Viking Carnivores TV Reality Game Show

24 01 2010

Viking “Big Meat” Carnivores:  Vikings compete amongst the best “big meat” open pit Carnivore Viking tribe.  Customs include Viking attire, tools, weapons and culture befitting of a Viking as they travel to each host site to gather more bone coinage.  Tribal host games are set up by the visiting tribe for a chance to barter; trading needed Viking skill sets by receiving “game losing tribes Vikings.”  Tribes compete to build the best ‘big meat” cooking team to earn bone coinage, eat “big meat” and win end game rewards with coinage cache.  To the victors, so go the spoils!  VIKING CARNIVORES SITE , WGAW Registry #1406636, 23 Jan 2010 (Viking Carnivor’s TV Reality Game Concept).  Copyright Mirror Athlete Enterprises, All rights reserved 2010.

Now The “Big Meat BBQ Story”

Many moons ago I was inspired to barbeque during a winter snow storm near the Oregon coast not so different than my many Summer Viking barbecues in Northern California. That one snow day twenty something years ago, coined my tradition of barbequing “big meat” like a Viking in extreme conditions. The rest is history and the “big meat” barbeque tradition I carry on satisfies the most insatiable savage appetites. I cook “big meat” Viking meals typically during two seasons, in two different locations. The two seasons are winter during the North West Oregon snow blasts and ice storms similar to Northern Europe weather trends; also during summer months under the blistering sun’s rays of Northern California.

One methodology of “big meat” smoky BQ is performed under an open garage using a Weber barbeque, while the other is performed over an open pit campfire on grill rack with a Weber cover, or Weber BQ unit. Either one of these two geographies provides the right atmospheric aroma smoke movement and smells.

The two seasons are worthy “in my opinion” of a traditional Viking Carnivore “big meat” festivity for the protein deficient. This was and still is the staple of Nordic and European coastal Viking Carnivore celebration; “at least in my neck of the woods it is.” I use unconventional and traditional Western cooking methods and techniques with a Viking theme that originated in the great North West kicked off many years ago under my garage on a snow day. I’ve been at it ever since perfecting my “big meat” barbequing skills.

There are big differences as far as the two traditional “big meat “cooking methods are concerned. Definitely “big meat” barbequing is totally different then your fast gas, or briquette cooked tenderloin, T-bone and New York steak, etc. Both summer and winter Viking cooking methodologies will now be covered.

The no wind condition is important during the summer barbarian feast as opposed to the winter celebration. Why is this? Because the slow cooking technique allows one to also enjoy the day while anticipating the good eats. This is a great time to participate in a gaming session: horseshoes, Frisbee, nurf football while consuming quality grog under heavy blistering sun rays and not so much standing next to a 250-350 degree heat source. Often, the nurf is thrown over the horseshoe Vikings pit area to make things more interesting for the elder spectator vikings.

Also, during the perfect BQ Summer smoke off, the lid-dampers are closed enough to create a slight suffocation of premium oak and Manzanita, or mesquite once the fuel is amber hot. You see a modern day Viking doesn’t envision his homeland off of some Nordic, or European coast line. But can find his homeland comforts by recreating in a festive and game fun area with good friends and of course the aroma smoked environment where the smoke lays heavy at ground level. Barbecue works great with a no wind condition. The smoke envelopes the grounds with a cherry bomb effect that is real cool. It is so cool it pays “big dividends” in ways that only those that have experienced it can totally relate.

Why Oak as the fuel source? It’s simply the best smoking wood in my opinion. It burns hot and long and is plentiful in our native forests. Manzanita is also a hardwood with great flavor (a bit stronger smoky taste, less sugar flavor than oak). Manzanita and mesquite also compliment oak wood smoking by way of smoker’s chips with tasty rich mixed flavors.

Now during the winter BQ smoke off, a Viking Carnivore is all about warmth and damper control of the barbeque with lots of wind to properly propel the aroma and plenty of fine grog to enhance cheer. This way it’s easy to signal your near Viking tribes you take your “big meat” cooking and festivities serious. Like Scandinavia it is better to have this celebration during a heavy snow, or freeze. Temperatures should range in the high teens to below freezing with a steady 8-12mile per hour wind with blizzard is “spot on” if you can get it. Why? Because this adds to the excitement of this mystic celebration, pays bigger dividends esthetically and as the delicious smoked “big meat” aroma travels throughout the village

This thickened white smoked oak plum beacons many to imagine and wonder how good this slab of meat would taste. It also brings comfort to empty bellies that will soon fill with the most fantastic tasting Protein in the world. Compliments from the elders tell you, you’ve met expectations. This builds the Viking ego immensely.

Simply by using traditional Western smoking methods the Viking festivities while children play in the snow can truly be experienced by all. This is not a traditional Western celebration but a modified Viking feast. Aroma aeration from my hooch is left wide open to the village tribes for proper air turbulence convection and distribution of fine aromatic smells. All of this occurs as I expertly use my special knowledge in “big meat” barbequing for my fellow Viking Carnivores.

Yes, we will all partake often in this celebration of life and family brought together through “big meat” cook offs “with drink of grog.” The neighboring tribes are only left to ponder, “There must be a Viking feast over at the tribal hooch, “in my case, in my garage.” Or, “those guys are at it again, smoke is pouring out the garage,’ maybe the hooch is on fire?” “I can guarantee, neighboring Vikings will check it out to ensure there is no fire while working their way in for a look.

Smoke from an oak wood burning barbeque puts out smells like no other and a lot of it for long periods of time. As a matter of fact I’ve been known to stimulate olfactory nose receptors for miles away. My Viking feasts are almost legendary regardless of whether I celebrate the winter, or summer “big meat” cook off tradition. I still have one Viking brethren that has not partaken in the festivities for twenty years. But he always says when he sees me, says, “do you remember how good that “big meat” tasted out of your garage during that snow storm? What was it a 30lb roast? Holy cow, I didn’t know a roast could melt in your mouth that way, let alone fit in your barbeque. I simply must drop by when you do that again, “let me know!” Then he’ll say, why do you cook this way in these extreme weather conditions?” My reply, “a Nordic Viking wouldn’t have it any other way.”

