Monday, December 31, 2012

Your Personal Marathon

Your Personal Marathon

Chiropractic Care and Your Personal Marathon
Professional athletes know the importance of putting together a trusted team of supporters to help them maintain peak levels of health and fitness. Personal marathoners, too, may benefit from a team of experts to help them achieve their health-and-wellness goals.
Your chiropractor is an essential member of your personal marathon team. Whatever your choice of activity, your chiropractor will be able to provide expert assistance. Your chiropractor will help you design a fitness program that works for you. Your chiropractor will help you design a healthy food plan that will enhance your well-being and the well-being of your family.
Chiropractors are highly trained in nutritional science and rehabilitative exercise. This expertise, in addition to your chiropractic hands-on treatment, will help you return to high levels of wellness and well-being.
Marathon running is a sport that began in 1896 at the first modern Olympics held in Athens, Greece. Today, marathon road racing is big business. The Boston Marathon attracts about 20,000 participants. The New York City Marathon is twice as large, with more than 40,000 runners. Successful marathoners train for 4-6 months to be able to complete the 26-mile run and cross the finish line on their own two feet. 

Marathon running is not for everyone, but the principles of successful marathon running can apply to all.1,2 If we conceive of a personal "marathon" as completing 6 months of a health-and-wellness program, we may accomplish a task as big and impactful as completing a 26-mile "regular" marathon.

In choosing your personal marathon, you may select an area of need or an area of interest. Often the two will intersect. For example, you could choose to commit the next 6 months to eating fresh fruits and vegetables every day. You could choose to consume an appropriate amount of well-balanced calories every day for the next 6 months (probably somewhere in the range of 1500 to 2000 calories per day). Or you could choose to begin a walking-for-exercise program, gradually building up to walking 30 minutes a day, 5 days a week, for the next 6 months. There is a wide variety of choices. The key is to choose an activity that is important and meaningful to you. Otherwise, your commitment probably won't last for more than a couple of months, if that.

What will you get out of your personal marathon? First, discovering that you can set and then successfully achieve a long-term goal creates tremendous self-confidence. Many actual marathoners report that they were transformed by the process of completing their commitment and achieving their goal. Some marathoners had never run any kind of race at all prior to their 26-mile journey-of-a-lifetime. The personal power generated by leaping into the unknown and overcoming numerous obstacles is substantial. Applying this personal power to other areas of your life may lead to numerous unexpected and rewarding positive outcomes.

Next, you will likely derive substantial health benefits (the original goal of the process).3 Our bodies are remarkably adaptive mechanisms. They will change over time in accordance with our habits and activities. Consuming the right amount of calories for your body's energy requirements, on average and over time, will result in attaining the appropriate weight for you. (For most people, the result will be consistent weight loss until the optimal weight has been achieved.) Regular vigorous exercise will, over time, result in gains in lean muscle mass and reductions in quantities of stored fat, leading to slimmed-down, trimmer physiques. All your healthy activities will result in positive changes with long-lasting benefits. These outcomes are available to everyone who is willing to take a chance and commit to such a personal marathon.

1Knechtle B, et al: Anthropometric and training variables related to half-marathon running performance in recreational female runners. Phys Sportsmed 39(2):158-166, 2011
2Yeung SS, et al: Interventions for preventing lower limb soft-tissue running injuries. Cochrane Database Syst Rev Jul 6(7):CD00125, 2011
3Lanier AB, et al: Descriptive assessment of exercise program on fitness and correlates of participation. Am J Health Behav 36(5):647-654, 2012

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Closed for the Holidays

Hello everyone!

Dr. Jon Wise here, Just wanted to let everyone know that the office, Wise Chiropractic, will be closed the week of Dec 24th- Dec 28th. We will REOPEN on Dec 31st to help get everyone adjusted for the New Year! We will be back on the 1st to help people get re-adjusted from all the toxins and staying up late, waking up in the bathtub, etc... As a direct result from the New Years... :-)

Check out the website for more information. I would personally like to WISH EVERYONE A MERRY CHRISTMAS, HAPPY HOLIDAYS AND A VERY HAPPY NEW YEARS!!!!!!

Take Care,
Dr. Jon Wise, DC, CCWP
Nevada's First and Only Certified Wellness Physician



People in the U.S. and World are showing signs of decreased energy, weakened immune system, lack of coordination, failure to thrive, body chemistry imbalances, body discomfort and openmindaphobia just to list a few. Complications are decreased quality of life and failure to reach maximum performance. Without the help of a "specifically trained health professional"*, a person often ends up with degenerative joint disease, arthritis and needless suffering from other secondary health conditions. This condition affects people of all ages, shapes and sizes - it does not discriminate. Often affecting those upon birth and throughout life while remaining under the medical dx and tx radar for years until a person is properly informed and helped by a caring specially trained health professional.

