Archive for the ‘Health’ Category

Obama, the most fit President in history

December 30, 2008


Too lazy to stretch? (The Financial Athlete #31)

July 28, 2008

Stretching properly not only prevents injuries, it enhances game performance.

My stretching routine begins with dynamic stretches before a sports activity. This warms up my muscles. Then I do static stretches after the sports activity. The point of stretching is to relax the muscles. However, stretching alone may not relax the muscles. The mind must be calm for the body to relax. Calm mind…calm body. Calm the mind through meditation or breathing exercises. Thus, meditation and breathing exercises can be viewed as stretches for the mind.

People skip stretching because it’s boring for them or they think they have no time for it, only to pay the price with physical pain later. Likewise, many investors skip due diligence for the same excuses, only to pay an emotional toll of anger, worry, and regret later.

Investing without doing due diligence is like playing a rigorous sport with muscle tensions and spasms. As silly as this sounds, this is precisely how many go about investing. It’s the easy and fun way, until the losses start rolling in. Practice proper due diligence, which is the heart of investing.

Exercise effectively* (The Financial Athlete #28)

July 23, 2008

The gym is full of people doing ineffective exercise routines:

1. The middle aged man who desperately tries to lose his pot belly by doing hundreds of crunches a day does not realize crunches will only strengthen his abdominal muscles and do little or nothing to burn the fat that hides them. Meanwhile, another man beside him spends minimal time on direct ab work but has ripped abs because he concentrates on full body exercises such as pull ups, dead lifts, and lunges.

2. The young woman riding 40 minutes on the stationary bike at a leisurely pace while tuned into the TV burns less fat than her healthy friend who breaks a sweat as she maintains a mind/muscle connection in her 20 minute interval training workout on the stationary bike next to her.

3. The college kid who spends half an hour on the bench press and hardly any weight training for his back muscles only bothers to look at his chest in the mirror. In time, he will also notice a rolling in of the shoulders due to an imbalanced body structure.

4. The muscle man who consistently works out two hours a day, a good portion of that time resting in between weight lifting sets which isolate a single muscle. Another muscle man completes a comparable workout in half the time because his routine centers on multiple-joint exercises and supersets. (An example of a superset is triceps extensions followed by bicep curls.)

To save time in my workout I choose effective and efficient ways of exercise. The same holds true for the exercise of due diligence with investing. To begin with, an investment opportunity must meet my initial criteria before I dig deeper into research. This filters out unwanted assets quickly. If the investment opportunity meets my initial criteria, then I implement a system of Pros and Cons based on Michael Porter’s SWOT analysis.

SWOT is an acronym for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. Strengths and Weaknesses are internal factors such as Working Capital and Debt/Equity Ratio. Opportunities and Threats are external factors such as product market trends and competition.

A SWOT analysis forces us to see the whole picture. See the whole picture, and eliminate the tendency to become over-bullish or over-bearish. Due diligence is incomplete without exploring all four facets (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats). Incomplete due diligence is nearly as bad as no due diligence, because it leads to false conclusions.

*People with heart problems and some other physical ailments should not increase the intensity of exercise with sprints, interval training, fully body exercises, and supersets. Consultant your doctor before doing this.

“Where to learn more about nutrition”

July 19, 2008

Where to learn more about nutrition
Cox News Service
Article Last Updated: 07/14/2008 01:42:41 AM PDT

Q: Can you recommend some Web sites and newsletters to learn more about nutrition and complementary medicine?

A: It is interesting that something as basic as nutrition and diet have been classified as “complementary” or “alternative” medicine, but in our Western view of medicine, nutrition often takes a back seat to drugs or surgical interventions.

There are some helpful resources that I use to keep up with the latest clinical trials, dietary patterns or dietary supplements that are classified as complementary medicine. Try these Web sites:

· The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine ( is one of the centers of the National Institutes of Health. You can learn about clinical trials sponsored by the NIH and obtain general information on the evidence supporting the use of glucosamine for arthritis or echinacea for respiratory infections.

· The Office of Dietary Supplements ( is another good resource that focuses on supplements. Click on health information to find out the latest research on vitamin D or learn more about vitamins, minerals and herbal remedies that might be useful treatments for many conditions.

· The American Botanical Council ( is a good place to learn more about plants and plant extracts used as alternative therapies. Parts of this Web site are available for free, and I like the virtual tour section.

Good newsletters include:

· Nutrition Action,
a subscription newsletter from Consumers for Science in the Public Interest ( provides more than just information on alternative medicine. I find its reviews of dietary supplements to be timely and informative. For example, in the June issue it reviews new evidence on multivitamins and suggests who might benefit from supplementation along with dosing strategies.

· Environmental Nutrition ( is also a subscription newsletter, and it contains interesting evidence-based articles on everything from potential health benefits of exotic fruits and vegetables to reviews of dietary supplements.

Bye-bye allergies

June 2, 2008

Here’s how I got rid of 90% of my allergic reactions to grass, pollen, and dust mites without taking allergy pills. Of course, there’s a catch…nothing less than a change of lifestyle! This has to be done virtually everyday because it’s not a cure. Once off the regimen, the allergy symptoms reappear.

1. Drink about a gallon of spring water per day. (I buy WholeFoods’ 365).

2. Sweat profusely from running, or hot yoga, or sauna. Sweat to release toxins.

3. Lift weights for muscle toning, or hike up a hill/mountain, or walk a few miles or swim. (Do exercise only to the level your doctor would recommend.)

