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Marijuana: the Search for Opioid Alternatives

The legalization of marijuana has become such a topic of social, political, and scientific debate in America that its use has been, in my opinion, driven by the popularity of users who rebel against its regulation, the newly made millionaires in the industry, and the search for safer alternatives to current public health crises.

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Today, more than 115 people in the United States die daily from opioid overdose The misuse of painkillers alone is currently costing the United States $78.5 billion a year, including the costs of healthcare, addiction treatment, and costs of the judicial action.

Proponents of holistic medicine and interventions with herbal treatments have advocated strongly for use marijuana as a medical alternative. The strong debate by physicians, who believe.pharmaceuticals should be replaced by medicinal herbs, have started to study the efficacy of different strains of marijuana and its addition to initial treatments. Under a reluctant compromise, physicians are contending with the following arguments.

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Marijuana is a Less Addictive Pain Alternative:

Safer and less addictive methods to pain management have lead supporters to argue that recommending marijuana more broadly for pain could reduce the number of people who get hooked on opioids and start to abuse the prescription system by.finding multiple physicians who will prescribe them pain medication.

Most offices and clinics are not set up sustain acute pain cases where medication is available for three days to a week. But, when you receive a (medical-marijuana) card, you are able to provide treatment up to a year.

Studies conducted at the state level show that expanding access to medical marijuana may be directly proportional to lower rates of opioid misuse and overdose. The studies to show that using medical cannabis is correlated with higher rates of using and misusing opioids thoroughly conflict with users who confirm that the marijuana kept them from using additional medication to address their pain issues. This set of conflicting research has revealed less about the relationship between marijuana and opioids than it has about how science is misunderstood and misused in political debates.

The healthcare professionals who try to discourage the use and legalization of medical marijuana contend that it is a gateway drug; however, they never elaborate on the correlation, nor what initiates the transition to opioid use.

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Marijuana is a Gateway to Increased Opioid Use:

Dr. Nadelmann, a renowned researcher of pharmaceuticals,  indicated that many previous studies to show long how one drug enhances the effect of another have contradicted the gateway theory. A 2008 paper found that by taking marijuana, chronic-pain sufferers could reduce their doses of pain-relieving opioids, for example, people who combine marijuana with prescription opioids are not more likely to abuse alcohol or other drugs. This is huge! Fact checks it!!

The effort to escape the hardships and other mental stressors, as they relate to poverty and poor social environment, are greater predictors of hard drug use rather than the early exposure to soft drugs. Health advocates may rally around a concept that people are genetically predisposed, or by virtue of their environment, simply more likely than others to become addicted to drugs, but I dispute this “conditioning”.  The mastery of emotional intelligence and the ability to overcome, or persevere, life’s unpredictable hardships explains why so many people can use so-called gateway drugs and never become addicted.

Something to Think About:

Parents looking to protect their kids from addiction should focus less on the drugs they are using, and more on underlying, untreated psychological and mental issues that may be the catalyst for their drug use. The next question should be if their child is using this substance as a form of self-medication in the absence of professional help. There are testimonials out that mental health patients are using marijuana in addition to taking psychotropic drugs, but will this correlate to increased use of opioids? I hope this blog inspires you to do the research.

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Marijuana Use with Psychotropic Medications:

There are a lot of gaps in the research of the therapeutic role it can play when it comes to mental illness, especially in the US, but medical researchers are looking at the various strains that could have some medicinal benefit to patients who have lost faith in their medications to relieve their mental health issues. Lev-Ran, another published researcher, found that people with mental illnesses are over seven times more likely to use cannabis weekly than those without a mental illness. He also noted that those who use cannabis are at an increased risk of developing depression. Like many researchers, they continue to believe that childhood upbringing and a family history of substance abuse is a predictor of predisposition to drug abuse, but there are other studies that confirm that individuals with depression were at a higher risk to start using cannabis compared to those with no depression.

The research on psychotic disorders like bipolar or schizophrenia is supposed to be clear-cut and people heritably predisposed to schizophrenia, using cannabis, particularly during adolescence, increases the risk of developing the mental illness, but actual users are still debunking these findings.

