At Least, three longtime friends passed this month. One in his 70’s, one in his 80’s, and one in his 90’s. Richard W., Dave P., and Coach O. were all Elders in my life. (while writing this, I got news of 2 more friends passing).
In the ancient tradition, each showed me their Elderhood wisdom, born of experience and battling through life’s challenges. They were guides to all who searched out their wisdom. Such guides are always needed. We, as legacy creations, must be the Elders for those to come. It is an ancient tradition and must be followed if we are to survive. As we have grown from their guidance, the task falls to us. We are all connected, like the mycelium of the forest. We know our ancestors are fully present in every cell of our body. Let us invite them to our life experiences.
Food Emersion and Survival
Previously, I said that the only reason for not eating meat is a moral or ethical conviction, a reverence for life. It is a strong reason if you believe that these are sentient beings. More science now supports no meat. In my current eating program, the why may be as important as the what. It started as a 10 days Vegan Emersion Program from Food Revolution. My inspiration was a friend who wanted to be vegan for the health benefits. She has a heart valve replacement pending and wants to be in best health she can be for that procedure. It has been over a month with no meat or dairy. She claims more energy and I had my first-morning run (jog) in more than 20 years on Saturday. We have morphed a little from the strict definition of a vegan menu to a Whole Food Plant Based (WFPB) plan. The difference is minimal.
Whether science is chasing trends or trend is following science; every day there is more information coming out about the benefits of the WFPB diet. Google it and see. If you give this diet a try for a meal or a day, you will be better for not partaking in the Standard American Diet (SAD). I hoped to instantly lose weight on the 10-day emersion plan. I did not lose weight because I made some mistakes. I did not monitor my consumption which for me always means overconsumption. If one is good; ten is better. Also, I did not run nutrient information. As we tried new recipes, lack of planning, led to a protein shortage in my diet. This produced some intense sugar cravings which I accommodated. There is a science to back these actions and feelings of mine. The situation is correctable. Processes are happening in the body that produces these effects. EVERYDAY HEALTH AND GOOGLE describe protein traveling through the small intestine encouraging the production of the hormone CCK and others that are responsible for decreases in appetite for carbohydrates and sugar. The lack of protein will lower the production of these hormones and produce the cravings. My solution is to add a Plant-based protein powder to my diet, at least until I get my consumption act together.
The Rich Roll Podcast interview with Dr. Zach Bush (#5) is really good. The title is The Future Human and Planetary Health; go here 👉🏾http://bit.ly/richroll751then go to site. These well-educated and brilliant men talk about everything we see, feel, and hope for.
As another school comes to an end, I want to be pointed in the right direction. The website https://www.randomactsofkindness.org/ helps me with this. In late May, I am making my first flight to the UK. My middle daughter has lived there my years and I am going to see what is the attraction. Until next time, Good day.
IN February, here in Las Vegas, it is high desert winter. It is characterized by cold nights and cool windy days. Night time temperatures are in the 30’s with day time highs generally in the 50’s. I had two outdoor Saturday adventures. That is, first a climb of Lone Mountain and second a drive/hike that included Rodgers Hot Springs and the Valley of Fire State Park.
Lone Mountain is in the sea of suburban roof tops near the north west corner of Vegas. It has a two mile circular trail around the edges of the mountain. The kicker is a near vertical trail to the summit. Up 600 to 3000 feet. At the summit you get a 360 degree view of everything everywhere.
The view from the Summit
The second adventure was a road trip. First stop was Rogers Hot Springs
Rodgers Hot Springs is inside Lake Mead Recreation area. It is a drive-up spot. It has rest rooms and covered picnic areas. The water temperature is 86 degrees year round. It makes a great break spot. I took a friend on this day trip so we had a break here. We had an hour canyon exploring walk. It made the trip into Valley of Fire State park even better.
Lake Mead as seen from Rodgers Hot Springs hike.