Now, I mention grog. Since we are modern day Viking warriors, there is a huge interpretation of exactly what grog is, or should be. However, you should know the traditional grog in my village is wine drank out of a goat skin stomach. “Yah, you heard me right,’ I know, you’re saying, are you kidding me?” My answer is “yes I am.” How fun was that? But, if I had a goat skin stomach, I would consume a fine Merlot, not too sweet, not to dry. Some Viking want-a-bee will fill their cup with port wine. This is a big mistake and un-Viking like behavior. The same mistake can be made with a full taste beer. It is too rich and filling and will lessen your ability to consume mass portions of “big meat,” and quite frankly, the Viking want-a-bee may be out for the count early on in the celebration.” Did I mention we also drink our grog out of Viking mugs and goblets? “Why, yes we do, which will be covered under appropriate Viking utensils when invited to Viking Carnivore “big meat” meals.

To ensure the occasion goes off without a hitch, you must find the right Viking utensil and clothing wear. The clothing can be anything that looks to be cool Viking stuff. At a minimum, you have to have a helmet with Viking horns, or something of that nature. If you can’t find one with horns any Viking leather-fur cap or helmet will work. The most important item you’ll want to take with you is an impressive knife and fork as this will be your only eating utensil. No plates, or napkins will be provided. Ensure you have sleeves and a loin cloth over your belt. I know what you’re thinking right now, “don’t be ridiculous,’ of course your wearing pants!” There is a purpose to this; one of which the loin cloth identifies your tribal village and also dubs as a napkin.

All utensils are stylishly attached to your big leather Viking belt, or slung over your neck, resting on opposite shoulder. Kind of the way you would carry a battle axe or shield into battle. I highly recommend a long handled skewer fork. And no less than a ten inch hunter’s knife blade affixed to an antler’s handle if you can swing it. The bigger the hardware the more impressed your fellow Vikings will be and filled with admiration for your tools.

The size and appearance of the goblet also needs to draw respect. Gaudy and medieval is very good! By the way, Viking women of the festivity can out shine a Viking male warrior simply by out garbing and out charming all of those around them. Viking warriors must also carry a jesting and non-belittling persona, to lighten mood and entertain while welcoming all around them. I’ve seen Viking women reduce a Viking warrior to rubble when getting out of line. You don’t want that! So be prepared to go into battle with the right disposition, or it’s best to stay back at your tribal hooch, or sleep it off under your personal thatch.

Now that I’ve gone over the basic Viking festivity formalities and dress code, it is now time to learn how to properly create the right aroma filled air and succulent tasty “big meat” barbecue. The first and most important ingredient in preparation for “big meat’ cooking is not briquettes,” but instead oak wood. The starter pit, whether over an open pit, or Weber must be started with very dry oak kindling

This takes patience for which “this Viking” rarely has. I use a turbo torch with MAPP gas. Yah I know, I cheat to get to the Viking fun festivities quicker. What can I say, “I’m a modern day Viking warrior field trained in the fine art of deception and field expediency,” moving onto the next mission without haste.” However, I can do without a turbo tourch, for which all should learn how to do.

Ok, you work the fuel core into hot ambers while adding bigger pieces of oak “using a quartered wood stump into a teepee layout, while feeding the kindle.” Once you get 50% of your core cooking wood amber red, it’s time to create a cool core area centralized with a hot parameter around it. You’ll take the wood and push it to your outer perimeters of your BQ side wall. If over an open flame, I recommend bringing a grill screen and BQ Weber Lid, or something similar to capture the heat and smoke. The Weber BQ technique is similar to the open pit BQ grid technique for fuel layout and cooking. You’ll support the grid over pit with non-popping scale rocks [use big dense bed rock if you can find it], or big back logs that won’t burn down with the parameter cooking fuel. Rocks are better to use if you can get a non shale-type harden rock. Granite is best. If no rocks, you’ll have to dig down into the earth no less than 10.” Parameter heating built right allows you to control the heat source better.

Once the center core temp reaches 250-325 degrees, the “big meat” is ready to go on the grill. Put the “big meat on the grill.” Why do I keep referring to the meat as “big meat?” Because it is a “big ass” piece of meat, usually over 10 lbs! And I always outlay chicken breast, fish and thighs on the grid over direct heat for quick tantalizing morsels that can be easily skewered by Viking utensils at will. Vikings need something quickly “gnaw on” while waiting for the main course. This also slows down the consumption of grog. Otherwise the Vikings will go barbaric on something, or someone for which tribal security and prison holding may be required!

Vikings also need some vegetation in the diet. Corn in the husk is the barbarian preference. Throw the entire non-husked corn around the “big meat” on the grill. Do this once the chicken is done and meat is half way cooked. Turn corn in husk until husk is scored well all the way around. I’ve stacked up to 8-10 pieces of corn while rotating around the “big meat and morsels.”

Corn consumption technique is very dependent on the Vikings loin cloth garb. The loin cloth doubles as a napkin and hot mitt for consumption of mass corn. Simply pick up corn with loin cloth, husk the corn, use Viking utensils to add your favorite spice and lard, consume. Also, be sure to plunder, or barter for the biggest blooming sweet onions you can find. Use a 10” cast iron shallow pan for best onion cooking over pit. Cook the onion whole, pour Greek, virgin olive oil over the top, season with specified Viking spices. Wait till onion falls apart on its own, then consume with Viking utensils.

What is the Vikings “big meat” of choice? This Viking looks for uncut “big meat” oxen, buffalo, pigs, mutton you name it, we cook it. But mostly huge tri-tip beef cuts (sometime 2-3, 5-8pounders). I have been known to cook 20-26+lb roasts-turkeys, using my slow 6 hour Viking BQ technique. This is another story.

A word of caution, when cooking on an open pit a seasoned Viking pyrotechnic expert should take command of this area. Much more attention, focus and experience is required not to overcook the meat, or sear a young Viking warrior unnecessarily. However, if a burn does occur, make sure you have at hand a Vikings first aid ointment of Tea Tree oil, alovera gel and gauze. Cover burn with oil first, then apply gel, cover with gauze and continue on with the festivities. Non life threatening Battle wounds are something to brag about with your fellow Viking Carnivore that will fuel stories of legend for young savages into the next century and beyond!

I digress. A 24 inch grid lift “minimum” above the heat source over an open pit fire is wise. Heat control over an open pit is maintained by ensuring a non direct-heat core parameter like the Weber barbeque methodology. By using the Weber lid “or something similar” over an open pit with grid, you will have to still manage damper lever on lid to adequately capture the natural oak smoke wood sugar to adequately lock the juices in. Always, slow cook simmer over an open pit, otherwise your Viking brethren may go barbaric on you if you serve them dry oxen, or mutton! You can accomplish excellent “extreme big meat” barbeque with a large skewer over an open pit. However, this is another story which requires just as much expertise as burying your meat underground with hot coal engulfing the “big meat.”

