Monday, April 30, 2007

Stiffy or iffy?

Ask Glen!

Q Glen can I still proform as good in bed as I get older?

A.As men age, they need to consider the heart/erection connection.

All health issues have effects on your penis,says Steven Lamm, M.D., an assistant professor at the New York University school of medicine and the author of The Hardness Factor: How to Achieve Your Best Health and Sexual Fitness at Any Age. "A 50-year-old man who is healthy is probably performing as well sexually as an out-of-shape 30-year-old who smokes and drinks."

Dr. Lamm recommends these lifestyle changes to keep your member in good standing after the teenage years.

*Achieve ideal body weight and eliminate the fat around your gut. Abdominal fat blocks the testosterone that should be available to you, which in turn affects sexual functioning. A fat gut is a bad marker for overall health--including your sexual health, says Dr. Lamm.

* Do a cardio workout daily. When you exercise, bloodflow increases--blood rushes through the endothelial cells (the lining of the blood vessels) and stimulates them to make more nitric oxide, a key chemical involved in producing erections. "The healthier a man is, the more nitric oxide he produces, and the harder his erection is," says Dr. Lamm.

* Give up butts. "Absolutely do not smoke--that just clenches down on your blood vessels and prevents them from being reactive," he says. Smoking restricts penile bloodflow and weakens erections, making smokers twice as likely to experience erectile dysfunction.

* Avoid big meals and alcohol before sexual encounters. For optimal sexual performance, give yourself 2 hours between dinner and sex. Would you eat a big meal before playing a full-court basketball game? "If all your blood is going to your gut, it's not going to go to your pelvic area," Dr. Lamm says.

* take supplemental insurance. Pop two omega-3 fatty-acid supplements daily totaling at least 300 milligrams (mg) of DHA and 400 mg of EPA as a kind of insurance policy on your heart and penis health. And consider taking the antioxidants pycnogenol (80 mg) and L-arginine (3 grams) daily. They'll shield your endothelium from harm and facilitate the use of nitric

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health,

Glen Edward Mitchell

Got a question? Ask Glen!

How to Operate Your Man Machinery

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Q Glen how do you use your penis?

A.Your penis was designed to do these three things..

Before attempting to operate your privates, it’s recommended that you thoroughly familiarize yourself with the location and function of all parts and controls. Basically, your penis is designed to do three things:

1. Direct the flow of urine:

The penis contains a narrow hose called the urethra that is attached to the bladder. As the urine level approaches the bladder’s maximum-capacity line, you get the urge to pull over. When released, urine is flushed through the urethra, out the tip of the penis and, according to most women, usually onto the floor next to the toilet. Acting as a regulator for this process is the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle. This is what you flex to stop urine flow or rid yourself of those last few drops.

2. Become rigid enough

to allow penetration of the vagina during sexual intercourse: Your penis is equipped with twin hydraulic chambers. During sexual stimulation, these fill with blood until the penis grows firm and erect. After stimulation ends or there’s ejaculation, blood leaves these chambers and the penis softens again. There is usually a recovery or "refractory" period ranging from minutes to a full day (depending on the equipment’s age) before another erection can occur.

About half of the penis is hidden inside the body, even when erect. It is fastened to the pelvis undercarriage for support.

3. Deposit semen within the vagina during ejaculation:

Sperm is manufactured inside the testicles, those two ball joints below the drive shaft. From here, it passes into a soft, fibrous organ behind each testicle called the epididymis, where it acquires the long tail necessary for swimming. Sperm then enters the vas deferens for storage. This thin hose loops around and splices into the urethra just below the bladder. When it’s time to shift into sexual high gear, sperm is mixed with liquid from the prostate gland and adjoining seminal vesicles. The resulting transmission fluid, called semen, gathers in a holding tank, which gradually swells to pinch the bladder shut and prevent urine from trickling in. Finally, the semen is expelled from the urethra by a series of powerful muscular contractions.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health,

Glen Edward Mitchell

Got a question? Ask Glen!

Members Only ( MEN )

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen can you give me information that I don know about my penis? A. 15 things you don't know about your penis

1. Smoking can shorten your penis by as much as a centimeter. Erections are all about good bloodflow, and lighting up calcifies blood vessels, stifling erectile circulation. So even if you don't care all that much about your lungs or dying young, spare the li'l guy.

2. Doctors can now grow skin for burn victims using the foreskins of circumcised infants. One foreskin can produce 23,000 square meters, which would be enough to tarp every Major League infield with human flesh.

3. An enlarged prostate gland can cause both erectile dysfunction and premature ejaculation. If you have an unexplained case of either, your doctor's looking forward to checking your prostate. Even if you're not.

4. The average male orgasm lasts 6 seconds. Women get 23 seconds. Which means if women were really interested in equality, they'd make sure we have four orgasms for every one of theirs.

5. The oldest known species with a penis is a hard-shelled sea creature called Colymbosathon ecplecticos. That's Greek for "amazing swimmer with large penis." Which officially supplants Buck Naked as the best porn name, ever.

6. Circumcised foreskin can be reconstructed. Movable skin on the shaft of the penis is pulled toward the tip and set in place with tape. Later, doctors apply plastic rings, caps, and weights. Years can pass until complete coverage is attained. . . . Okay, we'll shut up now.

7. Only one man in 400 is flexible enough to give himself oral pleasure. It's estimated, however, that all 400 have given it their best shot at some point.

8. There are two types of penises. One kind expands and lengthens when becoming erect (a grower). The other appears big most of the time, but doesn't get much bigger after achieving erection (a shower).

9. An international Men's Health survey reports that 79 percent of men have growers, 21 percent have showers.

10. German researchers say the average intercourse lasts 2 minutes, 50 seconds, yet women perceive it as lasting 5 minutes, 30 seconds. Are we that good or that bad?

11. Turns out size does matter: The longer your penis, the better "semen displacement" you'll achieve when having sex with a woman flush with competing sperm. That's according to researchers at the State University of New York, who used artificial phalluses (ahem) to test the "scooping" mechanism of the penis's coronal ridge. Next up: curing cancer.

12. The penis that's been enjoyed by the most women could be that of King Fatefehi of Tonga, who supposedly deflowered 37,800 women between the years 1770 and 1784 -- that's about seven virgins a day. Go ahead, say it: It's good to be king.

13. Better-looking men may have stronger sperm. Spanish researchers showed women photos of guys who had good, average, and lousy sperm -- and told them to pick the handsomest men. The women chose the best sperm producers most often.

14. No brain is necessary for ejaculation. That order comes from the spinal cord. Finding a living vessel for said ejaculation, however, takes hours of careful thought and, often, considerable amounts of alcohol.

15. The most common cause of penile rupture: vigorous masturbation. Some risks are just worth taking.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health,

Glen Edward Mitchell

Got a question? Ask Glen!

Sunday, April 29, 2007

Belly fat in women: How to keep it off

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Q. Belly fat hasn't always been my problem — I have worried more about my hips and thighs. Now my midsection's making up for lost time. What's up?

A.Whether it's because of heredity, hormonal changes or aging-related weight gain, many women notice an increase in belly fat as they grow older — and especially after menopause. Gaining fat in your abdomen is particularly unhealthy when compared to other locations in your body. Excess belly fat increases your risk of cardiovascular disease, diabetes and certain types of cancers. The good news is that a few lifestyle changes and some targeted abdominal exercises can help you battle your belly bulge.

When fat gathers in your abdomen

As you age and your metabolism slows down, the amount of fat in your body slowly increases. Women experience an even greater fat percentage increase than men do. Then after menopause, your body fat distribution tends to shift — less in your arms, legs and hips, and more in your abdomen.

You may think belly fat is limited to the stuff out front that you can grab with your hand — but it's the fat you can't see that's really a cause for concern. Visceral fat lies deeper inside the abdomen, surrounding the abdominal organs. Gaining this type of fat has been linked to cardiovascular disease, diabetes and other health problems. Subcutaneous fat, located between the skin and the abdominal wall, is more visible but also less likely to be a health risk.

While a slowing metabolism and decreased physical activity contribute to overall weight gain as you age, those factors don't influence visceral fat accumulation directly. Heredity may be the culprit — you may simply have inherited a tendency to gain weight in your midsection. Hormones also play a role. Hormonal changes after menopause may change the way that your body breaks down and stores fat, leading to more fat accumulating in your belly.

Some women even experience a widening waist without gaining any weight. Although you may not be gaining extra fat, your abdominal fat is increasing as limb and hip fat decreases. Even in women of a normal weight, too much fat concentrated in the midsection is unhealthy.

The midsection matters

Gaining weight in your abdomen does more harm than simply making your waistband too tight. While putting on weight in general can have negative effects on your health, abdominal weight gain is particularly unhealthy. Too much belly fat increases your risk of:

  • Heart disease
  • Breast cancer
  • Diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Gallbladder problems
  • High blood pressure
  • Colorectal cancer

Researchers also have found that abdominal fat cells aren't just dormant energy waiting to be burned up. The cells are active, producing hormones and other substances that can affect your health. For example, some fat-cell-produced hormones can promote insulin resistance, a precursor to type II diabetes; others can produce estrogen after menopause, which may increase your breast cancer risk. Researchers are still sorting out how the excess hormones affect overall health, but they do know that too much visceral fat can disrupt the body's normal hormonal balance.

