Sunday, December 27, 2009

Bad sailing day

This is captain Carla (in silouette). She took us out of the harbor so
we could get going. It was 1:00 by the time we cleared their customs.
Mary and Joseph, you have to clear customs with each of these little
island.

We decided to go to the French side of the island because the food is
said to be better -- no duh, better than Dutch food? That's not EVEN a
fair fight!

It rained and the winds were pathetic. It, honestly, didn't matter
because we were outside on the water on a boat, reading a waterproof
map in my "safety red" gortex rain gear (do you know that they
Actually make gortex foul weather gear in colors like ... Sea blue ...
Just in case you get knocked overboard and don't want to be recognized
by anyone).

Dinner was at an ocean side reggae rib bar, Carib beers, plantains,
beans and rice. The old men were dancing to the live music.

The sky cleared. The sunset peaked through. My mouth scorched with the
Calypso Sauce. It was iconic.

Island food shopping

Took the dingy over to score food from the Grand Marche. After tying
up, we trilled through the aisles:

The meat is not all beet red (it is most often brown), because they
don't use nitrates and nitrites to keep it forever looking as if it
has not been there forever.

We stopped by the French bakery across the street, before heading
home. I got bread, frangipane pastry, and, pain au chocolat. All these
pastries were obtained for science, to make sure that this was an
authentic French bakery and not some imposter.

You have to get (eat) several samples to make sure you can anywhere
near staistical relevance. Remember, this is for science.

A good morning

After a meal of mahi mahi in Creole sauce (awesome), slept under
Orion's watchful shine, slept in late on this water bed, morning
caffeine infusion on the deck.

Very light winds today, and even the 8:00 sun is strong -- we're not
in Pittsburgh anymore Toto.

Saturday, December 26, 2009

Taking off

Up early, freak out about the time, shower, scan for the things I'll
necessarily forget, freak out again (for good measure), go to the gas
station, turn in the car, tram to ticketing, scrum to drop off bags,
herd our way to the gate, get the FIRST cup of coffee o the morning,
hit the Qdoba because you can count on airplane food to be as
nutritous and delicious as eating the seat cushions, waggle our way to
the gate, sit, exhale.

Best gift

My nephew got me this from an antique warehouse, where he works. This
wheel is from a French ship, and weighs about two tons. It is SO
heavy, which adds to the fact that its very way cool.

Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Lunch

Just finished a great 90 walk, and now charge by the family to bring
home the bacon for lunch.

I whipped into a Panera and got the loot for everyone.

Am I IN Atlanta? This is where "sweet tea" is redundant, and if you
ask for unsweetened, well then y'all ain't from 'round here, are ya.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Made it

We're in Atlanta after 12 joyous hours on my bottom in the car. We ate
road food, and finally made it in time for bread/cheese/wine to help
us recuperate.

This is our house in the tundra. Our Atlanta house looks ok, but our
St. Martin residence will be a bit better.

More pics to come.

Starting vacation

Yes, dear readers, it's 4am ... This is just what we do. We are
starting our excellent adventure with a caffeine drip tube attached.

1. To hotlanta to see family
2. To St. Martin to sail the deep blue sea. In the sun. In the warmth!!!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Radio Program Today!! Talk to Santa.

Radio show is today from 2:00 - 5:00. Here is the lineup:

2 o'clock hour: Congressman Jason Altmire
3 o'clock hour: Joe Porrecca Chiropractic
4 o'clock hour: Santa Clause

If you have questions you'd like me to pose for Congressman Jason Altmire about the healthcare debate, let me know.

I'll also be talking with Santa about his weight and health issues. You can ask Kris Kringle questions yourself, too.

Listen live at http://www.pittsburghbusinessradio.com/, or call in to chat at 412-3331360.

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Thursday, December 03, 2009

The F.A.T. as a Graduation Requirement

The people at Lincoln University are preventing obese people from graduating, unless they take some Tae Bo or water aerobics class. But BMI is only ONE MARKER for being unhealthy.

What about smoking, what about a LOW BMI??, what about blood markers that indicate that you've been spending WAY too much time with nasty, unhealthy foods? These should be included too, in a Fitness Aptitude Test that all students -- ALL students should pass in order to graduate.


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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

4 EST Radio Program Today!!

Today at 4:00 (EST) I'll be talking about Lincoln University's policy ... if you're obese, you must take a mandatory fitness course -- or you cannot graduate!!

