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Getting healthy II November 24, 2008

Posted by Fritz in Health.
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I made it through my first full week of juicing and I’m still here to write about it! As I wrote in my previous post, my Breville XXJE95XL Two Speed Juice Fountain Plus arrived last week from Amazon.com.  I purchased a factory reconditioned model ($89 – no tax or shipping) for half the price of the new ones.  It arrived in perfect condition and unless you saw the  ‘factory reconditioned’ stamp on the box, you’d never know.

I promptly went to the store and bought $42.00 worth of vegetables.  I started with hearts of romaine. celery, carrots, Gala apples and some fresh ginger root.  The first thing you realize when you start juicing is just how little juice is yielded in comparison to the bulk of veggies processed.  (I did find adjusting my technique of the actual process yielded more juice in future juicing.)

The selection of veggies I juiced produced a rather unattractive colored liquid.  The carrots turned the light green base into a rusty brown. The taste however was sensational.  I juiced: one head of romaine, three large carrots, two stalksof celery, two apples and a half-inch plug of peeled ginger. It yielded about 20 ounces of juice. This was my first taste of freshly juiced vegetables and It was delicious. 

I juiced that same recipe for seven days.  About the third day I started to notice a few changes in my body.  Number one was I wasn’t hungry for 6-8 hours after drinking the juice. Twenty ounces of liquid satiated me.  I would eat something light around 4pm and I was good till before bed.  Not wanting to eat much and then go to sleep, I treated myself to a 100 calorie, low fat ice cream bar.  That did the trick.

The next noticeable change was my regularity.  Most nutritionists and health concious experts say you should have something come out pretty soon after putting something in; just like it was when we were babies.  Well, juicing started me on the path to regularity; juice in-juice out!

The third change was in weight-loss and energy level. I stepped on the scale this morning and saw that I had lost 3 pounds in a week.  I also hadn’t wanted to take a nap around 3pm every afternoon.

I figure I’ll spend about $135 per month in fresh vegetables which breaks down to $4.50/day.  If I subtract the value of the meal I am replacing and factor in the health benefits, I think this is a very wise choice indeed. My juicer has already started paying me back.  More updates to come….

Getting healthy November 14, 2008

Posted by Fritz in Health.
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One of the by products of getting sober seems to be my new found desire to get healthy.  Once I stopped drinking I began losing weight.  I lost 9 pounds in the first month.  I hadn’t changed my diet or lifestyle except for the ingestion of mass quantities of alcohol every day.  With those kinds of results, I imagined what would happen if I actually added exercise and a sensible diet to the mix.  I had been reading several blogs on nutrition and keeping a healthy lifestyle. I found some sensible information and decided to follow what I thought I could handle.

Well, I started slow.  Really slow.  I actually put on some tennis shoes and walked around my neighborhood one Saturday.  The zig zaggy walk was almost a mile.  It was easy.  It was three days before I did it again, but I did it.  Then the next time came easier and on and on.  I walk almost every day and I have lengthened the course to 1 and a half miles.

My next change came with my diet and water intake.  I had heard all the hype about drinking 6-8, 12oz. glasses of water a day.  It didn’t sound too difficult and I was going in the right direction with my weight loss so I decided to try adding the water.  At this point, I hadn’t really felt I’d sacrificed that much. Another week passed and I lost almost 2 pounds.  Seeing tangible results was very motivating. 

The next step was to modify my diet to include more vegetables and fruit.  I’ve always had a pretty decent diet. I don’t crave sweets or carbs but I do love meat.  I challenged myself to cutting my meat intake in half and replacing it with fruits and vegetables.  This was going to be the hardest challenge of all.  I knew it would be but I was seeing results and I wanted it to continue.

Now don’t think I wasn’t eating other things too.  During this process both my wife and daughter celebrated birthdays; cake and ice cream was in the house for a week both times. It would have been impossible and down right cruel not to enjoy some.  But the key was I was able to enjoy ‘some’ and know that I would continue with the eating pattern I had started; having fruit or a fruit smoothie for breakfast, eating a salad or just vegetables for lunch and eat wisely at dinner.  Wisely translates into not over eating.  I was brought up to ‘clean your plate’ because “just think of those starving African children”. Well, cleaning my plate all these years had made me look like an African child was in my stomach.  I started to put less food on my plate from the beginning.  I might still go back for seconds like before but I was eating less overall.  I also noticed that over a few weeks time my stomach did indeed seem to need less in it to feel full.

I just passed the four month mark and I am proud to say I have lost 25 pounds.  I celebrated by buying a juicer!  The more success I had the more interested I became in adding things to make my new lifestyle even more healthy. I purchased the Breville XXJE95XL Two Speed Juice Fountain Plus .  It is scheduled to arrive tomorrow and I’ll let you know how that goes…   to be continued.

Boating Market Soars for Brokerage Yachts November 8, 2008

Posted by Fritz in Yachts and other things that float.
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The current economic downturn in the housing market has created one of the most electrifying boating markets in the industry’s history. At no other time has it become such a ‘buyers market’. Prices for brokerage yachts are at their lowest levels, adjusted for inflation, than ever before. Buyers have a huge inventory to select from and the competition among sellers have forced prices to historic lows.

What better time to take advantage of a buyer’s market than the beginning of boat show season. This Fall marks the official start of the Florida boating season with the first major boat show. Boat enthusiasts from around the world converge on south Florida to see and be seen among the best the yachting world has to offer.

