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June-July 2003 Newsletter

tennis practice on the wall Summer is here... (In case you did not notice). It's probably too late now, to write all the motivational articles about how to get in shape. We should be in summer shape by now, right? Are you? Do you have your six pack nicely tanned? Myself, it's tanned, but it's not really six-pack yet. Still working on it. Tanning is the fun part, dieting is the mess. I've been going places too much, and every travel makes me to cheat on my diet... At least a little bit. Last month, I was in Hawaii, on the Big Island, in Waikoloa village, and it was very beautiful. Plenty of good food, relaxation, swimming and snorkeling. I even hit some tennis, and believe it or not, I did NOT visit the gym. Is that possible? Sometimes it's just fine to take off the gym for a few days. When I am home, in Venice, I have problems to force myself to take off. I always do some exercise. So these little vacations help. 

I've got many requests about my current training and nutrition, so I'll write it down here in the newsletter...

Morning Cardio: I do 60 minutes on empty stomach, almost every morning around 5:30 or 6:30 AM. About a month ago, I started to run on the beach, in the wet sand. If I don't make it to the beach, I might do the stairmaster or stepmill. I also can have one day off from my morning cardio.

Weight training: I do my weights around noon. My current split is upper body on day one, legs day two. Next day, I either take off from weights, or do 90 minutes Bikram's yoga (tough, and hot, hot, hot... if you haven't tried, do so, it's a good stretch!). For my upper body, I do 2 exercises of 4 sets for chest, back, delts, and abs, 1 exercise for biceps and triceps. And I always warm up with lunges. I often superset two exercises, for example back and chest, or bic and tric. And I vary my exercises, each workout I choose new ones. On my leg day, I also do my low back. I do squats, stiff legged deadlifts, leg curls, leg extensions, lunges, side lunges, butt kicks, sometimes I do ab- and adductors. And two exercises of calves. One low back exercise. So it's all together about  44 sets, the same what I do on the upper body. And again, each workout is a bit different, different choices or different grouping for my supersets. I also include some plyometrics, jumps on the bench, or jumps over the bench, or split squat jumps (telemark jumps) etc.

PM Cardio: yes, indeed, I do one more cardio. Often, this one is my 90 minutes tennis practice. Or one hour tennis practice on the wall. Or I might do the gym cardio on the stairmaster/stepmill. If I feel too tired, I might just go and walk Peanut The Dog. and some days, I just take off from this one.

My current diet is 40-40-20 (40% protein, 40% carbs, 20% fat) or something like that... sometimes it's something like 45-35-20, or 45-30-25... Trying to keep the protein on a higher side and play with the carbs and fats. I am trying to keep the fat somehow low, because (as you know me) I am very crazy about nuts... if I buy them and have them home, my diet is all messed up and turns into something like 20-20-60... that's ridiculous... so I am trying to be nut free. I eat about 5-6 meals per day, it just depends when I get up and when my first meal is... it's after the morning run. My daily calories are between 2200 and 2600. And that's when I am really trying to keep it low. If I don't write down what I eat and let my appetite rule, I can easily get in 5000 calories... that way, I never lean out... so now, in my summer-lean-efforts, I am writing it down and keeping it on the lower side.

For you who were asking me in the e-mails, I eat for example cottage cheese (3 sv) and some oatmeal (2 sv)... or a low carb myoplex shake with an apple. Or a chicken breast and oatmeal and veggies. Or 2 sv oatmeal with 12 egg whites. I used to put nuts or peanut butter in pretty much everything, but for the above mentioned reasons, I don't have any at home, so my egg white mish-mash is plain. Maybe some flax seeds, to get some fiber and omega-3's but that's it. I am attaching a sample of my one day eating...