Regardless of pit, or Weber barbeque cooking technique, ensure when you lay down the meat, no flame directly touches it. Cover the meat and let it sear for minutes at a time. Let it simmer longer. Once you hear the juices begin to drip, ensure bottom dampers of barbeque are reduced 25% open after the first 10 minutes. From the get go, the top air dampers are one quarter open on Weber lid and closed almost all the way when a grid over an open fire pit is your cooking style.

Open pit requires more accurate fuel stoking with wind as your biggest challenge if this technique is used during winter months. These techniques if done right will hold temps around 250 – 325 degrees under the lid once perfected. The perfect “big meat” proper cooking sequence is base on heat, thickened white oak smoke appearance and smell penetrating the airways, as well as meat color, tenderness and dripping juice frequency. Properly cooked “big meat” should have a pink glow throughout the entire inners, very juicy, while the outer surface appears to be a caramelized reddened honey glazed look. This is how a “Master Viking Big Meat Chef satisfies the Supreme Viking Chieftain.” But before the consumption, let’s review the ritual of cooking with a little bit more detail.

Once the smoke thickness encroaches onto the festivity grounds, enact the following Viking ritual to reignite the fire-heat-smoke sequence. Take the lid off, turn the meat, season the meat, swing the lid back and forth over the hot ambers to reignite it by injecting oxygen enriched air from the “swinging of the lid with grog in the other hand, and cover.”

Ensure you don’t overdo the grog, while you perform this ritual or ashes will adhere to your meat and you may also spill your grog! Viking women hate ash in “big meat” and the Viking men hate it when you waste grog! “Balance in everything you do or you’ll have some price to pay.”

There will be so much thickened smoke once the fuel reignites; you’ll have to be an air intake “one-eyed Willie” expert to maneuver around this eye assault. This ritual is done repeatedly and can be dampened down for long periods of time to create stronger smoked flavor, tenderness and abundance in flavorful juices and relief from the one-eyed Willie effect.

Do not cover Viking “big meat” with foil! This will ruin the flavor and you cannot properly cook the meat if you can’t see the color of it, or cut into it easily to check it out with your Viking big knife when gnawing on samples. Sample before you serve the Supreme Viking Chieftain or you may get an ear load.

The secret of keeping the juices in “big meat” cooking methodology stems from the fact that oak creates a honey-red wood sugar glaze on the outer surface of the meat. If cooked right, it’s like wrapping it in a natural sugar sealed coat that keeps the juices in. So, if your meat is dripping too much, the heat source is too hot and the natural sugars are not adhering to the outer surface of the “big meat. If this is the case our meat will dry out like leather. You should hear only a drip here and there throughout the entire cooking process.

I’ve spent 2-3 hours cooking a 10lb piece of meat to perfection. Note: If you have to add more wood, you need to be ready for this. I use a large steal Viking spatula to lift the grilling grid with the meat on it and add wood with the other hand. If this is too difficult enlist a fellow Viking, they love to help while balancing grog in the other hand. Plus they think this act attracts the attention of the “single” Viking women! which also builds their ego.

Now to add additional smoke flavors to the meat, after the meat is cooked one third way through, add water soaked mesquite, or Manzanita chips to the hot oak ambers. The smoke will engulf the air as well as saturate the meats outer pours with additional smoky flavors beyond your taste buds expectations. The only spices that can be used is a tradition salt and pepper glazing. Do not use barbeque sauce, or marinate the meat. This will take away from the Viking feast experience and wonderful complex sugar smoky flavors absorbed by the “big meat.”

I have however upgraded the seasoning selection which vastly improves the taste based on Viking bud preferences. That seasoning is Montreal steak seasoning found at your local market. It also adds to the aroma air-smoke drafts with greater impact on olfactory senses. I find no matter what the weather condition, or season; the best Viking meat is cooked “at first” over an extremely hot flame with a hollow core while dampening air flow, then reducing heat, “sear-simmer method for long periods of time, simmering longer then searing. This tends to cook the meat with a thick red sugary glaze from the wood fuel while retaining much of the juice inside the “big meat.”

Now you have a good ideal how to create the perfect Viking barbarian feast. I must warn you, your BQ will be a hit and the local villagers may be jealous of your new found “big meat” barbeque talents and tasty creativities. So you better think about inviting them over to keep the piece in the village if they keep sticking their noses out, or stick your nose out at them, “your choice.”

Also, be careful how much grog you drink. Your Viking Queen won’t be happy with you if you get out of control regardless of how smashing the barbarian “big meat” festivities went over. This celebration is about family and good friends celebrating life together. Warning, this celebration is not for the faint heart with proper dining etiquette, you must make considerations for the timid, but I highly recommend against this modification in plans as it will take away from the Viking “big meat” festivities.

Be sure to plan accordingly with outdoor activity for all! Whether it’s blistering hot or blizzard cold; entertainment is key to this cultures festivity success. “I highly recommend” If you have battle axes and knives throw them at a wood stump target. Make sure it’s not a live target! Now go out eat “big BQ meat, drink grog” and celebrate befitting as the Nordic savages once did!

Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2009 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Wisdom of Consuming Oleic Acid

23 01 2010

Wisdom is Passed on Through Generations of the Wise. One Would Be Wise to Seek Council

Oleic acid is a mono-unsaturated omega 9-fatty acid found in animal and vegetables.  It is considered a healthy source of fat and is commonly used to replace animal saturated fats in the diet.  One of the chief sources of oleic acid comes from olive oil.  Those that consume, or recommend consuming oleic acid should be considered wise by knowing something that all of us should carry in our centurion war chests.  Or, maybe many were fortunate enough to be weaned on specific dietary products from day one based on their geography.  Like Europe, where the Mediterranean diet uses olive oil, “emblematic of the region.”  Where the diet mainly consists of fruit, vegetable, legumes, cereal, meat and fish with moderate consumption of red wine and “tasty” olive oil is the main grease. 