4. Eliminate from your diet all or most ‘fake foods’ (processed foods). Eat more fruits and vegetables, preferably organic.

5. Manage stress. I take a capsule of 50 mg of B-Vitamins when stress is elevated.

6. And here’s the real kicker…Load up on antioxidants from a variety of food sources.

a) Breakfast: freshly squeezed orange juice and a minimum of 72% dark chocolate to go along with main meal usually something with protein like eggs.
b) Snacks throughout the day: blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, and especially GOJI berries.
c) 2-3 cups of organic green tea or yerba mate or rooibos tea from BULK and quality spring water per day including lunch.
d) A glass of red wine with dinner. If you don’t drink alcoholic beverages, then substitute a pill of grape seed extract. The point is to try to include antioxidants with every meal.

It takes discipline to do this, but habits form in about 28 days. It took me about 3 months to see dramatic results. This is the first springtime in my life I can remember without suffering from allergies.

If you try this, please report back on your results.

FAKE ADVERTISEMENT (for goji berries):

Goji berries…You GOJI, girl!

Robert Mondavi’s secret to long life

May 24, 2008

A friend told me this last night: When asked of the secret to long life, Napa Valley wine entrepreneur Robert Mondavi replied, “Every day…a massage, a swim, and red wine.”

Robert Mondavi died this week at age 94.

‘The truth about saturated fats’ by Mary Enig and Sally Fallon

May 21, 2008

The truth about saturated fats
by Mary Enig, PhD, and Sally Fallon
authors of: Nourishing Traditions – The Cookbook that Challenges Politically Correct Nutrition and the Diet Dictocrats

This is one of the most important articles I have ever read on nutrition. It’s long but probably compelling enough to change your eating habits.

Run before you crawl

May 13, 2008

“Crawl before you walk. Walk before you run.” Run before you crawl!

Are you running on a BORING dreadmill — I mean treadmill — or elliptical machine in the gym? It’s no wonder most gym memberships don’t last.

Having trouble ‘living in the present’ on an exercise machine because you’re mind is on one thing while your body is on another? Not so with crawling. Both your mind and body are fully engaged. Don’t feel humiliated to learn from an infant master this primal form of art. Crawling is their primary form of exercise, and it’s not as easy as you may remember.

The bear crawl, like push ups, jumping, and lunges, is a bodyweight training exercise. I’m a big believer in bodyweight training for fitness. Bodyweight training is free of charge and you can do it almost anywhere. I understand the need to spare yourself the embarrassment of crawling in an airport or shopping center or other public place. So in the privacy of your home or hotel room, be like a happy infant again and crawl away! Warning: this may be a challenge for those who take themselves too seriously.

For your safety, watch these instructions on the proper execution of the bear crawl before you hit the floor:

(Sorry, the video link would not post. Cut and paste the link.)

There’s green gold in them thar hills

May 5, 2008

China is tough market to do business when the road has not been paved. Politics, lack of connections, and entrenched ways of doing business hinder. Enter an undettered American tea importer, David Lee Hoffman, who thinks beyond ‘outside the box’. For Hoffman, there is no box.

The documentary film ‘All in This Tea’ follows Hoffman in his quest to directly seek premium organic teas grown in remote mountainous regions by highly skilled tea farmers. He refuses to tread the easy route and accept the Chinese factories’ chemically toxic, commercially grown tea. Hoffman can’t be fooled into buying non-organic tea. It only takes him one good sniff to smell chemicals in a tea bag.

This inferior quality, commercially grown tea is emblematic of the dumbing down of capitalism, whereby the only consideration is to maximize short-term profits and to achieve this end the “expense” of skilled workers is eliminated. This mentality is not endemic to just China. In America, retail is being staffed with more part-time, unskilled workers who are good at taking orders and smiling but little help with consulting customers to make sound purchasing decisions.

For Hoffman, the ancient Chinese craft of cultivating premium teas and the soil are sacred. Hoffman aimed to preserve both by building a largely untapped market in America and educating Chinese officials and factory executives about the virtues of organic farming. The film shows him explain to them in a dinner conversation the highly effective and environmentally friendly fertilizer of earthworm poop. “Now that’s some good shit!”

I beg and plea, bring me premium green tea!

California smokers to be evicted for smoking in rental homes?

April 29, 2008

Today, the California Senate Judiciary Committee will consider Senator Alex Padilla’s bill to explicitly allow owners of rental housing the option to ban smoking on all or a portion of their property.

Padilla’s concern is second-hand smoke, estimated to kill 38,000 Americans per year. “We share the same walls, the same ventilation units,” he says. (The Los Angeles Democrat lives in an apartment too?)

Currently, California landlords are being sued by smokers opposed to their non-smoking rules and by non-smokers for not setting non-smoking rules.

Some critics who are empathetic for the poor contend the bill, if made into law, would cause a huge wave of homeless smokers and their families. Other critics eager to protect the health of their fellow Californians say the bill is too soft and call for the ban of smoking on all apartment complexes.

I say Padilla’s bill is the common sense solution to the problem. Whose property is it anyway? The landlord should have the right to ban or allow smoking anywhere on his property. If tenants don’t like it, they should rent elsewhere. Trust in the free market forces to clear the way for an adequate supply of rental units for smokers.