After Holiday Weight Gain Blues

22 01 2019

Travel and Food Go Together – Pacing oneself is the challenge.

Last updated 22 Jan 19, by Marc Woodard

Another year has gone by with all the Holiday decor and cheer with it. I understand some of you had a tough time with the food choices and amount that you consumed; and last year’s weight loss resolution didn’t work out so well.

With that being said, should I dare say some of you are not only bummed out after you stepped on the scale, you have the weight gain blues.

There are many reasons weight gain occurs. I would never tell you I know exactly what you are going through. However I do know, out-of-control weight gain is often attached to an emotional lifestyle change. And those changes often trigger over consumption of food and drink – especially during and after the Holiday season, or vacations. And this can lead to acute-to-chronic depression for many.

There is also an illness-disease relationship associated with unhealthy body weight – especially once we become obese. At this point the mind-body becomes susceptible to greater health risk. For example, diabetes, high blood pressure, cholesterol, IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome), congenital heart disease, fibromyalgia-phantom pain, etc. A daily habit of over eating may also increase other bad habits, i.e., smoking, drinking, illicit drug or unnecessary pharmaceutical use.

In general, stressful life events cannot be avoided. But can be stress-minimized through understanding the environmental triggers causing them. Regardless of season, or any day for that matter… you must learn how to target and identify the physical, mental and/or social triggers causing the emotional stress keeping you overweight and unfit and do something about it.

Unfortunately for some – the over weight condition may be the result of a genetic or metabolic factor, Which may have less to do with lifestyle habits and behavior – but more to do with an inefficient calorie burning furnace. Any long-term weight gain that threatens health should seek medical attention immediately from a physician.

Recreational Activity Does a Body Good.

Below I’ve listed a few behavioral habit forming relationships that can be changed before and after any holiday season or vacation to help reduce body fat weight gain and achieve the weight loss goal.

8 Lifestyle Changes You can Make to Achieve Your New Years Resolution Weight Loss Goal.

  1. Holiday Cheer Weight Gain – What can I say about Holiday Cheer that I haven’t mentioned in my previous writings.  Have a Holiday battle meal plan before you set down at the table.  Read the following article, “10 Step Basic Weight Loss Tips.”
  2.  Last Year’s Resolution to Lose Weight Failed – You know why you failed your weight loss program from previous years. You did not resolve, or change your eating, drinking, or exercise habits. To do so is still too painful for whatever the reason. Until you resolve and/or get serious about your weight loss goal, or seek professional help, regardless of who provides you weight loss tips, services or program… you’ll likely continue to struggle with body weight.
  3.  Pain factor – All pain is directly related to illness, disease and/or injury. And with pain comes more sedentary habits. It is for this reason, it is more important than ever you work with your primary physician and pain management specialists to find treatment and activity that’s right for you. If you have mental and physical pain that’s not been diagnosed – seek advisement and referrals from your primary care physician.
  4.  Stressful life events cause excess calorie consumption– For many the habit of eating more calories than needed may come from everyday stresses caused by work or home environment, or bad relationship with spouse, friend or family member. Or the stress could be caused by some other non-diagnosed physical and mental pain from childhood. Stress events can culminate and increase a depression mood that causes one to eat more in an attempt to feel better. Once you target the cause of your stress induced bad habit and/or behavior and remove it… it’s more likely you’ll succeed in a safe weight program over a set period of time.
  5.  Carry the party into New Year – Some carry the end of year festivities into the new year. This behavior can last for months, or the entire year. This continued habit will not help you lose weight or remove the depression umbrella. “First and foremost, you must understand this is occurring and must break this unhealthy habit.” As one ages and the habit continues – health risk increases.
  6.  Fast foods after the Holiday’s. Too many Americans consume fast foods especially during the Holidays. Here lies a crux for much of the American obesity problem. During this time of year there is a huge spike in fast foods and alcohol sales. Yes, business booms almost in every sector of the economy. Fast foods are convenient, chemically addictive and bad for health in the long run. I know you’re thinking, what if I just give up the fast food places and eat out at restaurants? While this is a better concept, you don’t know how much of those meals are processed with unhealthy garbage causing your weight gain. Also when you eat out – most tend to eat more. Instead develop a healthy whole foods shopping habit and limit yourself to 1 fast food meal a week. I highly recommend you read, “Restaurant and Grocery Foods Healthy?
  7.  Love of Baking – I know, some of you carry your new found baking habits into the new year. Although there is nothing wrong with cooking your own food, the pitfall is when you love everything you bake just a little too much. I know the kids love your home made cookies, cakes and pies. Remember moderation with deserts. Too much sugar, fat and salt is not good for anyone, even children with fast metabolisms. If you’re having a tough time changing up your baking habit – try becoming a little more creative by offering different types of deserts… fresh fruits, jello, pudding, etc. Mix it up and break away from the continuous high fat baking habit.
  8.  Empty Nester’s Bake for an Army – Regardless of season, there are many who continue to cook for an entire family after the children have left home. There are many things tied into this habit. This is a tough habit to change – especially if the spouse demands traditional family recipes. If you continue to cook this way, you’ll not reduce food portions – it will be more challenging to meet your weight loss goal.

Once you target the cause of your weight gain nemesis and make healthier lifestyle choices that include daily exercise activities – your fitness levels and health will improve dramatically, while achieving your weight loss resolution once and for all.

Good health to you and your family!

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET2019 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

“FDA Bans Hydrogenated Trans Fats”

14 11 2018

Be sure to eat healthy and get your daily walk exercise on. It does a body good.

Updated:  14 Nov 2018, Marc Woodard

In order to understand how unhealthy Trans Fats are it is necessary to first define and relate to them and how this unhealthy fat got into our food in the first place.  And why the FDA agrees it’s not fit for human consumption.

Hydrogenated Trans fats were invented in the 1890s.  What took the FDA so long to put a ban on the hydrogenation of vegetable oils?  And even with a ban does this keep Trans Fats out of our diet?

