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Posts Tagged ‘Health’

15 Simple Rules For A Healthy Happy Life!

REVEALED!  THE UNLOCKED SECRETS ON HOW TO ACHIEVE HAPPINESS AND PEACE OF MIND.

Suffering, he said, arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable.

Epictetus was his name. Born a slave in Rome in 55 AD and lived there until he was banished. He spent the remainder of his life in Greece where he taught philosophy as a way of life. Suffering, he said, arises from trying to control what is uncontrollable. He strongly believed that human beings have a duty to care for all fellow human beings. The person who follows his precepts will achieve happiness and peace of mind.

It is not known how he attained his freedom but he began teaching his philosophy and founded his own philosophy school in Rome until 93 AD when he and all philosophers living there at the time were banished.

Lame since childhood, he lived his life with few possessions and great simpilcity. For much of his life he lived alone but in old age he adopted a friends child who would otherwise have been left to die and raised him with the aid of a woman. Not much more is known about him other than his 15 RULES FOR A BALANCED LIFE. He died around 135 AD.

His philosophy became known as Stoicism. It is a philosophy grounded in accepting everyday reality. While some believe the term refers to numbness,  his original followers known as Stoics sought to maintain a balance between life’s highs and lows.

The philosophy of Epictetus is well known in the American military through the writings and example of James Stockdale an American fighter pilot who was shot down during the Vietnam War. In his book Courage Under Fire, Stockdale credits Epictetus with helping him endure seven and a half years in a North Vietnamese military prison—including  torture—and four years in solitary confinement.

The philosophy of Epictetus plays a key role in Tom Wolfe’s book A Man In Full. His philosophy is also mentioned in James Joyce’s Portrait of the Artist As a Young Man; also in Franny & Zooey by J.D. Salinger and is referred to in Theodore Dreiser’s Sister Carrie.

Psychologist Albert Ellis, the founder of Rational Emotive Behaviour Therapy credited Epictetus with providing a foundation for his system of psychotherapy and last but not least his philosophy is an influence on the acting method introduced by David Mamet.

EPICTETUS ANCIENT SECRETS TO A LONG, HEALTHY BALANCED LIFE!

  1. Know what you can control and what you cannot.
  2. Make full use of what happens to you.
  3. Seeking to please is a perilous  trap.
  4. Approach life as a banquet.
  5. Avoid adopting other peoples’ negative views.
  6. Never supress a generous impulse.
  7. Character matters more than reputation.
  8. Self-mastery depends on self-honesty.
  9. The virtuous are consistent.
  10. Be suspicious of convention.
  11. Widsom is revealed through action, not talk.
  12. No shame, no blame.
  13. Pursue the good ardently.
  14. Treasure your mind, cherish your reason, hold to your purpose.
  15. Disregard what doesn’t concern you.

Do Human Beings Carry Expiration Dates?

On June 9, the Wall Street Journal carried the following story under the heading Mind & Matter written by Matt Ridley.

After celebrating her 60th year on the throne in style this past week, Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II can now look forward to breaking some more records. She is already, at 86, Britain’s oldest monarch (were she to die now, her son would be the 12th oldest). On Sept 10 2015, she would pass Queen Victoria to become the longest-reigning monarch in British history. To beat Louis XIV (who succeeded to the throne at the age of 4) for the longest reign in European history, she would have to live to 98.

Elizabeth II is still going strong, but the maximum human lifespan isn’t rising at anything like the rate of average life expectancy, which is rushing upward globally at the rate of about three months a year, mainly because of progress against premature mortality. Indeed, we may already have hit some kind of limit for maximum lifespan—perhaps because natural selection, with its strict focus on reproductive success, has no particular need to preserve genes that would keep us going to 150.

The oldest woman in  the world, Besse Cooper, a retired schoolteacher in Georgia will be 116 on Aug. 26, according to the Geronotology Research Group, an organization that studies aging issues. That’s a great age but it’s a hefty six years short of the record: 122 years and 64 days, set by Jeanne Calment of France in 1997. In other words, if Mrs. Cooper can get there, Mrs. Calment’s record will have stood for 21 years; if she can’t, maybe longer.  That’s a long time considering that there are now nearly a half million centenarians alive in the world. That number has been going up 7% a year but the number of those over 115 is not increasing.

If Mrs. Cooper does not take the record, there are only two other 115-year olds alive to take on the challenge,and one of them is a man: Jiroemon Kimura, a retired postman from Kyoto. He’s within seven months of beating the age record for his sex, set by Christian Mortensen, who died in 1998. But Mr. Kimura is less likely than a woman to make 122, and there are fewer women over 115 today (two) than there were in 2006 (four) or even 1997 (three).

At least two people died after their 110th birthdays in the 1800s, if you’re willing to trust the birth certificates. So the increase of 12 years in maximum life expectancy during the 20th century was just one-third as large as the increase in average life expectancy during the period (36 years).

In 2002, James Vaupal of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research in Rostock, Germany, startled demographers by pointing out that every estimate published of the level at which average life expectancy would level out has been broken within a few years. Jay Olshansky of the University of Illionis, however argues that since 1980 this has no longer been true for already-old people in rich countries like the U.S.: Official estimates of remaining years of life for a woman aged 65 should be revised downward.

