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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                          July 16, 2007 
  • Your Cholesterol Level... How Important is it Really?
  • Beware The Diet Inside The Bottle

  • Next Whack-it Round-Robin July 27th

  • Starting August 4th... Lap-Band Healthy Activity Program


Your Cholesterol Level... How Important is it Really?


The Controversy Continues

Even though you may not realize it, there is a strong controversy on the importance of using cholesterol as the single predicative factor for the health of your heart. At your yearly physical, the doctor does blood work to determine your cholesterol and triglyceride levels. If the results come back showing your cholesterol is higher than 200, your doctor tells you it's time to get it lower. Usually the cholesterol lowering approach suggested is taking a statin drug in combination with diet and exercise.


Drugs Alone are Not Enough

Unfortunately, the mentality of "just getting the numbers down" is not a good one. 

Most people tell themselves "if I just use drug therapy and just get my cholesterol down, everything will be all right." They think skipping the activity and healthier eating part of their therapy is OK just as long as the numbers come down. As you will read in the following article, just taking a statin, no matter what your numbers say, gives a false sense of security. With current testing standards, having lower cholesterol is not enough to prevent heart disease and guarantee a long life and good health.


The following excerpts are taken from an excellent article that puts the whole cholesterol numbers game in perspective. To read the entire article go to


It's Not Just the Numbers

"Marc, a successful architect, had rigorously monitored his cholesterol levels every six months since his mother's difficult recovery from a coronary bypass operation at the age of 63. Over the years, Marc's low-density lipoprotein (LDL), a component of a standard cholesterol panel, wavered within a narrow range that never exceeded 95 milligrams per deciliter (mg/dL). "Your cholesterol profile is excellent, as always," his family doctor declared.

"Nevertheless, a heart attack struck Marc down without warning at the
age of 54, leaving him breathless and exhausted from performing the most ordinary activities. Demoralized and frightened, Marc pressed his doctor to explain why he had a heart attack despite his excellent cholesterol values. ?Marc, some people have heart attacks because of genetics," his doctor replied. "There's not a whole lot we can do about that.'"


"Relying on cholesterol values to identify the presence of hidden heart disease is about as good as tossing a coin to do so. If we focus only on people with LDL levels greater than 130 mg/dL, for example, we will miss half of all those who will suffer a heart attack. Should we treat you to prevent a future heart attack?heads or tails? Since it is foolish to gamble with the precious asset of health, we must dig deeper to identify the factors that accurately predict heart disease."


You Need More Than Standard Tests

"This focus on standard lipid testing causes individuals and doctors to neglect all the other causes of heart disease, some of which are more important than cholesterol. Can you have a heart attack if you have low cholesterol? You sure can. Can you survive to the age of 95, outlive all your neighbors, and never have a heart attack despite high cholesterol? Absolutely! Can you suffer a debilitating or fatal heart attack with "normal" cholesterol? It happens every day?1,152 times a day nationwide, to be exact, according to a 2004 report by the American Heart Association." 


Don't Get Caught

Don't get caught in the cholesterol numbers game. Make sure your doctor tests for Homocystein levels, C-Reactive protein and lipid particle size when it comes to your blood profiles. These tests are more important in predicating heart disease than cholesterol levels. After all the testing is over, you'll need to establish healthier habits like getting active, healthier eating and reducing stress. These tools are always going to be more powerful than any drugs in helping you maintain a healthier heart.


Don't get caught in the cholesterol numbers game. Fresh Start uses a complete approach; only the latest fitness and strength training techniques helping you lower cholesterol, increase bone density, muscle strength, metabolism and weight loss.
Make the most of your activity time while also balancing your lifestyle and maintaining good health at any age.
For more information c
ontact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to



Beware The Diet Inside The Bottle


Just When You Hoped it Was Safe
Just when you thought they had gone away forever, diet pills are back in the news.
GlaxoSmithKline is the maker of Alli, an over-the-counter version of the prescription
weight loss drug Xenical. Like dieting, taking pills to lose weight doesn't make much sense, but people do it anyway. The popular diet pill Fen-phen should have taught us all a lesson. Even though it was thought to be safe, Fen-phen was taken off the market when it was found to cause a rare heart valve problem in women. Safe and healthy weight loss never has and never will come out of a bottle.


