Monthly Archives: February 2015



How to eat less is easier than you may think. When I taught a class in the psychology of eating for the weight reduction program, we made a few easy adjustments that actually worked to change habits. Changing habits can occur when new behaviors are practiced and supported. Here are a few of the important principles to follow:

1. STRESS MANAGEMENT: We all need a stress reduction list of replacement behaviors to follow. Rather than eat when stressed, we will: 1. Take a walk; 2. Call a friend; 3. Meditate; 4. Go dancing or whatever you put on your list. What has worked best is to practice your replacement behavior as soon as you get home from work every day. You reduce your stress before it builds while creating a healthy habit.

2. CONTROL YOUR TRIGGERS: When we see or smell food, it causes or triggers a biochemical change in our brain of increased gherkin, a hormone that causes hunger. Stores place impulse items near the check out area counting on this effect. Start out making a list of the things that trigger hunger in you. The common ones are TV and magazine food ads, shopping when hungry, eating out, and talking about food. I like to mute and look away from TV ads, eat before I shop, eat out less, and avoid concession stands.

3. SOCIAL SUPPORT: The more people you involve in you diet plan, the more likely it is to work. In the diet clinic, we would always pair people so they could exercise, dine, and socialize together. When one didn’t feel like taking a walk, their partner would call with encouragement. Husbands sometime feel threatened when their wife loses weight and looks better. So, they need to be a support too.

4. SLOW DOWN: I guess we are all in a rush because Americans eat very fast. The food goes down so fast, it doesn’t register with your brain. So, we keep eating until we are stuffed. One preventative technique we use is to count your chews and take smaller bites. If that’s too boring, just put your fork down between bites.

5. NO TELEVISION: TV distracts us from paying attention to our intake. The main behavior that’s correlated with being obese is TV watching while snacking. I wish I could find the source. It’s easy to just dine at the table especially if others are eating. I’m single, but I still eat at the table with a book or relaxing music. It’s an enjoyable period of calmness in a hectic day.

There are more principles, but these should be enough to get you started that fall under the category of easy to do. Once you get used to these replacement behaviors, you do them without thinking. So, go ahead and make your list, get people involved, and have fun with your new lifestyle.    More at:

Obama and Retirement Accounts

Obama and Retirement Accounts

President Obama wants to protect retirement accounts from hidden fees and broker conflict of interest(1). His focus is on expensive retirement investments that result in high commissions for brokers, but low return for investors. He wants brokers to be held to a high “fiduciary standard” by placing their client’s needs before their own.

As a former stockbroker, I can confirm that a conflict of interest does exist. When brokers are paid with commissions, there is a natural tendency to try to maximize one’s income. Sometimes brokers are instructed to sell proprietary or higher commission products. A prior solution to this was to use a fee based adviser rather than commission based broker. However, this can be a one to two percent fee that can reduce your return as well.

The intent is not to ban commissions, but to regulate them along with broker advice. There is an ethical obligation to match the investor with the appropriate investment, but this is not always done. New regulation is opposed by most brokerages firms since they stand to lose revenue.

Republicans are opposed to any further regulation to “preserve options for Americans to obtain financial advice”. That sounds good, but some options are just not good for the investor. So, Republicans take their typical stance of opposing anything Democrat rather than coming up with a better proposal.

Wall street demands clarity from the firms they invest in, but they are not quite willing to provide that to their clients. The many baby boomers retiring will demand clarity from their advisers or they will go elsewhere. As the number of retired folks increases, so does their voting power. Politicians need to understand the importance of safety and sustainability of retirement investments. This is absolutely vital to the retired and they will fight for it.   L.J.
1. Mason, J., Lynch, S.N.(2-23-2015)”Update 3-Obama takes aim at brokers’ fees on U.S. retirement accounts” Reuters. Retrieved on 2-25-2015 from:



This part of dating in retirement is about the online experience.  Some say about 20% to 25% of all relationships start online. I’m sure this figure is higher for the retired because we spend more time at home and have fewer social engagements. But, is this a good idea for women?