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Establishing Transparency

Although many of these actual “subjects” may never get their stories told, people like Charendoff, with the borderline personality disorder, generalized anxiety disorder, and agoraphobia, discovered that cannabis was the most powerful and effective way to relieve the anxiety that paralyzed her when she had to leave the house. She says. “I can actually function when I smoke weed. It’s the only thing that’s had any impact. When I take an Ativan, I just want to lie down and sleep.” When managing psychotropic medication with marijuana usage, it is imperative to understand what the risks and implications are with doing so.

Marijuana Use with Ritalin

Despite near-unanimous medical warnings, marijuana use is widespread among psychiatric patients, including those with psychotic disorders. but advocates for suicide prevention and addressing PTSD in the veteran community are touting its benefits for anxiety, depression, and bipolar disorder. Studies showed adults suffering from ADHD, who were therapy-resistant to conventional pharmacological treatment, were granted permission to use cannabis flowers between 2012 and 2014. The conclusion of this case study was that “for adult patients with ADHD, who experience side effects or do not profit from standard medication, cannabis may be an effective and well-tolerated alternative.

Marijuana Use with Seroquel

Users with bipolar disorder and schizophrenia stated that cannabis can actually alleviate some of the negative aspects of Seroquel ie. neuroleptic malignant syndrome. There are still studies that attempt to dispel the benefits of marijuana, but it is still dangerous to mix any narcotic with psychotropic medications.

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Conclusion

The credibility of researchers can be better enhanced through transparency, but constraints in funding, control by an administrative bureaucracy, and political implications from using sources that validate the benefits of using marijuana for medicinal purposes will facilitate the scrutiny in selecting subjects for “ credible” research. The debate over marijuana use as a relief for pain management, mental health treatment, additional relief from the side effects of psychological medications, and even being a gateway drug will continue. From a public health perspective, I believe the consensus from the people and developing a realistic community health needs assessment  will address where the sources of opioid misuse exist, and that the social, economic, and political ramifications behind this epidemic will continue to be speculative until researchers shed themselves of the political correctness that regulatory organizations are expecting..


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The Not-So-Secret You Didn’t Know About Diet and Weight Loss

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The topic of weight loss had never been a concern for you if you were always young and in shape, but you can rest assured that you will be talking about what you used to be when the words “weight” and/or “loss” to become a part of your vocabulary. The debates about the combination of diet, exercise, stress, mental health, and spiritual health are all good arguments for weight loss, or gain, but did you ever think that diets foreign to the genetic makeup of your dominant culture may not be healthy for you? Evolutionary theories indicate that our eating habits were influenced by changes in our environment and that, over centuries, our genes mutated to chemically adapt to these habits and maintain sustenance for our bodies. Holistic health methods and mineral diets have seized the interests of people seeking a more natural method, rather than relying on weight loss supplements, medications, and surgery.

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The African-Centered Alkaline Diet

The late herbalist Dr. Sebi identified meat-centered diets as the source of disease and that alkaline-based plant foods were the best diet for people of African descent. He believed that the original African genome was positively responsive to the chemical composition of these foods and that the byproducts of digestion from these foods were not harmful to the African demographic. For public health professionals, this may provide some explanation to the concept of genetic predisposition to certain diseases. Although he expressed that establishing an alkaline healing environment, that would make the body chemistry inhospitable to disease, many “mainstream” physicians, supporters of big pharma, and critics of holistic medicine dispute the fact that this method provides a healthy expression in the African genome in all people. How do Ayurvedic and Ying Yang medicine compare?