I discovered 2 wonderful things, that you might find delicious too. The first one is a low carb cereal, that doesn't taste that nasty like all these Keto-brands... it's made by Back to Nature, called Hi-Lo Cereal. 14 grams protein, 5 grams fiber, 7 grams carbs and about 1.5 grams fat... pretty wonderful, isn't it? And it tastes great and crunchy too. I mixed it with my cottage cheese, or sometimes just snack on it if I want something crunchy. The other thing is the Low Carb, Low Fat tortilla... On tortilla is 50 cal, 5 g protein, 9 g fiber(!), 3 g carbs, 2 g fat. I make it a little bit warm and wrap a chicken breast in it (or anything wrap-able), put some mustard and here we go, healthy, yummy, low carb... if I dare to have Peanut Butter handy, with some jelly on that tortilla and roll it, it's wonderful.

Hot at the track in Scottsdale Now, that's enough about food. I am getting hungry. (At this moment, it's late evening and I am sitting on the Phoenix airport, waiting for the delayed plane home) Talking about Phoenix... it's getting hot in here... I spent a 3 day weekend in Scottsdale. When I went for a run in the morning, around 8 AM, it was already over 95 F... hot hot hot... I ran just 40 minutes, or I would die among the cactuses somewhere. Or one evening, around 8:30 PM, doing my night cardio on the track (running the stairs), it was around 100 F. Talk about getting my throat all dried out, when I was grasping after air, sprinting the stairs up. On other side, it was very nice to be lazy in the sunshine, when I laid out for a couple of hours in the middle of day and was working on my tan. So you guys, who are not familiar with the desert and want to explore some good heat, now it's the good time... And then when you come back home, and train under the regular conditions, everything seems so easy.

I am still working on my VT - visual therapy... twice a week, I work my left eye and my brain to teach that eye to fuse the picture together with the right eye's picture, and create something that have some kind of depth perception. It's slow and hard work, but I am still progressing. It's been almost 8 months since my lasik surgery. For you who might be interested to get rid of the glasses or lenses and have been thinking about a lasik surgery, in the next newsletter, I will have a little write up about the whole procedure, with some pictures and maybe even a little video. Stay tuned.

Now, lets move on reading some "serious"  information. This time, I collected miscleaneous medical news and bits. Enjoy reading. Lets start with an interesting article by Dr. Joseph Mercola, about sunshine and skin cancer. Is the sun light really harmful? Or is it something else. Of course, there's no definitive answer, but it's a good food for thought (especially for me, who LOVES to be in the sun).

Sunblock Can Actually Increase Your Cancer Risk

By Dr. Joseph Mercola

The rising rate of skin cancer has put using sunblock right up there with flossing your teeth when it comes to healthy habits. In 2002, 50 percent-- approximately 1.1 million cases--of all cancers in the United States were skin cancers, of which nearly 10,000 cases were fatal. It is easy to understand why many people have become fearful of the sun's warmth and glow. However, it is not commonly appreciated, especially among traditional medical doctors, that the food you eat is far more important to the development of skin cancers than sun exposure.

At the beginning of 1900 we had very little processed vegetable oils in our diet. Now vegetables are great and we all need them every day, but when they are processed and refined and consumed in large amounts they can cause major health problems.Most vegetables are very high in omega-6 fats. In the last 100 years the U.S. population has gone from consuming virtually no vegetable fats to consuming more than 70 pounds per year. Fats from corn oil, safflower, sunflower, sesame and other oils are virtually 100 percent omega-6 fats.This high consumption of omega-6 fats totally distorts the important omega 6:3 ratio, and this ratio is one of the keys to obtaining any type of cancer, but especially skin cancer. So not only will we benefit from consuming additional omega-3 fats, but it is vital to reduce the omega-6 vegetable oils as much as possible. Ideally, the ratio should be 1:1, but most Americans have a 15:1 ratio. The Japanese are the longest-lived culture on earth, and their ratio is about 3:1.

If you don’t believe me on this one, I encourage you to check out one of the top cancer journal articles Cancer Res 2000 Aug 1;60(15):4139-45
“Epidemiological, experimental, and mechanistic data implicate omega-6 fat as stimulators and long-chain omega-3 fats as inhibitors of development and progression of a range of human cancers, including melanoma.”
Ten years ago an Australian study showed a 40 percent reduction in melanoma for those who were eating fish--and this was without any attention to lowering omega-6 fats.Two years ago, the prestigious National Academy of Sciences published a comprehensive review showing that the omega 6:3 ratio was the key to preventing skin cancer development.

