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Is Marijuana Really Helpful?

This post is not about discussing the legal or potentially legalization of marijuana. Nor will it have anything to do with the moral aspect. It is about whether or not marijuana has the medicinal value that some are claiming.

The health benefits of marijuana are controversial. Proponents state that it can help alleviate the effects of glaucoma, can possibly decrease the severity of some seizures, may decrease anxiety and may even stop the spread of some cancers. These claims are interesting but most are in their infancy in terms of actual proof.

On the flip side, there is strong evidence that this “harmless” drug may, in fact, be quite problematic. Here are some facts:

  1. The smoke from marijuana (cigarettes) is 3-4 times stronger compared to tobacco. Thus, it may have the same problems — emphysema and other lung diseases, weakened immunity and cancer – that is associated with tobacco.
  2. The residue from smoked marijuana has a tendency to accumulate on brain cells. They form a “sticky” substance akin to molasses making it very difficult for brain cells to both send and receive various neurotransmitters. It is similar to trying to put a key into the keyhole that is filled with taffy.  Also, scientists have stated that one marijuana cigarette takes as long as one full year to be completely removed from the system.
  3. A new study from the American College of Cardiology states that marijuana can be problematic in terms of heart health. Factors include a 26% in strokes and heart failure. According to prior studies, heart muscle cells have “cannabis receptors” which impact the muscle‘s ability to contract.
  4. Perhaps the strongest reason to avoid the use of marijuana to treat medical disorders is that marijuana may cause the acceleration or aggravation of the very disorders it is being used to treat. Smoking marijuana regularly – defined as 1 joint a day –  damages the cells in the bronchial passages which protect the body against inhaled microorganisms and decrease the ability of the immune cells in the lungs to fight off fungi, bacteria, and tumor cells.
  5. According to research from Harvard Medical School, “Marijuana has long been known to trigger attacks of mental illness, such as bipolar (manic-depressive) psychosis and schizophrenia.”

Given the legalization in a few states, the future trend is in this direction for more states to follow. Hopefully, both sides of the argument will be reviewed so a person can make the most informed choice.

Soda and Kidney Damage

This post is not sponsored by Coke, Pepsi, Mountain Dew or _______ (feel free to insert your favorite soda). In fact, they will hate it.

You have undoubtedly read a number of studies as to why it is a good idea to limit the amount of soda consumed. Here is another. A recent study from Japan noted that soda drinkers had an increased risk of kidney disease.

In the study at a Japanese university, 12K employees had various tests performed, including urine test for the presence of protein. The reason is that protein in the urine is considered an early sign that kidney damage is present. The good news is that this is reversible.

The results noted that 11% of those who stated they consumed 2 or more sodas (soft drinks) daily had the highest levels of protein in their urine. Those who consumed no soda or rarely drank it had dramatically less incidences.

It should be noted that besides kidney problems, protein in the urine is an early warning sign of stroke and heart disease.

An earlier study concluded that those who consumed 2 colas per day, be it regular or diet, had 2x the normal risk of kidney disease.

There was no correlation between kidney disease and other carbonated drinks such as Perrier-like substances.

 

We Eat With Our. . . . Eyes

OK, this is not technically true but the eyes play a huge factor in what we consume and how much.  New research states that people are very influenced by color so much so that they fool themselves into tasting what their eyes view. In other words, we taste what we (think we) see.

In one experiment, many tasters viewed a cherry flavored soda tasting “like citrus” because the color was bright orange.

In short, when color is altered, the brain is confused and forwards the message of confusion to the taste buds.

How can we “fix” this problem; that is, what steps can be taken to not be fooled into eating foods that are unhealthy, simply because they look good. Here are 3 ways:

  1. Avoid process foods in any color, shade or hue not found in Nature. Think of the foods consumed based almost solely on color, such as sugary cereal, candy and mac n’ cheese.
  2. Matted containers are viewed as “healthy” as compared to glossy,  regardless of the ingredients. Therefore, Step 2 is: Always be sure to check the ingredient list.
  3. Switch dishes. Eat from a smaller bowl versus larger one. The rim of a play may trick a person into thinking there is less food than what actually exists. A bowl, particularly one filled to the very top, give the impression of abundance and volume. The end result is that a person typically consumed much less.

