Friday, September 28, 2007


Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, I am a very busy business man , Can I squeeze in a little exercise two or three times a day and get some results?

A. Yes, Some days it's hard to squeeze in a workout between meetings, time with your woman, and, oh yeah, sleep.

For optimum health, you should try to get at least 30 minutes of exercise, 5 days a week. But a new study indicates that you can shrink your waist by doing less exercise.

Researchers at the University of Ulster, Northern Ireland, split 106 people into three groups. One took a 30-minute walk 3 days a week, one took a 30-minute walk 5 days a week, and the last didn't walk at all.

After 12 weeks, both walking groups increased their overall fitness and decreased their blood pressure and waist and hip circumference -- enough to decrease their risk of heart disease.

And you don't have to do all 30 minutes at the same time. Those who split their exercise into 10-minute segments experienced the same health benefits as the all-at-once walkers.

So fit in a full workout on the days you can, and on other days try to get some short spurts of brisk walking in. If you really want to lose weight, you'll find the time.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health!

Any questions? Ask Glen!

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

5 Great Low-Carb Drinks!

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Do you know of any good Low- Carb beverages?

A. Yes, And here are 5 of them.......

Had a bad day? Feeling tired and cross? Why not pep yourself up with a nice cup of zero-carb coffee doctored with just a dollop (or two or three) of a sweet coffee flavoring? Or hey, like the commercial says, how about letting one of those instant flavored international coffee mixes, like Suisse Mocha, whisk you away to another land?

Not so fast, thou would-be-virtuous low-carb dieter! You may think those beverages are harmless. But if you’re counting your carbs, a little cuppa’ll cost ya. To guide you on the path to righteous drinking, here are five sneaky high-carb beverages -- and five delicious, low-carb substitutes:

1. The high-carb culprit: That old-time favorite, lemonade. So you’re sitting in a restaurant, and you spy lemonade on the menu. Gee, that sounds tasty. And it’s gotta be low carb, you think. So you order a tall, frosty glass of sour-sweet lemonade, topped with a maraschino cherry and a pretty red straw. Stirring and sipping, you feel oh-so-happy that you didn’t succumb to the coffee milkshake. Well, kudos for skipping that high-carb milkshake -- but not so fast with the pats-on-the-back for the lemonade, my friend! Lemonade contains that high-carb ingredient: sugar, which is NOT on your diet. Drink water in the restaurant and promise yourself a treat later at home, thanks to...The low-carb substitute: Wyler's Light Lemonade and Wyler's Light Pink Lemonade. They’re de-lightful, without any carbs and with just five calories per serving! A thirst-quenching refresher that’s so tasty, you won’t even miss the sugary kind.

2. The high-carb culprit: The standard coffee house beverage. Yes, we know, there’s a Starbucks or other coffee house on every corner these days. And who orders just a plain ol’ coffee anymore? Flavored coffees with chocolate and syrups are the typical order of the day, and ahhhh, those irresistible fragrances. Skip it (and save your money!). Instead, aim for home and...

The low-carb substitute: Brew-your-own coffee with a spoonful of sugar-free Da Vinci syrup, in a flavor like sugar-free White Chocolate or sugar-free Hazelnut. Luscious and (ta da!) zero carbs! Here’s to your health. We recommend: try the Da Vinci sugar-free sampler, so you can enjoy carb-free variety. Now who said dieting was difficult?

3. The high-carb culprit: Hot chocolate. So it’s Sunday morning, you’re lingering over the Sunday newspaper, and visions of hot chocolate with marshmallows are dancing in your trying-to-be-low-carb head. Not so fast!

The low-carb substitute: Whip out something that every low-carb dieter should keep on hand: one of the new sugar-free, low-carb flavored coffee drink mixes from General Foods International. The Suisse Mocha (my favorite) tastes like a combination of full-bodied coffee swirled with dark chocolate. And at 2 carbs a cupful, there’s no guilt!

4. The high-carb culprit: You’ve just worked out, and you hike yourself to the beverage bar at the gym and buy one of those sugary flavored waters in order to "compensate" for all that sweat. The bad news: sorry, Charlie, but you may have just gulped down more calories than you burned if you go for that bevvy! Wise up, and head for...

The low-carb substitute: New All Sport Zero is a no-carb, no-sugar, no-calorie thirst quencher that tastes fabulous! Flavors include Lemon Ice, Mixed Berry, Tangerine, and Fruit Punch. Fill a glass with ice, pour in the Tangerine All Sport Zero, and enjoy a deliciously good treat!

5. The high-carb culprit: regular soda. It’s a hot summer day, and a cold drink really sounds good. So you walk up to the soda dispenser at the office or the snack bar at the ballpark and ask for a Coke or a Sprite. Gulping down that fizzy, icy beverage just feels so great. Unfortunately, buddy-roo, you just mindlessly swallowed more carbs than your total day’s allowance, depending on the phase of your low-carb diet! Next time, go for...

The low-carb substitute: diet soda. Almost all vending machines and snack bars have diet soda options these days. And if you’re not sure whether diet soda will be available (for example, at a ball game or movie), pop a bottle of water or diet soda into a purse or knapsack for a just-in-case back-up beverage. That way, you’ll have no excuses!

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health!

Any questions? Ask Glen!

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Bottoms Up!

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen I need good Butt exercises! Got any?

A. If we were to look into the imaginary dictionary of honesty, we might find the following definition for the butt:

BUTT (but) n.

a. female -- The body part that every item of clothing manufactured makes "look bigger."

b. male -- What you slap when someone's scored a touchdown, home run, or goal. Also good for mooning.

Did I strike a nerve?

I want to make your life a whole lot easier by giving you my 10 best butt exercises. However, don’t make the mistake of thinking that all you have to do is perform some of these exercises to get a great butt -- it takes a little more than that.

To get a dazzling booty, you still need to follow the rules of a calorie-reduced diet to lose body fat, cardiovascular exercise to burn calories and strength training for the entire body to stimulate the metabolism and tighten your muscles.

If you’re following the above guidelines, then the following exercises will help tighten and firm your valuable assets.

Some of the exercises may take the entire leg muscles into consideration, but there’s nothing wrong with that. The key is to make an impact on the glutes so we change our butt definition to, “the body part that every item of clothing manufactured makes bodacious looking."


1. Walking Lunges -- Stand with your feet hip width apart, grasp a pair of dumbbells with your arms straight at your sides, palms in. Take a large step forward and lower your body so that your front knee lines up with your ankle. The back knee is almost touching the floor. Push off with your back foot and take a large step forward with your other foot. Walk lunge 15 to 20 steps and then turn around and return to the start, using the same form. You should contract your glutes on the lowering of each movement.

2. Extension Step Ups -- Grasp a pair of dumbbells by your sides with palms facing the side of the body. Stand behind a 6- to 12-inch high step (normally used in aerobic step classes) and keep your arms straight. Step onto the middle of the step with your right foot and then lift your left knee high (to hip height). Step down with your left foot, then repeat on the right side. This is a great one and you’ll really feel it.

3. Bent Leg Reverse Kick Up -- Start this exercise on your hands and knees on a mat. Raise your left leg up until it is parallel with the floor with a slight bend in the knee. Support your weight with your arms and right leg. While contracting the butt, lift your left leg up and toward the ceiling, maintaining a bend in the knee. Slowly return to the starting position. After completing the set on the left side, repeat on the right side. To increase the difficulty, you may want to add an ankle weight to the working leg.

4. Lying Gluteus Lift -- Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet on the floor. Place your arms at your sides for support. Contracting the glutes, project your hips up toward the ceiling as you lift your glutes off the floor. Slowly return to the starting position, stopping just short of your glutes touching the floor. Exhale while lifting your butt, and inhale while returning to the starting position.

5. Smith Machine Rear Squat -- I prefer free weights, but for safety reasons, a Smith machine will work just fine. Place the bar across the back of your shoulders. Be sure it’s not resting on your neck. Your feet should be shoulder-distance apart. Lower the weight, keeping your knees behind the toes at all times. Think of sitting back into a chair and contract the glutes on the lowering phase. Stop when the knees are at a 90-degree angle. Return to the starting position and repeat. Inhale while lowering the weight, and exhale while returning to the starting position. Do not let the knees ride over your toes (you should be able to see your feet at all times), and don’t arch your back.