Much of the hydrogenated Trans Fat story has to do with low product cost and hyper palatable fat that addict consumers to purchase those products repeatedly. Which in turn generates huge profits for the food processing companies.  These basic facts explain the longevity of Trans Fats in the marketplace.

The FDA ban of trans fats occurred after decades of studying the effects of it on human health.

“Although saturated fat is the main dietary culprit that raises LDL (Low Density LipoProtein), added Trans Fat and dietary cholesterol also contribute significantly to increased LDL’s [which represent unhealthy blood chemistry and related cause to cardiovascular disease].  Trans fat can often be found in processed foods made with partially hydrogenated vegetable oils such as vegetable shortenings, some margarines (especially margarines that are harder), crackers, candies, cookies, snack foods, fried foods, and baked goods (FDA 2017).”

In the past consumers sought low cost, tasty and convenient processed foods and praised the hydrogenation process because of cost and exceptional flavor. But now the FDA agrees with consumer safety advocates – banning this fat completely over the next few years would be best for consumer health and health care industry.

To learn why the FDA is now taking action it is necessary to define Trans Fats, hydrogenation, poly hydrogenated oil and how this man made fat causes disease.

Adding more hydrogen to oil is simply the process of man infusing more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fatty carbon molecule chain.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) “Trans Fat.”  i.e., Listed on food labels as Partial hydrogenated and/or Trans Fats are the same thing of varying atomic degree. 

But not obvious to most consumers…  through hydrogenation the oil becomes a more solid Trans hard fat that’s very unhealthy for us.  That is vegetable oils are artificially hardened to achieve “firm” convenience soft spreads with long shelf life e.g., margarine, cooking oils and shortening.

To identify Trans Fats in food products, manufacturers list these values on ingredient labels.  Note the words Partially Hydrogenated soybean Oil (PHO) on margarine and butter labels below.  This is code for Trans Fats. You can find PHO listed as an ingredient in many snack, dessert foods, vegetable oils and even health supplemental products, etc.   And when you see 0g Trans Fats on the label, food manufacturers are allowed up to .5grams Trans Fats per serving and can list this value as zero while simultaneously displaying PHO.

The good news for consumers as previously stated, the FDA now requires food manufactures to follow more stringent Trans Fat label laws.  For instance if a food product has .5g Trans Fats or more, that value has to be listed on the label (FDA 2017).

This means all Trans Fats in foods must be identified.  Even if the words Trans Fat equals 0 grams, the food product is allowed up to .499grams per serving when PHO is listed.  Many don’t know Trans Fats are also in organic wholefoods.  Ever wonder how they get into animal and vegetable products?

Live stock graze on vegetation which contain a certain amount of poly unsaturated oil in them.  Through animal grazing PHO’s (Poly Unsaturated Oil) are digested and some of this oil is stored in saturated fat cells.  Hence all products have varying amounts of naturally stored PHO or Trans Fats in them.  Just like humans.

Unlike organic dietary fats, hydrogenated Trans fats are not essential to the diet and significantly increase health risk when consuming too many of them.

I know conscientious consumers remove animal fat before eating a steak, or  ladle the fat from broth to reduce fat intake calories.  This is easy to do because it is easily seen.  However Tran’s fats blend into processed baked and convenience foods and can’t be seen or removed.  This is why it’s important to understand where Trans Fats come from and how to identify them in the foods eaten daily.   This knowledge becomes even more important if you now suffer from obesity, diabetes or heart disease.

Over consumption of fatty foods in general is bad.  But far worse when too many deceptive Trans-fats are mixed into baked goods.

In the past hydrogenation of cooking oils was used excessively by food industries until it was determined Tran’s fats were worse for you than natural occurring organic fats.  Early 2006, companies began removing the Trans fat hydrogenation processes from foods and labeling “0” amounts of Trans Fats as required by the FDA.  But as you now know “0” does not mean “0 Trans Fats and there a connection to organic food PHO chemistry.

In 2015 the “U.S. Food and Drug Administration finalized its determination that partially hydrogenated oils (PHOs), the primary dietary source of artificial trans fat in processed foods, are not “generally recognized as safe” or GRAS for use in human food.  Food manufacturers will have three years to remove PHOs from products (FDA 2015).”

Even through the FDA recently determined Trans Fats are not safe for humans the end to manmade Trans Fats won’t end until 2017-18…  this will not ban all Trans Fats from all foods because of the natural occurring PHO found in livestock and plants.  But food manufacturers will be required to continue listing Trans Fats, mono-poly and saturated fat values.

Is this a win for everyone?  I guess it depends on individual and company perspective.

For the health conscious consumer and those suffering from obesity, diabetes and other related illness and disease these changes could be of great dietary health benefit.  For those on fixed and low incomes it may cost more and limit choice of healthy foods in the marketplace.  For a manufacturer it may increase the cost of doing business.  Unfortunately his increase in cost is usually passed onto the consumer.

There will be winners and losers no matter how you look at this thing.


US Department of Health and Human Resources. FDA Food and Drug Administration (FDA 2015-2017).

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET2018 Copyright.  All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Pill Extends Life to 100 Years and Beyond

23 05 2018

Forever ageless like Face Rock, Bandon Beach, OR. Do you see the face?

Last Updated:  23 May 2018

A substance taken as a pill has been studied over the last decade now shows further promise of extending life well over the centurion mark.  Whereas the “average” life span could exceed 100 years of age.

“That would be something considering the average life span today is 79.”  This doesn’t seem so impossible to believe simply based on the fact the oldest living person recorded to date was Jeanne Calment who lived 122 years and 164 days .

       Science has experimented with resveratrol concentrates in mice studies over the last decade where positive results show extended longevity, weight loss and decreased disease occurrences.  However to receive similar benefits in humans relative to the animal studies would require the consumption of 1000 glasses of red wine [resveratrol resides in wine] daily equivalent dose.  And no, “I don’t recommend consuming a lot of wine based on the study.”   However a high concentrate of resveratrol, or other phenol (plant) pill found in the marketplace may provide longevity benefits animal studies currently purport.

