Health MATTERS:  a better way to get your C

  “Satisfaction of one’s curiosity is one of the greatest sources of happiness in life” – Dr. Linus Pauling

20140612_162844Funny the way life works sometimes.  I was reading W. Gifford-Jones MD “a collection of columns” from his book “What I Learned as a Medical Journalist which I find fascinating by the way….when I realized I was out of Vitamin C.  I was also feeling under the weather and it was suggested to me that I try out a brand new product – a powder with a high concentration of Vitamin C and L-Lysine called Medi-C Plus.  It sounded pretty good so I’m trying it out when I then realize that the Harvard Medical graduate’s name is on the bottle.  So now I’m even more curious to know more about this product.In a revolutionary finding, based on scientific fact that should have hit the headlines of every newspaper in the world, he says this powder can both prevent and reverse atherosclerosis in coronary and other arteries to prevent heart attack – a number one killer.

I just needed Vitamin C but while we’re at it…..

“If I had the power to improve the nation’s health I’d prohibit daily TV commercials that tell us that something is wrong with us.  I’d do this because Madison Avenue advertising is triggering false hopes and injuring health.  We’ve reached a point where a well person is someone who hasn’t been seen by enough doctors, or had a battery of tests done.  Then we could dump half of the pills in the trash.” – W. Gifford-Jones, MD (with a twist).

20140612_163547A condensed EXCERPT from the book: How Vitamin C and Lysine Powder can help prevent Heart Attack.

Many years ago, Dr. Linus Pauling, two-time Noble Prize winner, is ignored for reporting that large amounts of Vitamin C and Lysine are needed to prevent coronary attacks.  Twenty-five years ago, Pauling reported that animals make Vitamin C while humans do not.  That’s why sailors died of scurvy during long sea voyages, but the ship’s cat survived.

Vitamin C is required to manufacture healthy collagen, the glue that holds coronary cells together, just like mortar is needed for bricks.  Lysine, like steel rods in concrete, makes collagen stronger.  Pauling claimed that it takes a mere 10 milligrams to prevent scurvy, but several thousand to prevent heart attack.

But to take large doses of Vitamin C and Lysine requires swallowing many pills daily.  It’s a tall order for those who dislike swallowing even one pill.  So for several years, Gifford-Jones had been trying to find a company that would manufacture a combination of Vitamin C and Lysine powder.  Now Medi-C Plus is available at health food stores.

It’s easy because the dosage for the Medi-C Plus combination is easy – one flat scoop with breakfast and the evening meal, with either water or orange juice. The only thing you can’t take it with is *Grapefruit juice.

The berry flavour doesn’t taste bad at all.  I read labels – it is naturally sweetened with berry and stevia.  The scoop inside is not so large that you feel you won’t go through it so quickly which is another plus factor. Helps in collagen formation, developing & maintaining bones and for teeth and gums.  Nothing not to like – I’M IN!  This may be my new “for life” product.

 

*Grapefruit juice and fresh grapefruit can interfere with the action of some prescription drugs, as well as a few non-prescription drugs.  Grapefruit most commonly interacts with drugs taken for high blood pressure, high cholesterol, depression, anxiety, allergies, HIV, impotence, and seizures. If you’re taking medication for any of these conditions, avoid grapefruit as a snack or juice. To be on the safe side, also stay away from tangelos, which are a hybrid of tangerine and grapefruit.

**Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Healthwith host Brad Kingfor the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.  Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Health MATTERS: Stinging Nettle is nothing to sneeze at!

I’m always on the lookout for a good natural solution to my problem.

Stinging Nettle
Stinging Nettle

Of all the health problems that summer and spring can bring, hay fever can be amongst the most debilitating and annoying. The constant interruptions to your life brought on by uncontrollable sneezing and irritated eyes is enough to drive most people crazy. It’s driving me crazy right now!

It may surprise you then to realize that the same garden which is largely responsible for your current predicament is also home to the solution to your problems.

One study on humans of nettle leaf for the treatment of hay fever found that this herb works 58 percent of the time on reducing itching and sneezing.  Researchers believe that nettle is able to reduce the amount of histamine in people with allergies. By naturally reducing the level of histamine in the body as a result of allergens, you increase your resilience to those same allergens.