6. Cycling -- Riding a bike is great for your glutes, hips and thighs. Get your glutes involved by leading with your heels when you push down on the pedals. On the upswing, pull up on the pedal (providing you've got foot straps) to make sure you're using every part of your legs during your workout. For brief periods, lift your butt off the seat and slowly pedal as you contract the butt.

7. Stepmill -- This is one of my favorite cardio exercises, and it works the glutes with absolute precision. This machine is not to be confused with the Stairmaster. The stepmill actually has revolving steps and is extremely difficult. When I go into the gym these units are always available, and the elliptical machines are unavailable -- what does that tell you? Yep, it’s hard, but it will turn your butt into a J-Lo lookalike.

8. Running -- I’ve never trained a female who didn’t get a smaller butt from a running program. If you have excessive body fat to lose, then this may not be your best bet due to the stress it places on the knees. However, a gradual program works great for those who have less than 25 pounds to lose. Try to build to four days per week for 30 minutes, and remember to invest in high quality running shoes.

9. Leg Press/Feet High -- It’s amazing what a simple change of foot positioning can do. Try the leg press with your feet placed high on the platform. This simple change of positioning will activate the butt and hamstrings as well. Lower the weight until you feel the glutes contract. You’ll definitely feel this one.

10. Ankle Weight Butt Blaster -- Get on the floor on your hands and knees. Relax your shoulders and find a neutral spine position with your head at a natural extension of your neck. Extend the left leg up with a 90-degree angle at the knee. Your foot should be parallel with the ceiling. Contracting the glutes, push your foot up toward the ceiling. Stop when your leg is at a full extension from the hip maintaining the 90- degree angle at the knee. Return to the starting position. After completing the set on the left side, repeat on the right side.

Whether you’re a beginner or more advanced exerciser, incorporating some of these exercises into your program and remaining consistent with your nutritional program will grant you access into the world of tight tushes.

Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

Wishing You Great Health!

Any questions? Ask Glen!

Monday, September 24, 2007

Flax and Diabetes: Taking Health to the Next Level

Ask Glen!

Q. Glen, Is there anything I can add to my diet to help me with diabetes and any other related diseases?

A. Have you heard of flaxseeds? If not, you could be missing a wonderful food that provides protection from two conditions that are more common in people with diabetes: heart disease and cancer.

Over 25 studies have shown that flaxseeds can reduce the risk for heart disease. Specifically, flax lowers total and LDL (bad) cholesterol levels. Additionally, natural compounds within flax make arteries more elastic and can have stabilizing effects on heart rhythm. Collectively, these benefits reduce the risk for heart attacks and strokes, both common complications of diabetes.

As for cancer, flaxseed appears to reduce tumor size and number in breast, prostate, and colon cancer. Flaxseeds increase the amount of healthy estrogens while reducing levels of harmful estrogens. This may be one reason why hormone related cancers seem to respond particularly well to flax.

The main compounds which are though to account for much of the impressive health benefits of flax are ALA (alpha linoleic acid) and lignans. It is remarkable that there are no other plant foods known which contain such high levels of either of these powerful agents.

ALA is a well-known plant precursor to EPA and DHA, the valuable types of fats known as omega-3s which are normally found pre-formed in fish or fish oil. ALA can convert in small amounts to EPA and DHA.

The lignans found in flaxseeds contain a powerful antioxidant called SDG. SDG has been shown to slow down and reduce the development of diabetes in genetically predisposed rats. SDG from flaxseeds has also been shown to have protective effects on the kidney and prevent fat deposits in the liver of rats as well, two common problems that can occur in individuals with diabetes.

Flaxseeds are also an excellent remedy for constipation. With the American diet already being woefully low in fiber, flaxseeds can add more of this important element into the diet.

Flaxseeds can be found whole, ground, or pressed into flaxseed oil. The most beneficial way to consume flaxseed is ground. Whole flaxseeds are not able to be broken down by the digestive system. Grinding or crushing is needed to break open the seed so that the valuable nutrients and protective plant compounds can be liberated and used by the body.

Flaxseed oil lacks the beneficial fibers, nutrients, and lignans normally found in whole ground flax. Not only that, but according to flax expert, Jane Reinhardt-Martin, RD, a person would need to take eight pills to get the equivalent of only a ½ teaspoon of ground flaxseeds. Those using flaxseed oil capsules would need to ingest 10-14 pills just to get the equivalent of one tablespoon of flaxseed oil! Clearly, ground flaxseeds are the least expensive and most beneficial way to add flax into your diet.

One tablespoon (8 grams) of ground flaxseed contains 36 calories, 1.6 grams of protein, 3.3 grams of heart healthy fat, 2 grams of total carbohydrate and 2 grams of dietary fiber. Due to its negligible carbohydrate content and high fiber content, flaxseeds do not raise blood glucose levels when added to the diet.

Most experts recommend adding at least 1-2 rounded tablespoons of ground flax to your daily diet for optimal health. Flax has a pleasant, nutty flavor making it versatile for adding it to a variety of foods. Here are some simple ideas for integrating flax into your lifestyle:

  • Sprinkle into yogurt, natural applesauce, green salad, or fruit salad.
  • Add into cereal, soups and casseroles
  • Add into recipes for whole-grain breads, muffins or pancakes
  • Blend into smoothies or protein shakes
  • Add to fiber supplement powders (Metamucil® or psyllium, for example)

    Because flaxseeds contain oil and are susceptible to rancidity, they should be stored in airtight containers and keep refrigerated for up to four months after grinding or after opening pre-ground, sealed packages.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

  • Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Friday, September 21, 2007

    To Salt or Not to Salt

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, Should I use salt or just decrease the amount I use?

    A. It’s no wonder that salt has gotten a bad reputation lately. We hear salt blamed for everything from heart problems to excess weight to that uncomfortable bloated feeling. We see the term “low-sodium” so often applied to diet plans or products that we believe we must avoid or at least decrease our salt intake in order to be healthy. But is this really true?

    Not exactly.

    After all, salt is essential for healthy digestion, balancing internal fluid levels in the body to prevent swelling, and proper functioning of the nervous system.

    And did you know that adequate salt levels are a factor in getting a good night’s sleep and for preventing muscle cramps?

    Without salt, calcium absorption is hindered, leading to osteoporosis. Salt even plays a vital role in sexuality and a healthy libido.

    But here’s the catch: We’re not talking about regular old table salt.

    Table salt, the kind that is ubiquitous in shakers on restaurant tables and in pantries across this country, has been so processed and refined that it is devoid of nutritional benefits. Further, it can contain additives such as aluminum, which has been linked to Alzheimer’s disease, and other desiccants to keep it smooth-flowing and clump-free.

    Even though iodine, a necessary nutrient to prevent hyperthyroidism and other diseases, has been added to table salt for almost a century, it is usually available in adequate amounts through other foods we eat because it is present in the soil where our food is grown. In the U.S., only the Great Lakes area has iodine-deficient soils that might warrant iodine supplementation for those communities. Most of us do not need iodine added to our daily salt.

    Common table salt can contribute to heart disease, overload internal organs and exacerbate hypertension. Some researchers believe it is actually toxic to humans and animals. Some even call it a poison.

    Sea salt, on the other hand, can contain some 80 or so minerals and trace elements that contribute to overall health as well as fulfilling the body’s need for beneficial sodium.

    Each sea salt tastes unique, according to where it is harvested. Salt connoisseurship is a fun new hobby that is catching on as awareness grows of the vast differences between industrially manipulated table salt and the restorative properties and savory flavors of sea salts.

    Simply substituting sea salt for your regular table salt can result in a multitude of health benefits. You may find that you use less salt overall to achieve a pleasing taste because sea salt typically has larger crystals and a more intense flavor. Use it in cooking, on raw produce, on popcorn… anywhere you typically crave a salty sensation. It is especially pleasant when added at or near the end of the cooking process, or at the moment of serving.

    Here is a great recipe to try out with sea salt. Just remember to have a light touch -- you can always add more salt when you’re eating the meal, but you can’t remove it if you’ve added too much during the preparation stage. Try making the recipe without adding salt and then simply sprinkling your favorite sea salt over all just before eating.

