Thursday, February 28, 2013


I reviewed this book over a year ago in our (now defunct) magazine Life-Style.  Since it has been on the best seller list for months now, I thought it was worth repeating here.

William Davis, MD

A gluten-free diet, once prescribed only for sufferers of celiac disease, is now the new darling of celebrities and doctors alike.

Dr. William Davis, a cardiologist, has put thousands of his patients on a wheat-free diet and has concluded that it is not fat, nor sugar, nor a sedentary lifestyle that has caused the burgeoning obesity epidemic - it is wheat.

The sturdy grain which used to provide our daily bread has been genetically altered to give processed food manufacturers the highest yield at the lowest cost.  This has changed this once wholesome grain into a nutritionally bankrupt ingredient that causes blood sugar to spike faster than eating pure sugar, and has addictive qualities that cause hunger, overeating and fatigue.

Dr. Davis claims that not only will a diet divested of wheat cause weight loss, particularly in the abdomen (hence the title of the book), it is also associated with other significant benefits, including:
  • Alleviation of metabolic syndrome and Type 2 diabetes.
  • Recovery from intestinal problems, such as ulcerative colitis and celiac disease.
  • An improvement in cholesterol and LDL counts.
  • Improvement in bone density and reversal of osteopenia.
  • Helping skin conditions from psoriasis to oral ulcers and hair loss.
  • A reduction in inflammation and rheumatoid arthritis pain.
While this all seemed too good to be true, I was intrigued enough to give a wheat (and gluten) free diet a chance.  While I didn't have significant weight loss since I had little weight to lose, I did notice many small things that changed for the better.  I am sleeping more soundly than before.  I seem to be solving crossword and other problems more easily.  My hair appears to be getting thicker and my skin is less dry.  These are small differences, but enough to make me continue with this regimen.  It is easier than I thought it would be.

I recommend Wheat Belly for anyone who suspects that wheat might be causing a problem for them.  It's an interesting read and a fascinating look into how a simple diet change can affect how you feel.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013


       Do you sometimes (or often) say disparaging things about yourself, to yourself? 

       You know, you whack your shoulder against the door frame as you walk through it and say, "What a klutz".

        You pass a mirror and think, "Lookin' a little haggy today".

         A common word in a crossword puzzle that you should know just won't come to you and your response is "Better resign from Mensa, dummy".

        We all say such things to ourselves from time to time.  If someone said it to us we'd be highly offended, but we don't seem to mind insulting ourselves.  It sounds harmless, but our brain - that literal little guy that takes it all as gospel - doesn't process it as harmless.  If it's repeated often enough our brain perceives it to be true.  Like a little robot, it doesn't get sarcasm.

       So how do we train ourselves to stop this self- belittlement?  I read an article somewhere (can't remember where.  "Way to go mental midget").  See, it's a hard habit to break.  Anyway, the writer of the article suggested wearing a rubber band around your wrist and snapping it every time you have such thoughts.  Self-applied behavior modification.  

       If you're someone who doesn't talk down to themselves, wow!  Good for you.  For the rest of us, this might be a great experiment.  If it works on self-deprecation there is no limit to the possibilities.  Stop smoking.  Swear off donuts.  Don't buy that dress you can't afford.   It opens up a whole other world!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


Forgive us, we're still struggling to get back to the idea of posting regularly, so with that in mind we're re-posting one of our more popular columns.

So, do you fear being thinner?

I'm sure that many of us who have struggled to lose weight think that is a supremely stupid question, but let's think about it for a moment.

Most human behavior is a quest to satisfy some inner – and usually unrealized – desire. In other words, we wouldn't do it if we weren't, consciously or unconsciously, getting something out of it.

Consider people who go from one abusive relationship to another. Why would they do this? Perhaps because it satisfies some inner need to be punished for a real or imagined sin. How often do you hear one of them say, “It was my fault. I deserved it”. NOBODY deserves it. (My opinion.)