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The Interventions of Chinese Medicine and the Ayurvedic Diet

Interesting enough, the Asian diet is not much different from the African diet, minus the rice and pork in most African countries, but is centered around plants and vegetables, rice and grains, seafood, poultry, and fruit. The Chinese; however, implement message, acupuncture, and breathing exercises with their diets to maintain weight control. The encouragement to eat bitter, sour, and pungent foods in the Ayurvedic diet also follow the same theme of alkalinity and the people of this demographic, who eat a lot of pork, tend to have challenges with diseases like influenza. It appears that people of Asia and the Middle East are also catering to the healthy expression of the African genome. The concepts of human balance with nature and how it relates to inflammation and disease (according to Ying Yang science) is a holistic study within itself, but I did derive that obesity was the imbalance of inflammation and diet. Talk about the difficulty of Chinese math. I failed that class, but I would wager that the cultural diets of all demographics also centered around the level of daily activity that was involved in earlier times. This leads to busier cultures than the Latin American culture that required a high carb diet to maintain energy throughout the day.

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Cultural Aspects of the Latin American Diet

Bottom line up front, non-white Hispanics are eating more meat and fruit, rather vegetables. Much to the opposite of most African and Asian cultural diets, but the consumption of fruits and the vegetables that are indigenous to this culture leaves much to be examined. The high carb, high glucose content in the bread and root vegetables in the Latin American diet are precursors to obesity, diabetes, and heart disease that are major health disparities in the Hispanic community and, like the African American community, lack of exercise, bad habits, and eating processed foods have to lead to higher mortality rates. From a vegetable standpoint, the secret to eating healthy Latin American food lies in the salsa. The onions, garlic, chilies, jalapenos, and limes have great alkaline properties in them. There is fruit, such as apples, melons, passion fruit, mangoes, and avocados, in the Latin American food pyramid that are highly alkaline, so the Latin American diet is not completely out of sync with the alkaline mineral diet.

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Conclusion: The Misinformation of the Food Pyramid

The Oldways Diet Pyramids were designed to illustrate proportions rather than specific types and amounts of food. Detailed information on serving sizes and numbers of servings of foods are not provided. In addition, levels of total fat and saturated fat are not specified. Since they represent cultural eating patterns, the Oldways Pyramids include a more limited range of foods than the USDA Food Guide Pyramid. A major difference between the Mediterranean and Asian Diet Pyramids and the USDA Food Guide Pyramid is their distinction between plant and animal proteins.

Following an alkaline regiment indigenous to your own demographic may be the answer to controlling your healthy food intake, based on the foods you are familiar with, but it still takes a responsible effort to ingest foods that keep you “PH balanced”. Many immigrants from foreign cultures do not partake of the westernized diet here in America because they know it is very unhealthy; however, many people who do so credit poor eating habits to low-income, not having the time to properly prepare healthy food or food addictions. The responsible eaters who splurge from time to time and exercise to overcome eventual weight gain are always looking to sample foods from various cultures. The not-so-secret answer to natural weight loss and disease prevention is only hidden in the cultural diets you fail to research for their medicinal properties.

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Plan to Live Past 40? You Will Get to Know Vein Disease…

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This condition is considered by many as a morbidity to conditions, like coronary vascular disease (CVD) and hypertension, that obstruct or facilitate poor blood flow; however, according to The University of Chicago Medical Center, vein disease is more likely to occur in women between 40 and 49 and in men between 70 and 79.  Of course, these age limits will depend on lifestyle, activity level, and how you eat, but we are living in a society of health disparity and economic greed. This means that food is organically grown for those who can afford “healthy” food and chemically modified for the uneducated masses, who are not as serious enough about their health to grow their own food. The point is that vein disease is a condition we must all be aware of the older we get, and we must manage our lifestyle to prevent the debilitating issues related to it.

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The effect of this disease is blot clots that typically form in your legs when blood fails to flow back to your heart and pools in the veins.  Several factors can cause venous insufficiency, though deep vein thrombosis and varicose veins are stereotyped with older and obese populations. Surgery and chemical treatments (like sclerotherapy) can provide relief, but it is better to be proactive in preventing it. Exercise, eat foods that promote blood flow (garlic, vinegar, etc.), and simply stretch your legs after you have been sitting for a while.  Whenever we come across articles written by organizations that educate the community on this health disparity, they are probably non-profits that are requesting donations to support their cause.

