A Good Friend of Mine Convinced Me to Do This!

As you know, I have been writing my health blog for well over two years now. I thank every one of you that visits my site on a regular basis to discover how to live your healthiest life ever. Even if you stop by only once in a while, I thank you!

A short time ago a very good friend of mine convinced me to set up a page on Facebook so that I would be able to give a short little “Quick Tip” every single morning. At first I told her it would be too much work for me but the more I thought about it, the more I loved the idea.

My page has been going strong for a couple of months now and I have about 200 people that come visit it on a regular basis. Sure that may be a small number when compared to Dr. Oz or someone like that but it is a great start and I appreciate every single one of my readers. My passion is to teach you how to live a healthy life!

I invite you to check out my page at https://www.facebook.com/HealthyAt102 and be sure to “like” it while you are there. I have a lot of great tips for you, so come on over!

UPDATE DECEMBER 2011 – my page is growing steadily thanks to so many of you. I have 892 people who check it on a regular basis. I love giving these little tips every day. Can you help me get it to 1000? Tell a friend if you could! I have a lot more to share. Thanks so much!

Life on the Road with David Madow

Wow, it’s been over a month since I last posted a blog.  Time really does fly when you are having fun.  As you probably know, I travel a lot.  So of course I get asked all the time “Dave, how do you stay so fit and healthy being on the road so much?”  Well here are my answers.

I am always prepared. Airlines no longer feed you real food. What they generally offer are offer carb loaded snacks. And they charge an arm and a leg for them! So I pack my own. I always have fruit, nuts, and an energy bar in my carry on with me.  If it’s a longer flight, I make sure I have a healthy sandwich with me to make sure I keep up my eating routine.

I take my running shoes and workout clothes with me everywhere I go.  There is nothing like a sunrise walk around a new city, or a barefoot run on a sandy beach.

I make sure to find a good place for healthy Asian food where ever I am.  If the buffet is the only option, then I head for the salad bar and the carving station. I avoid the pasta bar and dessert area. And I am never tempted to go back for seconds. I can find healthy food almost anywhere.

I make sure I have plenty of bottled water with me at all times as well. I actually usually carry my own Nalgene bottle that I fill up at home.

Sure, life on the road can be a challenge, but it’s also a great way to experience this amazing country. If you always make food and exercise a priority, you will live a great healthy life!

Rock on!

Is it Better to Be Safe or Dead?

As many of you know, I am here in Breckenridge, Colorado for a month – skiing, writing and doing work. Oh yeah, and I try to get a little relaxation in whenever possible.

You know that my blog is about how you can live your best possible life. Even though I generally focus on eating properly, exercise, and happiness, anything I can help you with to make your life fantastic is fair game here. Right?

I wanted to talk to you a little today about some things I have noticed here on the mountain. Three crazy things that people are doing (or are not doing).

1. I cannot believe that anyone would ski without a ski helmet. All it takes is one fall, a collision with a tree or a pole, or an out of control skier running into you when you are minding your own business. If any of these happen, you could be dead. Why risk it? Are you too cool to wear a helmet? Are you too good of a skier or rider? Probably not the case as the instructors and racers all wear them! It just leaves one possibility. You think you are immortal. Well let me tell you something – you are not! And you know what I can’t stand? When I see kids wearing helmets but their parents are not. What kind of a message does that send? (When I grow up I want to be just like my daddy and not have to wear a helmet.) Come on my friend, I want to see you enjoy your next birthday!

2. Why do you refuse to lower the safety bar on the chairlift? First, a little primer for non-skiers. There is a little chair we sit in that carries us up the mountain. Well, it’s not really little! Generally it seats two to eight skiers in a row. The ski resorts make sure these chairs have a safety bar that we can lower to prevent any of us from taking a fall out of the chair when we are riding ten feet to hundreds of feet above the earth’s surface. It is very similar to the bar they lower when you ride a roller coaster or any other amusement park ride. A slip or a fall out of the chair would mean certain death. Again, are some of you just too cool to lower the bar? Is it too much trouble? Please tell me the negatives… I want to know!

