December 20, 2009
I just utilized the "backspace" key to wipe out a particularly negative, churlish and unflattering description of a few of those people and places that I kept company with during 4 decades of work as I try to rise above the muck and mire of my own creation. There, that feels better.
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of spending two hours with a woman that I had never met before who runs a non-profit organization dedicated to making a difference in the lives of others. I had some sort of inspiration the night before and decided to bring with me some information about myself to leave with her following our meeting. These days, I have been keeping a resume in my pocket, just in case, and like most of them, it was full of the places and descriptions of what I had done over the past years. On this particular day, I had brought not a "what-I-am" but rather a "who-I-am" and what an enlightening experience it was to write it. I decided to take what I had been learning about myself from a variety of sources and condense the information into a description of my strengths, skills and interests along with a statement of what the next decade or so of my life will be dedicated to. You see, I have reached that crossroads that so many leading edge baby boomers are now experiencing and want to spend my time doing something that will leave the world a better place by utilizing those parts of myself that answer the question of Who rather than what.
Many of us have spent our working life defining "who" we are by "what" we do and are now at the point of wanting to turn that upside down. In some ways for me, it is a return to my youth as I rediscover the ideals that were left unrealized like creating world peace, feeding the hungry, curing disease and all of those goals we set in the sixties. We were told we were crazy idealists and some of us had the misfortune of listening to and believing the grown-ups. Perhaps it was the right thing to do; work for the big corporation, buy a house in the burbs, raise children, pay our bills and leave ourselves buried under the weight of living the life expected of us. There is no point in regretting and every point in reinventing. I am looking forward, with great anticipation and expectancy, to moving on with a life of purpose and meaning, making a difference, fulfilling some long buried dreams and using my strengths, skills and abilities to create the next few decades of life as the best yet.
To those of you who celebrate it, have a very Merry Christmas and I invite each of you to join me in making 2010 a year of promise, excitement, discovery, accomplishment and the first year of a lifetime to come of joy, peace and love.
November 26, 2009
This is a tricky one for the younger business professional trying to create a level of expertise with a generation that is usually arrogant and often dismissive of ideas put forth from what they think of as less experienced sources. Take some comfort in knowing that this generation gap has existed from the beginning of time and it is rarely personal. As boomers, we went through the same thing but what is the best approach for today's young marketer?
A few bits of advice:
- stay away from techno-babble
- don't TRY to impress with your superior knowledge (even when it's true)
- connect information and facts with their effect on the customer (benefits)
- listen to the comments and questions before replying (full of clues)
- keep clarifying without "talking down"
November 25, 2009
- Food and nutritional supplements
- Movement, exercise, and dance
- Psychotherapy, meditation, and guided imagery
- Spiritual practice and prayer
November 20, 2009
- find out who the Boomers really are
- what motivates them
- how they spend their money
- their concerns, fears, influences
- retirement plans, career changes, attitudes
- activities, advertising response
- learn how to connect and gain their confidence
- sales strategies, relationship building
- the marketing "sweet spot"
- segmentation, personality profiling
- demographic and psychographic factors
- a few "war stories" from the trenches
- laugh with a genuine Baby Boomer
- keys to increasing sales
- questions will be encouraged and welcomed
- free e-newsletter to participants
November 18, 2009
Most Boomers have raised their children and now have more to spend on non-child related products and services but those with children still in post secondary schools spend 47% more than average on education. They also spend:
- 11% more on men's clothing
- 13% more on women's clothing
- 20% more on life insurance
- 23% more on vacations
- 50% more on housewares
November 15, 2009
Posted using ShareThis
I am always a little amazed when talking to generation X and Y people who assume that the baby boomer generation will stop working at age 65 or younger and then live on their investment income. This thinking often prevents people in the financial industry from targeting people 50+ because they are afraid that their hard-earned new client won't be around long enough as a contributing customer. Wrong! For a variety of reasons that are outlined in The Case Against Retirement link above, many of us will continue earning income and contributing to our nest egg for many years to come. We may work differently, we may pursue new kinds of work in the information industry, but a large number of us will continue to be working and contributing members of society for several decades to come.
What we forget is that the whole concept of retirement is only about 30 years old. Take a look at the information in the link above.
November 13, 2009
In preparing a talk, speech or presentation, it is usually best to begin with the end in mind. What do I want my audience to be left with; what is the final piece of information, nugget or idea that I want to leave in their minds? It would be nice if we could turn life upside down a little bit and do the same thing - what is the final thing we want to know about our lives - at the end. What did we, in the end, stand for, how did we make a difference, what will we be remembered for?
It would be a shame to lie on our death bed and say or realize that we had not done those things we were meant to do. Inside each of us lies a passion, something that we really, really want to experience and we keep putting it aside until we have more time, more money, better health, the kids are gone, the house is paid for, yada yada, yada! Here's the bottom line, here's the end of my talk -
At the end, we can have results or we can have reasons...reasons don't count.
Here's the second "bottom line" we don't know when the end will come.
November 12, 2009
I've been asked to present the case for boomers to a couple of groups of financial consultants next week and while my credentials come from the fact that I am a member of the Baby Boomer generation, my information and research has been coming from some incredibly talented and intelligent people who have been studying the issues of marketing and specifically marketing to generations and age groups. Information in blogs and websites about the pre-retirement era and the effect that boomers will have on the subject is beginning to build.
