Cancer support groups are vital for the mental and physical well being of all those who suffer from this dreaded disease. Dr. Stephen Lottenberg is a medical doctor and a therapist who facilitates networking and emotional support groups for patients and their families. Dr. Lottenberg has been facilitating cancer support groups for twenty years. He provides a sense of community for those who would otherwise be alone in their struggle.
Dr. Lottenberg Bio:
Dr. Stephen Lottenberg, MD, PsyD combines his experience as a medical doctor with his background in Psychology. He was an Assistant and Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at University of California, Irvine and Clinical Director of the Brain Imaging Center where he studied brain function in many different psychiatric and psychological disorders. He then went on to receive his Doctoral degree in Psychology as he transitioned into more direct patient care. He has since directed his practice into facilitating cancer related support groups for the last twenty years. His main areas of expertise combines his background of medicine with psychology to facilitate groups that include cancer patients and their loved ones. He helps in the continuum of care by also facilitating bereavement groups for family members whose loved ones have passed from cancer.
If nothing will be the same, then how will your life be different? – Is an enlightening conversation with author, and educator, Michael J. Goldberg, on the Enneagram, and changing your life for the better. Michael is the author of Travels with Odysseus, and The 9 Ways of Working.
About Michael J. Goldberg
Michael is the author of several great books, based on the Enneagram personality typing system. Two of my favorites are Travels with Odysseus and the Nine Ways of Working. Michael is also a speaker and consultant. His specialties are leadership, executive presence and team collaboration.
In speaking to Michael I have found his knowledge of the Enneagram personality types goes much deeper, than many who teach the system. His approach is refreshing. We both believe that it is not productive to use personality type as a justification for your behavior. A lot like Odysseus on his quest for home, the Enneagram is far more useful as a map and a compass that points you in the direction of a richer fuller life.
The Enneagram can help you understand friends and loved ones. Mental fitness is a positive attribute of introspection. Unlike the Cyclops, we have an eye that looks at the world, and the other, looks inward. This system can help you build business strategies and relationships. Office politics need not be a nightmare. You can use your leadership skills to end frustrations and build alliances. Right now the world needs better leaders.
This is the most fun I’ve had in a while on the podcast. We discuss everything from the Enneagram to films to dealing with the pandemic. Michael’s insightful humor will tickle your brain cells into positive action.
About this podcast episode
Episode 35- Mental health and social distancing, is a lively fun conversation with Serena Sun, the founder of Breaking Taboo, about mental health taboos, suicide prevention, love, good books and karaoke! Serena and her non profit company Breaking Taboo is doing good things to support hospitals and health workers. Please check the links below and donate whatever you can to support the cause.
We both believe that the current situation is a serious one. The gravity does not escape us. That’s why we decided to be light in our tone. Laughter has been said to boost the immune system. Our conversation made me smile. I had not smiled in days. I hope that you smile too. Listen to her great advise. on mental health and social distancing. This is a terrible time. We can all use a good laugh.
Serena Sun Bio:
Serena Sun is the Founder and Director of Breaking Taboo. It’s a nonprofit organization on mental health awareness and suicide prevention. She is a public speaker and gives seminars on mental health. Serena is a certified life coach and holds internationally accredited certifications in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Neuro Linguistic Programming. Serena has a degree and background in psychology and film. She has volunteered since the age of thirteen, in hospitals, nursing homes, and homeless food drives. Serena plays concert piano and enjoys teaching.
Topics we tackle
- Addressing your sense of helplessness
- How to help ourselves and others
- A renewed sense of purpose. (You’re not your job!)
- Tools and tips to deal with anxiety, and depression
- Introvert/Extrovert strategies
- Couples with issues strategies
- Book suggestions – Attached, and The Five Love languages
- Attachment Theory
- Smule online karaoke!
- Routines and reprogramming
- Gratitude and opportunities for taking personal inventories, and take stock too!
