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August- November 2003 Newsletter

Happy Thanksgiving!

Almost as yummy as turkey I know this bird here is not a turkey, but I haven't met any good turkeys to do a shoot with me, so I am using another cute and tastefully edible bird - my friends ostriches from Tuscon, who almost ate me... So I had a revenge on the ostrich population. In Bloomington, I went to Fuddruckers  and ordered a juicy ostrich burger. Yum, yum. If you never ate ostrich, it's worth a try. It tastes almost like beef, but has half amount of calories and more protein. It also has less cholesterol and fat. Ostrich is actually very popular in Europe. If you want to educate yourself  more on these cute birds, visit the ostrich web site.

Summer is over, for real. It almost seems like I am updating the newsletter when the season changes... It is still nice and sunny here in Cali, that's why I love to live here. I still can run around in shorts and it's November. This year is almost over and I did not find any time to diet and compete in bodybuilding. My tennis practice keeps me busy and it's a bit tough to diet for a show. When I diet, I have to eat every 3 hours. Now, the tennis practice is 2 hours, at least, so it's just too hard to fit my meals in. So I postponed competing to the next year, probably early on, and then I will try to play some tennis tournaments the rest of the year. My training remains similar like during and before the summer, weights 4-5 times a week, splitting upper and lower body. Sometimes I do my early morning cardio, sometimes I do it after my weights. Without the pressure of dieting and training for a contest, no pressure with my diet and cardio. If I am too tired, I skip it, if I am too hungry, I have a meal or a snack... not bad, I kind of like it!

During summer I was running a lot on the beach, in the sand, and I must admit that it keeps me in a good shape. I can feel it when I do some indoors cardio, the gauntlet/stepmill... I can do much higher intensity for the whole hour. And running on the beach is so beautiful too, the ocean looks differently every day. So I've been keeping myself  in a good off-season shape, 180 lbs instead of my regular 190 lbs. My diet has been much different lately, somehow I cannot stand all the protein foods that I normally eat. So I've been eating much less protein and more carbs. Lots of fruits and grains. I am so much into blueberries lately. I mix some frozen ones with kefir and they melt half way and the kefir freezes half way and it tastes like the most delicious ice cream... Never heard of kefir? It's the Eastern European thing, it's better than yogurt, has more of all the probiotics, less carbs, more protein... very yummy in pretty any food. Read more on the kefir-website.

By Bill Dobbins at the Olympia Expo At the end of October, I went to Las Vegas for the Olympia Expo. I was sitting in the booth for The Lasik Spa. Thanks for visiting me, to all of you who stopped by! We had a drawing for a free lasik and got a lot of people to sign up. Only two of them got lucky. If you are going to be in LA area in February, stop by The Fit Expo in Pasadena, I'll be working in the booth there, too. Maybe you get lucky to win a free lasik? Vegas was great! And I got stuck there... I Was about to leave on Sunday, but all these big fires around LA cut off the freeway, and the airport too. So I had to re-check-in (what a nice word) to Mandalay Bay... Isn't that a bad destiny??? Of course I am kidding very much, to get stranded in such a beautiful hotel with nothing else to do, it's not that bad! I spent the rest of the day in the spa. Next day, I spent all my time in the gym, then bathing in the sunshine, ate some yummies in the buffet, then back to the gym and back to the spa. Royal life...  Then I hit the road to LA, all refreshed and rested. The fires were somehow under control, at least around the freeway, so I got home safely. I live about 50 or more miles away from the fires, but we could even smell it here on the beach, dirty smelly brown air everywhere.

Last, but not least, I've been working on the advertising campaign for The Lasik Spa, a newly opened clinic for laser vision correction. They are located on the west side of  Los Angeles, 11600 Wilshire Blvd. While you get your vision corrected, you get also pampered with facial, mini-massage, etc at the same time. The following composite is from one of the advertisements for LA Times and  Shopwise. If you ever decide to stop by for a surgery and get your eyes pampered, don't forget to mention that you are coming from my web site, so you would get a VIP handling and price!