The questions than become 1) Do high resveratrol concentrate in supplement form exist?  2) Would it be safe to consume in high concentrate.  3)  Are those healthy-longevity results seen in animal studies relative to human metabolism and health?

“So what exactly is resveratrol?”

1-2 glasses of 6-8oz red wine per day is said to be heart health.

It’s the trace phenol substance found in the likes of grape skin, seeds and vine that is the healthy component after harvesting and processing of red grapes to wine. That’s why nutritionists and health experts agree red wine is heart healthy if not exceeding two 6-8oz glasses per day.  Alcohol volume is the health risk here.  Whereas the heart healthy phenol [resveratrol] found in red wines is present in low concentrate.

Science also tells us this particular phenol (plant) substance is known to defend against harmful bacteria and fungi pathogens.

The most abundant source of resveratrol comes from vitis vinifera, labrusca, and muscadine grape sources used to make red wines.  The highest concentrate source is from the skin of these grapes.  There is ~50-100 micrograms (millionth/gram)/red grape source and by volume ~.30 – 1.07 milligrams (thousandths/gm)/resveratrol in a 5oz glass of wine.

Resveratrol  is a secondary [stilbenoid] product which occurs naturally in a variety of plants (red grape, hops,  peanuts, Japanese Knotweed, melinjo fruit, mulberries, eucalyptus, spruce and lily).   The phenol substance from the grape stilbenoid falls under the classification of flavonoids.

3-4 fruits and vegetable servings per day are recommended to sustain optimal health.

Flavonoids are found in fruits and vegetables which provide anti-oxidant benefits.  High concentrate flavonoids also reside in seeds, nuts, green tea, buckwheat and pine bark.  The best sources of anti-oxidant flavonoids are found in onions, tea and apples and of course red wines.

It appears through scientific animal studies a high concentrate of phenol substance daily also has the potential to reduce risk against cardiovascular, diabetes, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease, etc.

A 2006 study show mice served an over saturated fatty diet while taking 22mg resveratrol/kg of body weight/daily had a 30% lower risk of death as opposed to mice consuming the same high fat or restricted diet without concentrate.  “Here we show that resveratrol shifts the physiology of middle-aged mice on a high-calorie diet towards that of mice on a standard diet and significantly increases their survival [Wade/Baur, et al. 2006].  Disagreement of transferable health benefits to human metabolism continued to be met with skepticism by the scientific community on topic.

However the scientific and anti-aging community may finally be more in lock-step based on the latest genomic medicine research related to this resveratrol-based 2006 longevity study.

Closest thing I had to a mouse on file for visual impact.. but I think much cuter than a mouse.

    As of early 2013, there were no published clinical trials for resveratrol animal efficiency studies based in genomic medicine with regard to human age related disease.

However on 7 March 2013,

– Efficiencies relative to reservatrol and longevity connection was recognized possible through a target group of encoded gene known as a sirtuin.  Or [SIRT1] appears to encode a member of the family of proteins that establish the human efficiency-benefit connection.   To this date, “the science of aging has increasingly focused on sirtuins, a group of genes that are believed to protect many organisms, including mammals, against diseases of aging.”

Mounting evidence has demonstrated that resveratrol, a compound found in the skin of grapes as well as in peanuts and berries, increases the activity of a specific sirtuin, SIRT1, that protects the body from diseases by revving up the mitochondria, a kind of cellular battery that slowly runs down as we age. By recharging the batteries, SIRT1 can have profound effects on health [Cameron 2013].

This is good news for the Anti-aging, medical and scientific community if these connections can be scientifically proven for human efficiency benefit.  But what is a safe resveratrol concentrate dose today until SIRT1 trials can provide further data relative to anti-aging and longevity?

Body weight, activities, environmental stress and overall lifestyle differ with each one of us. Nutritional requirements vary with each person.

In 2006, an average daily concentrate was determined based on animal studies relative to a 175lb person.  It would actually take 400mg resveratrol/kg of body weight/daily or 30,000mg/day to achieve the same efficiency claims made in the mouse studies using 22mg resveratrol/kg of mouse weight/daily.

This difference in dose adjustment for the human metabolism is necessary because ours is much slower than a mouse.  Therefore the studies using 22mg resveratrol/kg of mouse weight/daily was not relevant to human efficiency benefits.

Here’s the adjustment dose difference from those trials. Instead of 22mg resveratrol/kg of mouse weight/day, the subject (mouse) would have to be fed a diet concentrate equivalent of 30,000mg’s resveratrol/kg body weight/daily for the study to be relevant for a 175lb person!  And If a person weighing 175lbs consumed ~400mg resveratrol/kg of human weight/daily it would “likely” present a toxicity problem [Wade/Baur, et al. 2006].

    There have been no studies on mice using anywhere near a 30,000mg’s resveratrol/daily concentrate equivalent.  But past studies on mice using concentrates as high as 300 mg resveratrol/kg of mouse weight/daily for up to 4 weeks had no adverse effect.  However that’s not even close to the adjusted daily dosage for human efficiency studies.   To understand the efficiencies on humans a metabolic dosage and/or sirtuins [group of genes] must be an adjusted dose on mice relative to human weight and metabolism.

Maybe the Pacific NW Nutria would be willing to volunteer in one of the animal studies.

It will be interesting to see further animal studies that closely resemble the 30,000mg resveratrol human dose equivalent and what efficiencies/inefficiencies will be revealed in coordination with genetically coded research on humans.

Currently moderate resveratrol dosed supplements can be purchased in the marketplace.  “Those who choose to consume 20 mg of resveratrol a day can take comfort in the BioMarker research showing that this potency exerted impressive changes in critically important genes involved in various aging processes and degenerative diseases.”  However this statement is likely backed by the anti-aging research and marketers and not accepted by the scientific community until efficiency tests are proven in a controlled lab environment.