    Chicken Piccata


    1 cup Arborio rice,
    1 cup + 2 Tbsp. broth or stock or water
    2-3 pieces chicken
    Sea salt
    1 shallot, minced, or 2 cloves garlic, minced
    2 tsp. parsley, chopped
    3 Tbsp. capers, drained
    1 lemon
    1/2 acorn squash, 1" chunks
    2 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen


    Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Spray inside of cast iron 2-quart Dutch oven and lid with olive oil.

    Rinse rice in a strainer under cold water until the water runs clear. Pour into pot with broth or stock and smooth into an even layer. Rinse chicken pieces and place in pot next. It is OK if they are slightly submerged. Lightly salt and pepper chicken. Then sprinkle with minced shallots or garlic, parsley, and capers. Cut lemon in half at the equator and slice one half into rounds. Top chicken with a layer of lemon rounds.

    Drop in squash and lightly season with sea salt and pepper. Top with broccoli. Apply another light seasoning with sea salt and pepper and squeeze the juice from the other half of the lemon over all, taking care to remove the seeds.

    Cover and bake for 45 minutes. Wait until you smell the aroma escaping from the oven, wait 3 minutes, and then check the chicken for pinkness. If it is at all pink, put the lid back on and the entire meal back in the oven for another 5-10 minutes. Serves 2.

    Notes: Use any kind of squash you like, or substitute another vegetable. No need to peel the squash because the peel will come off easily once it is cooked.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Wednesday, September 19, 2007

    Sexual Health

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, What Is Sexual Health, Anyway?

    Sex. The word can evoke a kaleidoscope of emotions. From love, excitement, and tenderness to longing, anxiety, and disappointment — the reactions are as varied as sexual experiences themselves. What's more, many people will encounter all these emotions and many others in the course of a sex life spanning several decades.

    But what is sex, really? On one level, sex is just another hormone-driven bodily function designed to perpetuate the species. Of course, that narrow view grossly underestimates the complexity of the human sexual response. In addition to the biochemical forces at work, your experiences and expectations help shape your sexuality. Your understanding of yourself as a sexual being, your thoughts about what constitutes a satisfying sexual connection, and your relationship with your partner are key factors in your ability to develop and maintain a fulfilling sex life.

    The physical transformations your body undergoes as you age also have a major influence on your sexuality. Declining hormone levels and changes in neurological and circulatory functioning may lead to sexual problems such as erectile dysfunction or vaginal pain. Half of men ages 50 and older report at least occasional erection problems. The figure rises to nearly 60 percent at age 60 and almost 70 percent at age 70. In addition, many women contend with issues of vaginal dryness and a lagging libido after they pass menopause (when the ovaries stop producing estrogen).

    Such physical changes often mean that the intensity of youthful sex gives way to more subdued responses during middle and later life. But the emotional by-products of maturity — increased confidence, better communication skills, and lessened inhibitions — can help create a richer, more nuanced, and ultimately satisfying sexual experience.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Tuesday, September 18, 2007

    Natural Cholesterol Lowering with Plant Sterols

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, How can I lower my Cholesterol Naturally?

    A. Plant Sterols is one way!

    Many individuals are looking for ways to safely and naturally lower blood cholesterol. People with diabetes face an even tougher challenge since the current guidelines for cholesterol levels are even more stringent for those with blood glucose issues when compared to the general population. These tighter guidelines are in place because people with diabetes have nearly the same risk of heart disease as those who have already experienced a heart attack or stroke.

    You may be wondering how you can get an extra edge on your cholesterol when you already keep your intake of fat and animal protein low and avoid trans fats. Enter plant sterols. As fancy and new as they sound, these natural compounds have been known of since the 1950s.

    Plant sterols, sometimes known as "plant stanols," occur naturally in small quantities in soybeans and several other foods. Because these compounds are shaped like the cholesterol found in the body, they compete for absorption. The more plant sterols you ingest, the less cholesterol you absorb from your diet.

    The typical daily American diet only contains an estimated 150-350 milligrams of plant sterols. The Food and Drug Administration has stated that eating foods with 400 mg of plant sterols twice a day with meals (800 mg a day) may reduce the risk for heart disease if consumed with a diet low in cholesterol, saturated fat, and trans fat.

    Even higher amounts are needed to see significant changes in blood cholesterol levels. Therefore, the addition of supplements or foods fortified with plant sterols is needed to achieve an effect. A few tips should be considered for achieving optimal cholesterol lowering when supplementing your diet with plant sterols:

  • Aim for at least 2,000 mg a day of plant sterols for optimal results;
  • Consume with food for best absorption;
  • Divide the dose instead of consuming at one sitting. For individuals with diabetes, the currently recommended LDL (“bad”) cholesterol goal is below 100 mg/dl for those without heart disease, and less than 70 mg/dl for those with heart disease. Research indicates that the 2,000 mg daily dose of plant sterols can reduce LDL cholesterol by up to 15 percent. This means that for a person with an LDL level of 115 mg/dl, just adding plant sterols can potentially lower their level to within the suggested healthy range.

  • Not only have plant sterols been proven safe, but they can also be utilized along with the widely used category of cholesterol-lowering medications known as "statins." In fact, using plant sterols along with statins seems to produce a synergistic effect in which greater reductions are seen than when considering each therapy by itself.

    How can you incorporate plant sterols into your diet? Currently, just a handful of foods exist that add these compounds to them. If these foods are not available or preferred, the pill or chewable version of plant sterols can be purchased and easily incorporated into one’s daily routine. Here are some products that contain plant sterols, with amounts listed in parentheses:

    Nature Valley® Healthy Heart Chewy Granola Bars (400 mg each); Minute Maid® Premium Heart Wise™ orange juice (1,000 mg per 8 oz); Lifetime low-fat cheese (650 mg per serving); Benecol Smart Chews (850 mg each); Metagenics UltraMeal Plus protein powder (1,000 mg per scoop); Promise™ Activ Supershots™ (2,000 mg per 3 oz serving); Benecol or Take Control spread (850-1,000 mg per tablespoon).

    If you still need that extra edge to safely lower your risk for heart disease or lower your cholesterol, put plant sterols on your list of new therapies to try. You might just find bringing them into your existing diet is even easier than you imagined.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Monday, September 17, 2007

    Heart Attack May Lead to Diabetes

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, Can having a heart attack lead to other complications?

    A. Yes, It can lead to Diabetes.

    It's bad enough if you have a heart attack. There are plenty of health concerns you will have going forward to make sure you take care of yourself. But now it's thought that a heart attack may be a forewarning of diabetes.

    Doctors have long known that diabetes makes heart disease, including heart attacks, more likely. Now, the new study shows that the pathway from diabetes to heart attacks is a two-way street.

    None of the 8,300 Italians surveyed had diabetes or prediabetes when the study began. But after an average follow-up time of 3.5 years, 62 percent developed one of the two forms.

    In short, the heart attack survivors were much more likely than the general public to be diagnosed with diabetes or prediabetes, according to the researchers, who included Dariush Mozaffarian, MD, of Harvard Medical School and Harvard School of Public Health.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Friday, September 14, 2007

    4 secrets to a flat stomach

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, How can I reduce the weight around my mid section?

    A.If your goal is to thin your waistline and have a nice flat stomach, the first thing you need to do is decrease / eliminate the layers of fat that are on top of your abs.

    The most effective way of flattening your stomach is a combination of strength training (with a extra focus on mid-section), cardiovascular exercise (short, hard workouts), and stable blood sugar (keeps you from adding additional fat and makes it easier for the body to use body fat for fuel).

    1. You must do some form of progressive strength training
    The primary function of the ab muscle is to flex your torso forward. However, there are also muscles that flex your torso to the side and muscles that rotate your torso. Often times you see people on their ab roller every day doing hundreds of crunches or sit-ups.If you want to effectively strengthen your stomach you need to incorporate the following types of exercises:1-2 forward flexion exercises (crunch, sit-up, etc.)1-2 side flexion exercises (side bends, side crunches, etc.)1-2 rotational exercises (trunk rotations, standing twists, etc.)The abs, are muscles just like any other and should be worked at most 3 times per week.

