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living a healthy lifestyle
Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health.
(Featured on CNN)

When I was growing up in the '50s and '60s, there was no obesity epidemic, and children were not developing old-age maladies such as heart disease. Cancer, Alzheimer's, and autism were virtually unheard of. Living a healthy lifestyle was a lot easier. More...

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FAQs On Nutrition and Exercise

Do I have to go on a diet to lose weight?
Do I have to give up my favorite foods in order to live a healthy life?
I know that I should exercise in order to get fit and healthy, but who has the time?
OK, I want to lose weight. Do I have to buy special food or supplements to do that?
What if I can't give up refined foods (snack, fast foods) and soft drinks?
How can I make healthier food choices for myself and my family?
Aren't you making too big an issue over nutriton and exercise?
Should I eat before I exercise?
Can I ever be too old to exercise?
Do I have to become a vegetarian in order to become healthy?
Can I burn fat from just one part of my body (AKA 'spot reducing')?
What is the secret to weight loss?
Will my muscles change to fat if I stop working out?
Once I start a weight loss and exercise program, how do I stay consistent?
Where can I purchase IP6 (rice bran extract)?
Why is the flu vaccine ineffective against the elderly?
Will a woman get big muscles from lifting weights?
Is maltodextrin dangerous?
Should I carb-up before my workout?
Does God want you to be fat?

No. Diets don't work. There are dozens of diets and diet plans on the market. Although you will lose some weight on almost all of them, if you fall from any one of them you will gain that weight back along with an additional amount. What is needed is a change in lifestyle. That begins in the mind. You have to want to to make a change for the better. It then is a no-brainer that more fruits and vegetables and water is needed in your food plan. It is also easier to give up fast food restaurants and sodas, and eat more home cooked meals.

The nutritional basis of a healthy lifestyle is you controlling food and not allowing it to control you. If you allow food to control you then food is your god. That being said, you can indulge in your favorite treat(s) once in a while. Remember though that this is an occasional treat and not a license to allow old habits to regain their foothold in your life. If you do happen to fall off the wagon, don't condemn yourself and become overly stressed over it. It can and does happen. Just compose yourself and get right back on your healthy lifestyle. Just don't use the relapse as an excuse to give up.

You are not alone. Many people know what they should do, but because of time pressures, they don't! However, it is imperative that you carve some time out on a daily basis to exercise. Why is it important? Well, exercise, along with good nutrition, will assure you of a healthy body and keep you out of the hospital. You will also save money from having to buy expensive prescription drugs. A healthy YOU will be there for family and everyone else who depends on you. Besides all that, you can't accomplish your goals in life by being sickly all the time. In truth, nobody nowadays has the time to include anything else in their schedules. With exercise however you HAVE TO MAKE THE TIME!

No. Special foods and all but a few supplements are not needed. Once all refined foods such as white rice, breads, and sugar are removed from the diet, and plenty of water, fruits, vegetables, and whole grains added, the weight will melt off. This is not to say you won't need vitamins or certain other supplements such as fish oil or omega 3 tablets. Our fruits and vegetables don't have the amount of vitamins and minerals and othe rnutrients that they had when your grandparents were growing up. This is due to topsoil depletion, and to pesticides and fungicides used in modern farming. If meats are restricted to fish and chicken and turkey breasts, and your other foods are plant based, you will shed pounds. Of course you still have to be concerned with portion sizes even when you eat healthy.

Can't or won't? Study after study has shown that refined foods and soft drinks (fruit drinks, juices, regular and diet sodas) contribute to America's, and the world's, steadily climbing obesity epidemic. They are also contributing factors to cancer, diabetes, Alzheimer's disease and other crippling medical issues. You have to be honest with yourself.

First of all you should take the time to carefully read food ingredient labels ingredient labels. Don;t buy anything that has the following ingredients: a) MSG (monosidium glutamate) b)hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils c) high fructose corn syrup and d)artificial colors or preservatives. These ingredients not only make you gain unhealthy weight, but they also increase you risk of diabetes, high blood pressure, developing certain cancers and heart disease and more. Eat plenty of fruits and vegetables and drink lots of water. Wean yourself and your children off all sodas, including diet sodeas. Sodas and fruit drinks contain high amounts of sugar. Medical studies have shown that diseases such as cancer thrive on sugar.

