1. Information on The Nutrition Investigator
  2. Newsletter Signup Successful!
  3. Site Disclaimer and First email to Newsletter Subscribers
  4. Visit old site

The Nutrition InvestigatorThe health and nutrition blog by Dr. Roc Ordman.

Essay 2: Sugartown – One Day in Roc’s Life – 46 resolutions

by Roc (click here for full post)

With caveats stated already, below is a description of what I consider an optimal day. Do I do all these wonderful things daily? Give me a break! I am a professor – do as I say, not as I do.  Many tell me everyone knows how to live a healthy life. And we all have delightful reasons why we do not live that way.  But at age 70, most like me have realized perhaps they should have tried harder.  So let this be a nudge in the right direction.  Another essay I am writing is the biggest question of all, how do we change our behavior. 

I have spent some time trying to decide how to present these ideas. The decision I made is to briefly describe a day, with numbers for each action. At the end is the list of the numbers, with brief explanations of why I try to do those things.  Later in the essays, I will give more thorough explanations with citations to the scientific and medical articles justifying those choices.  Perhaps the list below will prompt some measurable goals that you can use to start figuring out if you want to change your behavior, and if so how. I have a cherished advisor whom I have nicknamed “Gandalf.”  Despite my nagging him to quit smoking, he responds cheerfully, “If I can’t smoke, I’d rather be dead!” I often say people do the best they can. So maybe you do not need to change at all, and might only resolve to be grateful that you are doing so well.  You can just read this to see all the goals that I often fail to achieve, and how much better you are doing. Congratulations and hooray. Fortunately for me, I do not worry about things I cannot change (1).

I wake up about 6:15am (2).  I start with a glass of water (3) after my 8 hrs of sleep (4). Then I have a glass of dark grape juice (5), that I use to swallow many supplements: 2g fish oil (6), resveratrol (7), AREDs (9), Spirulina (10), SAMe 200mg (11), vitamin B3 (12), vitamin D (13), Juvenon four days a week (8), aspirin 3 days a week (14), and B12 once a week (15). Then I drink about 6 cups of coffee (16).  For breakfast I often eat oatmeal (17), with about 15 blueberries (18), followed by one cup of green tea (19), with a small squeeze of honey  (20).  I brush my teeth for 2 minutes (21) in the morning and at night, while balancing 1 minute on each foot (22).

Tuesday and Thursday mornings I go to yoga for 60 minutes (23), and Sundays I go to the zendo to meditate for two 30 minute sittings, and one 15 minute walking (24).

I get 1 to 8 hours of exercise most days, working in the garden, chainsawing trees in the forest, weedwhacking the lawn, etc. I try to do high intensity interval training three times a week (25)  About once a week, I end up taking an Aleve when I am done (26), knowing how sore I will be otherwise. Tuesday nights I also spend 75 minutes taking karate class (27), Tuesday afternoons twice a month I take singing lessons, and twice a month go and sing for 90 minutes at a local retirement center (28).

Though I have finished my first career as a professor for 38 yrs, I now have two jobs (29).  I work as a caregiver about twice a week for several hours, for Visiting Angels.  I have also been working with a team of cancer surgeons and researchers, trying to raise funds for clinical trials to test a tablet that may prevent people from getting cancer, and is almost certain to prevent recurrence of a type of cancer that I had.

At lunch, I usually have a cup of Ramen hot and spicy shrimp, which has lots of turmeric (30).  I boil 1 and 1/3rd cups of water with a serving of frozen broccoli (31). I add cayenne (32) to the Ramen, and put a couple of tablespoons of olive oil (33) on the broccoli.

I love to lie down to read for a while, usually dozing off for a 30 minute nap (34).

Happy hour starts at 5pm, and I am done for the day, having 1 or 2 beers or glasses of wine (35).  For dinner I prefer vegetarian or fish (36), though often we have two (37) or four-legged (38) meats.  I watch about 2 hours of TV most nights, snacking on 4 to 6 squares of dark chocolate (39), a few handfuls of red grapes (40), and a few handfuls of mixed nuts (41).

