Saturday, December 29, 2007

Good Nutrition Saves Us!

Synergy or synergism (from the Greek synergos meaning working together, circa 1660) refers to the phenomenon in which two or more discrete agents, acting together, create an effect greater than the sum of the effects each is able to create independently. This is definitely true when it comes to a balanced diet. Good nutrition is vital to developing a fit body and every day there is more research appearing that proves the importance of eating a variety of plant foods.

Recently, Dr. Rui Hai Liu, an associate professor in the Department of Food Science at Cornell University, appeared at the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) International Conference on Food, Nutrition and Cancer to present some of his latest findings: "Different (raw) plant foods have different phytochemicals, these substances go to different organs, tissues and cells, where they perform different functions. What your body needs to ward off disease is this synergistic effect - this teamwork - that is produced by eating a wide variety of plant foods." Clearly, a vitamin-mineral supplement is not enough. There needs to be a platform of whole food nutrition to build from. Choose a whole food supplement to bridge the gap of the foods you are eating and the foods you need to eat more often. “The thousands of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals in (raw) whole foods act synergistically together to create a more powerful effect than the sum of their parts, producing a result which cannot be recreated by supplements". This statement is from Jeff Prince, the vice president for education at the American Institute for Cancer Research. This is evidence that it is the synergistic combination of all pure raw whole food ingredients including nuts, seeds, grains, fruits, vegetables, berries, herbs, oils, & spices that creates a strong and healthy body.

Variety is the spice of life. It is also the key to a balanced diet. Reward your body with a variety of raw foods and a good quality whole food supplement to give yourself the nutritional edge needed for perfect health!

Mollie McCarl
Personal Trainer, Fitness SPA
Workout with Mollie on Comcast's On Demand channel 886 in "Workout Routines"

Thursday, December 27, 2007


Most importantly, as you begin strength training, is to focus on challenging yourself, not killing yourself. Within the first few weeks, focus on learning how to do each exercise rather than on how much weight you're lifting or how many exercises you're doing.

Warm up with 5-10 minutes of light cardio or with warm up sets of each exercise using a light-medium weight.

Choose 1-2 exercises for each muscle group (see below) and do 1-2 sets of 8-16 repetitions of each exercise. As a beginner, you may want to start with about 15-16 reps until you feel comfortable with the moves and build some strength. After that, you can add more weight and reduce your reps for a different challenge.

If you exercise in a gym, you may want to start with machines so you have more stabilization for the movements.

Give yourself at least a day of rest (though you may need more after the first workout) to recover.

Each week, add either 1 repetition and/or a few pounds of weight to each exercise to progress. Just keep your reps at about 16 or below. Once you hit 16 reps, increase your weight and drop your reps down to 10 or 12 reps.

Below is a list of muscle groups along with sample exercises. If you're a beginner, you only need to choose 1-2 exercises for each muscle group in the upper body and 3-4 moves for the lower body.

Chest: bench press, chest press machine, pushups, pec deck machine
Back: seated row machine, back extensions, lat pulldowns
Shoulders: overhead press, lateral raise, front raise
Biceps: bicep curls, hammer curls, concentration curls
Triceps: tricep extensions, dips, kickbacks
Lower Body: Squats, lunges, leg press machines, deadlifts, calf raises Abdominals: crunches, reverse crunches, oblique twists, pelvic tilts

You will be amazed at how quickly your body responses to your new workout routine!

Mollie McCarl
Personal Trainer, Fitness Spa
Comcast "on Demand" channel 886 "workout routines"

Monday, December 17, 2007


In order to remain fit and fabulous, we must both exercise regularly and eat a balanced diet rich in fruit and vegetables. According to new research from the Georgetown University Medical Center, fruits and veggies contain chemicals that enhance DNA repair in cells, which could lead to protection against cancer development. In a new study published in the "British Journal of Cancer" and by the journal "Nature" the researchers show that in laboratory tests, a compound called indole-3-carinol (I3C), found in broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage, and a chemical called genistein, found in soy beans, can increase the levels of two specific proteins that repair damaged DNA. This study is one of the first to provide a molecular explanation as to how eating vegetables could cut the risk of developing cancer and Eliot M. Rosen, MD, PhD, professor of oncology, cell biology, and radiation medicine at Georgetown 's Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center says, "It is now clear that the function of crucial cancer genes can be influenced by compounds in the things we eat, our findings suggest a clear molecular process that would explain the connection between diet and cancer prevention." The study was funded by the Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Foundation and the National Cancer. These results are important in demonstrating to people how necessary it is to eat the recommended 9-13 fruits and veggies daily. So be sure to add a few extra servings to your meals and your body will thank you by keeping you healthy.
Mollie McCarl
Fitness Spa Personal Trainer
Comcast On Demand-go to 886-click-workout videos

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Fears Can Be Treated Successfully With Combination of Drugs and Behavior Therapy

Medication combined with behavioral therapy can be effective in helping individuals fight their fears, says Michael Davis, PhD, Robert W. Woodruff Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and a faculty member at Yerkes National Primate Research Center at Emory University. Dr. Davis presented an update on his research at the Neuroscience 2007 meeting, the annual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience held in San Diego.

