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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                May 15th 2010
  • A No-Hassle Healthy Lifestyle
  • Rethinking Your Time in The Sun
  • How to Read a Pet Food Label
  • Support Group Meeting June 1st
  • Healthy Lifestyle Consultations Now Available 

Feel Better... Live Better

A No-Hassle Healthy Lifestyle

by Woody McMahon 

A Mountain to Climb

One of the most daunting tasks in life can be trying to live a healthy
lifestyle. At least 10 times a day you will read or hear about how good it
is for you. Even with all of that positive reinforcement, just the thought
of trying to go to the gym regularly, eat healthier portioned food and then
take the time to relax can seem like a chore. So what do you do to try to
get on course and "do the right thing" when it comes to improving your
health and fitness?


It's Like Money in the Bank

Living a healthier lifestyle is much easier if you can reposition the
benefits of improving your body and think of it as an investment. Just like
looking at retirement and seeing how much money you want to save for your
future; look at your health in the same light. A well funded retirement
takes initial planning and the discipline to put money away for a future
good time. The health of your body follows the same principles. Exercising
and eating better
puts "health credits" into your "body bank" ensuring that
when you are ready to retire, you'll feel good and have a body that can
take you where you want to go.


Start With a Simple Plan

Just like retirement takes planning, good health requires a blueprint that
you can follow. It will also take an attitude adjustment as well. Saying to
yourself "I am worth taking the time to feel better now and be better in
the future"
is an important shift in your attitude. Once you can see it's
important to live a healthy lifestyle, then making the time for it will be
easier. So for a simple plan suggestion, set aside 3 hours a week that are
devoted to increasing the "health credits" in your "body bank." Think of it
this way; 3 hours a week is less than 30 minutes a day. Commit to this 3
hours a week for 6 months.


Take Baby Steps

Once your plan is in place, implement it with baby steps. If you make your
goals too lofty or your program too tough, you will quit within 60 to 90
days. You have committed to spending 3 hours a week in search of healthier
pursuits. Now give yourself the freedom to break up those 3 hours anyway
you want
. Maybe one day you go on a 45 minute walk; the next day you can
lift weights at the gym for 20 minutes and so on. You and your body will get
the idea of flexibility and variety
rather than repetition. This makes your
time seem less like a chore while being much more enjoyable.


Don't Try to Do it Alone

Only the most committed and disciplined can change health habits all by
themselves. At the beginning, take the time to get good advice from a
health and fitness professional
. Spending this time and money now will put
you on the fast track to success and accomplishment. Consider joining some
classes or groups
in your endeavor to be healthier. Yoga, Tai Chi, spin,
step and other classes are a great way to meet like minded people. Also
look for a fitness partner who can help you stay committed and motivated
while making the time more enjoyable.

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 


Rethinking Your Time in The Sun
by Woody McMahon

Good Sun, Bad Sun

Human beings have been benefiting from the sun for thousands of years. It
is only recently that the sun has become something to avoid. The current
message of cover-up or run the risk of skin cancer has put people in a
terrible predicament.  You need the sun's rays to maintain good health
especially when it comes to producing adequate amounts of vitamin D. The
trick is to get enough sun to improve your health but not too much to
damage your skin.
Some Ultraviolet Radiation is Good
For our discussion, there are basically two types of ultraviolet light,
ultraviolet A and B. Ultraviolet A (UVA) contributes to tanning but also
carries with it the potential for premature aging and wrinkles. Ultraviolet
B (UVB), known as the "tanning" ray, is best known for producing vitamin D
but it can also cause sunburns. If you get too much, both types of UV light
can severely damage your skin and lead to skin cancer. UV rays are more
intense in the summer, at higher altitudes, and closer to the equator. At
latitudes above 34 degrees, UV light is almost non-existent in the winter
months, due to the angle of the sun.
Sun Therapy
When UVB light from the sun strikes your skin it begins a cascade of
chemical reactions leading to vitamin D production. We are now learning
that every single cell in your body needs vitamin D for good health. Just
like everything else, some sun exposure is good; a lot can detrimental.
Research has found that 10 to 15 minutes of full body sun exposure every
other day is adequate
to produce enough vitamin D for good health. Experts
are now learning that a lack of sun exposure may be more dangerous than too
much. Can you get too much sun? Absolutely yes! After 10 to 15 minutes of
sun exposure, your skin begins to get damaged. That is when covering-up or
getting out of the sun is your best option for skin protection.
Multiple Health Benefits
There is a well-documented relationship between low vitamin D levels and
poor bone health. Now links to low vitamin D levels have been made to
almost every major cancer. Getting some sun may also shake off the
wintertime blues
. Research suggests that light hitting your skin, not just
your eyes, helps reverse seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Moreover, being
outside golfing, gardening, and engaging in other types of physical
activity is good for your health. In addition, UVB irradiance and vitamin D
also provide important health benefits
in preventing or ameliorating such
conditions or diseases as osteoporosis, muscle pain, multiple sclerosis,
type 1 and type 2 diabetes mellitus and high blood pressure.
Get Your Sun On
Your body was clearly designed to produce vitamin D from sun exposure.How
do we know? There are no significant amounts of vitamin D naturally
in the foods you eat. If there were, adequate levels of vitamin D
could then be obtained from your diet. This is just impossible to do.
Supplements can be used to improve vitamin D levels but because of the
substantial amounts required, a blood test is necessary to prevent
overdosing. When sun exposure is used to increase vitamin D levels, your
skin has a natural protection mechanism that stops production thus
preventing an overdose. Just remember that the sun is your friend. As long
as you use it wisely your body and health will thank you for it.

