Monday, January 12, 2015

Building Healthy Humans

“Regeneration” The Process of Renewal and Replacement"

We have often heard the term “ The Body can heal itself”.  Daily we are building a new body.  Our bodies break down constantly and we see this every day as our skins sloughs off dead cells or we lose a few hairs as we brush or comb our hair.  These are just a few of the many examples of renewal and replacement.  

Each day the body, which consists of 80 to 100 trillion cells, breaks down at a rate of 24 billion cells a day.  These cells need to be replaced at the same rate and supplied with the right nutrients in order to rebuild and have constant renewal. If not we have a process called Degeneration. We need to provide the body with the right building blocks to renew and replace and regenerate. To carry on the life process, each of the 80 to 100 trillion cells must digest and construct food, excrete waste, repair themselves and carry on a number of other essentials.  Every cell needs whole foods, clean water, and clean air. Therefore I would like to re-state the above term “ Given the right environment and the right nutrients the body has the power to heal itself.”

In 1932 Dr Francis M. Pottenger conducted a famous study in nutrition using cats. Dr Pottenger used the cats to study an adrenal hormone extract he was making. The cats underwent adrenalectomies, and in his efforts to maximize the preoperative health of his cats he fed them cooked meat and scraps along with cod liver oil.  His friends kept donating cats to his experiments and so he had to look for additional food supplies.  He began to give some of cats raw meat scraps and other foods that closely resembled their natural diet and he noticed that the cats on the diet of raw food were far healthier than the ones who ate the cooked food. This startling contrast in the health of the cats prompted Pottenger to find the answers to a variety of questions that could be important to the impact of diet and optimal human health.

The Cat Study included several generations of cats. Healthy cats were given a natural diet of raw food and cod liver oil, making them the control group. The cats he called the deficient group were placed on a diet of unnatural foods for cats which including cooked foods. The cats on the diet of cooked food soon became unhealthy, weaker and less vigorous. Cats born to the deficient cats became weaker and less healthy each generation thereafter. As a result there were never more than three generations of deficient cats because they could not produce viable off spring. There is a light at the end of this tunnel. Some of the first generation of deficient cats were placed back on an optimal diet and soon became more healthy and thrived.  Pottenger went on to conduct many more experiments and wrote this definition regarding the optimal diet. “ The optimal diet is one that provides man with the nutrients essential to regenerate his body cells; to enable him to mature regularly as determined by normal osseous, physical and mental characteristics; to resist disease; to reproduce his kind”

Our diets have undergone a marked change since the 1950’s with the invention of the TV dinner, the original fast food and unfortunately the beginning of the well intended school lunch programs for our children full of cheap highly processed grains with very few fruits and vegetables. Scientists also began to find ways to add chemicals and preservatives to our food to prolong the shelf life and farmers began the process of fattening their livestock with altered grains instead of natural grasses etc. With these and other changes our consumption of simple carbs and sugar increased dramatically.

Today 95% of Americans drink soda. This is quote from The Department of Nutrition and Food Studies “ In 1970 the average soda consumption per year per person was 22.2 gallons. In 1999 that number more than doubled to 56 gallons per year.” Today the average American drinks 557 -12oz cans of soda per year.  Soda provides most people with 7% of their caloric input a day.  It is the highest percentage of any given food source.

This is just one example and there are many more of how our population is slowly degenerating and not surprisingly we see the increase of lifestyle diseases such as obesity, diabetes, metabolic syndrome, allergies, asthma, autoimmune dysfunction etc.

Here’s the good news “ The body can regenerate and repair if given genuine replacement parts and the time to heal.  It is possible to reverse the process of degeneration.  Each cell, tissue, and organ in your body is in the process of replacing itself every day, month, and year.  The health of each organ is determined by making the correct nutrients available to repair and regenerate at the cellular level.

Good nutrition begins with food from a good source. Eat whole foods particularly fruits, vegetables, beans, nuts and grains. Ensure that your source of animal protein is free range or in the case of fish, wild.  Choose good fats, like olive oil, flax seed, avocados, and butters, and drink plenty of filtered water each day. Shop at local farmers markets, whole food centers, ethnic stores or plant your own garden. Read labels and buy food that has not been altered from its original state. 

Let’s take the steps we need to today to improve our health and the health of those around us so that we can ensure we live a healthy and long life and that our children and grand children also enjoy that legacy.

