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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                July 1, 2008 
  • Protein... Not Too Much or Too Little
  • It's Vacation Time
  • Healthy Pets and People Too Seminar  July 19th 2008
  • Sign-up for the Active Adults... FITT Testing Program


Protein... Not Too Much or Too Little

The Importance of Protein
If you are having trouble with your weight, one of the difficulties may be a lack of complete protein. Weight gain is generally tied to the overeating of simple carbohydrates which are very low in protein. The typical American breakfast of coffee, toast and cereal can add to the problem because it contains minimal amounts of protein. If you avoid drinking milk or eating eggs for breakfast, your protein deficit can be magnified even further.


Protein as the Builder

Protein is one of the major structural building blocks of the body. It can be found in many different areas including the brain, skeletal muscles, red blood cells, skin, hair and nails, the heart and blood vessels and other major organs. Scientists estimate that about 50% of the human body's dry weight is made up of protein. Getting the correct balance of protein is essential for a healthy heart, strong bones, muscles and an efficient and balanced immune system.

How Your Body Uses Protein
Protein foods are digested in the stomach and broken down into smaller units called amino acids. Your body then uses the amino acids to build new tissues as well as repair old ones. Some of the amino acids are converted into hormones such as adrenalin and insulin. If excess protein is consumed then it is either used as energy or stored as fat. Excess protein intake, like the Atkins diet, is very stressful on your body and can actually damage your kidneys.  


Good Protein Sources
Getting the correct amount and type of protein is important for good health. Both too little and too much protein can have unwanted health consequences. Trying to include foods that contain complete sources of protein at every meal helps ensure an adequate supply of amino acids. A complete protein is one that contains all 9 essential amino acids. Essential amino acids are ones that the body "can't live without." Some of the best sources of protein can be found in the meat group: fish, chicken, beef, lamb and pork; the dairy group: milk, eggs, plain yogurt and cheese; the plant group: beans and lentils and the nut group: nuts and seeds.


Strenuous Exercise Doesn't Mean You Need Extra Protein
Contrary to popular belief, people who exercise vigorously or are trying to put on muscle mass don't need to consume extra protein. Studies show that weight-trainers who don't eat extra protein (either in food or protein powders) still gain muscle at the same rate as weight-trainers who supplement their diets with protein. A very high protein diet can strain the kidneys and liver and prompt excessive loss of the mineral calcium and water.

Calculating Your Protein Amount
The amount of protein you need in your diet depends on your weight, age, activity levels and health. To see a more accurate guide to your daily protein needs, use this simple protein calculator:

When it comes to weight loss, getting enough protein is important. Complete protein is important for good cell repair and muscle development. End the struggle with your weight once and for all. Contact us for more information on Fresh Start Healthy Weight and to schedule your free Fresh Start consultation. Call Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to  


It's Vacation Time

The Tell Tale Signs

Pay close attention to how your body feels and the thoughts that traverse your mind. Do it and you'll know exactly when it's time to take a break. In recent years, work and home schedules have become more hectic, increasing mental and physical stresses and reducing life's enjoyments. High stress living leads to a build-up of excess cortisol and places an enormous strain on all parts of your body and mind. So do a self-check and see if you have any of the following signs: increased pain levels, stubborn weight gain, more muscular tightness, irritability and shortness of temper and lack of creativity. If you can say yes to any of these, it's probably time for a vacation.   


Go Go Go

Most people mistakenly believe that success requires a 24 hour dedication to their work. In fact, there is nothing farther from the truth. Pulling away from work helps bring balance and a whole new perspective to your career. What sense does it make being successful and earning lots of money if the result is spending all of 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 your success and helping you live a long and healthy lifetime. Let's look at some of the important things to keep in mind when you are planning your next vacation. If your vacation is relaxing, it only takes a few days and you'll be enthusiastically ready to get back at your job and slay the competition.


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 can return a second time and catch what you missed. Don't get me wrong; you don't necessarily need to just sit in a chair and drool. Vacation days that emulate work days won't give you the rest necessary to feel refreshed and revived.  


The Art of Relaxation

Learning to relax is very difficult for many people and in fact it's actually an art. The first step to any healthy vacation is to just chill and have some fun. In this day and age, work involves deadlines, schedules and other commitments. Every minute of your day can be jammed with meetings, answering emails and phone calls and taking kids to soccer or swim team practice. Don't let your vacation be a series of planned "things I have got 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 do just nothing.   


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 will separate vacation days from work days.


The Creative Break
There is great power in breaking the bonds that tie you to your work. Burnout and reduced creativity comes from letting your batteries run down too low by not knowing when to take a break. Summer is a great time to take a break and recharge your physical and mental energy. Then you can come back full of energy and raring to go. One resort uses a slogan that best sums up the healthy vacation experience. It says Relax. Rejuvenate. Restore. What more can be said!  


Staying active and physically fit is the best way to avoid chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes, alzheimer's, osteoporosis and depression. Commit to Getting Active, Eating Healthier and Reducing Stress while living a healthier lifestyle. No matter how old you are, 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    


Healthy Pets and People Too

On Saturday July 19 from 9 am to 12 noon you can bring your canine companion and learn some fun ways to help improve each others' health and conditioning. Let your dog show you how to be more active and you reciprocate and help their muscles and joints feel much better. In our fun session you'll learn: 

  • An effective activity warm-up and stretching cool down
  • Proper hydration (water intake) for you and your dog
  • A fun "no equipment" fitness circuit that you can do together
  • Simple pet massage techniques to help maintain his or her natural
    state of health and well-being

Cost: $45 per pet

Class Size: Limited to 10 pets
Location: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

Please come dressed to be active and bring water for both you and your pet.
For reservations or more information please contact:

Woody McMahon at Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc                   703-464-5171


Ingrid King at Healing Hands                                                             703-309-4296


Sign-up for Active Adult FITT Testing Program

Your Conditioning is Important to Your Health
Research continues to show the positive effects of good physical conditioning on maintaining your heath and independence. You noticed I said physical conditioning not exercise; there is a big difference. Physical conditioning is a broader measure of fitness. It includes stamina, balance, flexibility and strength as its important components. Just going to the health club or Yoga studio is not enough to put you in good physical condition!


The Signs of Poor Physical Conditioning
The body will tell you when you're not paying enough attention to it. Stiff and sore muscles and joints, back and neck pain, shortness of breath walking up stairs, headaches, difficulty getting out of a chair, sleep trouble, arthritis and difficulty tying your shoes or putting on your pants are all signs of lack of physical conditioning. The best way to maintain your independence as you get older is to have a conditioning program that keeps your body in top condition.     


Testing for Physical Conditioning
We are offering FITT, the physical conditioning testing program affiliated with the Presidential Physical Fitness Awards program for adults. Once you complete the tests, you'll receive a conditioning score. You can compare your score with a national ranking system to see how well you did. For those interested in improving their score, we are offering an assessment fof your current fitness program; improved program design and conditioning classes specifically designed to improve your scores.    


The Time to Start is Now

It is easier than you think to improve your physical conditioning and your health.
Dedicating as little as three hours a week can make a significant difference in how you look and feel. Health problems don't need to slow you down or keep you from enjoying life unless you let them. Besides, getting active, eating healthier and reducing stress significantly improves most medical problems. Remember, it takes being proactive now if you want to be an Active Adult in the future.


Become An Active Adult Today
Testing is free for current clients and $39 for non-clients. Give us a call at 703-464-5171 or email to schedule your FITT test today.

You can also click on the link to take our

Health Investment Questionnaire, a great way to learn what it takes to stay independent and healthful for the rest of your life. 


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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