Episode 34 – Staying fit during the pandemic, is a special episode with Darren Kirby the “Fitter Healthier Dad”. Darren is a tri-athlete, and a fit dad. He lost over sixty pounds and has managed to keep the weight off through a diet based on sensible principles, and a commitment to fitness.
Being a tri-athlete has given Darren the mental toughness to staying fit during the pandemic and ongoing the restrictions. He’s here on the Happy and Healthy Over 40 podcast to share some useful tips on how to stay fit and eat right under the social distancing guidelines that are currently in place.
His tips on fitness during the pandemic are super useful. Put them to good use, and stay happy and healthy!
About Darren Kirby
Ironman athlete Darren Kirby’s aim is to help one million Dads/Men live a healthier happy life – and to give them the knowledge and tools to also help their children and families do the same. In the year 2015 Darren the fitter healthier dad had competed in 10 triathlons during that season. In 2018 he was awarded ALL World Athlete Status by Ironman in the top 5% in the world. Darren started fitter Healthier Dad to help other fathers.
Darren’s motto is – Feel Better, Look Better and Have tons of energy.
Here’s what you’ll learn
- fitness during the pandemic
- Adapting your exercise schedule
- varying your daily routine
- immune system support
- intermittent fasting
- Autophagy and insulin levels
- 12 to 15 thousand steps a day
- and keeping the kids involved and staying fit too!
Useful tips on keeping the relationship together during social distancing
Episode 33 – Covid 19, Corona Virus, or SARS-CoV-2 – No matter what you call this virus, it spells isolation. Even the most introverted humans have personal relationships that they value and want to maintain. We humans are designed to live together. Anthropologists can prove that hominids (early humans) have lived in bands, tribes, and villages for millennia.
Covid – 19
Since the terrible spread of Covid – 19, we’ve been engaging in some very un-human like activity through self imposed isolation or quarantine. Even monks who live in silence still live in proximity to other monks during their meditations, and daily activities. Mass global quarantine is unusual to say the least.
Don’t get me wrong. There’s growing evidence that social distancing and quarantine are working. The spread of the virus is slowing down. That is a good thing. Until scientists create a vaccine for this pandemic, social distancing and testing are the best solutions for saving lives.
You will probably survive this virus, but what about your love life? You’re stuck at home with your significant others. I’d bet you a roll of toilet paper that there will be a new baby boom for the next two years. For a lot of people there’s nothing to do but watch Netflix and make babies.
For some other folks a 24/7 scenario is too much of a good thing. I got a call the other day from a friend, who is staying with his parents during the pandemic. He’s not doing this because they need his help. They need a referee, otherwise they were going to come apart. This may not be you, but if you find yourself frustrated and maybe a little more annoyed than usual with your partner. You might be getting a touch of what the old timers used to call “cabin fever“. No, not the movie! It’s an actual disorder from too much close proximity over an extended period of time.
So what can you do to stay safe and maintain a healthy relationship? How do our relationships survive this pandemic? Fear not. On this latest podcast I’ve brought in relationship expert Allana Pratt to lend us some insight on how to deal with this temporary situation.
Allana Pratt Bio:
Intimacy Expert, Allana Pratt is a global media personality and go-to authority for those who have suffered heartbreak and are ready to live unapologetically, and attract an open-hearted, ideal relationship. Her vulnerability and courage landed her a featured weekly column on the GoodMenProject, featured as an Icon of Influence, and as Guest Expert on Huffington Post, People Magazine, Forbes, CBS & FOX and The Jenny McCarthy Show. Allana is the Author of 4 books. She has interviewed Whoopi Goldberg, on her edgy Podcast “Intimate Conversations”, where listeners learn how to find the relationship they deserve.
Deshaan Johnson is a men’s work coach. His company, Socially Agile, is dedicated to improving and empowering the lives of men. Deshaan has a great YouTube channel by the name Socially Agile where he discusses many topics that are near and dear to me such as the power of presence, being intentional in life, growth, grounding oneself with integrity, and he did a video with Soma Miller about our topic today which is the benefits of mentorship. So go check out Deshaan on YouTube!