Getting some sun in Hawaii So, do I recommend you pop some fish oil pills and go out and get as much sun as you would like?
Absolutely not.You must exercise caution. At the beginning of the season go out gradually, perhaps as little as 10 minutes a day. Progressively increase your time in the sun so that in a few weeks, you will be able to have normal sun exposure with little risk of skin cancer. Remember never to get burned, that is the key. Remember also never to use sunscreen, another key. You can creatively use your clothing to block the sun’s rays during your build-up time.

The bottom line is: please avoid getting sucked into the hype that sunlight is dangerous. It is only dangerous if you are clueless about fat nutrition, which most medical doctors are. If you choose to ignore your omega 6:3 ratio and stay out of the sun, you could limit your risk of skin cancer, but is that worth the risk of getting MS, breast or prostate cancer? I think not.

So get yourself some high-quality fish oil, which is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids. Please remember to switch to the cod liver oil, which contains vitamin D, in the fall, as then you will not be able to get the wonderful amount of sunshine that we have in the summer. If you are going to be a hermit and not get any sun exposure this summer or you are going to bury yourself in dangerous sunscreens, then you should switch to cod liver oil now.

Other Related Articles:

Sunlight Actually Prevents Cancer
Cancer March 2002; 94:1867-75
On the bull Insufficient exposure to ultraviolet radiation may be an important risk factor for cancer in Western Europe and North America, according to a new study published in the prominent Cancer journal that directly contradicts official advice about sunlight. The research examined cancer mortality in the United States. Deaths from a range of cancers of the reproductive and digestive systems were approximately twice as high in New England as in the southwest, despite a diet that varies little between regions. An examination of 506 regions found a close inverse correlation between cancer mortality and levels of ultraviolet B light. The likeliest mechanism for a protective effect of sunlight is vitamin D, which is synthesized by the body in the presence of ultraviolet B. The study's author, Dr William Grant (wbgrant@infi.net) , says northern parts of the United States may be dark enough in winter that vitamin D synthesis shuts down completely. While the study focused on white Americans, the same geographical trend affects black Americans, whose overall cancer rates are significantly higher. Darker skinned people require more sunlight to synthesize vitamin D. There are 13 malignancies that show this inverse correlation, mostly reproductive and digestive cancers. The strongest inverse correlation is with breast, colon, and ovarian cancer.Other cancers apparently affected by sunlight include tumors of the bladder, uterus, esophagus, rectum, and stomach.

Vitamin D May Prevent Skin Cancer
American Chemical Society meeting August, 2000 Washington, DC
Scientists are getting closer to developing a chemically-modified form of vitamin D that may one day be used to prevent cancer.

Researchers administered one of 4 different types of chemically modified vitamin D directly to the skin of mice that had been given a skin cancer-promoting agent.

After 20 weeks of treatment, the mice that got either of the 4 the modified vitamin D had a reduced occurrence of skin cancer tumors of up to 28% compared to a control group of mice.

"These are the first animal trials that show efficacy and safety of our particular version of (vitamin D)," said Dr. Gary H. Posner of the Johns Hopkins University in an interview with Reuters Health.

Previous hopes for vitamin D being used as a cancer-preventive agent had been put on hold because, at the levels needed for cancer protection, it is known to deplete the body of calcium, causing osteoporosis.

"When we administered our synthetic versions of (vitamin D) at concentrations that were twenty times higher than the natural vitamin D, there was no evidence of increased calcium in the mice," said Dr. Posner.

Learn Why the Myth of the Sun Causing Skin Cancer Can Hurt Your Health
Archives of Dermatology June 2002;138:771-774
Waikoloa Village, Hawaii A recent study in the prominent US dermatology journal tell us that only a small fraction of US schools have implemented policies that protect students from over-exposure to the sun, and few provide shade, sunscreen, or other ways to avoid ultraviolet rays.Since severe sunburns occur during childhood, which may promote melanoma later, these experts recommend that policymakers and school administrators encourage and implement sun protection policies at schools nationwide.The authors of this study recommend that schools without a sun protection policy adopt one, and at least implement minor changes that could help shield students from the sun, such as allowing staff to put sunscreen on students, and permitting hats and sunglasses when outdoors.