If you are interested in reading some of the information that I have been using as a resource then try several books like Freakenomics by Levitt and Dubner ( they have just released a new one which I haven't read yet), Boom by Brown and Orsborn which really deals with what I term the "marketing sweet spot," women over 50. Some of the best research that I have read so far is in a book called Know 'em Sell 'em by Dr. Linda Morton who also has a very good blog that has become "must reading" for anyone serious about target marketing.
On the other hand, if you have a group of people who would be interested in my take on the subject that will include some personal stories and examples of how marketing to boomers works, then please send me an email and we can talk. You can contact me directly here.
November 6, 2009
Eradicate Breast Cancer With Vitamin D?
TORONTO, Nov. 4, 2009 (Canada NewsWire via COMTEX) --
Breast cancer risk 'virtually eradicated' by elevated vitamin D levels,researchers suggest.
Breast cancer is a disease so directly related to vitamin D deficiency that a woman's risk of contracting the disease can be 'virtually eradicated' by elevating her vitamin D status to what vitamin D scientists consider to be natural blood levels.
That's the message vitamin D pioneer Dr. Cedric Garland delivered in Toronto Tuesday as part of the University of Toronto School of Medicine's "Diagnosis and Treatment of Vitamin D Deficiency" conference - the largest gathering of vitamin D researchers in North America this year. More than 170 researchers, public health officials and health practitioners gathered at the UT Faculty club for the landmark event.
Garland's presentation headlined a conference that reviewed many aspects of the emerging vitamin D research field - a booming discipline that has seen more than 3,000 academic papers this calendar year alone, conference organizers said. That makes vitamin D by far the most prolific topic in medicine this year, with work connecting it with risk reduction in two dozen forms of cancer, heart disease, multiple scleroses and many other disorders.
Dr. Reinhold Vieth, Associate Professor in the Department of Laboratory Medicine and Pathobiology at University of Toronto, and Director of the Bone and Mineral Laboratory at Mount Sinai Hospital, organized the event in conjunction with Grassroots Health - an international vitamin D advocacy group founded by breast cancer survivor Carole Baggerly.
Baggerly implored the research group to take action and encourage Canadians to learn more about vitamin D and to raise their vitamin D levels.
An estimated 22,700 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer in 2009, according to the Canadian Cancer Society's latest figures.
As much as 97 percent of Canadians are vitamin D deficient at some point in the year, according to University of Calgary research - largely due to Canada's northerly latitudes and weak sun exposure. Sunshine is by far the most abundant source of vitamin D - called 'The Sunshine Vitamin' - with salmon and fortified milk being other sources. Vitamin D supplementation helps raise levels for many as well.
Grassroots Health's "D-action" panel - 30 of the world's leading researchers on vitamin D and many other vitamin D supporters - recommend 2,000 IU of vitamin D daily and vitamin D blood levels of 100-150 nanomoles-per-liter as measured by a vitamin D blood test.
Vieth pointed out that natural vitamin D levels of mammals who live outdoors in sunny climates is higher than that - up to 200 nanomoles-per liter. And Garland, whose presentation was entitled "Breast Cancer as a Vitamin D Deficiency Disease" presented data showing that raising one's vitamin D status near those levels decreased breast cancer risk more than 77 percent.
'The Sunshine Vitamin' was once thought of only for bone health, helping the body process calcium. But more recent work has shown that all cells in the body have "vitamin D receptors" which help control normal cell growth. Additionally, Garland presented new evidence that low vitamin D status compromises the integrity of calcium-based cellular bonding within tissues, which when eroded allow rogue cancer cells to spread more readily.
Grassroots Health is trying to raise vitamin D awareness among Canadians. Despite epidemic-level vitamin D deficiency in Canada, fewer than nine per cent of Canadians have ever had their vitamin D levels checked by a professional and most who have do not know their vitamin D blood level.
CONTACT: or to set up an interview with Dr. Vieth, please contact: Michelle Di Rocco, (416)
360-6522 ext. 251 or email@example.com
Copyright (C) 2009 CNW Group. All rights reserved.
I can't help myself here and I don't mean to demean the seriousness of this devastating disease, especially during Breast Cancer Awareness month but... is this why so many of us caring men advocate clothing optional beaches around the world?
November 5, 2009
Coffee brims with health benefits, researchers say
Oct. 31--Drink up, coffee lovers. Not only is coffee aromatic and delicious, it's good for you.
Who says? None other than Harvard Medical School.
Once considered questionable for your health, it turns out that the beloved beverage is actually healthful in moderation. That means a few cups a day.
At about 20 cents per 6-ounce cup, coffee is a good deal if you brew it yourself.
Harvard researchers say drinking coffee may help prevent diseases such as:
Cancer: Some studies have found coffee drinkers have lower rates of colon and rectal cancers and are 50 percent less likely to get liver cancer than coffee abstainers.
Type 2 diabetes: Coffee is thought to contain chemicals that lower blood sugar because heavy coffee drinkers may be half as likely to get diabetes as those who drink little or no coffee. Coffee also may increase your resting metabolism rate, which could help prevent diabetes.
Parkinson's disease: Coffee seems to help protect men from Parkinson's disease, but not women. The difference might be due to estrogen, researchers say.
Heart disease: Coffee is not linked to the development of heart disease. In the past few years, Harvard scientists say, coffee has been shown to be safe even for heart attack survivors. Scientists think antioxidants in coffee may reduce inflammation and protect blood vessel walls.
Life span: Recent studies suggest that drinking coffee decreases the risk of premature death, especially in women. Women who drank at least five to seven cups a week had a death rate 26 percent lower than non-consumers, a large investigation by researchers in Spain and at Harvard Medical School found.
It's not only Harvard researchers who are touting the brew's benefits.
