Archive for September, 2013

Changing Course

September 23, 2013

A short time ago I sat in a workshop in Scottsdale Arizona with 14 business executives and was asked to make a list of all of the people who had a major impact upon my life, either positive or negative.  I identified 17 people, and although there were episodes and incidents that were less than thrilling, every person I listed had a net positive impact upon my life.

One of them was Joe Weider, a man I came to befriend, a man who I came to revere, a man who changed an industry and allowed me on the inside to witness precisely how it was done.  Another was Mr. Contrada, my Junior High School Assistant Principal who kept me out of jail and helped steer me toward a productive life.  One other was Dr. Ritchie Shoemaker, the amazing physician who punched a hole in the Parkinson’s diagnosis I received from a world renowned neurologist and accurately diagnosed me as a victim of mold toxicity, a condition that was, unlike Parkinson’s, completely fixable.

I can keep going but when I review “impact upon my life,” I realize these were people who gave me revised perspective, who redirected me, who helped me shift my own beliefs so I could accomplish a better outcome.

I developed the A.L.I.V.E. program with that in mind.  It’s intended, not to be another fitness offering, but rather a course changer.  A beam of light.  It combines education and empowerment with clear direction.  It helps people who’ve inadvertently started moving along what I call The Disease Continuum and have been misinformed, medicated, and relieved of their own power.  It helps people who fail to understand that a 45-year-old body cannot possible respond to the same routine it relied upon at 25.  It helps people who have abandoned exercise and healthy eating efforts because they didn’t see the payoff they’d hoped for.

Personally, I love conducting the 10-week ALIVE Across America program.  I love the interactivity, I love the feedback, but most of all I love the thank you’s that come to me from those who had all but given up their dreams of moving back toward Perfect Health.

I won’t go into depth about the program.  I’ve done that many times in interviews and conferences and certainly don’t need to get up on a soapbox.  I’ll just tell you, my next ALIVE Across America is starting, kicking off with the first webinar Monday, September 23, at 7 PM Eastern. In the first session you’ll learn about a bodily system that’s completely ignored by conventional health routines, one that you can activate in seconds to provide cleansing, healing, and rejuvenation.  I’ll share the four pillars of positive physical change, and present a 9-minute routine that can bring about profound change in anyone seeking health improvement or a greater level of fitness.

Want to come along?  It’s a powerful program.  It runs 10 weeks.  Each week I introduce new life-altering material in a 55-minute webinar and you download routines and guiding principles that you follow in a stress-less very real-life manner.

If you’ve read my articles on reversing the conditions we associate with aging, about creating new younger healthier cells, and about steering your way through the crazy maze filled with hazards, GMO’s, toxins, and misinformation, you understand that the only person who can restore your health is you . . . with the right information and the right guidance.  I can’t cure you.  I can’t fix you.  What I can do for you is what Joe Weider, Mr. Contrada, and Dr. Shoemaker did for me.  I can provide you new information and clear direction that changes your course, that leads you to a better outcome.

If you’re ready to make that shift, ready to pursue physical excellence or simply a better you, register for ALIVE Across America now!

Be Better,

Phil

Change Lies Ahead! Guaranteed!

September 18, 2013

I remember throwing a softball around with Kenny when Big Freddie came over.  Freddie was near six feet tall at 11 years old and he was a year or two older than Kenny and I.  He started telling us about this thing called puberty.  We half listened, half joked, and threw the ball back and forth, but after we left the ball field, I went home and checked my body for some of the things Freddie told us about.  Some were scary, some were exciting, and most were just plain weird.  Sure enough, in the years to come, much of what Freddie told us about came to pass.

Always athletic, but lacking in muscle size and starting to pay very careful attention to high school girls, I decided at 16 to invest in Joe Weider’s Crash Weight Gain Formula #7.  I also committed to 4000 supportive calories a day (guess I didn’t have a fear of commitment back then), and per my Uncle Marty’s direction and the routines in the magazines, I started lifting weights.  By 19 my body had changed so radically it was hard to imagine I was really that same puny punk who thought I was a badass at 16 years old and 148 pounds.