    You also want to make sure you are training them progressively, working them harder each time.

    2. Use short, hard cardio workouts to increase metabolism
    Cardio workouts are important because they CAN, if done correctly, increase your metabolism for 4-24 hours or more! This means you are less likely to store any excess calories as body fat because they are more likely to be used by your elevated metabolism. Plus, you are more likely to burn off some excess body fat.Below is a sample interval workout that can be done with just about any activity (walking, bicycling, swimming, stair climbing, etc.).Warm up at easy pace 2-5 minutes then:

    • perform 30 seconds of hard work (almost as hard as possible)
    • perform 1 minute of moderate work (recovery time-catch breath)
    • repeat this process 6-10 times à Cool down at an easy pace for 2-5 minutes
      3. Stable blood sugar is the key
      And most importantly, you must stabilize your blood sugar! This is by far the most important factor when it comes to burning away that excess body fat and keeping it off! To effectively stabilize your blood sugar you must feed your body frequently; like every 2-3 hours. The key is to give your body only what it needs at that time. Your body burns calories 24 hours a day, so, why would you only feed it once or twice a day? Give your body the fuel it needs: vegetables, fruits, nuts, berries, whole grains, and lean proteins (chicken, fish, lean beef, eggs, etc.).
      Many people are too hung up on how much fat is in food, or how healthy of a choice it is. Calories are calories and it doesn't matter where they come from. If there's extra. where's it going? Yup, you guessed it. body fat!

    This is not to say that what you eat is not important because it is, it just doesn't have that much of an affect when it comes to fat loss. Try to make healthy choices whenever possible, but don't feel like if you eat a cheeseburger it is guaranteed to be stored as fat.

    4. Get the help of a professional

    Unfortunately, most people don't know enough about the human body, nutrition, or effective exercise to meet their health and fitness goals. Ask yourself this one question, "Am I happy with my current progress or condition?" If you're not, you should consider getting the help of a qualified personal fitness professional . ( ). Don't depend on the information you get from magazines or from your local gym/ health club. A qualified fitness professional can help you achieve your health and fitness goals, ( I recommend Fitbodies in Buckhead Atlanta, Georgia ) and in less time than you would imagine. If you are serious about your health and fitness goals, and you are ready for that flat stomach, I recommend you start implementing the 4 strategies listed in this article. These 4 strategies can help you take control of your metabolism and burn off that excess body fat and having you looking and feeling great!

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Thursday, September 13, 2007

    Defeat Your Diet

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, How can I calm my cravings and crankiness while adjusting to a new way of eating?

    A.The deprivation, the siren calls of beer and pizza, the annoyance of micromanagement. Worst of all is the sense that the diet will last forever, that the peppery tang of chicken wings will never again touch your lips. It's no surprise that 80 percent of diets go belly-up, according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition. We won't tell you to skip the diet altogether. We will tell you that it's going to be okay, though. In order to prevail, you simply have to get inside the diet's whens, hows, and whys. So this time, instead of stumbling blindly through treacherous territory, you're going to go on a guided tour of potential diet pitfalls--maybe the same ones that have snared you before. And this time, you'll breeze past them. There's just one catch: Pretty soon, you're going to need some new clothes.

    1 Week

    The crisis: You're freakin' starving.

    Before: You ate the first thing you saw.

    Now: Eat, but eat differently. Grab foods with lots of fiber and water. Your (gut) instinct says you want a Burger King Whopper with Cheese. Your smarter self knows that the same caloric load is found in a bowl of whole-wheat pasta with tomatoes and spinach, a whole-wheat dinner roll, a bowl of soup, and three scoops of sorbet. In the car? You'll keep a stash of dried fruit--a tasty, nutrient-rich hunger-killer.

    The science: When your stomach is empty, the hormone ghrelin kicks in, which stimulates appetite, says Scott Isaacs, M.D., a clinical instructor of medicine at Emory University and author of Hormonal Balance. Don't let that happen. "By eating foods that are packed with fiber and water, such as fruits and vegetables, you'll feel full while controlling ghrelin production." Protein does the same thing, but some protein-rich foods are calorie-rich, too. So alternate. Have high-protein string cheese in the morning, fiber- and water-rich apple slices in the afternoon.

    The 2nd crisis: You're cranky.

    Before: You grabbed the chips and a soda.

    Now: Boost your mood with snacks that satisfy your hormones, not your stomach. Fatty, sugary foods quickly turn into glucose after digestion. From now on, your snacks will be complex carbohydrates, such as a whole-grain treat like a bowl of Cheerios with blueberries and 2 percent milk.

    The science: You're cranky because you've eliminated sources of quick mood-boosting energy--like chips and colas. "When these easy sources of energy are cut, you're going to go through a time when you don't feel great," says Vincent Pera, M.D., director of the weight-management program at Miriam Hospital in Providence, Rhode Island. Researchers in the Netherlands recently demonstrated that a glucose infusion can help ward off feelings of anxiety by enhancing serotonin function. That's fine, but get your boost from complex carbohydrates that raise your serotonin levels without inflating your waistline the way sugary carbs can.

    1 Month

    The crisis: The scale seems stuck.

    Before: You figured, What's the point? This isn't working.

    Now: Get in gear. "Exercising is critical at this juncture," says Dr. Isaacs. Nothing complicated--just move. Cardiovascular exercise (running, biking, hoops) burns calories, and lifting weights increases muscle mass, which will make you burn calories even while you're sleeping. For each pound of muscle you add, you burn an extra 20 to 50 calories a day. And drink lots of water to replace what you're sweating out. Staying hydrated helps your body break down fat and deadens those hunger pangs. (After all, water takes up stomach space, too.)

    The science: "As you lose weight, you require fewer calories, but by building muscle mass, you'll rev up your metabolism and counter this effect," Dr. Isaacs says. In a recent study at the University of Arkansas, people on low-fat, high-complex-carbohydrate diets who also exercised lost 3.5 pounds more over 12 weeks than those who ate similar diets but skipped the gym.

    The 2nd crisis: You have intense food cravings.

    Before: You gave in. Because, hey, life is meant to be enjoyed.

    Now: Give in to snack attacks, but wisely. David Katz, M.D., director of the prevention research center at Yale University school of medicine and author of The Way to Eat, recommends carrying "the food equivalent of an umbrella." Keep a bag or small cooler of nuts, fruits, yogurt, and low-fat cheese on hand at all times. You need ready access to healthy sources of protein or fiber to offset sudden, out-of-nowhere cravings.

    The science: "When you diet, your previously overstuffed fat cells start shrinking," Dr. Katz says. They know their number's up and that they'll soon be burned for fuel. Understandably, they have other plans. "These cells send a message to your brain saying that they need more fuel. They shut down production of leptin, the hormone that tells your brain you're satisfied," he says. So your brain, by way of your cells, goes on the hunt for anything it can get your hands on. Which is why you should keep healthy snacks within easy reach.

    6 Months

    The crisis: You've made so much progress that you think, What the hell.

    Before: You slipped--face-first, into a double-pepperoni, extra-cheese pizza.

    Now: Weigh in. You need to keep your eye on your rate of weight loss. Setting targets blows away complacency. "People taste success, and their adherence slips," Dr. Pera says. "Their initial feelings of urgency to lose the weight also diminish."

    The science: A study at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth shows that people who weigh themselves regularly are more likely to stay focused. They're continually reminded of their success so far and of the road ahead. Reaching your goal weight makes you more likely to keep the pounds off. A researcher at the University of Pennsylvania reports that patients who achieve their weight-loss goals are more psychologically satisfied. You're likely to stick with anything--a job, tennis practice--when you know it's paying off.

    The 2nd crisis: You reach a plateau.

    Before: You figure, Well, that's it. I've come far enough.

    Now: Diet less, exercise more. It's probably going to be easier to exercise more frequently than to further restrict a diet that's become an ingrained habit. Throw in a few high-intensity days--an extralong run or bike ride--to boost the calorie deficit. If your exercise is mostly cardiovascular, devote more time to weight lifting.

