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The Sequoia Advisor

IN THIS ISSUE                                                       December 1st 2011

  • Rushing Around Can Make You Fat
  • Comfort Foods... Fact or Fiction?
  • New Workshops at Dream Yoga Studio
  • Osteoporosis Support News
  • Reston Patch Spotlights Posture Perfect!
  • Winter Health Tips for Your Pets

    Feel Better... Live Better

    Rushing Around Can Make You Fat
    (and Other Unhealthy Things)

    By Woody McMahon

    Rushing Increases Stress Levels
    If you find yourself in "rush mode" all the time, BEWARE, you are robbing
    yourself of good health and shortening your life. Rushing around raises
    stress hormones in the body while increasing inflammation and reducing
    your overall enjoyment of the activity. If your kids are rushing around
    going to more events than they need each week, they may be jeopardizing
    their health as well. Rushing, especially at a young age, does two things;
    it teaches kids this unhealthy behavior early in life and it increases
    their stress levels promoting overeating while fueling the obesity
    epidemic we now face.

    Try to Slow it Down
    Rushing has reached epidemic proportions; more in this country than any
    other in the entire world. When rushing starts to affect your health, many
    unhealthy things can happen. Your waistline can expand as healthy eating
    habits are eroded. Your bones can lose calcium and matrix as stress
    hormones acidify your body. Very quickly, you can find your good health
    eroded and slipping away. The most important question to ask is "where did
    I learn that running around like this is good for me" and "why do I keep
    doing it if it's not?" By slowing your life down, you have the opportunity
    to enjoy more things even when you do less.

    Let's take a closer look at two areas of your health that can suffer the
    most from overdrive living.

    Rushing and Your Bones
    Your bones need stimulation in the form of safe and effective exercises.
    But unlike the saying that goes, "If a little is good, more must be better"
    your bones need to rest as much as they want to be active. Rushing around
    promotes a hormone shift to higher cortisol levels. Cortisol along with other
    hormones are associated with loss of bone strength and density. The only
    way to achieve healthy bones is to slow your life down and get your work
    and rest time in better balance.

    Rushing and Weight Gain
    Weight gain is almost a certainty when rushing starts to affect your
    eating habits. In most cultures, food is enjoyed, even savored in long
    lunches where conversation and social interaction are the norm. When you
    eat on the run, not only do you raise stress hormone levels but you
    encourage unhealthy habits like overeating, poor digestion, lack of
    satiation and weight gain.

    Here are 5 reasons to stop rushing especially when you eat:

    1. Portion Control: Eating more slowly reduces the amount of food eaten
    in the same amount of time. Eating more slowly allows the brain an
    opportunity to correctly register when you are full. Without counting
    calories or dieting, you can reduce food consumption that can translate
    into losing several pounds per year.

    2. Food Enjoyment: Meals are a time for enjoyment and socialization
    rather than just being another "thing" we need to get done. Taking the
    time to really taste your food makes meals become much more enjoyable.
    Taste, smell and texture all contribute to your sense of happiness and
    well being. Gulping down your food in an attempt to rush off spoils most
    of the enjoyment in the eating experience reducing it to just another

    3. Better Digestion: Saliva in the mouth is the first stage of the
    digestion and absorption process of the food you eat. Eating slowly allows
    you to chew more thoroughly mixing more saliva in with your food. Chewing
    more thoroughly allows your food to be more easily digested and absorbed
    when it reaches the stomach and intestines. You'll derive more nutrients
    from less food with complete digestion. Better digestion also reduces the
    chance of gastric distress such as bloating, food allergies and heart

    4. Mindful Eating: This is one of the keys to any successful weight loss
    program. Taking the time to eat when you are not distracted by the
    television, a newspaper, magazine or the computer helps increase food
    enjoyment. "Gulping it down" bypasses your food enjoyment centers in the
    brain encouraging you to eat more to feel full. To register with your
    brain, food must contact the taste buds in your mouth long enough to send
    a pleasurable signal. The way food tastes is also changed by the amount of
    time spent on the taste buds.

