Telemedicine and the Coaching Opportunity

The field of Telemedicine is getting a lot of media and trade show attention. I’ve been practicing via telemedicine since 2008. My specialty, Diagnostic Imaging, is uniquely suited to telemedicine, so the field was a naturally early adopter in the healthcare universe. Diagnostic Radiology, for the uninitiated is the interpretation of medical imaging studies. The name “Radiology” is likely derived from “radiation”, as early imaging was performed using X-rays exclusively. Over time, medical imaging has evolved to include sound wave technology (Ultrasound Imaging), Radiofrequency waves and magnetic fields (MRI or Magnetic Resonance Imaging) and atomic nuclear energy (gamma radiation and positron particles). These different methods are used to generate images. These images are no different than other digital data. The static, digital nature of medical images lends them to easy transmission to remote locations to be reviewed, generally via the internet. This is the essence of telemedicine – physicians and other health care professionals providing service remotely, via the internet. In my case, images are generated by a medical scanner in one location, then transmitted to me at another location so I can review and intefitbitrpret them, and render a diagnosis.

Other types of medical practice is slowly embracing telemedicine. As internet bandwith has become cheaper and more widely available, the opportunity to practice other types of medicine remotely has emerged. The issue, I think, is that most office visits entail some necessary physical contact between patient and physician, generally during the physical examination. For example, the examining doctor will listen to a patient’s heart and lungs with a stethesope, look in the ears with an otoscope, the eyes with an ophthalmoscope, and will palpate the abdomen. The inability to perform these functions remotely is a problem that is being tackled by some very new and innovative companies. But in the meantime, there are some types of medical data that can be supplied to the physician, without the need for direct contact, such as blood pressure, pulse rate, weight – any factor that can be measured and expressed digitally.

This data is the basis of much of the current developing practice of telemedicine. Many “wellness” programs are in development as telemedicine options.  The rise in fitness “wearables”, has accelerated this development.  There is a race on to develop software and online platforms that collect the data from your fitbit, or you smartwatch, and send it to you doctor or other health care professional.  This is an exciting development, as individual’s effort to improve overall health can be quantified and monitored.  It’s a big breakthrough.

I find one thing troubling… the new telemedicine technology, at least as applied to wellness programs, is really nothing more than an advanced technological tool.  Like any tool, it is only useful if it is used.  A tool sitting in a toolbox is useless.  That DIY project won’t get done by buying a bunch of new tools, and then putting them in the garage or shed.  It will only get done with work…using those tools.  I’m concerned that the same issues will arise in using telemedicine for wellness as we have seen with all the gyms, fitness programs, and healthy food options.  Initially, a lot of excitement, followed by a rapid drop off in enthusiasm, followed by dropping out of the program.

That’s why I believe one of the most important components of telemedicine is still people. A good coach or mentor whether nearby or online can probably have a bigger impact on wellness than a pile of data.  That’s why I think the telemedicine online movement should be focused on mentoring, more than just data collection.  I see this evolution as a Coaching opportunity, for those engaged in training and mentoring clients.


Want to cut calories? Use a food scale.

I bought a food scale for the first time. I did this because I believe in the saying “you can’t manage what you can’t measure.” Until I bought the scale, my food intake was one of those things that I couldn’t measure accurately. Sure it was easy if the food came in a package. But, over time, my family has been phasing out all packaged foods. We now eat exclusively vegetables, fruit, eggs, soy, and in my case, a little bit of poultry. Given that my personal progress had stalled (looking for those abs!), I decided to get hard core regarding tracking my calorie intake. So, I went on Amazon, bought a fairly cheap ($20) food scale, and started measuring. I have to say, so far it’s been a revelation! Here’s what I’ve learned in just a few days:

Fruit is more calorie dense than I care to admit.