Ketosis and intermittent fasting – which is right for you? These two dietary philosophies are similar in that both systems focus on insulin, fat, and ketone bodies to lose weight and stay healthy.
Ketosis happens when we eat foods that are low in carbohydrates and higher in fat. These are foods such as eggs, meat, high fat fish like salmon, and non animal products such as olives, avocados, and coconut oil. By keeping your dietary carb intake to about 25 to 35 grams of carbs a day, you will likely start burning stored fat as a primary source of energy. This is called Ketosis.
When you eat foods that are very low in carbohydrates, your body releases less insulin. Less insulin, means less fat storage. It also means less glucose that is available for immediate energy. So you’d better make sure that you’re eating enough healthy fats!
Intermittent Fasting (IF) limits the amount of time that you can eat food, during a given amount of time. It takes much of the benefits of ketosis, without having to follow a ketogenic dietary plan. Fasting does this because while you are not eating, you have less carbohydrate in your blood stream. Less carbs = less insulin.
Some people fast for 36 to 48 hours once a month. Some folks fast on a daily basis from anywhere between 16 to 23 hours. The most common and easily achievable way to start with IF is called 16/8 Intermittent fasting.
it’s reasonable to assume that you can fast for 16 hours. You’re asleep for approx 8 of those hours anyway. The tricky part for most people is when to begin eating. Author Tim Ferris has a version of IF that advocates eating breakfast 30 minutes after waking up. He also advocates for low glycemic load foods consisting of bean or lentils, a small piece of protein, and fiber from something like leafy greens such as mustard greens, or spinach. I love cruciferous vegetables. Broccoli , lentils and eggs is a great meal to break the fast from the night before.
An important point about Ferris’s example, is that we want to set ourselves up for success.If you’re used to eating breakfast and you can manage not eating later in the day then go for this version. I like doing my morning workout routine while I am still fasting. It’s fantastic! Exercise is much easier on an empty stomach, and I feel amazingly clear-headed when I am done. You can eat your protein and fiber afterwards, and have a better sense of how much your body appreciates delicious healthy foods.
Is it all just Hype?
In a word – no. It’s not all hype. To be clear, we lose weight by expending more calories than we consume. There’s no denying that fact. You can lose weight simply by counting calories. Many have done it before you, and you can successfully lose weight by doing the exact same thing. However, for everyone who has succeeded this way, thousands more have given up and failed. What I’m saying either, keto or IF is a superior way of meeting your dietary needs and still lose weight.
The calories in – calories out approach alone, is a miserable way to lose weight. You know what I mean. You’re always hungry, and thinking about food. Your energy levels are through the floor because you’re essentially starving yourself. Sometimes, people end up making themselves sick by dieting this way.
Both Keto and IF can give you enough calories, to get you through the day. Insulin makes you hungry. The lack of insulin in your system, keeps hunger at bay. The idea is to take in a few fewer calories a day than you expend. That is the way to sustainable long-term weight loss. Can you take in a few less calories a day with a more conventional diet. Sure. If and Keto just make it a whole lot easier, and you get to eat a lot more nutritionally dense foods too. Delicious!
Ketogenics limit glucose intake and increases fat intake. Consuming under 35 grams of carbohydrate is normally considered enough to put a person in ketosis. Intermittent fasting simply takes advantage of the amount of time that you are not eating to gain some of the benefits of ketosis without having to be obsessed with carb counts and weighing foods, etc. Both systems prevent the storage of fat, mobilize the fat that’s already stored in your body, and they both suppress your appetite quite a bit while you’re reaching for your healthy goals.
Ketosis has been shown to increase GABA in the brain. As you probably know, GABA helps us sleep and reduces anxiousness. Anything good for the brain is good for the nervous system too. Intermittent Fasting gives you increased GABA and other similar benefits, simply because you are not eating for 16 hours a day.