I go to bed at 9 or 10pm, having a vitamin C (42), and 4 nights a week 3mg of melatonin (43), with another glass of water (3).

Oh yeah, I forgot about Sugar town!  I read the New Yorker, the Economist, and Science (44) magazine every week, and listen to NPR frequently. Confidentially, I also spend some time every day thinking about sex (45). At a conference years ago, I learned there are three steps to getting healthy neurons in your brain – exercise, followed by thinking hard about something, and then thinking about sex.  I make an effort not to get stressed about the news (1).  My basic rule is if I can do something about it, do it; if I cannot do anything about it, I try not to worry about it.  I love listening to reggae and songs from musicals, and sing Peter Paul and Mary, other folk songs, and Sugartown to chase away worries.  “I got some troubles, but they won’t last…”(46).

It’s a good life! I welcome any suggestions with citations for how I could conveniently improve my routine.

Explanations and references can be found at my website: www.nutritioninvestigator.org/Ordman/

http://www.nutritioninvestigator.org/Nutrition/Sugartown.htm
http://www.nutritioninvestigator.org/Posters/postinds/zpostrocresch.htm

Below this day is sorted two ways. Comments are repeated for each.

  1. By numbering above
  2. By type of activity

A. Sorted by numbering above – EXPLANATIONS OF STEPS TO HEALTH

In future essays, all of these items will be explained more fully and include references for supporting research.

(1) stress -A main causes of aging is inflammation, and stress causes inflammation.  If you cannot do something to improve a situation, it is better to not worry about it.

(2) waking and going to sleep at a regular time is important to maintain biorhythyms.

(3) water – Especially when older, people get dehydrated without realizing it, causing hunger and sore muscles.

(4) 8 hours of sleep a nite – Lack of sleep contributes to obesity, poor concentration, and weak immunity, contributing to onset of many chronic illnesses. But the amount of sleep particular individuals require varies from 4 to 12 hours.

(5) dark grape juice – A glass daily substantially improves mental function.

(6) 2g fish oil – Despite controversy, many nutritional studies show a variety of health benefits of EPA and DHA, which we are unable to synthesize sufficiently, and make up 70% of the brain.

(7) resveratrol – This helps maintain weight and brain health

(8) Juvenon, four days a week – Distinguished scientist/friend Bruce Ames discovered this natural combination that makes old mice become physically active and mentally smart like young mice.  However another friend/scientist who analyzed clinical trials of Juvenon suggested there was no evidence for human benefit.

(9) AREDs – This is the Johns Hopkins formula to maintain eye health and prevent macular degeneration, including vitamin C, E, and other beneficial ingredients.

(10) Spirulina – This is a blue green algae.  This helps rejuvenate the brain.

(11) SAMe 200mg – Distinguished scientist Lester Packer led a symposium years ago that concluded this is the most effective anti-depressant there is – kids make tons naturally, but we make steadily less as we age. Plus it provides single carbon tags so that epigenetic labeling of DNA functions properly. And it helps prevent cirrhosis of the liver.

(12) vitamin B3 – Niacin is needed for NADH, for energy. Science magazine had an article stating that most older adults are deficient and the RDA is not enough.

 (13) vitamin D – I take 2,000IU daily, sometimes 5,000IU.  The official requirement is 600, but the man who established that value now states we need at least 2,000, and experts are taking 5,000IU daily. This is necessary for strong bones, and for the innate immune system, that prevents many diseases, especially the start of colds.

(14) aspirin 3 days a week – While most take a daily baby aspirin, a report I read long ago suggested that a full dose of aspirin has more power to prevent heart attacks. There is now controversy over whether to take aspiring.

 (15) vitamin B12 – For brain health, it is fat soluble, so it can be taken once a week.

(16) 6 cups of coffee – Coffee is for mental health. It reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease

(17) oatmeal – A whole grain breakfast, it lowers cholesterol a little.

(18) 15 blueberries – Blueberries are the most documented source for brain health, and contain many polyphenols which are antioxidants.  It has lots of quercetin, which prevents degradation of EGCG, found in green tea, that substantially improves health.

(19) one cup of green tea – There is a linear relationship between cups of green tea daily and overall health. But having one cup after getting the quercetin in blueberries, that prevents degradation of EGCG, gives me the equivalent of drinking 6 cups.

(20) honey – This may reduce allergies, esp. local honey, to local hay fever and pollens.

(21)I brush my teeth for 2 minutes – 2 minutes twice a day is considered optimum to maintain teeth and gums. I also floss.  The bacteria that grow on the gums migrate to the heart and cause heart disease.

(22) balancing on each foot 1 minute each – Balance declines with age, and consequences of falls are the major cause of death in older people.

(23) yoga for 60 minutes – Yoga is great to maintain flexibility and balance and strengthen bones and joints. The meditation component is good for brain health

(24) meditate for 2 thirty minutes sittings, and one 15 minute walking – Meditation is the only proven way to increase the size of your brain.  Just an hour a day for 2 weeks in college students provided measurable increase in size by MRI.

(25) 1 to 8 hours of exercise – While nutrition is useful, the only documented way in numerous studies to maintain health and weight as we age is through exercise, although it remains controversial whether exercise is useful to reduce your weight.  Take the stairs, walk faster, balance on one foot while brushing your teeth. In 2017, it was shown that HIIT increases protein synthesis in mitochondria, making HIIT the most scientifically validated form of exercise.

(26) Aleve when I am done – Sore muscles are caused by inflammation, and inflammation is one of the major causes of aging.

(27) karate, singing lessons – Learning new things is important to healthy aging and your brain.

(28) sing for 90 minutes at a local retirement center – Volunteer work has been shown to significantly improve healthspan, and social interaction reduces risk of Alzheimer’s.

(29) two jobs – Retirement to a life without purpose is a major cause of death.  If you lack a purpose beyond yourself, that is unhealthy.

(30) turmeric – A spice which prevents cancer. It also gives me a bunch more water.

(31) broccoli – A cruciferous vegetable, which kills cancer cells

(32) cayenne  – A spice, which like turmeric, kills cancer cells

(33) a couple of tablespoons of olive oil – It signals the body to lose weight.

(34) a 30 minute nap- Naps of 15-30 minutes are restful and allow for a proper sleep cycle. Longer ones disrupt the normal sleep cycle, and shorter ones provide no rest.

(35) one serving of alcohol/day for a woman, two for a man – Alcohol improves healthspan

(36) vegetarian or fish – The whole plant diet can even reverse diabetes.  Fish is also good for health, esp. cold water fish that contain EPA and DHA.

(37) two-legged meats -Turkey and chicken do not have the harmful saturated fat level of four legged animals.

(38) four-legged meats BAD- The saturated fat level is harmful, and promotes weight gain.  Worse still is processed meats like sausages, with nitrates.

(39) 4 to 6 squares of dark chocolate – dark chocolate was declared the new vegetable years ago, and is very beneficial to health, including weight loss.

(40) a few handfuls of red grapes – grapes have a low pH, whereas most modern foods are basic.  Like red grape juice, they have other benefits, including hydration.

(41) a few handfuls of mixed nuts – Nuts are very healthful. Like green tea, health increases linearly the more days each week you eat a handful of nuts, including peanuts.

(42) vitamin C – Having vitamin C twice a day, 500mg each, saturates the blood, providing the best protection from free radicals. This lessens the risk of damage from strokes, and reduces the buildup of plaque in the arteries.  The AREDs in the morning provides the dose then, so I take the vitamin C tablet at night.

