Jun 28, 2008

- Foods That Fight Disease-2

Digestive Tract Protectors

Although the food you eat affects every system in your body, your digestive tract bears the initial brunt of your choices. To keep it running smoothly and disease-free, aim for a diet high in fiber. Unfortunately, most Americans eat only about half the 20 to 35 grams they need each day, even though fiber is readily available in raw and cooked fruits and vegetables, as well as in grain products such as breads, cereals, pasta, and rice.

Fiber comes in two forms, soluble and insoluble. Soluble fiber, found in fruits, vegetables, brown rice, oats, and barley, lowers blood cholesterol levels and slows the entry of glucose into the bloodstream, an important factor in preventing or controlling diabetes. Insoluble fiber, found mainly in whole grains, fruit and vegetable peels, high fiber cereals, and wheat and corn bran, keeps your digestive tract in order. Insoluble fiber soaks up water, adding the bulk that pushes possible cancer-causing substances (carcinogens) out of the intestine.

Fiber's presumed power of protecting against colorectal cancer has received a lot of publicity. This type of cancer is probably the most significant diet-related disorder of the digestive tract and the third leading cause of cancer deaths among both men and women. For years, health experts have speculated that a high-fat, low-fiber diet encourages the production and concentration of carcinogens in the colon, but that fiber-rich food clears them out. Yet the research remains controversial. "A diet high in fiber is almost always one that is, at the same time, low in fat," says Bennett E. Roth, M.D., a gastroenterologist at the University of California, Los Angeles School of Medicine. "So it may be that it's the reduction in fat that's beneficial rather than the fiber itself. But that issue hasn't been resolved yet."

The National Cancer Institute's National Cancer Polyp Prevention Trial, for example, failed to find a lowered incidence of colorectal polyps among more than 2,000 participants on a high-fiber diet. Critics have pointed out, however, that the study lasted only three to four years, while colon cancer takes decades to develop. Thus, the effect of a high-fiber diet wasn't yet apparent. In addition, they note, while polyps are a risk factor for colorectal cancer, most of them do not become malignant.

"Most research supports the protective effect of a diet high in fruits, vegetables, beans, and grains," says Polk, citing the American Institute for Cancer Research's own 1997 report, "Food, Nutrition and the Prevention of Cancer: A Global Perspective," which reviewed 4,500 international studies before coming to this conclusion.


Jun 26, 2008

- Eleuthero

I've been training hard recently, not to mention the stress addiction that ads to the body fatigue. Therefore I came back to Eleuthero as a tonic for invigorating vital energy. I though i would throw a glimpse over this magnificent herb.

Eleuthero, also known as Siberian ginseng, is the root, root bark, or stem of a shrub in the ginseng family. It grows in thickets in northeast China, eastern Russia, Korea, and Japan's northern island, Hokkaido. Most of the supply comes from Siberia and China, but it is also grown in eastern Europe. The Chinese call it ci-wu-jia.

It is listed in the first (most important) class of herbs in Shen Nong Ben Cao Jing, but some Chinese scholars question whether Shen Nong actually described eleuthero or another plant. Its recent use in China derives from Russian research since the early 1950s. In Chinese medicine, it is used to normalize body functions, restore vigor, improve health, promote good appetite, and help to assure a long life. Generally, it serves as a preventive medicine and general tonic.

It is recommended to use it (250mg) for 8 weeks followed by a 2 week break. I use it for 4 weeks, and stop to only repeat whenever is needed (which is very rare).

Jun 25, 2008

- Foods That Fight Disease-1

The Body's Best Weapons
The food you eat does more than provide energy. It can have a dramatic effect on your body's ability to fight off heart disease, cancer, diabetes, high blood pressure, stroke, and weak bones. With remarkable consistency, recent research has found that a diet high in plant-based foods -- fruits, vegetables, dried peas and beans, grains, and starchy staples such as potatoes -- is the body's best weapon in thwarting many health-related problems. These foods work against so many diseases that the same healthy ingredients you might use to protect your heart or ward off cancer will also benefit your intestinal tract and bones.

Here's what is currently known about these different disease-fighting foods.

Cancer Fighters
Preventing cancer is a compelling reason to load up your cart in the produce department. Scientists have recently estimated that approximately 30 to 40 percent of all cancers could be averted if people ate more fruits, vegetables, and plant-based foods and minimized high-fat, high-calorie edibles that have scant nutritional value. Up to 70 percent of cancers might be eliminated if people also stopped smoking, exercised regularly, and controlled their weight.

In the past, researchers had linked fat consumption with the development of cancers, but they currently believe that eating fruits, vegetables, and grains may be more important in preventing the disease than not eating fat. "The evidence about a high-fat diet and cancer seemed a lot stronger several years ago than it does now," says Melanie Polk, a registered dietitian and director of nutrition education at the American Institute for Cancer Research.

Although scientists are still not certain about the specifics, they're beginning to close in on the healthful constituents of plant-based foods. In particular, they're looking closely at two components --antioxidants and phytochemicals.

Antioxidants. The antioxidants (carotenoids, such as beta carotene and lycopene, and vitamins C and E) found in fruits, vegetables, and other plant-based foods fight free radicals, which are compounds in the body that attack and destroy cell membranes. The uncontrolled activity of free radicals is believed to cause many cancers.

The carotenoids, in particular, which give fruits and vegetables their bright yellow, orange, and red colors, are now gaining recognition for their nutritional worth. Numerous studies have extolled the virtues of lycopene (the carotenoid that makes tomatoes red) in preventing prostate cancer. One such study at Harvard University found that men who include tomato products in their meals twice a week could reduce their risk of developing prostate cancer by one-third compared with men who never touch tomatoes.