“Those who choose to consume higher doses of resveratrol can look at the media-reported studies that also showed very impressive results. The good news for consumers is that they can obtain standardized resveratrol and other grape constituents in 20 mg and 100 mg capsules, at a very moderate cost  [Life Extension 2007].”

Do your own research with longevity and anti-aging products. – the marketplace makes claims with little proof of benefits compared to research from the scientific community.

My advisement to the consumer, “Beware!  Science truly has not proven the potential side effects and health risks when consuming a high dosage resveratrol (phenol) type, or like supplemental-herb diet product(s).”

To this date the efficiencies seen in animal studies do not equate to similar human benefits.  If interested in taking resveratrol concentrate  – 20-100mg resveratrol concentrate appear safe.  However it is not clear whether or not a significant health or longevity benefit would result.

Investing in a HIGH phenol concentrate without scientific proof of efficiencies could be akin to throwing money down the drain.  The off-set… lower dosages may be of health benefit.

 Recommendation:  There are two ways to make a consumer decision on topic:

Save your money on high concentrate phenol-herb supplements until science figures out an efficiency concentrate backed by the scientific community.

Taking a 20-100mg daily dose does not appear to present a health risk.  It seems more likely than not resveratrol supplements at these dosages would improve metabolic efficiencies as opposed to increase health risk.

The decision to supplement diet with resveratrol at this point in time appears more likely a health benefit than not.


 Barrett, Stephen, M.D.  Resveratrol: Don’t Buy the Hype.

 Baur JA, Pearson KJ, Price NL, Jamieson HA, Lerin C, Kalra A, Prabhu VV, Allard JS, Lopez-Lluch G, Lewis K, Pistell PJ, Poosala S, Becker KG, Boss O, Gwinn D, Wang M, Ramaswamy S, Fishbein KW, Spencer RG, Lakatta EG, Le Couteur D, Shaw RJ, Navas P, Puigserver P, Ingram DK, de Cabo R, Sinclair DA (November 2006). “Resveratrol improves health and survival of mice on a high-calorie diet”. Nature 444 (7117): 337–42.

Cameron, David.  New Study Validates Longevity Pathway. Harvard Medical School. President and Fellows of Harvard College.  7 March 2013.

Life Extension.  What Dose of Resveratrol Should Humans Take? Life Extension. March 2007.

 Linus Pauling Institute.  Micronutrient Information Center.  Resveratrol.

 Peris, Richard.  Dr. Could We Live Forever? Or Even Come Close.  CBS news, 11 February 09.

 Roizman, Tracey.  Plant Sources of Resveratrol. 7 February 2011.

 Wade, Nicholas (November 16, 2006). “Red Wine Ingredient Increases Endurance, Study Shows”. New York Times.

 Woodard, Marc.  10 Super Centenarians how’d They Live Over 116?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets! 22 September 2012.

 Woodard, Marc.  Was the Viking Culture Healthy?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  23 September 2010.

 Woodard, Marc.  Epidemiology Provides Ill-Health Prevention and Centurion Wisdom.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  23 June 2010.

 Woodard, Marc.  Alcohol Consumption Good, or Bad for your Body?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  25 September 2008.

 Woodard, Marc.  Why We Need Super Foods.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets! 23 December 2008.

 Wikipedia.  Resveratrol.

 Author: Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ARNG, CPT, RET. 2017 Copyright. All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Inc.,, Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

New Year Resolution Guarantees Weight Loss Success

20 12 2014
Aerobic workouts good for the cardio Muscular endurance

Is this the secret to safe weight loss?  The answers may surprise you.

After all the Holiday festivities, one has to wonder what fitness and/or health resolution will be made this year and stuck too?

It seems as we age and for many of us, increased body is added each year.  And with that being said, we continually resolve to improve our eating and exercise habits and quit unhealthy vices.

We tell ourselves we’re going to get serious this time and get fit while losing weight.  I realize we all have good resolution intentions.  However, for most this is easier said than done.

If you lack will power to change bad habits long term, the results on the organic brain/body will experience more pain and suffering than necessary in the long run.  If one is not concerned about such things then risk of disease and shorten life span may ensue if positive change does not occur.

If your serious about healthy change and willing to follow a fitness plan that’s right for you, “you can” improve quality of life experiences in a more fit body.  But you must keep the following perspective in mind.  It took years to become unfit and unhealthy.  It may take some time to turn around an unfit condition.  The good news is this change can be done in a reasonable time with little effort, once the body chemical activation secret is understood.

Yah I know, easier said than done for some of you.  Because some believe “I can’t change, or I’m too old, or I’m going to die eventually, so what the hell.”  You say these things not because you don’t believe change is possible.  But it’s easier to talk yourself out of change for lack of knowing what dietary and exercise actions may actually work for you

What would you say if I could provide you valuable insight on how to improve health, lose weight safely, increase fitness levels and increase longevity odds at no cost and modest will power?

And this knowledge simply involved understanding how to activate addictive body chemicals produced by your own body. Thereby increasing will power to continue a fitness plan and achieve your desired fitness result?  Would you be interested in this insight?  Most would say yes, what’s the catch?

No Catch.

What, you thought I was talking about a magic pill or have some other hidden agenda?


No need for pills or gimmicks, your body produces these powerful chemicals once you know how to activate them daily.  And I’m going to give you this known scientific information at no cost.  And believe me the marketers don’t want you to have this information, why?  Because they lose fitness and nutrition sales revenues.

If your looking to select a fitness or diet plan, don’t get duked into one that guarantees quick results!   Man-made products produced from unnatural chemical additives compromise the mind and body at the cellular level.  Also fad and fitness diet-exercise plans not relative to your lifestyle will only work short term, or not at all.