Listen Live: http://www.pittsburghbusinessradio.com/

or CALL ME, tell me your thoughts. 412.333.1360

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

BMI College Exams??

Can schools deem you "UNFIT to graduate", literally? Lincoln University in Oxford, PA is requiring students to be assessed for the BMI, and if they are over a certain limit (30), they MUST take a fitness course or they cannot graduate.


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Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Radio Program Today!!

Hi everyone, here is the itinerary for today's show:

First of all I'll be talking about healthcare reform, where we are, how things are going, what to expect. I'll also be talking about the kerfuffle over mammogram recommendations.

Call me to make a comment: 412.333.1360, from 2:00 to 5:00 EST.

Here is our guest list:

2:00 hour: Eddie Gammil at Emory University will talk about wellness at a medical university -- not, it turns out, an oxymoron.

3:00 hour: Sally Siegfried will tell us what entire towns are engaged in, in an effort to bring wellness to the community of Allentown, PA

4:00 hour: The Soda Tax!! Dr. Steven Gundry will address whether it is good, bad, indifferent, or whether there is another way to get to the same end.

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Herbal Remedies Oversold

This is a GREAT article by David Frumm.

(CNN) -- Did you know that there exists an all-natural remedy for memory loss? Weight gain? Macular degeneration? Prostate enlargement? These products are so successful that clinical testing has already begun! Just listen to the following testimonial from an unidentified person ...

As these ads blare at you from your favorite AM radio station, perhaps you wonder: How can this be legal? Since the late 1960s, aspirin makers have been trying to win the right to tell the public that a daily low-dose tablet can help prevent heart disease. They have been told no, and no, and no again.

Federal regulators are so nervous about over-selling aspirin's benefits that they have restricted statements about aspirin to the most bland and basic. Yet while the statements about aspirin have to be cushioned in the vaguest generalities, snake oil flim-flam can be huckstered in the most truth-defying way, thanks to a 1994 law coaxed through Congress by the people who make these drugs.

The law bears the long title of the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act of 1994. It was sponsored in House of Representatives by Rep. Dan Burton, R-Indiana, and in the Senate by Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, and Dick Durbin, D-Illinois.

The DSHEA law draws a line between synthesized medicines like aspirin and remedies made from herbs, minerals, vitamins and amino acids. This latter group was recategorized as "dietary supplements" -- that is, as foods rather than drugs.

"Drugs" are subjected to exacting scientific trial to prove them both safe and also effective. Sellers of dietary supplements are not required to prove that their remedies work. They are not even required to prove them safe -- as "foods" they are presumed safe unless shown otherwise. "Drugs" must disclose any risk of side effect. (That's why those erectile dysfunction ads terrify TV audiences with their references to four-hour erections.)

Dietary supplements bear no such burden -- which is why St. John's wort can be sold as an anti-depressant, without any mention of the disturbing indications that the herb weakens the effectiveness of birth control pills.

"Drug" advertising must be pre-approved by the Food and Drug Administration, which minutely reviews the ads' accuracy. Dietary supplement advertising is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission.

So long as supplements avoid promises to cure a specific disease, their sellers can say pretty much whatever they want, provided only that they have some kind of supporting evidence on file.

That evidence does not have to meet any kind of scientific test: pretty much any pattern of ink on paper will do the job. I cannot say, "My rosemary-sage-thyme-and-oregano tablets cure AIDS." But if I pay my cousin $100 to do a few experiments, I can claim, "My tablets boost the immune system -- and clinical trials are under way!"

(There is an exception to the permissive rules about advertising natural products: wine. There is substantial evidence that a glass of red wine a day reduces the risk of heart attack. The laws of most states forbid any hint or suggestion that moderate alcohol use might confer health benefits. Still, if you ask the scientists, wine has better grounds to call itself a health food than does, say, echinacea!)

Fifteen years after receiving the favor of Congress, dietary supplements have grown into a $24 billion a year industry. Most of the products sold by the industry are merely useless.

For those who eat a balanced diet, scientists have found no quantifiable benefit from taking multivitamins. On the other hand, multivitamins probably won't do any harm. It would be better to give the $10 you spend on a jar of pills to the Salvation Army, but at least you are not poisoning yourself.

The same could not be said, alas, for the unfortunate customers of a Belgian herbal dispensary who bought a supplement that contained the herb Aristolochia fangi. The A. fangi herb is rich in aristolochic acid, a carcinogen -- and users experienced an outbreak of urinary tract cancers. A. Fangi has since been banned in the European Union. It remains legal in the United States.