Our eyes can play tricks on us as we have noted many times in life. You probably never thought of this area — food — as being one of them. However, make the simple adjustments above and you can use the Eye/Brain connection to create a life of wellness and an overall fit, healthy body.

3 Easy and Powerful Ways to Lose Weight Fast

Spring is near and summer is just around the corner. With these seasons comes the great desire to lose weight and get in the best shape possible. In the past, you may have tried various diets with mixed results. Think about it though, you know diets don’t work.

Why? They are often very restrictive and it is human nature to want more things, not less. If you plan to “never, ever, ever” eat XYZ, invariably that is what you will desire.

Stop swimming upstream. Take sold, scientific principles that work and begin to apply them now. Over time, you will find that not only are you losing fat, but your overall health and wellness begins to drastically improve too. Add a precise nutritional protocol, an exercise plan that fits your needs and a ton of passion in your life and you will discover a level of happiness few experience.

Now in terms of the “sold, scientific principles that work. . . . “ here are 3 of the very best for fat loss:

  1. Eat dinner at an earlier time and be “military-like.” What I mean is that the Spleen, the organ most responsible for the shape of the body (along with the prostate relating to men and the uterus with women)  loves routine; that is, eating at 7am, noon and 6 every day is a GREAT plan to follow. Avoid snacking and do your best to complete the last meal no later than 7. 6 is even better. PM fat burning will happen using this method.
  2. Go low once a week. Carb, that is. Restrict carbohydrates once a week. This will lower insulin resistance and help the body burn more fat. (Adding 2 tsp of apple cider vinegar at night will multiply this by a factor of 4).
  3. Always have breakfast and make sure you include a pat of butter. Yes, organic butter (NEVER margarine) with your breakfast. Adding this will help the body burn fat and reduce sugar cravings. Also, those who eat breakfast daily lost 74% more weight versus those who skip.

Take one a day or even one a week and add these into your daily routine. It may be a bit of an adjustment at first but over time, it will become a habit – 60 days typically. (Studies have shown that to make or break a habit, 60-66 days is the standard time frame.)

You are worth it! Put forth the effort and the results will inevitably fall into place.

Why Retail Will Never Die

There is no question that retail has taken a huge hit since the popularity of the Internet. Some people say it is on life-support. Others say it is already dead. It may be a “minority” now, but in my opinion, retail will never die.

Here is why.

This afternoon, my wife Lisa and I took a trip across town to our favorite herb store, Du’ong Sanh Du’ong Chinese Herb Shop. It is owned and operated by Dr. Sherry Sum. I have known Dr. Sum some for about a dozen years. She is one of the most likable, energetic, entertaining people I have ever come across. Also, one of the most intelligent and expert in the area of herbal medicine. A true master.

We walked into her store and were immediately given the warmest welcome you could imagine. I am 6’1″ tall and she is about 4’10” yet her energy matched, if not surpassed, mine. For unknown reasons, she finds it amusing that me, an American, can communicate and has as thorough an understanding of herbal medicine as she does. I do not quite understand her reaction but get a kick out of it, nevertheless.

I asked for a couple of specific formulas which she immediately provided. At a discount price, of course. Additionally, she filled the bag with a variety of extra herbs, energy tonics and candies that make me feel like it was Christmas in Peking.

After an extensive and enjoyable conversation, she hugged Lisa and yours truly before “instructing” us to come visit more often!

Overall, the feelings of kindness, fun and even love were experienced. Three human beings from different backgrounds, enjoying common grounds (herbs) and having a great moment in the process. It was something you will never get on Amazon – the human element.

Contrast that with the Internet buying experience. One person, usually alone, isolated, punching away on the smartphone or pad, ordering something which they have not seen in person, touched, smelled or any other sensation minus the indirect viewing of an image or a clip.  Granted, nothing wrong with this. It is convenient, cheaper and a (probably) permanent part of our culture. What it is can never be is a replacement for the human touch.

I suspect retail will continue to struggle and newer generations will grow up on the “Internet way” of doing business. But there will always be a percentage of the population that will go out of their way to have the human experience. Spend some time at Dr. Sum’s store and you will agree.

 

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