What is it?....Vertebral Subluxations

For more information contact your *Specially Trained Health Professional* = Any Wellness Chiropractor

Thank you for reading! 
Dr. Jon Wise, DC, CCWP
Nevada's First and Only Certified Wellness Physician

Monday, December 17, 2012

Chiropractic for Kids

Chiropractic for Kids

Chiropractic Care for Children

Chiropractic care for children offers your family a solid foundation for wellness. Throughout pregnancy, birth, and childhood, the chiropractic lifestyle offers choices and benefits for your greater health and well-being. Could you imagine never taking your child to a dentist until he or she was in their thirties? Why wait for poor health to be the reason to seek chiropractic care. Have your child's nerve system checked regularly to ensure that they function at their best!

Remember: "As the twig is bent so grows the tree."

Our practice is made up of a large number of children and there is nothing that brings us more joy than supporting a child as they begin to blossom in this world. We have had parents bring children who were told that surgery in order to put tubes in their ears (for excessive ear infections) was the necessary solution, only to begin care and completely avoid the surgery.

An increase in chronic childhood disease is part of the reason parents today visit our practice for alternative health care for their children. The Chiropractic care that we provide is an effective and affordable program that addresses children's health conditions associated with the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. Gentle, noninvasive and drug free, chiropractic adjustments treat, resolve and prevent a wide range of health problems. Recent research by the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association (ICPA) found spinal manipulative therapy safe and successful in treating children of all ages.

Acute Conditions
Acute conditions may result from birth trauma, sports mishaps and accidental injury. Chiropractic care benefits children by correcting the spinal alignment to improve their overall health. When vertebral joints are misaligned during birth or from a blow or fall, muscle tissue and nerves may also be affected. Spinal adjustment frees joints, restores motion and relieves nerve pressure, which may be the cause of additional ailments. Parents report successful treatment of children's health issues such as acute earache, upper respiratory infection, muscle pain, neck pain and accident trauma. Spinal manipulation for children as young as newborn babies is an alternative treatment for the discomfort of colic and other digestive disorders as well.

Chronic Conditions
Parents surveyed by the ICPA reported behavioral improvement for kids who saw a chiropractor, as well as improved sleep and stronger immune systems. Chiropractic America reports that natural, drug-free chiropractic care is sometimes more effective than traditional medical approaches for chronic earache, scoliosis and neck pain. Headaches and sleep disorders of nonspecific causes respond well to spinal adjustments, which affect and repair interrupted neural pathways. Asthma and allergy symptoms and patterns of attention-deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) may also be treatable with chiropractic.

Periodic ongoing adjustments at a young age may help stave off the above ailments before they begin. Proper spinal alignment now may delay or prevent degenerative bone or joint disease, such as osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. In addition to maintaining children's health, regular visits to our office will help instill the value of proactive health care in kids. They'll be more likely to monitor and manage their health as they grow up and less likely to be afraid or in denial of any health problems. Encouraging good lifelong health habits is one of chiropractic's best benefits for kids.

Our nerve system is the master controller of our entire body and children happen to induce stress upon themselves which leads to interference and misalignment. Whether this is falling on the playground, the stress associated with not getting their favorite toy, or even the entire birthing process, almost all children are subluxated and need to participate in chiropractic care. Therefore, if you are reading this information and you are still unsure whether chiropractic can support your child, please call the office and schedule a consultation so that we can address your concerns and get your child on the path to health and wellness as early as possible.

Thursday, December 13, 2012

Breech Pregnancy Corrected with Chiropractic

Breech Pregnancy Corrected with Chiropractic

A case study of a pregnant woman, whose fetus presented breech and was successfully turned with chiropractic care, was published in the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health on December 4, 2012. The title of the case study was, Resolution of breech presentation after application of Webster Technique in a 35-year-old female: A case study.

The 35-year-old pregnant woman was in the 30th week of her pregnancy. The woman’s doula (a labor coach or midwife) established that the fetus was in breech position. The woman was in good health and had been receiving chiropractic care for headaches and low back pain with good results for the previous two years. This was the woman’s second pregnancy, with her first child delivered vaginally.

Previous studies have determined that breech presentations occur in 3 to 4 percent of all pregnancies, with the often resulting decision to birth by cesarean section rather than vaginally for the safety of mother and baby. Breech presentations often turn after the 35th week of pregnancy, but 87 percent of breech pregnancies are delivered by caesarian section.

Though safety is argued as the case for a caesarian section, the rate of morbidity was 3.6 percent in a study of 2,088 women birthing with caesarian section. Fetal morbidity can also result from caesarian section with reports of fetal heart-rate abnormalities, spinal cord injuries, skull fractures, long bone fractures, genital injury, and respiratory problems.

A chiropractic examination was performed, and postural abnormalities were found, as well as a decrease of lateral flexion of 5 degrees, and lumbar range of motion significantly decreased due to the pregnancy. Motion palpation found several spinal misalignments, and EMG scans and thermography correlated the determination that spinal subluxations were present in the patient.

Chiropractic care began for the woman using Webster’s Technique—a technique that uses sacrum adjustments and trigger point release in the abdomen area to reestablish pelvic function which can allow the fetus to turn to the desired head-down birth position. After four adjustments in four weeks using Webster’s Technique, the fetus turned from the breech position to the normal birth position.

