How Many World Records Did You Break Today?

Pellman

Photo: Sandy Huffaker for The New York Times September 22, 1915, page A1

In my post of May 14, An Age-Proof Life: Shattering Aging Myths, I wrote about older athletes. To the competitors I mentioned, I’m adding Dan Pellmann to their ranks.

At the recent San Diego Senior Olympics this month, Pellmann, who is 100, broke five world records: 100-meter dash (26.97 sec.—1st centenarian to break 27 sec. ); shot-put (21’ 6¼”—three feet better than the record); discus (48’ 9”); long jump (5’ 10”); high jump (2’ 11½”—1st to clear an official height in the high jump).

Even with the above accomplishments, he was disappointed because he did not break the pole vault world record: “I thought I was in better shape.”

Like others of his generation, the Depression cut short Pellmann’s athletic career when he had to quit his university’s track team to get a job. After his retirement in 1970, his children urged him to enter a masters track meet. He’s at 127 meets and counting.

As I wrote on May 14:

“I want us all to rethink our beliefs surrounding aging and how such thinking affects the quality of our lives. I am not advocating that we all lace up our running shoes tomorrow morning and hit the road for a five-mile run. . . .Think about yourself today, at this moment. Don’t feel the need to compete with your younger self. Be realistic; please don’t try to relive the past. Who truly cares how far you could run or bench press in your 20s? Decide, from this point forward, you’ll make your aging process a fit, healthy, fun, and positive one.”

By the way, who wants to participate in the Senior Olympics when we’re 100?

GMOs & GE—Different Names, Same Process

Imagine taking genes from bacteria, viruses, and petunias to create a “new” plant—one that is resistant to weed-killers. Unfortunately, this is not science fiction.

Welcome to the world of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) or genetically engineered (GE). Basically this is bioengineered food—altering plants’ gene expressions so they can survive exposure to pesticides and insects. The “‘new’ plant” mentioned above is a soy bean “created” to withstand the application of Roundup.

What scientists have done is to combine plants and organisms that would be unable to reproduce naturally in nature; this is done to supposedly increase crop yield and reduce costs.

You may be aware of the debate surrounding the safety of GMOs. If not, please take some time to read the existing research.

What you might not be aware of is the House of Representatives passed “The Safe and Accurate Food labeling Act” (H.R. 1599) in July of this year that would, among other things, ban states from passing laws requiring the labeling of GMO foods. Interestingly, this act has been referred to by opponents of the legislation as the Deny Americans the Right to Know Act (DARK Act).

Naturally, the agribusinesses support the above bill because they fear the American public would refuse to buy food or food products if they knew it contained GMOs—hence, reducing the companies’ profits. What are these companies trying to hide from us?  I like the concept of knowing a food is organic, non-GMO, pesticide- and hormone-free.

Regardless of which camp you fall into regarding the safety of GMOs, I believe we must have the right to know what’s in our foods and based on this knowledge, to make our own individual choices. A previous post I wrote on GRAS (6/18/15), emphasizes that legally all the ingredients do not have to be listed on a food label. H.R. 1599 would make matters even worse.

At some point this legislation, H.R. 1599, is scheduled to be introduced in the Senate. If you believe in having a choice, contact your senators and tell them to vote, “No,” on it. As of today, no date has been set. Please go to www.congress.gov to track this legislation. I will also keep you posted.  Thank you.

That Substance , Again

Connecting with last week’s post, Name The Substance, be on the lookout for That Sugar Film (also now a book) a documentary by Damon Gameau, an Australian actor/director.

Along the lines of Morgan Spurlock’s Supersize Me, Gameau decided to consume 40 teaspoons of sugar a day, the average Australian’s intake, for two months. He avoided the obvious sugar picks like candy, chocolate, donuts, and soft drinks. Instead he focused on a low-fat diet centering on refined carbohydrates—think hidden sugar—including such food items we might think of as healthy such as low-fat yogurt, cereals, orange juice, pasta, salad dressings (you get the idea).

The result: he put on weight very quickly even though his calorie intake was the same as when he was eating his normal diet of fresh foods—fish, avocadoes, vegetables, fruits (again, you get the idea). So much for the “calories in/calories out” approach.

Plus, he never felt full on his new diet and was snacking more. He even continued his normal exercise routine during those sixty days.

After 18 days he developed signs of fatty liver. By the end of the project, he was headed for obesity, his mood and ability to concentrate were affected, and even had early signs of coronary disease.

When he went back his usual diet of fresh foods and drinking water, Gameau lost the weight he had gained, and his symptoms disappeared.

Again, the ramifications started to materialize after 18 days. 18 days. Take a few moments to think about your diet, the diet of your family, and of your children.

Name The Substance

This substance can:

  • Increase appetite.
  • Increase insulin production.
  • Lead to insulin resistance.
  • Contribute to bone loss.
  • Suppress the immune system—opening the door for infection and disease.
  • Trigger surge in stress hormones (cortisol & adrenaline).
  • Contribute to fat accumulation around your waist.
  • Use up the body’s store of vitamins and minerals.
  • Be referred to as a Class A drug—is more addictive than cocaine.
  • Increase blood sugar.
  • Contribute to diabetes.
  • Increase blood pressure.
  • Produce cravings.
  • Produce an over-acid condition in your body.
  • Contribute to depression.
  • Contribute to yeast infections.

This substance lacks nutritional value, and yet, the estimates are Americans individually consume between 150-170 pounds of this substance per year.

The substance:

Sugar

Something for us all to think about.