Other lycopene-rich foods, such as watermelon, red grapefruit, and guava, are now piquing the interest of researchers. Watermelon not only yields more lycopene per serving (15 mg in 11/2 cups) than raw tomatoes (11 mg per 11/2 cups), but it's also a rich source of vitamins A and C.

Can watermelon help reduce the incidence of cancer? No one knows for sure because there haven't been sufficient studies. "We assume that we'll see benefits," says Penelope Perkins-Veazie, Ph.D., a research scientist with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service. Researchers there plan to compare people who eat watermelon with those who eat processed tomatoes -- because cooking enhances lycopene absorption -- to see which group absorbs more lycopene. (A 11/2 cup serving of tomato sauce packs 53 mg of lycopene.)

Phytochemicals. The phytochemicals present in fruits and vegetables protect the body by stunting the growth of malignant cells. Phytochemicals, naturally occurring substances, include indoles in cabbage or cauliflower, saponins in peas and beans, and isoflavones in soy milk and tofu. Investigators have only an inkling of how many phytochemicals exist and how they work. They are confident, however, that you can get a basketful of anti-cancer nutrients by mixing and matching at least five servings a day of fruits and vegetables with seven or more starchy or protein-rich plant foods such as grains, peas and beans, and potatoes.

Supplements can help you get some of the benefits of these substances, but they are no replacement for real food. "When you take a supplement, you're getting specific vitamins and minerals, but not the thousands of phytochemicals that might be present in fruits and vegetables," says registered dietitian Amy Jamieson of The Cleveland Clinic Foundation in Ohio. "If you eat a sweet potato with its skin, which is a great source of both beta carotene and fiber, you'll consume at least 5,000 phytochemicals that aren't present in a beta carotene supplement. That's a really important difference."


- Astragalus Extract

Astragalus is a plant native to Asia. The Chinese name of the herb, huang qi, means "yellow leader", because the root is yellow and it is considered to be one of the most important herbs in traditional Chinese medicine. The part of the plant used medicinally is the root.

It contains antioxidants, which protect cells against damage caused by free radicals, byproducts of cellular energy. Astragalus is used to protect and support the immune system, for preventing colds and upper respiratory infections, to lower blood pressure, to treat diabetes, and to protect the liver.

Astragalus has antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, and diuretic (helps eliminate fluid from the body) properties. It is sometimes used topically for wounds. In addition, studies have shown that astragalus has antiviral properties and stimulates the immune system, suggesting that it is indeed effective at preventing colds.

In the United States, researchers have investigated astragalus as a possible treatment for people whose immune systems have been compromised by chemotherapy or radiation. In these studies, astragalus supplements have been shown to speed recovery and extend life expectancy. Research on using astragalus for people with AIDS has produced inconclusive results.

Recent research in China indicates that astragalus may offer antioxidant benefits to people with severe forms of heart disease, relieving symptoms and improving heart function. At low to moderate doses, astragalus has few side effects, although it does interact with a number of other herbs and prescription medications.

Side Effects and Safety Concerns

People with autoimmune diseases, such as Crohn's disease, multiple sclerosis, psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, type 1 diabetes or systemic lupus erythematosus shouldn't use astragalus unless recommended by a qualified healthcare practitioner. People who have had transplant surgery should not use astragalus.

The safety of astragalus in pregnant or nursing women or children isn't known.

Possible Interactions

If you are being treated with any of the following medications, you should not use astragalus without first talking to your health care provider:

Antiviral medications -- Astragalus may increase the effects of some antiviral medications such as acyclovir and interferon.

Drugs that suppress the immune system -- Astragalus may counteract the immune-suppressing effects of cyclophosphamide, a medication used to reduce the chances of rejection in transplant recipients, as well as corticosteroids.

Diabetes medications -- Astragalus may lower blood sugar, making the effects of diabetes drugs stronger.

High blood pressure medication -- Astragalus may lower blood pressure, making the effects of these drugs stronger.

Diuretics (water pills) -- Astragalus is a diuretic and may make the effects of other diuretics stronger.

Anti-coagulants(blood thinners) -- Astragalus may make the effects of these drugs stronger, increasing the risk of bleeding and stroke.


Jun 20, 2008

-Keeping a Healthy GI Tract

While there are a multitude of factors involved in healthy digestive function, one of the most important is the delicate balance of bacteria found in the human gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

There are three main types of flora in the human GI tract - Bifidobacteria, Bacteroides and Eubacterium. Of slightly less importance are Lactobacilli, Streptococci and Peptococci and other transitory flora.

Our stomachs and intestines are populated by hundreds of billions of these bacteria, or microflora. Amazingly, there are more probiotic organisms in our gut than there are cells in our bodies! That’s a lot of bacteria, but it’s good bacteria, and each strain has specific functions in the human body. These bacteria aid the digestion of food and have protective qualities that contribute to good colon health. While a good balance of these different microflora is necessary, there are many factors that can, and do, disrupt this balance –certain medications, a poor diet, infection, stress, bad bacteria, aging and even the climate. The good news is a rapidly expanding body of research suggests that supplementing the diet with the right mix of microflora can have a beneficial affect on gastrointestinal function, and therefore overall health.

Using these supplements that exclusively utilizes the finest strains from Rhodia Incorporated, the world’s leading supplier of high quality probiotic ingredients, and is enteric-coated to ensure that the bacteria in this product are not destroyed in stomach acid but reach the small and large intestines where they are most beneficial.