Let’s examine the pros and cons as to why this is becoming so popular. Lets start with the PROS:

1. KNOWLEDGE: You know something about the person before any contact is made. It’s an enlightening experience to read about a person’s interests and traits before you meet them. This information instantly gives both parties something in common to talk about.
2. EFFICIENCY: You waste less time. Picking from a list of interested people is far better than trying to figure out who might be interested.
3. CONVENIENCE: You never leave the comfort of your home until you are ready. The days of going to places just because men are there are over.
4. EQUALITY: You can contact whom you want rather than wait to be contacted. The archaic system of only the men starting the conversation or asking the women out is over.
5. SOCIAL: Its social networking. It’s not all about romance as many people end up being friends. Many people are online to meet platonic or activity partners
6. COST EFFECTIVE: Many of the online sites are free. Frankly, I can’t see much difference between them and the paid ones. One might think that the paid sites have more affluent people. This could be true, but I find there is a wide range of socioeconomic status on all sites.
7. MORE CONTROL: Some of us are bothered by getting propositioned by undesirables when we are out. If this happens online, you just delete the message from the privacy of your home.
8. SAFETY: You don’t have to give out your name or number until ready and I recommend you do an online background search on someone before you go out.

One woman complained that she doesn’t want her personal information “out there” on the Internet. Well, you are only offering general information about yourself with, just an optional photo. Your name, phone and address are not listed, of course. You will need a password to access your account. So, I suppose there is some risk if someone hacks the website and copies your ad to You Tube, but its entrainment value is very low, and there is no payoff for the hacker.


1. MISREPRESENTATION: By far the most common complaint is insincerity or lying to make themselves look better. Men can be married or multiple daters. Of course, this happens off line too, but when you are anonymous it’s easier to be deceptive. So, you ask a lot of questions and do a background check.
2. RECOGNITION: Someone you know may recognize you online. This is not a problem if you tell people you are looking.

3. RUDENESS Some men can be curt or suggestive. Some are going to say dumb things. Rather than get annoyed with this, it’s so easy to just delete them and move on. If they get really out of line, you complain and get them removed from the site.
4. CONFUSION: Dating too many people at once can be confusing for some. This is more likely to happen online than off.  If anybody has more to add, please let me know.

If you decide to give online dating a try, you will be asked to summarize yourself. Creating a “profile” gives some people pause, but a well-thought-out summary attracts the right person. Some websites have questionnaires to help match people with similar answers. They attempt to match your interests and your personality traits.

You’re encouraged to add photos to your ad if you want to get more responses. This is important because you don’t get a second chance to make a first impression. People look at your photo first and must find it acceptable before they read your profile. It’s important to put your best foot forward without exaggeration. If your date catches you misrepresenting yourself, it’s generally a deal breaker.

Once you have an online ad, expect to receive emails from people tying to find out if you have enough in common. You will progress to a phone conversation, then to a coffee or lunch date, when ready. You’ll usually know after the first date if you want to continue. Just like any other dating, you need to meet many people before you meet the right person. This may be your last romantic relationship, so taking time to choose correctly is important.

Common Sense Conclusion: More seniors are dating in their retirement years, and are more likely to use Internet platforms for meeting their next partner.


Republicans Want to Cut Social Security


I previously reported that Rep. Ryan(R-Wis) said that we are not prepared for thenumber of baby boomers retiring. He labeled it as a debt crisis. See: On 2-7-15 Sen. Sanders(I-Ver) (photo) appeared on Up with Steve Kornacki. He said, “The Republicans are preparing to cut disability benefits and /or social security in general. That is a widely unpopular idea.” It’s not only unpopular, it can be devastating.

First of all, my political orientation is neutral. My concern is with the actual program at risk rather than the person or the party. What stuck me in watching the Sen. Sanders interview is that the threat of social security reform has not reached the people. If we knew how badly this could go, we would certainly want to do something about it.

In my attempt to answer the question as to why no one is responding. I ran across an article, Republicans Demand Social Security And Medicare Cuts, Is It Reported?(1) The article claims that people don’t actually know the terms “long-term reforms” and “entitlement spending” really means cutbacks to Social Security and Medicare. The article states that, “Ryan and the republicans understand this. This is why they talk about ‘reforming’ something that is not clearly understood as Social Security and Medicare.”

