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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                                July 1st 2010
  • Healthy Weight Loss- Not as Hard as You Think
  • Stay Flexible... Reduce Injury
  • New Thoughts on Cats and Hairballs
  • August Support Group Meeting "Ask the PT"
  • Healthy Lifestyle Consultations Now Available 

Feel Better... Live Better

Healthy Weight Loss- Not as Hard as You Think

by Woody McMahon 

Weight Loss is Not Hard Work

By the choices you make, weight loss will either be a time consuming and
onerous process or it can easy. Weight loss is hard work only if you refuse
to follow your "brain and body rules." Yes, your brain and body have very
definite rules when it comes to healthy weight loss. Follow the rules and
your weight will balance and normalize itself very quickly and efficiently.
If you decide to invent your own rules then weight loss can be pure
torture. Always remind yourself that returning to a normal healthy weight
is a natural process that both your body and mind want to accomplish very


Let's look at some important ways to make your weight loss program both
easier and more effective.


Listen to Your Body

Working with your body gives the fastest and most long lasting results
when it comes to losing weight. If you fight your natural tendencies and
body physiology, losing weight becomes more of a struggle than it needs to
be. Your body is different than anyone else's. It talks to you and your job
is to listen. If you feel bloated after a meal then the food you ate was
probably a poor choice. If on the other hand you feel energized and your
food digested well, you can bet it was a healthy choice. Consider the last
time you exercised at 5 in the morning just to "get it in" and you were
tired all day. Healthy or poor choice? You decide. When beginning any
weight loss program, it is important to consider how your body and mind
For greater success, strive to work with rather than against them.


Choose Protein Over Carbohydrates

Food by its very nature is addictive. The natural and artificial chemicals
in food directly affect your brain. These chemicals change the way you feel
by modifying the amounts of certain hormones in your brain. Simply put
"food affects mood" and that is where food can become just like any other
artificial stimulant or narcotic. As an example, carbohydrates are more
powerful brain stimulators than proteins. Eating a higher carb meal
will have you hungry in 2 hours
while consuming a higher protein meal will
leave you comfortable and sated. Take advantage of the positive chemical
changes food has on your brain and make them work for you.


Lift Weights for Best Results

Physical activity helps increase your metabolism by building lean body
mass (muscle). The more muscle you can build, the more calories your
body will burn per hour no matter what you are doing. The fastest way to
increase muscle mass is to lift weights. So spending a lot of time on the
treadmill burning calories is not going to get the weight off as fast as
the same amount of time spent lifting weights. That extra muscle tissue
provides an additional benefit; it keeps the excess weight from returning
once you reach a healthy weight.


Stay Well Hydrated

Water is essential for every single biological function in your body. Why
is water so important for healthy weight loss? Water acts as a catalyst
helping increase your metabolism
. Multiple studies have found that people
who stayed well hydrated (the amount of water in your body); accumulated
less body fat and tended to be closer to normal weight. So try and drink at
least 75 ounces (more for some people) of plain water every day to maintain
proper hydration. Plain water is more effective than juice, soda, coffee
tea or energy drinks at helping reduce excess body fat.

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


Stay Flexible... Reduce Injury
by Woody McMahon

Make Time to Stretch
Exercise or activity with  proper stretching decreases your risk of
getting neck, shoulder, hip, back or knee pain. Many people with increased
back, hip and knee pain attribute it to their age or excess weight. In
reality, age or weight is rarely the cause. Rather, most joint pain can be
traced to three main causes. 1. Tight and weak muscles as the result of a
sedentary lifestyle 2. A lack of joint lubrication (called synovial fluid)
due to inadequate water intake. 3. Poor flexibility causes by tight and
shortened muscles.
How Does Stretching Work?
Stretching helps to lengthen your muscles allowing them to relax and do
their jobs better. Inactivity and constant sitting shorten and imbalance
muscles placing abnormal stresses on your joints. Stretching is also the
best way to prevent premature deterioration of the cartilage in your
joints. For the cartilage to stay healthy, your joints demand movement.
Flexible muscles prevent narrowed joint spaces, premature cartilage wear
and allow your joints to move freely. Stretching also increases joint range
of motion
keeping it well lubricated and healthy.
The Best Time to Stretch
There is some controversy as to the best time to stretch. Most experts
seem to agree that you should warm-up thoroughly before exercise and
stretch after for the best results. The rationale for this approach is your
muscles are cold prior to a workout. Stretching a cold muscle is like
trying to stretch a cold piece of gum. After the workout, your tissues are
much more pliable making them receptive to stretching and long term
improvements in flexibility.
An Effective Upper Body Stretch
The shoulder joint is a complex joint that is easily injured by a lack of
stretching or activities that are too aggressive for one's conditioning.
Tight and painful shoulder joints can easily become "frozen" generally
requiring physical therapy. Here is an excellent shoulder stretch that
works very well.
Towel Stretch: Grab the end of a work-out towel with your right hand. Lift
the towel with your right hand and drape it over your right shoulder. Take
your left hand and grab the other end of the towel. You will have to turn
your arm so that your palm faces away from your back. Once you have both
hands on the towel, walk both hands towards each other on the towel. When
you can't go any further, gently pull up with the right hand to stretch the
left shoulder. Repeat with the left hand.
A Beneficial Stretch for the Lower Back
There are many reasons why people experience back pain. However, a
majority of back pain is related to tight hip, back and leg muscles. The
first and best way to help your back feel better is through stretching.
Here is an excellent back stretch that works very well.
Cat and Dog Stretch: Get on your hands and knees with your hands spread
shoulder width and your knees hip width apart. Your head should be in a
neutral position with your face pointed straight down. Without moving your
hands or knees, try and press your belly button towards the floor. You will
need to rock your hips forward to do this and increase the curve in the
lower back. Hold for the count of 10. Now go in the opposite direction and
try and press your belly button towards the ceiling. Your hips must rock
backwards this time. Hold for a count of ten.
Try these stretches on a regular basis and see how much better your back
and shoulders will feel.