Doctors recommend taking nettle long before allergy season begins. They also suggest using freeze-dried leaves, however taking supplements will also work. It has been found that hay fever sufferers can start out taking two nettle supplements, three times a day until symptoms are under control and then reduce their intake after that.

Stinging nettle tea is also available from most health food stores.

Did you know? Stinging nettle has been used for hundreds of years to treat painful muscles and joints, eczema, arthritis, gout, and anemia.

Have you tried it?

Also,                                                                                                                                      **Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.  Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

  

B well – the Daily BUZZ

CAFFEINE: the UPS and DOWNSbodum

chocolate, men, coffee – some things are better rich.

 I don’t know about you, but I start all of my mornings with two cups of Bodem (French Press) coffee with 2 tsp. of organic cane sugar (I’m refined until it comes to sugar) and cream.  Not going to compromise on the cream.  For the added calories I’d rather have that than watery tasting coffee with skim milk anytime.  I’ll have to cut calories elsewhere. Maybe ½ tsp. less sugar or honey – but honey doesn’t really replace sweetness in coffee the same way sugar does.  Oh well…

 And who invented decaf?  What purpose does it serve? Decaffeinated coffee is the devil’s blend. It’s not even that the taste of coffee is so amazing it’s only to WAKE UP!  But I do like the taste and smell of freshly ground organic coffee beans…..even if it’s a morning ritual while checking mail and catching up on others’ daily blogs while drinking the stuff.  I’m not looking to replace that.  Even fresh juice or smoothies don’t replace it – it’s just an ad-on to the morning ritual.  I know it’s good to switch up the workout routine now and then but NOT my mornings.  Typical morning: roll out of bed, quick stretch & brush teeth (can’t even drink coffee without first brushing), lazily make my way downstairs to a Bodem just waiting anxiously for me to press down on.  S L O W L Y beginning to wake up.  Second cup – finally awake.  Then it’s usually off for either a run or yoga class before coming back to shower and start the day……..I’ll spare you all the other amazing details of the rest of my day.

 Okay so while drinking my morning java the other day I came across an interesting article on the health benefits of caffeine (and happy I’m so healthy as I sip and read).  DID YOU KNOW that for all the potential benefits of coffee – from decreasing your diabetes risk to protecting against Parkinson’s – research now shows that the brew isn’t without its dangers?  Luckily there are simple ways to avoid them.  So before your next cup…. Spoiler alert:

 You should use a paper filter if you have HIGH CHOLESTEROL.  Every cup of unfiltered coffee (think my French press daily habit) contains cafestol – the most potent cholesterol-elevating substance we know of in the human diet, according to researcher Marie-Louise-Ricktts, PhD, of the University of Nevada, Reno.  One study found that drinking roughly four eight-ounce cups of French press coffee every day for four weeks could increase your cholesterol by about 8 percent.  To remove most of the cafestol, brew your coffee with paper filters (single-serve options like Keurig K-Cups, already have them built in), because they’re more effective at removing the compound than permanent metal filters.  Ooops……I’ll have to go back to my “one cup” with the natural paper filters at least a couple times per week….just incase.

 If you’re at risk for developing HEART DISEASE switch to decaf.  Sorry for putting you down decaf. Caffeinated coffee may increase your odds of having a heart attack if you already have three or more heart disease factors (such as being overweight, smoking, or having high blood pressure).  Caffeine will cause your blood pressure to briefly spike, and when you already have plaque buildup in your arteries, this can loosen and block blood flow, leading to a heart attack, explains study coauthor Ana Baylin, MD, associate professor of epidemiology at the University of  Michigan School of Public Health.  Even small amounts cam be harmful.

 If you experience ACID REFLUX– brew a darker roast.  Dark coffee may taste strong but according to one study, they’re gentler on your stomach.  The roasting process produces a compound that slows the production of stomach-irritating acid according to researcher Veronika Somoza, PhD, a professor in the University of Vienna’s department of nutritional and physiological chemistry. Darker brews are roasted longer than their lighter counterparts.