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

How To Read a Pet Food Label
by Ingrid King

Vaccination I've written a lot about nutrition lately, and about what foods I recommend.  The progression from most desirable to least desirable, and this goes for cats as well as dogs, is raw food, grain-free canned food, any canned food, and grain-free dry food.
I do not recommend dry food containing grains (read The Truth About Dry Cat Food for more  on why this is not a good choice).  But even within these parameters, the available options can be overwhelming. Pet food labels should be a useful tool to help pet owners decide which foods to select.  Unfortunately, unless you know how to interpret the often confusing information on the labels, they may only add to the confusion.

For starters, keep in mind that pet food packaging is all about marketing. Our pets couldn't care less what container their food comes in, or whether it has pretty pictures
of kittens and puppies on it.  They don't care about pretty label and brand colors, but
you can bet that pet food companies spend major marketing dollars on determining which colors appeal to pet owners.  Don't let  pet foods labelled as "natural" mislead you - just because the label has the word "natural" and pictures of wholesome vegetables and grains on it does  not necessarily make it so.  The only way you can be sure to understand what's in a food is by reading the label.  Here are some things to look for:

Pet food manufacturers are required to list ingredients in descending order, in other words, the most predominant ingredient has to be listed first.  Look for meat based proteins as the main ingredient.  Avoid anything that lists corn or soy and their by-products - these two ingredients are some of the prime culprits for causing allergies in pets.  Don't be fooled into thinking that a food is good for your pet because it lists ingredients such as peas, carrots, cranberries, blueberries and the like.   Pets don't really need these ingredients to thrive, but they make for good marketing to the pet's human.   They can be a source of antioxidants and vitamins, but the amounts are probably not significant enough to make a difference.

Guaranteed Analysis
Manufacturers are required to list basic nutrient percentages on the label. Typically, this portion of the label will list crude protein, crude fat, crude fiber, moisture, and ash content.   Note that there is no listing for carbohydrates on food labels, which is a very important consideration when it comes to feeding cats, who are obligate carnivores.  However, it is not difficult to calculate approximate carbohydrate contents.  Simply add
all of the listed nutrients and subtract the total from 100% - this will give you a fairly accurate number.  For a comprehensive listing of widely available canned cat foods with carbohydrate contents, click here.  One caveat:  it appears that the information on the chart has not been updated since 2008, and ingredients for some brands may have changed.

AAFCO Statement
This is probably the most misunderstood item on pet food labels.  AAFCO, the American Association of Feed Control Officials, is the organization which is charged with establishing and enforcing animal feed requirements across all fifty state governments.  It's primary responsibility is to ensure the safety of feed for human food producing livestock.  The AAFCO statement on most pet food labels indicates that the food has been tested and approved as "complete and balanced for the life of a pet."   This is sadly misleading.  The tests are conducted on very small groups of animals and for very short periods of time.  The only real long-term test of pet food happen when pet owners feed these diets to their own pets!

Just like selecting food for yourself and your human family members, choosing healthy
food for your pets comes down to educating yourself, reading labels, and not falling for marketing hype.  Your pets will thank you for it.

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: A Fitness Program That Really Works  

Date :
Tuesday June 1st In-Office Support Group
Time: 6:30 to 7:30 pm

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

Stop wasting your time on piecemeal fitness programs that yield little results. We'll talk
about the essential pieces that you are missing from your current exercise program. 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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