    The science: "Because your caloric needs have lessened, you need to burn off more in order to continue to see results," Dr. Pera says. "If you don't increase your amount of exercise or continue to cut calories, you plateau." The muscle from weight lifting, Dr. Katz says, will "increase resting energy expenditure. Then, when you return to more aerobics, you're taking more calorie-burning muscle with you, and you'll be bumped off the plateau."

    9 Months

    The crisis: A voice in your head says, I want my life back.

    Before: You got fat again.

    Now: Let loose--a little bit. "Being on a strict diet can drain you mentally, so there's a huge temptation to let things slide," says Dr. Katz. If you're meeting your goals, give yourself a break. "If you love ice cream, try a lower-fat version or a sorbet," suggests Howard M. Shapiro, M.D., author of Dr. Shapiro's Picture Perfect Weight Loss. "A pint of Ben & Jerry's Phish Food ice cream has 1,200 calories, while a pint of sorbet has only 300. You can still enjoy the taste, but you're not inflicting so much damage." The same logic applies with pizza, cake, beer, you name it. Savor a cold one, but make it an Amstel Light. Instead of the all-meat, extra-cheese pizza, top yours with chicken and green peppers.

    The science: "By making your choices, you're empowered and in control, and won't feel the deprivation that might lead you to quit," Dr. Shapiro says. When you feel as if you've cultivated enough willpower, reintroduce a couple of all-time favorites into your diet--as treats, not everyday fare. If you've made it this far, you deserve a Guinness and an order of chicken wings. The baked ones, thanks.

    1 Year

    The crisis: There is none.

    Now: "Physiologically, you've converted your body from a foe to an ally," says Dr. Katz. Blur the line between diet and lifestyle. Now that healthier eating patterns are ingrained, your diet isn't a "diet" any longer--it's a new way of living.

    The science: According to research by the North American Association for the Study of Obesity, successful dieters report that "significantly less" effort is required to maintain weight loss; as the pounds come off, less conscious attention is needed to keep them off. In other words, the longer you go, the easier it gets


    David Katz, M.D.

    Vincent Pera, M.D.

    Scott Isaacs, M.D.

    Howard M. Shapiro, M.D.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen!

    Wednesday, September 12, 2007

    Shrimply Delicious!

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, I need something quick and healthy to prepare for dinner for two! Any suggestions?

    A. Yes, When it comes to a dynamo dinner for two, Here is a healthy twist on a traditional favorite. In a matter of minutes, you can whip up this special seafood dish

    If you've got eight ingredients and 15 minutes, you have the recipe for success.

    Crispy Sesame Shrimp

    3/4 cup herb-seasoned stuffing mix (such as Pepperidge Farm), crushed
    1 tsp. sesame seeds
    1/4 tsp. paprika
    1/8 tsp. salt
    1/8 tsp. garlic powder
    1/8 tsp. black pepper
    1 large egg white, lightly beaten
    10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined (about 3/4 pound)
    Cooking spray

    Preheat oven to 425°. Combine the first 6 ingredients in a small bowl. Place the egg white in a small shallow bowl. Dip shrimp in egg white, and dredge in stuffing mixture. Place the shrimp on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Lightly coat shrimp with cooking spray. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until golden.

    Makes 2 servings. Nutrition per serving: 242 calories, 4.1g fat, 30.5 g protein, 194mg cholesterol, 104 mg calcium, 656 mg sodium, 1.7 g fiber, and 18.6 g carbs.


    Recipe Copyright 2007 Cooking Light Magazine

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Tuesday, September 11, 2007

    Food for Men: 10 Foods to Boost Male Health

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, Just like women eat certain foods are there any foods that men should eat?

    A. Men are different from women in all kinds of ways -- including their nutritional needs. Just as women need particular nutrients during pregnancy or for protection from breast cancer, men need nutrients that can help them maintain muscle mass, prevent prostate cancer, and more.

    Foods men should include in their diets to improve health and prevent disease.

    Many foods that tend to be favorites among men are not the best choices for good health. Yet a healthy diet and regular physical activity can help prevent heart disease and cancer, the No. 1 and No. 2 killers for men over 35. They can also enhance performance, from the board room to the bedroom.

    Christine Gerbstadt, MD, RD, notes that any food that is good for the cardiovascular system is also good for erectile function in men.

    "Nutrients that are good for the heart improve circulation to all parts of the body, and these same nutrients provide a layer of protection against cancer and other chronic diseases," says Gerbstadt, a Florida-based physician and spokesperson for the American Dietetic Association.

    Quality nutrients are also critical for maintaining immune function and preventing bone loss, muscle loss, and oxidative damage from the environment, Of course, any one (or 10) foods can't do the job alone. An overall healthy lifestyle, which also includes not smoking and getting regular physical activity, is what's really important for health, say the experts.

    "It is not about one single food or even a handful of foods. What is more important is the pattern of regularly consuming a diet rich in a variety of essential nutrients," says Joy Bauer, MS, RD, author of Joy Bauer’s Food Cures and Today Show nutrition expert.

    Still, adding nutrient-rich super foods to the diet, as well as taking a daily multivitamin designed exclusively for men (for nutritional insurance), can give men's nutrition a boost, says Dave Grotto, RD, an American Dietetic Association spokesman.

    Food for Men No. 1: Oysters

    Could there be something to the legend that oysters are the food of love? Well, it's true that just a few oysters each day will deliver a full day’s supply of the antioxidant mineral zinc. Zinc is involved in hundreds of body processes, from producing DNA to repairing cells.

    "Research shows that adequate zinc may protect against cellular damage that leads to prostate cancer," says Grotto. "Sexual functioning of the male reproductive system, including increased sperm counts, is also enhanced with zinc."

    You can also get your daily recommended dose of 11 milligrams a day by eating other shellfish, lean beef, lean pork, or legumes.

    Food for Men No. 2: Bananas

    Bananas are a great portable source of quick energy and are rich in potassium, which is needed to regulate nerves, heartbeat and, especially, blood pressure. Diets rich in potassium and magnesium (which is also found in bananas) can reduce the risk of stroke.

    As a super source of vitamin B-6, bananas can also aid your immune system, help form red blood cells, ensure a well-functioning nervous system, and assist protein metabolism. So enjoy a banana each day, at breakfast on your whole grain-cereal or before your workout at the gym.

    Not a banana fan? Orange juice, milk, tomato products, and beans are other good sources of dietary potassium.

    Food for Men No. 3: Fatty Fish

    No list of superfoods would be complete without the healthy fat, omega-3 fatty acids. These polyunsaturated fats are the preferred form of fats in your diet for many reasons. They can benefit the heart, circulation, and immune system and reduce the risk for prostate cancer, among other things.

    "Omega-3 fatty acids are potent anti-inflammatory foods that can help lower triglyceride [blood fat] levels, reduce aches and pains in athletes, and offer relief with certain kinds of arthritis," says Bauer.

    Fatty fish (salmon, sardines, tuna, mackerel, herring) are the richest sources of omega-3 fatty acids. In fact the American Heart Association recommends that everyone eat fish twice weekly.

    You can also get omega-3s in plant-based foods, like flaxseed, walnuts, soy, canola oil, and fortified products such as eggs. But there are other good reasons to eat fish.

    "Fatty fish are also a good source of vitamin D, a nutrient that tends to be deficient in our diets and [which] in adequate supply can help prevent cancer, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure and bone disease," says Bauer.

    Food for Men No. 4: Broccoli

    While virtually all vegetables deserve a place on the superfoods list, cruciferous vegetables like broccoli are helpful in the prevention of heart disease and cancer. It's loaded with vitamin C, beta-carotene, potassium, and a phytochemical called sulphoraphane, which has strong anticancer (prostate and colon) properties.

    A recent Harvard study found that participants who had five servings a week of cruciferious vegetables were half as likely as others to develop bladder cancer, a cancer that affects two to three times as many men as women. This super-nutritious green vegetable may also help lower levels of homocycteine, an amino acid associated with increased risk of heart disease and stroke.

    Don't care for broccoli? Go for other cruciferous choices like cabbage, bok choy, shredded broccoli slaw, cabbage, cauliflower, or Brussels sprouts.