I tend to get quite a large percentage of my daily calories from fruit.  In fact, whenever I’m a little hungry between meals, I’ll grab an apple, a banana, or some grapes.  After alIMG_20150718_170012l, it’s fruit!  It’s healthy! Right? I said, right?  Well, turns out there is a reason fruit is referred to as Nature’s Candy.  Lots of sugar, and therefore very calorie dense.  Yes, it’s natural and not processed.  But eat a lot of it, and the calories add up, quickly.  That was my first lesson, when I measure out 4 ounces of grapes for an 80 calorie snack.  I was shocked at how small the volume was.  I was easily eating 2-3 times that amount for a snack.  That’s as much as 240 calories, or 25 minutes on the stationary bike.  No wonder my progress had stalled.

Same deal for hummus.

I often have hummus with baby carrots as a part of a meal, or as a snack.  Hummus is another calorie dense food that is easy to eat, and can add up to a large calorie load in a hurry.  I still eat it, but I measure the amount first to keep the calorie count in check.

Vegetables are the best foods, both nutritionally and calorie-wise.

The next surprise came from measuring vegetables.  Most days, my wife makes a green smoothie for the family (whomever is home at the time).  She uses primarily baby spinach and baby kale, adding a small amount of fruit for flavor, and ice to thicken the drink.  I was under the assumption that this was a fairly high caloric drink, due to the great taste, and the fruit in the drink.  Well, when we weighed the ingredients and added up the calories, it was shockingly low (something like 75 calories in 6 ounces).  That’s because the majority of the volume of the drink comes from the low calorie, nutritionally dense leafy vegetables and the ice.  So now I drink that smoothie with impunity!  (Careful of other smoothies, that are primarily fruit based, or use apple juice, rice milk, or almond milk.  Those ingredients will significantly boost the calorie count).

Giving up junk food is essential.

Again, something we all know, but the food scale brings it home in a big way.  When I see the volume of food (mainly vegetables) that I can eat versus the volume of chocolate for the same calorie count, it’s clear just how calorie dense the chocolate is.  There is no way that such a small volume of food (the 150 calories of chocolate) can satisfy one’s appetite.  It’s strictly a pleasure trigger, which is fine, if you don’t care about your abs.



Mentors can inspire, no matter who you are.

We all need mentors. No matter how much we think we know, or how big we get in our field, we don’t know it all. It’s always helpful to have a trusted person to use as a sounding board when times get tough. The nice thing about the internet age, is that our mentors can be virtual. This is a great thing for a shut in like me. I can reach out via social media and online forums for expert (and sometimes not so expert) advice on troubling issues.
I bring this up because I had a recent health scare – well not really a scare, just a minor concern. I had my annual physical exam, and everything was pretty much unchanged – that is to say good – except my cholesterol level had gone up. It was still in the normal range, but it was right at the upper limit of that range. I was upset about it, because I’m pretty dedicated to fitness and general wellness. I strength train 5 days per week, and I play 9 holes of golf (walking, carrying my own bag, on a very hilly course) 4 times per week. So, I was distressed to find out that my blood work was less than stellar. Not good times, especially for a physician.

It's me.  Age 50.

It’s me. Age 50. With my dog, Gizmo.

Now, I’ve never met or spoken to Dr. Gundry, and I have no connection whatsoever to him. I only have his book, Dr. Gundry’s Diet Evolution, which was given to me about 9 years ago. While the principles in the book are not new, the way Dr. Gundry presents them (along with very powerful anecdotes of his patients) resonates with me. I went to the Dr. Gundry website, and although it’s a pretty bare bones enterprise (I shouldn’t talk, given what I’ve got going here), I found it very motivational – so much so that I then re-read “Diet Evolution”, and did an accounting of my diet. I found that I had slowly abandoned the rules of Diet Evolution, to the point where my diet was pretty crappy. I had gone back to eating too many processed carbs (in the form of “high fiber” cereal and wrap sandwiches with spinach tortillas). When I looked, a significant percentage of my calories was coming from processed carbs. Very bad. And my blood work was worse off for it. So, for the last two months I’ve gone back to the dietary habits I had slowly abandoned. I haven’t yet had my blood work redone (I’ll wait for 3 or 4 months “post-Gundry” to do that), but I’ve lost 5 lbs (175 to 170) since I re-dedicated myself to better eating. I’m pretty sure, based on that result, that the blood work will show a similar improvement.