Last month, a study led by Neal Freedman of the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Md., showed that people with chronic hepatitis C and advanced liver disease who drank three or more cups of coffee a day cut their risk of the disease progressing by 53 percent.
Although caffeine might be considered the "active ingredient" in coffee, coffee is only 2 percent caffeine and 98 percent "other stuff," including more than 1,000 different compounds such as vitamins, minerals and amino acids.
It even contains fiber. Each cup contains from 1.1 to 1.8 grams of soluble dietary fiber, the kind that dissolves in water and helps prevent cholesterol from being absorbed by the intestines, according to researchers at the Spanish National Research Council in Madrid.
Do researchers have any words of caution? Yes -- although regular coffee drinking isn't harmful for most people, that might not hold true for pregnant women. Research has linked miscarriage to caffeine consumption of 200 milligrams or more per day. A typical cup of coffee has 100 to 150 milligrams, Harvard reports.
Of course, we like to be able to justify our morning addiction as healthful, when the truth may be we can't get moving without it!
Is it possible to be caffeine-addicted? Yes, University of Florida professor and director of toxicology Bruce Goldberger says.
"It is one of the most commonly ingested drugs worldwide. It is addictive. One example of that is if you consume a lot of caffeine, then you don't, you start to crave it. If you consume a lot of caffeine, and it is not working, then you need to consume more," Goldberger said.
Like anything, experts advise, moderation counts. Anyone who's ever had the jitters from drinking too much coffee knows that.
What can I add but the fact that coffee seems to get a bad rap for awhile and then we read something like this, but good news; no warning labels on a bag of beans, so far. And, in case you are interested, I think the best coffee in the world is Kona coffee and I accept bags of whole beans in the mail should you wish to send some...
November 4, 2009
"In honor of this holy season" Saint Peter said, "You must each possess something that symbolizes Christmas to get into heaven."
The first man fumbled through his pockets and pulled out a lighter. He flicked it on. "It represents a candle," he said.
"You may pass through the pearly gates," Saint Peter said.
The second man reached into his pocket and pulled out a set of keys. He shook them and said, "They're bells."
Saint Peter said, "You may pass through the pearly gates."
The third man started searching desperately through his pockets and finally pulled out a pair of women's panties.
St. Peter looked at the man with a raised eyebrow and asked, "And just what do those symbolize?"
The man replied, "These are Carol's."
And So The Christmas Season Begins......
November 3, 2009
November 2, 2009
October 31, 2009
Dr, Mark Hyman writes in his blog post about ways to be more healthy. I strongly recommend checking out his blog weekly here
9 Tips for Increasing the Fiber in Your Diet.
- 1. Get the flax. Get a coffee grinder just for flax seeds, grind 1/2 cup at a time, and keep it in a tightly sealed glass jar in the fridge or freezer. Eat 2 tablespoons of ground flax seeds a day. Sprinkle it on salads, grains, or vegetable dishes or mix it in a little unsweetened applesauce.2. Load up on legumes. Beans beat out everything else for fiber content!
3. Bulk up on vegetables. With low levels of calories and high levels of antioxidants and protectivephytochemicals, these excellent fiber sources should be heaped on your plate daily.
4. Go with the grain. Whole grains like brown rice or quinoa are rich in fiber, too.
5. Eat more fruit. Include a few servings of low-sugar fruits to your diet daily (berries are the highest in fiber and other protective phytochemicals).
6. Go nuts. Include a few handfuls of almonds, walnuts, pecans, or hazelnuts to your diet every day.
7. Start slowly. Switching abruptly to a high-fiber diet can cause gas and bloating. Increase your fiber intake slowly till you get up to 50 grams a day.
8. Consider a good fiber supplement. If you're have trouble getting your fill of fiber, choose a supplement that contains both soluble and insoluble fiber and no sweeteners or additives.
9. Choose GM. By now, you know that my favorite kind is glucomannan (GM), or konjac. Many companies sell it in capsule form. Although I don't normally recommend specific brands, I like the one produced by Natural Factors called WellBetX. You can take 2 to 4 capsules with a glass of water, 30 to 60 minutes before eating. Don't take any medications within 1 hour before or 2 hours after taking it because the fiber may absorb the medication.
October 30, 2009
What might be useful and memorable for my audience - I suppose that is the key.
Please email me with your insight and profundity.
Cranberries Provide Eight-Hour Health Protection----New Research Reveals Urinary Tract, Cardiovascular and Cancer Benefits of the Berry from the Bog-
SAVANNAH, Ga., Oct 28, 2009 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- For those who think cranberries are nothing more than a turkey side dish, new research revealed this week confirms that the crimson berry may be small, but its health benefits are large. Leading scientists from throughout the country and abroad convened today in Savannah, GA, for the Fourth Cranberry Institute Health Research Conference to review the latest findings on the potential health benefits of cranberries, including studies that reveal an eight-hour protection against certain harmful bacteria and significant improvements in biomarkers for many chronic diseases.
More than 30 nutrition scientists from leading research institutions, including the National Institutes of Health, the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and a variety of prestigious universities, presented new findings about the cranberry's antibacterial and anti-adhesion properties, as well as promising new areas of research in anti-aging, anti-cancer and protection against cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome and type II diabetes.
"New studies are continually finding how unique cranberries are, and that their potential health benefits are impressive," said Jere Downing, executive director, Cranberry Institute, the nonprofit organization dedicated to cranberry health research. There seems to be no denying that cranberries are antioxidant-rich and deliver unique proanthocyanidins (PACs) that are responsible for cranberries' beneficial anti-adhesion properties.