Lactobacillus acidophilus is a well-studied microflora species that’s highly resistant to gastric acidity and is able to proliferate in the presence of bile. Like many probiotic organisms, it also adheres well to intestinal cells, helping to prevent the adherence of certain enteropathogens.

Lactobacillus casei is a microflora strain that is found in the human mouth and intestines as well as in fermented vegetables, milk and meat. Recent research has shown that this bacterium is active in the GI tract and may help to modulate the immune system. Research is continuing into this very promising probiotic.

Lactobacillus rhamnosus, like Lactobacillus acidophilus, is highly resistant to gastric acidity and proliferates well in bile. It, too, adheres well to intestinal cells. We’ve included this particular strain because it works extremely well with L. acidophilus.

Lactobacillus salivarius is a strain that has proven highly effective against Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial species implicated in a number of digestive conditions. Studies have shown that L. salivarius is capable of producing high amounts of lactic acid, which has been shown to inhibit H. pylori growth in live subjects. Compared to other Lactobacillus strains, L. salivarius was proven to have the greatest inhibitory effect on the proliferation of H. pylori; Look for these in your search for supplements.

Streptococcus thermophilus bacterium are isolated from yogurt and are recommended for lactose intolerant individuals to help digest lactose in the intestines. This strain is included in this formula to assist in the acidification of the intestinal environment, as well as to create a favorable environment for lactic acid bacteria.

Bifidobacterium bifidum is one of the workhorses of the large intestine. It has a high tolerance to gastric acidity, and, like L. acidophilus and many other probiotic organisms, it adheres well to intestinal cells, helping to prevent the adherence of certain enteropathogens.

Bifidobacterium longum is a bifidobacterium of human origin that, like lactobacillus, is extremely resistant to gastric acid and bile salts. Because it’s anaerobic (able to live without oxygen) it’s perfectly suited to colonize the colon. Initial studies have shown that this particular strain of bifidobacteria helps to support the immune system*. It also seems to decrease enzymatic activity in feces. Researchers believe enzymatic activity in feces may contribute to carcinogenesis.

Bifidobacterium lactis is one of the most well-studied strains of probiotic bacteria, with a wealth of peer-reviewed, published research on its benefits. Clinical trials on B. lactis have shown it to be helpful in a number of digestive conditions, including diarrhea and lactose intolerance, as well as immune response modulation.

Typical Facts & Serving Size:
Blend of 8 Strains of Probiotic Bacteria 4.0 Billion Organisms 4.0 billion Lactobacillus Acidophilus 1.2 billion
Lactobacillus rhamnosus 600 million
Lactobacillus salivarius 600 million
Lactobacillus casei 600 million
Streptococcus thermophilus 400 million
Bifidobacterium longum 200 million
Bifidobacterium lactis 200 million
Bifidobacterium bifidum 200 million


-Brudnak, Mark A.; The Probiotic Solution: Nature’s Best-Kept Secret for Radiant Health, Dragon Door Publications, 2003
-Various Authors; Functional Foods: Designer Foods, Pharmafoods, Nutraceuticals, Edited by Israel Goldberg; Chapman & Hall, Inc.; 1994
-Tortora, Gerard J. & Grabowski, Sandra Reynolds; Principles of Anatomy and Physiology – Seventh Edition; Harper Collins, 1993
-Drisko, J. et. al. Probiotics in health maintenance and disease prevention, Alternative Medicine Review, May, 2003
-Playne, M. & Salminen, S. Health Benefits of Probiotics: Human studies and clinical trials, Nutrafoods, 2002

Jun 18, 2008

-APC: Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices

The APC thinking operation was coined in the 1980s by Edward de Bono as a compressed way to proactively search for and generate alternatives. The acronym, which stands for Alternatives, Possibilities, Choices, was designed as a handle for common usage — as in “Do an APC on reducing utility costs.” Each word in the acronym has slightly different connotations, but for practical purposes they’re interchangeable.

Processing and Perception

It’s common to take a problem as we’ve initially defined it and use that as the point of departure. I refer to this phase of thinking as processing. If we need to raise capital to start a business, we probably think about finding the necessary resources: banks, venture firms, angel investors and so on. The perception phase is usually taken for granted, and not thought about consciously.

If we turn our attention to how we perceive the problem, we might generate more options:

  • How to we start a business with no outside financing?
  • How do we convert our existing assets into working capital?
  • Can we build a business entirely on sweat equity?
  • Can we create some intellectual property with negligible distribution overhead?

Different problem definitions, even slightly different ones, stimulate the development of different solutions. But the initial focus is on coming up with new problems, not solutions — or rather, viewing a situation from different angles. When we do an APC, we spend some length of time (e.g. two minutes) generating as many different views as possible.


Last month, the number of RSS subscribers to Tools for Thought dropped by nearly half in a single day. Why would that be the case? Do an ACP for one minute on this, coming up with alternative reasons that might account for this drop.

The answer was that my RSS provider, Feedburner, temporarily stopped reporting feed fetches from Google Reader and iGoogle (they right metrics were restored a week later). But having the “right” answer isn’t the point of doing an APC; unsticking the mind from its default point of view is.


Thinking is often equated with problem solving, but sometimes it’s healthy to direct thinking toward innovation and improvement, designing “solutions” for which there was no real problem to begin with. Do a two-minute APC on the design of cell phone cases. As in brainstorming, the object is to generate as many ideas as possible in the given time frame.