These “quick fix” fast weight loss and fitness fad concoctions are wrong for most of us long term.  Especially if one becomes dependent on them.  Thereafter has potential, if nothing else changes to cause more harm than good in the long run.

Now click on the following link and learn how to activate those powerful body chemicals naturally, lose weight safely and improve health and fitness levels long term.

Click: on Link:  “Get Skinny by Activating Addictive Body Chemicals.”

Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, ANG MSC CPT Ret. 2014 MirrorAthlete® Copyright, All rights reserved. Visit MirrorAthlete® home site and sign up for free monthly newsletter.

3 Connected Diseases – Diabetes, Gout and Kidney Disease

21 06 2012

Do What it Takes to Keep Parents Healthy

These 3 diseases (diabetes, gout and kidney disease) have three things in common that makes it more likely for one to experience them at the same time.  And those common denominators are bad diet, lack of exercise and poor blood circulation.  An interesting aspect to this 3-way disease connection; studies show if you have high uric acid concentrations in the blood you are more likely to experience gout,  have a 20% increase risk of acquiring diabetes and 40% risk of kidney disease.  It appears regardless of what disease comes first, it can lead to the other.  And for many, all 3 diseases are treated at the same time.

Okay, we’ll break this down a bit to understand how these 3 diseases could come about within the same window of time.

First of all we know a symptom of diabetes is poor blood circulation.  This occurs because blood sugars are not being processed adequately through the liver and muscles.  When the insulin hormone is not produced at the intended levels a whole list of medical complications can ensue.  This is also referred to as insulin resistance in the diabetic world.  When our bodies accumulate high levels of sugar in our blood the bodies reacts negatively by causing many different types of medical complications due to the high blood sugars impact on the body’s circulation and overall metabolism.

When blood circulation is impacted, this effect is especially hard on the heart, kidney and blood vessel walls.  Other damages that often occur due to poor circulation are the impacts specifically in the nervous system, eyes and feet.  For example, it is not uncommon for those with severe diabetic ailments specific to those areas of the body to lose eyesight, or a foot to gangrene.

And since circulation is greatly impacted for those with diabetes, they are also more likely to experience gout (a painful joint condition) and kidney stones.  This is because the uric acid builds up on joints and within the kidneys for lack of good circulation.  And without good circulation the body simply can’t detoxify itself optimally.  This lack of circulation is the domino effect that creates higher risk for kidney stones and chronic gout conditions.

However, just because you’re diabetic does not mean you’ll get gout and kidney stones. Instead you should think of it this way, you increase your odds of all 3 diseases presenting themselves at some point in time if diet and activity habits don’t change.  Also, acute and chronic gout seem to mostly occur based on a diet that is uric acid rich from consuming too much alcohol and red meats.

Since poor circulation also impacts the kidneys and urine function, these filters and waste removal systems to detoxify the body are not operating at 100%.  So in this case the uric acids in the blood build up and tend to anchor its crystal formations in the ankles, toes and yes the kidneys.  And if you’ve ever talked to someone that has passed a stone, you’d understand this is not the type of pain you’d want to experience.  I’ve known people that have experienced passing a stone and they immediately changed their diets, activity levels and drink a lot more water throughout the day.  It was an eye opener for them for sure.

The formation of these stones can occur if urine flow is too little for lack of proper hydration, or too highly concentrated with uric acid due to bad diet.  Other factors that increase risk of uric acid stone formation in the kidneys: as stated, an alcohol and animal rich diet cause a metabolic disorder within the urine system and also causes other health risks throughout the body, i.e., anemia, insulin resistance, blood cancers and chronic diarrhea.  It is also found that type 2 diabetics tend to have a high acidic urine concentration that leaves them vulnerable to uric acid stones and crystallized uric acid formation at the lower limb joints.

If you’ve been clinically identified with high uric acid levels in the blood, be sure to drink plenty of water daily and take prescribed medications.  It is recommended to consume 8-8oz glasses of water a day.  By doing so you can better remove the uric acid waste product from the blood through more frequent urination and stools, thereby also preventing kidney stone formation and maintaining clean bodily filters.

Who are the most likely candidates to acquire gout?  Gout can occur at any age and is common for those in their senior years.  Gout experienced during the senior years is mostly due to lack of mobility and decreased water intake.  However, even if you have no gout, are not obese and don’t have diabetes, but your uric acids in the blood are constantly high, you’re at risk for heart attack, metabolic syndrome, diabetes, kidney stones, cardiovascular disease and yes even death if progression of disease(s) is not treated.  Another common disease that can bring on these 3 interacting diseases is obesity! If your considered clinically obese, you’re likely to become a type II diabetic if not already.

Any time you have less circulation in any organ it can also sustain permanent damage.  Like your bodies muscles, organs depend on oxygen enriched blood through good blood circulation to maintain healthy tissue.  Since your kidneys and liver scrub your system free of food and air toxins, it would be wise to maintain “optimum blood circulation and blood volume” through good preventative ill-health practices such as daily exercise, proper diet and hydrate well throughout the day with water.

If you’re interested in a natural diet solution to prevent gout, then you’ll benefit to know that the cayenne and garlic spices in your foods can help you to achieve this goal.  That’s right these spices are very healthy for you.  So insure you incorporate these spices into your daily diet for preventative measures.  There are also high concentrate supplements with these spices included that can be very helpful in the prevention of gout.

It is also reassuring to know that if you’re being treated for diabetes and/or high levels of uric acid-gout, you’ll also be treated with the same treatment options since they are so closely related.  Let your doctor’s know immediately if you suffer from diabetes, gout and/or kidney stone symptoms, or suffer from obesity.

And as you already understand, for prevention and to improve upon you health if you suffer from any of these diseases; diet, exercise and ample water intake throughout the day will serve your body well.


Disabled World.  Causes of Uric Acid Kidney Stones, 4 Sept 2006.

Cason, Charity.  Gout and Diabetes.  BattleDiabetes, 6 May 2011.

