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Free online games - Classic Arcade Games

pacman card games
checkers Tetris
Have Fun

Every day we worry about global warming, the stock market, medical insurance coverage, falling real estate values, and the wars in various parts of the world. How depressing! Life is better when we enjoy living. Sometimes, a little amusement can distract us from our problems and improve our mood. When we are happy we tend to be more optimistic and we feel better.

In the following link you will find several classic arcade games that you can play online. Pong, Tetris, various versions of Solitaire, and Pacman are non-violent, whereas Asteroids, Space Invaders, and Donkey Kong require you to battle aliens and monsters. Play a little and unwind!
Free online Arcade Games

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Conjugated Linoleic Acid - Fighting fat with fat

Conjugated Linoleic Acid (CLAA)

For over 20 years, studies of CLA (conjugated linoleic acid) have shown that this fatty acid may actually help to reduce abdominal body fat while preserving lean muscle.[1,2,3] CLA is found in animal fats like cream, butter, and the fat marbling of grass-fed beef and lamb, as well as in vegetable oils such as safflower oil.

CLA acts by inhibiting lipoprotein lipase, an enzyme that breaks down dietary fats and enables fat to be stored in the body. CLA decreases the amount of fat that ends up stored in the abdomen by reducing the amount of fat that is broken down. CLA nutritional supplements are being promoted as a magic bullet to reduce body fat, to burn calories more efficiently, and to increase the percentage of lean muscle mass.

Realistically, taking one pill per day is not likely to make you thinner and leaner. If you are overweight, you need to evaluate your complete diet and exercise program. You can lose one pound every 12 days simply by cutting 300 Calories per day from your diet. Exercise will build up your muscles and increase your strength.
Learn more about fats

[1] Brown JM, McIntosh MK., Conjugated linoleic acid in humans: regulation of adiposity and insulin sensitivity. J Nutr. 2003 Oct;133(10):3041-6. PMID: 14519781

[2] Gaullier JM, Halse J, Høye K, Kristiansen K, Fagertun H, Vik H, Gudmundsen O., Supplementation with conjugated linoleic acid for 24 months is well tolerated by and reduces body fat mass in healthy, overweight humans. J Nutr. 2005 Apr;135(4):778-84. PMID: 15795434

[3] Risérus U, Berglund L, Vessby B., Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) reduced abdominal adipose tissue in obese middle-aged men with signs of the metabolic syndrome: a randomised controlled trial. Int J Obes Relat Metab Disord. 2001 Aug;25(8):1129-35. PMID: 11477497

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The Secrets of Sourdough Starter

Sourdough Bread

Making bread is relatively easy. Mix some flour, yeast, some sugar, a pinch of salt, water, and voilà, all you have to do is bake the dough after it rises.

Sourdough bread is different. Sourdough doesn't use ordinary yeast. It uses a "sourdough starter" which is a brew of wild yeasts and acid-producing bacteria. These yeasts and bacteria are very particular. You have to coax them to come out of hiding by providing the right conditions for them to multiply and to prevent competing bacteria from gaining a foothold.

I had failed several times at making a sourdough starter by mixing flour and water. I typically ended with containers of stinking gruel which had to be discarded. Recently, through an e-mail exchange about carbohydrate chemistry, I found out that Debbie Wink had systematically studied the conditions best suited for creating a sourdough starter. It turns out that acidifying the initial culture suppresses undesirable bacteria and gives the good yeasts a chance to get started. Debbie's solution was simple and elegant: use unsweetened pinapple juice instead of water for the first three days of incubation. The pineapple juice provides the right amount of acidity for the sourdough yeasts and bacteria to thrive.

Recently, I made my first loaf of sourdough bread. It is the accomplishment of an elusive goal.
Learn how to make sourdough bread from scratch

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Yoga: stabilizing the Mayurasana posture with a belt

Mayurasana Posture (the Peacock)

Mayurasana Posture (the Peacock)

Yoga is an ancient practice from India which tries to unify the spiritual and physical world. The word "Yoga" comes from the Sanskrit word "yuj" which means "to unite or integrate". Hatha Yoga or Yoga of Postures is the most popular branch of Yoga in the West because it can lead to better health by stretching the muscles, increasing flexibility, and improving strength. Hatha Yoga also includes breathing techniques and meditation. Physical poses are called Asanas, and the breathing techniques are called Pranayama.

Many of the postures in yoga can only be achieved by regular practice to gradually build the required flexibility, coordination, and strength. Mayurasana, the peacock posture, requires maintaining the body horizontal while the torso is supported by the elbows. Perspiration or slippery hairy arms may prevent you from achieving this posture even when you have the necessary strength and flexibility. This can be frustrating and dangerous because if your elbows slip, you can hit your face on the floor.

