Claudius J West

A wet sauna is also called a steam room. You get the picture: a room with steam in it. Hot, around 110 degrees. What I want to talk about is a dry sauna, usually a minimum of 180 degrees, low humidity, and even though the temperature is much higher than a steam room, it doesn’t […]

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Richard Lopez of the Los Angeles Times reports that the FDA is moving to ban trans fats. The process is now in a 60-day comment period to give food manufacturers time to tell the FDA how long they need to take the trans fats out of their products. Wouldn’t it be great if there were […]

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The theme of our post, today, is the frustration that comes from people telling me what to eat. I’ll bet a dollar that at some point in your life you’ve felt the same. Hey, if I’m choosing to take a momentary leap off the good-food wagon for an indulgence, I’d appreciate not getting a pitchfork […]

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“Sugar is poison. Sugar is decrepitude. Sugar is disease and self-destruction. I must avoid sugar at all costs.” That’s my daily mantra. It doesn’t lend itself to broad interpretation. I wrote it after reading yet another article about the horrors of sugar. I wanted to be as emphatic with myself as possible in a “scared […]

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In January, U.S. News and World Report published their annual Best Diets review. With dismay, I read that the diet I have most sympathy for, the Paleo diet, out of 29 diets, tied for last place. Just above the Paleo diet sat the Raw Food diet, another eating regime I thought would have ranked much […]

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The true garden of the Gods and Goddesses belongs to my sister Angela who maintains a 30,000 square foot vegetable garden and fruit orchard at her rural Minnesota home surrounded by at 12-foot high anti-deer fence that when gazed upon recalls the feeling inspired at the start of Jurassic Park when Sam Neill and company […]

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“Recent research suggests that those who sit from 9-5 (more than 6 hours daily) and exercise regularly are more likely to have heart disease than those who sit less than 3 hours per day and don’t “exercise” at all.” from The Blog of Author Timothy Ferriss, March 13, 2012 Within the past week, I built myself my […]

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An episode of Star Trek: The Next Generation featured a young actor playing an alien shapeshifter named Salia who became the love-interest of teen-genius Wesley Crusher (Will Wheaton). During their time together, the shapeshifter frequently quoted from a list of personal rules, by number, such as: “Rule Seventy-Four: Always spread the peanut butter on before the […]

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As my quest for better health and longer life picks up speed, I find myself confronted by unlikely concoctions, unappetizing substances, and gag-inducing taste experiences. At an earlier time in my life, faced with such food choices, I would have said: Not a chance of that getting past my ruby red lips. But, but, but—-I want […]

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A few months ago, Ms. Immortal ordered a bottle of aloe vera juice. This was the special kind of juice that had the bad taste of the aloe vera taken out to make it so you wouldn’t want to throw up after drinking it. He Likes It I tried it. It perfectly lived up to its […]

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As mentioned elsewhere, I don’t find myself in front of a T.V. often. The last time it happened, I saw an advertisement for a pharmaceutical pill called Celebrex. What are the pill companies, in this case, Pfizer, selling? A gray-haired man and woman exit their car at a trailhead. He doesn’t look happy to be […]

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Meat Madness While reading over an FDA document the other day, I came across a surprising item I had missed in my post on BSE (Bovine Spongiform Encephalopathy). Turns out that BSE usually only expresses itself in a cow as old as five years in a way you, or, more likely, a highly paid and […]

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Hi Mom, I did some research this morning about arterial plaque. I’d guess your condition is likely to turn out to be atherosclerosis. When you visit with the doctor, you’ll want to be sure of the names he gives you, because atherosclerosis is also known as arteriosclerotic vascular disease, both of which sound a lot like arteriosclerosis. “The […]

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Scarcity increases value, an economic maxim that showed its power when boxes of Twinkies (8 per box) started selling for $100 on Ebay after the announcement that Hostess was shutting down production. I wondered if the failure of Hostess was because consumers had wised up to the dangers of junk food and were turning their […]

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My forty-ish, 215 pound female friend from Georgia asked me to write about inner and outer beauty. “For many years, the ONE thing I wanted in life was to be beautiful. “I wanted to look like a supermodel. “If I were beautiful, people would want to be around me, they would respect me, I would […]

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The really scary part for meat-eating humans in Martha Rosenberg’s Born With A Junk Food Deficiency is when she writes about mad cow disease. The difference between bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE), aka mad cow disease, and variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (vCJD) is that the first is what cows get, and the latter is what people get. […]

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When my counterpart, Ms. Immortal, told me about Dr. Mercola’s interview with Ori Hofmekler extolling the virtues of black coffee from freshly ground arabica beans, it sounded like a veritable fountain of youth. Sign me up for that. Freshly ground—that’s important. Not freshly ground because it says so on the can, but freshly ground because […]

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Living long and well has got a lot do with the foods we put into our bodies. After reading Born With A Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks, and Hacks Pimp The Public Health, I am dismayed. I am dismayed by meat. I am dismayed by eggs. I’m a bona fide, meat-eating omnivore. I fully […]

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I am alternately reading my way through two Gary Taubes’ books: Good Calories, Bad Calories, and Why We Get Fat And What To Do About It. As Pulitzer Prize winner Richard Rhodes says in his blurb on the back of Good Calories, Bad Calories, “ [This book] is easily the most important book on diet […]

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“Everyone knows that sugar isn’t good for you, but I didn’t know how dangerous it could truly be.”—-Crystal Matthews In Sugar Nation, Jeff O’Connell blends his personal quest to discover the reasons and cure for his own pre-diabetes with a portrait of his father as he is gruesomely whittled down by diabetes. In this case, […]

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My soda addiction took a turn for the worse while standing in front of a serve-yourself soda machine inside a Taco Bell. My sons wanted to know: “What’s Mountain Dew Code Red?” “Let’s find out,” I said. Mountain Dew Code Red is Mountain Dew with cherry-flavoring added. Something about that combination was irresistible to me. […]

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Do you love a truly epic villain? Darth Vader? Hannibal Lecter? Me, too, but only when I’m watching a movie or reading a book. In real life, villains stink. In response to a 2012 study published by the New England Journal of Medicine, the American Beverage Association tells us that “The fact remains: sugar-sweetened beverages are […]

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Jennifer Livingston, a morning anchor with WKBT-TV in La Crosse, Wisconsin, garnered national attention when she spent 4 minutes of air time responding to an email taking her to task for being overweight. She accused the email’s author, a man, of being a bully. “You don’t know me; you’re not my friend.” When I heard […]

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When I was a kid, we were made to take a daily vitamin. It wasn’t a gummi bear sprinkled with sour patch dust, or anything else remotely chewable, but a smallish red dot half the size of an M&M that was meant to be swallowed. I didn’t know how to swallow a pill, even a […]

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Ray Kurzweil is an inventor and futurist who wants to live forever. He used to take 250 pills a day to help achieve that goal. Now, he takes 150 pills a day. On the weekends, he spends his time getting intravenous transfusions of a chemical cocktail meant to help him last. That’s hardcore. If that’s […]

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Our goal: live an extraordinarily long time in excellent health and with outstanding vigor. What do we know for sure about the most likely paths to lead us toward that goal? The Do Nots Don’t be fat, heavy, overweight, obese, buxom, chubby, pudgy, podgy, beefy, bulky, portly, plump, roly-poly, rotund, stout, corpulent, broad in the […]

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“Come on, you apes; you wanna live forever?” Sure. Why not? I mean, I wouldn’t want to live to the point the sun makes it through its main sequence and evolves into a red giant, swelling up beyond the current orbit of the earth, not without heavy-duty central air conditioning. But, until that happens in […]

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