3. Why do you insist on skiing totally out of control? Please listen to me you out of control skier! Do you realize if you had to stop or if something got in the way, you could not stop? I see you skiing every day. Yeah, you are fast but that does not mean you are good or in control. I see that look on your face as you speed down the mountain. The look of terror. The look on your face says “I hope this steep hill flattens out soon so I can stop.”  So why do you do it? How would you feel if a little kid skied in your path and you killed him or her because you were showing off and couldn’t stop?  Is the rest of your life also totally out of control?

Does it sound like I am frustrated? Well yes, in a way I am. Most people are really good when it comes to their safety and the safety of others around them. But just like trying to eat right, exercising, stopping smoking, etc., we all know we SHOULD do these things, but we don’t all do them.

Look, I know we all can’t be perfect. If we were all perfect, I would not have a job! But I beg of you, whether you are skiing, bicycling, swimming, walking, skating, golfing, going to the gym, driving, horseback riding… there are always precautions we must take. Please be smart. I realize there are no guarantees. I don’t know about you but when I play the odds with my life, I want to see them stacked in my favor!

So I end this blog today as I begun. Is it better to be safe or dead?

OK, so you gained some weight over the holidays? Just Do THIS!

The holidays have come and gone! If you are like the average person, you may have put on five, ten pounds or more during the infamous period between Thanksgiving and New Years. Now you are faced with the thought of getting into a bathing suit soon (that’s right… summer is less than 150 days away) and you don’t know how you are going to shed those pounds.

Don’t worry too much that you got yourself into this mess because I am going to help you get out of it! My best advice is to start NOW! Don’t wait until May and then wonder how you are going to lose that weight in a month. If you start doing the things that I am going to teach you below, we can work together to get you looking fantastic in time for the pool to open!

I have a few tips for you to get into your best shape ever and I will give them to you in list form (yes, I love lists!).

1.  Stop drinking soda! Yes, I am going to say it. There is NO type of soda out there that contributes to your health in any way at all. In fact is is very bad for you. It will cause you to gain weight, it will make your bones weaker, it flood your system with sugar (or even worse artificial sweeteners), and it will not add one single nutrient to your body. I beg of you, if you are going to make one change right here and right now, stop drinking soda in any form!

What should you drink? Fresh water is the best but I also like tea (unsweetened of course). Stay away from too much fruit juice as it contains a lot of sugar. And unless you are training for or participating in an extreme athletic event, no Gatorade or sports drinks. These are for electrolyte replacement only.

2. Try to cut out as many processed carbs as possible. I am not going to ask you to totally eliminate them (as I asked you to with soda above), but I’m telling you, if you can absolutely minimize the cookies, candy bars, cakes, doughnuts, sweetened cereals, white breads, chips, blah blah blah… you will lose weight and be healthier. Need I say more about this?

3. Eat less. I know I have said this before but it holds true now more than ever. We are eating about twice as much as we should be and that’s why Americans are getting so fat. Here are a couple tricks! When you go into a restaurant, either split a main course with someone or immediately ask for a “to-go” container. If you ask for the container, as soon as your meal comes, divide it and pack up half of it in the to-go box. Then enjoy it the next day at home. I ALWAYS split my course in a restaurant because these days they feed us double.

If you are eating at home, start using a smaller dessert sized plate for your main course. You will find that after a short period of time, you will actually be totally turned off when you see a dinner (or any meal for that matter) that fills up a full sized plate. You will wonder how you ever ate that much food in the past.

4. Be careful about between meal snacks. Even if you eat well at mealtime, it could be the snacks that are killing you. I am not saying not to snack. As I state in my book, frequent snacking is actually a good thing but we must do it carefully. Fresh fruits, nuts and fresh veggies are some of the healthiest snack foods. Again, please leave the refined carbs at the door!