Thanks to healthier lifestyles, more and more people are surviving into old age. But that is not incompatible with there being a sort of expiration date on human lifespan. Most scientists think the decay of the body by aging is not itself programmed by genes, but the repair mechanisms that delay decay are.

In human beings, genes that help keep you alive as a parent or even grandparent have had a selective advantage through helping children thrive, but ones that keep you alive as a great-grandparent–who likely doesn’t play much of a role in the well-being and survival of great-grand children–have probably never contributed to reproductive success.

In other words, there is perhaps no limit to the number of people who can reach 90 or 100, but getting past 120 may never be possible, and 150 is probably unattainable, absent generic engineering–even for a monarch.

Whatever your age or the age you plan on reaching, I have a FREE offer for any of my blog readers who have an interest in starting a business of their own. Denny Hatch, a friend and mail order guru has developed 22 Rules for Internet Success and with his permission I would like to send you a copy. It’s yours for the asking; Just shoot me an e-mail: Send me a FREE copy of Denny Hatch’s 22 Rules for Internet Success

Simple Things Can Make Your Life Easier, Better and Happier

45 really simple things you can do in an hour (or less).

  1. Start smart:  Dive into the day with a super healthy, super delicious breakfast. How about the Apple and  Cheddar Tartine a la REAL SIMPLE Magazine: Split a baguette lengthwise, then crosswise (extra points for whole grain); broil until lightly toasted, 1 to 2 minutes. Dividing evenly, top with 2 tablespoons apple butter, 1/2 thinlly sliced apple, and 2 ounces sliced Cheddar. Broil until the cheese has melted, 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Tackle just one drawer: Pick the one drawer that gets stuck nearly every time you yank it open because it’s too darn packed. Line up three shoe boxes, and start sorting. One is for saving, one is for giving away, and one goes straight to the garbage.  In less than an hour, you’re on your way to a leaner, meaner abode.
  3. Do it now: If a task can be completed in less than a minute, do it on the spot. So instead of putting a glass in the sink, put it in the dishwasher or wash the darn thing.
  4. Hide your keys: Buy a magnetic key holder. Put a spare car key and a spare house key in it, and place it under your car. You will lock yourself out of your car, and doing this will make you feel like the smartest person on the planet.
  5. Waterproof your shoes.
  6. Organize your documents: Learn how to organize your documents and photos on your home computer so you can find files when you need them.
  7. Clean your microwave: Get rid of the funky smell. Martha Stewart likes to put a tablespoon of lemon juice into a micro-safe cup of water, then let it come to a boil (roughly one minute). That loosens the goop on the interior surface so you can sponge the mess away.
  8. Make vinaigrette from scratch: Mix one tablespoon, red wine or white wine vinegar with four tablespoons olive or vegetable oil. Add freshly ground pepper, a nice pinch of salt, maybe a snip or two of fresh herbs or a teaspoon of Dijon mustard.
  9. Buy instant blooms: Buy a soon to bloom plant (maybe a tiny hyacinth) to bring the feeling of spring into your life.
  10. Clean out your T-shirt drawer.
  11. Purge your email: Be ruthless
  12. Reconnect: Send a quick email to one person on your reconnect list.
  13. Get kids organized too: Put some sticky labels on shelves so your kids can put stuff away where you want it.
  14. Create a new contact: When someone sends you an email create the contact right away (or later that day) so you don’t lose their information ever again.
  15. Learn to make a house drink: Find a quick recipe using what you have in your cabinet, practice twice to make sure they are good. Done.
  16. Count to 10: Suddenly overwhelmed by clutter and/or general messiness? Return just ten things to  their rightful places–and yes, the trash can counts as a rightful place, but it also helps to have a bag always at the ready for thrift store donations.
  17. Go for the burn: The Beat-Burn exercise apps deliver amazing workouts in 15-minute increments. A treadmill/outdoor training app and an elliptical app are $4 each on iTunes. lolofit.com
  18. Open a junk e-drawer: Open up a new email account for all the retail, frequent shopper and otherwise less-than-urgent emails. Visit it once a week and dispatch everything you don’t need to the recycle bin.
  19. Add a shelf to your closet: Just one of those white-wire shelves in your closet will reduce the mess.
  20. Do breakfast on the go: Cook your oatmeal in a paper cup. It’s easy to transport to car or bus, and cleanup is a snap–just dump the empty cup in the trash.
  21. Iron tomorrow’s shirt and trousers tonight.
  22. Cook extra rice: Use the leftovers as a base for fried rice.
  23. Organize your bookmarks.
  24. Create a simple filing system for take-out menus.
  25. Get rid of your home phone: If you go with just a cellphone, you have only one set of messages.
  26. Clean out your medicine cabinet: This is a huge boost because chances are you look into your medicine cabinet at key points of the day–early in the morning and before you go to bed at night. It’s amazing what a lift it is to reach for eye cream in a space that’s clean and organized.
  27. Organize your jewelry: Put all of your jewelry on a hanging rack. Seeing all of your necklaces and dangling earrings means no time wasted trying to find accessories in the morning.
  28. Pull wire hangers out of closets and take them to dry cleaner.
  29. Reconcile your Tupperware drawer: Dump the lids and/or containers that don’t have a mate.
  30. Alphabetize your spices: It will make it easier to find them when cooking.
  31. Turn your cans label first.
  32. Sew a button.
  33. Take shoes to a shoe repair.
  34. Write a thank-you note.
  35. Make lunch the night before.
  36. Clean around light switches and door knobs.
  37. Call your mom.
  38. Give your dog a bath.
  39. Do some push-ups.
  40. Polish your nails.
  41. Organize your book shelf: You may find a favorite title you haven’t checked out in a while or a book you just plain forgot to read.
  42. Say goodbye to old bras: Clean out that bra drawer and take the ones you don’t wear anymore to a local shelter.
  43. Create a new playlist.
  44. Celebrate your memories: Put that photo sharing folder to good use. End each day by looking at a photo you haven’t seen for a while. Guaranteed to bring a smile.
  45. Instant recycling: Put a pretty basket near the entrance to your home, and deposit the junk mail and unwanted catalogs as you pass by.