Measuring your middle

You know you've gained some inches around your torso, but how can you know whether it's an unhealthy amount? You can calculate your body-mass index (BMI) or waist-hip ratio, but researchers have found that simply measuring your waist can tell you whether you have an unhealthy amount of belly fat. In fact, BMI may not be an accurate measure of body fat percentage or fat distribution, particularly after menopause.

To measure your waist, run a tape measure around your midsection at about the level of your navel. Breathe normally, don't hold your tummy in, and don't pull the tape so tight that it presses your skin down. In a woman of healthy weight, a waist measurement of 35 inches or more indicates an unhealthy concentration of abdominal fat. Some research has shown that a measurement of 33 inches or more, no matter what your weight, increases your health risks.

Fight back the bulge


Illustration of belly exercises Belly fat exercises

Since visceral fat is buried deep in your abdomen, it may seem like a difficult target for spot reduction. As it turns out, visceral fat responds well to a regular exercise routine and a healthy diet. Targeted tummy exercises can help to firm the abdominal muscles and flatten the belly.

Exercise. Daily, moderate-intensity exercise is the best way to lose belly fat — when you lose weight and tone your muscles, your belly fat begins shrinking, too. In fact, you may notice that your tummy bulge is the first area to shrink when you start exercising. The amount and type of exercise you should get varies depending on your current activity level and your health goals. Talk to your doctor about the right exercise program to promote good health and specifically combat abdominal fat.

Strength training. Some research has shown that exercising with weights is effective in trimming tummy fat. Talk to your doctor about how to incorporate strength training in your exercise routine.

Healthy diet. Changing unhealthy eating habits can help fight belly fat. Read nutrition labels, and replace saturated fats with polyunsaturated fats. Increase portions of complex carbohydrates like fruits and vegetables, and reduce simple carbohydrates like white bread and refined pasta. If you need to lose weight, reduce your portion sizes and daily calorie intake.

Tone your tummy. While you can't "spot-burn" belly fat, you can firm up your abdominal muscles and get a flatter belly. Traditional sit-ups aren't the most effective way to firm your tummy, however. Instead, use these exercises to target both deeper and lower abdominal muscles:

  • Deeper abdominal muscles. Target deeper abdominal muscles by doing "abdominal hollowing" or "drawing in the belly button." First, get down on all fours. Let your tummy hang down as you take a deep breath. Let your breath out, and at the end of your exhalation, gently draw your belly button inward and upward toward your spine. You should feel a slight tightening around your waist — think of it as trying to squeeze through a partially closed door. Hold for 10 seconds, then rest for 10 seconds. Work up to 10 repetitions. During each effort, your spine position shouldn't change and you should breathe freely. Eventually, you'll be able to do this exercise standing up. It's so subtle, no one should be able to tell you're doing it.
  • Lower abdominal muscles. Tone your lower abdomen by doing pelvic tilts and pelvic lifts. To do a pelvic tilt, lie on your back on the floor with your knees bent. Flatten your back against the floor by tightening your abdominal muscles and bending your pelvis up slightly. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat five times and work up to 10 to 20 repetitions.

    For pelvic lifts, lie on your back with your knees bent up toward your chest and your arms relaxed by your sides. Tighten your lower abdomen and lift your buttocks up off the floor, with your knees aimed toward the ceiling. Hold for 5 to 10 seconds. Repeat five times and work up to 10 to 20 repetitions.

Hormone therapy. Although there are good reasons for some women to try hormone replacement therapy (HRT) after menopause, fending off belly fat isn't one of them. It's true that some studies have demonstrated that postmenopausal women who take HRT are less likely to accumulate abdominal fat than are postmenopausal women who forgo HRT. Other studies, however, found no difference. Meanwhile, questions about the risks and benefits of HRT persist. Talk to your doctor in detail about the risks and potential benefits of hormone therapy before trying it.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health,

Glen Edward Mitchell

Got a question? Ask Glen!

Enviga: Does it increase weight loss?

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Q. Glen what can you tell me about Enviga? Can it really speed up your metabolism and help you lose weight faster?

A.Enviga may help you burn a few extra calories. But there's no evidence that it causes significant, long-term weight loss.

Enviga is a carbonated green tea beverage that contains green tea extract (EGCG), calcium and caffeine. According to the manufacturer, Enviga burns 60 to 100 calories for every three 12-ounce cans consumed. So every time you drink a can of Enviga, you supposedly burn about 30 calories.

How can a food or beverage help you burn calories? It's called thermogenesis. When you eat a hamburger, for example, your body uses energy (thermogenesis) — which burns calories — to digest it. Unfortunately, the average hamburger has so many calories that the few calories you burn to digest it don't really make a dent in your net calorie intake. But some foods that are very low in calories — such as Enviga — require more calories to digest than the calorie content of the food itself.

A few small studies suggest that the combination of caffeine and EGCG — an antioxidant found naturally in green tea leaves — may temporarily increase thermogenesis. So, theoretically, it may help you burn more calories.

However, simply drinking Enviga does not guarantee weight loss. Weight loss is accomplished by finding the right balance of energy in vs. energy out. Tipping the balance in favor of "energy out" will help you lose weight.

So, drink Enviga if you like the taste and want to feel good about the fact that it helps you burn a few extra calories. But if you really want to lose weight, eat less and exercise more.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health,

Glen Edward Mitchell

Got a question? Ask Glen!

Vegetarian diet: Does it guarantee weight loss?

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Q. Glen if I switch to a vegetarian diet, will I lose weight?

A.Research has shown that, on average, people who follow a vegetarian diet eat fewer calories and less fat than nonvegetarians. Vegetarians also tend to have lower body weight relative to their height than nonvegetarians. However, switching to a vegetarian diet doesn't guarantee weight loss.

The basics of achieving and maintaining a healthy weight are the same for everyone: Eat a healthy, well balanced diet and limit your portions. Vegetarians — like nonvegetarians — can make poor food choices that contribute to weight gain, such as large portions of high-fat, high-calorie foods or foods with little or no nutritional value.

For this reason, vegetarian diets should be as carefully planned as nonvegetarian diets to make sure they are nutritionally balanced. Choose a vegetarian eating plan that is low in fat and that provides all of the nutrients your body needs. Be sure to include protein-rich foods — especially if you follow a vegetarian diet that limits fish, eggs and dairy products. Protein is not only an essential nutrient, but it also helps you feel full longer — which can curb your urge to snack.

A diet that largely consists of fruits and vegetables will contain fewer calories. But be cautious of what else you add to your diet. Substituting large quantities of cheese and peanut butter for meat will add a significant amount of fat and calories to your diet. Limit your portions of high-fat protein substitutes. In addition, opt for low-fat protein substitutes, such as dried beans, low-fat cheese, reduced-fat peanut butter and soy products.

Cooking methods and condiments also factor into your calorie intake. Instead of frying, try steaming, boiling, grilling or roasting foods. If you stir-fry, reduce the amount of oil you use. Also, use smaller amounts — or lower-fat versions — of sour cream, mayonnaise, cheese and salad dressing in your food preparation.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health,

Glen Edward Mitchell

Got a question? Ask Glen!


Ask Glen?

Q. What is Croup disease?

A.Croup is a common respiratory problem characterized by a harsh, barking cough. Croup most often affects young children. It causes inflammation, swelling, and narrowing in the voice box (larynx), windpipe (trachea), and breathing (bronchial) tubes that lead to the lungs.

What causes croup?

Croup symptoms often develop a few days after the start of what appears to be an upper respiratory infection (URI), such as a cold. Most cases are caused by human parainfluenza viruses types I and II. However, other viruses, such as influenza viruses types A and B, respiratory syncytial virus (RSV), and measles, can also cause croup. As children grow older and structures in the throat and breathing tubes mature, they are less susceptible to croup.

What are the symptoms?

Symptoms of croup are caused by a narrowed airway and include a barking cough; a raspy, hoarse voice; and a harsh crowing noise when breathing in. Croup usually develops after a day or two of coldlike symptoms, such as a runny nose and congestion. Symptoms of croup often improve during the day and become worse at night; sometimes children have episodes, or attacks, of intense symptoms that wake them up in the middle of the night. Usually symptoms gradually improve within 2 to 5 days.

How is croup diagnosed?

A health professional usually diagnoses croup by using information from a medical history and performing a physical examination.

Since croup can cause breathing difficulty, a pulse oximeter may be placed on your child's finger, toe, or earlobe to measure blood oxygen content. Rarely, an X-ray may be needed to check for complications or to rule out other conditions, such as pneumonia.

How is it treated?

Even though croup is usually a minor illness, your child's coughing and troubled breathing can seem severe and frightening, especially during an episode or attack of intense symptoms. However, even intense symptoms usually improve with home treatment, such as staying calm, soothing your child, and humidifying the air.

If your child has extremely severe difficulty breathing, call 911 or other emergency services immediately.

If intense symptoms of croup do not improve after 30 minutes of home treatment, take your child to an immediate care facility or hospital emergency room. A health professional may give your child extra oxygen or medication to help open the airway. Most often, your child can then go home after treatment and observation.