5. Walk, walk, walk! I am not going to give up on getting your body moving. We as humans need to move to keep healthy. The gym is not absolutely necessary to stay in shape. Sure it’s good but there are other ways. Think of all of the ways possible for you to skip the elevator, escalator, car, bus, train, subway, etc. It really irks me when I see a young healthy person in front of me standing still on an escalator, especially when they are blocking me from walking. Sometimes I have the urge to give them a good push to get their butt moving a little. Again, the more you can keep that body of yours in action, the better off you will be health wise!

Please try your best to follow the tips here and if you do, I will guarantee you will be proud to put that bathing suit on in less than 150 days!

Talk to you soon!

The Final Blog (of the year)!

You’re going to love it because I have some really great special health tips coming up for you from Colorado just after the new year! That’s right, each winter I leave my beautiful place in Reisterstown, Maryland on the east coast, head west and spend about four weeks in Breckenridge, Colorado to ski, write, and basically enjoy the Rocky Mountains! If you are in the Summit County area, maybe you can find me and we can ski down the mountain once together!

Before I leave for Colorado, let me share something very important with you that I would like you to take very seriously. If you have read my book, then you know in the seventh chapter I talk about how important it is for you to be mentally at peace. I have found over the years that no matter how much you exercise and how well you eat, if you have something digging away at you that is not right (for example, hatred towards someone, a bad job, or a bad relationship), you will not be healthy. Sure, you can try your best to bury the bad feeling but it does not go away.  You know it deep inside.

So today on this final day of the year, please promise me that you will try your best to take care of anything bad in your life. If you have hatred towards someone, please let it go. It has been proven time and time again that hatred is a killer. It eats away at you. Please do not be bitter at anyone. You will be healthier when you forgive. Try it and you will see what I mean.

If you are in a relationship that is not ideal for you or have a job that you do not like, now is the time to make a change. Sure it may be tough at first but in the long run these things always work out for the best. I personally have been through all of these and please take it from me first hand, you have to make these changes or you will never be healthy. Once you fix them you will be happier (and healthier) than you have ever been in your life!

Happy New Year. Stick with me in 2011 and we will grow together!

Five Ways to Help You Not Gain Holiday Pounds This Year!

Sure, the holidays are upon us. But this does not necessarily have to translate into a death sentence for your waistline. Family get-togethers, parties, food, gift baskets, cookies, and eggnog… the list of indulgences seems to be endless! Did you know that it’s not uncommon for people to gain 5-10 pounds or more between Thanksgiving and New Years? There are so many temptations and it’s almost sacrilegious not to partake in some or all of them.

Worried what the holidays will do to YOUR body? Well no need to fret because I’ve got five things that if followed, can help you make this your healthiest holiday season ever!

  1. When going to the holiday parties, use a small plate and eat half portions. Let’s face it; it’s very easy to overdo it when so much good food is put in front of us. A good way to avoid overeating is to use a small dessert sized plate for your main course, so even if you fill it up, it will generally be half the amount that you would normally eat had you used a normal dinner sized plate.  And please do not be tempted to go back for seconds!
  2. Keep your body moving. One of the keys to staying in shape is to exercise and keep the blood flowing. But if a difficult schedule and travel keeps you from going to the gym during the holidays, sometimes we need to be a little more creative. Try to get your exercise in by doing things such as picking a distant parking spot and walking. And if you can walk instead of jumping in a taxi, a bus or a train, go ahead and do so. If possible, take the stairs instead of the escalator or elevator. You will be surprised how much exercise you can get in when you skip some modern conveniences.
  3. Limit your alcohol consumption. OK, I am not going to ask you to become a teetotaler during the holidays, but let’s face it… alcohol is fattening. Very fattening! So try your best to limit your drinking. One simple trick is to make a deal with yourself that when you drink half of a beer, you will discard the rest of the bottle. And remember how fattening those holiday drinks such as eggnog and other sweet drinks can be. Use a small cup, say “Cheers” to family and friends, but that’s it!
  4. Stay away from the dessert tray! This is everyone’s weakness because we all love dessert. But as you know, desserts are packed with sugar, fat and calories! If there is any way you could avoid desserts completely or just take a “spoon sample,” you will be doing your body and your waistline a tremendous favor.
  5. Stay hydrated by drinking more water. This is one of the best “tricks” to help keep the weight off during the holidays. When it’s cold outside, we tend to drink less water. But believe it or not, we still lose plenty of water through sweating in the winter, even when we sleep! So if you can make it a point to keep drinking fresh water throughout the day, you will not only keep yourself properly hydrated, you will keep your stomach fuller which will in turn help to keep the edge off your hunger. And no, sodas do NOT count!

