Health and Wellness Education 101

I am concerned about the fact that many of the younger generation have been left out of the loop, so to speak. It has been years since we first started to acknowledge the fact that we are NOT getting the necessary nutrients that our body needs.

Even though many of us are quite aware of the need for better nutrition, it has been pushed into the background, over shadowed by other information, or the younger generation has not been as well informed as when this knowledge first came to light. One other problem would be the fact that we need to get into a habit – a routine of taking supplements or antioxidants daily. We don’t put enough emphasis on it to make sure that we do supplement our diets.

It appears that the government is looking out for our well being when we look at the side of a vitamin bottle and it gives us the RDA (recommended daily allowance). Therein lies the secret, the word recommended.

You see, they cannot possibly include every age, size, and gender, therefore they put the minimal that would be a ‘good start’ for most everyone. But, it is just that – minimal, sometimes very minimal. Women, for example, need more calcium/magnesium after menopause. Some of us are larger and some of us have more health concerns. Some of us have a compromised immune system or a particular illness. Older folks have a problem with digestion and dental problems. This means that the RDA may not be sufficient for you. AND, in many cases it is not sufficient for the average Joe Blow; unless they are natural or it includes the needed vegetables and fruits and sometimes higher percentages of particular ones.

As if that was not enough of a concern, add to that the fact that (I would venture) most of us do not eat properly enough to supply what vitamins/minerals we particularly need. We have our own set of selective tastes. Junior doesn’t like spinach. Susie hates tomatoes. We eat fast foods frequently, eat snacks or do not cook as properly as we should at home. Add to that scenario the fact that some of the foods that are good for us are just too expensive to incorporate from day to day.

In speaking of cooking at home, are you aware that a vegetable or a fruit loses an average of 10% of its value every time something is done to it. How many of these things happened to our food when we lived on the farm?

1. It is picked or harvested before it is fully ripe, leaving out the vitamins/minerals 2. It is packaged and waits to be shipped. 3. It is shipped by truck, rail, train or boat (we get many of our foods from overseas). 4. Before and after shipment they are stored in a refrigerator. 5. They sit in the backroom of the grocery store. 6. They sit on the shelf in the grocery store. 7. You bring it home and store it in the refrigerator again. 8. You fix it to eat, such as peeling and boiling. 9. It is often cooked and many times with too high of a temperature. 10. After the meal you may refrigerate and re-warm it again for another meal.

Let’s see – 10% X 10 = 100% lost. Not much left. Just to elaborate, have you seen broccoli on the store shelves as bright green covered with a coat of red? That is the vitamins and after it sits for a few day, the red disappears and the yellow shows up and the green gets lighter, meaning that the vitamins/minerals are being lost. To add insult to injury, that is not the only reason we are compromising our immune system.

1. The air has pollution.
2. The water has pollution.
3. We don’t get the rest/sleep that we need.
4. Stress adds greatly to this picture.

My husband and I farmed for several years and we know of the pesticides and germicides that are put on the crops or the ground and leach into the ground and stay there for years. Then we added more each year. Not only that, but they also find their way into the water supply.

If you are thinking that you are healthy enough just because you feel healthy and haven’t been seriously sick as yet, let me add this important bit of information. Because, your body is being bombarded DIALY by toxic air, water and food, it is adding up in your body. You will never feel the effects until years later. All of a sudden you find that you have some serious illness and wonder why you got sick. You did not become sick, suddenly. It is been building up in your system for years.

The only way to counteract the toxins that are added to your body daily is to make sure that you insulate with extra vitamins/minerals and especially antioxidants. Antioxidants are what fights for your immune system against all of the free radicals. YOU cannot avoid them. They are everywhere.

People should not be misled into thinking that they are keeping their immune system up to par, because they THINK they are eating properly enough or even think that the RDA is sufficient. Sometimes an immune system has been compromised and you find that you have a health condition. Even though it might be possible to have it reversed, isn’t it better to stay ahead of the game? If your immune system is up to par, you may even be able to keep flues and colds at bay by supporting your immune system with a higher percentage of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

I want to bring one last item to your attention. While some of the synthetic vitamins/minerals are just as good as a natural one, there are many times that it is not true. First, when you take more of the synthetic vitamins, you run the risk of taking in too many impurities.

Natural supplements can be taken at a higher dosage without any side effects, because you are just taking in what you normally would while eating, but in a supplemental form. It isn’t a medication. It is FOOD in supplemental form. You can take less of a natural supplement to get more of your needed requirements then you could if you added platefuls of broccoli or glasses of orange juice. This in fact would, most likely, be impossible.