So how do you take advantage of this fantastic buying opportunity? One way is to use the services of a buyer’s broker; a professional yacht broker who works exclusively for the buyer. Just as in real estate when buyers find a broker they trust to help them find the right home, a yacht broker does the very same thing in searching for the right yacht. The benefits of using a buyers broker are many but paramount has to be that the service is free! Yes, that’s right, the services of a buyer’s broker are free to the buyer because the seller pays all commissions and fees.

The variety and quantity of boats to be seen can be over whelming and that’s where a professional buyer’s broker can help. An experienced buyer’s broker has access to resources that most yacht buyers do not have. Access to sophisticated and reliable multiple listing services saves time finding the right yacht to meet your needs. A buyer’s broker can provide invaluable inside information about boats that are not yet on the market or that are not being actively marketed by their owners but still available for sale.

Many people find the negotiating process to be an uncomfortable, tedious part of the buying experience. A buyer’s broker removes you from the direct negotiating process. A buyer’s broker helps you buy with your head and not your heart. They know the market intimately and will keep you from over paying.

A professional buyer’s broker will advise the buyer throughout the due diligence process by identifying and recommending the most qualified individuals to conduct the surveys as well as advising the buyer on issues to look out for based on his experience.

In addition they will provide local information on such services as finance, insurance, repair and retrofit contractors, dockage and even crew and maintenance personnel. All of this and it won’t cost you a penny.

So as Florida sails into it’s boating season this fall be sure to take advantage of this unparalleled buyer’s market. Utilize the free services of a buyers broker and reap the rewards that go to a smart shopper.

All about gout November 3, 2008

Posted by Fritz in Health.
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You just can’t say enough about gout.  There are a lot of other afflictions that get a whole lot more attention and I don’t think that’s right.  Some of the greatest people on earth have suffered its unique brand of torture. Ben Franklin, Theodore Roosevelt, Galileo Galilei, Kublai Khan of China,  John Milton, Goethe, Martin Luther, Oliver Cromwell, Charles Darwin, King Henry VIII of England, Sir Isaac Newton, and Charlemagne to name a few.  I am proud to list myself along side these noble gout sufferers.

For those of you new to gout, it’s an excruciatingly painful inflammation of the joints (usually in the toe, foot or ankle) caused by an excessive amount of uric acid in the blood stream.  This causes crystals to form in the joint which in-turn feels like sand grinding in an open wound. Add ‘hot’ and ‘swelling’ and you have a nifty little gout attack. Nine out of ten sufferers are men.

My first attack was more than 20 years ago at the tender age of 30.  It was miss-diagnosed by the podiatrist as plantar fasciitis.  He prescribed orthotic inserts and sent me on my way. The damn inserts arrived two days after the gout attack had subsided.  My next attack happened a year or so later.  I was in Michigan on vacation.  I had never experienced such pain.  The quick onset scared me into imagining I suddenly had a tumor and was about to die.  Oh, did I mention these attacks almost invariably occur late at night?  Never convenient to regular, doctor’s office hours. This one was no exception and I drove myself, in near blinding pain, to the emergency room. 

As luck would have it, the attending doc happened to be my cousin.  He was moonlighting from his regular gig (as a orthopedic surgeon in South Dakota) in the ER that summer, allowing him to spend more time up at the Lake.  Since it was around 2am in Frankfort, Michigan (a town of 3000) and I knew the Maitre d’, I got a table right away.  Damn good thing too, I was frantic.  Between the pain and the unfounded fear that cancer was raging through my big toe, devouring the bone as I spoke, I was a bit pissy. Dr. Walker (his first name) was happy to see me. Actually he was happy to see anybody.  His last patient had been a drunk bicyclist at 10pm — a rather nasty spill procured a dozen stitches and a tetanus shot.  After exchanging pleasantries, my cousin made a quick diagnosis.

“So how long have you been having gout attacks?” 

“Gout?” I said, certain I had miss heard. 

“Yeah, gout.”

My cousin was already poking through some drawers looking for something.

“Looks like a real doozy of an attack, it’s hot, swollen and you couldn’t put any weight on it when you walked in.” 

I was all at once relieved to hear I didn’t have a tumor running rampant in my big toe and confused as to how it could be gout.  I had always heard it was a rich man’s disease, usually brought on by a corpulent lifestyle.  Dr. Walker had now turned back around from the cabinet he had been occupied with and proudly presented a syringe in one hand and a vile in the other. 

Toradol, 60mg, drop your pants.” 

I started to undo my belt, “How could I have gout? “I thought only fat, old men got it.” 

“Fritzie my boy, it runs in our family.”  “Grandma Grace or Grandpa Fred passed us those genes and you’re the lucky one in your family.” “My brother suffers from it in our family.”  “Oh, and you are old and fat.”  With the timing of a skilled comedian, he stuck me in the right butt cheek.

~~~~~~~~~

Since then I have had too many gout attacks to remember.  Some are worse than others, but they all suck.  I have since learned what I should be doing to keep from having the attacks; avoid trigger foods and limit alcohol intake.  The latter was my big problem.  I stopped drinking on August 11, 2008.  I thought  one of the good things to come out of that would be a gout free life.  My body tricked me though.  I lost 15 pounds in less than a month when I stopped drinking.  The rapid weight loss ended up triggering the worst attack I have ever had.  It seems the fat stored in my body had all the bad stuff in it that causes an attack.  As I  was burning it up, it was unleashing a ferocious last attack.  It lasted for nearly two weeks and 60mg of Toradol barely touched it.  I was finally able to knock it out with a combination of meds that are hard on the body.  Since then, with the help of a raw food expert, I have begun to find a more natural way to protect myself from gout.  Now, if only I could find a way to reverse that getting old thing….