 If you suffer from INSOMNIA know when to say when. Conscience keeps more people awake than coffee.  The time it takes for half of the stimulant to leave your body is between four and seven hours.  Okay now there’s even an app (surprise, surprise) called Caffeine Zone 2 so you can enter how much coffee you drink and the app will predict how long your buzz should last.  What did we do when we didn’t have apps?

 I hope you find this helpful & interesting and that I didn’t spoil your day.  What about youWhat gets you off and running to start the day?

Also: **Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.

Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

 

B Well – with Alcohol

Booze.  How much is too much? 

It seems that sticking with Tequila is the trick!
It seems that sticking with Tequila is the trick!

This posting came about after reading an entertaining article called “A life well lived includes the luxury of a perfectly poured cocktail” by Christine Lennon.  Of course it attracted my attention.  I like to live well.

Lennon quit her daily drinking (although never stating it was a problem) when she was pregnant with twins.  But then when they got a bit older & she knew they were asleep she transformed from mommy into mixologist.  How better a way to handle twins or kids in general I thought.  Lennon says…

“I love a Dark & Stormy in the summer, a crisp white wine after the beach, a glass of Tempranillo when there’s a steak on the grill and, as the holidays approach, a good whiskey on the rocks.  I rarely drink in daylight, unless the occasion calls for it, or it’s summer, or it’s someone’s birthday (and hey, isn’t it always someone’s birthday?).  I only have one, most of the time, unless I’m out, or in with company, or it’s Christmas, or I just had an ass-kicking kind of day.  I’m not going to sugar coat it:  A single drink before dinner, while I’m making dinner, or after dinner makes me a happier person.  And frankly, a reposado tequila on the rocks with lime makes me a superhero.  I’m not an alcoholic.  I’ve seen that up close, and I know that what I’m doing bears little resemblance.  But that doesn’t keep me from wondering if I’m drifting into some kind of undefined, gray area of casual dependency.  Even my delightfully childless friends who don’t have to face a five-year-old at 6 A.M. are beginning to question if drinking is the best idea:  Is it compromising their performance at work, their future as a size 6, the youth of their skin?  What are the long-term effects of this indulgence?

“It’s hard to say with any certainty how much is too much, because each individual metabolizes alcohol differently,” says New York internist Frank Lipman, a specialist in integrative medicine.  Depending on which research you read, moderate drinking may lower cholesterol levels, sink blood pressure, lower your risk of stroke, and increase bone density post-menopause.

For women, moderate means up to one drink per day; low-risk drinking, meaning the person imbibing is less likely to develop alcohol dependency, can be categorized by no more than three drinks in one day, and no more than seven in one week.  The bad news:  Studies show that regular drinking is linked to breast cancer because alcohol can tinker, unfavourably, with estrogen levels (with the exceptiion of tequila).  Alcohol can also inhibit your absorption of nutrients.  One study suggests that heavy drinking rewires brain circuitry, making people more sensitive to stress.

So are there ways to drink healthily and well?  Hopefully rumors still circulate about an active ingredient in milk thistle, though proof remains elusive.  “We know that it supports liver function, and the liver metabolizes alcohol.  So it couldn’t hurt,” says Lipman, who also advises drinking water in between cocktails and eating beforehand.  “And, anecdotally, I’ve found that evening primrose oil capsules help, both to coat the stomach and to soothe the liver.”

Finally this from Lennon:  “In defense of my drinking, it’s my last remaining vice, or at least my last remaining regular vice, or my last remaining regular vice suitable for print.  For the moment, I don’t see any reason to stop.  I have a lot to celebrate, a lot of people who want to celebrate with me, and the number of a reliable car programmed into my phone.  And if my bones are denser when I’m a sassy old lady as a result of all this celebrating, I’ll drink to that.”

I want to be a SKINNY girl!
I want to be a SKINNY girl – for several different reasons!
Also…
**Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.
Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

B Well – the healthy (thank you god) benefits of dark chocolate.

dark choCHOCOLATE AND YOUR HEALTH

The Basics:

It’s more than wishful thinking — chocolate can be good for you. Studies show that eating chocolate, primarily dark chocolate, may contribute to improved cardiovascular health. Packed with natural antioxidants, dark chocolate and cocoa sit in the same good-for-you category as green tea and blueberries. That’s because chocolate comes from cacao beans (or cocoa beans), which grow on the cacao tree and are full of natural plant nutrients. Most of the studies to date highlight dark chocolate’s health values because it has the highest percentage of cocoa solids, therefore more flavanol antioxidants.