The lesson is, mentors, whether real, virtual, or on paper, can be inspirational, and can help you improve your life.

New Year’s Resolutions and Blog Carnival

Small dog.  Big bed.

Small dog. Big bed.

It’s a little late, but here’s the blog carnival I was supposed to publish right after New Year’s Day. I guess that resolution is already toast. Anyway, I received 58 submissions, and I’ve whittled them down to a grand total of 5. Who would have guessed that most of the unedited writing on the internet is…less than stellar. I hope you enjoy the links.

But, before you do, I have a couple of quick thoughts about New Year’s resolutions. While I don’t understand the urge to make life-changing promises just because the number we write on the top of our checks goes up by one (does anyone still write checks?), I think any time on decides to make a positive change, that’s a good thing. The key, for me, is the word “positive”. A resolution that comes from a positive place, with a sense of hope for the future, is better than a resolution based on self-criticism (or self-loathing). Look at any list of most popular resolutions, like this one. I like that list, because most of these resolutions have an optimistic tone. It may seem like just semantics, but the tone of your promise to yourself can make a difference between success and failure. Resolutions like “Lose weight” (I’m fat), “Be less Lazy” (I’m … lazy), ‘Stop procrastinating” (I’m… lazy) are all a product of self-criticism, if not outright self-loathing.  I prefer some of the other resolutions, such as “Eat healthier”, and “Exercise more” to “Lose weight”.  The first two resolutions reflect a positive attitude, which I believe is essential for long term success.


The idea that attitude is a key component for success clearly isn’t my original thought.  As time goes by, though, I’ve come to believe in the power of positive thinking absolutely.  Fear and self-criticism leads only to unhappiness and failure.  A positive attitude can lead to lower stress and more enjoyment of life, even without any other life changes.  My younger daughter experienced this first hand when she went on a “complaint fast” as suggested by our Rabbi in his sermon over the high Holy Days last fall.  Since the Day of Atonement involves a (food) fast, he suggested that life would be better if we all observed a complaint fast – abstained from complaining.  My daughter decided to try it, and reported feeling a lot happier when she didn’t let little things bother her.  So, a lesson learned.


Happy New Year, and good luck with achieving your goals this year.


The Doctor’s Health and Fitness Carnival – January 8, 2014

Blog Carnival

the doctor’s health and fitness carnival

Welcome to the January 8, 2014 edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival.


Tim presents What a Muscle Needs to Grow posted at Build Muscle for Life, saying, “This article explains exactly what you need to know for a muscle to grow.”


Andy presents Oral Bacteria and Our Health – An Evolutionary Diet Perspective posted at The Barefoot Golfer.

Amanda Baley presents Switching to Whole Foods, the why and how | Foodie Mama Talks posted at Foodie Mama Talks, saying, “Melissa Anderson and her family recently decided to make the switch to whole foods, including purchasing locally and sustainable as often as they can. The research Melissa and her husband have put into this switch is awesome, and maybe a little mind-boggling. Be warned, this interview is long, but completely worth it if you need any convincing that processed food is dangerous and your health is suffering if you continue to ignore this fact. I like that they have come up with a clear plan on how to make sure they are following through on their food/health goals.”


Jessica Clark presents 10 Ways to Calculate and Track Calories You’ve Burned posted at Kenney Myers, saying, “When it comes to losing weight or maintaining your current size, one of the most reliable methods is simply to ensure that you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in each day.”


Bryan Chau presents Improving Your Health With Little Wealth – SuccessPenPal | SuccessPenPal posted at Success Pen Pal, saying, “health, fitness, exercise, mind, body, spirit, success, happiness, tips, strategies, 2014”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival using ourcarnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Basic exercises versus “functional fitness”

I’ve been going to the gym more often lately.  Normally, I work at home, in my garage.  I Functional fitness - lolhave a pretty good set up in there, that allows me to do just about any type of free weight to exercise you can imagine.  Lately though, it’s been ridiculously hot in Southern California.  Even though I have a small portable air conditioner in my garage gym area, it hasn’t been enough to make working out in there bearable.  So, I’ve been using the fitness center at my local club, on days when the garage is too hot.  I’ve noticed something strange.  Apparently, the “popular” way to exercise has changed quite a bit since I was a gym regular.  Let me give you an example.