Diet and Sunlight Linked to Breast Cancer Risk
Cancer January 1, 2002;94:272-281
A study of eating patterns across different countries confirms an association between breast cancer sunlight exposure which may be protective against the disease by elevating the body's vitamin D supply.

In the study, researchers looked at dietary supply data for a number of countries in North and South America, Asia and Europe. Such data reflects only the supply of food in a given country, and not the food intakes of different people. Exposure to the sun's ultraviolet-B (UV-B) rays was estimated based on a country's latitude.

As for the role of sunlight, researchers found an association between latitude and breast cancer suggesting that higher UV-B exposure was protective. UV-B rays spur the production of vitamin D in the body, it is likely the vitamin is behind the association he found in this study. Other research suggests vitamin D may help ward off cancer.

Obesity Fastest Growing Health Threat in U.S.

From Yahoo News June 5, 2003

Eating Peanut Muffin at "Fresh To Go" in Venice While tobacco is the largest cause of death in the United States, obesity is rapidly catching up and should be a priority for the U.S. health care system, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. They also noted that the threat of bioterrorism should not be exaggerated compared to other more traditional health threats. Regarding obesity, it was noted that a community-based approach to weight loss could be useful. For instance, this could include offering more places to walk on residential roads. Additionally, small lifestyle changes can lead to major improvements. Cutting out 100 calories per day, either by diet or exercise, is enough to prevent weight gain in most people. Small changes, such as taking the stairs instead of the elevator, can easily amount to this goal.

by Rehan Jalali, from Muscle Media" magazine. www.musclemedia.com

Think of it as Snickers® on steroids,reads the marketing literature for this new triple-layer bar, which, takes the same great-tasting ingredients, caramel, crunchy roasted peanuts covered in rich chocolate, to deliver a nutritional profile unmatched in protein bar history.

To see if there was any truth to their claims of a nutritional profile unmatched in protein bar history, we sent Lot ID: Enjoy By 121103 Ato Convance Laboratories, Inc.an independent nutritional testing firm. Results confirmed why this bar tastes so good - its basically a dressed-up candy bar!

According to the label, the Detour bar contains 9 grams of fat; however, laboratory tests revealed 12.8 grams of fat144 percent more than what the label claims. Whats more, on the label, Detour bars claim only 6 grams of sugar; lab tests, however, revealed 18.8 grams of sugar per bara disturbing 313 percent more than what the label claims! The news doesnt get any better for the other nutrients.

Peanut The Dog... They claim 32 grams of protein per bar; tests revealed only 23.8 grams of protein. Total carbohydrates: The label claims 21 grams; tests revealed 29 grams. Fiber: They claim 3 grams; tests show 1.7 grams. Total calories: They claim 209; tests revealed 326. Not believing Designer could be so far off on label claims, we retested a different lot (Lot ID: Enjoy By 021704 A1 and A2). This was also after Designer changed their label claims to 310 total calories, 10 grams of fat, 25 grams of carbohydrates, 3 grams of fiber and 9 grams of sugar. Although the total calories, fat, carbs and fiber werent off by too much, independent analysis still revealed 18.3 grams of sugar; 203 percent of the label claim.

Detour seems like an apt name for this bar as thats the route your nutrition programs going to take if you make a habit of snacking on these sugar daddies. More troubling than nutritionals, though, are the label claim inaccuracies. A range of plus or minus a few grams is expectedbut 204 percent to 313 percent above label claims, as is the case with sugar, is simply outrageous.

Medical Procedures in General

The Summer 1995 edition of Health & Wellness Today, published by Dr. Julian Whitaker, M.D., states:
Under the heading "THE BEST KEPT SECRET IN MODERN MEDICINE," Dr. Whitaker writes: "There is a better way! It just doesn't make any sense to turn your life over to doctors, druggists, hospitals, insurance companies!... Your body is a truly magnificent machine. If you feed it right, exercise, and give it half a chance, it will demonstrate miraculous abilities to heal itself."

See you at the end of the summer!!!
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