Martinis and Ice Cream Sundaes – The Key to a Happy Healthy Old Age

Could it really be as simple and tasty as Martinis and Ice Cream Sundaes?

Read on Oh You Doubters!  Irving Fields, 96 years old is not only in excellent health but looks 30 years younger than his actual age. What does he attribute this to, yes a nightly martini and an ice cream sundae before he turns in for the evening…Oh and one other thing, Never ever retire.

Mr. Fields has been playing piano in New York City since the 1920s, most recently at an upscale Italian Steak House. ” That’s his fountain of youth right there: the martini” a person squealed the other night. She was pointing to a brimming two-olive vodka martini resting on the grand piano being played by Mr. Fields.

As for the martini, a nightly staple, Mr Fields said it was as good an explanation as any for his longevity. “Don’t forget the ice cream sundae I have every night before bed”, he said while dusting off  a medley of tunes from “Fiddler on the Roof” (He has never let his playing get in the way of his talking.)

“The real secret is that I love what I do, and the piano is my best friend”, said Mr Fields, who was dressed in a velvet blazer and stylish tie as he table-hopped, chatted with customers and took requests. His wife Ruth, 82, was also working the room.

(This story on Mr. Fields was reported by Corey Kilgannon in the New York Times a week ago) As for the other hints to his endurance, Mr. Fields has produced a flyer, a stack of which sit on the piano, with his “Secrets to Longevity,” a list of aphorisisms like “Eat four hours before bedtime (You’ll digest better)” and “Never make a decision intoxicated”.  A regular patron commented on his piano skills “I’m big on authenticity, and you can hear the influence of the ’30s and ’40s and ’50’s in his playing. He’s lived through all musical eras and styles. Plus he’s always had the ability to play and charm his listeners at the same time, and it’s that charm that keeps you coming back”.

Mr. Fields says the six-nights a week job is perfect for him because it’s a two-minute walk from the apartment on Central Park South where he has lived for 50 years. “I get so many young people coming in saying they love Sinatra”, he said, “and they’re requesting the classics”.

Mr. Fields was born Yitshak Schwartz in 1915 and grew up in Brooklyn as the youngest of  six children. he was studying piano by 1923, and by 1933, he was playing on cruise ships. By the 1940s, he said, he was playing in the biggest hotel lounges, piano rooms and supper clubs in New York City. In the 1950s, he was a fixture at the Mermaid Room and he also played the Copacabana, the Latin Quarter, El Morocco and the St. Moritz. He was the regular pianist in the Oak Room at the Plaza from 1982 to 1990. Mr Fields remembered Ava Gardner dancing barefoot  to his Latin songs and Edward G. Robinson requesting Viennese waltzes.

He has made more than 80 albums, with an eclectic style that seemed to combine the Catskills, Manhattan, Miami and Havana. The owner of the Italian Steak House where Mr Fields performs says. “As long as his fingers perform, he will be playing here. He’s one of a kind. At 10:30 at night, when most people his age would be in bed, he’s going from table to table taking requests. I think it keeps him going.”

If you’re ever in New York and would like to hear Mr. Fields perform, you can find him at the upscale Italian Steak House, NINO’S on Central Park South.

I can’t teach you how to play piano like Mr. Fields, but if you’re looking for a way to own and operate your own business, and never have to worry about layoffs, companies downsizing or what you’re going to do after you retire, then you owe it to yourself to look into Mail Order as a way to “keep on working”

HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE, written by long time mail order expert, Fred Broitman has been accclaimed by by experts in the field to be “the definitive guide to success in direct response/mail order.” 

You’ll learn:

  • HOW TO GET STARTED
  • HOW TO FIND GREAT PRODUCTS
  • HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS PROFITABLE FROM THE START
  • HOW TO PRICE YOUR PRODUCT FOR BIGGEST PROFITS
  • SECRETS OF CREATING WINNING MAIL ORDER ADS
  • COMPLETE UP-TO-DATE INFORMATION ON HOW TO USE THE INTERNET TO SUPER CHARGE YOUR MAIL ORDER BUSINESS

Mr. Broitman’s book is sold with a guarantee of satisfaction or your money back.

HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE is available from Amazon at its published price of $39.95 plus s&h or you can save $10 and order it direct from the publisher for only $29.95 plus $3.50 s&h (Total $33.50). Send check or money order along  with your name and address to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601

Free Memory Boosting Tips!

Can you trust your memory? 

Forgetting where you parked the car. Returning an important phone call… It happens to all of us particularly as we get older. If you’ve ever had a moment when you can’t remember where you put your car keys or what was on your grocery list, you’re not alone. We all forget things occasionally. Truth is, increased memory loss is a serious threat for many people. Here are a few ways to sharpen your memory:

  1. Close your eyes. Distractions make it harder to remember things, so your memory is often enhanced when you close your eyes and shut out stimuli.
  2. Pay attention when learning something new. It takes about eight seconds of intense focus to get a piece of information into your memory.
  3. Get Organized. Create to-do lists, write down appointments on your calendar, and create a specific place for your keys, wallet, and other essentials.
  4. Learn something new. Give your brain the stimulation it needs to keep growing and developing.
  5. Interact with others. Meaningful relationships and a strong support system are vital not only to emotional health, but brain health. People with the most active social lives had the lowest rate of memory decline.
  6. Get enough sleep. A sleep-deprived brain cannot operate at full capacity, compromising critical-thinking skills, creativity, and problem solving abilities.
  7. Keep stress in check. Chronic stress destroys brain cells and damages the hippocampus, the region of the brain involved in forming new memories and retrieving old ones.
  8. Eat brain boosting foods such as complex carbohydrates (whole wheat bread, brown rice, oatmeal), Omega 3s (tuna, salmon,  walnuts, soybeans and vegetables packed with antioxidants that protect your brain cells from damage (spinach, brocolli, cantaloupe, watermelon). Also limit your intake of saturated fats.

For more tips and tools on memory improvement, check out

www.memoryimprovement-tips.com

For those of you fortunate enough to live in a town or city with a Brain Store near you, you’ll find games and puzzles for adults and children  guaranteed to keep your brain buzzing. This growing chain of stores is worth checking out, as is their website.

Now for some “words to the wise”:

“If you tell the truth, you don’t  have to remember anything.”
—–Mark  Twain

and from Ben Franklin
–A clean desk is a sign of a cluttered desk drawer.
–Well done is better than well said.
–A closed mouth gathers no foot.

My thanks to my friends at THE INK WELL for allowing me to share some of their words of wisdom from their monthly CHECK OUT newsletter. This months edition also reminds us of the Five-Second Rule.

  • Surely you’ve heard about the “five-second rule”, which asserts that food dropped on the floor is OK to eat if you pick it up in five seconds or less. Even though quick retrieval often means that fewer bacteria are collected on a piece of food, it’s no guarantee of safety. Here are a few things to keep in mind next time you drop food, pacifiers, or anything you’re considering putting in a mouth:
  • Germs are invisible, so even though a floor may look clean, that doesn’t mean it is. If food is dropped in the kitchen or areas trafficked by shoes, which carry fecal matter, salmonella. E. coli, and other things that could be living on the floor, think again.
  • Bacteria can live and thrive for up to four weeks on dry surfaces and can cling to food in mere moments.
  • Moist foods (such as a slice of apple or cheese will attract more bacteria from a floor than dry foods such as crackers.

When in doubt, throw it out. A growling stomach is always a better alternative than diarrhea or vomiting, should you consume some harmful bacteria.

For creative tips on killing germs and more, check out www.vinegartips.com

WARNING! SHAMELESS PLUG COMING:

Since you’ve come to the blog about HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE, I must show you how to begin.

The book is a complete guide to starting your own home based business. No matter where you live….big city….small town….down on the farm, as long as you have access to the internet you can become successful in a business of your own operated from any room in your house with just your computer.

Read and you’ll Learn:

  • HOW TO GET  STARTED
  • HOW TO FIND GREAT PRODUCTS
  • HOW TO MAKE YOUR BUSINESS PROFITABLE FROM THE START
  • HOW TO PRICE YOUR PRODUCT OR SERVICE FOR BIGGEST PROFITS
  • SECRETS OF CREATING WINNING MAIL ORDER OFFERS AND ADS
  • 14 SURE-FIRE CHECK OFF LISTS THAT GUARANTEE HUGE PROFITS

and includes COMPLETE INFORMATION ON HOW TO USE THE INTERNET TO SUPER CHARGE YOUR BUSINESS

HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE will provid you a with an easy to follow “road map” to success in a business of your own.

It’s available from AMAZON at its published price of $39.05 plus s&h or you can save $10 and order it direct from the publisher for $29.95 plus $3.50 s&h. (Total $33.45). Send check or money order along with your name and address to SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601. Sold on a money back guarantee of satisfaction.

Can I Really Start A Mail Order Business and Become A Millionaire?