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




Pets and People

New Thoughts on Cats and Hairballs
by Fern Crist, DVM

It is always the case that we vets deal with the same problems at home
that we counsel our clients about. And not always terribly well. I'm
certainly no exception. Years ago, I had a long-haired cat who threw up
hairballs frequently, but unlike most hairball-barfing cats, she did not
just hack up the offending wad and then go about her business as though
nothing had happened. Nope, she would obviously feel ill for minutes to
hours afterward. And probably beforehand, too, had I had the vision to see
I tried all the time-honored remedies that I prescribed every day for my
patients. I dosed her with various brands of flavored petroleum jelly. I
fed her diets purporting to help with hairballs by the inclusion of extra
fiber. I brushed her constantly, which fortunately she loved. None of these
things helped. Eventually I shaved her, leaving the adorable puffs on her
legs and tail that made her look like a fat little old lady in tight
leotard and legwarmers. As long as I did this three or four times a year,
there were no more hairballs. Oddly enough, however, she continued to have
vomiting episodes, albeit less frequently, and minus the hair. Diagnostics
revealed inflammatory bowel disease, and eventually my poor sweet girl
succumbed to intestinal lymphoma.
While rooming with a brilliant feline practitioner at a medical conference
shortly after, still grieving, I confessed my frustration with the
seemingly insignificant problem of hairballs. Her answer blew me away.
There is no such thing as "just a hairball," she says to me. Think about
it. Cats developed stringent grooming behaviors in the course of evolution
because grooming is a positive survival factor, probably through
controlling parasitism and other diseases. So they are going to ingest a
lot of hair. Does vomiting as a daily method for expelling this hair seem
evolutionarily sound? Stomach acid hurts the esophagus and teeth, and
frequent vomiting upsets the electrolyte balance. While vomiting as an
emergency mechanism to rid oneself of the occasional nastiness seems
reasonable, it seems unlikely that the daily vomiting of hairballs is the
"normal" thing that the medical community has assumed it to be.
I'm hooked. Go on, I say. She continues.
Why would we think that "lubrication" of the gut with petroleum products
would help? A cat is not a car. And in no way could a cat have naturally
evolved to require the dosing with "lubricants" to survive or to thrive.
Likewise, cats in the wild would never eat a "high-fiber" diet, and so
would seem unlikely to benefit from one. On the contrary, it would appear
logical that a cat would thrive better on what a cat has been evolved to
eat - namely a mouse or a reasonable facsimile thereof - and that feeding a
cat something wildly different from the diet it has evolved on is more
likely to result in harm than in good.
No, she says, I think it likely that a "hairball," far from normal, is
probably a common early symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Impaired
motility of the gut would account for the balling up of hair that should
pass right through, if stomach-emptying time is the 0.2 - 2 hours it is
reported to be in a normal cat. A cat shouldn't be able to swallow enough
hair fast enough to outrace normal stomach emptying time.
This is making sense to me. Particularly as I just lost my own cat to
this. And as I think back, I realize that "hairballs" have been in the
histories of a disproportionate number of the patients I've treated with
IBD and lymphoma.
She tells me that she's been changing her patients over to low-fiber diets
(grain-free and low carbohydrate) for a while now, and she's seeing a
precipitous drop in the whole "hairball" thing. I can see the long-term
implications of this line of reasoning: if cat food containing an
unnaturally high level of fiber and carbohydrates is associated with an
increased incidence of impaired GI motility and vomiting, and if cats fed
this way are at higher risk to develop IBD and lymphoma, then a drop in
hairball vomiting might mean that a cat has a lower risk of these two nasty
diseases. Sounds as though a grain-free diet might be a better way to go.
This all made sense to me. No science to it back then, but neither was
there any to support the idea that hairballs are normal. No one had at that
time asked if a carbohydrate-based diet could possibly have long-term
negative consequences for cats.
Well, they have now. Every day, there's more scientific evidence that
these "mere" hairballs we see so often may respond, not to grease and not
to fiber, not to brushing and not to shaving, but to feeding a diet that
looks like what a cat was evolved to eat.
In the intervening years, I've changed my own cats over to grain-free,
low-carb canned foods, and I've seen nary a hairball from anyone for a very
long time. In my esteemed colleague's footsteps, I've been changing my
patients over to these same diets. I hear about fewer hairballs, and my
patients are slimmer, fitter, and healthier in many ways. Is this a
panacea? Of course not. There's no one cure for everything. But I now have
serious trouble believing that a feline diet in which the calories are
derived primarily from carbohydrates, which are much cheaper than proteins,
is beneficial to anything other than the manufacturer's bottom line.
So next time someone tells you that malt-flavored grease, fiber additives,
brushing or shaving are the only ways to help with those annoying
hairballs, think again. Hairballs may be more than just a stinky mess for
you to clean up. They might well be a sign that your cat has a real health
problem, and should see the veterinarian. And your cat might be telling you
that her gut would be happier with "mouse" than with breakfast cereal.

Ingrid 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
We Are Taking A Summer Break

"Healthy Bones Come From a Healthy Body" Woody McMahon

Topic: Ask The Physical Therapist

             Christi Wilson, PT will be available to answer all your questions
             on bone safety, strengthening and much more.

Date :
Tuesday August 3rd In-Office Support Group
            Wednesday August 4th Telephone Conference Call

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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