Laino, Charlene.  High Uric Acid Linked to Both Gout & Diabetes. WebMD,  11 Nov 2011.

MyUricAcid.  Diabetes and Gout.

Woodard, Marc.  Is Drinking Too Much Water Dangerous to Your Health?  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  15 April 2012.

Woodard, Marc.  Diabetes a Serious Disease.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  21 Oct 2008.

Woodard, Marc.  Bout with Gout.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  19 June 2009.

Woodard, Marc.  Our Food is Making Us Fat and Causing Disease.  Mirror Athlete Fitness Secrets!  15 April 2012.

Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2012 Copyright, All rights reserved, Mirror Athlete Publishing @:,  Sign up for your Free eNewsletter.

Oxygen Uptake Breathing for Ill-Health Prevention

17 04 2011
Get Out and Breathe Nature’s Air

    Science shows us that those that don’t breathe correctly experience mood swings, depression, anxiety and other stress-related illnesses.  And the primary reason these disorders occur is because many of us live inactive lifestyles that promote shallow breathing.  What do I mean by this?  Think about it.  As you sit there and read this article, you’ll note that your intake of air expands your diaphragm one quarter to half a chest expansion.  Now that you’re thinking about it, take a deep breath in and exhale.  You see, you weren’t breathing fully.  Why do I bring you this example?

     If you understand what shallow breathing is than you can understand that half of your lung capacity is not being exercised, nor is your cardiopulmonary system.  What does this mean?  It means that a portion of your lungs are constantly living in a carbon dioxide environment, partially void of oxygen.  And why is this bad for prolonged periods of time?  The most obvious symptoms you should be aware are fatigue, lack of mental focus-energy and decreased metabolic function, which for many equates to weight gain.

     Through time and without adequate activity shallow breathing promotes decreases in the lungs capacity to expand maximally and eventually lack of oxygen delivery to tissues creates other ill-health conditions. 

    How does shallow breathing impact blood pressure?  Since the hearts action is involuntary it can only respond to demand on the heart.  If the heart senses a drop in oxygen to the body, it will pump more blood, even during sedentary activity.  Also, these increases in blood pressure and heart rate occur during exercise activity.  However, active exercise that is a cause and effect on increased blood pressure and heart rate has a relaxing and healthy effect on the mind and body after the task.  Whereas, and throughout time, shallow breathing, lacking activity has a detriment on the body and mind by decreasing lung capacity, blood pressure and carbon dioxide exchange within all cellular structure. 

    It is also true that the body requires an oxygenated environment to burn fat more effectively which occurs during aerobic activity.  Walking and jogging are the best forms of aerobic activity.  Deep breathing exercises practiced through yoga classes for example, or at home frequently will increase the fat burning metabolism process.

     When exercising the lungs adequately, the body is more oxygenated and metabolizes fat as a fuel source preference instead of breaking down mostly glycogen during anerobic activity (without oxygen).  Simply by learning to breathe correctly, you can burn more fat and better remove toxins from your body.  If you are limited to breathing exercises, you will benefit your body’s metabolism, lymph node, cardiopulmonary systems to include expedite the healing process.

     Many of you also understand during exercise we experience aerobic vs. anaerobic metabolic and muscular benefits.  And through exercise, for example, like walking, our bodies burn more body fat because our task has shifted to an aerobic metabolism.  But if we go from a walk to a sprint, our body cannot get enough oxygen for long periods of time at this intensity and lactic acid buildup limits us in our exercise activity.  Anaerobic activity is good for those that need to push the body to build short burst and power/strength capacity.  Whereas aerobic activity is necessary to build upon muscular endurance, fat burning and body toning goals.

     Below I provide deep breathing exercises that one can practice and apply to improve upon any fitness goal or ill-health, or rehabilitative challenge.  Simply apply the daily breathing technique below for improved health benefits.  You will experience anxiety-stress relief, reduced aches and pains, have more energy, cardiopulmonary capacity improvements.  At a minimum, you’ll improve your circulatory properties (blood pressure and heart rate), improve posture, mood, and sleep, also feel better about yourself and maybe notice some weight loss.

     Regardless of your breathing technique, you’ll note it is work, because breathing correctly is exercise.  This is because during exercise you have to consciously and willfully exercise the lungs and chest cavity muscles to capacity.  And breathing exercises should be preformed many times daily to break the habit of shallow breathing.

     An easy breathing exercise that is relaxing to practice whether sitting, or just before sleep, or walking:  While sitting up straight without arching your back, inhale deeply [imagine filling your lungs from the bottom up].  Hold for a count of six and then release slowly for the same count.  During the exhalation, forcibly remove the excess residual air volume from your lungs.  This is easily accomplished by tightening the abdominal area through the exhalation activity.  During the inhalation phase don’t rush it [otherwise you’ll feel like your hyperventilating].  Simply inhale through the nose with the mouth closed.  Hold the inflated lungs for 6 counts and then release for 6 counts through mouth.

     Also, through simple breathing techniques posture is important.  Insure you don’t lean forward and reduce the chest cavity area during this exercise.  If you do this, you’re not exercising your circulatory-lung systems to its full capacity.  Remember to repeat this as many times throughout the day as possible.  Eventually, your involuntary system will maintain a deeper breathing pattern during sleep and during the day.  Your body will then begin to become more oxygenated throughout a 24 hour window.

     And just before sleep, as you lay on your bed, remove the pillow; lay flat and go through 8-10 deep breathing 6 counts of full inhalation and exhalation.  This is very relaxing and good for your mind and body which will greatly aid in your ability to fall asleep.

     Deep breathing is also good to practice before a big interview, or public speaking engagement as well.  It wakes the mind, lungs and posture for better focus and vocal capacity while calming the nerves.

     Remember, it’s easy to get lazy at breathing.  When we were younger our bodies were more active during the day and our breathing was more active during sleep.  Our young active metabolisms craved the oxygen enriched environment and the involuntary act of breathing during sleep was increased.

