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IN THIS ISSUE                                                            November 16, 2006

  • An Attitude of Gratitude
  • A More Effective Way to Prevent the Flu

  • Osteoporosis Fundraiser Recap

  • The Recipe Corner ... More Tasty Recipes 


An Attitude of Gratitude

The evangelists and power of positive thinking gurus have popularized the expression 'An Attitude of Gratitude." The statement is worth examining as we fast approach the last six weeks of this year. In this day and age, most of us are cruising along "doing what we do" day in and day out... life on autopilot or on a treadmill, if you will. However you view your current situation, this is a good time of the year to look at where you have been, see where you want to go and learn to always appreciate and give thanks for your good fortunes.

Countless times I hear people say "I got stuck in traffic, the kids did this or that, my knee hurts, the sun is not shinning and I am really having a bad day." Mind you, this statement might have been made as early as 10 o'clock in the morning. How could anybody that has generally good health, is driving a nice car and is living in a nice house be having a bad day? My first mental reaction to that kind of statement is I'll show you a bad day. We'll send you down to Louisiana, maybe over to Iraq or how about Darfur? Now that would be a bad day.

Many people are quick to complain about what they don't have but slow to express their gratitude for good fortune. This learned response is unhealthy both mentally and physically. Constant negative expressions are actually a form of dysfunctional communication. It's healthy to express what you are dissatisfied with in an effort to improve your station in life. However, to maintain a healthy balance, your expressions of lack should be balanced with statements of gratitude and appreciation. When your words of lack coexist with abundance, these statements about your life become more accurate, purposeful and healthy.

Appreciating your good fortune and learning to be thankful is a learned art. There is a saying "adopt an attitude of gratitude and all else follows." Much like a prayer, the words we speak are powerful tools. We send a distinctive message to the people around us about our view of the world and life. You'll hear people say, "that person really seems positive and upbeat all the time" or the opposite "did you hear that person, they really seem bummed-out." We are naturally drawn to positive people because of their energy. They give us a warm and comfortable feeling. When my grandmother would meet someone with lots of positive energy, she used the expression, "they certainly are a ray of sunshine."

I leave you with a quote by author Melodie Beattie, "Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order and confusion into clarity.... It turns problems into gifts, failures into success, the unexpected into perfect timing, and mistakes into important events. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow."

The commitment to live a healthy lifestyle is a decision you make everyday for a lifetime. Because of the many health and aging benefits that come from adopting a healthier way of living, taking care of yourself is time well spent. See how your current lifestyle compares and take my free Health Investment Questionnaire(HIQ). It's a great way to evaluate your current lifestyle and see what areas need a tune up.
Go to and click on
Health Investment Questionnaire at the top of the page. Good Luck!

A More Effective Way to Prevent the Flu

Two interesting articles appeared, one about a month ago described the role vitamin D may play in reducing or preventing the incidence of the flu and one last year talked about all the unnecessary hype surrounding the flu shot. This is the time you'll hear people talking about the "flu season" as if it's a real time of year like the holiday or hunting season. The urges are there to get your flu shot and the dire consequences if you don't. Rarely do you hear about the effectiveness of healthy lifestyle habits in reducing the risk of the flu and other chronic health related conditions.

Let's try and put the dangers of the flu in perspective. The Centers for Disease Control say 90 percent of flu-related deaths are in people age 65 years and older. This means that the chance of a flu-related death for people in that age group is about one in 1,000. It means that dying from the flu is slightly lower than the chance of dying from a fall or other accident. In people under 65, the chance is 1 in 100,000. So after all the hype, we are talking about a very small chance of death from the flu especially if you are under age 65.

To read more about your risks from the flu go to

So we can conclude that you are at very low risk from dying from the flu. A flu shot is only going to help you with the flu and not benefit your health in any other way. Vitamin D, on the other hand, has been shown to provide a broad spectrum of health benefits being especially helpful with asthma, allergies, heart disease, osteoporosis, upper respiratory disease and cancer, to name a few.

lso remember, sunshine is the greatest contributor of natural vitamin D followed by a very small amount from certain foods. Population studies have shown that most people living in our area are lacking adequate amounts of vitamin D especially in the winter. Currently, most experts are suggesting increasing your vitamin D intake with supplements.
2000 to 4000 IU of vitamin D3
seems to be the right amount for winter in our area. Here are some of the more interesting observations made in the article on vitamin D and the flu. I have listed the most important ones here.

This is a very really interesting article and worth your time reading.
To read more about vitamin D preventing the flu go to
Epidemic Influenza and Vitamin D.

1. The flu predictably occurs in the months following the winter solstice, when vitamin D levels are at their lowest

2. It disappears in the months following the summer solstice

3. Influenza is more common in the tropics during the rainy season

6. Children exposed to sunlight are less likely to get colds,

7. Cod liver oil (which contains vitamin D) reduces the incidence of viral respiratory infections

8. Russian scientists found that vitamin D-producing UVB lamps reduced colds and flu in schoolchildren and factory workers

11. Children with vitamin D deficiency and rickets suffer from frequent respiratory infections

13. The elderly are so much more likely to die from heart attacks in the winter rather than in the summer

To learn how Fresh Start can improve your health and reduce the risk of the flu and other diseases, please contact Woody McMahon at
703-628-2880 or email

Osteoporosis Fundraiser Recap

The silent auction was a huge success with some great prizes being bagged by lucky bidders. In total we raised over $500 for osteoporosis education and research. Thank you to all the generous bidders, participants and contributors. If you missed the event this year, we hope to see you next October.

Thanks again for your support.

Some holiday recipes to enjoy with the whole family.

Continued Good Health,


Woody McMahon

The Sequoia Advisor

Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
483A Carlisle Dive
Herndon , VA 20170  

Required Disclaimer: The info rmation provided herein should not be construed as a health-care diagnosis,
treatment regimen or any other prescribed health-care advice or instruction. The info rmation 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 info rmation 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 info rmation 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 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.

About this Newsletter 

For info rmation about Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.
please contact Woody McMahon :
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    A mindful and holistic approach to Fall Prevention, Balance, Full Body Functional Strengthening and Posture Exercises for All Ages! Our Science-Based Exercises are Safe and Appropriate for Your Ability. Our Exercises Help Improve Osteoporosis, Osteopenia, Fear of Falling, Balance and Strength Problems. Reston, Great Falls, Herndon, Middleburg, Arlington Sterling and Northern Virginia.

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