This is a question I receive quite often and even though I have answered it in earlier postings, I enjoy sharing success stories of other Mail Order Millionaires I have known or read about.

He didn’t have an office but relyed on a phone line in his father’s live chicken store on Chicago’s Northside. Years later they sold the company to STAPLES for $685 million.

Here is another giant in the industry that started out very humbly in 1956 selling office supplies door to door. Jack Miller was newly married and had a $15,000 mortgage. He didn’t have an office but relyed on a phone line in his father’s live chicken store on Chicago’s Northside. That way someone, either his father or his Uncle Abe, would answer the phone when Jack was out selling office supplies.

Miller had begun working odd jobs at age 13. He  wa s a soda jerk in a drugstore, a delivery boy for a dry cleaner, an usher at a movie theater and a pin-setter at a bowling alley. He paid his way through the University of Illinois, modeling for art classes, washing dishes, digging ditches and loading freight cars. He eventually went to work for his father, slaughtering chickens and cleaning droppings off the floor, before moving to various jobs elsewhere in sales and distribution.

At 27, he decided to go into business for himself, founding QUILL OFFICE PRODUCTS, which evolved into the first mail order office supply dealer in the country. His first month, Miller sold $960 worth of merchandise and made $35 profit after expenses. His brother Harvey, joined him in the business a year and a half later; his older brother, Arnold, joined the company about 20 years later.

In 1998 Quill’s revenues had reached more than $630 million; it employed about 1,200 people. The company owned a 350,000-square- foot distribution center on a 35-acre campus in Lincolnshire, IL and nine other distribution centers around the country. Since no one in the next generation of Millers was willing to take it over they sold the company they started to Staples for $685 million in an all-stock deal.  As part of the deal, Staples promised to retain the Quill brand; protect Quill employees’ benefits and pay; and retain executives, unless they made mistakes.

In semiretirement he founded the Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History, a nonprofit in a Philadelphia suburb, which supports teaching early American history on college campuses. Sometime after that Jack was diagnosed with an incredibly painful little known uncurable disease, peripherable neuropathy.

Now  83, Jack has dedicated his remaining years and fortune to finding a cure. His wife Goldie, who is a bit younger tells him he will live to be 100. Jack says if I’m going to live another 17 years, he would like to live some of those years free of the constant, debilitating, de-energizing, sleep depriving pain that has plagued him for the last 18 years.

Speaking to a group of 125 people, including many neurologists at a symposium on the disease. His fortune was helping pay for the three-day event as well as millions more he has contributed to start the Foundation for Peripheral Neuropathy, which hosted the symposium. This nonprofit is also funding research at the Northwestern Medical Faculty Foundation, in Chicago, the John Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore. Beth Isreal Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and the Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. In coordination with those hospitals and universities, the foundation has started a peripheral neuropathy research registry of patients. Once it’s finished, researchers worldwide will be able to access the collection’s blood samples and medical histories. The symposium was one of the few times that the people conducting the clinical trials were in the same room.

Jack wound up his talk by telling the audience that this registry is just the beginning. There will be more. We think collaboration is critical so we can end the suffering so many of us go through…..and if Jack’s wife Goldie prevails, that he lives 17 years longer, he sure hopes that treatment and a cure is found so he can have some quality in the years he has left.

Jack Miller is a testament to the fact that yes one can become a mail order millionaire! Not only did he become one but due to his mail order business and the millions of dollars he made, his may be responsible for finding a cure for a painful disease that affects about 20 million people in America.

Interested in learning on how you can become a mail order millionaire? As a reader of my blog, you can receive a copy of my book HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE on a 100% guarantee of satisfaction or it costs you nothing. Buy it from AMAZON for its published price of $39.95 plus s&h, or you can order it direct from the publisher and save $10. Just send check or money order for $29.95 plus $3.50  s&h (Total $33.45) along with your name and address to: SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago IL 60601. If not completely satisfied, return the book for a complete refund.

You May Be At Risk for a Stroke or Heart Attack

Blood pressure, cholesterol level among key factors

Study clarifies four top  risks for heart attack, strokes. Having just one risk factor such as high cholesterol or smoking–can significantly increase the odds of suffering a stroke or heart attack in your lifetime according to a new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.

The research tracked more than 250,000 participants from 18 different studies over a period of 50 years. It is the first study to look at the risks for white and black men and women across the generations. Previously clinicians would calculate a patient’s risk by projecting into the next decade. Now, with such a broad data pool, doctors can predict the likelihood of a major cardiovascular event well into the future.

This information comes from a story in the Chicago Tribune reported by Bonnie Miller Rubin. Dr. Donald Lloyd- Jones, chair and associate professor of preventive medicine at Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine and the study’s lead investigator shared his findings with the Tribune.

Q. What does the study tell us now that we didn’t know before?

  • A. We have known for decades that four risk factors–blood pressure, cholesterol levels, smoking and diabetes–are related to cardiovascular disease, which is the number one killer for men and women in the U.S. What we hadn’t appreciated is the long-term risks. We now know that whether male, female, black or white, the effect of the risk factors remained consistent in determining lifetime risk, regardless of when you were born.