Which should You choose?
If you can manage to stay consistent with the ketogenic system, and you can do it perfectly, so as not to knock yourself out of ketosis, then this is the right call for you. It works well, and it works quickly. You can lose weight with little effort if you do this right.
Ketogenic diets are right for thousands of people who are looking to lose weight, and lower the inflammation in their joints. However keto is not the right call for me. Why you ask?
I choose to eat IF because, it is so much easier to do correctly than keto. With intermittent fasting, all you have to do is not eat for a minimum of 16 hours and you are taking many of the benefits from ketosis, for about 4 to 5 hours daily. That is even if you ate a little too much that day. It’s much easier to sustain than keto because of this reason alone.
Intermittent fasting gives you a greater variety of foods that you can eat. At the moment, I am eating around 100 grams of net carbs. That’s about 70 grams more than you’ll get on Keto. I don’t see the point of putting myself through such an unforgiving dietary system such as Keto, if I can have similar benefits and still be able to have a beer at a party once in a while.
The truth is, that it is far too easy to fall out of ketosis. A teaspoon of mustard can screw all of your efforts up, if it contains any sugar – which it probably does. an apple could knock you out of ketosis for a couple of days. If you are struggling with high blood pressure, you’d better make sure that you are very careful about the fats and carbs that you are consuming. This is no joke. It is not a quick fix diet to jump on and off from. You can seriously raise your blood pressure overnight if you do.
If you go the IF route, black beans, and garbanzo beans are delicious sources of fiber, and protein. Many fruits such as blackberries, strawberries, and an occasional apple are all on the menu. With keto you’re better off not eating the fruit at all to stay on the safe side.
Another good thing about IF is that it is much cheaper to get a good healthy meal than on keto. Most vegetables are pretty cheap in the markets, even the organic and locally raised produce is cheaper in comparison to lots of meat and fresh fish. It’s also nice to have a sweet potato with my salmon and greens.
So what eating system works best for you? Here are a few other links for you to help you on your journey:
Last week in In Part 1 in our series on testosterone replacement therapy, we illustrated the benefits and dangers of going on TRT, and the importance of finding a good endocrinologist, Here’s the important stuff to know when you go and see your doctor and what to expect during treatment.
What to do before seeking treatment
Most men tend to ask for hormone treatment before they even know what is actually wrong. These men go to the doctor and demand medication, without exhausting all possibilities before doing so. As I stated in the last article, hormone therapy isn’t a game. The wrong medication or dosage could seriously mess you up. Low T will seem like heaven if your prostate swells up or you start growing breasts. I can not emphasize the importance of taking this seriously and consulting with a competent doctor. Don’t go online and buy products that may or may not even be testosterone, and inject them into your body. That would be madness, but many men do this every single day.
Before you even consider TRT do everything possible to raise your testosterone levels naturally. Here are a few things that can get you started on your journey to healthy hormone levels:
- Start with your diet. Cut out all junk food and stick with a basic 16/8 hour meal plan
- Get plenty of sleep. Seven to eight hours is great, and you’ll feel refreshed
- If you don’t lift weights, then you should start. Make sure that you have proper instruction and are consistent with your exercise plan.
- High intensity interval training or HIIT is excellent for raising your T levels naturally. You’ll look and feel like a stud too!
- Get yourself checked out with your primary doctor to rule out any other potential issues other than low T, as a cause for your low sex drive and lack of mental focus.
Assuming that you have done all of the above, with no positive results, then you can go and ask the doctors about hormone therapy.
Why an Endocrinologist?
Your endocrinologist is a doctor who specializes in the endocrine system. These are glands that make up our hormonal system. Testosterone is not the only gland that your specialist will be addressing. There are other glands such as estrogen, that are vital to our health. It’s important to have a specialist who understands these hormones and how to balance them. Your normal medical doctor may not have the level of training to make these distinctions.
Undergo a thorough exam with your healthcare provider that should include the following:
- Write down all your questions before you go to the doctor. Ask questions and speak openly about your symptoms.