Tuesday, December 30, 2014


Many people have resolutions on the brain during this time of year. But it’s one thing to set goals — network more, learn to meditate, or get better at writing — and quite another to actually accomplish them. What are the right kinds of resolutions to make? How do you stay motivated? How do you turn your intentions into reality?
What the Experts Say
A lot of people set personal and professional goals this time of year butvery few succeed. That’s because we often “set goals that go against our nature,” according to Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic, professor of Business Psychology at University College London (UCL) and the author of Confidence“We all have predispositions, character traits, and habits that we have built over many years,” he says. “Most of our New Year’s resolutions and goals involve breaking these patterns, which is very difficult to do and requires a lot of work.” So you have to be deliberate and strategic about setting goals and staying on track. “It’s important to have focus,” says Joseph Weintraub, the founder and faculty director of the Babson Coaching for Leadership and Teamwork Program. “You need to set the right goals within the right timeframe.” Here are some pointers on how to make your resolutions stick.
Be realistic 
This is the time to “think small”— both in terms of the number of objectives and the timeframe in which you plan to accomplish them, according to Weintraub. He recommends setting no more than three goals — more than that is “too overwhelming” — with a deadline of a year or less. “For most companies and individuals, it’s hard to think five years ahead,” he says. Be ambitious — but not overly so, adds Chamorro-Premuzic. Choose things that challenge and stretch you but aren’t impossible.  Also, make sure you’re setting “a goal that matters and is relevant” to you. “It’s so much work to create change, you have to really want it,” he says.
Focus on the positive
While at least one of your goals ought to involve developing an area of  weakness, Weintraub cautions against getting hung up on self-improvement. “Too often we focus on what we need to do better,” he says. Instead: “Consider things you’re good at and set goals that leverage those strengths.” Say, for instance, you’re a strong writer or an effective public speaker; you should create goals that involve helping colleagues sharpen their presentations skills or using your writing abilities to earn a promotion. Your ultimate aim is to “move your organization forward and propel your career,” he says.
Commit publicly
Once you’ve decided on your goals,write them down and share them with others, including your manager, peers, direct reports, and friends and family. “When you make your goals public, you’re committing to them,” says Chamorro-Premuzic. Openness also enables others “to hold you accountable.” Weintraub explains that candor is especially important when your goal has an immediate impact on the people you work with. If, for instance, your goal is to reduce your micro-managerial tendencies, explain to your team that you will be delegating more often. “Tell people: ‘This is what I’m working on and here’s how I am trying to do it,’” he says. “Be explicit and overt about your intentions.”
Create a plan of action
To accomplish any goal — personal or professional — you need a step-by-step strategy. After all, says Weintraub, you wouldn’t expect to succeed at losing weight without systematically changing your eating and exercise habits. So “you need to think about tactics. Ask yourself: What actions do I need to demonstrate to accomplish this?” If your goal is nebulous — say, for example, to develop a more trusting relationship with your direct reports — you’ll need to think about  specific behaviors that will help you, such as taking each of them to lunch individually and engaging with them on a more personal level. “And if you’re not seeing results,” says Chamorro-Premuzic, “you should also have a Plan B.”
Recruit support
An encouraging and supportive network is critical to reaching your goals, says Chamorro-Premuzic. Your support system could include colleagues, mentors, your significant other, a professional coach, or even peers outside your organization. They can be both your cheering squad and sounding board. “They will motivate you and encourage you, and when your morale is low, they will boost it.” Your support system will also help “reinforce that your goals are important to you and your career,” adds Weintraub. “The more you engage others in the process, the more likely you are to accomplish the goals you set for yourself.”
Set milestones
When you launch into working toward  a new goal, you feel inspired and energized. But as the weeks and months trudge on, that initial excitement wanes, and it can be a struggle to find the time or motivation for it. To ease this problem, work toward short-term targets that bring you closer to your end goal. The success you achieve along the way should help you feel good about “the incremental progress” you’re making, says Chamorro-Premuzic. “You want to see change in a positive direction and small improvements,” he says. “The point is not to get better than others, it’s to get better than the old version of yourself.” To stay on track, “you need regular signals” that reinforce what you’re working toward, says Weintraub. It could be a reminder on your smartphone or a recurring “meeting” on your calendar where you “take the time out of your day to think about what your goals mean to you and your career.” At a practical level,” says Weintraub, you need “simple things to keep you going.”
Keep perspective
Nothing elevates cortisol levels like an approaching deadline. In some ways, the stress works in your favor, according to Wientraub. “It helps you focus on the goal,” he says. “It’s like when you know your doctor is going to put you on the scale at your next checkup, or when you know your boss is going to ask you about the status of a project at your next team meeting.” But while stress can drive performance, it’s important that you “don’t lose perspective” when unforeseen circumstances arise. “Don’t be too harsh on yourself,” says Chamorro-Premuzic. “You don’t want an unhealthy level of obsession about reaching your goals.” If a colleague needs you on a project or your personal life becomes unexpectedly complicated and completing your goal within the given timeframe becomes too difficult, cut yourself some slack. And don’t forget Weintraub’s golden rule of goal setting: “Strive for excellence, but sometimes good enough is good enough.”
  • Create goals that leverage your existing skills to move your organization and career forward

  • Share your goals with others and ask for support and encouragement when you need it
  • Create milestones along the way that help you appreciate the incremental progress you’re making
  • Become overwhelmed by a long list of goals; focus on no more than three at a time
  • Set yourself up to fail; create goals you can reasonably achieve

  • Beat yourself up if you don’t meet every deadline; recognize when what you’ve done is good enough
Written By Rebecca Knight and HBR.