I was working on the Smith machine the other day, which is the only apparatus that the fitness center that allows a workout with free weights.  The rest of the gym is filled with nautilus-type machines.  While doing squats in the Smith machine, an older gentleman asked me if I was almost finished, as he wanted to use that machine.  I told him I only had two more sets, so he decided to wait.  I finished up quickly, and stripped off the weights, then moved on to another exercise.  I then watch from across the gym, as he proceeded to do what struck me as strange.  He was doing upright rows.  I found this odd, as the machine actually gives a slight assist to the lifter with small counterweights (he was using the bar with no added weight).  So essentially he was doing almost no work, while thinking he was getting a killer shoulder workout.  He finished up with his three sets of zero-gravity upright rows, and moved on to the cable pulley set up, where he did some sort of strange movement which appears likely to work on about three fibers in the lateral head of his triceps.  A bit too specialized for most people, I think.

As I continued to look around the gym, I noticed that this gentleman was far from unique.  There seems to have been a shift from basic free weight exercises, such as bench press, shoulder press, squats and deadlifts, toward highly specialized isolation exercises.  I’m fairly certain that this trend is driven by the fitness industry as a whole, and is supported by local trainers.  The emphasis on a routine centered on these bizarre, specialized, minimally effective movements helps drive sales of DVD based fitness “programs” and keeps the client dependent on the trainer for ”cutting edge” fitness advice.  It also helps keep trainers employed.  I don’t think, however, that most trainers are doing their clients any favors.  From what I saw, many people spend significant amounts of time in the gym with very little benefit (no change in strength or appearance).

Overall, a return to basics is in order.  The multi joint, compound exercises, so ubiquitous in the past, should still be the mainstay of most weight training programs.  While the weights do not have to be excessively heavy, especially for older trainees, these movements provide maximum musculoskeletal benefit.

Even though I know this is the best course for most people, I am not optimistic that things will change anytime soon.  Most fitness companies and fitness trainers make money by providing perceived value to their customers, who then are willing to pay for the perceived benefits.  If people realized that there is nothing new under the sun for the average trainee (elite athletes are a different issue), the fitness industry would be in big trouble.   Trainees would be better served focusing on consistently performing basic exercises and measuring/recording their progress and resisting the temptation to constantly “mix things up”.

Blog Carnival for July 2013 – Be Grateful for Your Health

P1010087Well, here is July’s blog carnival – a couple of days late.  There are three submissions included.  The other 22 left me somewhat underwhelmed, so they are not included.  I’m going to take a break from the blog carnival thing for a while.  I just don’t feel that it adds much to this space.  Instead, I’m committing to posting original material more frequently (like I know I should anyway).

Today is July 4th, the only major US Holiday of the summer.  Yes, we consider Memorial Day the unofficial start of summer, and Labor Day the unofficial end.  But despite the feeling I get that the entire city of Los Angeles is on vacation right now, today is the only actual Holiday.  Although we celebrate the Declaration of Independence from England on this date, I think it is also appropriate to take stock of life, and count our blessings.  I bring this up because my family is experiencing a (hopefully) minor health crisis right now, and it brings all other issues into proper perspective. Here is an article from UC Berkeley Greater Good Science Center about the importance of gratitude. Financial concerns, career worries and the like pale in comparison to impending loss of good health.  So, if you feel good physically today, stop for a moment and thank…whomever it is you personally thank for such things.  If you don’t feel well, here’s hoping for better days ahead.  For those of you supporting ill friends or family members, you are doing a great thing, and your loved one is grateful for your effort.


Here is the blog carnival:

the doctor’s health and fitness carnival – July 1, 2013


Blog Carnival

the doctor’s health and fitness carnival

Welcome to the July 1, 2013 edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival.


