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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                April 15, 2008 
  • Drink More Water for Better Health
  • Breaking Through Your Weight Loss Barriers
  • Make Your Band Work Better
  • Arthritis in Pets... What You Can Do


Drink More Water for Better Health


The Staff of Life
Water is the most important substance you put into your body. Water is required for proper detoxification of all the cells of your body. Without water, waste products accumulate and lead to disease and illness. You can survive 40 to 60 days without food but only mere hours to a few days without water. The average adult does not drink enough water and there are many diseases associated with mild dehydration such as high blood pressure, kidney stones, urinary tract infections, constipation, headaches, allergies, sinus infections and joint pain.


Important in Many Ways
Water comprises 50 to 70% of your total adult body weight. Today, if you drink enough water, you're in the minority. There is a great debate on how much water you should consume. Many experts suggest that you can get adequate water from drinking beverages and eating foods. Some experts say fortifying your water with vitamins or other substances is a good idea. Just look at all the sports drinks that have popped up. The bottom line. for the average person, pure, unadulterated water is your best bet for good health. Anything less will not help your body work properly. What makes plain old water so special?

Plain Old Water
It all goes back to high school chemistry class. Water is called the universal solvent. Dissolve something in water and the water takes on the characteristics of that product. The water is literally transformed into a different substance. Just take a look at ice tea, coffee, milk, juice. made from water but definitely not water. When you drink water instead of juice, your body knows the difference. Water does not need to be digested or processed by your body so it can be absorbed and used immediately to facilitate digestion, detoxification and metabolism. Water is also self-regulating. Drink enough water and your body doesn't need to retain or "store" fluid. Drink too little and your body will retain fluid.


Nutritional Habits Make a Big Difference
A diet containing meat, chicken, fish or dairy products requires a higher water intake than a diet consisting mainly of fruits vegetables. The reason for this. the meat, chicken, fish or dairy diet is higher in protein. When protein is broken down in your body, nitrogen is released which combines with hydrogen releasing ammonia, a highly toxic substance. Your cells cannot tolerate even small amounts of ammonia, so the kidneys draw extra water to flush the ammonia. Without drinking additional water, your body can become dehydrated.

More Active Means More Water
A very active person requires more water than a sedentary person. Muscles are 75% water and require adequate hydration or they will not work properly. Dehydration can result in muscle strains (pulls) and/or cramps. Joints also require water to make synovial fluid for effective lubrication. Without adequate water, cartilage in the joints is not adequately lubricated and can wear prematurely leading to degenerative joint disease. Simply drinking more water can reduce your future risk for joint replacement surgery.


Aids in Weight Loss
Adequate hydration is crucial for efficient burning of fat and healthy weight loss. A study, conducted at Berlin's Franz-Volhard Clinical Research Center, tracked caloric intake and energy expenditures among seven men and seven women who were healthy and not overweight. After drinking approximately 17 ounces of water (slightly more than 2 glasses), the subjects' metabolic rates increased by 30% for both men and women. The increases occurred within 10 minutes of water consumption and reached a maximum after about 30 to 40 minutes. For anyone wanting to lose weight, drinking more water is a good first step.

A Simple Hydration Formula

To make sure you are drinking enough water, here is a simple hydration formula. Take your current body weight and divide that number by 2. Multiply the divided number by 1 ounce and that is the amount of water you should try and drink everyday. I know, you say if I drink all that water I will be in the bathroom all day. Well, as I used to tell my 95 year old grandmother, "better to go too much than not at all." You can imagine where that got me.

In 2008, make Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle your number one goal. Go to our website at and take the Health Investment Questionairre.
Once you have taken it we will be glad to offer you a no cost consultation and talk to you more about the benefits of Fresh Start. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to 



Breaking Through Your Weight Loss Barriers


Understand the Process

Returning yourself to a healthy weight is like any other process. it takes time, patience, knowledge and perseverance. When it comes to losing weight, slow and steady are always better for your health than fast and furious. But what happens when you reach a plateau even if you think your doing everything right? What steps do you take to get back on track? Here are several suggestions on how to get yourself "unstuck" and increase the chance you'll be successful in reaching a healthy weight.


Objective Analysis
If you feel stuck then one or more parts of your weight loss approach are broken. Having someone objectively evaluate your activity levels, eating habits and stress levels will many times reveal the problem area. Once the problem area is discovered, a healthier plan can be put into action. Self evaluation, although possible, is much harder to accomplish because of the lack of objectivity and rationalization that can creep into the process. Keeping a three day journal of your activity levels, eating habits and stress scores is a good place to start. Once completed, you can show it to a knowledgeable professional for an objective analysis.


Uncover the Emotional Side

The emotional side of losing weight is where most people get stuck. It would be nice if weight loss was just a physical process of counting calories and working out at the gym, but it is not. As you know, it also has a very emotionally driven side which must be explored and understood. You may be surprised to learn that the hunger you are experiencing has an emotional side. Hunger is usually not 100% associated with your physical needs. Hunger signals do come from brain centers associated with your stomach. They can also come from other pleasure and comfort centers unassociated with the need for food. Studies show that food affects your brain just like alcohol, cigarettes and drugs. Just like these commonly additive substances, you can become addicted to food as well. The most important question to ask at this point is "Why do I eat portions that are larger than what I really need?"


Rethink the Problem

Getting unstuck involves rethinking the problem, looking at it from another direction and developing new understandings. Try stepping outside the food world that you know and look at another similar example like alcoholism. If you or a loved one were drinking too much, what would you do? You would probably seek help for that person in the form of counseling or Alcoholics Anonymous. With alcoholism, drinking has taken control of their life. So what about food? The same can be and should be said about food. If you are eating more food than you need and can't stop, food has taken over your life. You should be able to see more clearly why food continues to be a problem for you. In either case, the addiction must be broken for you to regain control of your life.


Be Kind to Yourself

A large part of helping you get unstuck relates to your attitude. Going back to our alcoholism comparison, how would you treat someone if you knew they were drinking too much? Would you call them lazy; would you say they didn't have any willpower or motivation? Would you call them a drunk? Hopefully the answer is no to all of those questions. If you cared about them, you would try to convince them to seek help. Not being able to curb your appetite is similar to not being able to drink responsibly. It is not accurate or fair to call yourself lazy, unmotivated or lacking in willpower because you eat too much. Being kind to yourself is the first step to a healthier attitude. By not belittling yourself, you are taking an important step to healing your life.


Take Back Responsibility for Your Life

No one can be responsible for your life but you. Being passive about your life and blaming your condition on others or expecting others to fix it never works. Solving a problem takes action. Action helps set you free. When you are free, your life is better. When you do succeed you can proudly say, "I did it."


Do you always feel like it's a struggle when it comes to your weight? Would you like to learn how to take better care of yourself in 2008 and reach a healthy weight? Commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. Fresh Start provides the education, motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best. For a free Fresh Start consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    


Make Your Band Work Better With Pinnar Activity Classes
Do you want your Band to work better? Have you been thinking about beginning a weight training program but the local health club seems a little scary? Maybe you are concerned about how you look and would rather have some place a little more private? Are you older and have a medical condition that needs someone with special knowledge to help you get active again? We have just the program for you.  


The Better Alternative. This year we are offering a more sensible solution that will keep you coming all year long. Our once a week, small group fitness program (4 people maximum) will only cost you $20 a session or $55 a month. For your money you get your own personal trainer, Suzanne Riley, with convenient times offered on evenings and weekends. These are beginner, lower intensity classes designed to help you get moving again. 

You'll also get:

  • Goal Setting to help you stay on track all year long
  • Fun Activity with an instructor who knows how to Educate and Motivate
  • Exercise Guidance so you get the most benefits from exercising properly

To find out more please call Suzanne at 703-464-5171 or email Twice a week training packages are available as well.


Arthritis in Pets... What You Can Do
by Ingrid King

What is Arthritis?
Arthritis is a condition in which the joints become inflamed. It is accompanied by pain, heat, and swelling in the joints, and it usually results in increasing stiffness and immobility.  Arthritis affects as many as 1 in 3 adults and it can also affect your pets as well.  The signs of arthritis may be hard to spot at first: your gray-in-the-muzzle Labrador retriever takes a little longer to get up in the morning or your tabby cat doesn't jump as high as she used to.

As time goes on, it becomes more and more clear that your pet is having a harder time moving. Soon you realize that he is in pain while walking, jumping, or even just getting up from a prone position. However, arthritis doesn't have to mean a poor quality of life for your pet. There are medications, therapies, and caring ways to accommodate your home help your pet be more comfortable and continue to enjoy his life with you.


Types of Arthritis
Osteoarthritis, also called degenerative joint disease, is the most common type of arthritis in animals as well as in humans. Over time, the cartilage that cushions the joints wears down and bones begin rubbing against each other. As the condition progresses, the friction created during joint motion can damage the bones themselves. Osteoarthritis causes the most pain in the weight-bearing joints like the shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, and ankles. Though there is no cure for osteoarthritis, it can be managed well through medical treatment, moderate exercise, diet and complimentary modalities such as massage and Reiki.


Caring for Your Pet
The first step in caring for your pet with arthritis is a visit to your veterinarian.  The symptoms of arthritis can be hard to distinguish. Your pet can't complain about their aching joints, so all you see is a response to pain. Pets with arthritis might avoid the activities they used to enjoy or may become depressed and change their eating habits. Others may simply seem grumpier than usual.  Since these symptoms can also indicate other very serious problems, a veterinary visit is imperative to ensure a proper diagnosis.

Clinical studies have shown that massage can provide pain relief by increasing blood circulation and the release of endorphins which are the body's natural pain relievers. Massage also increases flexibility and promotes relaxation in the muscles and joints.  Depending on the severity of the condition, regular massage can play an integral part in helping manage your pet's arthritis.  However, depending on the progression of the arthritis, unless performed correctly, massage can be painful to the pet because of sore joints and muscles. 


Reiki is a gentle modality that can help make your pets more comfortable by reducing pain and stiffness from advanced arthritis. Reiki is a hands-on healing method originally from Japan. It channels healing energy through the hands to the animal through a light touch either directly on the body or from a slight distance. Reiki can be more effective than massage in many of my arthritic pet clients.  The frequency of sessions depends entirely on the animal's health status and needs.  Some pets may find visible relief after only a session or two while others may need ongoing sessions on a recurring basis.


Making  Difference
Arthritis does not have to change your relationship with your pet. It may mean that you're unable to jog with your dog like you used to or get your cat to jump up after his feather toy. As you spend time caring for your pet with arthritis, you'll find your bond actually increasing. Your energetic, playful friendship may eventually be replaced with the joy of a gentler, caring life together.


Ingrid King is a Reiki Master Practitioner and pet massage therapist and owner of Healing Hands.  Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people and massage for pets along with providing you the information you need to feel comfortable and confident about these therapies.  For more information, please visit


Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon, VA 20170  

Required Disclaimer: The material provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The material is provided with the understanding that the publisher is not engaged in the practice of medicine or any other health-care profession and does not enter into a health-care practitioner/patient relationship with its readers. The publisher does not advise or recommend to its readers treatment or action with regard to matters relating to their health or well-being other than suggesting that readers consult appropriate health-care professionals in such matters. No action should be taken based solely on the content of this publication. The material and opinions provided herein are believed to be accurate and sound at the time of publication, based on the best judgment available to the authors. However, readers who rely on material in this publication to replace the advice of health-care professionals, or who fail to consult with health-care professionals, assume all risks of such conduct. The publisher is not responsible for errors or omissions. 

Copyright (c) 2006-2008 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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