- During the exam, your doctor may check your genitals, body hair, breasts and other parts of the body for possible signs of low testosterone. Other tests may be done to rule out alternative causes.
- Have blood testing for testosterone levels if indicated. Your doctor may order other, related blood tests as well. For accuracy and consistency, testosterone blood testing should be done in the morning. Repeat testing should be done at a later date rather than relying on a single blood sample.
- If your testosterone levels are consistently low, and you’re interested in treatment, discuss the risks, benefits and side effects with your doctor.
- Choose the right form of treatment for yourself. They’ve got patches, topical solutions, and injections to choose from. Ask your doctor which is best for you.
Once treatment begins, make sure your doctor regularly monitors your testosterone blood levels and treatment response. Other periodic blood tests might include PSA tests, red blood cell counts and cholesterol and liver function tests.
If you decide to go on hormone replacement therapy, make sure that you drop me a line and let me know how it’s going for you. I’d love to hear about it!
EVERY MAN OVER 40 thinking about testosterone replacement therapy (TRT) for energy, mental focus, and libido, needs to ask these questions. Do you actually have low testosterone levels, confirmed by blood tests? Do you have normal or low-normal testosterone levels and want to try treatment anyway? What’s “normal” anyway?
Hypogonadism also known as “low T” afflicts 200,000 men a year. It can start as early as fetal development. It could begin later in life as well. One potential problem is the testicles are not making enough testosterone, for one reason or another. These men experience certain symptoms, such as low sex drive, weak erections, and depression . TRT may help. Fatigue, increased body fat, reduced focus, difficulty concentrating and other symptoms could also be signs of low T.
Some men with normal testosterone levels, think they’ll get an extra boost of testosterone. They think they’ll feel like an 18-year-old football star. It doesn’t work that way. If you have normal T levels, testosterone replacement therapy, will not give you super human strength. It will not turn you into a love god.
Prescription testosterone isn’t really helpful in the case, of normal hormone levels in men. Research suggests, taking supplemental testosterone may expose men to unnecessary health risks. Some of these risks are: fluid retention, enlarged breasts, and sleep apnea. Other alarming risks are enlarged prostate, increased anxiety, high blood pressure, strokes, and heart attacks. I think that you’ll agree that these are serious complications. If you’re going to go on TRT, then please make sure that you are consulting with a physician. AND not just any old doctor – go and consult with an endocrinologist.
Testosterone is known as the male hormone, produced primarily in your testicles. This androgen effects the density of our bones, muscle size and strength. It also effects body fat, body hair, sperm production, sex drive and red blood cell production. Testosterone is key for maintenance and health in men of all ages.
Our testosterone levels change and adjust throughout our lives. Any adult man knows about the changes in physical, mental, and emotional states during our adolescent years. Puberty begins in boys around the ages of 10 to 14. This is when testosterone production starts cranking. It hits its peak sometime in adolescence or in our early twenties. Unfortunately, testosterone slowly decreases approximately 1 percent a year after a man hits his 30’s and 40’s.
The Endocrine Society, says that average total testosterone ranges from about 265 to 915 nanograms per deciliter for younger men ages 19 to 39. Current guidelines discourage physicians from prescribing testosterone unless blood levels are demonstrably low. With men ages 65 and older, low testosterone levels alone does not lead to TRT, according to the society’s recommendations.
The Rising Tide
As, more and more men, are now asking for TRT therapy. It’s hard to imagine that big pharma is will ignore the demand for better tools to manage an aging population. We are living longer than any time in human history. As TRT gets more attention, and new research is published and peer-reviewed, better products will come to the market.
Who knows how the demand will affect the future of anti-aging products and TRT, as big pharma can clearly see that this is a lucrative revenue stream. For the men that have benefited from hormone replacement therapy, it’s been described as a game changer. A man described the effects as if “somebody switched on a light in a dark room”.