 So what is the big deal with oleic acid and why should this be part of your centurion preventative ill-health war chest?  Oleic acid is highly concentrated in specific types of cooking oils, where much health benefit can be gained from consuming these oils.  Grape seed, Canola, sesame, poppy seed and peanut oil also have high concentrations of Oleic acid.  Olive oil, like the other oils high in oleic acid have many health benefits, such as:  May boost memory, reduce blood pressure,  lower cholesterol, reduced risk of diabetes and other suspected disease curing properties, while promoting antioxidant production in the body.  Oleic acid is the principle ingredient in Lorenzo’s oil.  Developed for young boys that came down with adrenoleukodystrophy (ALD) a disease similar to MS (multiple sclerosis) where the nervous systems integrity of the myelin sheath becomes compromised.  In 1992 the movie “Lorenzo’s oil” was produced telling a true story about the powerful health properties of oleic acid.  See the link below if interest in watching the movie. 

 “At the age of 7, Lorenzo Odone was a normal child.  Strange things began to happen to him.  He would have blackouts, memory lapses and other strange mental phenomenon.  Eventually, he was diagnosed suffering with ALD, an extremely rare incurable degenerative brain disorder.   Doctor’s were not helping so his father decides to learn all about it and tack the problem himself.  Lorenzo’s oil does not cure, but slows the worsening, or progression of the disease.  Just like consuming olive oil can slow down the progression of heart disease.” 

 Five thousand years ago, Crete a Greek Island began production of olive oil that has a heritage tied to our fine California olive orchards where much of the olive oil you purchase today comes to your local supermarket.  California is a major producer of Tuscan oil based on centuries-old ratio of Frantoio, Leccino, Pendolino and Maurino olives providing those that consume the oil with many health benefits.  Oleic acid is also used in a number of soaps and cosmetics.   The Cancer Society states your skin is the largest organ in the body and should not be neglected during the winter.  Tip – Olive oil has been used as a natural moisturizer practiced in Italy and Greece for centuries. 

 Recommendations:  Use cooking oil high in oleic acid and moisturize like the Greeks.  Get a Mediterranean cook book and prepare meals for your family where health benefits and centurion active lifestyles are realized.  Be sure to read “Ikaria Lifestyle Boasts Longest Living People.” 


  1. Oleic acid
  2. What is Oleic Acid?
  3. History of Olive Oil
  4. California’s Gold Nector
  5. Lorenzo’s Oil Movie,

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2010 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Signup for your Free eNewsletter.

Ikaria Lifestyle Boasts Longest Living People

24 12 2009

Roman Culture is Interesting Even in Vegas

Realizing the importance of super foods, clean environment, exercise, healthy lifestyle choices, work load balance, pain management benefits on overall health, etc., it is interesting to note longevity cultures are alive and well without the medical resources that are plentiful here.  How is it with all of our medical resources we can’t boast of achieving the longest living people?  Yet a small Greek island people can boast of many that live well past a hundred years in age.   Our dilemma in the land of plenty, it is difficult to discipline oneself with healthy activity and lifestyle habits when greed, power and control, control us!  I recently read an article by Dan Buettner, author of The Blue Zones: “Lessons for Living Longer” from the People Who’ve Lived the Longest (National Geographic, 08).  This article captivated my attention which I thought was important to share with you.

 The Ikaria, Greek Island people’s longevity lifestyle has interesting attributes that can be duplicated within almost any culture to receive the same healthy longevity benefits.  I say, “Almost any culture” because there are third world countries that simply do not have the resources that Westernized cultures do.  Our nation, like other similar cultures have no excuse for many illnesses and disease pain placed upon ourselves because of our unwillingness to change lifestyle habits.  Much of our poor health and fitness levels occur because of our quick fix and results expectations, convenient and plentiful transportation, jet set lifestyle, fast pace society, family and value system(s) breakdown, drug and alcohol addiction, nonorganic-fast food diets, etc.  This is a very simple comparison of differences within our two cultures.  But by no means is a total list of lifestyle differences to make my point.

 Following is a list of Ikaria’s habitual lifestyle differences from their culture and a testament to their long and healthy centurion lifestyle.    To get the full story on lifestyle differences Click on the Ikaria’s link above, or comment on your ideals of what you believe to be beneficial to live a long healthy life.  Actually, this would be good exercise before you read the full story.  Post your comments on this blog and compare your thoughts, or knowledge of anti-aging and longevity before you read the Ikaria’s lifestyle differences and why they are living well into their century age mark. 

If active lifestyle and longevity is your goal with minimal pain and aggravation for you and your family while you age; it may be wise to consider living a Mediterranean and/or Ikaria-type lifestyle in part, or fully comparable as possible.   By simply modifying your lifestyle habits and choices a dramatic-positive effect on your overall health and fitness can be experienced?   In our fast pace environment this can be a real challenge but doable.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @:, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.

Will Power to Control Compensation Weight Gain Effect

24 11 2009
Walk and See all Around You.

Walk and See all Around You.

Your body’s health and appearance is dependent on many lifestyle habits and behaviors especially as you age.  With regard to diet and exercise, food intake and calorie burn through physical activity inevitably becomes a compensation-Will Power challenge.  Mind over body then becomes much more of a will power issue not to consume the “wrong types and quantities” of foods after an exercise, or activity event.  This issue will attempt to defeat your will power to stay on body weight target.  Compensation effect simply means if your body burns calories it will also want to replace them by telling the hunger center in the brain to eat more.  Your brain begins to beg you to stop the screaming fat cells from causing you agony and to satisfy them.  Scary little guys these fat cell monsters!

I’ve known for some time that exercise alone would not be the sole factor in body weight maintenance, or weight loss.  When I was working on my Exercise Science undergraduate degree, one thing I did learn is in order to maintain healthy body equilibrium especially as we age, requires a “customized” multidisciplinary healthy life program.  This program consists of exercise-activity, nutrition and healthy living lifestyle to meet body fitness requirements.  This multi-discipline approach is necessary for successful weight loss and body weight regulation at any age.  My take on exercise products sold on TV as I’ve stated in previous articles…  They won’t provide you a significant weight loss result, and especially without proper nutrition and healthy living habits.  If you’re serious about losing weight, don’t waste your money on exercise TV product gimmicks.  Instead, consider buying a gym membership and apply aerobic activity using various types of aerobic equipment to accomplish body weight goals. 

For those of you without much experience in a gym, look to purchase a few 1:1 fitness trainer sessions for weight loss programming and/or need motivation, etc.  Look for local fitness center promotion specials to run end of year and spring.  Also, learn to become a smart nutrition and healthy eating habit consumer by doing your own healthy weight management nutrition research.  For example, use the Internet and research under fit/healthy” weight loss tips and recommendations.  Also consider visiting your local book store/library, or take a community college nutrition/health fitness course, etc.  Consider purchasing fitness training books and videos geared around weight loss activities using aerobic bike, bike, walking, swimming, treadmill, etc., if the gym is not for you.  Or if dollars are tight, simply start a daily walking program.