    And did you ever wonder where the term "cruciferous" originates? "It is not because they are crunchy vegetables, but when the buds from this group of vegetables sprouts, their leaves form a cross like a crucifix," explains Denver dietitian Mary Lee Chin, MS, RD.

    Food for Men No. 5: Brazil Nuts

    These large nuts from Brazil are packed with magnesium and selenium, powerful antioxidants that may help prevent heart disease and cancer and protect prostate health. (Bauer, however, notes that the studies showing reduction in cancer have been primarily in people whose diets were deficient in selenium, not in those who were already getting enough.)

    Selenium also helps lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol and reduces the incidence of blood clots and heart disease.

    Grotto recommends adults get 55 micrograms of selenium daily from Brazil nuts, dry-roasted nuts, turkey, tuna, or shellfish. Indeed, you can get your daily dose of selenium in just one Brazil nut. In fact, Bauer cautions limiting yourself to no more than two Brazil nuts per day because "they are so loaded and concentrated with selenium that you don’t want to overdose."

    Food for Men No. 6: Whole Grains

    Most men get enough carbs in their diets, but they tend to be the wrong kind, experts say.

    "A diet rich in whole grains provides fiber, vitamins, minerals – all the co-factors for heart health, building muscles, and keeping waistlines small," says Gerbstadt.

    She suggests trying whole grain pasta or quinoa, a trendy, not-so-whole-grain-tasting grain that's rich in lutein for prostate health.

    Oatmeal and barley are rich in soluble fiber, full of B vitamins that can help lower LDL or "bad" cholesterol, and are also good for the prostate. Suzanne Farrell, RD, recommends getting 10-25 grams of soluble fiber a day from oatmeal or other sources of soluble fiber like apples, pears, and beans.

    When buying grain products, look for those whose labels say they have at least 3-5 g fiber per serving.

    To avoid digestive problems, increase your fiber intake gradually, and don't forget to drink plenty of water.

    Food for Men No. 7: Plant Stanols

    Stanols are naturally occurring substances in fruits and vegetables that have been shown to lower mildly elevated blood cholesterol levels. Manufacturers are now adding concentrated versions of them to products like margarine, yogurt, orange juice, and granola bars.

    "Men should regularly include a total of 2 grams of plant stanols, taken in two doses with meals, to help inhibit absorption of cholesterol in the intestine," says Farrell.

    She suggests having 2-3 teaspoons of plant stanol spreads such as Benecol, or 16 ounces of stanol-fortified orange juice per day. Plant stanols can safely be used with cholesterol lowering medication.

    Food for Men No 8: Soybeans

    Soy is rich in isoflavones, which protect prostate health and have been shown to lower prostate cancer risk, says Gerbstadt.

    And "according to a recent study, eating 25 grams or about 1 ounce of soy protein a day can help decrease cholesterol," Farrell says.

    The FDA has approved a health claim for food labels that says having 25 grams of soy protein per day, as part of a diet low in saturated fat and cholesterol, can help reduce the risk of heart disease.

    Try to eat a few servings a day of soy products, such as soy nuts, soy milk, soy cheese, veggie burgers, tofu, or edamame.

    Food for Men No 9: Berries or Cherries

    The violet, blue, and red colors in all kinds of berries and cherries are responsible for the healthy properties of these fruits. These little jewels are chock-full of the health-protecting flavonoid, anthocyanin.

    "Berries contain over 4,000 different compounds that have antioxidant properties beyond vitamin C, so make sure you include these delicious and low-calorie fruits to help meet your 5+ servings of fruits each day," says Gerbstadt.

    Adding berries to the diet may even help slow the decline in brain function that can occur with aging.

    "Large studies show the more produce you eat the better, but specifically berries (blackberries, blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, cranberries, and cherries) can enhance brain function and keep your brain healthy," says Bauer.

    Food for Men No 10: Red-Orange Vegetables

    Vitamin C and beta-carotene are antioxidants that help preserve healthy skin cells and prevent oxidation from the sun.

    "Vitamin C is involved in collagen production," says Bauer. "Beta-carotene converts to the active form of vitamin A, which helps to repair epithelial or skin cells."

    She recommends getting these nutrients from red bell peppers (just one has 300% of the recommended daily value for vitamin C), carrots, pumpkin, or sweet potatoes.

    But for that matter, just about any vegetable should be on the list of top foods for men (and women). Dark, leafy greens and any nutrient-rich vegetable can help reduce the risk of enlarged prostates, according to a recent study in The American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.

    Men whose diets are high in nutrients found in vegetables -- like vitamin C, beta-carotene, and potassium – were found to be less likely to develop benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH), or enlarged prostate.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Monday, September 10, 2007

    Can I Have 'Free' Foods?

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, I'm hungry at the end of the day. Are there any "free foods" I can eat?

    A. Sometimes "free foods" are just what you need to get over that hump without adding extra calories. Sugar-free gelatin, drink mixes and chewing gum are a few items you can have.

    Raw salad is a great filler and has a small number of calories. Water, sodium-free club soda or seltzer with a twist of lemon may satisfy you until the next meal.

    You can also try spreading out your meals. If you eat five to six times a day, you may find yourself not as hungry and more satisfied. It can also help speed up your metabolism. You can take items from your meal plan and use them as snacks. There's no set time when you have to eat a particular food.

    Since each meal plan is calculated according to your personal profile, just follow your plan and you'll be right on track. Don't forget the substitution list. It can give you alternatives when you feel like having something different.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Friday, September 7, 2007

    Your Guide to the Sexual Response Cycle

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, What is the Sexual Response Cycle?

    A.The sexual response cycle refers to the sequence of physical and emotional changes that occur as a person becomes sexually aroused and participates in sexually stimulating activities, including intercourse and masturbation. Knowing how your body responds during each phase of the cycle can enhance your relationship and help you pinpoint the cause of any sexual problems.

    What Are the Phases of the Sexual Response Cycle?

    Sexual Response Cycle

    The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Both men and women experience these phases, although the timing usually is different. For example, it is unlikely that both partners will reach orgasm at the same time. In addition, the intensity of the response and the time spent in each phase varies from person to person. Understanding these differences may help partners better understand one another's bodies and responses, and enhance the sexual experience.

    Phase 1: Excitement

    General characteristics of this phase, which can last from a few minutes to several hours, include the following:

    • Muscle tension increases.
    • Heart rate quickens and breathing is accelerated.
    • Skin may become flushed (blotches of redness appear on the chest and back).
    • Nipples become hardened or erect.
    • Blood flow to the genitals increases, resulting in swelling of the woman's clitoris and labia minora (inner lips), and erection of the man's penis.
    • Vaginal lubrication begins.
    • The woman's breasts become fuller and the vaginal walls begin to swell.
    • The man's testicles swell, his scrotum tightens, and he begins secreting a lubricating liquid.

    Phase 2: Plateau

    General characteristics of this phase, which extends to the brink of orgasm, include the following:

    • The changes begun in phase 1 are intensified.
    • The vagina continues to swell from increased blood flow, and the vaginal walls turn a dark purple.
    • The woman's clitoris becomes highly sensitive (may even be painful to touch) and retracts under the clitoral hood to avoid direct stimulation from the penis.
    • The man's testicles are withdrawn up into the scrotum.
    • Breathing, heart rate, and blood pressure continue to increase.
    • Muscle spasms may begin in the feet, face, and hands.
    • Muscle tension increases.

    Phase 3: Orgasm

    This phase is the climax of the sexual response cycle. It is the shortest of the phases and generally lasts only a few seconds. General characteristics of this phase include the following:

    • Involuntary muscle contractions begin.
    • Blood pressure, heart rate, and breathing are at their highest rates, with a rapid intake of oxygen.
    • Muscles in the feet spasm.
    • There is a sudden, forceful release of sexual tension.
    • In women, the muscles of the vagina contract. The uterus also undergoes rhythmic contractions.
    • In men, rhythmic contractions of the muscles at the base of the penis result in the ejaculation of semen.
    • A rash, or "sex flush" may appear over the entire body.