Unfortunately not. A 2006 study just came out which listed the 'fattest' states in the country. This survey looked at obesity. In the 10 fattest states, obesity rates ranged from 27 percent in Texas to 31 percent in Mississippi. The United States ranked number 9 in the world in overweight population!

Yes. This is particularly important if you exercise in the morning. When you sleep your body fasts. That's why the first meal of the day is called breakfast. The body needs fuel to burn. Wait at least an hour after eating to begin exercising. Your meal should consist of a protein (eggs, protein drink, etc.) and a carb (whole grain cereal ora piece of fruit for instance.) Don't make this meal heavy.

No. I lift weights at Diamond Gym in Maplewood, New Jersey and I know two members who are senior citizens. One gentleman is 80 years old and the other is 84 years old.

I would just caution that if you haven't exercised in a while, or at all, you get a medical clearance from your doctor. Exercise strengthens and conditions a body. It is the lack of exercise which predisposes a body to break down, get sick, and die prematurally.

No. Meat can be included in the diet. However you should be selective. Red meats (beef, liver and pork) should be kept to a minimum for two reasons. One is that it is high in saturated fat; point number 2 is that red meat is high in iron.

The problem with iron from meat is that it accumulates in the body and promotes inflammation (copper and aluminum also generate free radicals which lead to inflammation.) Inflammation is responsible for major diseases such as cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's disease, etc.

Vegetables such as spinach are also high in iron. But these vegetables also contain flavonoids which limit excess absorption of iron. Too much iron in the diet also promotes aging. A study found that women who eat a hamburger once a day have a 300% greater risk of getting breast cancer.

Much better sources of animal meat are organic chicken and turkey breasts, and wild fish (just be aware that fish may carry high levels of mercury and PCBs.) Avoid veggie and soy burgers because they contain monosodium glutamate (MSG.)

No. Spot reducing is a myth. It isn't possible to burn fat from, say for instance, your stomach without affecting the rest of your body.

In reality there is no secret to weight loss. You just do what you do naturally--eat! The reason why diets fail is that they in one way or another seek to 'trick' the body. Whether the diet is low carb, low fat, or low calorie (skipping meals or eating like a bird)--they all work against the body (See...)

In addition to working in unison with the body, a return to unprocessed, unrefined, whole food is mandatory. Our modern food supply is saturated with pesticides, herbicides, hormones, antibiotics, artificial sweeteners, artificial preservatives, and artificial colors. All these synthetic and toxic chemicals contribute unwanted and dangerous fat to your waistline.

Whole, unpolluted food is the food of our ancestors. It was no secret to them, and it shouldn't be to us.

This has been a common misconception. Fat and muscle are two entirely different biological components. One can't change into another. What does happen though is almost as bad.

If you stop working out, your muscles will atrophy (shrink due to disuse.) It's the old 'use it or lose it' principle. As the muscles shrink, fat builds up. And it is possible not to see it reflected on your bathroom scale. You can gain the same amount of fat as muscle lost. Your body's composition changes.

Muscle is metabolically active in that it constantly burns calories. It burns approximately three times as many calories as fat does.

First of all, consistency depends on you having a forgiving attitude if you fall off the weight loss food menu. Most dieters beat themselves up mercilessly when they eat forbidden foods. You can avoid this by having regular 'cheat' days. On a cheat day, eat your favorite foods to your heart's content.

But if you happen to eat food no-no's on a non-cheat day, it is not the end of the world. Don't throw your hands up in frustration and give up, but get right back on track. (I've been consistent on my nutrition and exercise program for over 30 years now. Even so, I have fallen off the wagon many times. But I've gotten right back on.)

Another sure fire way to consistency is to have a definite and obtainable goal, i.e., quality of life, good health, etc. The only way to obtain your goal is through a consistent nutrition and exercise regimen.

The word/concept that has helped me over the decades is discipline. I call this the 'D' word. Consistency will lead to discipline and discipline will lead to consistency. This is a sure-fire way that is sure to work for you.

IP6 (rice bran extract) can be purchased at most health food stores. These stores throughout the country carry it under different brand names as a dietary supplement.

The majority of IP6 is derived from cereal. Corn has the highest concentration at 6 percent; sesame has 5 percent, wheat varies between 2 and 3 percent, and rice has 2 percent.