The Valley of Fire does not seemed to be named for the dessert heat but rather for its special red rock formations which are way more expansive than the popular Red Rock Canyon miles the the south west. It is a spectacular drive with hiking areas everywhere requiring a return trip. We completely enjoyed this trip. Here just couple of the photos:
Next: FEET, FORKS, AND FINGERS
This is how Dr. David Katz relates to the sky rocketing health issues in America and around the world. He is referencing what is well known to all of us. Feet refers to all people needing regular exercise or activity. Forks is about the importance of what we eat to run our bodies. Fingers is the importance of not smoking. He recognizes and is aware that most people know this, but the issues still exist. He says that the gap between what people know and what people do is the cause of 80% of disease and is preventable. This 80% of disease is what are called lifestyle related diseases. They are the biggies, most heart disease, most cancers, type II diabetes, and Alzheimer’s disease (the most common type of dementia). Dr. Katz says that our zip code not our genetic code is the more important factor in determining our longevity and health span. That is why they are described as lifestyle diseases. In an early career talk he highlighted 6 factors of health for longevity: 1. diet 2. exercise/activity 3. not smoking 4.sleep 5. stress 6. social factors/love.
These 6 things sound a great deal like the Blue Zone formula. I believe this road less traveled must be traveled for us the be healthy. To get motivation watch the 2017 Documentary What the Health again or maybe for the first time. It is on Netflix and other media too.
I received a gift book from my son; The Blue Zone American Kitchen. It is a coffee table style book with lots of good pictures. Besides good recipes, it is a historical account of early American ethic group diet before their eating was corrupted or lost. If you’d like to learn some cool longevity facts listen or watch Rich Rolls interview with Blue Zones Dan Buettner just below.
Finally, This month, a real world problem. I continue my concern with pollution and toxins in our environment. We all heard or read about the mess in New Palestine, Ohio. Of course in our country, it is now a political issue. It should be a right to life issue. Some people will get sick and die. What a mess. With that said, this week (2/23) in The Guardian, a liberal news paper in the UK, there was an article about “forever toxins”. It has map showing the areas in Europe and the UK that are polluted with PFAS. PFAS stands for per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances, it’s an umbrella term for a family of about 12,000 chemicals that are prized for their indestructible and non-stick properties. They are toxic. The mapped areas are massive. The “forever toxins” are detected in the air, water, soils, sediments, and rain. Yes, this life is terminal, but must we speed up the process and our own demies.
“ALL EXPERIENCES ARE Proceeded BY MIND, HAVING MIND AS THEIR MASTER, CREATED BY MIND” not from Science of Mind, not from New Thought…It is from THE BUDDHA.
October in Red Rock Canyon.
Too Big of a Topic and conflicting opinion.
AHA: Life’s 7 Rules Plus 1.
Nevada in October is a great hiking month.
It was hot, like 95 to 105 hot, until October 22nd. On that day at 2pm the wind can from the south east in 35 to 65 miles an hour. The daytime high temperature went from 95 to 65 degrees and stayed there. What that means to a hiker is either a change for clothing or a change of environments. I changed from hiking in the higher altitudes of Mt. Charleston and Spring Mountain to lower altitudes of Red Rock Canyon, Calico Basin and Lake Mead. All these places are great hikes.
Mt. Charleston hike
Red Rock Canyon Hike
2.Bad Blog Topic: Toxin.
This blog ended up mostly on the bedroom floor. We all have heard about external environmental toxins. We all have heard about food toxins. The combination is killing us. It was going to be all about the Toxins that we live with while breathing, eating, and just being. You know, all the crap we deal with every day. It turned out to be too big of a topic and surprisingly controversial. When you have a little time, check out “The Plastic Ocean Movie” and learn about Estrogenic plastics. We are hurting ourselves.
So after all my research, check this out.
3. American Heart Association Life Essential 8
As I read lots of other peoples blogs, I look for supported facts. The blog “Health Secrets of a SuperAger” got my attention with a title “Sleep as a new measure of cardiovascular health. The blog directed me to Aha life’s 7 rules plus 1on the American Heart Association Website. Here are their 8 Essential:
8 things Sleep Experts on the Mornings After a Poor Night Sleep.
Blue Zone Lifestyle habit #7.