This body that we come to inhabit is always in a state of flux.  We’re always heading toward the next developmental shift.  While puberty is a given, one that for the most part is beyond our control, the decisions we make early on in great part determine how we progress from puberty forward . . . and when we look at patterns of behavior, outcomes are almost predictable.

Why do I say “almost?”  Well, we’d assume if someone smokes from the time they’re 12 until they’re 70 they’re going to have some sort of lung disease, and many do . . . but some don’t.  We’d predict if someone feasts on fat and sugar with reckless abandon they’ll be shopping in the stores that cater toward larger waistlines, but we’ve all met the ravenous feaster who’s thin as a rail.  We can assume the stressed out executive is headed for a heart incident, the weekend warrior is going to suffer some joint and connective tissue disruptions, and the Mom who neglects herself to cater to her kids is going to wind up wishing for change . . . but there are exceptions.

We can’t infallibly predict what will happen to individuals, but we can look at statistics and predict, with accuracy, what will happen to populations.  Here’s what we know from observing the epidemiological links between lifestyle and outcome.  If you have been diagnosed with elevated blood sugar as a chronic condition, the progression toward diabetes was gradual, self-induced, and at almost any point along the way, preventable.  We know that in the case of a sluggish thyroid, a chronic inflammatory ailment, or adult onset hypertension, behaviors and lifestyle played a major role and before the point of diagnosis there was opportunity for prevention or reversal.

When I say “we” know this, I mean physicians, scientists, physiologists, researchers, and students alike.  The data is clear.  When we recognize that chronic disease has become “the norm,” we make the mistake of accepting these middle-aged ailments as “normal.”  They aren’t. 

The real challenge begins when, through the behaviors we adopt, our bodies begin the process of detrimental change.  Not only does the reflection in the mirror change, but changes occur at a cellular level.  As I mentioned in a previous piece, calls “rust,” cellular integrity is lost, and in its miraculous ability to sustain life even in conditions of compromise, the body calls upon built-in survival mechanisms.  When “balance” is disrupted for a period of time, the shifts become chronic and “what used to work” stops working.

Stan Buckner came to me at 39 with excruciating knee pain and a 40 inch waist.  He told me he used to weigh 175 and whenever he gained a few he could run and knock the weight right off. 

“Stan, how long ago was it that you ran off the extra weight?”

“Always.”

“Well, when was the last time running got you down to 175.”

“In college.”

There’s an example of the flawed thinking that condemns people to fitness failure.  What worked then won’t work in a body that has been beaten, compromised, and disrupted.  That, however, shouldn’t discourage anyone.  The good news is, although moving toward “better” is trickier at 40 than it is at 25, with an understanding of “the tricks,” change is simple.

Stan is happy today with a 34” waist (and still shrinking).  He sold his treadmill and made his wife very happy.  Since he started the A.L.I.V.E. program he hasn’t attempted to “run off the weight” but he rarely misses an exercise session.   He’s not 175, but he’s within 15 pounds of it for the first time in near two decades and he’s packed on more muscle than he’s ever had in his life.

Here’s where people need some insight.  We all know smoking is bad.  Some choose to do it anyway, but not because they believe it’s healthy.  We all know that coffee and donuts is not an optimal breakfast, but check out the line at 8 AM at any Dunkin Donuts.  We all know that too much sugar is fattening, that inactivity leads to reduction in fitness, and that beer and whiskey are not electrolyte replacement drinks.  When people go too far in the direction of negative lifestyle choices and feel the emotions of regret or disgust, they experience a pendulum swing.  They make a resolution, or join a gym, or start running, or buy a home exercise unit, and they try to do what they once did.

The problem is, the body that wants for change is not the same body that changed way back when.  The muscular, endocrine, and nervous system responses are not the same.   The energy availability and capacity for recovery is not the same.  Thus, even though at 40 you might try the same routine or pattern that worked for you at 25, if you have experienced some hormonal disruption (as most people have), it just won’t do the same job it once did.

The major mistake lies in thinking, “because my condition is worse, I need MORE exercise.”  There’s a vital equation in human physiology, a vital balance that’s necessary in order for physical change to become “betterment.” There must be a balance between what we call “Stress Load” and Recovery.  If you have more physical, emotional, and cellular stress than you had 15 years ago, and your recovery ability is diminished, an intensive exercise program simply adds to Stress Load and speeds the degenerative process, ultimately leading to exercise abandonment and discouragement.

