Tag Archives: diet

LaLanne’s Diet and Exercise Routine

Francois Henri LaLanne(1914-2011) famous diet and exercise routine paved the way for him to become an American health icon. He opened the first public gym in Oakland, Ca and is best known for his TV show on fitness. But, he started out as a junk food addict as a kid until he was embarrassed by a failure to pass a routine physical exam in school. This upset and motivated him to attend health lectures that re-directed his life.

WORKOUT: LaLanne’s workout routine began with a series of stretches in bed as soon as he woke around 5am. He then went to one of his weight rooms, one had free weights and the other had weight-lifting machines. He worked the lower body one day and the upper body the next and the entire routine was changed every 30 days. After 90 minutes of weight lifting, he went to the pool for swimming and water exercises for another 30 minutes.

DIET: He ate only two meals a day. The first meal was at 11am after the workout and the second around 7pm usually at a cafe with his wife. His breakfast consisted of fruit, oatmeal, broth, and four egg whites.

His restaurant dinners began with a salad of 10 raw vegetables and four hard boiled egg whites. Fish was consumed almost every night and roasted turkey occasionally. He ate no other types of meat and did not snack between meals. His juicer became popular because Jack just couldn’t eat that many raw vegetables. He found juicing made it easier to consumer the large amount of veggies he wanted.

VITAMINS: In addition to a disciplined diet, Jack took 40 to 50 vitamins and minerals on a daily basis. It’s too long of a list to print here, but can be found on his website. However, he never relied on supplements to replace any foods, he just view it as an “insurance policy.”

ALCOHOL: Being a Frenchman himself, he believed in drinking wine because he noticed that the French tend to live longer in their wine culture. He allowed himself this pleasure apart from his discipline and was even know to get drunk at times.

He published his last book when 95 years old, Live Young Forever that influenced me to change my breakfast to oatmeal and raisins–his favorite. He passed away a little more than a year later at 96 years old from pneumonia.

CONCLUSION: There are areas of contention in his routine. It’s true that Jack placed weights ahead of aerobic exercise. In his diet, he derived most protein from egg whites and fish rather than more diverse sources. His heavy vitamin consumption may have not helped much as absorption rates were lower then. And he probably drank a bit too much at times. But, it’s his long term devotion to a healthy diet and challenging exercise that set him apart.                            L. Johnson of www.creativeretirementforwomen.com

Allen, R. 4-8-15 Jack LaLanne Workout Retrieved from muscleprodigy.com/jack-lalanne-workout/

Taurine for Health and Longevity

If you’re trying to lose weight and increase your longevity, you know the importance of exercise and diet. But, if your diet is rich in vegetables, you probably have low taurine levels. As we age, Taurine amino acid production by the body also decreases. Why is this a problem? According to Life Extension Magazine(1), it’s needed to  improve heart health, immunity, hearing function, insulin sensitivity and electrolyte balance. In animal studies, it reduced mortality by almost 80%. In humans, the cultures with greatest longevity all have a high intake of taurine. People with high taurine have much lower blood pressure and lower rates of dying form heart disease, the number one cause of death in the United States.

In terms of weight loss, they report a study where just 3 grams per day of taurine for 7 weeks resulted in significant weight loss for those over-weight. They also recorder declines in triglycerides and cholesterol. Taurine promotes glucose tolerance that helps reduce weight. This is especially important for diabetics since taurine helps prevent and even reverse diabetic abnormalities and prevent heart muscle damage(1).

Taurine also protects your vision and hearing. Age related vision loss is common among Americans, but not in all cultures. This amino acid has very high concentrations in the retina which naturally declines with age. Although, many things impact vision, proper levels of taurine help to prevent vision impairment. Americans also tend to have hearing loss with aging. Most of this damage is from inner ear nerve cells due to low calcium flow.  Amazing as it is, taurine restores the calcium flow which restores hearing loss from that source. Related studies also report that ringing in the ears from tinnitus can be stopped.

Additional benefits for athletes have revealed that cyclists can ride longer distances with less fatigue. Taurine apparently helps muscles preform at a higher level for longer periods without risk of injury. It increases “muscle contractility” or the force that muscle fibers use to push and pull. The result is that your muscles are stronger. One of the main cause of muscular fatigue is lactic acid. That stiff feeling the muscles get when you start out too fast. Taurine helps reduce the lactic acid thereby increasing your endurance.

Since the aging body cannot produce enough taurine, other methods must be used. Taurine can be incorporated into your diet, but you would need to eat more meat. One of the foods with the highest content of taurine is fish and shell fish (with mackerel at the top of the list). Chicken, beef and lamb are also a good source of this amino acid especially the organ meat. But, if you are a dedicated vegetarian or vegan, you probably want to consider supplements. Studies tell us that as little as 1.5 grams a day is enough to restore healthy levels. If you are a light meat eater, you may still consider a supplement since it takes a substantial amount of meat to balance your levels. L. Johnson      http://www.creativeretirementforwomen.com

Macleavy, I. The Forgotten Longevity Benefits of Taurine. Life Extension Magazine. 2013 June. Retrieved on 9-28-2015 from: lifeextension.com/magazine/2013/6/The-Forgotten-Longevity-Benefits-of-Taurine/Page-01

The Mediterranean Diet

The Mediterranean Diet

In our attempt to find the best diet for health and longevity, the research behind the Mediterranean diet certainly seems to put it in that category. If you eat the Mediterranean diet, studies show that your will not only have longer life expectancy, but will reduce your risk of heart disease, stroke and hypertension. So, your quality of life can improve as well. This is primarily due to the use of olive oil in place of other saturated fats like butter.

I recently discovered a recipe oriented book with a ton of ideas and even a daily meal planner.  There are a few different variations of the diet and this one allows meat and desserts. It all has to be cooked in a clean and healthy manner, of course.  But, I honestly believe we can enjoy this type of diet and not feel deprived while improving our health.

The book is The Mediterranean Prescription by A. Acquista, M.D. and his first point is to know the difference between the different types of fats.  The goal is to consume unsaturated fat as in olive oil and plant based foods while reducing trans and saturated fats.  Don’t worry, it’s all spelled out on the package labels and recipes in his book. Many people are staying away from wheat or starch these days, but there are good and bad starches too. Organic whole grain bread, for example, is one of the most healthy foods available. It’s prudent to avoid the white starches in bread, pasta, and rice and just replace them with the whole grain versions. Some studies even correlate how much whole grain products you eat to how long you will live.

In case you are new to the Mediterranean diet, Dr. Acquista lists the 12 guiding principles:

1. Eat lots of fruits.                2. Eat lots of vegetables.            3. Eat lots of legumes

4. Eat nuts and seeds         5. Eat whole grains            6. Use olive oil on salads and cooking

7. Eat low-fat dairy products in moderation       8. Eat fish     9. Eat the right fats (have a high

ratio of unsaturated fats to saturated fats)    10.  Regular physical activity 

11. Drink Wine(red)        12.  Very small portions of other meats.

Most studies say that one daily glass of wine is most beneficial for women and two for men. There are a few variations of this diet and some allow small amounts of red meat. In terms of pork and red meat, I find it easier to just eliminate them altogether. I’m avoiding the saturated fat and the cholesterol because I have a history of strokes in my family.       L.J

More at:     www.creativeretirementforwomen.com

Acquista, A. M.D., The Mediterranean Prescription, New York: Ballantine Books, 2006, p.17.      Chart: hellthhylifestylelive. com