(43) 3mg of melatonin – In a talk at AGE years ago, a study was done of gene expression in older and younger men.  When the older men took melatonin 3 times weekly, their gene expression pattern reverted substantially to that of a younger man.

(44) Reading/learning – It is important to keep learning new things, exercising the brain.

(45) Thinking about sex to build healthy new neurons! Note it only requires thinking about it. Sadly in our world, doing it (or even speaking about it) can be dangerous for many reasons.

(46) Sugartown, by Nancy Sinatra, is a song of hope, optimism, and relaxation. Whenever I sing it, every verse reminds me “I got some troubles, but they won’t last.” One characteristic of healthy mature people is optimism.  Having a positive outlook is valuable to good health.

  1. By type of activity: ORGANIZATION OF STEPS TO HEALTH
    Numbers correspond to A. Sorted by numbering above. Comments are the same.

SUPPLEMENTS

  • 2g fish oil – despite controversy, many nutritional studies show a variety of health benefits of EPA and DHA, which we are unable to synthesize sufficiently, and make up 70% of the brain.

(7) resveratrol – this helps maintain weight and brain health

(8) Juvenon, four days a week – Distinguished scientist/friend Bruce Ames discovered this natural combination that makes old mice become physically active and mentally smart like young mice.  However, another friend/scientist who analyzed clinical trials of Juvenon suggested there was no evidence for human benefit.

(9) AREDs – this is the Johns Hopkins formula to maintain eye health and prevent macular degeneration, including vitamin C, E, and other beneficial ingredients.

(10) Spirulina  – this is a blue green algae.  One talk I attended suggested it had great benefits.

(13) vitamin D – I take 2,000IU daily, sometimes 5,000IU.  The official requirement is 600, but the man who established that value  now states we need at least 2,000, and experts are taking 5,000IU daily. This is necessary for strong bones, and for the innate immune system, that prevents many diseases like the start of colds.

 (11) SAMe 200mg – Distinguished scientist Lester Packer led a symposium years ago that concluded this is the most effective anti-depressant there is – kids make tons naturally, but we make steadily less as we age. Plus it provides single carbon tags so that epigenetic labeling of DNA functions properly.

(12) vitamin B3 – Niacin is needed for NADH, for energy. Science magazine had an article stating that most older adults are deficient and the RDA is not enough, leaving us feeling tired.

(42) vitamin C – having vitamin C twice a day, 500mg each, saturates the blood, providing the best protection from free radicals. This lessens the risk of damage from strokes, and reduces the buildup of plaque in the arteries.

(43) 3mg of melatonin – In a talk at AGE years ago, a study was done of gene expression in older and younger men.  When the older men took melatonin 3 times weekly, their gene expression pattern reverted substantially to that of a younger man (like 80 of 110 genes).

(15) vitamin B12 – once a week, I choose Sundays, needed for brain health, and since it is fat soluble, it can be taken once a week.

MEDICATIONS

(14) aspirin 3 days a week – while most take a daily baby aspirin, a report I read long ago suggested that a full dose of aspirin has more power to prevent heart attacks, but is only needed 3 times a  week

(26) an Aleve when I am done – sore muscles are caused by inflammation, and inflammation is one of the major causes of aging.

FOOD, DRINK, SNACK

(3) water – Especially when older, people get dehydrated without realizing it, causing hunger and sore muscles.

(5) dark grape juice – A glass daily substantially improves mental function.

(16) 6 cups of coffee – coffee is good for mental health, reduces the risk of Parkinson’s disease

(17) oatmeal – a whole grain breakfast, lowers cholesterol

(18) about 15 blueberries – blueberries are the most documented source for brain health, and contain many polyphenols which are antioxidants.  It has lots of quercetin, which prevents degradation of EGCG, the molecule in green tea that substantially improves health.

(19) one cup of green tea – there is a linear relationship between cups of green tea daily and overall health. But having one cup after getting the quercetin in blueberries gives me the equivalent of drinking 6 cups.