A healthy female baby was delivered vaginally by the mother at a home birth. The use of the Chiropractic Webster’s Technique resolved a breech presentation, and a possible caesarean section into a normal, natural and healthy birthing experience.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Organic Fruit & Vegetables

7 Ways to Reduce the Cost of Organic Fruit & Vegetables

Believe it or not, eating organic food does not have to be overly expensive. With ever-growing awareness, organic options are more accessible than ever before and consumer demands have led to increased affordability.

Note: If you’re unsure about the value of buying organic, please see my post “Is Organic A Con?”
. . . . .
Here are some handy tips that help reduce the cost of organic fruit and vegetables…

1. Buy Unpackaged Foods

More and more organic grocery stores have package-free bulk dispensers for items like nuts, beans, lentils, coffee grounds, and even cereal. You can buy the exact amount you need at a lower price point than the packaged counterpart of these items.  You do not waste money on brand names, their fancy packaging and big advertising campaigns. Plus, if you bring your own bags, you’re also helping out the environment.

2. Buy in Bulk

Get clever, buy together! Do you have like-minded friends or neighbours who would be interested in bulk organic produce? You can purchase everything from grains to fruits and nuts in bulk. As long as you have room to store bulk items, you can save a great deal of money. You could even stew and freeze certain fruits.

3. Stock Up on Pantry Items

If you keep a hefty supply of organic flour, cocoa, nuts, oatmeal, and dried fruit, it’s easy to whip up your own organic muffins, snacks or a sweet indulgence at a fraction of the price you’d pay dining out or on the run.

4. Skip Processed Items

“Organic” doesn’t always mean healthy; unless products such as organic snack items say 100% organic ingredients then you may find hidden nasties. Just like generic snacks, organic packaged foods are expensive. Stick with real fresh organic products or brands you know you can trust.

5. Look for Store Brands

In addition to their standard generic lines, supermarkets are now carrying their own line of organic products, including organic diced tomatoes, baked beans etc sometimes for much lower prices than big name brands.

6. Shop at a Farmers’ Market

At a farmers’ market you are buying directly from the person growing the produce, so presumably the produce will be fresher and you do not have to worry about supermarket mark-ups.

7. Grow Your Own

While maintaining a home garden takes commitment (this is a fantastic way to engage children in healthy eating) there are some maintenance-free plants that make it easy to get started even if you don’t have a green thumb. Most gardening centre’s will be only too willing to give advice and guide you toward them. Once growing season is over, you can even learn how to can and store your fruits and veggies for good, cheap eating throughout the year.

Weighing it up…

I have seen that when a parent considers the potential health risks of consuming generic foods and produce, they will often make changes to their weekly expenses to accommodate at least some organic items.

If I ask parents to:

  • Estimate the cost of the bottles of soft drinks, expensive snack food items, alcohol, cigarettes or magazines that may fill their shopping trolleys

  • Add up the cost of their annual footy tickets, gym memberships

  • Or estimate what they spend on prescription and over-the-counter drugs and the cost for time off work when children are sick

Against the cost of purchasing even SOME organic produce, I’m sure most people would agree that their budget could be reprioritized.

Read more —> 
Get a free subscription to "Healthy Families" Magazine

Healthy Christmas Paleo Balls

Healthy Christmas Paleo Balls & Other Ideas

7th December 2012

Here’s a few ideas to keep things in perspective this weekend…

Are you a little dubious of getting wrapped up in the Christmas madness? Are you also feeling that sometimes Christmas seems to be more about purchasing gifts and ticking a To-Do List than actually genuinely ‘thanking’ important people in your life for their friendship and support in 2013.

Do you also find that you have a list of close friends and family that you have been planning beautiful gifts for but then you are still guessing what to buy other people whom you don’t really know that well?
An example for me would be the boy’s teachers, our friendly courier, our trainer — people who have played a significant and important role in our family’s year — to whom we’d like to give something a little more meaningful than chocolates or a candle. (By the way if you’ve already bought a box of ‘Favourites’ for your child’s teacher please don’t feel bad, I’m just procrastinating attending an enormous pile of work on my desk by noting some other creative ideas for you).

This year, rather than rushing about buying oodles and oodles of presents, we decided that creating some homemade gifts with the boys might make for a refreshing change.

I have included a fabulous recipe (and step by step photos) for some delicious and healthy ‘Christmas Paleo Balls’ that the boys and I made.

I admit I did alter my girlfriend Michelle’s original recipe by adding more dates to make them a little bit sweeter as I was concerned some of the recipients who are used to receiving white, sugary Christmas shortbreads, might freak out at the mere thought of having to sample a sugar-free, dairy-free, grain-free little ball — or potentially anything of that nature!!
These balls are perfectly sized, scrumptious snacks that are super good for you. Check out the ingredients and their health benefits below as they are absolutely gold-star nutrition! We love them and have a sneaking suspicion you will be regularly making these as well. Perhaps try the different variations too. The other great thing about these balls is that they keep for ages in the refrigerator.