Cranberry Juice Cocktail Offers Eight-Hour Urinary Tract Protection
Cranberries may offer help to more than 11 million American women each year who contract urinary tract infections (UTIs). UTIs cost some $1.6 billion in healthcare and the only known treatment is antibiotic therapy, which increasingly contributes to creating bacterial resistant strains of pathogens.
Cranberry PACs have been shown to protect against P-fimbriated Escherichia coli (E. coli), which is thought to be responsible for as much as 95% of urinary tract infections, and other strains of E. coli bacteria through anti-adhesion properties, so that pathogenic bacteria are unable to adhere to our cells, multiply and cause an infection. New research presented by Amy Howell, Ph.D., associate research scientist at Rutgers University, Marucci Center for Blueberry and Cranberry Research and Extension, examined the anti-adhesion effects of 16 oz. of cranberry juice cocktail (CJC) versus water on subject urine samples exposed to E. coli bacteria. The researchers, including lead researcher Terri A. Camesano, Associate Professor of Chemical Engineering, Worcester Polytechnic Institute, reported that CJC provided protection against the pathogen for up to eight-hours.
"The potential for cranberry juice cocktail to help prevent urinary tract infections is significant, especially since we know that the berry's unique proanthocyanidins offer at least an eight-hour anti-adhesion benefit," said Howell. "Based on this and other studies, we recommend that drinking cranberry juice twice daily can help maintain a healthy urinary tract," she added.
The same anti-adhesion benefits studied in urinary tract health are now being identified in other areas of the body, such as the oral cavity, stomach and small intestine. Studies at the conference identified that cranberry PACs help prevent oral bacteria from adhering to tooth and denture surfaces, thereby helping to protect against gum disease and cavities. In addition, researchers from the University of Maine conducted trials to determine if cranberry PACs can help protect against E. coli 0157:H7, the strain responsible for serious--and even life-threatening--cases of foodborne illnesses.
While more studies are needed, the preliminary studies suggest that cranberry PACs may play a role in oral health, gastrointestinal health and protection against bacterial, fungal and even viral illnesses.
Emerging research suggests that cranberries may also play a role in cardiovascular health. A University of Scranton study presented one way in which the cranberry provides cardioprotection. In the study, animals fed a high-fat diet with two doses of cranberry juice cocktail (CJC) daily had significantly decreased atherosclerotic development, compared to animals fed a high-fat diet without CJC. The mechanism of the effect of CJC on atherosclerosis is currently under examination, but is thought to be from the potent antioxidant capacity of the berries.
Numerous ongoing and recently completed studies are evaluating the role cranberries may have in preventing certain cancers. Preliminary in vitro studies conducted at the University of Massachusetts found that compounds in cranberries limit the proliferation of human breast, colon and prostate tumor cell lines in a dose-dependent manner. Researchers at the University of Western Ontario presented research showing that cranberry extracts impaired the growth of eight different human cancer cell lines.
The Cranberry Institute
The Cranberry Institute is a not-for-profit organization founded in 1951 to further the success of cranberry growers and the industry in the Americas through health, agricultural and environmental stewardship research, as well as cranberry promotion and education.
CONTACT: Tasia Hurt/Emily Blasi
SOURCE The Cranberry Institute
October 28, 2009
Maybe this one is different. All the media certainly are saying that it is, not that I think there are that many qualified journalists who also have doctorates in infectious diseases but they are parroting what other so called experts are saying. I am not suggesting that there is some sort of conspiracy about, but the speed with which this has been proclaimed and the magic bullet concocted, approved and delivered is somewhat suspect in my little corner of the world. Perhaps you think that I am just an old, curmudgeonly skeptic but what happens when people start having all sorts of unexpected reactions to the vaccinations? Is this like most other products created in the labs of big pharma and has a laundry list of side effects that are scarier than what it is supposed to cure? If you are going in for the needle - do you know the potential hazards of taking it in the arm?
Perhaps I will wait and let you and a few million others pretend to be lab rats and see what the results are. In the meantime, I will wash my hands frequently and cover my face when you cough.
I guess I'm off the fence for the time-being - is red wine good for the flu too?
October 27, 2009
Oct. 25--Eating a Mediterranean diet rich in fruits, vegetables, legumes, olive oil, fish and cereals is associated with a slower rate of cognitive decline in adults 65 years and older.
Journal of the American Medical Association, August
People who live in neighborhoods with access to parks, safe walkways and public transportation and fresh fruits and vegetables are 38 percent less likely to develop diabetes than people who live in more unhealthy neighborhoods.
Archives of Internal Medicine, October
A daily supplement of 700 to 1,000 international units of vitamin D reduces older people's risk of falling by 19 percent.
British Medical Journal, October
For women past menopause, at least seven hours of moderate-to-vigorous physical activity a week during the previous 10 years is associated with a 16 percent reduction in the risk of breast cancer.
BMC Cancer, October
Men who engage in moderate exercise are significantly less likely to receive a diagnosis of prostate cancer. If they do receive a diagnosis, they are less likely to have aggressive disease.
Journal of Urology, September
Women who are obese in middle age are 80 percent less likely to be healthy and free of chronic disease at age 70.
British Medical Journal, September
Mortality rates for people with the lowest fitness scores are double those who are moderately fit and four times that of people with the highest scores.
Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, July
October 26, 2009
October 25, 2009
September 16, 2009
LIFESTYLE RELATIONSHIP FINANCES
Heather Compton &
Available at www.retirementrocks.ca $24.95
I’ve been looking forward to this book for several months and the wait was worth it. First of all, yes the book deals with the financial aspects of how much is enough, designing a lifestyle to suit your financial abilities, taking care of the legalities, tax savings, investments, expenses, planning, pensions and money management issues. And yes, this is done in a way that is professional, understandable, engaging and sensitive. If I stopped at that point, I would say the authors gave great value for the investment of $24.95 and that I would have felt much more knowledgeable and prepared to look at my financial future.
What pleased me most about this book is that the writers decided to offer so much more than financial advice and looked at some of the most important issues about retirement and the most challenging for many. We have all laughed at the story of the stay-at-home wife who lives in fear as the clock strikes down to retirement and HE is going to be around the house all day. We have also seen people who retired to a recliner and reruns of I Love Lucy and died 2 years later from boredom. More and more, we are hearing from relationship professionals about late life marriage breakdowns. Rarely would a top flight retirement planning book take on these issues as part of the process of a successful last phase of our lives, and it is high time that someone did. Thankfully, retirement rocks! has done just exactly that.
The authors place primary importance on our lifestyle and relationships by placing these sections first in their book and it makes such good sense. It is easy to see that Heather and Dennis have worked hard and successfully at their own relationship and we are the better for it. They share their personal experience and have called upon many other examples to provide us with a full range of thought provoking and soul searching methods to make sure we have the most important parts of our lives in place before the frying pan of retirement hits us on the head. The two sections on Lifestyle and Relationships make this a book that is valuable and useful to people everywhere and not just in
Buy this book for the financial planning but
read it for the glimpse at a life worth living.
Robert J. Bannon
July 27, 2009
June 10, 2009
n. 1. a feeling of sickness in the stomach characterized by an urge to vomit brought on by overexposure to technobabble
2. strong aversion; disgust with all things technical
as in: "I can't understand this, I don't want to understand this, I'm sick of reading crap I don't understand, I've had enough, get me the hell out of here! click"
I lost my new cellphone and spent time yesterday retracing my steps to find it, to no avail and so had to go to the phone dealer and suspend the service. While there, I inquired about new products, plans, etc. The girl was a terrible representative who asked no questions about my purpose for a phone, how I would use it, etc. Rather, she showed me several and said, "These are popular." I didn't want popular. I wanted someone to show me a product that would be suitable and useful for my needs. Her questions were based on technology not customer needs.
I was trying to create a cloaked affiliate link and couldn't figure out the code to use so went to a website that is very useful in showing how to do this sort of thing but couldn't find the information and when I found something close - technobabble! People trying to outdo each other with terms that no one outside the "club" can understand.
Now I have to figure out what kind of phone, calling plan, Blackberry, not Blackberry, term, how much, etc. and decide what to do in the next couple of days. I need to get back on line and get the links correct as well as finish a website that is in development and the weather is just plain crappy - too cold to golf.
No wonder I shut the whole darn thing down and went home and planted flowers.
I had a case of recurring TECH-NAUSEA.
May 25, 2009
Over the past few months I find myself totally immersed in several disparate areas of study and haven't thought too much about how it all comes together, until now. I realize that some of it has to do with approaching retirement age, not being sure of our ability to afford retirement, seeing so many people around me having serious (and worse) medical conditions, personally being irresponsible with weight, food and fitness choices and the general malaise that seems to come with economic meltdowns. It also occurs to me that I am not alone in these struggles as so many of us try to make sense out of a world that is moving increasingly faster with annual pandemic panics that are starting to happen twice a year, food that is unsafe to eat, wars, pestilence, diseases that have been raising billions of dollars with no cures in sight, government agencies rife with corruption (including ones responsible for our health and nutrition safety), multi-national pharmaceutical companies that have created junkies out of everyone, taxation that punishes the successful and independent and a laundry list of other depression inducing nonsense that would drive one to a good bottle of wine - if one could afford one.
Out of this field full of fertilizer a few flowers must eventually sprout and I have decided to create or at least plant, a flower of my own. I will continue to use this space for my excess Mind Gas and general ranting about whatever suits my fancy but I am initiating a new blog dedicated to providing positive options as a result of all of the seemingly unconnected reading, research and interests that I have been working on. It will be focused toward people who are considered to be "baby boomers" and looking for alternative ideas about everything from health to income opportunities, retirement planning to travel and fitness solutions to safe food choices. I will do my best to boil down some of the interesting research and new information into plain language with connections to my sources so that the reader can continue their own investigation.
Some of you may be aware of my like for contradiction and whenever I find information that flies in the face of conventional and accepted wisdom, I devour it. I use the excuse of keeping an open mind when I stumble into that kind of research - really, it is just plain glee at pricking a hole in all of those pompous gas bags that try to control our lives. You won't need to be a contrarian to enjoy the new blog but I really believe that there is an enormous amount of BS in most of the fields I study and that some professions (and you know who you are) shroud the truth in obfuscation and diatribe that is intentionally designed to make it more difficult for laymen - see, I can do it too.
OK, so the new blog is called Health Full Boomer and I plan to offer information on the complete "health" areas of our lives including medical, fitness, nutritional, financial and anything else that contributes to the whole person and our enjoyment of life. Life is for living, not waiting and it is a lot easier (as I have recently found out) when we are physically fit. I don't know about you but I come from the school of 'no pain - no gain' and during that pursuit I have discovered a program developed by a doctor (of all people!) from Florida who has turned the entire idea of long, boring, exhausting workouts on its head. He claims, and has the research to back it up, that we need 12 minutes per day of intense workout to reclaim the fitness that our bodies were created for. No expensive gym memberships, hour long jogs or $2,000.00 electronic clothes hangers in the basement. I currently have his program open on my desk as I put together a new 12 minute routine for next week. I have been using his ideas for about a month and a half and can happily report that it really works! So, if you are curious, my first posting at Health Full Boomer will be about the PACE program developed by Dr. Al Sears, MD.