Treating Croup - How to Care for a Child with Croup

Most cases of croup are mild and can therefore be treated at home. Only about 5 - 10% of croup cases required hospitalization.

The goal of treating croup is to make your child as comfortable as possible while he or she rides out the croup infection.

Tips for Treating Croup

Here are a few tips to treat croup and make your child feel more comfortable:

  • Make sure your child gets plenty of rest.
  • Give him or her lots of fluids to drink.
  • Avoid using cough medicines for your child's croup cough. Increasing fluids is most successful at helping the croup cough.
  • Check with your child's Pediatrician for dosing of Tylenol to help with fever and any chest discomfort he or she may be feeling.
  • Consider using home mist treatments.

  • Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Friday, April 27, 2007

    Why Men Cheat

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen your a man.Please tell me why men cheat?

    No excuses, merely explanations as to what happens in the brain (and other body parts). Here, the top reasons why men cheat...

    A. Of course, we all know that while men and women are both capable of cheating, it's often the guys who have the biggest problem keeping their belts firmly buckled. And we all know that no matter who it's with, why it's done, or where the after-hours canoodling takes place, cheating is -- most of the time -- the ultimate relationship death sentence.

    But instead of dwelling on what happens after the cheating takes place, one of the ways to perhaps prevent infidelity is by knowing a little bit about why men stray. I'm not offering them as excuses, merely explanations as to what happens in that brain (and other body parts) of his-in hopes that you might be able to prevent it. Here, the top reasons why men cheat:

    To Fulfill His Biology

    You know the old anthropological tale. A man's main job, besides killing the saber-tooth, is to spread his seed in order to ensure the survival of his genetic legacy. It's a man's biology to want to wander.

    Does that mean he should, or that he can't help it? Of course not. But it does mean that a man is going to have strong -- extremely strong -- biological urges to knock on the doors of neighboring huts.

    I have had this argument/discussion/conversation with dozens of men and women: Are men predestined to cheat? My answer is no, they're not-despite their biology. But often times, they do have to fight it. Especially after a pitcher and two shots of Jack.

    To Get the Attention

    News flash: Sure, some guys cheat because, well, maybe the sexual frequency has slowed a bit, and maybe hot-and-heavy happens at home about as often as Rob Schneider gets nominated for an Oscar.

    But the truth is that plenty of men who are having regular sex with their partner are also having sex with someone else. Why? Because cheating isn't just about the sex. Just as a woman who cheats may be seeking more affection than what she's getting at home, a man often cheats because he's seeking the attention that he no longer gets at home.

    Part of the allure of the mysterious woman isn't just to find out what she looks like naked; it's that the woman showers the man with flirtations, with seduction, with advances that make him feel like he's worthy of more than just fixing dents in the drywall.

    To Get Out

    I know lots of guys who simply don't have the strength to end it. They may try ("I'm just not happy"), or they may take other tactics to drive a woman away. A lot of guys simply have trouble breaking off relationships because they don't want to be perceived as that bad guy, the jerk, the insensitive lout who ended something good. So they tiptoe around the issue in hopes that she'll get so frustrated that she'll back out first.

    Well, if that doesn't work, then a man knows that the only way out is to commit the relationship sin that drives a woman away for good. It's not right, but it's what happens.

    To Change Up His Play List

    Think about what's on your iPod. You have your favorite songs you play over and over, but every once in a while, you're in the mood to hear something you haven't played in a long time. You don't need to hear it but once every month or so, but still, you appreciate the changeup.

    Relationships need to be like good iPods lists. You're comfortable with your routine and you like your routine, but it's always nice to change things up. What men really want in relationships (and what I suspect women also want) is to be able to take comfort in the routine of a long-term commitment, as long as there are some surprises that make it feel like a new relationship every once in a while.

    In order to keep the relationship strong, you've got to change the songs every once in a while. That goes for in the bedroom and out.

    Any personal health questions,mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Is She Cheating?

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen how do I know if she is cheating on me?

    Is she just working, or is she working it? I will help you find out.

    You have a great gal. So great, in fact, that she attracts packs of men who try to capture her attention or, worse, coax her out of her clothes. They could be platonic friends. Or they could be interlopers, scourges bent on emasculating and circumventing you. What to do?

    "Everything starts with having ground rules, open communication, and strategies for how to proceed," says Janice Levine, Ph.D., a psychologist in Lexington, Massachusetts, and the author of Why Do Fools Fall in Love? Either blowing your lid or turning a blind eye could create more problems than addressing the situation head-on.

    The following tips will help you suss out a suspect and stand your ground without devolving into a raging, soon-to-be-single maniac. Read on: Your love life could depend on it.


    Worry when . . . she's focused on pleasing him, not doing her job.

    Not when . . . he's a kindhearted mentor. His motives could be sincere, and if she's happy at work, she'll be happy at home, says Jeffrey Bernstein, Ph.D., a psychologist and the author of Why Can't You Read My Mind?

    Your move: Lead with concern for her, not your issues. If she thinks you have an agenda, she'll become defensive and fail to see any negatives, just to prove you wrong. Say, "It seems your boss is really helping you. How's that going?"


    Worry when . . . they talk frequently and secretly. Regular contact sends up flares. Covertness fires a cannon.

    Not when . . . she has a once-a-year, 15-minute phone call. There's a lot of history -- some good.

    Your move: Calmly say, "I have a problem with the relationship, because I don't understand it. Can you tell me what it does for you?" suggests Jackie Jaye Brandt, M.F.T., a psychotherapist in Universal City, California. You're not being invasive, you're just gathering information. An ultimatum leads to resentment -- or abandonment. Be ready to walk out the door if she picks him.


    Worry when . . . she drops his name in subtle or obvious comparisons to you. If he initiated the breakup, there's a big chance she's holding on to the fantasy.

    Not when . . . it might be just fond memories, so the threat could be all in your head.

    Your move: Say, "I just need some reassurance here." She should respond definitively that you're her man, Levine says. If she pauses, follow up with "I'm not trying to control you. I just want to be with someone who knows what she wants." She needs to think it's something to fix. If she doesn't, walk.


    Worry when . . . she spills intimate details about his life. Chances are, the sharing goes both ways. "The relationship should be friendly, not familiar," says Rita DeMaria, Ph.D., a marriage and family therapist in the Philadelphia area.

    Not when . . . he's just pumping her up. It's his job to give her encouragement and attention.

    Your move: Once again, share your discomfort and watch her response. If she's open and says, "I didn't realize that," she's not drinking in the man's attention, and she respects your feelings. If she's defensive, she might be guzzling it, so back off for a few weeks and see how she deals with it. It's up to you how far you push.


    Worry when . . . she's ignoring the situation because she hates conflict. That's bad for your relationship, because this issue will recur.

    Not when . . . she's simply working at her own pace to let her admirer down easy.

    Your move: If you've given her pace a chance, let her know you're uncomfortable. Offer to help. If she allows you, meet the guy: Put your arm around her and introduce yourself as her boyfriend. That should be enough. If it's not, say, "I think it would be best if you limited contact with her," Levine says. Use restrained strength, not tough-guy tactics.

    Any personal health questions,mental or physical. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Can Cheaters Change?

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen do men or women who cheat ever change?

    Is cheating an inherent personality trait or a controllable behavioral one? Can a guy -- or gal -- who strays learn to be a house cat?

    A. We'd all like to think that people can make changes, learn to compromise, and make their relationship stronger.

    Unromantic men can learn to buy a card every once in a while; women who nag can learn to stop themselves at least a few times they see toothpaste in the sink, or whatever it is. But those are small changes.

    he big changes -- the changes that can make or break a relationship -- are the ones most of us are really concerned about. And perhaps the biggest question of all -- when you consider that 25 percent of men admit to cheating in relationships and about 15 percent of women do -- is this: Can cheaters change? Is cheating an inherent personality trait or a controllable behavioral one?

    Can a guy -- or gal -- who strays learn to be a house cat?

    For these purposes, we'll consider cheating full-on sexual contact -- not only sex, but also its close relatives. (I fully know that 60 percent of men say that even having drinks with an old flame is cheating, 50 percent of men say visiting strip clubs is cheating, and virtually all women say emotional betrayal is worse than physical betrayal. So I know cheating is complicated, but here, we'll go with the traditional "Where did my underwear go?" definition.)

    The average woman says that the No. 1 reason for divorce is infidelity -- so that indicates to me that for women, their answer is no, cheaters can't change (or if they do, they don't believe he deserves a second chance).

    After I give you my take, I'd love to hear your thoughts about this very question, because I think your perception of this issue may very well depend, in some major way, on whether you've been burned -- or have done the burning.

    Can Cheaters Change? Not a Chance!
    Once someone crosses the line in the relationship (again, that line being different things to different people, but for argument's sake, we're talking here about the horizontal hora), it's like a seal being broken on a pill bottle.

    Though some of it may depend on whether it was a drunken fling or an ongoing stealth hookup with someone at work, the fact is that once that trust is compromised, the offender will have a hard time resetting the relationship to its startup condition. Even if the victim accepts the offender back into the relationship, the offender will be likely to stray again -- because he knows he's already gotten away with it once.

