Disability Employment Awareness Month Podcast

I write in this blog on a spectrum of topics relevant to having a full and robust life.

I mostly write about fitness which has multiple expressions: I advocate for fitness of body, mind, spirit, career, relationships, and finances.

In Bari Tessler’s latest e-mail (she’s the author of The Art of Money) she talks about financial milestones occurring at different times for each of us. We shouldn’t compare ourselves to others when we achieve money victories later than other people do.

In this regard recovery is not a one-size-fits-all endeavor either. I’m fairly open in this blog about what happened to me. My true success in life occurred only after I turned 35 and started working as a librarian.

What I write I’m confident can empower people who don’t have mental health issues too.

In the interview I did for the NPO Media podcast I wanted to demonstrate how pursuing a career that’s the right fit with your personality can help you recover. I also offer hope to family members whose loved ones are in recovery.

The podcast is just under 29 minutes.

I talk in my expressive Italian voice. As my friend recorded me speaking I actually started flailing my hands in front of me. My voice gets animated the more passionately I talk about the topic of career fitness.

Here’s the link to the NPO Media podcast.

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The Snob Diet

Years ago I remember reading in a magazine–was it Glamour–about the Snob Diet.

The editors claimed this diet works. I’m no fan of diets.

No–I didn’t ever go on a diet when I lost 20 pounds in my twenties.

Though I gained a little in the form of muscle I’ve dropped one pant and one skirt size by lifting weights for over 7 years. In fact I dropped one size only one year after starting to lift weights consistently at the gym.

On the days I’m unable to go to the gym I work out at home. See my blog entry Setting Up a Home Gym for details about the equipment I bought.

OK–so the Snob Diet involves eating quality food–regular food–and not eating junk that is totally crap.

In the Dr. Chatterjee book How to Make Disease Disappear his section on the Eat Pillar disproves the claims that experts and adherents make for diets such as low-carb or keto or paleo. This British MD details the truth about how to eat to fuel your body to function optimally.

I can vouch for being a snob in terms of what I eat: mostly healthful food and a once-a-week indulgence in a chocolate croissant or some other kind of delectable.

Dr. Chatterjee busts the longest-running myth in staying slim: that how you maintain your weight is as simple as calories burned versus calories consumed.

Forget going on kooky and restrictive diets. You could tone up lifting all those diet books on the shelves.

I wrote a number of blog entries about the tenets of How to Make Disease Disappear. Dr. Chatterjee’s approach to health is sane and simple. It’s not difficult to maintain the kind of eating plan he talks about.

In this blog about a year or so ago I wrote about my own sensible eating plan: having a consistent habit of eating 80 percent healthfully and 20 percent anything.

The name Snob Diet has a ring to it.

I don’t advise acting like a snob towards people in your everyday life.

Yet being snobbish in the kind of food you eat might have advantages.

Healthful Snacks

pulse chick peas

This photo has been uploaded in a gigantic way. Apparently there’s a new way of saving photos that your iPhone has sent to your email as an attachment.

The chickpea and olive food products shown here do have salt. The Pulse version I prefer is the lemon-and-oregano chickpeas offering.

Either way these and the Gaea olive container are portable healthful snacks for on-the-go eating. I have on hand plastic-coated wire clips to use to close the Pulse container.

You can order these food items from FreshDirect online in New York City.

In the next blog entry I’ll talk about a so-called diet talked about if I remember in Glamour magazine years ago.

While I’m no fan of diets and I’m absolutely against the standard diets books poured out into the marketplace I want to talk about this “diet” because a couple of elements of it make sense to me.

After this I will return to talking about careers. This month–October–is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

5-a-Day the Easy Way

Dr. Chatterjee recommends having 5 servings of vegetables a day.

The MD includes avocados and olives in this “5-a-day” lineup.

You can print up copies of his Rainbow Chart and use them to check off the vegetables you’ve eaten each day.

In tandem with the “5-a-Day” eating plan Dr. Chatterjee recommends not eating food products that contain more than five ingredients.

The longer the ingredient list the more likely it’s processed food.

The government allows food  and drink companies to get away with not listing the actual names of chemicals contained in food and drink products.

Instead they’re listed as “natural flavor.” Food  or drink that companies claim is organic or otherwise good for you often has natural flavors in the ingredient list.

It’s perfectly legal to load up food and drink products with chemicals without having to list the chemicals on the ingredients list.

Any kind of protein bar is most likely high in sugar and has natural flavors.

Kind bar now lists on the package: Made with Real Food. Only when you read the ingredients list it also contains chemicals in the form of natural flavor.

I urge you to read the ingredient lists of food and drink products:

Anything that makes an emotional claim as being good for you most likely has chemicals added to whatever “good” part of the food they’re championing.