In the new blog, I will try to keep the tone light and informative and save my whining for this space. I am also hoping to drive more traffic to Health Full Boomer and will be writing some magazine articles, etc. that will reference it. If you are so inclined, I would appreciate your help in spreading the word about it and will be offering some FREE reports and information exclusively available to followers of the blog.
To your continuing prosperity and good health...
May 12, 2009
It started with the lady's daughter whom I met after changing high schools from an all boys one to the public system and we began to date - a situation that lasted almost 5 years. But what a 5 years it was for a kid from the wrong side of the tracks both literally and figuratively. I still remember the first date when a door opened to a world that I didn't know existed. I had no money - barely enough in my pockets to pay the entry fees to the dance - I certainly didn't have a car - high school kids didn't drive Beemers in those days and I didn't yet have an old beater like most of my friends. I took the City bus from my house to hers and in the process got drenched by the cold rain that was falling that night. We were meeting mutual friends (who had a car) and going to a typical kids' dance for those times, held in an indoor shopping mall after the stores closed. I even remember the name of the band, David Clayton Thomas and the Fabulous Shays, (DCT went on to become lead singer with Blood, Sweat and Tears), but I digress.
I arrived on her doorstep like a drowned rat; soaked jacket, shoes and slacks and rivulets of water running down my face but I suspect that my palms were wetter than my clothes as her father opened the door and welcomed me to a home full of warmth, humour and acceptance. After the de rigeur chat with her dad, who has remained a role model in my mind for 45 years, I then met her mother but I was so darned nervous that I barely recall the introduction and besides, I only had eyes for the young girl at her side. As the months and then years passed, this charming woman who was filled with grace, beauty, intelligence and a deep caring for the world slowly but surely came to represent, for the rest of my life, the portrait of the ideal woman, wife and mother. I have often suspected that she knew a lot more about me than I did myself. I think that she had a very keen and developed sense of intuition and many times over the years when I visited my home town, I wondered what it would be like to call and invite her for a chat. I now regret never having done that. I suppose that dovetails nicely with a bunch of other regrets emanating from that period of my life.
Most good homes, in my experience, revolve around the mother and theirs was no exception as she brought a sense of style along with life standards that demanded integrity, truth, hard work, achievement, open-mindedness, charity, intellectual pursuit, discussion and a willingness to listen (even to the bleatings of a raw edged teenager) that resulted in joy, laughter, good natured ribbing and a deep seated love of her family. I suspect that her legion of friends gravitated to this lady who was the unassuming centre of all of this. It is too bad that we often wait until someone's death to spend the time thinking about what sort of meaning they brought to life and specifically what they meant to us personally. Mrs. B became a source of inspiration to me when it came to choosing the life I wanted to create for myself and my own family. She demonstrated the value of caring for others, the gift of inclusion and the joy of giving without expectation. I suspect that most of us are exposed to great teachers in our lives and I also suspect that most of them go unrecognized. That is the case in this instance but I can't allow myself to go forward without acknowledgement to myself, if no one else. I'm not so sure that she was very thrilled about me dating her daughter (I wouldn't have been either) but this gracious person who defined the word "lady" allowed me to do so, welcomed me into her home, treated me with kindness and gave me a role model that lasted a lifetime.
I realize that there is no one in my circle of family and friends who can possibly understand the impact that Mrs. B had on my life but without question, she may be the singular reason that I eventually took a turn in the road. Thank you Mrs. B for showing me that road and the possibility and joy that exists in this world. By the way, she was one heck of a cook too - a sure way to influence a teenage boys life. Thank You
May 7, 2009
A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him. When the class began, he wordlessly picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and proceeded to fill it with golf balls. He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was..
The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured them into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls. He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.
The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else. He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous 'yes.'
The professor then produced two Beers from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed..
'Now,' said the professor as the laughter subsided, 'I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things---your family, your children, your health, your friends and your favorite passions---and if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full.
The pebbles are the other things that matter like your job, your house and your car..
The sand is everything else---the small stuff. 'If you put the sand into the jar first,' he continued, 'there is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff you will never have room for the things that are important to you.
Pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Spend time with your children. Spend time with your parents. Visit with grandparents. Take time to get medical checkups. Take your spouse out to dinner. Play another 18.. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the disposal. Take care of the golf balls first---the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand. One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the Beer represented. The professor smiled and said, 'I'm glad you asked.'
The Beer just shows you that no matter how full your life may seem, there's always room for a couple of Beers with a friend.
Please share this with someone you care about. I JUST DID!
April 2, 2009
The error I made was to continue on the eating program beyond the 6 weeks without doing the recommended testing. In my defense, I felt so darned good that I just wanted that to continue for an indefinite time and I was also trying to support some other family members in their efforts to find amazing health and lose weight by not flaunting foods outside the Ultra Mind program. When I decided to eat hockey arena food and drink wine all on the same weekend, I did the inevitable "dive" in energy and also experienced a number of other symptoms including a certain "bunged-up-ness." While this is dramatic evidence of the effects that some of this stuff we call food have on our bodies, I don't know which ones caused what. My advice to those of you who have decided to embrace the incredible feeling of health that comes with Dr. Hyman's program is to follow his advice on testing yourself with the various foodstuffs and rigorously recording the results so that you can continue to live a long and healthy life armed with the knowledge of how to do just that.