When I mention TV exercise gimmicks they are exercise equipment that are non aerobic in nature and specifically work on body toning, not fat burning! For example, abs, hip-buttocks-chin specific exercise equipment.  Also I know you all know my favorite aerobic activity is walking and it always will be.  Walking in my opinion is the best cardiovascular, fat burning, low stress-fun, and low impact exercise available to all that can walk!  Healthy centurions have this one lifelong habit activity in common.  This is one of the least stressful aerobic fat burning activities and burns the greatest amount of fat per time spent on activity (swimming included).  It is my experience that walking causes the least amount of hunger pain if it is not done with high intensity (speed walking).  This is because the body will shift to greater fat burning as a fuel source preference during low intensity large muscle activity (legs).  The hunger center in the brain won’t know the difference when the body’s glucose-glycogen fuel source shifts more to a “stored-released” triglyceride fat burning process.

I walk almost every day, own some fitness equipment and have a fitness center membership.  I’ve found fitness activity variety keeps boredom abbey by breaking up my daily routines.  This helps immensely with my daily motivation to stay on healthy body weight target.  To walk, it doesn’t cost anything but time and good foot ware that should include excellent sole inserts.  See our chronic pain center and click on the posture, or foot image to get more information on “Posture Control Insoles.”  Gym memberships are nice because the sky is the limit on aerobic equipment choices.  If interested in fitness memberships look for one that has a swimming pool within the facility.   You can truly customize a fitness training weight loss program that’s right for any age at reasonable rates.

Always keep in mind the compensation effect.  If you exercise, regardless of activity you’ll always feel hungry approximately 1 hour after activity.  This is because most work done in the gym tends to become quick pace through daily conditioning.  Think about it.  You want to finish getting on to the home relaxation phase of your day, so you push your body to get out of the gym.  In essence you begin to exercise at a greater intensity rate which more closely resembles cardiovascular and anaerobic activity that will burn greater quantities of quick fuel sources; cretin phosphate, glucose-glycogen making you hungrier faster.  However, if your routine is mostly aerobic you’ll burn body fat and more of it at lower aerobic intensity rates.

In knowing that daily aerobic conditioning will naturally spur higher work training intensities, you can be prepared for hunger pains if you begin pushing yourself at this level.   In order to gage the best fat burning intensity and reduce severe hunger pains… Don’t train at intensities that make you out of breath, or make it hard to carry on a conversation.  Also if you’re THR (Target Heart Rate) zone peaks into a high intensity cardiovascular training zone for your age; understand you are not maximizing your body’s fat burning potential.  Ask your fitness trainer about THR, or simply research this term on the Internet to best understand and manage fat burning potential through aerobic activity.

I do have a solution to help you out in the hunger department as you will want to be adequately armed before the hunger pains hit regardless of your THR training intensity.  I’ve found, especially after the work out “the calorie burn compensation effect to replace the spent calories does impact us all at various levels of hunger pain.  The goal is to fool the brain with low calorie nutritious fillers that will curve appetite and strengthen will power to avoid pounding down fats and empty calories to satisfy the screaming fat cells. 

Whether the aerobic exercise is walking, biking, swimming, repetitive low resistance circuit training, etc., I know I’ll always be hungry after 90 minutes because my body is conditioned to work out more intensely during activity.  So if you can’t get your hands on fruit or vegetables, you can get water down your gullet.  Although water won’t fully satisfy the fat cell compensation screaming in your mind, a pint of water will stop this hunger feeling rather fast as the bloated stomach technique will temporarily fool the brain.  Besides, water is good for you… Let’s not forget this.  I know it’s boring.  I know you’d prefer an electrolyte drink.  Don’t do this often in the gym as electrolyte drinks have enough calories in them to compensate back to your body what you just burnt.  However, electrolyte drinks are great for high intensity aerobic-training endurance events where sodium and potassium levels in the blood can be reduced significantly and require replacement.  In these types of high intensity cardiovascular activities fat burning is not the fitness goal.

One thing I’m sure many of you may not know.  Many times when your brain tells you it’s hungry, it’s not, and your body is really thirsty.  So give the water gulping session serious consideration frequently while you work out.  This will help.  This water gut blot sensation will provide a feeling of fullness relieving hunger sensations while rehydrating the body.

However, beware; water is easily absorbed through the stomach and intestinal lining.  So this is a temporary fill to fool your mind’s hunger pains and rehydrate the body.  It’s not the cure all solution to defeat the calorie compensation effect that will ultimately result once the body is adequately worked and watered down.  Water in the stomach to fool your brain is like putting water in a strainer that’s lined with cheese cloth.  In other words, you don’t have much time before your brain tells you you’re hungry once the water quickly absorbs into the body.   You have approximately 10-15minutes max before your fat cells say “FEED ME, once the body is adequately hydrated!”  If you give in to the jelly donut, or pepperoni pizza, compensation effect wins over “will power and body weight discipline.”

Will you have the discipline and will power to fight off gorging yourself with the wrong foods, especially on a weekend?  Ah, here’s the question.  I highly recommend you find a nutritious food bar, or shake that’s high in protein and fiber to hold you over between meals.  This is like eating many mini-meals between the main meals.  You’ll find your body won’t be screaming from shear hunger, while reducing total daily calories and body weight.  There are many products to choose from… But you’ll want the fiber and protein because these low calorie high nutrient combinations will fool your brain for longer periods of time.  Good quality food bars, fruits and veggies work great after workouts and curving hunger in between meals.

I’ve also found that by taking a water bottle with me filled with a couple scoops of fiber source drink is a good emergency fix to satisfy a hunger attack when my compensation metabolism tells me I’m starving.  The beauty with this fix, you can carry the fiber powder around in the bottle forever until you add water.  When you have a hunger attack and you can’t wait to make that family dinner, fill the bottle with water, shake and chug that fiber drink.  Yummy!  “Well yummy is debatable, I did that for effect.”