How Does Alli Work
Unlike traditional diet pills, Alli is not an appetite suppressant. Instead, it works on your intestines to block the absorption of about 25% of the fat in the food you eat.
Fat, especially essential fats are an important dietary substance. Fats are the building blocks of hormones produced in the body and are found in the cells of your hair, skin and nails. With Alli, fat intake needs to stay below 15 grams per meal or you may experience uncomfortable side effects. Taking Alli may prevent you from retaining enough essential fats to maintain adequate health.  


What Are the Potential Side Effects?
The most commonly reported side effects of Alli include stomach pain and discomfort, gas, an urgent need to move the bowels, fatty or oily stools, oily rectal discharge, diarrhea, and a loss of bowel control. You're more likely to have these side effects with higher doses of Alli and with a higher fat diet. So far, no life threatening side effects have been found and Alli is considered safe. Currently, most of the side effects are considered cosmetic.


The Down Side

"For a hundred bucks a month you lose a pound or two and get oily farts and uncontrollable slimy stools," says family physician Dr. Warren Bell, a board member of PharmaWatch, an organization that encourages citizen reporting of adverse drugs effects. "Only the desperate or foolish, or the people who make Xenical, would call this a captivating arrangement." Alli can create fat soluble vitamin deficiencies since it decreases the absorption of fat-soluble minerals and vitamins such as E, A, D and K. If you decide to take Alli, be sure to take a multivitamin every day as an adequate replacement.


Safe and Healthy Weight Loss

The road to safe and healthy weight loss is always the same. Start by participating in activities that you find fun and enjoyable. Get out once or twice a week and move your body; play like a child. Eat healthier foods and try avoiding the processed and chemically laden products. The biggest offenders are fried foods with their trans-fats and soft drinks (diet and non-diet) that steal calcium from your bones.


Finally, none of these recommendations will work if you are living a high stress lifestyle. High stress living increases the hormone cortisol in your blood stream telling the body to store and not burn fat. Reduce your stress, and it's much easier to lose weight and keep it off. Safe and healthy weight loss never comes out of a bottle! 


To read actual accounts of people who have taken Xenical, go to


Diets are for Dummies! Better health is the name of the game. Why would you even care about your weight if you don't have your health? Fresh Start uses a complete approach; only the latest health and strength training techniques to reduce your weight, lower cholesterol, increase bone density, muscle strength and metabolism. Make the most of your activity time while also balancing your lifestyle and maintaining good health at any age.
For more information c
ontact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to


Next Whack-it Round-Robin July 27th 

Eight people came to play Whack-it Friday night. We played with teams of four and it was a lot
of fun. Two hours of play really worked-up quite a sweat. Make sure to join us Friday night,
July 27th from 7 to 9pm.
Come by yourself or bring a teammate. Depending on the number of
people that show, we will play some doubles and four on four Whack-it as well. Please register
or email or by phone
703-464-5171. The cost is $10 per person.
Looking forward to seeing you in July.

August 4th... Lap-Band Healthy Activity Program

Saturday August 4th is the first of our 8 week Lap-Band Activity program. Two sessions,
9am and 10am, are being offered to start, both on Saturday morning. Class size is limited to
6 people and spaces are first come first served. If there is enough interest, evening times
are available as well. In each Lap-Band activity class you can have fun, develop self-confidence,
lose excess weight, increase strength, flexibility and stamina, increase athletic performance,
adopt healthier eating habits and reduce stress.
Spouses, family members 9 years and older and activity partners are all welcome. We may even
do a Parents/Kids Combo class if here is enough demand. The class meets once a week for
8 weeks. Class size is limited to 6. The cost is $20 per class or $149 for 8 weeks.
Individulal sessions are available at additional cost. Please make checks payable to Sequoia Health.
To learn more or to enroll please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or by email at

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) 2006-2007 by Sequoia Health and Fitnes
s, Inc.

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