With that preliminary understanding, it might begin to make sense to you when I tell you that the people who go through the A.L.I.V.E. program ALL experience positive physical change, biomechanically, aesthetically, performance-wise, and biochemically.  They begin with only six simple exercise movements and six minutes of aerobic exercise daily.  They learn to reduce stress load and boost recovery.  They come to understand how we can “train” the central nervous system’s recovery capacity to help us restore lost vitality.  They stimulate improvement, fuel the body properly (without restrictive dieting) and allow for cellular repair.

In the A.L.I.V.E. program people learn to activate the lymphatic system, a cleansing system vital to immune health that is all but stagnant in most adult Americans.  Best of all, this requires nothing more than a minute or two of a specific movement that can be done immediately upon waking.

So much of what people learn when they experience A.L.I.V.E. goes against convention, but it’s fair to say, when we look at the evolution of the American public, convention isn’t working, at least not from the perspective of health and fitness.

Learn how to regain control.  Learn how simple it can be to move away from dis-ease and toward fitness and optimal health.  Join me for 90 minutes, Thursday, September 19, in a live online webinar event.  Register now for the A.L.I.V.E. webinar.

I can promise . . . . change lies ahead . . . and it’s the kind of change you hope for!

REGISTER.

Predicting The Future . . . with Questions!?!?

September 15, 2013

I have some questions.  Answer them using the following scale:

1 – Frequently

2 – Sometimes

3 – Rarely

  • How often do you wake up feeling refreshed, well rested, and looking forward to the day ahead? ___
  • How often do you feel free of anything you’d describe as a symptom (headache, burning eyes, joint ache, muscle ache, tickle in throat, back pain, fatigue, brain fog, difficulty focusing, etc.) ___
  • How often do you invest 30 quality minutes in a vigorous exercise program and feel fully recovered and energized during the post-exercise meal? ___

TOTAL of the three answers = ___

These may not seem like important questions, but . . .

I asked these questions of people starting the A.L.I.V.E. program who had been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease, and the three-question totals ran from 6 – 9.

I asked these questions of people after completing the 10th weeks of A.L.I.V.E.  and the three question-totals ran from 3 – 5.

That’s pretty significant in and of itself, but it also had me wondering if the answers, the ranges, could be predictive.

I selected 25 people from my “Active” database, including some fitness professionals, fitness competitors and athletes.

I selected 25 people from my “General Interest” database.

I asked them all to take the quiz anonymously but I gave them a Code.  The Active participants had a code starting with “A” the other group a code starting with “B.”

Check this out.

When I totaled up the scores of the 19 Active (A’s) participants who actually completed the questionnaire I got a total of 74

When I totaled up the scores of the 16 people in the “B” group I got a total of 106.

Already we can see the “B” group is higher, but realize, it isn’t apples to apples.  Its 19 people vs. 16 people.

Averaging the scores . . .

Average of A Group Scores – 3.89

Average of B Group Scores – 6.63

I’d guess if we put this simple questionnaire out to our entire population, it would pretty accurately separate those who are maintaining health from those who have started moving along the Dis-ease continuum.

I know we hate the word disease, and I also know many who begin the undesired journey away from perfect health move into a state of denial and deal-making (I’ll start working out and eating better as soon as the kids go back to school, as soon as things calm down at work, as soon as the sun forgets to rise).  It’s really time for a wake-up call and a dose of honesty.

60% of our adult population has been diagnosed with at least one chronic disease (hormonal imbalance, hypertension, arthritis, high blood sugar, metabolic syndrome, type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, etc.).  As long as we continue to think of disease as something people “get” and “get medicated for,” the epidemic can only escalate.  As long as we treat the onset of these acceptable diseases as part of aging, the evolution forward becomes one toward a very ill and compromised population.  No, this isn’t the perspective of a pessimist, much the opposite.  This is the obvious outcome if we continue to rely on conventional medicine’s protocols for “treating” these fully reversible conditions.