Ben Ballinger presents Healthy Fats are Critical to Optimal Health, Physique and Performance posted at Training Ground OC, saying, “Learn about the role that dietary fat plays when it comes to achieving an optimal physique and level of health and performance from Costa Mesa’s top gym.”


Stanimir Sotirov presents 6 Cures For Acid Reflux Which Can Naturally Give Relief posted at Stan’s Health Blog, saying, “Find Out 6 Natural Cures For Your Painful Acid Reflux”

Jason Hull presents Bronze May Be the Most Precious Metal Under Obamacare posted at Hull Financial Planning, saying, “Now that California has released its preliminary premiums for the health care plans under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), we evaluate which of the four tiers will be most economical for people who have to purchase health insurance under the state exchanges in Obamacare.”

sports medicine

Kevin Giffin presents 10 First Aid Facts to Know Before Taking Your First Summer Hike posted at Summer Nanny, saying, “Hiking is a great way to get in some exercise, enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors and get some fresh air. Like most activities, however, it’s not without its share of risks. In order to ensure that everyone on your hiking trip returns in good shape, these are 10 of the first aid facts relevant to hiking that each member of your party should know.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival using ourcarnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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New Callaway Irons, New Confidence, Increased Fitness

I know that this is a fitness blog, and not a golf blog, but I’ve purchased so much great new

Callaway X Hot Pro Irons

Callaway X Hot Pro Irons

golf equipment lately, but I just can’t help writing about them.  In addition to my recent purchase of a carry bag for my golf clubs, I also recently purchased a new set of Callaway X-Hot irons.  It was all kind of an accident, but I’ve been really happy with my new clubs. My previous set of irons was about 3-4 years old.  I was playing a set of Wilson Pi7 irons, and I liked them well enough.  But one day I was headed over to the driving range of my golf club, and I saw the Callaway demo tent set up.  I’m a bit of an equipment junkie, always reading about the latest releases from the major companies both online and in golf magazines.  I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to try the new Callaway X-series irons, even though I wasn’t really in the market for new clubs at the time.  I have to admit I had looked at the Callaway X-Forged, and the Callaway X-Hot Pro irons at my local golf superstore.  I didn’t try the irons in the store, as I don’t find hitting into a net all that helpful when testing clubs. I loved the look and feel of the X-Forged clubs, so I asked the Callaway salesman for a seven iron to hit. I hit twenty or thirty shots with it.  Solid strikes of the ball felt great with the X-Forged seven, but mis-hits were another story.  I found a big loss in distance on my bad shots.  That’s to be expected with forged “players” clubs. I was determined to like the clubs, because like many players, I’m somewhat delusional about my ability.  I’m an 8 handicap right now, and while that’s a sign of a good player, it’s probably not good enough to play forged blade irons.   After 20 or so minutes with the X-Forged seven, the Callaway rep helpfully suggested that I try the comparable X-Hot Pro seven iron. I was somewhat hesitant to try the X-Hot series, because I figured it was a “game improvement” iron, and I never liked the fat, clunky look of the club heads of game improvement irons, or the lack of “feel” when striking the ball with them.  I was wrong about the X-Hot Pro clubs, though.  They have a relatively compact head (although larger than the X-Forged), and a thin top line at address. I hit the X-Hot Pro iron way more consistently than the X-Forged.   I found the X-Hot Pro to be far more forgiving, with only a small loss of distance on mis-hits.  I also found that I got much better feedback from the X-Hot Pro iron than I expected.  I have found that with some “game improvement” clubs, both good and bad shots feel the same.  That’s due to the construction of the club head, which is designed for maximum forgiveness.  Callaway designers seem to have found a balance between feel and forgiveness with the new X-Hot Pro series.   So, I went ahead an impulse bought the X-Hot Pro irons.  I originally ordered a 5-AW set (AW is a gap wedge, designed for the distance “gap” between a pitching wedge and a sand wedge).  I played two rounds with the irons, and found them so easy to hit that I ordered a 3-iron and a 4-iron to replace two hybrid clubs that I had been carrying for years.  I’ve played about 10 more rounds with my irons since then, and I have to say, I’ve never hit the ball better.  Part of my improvement is due to the confidence that the new clubs bring, along with the better iron shots from the increased forgiveness.  I feel now that if I hit the fairway with my drive, I have a good chance to par that hole.  Previously, par wasn’t in my thoughts until the ball was actually in the hole.  The feeling is a good one; as good as I feel when I walk our hilly course now, instead of riding in a cart.   So anyway, do what you love, and the fitness will follow.