    The bigger picture, really, is the fact that he (we'll assume the cheater is a he; sorry, guys) cheated for a reason -- that something in his current relationship -- for example, one study showed that couples with infidelity issues showed greater dishonesty, arguments about trust, narcissism, and time spent apart -- made him explore other options. And that's ultimately what makes him prone to do it again. But...

    Can Cheaters Change? Absolutely!
    Just because someone has cheated in one relationship doesn't mean that he's always a cheater in his next relationships -- for the very same reason.

    In the relationship where he cheated, he was willing to gamble it away. So if he enters a committed relationship where he feels there's much more to lose, there's a less likely chance he'll want to risk it.

    Does that mean he won't, or that he couldn't succumb to the temptations of the tight-topped bartender? Of course not. Cheating certainly can make some relationships impossible to continue, but some infidels can indeed change -- that is, if he hopes to make other relationships even remotely possible.

    Any personal health questions,Mental or Physical. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Thursday, April 26, 2007

    Is Guilt Getting the Best of You?

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Can you let go of the burden of guilt?

    A. Psychology experts give tips for easing the burden of groundless guilt.

    Does your guilty conscience follow your every move, making you wonder how you could have done something more or better -- for your partner, your kids, your community, or your career? Where does such crippling guilt come from? What toll does it take on you? And, most importantly, how can you shake it? Keep reading to find out. And don't feel too guilty about taking the time for yourself to do so.

    Clearly, the spectrum of guilt that burdens folks runs the gamut. "Some people don't have the positive guilt that keeps you on the straight and narrow. Others have guilt that eats away at their soul; they rarely have a moment of peace," says Michael McKee, PhD, vice chairman of The Cleveland Clinic's psychiatry and psychology department.

    Why do some people let guilt tear them apart inside? Personality is partly to blame, say the experts.

    "Timid, insecure individuals may be victims of excessive guilt and constant 'second guessing' of themselves and their actions," says Patricia Farrell, PhD, clinical psychologist and author of How to be Your Own Therapist, A Step-by-Step Guide to Building a Competent, Confident Life.

    "People with an obsessive-compulsive or obsessive-personality disorder or with these traits in their personalities are also prone to excessive ruminating about their actions and driving up their guilt quotient," she adds.

    Social Forces Behind Guilt

    While personality can predispose people to guilt, social expectations play a part, too.

    From an early age, both males and females receive strong signals about "gender-specific" expectations that, when not fulfilled, can provoke guilt.

    "Women build self-esteem through relationships," explains Mary Ann Bauman, MD, director of Women's Health for INTEGRIS, a nonprofit health system in Oklahoma. She is also author of Fight Fatigue: Six Simple Steps to Maximize Your Energy. "As women, we have to make sure no one thinks we're being selfish," Bauman says.

    The result? "It causes us to absolutely overextend ourselves," she tells WebMD.

    Men and Guilt

    Men, on the other hand, grow up with a different set of expectations. "Men learn to build self-esteem through their accomplishments," Bauman says. So a man who doesn't become the athlete or the scholar that he, or his parents, expected him to be is often plagued by guilt. That's particularly true for children who, even as adults, live to please their parents.

    "I have patients who are students in college and want to major in x, y, or z but tell me, 'My father is a doctor and wants me to follow in his footsteps," says Kiki Weingarten, executive director of

    Parenthood also opens up opportunities for guilt. "It's not just working parents; it's parents across the board. I think they feel like they should be doing more. They're looking over their shoulders at their neighbors, thinking they're doing more," says Naomi Drew, a New Jersey-based parentingparenting expert and author.

    Even as we face our twilight years, the tendency toward guilt can remain strong.

    Take, for instance, parents who enter a nursing home. "They often feel very guilty about the cost of it, knowing they have to sell everything to pay for the cost of the nursing home instead of passing it on to their children," says Barbara Ensor, PhD, a psychologist with Stella Maris, a long-term care facility in Baltimore.

    Meanwhile, the children of these parents often suffer from guilt too. "Many family members feel guilty that they've had to put their mother in a nursing home, and that they can't provide for her," says Ensor.

    Side Effects of Guilt

    The crushing sense of guilt that so many of us feel isn't just bad for the psyche; it's bad for our health.

    "If you're guilty, you're probably getting stressed. If your body releases stressstress chemicals, it puts you at risk for minor stuff like headaches and backaches," McKee tells WebMD. And that's not all."It [guilt] also contributes to cardiovascular disease and gastrointestinal disorders. It can even have a negative impact on the immune system over time," McKee says.

    Guilt also takes a toll on an already fragile mental state. "It contributes significantly to depressiondepression, as it is very often involves a negative view of self, and to anxiety," McKee explains.

    Letting Go of Excessive Guilt

    If you feel guilty as an adult, chances are the bad feelings have been building since childhood, so it may take some time to unravel all the suffocating layers of the stuff. But it can be done. Here's how.

    Practice saying no. "There will be discomfort, as with any change," Weingarten says. But it can and should be done, particularly if you're constantly putting yourself last.

    But what if you're having trouble saying no? "Ask yourself why you fear saying 'no,'" Weingarten says. "Are you afraid you won't be popular? That people will talk behind your back?" That should help you put your fear in perspective.

    Remember to take care of yourself. "Ask yourself 'What is good enough? How can I handle all these responsibilities and not fall apart?' Because when you fall apart, you're not good for anybody," Weingarten tells WebMD. "You simply have to take care of yourself."

    Building on Success

    Change your behavior by starting with small steps. "When you first say 'no,' you will still have insecurities about it. After you build a portfolio of successes, it gets easier," Bauman says.

    Re-evaluate your expectations. "Assess your accomplishments, or lack thereof, and ask yourself if they're the right ones for you," Bauman suggests. "Sometimes, we are moved to do things because it was right for our parents. But your parents' situation was not your own," she reminds us.

    "Identify where that guilty voice comes from," McKee suggests. "If it's your mother's or your fathers', I ask people to let go of it," he says.

    "Keep things in perspective," urges Natalie Gahrmann, a life coach and founder of N-R-G Coaching Associates. For instance, if you're trying to get to a meeting on time and feel terribly guilty about showing up a few minutes late, consider the alternative: you speed and get a ticket, or cause an accident. Being a little late is not unforgivable.

    Stop feeling guilty about making mistakes. "View mistakes as a learning experience, not because you're a sinful, slothful person," McKee says

    Any personal health questions,Mental or Physical. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Shame: Secret Ally of Illness

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Can shame affect my health?

    A. Experts tell Glen Edward Mitchell how shame can have an impact on health.

    Think positive. Eat good foods. Be healthy. It's good advice. Sadly, it has a dark side.

    "You can be healthy!" shout the covers of magazines and health books. The promise is that all it takes for good health is good exercise, good diet, and good hygiene.

    But what does it mean if we aren't like those good people on the covers of health magazines? What if we aren't slim or young or fit? What if we're at risk of illness -- or actually ill?

    We all have an ideal self we feel we should live up to, says psychologist Lawrence Josephs, PhD, a professor at Adelphi University. And we feel ashamed when we don't live up to this ideal.

    "Everybody believes they should be healthy and fit and youthful and live to a ripe old age," Josephs tells Glen Edward Mitchell. "But people do get weak and vulnerable and depend on others and need help. So that ideal of being a strong, healthy person who can do everything on their own, that is shattered. And people get shamed and don't want to admit they are ill."

    Shame: A Major Health Issue

    In the experience of shame, one's whole being seems diminished or lessened. … The expression of shame … is not just the desire to hide, or to hide my face, but the desire to disappear, not to be there. It is not even the wish, as people say, to sink through the floor, but rather the wish that the space occupied by me should be instantaneously empty. -- Bernard Williams, British philosopher

    The effects of shame and stigma can be devastating to a person's health, experts tell Glen Edward Mitchell. They're seen not only in people with life-altering medical problems but also in relatively healthy people with risk factors (such as a family history of cancer) for future illness.

    Examples include:

    • AIDS patients not taking their lifesaving drugs.
    • People with diabetes becoming discouraged over difficulties with blood-sugar control.
    • Obese people ashamed to go out of doors and get the exercise they desperately need.
    • People with urinary incontinence afraid to leave their homes.
    • Unnecessary suffering in people with treatable mental illnesses.

    Duke University researcher Laura Smart Richman, PhD, studies emotional influences on health.

    "Shame is one reason why people don't seek care," Richman tells WebMD. "There tends to be this perspective that people should have a lot of control over their health -- even with an illness like cancer. We're told, 'You should think positive, you should eat the right foods.' So when people aren't healthy there is self-blame and the perception of societal blame."

    Taking personal responsibility for one's life is a good thing. We all want to be independent and in control of our lives. But illness isn't something we fully control. That can be scary -- and shaming.

    "People want to think, 'I am in control,' so if you have alcoholism, addiction, eating disorders, incontinence, whatever, there is shame in lack of self-control," Josephs says. "Shame can be dangerous if it keeps you from seeking help for anything serious. It is very upsetting to have a heart attack scare or a cancer scare. It is tempting to deny it -- because that is a big assault on our self-image."