Before spending too much time building what may turn out to be the wrong strategy, it’s worth spending some time dedicated to generating alternative strategies, without elaborating on a particular one. After having a variety to choose from, focus on implementing the best elements of one or more approaches.

A state agency notifies you that new emission regulations require you to bring your factory in compliance within 90 days, or pay an enormous fine. Do an APC on ways of dealing with this.

Further Exercises

Do an APC for two or three minutes on each of the following items. Using a timer is recommended, since it’s easy to get engrossed in the content of one problem and spend too long on it. For training purposes, the focus here is on form, running through many possibilities in a short burst of thinking. Remember to use all of the allotted time. Don’t stop just because you have a good, interesting or “right” idea.

  • A cigarette company announces that it’s settling rather than litigating a class action suit, and the following day the stock price doubles. Why?
  • Your next door neighbor constantly plays his music too loud at late hours. How can the situation be handled?
  • As a dinner guest, a boy’s best friend tells the mother that he doesn’t “eat dead animals.” So she serves him a live chicken. What might have motivated her to do this?
  • How could the post office make letter writing a more fashionable method of correspondence than email?
  • Once opened, packaging is usually discarded or recycled. What are some ways of repurposing opened packages instead?
  • Some people read the news to “know what’s going on in the world.” How else could news be viewed?
  • Your debating team has been tasked to demonstrate the ways in which astrologers are more scientific than astronomers.

Jun 15, 2008

- Quercitin

Quercetin is a flavonoid and, to be more specific, a flavonol. It is the aglycone form of a number of other flavonoid glycosides, such as rutin and quercitrin, found in citrus fruit, buckwheat and onions. Quercetin forms the glycosides quercitrin and rutin together with rhamnose and rutinose, respectively.

Quercetin is a naturally-occurring polar auxin transport inhibitor.

Foods rich in quercetin include capers (1800mg/kg, lovage (1700mg/kg), apples (440mg/kg), tea (Camellia sinensis), onions (higher concentrations of quercetin occur in the outermost rings), red grapes, citrus fruits, broccoli and other leafy green vegetables, cherries, and a number of berries including raspberry, bog whortleberry (158 mg/kg, fresh weight), lingonberry (cultivated 74mg/kg, wild 146 mg/kg), cranberry (cultivated 83 mg/kg, wild 121 mg/kg), chokeberry (89 mg/kg), sweet rowan (85 mg/kg), rowanberry (63 mg/kg), sea buckthorn berry (62 mg/kg), crowberry (cultivated 53mg/kg, wild 56 mg/kg), and the fruit of the prickly pear cactus. A recent study found that organically grown tomatoes had 79% more quercetin than "conventionally grown".

Medicinal properties
Quercetin is found to be the most active of the flavonoids in studies, and many medicinal plants owe much of their activity to their high quercetin content. Quercetin has demonstrated significant anti-inflammatory activity because of direct inhibition of several initial processes of inflammation. For example, it inhibits both the manufacture and release of histamine and other allergic/inflammatory mediators. In addition, it exerts potent antioxidant activity and vitamin C-sparing action.

Quercetin also shows anti-tumour properties. A study in the British Journal of Cancer showed that, when treated with a combination of quercetin and ultrasound at 20 kHz for 1 minute duration, skin and prostate cancers show a 90% mortality within 48 hours with no visible mortality of normal cells. Note that ultrasound also promotes topical absorption by up to 1,000 times making the use of topical quercetin and ultrasound wands an interesting proposition.

Recent studies have supported that quercetin can help men with chronic prostatitis, and both men and women with interstitial cystitis, possibly because of its action as a mast cell inhibitor.

Quercetin may have positive effects in combating or helping to prevent cancer, prostatitis, heart disease, cataracts, allergies/inflammations, and respiratory diseases such as bronchitis and asthma. It also has been claimed to have antidepressant properties, however any claim of quercetin action against neurological diseases should be treated with skepticism due to the fact that quercitin is a neurotoxin in vitro.

It also may be found in dietary supplements.

An 8-year study found that three flavonols — kaempferol, quercetin, and myricetin — were associated with a reduced risk of pancreatic cancer of 23 percent.

Drug interactions
Quercetin is contraindicated with antibiotics; it may interact with fluoroquinolones (a type of medicinal antibiotic), as quercetin competitively binds to bacterial DNA gyrase. Whether this inhibits or enhances the effect of fluoroquinolones is not entirely clear.

Quercetin is also a potent inhibitor of CYP3A4, an enzyme that breaks down most drugs in the body. As such, quercetin would be expected to increase serum levels, and therefore effects, of drugs metabolized by this enzyme.

Ref: USDA Database for the Flavonoid Content of Selected Foods/Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry/Honey Research/Life Sciences/American Journal of Epidemiology

Jun 13, 2008

-A Mighty Mineral

If you run out of steam during regular workouts, you could be in need of an important mineral. Fatigue during workouts could have many underlying causes. Recent research suggests a lack of zinc could be one factor. When 14 men were fed either a low-zinc or zinc-supplemented diet for 9 weeks, the men on the zinc diet performed much better on exercise tests compared to the men on the low-zinc diet.

Aim for at least 12 milligrams (mg) of zinc per day from food and supplements. However, zinc can be harmful in excessive amounts, so avoid getting more than 30 mg per day. Zinc helps rid the body of excess carbon dioxide that builds up during a workout, so if you're low you may tire more quickly. It also facilitates oxygen uptake, carbon dioxide output, and other metabolic processes that help maintain stamina. Zinc performs a variety of other functions in the body, as well, including aiding in the synthesis of genetic material, maintaining a healthy immune system, speeding wound healing, and helping enzymes perform their various functions.

