Week Three: 3 New Challenges

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Well I hope you all had a great weekend! By now, you should be feeling some increased energy, and if you are doing relaxation exercises you are probably finding that you’re sleeping a little bit better as well. Of course, no one is going to be perfect. Over the weekend, I accidentally bought some regular almond milk instead of the unsweetened variety. I almost had to spit it out- it was sooooo sweet! If you are able to limit sugar, you may actually find that when you start to eat foods that are made with a lot of sugar, they will actually taste too sweet. As time goes on you will find that your cravings for sugary foods become less and less.

Before sharing this week’s challenges, I wanted to pass on some interesting data that’s become apparent in medical news. The first is the use of testosterone therapy. Many of us in the medical profession are concerned about the marketing of testosterone supplementation as some kind of panacea. A recent study suggests that testosterone use is associated with a 35% increased relative risk of coronary events and stroke. There really is no good evidence to support this drug as an anti-aging strategy. The second issue regards memory loss. Recent studies suggest that middle-aged men who have 3 or more drinks per day are at significantly increased risk for more rapid cognitive decline. Again, when it comes to alcohol, one drink per day is probably okay but I think that should be the limit.

In another 8 year study involving 6200 patients, in which the lead authors were from Johns Hopkins, concluded the following: people who adopted the 4 behaviors listed below reduced their relative risk of having a heart attack or stroke by 80%. By comparison, statin medications reduced relative risk by 30%.

a.     Didn’t smoke

b.     Maintained an optimal weight

c.     Were physically active

d.     Adopted a Mediterranean-style diet

In this week’s Healthy Eating Challenge, we are going to look at things that may begin to help you lose weight, if this is one of your goals. Specifically, I would like you to try eliminating corn products from your diet. This is a great time of year to do so because there is no fresh corn around to tempt you. In addition, most corn available today is genetically modified which in of itself raises some concerns. An important note here – read your labels! Corn is in more processed foods than you think. I would also ask you to cut back on potato consumption to no more than once a week. Carbohydrates such as potatoes, corn, and sugars, which have rapid uptake, contribute to insulin resistance and obesity. By the way, a little correction on last week’s challenge, a serving of vegetables is one half a cup not 1/3 cup and I want you to continue to eat 3, 1/2 cup servings of vegetables a day.

This week’s Exercise Challenge is easy. I simply want you to do something physical at lunchtime that involves getting out of the office or away from your desk. Ideas? Take a walk around your office building, climb some stairs, do some squats etc. Breaking up your work day by getting up from a sitting position and doing a little bit of exercise will really help you get in the habit of staying active.

Our Emotional Challenge this week may be hard for some of you. I want you to give a meaningful complement to someone you care about each day. In addition, I would like you to refrain from talking negatively about people. Maintaining a positive focus and staying in a positive state of mind will reinforce positive thoughts, and contribute to a state of well-being.

I wish you all the best of luck in meeting this week’s challenges. Let us know how you are doing and if you ever have a question, please feel free to ask!

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