These balls not only make for a scrumptious little snack but they also offer hearty nourishment for busy people.
Even those of us focused on eating healthy foods can be prone to acidity. Diets high in acid-producing foods and lifestyle habits that promote acidity in the body, such as stress and lack of sleep, disrupt the body’s natural balance and promote the loss of essential minerals such as potassium, magnesium, calcium, and sodium, as the body tries to restore equilibrium. This imbalance is thought to make people prone to illness and a number of chronic diseases. 
These balls help the body alkalise and offer essential nutrients — please see further information below regarding Mesquite powder, Maca powder and Vital Greens powder.

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Makes: 40-45 balls depending on size
  • 3 cups of raw nuts (I used a mixture of pistachios, almonds, macadamias, brazil nuts, cashews)
  • 3/4 cup pepitas
  • 1/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds (I used a combination of white and black)
  • 3/4 cup cacao powder or cacao nibs (Half powder & half nibs works well too)
  • 3 heaped tablespoons mesquite powder
  • 2 tablespoons maca powder
  • 16 medjool dates or 2 cups pitted dried dates soaked in a small amount hot water (drain liquid before adding to blender.)
  • 1/4 cup goji’s
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (as a liquid)
  • 1-2 scoops Vital Greens pea protein powder (optional)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of coconut water or filtered water

  1. Add the nuts into your food processor or Thermomix and blend on high speed until you have a powdery consistency.
  2. Pour this mixture into a large bowl.
  3. Add all of seeds (except chia) and cacao nibs into the processor and blend again for a few seconds. Pour this into the nut mixture and combine.
  4. If you want your balls to be extra smooth rather then a little crunchy, simply blend for a few extra seconds.
  5. Then add the dates, goji berries, chia seeds, mesquite and maca powder to the food processor and blend until smooth. You can now place some of the nut mixture back into the blender with the date and goji puree and add the coconut oil blending until the mixture becomes sticky.  Alternatively empty the contents from the blender into your bowl, add remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly.
  6. Test consistency (the mixture is the right consistency if it holds together when squeezed).
    — If it is too dry, add some coconut water or filtered water slowly.
    — If it is too wet, blend up some more nuts and seeds.
  7. Roll mixture into balls and store in an airtight container in fridge.

Here are some benefits of some of the ingredients…

Mesquite Powder — Is a natural protein powder! 
Used as a staple food for centuries by desert dwellers, this Traditional Native American food is high in protein and contains good quantities of calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron and zinc. It is rich in the amino acid lysine as well. Its low GI of 25 helps maintain stable blood sugar levels. It has a sweet, distinctive wild flavour with a hint of caramel, which blends well into smoothies or other drinks, especially those made with cacao and maca. Available from Loving Earth.

Maca Powder — For ENERGY! 
Maca Powder is an energising and revitalising superfood of the Incas that is literally bursting with vitamins, minerals, enzymes and all the essential amino acids. Maca contains unique alkaloids, which help stimulate the master glands that in turn may help op- timise and balance the entire endocrine system. It’s wonderful for hormonal issues, but we recommend you consult your health practitioner prior to taking. Maca powder is not recommended during pregnancy or if you are breastfeeding. It is advised not to heat Maca. Available from Loving Earth.

Vital Greens — Power Up and Alkalise
We love to incorporate Vital Greens and Vital-Protein concentrated powders in our week partly because these products use Golden Peas in their range which is a vegetable based complete protein (unlike other protein powders) and have the most balanced amino acid profile of any plant based protein. This ‘Pea Protein’ is highly alkaline and helps to address digestive conditions and poor absorption—it is suitable for children and those who suffer from allergies and have restricted diets.”
Secondly, we love that this company (available through Martin and Pleasance) uses naturally occurring whole food sources of vitamins, trace minerals, antioxidants, probiotics (in the Vital Greens range), essential amino acids, omega-3 and omega-6 essential fatty acids, digestive enzymes, cell pigments, plant sterols and fibres, and put them all together in easy powders.

Read more —> 
Get a free subscription to "Healthy Families" Magazine

Walking as a Lifestyle Choice

Walking as a Lifestyle Choice

Chiropractic Care and Your Exercise Program
Doing regular vigorous exercise is an important part of a long-term health strategy. Chiropractic care is another key component of a plan that includes good nutrition, sufficient rest, and enjoyable activities and interests with family and friends.
Regular chiropractic care helps make good health possible. Our bodies need to be in peak condition in order to derive the full benefits of the exercise we're doing and the good foods we're eating. Being in peak condition is associated, in large part, with a fully functioning nervous system and a spinal column that is biomechanically sound. By identifying and correcting mechanical blockages in your spine and the related areas of nerve interference, your chiropractor will help you to function at your peak. As a result, you will gain maximum benefit from the important steps you're taking to enjoy high levels of health and wellness.
Everyone knows he or she “should” be doing regular exercise, but most people have not exercised in so many years that they don’t know where to begin. As a result, people start and stop various training programs and routines. They join gyms, buy workout clothes, spend hard-earned income, and ultimately fail to follow-through because they don’t have a clear idea of how to exercise effectively.