Low dietary zinc decreases erythrocyte carbonic anhydrase activities and impairs cardiorespiratory function in men during exercise. Lukaski, H. C., The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition 2005 May;81(5):1045-1051

Jun 12, 2008

-Change Your Mindset to Improve Your Productivity

There are many methods and tools for productivity, but I think first of all we should change our mindset. Without having the right mindset, even the best methods and tools will only give you modest results. On the other hand, having the right mindset gives you strong foundation for the productivity techniques and methods to run smoothly.

The mindset we need to have to improve our productivity boils down to this:

Love what you do

That’s it. Love what you do. Do your tasks with love. If you have this mindset, you will no longer feel the tasks as chore. Instead they will be something you happily do. They will be fun.

To see the power of this principle, just take a moment to look at your life. Can you recall doing something you love? How did it feel? Next, can you recall doing something you don’t like? How was the feeling compared to doing something you love? I guess you notice significant difference between them. For the thing you love, you effortlessly do it. You do it with enthusiasm and excitement. Results will naturally follow. On the other hand, doing the thing you don’t like is a struggle. You must drag yourself to do it and you suffer along the way. It’s difficult to achieve maximum productivity in such condition.

Perhaps you notice that I wrote “love what you do” and not “do what you love”. Why? Because the former is proactive while the latter is not. You can’t always choose to do things you naturally like. There will be times when you must do something you don’t like. If the mantra is “do what you love”, then your performance will be dependent on the kind of tasks you have. You will perform well when you do the tasks you like and you will perform badly otherwise. This, however, isn’t true productivity. To be truly productive, your performance must be consistently good. No matter what kinds of tasks you have, you must perform well. That’s why the key is to “love what you do” and not “do what you love”.

You should learn to love whatever tasks you come across, whether or not you naturally like it.

Now, how can we change our mindset to love what we do? I wish I could give you many tips on this, but the more I think about it the more I realize that all the tips I think of boil down to just one:

Replace your negative self-talk with positive one

It all begins with our mind. We love something because we have positive self-talk about it and we don’t like something because we have negative self-talk about it. For instance, for something we love we may say something like:

  • I love it.
  • It’s exciting.
  • I can’t wait to do it.

On the other hand, for something we don’t like we may say something like:

  • It’s boring
  • It’s difficult
  • I wish I don’t have to do this.

Can you see the difference? To replace negative self-talk, with positive one, here are some things you should do:

1. Find something positive about the task

If you want to have positive self-talk about a task, you should have something positive to begin with. While we may naturally look at the bad side of things we don’t like, we should take the effort to find something positive. What can you get from the task? What reward will you receive? The reward might not be immediate. It could be far in the future, but I’m sure you can get something from it. For instance, the task may teach you the traits of patience and persistence which will be useful in the future.

2. Watch your self-talk

Our self-talk may run automatically that we barely notice. But, if you take closer look, you will recognize the kind of self-talk you have. So don’t just do things on autopilot. Watch your thoughts and identify the kind of self-talk you have.

3. Use negative self-talk as trigger for positive one

When you notice that negative self-talk takes place in your mind, use it as a trigger to initiate positive self-talk. You already find positive things about the task (from step 1 above), so you can start using them to say something positive about the task in your mind.

4. Be persistent

Replacing negative self-talk with positive one takes time, so be persistent along the way until you start liking the task. Perhaps it hasn’t yet been love, but liking is a good start. When you have positive attitude toward a task, you will see that your productivity improves.


It’s not easy to do, but changing your mindset is essential for improving your productivity. Love what you do by having positive self-talk about it, and see how everything else becomes easier.

Jun 11, 2008

-Shit!!!!! Penis?

A little baby in China was reportedly born with an extra peen on his back. The baby was born to a farmer and his wife in China’s Henan province. The Sun reports that the condition is called fetus in fetu. He was taken to the hospital and the extra peen was removed. Thankfully, baby is fine after surgery and all is well. Dick happens!

-15 Amazing Facts About The Human Body

1. The stomach’s digestive acids are strong enough to dissolve zinc. Fortunately for us, the cells in the stomach lining renew so quickly that the acids don’t have time to dissolve it.

2. The lungs contain over 300,000 million capillaries (tiny blood vessels). If they were laid end to end, they would stretch 2400km (1500 miles).

3. A man’s testicles manufacture 10 million new sperm cells each day - enough that he could repopulate the entire planet in only 6 months!

4. Human bone is as strong as granite in supporting weight. A block of bone the size of a matchbox can support 9 tonnes - that is four times as much as concrete can support.

5. Each finger and toenail takes six months to grow from base to tip.

6. The largest organ in the body is the skin. In an adult man it covers about 1.9m2 (20sq ft). The skin constantly flakes away - in a lifetime each person sheds around 18kg (40 lb) of skin.

7. When you sleep, you grow by about 8mm (0.3in). The net day you shrink back to your former height. The reason is that your cartilage discs are squeezed like sponges by the force of gravity when you stand or sit.

8. The average person in the west eats 50 tonnes of food and drinks 50,000 litres (11,000 gallons) of liquid during his life.

9. Each kidney contains 1 million individual filters. They filter an average of around 1.3 litres (2.2 pints) of blood per minute and expel up to 1.4 litres (2.5 pints) a day of urine.

10. The focusing muscles of the eyes move around 100,000 times a day. To give your leg muscles the same workout, you would need to walk 80km (50 miles) every day.