    However, for many of us as we age, our activity levels decrease and we develop poor postural habits.  When these two things occur the act of shallow breathing is the result.   But through daily aerobic activity and/or combined with daily breathing exercises one can reverse shallow breathing and reap many longevity health benefits for the mind, body and spirit.

 Internet References:

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Cholesterol Dietary Guidelines

23 09 2010
Walk, See, Exercise… A Great Way to Live Life to the Fullest

    Many of today’s adults and children are not only overweight, but outright obese.  During my days as a kid the only obese people I recalled seeing around were adults between the ages of 30 and above.  In contrast, you see obesity and hear about high blood cholesterol as a problem for many more people today.  And much of our ill-health problems are occurring due to the high quantities of consumed processed, fried and baked fast foods.  And hidden within these fast foods there is a lot of saturated and Trans fats.  It is also understood genetic predisposition to the body manufacturing more cholesterol than it needs presents health problems and dietary challenges for many people.  However, the fact is American’s simply get too much fat with cholesterol in their diets that is also causing obesity for our children in epidemic proportions. 

     In an earlier article I wrote “Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel,” In this article I talk about various dietary food fuels, weight management and the effected blood chemistry which includes fats and cholesterol from diet.

      “Doctor’s and Dieticians tell us to limit bad fats “saturated (animal products, meat, eggs, etc.) including Trans fats, which also correlates with bad LDL cholesterol and plaque buildup in the arteries.”  Both of these fats are associated with risk for cardiovascular heart disease.”  (MAE, Successful Weight Loss Based in Blood Chemistry Fuel, Woodard, Feb 24, 2010).

     Tran’s fats can be worse for your health than consuming saturated animal fats.  This is because Tran’s fats are blended “unseen” into the baked-processed foods we consume every day.  This should be obvious to anyone that has been watching our fast food and super market stores grow for the last 30 years.  And as these industries grow so does our population’s weight and health problems.

   “A Trans Fat is simply the process of “man” adding more hydrogen atoms (hydrogenation) to a vegetable oil(s) mono-poly unsaturated fat carbon molecule chains.  The vegetable oil than becomes a “Partially” or fully hydrogenated (fat saturated) Trans Fat.”  (MAE, Trans Fats Dangerous for Your Health?  Deceitfully Yes, Woodard, April 23, 2010)

     And lastly, I provide an article that discusses an obesity problem in epidemic proportions for our children and parents like no other generations have experienced before.  Our processed food industries have saturated the fast food restaurant chains and now impact many more of our family dining establishments throughout our communities. 

     “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.”  (MAE, Restaurant Foods Healthy? Woodard, August 25, 2008).

     And when one looks into the meat of the matter (no pun intended), you’ll see that poor dietary habits, processed foods and increased cholesterol counts are not mutually exclusive.  In fact, they have more of a linear relationship.  If you have bad eating habits that include processed and fast foods, it is “more likely than not” you also have high blood cholesterol and carry more weight than you want.

     In order to keep our cholesterol count under control, it is necessary to follow some dietary guidelines for lowering blood cholesterol and to manage weight.  This does not mean you have to give up foods you enjoy.  Just the opposite, once you become more aware and experience healthy foods, you’ll become just as addictive to the natural and organic flavors as you did with the processed baked good blends and fast foods.  “And of course, I recommend you check with your physician for advisement and treatment if you suffer from high cholesterol and obesity problems, or any form of serious ill-health condition(s).”

     Below the Dietary Guideline Tips and Healthy Food Choices  will show you which foods can help you lower bad cholesterol (LDL) while increasing the healthy “good” cholesterol (HDL) count.  Changing dietary habits is one of the first preventative measures you can take against high cholesterol and obesity problems caused by poor diet habits.  Also visit our health repository and use the search box to find other great articles.  In the search box simply enter exercise, fitness, obesity, weight, diet etc., also “walking” as the best form of aerobic fat burning activity.

 Dietary Guideline Tips and Healthy Food Choices,

      1.  Choose Complex Carbohydrates such as starch and fibers over saturated fats.  Breads, pasta, beans, rice, cereal, fruits and vegetables are all good sources of complex carbohydrates and fiber, they are also excellent substitutes for foods high in saturated fats.  The mistake many people make with high carbohydrate diets, they tend to add a lot of butter, cheese, cream, whole milk or rich sauces.  Many of these additives are processed foods that are high in saturated and Tran’s fats that equates to excess calories and cholesterol.

     2.  Eat less dietary cholesterol which appears as a waxy fat-like substance found in all animal products.  A good way to describe animal cholesterols appearance is simply to note how any meat cooked than cooled separates the fat.  Recall frying ground beef and after the meat cools, you see the wax like hardened fat substance coagulated around the meat.  Or if you cook a pot of meat broth, after the broth cools, the fat floats on top and many people ladle the fat off the broth surface top.  This is easily seen and can be extracted from many meat dishes that are cooked.  It is also easy to separate the skin from chicken-turkey and trimming fat off of meat before you cook it.  Note: Separation of fat in this way will not remove all the cholesterol from meat dish, but will make it very “fat lean” with little cholesterol.  This is the way my family prepares our meat and poultry dishes.

     3.  Sources of Unsaturated Fats – Polyunsaturated Fats; when cooking with oils, use: Corn, sunflower, soybean, cottonseed, safflower oils.  Mono-saturated; sesame, canola, olive and peanut oil.  Olive oil is my family’s favorite cooking oil for which we use in 95% of all our pan fried dishes.  However, if you cook above sautéing temps, you need to read the Smoke Point of oils and how cooking temperatures can denaturize and remove the healthy properties of vegetable oils, especially olive oil.  Since my family rarely fries dishes, this is not a problem.  (MAE, Best Cooking Oils, Smoke Point is Important Why? Woodard, March 19, 2010).