Really, there are good fiber drinks out there in all flavors.  Look for fiber drinks that pack at least 3-5grams per serving.  Once you use your emergency compensation stomach fill solution to satisfy brain hunger, be sure to reload the bottle prior to the next fitness training session.  It is very frustrating to look in your gym bag, or back pack to find an empty fiber, or protein powder bottle.  I can’t tell you how many times I went for the quick food solution that was not there.  Instead I broke down and loaded up with a saturated fat attack, heart stopping gut buster.  My lack of will power won that day.  More the reason to stock an arsenal of various powder drinks in ready premix bottles and power bars at the ready.  I like to use old water bottles instead of tossing them after I drink the water.   I take 3-4 of them, load two with electrolyte and 2 with fiber-protein powders where they stay in dry storage (in the capped bottle)  until I need them.  I usually keep them in my car, or gym bag.  Just add water, shake and drink.

Also visit your libraries and read, or purchase books on how to improve will power while modifying behavioral habits towards food cravings.  To be aware of the mind over body compensation fact will help you recognize you’ll need to find other low calorie diet substitutes and behavioral strategies that will stave off hunger cravings during and after your aerobic training sessions.  Also drink more water in a day, eat more frequently throughout the day in smaller portions, get more fiber in your diet and don’t eat in front of the TV, “only at the dinner table!”  Finding what works for you and sticking to it is a big part of fitness and weight-diet management success. By applying the techniques in which I speak will allow you proper preplanning prior to aerobic fitness training and weight management success.  You’ll also better understand will power compensation effect while reducing body weight in a healthy habit approach.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @:, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.

Alleviate Pain Through Nutritional & Herbal Remedies

21 08 2009

For those of you seeking to alleviate pain through nutritional and herbal remedies there seem to be a significant benefit for those with pains and aches caused through degenerative and progressive pathogen illness and disease.  Certainly, it is well founded through scientific studies that healthy and nutrient strong foods (visit our health repository and read MAE articles on super foods) intake contributes greatly as a preventative measure against illness and disease that lead to and cause pain.  If illness and disease can be defeated before it ever gets the opportunity to become a pain disorder within the body then one has a good chance minimizing and managing normal aches and pain while aging.  Healthy cell development and maintenance of the body at the molecular level requires proper nutrients and is of great importance in keeping the body pain free and/or alleviating pain once a pain disorder is present.

In order to determine a nutritional or herbal remedy course of action that would work for you, you first must understand the concept of a customized pain management program.  My premise is “what remedies work for others may only work in part, whole or not at all for what is causing your particular pain disorder.”  That’s right, what nutrients and herbal remedies work for me in my pain management program may not work for you at all, or have insignificant pain alleviation benefits.  Within my chronicles “Mirror Athlete with Chronic Pain” located within the Chronicles Repository, I discuss customized pain management programs in detail and how you can begin to apply this knowledge to your particular “unique” pain program regardless of pain disorder.  You must learn to educate yourself in such matters in order to find natural cures, super food quality supplements and whole foods that will work for you providing a better quality of healthy life experience.  I’ve also written articles, “Man Made Foods Bad, Natural Foods Good,” which you can also find in the health repository.

Good nutrition is one of the “key” preventative means to a healthy mind and body in order to have a fighting chance at combating unhealthy cell mutations that cause pain.  In my opinion, stressed cells that cause “pain symptoms” should not be confused with long-term illness leading to “pain disease and disorders.”  This is because sick, or stressed cells that cause acute pain, may, or may not propagate other cells to become permanently damaged leading to chronic “long-term“pain disease.  The point is, don’t let the acute pain get out of hand to become a chronic pain disorder that will not go away.  One of the best ways to combat cell illness causing pain is to feed it God’s natural foods provided on this earth.  Note – When I refer to foods I’m also referring to herbs.

The premise that good nutrition and herbal remedies will stave off increased pain disease in all cases, or cure pain illness, regardless of medical situation is not all inclusive, but certainly can’t hurt for a hopeful health or pain alleviation outcome for a terminally ill patient.  For example, there are terminal pathological diseases, regardless of treatment will not abate the damage done to the internal immune, muscle, skeletal, nerve or organ systems, etc., within the body.  Even if a patient has terminal disease with significant pain a holistic customized pain management treatment approach appears to provide a better quality of life outcome than not implementing such a treatment.  When I refer to customized pain management treatment, I’m referring to treating the mind, body and soul of an individual.  The predominant healthy activity components of a pain management program include, but not limited to:  Nutritional-herbal, exercise, spiritual, physical therapeutic, alternative medicine, social and healthy activities.

You can live a better quality of life as opposed to a never ending treatment program that fills your life with inactivity, or doctor’s visits that only seem to appease the aggravating pain for moments in time.  You can also accept the never ending supply of pharmaceutical prescriptions to dull the aches and pains while battling frequent depression, weight gain and other illness symptoms as a result of medicated body rejection.  Or you can become proactive in your pain management program and expand your pain alleviation efforts by adding good nutrition and herbal remedies to the mix.  Also stop bad consumption habits, e.g., smoking, drinking, consuming enriched package-can foods, drinking diet sodas, to include high fat and other sugar enriched foods (read Aspartame the Silent Killer, MAE Health Repository).

Through much research, pain modality and alleviation experiences; I have treated almost every major muscular-skeletal articulation in my body.  I’ve learned to customize a pain program for myself where I believe anyone that applied my pain management principles would experience a better quality of living while significantly alleviating, or eliminating pain.  Although I’ve been successful at customizing my own pain management program, I cannot guarantee what works for me will work for you one hundred percent.  However, I can guarantee if you apply my principles you will be able to enjoy a better quality of life.  This is because I teach you how to use my 25 years of pain management experience and education to apply to your specific pain program using sound & tried principles!  Some of my techniques use healthy daily nutrition, supplements which include herbal remedies.  Of course, you should know by now proper nutrition is a key ingredient to alleviating pain.  As mentioned, the holistic pain management approach must address the whole being; mind, body and soul.  Proper nutrition and herbal remedies (natural cures and super foods) is a big component of the healing and healthy being maintenance program.

The cold hard truth, “You must learn how to become your own pain management advocate!”  But you don’t have to go it alone.  I can teach you how to do this.  The point here, if a doctor prescribes a specific treatment and you don’t receive a significant pain relief benefit and/or the treatment is impacting your mood… Search for alternative treatments to discuss common sense referrals if possible.  Find a course of pain alleviation that works well for you!  If the mind is depressed so will be the body.  Although your body may receive pain alleviation “at first” regardless of pain modality therapy, if you don’t consider incorporation of a sound nutrient program, your illness, or disease “most likely” will continue to degenerate and may accelerate the disease progression.  This is because the body and mind are complicatedly interlinked (psychosomatic).  Our Western medicine and insurance policies and procedures are so decentralized and complicated in terms of pain modality treatment and practice, it is no wonder chronic pain issues are so difficult for the patient to find resolve.   For example, does the patient advocate for the mind, body, or soul?  Or is the best course of pain alleviation treatment a combination of the entire being?  Do our Western medicine practices treat the whole being when dealing with pain management?  The answer is simple, No.