It is unfortunate that Americans have been conditioned to believe in and rely on vaccinations to protect them from the flu. There is simply no compelling evidence that flu vaccines work for anyone-- let alone the elderly or the very young.

America's health care industry is rooted in a foundation of treatment while totally ignoring underlying causes. The billion dollar pharmaceutical industry is based on treatment. What does this have to do with flu vaccines? With 'treatment' as a first response you need vaccines. If America's health-care model was built on prevention and eliminating underlying causes, vaccines would not be necessary.

Dr. Joseph Mercola interviewed a man who is undoubtably one of the top experts in vaccines in the world. His name is Dr. Shiv Chopa. He has worked for a pharmaceutical company as a senior executive. He has also worked with vaccine development in Europe. Dr. Chopra has worked for what is the Canadian equivalent of our FDA (Food and Drug Agency.) He was a senior scientific advisor for Health Canada for 20 years working primarily in vaccines and antibiotics.

Here's Dr. Chopra's take on vaccines. "No flu vaccine has ever worked. Swine flu, we don�t even know there is such a thing. It�s a misnomer. Avian [bird] flu, these are all made-up things. The whole thing is a hoax. It has been for the last 10 years. First they started with the avian flu, and then swine flu" ( articles/archive/2010/01/05/An-Expert-Explains-the-Flu-Vaccine-Deception-and-the-Swine-Flu-Hoax.aspx.)

Dr. Chopra further states, "What I�m saying categorically is that vaccines have never been tested. Vaccines other than smallpox have never been tested for safety or efficacy, as they should have been."

The whole flu vaccination program--whether you are talking about the swine flu or seasonal flu--is without solid scientific evidence. And as Dr. Chopra has pointed out, vaccines have never undergone the rigors of a scientific double-blind, placebo-controlled study.

Vaccines, like all other pharmaceutical drugs, will cause adverse reactions in many people. So, not only are they ineffective, they can also negatively impact your health. Dr. Chopra tells the story of when the flu was going around in England in 1968. He was then a senior executive at a pharmaceutical company.

Senior management was offered the vaccine; Dr. Chopra refused it. He says he got sick once from the flu but the ones who took the vaccine got sick twice. They were sickened the first time by the vaccine itself, and the second time from the flu because the vaccine did not protect them.

What the health-care industry should be informing Americans is that a healthy immune system is what is needed to protect against the flu and any other virus. I have only gotten the flu shot once in my life. That was decades ago. I haven't gotten the flu or any other bug in the years when I haven't gotten the vaccine.

Nutrition and exercise are the keys to strengthening your immune system. There is solid scientific evidence that lack of adequate vitamin D makes us susceptible to chronic diseases such as cancers and multiple sclerosis --as well as influenza.

Eliminate or severely curtail processed and snack foods from your diet. This includes beverages such as sodas and most fruit juices. Eat plenty of vegetables and fruit. Unless you get plenty of sunshine on your bare skin (many Americans are frightened by health authorities into using sunscreens every time they go out into the sun,) you may need to supplement with vitamin D.

Besides vitamin D, many Americans do not get enough omega-3 fatty acids. This is due to their high intake of processed and fast foods. The absolute best source of omega-3 fatty acids is krill oil. According to Dr. Mercola, adequate vitamin D and omega-3 are lacking in most of the people he sees in his practice. These two nurients alone will go a long way towards strengthening your immune system.

Concerning the elderly, many do not get enough nutrients specifically because, in addition to eating processed food, they don't eat often. Whether its through not being hungry or simply forgetting to eat, inadequate nutrition will compromise your immune system.

A strong immune system, not vaccines, is the answer to the flu. Vaccines have not been proven effective for anyone. Many are dangerous because of ingredients like mercury or aluminum (which has been linked to Alzheimer's disease.)

No. The potential to build large muscles through lifting weights is largely confined to men because they carry more of the hormone testosterone than women. Although some women bodybuilders/powerlifters manage to build huge muscles, this is the exception rather than the rule.

The majority, if not all, of the women who have developed large muscles have done so with the aid of steroids and other synthetic chemicals. That coupled with intense training with heavy weights resulted in muscles that make many a man look weak and puny by comparison.

I personally have known a couple of women bodybuilders who were able to develop large muscles. But I know a lot more who have a feminine look.

The typical woman will find it impossible to build large muscles without using chemicals, heavy weights, and really intense training. Also, the typical woman will not train in the manner necessary to develop large muscles.