    5. Healthier Food Choices: It takes extra time to consider a healthier
    food option and move past the "instant food" selections. More often than
    not, rushing to eat forces you to pick "the quick option" rather than the
    healthier one. Fresh, flavorful, colorful and nutritious foods may not
    necessarily be convenient for you but they are always better. Balancing
    your foods and planning a healthier meal is time well spent. You are worth
    it so go ahead and stop the rush and enjoy life more.

    Would you like to reduce stress and get to a healthy weight but
    don't know where to start?
    I provide an easy to follow program called
    Healthy Weight! that helps reduce excess weight, improve your bone
    health, posture, balance and strength while improving your health.
    Contact me for a no cost consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

    Comfort Foods... Fact or Fiction?
    by Woody McMahon

    Comfort Food Questions
    You have read about comfort foods and how they are supposed to "make
    you feel so good." Did you ever wonder why these foods affect your brain
    the way they do? Have you ever considered if eating food for comfort is
    even a good idea in the first place? When consuming these foods do
    you tend to eat more than you should if given the opportunity?
    Let's answer these questions as we explore the powerful affect these
    foods can have on your brain.

    Food and Your Brain
    Your brain is very sensitive to the foods you eat. Proteins,
    carbohydrates and fats are the basic building blocks of all food types.
    Each of these building blocks initiates different chemical reactions in
    your brain affecting the way you feel and function. Carbohydrates tend to
    have the most dramatic brain reaction followed by fats and then proteins.
    Be observant the next time you eat and see if you notice the subtle and
    not so subtle reactions food has on your brain. You will notice that
    certain combinations of foods will change how you feel with some leaving
    you feeling comfortably sated while others irritable and ravenous.

    Stress and Food
    Stress induced eating is one of the most common causes of overeating and
    excess weight gain. Generally the foods that are eaten during stressful
    times are the "comfort" foods that are higher in carbohydrates and lower
    in protein. During a stressful day notice if you eat different foods than
    on a non-stressful day. Also track the volume and frequency of the foods
    and see if it is more or less. With stress related eating you may have
    just eaten but it can feel like you have not eaten in days. Some foods may
    have you feeling energized while others make you want to take a nice long

    Comfort Food... Myth or Reality?
    Let's get back to our original questions about how beneficial comfort
    foods really are for you. Eating foods for comfort is usually a bad idea
    and most often leads to overeating and weight gain. Comfort foods are
    generally higher in carbohydrates and fat and have a powerful stimulatory
    affect on your brain. They also tend to be addictive which means higher
    and higher amounts are necessary to produce the same effect. The reason
    your brain likes carbohydrates so much is because it uses them to make
    serotonin; one of your "feel good" chemicals. As you eat comfort foods
    to help the brain feel better, you do so at the expense of your ever
    increasing waistline which, when you look in the mirror, makes your brain
    feel worse.

    Better Ways to Bust Stress
    There are many better ways to boost serotonin other than turning to food.
    Different types of exercise including posture and balance work, sports,
    weight training, walking and yoga all help boost serotonin without increasing
    your calorie intake. On the quieter side, meditation, listening to music
    or reading a book while enjoying a warm cup of tea can also reduce stress
    and increase your "feel good" chemicals. These stress reducing activities
    provide relaxation without promoting unhealthy eating habits and unwanted
    weight gain.

    Try these healthy lifestyle changes for 30 days. Feel what it is like to be
    a part of the health solution rather than a health burden. If you need
    additional suggestions and advice on living a healthier lifestyle,
    call me
    for a no cost consultation at 703-628-2880 or email to

    Workshops at Dream Yoga Studio 

    Announcing an exciting new health partnership for 2012. Luann Fulbright,
    the owner of Dream Yoga Studio asked me to offer three of my signature
    Fresh Start! programs in workshop format. The workshops bring you practical
    and valuable information to help kick-start your health and fitness program
    for the New Year. Each workshop is followed by 8 weeks of continuation
    classes allowing you
    to not only learn new skills but get the support you
    need to more easily accomplish your health and fitness goals for 2012. 