As outrages go, Congress' special favor to the herbal supplement industry might seem relatively small stuff: a splash in the torrent of the $2 trillion per year that Americans spend on health and wellness.

And yet in the midst of a great national debate over health care, this small outrage has some serious implications. Advocates for the herbal supplement industry justify their special sweet deal by championing the right of consumers to make their own "health choices."

Individual choice certainly sounds like the American way. But the fact is that most of us are not well positioned to make intelligent health choices. If we try to play our own doctor, we are going to expose our health -- and our money -- to risk and exploitation.

As individuals, we have trouble distinguishing between anecdotes: "My neighbor took zinc for her cold and she said it really helped," and data: Most colds last four days, so you could smoke yak-dung cigarettes on day three and feel better on day four.

We are poor balancers of risk: Look at the rising number of Americans who resist taking vaccines because of astronomically remote chances that something might go wrong.

We are vulnerable to placebos: "Hey -- I took the 30-day free sample and I feel sure my vision did improve!"

We are swayed by prejudice and ideology: The film-maker Spike Lee wrote in Rolling Stone in 1992: "I'm convinced AIDS is a government-engineered disease."

The reason we should defer to experts is not that the experts know everything. Of course they don't. It's just that they know more than non-experts do.

It's not that science has all the answers. It doesn't. It's just that astrologers, shamans, and natural healers have none of them.

Americans spend over 50 percent more per person on their health than anyone else on earth. For all that extra money, Americans see very little benefit. Americans rank 42nd on earth in life expectancy, 29th in infant mortality.

Improving and rationalizing this costly and dysfunctional system is a gigantic, maybe impossible, task. But one small reform could strike a meaningful blow for reason and cost-effectiveness: Apply the rules governing the advertising of aspirin to the advertising of oregano tablets. Repeal the DSHEA law and give the Food and Drug Administration full authority over every manufactured substance that purports to promote health or relieve illness.

The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of David Frum.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

More Bad News For Supplements

Foods that have selenium in them, are good for your heart. We now learn that selenium supplements actually INCREASE your cholesterol.

Here are some more points to ponder:
Vitamin C supplements can increase your risk of getting cancer (even though food with Vitamin C decreases your risk).

Vitamin E supplements most often do not lower your risk of cardiovascular disease (even though food with Vitamin E does).

Beta carotene supplements do not decrease you likelihood of getting breast cancer (even though food with B-carotene does).

Welcome to our culture of health. What's interesting here is that taking pills -- as a substitute for eating real food -- is seen as a perfectly rational solution.

In fact, we assume that they are good for you, rather than making the assumption that they are not. We assume that the molecular constituents of your foods can be abstracted, put into a pill, and that they will work just the same in your body.

The burden of proof, in this case, is that we must prove that supplements are not good for you. Supplements are basically "innocent until proven guilty." It seems like our approach as a society should be that any item was have people put in their mouths are guilty until proven innocent, rather than the other way around.

This article from the lends its voice to the growing research showing that our assumptions on health are just wrong.

From the article:

Taking selenium supplements may increase cholesterol levels by as much as 10 per cent, according to a new study. Writing in the Journal of Nutrition, scientists at the University of Warwick Medical School said consuming too much selenium can have adverse effects.

“The cholesterol increases we have identified may have important implications for public health. In fact, such a difference could translate into a large number of premature deaths from coronary heart disease.


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Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Mammograms: Get a Screening, or Just Skip It?

Here we go again. Another study raises questions about the benefits of mammograms, and another set of confusing statements issue forth from experts.
The Mayo Clinic, via Associated Press

A tumor detected by molecular breast imaging, right, was not found in a mammogram.

Last month, Dr. Otis Brawley, the American Cancer Society’s chief medical officer, told The New York Times that the medical profession had exaggerated the benefits of cancerscreening, and that if a woman refused mammography, “I would not think badly of her, but I would like her to get it.”

Then, the cancer society issued a statement saying women over 40 should keep having mammograms every year, because seven studies have shown that the test decreases the risk of death from breast cancer.

But the statement also said mammography can “miss cancers that need treatment, and in some cases finds disease that does not need treatment.” In other words, the test may lead to some women being treated, and being exposed to serious side effects, for cancers that would not have killed them. Some researchers estimate that as many as one-third of cancers picked up by screening would not be fatal even if left untreated. But right now, nobody knows which ones.