Natural supplements have no side effects. Natural supplements boost your immune system. Why take chances with your health or your family’s health? You take care of your car better than you do your body. You wash it, wax it, change oil, give it the best gasoline and change the tires regularly. Why? So it will last longer and look better. This is also true of your body. Wouldn’t you agree that taking care of your body is really more important then, taking care of your car?

Health And Fitness Paradigms – Who Do You Believe?

I have always had an interest in trying to understand how the human body works and how to train optimally with the minimum amount of time and effort being spent. Much of my spare time is spent attending numerous conferences and workshops, doing online courses, and reading every book I can get my hands on related to research, and educated peoples opinions on what they consider affects human physiology. However, whenever I do read books or attend seminars I never take for granted that what the author/presenter is saying is in fact correct – very few guidelines in the health and fitness realm are scientifically proven facts – they are, for the most part, educated guesses with many of them being proven wrong or misleading over time. The “diet” industry is a prime example of this, as is the never-ending succession of fitness fads that come and go. It’s true to say that “best practices” – as defined by the tried and true ways of doing things – often become conventional wisdom, and conventional wisdom is often wrong.

Many studies that at face value seem to have undeniable results that agree with the intended hypothesis, in reality have not considered many other variables that can be involved in a “cause and effect” scenario. Neuroscience experts are now finding that there is more and more evidence to suggest that it is more likely that humans are actually “causing an effect”.

Studies on the placebo effect – whereby our mind can cause an effect on our body purely by thinking that something is going to have a certain effect on us – have shown that this phenomenon absolutely exists. This fact opens up wide-ranging implications on how we have the ability to control what our body does just by “believing” that it can do whatever we focus our attention on. But there’s an important clarification to make here – I didn’t say that we just have to “THINK” about what we want our body to do but rather “BELIEVE” that it can do it. Thinking about it, or wanting it to happen, is totally different to actually believing it can happen.

I recently attended a fitness industry conference and one of the presenters was a very well respected dietitian and health industry educator, who I greatly admired for his excellent presenter skills and in-depth knowledge on nutrition. I particularly wanted to see his presentation on ‘The Paleolithic (or commonly referred to as The Paleo) Diet’” and hear what he had to say about it. While I had never actually read any specific books on The Paleo Diet I was aware that it was loosely referred to as the “Caveman Diet” because it preached following a diet of all natural foods with no processed, or chemically or genetically modified foods, which I strongly agree with and it’s basically the foundation principles of my lifelong eating regime.

If I can just diverge for a moment here – by “eating regime” I mean what commonly used to be regarded as “diet”, in the proper sense of the word, but in the 20th Century the word “diet” developed the connotation of being a restrictive eating plan that you had to follow rigidly.

Wikipedia gives the meaning of the word “diet” as being the sum of the food consumed by an organism or group, and “dieting” as being the deliberate selection of food to control body weight or nutrient intake and “diet food” as being foods that aid in dieting, but despite this text book nomenclature, the word “diet” these days is virtually only recognized as referring to a food restriction plan and this is why I never use the word in conversation about my own eating habits.

Now, to get back to the Paleo Diet seminar… I arrived late to the event so missed the start of the presentation but as I walked into the room I was surprised to hear one of the conference delegates (all of whom were Personal Trainers) ask the question of the presenter about should we be eating apples because they wouldn’t have been around in Caveman days? I was quite surprised and thought it was a pretty stupid question because surely the Caveman Diet was just figuratively speaking and didn’t literally mean what the caveman ate but that we should follow their lead in eating only fresh and natural foods. Well, as if the question didn’t surprise me enough the answer totally floored me! The presenter went on to explain that although there may not have been apples in the Caveman times they would still be OK to eat. He continued to explain in detail what exactly the caveman would have had access to and that’s what we should also be trying to eat. And then he made the comment that had me wondering why we should ever NOT doubt anything we hear “experts” say when he added that “of course, the Cavemen had an average lifespan of only 30 years”… what??? Why on Earth then are we being told we should eat like the Caveman when he only lived to be 30 years old???

Now no one is saying that it was their diet that prevented them from living past 30 years of age but even so, how can we draw any conclusions on the success of their diet when we have absolutely no evidence of the benefits of their diet on their health?

The even-more horrifying part was that all the Personal Trainers in the room were nodding in agreement and writing down notes as if they accepted every word he was saying because, being the expert that he was, he should know! Was I the only person in the room – or in the world! – who recognizes that (as I mentioned a little earlier) “conventional wisdom is often wrong”?Am I the only Personal Trainer who goes to seminars and questions the validity of things I am being lectured about with a healthy dose of skepticism until I can prove it to be true?