One of the issues relates to the many choices available. You can lift weights, swim, ride a bicycle, run, take Pilates classes, take yoga classes, or play tennis. But the challenge lies in selecting the form of exercise that’s best for you, and then having the specific knowledge to begin training in a way that will be beneficial and not harmful.

It’s actually easy to hurt yourself if you’re returning to exercise after an absence of many years or, for some people, of decades. Doing too much too soon is a typical cause of an exercise-related injury. Doing the wrong type of exercise for your level of preparation is another major cause of these injuries. Getting hurt doing exercise is a real deal-breaker for people who didn’t really want to exercise in the first place. If you haven’t exercised in years, finally work up the motivation to start doing something, and hurt yourself after a few days or weeks of your new program, quitting and never going back becomes a very attractive option.

But exercise is a key factor in maintaining overall health and wellness. If you’re committed to the long-term health and well-being of yourself and your family, regular vigorous exercise is critical. The solution, at least in the initial phases of returning to fitness, is walking for exercise. Walking avoids the vast majority of pitfalls associated with other types of exercise. Walking is low-impact, requires minimal equipment, and no gym memberships are needed. Walking is done outside in fresh air and sunshine, providing many additional benefits beyond those gained by exercise as such.

Walking is excellent exercise,1 and yet it’s important to follow some basic guidelines. Starting slowly is the main consideration. If you haven’t done any vigorous physical activity for months or years, 10 minutes of walking at a modest pace should be sufficient for your first day of walking. Five minutes out and five minutes back. Make 10 minutes your limit even if that amount feels like too little. It’s always better to do a little less exercise than a little too much. Add approximately a minute a day, until you’re doing a 30-minute walk at a modest pace. With this quantity of comfortable walking, you can now begin to increase your pace. Ultimately, 30 minutes of walking at a brisk pace will provide sufficient health benefits for most people, based on the principle of five or six vigorous exercise sessions per week.

The long-term results of such a program are profound.2,3 Consistent vigorous exercise helps to lower blood pressure, prevent heart disease, reduce the incidence of stroke, reduce the incidence of diabetes and obesity, and improve outcomes in patients with cancer. Walking for exercise is an efficient, enjoyable, and easy way to enable you and your family to begin obtaining these long-term health benefits.

1Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Vital signs: walking among adults - United States, 2005 and 2010. MMWR Morbid Mortal Wkly Rep 61:595-601, 2012
2Lima LG, et al: Effect of a single session of aerobic walking exercise on arterial pressure in community-living elderly individuals. Hypertens Res 35(4):457-462, 2012
3Subramanian H, et al: Non-pharmacological Interventions in Hypertension: A Community-based Cross-over Randomized Controlled Trial. Indian J Community Med 36(3):191-196, 2011

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Who are the Abkhasia??? Lifespans well over 100 years old...