In the next blog entry here I’ll talk about some great snacks you can buy that are truly healthful.

You can do away with products that have natural flavors.

With 100 percent confidence I can tell you: stay away from any food or drink that didn’t come out of God’s green earth.

You’ll be healthier and feel better eating real food that isn’t doused in chemicals.

It’s fine every-so-often to have pastry or a cookie or doughnut. That should be an occasional treat. I stand by indulging once-a-week.

In a coming blog entry I’ll talk about a particular diet that was championed in Glamour magazine years ago.

The Pillar of Relax

Engaging in the habits outlined in the Pillar of Relax is imperative to our health.

In this go-go-go world we can have a breakdown. Our bodies are not machines. We’re human beings that need rest and recreation every day.

The strategy I employ is a simple one predicated on mindfulness: pay attention to what your body is telling you to do and how your body feels at any given time during the day.

One Sunday it was unseasonably colder. My body had gone on strike it seemed. There would be no going to the gym and no going outside.

Pushing yourself to do demanding activities is a mistake when your body is telling you to slow down and rest. Yet too often people think that being busy is a sign of health.

Being busy isn’t a sign of health. Being fit and active is the barometer of health.

You can do less every day and achieve more peace of mind and better health.

We should not be checking work e-mails from home. In my house I have the inviolable rule of not checking work e-mails when I’m on vacation.

The corollary to relaxing is the Pillar of Sleep. Dr. Chatterjee recommends establishing the 90-Minute Rule: shutting down all TV, cell phone, and tablet use 90 minutes before you go to bed.

Getting enough rest and recreation can absolutely halt disease from starting or progressing.

I’ll end this blog entry by saying that for years I was skeptical that a person’s behavior and lifestyle choices could cause disease.

Now I know without a doubt that the keys to unlocking optimal health are in our own hands. We are not passive victims of illness. Disease is not the natural outcome of getting older. It’s too often the result of inactivity and poor choices.

The Real Deal About Drinking Water

Dr. Chatterjee in his book How to Make Disease Disappear urges readers to drink 8 glasses of water per day.

Doing this will give you more energy and clearer skin. It flushes out toxins and helps with weight maintenance. Drinking water also prevents headaches.

Loyal readers I’ve resisted doing this. Again it’s a matter of making healthy habits as convenient as possible.

You can buy a 27-ounce water bottle from KleanKanteen.

Bring it to your job or wherever you’re going in the morning. Fill it up and drink throughout the day. Add a squirt of lemon for taste if you want.

I’ve read in at least two places that you can divide your weight in half to arrive at the number of ounces of water to drink each day.

It might not seem fair that you have to drink all that water every day to reap health benefits. Yet not doing so can indeed lead to disease.

The benefits of drinking water are real not conjecture bandied about to sell plastic bottles of water. Ditch the plastic and buy a KleanKanteen bottle to carry wherever you go.

Drinking two glasses of water in the morning is a great way to start the day.

In the next blog entry I’m going to talk about one of the other Pillars: Relax.

Lifestyle and Disease

It has been hard for me to believe that a person’s lifestyle–their habits and behavior–can cause disease. I always thought that when the ball falls on your number on the Roulette wheel of health it’s random who gets ill and who doesn’t.

After reading How to Make Disease Disappear I’m confident that lifestyle choices are the root of most disease. In his book Dr. Chatterjee links a person’s lifestyle to the onset of the disease that is prevalent in modern society.

It’s coming up on the third anniversary of my father’s death. He died of Stage 3 colon cancer that spread to his liver.

I urge everyone 50 and older to get a colonoscopy. With a history of cancer in my family I have to do this too.

Nearly every day I think of my father. He didn’t exercise. He didn’t maintain active social connections later in life. After he retired he spent two or three hours a day watching FoxNews.

Irrespective of his choice of Conservative state news channel the fact is watching excessive TV causes death according to Dr. Chatterjee.

In his book How to Make Disease Disappear this British M.D. also states the irrefutable fact that drinking cola, soda, or soft drinks causes Type-2 Diabetes.

Years ago I told a beloved friend to “can the cans” and stop drinking cola. He wouldn’t listen to me. It was no surprise to me when last year he told me a doctor diagnosed him with diabetes.

Whether diet or regular Coke or Pepsi or other cola the outcome is the same: ill-health if not guaranteed diabetes.

I’m writing these blog entries because I care about readers.

And yes–I care that billions of dollars are spent on treating disease instead of preventing disease in the first place.

Reaching for a pill isn’t always the answer. Which is why I’ve refused to take drug company money and become a spokesperson for Pfizer. Dr. Chatterjee has cured his patients without resorting to pharmaceutical intervention.

The point is preventing disease is cheaper than managing disease once it’s occurred.