You must strive always to improve and make preventative and corrective pain management modifications especially as you age, or pain intolerances and depression occur.  A customized pain management program is “almost always” in a state of flux.  This means you must be proactive with the management of your pain program making modifications to daily activity based on pain tolerance and intolerance.  What I mean by this statement, you must develop a pain program that addresses all changing workloads, exercise, activity, nutritional & herbal requirements for your particular lifestyle while living with pain.  I address this work load pain prescription in detail, see ( ) within “Mirror Athlete chronicles and mentioned within many articles and home site (

It’s what you don’t know that creates much more pain and depression than is necessary to experience.  I started out by saying that there are nutritional and herbal remedies that will be of benefit for your pain alleviation.  I’ve also made some presumptions for you.  Such as, with the correct natural super food and herbal remedies it is certainly possible to prevent illness and disease that would cause pain in a progressed state, slow down pain disease, or abate the pain pathology.  It is certainly possible to reverse or mitigate disease and illness through applicable super food and herbal consumption as case studies have been verified throughout the medical community.  Use any search engine on the Internet and type in Natural Cures, or Supplements and/or Herbal pain cures, etc.  I cannot possibly list all the combinations of potential cures for all ailments.  Only that you should highly consider implementing after researching a nutritional super food, or herbal remedy that may help your pain disorder situation if you have not done so.

There are a lot of personal testimonials, medical controlled studies that show positive results by those that have incorporated these super foods and herbs into their diet while consulting their medical providers.  Primary care physicians that don’t subscribe to natural cure herbs or foods may only provide you pharmaceutical prescriptions.  Pharmaceuticals are man-made and not necessarily in your bodies best interest in all cases.  If in doubt as what to do, pharmaceuticals, or natural cures decision…  Have discussions with your medical providers about taking both herbal and prescription medications simultaneously.   In many cases, supplementation of super food and herbs with pharmaceuticals does not create, or complicate pain, or health conditions.  Instead, pain patients state dramatic pain alleviation results where prescription use declined, or were no longer necessary.

It is scientifically proven your body requires specific nutrients to maintain optimum health.  Imagine if you could find a pain treatment that cures what ails you, to include remove your pain regardless of pathology!   Well folks, it is possible and it happens every day.  Some like to refer to terminal disease remission as a miracle, because in most cases, complete chronic pain abatement in my opinion “is a miracle regardless of disease.”  One must never rule out the soul’s spiritual positive power of healing.  To do so would be a grave mistake in the pain healing and terminal illness remission process.  Without necessary nutrients the body begins a degradation phase prematurely regardless of age!  Think of your body like a car engine.  Without a good air, or oil filters (body equivalent – kidneys, liver, lungs) one might experience tenderness, irritability, pain irregularity in the liver, kidneys, intestines, stomach, muscles, tendons, ligaments, joints, skin discoloration, etc., due to poor eating habits where toxin builds up in the body.  Through time, without consideration to toxic food consumption the body becomes less efficient at removing the toxins.

The car experiences poor performance, iritic operations and poor start, or out of tune characteristic when oil, gas and air filters are not maintained making it more difficult to remove pollutants from the car engine.  The engine parts like the body begins to experience degradation when organs begin to fail due to toxic consumption habits and improper preventative health practices.  Like the body’s internal organs, the car’s engine components eventually break down due to poor fluid filtration characteristics, air and fuel quality circulation, etc., causing erratic operation.  This breakdown uncorrected within the body creates illness and disease, hence pain!  Your car may still run for many years.  But unlike the car you feel pain and discomfort.  The cost of car repairs at some point to keep the vehicle on the road soon outweighs the benefits of corrective maintenance costs and you eventually replace the car.  Since our body is not a car, we simply cannot replace or remove parts in most cases to alleviate the pain and make the body whole!

It is for this reason; you must look to incorporate proper nutrition and possibly herbal remedies into your diet!  At the molecular level regardless of pain disease, or illness one must understand the benefits of a holistic pain management approach while customizing a pain management program.  If your expectation is to reduce pain through a customized pain management program, you also need to consider the body’s molecular nutrient requirement!   Nutrition, herbal remedies and exercise should be incorporated if possible within a pain management program to have optimal chances at cell repair, or win a fight against any illness or disease!  You may also avoid going under the knife and possibly creating a worse pain, illness, or disease scenario while incorporating such practices within your pain management program.  Surgery should be your last recourse!


Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2009 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @:, Sign up for your free eNewsletter.

Aging Gracefully is it Possible?

25 10 2008

To answer a question such as “how does one age gracefully” can be for some as perplexing as what is the meaning of life? Or how far does space and time reach? Is there a God? Are we the only life force in the universe? And so on.

For each one of these questions and many more like them seem to have more questions arise when attempting to answer without a solid conclusion. I find it interesting and fascinating to witness these time old adages continue on with todays youth as did with our ancestors. There is absolutely no difference in the types of questions and answer sessions as when I was a kid “these questions are universal within all languages and cultures.” To understand and attempt to find answers to perplexing and mind boggling unknowns outside of our sphere of control is a normal process from childhood through adulthood. Ask a family member, or friend any one of the proverbial questions and you’ll quickly see the curiosity and willingness to chime in on the topic if you don’t catch them in a rush. Now not everyone will find these time old adages of any consequence. For those few, “I believe they have the mind and body functioning without a finely tuned soul.” Remember, my mirror athlete philosophy incorporates the soul with mind and body to balance all good things in life, including our health and ability to make the most out of our lives and others around us.

Just yesterday, my daughter mentioned how she and friends were having a great discussion on attempting to understand the meaning of the universe, God, extraterrestrials, and such. Boy did this hit a cord with me and my childhood. The body, mind and soul are in an “ever quest” to find the meaning of life, “in this case at the ripe old age of thirteen!”  We are at our greatest intuitive state in our early developing years. Some how we understand and relate to our soul as a critical support function to mind and body. I believe with children, this is true because they are born innocent and then influenced negatively by a culture where values and beliefs are tough to maintain discipline. I must point out, because of our fast pace culture a lot of people tend to tune out the communicative soul port in the teen phase through our working years. This is mostly due to a “Me First,Win American culture,” where wants rule.Most of us… Once we receive our wants tend to further enhance & develop our health & spiritual needs looking for centurion healthy goal answers.