    Dream Yoga Studio and Wellness Center is located in McLean, VA.
    Luann and I thought that my Be Bone Strong!, Healthy Weight!
    and Posture Perfect! programs would fit nicely with her ever
    expanding wellness vision and class offerings. You can learn
    more about the interesting and diverse offerings at Dream Yoga
    and Wellness Studio at

    Here is the workshop schedule starting in January of 2012.

    Healthy Weight! Workshop Jan 14th from 2 to 5 pm
    This workshop is a great way to kick-start your weight loss program for
    the New Year.
    The insights you gain in Healthy Weight! will make this your
    final weight loss effort. Period! 
    Losing weight is much easier when you
    recognize and eliminate the real cause of weight gain... stress overeating.
    Learning to work with your body yields faster and longer lasting results
    eliminating diet frustration and stress. Healthy Weight! Workshop
    teaches you a simple, easy to follow system that eliminates the need for
    calorie counting, special diets, extreme Boot Camp workouts and unhealthy
    supplements. It also designed to compliment your existing yoga practice
    if you have one. Handouts Provided.

    Posture Perfect! Workshop February 18th from 2 to 4 pm
    The New Year is a great time to start looking and feeling your best.
    Posture Perfect! is a safe and effective program based on clinically proven
    exercises that will have you standing taller, sitting straighter and sleeping
    sounder. Woody's program offers you a simple, easy-to-follow system that
    improves posture, balance, strength while reducing stress in as little as
    10 minutes a day. It's also designed to compliment an existing yoga
    practice, if you have one; boost your energy; and improve self-confidence
    and body image. Posture Perfect! provides the tools and support you need
    to successfully change how you look and feel.
    Handouts Provided.

    Be Bone Strong! Osteoporosis Workshop March 17th from 2 to 5 pm
    (more to follow)

    If you have questions or need more information please contact
    me at or call 703.628.2880.

    Osteoporosis Support News

    Osteoporosis Resource Center's (ORC) Classes Start Soon

    The ORC
    is unique in the Northern Virginia area offering safe and effective
    exercise classes including
    Personal Training, Yoga, Tai Chi and
    Posture Perfect! classes and consultations for people with osteoporosis,
    osteopenia, back, hip and neck pain as well as other bone and joint health

    "What makes the ORC unique is that it offers safe and effective exercise
    programs that can help improve posture, balance and strength for bone
    and joint health problems" says Woody McMahon one of the center's
    co-directors. "For the first time people that come to the center can feel
    comfortable that the exercises they are performing will only do good and
    not cause any harm. "

    Who Benefits From Our Classes
    Beginners: Our unique classes are great for a beginner who wants to
    start exercising but does not know where to start.
    Post Rehabilitation: Our classes offer a safe and effective transition from
    physical therapy to more general exercise helping to safely strengthen
    important stability muscles.

    Advanced: The classes are perfect for tennis players, golfers or runners
    who want to enhance their bodies to improve their sport.

    Current Class Schedule

    Tai Chi for Osteoporosis
    When: Mondays and Wednesdays 1:30-2:30 PM
    Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway, Suite 215, Herndon, VA
    Tuition: $105 for one class a week, $190 for both classes
    Email or call Roger 703 435-4400 for more

    NEW Yoga for Boomers & Beyond
    When: Mondays 6:45PM to 8PM
    Where: Qi Elements Center, 464 Herndon Parkway, Suite 215, Herndon, VA
    Tuition: $154 for one class a week for 7 weeks
    Email or call Bonnie at
    for more information.

    Posture Perfect! Level 1 Class
    When: Mondays 7:00PM to 8PM for 7 Weeks
    Where: Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc. 483 Carlisle Drive, Herndon, VA
    Tuition: $140 for one class a week for 7 weeks
    Email or call Woody at
    for more information.