We are not responding yet because this change is not widely reported in the media nor is it well advertised by its proponents. Since, it is not well articulated, it may take a back seat to other headline issues during the presidential campaign as well. After paying into it all our working lives, we certainly don’t want a reduced return. For the retirees that rely on these programs exclusively, what will happen to them? So, as retirees or soon to be retirees, we cannot let this most essential program get buried in political jargon and grandstanding.

What can we do about this threat? Sen. Sanders made a suggestion in his interview: “If we can mobilize the American people to say we’re not going to cut Social Security, we can win that battle.” Mobilize means to take a stand and make our voices heard. It means to write or email to those in office to express our horror and outrage. It means to vote for those who will support our best interests. It means to take to the streets to protest for whats right. Whatever method you choose, we must now be united and determined to secure our retirement that we worked so hard for.  More at:

(1)Johnson, D. (10-24-13)”Republicans Demand Social Security and Medicare Cuts, Is It Reported? from Retrieved on 2-7-15 from:                                                                                                                                        (2) AP photo/Rich Pedroncelli

Green Tea and Dr. Oz


Regardless of how we feel about Dr. Oz or green tea, we still want to get the best advice based on the best research. He has taken a lot of flack over his weight loss program that does not involve diet or exercise. So, lets take a look at the green tea part.

Dr. Oz’s Rapid Belly Melt Plan includes green tea as one of the three parts. The green, white, black, oolong and matcha teas are all derived from the Camellia Sinensis plant. Each of these teas are harvested from a different part of the plant and processed or oxygenated differently. has identified 16 green tea benefits:

1. ANTIOXIDANT EFFECT: The catechins in tea can prevent heart disease, strokes and cancers.
2. EXERCISE LONGER AND BURN FAT: Exercise endurance increases as the catechins burn fat and enable you to exercise longer.
3. CANCER PREVENTION: Tea blocks the production of destructive enzymes that promote cancer.
4. SLOWS AGING: Studies show the more tea consumed, the less change of premature death.
5. REDUCES STRESS WHILE INCREASING CONCENTRATION: Theanine in tea calms the body by producing alpha brain waves and results better attention spans.
6. CARDIOVASCULAR PROTECTION: The epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG) in tea speeds the recovery process from heart attacks and strokes while reducing heart disease risk.
7. BLOOD PRESSURE: Tea drinkers are 65% less likely to develop hypertension.
8. DIABETES: Tea tends to regulate blood sugar levels by increasing insulin activity.
9. INFLAMMATION REDUCTION: This is especially for women who are three times more likely to be affected by rheumatoid arthritis caused by inflammation.
10. LUNGS: Cell damage caused by cigarettes leading to lung cancer is reduced.
11. ARTERIES: Tea helps inhibit arteriosclerosis or hardening of the arteries.
12. ORAL HEALTH: Green tea fights mouth viruses, tooth decay, and bad breath.
13. LIVER PROTECTION: It reduces liver damage from alcohol and possible other substances.
14. OSTEOPOROSIS: Tea preserves bone density and reduces this risk.
15. IMMUNE RESPONSE:  Antigens found in tea can increase our immunity level.
16. HYDRATION: There is a myth held by some doctors that any caffeine dehydrates you. It turns out that not only does tea hydrate you, you get all the extra benefits as well.

There are thousands of scientific studies on green tea that confirm the above results. The most antioxidant potent of the teas is Matcha, then white, green, oolong, and black tea. Matcha is simply green tea leaves grounded to a power. It’s then mixed into hot water like instant coffee. This is over 100 times more potent than just pouring hot water over leaves. I’ve been drinking matcha for about two years now and it has replaced coffee. It is a much calmer alertness in my opinion and I love the health benefits.

So, the studies certainly support Dr. Oz’s recommendation of green tea. Maybe some of you have visited an Asian tea tasting room that is popping up in many metro areas. This is a good way to become familiar with the world of teas. The finer teas available in the tea rooms or online are greatly improved over the cheaper bag teas and are much easier on the stomach.

1. Amazing Green Tea Staff.(2014 copyright) “Green tea benefits: The 16 things that make miracles possible”. From ‪‬.
Photo: Ruven Afanador

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