    Phase 4: Resolution

    During this phase, the body slowly returns to its normal level of functioning, and swelled and erect body parts return to their previous size and color. This phase is marked by a general sense of well-being, enhanced intimacy and, often, fatigue. Some women are capable of a rapid return to the orgasm phase with further sexual stimulation and may experience multiple orgasms. Men need recovery time after orgasm, called a refractory period, during which they cannot reach orgasm again. The duration of the refractory period varies among men and usually lengthens with advancing age.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Thursday, September 6, 2007

    Your Guide to Masturbation

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, Truly what is Masturbation?

    A. Masturbation is the self-stimulation of the genitals to achieve sexual arousal and pleasure, usually to the point of orgasm (sexual climax). It is commonly done by touching, stroking or massaging the penis or clitoris until an orgasm is achieved. Some women also use stimulation of the vagina to masturbate or use "sex toys," such as a vibrator.

    Who Masturbates?

    Just about everybody. Masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have sexual relations with a partner. In one national study, 95% of males and 89% of females reported that they have masturbated. Masturbation is the first sexual act experienced by most males and females. In young children, masturbation is a normal part of the growing child's exploration of his or her body. Most people continue to masturbate in adulthood, and many do so throughout their lives.

    Why Do People Masturbate?

    In addition to feeling good, masturbation is a good way of relieving the sexual tension that can build up over time, especially for people without partners or whose partners are not willing or available for sex. Masturbation also is a safe sexual alternative for people who wish to avoid pregnancy and the dangers of sexually transmitted diseases. It also is necessary when a man must give a semen sample for infertility testing or for sperm donation. When sexual dysfunction is present in an adult, masturbation may be prescribed by a sex therapist to allow a person to experience an orgasm (often in women) or to delay its arrival (often in men).

    Is Masturbation Normal?

    While it once was regarded as a perversion and a sign of a mental problem, masturbation now is regarded as a normal, healthy sexual activity that is pleasant, fulfilling, acceptable and safe. It is a good way to experience sexual pleasure and can be done throughout life.

    Masturbation is only considered a problem when it inhibits sexual activity with a partner, is done in public, or causes significant distress to the person. It may cause distress if it is done compulsively and/or interferes with daily life and activities.

    Is Masturbation Harmful?

    In general, the medical community considers masturbation to be a natural and harmless expression of sexuality for both men and women. It does not cause any physical injury or harm to the body, and can be performed in moderation throughout a person's lifetime as a part of normal sexual behavior. Some cultures and religions oppose the use of masturbation or even label it as sinful. This can lead to guilt or shame about the behavior.

    Some experts suggest that masturbation can actually improve sexual health and relationships. By exploring your own body through masturbation, you can determine what is erotically pleasing to you and can share this with your partner. Some partners use mutual masturbation to discover techniques for a more satisfying sexual relationship and to add to their mutual intimacy.

    Reviewed by the doctors at:

    The Cleveland Clinic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Wednesday, September 5, 2007

    Your Guide to the Male Reproductive System

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, What is the purpose of the male organ ( penis ) ?

    A. The purpose of the organs of the male reproductive system is to perform the following functions:

    • To produce, maintain and transport sperm (the male reproductive cells) and protective fluid (semen)
    • To discharge sperm within the female reproductive tract during sex
    • To produce and secrete male sex hormones responsible for maintaining the male reproductive system


    Unlike the female reproductive system, most of the male reproductive system is located outside of the body. These external structures include the penis, scrotum, and testicles.

    • Penis: This is the male organ used in sexual intercourse. It has 3 parts: the root, which attaches to the wall of the abdomen; the body, or shaft; and the glans, which is the cone-shaped part at the end of the penis. The glans, also called the head of the penis, is covered with a loose layer of skin called foreskin. (This skin is sometimes removed in a procedure called circumcision.) The opening of the urethra, the tube that transports semen and urine, is at the tip of the penis. The penis also contains a number of sensitive nerve endings.

      The body of the penis is cylindrical in shape and consists of 3 circular shaped chambers. These chambers are made up of special, sponge-like tissue. This tissue contains thousands of large spaces that fill with blood when the man is sexually aroused. As the penis fills with blood, it becomes rigid and erect, which allows for penetration during sexual intercourse. The skin of the penis is loose and elastic to accommodate changes in penis size during an erection.

      Semen, which contains sperm (reproductive cells), is expelled (ejaculated) through the end of the penis when the man reaches sexual climax (orgasm). When the penis is erect, the flow of urine is blocked from the urethra, allowing only semen to be ejaculated at orgasm.

    • Scrotum: This is the loose pouch-like sac of skin that hangs behind the penis. It contains the testicles (also called testes), as well as many nerves and blood vessels. The scrotum acts as a "climate control system" for the testes. For normal sperm development, the testes must be at a temperature slightly cooler than body temperature. Special muscles in the wall of the scrotum allow it to contract and relax, moving the testicles closer to the body for warmth or farther away from the body to cool the temperature.

    • Testicles (testes): These are oval organs about the size of large olives that lie in the scrotum, secured at either end by a structure called the spermatic cord. Most men have two testes. The testes are responsible for making testosterone, the primary male sex hormone, and for generating sperm. Within the testes are coiled masses of tubes called seminiferous tubules. These tubes are responsible for producing sperm cells.

    The internal organs of the male reproductive system, also called accessory organs, include the following:

    • Epididymis: The epididymis is a long, coiled tube that rests on the backside of each testicle. It transports and stores sperm cells that are produced in the testes. It also is the job of the epididymis to bring the sperm to maturity, since the sperm that emerge from the testes are immature and incapable of fertilization. During sexual arousal, contractions force the sperm into the vas deferens.

    • Vas deferens: The vas deferens is a long, muscular tube that travels from the epididymis into the pelvic cavity, to just behind the bladder. The vas deferens transports mature sperm to the urethra, the tube that carries urine or sperm to outside of the body, in preparation for ejaculation.

    • Ejaculatory ducts: These are formed by the fusion of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles (see below). The ejaculatory ducts empty into the urethra.

    • Urethra: The urethra is the tube that carries urine from the bladder to outside of the body. In males, it has the additional function of ejaculating semen when the man reaches orgasm. When the penis is erect during sex, the flow of urine is blocked from the urethra, allowing only semen to be ejaculated at orgasm.

    • Seminal vesicles: The seminal vesicles are sac-like pouches that attach to the vas deferens near the base of the bladder. The seminal vesicles produce a sugar-rich fluid (fructose) that provides sperm with a source of energy to help them move. The fluid of the seminal vesicles makes up most of the volume of a man's ejaculatory fluid, or ejaculate.

    • Prostate gland: The prostate gland is a walnut-sized structure that is located below the urinary bladder in front of the rectum. The prostate gland contributes additional fluid to the ejaculate. Prostate fluids also help to nourish the sperm. The urethra, which carries the ejaculate to be expelled during orgasm, runs through the center of the prostate gland.

    • Bulbourethral glands: Also called Cowper's glands, these are pea-sized structures located on the sides of the urethra just below the prostate gland. These glands produce a clear, slippery fluid that empties directly into the urethra. This fluid serves to lubricate the urethra and to neutralize any acidity that may be present due to residual drops of urine in the urethra.

    How Does the Male Reproductive System Function?

    The entire male reproductive system is dependent on hormones, which are chemicals that regulate the activity of many different types of cells or organs. The primary hormones involved in the male reproductive system are follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, and testosterone.

    Follicle-stimulating hormone is necessary for sperm production (spermatogenesis) and luteinizing hormone stimulates the production of testosterone, which is also needed to make sperm. Testosterone is responsible for the development of male characteristics, including muscle mass and strength, fat distribution, bone mass, facial hair growth, voice change and sex drive.

    Reviewed by the doctors at:

    The Cleveland Clinic Urological Institute.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Tuesday, September 4, 2007

    Your Guide to the Female Reproductive System

    Ask Glen!

    Q. Glen, Can you explain the female reproduction system?

    A.The female reproductive system is designed to carry out several functions. It produces the female egg cells necessary for reproduction, called the ova or oocytes. The system is designed to transport the ova to the site of fertilization. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The next step for the fertilized egg is to implant into the walls of the uterus, beginning the initial stages of pregnancy. If fertilization and/or implantation does not take place, the system is designed to menstruate (the monthly shedding of the uterine lining). In addition, the female reproductive system produces female sex hormones that maintain the reproductive cycle.