(20) honey – this may reduce allergies, especially local honey to local hay fever and pollens.

 (30) a cup of Ramen hot and spicy shrimp – I like Ramen with shrimp, which is full of turmeric, a spice which prevents cancer. It also gives me a bunch more water.

(31) broccoli – a cruciferous vegetable, which kills cancer cells

(32) cayenne – a spice, which like turmeric, kills cancer cells

(33) a couple of tablespoons of olive oil – olive oil is basic to the Mediterranean diet. It signals the body to lose weight.

(35) 1 or 2 beers or glasses of wine – drinking one serving of alcohol daily for a woman, two for a man, improves healthspan

(36) vegetarian or fish – a vegetarian diet is good for your health.  The whole plant diet can even reverse diabetes.  Fish is also good for health, esp. cold water fish that contain EPA and DHA.

(37) two-legged meats -Turkey and chicken do not have the harmful saturated fat level of four legged animals.

(38) four-legged meats – The saturated fat level is harmful, and promotes weight gain.  Worse still is processed meats like sausages, with nitrates.

(39) snack – 4 to 6 squares of dark chocolate – dark chocolate was declared the new vegetable years ago, and is very beneficial to health, including weight loss.

(40) snack – a few handfuls of red grapes – grapes have a low pH, whereas most modern foods are very basic.  And like the red grape juice in the morning, they have other benefits, including hydration.

(41) snack – a few handfuls of mixed nuts – nuts are very healthful. Like green tea, health increases linearly the more days each week you eat a handful of nuts, including peanuts.

     ACTIVITIES

(4) 8 hours of sleep a nite – Lack of sleep contributes to obesity, poor concentration, and weak immunity, contributing to onset of many chronic illnesses.

(2) – waking and going to sleep at a regular time is important to maintain biorhythyms.

(23) yoga for 60 minutes – yoga is great to maintain flexibility and balance, and the meditation component is good for brain health

 (25) 1 to 8 hours of exercise – While nutrition is useful, the only documented way in numerous studies to maintain health and weight as we age is through exercise, although it remains controversial whether exercise is useful to reduce your weight.  Take the stairs, walk faster, balance on one foot while brushing your teeth. In 2017, it was shown that HIIT increases protein synthesis in mitochondria, making HIIT the most scientifically validated form of exercise.

(27) karate class – singing lessons – learning new things is very important to healthy aging and brain.

(28) sing for 90 minutes at a local retirement center – volunteer work has been shown to significantly improve healthspan, and social interaction reduces risk of Alzheimer’s.

(29) two jobs – retirement to a life without purpose is a major cause of death.  If you lack a purpose beyond yourself, that is unhealthy.

(34) a 30 minute nap – Naps of 15-30 minutes are restful and give a proper sleep cycle. Longer ones disrupt the normal sleep cycle, and shorter ones provide no rest.\

(44) Reading/learning – It is important to keep learning new things, exercising the brain.

(1) stress about the news – One of the main causes of aging is inflammation, and stress causes inflammation.  If you cannot do something to improve a situation, it is better to not worry about it.

(46) “I got some troubles, but they won’t last…”- One characteristic of healthy mature people is optimism.  Having a positive outlook is valuable to good health.

 (24) meditate for 2 thirty minutes sittings, and one 15 minute walking – meditation is the only proven way to increase the size of your brain.  Just an hour a day for 2 weeks in college students provided measurable increase in size by MRI.

(21) I brush my teeth for 2 minutes – 2 minutes twice a day is considered optimum to maintain teeth and gums. I also floss, though there is controversy over its benefits.  The bacteria that grow on the gums migrate to the heart and cause heart disease.

(22) balancing on each foot 1 minute each – Balancing declines with age, and consequences of falls are the major cause of death in older people.

(45) Thinking about sex to build healthy new neurons! Note it only requires thinking about it. Sadly in our world, doing it can be dangerous for many reasons.

HINT: There are NO posts in the category called Test