For example, to improve athletic performance, recovery, and muscular growth, consume a complete protein high in L-glutamine and L-leucine, one to two hours before training and within 30 minutes immediately after training for maximum results, according to Dr. Ivy and Stout. There is also a carbohydrate, vitamin (vitamin C and E), mineral (calcium, magnesium, sodium, potassium), and hydration component. I tell my athletes to consume approximately 0.5 ounces of water per pound of body weight, especially in the Florida heat.

Finally, an overlooked aspect for proper protein utilization is sleep consistency. Go to bed and wake up at approximately the same time each day. It’s during the sleeping hours when recovery and growth take place (physical and psychological wellness). Bruce Lee had a philosophy, which stated, “Take what is useful and discard what is useless.”