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Established in 1998 the Vascular Disease Foundation (VDF) is a multidisciplinary national public 501(c)(3) non-profit organization focused on vascular diseases with the sole purpose of providing public education and improving awareness about vascular diseases. The mission of the VDF is to improve health for all by reducing death and disability from vascular disease. 425_15229532071222452431383574759194.jpeg These are the types of charities that many of my friends @kahsanmusic support because they are battling this condition. Public health awareness is everyone’s responsibility, but I am publishing my #plugin educating the community.

 

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The “Fruits” of Feminism: An Unjustified Conspiracy

The battle for gender supremacy is a conspiracy to divide and conquer thriving communities and perpetuate conflict by conditioning unwritten gender roles. We men may be scythed by statements that appear to show an intangible superiority in women, but we must internalize them as compliments to being in a relationship with women who believe in the family unit, or see the potential in the team concept to achieving more within a given time frame. I attribute the social disparity in feminism to mental health, but I also attribute the woman’s successes in handling negative precursors to disparity as a compliment to our most primitive nature as men. The genetic position of men, the health longevity of women, and the leadership capability of women in male dominated environments are strong arguments. My position regarding feminism may be an unnecessary exaggeration of the obvious……we are the muscle and women are the true brains of the outfit in more of a complimentary relationship than conflict when we subdue that “monster” called ego.

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Women have a lesser genetic disposition than men. They live longer because they have higher social and emotional intelligence and are typically less violent and aggressive than men. These characteristics subject them to less health morbidity because they manage their stress levels better than men. This and other health advantages indicate why women live longer than men.The greater composition of fat versus muscle provides a metabolic advantage for women who will need less energy and use fewer calories to survive. Women tend to take less risks, though they have a higher pain tolerance, but (speaking of sex) they also fare better sexually given the orgasm ratio.

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Genetically, it appears that scientists are seeking to prove (or disprove) the possibility of asexual reproduction in humans; however, science has proven that men are more susceptible to X-chromosome diseases (like hemophilia and Alzheimer’s) because we don’t have a second set of healthy chromosomes to prevent expression of these diseases. Testosterone does work to our advantage in the prevalence of lupus, fibromyalgia, and thyroid disease in women, but the debate on mental health diagnosis is reserved to the perception that women will seek help when men will try to deal with mental health issues by themselves.

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Women tend to laud their emotional intelligence as a characteristic for being better leaders, but it is still debatable why women have historically ruled in other countries besides the United States. Although there were numerous women leaders from ancient history, 11 countries have had women presidents before America has. This statistic, along with compensation inequality in corporate America, may justify a feminist attitude in this country  The mission of the feminist movement to make this a global issue falls death on the ears of other cultures.

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Given the great compliment of female potential globally, it appears that the social issues in America may only justify feminism toward those “powers” that perpetuate inequality in America. Divide and conquer tendencies in this movement have been counter-active to family development of non-European cultures in America, and modern feminism is illogical, unnecessary, and evil in its conspiracy to destroy the commitment between man and women in the survival of the family unit.

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Not about Control, but Concern: The Misinformation of the Ego

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The union between two A-Type personalities has always been an interesting one, because both appear to have an issue with control and trust. The ego has been the biggest culprit to perceiving situations that  are not there because your mind is there to protect you from threatening situation right? The tendencies to want to take charge in all realms of one’s life tends to be an issue in a relationship because the other half is uncomfortable with the idea that you are trying to change who s/he is. Finally, the concept of concern is misconstrued with control, and misinformation leads to misunderstandings that are the cause of unfortunate breakups.

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The ego can be argued as a person’s perceptions about past experiences, as they relate their perceptions of they are, but it’s amazing how emotions can seriously distort everything. I read an article about an article that explained the concepts behind “ego-resiliency” and I often wondered if our ability to bounce back from negative emotional experiences, or adapt to changing stressful environments , was more sub-conscious than conscious. The tendency of an A-type personality is more fight than flight and the perception to remaining resilient may rest in one’s ability make the partner believe that changing is a good thing and make them less uncomfortable. Many of long-lasting couples may have persevered such unrealistic thinking and learned that being able to communicate their feelings about concern and control was key to their longevity.