Some of the other benefits are greater sex drive, improved cognition, and if you are into working out – bigger muscles too! I know several men who swear by TRT. They say it’s the best thing that has ever happened to them. One man, who thought his competitive days were over, started to do competitive martial arts after taking TRT just for a few months. Better sex drive, stronger and bigger muscles – this sounds great! With such rave reviews, why has the health industry become reluctant to break out the old prescription pad, when it comes to TRT?
Slowing your Hormonal Roll
Evidence suggests, that there was an early boom in hormone replacement therapy for men. Drug manufacturers, enthusiastically marketed TRT to the public and medical professionals alike. Today, doctors are writing fewer testosterone prescriptions.
In 2013, JAMA Internal Medicine – the American Medical Association’s peer-reviewed monthly journal published a study based on insurance prescription data for approximately 10 million men starting at the age of 40 and older. From 2001 to 2011, androgen replacement therapy, was prescribed in the form of topical gels, skin patches, pills and injections. Sales had tripled.
The trend reversed in 2013. TRT prescriptions for American men from 30 and older decreased by almost fifty percent from 2013 to 2016, according to findings published July 10, 2018, in JAMA.
It was discovered that in the five-year’s since the original study, heart attacks and stroke risk from testosterone therapy appeared in respected medical journals. In October 2016, the FDA approved changes to TRT labeling to emphasize possible risks for heart-related problems and mental health issues having to do with testosterone products.
What’s worse is that, in the first study, about 25 percent of the men on TRT were not tested for low T-levels. Many of these men were not hypogonadal, and put at risk for heart disease, and prostate issues for no good reason.
Judge for Yourself
For men how have significantly low testosterone levels, the benefits of hormone replacement therapy usually outweigh potential risks. If you are a man with moderate to borderline levels, you’re going to have to make some decisions with your doctor. There is a lot to think about. On the one hand, It offers men who feel like garbage an opportunity to feel as right as rain, and on the other hand, that magic bullet could put you at higher risk for heart disease and prostate cancer.
There is some debate as to whether heart and prostate problems increase with the use of hormone replacement therapy. There just have not been enough studies conducted yet. However, keep these potential risks in mind when weighing the pros and cons of TRT. Is it worth it, if you don’t really need it?
I will be doing later articles on what you should do before you go and see the doctor to talk about TRT, and what you can do to increase your testosterone levels without using any of the many products such as gels, and pills.
If you have anything to add to the conversation please post your thoughts in the comment section.
Episode 31 – Carefree meal plans for weight loss and healthy families! Paleo Folks founder, Kirsty Briscoe, discusses the benefits of a carefree meal plan. Kirsty is back for a second visit to the show. She’s got all types of new products to get you on track with your health and fitness goals!
Meal Plans for Every Lifestyle
For the busy health conscious person, it’s sometimes hard to figure out meals that support your health goals. You try your best. It gets repetitive eating the same basic meals all the time. This might cause you to make bad choices over the long haul.
Some of you are new to paleo or just too busy or can’t quite figure it all out. You, can try new foods and learn new tricks to add to your eating plan. Why struggle to figure out all of the metrics on calories, and macros when someone else has done it for you?
It’s a Family affair
What parent hasn’t felt the guilt of serving something, less than healthy, to their kids? Kirsty created a menu membership product for the whole family! It’s called Real Food Family Style. All of the information on calories, and macro nutrients are included. You don’t have to feel the guilt of serving your family junk food for dinner just because you had to work overtime this week.
Kirsty Briscoe is the founder of Paleo Folks; grain free baking mix company, health coaching agency, and curated meal planning service all in one! Their paleo pancake mix and chocolate chip cookie mix are both top paleo products at Whole Foods Market and on Amazon! Kirsty struggled with health, wellness, and her weight for most of her life, and paleo changed it all for her. As a former teacher, sharing the paleo diet in an easy to understand way is a deep passion for her! She specializes in paleo for busy people, moms and kids, and budget conscious healthy eaters.