My stay at my daughters’ home in Colorado is a restorative 2 months for me. Her job does not give her time to garden and the northern Colorado growing season is short. Then enter the old coach (dad) from Las Vegas. I love to eat freshly picked stuff from the garden. It tastes better to me. A morning walk to the garden, pick a little kale, chard, and cherry tomatoes or radishes, and pop them in my mouth before any judgment of the day begins. They feel and taste healthy and energizing. We needed a garden. Joe, my daughter’s boyfriend, tilled a small area and added a layer of good dirt to improve the clay soil. We went to Bonnie Plants and got some bargains. It created an instant garden. Now I’m weeding, watering, and eating fresh produce. Thanks, Bonnie.
I just finished reading “Plant over Processed” by Andrea Hannemann. She makes everything sound delicious. It’s a free book on my Amazon e-reader. Check it out.
July had lots of activities as a Summer Vacation should. On one of our nights, we went to the 100th Greeley Stampede. It was Championship Rodeo night and was great fun. The excitement, pageantry, and food smells were in the air. Unhealthy eating and drinking are part of the festivities. There is no healthy choice. I went for a smoked turkey leg and large water instead of the sugar-loaded funnel cake and a large soda.
Other activities had me golfing, camping, kayaking, and hiking. 10-mile hikes at 10,000 feet required me to draw on some physical reserves, but the scenery was spectacular. The camping was world-class. I was at Rocky Mountain Nation Park and Roosevelt and Arapahoe National Park. The Senior Nation Park Pass is a great benefit.
It is time to end my vacation and return to Las Vegas and teaching. I am so grateful to have had this time this year. Thank you to my daughter, granddaughter, and Joe. All my new Colorado friends, thank you for welcoming me.
Now some health business. I make some poor food choices after a bad night’s sleep. I did some research on this and found out that those poor choices are biological responses. They are designed in our DNA to preserve life. Here are 8 things Sleep Experts do in the morning after a poor night’s sleep. The information is quoted from Livestrong.com.
1. ‘Water First, Then Coffee’
Rather than reaching for the pot of coffee, fill up your water bottle first. Harris sips a glass of cold lemon water first thing in the morning. “The water helps to wake my system up, especially the cold temperature and lemon,” she says. “It’s refreshing.”
But don’t worry, coffee is still on the menu. If you’re a java drinker, sip your coffee after rehydrating with the water. “Coffee helps to give me more of a mental edge, and I find that it helps when I haven’t gotten enough sleep one night,” Harris explains.
However, she warns, don’t use it as a sleep substitute. In other words, you shouldn’t stay up and think that you can just down a lot of coffee the next day to stay alert.
2. ‘Get Your Butt Out of Bed’
For Rebecca Robbins, PhD, a sleep scientist at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, sleep is a consequence of what we do over the course of the day. The first step for good sleep at night: Get up on time in the morning.
“It’s tempting that when your alarm goes off, you want to hit the snooze. That’s wrong. The sleep you get after an alarm is poor quality,” she tells LIVESTRONG.com.
What’s more, you want to shuffle out of bed at the normal time. As Robbins explains, there’s a process called the homeostatic drive for sleep. “That means that over the course of the day, sleepiness builds like a clock. Each additional hour awake adds to that overall sense of sleepiness. Start that clock ticking,” she says.
After a bad night of sleep, it’s easy to catastrophize and think you’ll be a wreck all day and won’t be able to get anything done. And while you might not be on top of your game per usual, “data shows that one bad night isn’t the end of the world,” Seema Khosla, MD, a spokesperson for the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM) and director of the North Dakota Center for Sleep in Fargo, tells LIVESTRONG.com.
Still, acknowledge that you might not be able to attend to everything on your list. “I know I don’t function as well when I’m tired, so then I prioritize what needs to be done. If it is something really important, I’ll leave that for another day when I’m sharper,” Dr. Khosla says.
4. ‘Seek Out Lots of Light’
One of the things you want to do to stop sleepiness after a poor night of zzzs? Get blue light exposure. Natural sunlight contains blue light.
“Getting this light into your eyeballs is one of the best ways to kickstart the awake phase of your circadian rhythm,” Robbins says.
If you work outside your house, you can get this by simply walking outside to your car or public transportation. If you WFH, go take your dog (or yourself) out for a morning walk. (Consider that your commute time.)