Abkhazia: Ancients of the Caucasus, by John RobbinsPDF | Print |
Articles - People & Culture
TUESDAY, 18 NOVEMBER 2008 00:00
Why do some people age in failing health and sadness, while others grow old with vitality and joy?
In this revolutionary book, bestselling author John Robbins presents us with a bold new paradigm of aging, showing us how we can increase not only our lifespan but also our health span. Through the example of four very different cultures that have the distinction of producing some of the world's healthiest, oldest people, Robbins reveals the secrets for living an extended and fulfilling life in which our later years become a period of wisdom, vitality, and happiness. From Abkhasia in the Caucasus south of Russia, where age is beauty, and Vilcabamba in the Andes of South America, where laughter is the greatest medicine, to Hunza in Central Asia, where dance is ageless, and finally the southern Japanese islands of Okinawa, the modern Shangri-la, where people regularly live beyond a century, Robbins examines how the unique lifestyles of these peoples can influence and improve our own.
Bringing the traditions of these ancient and vibrantly healthy cultures together with the latest breakthroughs in medical science, Robbins reveals that, remarkably, they both point in the same direction. The result is an inspirational synthesis of years of research into healthy aging in which Robbins has isolated the characteristics that will enable us to live long and - most important - joyous lives. With an emphasis on simple, wholesome, but satisfying fare, and the addition of a manageable daily exercise routine, many people can experience great improvement in the quality of their lives now and for many years to come. But perhaps more surprising is Robbins' discovery that it is not diet and exercise alone that helps people to live well past one hundred. The quality of personal relationships is enormously important. With startling medical evidence about the effects of our interactions with others, Robbins asserts that loneliness has more impact on lifespan than such known vices as smoking. There is clearly a strong beneficial power to love and connection.
Chapter 1
People don't grow old. When they stop growing, they become old.
In the early 1970s, National Geographic magazine approached the world-renowned physician Alexander Leaf, asking him to visit, study, and write an article about the world's healthiest and most long-living people. Dr. Leaf, a professor of clinical medicine at Harvard University and Chief of Medical Services at Massachusetts General Hospital, had long been a student of the subject and had already visited and studied some of the cultures known for the healthy lives of their elderly people. Now, National Geographic commissioned him to continue these travels and investigations and to share with the world his observations and comparisons of those areas of the planet which were famous for the longevity and health of their inhabitants. It was a time, unlike today, when these regions and their cultures were still somewhat pristine.
As a scientist, Dr. Leaf did not believe in a mythical fountain of youth in which anyone can bathe and be miraculously restored to eternal youth; nor did he believe in magic potions that can instantly heal all afflictions. But he did believe it was possible that there existed certain places on earth where people actually lived longer and healthier lives than is considered normal in the modern West. His goal was not to identify the oldest living individual, but rather to locate and study those societies - if they did in fact exist - where a large percentage of elder citizens retained their faculties, were vigorous, and enjoyed their lives. Rather than being interested in mythology or panaceas, his goal was to understand the key factors that influence human prospects for long and healthy life.
Dr. Leaf undertook a series of journeys that he subsequently described in an influential series of articles that appeared in National Geographic magazine beginning in 1973. His writings were among the first authoritative efforts to bring practical medical knowledge and research to our desire to know what we can do to impact the future of our lives.
When Dr. Leaf began his study and his travels, three regions of the world were famous for the longevity of their inhabitants: the valley of Vilcabamba in Ecuador, the Hunza region of Pakistan, and certain portions of the Caucasus mountains in what was then the Soviet Union. These three locales had long been the subject of claims that they were home to the longest living and healthiest people on earth. According to the stories swirling around these high mountainous regions, people in these communities often lived spectacularly long lives in vibrant health.
Dr. Leaf and prizewinning National Geographic photographer John Launois traveled to these remote areas to meet, photograph, examine, and appraise for themselves the longevity and health of those who were reputed to be the world's oldest and healthiest people. Dr. Leaf listened to their hearts, took their blood pressure, and studied their diets and lifestyles. He watched them dance and saw them bathe in ice-cold mountain streams. He spoke with them about their daily lives, their hopes, their fears, their life histories. His goal was to separate fact from fallacy and determine the truth about longevity.

Longevity in Abkhasia
"Certainly no area in the world," Leaf wrote, "has the reputation for long-lived people to match that of the Caucasus in southern Russia." And in all the Caucasus, the area most renowned for its extraordinary number of healthy centenarians (people above the age of 100) was Abkhasia (pronounced "ab-KAY-zha"). A 1970 census had established Abkhasia, then an autonomous region within Soviet Georgia, as the longevity capital of the world. "We were eager to see the centenarians," Leaf said, "and Abkhasia seemed to be the place to do so."
Abkhasia covers three thousand square miles between the eastern shores of the Black Sea and the crestline of the main Caucasus range. It is bordered on the north by Russia, and on the south by Georgia.
Prior to Dr. Leaf's visit, claims had been widely circulated for life spans reaching 150 years among the Abkhasians. Just a few years earlier, Life magazine had run an article with photos of Shirali Muslimov, said to be 161 years old. In one of the photos, Muslimov was shown with his third wife. He told the reporter that he had married her when he was 110, that his parents had both lived to be over 100, and that his brother had died at the age of 134.
Muslimov had passed away by the time of Leaf's studies. But a woman named Khfaf Lasuria had also been featured in the Life article. Leaf wanted to meet her, and he found her in the Abkhasian village of Kutol, where she sang in a choir made up entirely, he was told, of Abkhasian centenarians.
I had a long talk with this diminutive - she stands not five feet tall - sprightly woman who claimed to be 141 years old. . . . Although she carried a handsomely carved wooden walking stick, her nimbleness belied need of it. Her memory seemed excellent. . . . She spoke lucidly and easily about events recent and past. At the age of 75 to 80 as a midwife she assisted more than 100 babies into the world. . . . She described the life of women: "Women had a very difficult time before the Revolution; we were practically slaves." And she ended our talk with a toast, "I want to drink to women all over the world . . . for them not to work too hard and to be happy with their families."