Suzanna in action

Flu Season Is Here

In some parts of US, the flu season is already strong, a few months before it typically peaks. There's a warning that this flu season could be worse than usual. The flu shots are recommended for adults over 50, children between 6 months and 2 years, people with chronic medical conditions and people who work in health care. The vaccine is readily available this year. In an average year, the disease infects up to 20 percent of the U.S. population, killing about 36,000 Americans and hospitalizing 114,000. So far this season, the outbreaks were strongest in Texas and Colorado in October and early November. Most of the country has had only sporadic flu infections. But doctors are worried this year's flu season could be brutal. Not only were the outbreaks early in Texas and Colorado, they involved a strain of influenza not targeted by the vaccine. The strain of flu showing up this year is part of a deadly group called H3N2, a type of flu that leads to more deaths and hospitalizations than other flu strains. But because this year's flu vaccine targets a slightly different type of H3N2 flu than patients are getting, doctors have no idea how well the vaccine will work. The virus changes slightly over time, a change doctors call "drift," which is why doctors suggest getting a new flu shot every year. The doctors say that the vaccine should still protect most people, because the strains are very similar.

What you can do to reduce the risk of catching the flu Flu symptoms

Children and obesity

Fun in the sun on rolleskatese in Venice Beach US children under two years of age already have picked up the poor eating habits of their parents. According to a study, their caloric intake is 20-30 percent above their needs, frequently thanks to a glut of sugary drinks, pizza and french fries. The study, financed by the Gerber baby food company, found that nearly two thirds of children under 12 months eat at candy or a sugary dessert at least once a day while 16 percent have at least one salty snack. Worse still two percent of children under the age of one and 11 percent of children 19-24 months old eat pizza once a day, while 23 percent of the older group also has a drink with added sugar. Fries are daily fare for 9 percent of the children from 9-11 months old, and 21 percent of those 19-24 months old. One quarter of this older group ate hot dogs, bacon or sausage once a day. Many parents routinely disregard most pediatricians' recommendations, and almost one third of children are fed solid foods before the age of four months, or juice before the age of six months. The study carried out by Mathematic Policy Research of Princeton, New Jersey looked at the eating habits of 3,000 children aged 4-24 months. It was presented at a conference of the American Dietetic Association in San Antonio, Texas.

Low-Carb Diets Are Working, Study Says
By DANIEL Q. HANEY, AP Medical Editor

The dietary establishment has long argued it's impossible, but a new study offers intriguing evidence for the idea that people on low-carbohydrate diets can actually eat more than folks on standard lowfat plans and still lose weight. Perhaps no idea is more controversial in the diet world than the contention — long espoused by the late Dr. Robert Atkins — that people on low-carbohydrate diets can consume more calories without paying a price on the scales. Over the past year, several small studies have shown, to many experts' surprise, that the Atkins approach actually does work better, at least in the short run. Dieters lose more than those on a standard American Heart Association plan without driving up their cholesterol levels, as many feared would happen. Skeptics contend, however, that these dieters simply must be eating less. Maybe the low-carb diets are more satisfying, so they do not get so hungry. Or perhaps the food choices are just so limited that low-carb dieters are too bored to eat a lot. Now, a small but carefully controlled study offers a strong hint that maybe Atkins was right: People on low-carb, high-fat diets actually can eat more.

Approach shot... The study, directed by Penelope Greene of the Harvard School of Public Health and presented at a meeting here this week of the American Association for the Study of Obesity, found that people eating an extra 300 calories a day on a very low-carb regimen lost just as much during a 12-week study as those on a standard lowfat diet. Over the course of the study, they consumed an extra 25,000 calories. That should have added up to about seven pounds. But for some reason, it did not. "There does indeed seem to be something about a low-carb diet that says you can eat more calories and lose a similar amount of weight," Greene said. That strikes at one of the most revered beliefs in nutrition: A calorie is a calorie is a calorie. It does not matter whether they come from bacon or mashed potatoes; they all go on the waistline in just the same way. Not even Greene says this settles the case, but some at the meeting found her report fascinating. "A lot of our assumptions about a calorie is a calorie are being challenged," said Marlene Schwartz of Yale. "As scientists, we need to be open-minded." Others, though, found the data hard to swallow. "It doesn't make sense, does it?" said Barbara Rolls of Pennsylvania State University. "It violates the laws of thermodynamics. No one has ever found any miraculous metabolic effects."