11. In 30 minutes, the average body gives off enough heat to bring a half gallon of water to boil.

12. A single human blood cell takes only 60 seconds to make a complete circuit of the body.

13. A foreskin, the sized of a postage stamp, from circumcised babies take only 21 days to grow skin that can cover three (3) basketball courts. Amazing isn’t it. Thanks to science. The laboratory-grown skin is used in treating burn patients.

14. From the moment we are born, only one body part never changes in size - the eyeball.

15. According to Darwin, and other scientists, the appendix was originally used as a third part of the digestive system - especially for digesting leaves. As man stopped eating raw leaves and began cooking his food, it fell in to complete disuse.


Jun 6, 2008

-Ultimate Guide to Motivation - How to Achieve Any Goal

One of the biggest challenges in meeting any goal, whether it be related to productivity, waking early, changing a habit, exercising, or just becoming happier, is finding the motivation to stick with it.

If you can stick with a goal for long enough, you’ll almost always get there eventually. It just takes patience, and motivation.

Motivation is the key, but it’s not always easy, day in and day out, to find that motivation.

What follows is a guide to motivation using what I’ve learned over the last few years in a series of successful accomplishments, goals and habit changes. I’ve had many failures, but also many successes, and I’ve learned a lot from all of them. Motivation has been a particularly important topic of exploration for me.

What Motivation Can Achieve
What have I accomplished using these motivation methods? Too much to mention, just in the last 3 years: running two marathons, learning to become an early riser, losing 40 pounds, completing a triathlon, becoming vegetarian, becoming more productive, starting a successful blog, writing a book, becoming organized, simplifying my life, quitting my day job, tripling my income, eliminating my debt, and much more.

That’s not intended to sound like bragging, but to show you what can be accomplished (just to start) if you find the right motivation.

How Does Motivation Work?
Before we get into specific methods, it’s useful to examine what motivation is, what it does, and how it works.

Motivation is what drives you toward a goal, what keeps you going when things get tough, the reason you get up early to exercise or work late to finish a project. There are all kinds of motivations, of course, from positive to negative. Having a boss threaten to fire you is motivation — you’ll likely work harder to complete a project with that kind of pressure. But I find that positive motivation works better — if it’s something you really want to do, you’ll do a much better job than to avoid something you don’t want (such as being fired).

So motivation, in its best form, is a way for you to want to do something. There may be times, for example, when you don’t feel like getting up early, and in those times you may seriously just want to sleep in (not that there’s anything wrong with that). But if you have a reason to want to get up early, something you really really want to do, you’ll jump up out of bed with excitement.

The best motivation, then, is a way for you to really want something, to get excited about it, to be passionate about it. Remember that, as there are many other types of motivation (especially negative), but in my experience, this is the kind that works the best.

There is only so long that you can go trying to motivate yourself to do something you don’t like to do, something you don’t want to do. But if you find ways to really want to do something, you can sustain your effort for much, much longer.

8 Ways to Motivate Yourself From the Beginning
I’ve found that it’s important to start out with the right motivation, because a good start can build momentum that you can sustain for a long time. If you start out right, you have a much better chance of succeeding. Here are some tips for starting out:

1. Start small.
I’ve said this before, but that’s because it’s one of the most important tips in motivating yourself toward a goal. Don’t start out big! Start out with a ridiculously easy goal, and then grow from there. If you want to exercise, for example, you may be thinking that you have to do these intense workouts 5 days a week. No — instead, do small, tiny, baby steps. Just do 2 minutes of exercise. I know, that sounds wimpy. But it works. Commit to 2 minutes of exercise for one week. You may want to do more, but just stick to 2 minutes. It’s so easy, you can’t fail. Do it at the same time, every day. Just some crunches, 2 pushups, and some jogging in place. Once you’ve done 2 minutes a day for a week, increase it to 5, and stick with that for a week. In a month, you’ll be doing 15-20. Want to wake up early? Don’t think about waking at 5 a.m. Instead, think about waking 10 minutes earlier for a week. That’s all. Once you’ve done that, wake 10 minutes earlier than that. Baby steps.

2. One goal.
Too many people start with too many goals at once, and try to do too much. And it saps energy and motivation. It’s probably the most common mistake that people make. You cannot maintain energy and focus (the two most important things in accomplishing a goal) if you are trying to do two or more goals at once. It’s not possible — I’ve tried it many times. You have to choose one goal, for now, and focus on it completely. I know, that’s hard. Still, I speak from experience. You can always do your other goals when you’ve accomplished your One Goal.

3. Examine your motivation. Know your reasons.
Give them some thought … and write them down. If you have loved ones, and you are doing it for them, that is more powerful than just doing it for self-interest. Doing it for yourself is good too, but you should do it for something that you REALLY REALLY want to happen, for really good reasons.

4. Really, really want it.
This is essentially the same as the above tip, but I want to emphasize it: it’s not enough to think it would be cool to achieve something. It has to be something you’re passionate about, something you’re super excited about, something you want deeply. Make sure that your goal meets these criteria, or you won’t stick with it for long.

5. Commit publicly.
None of us likes to look bad in front of others. We will go the extra mile to do something we’ve said publicly. Now, you don’t have to commit to your goal in your daily newspaper, but you can do it with friends and family and co-workers, and you can do it on your blog if you have one. And hold yourself accountable — don’t just commit once, but commit to giving progress updates to everyone every week or so.

6. Get excited.
Well, it starts with inspiration from others, but you have to take that excitement and build on it. For me, I’ve learned that by talking to my wife about it, and to others, and reading as much about it as possible, and visualizing what it would be like to be successful (seeing the benefits of the goal in my head), I get excited about a goal. Once I’ve done that, it’s just a matter of carrying that energy forward and keeping it going.