If you can’t get outside, then Robbins recommends cracking open a window at the very least to let in fresh air and sunlight.
5. ‘Schedule Some Light Exercise’
If you’re truly tired, then now might not be the time for a HIIT workout or one where you’re lifting heavy weights, as these may not be safe if you’re not alert. But it still pays to move your body.
“I make sure to exercise, but lightly. I’ll do a walk on the treadmill or easy yoga, but I do something to move, even if it wasn’t my planned hard run or weight-lifting session,” Harris says.
Besides, exercise has been shown to be good for sleep: Physical activity can improve sleep quality in people with insomnia, concluded a July 2018 meta-analysis in PeerJ.
6. ‘Find Time for a Cat Nap’
Good night or bad, you probably notice that your energy levels, alertness and focus dip after lunch. That’s not the time to reach for more coffee, which can make it harder to fall asleep later.
“The best strategy is to repay some of your sleep debt, and that’s with a five- to 20-minute nap,” Robbins says.
Set your alarm clock and lay in a comfortable place. If you can’t sleep or won’t fall asleep right away, that’s totally fine. “Any sleep you can get will be better than none,” she says.
Even closing your eyes and resting can help you feel more awake and ready to jump into the afternoon than if you simply tried to push through it. Plus, with this short power nap, you won’t wake up groggy.
7. ‘Make Healthy Food Choices’
When you’re tired, you’re pulled more toward unhealthy food choices — such as higher-sugar foods — which your body naturally gravitates to for a little pick-me-up.
“Keep an eye on your appetite,” Robbins says. “Research shows that it’s more difficult to figure out when you’re full [when you’re tired]. Overeating will impact your sleep because your body will have to work on digesting that food overnight,” she explains.
Be aware of sleep’s impact on your appetite and food choices throughout the day, but especially at dinner. Planning a healthy, light dinner — we’re talking half your plate of veggies, some lean protein, complex carbs and a bit of healthy fat — will encourage restful sleep.
And give yourself time to digest before going to bed. Eating within an hour of bedtime has been found to decrease sleep quality, notes a September 2016 review in Advances in Nutrition.
8. ‘Plan Out the Next Night’
Think about what went wrong last night, such as being on your phone before sleep or trying to fit in work before bed or waking up early to fit more in (all things Dr. Khosla says she’s done, so you’re not alone).
If possible, the next night, start your wind-down routine earlier, she advises. “No one is a perfect sleeper. Sometimes I just need to treat myself like I would treat any of my patients and extend myself a little grace. All of this allows me to reset,” Dr. Khosla says.
Her tried-and-true tips? Limit caffeine after lunch, avoid sunlight late in the day and put your phone away earlier so you can tuck in and get the rest you need.
Blue Zone Lesson # 7
The Blue Zones
9 Lessons For Living Longer
From the people who’ve lived the longest
by Dan Buettner
This is not meant to be a book review, but a chance to impart some great information that we all need to know.
“Life expectancy of an American born today averages 78.2 years. But this year, over 70,000 Americans have reached their 100 birthday.”
Dan Buettner teamed up with National Geographic to find the world’s longest-lived people and study them. They found pockets of people around the world with the highest life expectancy, or with the highest proportions of people to reach age 100.
The 5 places are:
Barbagia region of Sardinia-mountainous highlands
Ikaria, Greece-Aegean Island
Nicoya Peninsula, Costa Rica
Seventh Day Adventist-around Loma Linda, California
Okinawa, Japan-Island area.
They put together medical researchers, anthropologists, Demographers, and epidemiologists to search for evidence-based common denominators. They found nine lifestyle and diet habits .
Here is the first Lifestyle habit:
1. Move Naturally.
“The world’s longest-lived people don’t pump iron, run marathons or join gyms. Instead, they live in environments that constantly nudge them into moving without thinking about it. They grow gardens and don’t have mechanical conveniences for house and yard work.”
How do I incorporate this into my life?
“Have fun, Keep moving’
“The Okinawans call it ‘Ikigai’ and the Nicoyans call it ‘plan de vida;’for both it translates to ‘why I wake up in the morning.’ Knowing your sense of purpose is worth up to seven years of extra life expectancy.”