So what are women supposed to do?

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Friday, November 13, 2009

There is something about our culture of health. We have become very confused about what to eat and what NOT to eat. Between competing and conflicting theories about carbs and calories, points and proteins, we've become spooked by normal foods.

I was speaking today at a wonderful company, for their employees, and was struck by the questions. They wanted to know if an egg was okay (cholesterol) or a banana (carbs) or protein powders (protein).

Unfortunately, this problem is created by our scientific approach. Rather, it is caused by a misunderstanding of that science.

Please share this video.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Radio Show Today


My radio show is on today from 2:00 - 4:00 EST. If you are around, listen in and give me a call.

412.333.1360


We will be talking about the Soda Tax, healthcare reform, and the Veterans Admin Health System.

VIDEO Soda Tax a Good Idea?


The issue of the soda tax has come back up and I talk about it (below) on this video format.

I'd like to know what you think about this topic and the format.

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Fructose Drinks -- What You Already Know

Experimental chipmunks were made to drink Coca-Cola from a straw ....

Just kidding. That's not the research study. Although, you know what's funny, is that IF I said that there were some research design that did this, we wouldn't doubt it!!

Back to reality. What researchers actually did show in this article is the relationship between Fructose-sweetened beverages and the development of Metabolic Syndrome.

From the article: "Metabolic syndrome (MetS) is a condition characterised by central obesity, hypertension, and disturbed glucose and insulin metabolism. The syndrome has been linked to increased risks of both type 2 diabetes and CVD."

We are told many conflicting things by research science, by the corn growers association (gee, I wonder what they're going to tell us to do), and by novel diet theories that will certainly bombard anew us each January.

For you and me, however, we should rely on some long overdue common sense. Eat food. That goes for your drinks as well. If there needs to be a research study to determine whether or not its SAFE FOR YOU (hello?), perhaps the best first-pass solution is to just back up and consume things that we know are safe.

Help us change the culture of health. Share this article.

Monday, November 09, 2009

Sleep For Your Diet

This article reports on data that may seem counterintuitive.

There is more to your weight and health than the "calories-in calories-out" idea. That's because there are a slew of other factors that sabotage your efforts.


This is the easy solution. If you're looking for a place to start with your diet, well, this is step number 1.

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Pirates

I'm now at a health fair for the Pittsburgh Pirates organization. It's
aninyeresting group -- lots of guys' guys.

I'm giving an intro talk in 30 minutes, w the chocolate. I hope they
like it.

Sent from my iPhone

A Solution. But The Wrong Solution

HCG is a human pregnancy hormone that people inject into themselves, and some people are advising that you do this as a weight loss magic bullet.

However, as I point out in my podcast here, there are healthy solutions and unhealthy ones. Cutting off your head works as a weight loss strategy, but isn't ALL that healthy for you.

Bulimia is an illness and results in weight loss, but you shouldn't do that.

And HCG has been called absolutely worthless and even dangerous by the American Medical Association. Don't fall for this, because in the end you will return to the original behaviors that led you to believe you needed to inject yourself with a pregnancy hormone in the first place!!

Share this article.

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Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Mammograms, Confusion, and Cancer

This article in the NYTimes explores the confusion around mammograms.

We thought that "get your mammograms" was a simple and pat thing to do. We thought it was obvious advice, and we were told so. Well, now that we've had it done a gazillion times to women across the country, we learn that mammography shows us when nothing's wrong (when it actually might be), and shows us when something IS wrong (when it actually might not be).

Does this mean we should scrap the process or procedure? Of course not. It's just that we're now coming to realize the probabilistic nature of getting mammograms. You CAN get false positives. You CAN get false negatives.


So, what do you do? This comes down to a personal decision, and something that is happening more and more within our Culture of Health. That is, we are called upon to be aware, do our own research, and become our own advocate. This is a good thing, but scary because we're given "the odds" rather than certainty.

As I point out in the audio, this is just the state of the science right now. It is what it is.

In a matter of years (or decades, unfortunately), we'll have a system of tests in place that will reduce this ambiguity. It will never replace it as long as biology remains raucously analog, but it will make our decisions easier. Until then, we have to rethink what we thought we knew.

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Monday, November 02, 2009

Halloween Horrors For Health

You are not going to believe this article ... it's weird and gross and fascinating all at the same time.

I blather on about it here on my iTunes podcast, but medical science is basically looking at various aspects of Halloween disgusting things ... maggots, vampire bats, parasites, leeches ... you get the drift.

