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The Sequoia Advisor
IN THIS ISSUE                                                          May 1, 2007 
  • Why You Need Whole Grain Goodness
  • Just Say No to Diets
  • Return of Whack-it Round Robin... June 1st
  • Check-out the Healthy Product Page


Why You Need Whole Grain Goodness 

What About All this Whole Grains Talk
Whole grains have become all the rage in the last few years. You see it listed on everything from cereal boxes to pizza dough. What does it really mean when it says "Whole Grains?" What is a whole grain? Why do you want to choose whole grains over processed grains in the first place? Let's explore these and other questions as we look at the importance of whole grain foods.


What Foods Contain Grains?

Any food that contains wheat, rice, oats, cornmeal, barley or another cereal grain is considered a grain product. Examples of common foods made from grains are bread, pasta, pop corn, oatmeal, breakfast cereals, tortillas, and grits. Grains are then broken into whole grains and processed grains. To say Whole grains on the package, grains must be minimally processed and include the entire grain kernel (the bran, the germ, and the endosperm). Processed grains have these nutritious parts of the grain stripped away leaving the grain and the food with less fiber, vitamins and minerals. Examples of whole grains include:


whole-wheat flour  

bulgur (cracked wheat)

rolled oats and oatmeal

brown and wild rice



whole corn (cornmeal and popcorn)




What the FDA Says about Whole Grains

In 2005, the FDA drafted guidance for manufacturers on whole grains. The following quote is taken from the FDA website, ".the agency (FDA) considers "whole grain" to include cereal grains that consist of the intact, ground, cracked or flaked fruit of the grains whose principal components -- the starchy endosperm, germ and bran -- are present in the same relative proportions as they exist in the intact grain."  So you can see that for a product to state that it contains whole grains, it must retain all the "principal" components present at harvest.   


What About Processed or Refined Grains?

This also comes from the FDA website, "In the grain-refining process, most of the bran and some of the germ is removed, resulting in the loss of dietary fiber (also known as cereal fiber), vitamins, minerals, lignans, phytoestrogens, phenolic compounds, and phytic acid. Some manufacturers add bran to grain products to increase the dietary fiber content." Processed grains, because of their lack of fiber and particle size, will raise your blood sugar faster than whole grains. Refined grains usually are enriched with some of the same vitamins that are removed in the refining processing.


Whole Grains vs. Processed Grains

So which do you choose? Whole grains are going to be your better choice only because they retain more of the original vitamins, mineral and fiber. Some food products taste drastically different (most would say worse) if they are made with whole grains; some examples would be certain breads, pies or cakes and most snack foods. Again, it's all about balance so try for a majority of whole grains when planning your daily meals.


Serving Sizes for Whole Grains
An average adult should get between 3 and 5 servings of whole grains per day. Below are the recommended serving sizes for foods that contain whole grains:

1/2 cup cooked rice, bulgur, pasta, or cooked cereal
1 ounce dry pasta, rice or other dry grain
1 slice bread
1 small muffin (weighing one ounce)
1 cup ready-to-eat cereal flakes

To learn more go to the Whole Grain Council at


or the FDA at


To learn how easy it is to Get Active, Eat Healthier and Reduce Stress and improve your health with Fresh Start, please contact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or

Just Say No to Diets

Another Good Reason Not to Diet

Dieting, or more accurately, calorie restrictive eating plans just received more bad press. Researchers at the University of California analyzed over 30 studies on weight loss and came to this conclusion: "pooling the results of the various studies clearly showed that while people do lose weight initially, most quickly put all the pounds back on. In fact, most people end up weighing more than they did to begin with." They went on to say "Research has shown the repeated rapid weight gain and loss associated with dieting can double the risk of death from heart disease, including heart attacks, and the risk of premature death in general." So now what?

Stop Relying Upon Dieting                                     

In the final analysis, the reason you're trying to lose weight is to improve your health. (all reasons of vanity aside) If dieting is damaging your health, and you are losing weight to improve your heath, then dieting is a poor tool for the job. Agreed? Dieting is not and has never been the answer to permanent weight loss and improving your health. The body does not respond well when your weight fluctuates up and down. The fluctuating weight places both physical and mental stress on you. The added stress is the reason so many people "fall off the wagon" in a diet. Restriction is being told you can't have something and it's human nature to rebel and say if I can't have it I really want it now. That is why most people regain the weight they have lost once the diet has ended.  

Changing Your Focus

It is time to finally stop wasting time and money on dieting and figure out why you ended-up with extra pounds in the first place. By its very nature, dieting blames food as the reason for your excess weight. But is that really true? Can food really be the culprit? Let's take a closer look at the overweight condition and see how you got there. A certain amount of food is required for your daily sustenance; beyond that, the extra food that is not needed for activity or bodily functions is stored as fat.   

So the food you eat is not the issue; it's the extra food that is the problem. Now the difficult question, why are you eating more food than you need? To fix your overweight condition you have to modify the desire to eat extra food. Unless you can change the desire, you can't permanently fix your excess weight problem. Dieting is and always will be an unhealthy Band-Aid solution to a much more complex problem.


The Healthy Alternative to Dieting

Healthy weight loss takes a comprehensive approach to the problem. It's important to take into consideration not just your food but life stresses and daily activity as well. All three of these factors are important to successful weight loss and must be modified accordingly. Your weight loss program needs to be just that. your weight loss program. One size will not fit all in this case. Many people have food allergies or sensitivities that will prevent them from eating certain foods. Some people have physical limitations that prevent them from participating in certain types of activity. Just like trying to do your taxes without an accountant or going into court without a lawyer, don't try to do this alone. Find a competent team who understands how to help you lose the weight while improving your health.     


Read more why dieting is bad for your health: 

Learn how Fresh Start breaks the dieting cycle and helps you take a healthy approach to weight loss. Balance your lifestyle and maintain good health at any age. For more information c
ontact Woody McMahon at 703-464-5171 or email to


Return of Whack-it-... Round-Robin June 1st

Whack-it Round Robin returns Friday night, June 1st from 7 to 9pm.

Come by yourself or bring a teammate. We will be trying some 4 on 4 Whack-it as well.
Please register at or
email or by phone 703-464-5171.
The cost is $10 per person. Look forward to seeing your there.

Foot Pain Relief... Now on the Healthy Product Page

Check out our new Healthy Products page. I have tested and used each of these products
personally finding them to meet or exceed my expectations.
To learn more go 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) 2006-2007 by Sequoia Health and Fitnes
s, Inc.

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