The same theory often applies to those who are overweight. They are well aware that they are harming their bodies – and quite possibly shortening their lives – by carrying around those excess pounds, but they seem unable to correct the situation. Maybe they've found a reason. Is it genetic? A glandular problem? Lack of support from family members? Or is it something else?

What are they getting out of being overweight? Well, for one thing, it gives them an excuse for failing, for being depressed and then indulging that old pleasure center in the brain that is demanding a couple of Snicker's Bars. People don't expect as much from you when you're fat, so it takes some of the pressure off. You don't have to think as much about what you're eating. You just eat what you want, and usually what you want is something quick and easy and plentiful – like fast food and bags of snacks.

Being slender and maintaining a healthy weight is a lot more work than just eating mindlessly. The payoff is a healthy, longer life that is living – not just existing. The payoff is being there for your loved ones and feeling great every day. The payoff is being grateful for the wonderful body you have been given and loving life.

Pretty good payoff, huh?


Thursday, February 14, 2013


                                    Valentine wishes from Robin and Doris at Over 40? So What!

Thursday, February 7, 2013


    Well, as of August, there will be no Saturday postal service, except for packages.  In case you were thinking of complaining about this injustice, remember. we were responsible for curtailing our own mail service.

     I am just as guilty as anyone, since I use the internet to pay my bills, send greeting cards, correspond with friends, etc.  I used to buy a book of stamps every couple of weeks.  Now I have almost a full book of Christmas stamps that I stamp the occasional letter with.  

    I heard on the news last night that for the Postal Service to maintain our services, they would have to charge $1.04 for a first class stamp.  You'd have to keep your stamps in your safe deposit box if that happened.  You could bequeath them to your children.

     The world it is a-changin' and, like the post office, we either have to learn to live with the changes or get the heck out of the way.  Sometimes I yearn for the good old days, but not when I'm loading the dishwasher, or watching a first-run movie without leaving the house, or diagnosing my latest ailments on Web.MD.  For everything we have given up, we have received - for good or ill - ten things in return.

      Anyway, I don't imagine having no Saturday delivery will have as much impact as it  would have only a few years ago.  

Neither snow nor rain nor heat nor gloom of night stays these 
                  couriers from the swift completion of their appointed rounds.

                                                  But budget problems?  Meh

Wednesday, February 6, 2013


     Like the proverbial bad penny, your friends from Over 40? So What! have turned up again.  Our apologies for our absence.  We have been working diligently on a new book which may or may not see the light of day within the next year.

     Our new effort is a novel and is still in the developmental stage, although a few preliminary chapters are in outline and pre-editing condition.  Writing non-fiction is immeasurably easier than writing fiction - who knew?  After all, non-fiction relies on data and research.  Easy stuff compared to delving into your imagination.

     So blah, blah, blah, this is our excuse for not posting to our blog since (gasp) September.  We have also regrettably had to give up publishing our monthly magazine, since the amount of work and time that this involved was mind-boggling.  

     Just to prove that we are sincerely sorry and will produce occasional posts, we hereby cheat by presenting one of our more popular posts from the fairly recent past.  We promise to try to do better in future.


If you've ever been turned off, disgusted or appalled by a cut apple that has started to turn brown, cheer up!  Those friendly folks who brought you the bright red, tasteless tomato have worked their magic on apples.  

By inserting an extra copy of a gene that interferes with the enzymatic activity that causes browning - an enzyme called polyphenol oxidase - they have produced a fruit that can be sliced, diced, packaged in plastic and sold round the world to those purists who must have pristine apples.

This is not to be confused with those apple slices that are already available in the produce departments of your neighborhood supermarkets; these contain preservatives, such as ascorbic acid (Vitamin C) and calcium chloride.   Unfortunately they only (?) have a shelf life of about three weeks.  Now wouldn't you rather have a nice genetically modified apple that would mummify before it turned brown?

You know, an apple a day keeps the doctor away.  Wouldn't it be a hoot if they found out later on that what helps keep the doctor away is the enzyme they have managed to nullify?

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