    What Parts Make-up the Female Anatomy?

    The female reproductive anatomy includes internal and external structures.

    Female Reproductive System

    The function of the external female reproductive structures (the genitals) is twofold: To enable sperm to enter the body and to protect the internal genital organs from infectious organisms. The main external structures of the female reproductive system include:

    • Labia majora: The labia majora enclose and protect the other external reproductive organs. Literally translated as "large lips," the labia majora are relatively large and fleshy, and are comparable to the scrotum in males. The labia majora contain sweat and oil-secreting glands. After puberty, the labia majora are covered with hair.
    • Labia minora: Literally translated as "small lips," the labia minora can be very small or up to 2 inches wide. They lie just inside the labia majora, and surround the openings to the vagina (the canal that joins the lower part of the uterus to the outside of the body) and urethra (the tube that carries urine from the bladder to the outside of the body).
    • Bartholin's glands: These glands are located beside the vaginal opening and produce a fluid (mucus) secretion.
    • Clitoris: The two labia minora meet at the clitoris, a small, sensitive protrusion that is comparable to the penis in males. The clitoris is covered by a fold of skin, called the prepuce, which is similar to the foreskin at the end of the penis. Like the penis, the clitoris is very sensitive to stimulation and can become erect.

    The internal reproductive organs in the female include:

    • Vagina: The vagina is a canal that joins the cervix (the lower part of uterus) to the outside of the body. It also is known as the birth canal.
    • Uterus (womb): The uterus is a hollow, pear-shaped organ that is the home to a developing fetus. The uterus is divided into two parts: the cervix, which is the lower part that opens into the vagina, and the main body of the uterus, called the corpus. The corpus can easily expand to hold a developing baby. A channel through the cervix allows sperm to enter and menstrual blood to exit.
    • Ovaries: The ovaries are small, oval-shaped glands that are located on either side of the uterus. The ovaries produce eggs and hormones.
    • Fallopian tubes: These are narrow tubes that are attached to the upper part of the uterus and serve as tunnels for the ova (egg cells) to travel from the ovaries to the uterus. Conception, the fertilization of an egg by a sperm, normally occurs in the fallopian tubes. The fertilized egg then moves to the uterus, where it implants into the lining of the uterine wall.

    What Happens During the Menstrual Cycle?

    Females of reproductive age experience cycles of hormonal activity that repeat at about one-month intervals.(Menstru means "monthly"; hence the term menstrual cycle.) With every cycle, a woman's body prepares for a potential pregnancy, whether or not that is the woman's intention. The term menstruation refers to the periodic shedding of the uterine lining.

    The average menstrual cycle takes about 28 days and occurs in phases: the follicular phase, the ovulatory phase (ovulation), and the luteal phase.

    There are four major hormones (chemicals that stimulate or regulate the activity of cells or organs) involved in the menstrual cycle: follicle-stimulating hormone, luteinizing hormone, estrogen and progesterone.

    Follicular Phase

    This phase starts on the first day of your period. During the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle, the following events occur:

    • Two hormones, follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) are released from the brain and travel in the blood to the ovaries.
    • The hormones stimulate the growth of about 15-20 eggs in the ovaries each in its own "shell," called a follicle.
    • These hormones (FSH and LH) also trigger an increase in the production of the female hormone estrogen.
    • As estrogen levels rise, like a switch, it turns off the production of follicle-stimulating hormone. This careful balance of hormones allows the body to limit the number of follicles that complete maturation, or growth.
    • As the follicular phase progresses, one follicle in one ovary becomes dominant and continues to mature. This dominant follicle suppresses all of the other follicles in the group. As a result, they stop growing and die. The dominant follicle continues to produce estrogen.

    Ovulatory Phase

    The ovulatory phase, or ovulation, starts about 14 days after the follicular phase started. The ovulatory phase is the midpoint of the menstrual cycle, with the next menstrual period starting about 2 weeks later. During this phase, the following events occur:

    • The rise in estrogen from the dominant follicle triggers a surge in the amount of luteinizing hormone that is produced by the brain.
    • This causes the dominant follicle to release its egg from the ovary.
    • As the egg is released (a process called ovulation) it is captured by finger-like projections on the end of the fallopian tubes (fimbriae). The fimbriae sweep the egg into the tube.
    • Also during this phase, there is an increase in the amount and thickness of mucous produced by the cervix (lower part of the uterus.) If a woman were to have intercourse during this time, the thick mucus captures the man's sperm, nourishes it, and helps it to move towards the egg for fertilization.

    Luteal Phase

    The luteal phase begins right after ovulation and involves the following processes:

    • Once it releases its egg, the empty follicle develops into a new structure called the corpus luteum.
    • The corpus luteum secretes the hormone progesterone. Progesterone prepares the uterus for a fertilized egg to implant.
    • If intercourse has taken place and a man's sperm has fertilized the egg (a process called conception), the fertilized egg (embryo) will travel through the fallopian tube to implant in the uterus. The woman is now considered pregnant.
    • If the egg is not fertilized, it passes through the uterus. Not needed to support a pregnancy, the lining of the uterus breaks down and sheds, and the next menstrual period begins.

    How Many Eggs Does a Woman Have?

    During fetal life, there are about 6 million to 7 million eggs in the female ovaries. From this time, no new eggs are produced.

    The vast majority of the eggs within the ovaries steadily die, until they are depleted at menopause. At birth, there are approximately 1 million eggs; and by the time of puberty, only about 300,000 remain. Of these, 300 to 400 will be ovulated during a woman's reproductive lifetime. The eggs continue to degenerate during pregnancy, with the use of birth control pills, and in the presence or absence of regular menstrual cycles.

    Reviewed by the doctors at:

    The Cleveland Clinic Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? Ask Glen

    Monday, September 3, 2007

    Pot Belly May Signal Diseased Arteries

    Ask Glen!

    Q Glen, Should my big stomach, give me reason to worry about diseases?

    A. Waist-to-Hip Ratio May Be More Telling Than BMI, Study Shows

    Aug. 13, 2007 -- The tape measure may beat the scale as a low-tech indicator of atherosclerosis, new research shows.

    Atherosclerosis means the hardening of the arteries, which makes heart attacks and stroke more likely.

    Doctors have sophisticated tools to search for signs of atherosclerosis. But a tape measure may give you a rough idea of your risk -- and if you've got a pot belly, watch out.

    So say James de Lemos, MD, FACC, and colleagues at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center at Dallas.

    "We think the key message for people is to prevent accumulation of central fat early on in their lives," de Lemos says in a news release. "To do so, they will need to develop lifelong dietary and exercise habits that prevent the development of the 'pot belly.'"

    Pot Belly or Flat Abs?

    The new study included 2,744 Dallas residents who were in their mid-40s, on average (age range: 30-65).

    Participants got noninvasive scans to check for evidence of atherosclerosis, which can start years before a heart attack or stroke. They also got their height, weight, waist circumference, and hip circumference measured.

    Based on those measurements, de Lemos and colleagues calculated participants' BMI (which relates height to weight) and waist-to-hip ratio (waist circumference divided by hip circumference).

    BMI vs. Waist-to-Hip Ratio

    BMI (body mass index) is often used to gauge obesity. But BMI can be misleading.

    BMI can't tell muscle from flab. It also doesn't show where body fat is located. Carrying extra fat around your waist may be unhealthier than having extra fat around your hips.

    Because of BMI's drawbacks, some experts prefer the waist-to-hip ratio to gauge obesity.

    In the Dallas study, waist-to-hip ratio trumped BMI as a marker of atherosclerosis.

    That is, participants' waist-to-hip ratio was more sensitive than BMI at indicating who had scans showing evidence of atherosclerosis.

    Abdominal fat may play an active role in promoting heart disease, warn de Lemos and colleagues.

    Their study, published in next week's edition of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology, didn't directly test that theory.

    Looking to lose a pot belly? Your doctor can give you pointers on doing so safely -- and on maintaining your progress.

    See, R. Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Aug. 21,

    Any personal health questions or problems mental or physical or before starting any diet or exercise program. Please consult your physician !

    Wishing You Great Health!

    Any questions? 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!