Though he was greatly impressed by this elderly lady's charm and spirit, Leaf did not simply take her word for her age. To the contrary, he went to significant efforts to assess it objectively. Such a task is harder than it might sound, for there are no signs in the human body, like the annual rings of a tree, that tell us a person's age.
After laborious investigations, Leaf concluded that Mrs. Lasuria was close to 130 years old. He wasn't certain about that, saying only that he had arrived at a degree of confidence and this was his best estimate. But he was sure of one thing. She was one of the oldest persons he had ever met.
Everywhere he went in Abkhasia, Leaf met elders in remarkable health. The area seemed to warrant its reputation as the mecca of superlongevity. Like others who have studied the elders of Abkhasia, Leaf had colorful stories to tell. He wrote of one elder, nearly 100, whose hearing was still good and whose vision was still superb.
"Have you ever been sick?" Leaf asked.
The elder thought for some time, then replied, "Yes, I recall once having a fever, a long time ago."
"Do you ever see a doctor?"
The old man was surprised by the question, and replied, "Why should I?"
Leaf examined him and found his blood pressure to be normal at 118/60 and his pulse to be regular at 70 beats per minute.
"What was the happiest period of your life?" Leaf asked.
"I feel joy all my life. But I was happiest when my daughter was born. And saddest when my son died at the age of one year from dysentery."
Among the others Leaf met were a delightful trio of gentlemen who, like many elderly Abkhasians, were still working despite their advanced age. They were Markhti Tarkhil, whom Leaf believed to be 104; Temur Tarba, who was apparently 100; and Tikhed Gunba, a mere youngster at 98. All were born locally. Temur said his father died at 110, his mother at 104, and an older brother just that year at 109. After a short exam, Leaf said that Temur's blood pressure was a youthful 120/84, and his pulse was regular at a rate of 69.
The old fellows clowned around constantly, joking and teasing each other and Leaf. While he was checking pulses and blood pressures the other two would shake their heads in mock sadness at the one being examined, saying "Bad, very bad!" They never seemed to tire of friendly joking, always finding new ways to have fun. Leaf was impressed by their sharp minds, high spirits, and relentless sense of humor.
Like many of the elders in Abkhasia, regardless of the weather, these men swam daily in cold mountain streams. One day, Leaf accompanied Markhti Tarkhil on his morning plunge and was astonished by the vitality and physical agility of the 104-year-old.9 It was a steep and rugged half-mile climb down from the road to the river, but Markhti moved with confident speed and agility. Seeing Markhti take off down the slope, Leaf, a physician coming from a society where elders have thin and fragile bones, was concerned that the older man might fall, and thought he should accompany Markhti down the hill and see to it that he didn't slip. But he was unable to do so, because he couldn't keep up with the pace of the far older man, who as it turned out never lost his footing. Later, Leaf learned from the regional doctor that there is no osteoporosis among the active elders, and that fractures are rare.
When Markhti arrived at the riverbank, he stripped and waded out into the stream, immersing his entire body in the cold water. A young guide Leaf had brought with him from Moscow also stripped and began wading into the water, but immediately jumped out, exclaiming that the water was far too cold.
After bathing in the cold water for some time, Markhti got out, dried himself off, put on his clothes, and proceeded to climb swiftly back up the rugged slope, with Leaf, who was a half-century younger and who considered himself physically fit, once again struggling to keep up.
Are They Really That Old?
After Leaf's articles in National Geographic appeared, however, a heated controversy developed over the validity of the ages claimed by some Abkhasians. When people say they are 140 or 150 years old, this naturally raises eyebrows. When the Soviet press announced that Shirali Muslimov was 168 years old, and the government commemorated the assertion by putting his face on a postage stamp, knowledgeable scientists around the world were skeptical. There is a reason that, until recently, The Guinness Book of World Records introduced its section on longevity with the warning: "No single subject is more obscured by vanity, deceit, falsehood and deliberate fraud than the extremes of human longevity." Currently, the longest fully documented and irrefutably authenticated age ever reached by a human being is 122, by a Frenchwoman named Jeanne Louise Calment.
How old, in fact, are the oldest Abkhasians? No one knows with absolute certainty. In the days when these elders were born, probably less than one-tenth of 1 percent of the world's population was keeping written birth records. When birth records are lacking or questionable, as they are in almost all cases of people born prior to 1920 in regions like the Caucasus, contemporary researchers have had to be creative in developing methods to appraise the ages of elders. Many volumes have been written about the enterprising techniques that have been employed in the effort, and probably an equal number of scholarly volumes have been written critiquing these techniques. It has been a difficult task.
Probably the foremost skeptic about the extremely old ages sometimes claimed for elders in the Caucasus was a geneticist from Soviet Georgia named Zhores A. Medvedev, an expert in the methodologies used in the effort to arrive at accurate age verifications in Abkhasia and elsewhere in the Caucasus. Medvedev's articles expressing his doubts received a great deal of attention when they were published in the scientific journal The Gerontologist shortly after Leaf's articles appeared in National Geographic. (Gerontology is the study of the changes and associated problems in the mind and body that accompany aging.) In these articles, Medvedev presented convincing evidence that the claims that people were regularly living past the age of 120 were not to be trusted.10 At the same time, though, he recognized that unusual longevity in the region was a genuine reality, and that the area was indeed home to an inordinate number of extremely healthy elders.
As the controversy was unfolding, the legend of extraordinarily healthy and long-lived people in the Caucasus was being heavily promoted by U.S. corporations that manufactured and sold yogurt, attempting to connect the phenomenal longevity of people in the region to their consumption of yogurt. The Dannon yogurt company marketed a widely seen commercial showing a 110-year-old mother pinching the cheek of her 89-year-old son and telling him to eat his yogurt. This clever ad and others featuring Soviet centenarians were fabulously successful in the American market. They produced a generation of Americans who associated yogurt with extreme longevity, and who naïvely believed that people regularly lived to 140 and beyond in the Caucasus.
Unfortunately, it was the inflated claims for supercentenarians living to extreme ages that got most of the attention in the 1970s and 1980s. What made Abkhasians so interesting to the Western world at the time was not their lifestyle and the wondrously healthy way they aged, but the exotic phenomenon of people supposedly living to unbelievable ages. When these extreme claims for superlongevity were found to be false, there was a regrettable tendency to dismiss everything about Abkhasian longevity as a hoax.
My interest in longevity in Abkhasia, however, doesn't depend on whether any specific individuals have reached ages beyond 120. Perhaps none have, but I don't find the question to be particularly important. What makes these people fascinating to me is the fact that an extraordinary percentage of Abkhasians have lived to ripe old ages while retaining their full health and vigor. What I find remarkable is the high degree of physical and mental fitness commonly found among the elders in Abkhasia, and their obvious joy in life.
About the Author
Widely considered one of the world's leading experts on the dietary link between the environment and health, John Robbins is the author of the million-copy bestseller Diet for a New America. His work has been the subject of cover stories and feature articles in the San Francisco Chronicle, Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, The New York Times, and People. Robbins has been a featured and keynote speaker at hundreds of major conferences including those sponsored by the Sierra Club and UNICEF, and is the recipient of many awards, including the Rachel Carson Award and the Albert Schweitzer Humanitarian Award. He is the founder of EarthSave International, a nonprofit organization dedicated to healthy food choices, preservation of the environment, and a more compassionate world. Robbins lives with his wife, Deo, their son, Ocean, and daughter-in-law, Michele, and their grand-twins River and Bodhi outside of Santa Cruz, California.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