Q. What do these findings mean?

  • A.  That regardless of your age, sex or race, if you have optimal risk factors, your chance of having a heart attack or stroke is really low. And if a peer of the same age, sex and race has even one of these factors, he or she has a dramatically higher chance of developing a cardiovascular event during their life span.

Q. How do you define opimal cholesterol and blood pressure levels?

  • A. Total cholesterol level of less  than 180, blood pressure is less than 120 on top and 80 on the bottom.

Q. Can you give me an example of how having even one risk factor increases your likelihood of stroke or heart attack?

  • A. Men who are 45 years old and have all four factors at optimal levels–in other words, optimal blood pressure,cholesterol and no smoking or diabetes–have only a 1.4 percent risk of a heart attack event in their lifetime. In contrast, adding just one risk factor raises the chances to 40 percent for men and 20 percent for women. With two it increases to 50 and 41 percent respectively.

Q. How much do genes play in all this?

  • A. At a certain point, genes do influence factors like cholesterol levels. You can’t completely change everything but you can trump a lot of that. By keeping these other things healthy, you can delay  the day when, say, you might need medication to take care of the part that you can’t accomplish solely through lifestyle changes.

Q. Are there other factors  that play a part in cardiovascular disease?

  • A. Sleep and stress clearly play into the incremental risk. We also know that shift work can mess up a person’s metabolic profile. There is some important research going on in these areas, but at the end of the day, it’s by maintaining the four big factors that you can dramatically reduce your risk.

Q. If you have less than ideal levels of  the Big Four, can you undo the damage?

  • A. Once placques start forming in the artery walls you can slow them down and stabilize them with lifestyle changes and medication, but you can’t make them go away completely. They’re still there, taking up space and potentially obstructing blood flow. So you can be a 35-year-old and have the arteries of a 55-year-old. That’s why it’s so important that young people understand the importance of their choices. That we really need to get our foot in the door now–while they’re in their 20s and 30s, even though heart disease might not get them until their 50s or 60s.

Q. Do you ever eat a hot dog or cheeseburger?

  • A. Unfair question! Of course I do. But that has to be done in moderation and it means I have to make a trade-off to reduce calories, fat and sodium elsewhere, and that I should go burn it off with a good brisk walk.

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Death comes to visit the living – Jeff Zaslow’s tragic passing.

This blog post is dedicated to someone I knew only through his writing. Jeff Zaslow was a columnist for the Chicago Sun-Times. His untimely death occurred Friday February 10. The words are not mine but someone who knew the deceased well, who worked with him, shared good times with him and admired him.

Neil Steinberg is also a columnist for the Sun-Times and a damned good one as was Jeff Zaslow. Since this is my blog and I can post anything I care to, here is Neil’s column from the February 15 edition of the Chicago Sun Times.

Ludwick Wittgenstein’s Tractus Logico- Philosophicus is a list of numbered propositions, each leading to the next. Number 6.4311 begins “Death is not an event in life. Death is not lived through.” For the person who has died, that is. That person is whisked away to whatever reward awaits us after death.

It is those of us who live through death, big time, who must cope with it, particularly accidental death, which radiates outward, sending shock waves, first to those at the scene, stunned to find death intruding onto an ordinary day. Then to the oficialdom who must deal with death regularly and handle the particulars. Then exploding into the lives of family, who suffer the most and, finally the thunderclap reaches the outer world, where people hear it and look up, moved to the degree they knew the deceased.

Jeff Zaslow died in a car accident Friday, as you’ve probably heard. Longtime Sun-Times readers will fondly recall his thoughtful, human and funny advice column that ran from 1987 until 2001, or his best selling books such as The Last Lecture.

I don’t do grief well–I’m self-centered and over-analytical, a bad mix–and no sooner feel loss then immediately start  questioning it, to see if it’s legitimate. Jeff’s death came as a sickening shock, yet I instantly pulled back, certain that I occupy  too distant an orbit among his concentric circles of friends to be entitled to feel awful, which is reserved for his wife and daughters and family, the true epicenter of suffering. Any hurt I feel must be ersatz, overdramatic.

No matter How I tried to focus my  thoughts on others–Jeff’s genius, the key to his life: he was a big-hearted, generous man, a true friend–I kept returning  to my own experiences with him. Memories bubbled up, random stuff. as if my brain were venting everything it knew about Jeff Zaslow, from the fact  that at birth, he was delivered by Dr. C. Everett Koop, the future Surgeon General, to his sister’s hand-made picture frames, to his love of Bruce Springsteen–we once went to a concert together–to the day, almost 25 years ago, Jeff was being given his welcoming tour of the Sun-Times newsroom and I hurried over, curious to discover just what kind of idiot leaves a job writing front page stories for the Wall Street Journal to advise women how to get stains out of a broadloom rug on page 27 of the Sun-Times.