Let’s go a step further.  It’s estimated that near 20% of people who have diabetes have not yet been diagnosed.  That makes the number even higher . . . and if we consider obesity a chronic disease (I categorize it as the most prevalent chronic metabolic disease) we’re quickly creeping up way beyond a majority.  It’s almost everyone.

If an exercise and eating intervention has reduced symptoms so consistently that the three-question survey becomes a clear predictor of health, happiness, and a sense of well-being, why aren’t more people following that course of action?  There’s only one answer.  Because they don’t know they can.  They don’t know how to begin and stick to a strategic program aimed at gradual physical betterment.

They are led to believe a prescription for metformin or glucophage will reverse their diabetic or pre-diabetic condition.  These meds may lower blood sugar readings, but not because they cure the disease.  They prompt the liver to hold more glycogen.  Glycogen is stored sugar (blood glucose stored in the liver).  It doesn’t change the mechanism that created the high blood sugar condition, it simply prevents “the marker” (A glucose test) from providing accurate evidence of the severity of the progression.

I can list each condition and each “commonly prescribed” medication and demonstrate how the medications may suppress symptoms or biomarkers, but they do not offer cure.

When I set out to present in front of medical groups talking about “curing disease” with exercise and eating shifts, it goes without saying my presentations were provocative.  Today, I’ve proven it.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I haven’t found the cancer cure, I haven’t found a miracle solution for the sick and hospitalized, and I haven’t found a panacea for the afflicted.  All I’ve done is reviewed the science and created a protocol, a strategy that drives the human machine to move back toward balance, and it’s a combination of imbalance and maladaptive behavior that creates “dis-ease.”

The A.L.I.V.E. protocol coaxes the systems of the body to get back to their intended interactivity.  Participants begin to understand the power of balancing the Gut, the Immune System, and the Brain with simple strategies for change that begin with only a 9-minute daily investment.  It works to develop the parasympathetic nervous system, the “cooling off” system that must be called upon for anyone under high or frequent stress loads.  It addresses the balance between the adrenals and the thyroid, but not through medication.  Through natural means of restoring the body’s intelligence, natural means of moving and eating.

If you or anyone you know has any sense of moving away from optimal health, if you want to reverse the annoying accumulation of fat, the loss of energy, or the confusion that is a given when you begin to explore solutions, join me this Thursday, September 19, for a 90-minute live webinar (with an optional added 15 minutes for live interactive Q&A at the end).  It’s only $20.13 with an unconditional money back guarantee of satisfaction (no refunds will be given for non-attendance) and it very well may put you on a path that moves you back toward the Perfect Health you came into this world possessing.

The webinar is light hearted, but power packed, and I can promise, it will open your eyes both to some upsetting realities . . . and some thrilling and very real solutions!

REGISTER NOW.  Attend from your own home using your computer and/or phone.

Register for the ALIVE webinar at http://yourhealthbeginsnow.com

Staying Young . . . Forever!!?!

September 9, 2013

Do we hate the idea of aging?

No, we don’t really hate aging, after all, we want to live a very long time, but we hate the definitions and associations we link with “getting old.”

Whether you choose to read Peter Pan or the literary classic, a Portrait of Dorian Gray, you’ll find yourself connecting with the theme of “staying young.” The theme runs through literature and music alike. Bob Dylan wrote Forever Young copied by everyone from Rod Stewart to Norah Jones.

oldandyoungThis idea of resisting aging is one that runs deep in the hearts and minds of mankind . . . and it has over the course of scores of generations. Ponce De Leon sought the Fountain of Youth. Greek Mythology tells of Eos asking Zeus to grant her mortal lover, Tithonus immortality (by the way, Tithonus got screwed . . . Zeus was tricky. Eos asked for eternal life but failed to ask for eternal youth and so . . . he grew old and frail and wished to die). Even then, it wasn’t the idea of death that humans hated . . . it was the idea of degenerating, losing function, wearing down and withering.

Can we stay young . . . let’s not say forever . . . but let’s say . . . into our 80’s and 90’s? We’d have to begin to answer that by recognizing that “young” is a relative term. Let’s get a bit more specific.

Cosmetic lines promise wrinkle creams will preserve youthful skin. Supplement sellers promise extracts and oils will resist cellular aging. Cosmetic surgeons simply promise to “undo” those little clues of human entropy.