7. Build anticipation.
This will sound hard, and many people will skip this tip. But it really works. It helped me quit smoking after many failed attempts. If you find inspiration and want to do a goal, don’t start right away. Many of us will get excited and want to start today. That’s a mistake. Set a date in the future — a week or two, or even a month — and make that your Start Date. Mark it on the calendar. Get excited about that date. Make it the most important date in your life. In the meantime, start writing out a plan. And do some of the steps below. Because by delaying your start, you are building anticipation, and increasing your focus and energy for your goal.

8. Print it out, post it up.
Print out your goal in big words. Make your goal just a few words long, like a mantra (”Exercise 15 mins. Daily”), and post it up on your wall or refrigerator. Post it at home and work. Put it on your computer desktop. You want to have big reminders about your goal, to keep your focus and keep your excitement going. A picture of your goal (like a model with sexy abs, for example) also helps.


20 Ways to Sustain Motivation When You’re Struggling
The second half of motivation is to keep yourself going when you don’t feel the same excitement as you did in the beginning. Perhaps something new has come into your life and your old goal isn’t as much of a priority anymore. Perhaps you skipped a day or two and now you can’t get back into it. Perhaps you screwed up and got discouraged.

If you can get yourself excited again, and keep going, you’ll get there eventually. But if you give up, you won’t. It’s your choice — accomplish the goal, or quit. Here’s how you can stop from quitting, and get to your goal:

1. Hold yourself back.
When I start with a new exercise program, or any new goal really, I am rarin’ to go. I am full of excitement, and my enthusiasm knows no boundaries. Nor does my sense of self-limitation. I think I can do anything. It’s not long before I learn that I do have limitations, and my enthusiasm begins to wane. Well, a great motivator that I’ve learned is that when you have so much energy at the beginning of a program, and want to go all out — HOLD BACK. Don’t let yourself do everything you want to do. Only let yourself do 50-75 percent of what you want to do. And plan out a course of action where you slowly increase over time. For example, if I want to go running, I might think I can run 3 miles at first. But instead of letting myself do that, I start by only running a mile. When I’m doing that mile, I’ll be telling myself that I can do more! But I don’t let myself. After that workout, I’ll be looking forward to the next workout, when I’ll let myself do 1.5 miles. I keep that energy reined in, harness it, so that I can ride it even further.

2. Just start.
There are some days when you don’t feel like heading out the door for a run, or figuring out your budget, or whatever it is you’re supposed to do that day for your goal. Well, instead of thinking about how hard it is, and how long it will take, tell yourself that you just have to start. I have a rule that I just have to put on my running shoes and close the door behind me. After that, it all flows naturally. It’s when you’re sitting in your house, thinking about running and feeling tired, that it seems hard. Once you start, it is never as hard as you thought it would be. This tip works for me every time.

3. Stay accountable.
If you committed yourself publicly, through an online forum, on a blog, in email, or in person … stay accountable to that group of people. Commit to report back to them daily, or something like that, and stick to it! That accountability will help you to want to do well, because you don’t want to report that you’ve failed.

4. Squash negative thoughts and replace them with positive ones.
This is one of the most important motivation skills, and I suggest you practice it daily. It’s important to start monitoring your thoughts, and to recognize negative self-talk. Just spend a few days becoming aware of every negative thought. Then, after a few days, try squashing those negative thoughts like a bug, and then replacing them with a corresponding positive thought. Squash, “This is too hard!” and replace it with, “I can do this! If that wimp Leo can do it, so can I!” It sounds corny, but it works. Really.

5. Think about the benefits.
Thinking about how hard something is is a big problem for most people. Waking early sounds so hard! Just thinking about it makes you tired. But instead of thinking about how hard something is, think about what you will get out of it. For example, instead of thinking about how hard it is to wake early, focus on how good you’ll feel when you’re done, and how your day will be so much better. The benefits of something will help energize you.

6. Get excited again!
Think about why you lost your excitement … then think about why you were excited in the first place. Can you get that back? What made you want to do the goal? What made you passionate about it? Try to build that up again, refocus yourself, get energized.

7. Read about it.
When I lose motivation, I just read a book or blog about my goal. It inspires me and reinvigorates me. For some reason, reading helps motivate and focus you on whatever you’re reading about. So read about your goal every day, if you can, especially when you’re not feeling motivated.

8. Find like-minded friends.
Staying motivated on your own is tough. But if you find someone with similar goals (running, dieting, finances, etc.), see if they’d like to partner with you. Or partner with your spouse, sibling or best friend on whatever goals they’re trying to achieve. You don’t have to be going after the same goals — as long as you are both pushing and encouraging each other to succeed. Other good options are groups in your area (I’m part of a running club, for example) or online forums where you can find people to talk to about your goals.

9. Read inspiring stories.
Inspiration, for me, comes from others who have achieved what I want to achieve, or who are currently doing it. I read other blogs, books, magazines. I Google my goal, and read success stories. Zen Habits is just one place for inspiration, not only from me but from many readers who have achieved amazing things. I love, love, love reading success stories too.

10. Build on your successes.
Every little step along the way is a success — celebrate the fact that you even started! And then did it for two days! Celebrate every little milestone. Then take that successful feeling and build on it, with another baby step. Add 2-3 minutes to your exercise routine, for example. With each step (and each step should last about a week), you will feel even more successful. Make each step really, really small, and you won’t fail. After a couple of months, your tiny steps will add up to a lot of progress and a lot of success.