The mind thinks with the souls influence then controls the body. Without a soul the mind and body relationship “CAN” create havoc [toxic and unhealthy activities] within the other two components of “being.”  Many negative stresses [physical, greed, addiction, emotion, stress on all planes, etc.,] could occur within “being” if maintenance of the soul is not in sync with life events. Without development and proper maintenance of these 3 very important components making up “being,” a person will experience less quality of life, and less healthy as one would otherwise. As we age, development of this “Triassic” (body, mind, soul) relationship must occur, or we simply deal with our own present mortality in a “less” healthy way due to improper stress coping techniques. I believe, if this Triassic relationship is not learned at an early age and developed into adulthood, some of us unintentionally ostracize ourselves from our greatest life potentials!  I know this sounds heavy and this type of philosophy could go wild in discussion, however, I will only brush the possibilities within the Triassic and health context with my take on how to age gracefully making my point.

Without closure to mortality questions where man can not provide definite answers to, “you simply must find answers by-way of the soul to fulfill this unknown” thirst for knowledge. Including, “what does it mean to age gracefully?”  There are those that can answer these types of questions with absolute certainty because their constitution is better than blind faith. This is because the day they were born, intuitively they knew they had purpose and there was something much bigger then any one of us!  And with this inner connection breeds “healthy calm” as the universe makes sense learned first at a very young age.  Everyone is in search of answers that can not readily be provided by a man made answer, or solution. Man looks for a scientific explanation for everything, but even man will “never” unlock God’s universal secrets. Instead, each one of us can unlock every proverbial secret that the soul “will, can and does bear.”  Each and everyone of us has the ability to tap into the soul where all answers are provided. It is through the Triassic connection we begin to understand the universe, our place in it and existence in life followed by the next.

It takes a life time to understand how each one of these questions applies, or does not apply to each one of us. I began by asking the question “How does one age gracefully?”  I can not provide a single answer as a fit for all. Each one of you will have to examine your own beliefs, connection and reality within your being. Instead, I can only paint one meaningful relationship that I understand to be an answer to this question without digging myself deeper into a never ending quagmire. It should be understood with age comes limitations of the mind, body and “NOT soul,” the soul never dies. Every decade and every 5 years after 25, one must examine their lives course. The “Triassic Being” and healthy proverbial development as we age is an important relationship as to how we see ourselves and the value perceived by all influences (Triassic Being, families, friends, employers, etc.) and the effect it has on our bodies health and souls mindset. If who you are now defines you 10 years from today without significant adjustment to mental, physical and spiritual stress planes as you age, can you age gracefully? “Ah, that is the question!”

Maybe, yes, maybe no. It depends on how your body, mind and soul are holding up. If ANY of these three elements are “breaking, or are broke,” one must change the game plan. To not change the way one operates within this worlds reality creates a health risk due to negative stress forces on any, or all 3 planes which make up “being.”  Without reexamination of our lives every 5-10 years (and more frequent review as we age) and not making healthy life choice decisions in tune with our “Triassic Being,” we put great stress on our mind, body and soul. To risk “being” without periodic examination of the Triassic relationship “is not to age gracefully!” And not to age gracefully, is not the philosophy, or mindset of a Mirror Athlete!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing,,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Restaurant Foods Healthy?

25 08 2008

When is the last time you went to your favorite restaurant and ordered what seemed to be a plethora of great food and wondered what impact you had on your bodies health?  I do know when your young with fast metabolisms the effects of toxic food properties don’t have a lasting, immediate, or initial impact as when you age and your metabolism begins to slow down.  Studies regarding “food preservatives” point toward ill-health effects after many years of food chemical consumption before you actually become sick!  High food chemical consumption also correlates with our youth demographics and reveals an increase of obesity and other health  issues related to processed, or “fast foods!”

There are health signs provided that let you know food rejection within the body is occurring before the body becomes toxic.  Food rejection is typically a feeling of bloat, flatulence, nausea, overly full, diarrhea, constipation, headache, sluggishness, sleepiness,dehydration, irritability, depression, skin rash and the list goes on.  It is my personal experience that qualifies me to tell you that “many” restaurants are feeding you garbage.  Think about it, as inflationary costs impact “all” businesses and industries; man is very innovative and uses creative ways to cut cost and quality of food ingredients.  Many restaurants are greatly dependant on processed package & canned foods to keep their business profitable.   Prepackaged foods require less prep time, reduced food and labor costs and greater profits to the establishment. 

“When almost all organic foods came from farms, we where a far more healthy society.  Now, factory-made foods have made chemical additives a significant part of our diet. Most people may not be able to pronounce the names of many of these chemicals, but they still want to know what the chemicals do and which ones are safe and which are poorly tested or possibly dangerous.  A simple general rule about additives is to avoid sodium nitrite, saccharin, caffeine, olestra, acesulfame K, and artificial coloring. Not only are they among the most questionable additives, but they are used primarily in foods of low nutritional value.  Also, don’t forget the two most familiar additives: sugar and salt. They may pose the greatest risk because we consume so much of them. Fortunately, most additives are safe and some even increase the nutritional value of the food.”

Most restaurant foods taste great or their not in business for very long.  Be sure to inquire if the food is fresh, or processed.

Remember, processed foods have been preserved with man-made chemicals for long shelf life.  There are now literally thousands of preservatives, food substitutes and imitation ingredients and other additives that have replaced organic foods.  Don’t you find it interesting that when you go into a grocery store, it is required by the FDA (Food & Drug Administration) that food ingredient labels require nutritional information be disclosed to the public. But when you go to a restaurant there is no requirement to disclose what ingredients, or what processed-organic foods make up the meal you order.

I believe the reason for “non-disclosure of restaurant food ingredients” has a lot to do with food industry(s) profits.  If you educate the public too much, they’ll find healthier eating consumption alternatives.  If this behavioral change came to pass in a big way, an organic-farm restaurant chain industrial revolution would ensue [“I believe we are now in the infant stage of such an organic-farm restaurant industry”].  If this industry evolves in a big way, it could drive many current restaurant chains and/or food manufacturers out of business!  “Remember, for industry and share holders “It’s all about the money!”  For our families, it should be about our health!

Be smart about your health and start asking questions about the foods you consume whether in a fine dinning, or fast food establishment.

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2008 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing,,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.