    This isn't merely a matter of vanity, or even of being a control freak. Shame is hardwired into our mental makeup, says psychiatrist Michelle E. Friedman, MD, director of pastoral counseling at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah rabbinical seminary and assistant clinical professor at Mount Sinai School of Medicine, New York.

    "This is an issue and a struggle for every ill person," Friedman tells Glen Edward Mitchell. "Shame comes from an ancient, primitive way of thinking. It is really powerful."

    We feel guilty for what we do. We feel shame for what we are. A person feels guilt because he did something wrong. A person feels shame because he is something wrong. We may feel guilty because we lied to our mother. We may feel shame because we are not the person our mother wanted us to be. -- Lewis B. Smedes, U.S. psychologist

    Why is shame such a problem? It has to do with the nature of this mixed emotion. Like its sister emotion, guilt, shame is what psychologists call a negative emotion.

    Negative emotions such as sadness, anger, and fear -- alone or in any of their many combinations -- aren't bad in and of themselves. It's how we handle them that makes them harmful. In this regard, shame is particularly tricky. It strikes at the core of our being, says psychologist June Tangney, PhD, a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. Tangney is co-author of the book Shame and Guilt.

    When we feel bad about having failed or about having done something we think is wrong, we feel guilt or shame.

    "Guilty people feel bad about their behavior. Shamed people feel bad about themselves," Tangney tells Glen Edward Mitchell. "Guilt is a less overwhelming feeling. It is less self-esteem related, and doesn't affect our sense of who we are."

    Guilt motivates a person to repair the damage done by bad behavior and to make positive changes in their lives. Shame works in the other direction. It makes us want to disappear.

    "When people are ashamed, the defense mechanism is hiding," Joseph says. "We become like little kids who are ashamed and hide their faces in their mothers' aprons. It is hard to get past that."

    As adults, we don't have our mothers' skirts to hide behind. But our reaction to shame often isn't any more mature.

    "When people feel ashamed they are more likely to hide, deny, escape, and externalize blame," Tangney says. "When people feel guilt they are motivated to face the music. When people feel shame they want to duck the heat."

    Tangney lists five ways shame can be destructive:

    • Lack of motivation to seek care.
    • Lack of empathy. Shame, Tangney says, is very self-involved. People feeling shame cut themselves off from other people.
    • Anger and aggression. Tangney says shame has a special link to anger. "In day-to-day life, when people are shamed and angry they tend to be motivated to get back at a person and get revenge," she says.
    • Psychological problems. Tangney says shame is associated with eating disorders, substance abuse, anxiety, depression, and other mental disorders.
    • Problematic moral behavior. Tangney's team tested fifth-grade students, and followed them until they were 18 years old. Shame-prone kids were prone to substance abuse, earlier sexual activity, less safe sexual activity, and involvement with the criminal justice system.

    Because we tend to feel more shame about our bodies than about other aspects of ourselves, health issues are particularly likely to evoke shame. And no health issues evoke shame more than those involving sex, says Ilan Meyer, PhD, associate professor of clinical sociomedical sciences at Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health.

    "If people are embarrassed to talk about their sexuality, they are not going to be seeking out services, testing or counseling on the topic," Meyer tells Glen Edward Mitchell. "People often don't seek treatment for an STD [sexually transmitted disease]. Or when they do, they lie or pretend it is something else. I know of someone with an STD who called the doctor and said he had a cold, and wanted antibiotics. Of course this would be the wrong drug for both conditions, but this is a case of a person acting out of shame, trying to manipulate the situation to get care."

    In the Bible, God often punishes people by making them ill -- often with humiliating diseases.

    "That is very much lodged in people's minds," Friedman says. "When something goes wrong with our health we think, 'What did I do to deserve this?' People feel -- and this may be an unconscious feeling -- that if something befalls them, they somehow did wrong."

    It's a pernicious feeling. If we feel bad because we are sick, we can be treated for the sickness and feel better. But if we feel sick because we are bad, we are powerless.

    Religion isn't the problem here. If we feel that our fate is in God's hands, we aren't afraid to seek treatment. We become powerless only when we believe our illness stems from a moral flaw that we must hide from everyone, including God.

    What do you regard as most humane? To spare someone shame. -- Friedrich Nietzsche, German philosopher

    One of the oldest stories of healing shame is in the Old Testament, Friedman notes. God punishes Miriam by giving her leprosy. He answers Moses' prayer that she be healed, but insists that she must be shamed by being expelled from the Israelites' camp for seven days.

    Even though they are in dire circumstances -- they are escaping Egypt for the Promised Land -- the Israelites do not move from camp until Miriam has served her sentence. Then they welcome her back from her shame.

    "Miriam had to be marginalized so that her shame could be recognized. But then the whole camp waits for her to welcome her back from her shame," Friedman says. "But if you are marginalized, who is inviting you to dinner? If you are someone who has fallen through the cracks, who is thinking of you? A fact of modern cultural life is that there is a decreased attention to integrating marginal people into some kinds of communities."

    One relatively recent positive change is that more and more celebrities are speaking out about their own shame-associated conditions.

    "When celebrities come out with their stories -- like Brooke Shields talking about her postpartum depression -- that is a very big thing," Tangney says.

    But often, simple human contact is the most important thing for a shamed person. Even this can be difficult to offer because shame makes people withdraw.

    "The most important thing is to keep up contact with someone -- for example, the kid who drops out of college and is now a strung-out marijuana addict," Tangney says. "Marginalized people -- and nobody is more marginalized than the mentally ill -- need to have a place in society. That is a very powerful message that should be attended to by communities, whether they are religious or family or neighborhood communities."

    Approaching a shamed person can be tricky, Josephs warns.

    "If you see shame preventing someone from getting health care, you can confront it as irrational," he says. "You can say there is nothing to be ashamed of, and if people hear it, they hear it. But when you point out that they are ashamed, people can get touchy and angry. If you point out their shame, you could get into a fight. So bring it up, but in a tactful way, knowing this is a tough issue."

    Tangney says that the best approach is to avoid further shaming. The first thing to offer is support and empathy. Rather than confront a person's shame, it's better to point out -- very, very gently -- how a person's behavior is harming areas of life that the person really values.

    "There is a lot of evidence suggesting this is a good approach," Tangney says. "And to my ears it is all about shame reduction."

    Any personal health questions,Mental or Physical. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Shame: The Quintessential Emotion

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Why do I feel inadequate some time?

    A. Shame it’s the quintessential human emotion, says New Brunswick, N.J., psychologist Michael Lewis, Ph.D., in his writings.

    All extravagant behaviors are reactions to it, says Philadelphia psychiatrist Donald I. Nathanson, M.D.

    It’s the root of dysfunctions in families, says Montpelier, Vt.-based Jane Middelton-Moz, author of “Shame & Guilt: Masters of Disguise.”

    After decades of obscurity — spent, Middelton-Moz says, confused with and overshadowed by guilt — shame is increasingly recognized as a powerful, painful and potentially dangerous emotion,- especially for those who don’t understand its origins or know how to manage it.

    A Complex Response

    According to Alen J. Salerian, M.D., psychiatrist and medical director of the Washington, D.C., Psychiatric Center Outpatient Clinic, shame is a complex emotional response that all humans acquire during early development. “It’s a normal feeling about ourselves and our behavior,” he said, “not necessarily a symptom of an illness or pathology. In many situations, it’s abnormal if we don’t experience it.”

    Embarrassment and shyness, for example, are two forms of shame that seldom cause trouble — unless they’re extreme or long lasting. And humility, another of the forms shame can take, is generally considered socially desirable.

    But there’s mounting evidence that problems occur when shame or humiliation becomes an integral part of a person’s self-image or sense of self-worth. Over the past two decades, psychologists, psychiatrists and other mental health professionals have reported that abnormal styles of handling shame play an important role in social phobias, eating disorders, domestic violence, substance abuse, road rage, schoolyard and workplace rampages, sexual offenses and a host of other personal and social problems.

    The Importance of Feeling Adequate

    Marilyn J. Sorensen, Ph.D., author of “Breaking the Chain of Low Self-Esteem” and clinical psychologist in Portland, Ore., explains how such disorders originate.

    “Early in life, individuals develop an internalized view of themselves as adequate or inadequate within the world,” she said. “Children who are continually criticized, severely punished, neglected, abandoned, or in other ways abused or mistreated get the message that they do not ‘fit’ in the world — that they are inadequate, inferior or unworthy.”

    These feelings of inferiority are the genesis of low self-esteem, Sorenson says.

    “Individuals with low self-esteem become overly sensitive and fearful in many situations,” she said. “They are afraid they won’t know the rules or that they’ve blundered, misspoken or acted in ways others might consider inappropriate. Or they might perceive that others reject or are critical of them.”

    Once low self-esteem is formed, the person becomes hypersensitive — they experience “self-esteem attacks” that take the form of embarrassment or shame, Sorenson adds.

    “Unlike guilt, which is the feeling of doing something wrong,” she said, “shame is the feeling of being something wrong. When a person experiences shame, they feel ‘there is something basically wrong with me.’”