My late afternoon snack will now consist of a cup of green tea with dark chocolate over blueberries.  What time is it?

An Antioxidant Powerhouse

Dark chocolate and cocoa are rich in cell-protecting antioxidants — natural compounds found in fruits, vegetables, grains and nuts. Read what scientists are studying regarding antioxidants and cardiovascular disease & premature aging.

Matters of the Heart

Recent studies have shown dark chocolate and cocoa may be good for your heart. In short-term clinical trials, dark chocolate has reduced blood pressure, improved blood flow, showed mild anti-clotting effects and may help prevent plaque formation in arteries.

Okay so it's not dark but it's Beckham.  Try to take a bite out of that!
Okay so it’s not dark but it’s David Beckham. Try to take a bite out of that –  I’m sure he’s very good!

Sweet News For Managing Blood Sugar

Despite its sweet reputation, dark chocolate has a low glycemic index similar to that of oatmeal — meaning it does not send your blood sugar spiking. Find out more about the surprising chemistry behind your favorite treat.

Vital Minerals

Like any plant-based food, chocolate naturally contains an array of minerals.

Chocolate and Your Brain

Is it more than just the taste? Why does chocolate make us feel good? This is what they do know: chocolate contains more than 500 natural chemical compounds, some of which have been categorized as mood-elevating and pleasure-inducing.

Emerging Science

Buoyed by positive findings, more research is being conducted on chocolate’s health benefits, including potential cancer-fighting abilities and improved cognitive function. Learn about chocolate’s future in health studies.  Taken from allchocolate.com

**Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most evocative and informative up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.  You can also listen to past episodes.  Here’s the link:
http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

B Well – B Vitamins

Are you comfortable in your dry skin?

I don’t have to tell you that the combination of low temperatures, decreased humidity, and blasting heaters can leave your skin flaky and itchy.  But here’s what you may not know: because the outermost layer of our skin helps keep bacteria from entering your body, the cracks created by water loss can make you more vulnerable to infection.

Facemobile-Get-Rid-Of-Dry-Skin-On-FaceUsing a humidifier and lotion will help, but you can also moisturize from within.  Research suggests that ceramides (lipid molecules that help prevent skin from becoming dry) found in whole grains may help build up the barrier that keeps moisture in.  Add more biotin-rich foods (like swiss chard, eggs and nuts) to your diet – they’re members of the B vitamin family and promote the production of moisture-retaining fatty acids.

Dr. Oz on Winterproofing your Health from “O” magazine.

**B Vitamins should be added to your diet if you wish to achieve healthy skin. Vitamin B1, for instance, boosts circulation in the body and gives your skin a certain glow. If you’re a woman taking birth control pills then you are at risk of Vitamin B1 deficiency. Egg yolks, nuts and raisins are great sources of Vitamin B1. Niacin of Vitamin B3 helps your skin receive plenty of oxygen, which prevents development of acne among other benefits. Niacin-rich foods include tomatoes, broccoli and carrots.

 

 ***Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America. Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

B Well – Saving Face!

THE TRUTH ABOUT SPF & UVA/B. Healthy Skin Care - Copy   sun2 Listen up, ski bunnies! 

You may not think you have to worry about wearing sunscreen in the winter, but the most damaging rays are still wreaking havoc on your face.  Save your skin with both UVA and UVB protection.  The latest scoop on keeping your skin happy, healthy and younger looking all year long.

When the FDA recently announced it was updating labelling guidelines for sun-protection products, beauty companies noticed.  What’s new?  The buzz is all about UVA – which has been proven to cause the most long-lasting damage to skin health.  Research shows that these rays are the real culprits behind premature wrinkles, dark spots, uneven complexion, inflammation, sagging – even skin cancer.sun1

Right now most products focus on SPF, or Sun Protection Factor as most of you know by now.  But we’re learning SPF measures only UVB levels (the rays that cause sunburn).  So if you’re concerned with aging (and really, who isn’t?), you need to tune in to UVB and UVA protection.  The problem is even if you use broad-spectrum sunscreen, which claims to protect against UVB and UVA, there’s no way of knowing just how much UVA you’re getting because standard guidelines don’t exist in North America.