It turns out that each of these staples of cheesy b-film flicks happens to have biological properties that can be adapted for therapeutic purposes!!

Pass this along!! Have a great day today, and let me know your thoughts.

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Saturday, October 31, 2009

McDonalds Closes

McDonalds is closing in Iceland. From a business standpoint, it's a bummer. From a personal and health standpoint, it's like RJ Reynolds having to scale back operations and not produce as many cigarettes.


Of course, no one is going to be getting "Second Hand Big Mac", but still the effect on your liver -- not to mention your weight -- is tremendous.

Poor Iceland, though. Their economy has been so trashed by this global economic meltdown. And THIS is the reason that McD's made the financial decision to pull out. It's too expensive to be there.

It would be great if the closing reflected a drop in demand for foods that harm your liver enzymes (see the Supersize Me documentary).

Happy Halloween everyone!!

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween Help


Woooooooooo. It's Halloween, but the only truly scary thing is the mountains of candy that Americans consume.


Don't be afraid to do what is RIGHT for your weight and health. This may mean going against some of your basic instincts that our Culture of Health has drilled into us.

Let me know your thoughts .... and do share this with any you feel like would like to hear me blather on.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Mad Scientists and Prevention

On my radio show yesterday, the representative from the physicians group agreed ... we need a system that supports wellness, not sickness.

Here is my Podcast on it, but the bottom line is that you and I must make our own changes to prevent our having to use the healthcare system.

Check out this article on diabetes ... you KNOW what this is going to say. Live a healthy life, and you won't have to resort to the pharmacology that will lead to more pharmacology.

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But new research, published in the Oct. 29 online edition of The Lancet, shows that losing weight and exercising can delay or prevent the onset of diabetes more effectively than the prescription drug metformin or a placebo.

"Interventions that result in weight loss lower the risk of diabetes, and that lower risk appears to persist for a long period of time," said study author Dr. William C. Knowler of the U.S. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases.

For people who are at high risk of getting diabetes, losing weight "is clearly to be recommended," he said. In addition, using a drug like metformin may also benefit people unable to lose weight through exercise and diet alone, he said.

For the diabetes prevention study, 3,234 overweight or obese adults with elevated blood sugar levels were randomly assigned to either lifestyle changes or metformin to control their blood sugar, or a placebo.

After 10 years, 2,766 remained in the trial, and those taking metformin saw an 18 percent reduction in their rate of developing diabetes, compared with those on placebo.

But those who had made lifestyle changes -- reducing caloric and fat intake and exercising at least 150 minutes a week -- reduced their risk of getting diabetes by 34 percent compared with those on placebo, the researchers found.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Ratatouille Teaser


I love this clip from Ratatouille ... check out the interaction between the little rat and the big rat.

This is how confusing most American food choices are!!

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Radio Program Today!!

My radio program is today (10/28) from 3-6pm EST. Three hours!! I love it though, and it's a great way to talk to people who are involved in our Culture of Health.

** One of my guests is an acupuncturist. I'm going to be asking him about why it works, how it works, but also about the relationship between acupuncture and weight control.

** I'll be speaking to a physician who is actually PRO public option!! I'll ask him why, but more importantly about the delivery model, defensive medicine, and ways to change the system to make sure we do the greatest good for the greatest number.

** Finally, I'll be speaking to someone who has changed the way medicine is practiced. Her model is original and interesting.

Listen LIVE, and even call in to ask a question or comment: 412-333-1360. The link to listen live is at http://www.pittsburghbusinessradio.com/live_stream.html.

You guys have a great day today, and please forward this to any you think would be interested.

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For more information:
Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

MSG Excitotoxin for your brain?


MSG. Is it bad .... what does it do? Is it frustrating our efforts to control our weight?

I read this article this morning, and wanted to pass it along. It implicates MSG in neurological problems like epilepsy, Parkinson's Disease, etc.

Here's the bottom line.
It's important to think about these issues, but it is NOT important for us to solve them before doing something to protect our health. I explain what this means on my morning audio thoughts, posted here on our Ning discussion site, along with a video explaining the dangers.

Please share this with any you think might be interested.

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For more information: Click here to visit Will Clower's website.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Morning Thoughts on Obesity Help


LISTEN: Is it genes or experience, nature or nurture, yin or yang, blah or blah?

Just a few morning thoughts on my recent event with Obesity Help out in New York. Click here is the audio recording.

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