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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                May 1st 2010
  • Vacations Are A Time to Play
  • Overeating Causes Most Weight Gain
  • Feline Vaccinations - Walking Through the Minefield
  • Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting May 4th
    and May 5th This Time
  • Healthy Lifestyle Consultations Now Available 

Feel Better... Live Better

Vacations Are A Time to Play

by Woody McMahon 

The Art of Relaxation

Vacations are all about having a good time. They are also a time to relax
and refresh your body and mind. Learning to relax is really difficult for
many people and in fact is actually an art. The first step to any healthy
vacation is to just chill and have some fun. Work involves deadlines,
schedules and other commitments, vacations should not. When you work, every
minute of your day can be jammed with meetings, answering emails and phone
calls and taking kids to soccer or swim team practice.


Avoid letting your vacation become a series of planned "things you have to do."
The faster you can switch from work mode to vacation time, the sooner your
body and mind can start to relax. True relaxation is learning to let go,
creating real down-time and allowing yourself to just do nothing.


When You Know It's Time

If you pay close attention to how your body feels and your attitude
towards life, you'll know exactly when it's time to take a break. In recent
years, work and home schedules have become very hectic, increasing mental
and physical stresses and reducing life's enjoyments. The constant
bombardment of stressful thoughts places an enormous strain on all parts of
your body and mind
. If you have any of the following signs: increased pain
levels, more muscle tightness, headaches, irritability and shortness of
temper or lack of creativity, it's probably time for a vacation.


Break Free of the Go Go Go

Vacations are about letting go of some of the drive to succeed. Success
does not require a 24 hour dedication to your work. Pulling away from work
helps bring balance and a whole new perspective to your career. It doesn't
make much sense being successful and making lots of money just to spend it
at the doctor's office or in the hospital. A healthy vacation may be just
what the doctor ordered when it comes to increasing success and helping you
live a long and healthy lifetime. Let's look at two important vacation
habits to keep in mind when you are planning your next vacation.


Resist the Urge to Do Too Much

If your vacation plan starts to mirror your daily life just in another
place and time, resist the urge to over do it. Sure there may be many
things to see and do, but you can't do it all and expect to relax.
Entertain the possibility that instead of doing and seeing it all on this
trip, maybe you might actually come back a second time to catch what you
missed. Don't get me wrong; you don't necessarily need to just sit in a
chair and drool. Vacation days chocked full like work days won't give
you the rest necessary to feel refreshed and revived.


Turn-off All Cell Phones, Email and Computers

Before you leave, create a "gone fishing" message to anyone who might
email you. Change the phone message on your voice mail announcing that you
will be unavailable for the next few days while you kick back and relax.
Absolutely though, stay away from the work impulse to check your email or
voice mail while on vacation. Relaxation time is about creating a different
rhythm or mind-set
with your time and days. You can try getting up earlier
or staying up later, going off your normal eating schedule, reading the
local paper if you normally don't, taking a break from your rigorous
fitness schedule or anything else that separates vacation days from work


Make Your Break Really Count

There is great power in breaking the bonds that tie you to your work. When
it comes to your work, remember that you need to take a break to refresh so
you don't burnout. This is the time to recharge your batteries and come
back full of energy and raring to go. A relaxing vacation will have you
enthusiastically back at your job and ready to slay the competition. One
resort uses a slogan that best sums up the healthy vacation experience. It
says Relax. Rejuvenate. Restore. What more can be said!

Would you like to improve your health but don't know where to start?

How about an exercise program that alleviates pain and strengthens your bones?

Do you have weight problems but are tired of dieting? We provide an easy to
follow programs without the gimmicks or fads. You'll also get the education,
motivation and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping
you feel and look your best. Please call Woody McMahon for a no cost
consultation, at 703-464-5171 or email to 


Overeating Causes Most Weight Gain
by Woody McMahon

Eating for Two

Overeating is usually to blame when it comes to excess weight gain. Most
studies have shown that people rarely realize how much food they are
actually eating
. You may have tried dieting and exercising only to lose and
then gain back the same 20 pounds. It takes both a physical and mental
to break your overeating habit. Healthy weight loss comes from
permanently stopping overeating. It is the only long-term solution to the


Understanding Overeating

Excess weight is driven by both physical and mental urges to overeat.
Some hunger signals come from your stomach, others from the emotional
centers in your brain. If you have healthy eating habits then the stomach
dominated signals are in control. These stomach signals are only sent when
your body needs food for nourishment and then shut off when you are full.
If you are overeating, then your signals are dominated by emotional calls for
food. Emotional eating has no natural shut-off mechanism and is very hard
to stop.