In the study, 21 overweight volunteers were divided into three categories: Two groups were randomly assigned to either lowfat or low-carb diets with 1,500 calories for women and 1,800 for men; a third group was also low-carb but got an extra 300 calories a day. The study was unique because all the food was prepared at an upscale Italian restaurant in Cambridge, Mass., so researchers knew exactly what they ate. Most earlier studies simply sent people home with diet plans to follow as best they could. Each afternoon, the volunteers picked up that evening's dinner, a bedtime snack and the next day's breakfast and lunch. Instead of lots of red meat and saturated fat, which many find disturbing about low-carb diets, these people ate mostly fish, chicken, salads, vegetables and unsaturated oils. "This is not what people think of when they think about an Atkins diet," Greene said. Nevertheless, the Atkins organization agreed to pay for the research, though it had no input into the study's design, conduct or analysis.

Everyone's food looked similar but was cooked to different recipes. The low-carb meals were 5 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein and 65 percent fat. The rest got 55 percent carbohydrate, 15 percent protein and 30 percent fat. In the end, everyone lost weight. Those on the lower-cal, low-carb regimen took off 23 pounds, while people who got the same calories on the lowfat approach lost 17 pounds. The big surprise, though, was that volunteers getting the extra 300 calories a day of low-carb food lost 20 pounds. "It's very intriguing, but it raises more questions than it answers," said Gary Foster of the University of Pennsylvania. "There is lots of data to suggest this shouldn't be true." Greene said she can only guess why the people getting the extra calories did so well. Maybe they burned up more calories digesting their food. Dr. Samuel Klein of Washington University, the obesity organization's president, called the results "hard to believe" and said perhaps the people eating more calories also got more exercise or they were less apt to cheat because they were less hungry.

On the way to success...

On the tennis court What does it take to succeed? Talent or persistence, or both? We've seen many athletes with different amount of talents, and many of the "less talented" are on a top of the game. So what does it really take to be the best?

You must want to improve on each level: physical, mental and spiritual. You always walk around thinking about achieving more and you challenge yourself all the time. You never get really comfortable in your situation.

You always have a realistic, well defined goal. And you work diligently on your goal on a daily basis. You are very persistent. You never give up and you don't get easily distracted by any temptations - you always stay focused on your goal, which you desire more than anything else. You stay optimistic and positive. You always believe that you can overcome any obstacle. Positive thinking brings positive results.

On the way to your goal, you humbly take credits for all you successes, and take responsibility for your failures. You know, that succeeding doesn't make you better than anybody else. You always talk positively about things and people you interact with on your way to your goal. You don't blame others for your shortcomings or misfortunes. You always look inside yourself and learn from the situations. You always find obstacles to be opportunities for improvement.

You also selflessly try to help others and help them to improve. You feel privileged to be able to give and share all your knowledge. You want everybody excel as much as you do. You are a good role model for others, living your life well and setting a good example. You keep it all in perspective, because you've realized that you need to have a balance in your physical, mental and spiritual life. Then you are a true success.

Interesting optical illusion

Although the image bellow appears to be moving, it is static and your brain is doing the moving.

The image is static, but your brain is doing the moving...

Copyright Akiyoshi Kitaoka

Thoughts on life by George Carlin

Venice Beach walk The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgment, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too
little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom. We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and
hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbor. We conquered outer space but not inner space. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete.

Remember, spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever. Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side. Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, "I love you" to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you. Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again. Give time to love, give time to speak, and give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.

Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

On the Funny Note - a few Chinese Proverbs

Virginity like bubble, one prick, all gone.

Man who run in front of car get tired.

Man who run behind car get exhausted.

Man with hand in pocket feel cocky all day.

Foolish man give wife grand piano, wise man give wife upright organ.

Man who walk through airport turnstile sideways going to Bangkok.

Man with one chopstick go hungry.

Man who scratch ass should not bite fingernails.

Man who eat many prunes get good run for money.

Baseball wrong: man with four balls cannot walk.

Panties not best thing on earth, but next to best thing on earth.

War does not determine who is right, war determine who is left.

Wife who put husband in dog   house soon find him in cat house.

Man who fight with wife all day get no piece at night.

It take many nails to build crib, but one screw to fill it.

Man who drive like hell, bound to get there.

Man who stand on toilet is high on pot.

Man who live in glass house should change clothes in basement.

Man who fish in other man's well often catch crabs.

Man who fart in church sit in own pew.

Crowded elevator smell different to midget.

See you at the end of 2003!!!
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