Blog Carnival June 1, 2013 – Walking the golf course

Waist strap not pictured

Sun Mountain Swift ZG

Well, sorry its a few days late, but here is the latest addition of the blog carnival.  I’m happy to say that I received way fewer submissions this time around, but the posts were of much higher quality.  Maybe this will work out in the long term.  I’ll keep going and see what happens.

Fitness wise, things are quiet in my world.  One change I did make recently was to start walking again when playing golf.  Over the past few years I’ve been riding in a cart almost exclusively.  It kind of expected at my club – the courses are very hilly, and push carts aren’t allowed for safety (or aesthetic or snobbery) reasons.  There are no caddies at the club.  So, the only way to walk is to carry your own clubs, which can be difficult, given the steep terrain.  I always felt weird in a cart, like an old fat guy, who sits on his ass and swings a club a bunch of times over the course of  three or four hours and feels like he’s accomplished something.  It’s very unsatisfying for me, giving my dedication (obsession?) to fitness.


I was a walker for the first 30 or so years in the game, and I really missed it. I finally decided to go back to my golf roots and invest in the lightest, well designed carry golf bag I could find.  After a little research, I found it – the Sun Mountain Swift ZG.  The company describes it as their lightest carry bag, combined with their Zero Gravity (ZG) waist strap.  The waist strap redistributes the weight of the clubs from the shoulders to the hips.  This makes the bag easier to carry, and reduces back fatigue. I bought one online, based on the description and photos only.  I would have been happy to buy it at one of my two local mega-golf stores, but they don’t carry it.  In fact, the cart bags in those stores outnumber the carry bags by about 20-1.  I forgot – walkers in golf are a dying breed.


I’ve played several rounds carrying with this bag, and I have to say, it’s the greatest bag I’ve ever owned.  Being able to walk the course again has brought me more satisfaction with my game than ever.  I’m hitting the ball better than ever, and really loving the feeling of total immersion in my game that I get while walking.  I realized that feeling was what I missed most when riding in a cart – the way that the world kind of disappears when I walk down the fairway (or into the woods, but whatever).  The game felt rushed, and mechanical when I was whizzing from one shot to the next while sitting comfortably on my butt in the cart.  I thank the Sun Mountain company for continuing to innovate with this type of product, even though the popular trend is overwhelmingly toward lazy, machine aided play.


Welcome to the June 1, 2013 edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival.

TherapyDoc presents Ten Reasons Not to Kill Yourself posted at Everyone Needs Therapy, saying, “The title says it all. I’ll link back to you, doc.”


IronThumb presents About Lifting: HOW TO GAIN MUSCLE posted at About Lifting, saying, “Do you want EXPLOSIVE MUSCLE GAINS in the next few weeks? If so what benefit do you wish to get? Don’t you think it’s easier having life the regular guy would I mean no workout life is much easier than a life spend working out I mean who needs the hassle right?”

Michelle Brown presents 18 of the Greatest Blogs Highlighting Exercises to Help Get the Perfect Abs posted at Nanny, saying, “Like most things in life, getting the perfect abs takes plenty of hard work and dedication to achieve the results you’re looking for.There are chock full of tips and tricks for getting the definition you desire.”


Jon Rhodes presents Removing Food Attachment posted at Hypnosis Haven, saying, “Here’s how to change your diet to a healthier one that you can sustain.”

Stefanie Hutson presents Eating Too Much or Too Little: Serving Size posted at Next Level Fitness Blog.

Laura Anderson presents Expert Insights with Dr. Melillo on Autism Prevention posted at eNannySource, saying, “Recently I had a chance to learn more about Dr. Robert Melillo, his research on Autism and his work with Brain Balance Centers.”