Personal Trainers, as like all professional people, attend conferences and seminars to further their knowledge in their given field of expertise and they then use this newly acquired knowledge to pass onto the people who rely on them (and pay them!) for guidance and instruction in that particular field of expertise. My biggest problem with this is that if conventional wisdom is often wrong then who are the masses to believe if their teachers are accepting, without question, what they are themselves being taught?

I recently came across an article written by a world renowned heart surgeon with 25 years experience and having performed over 5,000 open-heart surgeries who admitted that he had trained for many years with other prominent physicians labeled “opinion makers.” Bombarded with scientific literature, continually attending education seminars, these opinion makers insisted heart disease resulted from the simple fact of elevated blood cholesterol. The only accepted therapy was prescribing medications to lower cholesterol and a diet that severely restricted fat intake. The latter of course they insisted would lower cholesterol and heart disease.

But he now concedes that this is not working. These recommendations are no longer scientifically or morally defensible. The discovery a few years ago that inflammation in the artery wall, and not blood cholesterol levels, is the real cause of heart disease is slowly leading to a paradigm shift in how heart disease and other chronic ailments will be treated.

Now, if world-renowned heart surgeons can get it wrong what hope have the rest of us got in knowing whose advice to follow?

I also have a personal favorite anecdote from my time working in the fitness industry when the gym I was working at had a weight control program that people could pay to do. This was in the late 1990′s when the idea of fats being bad for you was beginning to take acceptance. I remember the woman who led the group stating that it was perfectly OK to eat Macca’s Hotcakes so long as you didn’t have the whipped butter with it. The highly processed pancakes and maple syrup were perfectly fine to consume so long as you didn’t go over your calorie allowance for the day. It was the “conventional wisdom” of the day that only fat was bad for you and that sugars and highly processed foods were totally harmless.

This is the age old dilemma that mankind has faced in relation to health and fitness education. With so much of the advice we are given, it is impossible to know if it is accurate or just another misguided fad that society will eventually supersede with something better, cheaper, easier or just more interesting and harder to dis-prove “conventional wisdom”.

Unfortunately, for the average man on the street, there is no easy solution to this age-old problem. My solution to the problem has been to spend my entire adult life researching the subjects that I feel passionate about and that is: “how my body functions and what can I do to optimize its performance”. Because most people don’t have the time or inclination to devote their life to this cause they rely on the “experts” to give them guidance but unfortunately we have seen that this method seems to provide only hit and miss solutions. For too long people have been misled to believe that they have no control over what their inherited genes can do.

We need to learn more about our body and how the human race has got itself into the predicament it has – how we got to the point where BILLIONS of people world-wide are not just overweight but obese, and over 40 million children under the age of five are overweight. And despite the recognition of the problem, the world continues to put on weight and governments continue to ignore the real causes, which are:

· Ever-increasing numbers of fast-food outlets supplying the population with nutrition deficient junk food.

· The most notorious outlets providing bigger and bigger portion sizes – “upsizing”.

· Supermarket aisles full of absolutely unnecessary and highly addictive bad food choices, i.e. soft drinks/sodas, potato crisps, biscuits, candy, highly processed packaged food, etc. Three quarters of the aisles at supermarkets are totally unnecessary to the survival of man and do nothing but tempt people who either don’t know any better or choose to ignore the health warnings.

· School canteens providing all the above ‘food’ items to school children – what child will have a drink of water if they can get a can of Coke?

· Major sporting events world wide being sponsored by junk food/drink companies.

I’m sure you can start to see the underlying problem now – the GDP of the modern world relies on the profit from these products. Do you think the Olympics would ever be sponsored by a fresh food co-op or the Australian beef industry? Not a chance! The “REAL FOOD” suppliers don’t make anywhere near the profits that the junk food/drink industry make. What a deadly vicious cycle we have created – all the world’s major sporting events are sponsored by the world’s worst influences on mankind. It wasn’t that long ago that the sporting worlds biggest sponsors were the tobacco companies – I think we’ve gone from bad to equally as bad, or even worse!

The problem has gone way beyond any chances of government policies being able to make a difference. Money, power and corruption are now – as they always have been – what rule many of the worlds government policies, not only in the developed world but even more so in the undeveloped nations. There’s a reason why there are so many anti-corruption agencies around the world! Governments just can’t ignore the trillions of dollars that these lifestyle products supply to the economy of the world today.