If a Russian novelist tried to create two separate characters to split the spectrum of qualities a writer can possess, might cook up Jeff–happy, concerned for others, frenetic, sincere–and me: melancholy, self-absorbed, shambling, scarcastic. Jeff wanted to help everybody. He held  those enormous Zass Bashes at Navy Pier because he got so many letters from lonely people, and wanted to fix them up with each other, to give each one a shot at the joy he found with his own wife, Sherry. I thought he was crazy. “Jeff”, I’d say. “You’re not a social service.”

When I got the awful news–we have the same literary agency–I dutifully phoned it in to the newspaper. “Do you want to write something?” an editor asked. I said “No.” The planet of my ego is such– think Jupiter–I knew it would be impossible to launch a tribute to Jeff without having it circle back and crash into myself. “Whereof one cannot speak, thereof one must be silent” is the final line of Wittgenstein’s book. Good advice. I wanted to honor Jeff by shutting up, an under appreciated art form.

But silence felt even worse. We Jews bury our own, and standing at Jeff’s graveside, mutely waiting for my turn with the shovel, I stared at my shoes and tried to block out the sound of his daughters weeping. “This is the worst thing in the world,” I thought. “I hate this I hate this I hate this”.

Silence has no utility, it isn’t a sharp enough blade to scrape at the icy loss that Jeff’s death frosts over the world. I wish I could wrap this up tidily, with an inspiring  thought that counterbalances the tragedy in the world and leaves you with a smile. Jeff was so good at that. Alas, he is not here, a hard fact that touches on the often cruel nature of life, one that we lucky enough to have known Jeff will struggle with for a long time.

Thanx, Neil for allowing me to share this with my small group of bloggerfriends. If my mother were still alive and I could have read her this column, she would have said to me in Yiddish “Gut Gazooked”…roughly translated as “Well said”.

When the Weather Outside is Frightful – Winter’s many Hidden Hazards

Home for me is Chicago and we are having one of the mildest winters I can recall. Very little snow (by Chicago standards) and not even all that cold (again by Chicago standards) but if you are reading this and your winter weather is frightful, here are some helpful tips courtesy of THE INK WELL who publish a monthly printed newsletter sent to their customers.

Depending on where you live, a covering of fluffy snow and the glisten of icicles can be beautiful signs of the season. However, winter can also come with many hidden hazards.

Here are a few must-know tips to keep you safe and healthy.

Did you know indoor radon gas is one of the leading causes of lung cancer? Radon levels can increase at a deadly rate during cool months when windows are closed, so it’s important to test your home for radon. For more information, visit www.epa.gov/radon.

If your furnace or other heat source stops working, avoid frozen water pipes by turning your faucets to a steady drip. If the pipes do freeze, open a faucet near the frozen area to release vapor from melting ice, then direct a heat lamp, space heater, or hair dryer at the frozen section. Never thaw a frozen pipe with an open flame, which can cause a fire or steam explosion.

Hypothermia can happen to anyone when their body temperature reaches 95 degrees or lower. Even mild indoor temps of 60-65 degrees can trigger hypothermia in infants and the elderly.

Signs of Hypothermia include

  • Drowsiness
  • Forgetfulness
  • Slurred Speech
  • Slow Breathing

Beware of frostbitten skin, which appears whitish and feels numb. Treat frostbite by wrapping the area with blankets, or use body heat to warm it gradually. Do not rub frostbitten areas — friction can damage the skin tissue.

If you are standing on a frozen lake, pond, or outdoor skating rink and hear the ice cracking, lie down immediately to distribute your weight. If you fall in, don’t panic. Focus your energy on getting out as quickly as possible. Once out, use powdery snow to sop up excess water. Do jumping jacks, push-ups, or run in place to get your blood pumping and warm up your body.

For more winter tips, check out: www.epa.gov/region3winter

Wise words:

“Health is like money–we never have a true idea of its value until we lose it.”

Speaking of money. If you are contemplating going into business for yourself, take advantage of my special offer for HOW TO BECOME A MAIL ORDER MILLIONAIRE. It’s available from Amazon at its published price of $39.95 plus s&h, but as a reader of my blog, you can obtain a copy by ordering direct from the publisher. Send a check or money order for $29.95 plus $3.50 (Total $33.45) to: SUPERIOR PRESS 333 N. Michigan Avenue, Suite 1032, Chicago, IL 60601 Sold on complete money back guarantee of satisfaction.

If You Could Choose Would You Die Like A Doctor?

It’s Not Like the Rest of Us, But It should Be.

                                  By Ken Murray, MD Clinical Assistant Professor of Family Medicine at USC

The following is excerpted from ZOCALO PUBLIC SQUARE

“Years ago Charlie, a highly respected orthopedist and a mentor of mine, found a lump in his stomach. He had a surgeon explore the area, and the diagnosis was pancreatic cancer. This surgeon was one of the best in the country. He had even invented a new procedure for this exact cancer that could triple a patient’s five year survival odds—from 5 percent to 15 percent—albeit with a poor quality of life. Charlie was uninterested. He went home the next day, closed his practice, and never set foot in a hospital again. He focused on spending time with his family and feeling as good as possible. Several months later, he died at home. He got no chemotherapy, radiation, or surgical treatment. Medicare didn’t spend much on him. It’s not a frequent topic of discussion, but doctors die, too. And they don’t die like the rest of us. What’s unusual about them is not how much treatment they get compared to most Americans, but how little.  For all the time they spend fending off the death of others, they tend to be fairly serene when faced with death themselves. They know exactly what is going to happen, they know the choices and they generally have access to any sort of medical care they could want. But they go gently.