 Balanced food selections to maintain weight and lowering cholesterol.  This is not an all inclusive list of dietary low cholesterol food choices but a significant listing.

     1.  Meats, poultry and fish – Choose sirloin, chuck, loin and 10% fat ground beef.  If 20% ground beef is chosen, cook, set pan elevated to an angle, push “cooked” beef to the elevated level, leaving bottom of pan clear of meat, fat will settled to low end of pan.  When cooled, separate and remove liquid or waxy appearing fat.  Also choose lean cuts of pork-tenderloin ham and Canadian bacon to diversify as other good lean protein dish choices.  Prior to cooking poultry, remember to remove chicken and turkey skin before/after cooking.  All meat and poultry dishes can be set elevated cooled and skimmed of excess cholesterol fat.  Other good sources of low fat, low cholesterol healthy dishes include fish, shellfish and tuna packed in water.  All wild game such as elk and deer is very lean and a good source of protein.

     2.  Dairy products – Consume low-fat yogurt, skim milk 1%, or low fat -buttermilk, or condensed/dry nonfat milk.  Low-fat cottage cheese, or cheese labeled with  no more than 5-7g of fat/oz are preferred over High fat cheeses, i.e., cream cheese, processed, or cheddar, Brie, Swiss, blue, American.  If recipes call for soups, cream soups made with nonfat/1% milk is okay infrequently.

     3.  Eggs – Eat no more than 3 eggs per week.  Otherwise, remove egg yolk and consume egg white.  You can also purchase cholesterol-free egg substitutes.

     4.  Breads, pasta, rice, dried peas, beans and cereals – Eat Granola-type cereals, hot and most dried cold cereals are okay.  Plain pastas and rice (white, brown, or wild) prepared with low-fat cream, butter or cheese sauces is okay.  Beans, “split-black-eye peas,” kidney beans, navy, black garbanzo, lentils, soybean, vegetarian refried bean and tofu all good choices seasoned to taste (light on the table salt).  Breads – Whole grain wheat “I prefer” over white, pumpernickel, rye, English muffins, rice crackers.

     5.  Fruits and vegetables – All fresh fruits, vegetables, juice concentrates are good in promoting a low cholesterol and high dietary fiber diet.  Exception: Beware, over consumption of olives and avocados have a high fat content so use sparingly.

     6.  Sweets & Other Snacks– Granola bars, frozen desserts; sherbet, low-fat yogurt, juice bars, popsicle’s, fig bars, gingersnaps, jello, fresh fruit, honey are all good sweet treats.  Angel food cake, homemade cookies, pies are fine, using Unsaturated oils sparingly.  Avoid cooking these baked goods with lard, shortening or Tran’s fat oil substitutes.  See “oils and smoke point” link above for healthy baking recommendations.  Other healthy choice snacks:  Crackers, breadsticks, saltines, pretzels, graham crackers, popcorn, rye krisp, matzo, Melba toast, corn tortillas.

     7.  Beverages – Consume nonfat beverages such as coffee, tea and decaffeinated carbonated drinks without artificial sweeteners.  Juices made of concentrate are healthy, and of course drink plenty of water.  Avoid high fat drinks such as milkshakes and eggnog.  Also read the following article pertaining to alcohol.

       “There is only one type of alcoholic beverage science has documented having a health benefit with moderate consumption… Red wine, “one to two 5 oz glasses with the evening meal.  The “Resveratrol” found in the red grape skin and seed has proven to increase HDL and lower cholesterol, antioxidant benefits, prevent blood clots, lower blood pressure, reduce stress, assist digestion and prevent plaque from forming on the artery walls [“If you would like to receive healthy heart benefits, with all the other benefits listed without the alcohol, “seek our “affiliate” Purity Products Patent Grape Extract Formula“].”  (MAE, Alcohol Consumption Good, or Bad for your Body? Woodard, September 25, 2008).

     Fast food restaurants should be avoided if weight management and cholesterol presents health problems.  However if you must eat out… Salads, broiled/grilled meat, fish, seafood, or chicken, vegetables, fruits, sandwiches, hamburgers without cheese and light on mayonnaise are okay.  Avoid the fried, breaded and vegetable/fries (fried foods).  Also avoid fast food breakfast sandwiches and ordering “super” or “extra” portions.  (See “Restaurant Foods Healthy” link above.).

     A rule of thumb I apply to myself.  Never eat out more that once every other week.  And if you eat out with family, choose a restaurant that you know prepares healthy foods; or you can make food choices without processed canned ingredients included in the meal.  Stay away from fried foods and avoid fattening desserts.  Another tip, if you take your time and allow your stomach and brain to register what you put into your stomach, you simply will not want the dessert.  All too often, we get our foods, eat them within 15-20 minutes and then order dessert.  How many times have you experienced the following scenario?  By the time the dessert comes, you realize your full, but can’t resist eating the dessert once it arrives.  Many of these desserts, regardless of dining establishment are loaded with fat calories and cholesterol.  My model is to avoid this temptation and learn to bake your own healthy deserts at home.

     I’m very conscientious of these dietary guidelines and tips I’ve provided to you.  However, to be honest, I don’t always follow them to the letter, but instead am more aware of what to avoid while moderating my consumption habits.  In the long run I’ve been able to reduce weight and maintain good cholesterol counts without feeling I’ve given up anything.  I also have a greater appreciation for how good food in its natural form tastes.  Once you cut out fast-processed foods from your diet and replace them with healthy food choices you’ll begin to physically and mentally feel better.  In fact, you’ll begin to crave more organic foods and question why you succumbed to harmful processed foods.  At this point, many open their eyes to the world around them without question of what’s causing our nation’s obesity and ill-health epidemic.

Special Thanks to Providence Medical Group, Portland OR for dietary informational food choices.

 Author:  Marc T. Woodard, MBA, BS Exercise Science, USA Medical Services Officer, CPT, RET.  2010 Copyright, All rights reserved.  Mirror Athlete Enterprises Publishing @: