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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                April 15, 2009 
  • Stopping Overeating
  • Kidney Stones Linked to Water Intake 
  • How to Choose Healthy Foods For Your Pet
  • "Big Food" Company Secrets 

Feel Better... Live Better

Stopping Overeating 

An Unnecessary Endless Struggle

You have tried dieting and exercising over and over again, only to lose
and then gain back the same 20 pounds (maybe more). This is the endless
obsession for millions of people trying to get to and maintain a healthy
weight. The reason it doesn't work? The current approach to weight loss is
full of myths and half truths
. Permanent weight loss comes from knowing the
truth about your body and that excess weight is actually a symptom and not
the cause. So to make your weight loss easier and more effective, here is
the first important statement you'll need to remember:


    Losing Weight Is Not a Struggle!


Anything in life can be a struggle, including weight loss. A lack of
success with your weight indicates that you are either: 1. Applying an
incorrect approach to the problem or 2. Using the wrong tools for the job.
Simply put, struggling with your weight means you are either approaching
the problem from the wrong direction and/or applying tools that will
never help resolve your overweight condition
. The fact that you continue
to regain lost weight is proof that these two statements are true. Losing and
maintaining a healthy weight takes much more than just dieting and
exercise. It takes a full mental shift towards "healthy weightiness" and
away from "fatness." It is an attitude shift first and foremost.


The Hunger Within

Now we come to the second important statement you'll need to remember:


   Obesity is not just a physical problem, it's an emotional
   and mental one as well!


Current weight loss approaches sell you on a mythical body; one that
exists for only a very few. Next they only give you physical solutions (diet and
exercise gimmicks) to solve a complex physical and emotional problem. Now you
are stuck with only partial solutions to your overweight dilemma and doomed
to failure.


Overeating 101

Obesity is driven by the urge to overeat. This urge to overeat is
stimulated by a group of mental and emotional signals called your Hunger
Drive. The Hunger Drive is comprised of two groups of signals, one from
your stomach and the other from your mind. If you have healthy eating
habits then stomach dominated signals are in control. These stomach signals
are only sent when your body needs food for nourishment and shut off when
you are full.


With overeating, the stomach signals are over ridden by the mental and
emotional signals of your Hunger Drive. These signals are a collection of
learned habits, behaviors and mental thought processes about yourself and
your weight. These unhealthy signals may also be the result of stress,
anger, depression or boredom
. Your body is pushed to new eating levels by
emotions even when you don't need food for nourishment. Continual
overeating then drives the weight gain process and on it goes. If you don't
have trouble with overeating or you can successfully lose weight and keep
it off, you've learned how to control your Hunger Drive.


Getting Your Hunger Drive Under Control

Finally, the third important statement you'll want to remember:


   Your Hunger Drive can be retrained!


Retraining your hunger drive takes first accepting the fact that
overeating is an emotional, stress based process. By approaching your
weight and overeating as both an emotional and physical problem, you are
well on your way to a permanent solution. So just for once, give up the fad
diets, special pills and at home gadgets, and try a brave new approach to
a healthier, happier you.

Contact us to discuss how Fresh Start Healthy Weight! can help you, in a
healthy way, lose that weight once and for all. You will improve energy
and stamina while feeling and looking your best.
Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 to schedule your free Fresh Start
consultation. You can also email to



Kidney Stones Linked to Water Intake

Number of Kidneys Stones on the Rise
The number of kidney stones are on the rise, especially in children.
Kidney stones are created when the following conditions exist: high calcium
and oxalate levels, low water levels and high salt. Stones are formed in the
kidneys and may pass undetected. Larger stones can cause severe pain as
they pass out of the body. Two culprits seem to be to blame: 1. Drinking milk,
energy drinks, crystal light, coffee and tea instead of pure water. 2. Not eating
enough fruits and vegetables which contain low levels of protein and high
amounts of water.
Your Kidneys and Water
Your kidneys are just a large filtering system; much like a water filter.
They need ample amounts of water to work properly. A lack of water
concentrates various substances in the urine making it easier to form
crystals and then stones. A popular "expert opinion" that suggests you can
get adequate water from drinking beverages and eating foods turns out to be
wrong. Energy drinks actually cannot replace water. The average person,
especially children, need pure, unadulterated water for good health. Other
liquids will not help your body work properly. What makes plain old water
so special?
The Staff of Life
Water is the most important substance that goes into your body. It
comprises 50 to 70% of your total body weight. 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.
Nutritional Habits Make a Big Difference
An eating plan containing meat, chicken, fish or dairy products puts
greater stress on the kidneys than a diet high in fruits and 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.
Water 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
. 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. Example: 180 pounds divided by 2 equals 90
pounds. This person needs 90 ounces of water a day for adequate hydration.