Wellabout presents KALE A GREEN NUTRITIONAL POWERHOUSE FOR LONGEVITY posted at Wellabout | Natural Health, Wellness & Vibrant Living.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival using ourcarnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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Blog Carnival May 1, 2013. Enjoy today.

Gizmo's dye jobI went to a funeral recently.  It was for a young person (and by that, I mean a bit younger than me) who passed away after a long illness.  This was yet another person my wife and I have known for many years to pass away too soon.  It was also another stark reminder of the importance of living life to the fullest, because none of us is guaranteed tomorrow.


I took life for granted for most of my younger years.  When you are in your twenties and thirties, it seems like you have plenty of time, and things will go on as they are indefinitely.  For me, the forties have been a reality check, and a wakeup call.  Like most people, I’ve seen loss in the generation that came before me.  I’ve lost my father in law almost 10 years ago, and my two favorite aunts in the past 5 years.  One of those aunts passed away just a year ago.  She had a good heart, but lived a sad life, trapped in an unsatisfying marriage, too afraid to make a change for the better.  The last time we were together, she said, “I definitely have my regrets”.  I think of that often, and I find it terribly sad for her.  I also try and learn from it.  Like my late aunt, I’ve felt constrained by fear for much of my adult life.  I’ve been afraid I wouldn’t be accepted to medical school.  Then afraid I wouldn’t be accepted into the specialty of my choice.  Then afraid I wouldn’t find a job in a good practice when I finished training.  Then that I would lose that job and wouldn’t find another.  And on and on.  The losses my family and I have suffered over the last 10 years have taught me to let go of the fear.  I know in my heart, not just in my head, that we all face the same fate ultimately – death.  There is nothing we can do to change that.  Being afraid will certainly not change it. But what fear will do, is decrease our enjoyment of the time we have, and force us into “safe” choices that leave us with regret.   The recent loss of our friend is yet another reminder to plan for tomorrow, but live for today.

The doctor’s health and fitness carnival – May 1, 2013

Blog Carnival

The doctor’s health and fitness carnival

Welcome to the May 1, 2013 edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival.


Treat Yourself Therapy, LLC presents Hitting the Gym with Tennis Elbow posted at Healthy Gardening!, saying, “Dr. Cohen, I am new to the idea of a blog carnival and I had trouble looking through your most recent posts (since they didn’t seem to be what you were hoping for) to determine if our blogs were appropriate for your carnival. We are occupational therapists and certified hand therapists who develop do-it-yourself therapy videos for people who are too busy or are unable to afford therapy. We have several blogs that we would be willing to submit if our topics are what you’re looking for. They can be found on our website at Thanks for your consideration! Good luck finding what you’ve been searching for. Jessica Karge, LOTR, CHT, Owner/Director Treat Yourself Therapy, LLC”


Ryan Lingenfelser presents Resistance Training Intensity: Load vs. Repetitions – RDLFITNESS posted at RDLFITNESS.

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival using ourcarnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

Blog Carnival April 1, 2013

Welcome to the April 1, 2013 edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival.


After promising to never do another blog carnival, I reconsidered, and decided to give it another shot.  The results were similar.  I received about 35 submissions, most of which were not appropriate for this blog for a variety or reasons.  I won’t include any submissions that are:

  • Poorly written
  • Off topic
  • Compilation lists of other blogs
  • Promotions for a product

That leaves me with the two posts listed below.  Enjoy, and I’ll have some additional original content by the end of the week.



Ryan Lingenfelser presents Resistance Training Intensity: Load vs. Repetitions – RDLFITNESS posted at RDLFITNESS.

David Leonhardt presents The frugal shopper’s guide to protein posted at Self-Help Happiness Blog, saying, “I set out to put together a short study of the various sources of protein readily available and their cost. The goal is to find out how I can get a complete serving of protein for under a dollar. Beware – there is a scream in this post.”

That concludes this edition. Submit your blog article to the next edition of the doctor’s health and fitness carnival using ourcarnival submission form. Past posts and future hosts can be found on our blog carnival index page.

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