The reality is that the health of you and your family rests squarely on your shoulders – don’t be naïve enough to think that the government would – or should – control what goes into your mouth. We can only blame the governments for letting these products be supplied – not of making us buy them! Only YOU can make the choice of either buying healthy or unhealthy food – there’s no one to blame but yourself for your lack of willpower. Just because these items are available doesn’t mean you have to buy them. People are kidding themselves if they think that anything but wholesome food is a necessary item in the supermarket trolley.

Corporate Health and Wellness Program Help – Free Resources and Information

Whether you are a Human Resources HR Manager for a large company, Non-Profit organization, a small business owner or somewhere in between, there are many so many benefits to both the employer and the employee for providing health and wellness education. Promoting a total-health culture that improves employee health, job performance and morale.

Studies show that unscheduled absences can cost employers $3,600 a year per hourly employee. Plus, when employees are at work but not fully productive due to chronic conditions, such as diabetes, can potentially cost employers another two or three dollars for every dollar they spend on direct medical costs.

Bottom line, having healthier employees can produce higher Productivity, less sick leave, increased morale and Positive Attitudes.

There are many ways to create an effective work force health program, but the most successful programs share several important elements including leadership first. A program has a much better chance of success if your company’s owner or CEO is onboard and leading by example.

To maximize participation, you can involve employees in designing your program. You could conduct a short survey to find out your employees’ interests. They’ll tell you what’s important to them.

You may also want to set-up a program that works on many levels. For example, your program should support individual employees in achieving their personal goals. A weight loss challenge supported by training, material and resources to support their efforts and increase personal successes. Your company policies should encourage physical activity in the workplace for example; provide healthy food choices in your cafeteria and vending machines.

Your program doesn’t need to be expensive. Another example can be a walking program. It is cheap and easy to do, and it can do wonders for employee camaraderie and teamwork. Just remember to offer something for every fitness level. Something for employees who are fit and healthy and want to stay that way, to those who want to change their lifestyle.

Communication and motivation are also critical. If you want your employees to participate, you need to get the word out, consider increasing visibility by creating a name and a logo for the program, and you can celebrate successes with your employees in a variety of ways, including e-mails and newsletters.

Finally, make sure you understand what you want your program to accomplish, and then set appropriate goals, such as the number of participants or behavior improvements. It may take time to start your work force health program, but it’s an investment that will pay dividends.

Ebola – An African Epidemic – Health and Medical Issues

In the year 1976, Ebola climbed out of its unknown hiding place, and caused the
death of 340 people. Fear gripped the victims’ faces, and uncertainty tortured
their minds. The people of Zaire waited outside clinics, churches and in their
homes for a treatment of the horrible disease, but there was no cure. They were
forced to watch people die, hoping that they would be saved from the violent
death of the Ebola virus. From the year of 1976 to the present date of 1996,
researchers have searched for origin and cure of the virus. Scientist have
carried out numerous studies and investigations, but no one has been able to
find the right explanations. Prevention of a world wide outbreak lies within the
education of what the virus is capable of doing, how Ebola victims can be
properly treated, and by performing prompt action to isolate the virus before it
has dispersed.

The Ebola virus is a member of a family of RNA viruses know as filoviruses.
Marburg virus and four Ebola viruses: Ebola Zaire, Sudan, Reston and Tai are the
five different viruses that have been known to cause disease in humans, while
Ebola Reston only causes disease within monkeys. Filoviruses are the viruses
responsible for causing viral hemorrhagic fevers. All forms of virus of viral
hemorrhagic fever begin with fever and muscle aches. Ebola Zaire attacks every
organ and tissue in the human body except skeletal muscle and bone. It is a
perfect parasite because it transforms virtually every part of the body into a
digested slime of virus particles. The seven mysterious proteins that,
assembled together, make up the Ebola-virus particle work as a relentless
machine, a molecular shark, and they consume the body as the virus makes copies
of itself. Your skin develops blood clots under the skin. Your organs turn to

mush and the underlayers of your skin die and liquefy. The !
skin bubbles up to form a blood rash. Your mouth bleeds, and you bleed around
your teeth, and you may have hemorrhages from the salivary glands. Every
opening in your body, no matter how small, excretes blood. The surface of the
tongue turns brilliant red and then falls off. It is swallowed or spat out when
you vomit up blood. Your heart bleeds in itself and you are not dead. Blood
gets into your eyelids and you weep blood. Before you finally die your body
twitches considerably from grand mal seizures.