The Mayurasana position may be stabilized by using a belt at the elbows as shown in the photograph below. The belt keeps the elbows from slipping on the torso.
Belt to stablilize Mayurasana yoga posture

Learn about Exercise

Comments »

tyler newman said,
2010-09-01 @ 02:29:41

Hi Mr. Z! Just thought I'd give this site a shot and I'm practicing the peacock posture (under your fitness tab). Oh my! My poor nose! You're right about strength. You need strong biceps, triceps and an extremely strong back. I workout like a madman during the winter through summer (the off season for football) and I can't even do that! Must keep trying. I'll let you know if I get it.

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How much should you weigh?

Before Calorie Restriction - Stomach protruding beyond rib cage
before Calorie Restriction

The normal weight of a person corresponds to a Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18.5 and 24.9. This means that a person who measures 5 feet 8 inches in height (173 cm) should weigh between 122 and 163 pounds (55.3 to 73.9 kg). BMI does not take the distribution of the weight into consideration. The famous body builder Ronnie Coleman, Mr. Olympia, has a BMI of over 40, but most of his weight is in his chest, arms, and leg muscles. His body weight distribution is very different from someone who carries much of the weight around the waist.

The Body Mass Index, by itself, is not enough to determine if you should lose weight. There are several other objective criteria such as the percent of body fat, the Waist-to-Height ratio, and the protrusion of the abdomen beyond the rib cage which taken together can be used to determine if you need to lose weight.

Use this diet calculator to calculate your BMI, percent body fat, and waist-to-height ratio:
Diet Calculator Diet Calculator

Percentage of Body Fat:
A percentage of body fat above 17% for a man, or 24% for a woman, indicates that you have extra fat.

Waist-to-Height Ratio:
The Waist-to-Height ratio compares the size of your abdomen relative to your height. If the ratio exceeds 0.5, your stomach is too big.

Stomach Size Relative to Chest:
As a final check, take off your clothes and look at your profile in the mirror. Your abdomen should not protrude beyond your rib cage. Women should compare their stomach with the base of the breasts.

You should lose some weight if a combination of two or more of these objective measures (BMI, Percent Body Fat, Waist-to-Height ratio, and abdomen protrusion beyond the rib cage) indicate that you have too much fat.
Learn about diet and exercise

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How can you get a good husband or a good wife?

Happy Couple

At a Christmas dinner, I met a woman who would like to get married, but has not found a suitable candidate. The clock is ticking and she is now 35 years old. You can sense frustration and a some desperation in her attitude as she seeks advice from her friends. Why has this happened? The simple answer is that she has given lower priority to her personal needs than to her education and career. This woman has fantastic credentials. She is a noted researcher with a PhD and several publications, but her love life scores a zero.

There was a time when the social life and the destiny of a person was fairly well planned out by the parents. Times have changed. Today, children leave the parents to go to college at an early age and they don't have the family support to help them make wise decisions and avoid mistakes. Young people have to take responsibility of their own life at an early age and decide what is important to them. Here are some things that you can do to improve your chances of success:

Learn Personality Analysis

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How to fulfill a New Year's resolution

Happy New Year

The beginning of a new year provides an opportunity to change our life in a new direction. Many people make New Year resolutions to quit smoking or to lose weight, and by February the resolutions have been broken and life continues in the same old way. Why is this? Why can't we keep the promises that we make to ourselves? The reason is very simple: no planning or thought is given to how the promise is to be accomplished.

Keeping a promise requires the same kind of preparation that you need to go on a trip. You need to decide what kind of things you will do. You need to think about what you will wear, how much to pack, and you need to make hotel reservations and arrange transportation. Similarly, keeping a promise to stop smoking or to lose some weight requires preparation and determination. You need to understand that you are going to have nicotine withdrawal symptoms or that you are going to feel hungry. How are you going to handle that? If you don't have a strategy for coping with the problems that you will face, you are less likely to succeed at keeping your resolution.

Here are some suggestions that will help you:

- Learn how to quit smoking

Learn how to lose weight

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Bread Recipes


Bread is a staple that has been around since the early Neolithic era, about 10,000 years ago. At that time, agriculture and domestication of animals started to displace the nomadic hunter-gatherer traditions. The selection of grasses with large seeds gave rise to our modern grains like wheat, barley, rye, millet, and spelt.

Grains consist mainly of protein and carbohydrates. The protein or gluten is sticky and insoluble in water, and the carbohydrates are in the form of starch, sugars, and fiber. A great variety of products can be made when grains are milled into flour.

Mixing flour with water produces a resilient dough which when rolled out thinly and baked produces crispy unleavened bread. When the dough is allowed to ferment by adding yeast to it, the dough becomes spongy with bubbles. This spongy dough produces soft bread when baked. Spongy dough can also be made using chemical leavening agents like baking powder. Crumbly shortbread is made by mixing a fat, such as butter, with dry flour to keep the gluten from aggregating and adding just enough moisture to form the dough. Puff pastry is made by layering fat-containing dough with water-containing dough. The steam pockets created during baking produce a flaky and crunchy pastry.
Puff PastryShortbread

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The Cure for Cancer

cure for cancer

Cancer kills over half a million people per year in the U.S. and is the second most common cause of death. Many of these deaths could be prevented by not smoking. The popular concept that cancer is one disease is inaccurate. Cancer is the result of uncontrolled cellular replication caused by damage to the DNA of the cells. Toxic chemicals, such as those found in tobacco, can cause changes in the chemical structure of the cells. The body gets rid of damaged cells by a process called apoptosis which is a series of biochemical events that lead to disintegration of the cell and disposal of the cellular debris. Tumors develop when damaged cells are not destroyed and they continue to reproduce.