In addition to correcting my tendency for run on sentences, I will now spend a couple of weeks staying true to the program and then go through the procedure of determining if I need to avoid certain substances in the future. I seem to have some evidence, for the first time in my life, that I may have some sensitivities to more than just schmaltzy movies. Anyway, more next time on the 7 biological systems that need to be in balance to create an Ultra Mind. If you haven't tried this program yet, do yourself the biggest favour of your life and do it for 6 weeks.
April 1, 2009
I thought that this article would fit in rather nicely with the posts I have been doing about The Ultra Mind Solution since the health of our bodies is paramount to the health of our brains. I have known too many people lately, especially men, who have ignored the facts found in this news release. Some of them are no longer here to refute this evidence. Please pass it on to anyone that you think needs a bit of a wake up call.
United Press International
"While colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer death in the United States, it is the most preventable major cancer," Dr. Randolph Hecht of the University of California, Los Angeles, says in a statement.
Hecht and colleagues said any persistent symptoms -- blood in the stool, a change in bowel habits, weight loss, narrower-than-usual stools, abdominal pains -- should be reported to a doctor.
Researchers advise those at normal risk to begin having regular colorectal cancer screenings beginning at age 50. However, those with a personal or family history of colorectal cancer, other cancers or inflammatory bowel disease should talk to their doctor about starting screening sooner.
To lower colon cancer risk Hecht suggests:
-- Maintain healthy weight by eating a low-fat diet that includes leafy greens containing folate and other vegetables, fruits, whole grains, nuts and beans that provide between 25 and 30 grams of fiber each day.
-- Drink alcohol in moderation and quit smoking. Alcohol and tobacco in combination is linked to gastrointestinal cancers.
-- Exercise at least 20 minutes three to four days a week.
March 30, 2009
It was a little harder getting up Sunday morning to head out and it wasn't helped by the fact that I had to shovel 10 inches of wet snow off the driveway that had fallen overnight. When I got to the rink about 9:15, the smell of breakfast wraps was too much - yep, had one of those too, followed by a turkey and Swiss sandwich about 2:00 - more bread. The truth is, I was pretty sluggish all day Sunday and I know it was the combination of a lot of hours in the rink but also the food that I was eating. It is probably the proof that I required to show the powerful benefits of following Dr. Hyman's program. So now a couple of days of healthy food, working out, supplements and I should be as good as new. It really is interesting how food creates low energy and a certain fog-like haze in our brains. I would not have noticed that before going on this program but now it really is easy to see. I got home from the tournament on Sunday around 5:30, made a healthy dinner and fell into a vegetative state of mindless TV for the evening. Here's to a return to more energy!
March 27, 2009
There are over 200 pages of support material, including what may be the most important part of his program, the self testing questionaire. I began reading the material and quickly realized that this was no "late night TV info schlock." This was an incredibly detailed examination and discovery process designed to produce very valuable feedback about the participant's physical and mental health. At no time in my life have I ever had a doctor ask any of these questions, let alone spend the time to explain what was going on in my body. I completed the entire question and scoring part over the next couple of nights and read the explanations and easy to understand recommendations based on the results of my own tests. I learned about a new area of medical practice called Functional Medicine and began to see the relationships between the food I was eating, the vitamins and minerals I was missing and the life I was living. I really didn't have any idea that some of the limitations, physical and mental energy, thought processes and mood were so inter-related and dependent on what I was injesting. My eyes were opened in a way that was supportive and encouraging by someone who has experienced personally and through his patients, the symptoms and solutions in his book. All of this gave me the confidence to "give it a try."
I made the decision to enter into the Ultra Mind Solution about the middle of January and start the 6 week program. This was made very easy because of the recipes and food shopping lists contained in the support material, along with a daily half hour excercise program that consisted of walking. I had finally found a use for the electronic clothes hanger in the basement, sometimes called a treadmill. I will share some of the results that I began to experience immediately and then report some of the longer term benefits that have continued to surprise and please me to this day, in future blogs. In the meantime, take a look yourself at Dr. Hyman's Ultra Mind Solution.
March 25, 2009
One of the biggest processed food culprits is MSG and its many names and forms found in virtually every packaged food, sauce and restaurant meal. The incredible harm this addictive chemical is foisting upon an unsuspecting public is studiously avoided by the very institutions that are supposed to protect our food sources and ultimately, us. I haven't even mentioned the relationship between MSG and obesity that has been proven time and again and then of course, the link between that obesity and all the physical damage it is causing to our hearts, joints, organs and brains, but you might find this an interesting source:
I recently read somewhere that to be truly healthy, we should never eat anything that our grandmothers wouldn't recognize. Food labels are supposed to show us what is inside the package and then an uneducated public is somehow supposed to understand the various chemical names and what they are. In addition, the FDA and its Canadian equivalent, have an incredibly long list of substances that are not required to be revealed on the labels. Perhaps it is true that if our food has a label on it, maybe we shouldn't eat it. That's enough preaching by me for one day but as a student of life, I rely on the teachings of learned people who have used their training, intelligence, creativity and common sense to present us with information that makes a real difference in the lives of people everywhere - maybe even you and I. If you haven't checked out Dr. Hyman - try it now .