The holidays are definitely fun times and granted we are constantly tempted with plenty of good food and drink. But by keeping these simple tips in mind, I am fairly certain you can make it through the season and perhaps come out healthier and thinner than you ever would have thought! Happy holidays!

Want to Lose Some Weight? Just Follow Me On This One!

A recent day trip I took to New York City had the potential to be a killer. So much cool stuff to do there. Taxis, buses, subways! And there are the restaurants! What about the food vendors on the street? So much eating. It’s never ending!

I love New York and I try to get there as often as I can. It’s only a little bit more than a two hour train ride from where I live in Baltimore. It’s easy!

Come with me on a trip I took recently and see how I did it and actually LOST two pounds!

I woke up very early, about 5AM, got myself together and drove to the train station. No food at home but one cup of coffee at the train station which I took on the train and nursed it the entire ride. No milk and NO SUGAR. Just black coffee. By the way, I hope you NEVER use those artificial sweeteners. They are killers. We will talk about them at another time.

Arrived at New York’s Penn Station about 9:30AM. Lot’s of steps to get up to the street level. Almost everyone was taking the escalator.

Me? I ran up the stairs!

Walked over to one of my favorite diners close to the train station called Tic Toc Diner. It was jumping! Most people had big plates with tons of food in front of them. Big omelets stuffed like you’ve never seen. They were drinking soft drinks, hot chocolate with whipped cream, etc.

Me? I had two eggs, one piece of toast, a small orange juice and water. This not only saves me pounds, but it saves me money as well.

Next, I wanted to go down to the village. Most people would jump into a taxi or get on the subway.

Me? I walked. It was a cold, windy day, but by walking, I was able to take in tons of great scenes, street festivals, and farmers markets that I would not have seen had I jumped on mass transportation.

Whenever I have to use the bathroom on NYC, I love going into a Starbucks. Always have good clean free bathrooms. And I get to see all of the people hanging around drinking those expensive, sugar laden coffee drinks.

Me? Just used the bathroom… no drinks! By the way, I carry my own water in my backpack.

There is a place in the village that I always get a massage. It is unbelievably relaxing and one of the best massages for the money. So I went in and got a TWO hour massage! Talk about a great experience. I would recommend a good massage to you if you possibly can do this! A great stress buster by the way!

Next I was a little hungry. There are so many choices for food in the East Village, where I was. Did I succumb to a big, unhealthy meal (which would have been simple)?

Me? I went into a Japanese Ramen restaurant and had a bowl of very healthy ramen, which is a soup with noodles, veggies and some meat. Delicious!

A little more walking around to pick up a few things that I needed. Another Starbucks for the bathroom. Then back to the midtown area. Easy to jump in a taxi, bus or subway!

Me? I walked it again. This is great exercise and again I stress all of the stuff you can see if you walk!

I walked around midtown quite a bit and did not succumb to any of the street food vendors. It was now getting close to the time that I had to start thinking about a little dinner so I could catch my train back to the big “B.”

Me? I went into one of my favorite Korean restaurants and had a great meal of Be Bim Bop which consisted of rice, veggies and a little meat mixed up in a cast iron pot. Delicious, and I only ate about half of it. Tea and water were my drinks.