German biochemist Otto Warburg (winner of the 1931 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine) proposed that abnormal energy metabolism caused cancer. He showed that tumors have an acidic extracellular environment, and proposed that a switch from oxidative respiration to glycolysis, which produces lactic acid, starts the cell transformation toward cancer. Warburg's work stimulated interest in the possibility that there was some kind of link between pH and cancer, but it has taken seventy years to show this.

Recent research has identified cellular signaling pathways that become active under alkaline conditions. Dr. Rui Zhao and her colleagues have found that artificially increasing the intracellular pH removes amide functional groups from key cellular proteins (Bcl-xL) and result in apoptosis. This research raises hope that inducing alkalinization may prove an effective strategy to treat a range of cancers.[1]
Mechanism of Apoptosis

[1] Gross L (2007) Manipulating Cellular pH Suggests Novel Anticancer Therapy. PLoS Biol 5(1): e10

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Questions about the Calorie Restriction Diet

Healthy Thanksgiving Dinner

Cecilia J. Kim, a journalism student at New York University, recently asked me some questions about my practice of Calorie Restriction. This is a transcript of the interview:

Q: Why did you start CRON? How did you come across it and do you advocate it to others?

A: I needed to lose some weight at age 60, and I started researching several diets to determine which might be the best one for me. I liked the scientific foundation of the CRON diet as described by Dr. Walford. The CRON diet puts emphasis on Optimum Nutrition which is what you need to do when you reduce your calories.

Q: Are you aware that most research has been conducted on lab mice, simple unicellular organisms and non-human primates? Some scientists believe that extrapolating findings based on experiments with such animals is not valid for humans, but from your experience do you feel physically younger?

A: You are right, the longevity studies for CRON have been conducted on laboratory animals, but CRON is not only about longevity. It is about longevity in good health. There is already substantial scientific evidence that being overweight or obese leads to many health problems. CRON helps you to stay thin and avoid the problems brought on by excess weight. Even if humans cannot live longer with CRON, they can stay healthier longer. That is already beneficial.

Q: Do you experience perpetual hunger? or has your hunger subsided with the duration of your practice of CR?

A: I am not perpetually hungry. I am quite satisfied for several hours after I eat. :-) However, I eat only three times per day and I don't snack. This means that I am hungry for an hour or two before my next meal. I think that these periods of hunger help my body burn excess fat and keep my blood glucose from increasing as I age. If I don't lose weight on a day-to-day basis, I know that I am not starving myself in spite of being hungry.

Q: How many additional years (approximately) do you expect to gain from from your practice of CR, basically how old do you expect to live to?

A: I probably already increased my life expectancy by at least 10 years by learning how to eat right. Before CRON, I was eating a lot of pastries, hydrogenated fats, and fried foods. Since I started eating the right foods in the right proportions, my cholesterol and my weight have both normalized. Being lean reduces your chances of getting cancer, but if you want to live long you also have to avoid risky activities like mountain climbing, driving without seat belts, and riding bicycles in the streets of Washington, D.C.

Q: Is exercise a part of your CR lifestyle? If so, do you believe that exercise or your restricted diet plays a larger role in your general health?

A: I exercise approximately 30 minutes per day. I do vigorous, strength-building exercises to try to stay fit. Exercise has improved my lung function and eliminated some of the allergies and sinus problems that used to bother me. Scientific studies have confirmed that people who exercise regularly have a lower death rate than sedentary people. Exercise and diet are two different aspects that contribute to overall health. You cannot really separate one from the other.

Q: I'm also interested in how CRONies handle American traditions like Thanksgiving. Can you describe your Thanksgiving dinner (how it was prepared, the thought that went into it) if it were indeed prepared to fit the CR diet?

A: Holidays can be celebrated with healthy meals. A nice plate of roast turkey with stuffing, green beans, sweet potatoes, cranberry sauce, and a mixed salad fits very nicely into a CRON diet as long as it is prepared wholesomely. This means no butter or hydrogenated fats. Avoid double helpings. Stuff the bird, not yourself. With modern conveniences like freezers, you can have a nice Thanksgiving dinner and save the leftovers for many, many meals.

Comments »

Gypsy girl said,
2007-12-04 @ 19:58:35

Hi Nice post. I have always been into fitness and nutrition, so it was only a matter of time before I found CRON and I am sure glad I did. My husband and I already eliminated virtually all processed food from our diet long ago and eat healthy , whole organic(as much as possible) foods. Now it is just a matter of reducing the calories. I am learning a lot from your site. Thanks!! and keep up the good work!!!

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