Before considering if maltodextrin is dangerous, let's first determine what it is. Maltodextrin is a white powder which is made from either corn or potatoes. Since it is derived from corn or potatoes, its danger, if any, has to come from the process used to make it.

Maltodextrin is a food additive; as such it is frequently used in combination with other additives and spices to form a sweet coating for fried snack foods like corn and potato chips. Maltodextrin is also considered to be a polysaccharide. This makes it another form of alternative sweetener.

Maltodextrin can be found as an ingredient in many other artificial sweetener brands.

Since maltodextrin comes from corn or potatoes in the United States, it is gluten-free. The FDA considers maltodextrin to be safe for consumption. It is non-toxic. But this doesn't necessarily mean that it is healthy.

Another factor that must be taken into consideration is that 40 percent of commercially produced corn in the United States is genetically modified. Animal testing has already shown tumors and other abnormalities as a direct result of genetically modified organism ingestion. This fact alone should force the FDA to revoke its GRAS (generally recognized as safe) status. That, however, seems unlikely.

The very fact that 40 percent of our corn crop is genetically modified should put maltodextrin off limits for everyone. And since the federal government doesn't require labelling of products with GMOs, all non-organic junk and snack foods should be avoided.

Athletes have been "carbing-up" before major competitions and sports events for as long as I can remember. Naturally I too thought it was a valid way to provide the body with enough energy to power the it through a grueling workout session.

However an article in Exercise and Sport's Science Review shows that eating tons of pasta and other carbs is counterproductive, and should be tossed out of the window. Another study showed that people who refrained from eating carbs before a workout for 10 weeks gained "superior exercise capacity."

It turns out that eating fewer carbs improves your body's training adaptation. Training adaptation is the body's ability to adapt to the physical demands placed on it.

In the place of carbs like pasta, eat a protein-rich snack. Protein sustains and metabolizes energy during and after extreme workouts as well as its more notable job of building and repairing muscle.

The type of protein that you should eat before a workout is whey. Just be certain that the protein has been sourced from grass-fed, free-ranged cows.

Your training energy can also come from fat. The type of fat that you want to eat is alpha-linolenic acid (ALA.) ALA is a omega-3 fatty acid. The energy it provides lasts longer than that from carbs.

Some foods that are naturally high in ALA are: walnuts, free-range eggs, dark green leafy vegetables, wild-caught atlantic salmon, Haas avocados, sardines, butternuts, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds, and Albacore tuna.

But the hands down best source of ALA is Sacha Inchi Oil from Peru. It contains almost 50 percent pure ALA. A tablespoon has nearly 7 grams of ALA in it.

In September of 2007, I received an email from CNN. They wanted me to participate in a televised debate centering around the question, "Does God want you to be fat?"

The question was prompted by a just released obesity report. Obesity rates had grown in a significant number of American states.

CNN staff found me by doing an online search. That search found my just released book, Living A God-Glorifying Life Through Good Health.

My book is based on the position that God doesn't want you to be overweight. The CNN staff found an author who held a contrary position.

She maintained that God didn't care if a person were overweight.

Not to ridicule that author, but her appearance backed up her belief. She was definitely overweight.

The Bible says, "Beloved, I wish above all things that thou mayest prosper and be in health, even as thy soul prospereth" (III John 2.)

Although it is possible to be thin and unhealthy, the reverse is more common in America. And I suspect, globally as well. The majority of unhealthy people are overweight.

On the whole therefore, a person cannot be healthy and overweight at the same time. And since God wants you to be in health, you cannot be overweight.

Being overweight opens the door and indeed raises the risk for developing chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes, heart problems, high blood pressure, sleep apnea, and others.

God certainly doesn't want you to suffer health issues which stem from being overweight.

I have a very small bone structure. Naturally my appearance is much smaller than the appearance of a person with a large bone structure.

People with medium to large bones will be physically larger than I am but will not appear fat or overweight. And more importantly, they will not have a laundry list of health concerns.

God has created us all to have an ideal and healthy bodyweight; that weight will vary from person to person. But sadly, the standard American diet (SAD) makes an ideal weight almost impossible.

To address this issue, read my article Healthy Eating. It shows you what's wrong with the typical American diet, and the steps that can be taken to correct it.

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