Next, I walked back to the train station, was sure to walk the steps and not use the escalator.  A short time later I was back in Baltimore feeding my cats! I had a great day, stayed in shape and did not gain even one pound.

You do not have to go to New York to do this. You can incorporate any of these principles into your daily life. Come on my friend, I know you can do it. Please be sure to send me an email if you have any questions about living a healthy lifestyle. I am at rundrdave@gmail.com and my mail is always on!

Have a great day.

Look 5-10 Years Younger by Doing THIS!

Do you know what the easiest way to actually appear more vibrant as well as look at least 5-10 years younger? The answer is to just lose some weight. Those of us that are carrying around a few extra pounds… oh my God, what the weight does to our body, our skeleton, our heart, joints, etc. is one thing. But what it does to our actual appearance is another.

If you know you have some weight that you should lose, here is what I would like you to do. Take a picture of yourself. A good face shot is the best. Mark the date on it. Now go back and read my past articles right here. Review my book. If you have not read my book, shame on you because you can do it right here for free!

Now make it your mission to lose the weight that you need to lose over the next several months. I know you can do it. Remember, smaller portions and exercise are the keys! When you have lost the 5, 10, 15, 20 or more pounds that you need to lose, go ahead and snap another picture. Take it in the same position as the original was taken. Mark a date on it.

Congratulations! You now look years younger! You feel better and your friends and family will be amazed. I guarantee you will love yourself!

Always feel free to email me at rundrdave@gmail.com if you have any questions about anything! I am here for you.

Now just do it!

Here is What to Do if You Have Limited Time to Exercise!

So many of you write to me and tell me that you have very little time to exercise. “I have absolutely no time in my life to fit in an exercise program,” you say.

Well, I feel bad for you but I am not so sure that I believe that you have no time. I know that if something is a priority in our lives, we are able to make time for it. And remember, a little bit is better than nothing at all.

OK, I will give you some tips on how you can fit even a little exercise into your life beginning today.

When I am out in public I am amazed at people’s habits these days. What do we do? We fight for the closest parking spots at malls, sporting events, airports, grocery stores, etc. We take shuttles or taxis to get around the corner. School busses carry our children a few blocks. We use electric carts while playing golf. We take escalators when our legs are perfectly healthy. We use the people movers in airports. We take elevators up or down a couple of floors.

What the heck is wrong with this picture? Seems like we are fighting it every chance we get to move our bodies. That’s why we are so fat!

Let me tell you what I do and you can decide for yourself.

I ALWAYS park in the furthest possible parking spot in a shopping center, grocery store or restaurant. This actually accomplishes two things. My car doors NEVER get nicked up (my 2005 Volvo looks brand new) and I actually get a little exercise walking from my car to the front door of wherever I am going!

If there is a choice, I never take an escalator. I always walk up or down the steps. If there is no choice, I STILL walk up or down the escalators saying “excuse me please” trying to pass the lazy people who choose to not move their bodies at all.

Taking an elevator up or down a few floors? Crazy. I just don’t do it. I walk (or run).

I walk every where I can if there is a choice. Forget driving, taxis, busses, shuttles! If there is a way to walk I will do it. And those damn people movers in airports (moving sidewalks)! I will NEVER get on one of them. I can walk beside them and still beat anyone that is taking the easy way out.

Please remember, our bodies were designed to move. You got to “use it” or you will “lose it.” So next time you are confronted with a choice – make it the right one!

Waddle on!

No, It is Not a Diet – It is a Lifestyle!

Hello again. It’s me. You know how much I love to talk and write about healthy living. It’s my passion to teach you the things that I have learned and incorporated into my life over the past thirty plus years.

No matter how much is written on this topic, it seems as though so many of you are still struggling to lose weight. Being too heavy is a problem that is not going away.  Over two thirds of all Americans are overweight. And the number is increasing. And if you are in a country outside of the United States, it’s getting bad for you as well. There is no longer an age or a gender barrier. Being overweight is an equal opportunity demon for all.