Here’s what I do know. If we can come to really understand the four key components of aging (which I’ll outline below), and we can appreciate and call upon what true science has legitimately revealed, we can maintain the functionality we associate with youth, we can resist, push off, or even eliminate risks of degenerative disease, and we can prevent the onset of fat and loss of muscle and bone that far too many expect with the coming years. I’ll take it even a step further. I know that even if we’ve moved prematurely along the disease continuum, ventured into the land of type 2 diabetes, hypothyroidism, hormonal imbalance, and abdominal adiposity (big fat gut), we can head back toward youthfulness, back toward the Perfect Health we were granted when we came into this world.

My A.L.I.V.E. webinar on September 19th and my A.L.I.V.E. Across America program beginning September 23rd will share the technology, the science, and the simple shifts that can move anyone back toward the youthful condition most American adults dream of. I can’t promise it’ll get rid of wrinkles, but I have seen such dramatic changes in the people who’ve gone through the program, I can promise you the secrets to building a better, stronger . . . younger . . . you. Really.

OK, let’s take a moment and answer the question . . .

. . . WHAT IS AGING?

I told you I’d lay it out in four pieces, outline the four key components that turn a youthful body into one we think of as having past its prime, and these four components can be viewed as both elements of the deterioration we “see” and the deterioration we “feel.”

1. Oxidation
Just as metal rusts, so too does the human cell. No, we don’t typically see our aging population fighting brownish orange growth from emerging on fingers, toes, and noses, but cellular aging is, at its core, the same process as the rusting of metal. If you fail to care for and protect a metal sculpture, and leave it subject to whatever environmental elements befall it, rust is inevitable. Consider that rust is the process of oxidation, and just as oxidation breaks down something as solid and sturdy as a metal sculpture, oxidation breaks down the structure and integrity of the cells of your body. You’ve likely heard of “free radicals,” singlet oxygen molecules that bounce around within you like hockey pucks doing damage to cellular walls and structures. Consider that attack of molecular oxygen as oxidization, or . . . cellular rusting. A rusty cell is an aging cell, and once the process begins, it isn’t likely to stop on its own.

2. Mitochondrial Decay
The mitochondrial structure is the power center of the cell where energy is produced, and in Perfect Health those mitochondrial powerhouses give you all the energy you want for. With neglect, with poor nutrition, without exercise, and with excessive stress without recovery, the walls of the mitochondria become more permeable. The power centers become less efficient, and just as you understand the word decay as it relates to teeth, if you’re going to maintain that necessary order that resists aging as we know it, you must prevent those vital cellular power centers from experiencing any loss, any decay, and compromise. As the mitochondria weaken, movement along the Disease Continuum accelerates. Imagine if the power sources that drive electricity into your home begin to break down and nobody comes along to repair them. Electricity becomes a commodity you desperately want for. Consider the impact the loss of the power centers that generate human energy have upon your quality of life. When decay begins, much like rusting, unless there’s an intentional intervention, it simply continues.

3. Inflammatory Breakdown in Communication
In any of my seminars addressing 21st century disease, you’ll hear me make the bold statement, “Inflammation is the root cause of all chronic disease.” Inflammation is driven by the immune system, and when it’s used to protect you from a true invader, it serves you well, but when it’s based on flawed communication between the brain, the organs, the endocrine system, and immune cells, it becomes an internal plague, inflaming entire systems within your body and rapidly moving you away from the state of order that I refer to as Perfect Health, a state where every organ, every hormone, every cell functions as nature intended. Inflammation creates blockages, compromises blood flow, limits detoxification, and robs the body of metabolic energy. Today, inflammation itself is epidemically chronic, suggesting we, as a population, are living lives that drive the body to break down and “age” with controllable prematurity.