10 of the most unhealthy ingredients found in food!!!


By Arti Patel, Huffington Post Canada

We all know reading food labels is important, but there are some ingredients that might need that second look. It's most often these ingredients that burden our bodies with toxins and other harmful substances.

How many times have you read an ingredient that looked like something out of a science textbook? According to holistic nutritionist Danielle Felip, some of these ingredients — and even everyday ones like sugars — can be dangerous for our bodies in the long-run.

Felip adds that the three biggest offenders include foods with excessive sugar, MSG and trans-fat. MSG, for example, is often found at most fast food joints and in many guilty pleasure comfort foods. "Some people may experience an allergic-type reaction with the consumption of MSG and it has been linked to migraines, diarrhea and heart palpitations," she says.

Top Tips For Understanding Ingredient Labels

When you are reading ingredient lists, always make sure you research any unfamiliar ingredient. Some ingredients like saturated and trans fats, sodium and sugar can appear on an ingredient lists as several different names, according to Health Canada.

Some experts suggest sticking to foods with only five ingredients, adding that foods with over five or 10 ingredients are often packed with preservatives, sugars and other additives that are hard to digest. Felip recommends looking at the first few ingredients — those at the top are the most used ingredients in a product.

She also suggests not buying foods with unfamiliar ingredients, being cautious of "organic" and "natural" claims and always checking labels for sugar content.

10 of the unhealthiest ingredients found in common foods and their side effects
1. Artificial Colours
There's a reason why most sugary treats give us a rush. Hidden artificial colours in foods can cause hyperactivity and headaches.

2. Bleached White Flour
Found in most white breads, bleached white flour is usually stripped of nutrients and fibre and adds little value to our diets.

3. High-Fructose Corn Syrup
This ingredient is found in most processed foods, including lunch meats, and has no nutritional value. It has also been linked to increase risks of type 2 diabetes, and overconsumption can be damaging to our livers.

4. Artificial Sweeteners
Artificial sweeteners give food that sugary taste that is also quite addictive. Artificial sweeteners are almost always chemically derived and have been linked to migraines and even cancer.

5. BHT (Butylated Hydroxytoluene)
BHT or butylated hydroxytoluene is often added to most processed foods to preserve fats. An overconsumption of this chemical can cause allergic reactions on the skin.

6. Partially Hydrogenated Oil
Partially hydrogenated oils (which are often found in cake mixes, peanut butter and baked goods) can decrease good cholesterol levels, are linked to heart disease and are hard for the body to dissolve.

7. MSG
MSG (monosodium glutamate) is a food additive that is found in many foods, especially in fast food restaurants. MSGs can overexcite our nerve cells in the brain and can even (eaten in large amounts) cause brain cell death. On top of that, MSGs also can lead to exhaustion after a big meal.

8. Sodium Nitrate And Sodium Nitrite
Sodium nitrates and nitrites are chemical compounds commonly found in meat products like bacon and hot dogs, according to Nitrates and nitrites can affect the way your body uses sugar and may increase the risk of diabetes and colorectal cancer.

9. Sodium Benzoate
Sodium benzoate is a chemical preservative that is used to prevent the growth of bacteria in foods like jams, fruit pies and soft drinks. It can also deprive our cells of oxygen and weakens the immune system.

10. Sulphites
Sulphites are food additives used to preserve food colour and prolong shelf life in many food products including canned fruits, frozen fries and soy products. Sulphites can cause allergic reactions and flushed faces and swelling of the eyes, face, tongue among others.