Drinking enough water is crucial for better health. It is just one of 8 healthy
lifestyle habits we teach. We provide the education, motivation and accountability
necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and look your best.
For a free consultation, please call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to    

Pets and People  


How to Choose Healthy Foods For Your Pet

Best Food Choices
The overwhelming array of choices when it comes to pet food makes it difficult to determine which foods are best for your pet.  In addition, many pet owners stopped trusting commercial pet foods after the massive pet food recall of 2007.  Instead, pet owners began preparing homemade diets for their pets or jumped on the raw food bandwagon.  How do you know what food is best for your pet?

Raw and Homemade Diets
I am not a proponent of raw food diets.  While I acknowledge that there are numerous benefits to feeding raw, unprocessed foods, the risks for animals outweigh the benefits.  Unless you can be one hundred percent sure that the meat you're feeding your pet is pathogen and parasite free, you should not be feeding raw meat.  If you want to feed a homemade diet, consider feeding your pet a cooked diet and make sure it is properly balanced. provides recipes created by veterinary nutritionists for healthy pets as well as pets with special medical or dietary needs.

Veterinary Diets
Another common misconception is that veterinary diets are high quality, healthy foods because they come from a doctor???s office.  Unfortunately, when you look at the ingredient list on the veterinary brands, you often find the same unhealthy fillers that can be found in the cheap grocery store brands. Most veterinarians receive very little training in nutrition.  Veterinary schools typically offer only a few weeks of training in nutrition and the instruction is often sponsored or provided by the same companies that make these veterinary diets. 

Look for Quality Ingredients
Most pet owners still prefer to feed their pets a commercial diet that is "natural" and free of preservatives.  But how do you know whether the food that's advertised as "natural" really is good for your pet?  What makes a food natural, healthy or holistic?  The best approach is to disregard tags such as "all-natural", "holistic", "veterinarian approved", "chosen by top breeders" and read the labels.

Manufacturers are required to list ingredients in descending order, i.e., the ingredient with the highest amount is listed first, the one with the smallest amount last. By reading the list of ingredients, you???ll know your pet is getting the best. Many foods that are advertised as "natural" are really not after all.  Some companies change the primary ingredient from poultry by-products to chicken and call it ???natural.??? The food still may contain corn gluten meal, soy meal, and wheat gluten meal. These ingredients are common culprits when it comes to allergies or digestive problems. 

Look for the Following Quality Ingredients

  1. Animal Proteins - identified by name (e.g., chicken, beef, lamb)
  2. Organic Ingredients - meats, vegetables, grains and fruits - these are certified free of pesticides, hormones, and antibiotics. Check for the USDA Organic seal on the package
  3. Whole Unrefined Grains like barley, brown rice, or ground oatmeal for dogs.  For cats, it is best to look for grain-free foods.  Most cats can't digest grains, and grain-free foods also help alleviate or eliminate hairballs.
  4. Human-Grade Ingredients - human grade meats tend to be better quality
  5. Whole Vegetables and Fruits - the less processed the better (for example, whole potatoes are much better than potato starch). Vegetables are important sources of natural plant-based nutrients (phyto-nutrients) and antioxidants.

I recommend the following brands:

Wellness, Innova (especially the grain-free EVO line), Merrick, California Natural

Ingrid King is a writer, Reiki Master Practitioner and owner of Healing Hands. Healing Hands provides Reiki for pets and people. Ingrid publishes periodic newsletters on alternative health topics for pets and people and a blog on conscious living for pets and people. For more information, and to subscribe to the Healing Hands newsletter, please visit

The Coach Connection

"Big Food" Company Secrets

Food Truth
Let's face it; makers of popular junk foods have an obligation to stockholders to encourage people to eat more-not less-of the foods that fuel their profits. So they really don't want the truth to come out... but here are a few facts you will want to know:


  • MSG is commonly disguised as other ingredients like yeast extract, torula yeast, hydrolyzed vegetable protein and autolyzed yeast. MSG is in nearly all "vegetarian" foods such as veggie burgers. 
  • Artificial colors and refined carbohydrates in processed food have been shown to contribute to ADHD in children. In a recent study, 80% of so-called ADHD children who kicked processed foods were "cured of" ADHD in two weeks. 
  • The chemical sweetener aspartame, when exposed to warm temperatures for only a few hours, begins to break down into chemicals like formaldehyde and formic acid. Formaldehyde is a potent nerve toxin and causes damage to the eyes, brain and entire nervous system. Aspartame has been strongly linked to migraines, seizures, blurred vision and many other nervous system problems 

And there is more!  Visit:


What's the solution?
Make your own stuff! Your own chips, your own drinks, your own meals with foods that don't need labels: FRESH FOOD. The extra prep time can add years to your life and the life of the children, family and friends you feed in your home.


This article offered by Freddi Donner of For Health and Balance. Freddi offers one-to-one coaching and healing, Wellness Circles (small group coaching), and workshops to help promote wellness in the workplace, and at home. She represents NIKKEN, a Japanese based company that offers The Wellness Home?, a collection of technologies and products that help with every day health concerns.

Unlock YOUR Possibilities! Coaching and Connections for an Improved Way of Living. 703-450-6114

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) 2006-2009 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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