                         Of course, doctors don’t want to die; they want to live. But they know enough about modern medicine to know its limits. And they know enough about death to know what all people fear most: dying in pain, and dying alone. They’ve talked about this with their families. They want to be sure when the time comes, that no heroic measures will happen—that they will never experience, during their last moments on earth, someone breaking their ribs in an attempt to resuscitate them with CPR (that’s what happens if CPR is done right). Almost all medical professionals have seen what we call “futile care” being performed on people. That’s when doctors bring the cutting edge of technology to bear on a grievously ill person near the end of life. The patient will get cut open, perforated with tubes, hooked up to machines, and assaulted with drugs. All of this occurs in the Intensive Care Unit at a cost of tens of thousands of dollars a day. What it buys is misery we would not inflict on a terrorist. I cannot count the number of times fellow physicians have told me, in words that vary only slightly, “Promise me if you find me like this that you’ll kill me”. They mean it. Some medical personnel  wear medallions stamped “NO CODE” to tell a physician not  to perform CPR on them. I have even seen it as a tattoo.

                              To administer medical care that makes people suffer is anguishing. Physicians are trained to gather information without revealing any of their own feelings, but in private, among fellow doctors, they’ll vent. “How can anyone do that to their family members?” they’ll ask. I suspect it’s one reason physicians have higher rates of alcohol abuse and depression than professionals in most other fields. I know it ‘s one reason I stopped participating in hospital care for the last 10 years of my practice How has it come to this—that doctors administer so much care they wouldn’t want for themselves? The simple, or not-so-simple, answer is this: patients, doctors, and the system. Imagine a scenario in which someone has lost consciousness and been admitted to an emergency room. As is so often the case, no one has made a plan for this situation, and shocked and scared family members find themselves caught up in maze of choices. They’re overwhelmed. When doctors ask if they want “everything” done, they answer yes. Then the nightmare begins. Sometimes a family really means ”do everything, “ but often just mean “do everything that’s reasonable.” The problem is that they may not know what’s reasonable, nor, in their confusion and sorrow, will they ask about it or hear what a physician may be telling them. For the most part doctors told to do “everything” will do it, whether it is reasonable or not. The above scenario is a common one. Feeding into the problem are unrealistic expectations of what doctors can accomplish. Many people think of CPR as a reliable lifesaver when, in fact, the results are usually poor. I’ve had hundreds of people brought to me in the emergency room after getting CPR. Exactly one, a healthy man who’d had no heart troubles, walked out of the hospital. If a patient suffers from severe illness, old age, or a terminal disease, the odds of a good outcome from CPR are infinitesimal, while the odds of suffering are overwhelming. Poor knowledge and misguided expectations lead to a lot of bad decisions. But of course it’s not just patients making these things happen. Doctors play an enabling role, too. The trouble is that even doctors who hate to administer futile care must find a way to address the wishes of patients and families. Some doctors are stronger communicators than others and some doctors are more adamant, but the pressures they all face are similar.

                            When I faced circumstances involving end-of-life choices, I adopted the approach of laying out only the options that I thought were reasonable (as I would in any situation) as early in the process as possible .When patients or families brought up unreasonable choices, I would discuss the issue in layman’s terms that portrayed the downsides clearly. If patient s or families still insisted on treatments I considered pointless or harmful, I would offer to transfer their care to another doctor or hospital. Should I have been more forceful at times? I know that some of those transfers still haunt me..

                        It’s easy to find fault with both doctors and patients, but in many ways the parties are simply victims of a larger system that encourages excessive treatment. Several years ago my older cousin had a seizure that turned out to be the result of lung cancer that had gone to his brain. I arranged for him to see various specialists, and we learned that with aggressive treatment of his condition, including three to five hospital visits a week for chemotherapy, he would live perhaps four months. Ultimately, he decided against any treatment and simply took pills for brain swelling. He moved in with me. We spent the next eight months doing a bunch of things that he enjoyed, having fun together like we hadn’t in decades. He even gained a bit of weight  eating his favorite foods. He had no serious pain, and he remained high-spirited. One day he didn’t wake up. He spent the next three days in a coma-like sleep and then died. The cost of his medical care for those eight months, for the one drug he was taking, was about $20. My cousin knew he  wanted a life of quality, not just quantity. Don’t most of us?

                        If there is a state of the art of end-of-life care, it is this: death with dignity; As for me, my physician has my choices. They were easy to make, as they are for most physicians. There will be no heroics, and I will go gentle into that good night. Like my cousin. Like my fellow doctors”.

Please share with me your comments about this subject we will all have to eventually address. However in the meantime while still in good health, if you’d like to consider starting your own business and even becoming one of the MAIL ORDER MILLIIONAIRES featured in the newest revised edition of my book, here’s my special offer to you.

A special offer only available to you.
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