Yet another July 4th has come and gone and I watch - with feline amusement - all you humans celebrate your "independence".  Seems kind of silly to me.  You celebrate every year but nothing ever changes. You still wake up from a deep slumber every day to some screaming, jangling box.  If you were truly independent like me, you would wake whenever the spirit moved you.  See, when you live the Mojito Life, you go to sleep whenever you want.  You wake up whenever you want.  You stroll confidently even in places where you have been banished.  You humans - in spite of celebrating and forever touting your independence - are still so constrained.  For example, when you experience a little nausea you lock yourself in the bathroom and do your business in private.   Living the Mojito Life, you just gack whenever and wherever you please without shame or remorse.   And another thing - you humans eat stuff even when you don't care for it!!! The Mojito Doctrine reveals that if you don't like the food in your bowl, just sit beside the bowl and stare at your human.  Eventually, the human will succumb to your superior psychic powers and you will get a different flavor.  (If staring doesn't work, just gack in their shoes).   Now that is independence!
Men, Schedule that Check-Up
Mr. Mojito, is correct in that his independence is his calling card which is typical of most men in this country, particularly regarding health issues.  The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (http://www.ahrq.gov/healthymen/) provides some sobering statistics revealing that men in this country demonstrate a remarkable disregard for their own health.  Compared to women, they are significantly less likely to monitor their own ongoing health issues and are significantly more likely to be hospitalized for preventable illnesses.  This feline-like independence can wreak havoc with their own health, but ultimately impacts their entire family.

The AHRQ has some helpful guidelines and encourages men to follow them.  
  1. Know your "B"s: BMI, Blood Pressure, and Blood Sugar levels
  2. Know your "C"s: Cholesterol, Cardiovascular Disease family history, and Cancer risks
  3. Find a doctor you trust and respect and visit accordingly.   Talk openly and honestly with your physician about your past alcohol, tobacco and drug use as well as your sexual history. 
Men, like cats, crave their independence.  So it is often left to their spouse, friends or family members to get them to focus on their own healthcare.   If you are a man, please check your calendar and see if it is time to schedule that annual visit.  If you know a man (father, brother, husband, etc.) lovingly ask him if he needs help dialing that number.
 

Just as the AHRQ has helpful guidelines, the USDA is an excellent source of information as well.  Along with Health and Human Services, the USDA reviews dietary/nutrition guidelines every five years and they have just released their most recent findings (http://www.cnpp.usda.gov/DGAs2010-DGACReport.htm ).   There are important changes as our government acknowledges obesity as "single greatest threat" to our collective health and well being. 

Choosing the Right Foods
To address obesity, one of the primary guidelines is simply to consume fewer calories.  From there, the research points us to what kind of calories we should consume.  For the immediate future, there will be added emphasis on consumption of plant foods and fish (www.eatingwell.com).  Some simple fish suggestions include wild-caught shrimp and salmon, farm-raised mussels and oysters, albacore tuna and wild sardines.  As far as plants go, look for brilliant color and dirt.  Produce with soil clinging to it probably hasn't travelled very far which ensures freshness.  Brightly colored foods, such as eggplant, kale, beets, blueberries, and tomatoes, yield tremendous nutritional payoffs.
 
The rise in obesity has also spiked an increase in diabetes.  Health.com reports that choosing brown rice rather than white rice may lower the risk of diabetes by as much as 16%.  White rice is produced by forcing grains of brown rice through a refining process that strips them of valuable nutrients and fiber.  It is those very nutrients and fiber that slow absorption and regulate blood sugar.
Staying Hydrated
Beyond food choices, the revised guidelines, which will be officially released later in 2010, recommend all adults engage in at least two hours of strength training as well as 2 hours of moderate intensity aerobic exercise weekly.  The summer months in Florida make it nearly impossible to exercise outside but even if you stay indoors, it is critical to stay hydrated.
 
Academics at UC-Berkeley demonstrated that thirst typically only kicks in after there is a 2% depletion of internal fluid, which is why it is so important to drink before and during exercise rather than waiting until after. 
 
Even sedentary or indoor folks may suffer from dehydration as it is often a result of psychological and sociological stressors and those are EVERYWHERE!  Do you have a job, a mortgage, rent, a family...are you unemployed, homeless, lonely, or bored?   All of these are examples of regular, everyday stressors that may lead to dehydration and ultimately illness.
 
Water is a simple, free solution to dehydration; however, electrolyte replacement drinks are absorbed 98% faster than water (www.ars.usda.gov).  That is why we believe an electrolyte replacement drink should be a staple in every household.  There are several on the market but our current favorite is the G2  (http://www.gatorade.com/default.aspx#product?s=g2 )series manufactured by Gatorade.    There is even an all-natural, low calorie option.  So hoist a glass and toast your healthy living!
"The Absolute Best Healthy Granola"
Makes 10-15 servings
 
5 cups rolled oats
cup wheat germ
cup whole-wheat flour
cup milled flaxsees
sesame seeds
2 cups whole almonds
2 cups whole pecans
tsp sea salt
cup grapeseed oil or extra-light olive oil
cup honey (Greek if you can find it)
 
1. Preheat oven to 325. Line two large sheet trays with parchment paper.
2. In a large mixing bowl, stir together  all the dry ingredients.
3. Heat the oil and honey in a small saucepan over medium-low heat until the honey is warm and runny.
4. Stir the oil and honey mixture into the dry ingredients with a wooden spoon.
5. Divide mixture evenly between the two sheet trays, spreading it out as evenly as possible.
6. Bake for 35-45 minutes, stirring occasionally so the edges don't brown too much. Remove from oven and let cool on sheet trays. Store in airtight containers in your pantry.
Tip - sprinkle granola on oatmeal in the morning or eat with Greek yogurt and fruit for breakfast. You can also snack on throughout the day.
                By Jewels and Jill Elmore
"Walking is the best possible exercise. Habituate yourself to walk very far."  Thomas Jefferson

Sincerely,

Trish Chard
Trish Chard Personal Training

PO Box 541050
Orlando, FL 32854
407-619-9357 Direct
407-872-0017 Fax
www.trishchard.com

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In This Issue
Men, Schedule that Check-Up
Choosing the Right Foods
Staying Hydrated
"The Absolute Best Healthy Granola"