11. Just get through the low points.
Motivation is not a constant thing that is always there for you. It comes and goes, and comes and goes again, like the tide. But realize that while it may go away, it doesn’t do so permanently. It will come back. Just stick it out and wait for that motivation to come back. In the meantime, read about your goal, ask for help, and do some of the other things listed here until your motivation comes back.

12. Get help.
It’s hard to accomplish something alone. When I decided to run my marathon, I had the help of friends and family, and I had a great running community on Guam who encouraged me at 5K races and did long runs with me. When I decided to quit smoking, I joined an online forum and that helped tremendously. And of course, my wife Eva helped every step of the way. I couldn’t have done these goals without her, or without the others who supported me. Find your support network, either in the real world or online, or both.

13. Chart your progress.
This can be as simple as marking an X on your calendar, or creating a simple spreadsheet, or logging your goal using online software. But it can be vastly rewarding to look back on your progress and to see how far you’ve come, and it can help you to keep going — you don’t want to have too many days without an X! Now, you will have some bad marks on your chart. That’s OK. Don’t let a few bad marks stop you from continuing. Strive instead to get the good marks next time.

14. Reward yourself often.
For every little step along the way, celebrate your success, and give yourself a reward. It helps to write down appropriate rewards for each step, so that you can look forward to those rewards. By appropriate, I mean 1) it’s proportionate to the size of the goal (don’t reward going on a 1-mile run with a luxury cruise in the Bahamas); and 2) it doesn’t ruin your goal — if you are trying to lose weight, don’t reward a day of healthy eating with a dessert binge. It’s self-defeating.

15. Go for mini-goals.
Sometimes large or longer-term goals can be overwhelming. After a couple weeks, we may lose motivation, because we still have several months or a year or more left to accomplish the goal. It’s hard to maintain motivation for a single goal for such a long time. Solution: have smaller goals along the way.

16. Get a coach or take a class.
These will motivate you to at least show up, and to take action. It can be applied to any goal. This might be one of the more expensive ways of motivating yourself, but it works. And if you do some research, you might find some cheap classes in your area, or you might know a friend who will provide coaching or counseling for free.

17. Never skip two days in a row.
This rule takes into account our natural tendency to miss days now and then. We are not perfect. So, you missed one day … now the second day is upon you and you are feeling lazy … tell yourself NO! You will not miss two days in a row!

18. Use visualization.
Visualize your successful outcome in great detail. Close your eyes, and think about exactly how your successful outcome will look, will feel, will smell and taste and sound like. Where are you when you become successful? How do you look? What are you wearing? Form as clear a mental picture as possible. Now here’s the next key: do it every day. For at least a few minutes each day. This is the only way to keep that motivation going over a long period of time.

19. Be aware of your urges to quit, and overcome them.

We all have urges to stop, but they are mostly unconscious. One of the most powerful things you can do is to start being more conscious of those urges. A good exercise is to go through the day with a little piece of paper and put a tally mark for each time you get an urge. It simply makes you aware of the urges. Then have a plan for when those urges hit, and plan for it beforehand, and write down your plan, because once those urges hit, you will not feel like coming up with a plan.

20. Find pleasure again.

No one can stick to something for long if they find it unpleasant, and are only rewarded after months of toil. There has to be fun, pleasure, joy in it, every day, or you won’t want to do it. Find those pleasurable things — the beauty of a morning run, for example, or the satisfaction in reporting to people that you finished another step along the way, or the deliciousness of a healthy meal.

Jun 3, 2008


Pycnogenol is a natural plant extract made from the bark of the Pinus Maritima and contains compounds that act as anti-oxidant free-radical scavengers.

Fruits, vegetables, and herbs contain large amounts of powerful and protective antioxidant nutrients. The largest group of these nutrients is known to scientists as polyphenolic flavonoids - the same type of antioxidants found in Pycnogenol.

Pycnogenol contains a rich and distinctive complex of more than 40 water-soluble antioxidants, including a variety of procyanidin compounds and organic acids.

Water solubility enhances the bioavailability of Pycnogenol, which is composed mainly of proanthocyanidins, an extremely potent subclass of antioxidant flavonoids. Pycnogenol also contains many other related organic acids as well as other polyphenols, including biologically active hydroxy-cinnamic acids, caffeic acid, ferulic acid, epicatechins, and taxifolin - still other types of flavonoids - make up the rest of Pycnogenol. While all of these flavonoids are found in a broad range of fruits, vegetables, and herbs, this single supplement, Pycnogenol, provides an optimal combination of them in a concentrated form.


(50-100mg/day); could be 120mg also.
Extracted from pine trees wood, or pine seeds. Also in the nut shells.
Available in pills.

For what?
For cholesterol & BP, but this is not our discussion here.
We are talking here about free radicals fighters.
Several enzymes in the body (SOD: Super Oxyde Dismulate,…) & metabolic enzymes.
SOD is not good by pills, not being absorbed by blood… only stomach maybe.
Pycnogenol makes the body produce these enzymes and use them to reduce cancers & aging (also pains…).

-Lypoxygenate, make Leucotraeine.
-Elastase (protein).
-“Porfira Ambilica“: sea algae, while doing lab tests for skins, they discovered its goodness for dryness in tears, good for eye lubrication.
-Pycnogenol has the ability to cross over the blood-brain barrier and protect the blood vessels in the brain from free radical damage making it beneficial to those who suffer from:
· Chronic fatigue syndrome
· Depression
· Attention Deficit disorder
· Teret Syndrome
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