4. Loss of Ci3
The “Body” is a complex physical manifestation that houses the brain, the gut, and the immune system, but when we see or feel a body aging, we’re actually experiencing the onset of imperfections in cellular form and behavior. In Perfect Health we maintain a magnificent ability to create and preserve perfect cells. I’ve already described how cells can rust, decay, and inflame, but as a fourth component let’s recognize the cell’s want to be perfect. To represent the cell in perfection, I’ve coined the abbreviation Ci3. The “C” stands for Cellular, and since the three elements that the cell wants to balance begin with the letter “i,” Ci3is the optimal representation of Cellular Integrity (structure), Cellular Intelligence (cells being locked into their intended function and “knowing” how and when to behave), and Cellular Interactivity (the interplay between the cells, systems, and messengers that we rely upon). When we lose any or all of these, we progress away from Perfect Health and begin to experience the manifestations of disease. Limited physical activity, poor nutrition, ingestion of toxins, and uncontrolled stress load all drive the loss of the cellular perfection we seek to restore in our want to turn back time.

OK, so now the big question, how do you fix these components? I honestly wish it were simple enough to present in a single article. In short I can tell you the following pieces are necessary:

1. You have to challenge the body strategically accessing both aerobic and anaerobic energy systems as you move the body through space

2. You have to implement progression in challenge without creating excessive time or energy demands

3. You have to eat foods that are made of the materials your body will use to build new “perfect” cellular structures

4. You have to eat foods in the proper balance that provide you with “protein-sparing energy substrates” not only to meet daily demands but to optimally drive metabolism

5. You have to find strategies that allow you to reduce adrenal stress (we live in a world of excessive stress) and develop the usually-depleted “recovery system”

6. You have to avoid or effectively mitigate toxins that have infiltrated agriculture, the air (indoor and outdoor), and water

7. You have to pump oxygen into and through the bloodstream and optimize the oxidative properties of the muscle tissue you now possess

8. You have to stimulate the lymphatic system, anchor the parasympathetic nervous system, and restore two-way communication between the endocrine system and the control centers of the brain

9. You have to restore gut health and reduce gut permeability as you remain cognizant of the power of the “gut mind” and the digestive system’s necessary bacterial protectors.

I know, it sounds like a lot of “have to.” It is. Our world has gotten screwed up. A 1980 approach to health won’t ‘work” in 2014. We’re living in an environment where we’re stressed by everything from our kid’s misadventures to the troubling emails and texts we unexpectedly receive. Our fight or flight systems are overloaded. 1500 new chemical compounds are released into the environment annually without any true controls. Our food supply is so severely compromised foods once viewed as healthy can actually speed the loss of Ci3.

So now the good news. I’ll continue to reveal the specifics of the 9 “have to’s” above in the weeks and months to come . . . but more importantly . . . it’s ALL built into ALIVE Across America, the 10-week turnaround that amounts to nothing short of miraculous change.

How do you know this is for real? Everyone’s claiming everything and there are more health and fitness programs than there are stars in the sky.

Here’s what you do. Visit http://yourhealthbeginsnow.com. Read some of the articles. Go to http://philkaplan.com. Download my Seven Letters. Google me. Explore carefully. Check out every claim I make. If and when you’re ready to at least “put me to the test,” register for the A.L.I.V.E. webinar. It’s 90 minutes (105 minutes if you stay for the Q&A) that will reveal the strategy and the inner secrets that make the A.L.I.V.E. program so powerful in restoring health and challenging the degenerative process we’ve come to accept as “aging.” The next webinar is September 19 at 7 PM Eastern Time. You’ll learn enough to make radical changes in the way you look and feel.

If you opt to go the next step (not a must but an option), you can join me remote from wherever you are for A.L.I.V.E. Across America, a 10-week process that will walk you, step-by-step, week-by-week, through the complete A.L.I.V.E. protocol, the protocol I introduced in major hospitals and relied upon to restore 600 plus people to a thrilling state of health, fitness, and well-being.

If you find the claims are overly bold, if you find I fail to live up to any of my claims or promises, just let me know after completing the program and I’ll give you a full refund.

OK . . . do your due diligence . . . or . . . if you’re ready, register for the webinar now!

Be Better, Always Better,

Phil

P.S. – I know many of you have heard of the $2425 price tag associated with the A.L.I.V.E. program when it kicked off. The A.L.I.V.E. Across America webinar based program has allowed me to offer it for an absurdly affordable price . . . it’s only $25 per week over the course of the program. Honestly. I just wanted to alleviate any apprehension in case you thought cost might be prohibitive.