March 23, 2009
I was none too pleased on Xmas day to open my wife's gift of workout clothes and a gym pass, nor was I pleased to overhear her comment to a family member about how we were both going to join weight watchers in January. Naturally, the contrarian in me became a little more active, even if the rest of me didn't. The truth of the matter was that I knew I was going to have to do something soon but I have a natural distaste for commercial diets that equate weight loss with health and whose marketing strategy is to keep you coming back as long as possible. That whole approach doesn't pass the common sense test as far as I am concerned. I had the notion that my weight had ballooned due to overeating and that once I cut my intake quantity, I would somehow glide back to my ideal weight without too much trouble. The "trouble" was, I had been thinking that way for decades and I was wondering if it was too late. The other truth is that I had never really made the connection between what was happening to my mind, or at least, in my brain with what I was shovelling into my mouth.
I had never really expressed these concerns to anyone, especially about "losing a step or two" in the brain department and in my arrogance, thought that I would magically find a pill that would return me to the physical specimen of my youth but the effort it took a year earlier to get into shape to learn to surf was a lot harder than I expected. One of the other motivators that began appearing on my horizon was the number of friends that had begun to show signs of premature aging and in some cases, die.
Over the next few blog postings I will offer some insights on health that you can put to the test right away. I will use the Ultra Mind Solution by Dr. Mark Hyman as a base to tell you about the 7 step solution that you can use right now to "unleash your body's hidden ability to dramatically improve mood, memory and thinking speed," as observed by Mehment Oz, MD, who has endorsed the book. I will use my own experience over the past 9+ weeks to demonstrate and share the secrets to realizing a level of health, both physically and mentally, that most of us didn't know was possible. The best part of this entire process is that you can try it for just 6 short weeks and the results will astound you. We often hear about the Mind/Body connection and how we can think ourselves sick, but this turns that upside down and I promise that you will see the incredible difference available to you when you heal your body and heal your mind, as a result.
March 20, 2009
Something else that held promise, but didn't quite fit the bill as an adventure project, was getting my body and mind into shape and that is coming along extremely well and I have decided to devote several editions of this blog, starting next week, to how that process is going. I will use myself and some of the changes I have noticed as an example of how this amazing program works. So, starting next week, there will be blogs available here with specific information, based on a program created by Doctor Mark Hyman. I will offer facts, proven by the doctor and witnessed by myself, links to more information, how-to's, exact excercise regimens and their results, enthusiastic encouragement sprinkled with some of my special brand of arrogant, militaristic shouting, recipes, eating tips for home and away and a lot of other stuff designed to arm you with the information to make life enhancing changes in your own life. A lot of the changes that I have noticed, frankly I didn't even recognize as issues, prior to this program. So, if you want more energy physically and mentally, more altertness, better sleeps, keener focus ability, a more positive outlook, less anxiety, better temperment and a bunch of other physical improvements that I will reveal - oh, did I mention that I have lost 32 lbs in 10 weeks - not to worry, it's just a side effect, but I may need a new picture, if only I knew a photographer....
If you, or someone you know, might benefit from the personal knowledge of an "ultra mind solution" then may I suggest that you go to "Google Reader" and create an automatic feed from this blog so that you, and they, can be automatically updated when I post this information - it starts next week. Please forward this to anyone you know that might be interested - I promise to keep it clean and sane - honest!
March 13, 2009
It's a little like life isn't it? We proceed with a course of action, make decisions based on information at hand and then discover some new facts and occasionally get the opportunity for a "do over." I can see the sun peaking out from behind the clouds so maybe the analogy of a "mulligan" would be a better one. Anyway, you get the idea - coming soon to a screen near you - more Ezine articles for your reading pleasure.
March 10, 2009
While many people suffer from heartburn and gastric reflux disease, only a small number develop more severe ailments that can lead to esophageal cancer. Scientists who have been trying to understand what may protect against these conditions have identified an unlikely agent: wine.
Two studies published this month in the journal Gastroenterology suggest that people who drink wine in moderation are less likely to develop conditions that may lead to esophageal adenocarcinoma.
The reports are surprising because alcohol intake is a well- established risk factor for the other main form of esophageal cancer, squamous cell carcinoma. Researchers therefore warned that the findings were preliminary and must be confirmed by more intensive research.
In one new study, researchers at Kaiser Permanente found that drinking one glass of wine a day was associated with a reduction of more than 50 percent in the risk of developing Barrett's esophagus, though there was no reduction in risk for that disorder among those who drank either liquor or beer.
Barrett's esophagus, an erosion of the esophageal lining that can be caused by chronic heartburn or acid reflux, increases the risk of later developing esophageal adenocarcinoma 30- to 40-fold.
In the second study, researchers at Queen's University Belfast found that wine drinkers were at lower risk for reflux esophagitis, or GERD, an irritation of the esophagus caused by chronic heartburn.
Findings from the two studies are consistent with those from an earlier Australian report published in the same journal in December. That study found that drinking wine in moderation was associated with lower risks for the two forms of esophageal cancer.
"There is a lot of warranted skepticism about nutritional studies - one shows one thing and one shows something else," said Dr. Douglas Corley, a gastroenterologist and senior author of the Kaiser Permanente study. "But these are the first few studies that have looked at this, and they all find the same thing in three different populations in three different countries."
But in general, people who drink wine are different from those who drink beer or liquor, experts said. They tend to earn more and to be more educated, and it is hard for researchers to know if it is the wine or some other aspect of their lifestyle that protects their health in this case.
"This is an exploratory study, and my view is that further work needs to be done before we put too much weight on it," said Dr. Liam Murray, a senior author of the Irish study and a professor of cancer epidemiology at Queen's University Belfast.