But it does not have to be this way. I swear to you it does not.

Listen. I feel your frustration. I really do. I see you as you are getting onto airplanes. Or as you are walking through the mall. Or waiting for a table at a restaurant. You are there and you have extra pounds that you do not need. It’s that simple.

Believe me, as a health writer and coach, I realize that if you could snap your fingers or wave a magic wand and be thinner right at this very moment, you would do so. You do not enjoy carrying around the extra weight. You know that others are watching and it makes you feel uncomfortable.

You know that the extra pounds are taking a toll on your heart, your bones, your joints, your nervous system, your glands, your skin, your lungs, your blood… I could go on and on because just about every part of you is resenting this extra weight.

But you continue to do the same things day in and day out. That’s why you don’t see any change. Or maybe you do see some change, but it is your weight going in the wrong direction.

I see you posting on Facebook that you are starting a diet tomorrow to lose ten pounds. Or that you are going to join the gym because none of your clothes fit any more. Or that you can’t fit comfortably in a seat on the airplane. Yeah, I see it all.

Let me tell you something my friend (and I can call you my friend because that’s what you are). None of the quick fixes work. You MUST trust me on this. There is no quick fix to lose your weight and to be healthy again. Sure you can lose ten pounds in a week on a crash diet or some whacked out eating program. I don’t recommend it. But you certainly can do it. The bad news is that it will not last. Again, please trust me.

I am going to fill you in on the only way to lose weight. I have told you this before but it is so important, I feel the need to emphasize this like crazy. Please read the following sentences:

The only way to lose weight is to eat less. And the best way to eat less is to simply control your portions.

That’s it. That’s all you need to do.

Put those words on your refrigerator. Say them every day.

Stop counting calories. Stop depriving yourself of certain foods. Stop it with the low carb diets. Stop it with the low fat diets. Stop it with the high protein diets. Or the low protein diets. Or the juice diets. Stop all of that crap!

Just eat less by cutting down on your portions.

If you are an average person in the U.S., you eat about twice as much as you probably need to. True. Just look at what they serve you in a restaurant. One meal will serve two or three people.

When my wife and I go out to eat, we split one meal between the two of us. And believe it or not, we oftentimes have leftovers even after doing so that we bring home. Waitresses hate us because they think we are cheap. After all, no one splits meals in a restaurant. It is not the macho thing to do. Sometimes I swear I think that many feel it is “very cool” to eat a lot of food. I mean, after all, the waiter or waitress makes you feel guilty if you don’t order appetizers, plenty of side dishes and dessert with your meal.

But the waiter or waitress does not come home with you and look at you standing there naked in the mirror noticing that things are not looking so pretty anymore. And the waiter or waitress is not paying your medical bills, are they?

Please forget about disappointing the waitresses. Just give them a good tip and they’ll stay off your back! And don’t give into social pressure when your friends ask you to eat more and more. I want you to be the one who looks in the mirror at yourself when you are completely naked and says “Wow, I look damn good!”

Eating less is not easy at first. It takes discipline and practice. Sure, there are times when you will feel hungry. Your body will tell you to keep shoveling food into it. That’s only because your body is used to it. Don’t give in.

It will take about six months for your body to reprogram itself. At that point, you will be eating the right amount of food. Looking at large plates of food will actually make you feel sick. When I see someone eating a three egg omelet with cheese and bacon and all kinds of other junk on their plates such as mounds of potatoes and multiple slices of toast, it makes me sad. You just don’t need it. If you are curious, an example of a perfect breakfast for me is one or two eggs, one slice of toast, a small glass of juice and perhaps a small yogurt. And I emphasize the word small. Normally portions are too large and I want you to start thinking small.

Please give this new way of eating a try. Less is better. Eat your meals but just eat less! And don’t let me hear the word diet anymore. This is not a diet that you are on. It’s a lifestyle.

Here’s to you being thinner!