    Middelton-Moz says this is a common emotional response in adult children of alcoholic parents, as well as those who grew up with depressed parents, abuse, religious fanaticism, war, cultural oppression, or adult or sibling death. All of these experiences cause an individual to feel vulnerable, helpless and shamed.

    A Deep, Unproductive Well

    Aaron Kipnis, Ph.D., author of “Angry Young Men: How Parents, Teachers and Counselors Can Help Bad Boys Become Good Men” and a clinical psychologist in private practice in Santa Barbara, Calif., agrees. He says that shame’s effects are more damaging than those of guilt.

    “Guilt is positive,” he said. “It’s a response of psychologically healthy individuals who realize they have done something wrong. It helps them act more positively, more responsibly, often to correct what they’ve done.”

    But shame is not productive, Kipnis says. “Shame tends to direct individuals into destructive behaviors. When we focus on what we did wrong, we can correct it; but when we’re convinced that we are wrong as a result of shame, our whole sense of self is eroded.”

    That’s why guilt doesn’t produce the anger, rage or other irrational behaviors shame does, Kipnis adds. “Many violent behaviors lead back to a deep well of shame,” he said.

    He’s Shamed, She’s Shamed

    Do men and women respond similarly when shamed?

    “It has been common in shame-based conditions to say that men ‘act out’ and women ‘act in,’” Kipnis said.

    In his book, “Shame: The Exposed Self,” Lewis says that not only do women feel more shame than men, they tend to express it differently. Typically, females have dealt with shame through introversion and self-hate while males have been more likely to exhibit extreme anger and violence.

    Lewis found the major causes of shame in women are feelings of unattractiveness or perceived failures in personal relationships. In contrast, he reported, the leading cause of shame in men is feelings of sexual inadequacy.

    In a 1997 article in the Electronic Journal of Sociology, Thomas J. Scheff, Ph.D., professor emeritus at the University of California-Santa Barbara, and Suzanne M. Retzinger, family relations mediator in the Superior Court of Ventura, Calif., provide an explanation for the difference in how men and women manage the shame associated with sexuality — described as “quite prevalent” in modern society.

    Scheff and Retzinger found that women typically experience shame-shame feedback loops, while males experience shame-anger feedback loops. In shame-shame loops, individuals are ashamed of being ashamed, which makes them more ashamed of being ashamed, which leads to more shame, and so on. This circular process often results in withdrawal or depression.

    In shame-anger loops, individuals are angry that they are ashamed, and ashamed that they are angry, and so on. This creates another emotional loop that feeds on itself and often culminates in antisocial acts.

    “Shame about sexuality helps to explain the direction sexuality often takes with women: lack of sexual interest, withdrawal, passivity or late-blooming interest,” Scheff and Retzinger say in the journal article. “But the same shame leads men in a different direction — to boldness, anger and aggression. When a man feels ashamed of his sexuality and rejected by or inadequate with women and does not acknowledge these feelings even to himself, a likely outcome is sexual assault.”

    Nathanson uses an even broader stroke in characterizing the potential effects of shame: “There’s no record of a violent action other than as a reaction to shame or humiliation,” he said.

    Compass of Shame: Pointing a Way to Treatment and Recovery

    Nathanson, author of “The Many Faces of Shame” and “Shame and Pride: Affect, Sex, and the Birth of the Self,” has focused much of his attention on how to help both patients and their therapists deal with the emotion more effectively. After extensive study, he concluded nearly two decades ago that psychoanalytic therapy had treated almost everything but shame-based conditions — despite mounting evidence that not only was shame a prominent feature of many psychological disorders, but that many treatment approaches often created or exacerbated painful shame reactions.

    “Conventional psychoanalysis had viewed silence as anxiety, which was interpreted as resistance to treatment,” he said. “But, more often, silence in therapy is actually a sign that the patient is ashamed to say what he’s thinking. The therapist’s silence only makes the shame worse, it doesn’t make it go away.”

    Nathanson devised the Compass of Shame to provide a framework for better understanding of the dynamics of shame and humiliation, as well as for supporting more effective approaches to shame-based responses in treatment situations. In this compass, each of the four cardinal directions is represented by a reaction to an experience during which a shame trigger has occurred, a physiological effect has been experienced and a cognitive response has taken place.

    “Imagine the points with ‘Withdrawal’ at the north pole, ‘Attack Self’ due east, ‘Avoidance’ at the south pole and ‘Attack Other’ due west,” he said. “Each of these is a library in which individuals store a huge number of scripts they use to respond to experiences of being shamed. These scripts are activated by the sequence of events that involves the trigger, the physiological effect and the cognitive response.”

    This means there is not a single entity that can be called “shame,” but four separate entities, four patterns of response in reaction to life events, he says.

    Nathanson adds that making patients aware that feelings of shame are a normal part of the treatment process is an important first step toward resolving the core psychological problems at all four points of the compass.

    Medications for Shame

    Nathanson, Salerian and other therapists agree the role of biology is increasingly evident in the development of shame. Low levels of serotonin, for example, are believed to contribute to an innate vulnerability to feeling shamed or humiliated.

    Both experts say the class of medications known as selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, or SSRIs, including Prozac, Zoloft, Luvox and Paxil, have been effective in shame treatment.

    But not all authorities agree on the appropriateness of prescribing SSRIs or other drugs. Middelton-Moz, for instance, says that biology is unlikely to hold the key to the cause or the cure of shame. “Medications send yet another message that the individual is helpless; that they are not the one making the change,” she said. “The hope that we can achieve a better self through chemistry is inevitably a false one in shame-based conditions.”

    Any personal health questions,Mental or Physical. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Wednesday, April 25, 2007

    Do You Really Need to Lose Weight?

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen I think I am fat should I go on a diet?

    A. 7 questions that can help you decide

    So your favorite jeans have gotten a bit too close-fitting for comfort. Maybe you don't cut quite the figure in your bathing suit that you did a few years ago.

    But do you really need to lose weight? Are you putting your health in danger -- or just carrying around a little harmless extra padding?

    The standard answer is that you're overweight if your body mass index (BMI) is 25 or higher and obese if your BMI is 30 or higher. But some new research is confusing the weight-and-health issue a bit.

    A study published in the April 20 issue of The Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that people whose BMIs put them into the overweight category actually had a lower risk of death than people in the normal-weight group. (People who were considered obese still had an increased risk of death.)

    "When we looked at the overweight group … we found that that group was associated with fewer than the expected number of deaths," says study author David F. Williamson, PhD, senior epidemiologist at the Diabetes Division of the CDC. Does that mean that if you're overweight, but not obese, you should quit worrying about dropping the extra pounds? Experts who spoke to WebMD gave us some answers -- along with seven questions you should ask yourself.

    • What is your lifestyle? Regular physical activity and healthy eating are important, no matter what your weight or your BMI.
    • What is your family history? If a close relative has a history of high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes, or other weight-related ailment, it's crucial to be mindful of your weight.
    • What is your weight history? People who have consistently gained weight over the years need be careful. Experts say your BMI should not increase dramatically, even as you age. Even moderate weight gain in adulthood can increase your risk of diabetes.
    • How is your weight distributed? Weight gained above the hips -- the so-called "apple" shape -- can be problematic. In both men and women, bigger abdomens can signal trouble.
    • What is your waist size? The National Institutes of Health has determined that a waist circumference of over 40 inches in men and over 35 inches in women signifies a health risk, particularly in people with BMIs of 25-34.9 (the overweight category). Clothing size is not a good indicator of weight or health, since sizes vary with different manufacturers. But you can use your own clothing -- maybe a favorite pair of pants -- as a personal gauge of your weight.
    • What is your health profile? If your cholesterol and blood pressure levels are high and your BMI falls into the overweight or obese category, it's important to lose weight. If your BMI is in the high end of healthy or in the low overweight range, it's a good idea to talk to your doctor about whether weight loss is right for you.
    • How do you feel? Seriously consider weight loss if you are overweight and have joint problems, shortness of breath, or other health troubles that limit your day-to-day living.

    The Body Mass Index

    To understand the issue of weight and wellness, you first need to understand the BMI, the common measure of fatness that is at the heart of the debate.

    To find your BMI, you multiply your weight (in pounds) by 705, then divide twice by your height (in inches). A BMI of:

    • 18.5 or less is considered underweight
    • 18.5-24.9 is considered ideal weight
    • 25-29.9 is considered overweight
    • 30 or higher is considered obese

    Many doctors and researchers say the BMI is a useful tool to determine whether someone is overweight or obese, though they concede it has limitations. But critics say the BMI is an inaccurate gauge of wellness.

    "This overweight category of body mass index of 25 to 29.9 is a phony category. It doesn't have medical justification," says Paul Campos, JD, a law professor and author of The Diet Myth: Why America's Obsession with Weight Is Hazardous to Your Health.

    Campos says the BMI was developed as a statistical sorting tool for researchers and was never meant as a gauge for weight loss.

    "It just doesn't make sense," he says, pointing to muscular celebrities such as Matthew McConaughey and Brad Pitt, who he says would be considered too heavy based on their BMI numbers.

    The well-muscled and the big-boned have often found themselves in the BMI's overweight or obese categories, a frequent criticism of the body fat measurement. Indeed, one recent study found that more than half of National Football League (NFL) players were obese according to their BMIs.