Emotions In Control

With emotional overeating, the stomach signals are overridden by the
mental and emotional signals in the brain. 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. You may be eating for psychological reasons
even when your body doesn't need food for nourishment,. 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 emotional hunger centers.


Relearning How to Eat Healthy Portions

A good first step to stopping the overeating cycle is learning how to
serve and eat healthy portions. Begin by creating meals that are inline
with your body's needs
for food. Learn what a correctly portioned meal
looks like. This will make it easier especially when going out to eat at a
restaurant or party. You may still want more food but at least you can see
the correct portion for your body. Once you have had your meal, avoid going
back for seconds no matter how good it tasted.


Emotional Hunger Comes From Stress

The most challenging but also the most rewarding part of correcting
overeating is getting your emotional urge to eat under control. One of the
best ways to do this is to be aware of your feelings especially when you
are hungry. This is called "practicing mindful eating" or checking your
emotional state before you eat.


Here are three good questions to ask yourself before eating:

  1. Are you walking to the kitchen because your body needs food or are you
just bored, sad, tired or depressed?

  2. You just ate 2 hours ago; are you physically or emotionally hungry?

  3. Could you do something else other than eat to calm or make yourself
feel better?


Try This Fix

What you will find is that most often the hunger you are experiencing is
emotionally driven. Now try feeding that hunger with something other than
Instead of reaching for something to eat, find other ways to relax
your mind.
Some suggestions are taking a walk, listening to music, getting
into a hot bath, heading to the club for a workout or reading a good book.
The more you work on reducing your stress, the less you will find yourself
wanting to eat.

High stress living can cause excess weight gain!

Follow our Fresh Start Healthy Weight! system and you'll reduce your weight
and improve your health at the same time. We provide the education, motivation
and accountability necessary to improve your health while helping you feel and
look your best. For a no cost consultation, please call Woody McMahon at
703-464-5171 or email to


Pets and People

Feline Vaccinations - Walking Through the Minefield

Vaccination against debilitating and fatal diseases has vastly improved the well-being of humanity.  It's difficult now for us to imagine a world with widespread polio, kids dying daily of whooping cough, or smallpox decimating whole cities.  Without our indispensable vaccination programs, such diseases would re-emerge quickly.   It does not follow, however, that an individual will achieve better health through more frequent vaccination, nor will the population as a whole.  Neither does it follow that the best vaccine plan for a child in, say, South Africa would be the same as for a child in Canada.

Likewise, there is no single vaccine protocol that is right for all cats.  Every cat has different risk factors.  And while many mistakenly believe that vaccinations are entirely safe, and entirely effective, neither is true.  There is always a risk of adverse events associated with vaccination, which must be balanced against the benefit, if any, from a vaccine for your cat.  Yet the serious and often fatal diseases we fight with vaccines are still out there.

The Diseases Most Cats Should Be Protected Against

Panleukopenia ("Feline distemper") used to be a common veterinary hospital visitor, highly contagious and commonly fatal. The virus is a resilient organism which can sneak into your house on your clothes or shoes.  Indoor cats must therefore be protected.

The "distemper" combination vaccine includes antigens for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus.  While rarely fatal, both diseases cause much easily preventable suffering.

Indoor cats must also be protected against Rabies.  It is contagious to humans, and is nearly 100% fatal if not treated immediately.  Cats are very susceptible to it.  Vaccination laws are strong, as they should be, to protect the citizenry.  Fortunately, there is a feline vaccine available that utilizes a unique technology which delivers excellent protection with minimal inflammation.  If other, unnecessary vaccines are eliminated, the repeated administration of such a relatively innocuous one can be better tolerated.

Only these two vaccines, the Rabies and the Panleukopenia /Calicivirus / Viral Rhinotracheitis combination, are recommended by the
American Association  of Feline Practitioners for all cats, including those living completely indoors. 

Other Available Vaccines

Feline Leukemia (FeLV):  The FeLV vaccine is worthwhile, but only for cats who spend time outside or have other lifestyle factors that put them at risk, such as living with another cat who has the Feline Leukemia virus.  Even then, the level of protection against a strong challenge in a vaccinated cat is far from perfect.

Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV):   FIV is not a significant risk for most cats, because contagion nearly always requires a bite wound.  It should be used only for cats at demonstrable risk, such as outdoor cats who fight.  This vaccination induces antibodies that can't be differentiated from those produced by actual infection, so a vaccinated cat will always test positive, complicating identification of cats who actually have the disease.  This is not a vaccine to be used lightly.