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The discomfort with feeling that you must change who you are to stay in a relationship can lead to your leaving or staying based on two agendas: the need for a sense of security  or the intent that you are going to get something that you are too lazy to get for yourself. Typically those with high self-esteem will cut their loses, but conditions such as loss of financial independence, will that ego resiliency to kick in. Growth and maturity are intangible assets that can reinforce a marriage in the long-term, but it never hurts for be proactive in receiving counseling before you go into a marriage or any long-term relationship with implications, should fate rear it ugly head.

Ego is a part of the conscious that you cannot delude yourself in pretending you are not ruled by it. We humans are all fallible and should never be too proud to apologize for actions as a result of misunderstandings.  Concern is typically a good thing, unless you become concerned about a negative impression or feeling, but control, whether positive or negative, is always short-lived and will change when you least expect it.

The karma by an ill-advised ego will always lead to negative outcomes as a result of poor decision-making.

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Solving the Weight Loss Puzzle: The Benefits of Herbs

We all choose our own solutions to the challenges that are affecting our current lifestyle and how we adapt to the results depend on whether they meet our expectations. We live in a world of vanity and the marketing frenzy on weight loss programs appear to be thriving off celebrities who too are battling with weight loss. Establishing a balance between, diet, exercise, and sleep to maintain a healthy weight has always been easier said than done.This effort recalls more than just genetics or what we eat, but the chemistry behind what we eat. Our body is its own puzzle with its own chemical makeup, but we continue to rest our laurels on a one size fits all philosophy. Many “accredited” resources will warn you that natural supplements aren’t necessary safe, but you must do your own research and determine what works for you.


Guarana

The caffeine stimulant in this herb will increase your metabolism to start burning fat, but if you have heart problems (and on medication), you are encouraged not to take this supplement. Risk factors for heart disease tend to be additional hurdles to weight loss.The caffeine stimulant in this herb will increase your metabolism to start burning fat, but if you have heart problems (and on medication), you are encouraged not to take this supplement. Risk factors for heart disease tend to be additional hurdles to weight loss.

Coleus Forskohlii

Coleus forskohlii is an Ayurvedic herb that contains a potent natural fat-burning substance known as Forslean, but it is safer than guarana because it contains no stimulants. You would typically find this herb mixed with others in a weight loss supplement. Research, research, research….you may not need any of those extra substances to help your cause.

Fucoxanthin

Many of the latest weight loss systems on the market contain this herb and what makes this herb different is the fat burning effect similar to caffeine and yohimbe. but without the side affects. Fucoxanthin is a natural carotenoid from brown seaweed has shown promise for boosting fat burning with no stimulant effects.

What makes this herb more attractive than the previous is that you take a brown seaweed extract with fucoxanthin as a supplement alone and this natural thermogenic is a great option for those who cannot take caffeine because of risk factors for heart disease such as high blood pressure.

The debate over herbs and supplements become a moot point when you consider chronic conditions, like hypertension,  and you can’t ingest enough of the herb to be effective. Guarana not only neutralizes blood pressure medications, but it serves to remedy hypertension. This is a case for little to moderate hypertension cases, but you know most physicians consider holistic medicine to more of money lost , as opposed to cheaper and just as effective treatment for their patients. Do your own research and take charge of your #health and #wellness. The reliance on synthetic drugs leads to this opioid crisis that some how became more important than the meth and crack epidemics, but I will save this for another post.

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T.I. : From Trap to Conscious Mind

Implied common sense and logic would assume your growth to be directly proportional to your maturity level, but in these days and times, it’s not uncommon to see a 50 year old man sagging. Coming from humble beginnings to now, you would think a rapper like T.I. would be this example, but it would be a blasphemy to associate this brother with that level of ignorance. A mentor exemplifies a level one aspires, not assimilating the mentee in order to reach him or her.