Enter the FDA’s new labelling regulation, which proposes that suncare products list the UVA protection right on the bottle.  You may already be familiar with this practice if you’ve been shopping in a Paris or Tokyo drugstore, where sunscreen bottles feature one important extra symbol: PA+, PA++ or PA+++.  Also, in the U.K., they’ve embraced the Boots five-star rating

Now Health Canada is re-evaluating its labelling requirements too, and expects to establish its own guidelines for UVA protection soon.  .  Until then, look for products that have science behind them like the following:

La Roche Posay I personally recommend & use: La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL 50+ tinted extreme fluid.  It’s feels weightless, does the trick and gives a nice sheer tint.

neutrogenaAlso good & less expensive is Neutrogena age shield repair sunscreen with SPF 55.  It goes on light but doesn’t feel sticky or make your face look white.

Clinique broad spectrum moisture surge and Biotherm Skin-Vivo both with SPF 15 were also recommended by Chatelaine Magazine.

**Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health experts – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America. Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

B Well with Spice Rack Remedy Superstars

spicesDID YOU KNOW that your kitchen counter might already hold the cure for what ails you?

Since time immemorial, humans have used spices to better their food and their bodies.  Our ancestors knew which spices would settle an upset stomach, relieve inflammation, and more.  Now studies have finally proven that whether you’ve got achy muscles, a cold that just won’t quit, or a case of the blues, reaching for a natural healer may be just what the doctor ordered.

CORIANDER (or CILANTRO) in its leafy form is a powerful bacteria fighter.  The oil from coriander seeds (which destroys cells by damaging their membranes and interfering with cellular respiration) is effective in wiping out strains from E. coli to salmonella.  You can add the seeds from everything from fruit salad to pasta.  You can dry toast them for a minute and toss them with olive oil and quinoa.

CINNAMON may lower your diabetes risk by triggering enzymes that stimulate insulin receptors and inhibiting enzymes that deactivate them.  It can improve cells’ ability to absorb glucose from the blood.  It has also been found to reduce triglycerides and harmful cholesterol.  I add about half a teaspoon to my coffee in the morning but you can also use it for savory dishes like lamb & tomato soup.

TUMERIC  is thought to have cancer fighting properties.  UCLA researchers have found that curcumin, an antioxidant in the spice, can help prevent and treat head and neck cancers by blocking a protein that promotes tumor growth.  That same protein causes joint inflammation, so curcumin could also reduce arthritis risk.  Use not only in Indian dishes but you can add a bit to lemonade for an extra dash of tartness or things like hummus for a sunny burst of color.

GARLIC helps protect your immune system by boosting production of infection-fighting white blood cells.  Allicin, garlic’s main active component, is thought to block enzymes that lead to viral infections.  We all know what we can use garlic on……almost everything.  Try driizzling a head of garlic with olive oil, roast it, then squeeze and spread the cloves on your sandwiches.

SAFFRON might help alleviate mild to moderate mood depression.  In a 2005 study, saffron supplements (didn’t know they did supplements) were as effective as a common anti-depressent in reducing depressive symptoms.  In a 2008 study, 76 percent of women who took saffron capsules daily reported a 50 percent drop in PMS symptoms like mood swings and fatigue.  Steep saffron in any liquid to infuse whatever you’re cooking with its flavor.  I love it with rice or quinoa.

GINGER has anti-inflammatory properties.  It blocks serotonin receptors in the small intestine so it can help keep you from feeling nauseated or throwing up.  A study has shown that it also helps in reducing muscle pain from exercise.  You can saute fresh ginger with veggies, fish or chicken.  Steeping ginger in hot water is great for tea.  Just add a bit of honey. I usually add it to fresh juice for a little zip.

Taken from “Feeling Good” an article by Nicole Frehsée for “O” Magazine.

Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health professionals – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America. Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

B Well – The Good, the Bad and the Bacteria.

What can be aggressive, multiply rapidly but the naked eye cannot see? Bacteria!

Only viruses are smaller than bacteria.  A tiny drop of water can contain billions of these usually single-celled organisms that have only one chain of DNA and no nucleus (control center of a cell).  In favorable environments they multiple rapidly and are either aerobic (must have oxygen to live) or anaerobic which means they can flourish without oxygen.

How to get less bacteria in your diet:  The Cook’s Illustrated kitchen ran a test on the best way to wash fruits and vegetables using apples and pears an an example.  They tried four ways:

Washing with tap water, scrubbing with a brush, washing with antibacterial soap or spraying with a vinegar solution.  They took surface samples, grew the bacteria in Petri dishes and compared results to a non-washed control group.  Here’s what they found after four days:

A cold water rinse eliminated 25 percent of the bacteria and scrubbing with a brush removed 85 percent.  The best way was with something we all have at home: a 1:3 distilled vinegar-water mix (sprayed) which removed 98 percent.  Don’t forget to wash off the vinegar mix before eating.  There was no comment on using the anti-bacterial soap.

Bad Bacteria – better known are the harmful bacteria in our world like Clostridium tetani (which causes tetanus) or Clostridium botulinum (which causes botulism). These bacteria are responsible for causing illness and death since the beginning.  But with the bad there is always some good so…

Good Bacteria – are either harmless or helpful to humans.  Our digestive system is full of billions of bacteria, including Escherichia coli (commonly known as E. coli), which helps us digest our food. Bacteria are also useful in producing some of our favorite foods, like yogurt, cheese and sauerkraut. Some bacteria are decomposers, cleaning our environment of dead and decaying plant and animal material. Some beneficial bacteria are known as probiotics, live and active cultures that promote the body’s digestive system.

It’s like a really bad relationship that you just can’t get rid of. Try to make the most of a bad situation by eating more probiotic yogurt, buying organic as much as possible and properly washing your fruits and veggies.

Also: Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health experts – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America. Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health

B Well – Will Power!

Willpower – the Greatest Human Strength!                   

Willpower isn’t just some storybook concept.  It’s a measurable form of mental energy that runs out as you use it, much like gas in your car.  That’s why your resolve to hit the gym weakens after you’ve slogged through a soul-sapping day at work.

Roy Baumeister, a psychologist at Florida State University calls this “ego depletion”, and he proved its existence by sitting students next to a plate of fresh-baked chocolate-chip cookies.  Some were allowed to snack away, others to abstain.  Afterward, both groups were asked to complete difficult puzzles.  The students who’d been forced to resist the cookies had so depleted their reserves of self-control that when faced with this new task, they quickly threw in the towel.  The cookie eaters, on the other hand, had conserved their willpower and worked on the puzzles longer.  That’s good to hear as I just ate 6 cookies.

Further studies have suggested that willpower is fueled by glucose –which helps explain why our determination crumbles when we try to lose weight.  When we don’t eat, our glucose drops, and our willpower along with it.  “We call it the dieter’s catch-22:  In order to not eat, you need willpower,  But in order to have willpower you need to eat,” says John Tierney, coauther with Baumeister of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength.

We can wield what scientists know about willpower to our advantage.  Since it’s a finite resource, don’t spread yourself thin.  Make one resolution rather than many.  One tactic is to outsource self-control.  Get a gym buddy.  Use Mint.com to regulate your spending, or RescueTime.com to avoid distracting websites.  People with the best self-control aren’t the ones who use it all day long.  They’re people who structure their lives so they conserve it.  That way, you’ll be able to stockpile vast reserves for when you really need it, like hauling your lazy ass to the gym.              Judy Dutton for Wired Magazine.

Don’t miss listening to “Transforming Health” with host Brad King for the most up-to-the-minute interviews with leading health experts – Live every Wednesday @ 12PM-PST/3PM-EST on VoiceAmerica.com – #1 internet radio station in North America.
But you can listen to previous episodes too.  Here’s the link: http://www.voiceamerica.com/show/1686/transforming-health