    Patrick M. O'Neil, PhD, director of the Weight Management Center at the Medical University of South Carolina, agrees that BMI numbers alone should not be used to determine whether someone needs to lose weight. It's important to believe one's eyes, he says.

    However, O'Neil believes the BMI is generally a good clinical tool for initial screening.

    "The BMI is an excellent tool for helping you figure out where you are," he says. "It's a lot less useful for helping you figure out where you personally need to be."

    Weight and Health

    How does weight affect health? If you fall into the obese category, the evidence is pretty clear.

    The April 20 Journal of the American Medical Association study reports that obesity is responsible for an estimated 112,000 deaths per year. Other studies have shown that obesity puts people at higher risk of health problems such as diabetes, heart disease, and osteoarthritis.

    But even people who are obese may not need to drop much weight to improve their health.

    "You don't need to lose a lot of weight in order to be healthier," says Cathy Nonas, RD, spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association. Whether you weigh 200 pounds or 400, "the first 10% of weight that you lose … that's the most significant improvement in your health profile that you're going to see," she says.

    The Medical University of South Carolina Weight Management Center also recommends an initial loss of 10% of body weight, O'Neil says. "We know that's an amount of weight loss that can be achieved by most people."


    On the contrary, Campos says he's combed the scientific literature and has found little evidence that shows weight loss is what matters with health.

    "The idea that you have to be thin or so-called ideal weight in order to be healthy is just a completely bogus notion," he says. "If you compare people who have a healthy lifestyle to people with an unhealthy lifestyle, the people with the healthy lifestyle have low relative risk and the people with the unhealthy lifestyle have high relative risk, and this is true without regard to weight."

    To illustrate his point, Campos refers to another study that appears in the April 20 issue of JAMA. That study showed that heart disease risk factors such as high blood pressure, high cholesterol, and smoking have declined in all BMI categories in the last 40 years.

    "So-called obese people have (fewer) risk factors in terms of cardiovascular disease now than so-called ideal-weight people had 20 years ago," says Campos. He says that it's a person's lifestyle, not his or her weight, that has the most effect on health.

    Williamson agrees that lifestyle is important for good health. But he says obesity remains a serious condition, even with improvements in heart disease risk factors. Those improvements don't extend to diabetes, which is linked to excess weight and which continues to increase in the general population.

    The increased risk of diabetes that comes with being overweight can be improved with even small amounts of weight loss, says Nonas. She adds that being overweight can also put a strain on the joints, heart, liver, and kidneys.

    Nonas casts a skeptical eye on the recent JAMA studies' findings on lower death risk for the overweight and on improvements in heart disease risk factors for the overweight and obese.

    "We have of late developed all these wonderful medications which can keep a person alive and keep their cholesterol down, but it doesn't mean that they're healthy," says Nonas. "We have heart attacks and neuropathies (nerve problems caused by diabetes), and just because we can keep them alive, it doesn't mean that we can keep them alive in a way in which any of us would really want to live."

    Who Should Lose Weight?

    Tara Gidus, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association, says it's possible to be fit and fat -- and that's better than being unfit and fat. But if you're overweight, she says, you still need to lose weight.

    The best time to start thinking about weight loss, says Gidus, is when you hit the BMI range of 25 to 27 -- overweight and heading into obesity.

    Another expert, Vincent Pera, MD, director of the Weight Management Program at Brown University's Miriam Hospital, says the question of whether someone needs to lose weight must be determined on a case-by-case basis. That's because everyone's bodies and health profiles are different.

    Also, he says, there are still a lot of unknown factors about obesity.

    "We don't understand all the causes of obesity, and why it is so difficult for some people to control their weight," says Pera. "We don't understand why some people with obesity have so many problems and others don't have those problems."

    Please consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

    Can a High-Protein Diet Help You Lose Weight?

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Can I lost weight eating large amounts of protein?

    Eight ways to pump up the protein in your diet

    A. Low-carb diets are last year's news, but high-protein diets are emerging as the latest buzz in weight control. That's because emerging research has hinted that protein may be able to satisfy hunger better than either fats or carbohydrates.

    Could a high-protein diet really help you eat fewer calories (and thus lose weight) by keeping your hand out of the cookie jar? WebMD asked some experts for their views.

    What Studies Show

    Participants in a study recently published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition reported greater satisfaction, less hunger, and weight loss when fat was reduced to 20% of the total calories in their diets, protein was increased to 30%, and carbs accounted for 50%. The study participants ate some 441 fewer calories a day when they followed this high-protein diet and regulated their own calorie intake.

    Another study, reported in the Journal of Nutrition, showed that a high-protein diet combined with exercise enhanced weight and fat loss and improved blood fat (lipid) levels.

    "Our research suggests that higher-protein diets help people better control their appetites and calorie intake," says researcher Donald Layman, PhD, a professor at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

    "Diets higher in protein [and] moderate in carbs, along with a lifestyle of regular exercise … have an excellent potential to reduce blood lipids [and] maintain lean tissue while burning fat for fuel without dieters being sidetracked with constant hunger."

    Researchers don't understand exactly how protein works to turn down appetite. They surmise that it may be because a high-protein diet causes the brain to receive lower levels of appetite-stimulating hormones.

    "We are not exactly sure of the mechanism for satiety, whether it is due to [eating] fewer carbs and/or the specific protein effect on hunger hormones and brain chemistry," Layman says.

    And more research is needed before experts can make sweeping recommendations that people boost the protein in their diets, says American Dietetic Association president Rebecca Reeves, DrPH, RD, an obesity researcher at the Baylor College of Medicine.

    "I think it is fascinating and intriguing, yet we need the evidence that higher-protein diets are more effective over the long term," Reeves says.

    How Much Do You Need?

    We need protein at all stages of life, for a variety of bodily functions. It's the major component of all cells, including muscle and bone. It's needed for growth, development, and immunity to fight off infections and protect the body.

    The Institute of Health's Dietary Reference Intake (DRI) recommendations allow for a wide range of protein intake -- anywhere from 10% to 35% of total calories -- for normal, healthy adults. For example, on an 1,800 calorie diet, you could safely consume anywhere from 45 grams (that's 10% of calories) to 218 grams (35%) of protein per day.

    However, the Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein is 56 grams a day for men and 46 grams a day for women. Most Americans have no problem getting this much, but would struggle to take in enough protein to make up 35% of their calories.

    That said, is it possible to eat too much protein?

    "There are no dangers associated with higher intakes of protein -- unless you have kidney disease," says Layman.

    To get the potential weight loss benefit, Layman advises aiming for around 120 grams of protein a day. "If you want to increase your protein intake, do it slowly over the course of a week," he recommends.

    To be on the safe side, check with your doctor before adding large amounts of protein to your diet.

    Controlling Your Appetite

    In theory, losing weight is quite simple -- just eat less and exercise more -- but of course, putting it into practice can be complicated. Finding a diet with the right combination of nutrients, that you enjoy, and works with your lifestyle is a very individual process.

    "Some people fare better on a high-carbohydrate, diet whereas others are hungry all the time on the same diet," Layman says.

    And of course, if you're hungry all the time, eating fewer calories will be challenging.

    For better appetite control, Reeves recommends dividing your daily calories into smaller meals or snacks and enjoying as many of them as possible early in the day, with dinner being the last meal.

    "People who eat four to five meals or snacks per day are better able to control their appetite and weight, according to the scientific literature," says Reeves.

    And as long as you stay within the recommended limits, Reeves says, you can try adding some protein to your diet.

    "If the DRIs give us permission to push up the protein," she asks, "what is the harm in adding some lean protein or low-fat dairy to your diet -- unless you have a condition that would limit protein?"

    The Best Protein Sources

    Protein is important but so are carbohydrates, fats, and total calories, says Katherine Tallmadge, MA, RD, a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

    "It is all about balance," says Tallmadge, author of Diet Simple. While she recommends including lean and low-fat sources of protein at every meal, she says it should be part of a calorie-controlled diet that's also rich in 'smart carbs' such as fruits, vegetables, and whole grains, along with healthy fats like nuts, seeds, olives, oils, fish, and avocado.

    She also notes that not all protein is created equal. Be sure to look for protein sources that are nutrient-rich and lower in fat and calories, such as lean meats, beans, soy, and low-fat dairy, she says.

    Here are some good sources of protein, as listed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture:

    Food Protein grams
    1 ounce meat, fish, poultry 7
    1 large egg 6
    4 ounces milk 4
    4 ounces low-fat yogurt 6
    4 ounces soy milk 5
    3 ounces tofu, firm 13
    1 ounce cheese 7
    1/2 cup low-fat cottage cheese 14
    1/2 cup cooked kidney beans 7
    1/2 cup lentils 9
    1 ounce nuts 7
    2 tablespoons peanut butter 8
    1/2 cup vegetables 2
    1 slice bread 2
    1/2 cup of most grains/pastas 2

    8 Ways to Pump Up the Protein

    If you'd like to start including more lean protein in your daily diet, Tallmadge offers these eight simple tips:

    • Take yogurt with you to the gym and enjoy it as a post-workout booster.
    • Make your breakfast oatmeal with milk instead of water.
    • Snack on fat-free mozzarella cheese.
    • Use a whole cup of milk on your cereal.
    • Try smoked salmon or one of the new lean sausages for breakfast.
    • Take along a hard-boiled egg for an easy snack.
    • Munch on edamame beans at meals and snacks.
    • Choose round or tenderloin cuts of meat

      Please consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program

      Wishing You Great Health,

      Glen Edward Mitchell

      Got a question? Ask Glen!