Chlamydophila felis:   A nearly useless vaccine which is included as a fourth ingredient in many of the commercially available "distemper" vaccines.   The addition distracts the cat's immune system from the other three, much more important antigens, while engendering nearly no effective protection itself.  Unless there is a specific, test-confirmed need for it, this should not be used.

Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP):  There is no measurable benefit from this vaccine for almost any pet cat, but it still poses all the risks of the "good vaccines".  Avoid this one entirely.

Serious Risks Associated With Vaccination

Vaccine-Associated Fibrosarcomas:  These are rare but very malignant cancers which arise at the site of an injection.  The incidence is estimated at between 1 in 1000 to 1 in 10,000 vaccinations.  These tumors must be treated extremely radically.  For this reason, some vets now administer feline vaccines as far down the legs as possible, and sometimes even in the tail.   Should tumors occur, amputation of a limb can save the cat's life.

Inflammatory Insults:  Much worse and probably more common is the danger deriving from repeated inflammatory insults.  Many leading scientists now believe that vaccinations induce systemic inflammatory responses, which can lead to chronic inflammatory diseases such as arthritis, pancreatitis, and inflammatory bowel disease, as well as hyperthyroidism and numerous others.  The actual risk for a given cat is likely to be closely proportional to how many vaccines he receives over his life.

Anaphylactic Reactions:  True anaphylaxis is quite rare, but does happen.  Even with immediate treatment, death may ensue.

Vaccination can cause many lesser problems such as itching, hives, lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and local hair loss, to name a few.  Most of these are transitory, and are not serious health risks.

Protection With Minimal Vaccination

Where possible, I recommend replacing annual or triannual vaccination with annual blood tests ("titering") which measure antibody levels.  If the titer is insufficient, and if there are no contraindications, I may recommend revaccination.  There are admittedly flaws in the concept of titering.  Most importantly, we don't accurately know what level of antibody is protective.  Our evidence comes more from experience than from studies.  But that is changing, and hopefully there will be more reliable evidence to work with in the future.

Panleukopenia vaccinations induce an enduring immunity in most cats.  Many will carry a protective level of antibody for most of their adult life after only kitten shots and one adult injection.  Repeated vaccinations are usually not needed.  Some Panleukopenia vaccines are approved for 3-year intervals, but even that is more than is needed for most cats.  Titering is an excellent alternative for this disease.

There are titer tests available for Feline Viral Rhinotracheitis and Calicivirus also; single-ingredient vaccines can be given should your cat pass one titer and fail another.  Some of these can also be given as drops into the eyes and/or nose.  The lack of a "shot" reduces the risk of an injection site sarcoma.

The Best Of Both Worlds

Indisputably, every vaccination is an inflammatory event, and all inflammatory events have a systemic component, ripples from the stone thrown in the pond.  These insults may be small, but they add up, and so vaccinations should be kept as few as possible.  But don't throw the baby out with the bathwater; a choice to avoid vaccines entirely leaves your cat at risk for some pretty horrible and awful diseases.  Vaccines are not all good or all bad.  They are tools to be used with good judgment for the right purposes.  The best vaccine plan for your cat will balance on the tightrope between disease risk and vaccine risk.  A good feline vet will take the time to learn about your cat's lifestyle and history, and then help you learn about the risks and benefits of the vaccination choices to be made for your cat.

King is a former veterinary hospital manager turned writer. She is
the author of Buckley's Story - Lessons from a Feline Master Teacher. Her
online magazine News for You and Your Pet goes out to subscribers around
the world. Her blog, The Conscious Cat, has been called "educational cat
nip for the cat lover" and is a comprehensive resource for conscious
living, health and happiness for pets and their people. For more information
about Ingrid, please visit


Osteoporosis Support Group Meeting
Two Ways This Time

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Topic: Simplify Your Program; Save Money and Your Bones 

Date :
Tuesday May 4th for the in-office Support Group

            Wednesday May 5th for the conference call Support Group

Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc
483A Carlisle Drive, Herndon, VA 

Our last conference call support group was a great success. Join us for our next
conference call style format support group so that you may participate from the comfort
of your own home. For more information and reservations please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to



Healthy Lifestyle Consultations Now Available 

Do you have questions about how to live a healthy lifestyle? Do you need
accurate, cutting edge solutions to lifestyle and other health problems?
Sign-up for a healthy lifestyle consultation and get the answers you need
now. Click Here for more information.


You can also contact Woody McMahon directly at 703-464-5171 or email to



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) 2006-2010 by Sequoia Health and Fitness
, Inc.

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