In his book, The author says to take time to see the big picture. For me, I know some days are going to not be pain free. Having a purpose helps me push the pain and strain aside.
#3. Down shift
“Even people in the Blue Zones experience stress. Stress leads to chronic inflammation, associated with every major age-related disease. What the world’s longest-lived people have that we don’t are routines to shed that stress. Okinawans take a few moments each day to remember their ancestors, Adventists pray, Ikarians take a nap and Sardinians do happy hour.”
#4. 80% Rule
“‘Hara hachi bu’ -the Okinawan, 2500-year old Confucian mantra said before meals reminds them to stop eating when their stomachs are 80% full. The 20% gap between not being hungry and feeling full could be the difference between losing weight or gaining it. People in the blue zones eat their smallest meal in the late afternoon or early evening and then they don’t eat any more the rest of the day.”
#5. Plant Slant
“Beans, including fava, black, soy and lentils, are the cornerstone of most centenarian diets. Meat–mostly pork–is eaten on average only five times per month. Serving sizes are 3-4 oz., about the size of a deck of cards.”
#6. Wine @ 5
“People in all blue zones (except Adventists) drink alcohol moderately and regularly. Moderate drinkers outlive non-drinkers. The trick is to drink 1-2 glasses per day (preferably Sardinian Cannonau wine), with friends and/or with food. And no, you can’t save up all week and have 14 drinks on Saturday.
All but five of the 263 centenarians we interviewed belonged to some faith-based community. Denomination doesn’t seem to matter. Research shows that attending faith-based services four times per month will add 4-14 years of life expectancy.
That’s #7; there are 2 lessons to go and some discussion of each.
There are 2 secrets to a successful exercise and fitness plan. The first secret is in the doing. No matter your mood you must get off the couch and get active. The second secret is in your food consumption. That’s it, mood and food. You and I have an exercise and workout plan. Mine has me walking, swimming, weight training, and bike riding on alternating days. I am including some type of High-intensity interval training (HIIT) in each workout. Your plan should include activities you enjoy, mixed with some activities that are needed to maintain your health and fitness. On the days that you don’t feel the motivation to get up and move, remember that mood follows activity, not the other way around.
If I was forced to choose which is more important between diet or exercise, the answer is diet. I don’t mean a diet like, “I can’t eat that, I’m on a diet”. I mean a diet like a food plan for nutrition. A cow’s diet is primarily grass. A lion’s diet primarily meat. God’s creatures have a primary diet and secondary diet of items they eat as needed or as available. My diet has changed over time as I changed. My diet is now more plant based. I am not vegetarian or vegan, but it is “plant rich” as Dr. Mark Hyman of the Cleveland Clinic would say. I try to make 20% to 30% of my plate meat with the balance being vegetables and grain. There are plenty of debates about the best diet plan. Here are my starter rules.
Coach Brown’s Fitness Triangle Diet
Eat Fruits or Vegetables with any meal or snack.
Eat Clean Whole Foods.
Eat Organic, in season, local when possible.
Eat Less Meat: grass-fed, free range, wild caught when possible.
Use Olive Oil or Coconut oil
Do keep to a calorie count appropriate for your goal.
Ask yourself: is this product God made or man made? Pick God.
No Fast Food.
No Soda, diet or other.
No or limited Processed Foods.
Limit Starches, breads, and wheat based products.
Watch out for Sugar, Nitrates, Sodium, High fructose corn syrup.
Watch out for any product with more than 5 ingredients or ones that have ingredients with a really long name.
How to get started
Recently I found a simple and easy way to rebuild my diet. I needed to refresh what I was doing because the Pandemic quarantine has changed my life patterns. I am cooking more for the family and my son’s needs are different from mine. I started to gain weight. Dr. David Katz and a team of nutritionists not backed by big industrial food, has designed software to help. The free website helped pick a diet program and build a sample meal plan for me including a shopping list www.dietid.com.
Dr. Katz also has another website of importance called True Health Initiative https://www.truehealthinitiative.org/ where many health and food rumors and sales pitches are debunked. I recommend that you check out both of these sites.
The quote for this post is from Michael Pollan: Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.