Dr. Davis described how a greater understanding of the brain's neurotransmitters has led to improved therapies for reducing or inhibiting fears. With the use of cognitive therapy, as well as medications such as D-cycloserine, researchers have been able to help patients who suffer from anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorder, post-traumatic stress disorder and social phobia.

The key to successful treatment, Dr. Davis has found in his research, is to improve the process that makes cognitive behavioral therapy work. The scientific term for this process is fear extinction. The discovery by Dr. Davis that a type of receptor in the brain, called the NMDA receptor, is critical for this extinction process has led to the idea of using a drug called D-cycloserine in conjunction with cognitive behavioral therapy.

"We are trying to improve the lives of people who may have an obsessive-compulsive disorder so severe that they cannot get out of bed as they try to decide which foot should go first," says Dr. Davis. " We want to help the person who has a panic attack crossing a bridge to no longer feel terrified to cross. We want to help someone who has nightmares from reliving a traumatic experience."

Anxiety disorders are the most common type of psychiatric illness. More than 19 million adults and children suffer from problems related to anxiety disorders, says Dr. Davis.

"Medications have been extremely helpful in treating many of these individuals, but they can have side effects or not always work," says Dr. Davis. "Neuroscientists in my lab are looking at areas of the brain related to the extinction of fears and are trying to better understand the underlying mechanisms to help determine the most effective treatment to help patients resolve their anxieties and lead a more normal life."

The study is supported by the National Institute of Mental Health, the Woodruff Foundation, the Center for Behavioral Neuroscience of the National Science Foundation and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center of Emory University.

New CDC Study Finds 5.5 Percent Increase in Injury Mortality from 1999

Increases in deaths among 20-to-29 and 45-to-54 year olds contribute to first overall increase in years

Injury death rates nationally rose more than 5 percent after a two-decade period of decline, according to a study released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in today's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report. The report indicates the largest increases were seen in the 20-29 and 45-54 year age groups.

The total injury mortality rate includes deaths from unintentional injury, suicides, homicides, and injuries of undetermined intent. If a death could not be definitively attributed to unintentional injury or suicide, it is considered to be of undetermined intent. Homicide rates remained stable throughout the 1999-2004 period, with unintentional poisonings accounting for more than half of the total increase in injury deaths.

"We're very concerned anytime we see an increase in premature deaths," said Ileana Arias, Ph.D., director of CDC's National Center for Injury Prevention and Control. "We don't know if this is an indication of a trend, but it is something that needs to be further examined."

The 45- to 54-year-old age group experienced the largest increase in injury mortality rates. This group had a 25 percent increase, for an additional 8,000 deaths in 2004. In comparison, the 20-29-year age group had an 8 percent increase in total injury death rates. Unintentional poisonings accounted for more than 50 percent of the increase in each group.

Shared risk factors could contribute to the increase in multiple injury categories and age groups, Arias said. For example, the recent increase in prescription drug abuse during the same time period in these age groups could have contributed to an increase in mortality due to suicide, homicide, unintentional poisoning, and other types of unintentional injury. Prevention programs that focus on such shared risk factors could help reduce the number of injury-related deaths.

"The increase in prescription drug overdoses among the middle-aged is something that the CDC has noted before," said Len Paulozzi, M.D., a medical epidemiologist at the Injury Center. "We need to explore the increases in other types of injury for which drug abuse is a risk factor in the same age groups."

For this study, CDC analyzed mortality data on resident deaths occurring in the United States, as compiled from death certificates by the National Vital Statistics System.

For more information about unintentional poisoning prevention, please go to

For more information about suicide prevention, please go to

Sunday, December 02, 2007

Workout with Comcast

Often it is fun to just do a few exercises early in the morning to get your day started right. That's why I have created videos for Comcast Cable. There are eight different videos to choose from Yoga to Pilates. These quick videos will get your day moving right. On your Comcast remote click 886 (On Demand) and then scroll down to Workout Videos. Click on these and eight different videos will appear to choose from. I hope you enjoy them!

Mollie McCarl
Personal Trainer
Fitness Spa