    World's Best Muscle Foods

    Ask Glen!

    Q. What foods are good for my muscles?

    8 great protein sources (that won't crawl off your plate)

    Did you know there's an all-natural, muscle-building snack that's free? It's called Onthophagus gazella Fabricius, and a big handful contains 17 grams (g) of protein, just 4 g fat, and almost no carbohydrates. The downside: You know it better by its common name--the dung beetle.

    But don't be disappointed. We've found eight better-tasting ways to help you boost your protein intake. And, specifically, at the times when you need it the most: breakfast, lunch, and the snacks between meals. Why? Because most men consume two-thirds of their daily protein after 6 p.m., says Donald Layman, Ph.D., a professor of nutrition at the University of Illinois. In fact, Layman found that to optimally feed your muscles, you need 8 to 12 g of an amino acid called leucine spread evenly throughout the day. Trouble is, it takes 30 g of high-quality protein--such as that found in meat, eggs, and cheese--to provide a 2 to 3 g dose of this essential amino acid. And that's where most predinner meals fall short. Make sure yours don't, by using the following recipes.


    1 c rolled oats

    1 c low-fat milk

    1/2 c berries (fresh or frozen, your choice of berries)

    Dash of salt

    Dash of ground cinnamon

    Splenda to taste

    1 scoop (28 g) vanilla whey-protein powder

    Combine the oats and milk in a large bowl. Microwave for 1 minute, stir, then microwave for an additional minute. Mix in the berries, salt, cinnamon, and Splenda. Let the oatmeal cool slightly, then stir in the protein powder. (Very hot oatmeal can damage protein powder, causing it to lump and sour.) Makes 1 serving

    Per serving: 580 calories, 45 grams (g) protein (4.5 g leucine), 83 g carbohydrates, 7 g fat, 14 g fiber


    1 1/2 c low-fat cottage cheese

    Splenda to taste

    1 c blueberries

    2 eggs plus 2 egg whites, beaten

    3/4 c low-fat milk

    1 tsp ground cinnamon

    1/2 tsp vanilla extract

    6 slices whole-grain bread

    To make the whipped topping, blend the cottage cheese, the Splenda, and ½ c of the blueberries on high for 30 seconds, or until smooth and creamy. Then set it aside. In a large bowl, mix together the eggs, milk, cinnamon, and vanilla extract. Soak the bread one slice at a time until it's saturated with liquid, then grill it over medium-high heat on a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray until lightly browned on both sides. Serve with the whipped fruit topping and put the remaining blueberries on top. Makes 2 servings

    Per serving: 565 calories, 46 g protein (3.8 g leucine), 66 g carbohydrates, 13 g fat, 9 g fiber


    1 c Hood Calorie Countdown chocolate 2% dairy beverage

    1/2 c low-fat cottage cheese

    2 Tbsp peanut butter

    1 1/2 c ice

    Splenda to taste

    Combine all the ingredients in a blender and blend on high for about 30 seconds, until the shake is smooth and creamy. Makes 1 serving

    Per serving: 400 calories, 35 g protein (2.8 g leucine), 17 g carbohydrates, 21 g fat, 2 g fiber


    Make this recipe on Sunday, then freeze it in single-serving portions--you'll have a healthy fast-food meal ready anytime you want it.

    1 large egg, beaten

    1/2 tsp salt

    4 Tbsp soy sauce

    1 lb beef sirloin, sliced into 2" strips

    1 Tbsp sesame oil

    1 Tbsp cornstarch

    1/2 tsp crushed red pepper

    1 Tbsp chopped garlic

    2 tsp grated fresh ginger

    2 carrots, sliced into 2" strips

    1 8 oz can sliced water chestnuts, drained

    1 medium onion, sliced

    1 bunch scallions, sliced into 2" strips

    Rice Expressions Organic Brown Rice (This frozen rice is precooked and packaged in individual microwavable pouches. You can find it at

    In a bowl, combine the egg, the salt, and 1 Tbsp of the soy sauce, and stir well. Then add the sirloin strips and set aside to marinate. Next, heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet while you mix the remaining soy sauce, the cornstarch, and the crushed red pepper in a bowl--this is your sauce, to be used later. Once the skillet is hot, stir-fry the garlic and ginger for about 30 seconds, stirring constantly. Then, at 30-second intervals, individually add the carrots, water chestnuts, onion, and scallions. Next, remove all the vegetables from the skillet and place them in a bowl. Put the beef-marinade mixture in the skillet, cook for 2 to 3 minutes, then pour in the sauce, stirring and cooking until it's thick and bubbly. Finally, add the vegetables back to the skillet, and cook everything together for a couple of minutes, or until hot.

    Let it cool, then place individual portions in plastic containers and freeze. When you're ready for a quick lunch, microwave the stir-fry for 3 minutes or until hot and serve with one pouch of the brown rice. Makes 3 servings

    Per serving: 486 calories, 42 g protein (2.2 g leucine), 45 g carbohydrates, 16 g fat, 7 g fiber



    1 c graham-cracker crumbs

    1/4 c milled flaxseeds

    1/4 c raw oat bran

    1 oz fat-free cream cheese, warmed in the microwave

    1/3 c water


    2 c low-fat cottage cheese

    1 package (28 g) powdered Jell-O Sugar Free, Fat Free Instant Pudding, cheesecake flavor

    3 oz fat-free cream cheese

    3 scoops strawberry or vanilla whey or casein Protein powder


    1 c sliced strawberries

    4 Tbsp sugar-free strawberry jam

    To make the crust, mix the crust ingredients in a large bowl. Stir this mixture until it's all the same consistency, then press it into a 9-inch pie pan coated with cooking spray, easing the crust up the sides of the pan. For the cheesecake filling, blend the ingredients in a blender on high until smooth and creamy. Pour the blended mixture into the crust and refrigerate for 1 hour. Top with the strawberries and jam. Makes 6 slices

    Per slice: 240 calories, 27 g protein (2.8 g leucine), 27 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber


    1 c low-fat plain yogurt

    1/2 c low-fat granola

    For this snack, simply put the yogurt in a bowl and stir in the granola. If desired, the plain yogurt can be sweetened with Splenda.

    Makes 1 serving

    Per serving: 349 calories, 19 g protein (1.8 g leucine), 63 g carbohydrates, 3 g fat, 3 g fiber


    2 Tbsp salsa

    1/4 c shredded low-fat Cheddar cheese

    1/4 c fresh cilantro

    1 large egg plus 4 large egg whites, Beaten

    1/2 c diced lean ham

    1 large (8'') whole-wheat tortilla

    In a nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray, sauté the diced ham over medium-high heat, just until the surface starts to brown. Place the cooked ham in the tortilla, then add more cooking spray to the skillet and scramble the eggs together with the cilantro. Add the eggs to the tortilla, top with the cheese and salsa, and fold. Makes 1 serving

    Per serving: 410 calories, 48 g protein (2.4 g leucine), 33 g carbohydrates, 11 g fat, 3 g fiber


    1/2 c shredded low-fat mozzarella cheese

    1/4 c diced pineapple

    4 oz lean ham

    1 Tbsp Italian seasoning (or dried basil and oregano)

    2 Tbsp marinara sauce

    1 whole-wheat pita (6" diameter)

    Preheat the oven to 425°F. Spread the marinara sauce over the pita, add the Italian seasoning, and top with the pineapple, ham, and cheese. Bake the pita for 8 minutes on a baking sheet on the center oven rack. Makes 1 serving

    Per serving: 650 calories, 55 g protein (3.5 g leucine), 62 g carbohydrates, 20 g fat, 8 g fiber

    Please consult your physician before starting any diet or exercise program

    Wishing You Great Health,

    Glen Edward Mitchell

    Got a question? Ask Glen!

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    About Me

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    Lawrenceville, Georgia, United States
    Is the Founder of Fitness Builders 4 Life,the WorkOut GEM,G350,G180, G90, Eat 4 Life, Clean, Lean & Mean & Ask Glen. The mission of the Fitness Builders is to provide the community with health education and to empower people to change unhealthy lifestyles thereby increasing life expectancy. By educating the community on healthier lifestyle practices it is the intent of Fitness Builders to reduce the ravages of obesity, heart disease, cancer and other lifestyle or self inflicted diseases. Glen is also a AMA Certified Nutrition Specialist and a ACE, ACSM, NASM Certified Personal Trainer has 30+ years in Sports, Exercise Science and Nutritional Food Management, Learning and Mentoring Men and Women on a more Mental & Physical Healthy Life Style consisting of a low fat, low salt, Low carbohydrate, high protein, organic nutrition which also includes moderate exercise and mental awareness. Stay Informed, Live long and be Mentally and Physically Healthy! Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Any Questions? Ask Glen!