This is not just about T.I. or his release of the ever conscious, “Us or Else”, but the siginificance of maturation in inspiring your followers to be more conscious of their environment, as well as the consequences of their actions. It is obviously our responsibility to be proactive in assisting our youth (particularly young men) in making “safer” life decisions and showing those who learned the hard way that they can recover.

I was inspired by his documentary in the NetFlix series, “Rapture” and could appreciate the sources he sought wisdom from. In order for you to maximize your sphere of influence, you must temper your foundation with relative, but different, points of view. Being an established brand may have made the mentorship challenge easier, but convincing the youth that you have enough “street credit” to identify with their struggle may becomes an internal struggle you have to address.

Bottom line, you have to be the example you are making and this involves living and thinking at a level that inspires positive change and tenacity in those who are watching you. T.I.’s ability to eclipse the Trap mindset and enhance his Conscious mindset to reach his fans is a prime example of “emancipating” your audience.

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#livewell

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His New Release: The Next “Club” Banger?

It’s been a busy couple of weeks since@kahsanmusic blew the roof off a venue with a rap filled crowd during SXSW. While his team is coordinating his next stellar appearance, Kahsan is juggling the finishing touches of his next thriller “Nude” and planning for a wedding. (Sorry ladies, did you forget about the proposal at the end of “Super Man”?)

How ironic that the coming release of “Nude” (preview at kahsanmusic.com) is not only during the time he is cementing his life partnership, but, when released, the single is also destined to be banging in the “clubs” his ass better not be caught by the paparazzi. (No tea here. My wife isn’t having it either.) The lesson here is that you have to play to various crowds in the music industry, and that you have to assure your better half that s/he can be secure with your growing fan base.

For now, it’s the next page in the consumation of two @Kahsanmusic loves that can only enhance each other. This also presents an example of passions that can thrive in the same vacuum when they are in sync.

Is the release really going to be this big? You will see! Stay tuned for Kahsan’s next coming of “Nude”. I am betting you will hear this club banger everywhere and will forever wonder, “How is he going to follow thus?!”

#livewell!

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Are you peeing alot? : The BP Meds are working!

Many people never research to understand the dynamic effect that blood pressure medication and diuretics have on their kidney function. The goal is to reduce water and salt concentrations that cause water retention around vital organs, and will lead to heart attack and stroke, specially in people suffering from hypertension. Unfortunately, people complaining about having to take medication are more preoccupied with the inconvenience of multiple bathroom breaks.

Hello! The more you pee, the less water you retain…..the less you retain, the less damage to your arteries, heart, and kidneys. Diabetes and kidney failure are co-morbidities that result from long termed exposure to excessively high blood pressures (normal pressure is 120/80) and water retention.

Bottom line, control your blood pressure, moderate your salt intake, and eat foods that contain garlic or vinegar to better facilitate blood flow and reduce pressure levels. Be proactive with maintaining good #health and #wellness behaviors, and your body will thank you in the long run.

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Eat Clean, Ab Workouts Suck!

I read a wellness article about the danger of abdominal workouts yesterday and I got a little frustrated. There is no way I am convinced that my flutter kicks and leg raises are of no help to getting back my washboard abs that I was sporting 25 years ago. The debate is on against all of this new exercise technology, but I have embraced the suck of ab workouts for the last 30 years.

Compound exercises, like squats, are hugely recommended exercise alternatives to dedicating a complete workout to abs (so much for the 9 minute workout), but I never felt the pain in my abs as I hobbled back to my dorm. I also keep reading about the boring plank, but i will attest to its effectiveness if you can stay focussed. Stopping here with abs, for eating clean is what really matters in burning the ab hiding fat right?

Eating clean puts a lot of guess work into determining what nutrients are best for your body, but due diligence is always key to staying consistent with what works for you.

My spin on the this whole topic is that there is a balance between exercise (the pain’s in finding it) and eating clean to uncover those hidden abs, but eating clean and doing abs BOTH suck until you figure out what combinations your aging body responds to most.

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