    Newsletter Sign-Up
    Sign-up for our FREE newsletter The Sequoia Advisor to stay informed
    about all of our future class offerings, workshops and seminars. It is
    easy... just go to and enter your
    name and email address.

    We look forward to seeing you soon at one of our classes.

    lease call Woody McMahon at 703-628-2880 or email to for more information.

    People in The News

    RestonPatch Spotlights Posture Perfect! Classes

    Reporter Robin Lundgren of the RestonPatch wrote a great article on our
    Posture Perfect! classes. She came to the Wednesday morning class
    and interviewed several members and took some memorable pictures.

    To read more go to:

    Each one hour class is designed to help improve your posture, balance
    and strength. The exercises are based on the The Meeks Method,
    created by Sara Meeks, PT to safely build bone and muscle,
    improve posture and balance and relieve back pain.

    According to Sara Meeks."Abdominal crunches, sit-ups, and other common
    exercises that bend the spine can cause back pain and even spinal
    fractures" "It's frightening that most people with low bone mass are not
    aware of it," Meeks says. "They think osteoporosis is a disease that only
    affects older Caucasian women."

    The next Posture Perfect! class starts on Monday November 14th at
    Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc. If you would like to host a Posture Perfect!
    class at your church, synagogue or office please contact Woody McMahon
    at or by phone at 703.628.2880.

    Pets and People 

    Winter Health Tips for Your Pets
    By Ingrid King

    Do you enjoy winter and love to play in the snow, or would you rather curl
    up in front of a warm fireplace with your favorite feline? Regardless of
    your preferences for this cold season, being aware of the challenges this
    time of year can bring for your pets can help keep them safe all winter

    1. Keep your cat inside. Outdoors, felines can freeze, become lost or be
    stolen, injured or killed. Cats who are allowed to stray are exposed to
    infectious diseases, including rabies, from other cats, dogs and wildlife.
    During the winter, outdoor cats sometimes sleep under the hoods of
    cars. When the motor is started, the cat can be injured or killed by the
    fan belt. If there are outdoor cats in your area, bang loudly on the car
    hood before starting the engine to give the cat a chance to escape.

    2. Never let your dog off the leash on snow or ice, especially during a
    snowstorm - dogs can lose their scent and easily become lost. More dogs are
    lost during the winter than during any other season, so make sure yours
    always wears ID tags.

    3. Thoroughly wipe off your dog's legs and stomach when he comes
    in out of the sleet, snow or ice. He can ingest salt, antifreeze or other
    potentially dangerous chemicals while licking his paws, and his paw pads
    may also bleed from snow or encrusted ice.

    4. Never shave your dog down to the skin in winter, as a longer coat
    will provide more warmth. When you bathe your dog in the colder months,
    be sure to completely dry him before taking him out for a walk. Own a
    short-haired breed? Consider getting him a coat or sweater with a high collar
    or turtleneck with coverage from the base of the tail to the belly. For many
    dogs, this is regulation winter wear.

    5. Never leave your dog or cat alone in a car during cold weather.
    A car can act as a refrigerator in the winter, holding in the cold and causing
    the animal to freeze to death.

    6. Puppies do not tolerate the cold as well as adult dogs, and may be
    difficult to housebreak during the winter. If your puppy appears to be
    sensitive to the weather, you may opt to paper-train him inside. If your
    dog is sensitive to the cold due to age, illness or breed type, take him
    outdoors only to relieve himself.

    7. Does your dog spend a lot of time engaged in outdoor activities?
    Increase his supply of food, particularly protein, to keep him in tip-top

    8. Like coolant, antifreeze is a lethal poison for dogs and cats.
    Be sure to thoroughly clean up any spills from your vehicle, and consider
    using products that contain propylene glycol rather than ethylene glycol.
    Visit the ASPCA Poison Control Center for more information.

    (c) Ingrid King 2011

    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

    Continued Good Health,


    Woody McMahon
    The Sequoia Advisor


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

    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) 2006-2012 by Sequoia Health and Fitness, Inc.


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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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