The Wolf of Wall Street

What a movie!  Leonardo DiCaprio plays Jordon Belfort, a highflying stockbroker who was making $1m a week and living a life focused on money, power and sex.  What I loved so much about the movie was the message that Jordan’s insane life revealed.

This man was doing some amazing things such as motivating his staff to believe they can achieve whatever they desire.  While watching on-screen his life unraveled due to drugs, greed and an insatiable appetite for power, I wonder “what if.”

So I did some digging and learnt this man not only survived his crazy experience but also now talks about it for the purpose of helping others reach their full potential in an ethical fashion.

Jordon Belfort, aka the Wolf of Wall Street, talks about 4 key elements: 1. Vision          2. State management 3. Beliefs 4. Strategy. By vision, he means seeing the world for what it is rather than for what it is not.   More so, envisioning your life as you desire.  This vision must be compelling enough to persuade you to abandon your limiting beliefs and replace them with empowering ones. Secondly, the ability to manage one’s emotion and physiological state is crucial.  The old cliché, “negativity begets negativity” is so true.  Fucked up things happen when one remains in a state of toxicity.  A vision without clarity, certainty and courage is just a hollow goal. So replace your limiting beliefs with ones that empower you.  This transformation is all about progression.  This leads me to Jordon’s third key to success–beliefs.  Never forget “you are not your past. You are the resources and capabilities you gleam from it.” Last, it’s the strategy.

Personally I have unconsciously used some of these concepts to achieve a high level of happiness and satisfaction; but I am so excited to loop this all together on a conscious level in my new phase in life.  I hope that after reading this you are more encouraged to believe that you are a visionary as well.

CHAOS: THE SPARK OF CHANGE and CREATIVITY

How often do we forget that chaos is often the spark to change and creativity? Change represents uncertainty and it’s a scary thing for many of us to embrace.  I believe this is why many of us are more comfortable with a mundane existence and prefer to view chaos has a bad thing.  I say it’s all how one perceives chaos.  For example during the civil rights battle of the 1960’s, many individuals in the USA considered those who challenged the constitution as rebels invoking chaos. However, many of these same individuals who vehemently opposed those in favor of Civil Rights considered the USA’s founding fathers as reformists and liberators.  I bet the Monarch did not!  The Monarch saw our founding fathers as rebels and instigators.  I argue that the founding fathers, civil rights leaders and their followers were all rebels and instigators of chaos.  Let us all remember that without them we would neither have a Bill of Rights nor the USA.

In Laurie Beth Jones’ book titled, “Learn From The Best Jesus Life Coach,” she poignantly expresses why many of us refuse to embrace chaos: “…certainty brings a kind of comfort to people who have low tolerance for creativity that can come from chaos.”  More often than not chaos is the spark to change and creativity. The big bang theory is completely predicated on the idea that chaos created “ALL” this.  If so, we owe our existence to chaos.

All of our great teachers and leaders instigated chaos to initiate change and spark creativity.  For instance, the man Jesus Christ thrived in chaos and actually, “created a stir wherever he went:

  1. Turning over tables in the temple.
  2. Setting prisoners free.
  3. Talking to a woman shunned by society.
  4. If this was not chaotic enough, Jesus hung out with the tax collectors, sinners and disabled.”  (Learn From The Best Jesus Life Coach. Page 125)

Jesus was one of many leaders and teachers to embrace chaos.  Lets not forget Moses, Mohammad, Mahatma Gandhi, Martin Luther King Jr., Siddhartha Gotama and other leaders involved in the arts, medicine, innovations and philosophy.

When things are not going your way and all is chaotic in your life remember that great things can come out of it if you trust your higher power and use chaos as a spark for change and creativity.  Embrace all your imperfections as a learning opportunity.  Always keep in mind life is dynamic not static! So,  in John Lennon’s words,

“There are two basic motivating forces: fear and love. When we are afraid, we pull back from life. When we are in love, we open to all that life has to offer with passion, excitement, and acceptance. We need to learn to love ourselves first, in all our glory and our imperfections. If we cannot love ourselves, we cannot fully open to our ability to love others or our potential to create. Evolution and all hopes for a better world rest in the fearlessness and open-hearted vision of people who embrace life.”

Direct link between obesity and our brain

Ever ask yourself why you crave those fatty and sugary foods?  Why you continue eating after feeling full?  Recently more researchers are arguing that people who over indulge in palatable foods get hook in a way that is biologically similar to the way cocaine or cigarettes addicts do.

I’m not implying that if you answer yes to the aforementioned questions you are an addict?  That debate is better left for another day.  However, what I am saying is that fat and sugar can hook the brain’s reward system.

Here are the facts.  Palatable foods like cheesecake, cookies, donuts and other “junk” foods highly affect the brain’s release of dopamine, a chemical that tells us, “This feels good.”

Recent studies done on rats show that the heavier the rats became, the more they felt the urge to eat due to the increase release of dopamine. Moreover, functional MRI scans demonstrate that when persons afflicted with this condition see images of sugary foods they experience a lot more activity in the brain regions associated with dopamine release than other people without this condition.

Why?  Well, the answer may lie in something referred t as D2 receptor, that responds to dopamine.  Overeating, over-consuming of drugs and alcohol interferes with the natural process of these receptors; consequently, like drug and alcohol addicts, obese and overweight people have fewer functioning D2 receptors.  Low levels of D2 receptors lead to all kinds of compulsive behavior–including over eating for the sake of achieving that pleasurable feeling.

So, what is one to do if they are struggling with this challenge?  One must make every effort in supporting his/her dopamine levels because any deprivation and the brain will read this as stress thus signaling to over indulge in fatty and sugary foods.  Three things that are proven to work are the following: 1) Eat foods rich in Vitamin B6 and the amino acids phenylalanine and tyrosine, building blocks of dopamine.  Good sources include chicken, turkey, lean beef, eggs, salmon, tuna, shrimp, crab, tofu, dark-green and leafy vegetables and reduced fatty dairy foods. 2) Removed sugary foods from diet.  Read labels and avoid such things as fructose, OR WORDS that end with -OSE. 3) Get regular exercise because it increases level of beta-endorphins, feel-good chemicals in the brain.  To aid the brain in creating new cells in the prefrontal cortex, experts suggest meditation.  This helps one reduce stress and strengthens impulses control.

NOTE: For more information read article, “Are you a food addict?” in More.com September 2012.

Earth Warmer Now Since The Last Ice Age

Recently politicians are debating whether global warming is due to human activity or just a normal warming cycling.  Many of these opponents claim that because scientists mostly examined sediments isolated to one part of the world and focused on the last 2,000 years that there is no irrefutable evidence that recent global warming is due to human activity.  However, a study by researchers at Oregon State University (OSU) published in the journal  science collected and study 73 ice and sediment core monitoring sites around the world. More importantly, the scientists extended traced global temperatures back to the end of the last Ice Age putting todays climate into a larger context.

geologictime

By about 12,000 years ago (Holocene Epoch–see graph above), Homo Sapiens had spread to all corners of the globe. By this point, the various human populations around the world were isolated from each other long enough for differences in appearances to occur.

Shortly after this time, the earth began warming, the sea level began rising, and Homo Sapiens developed agriculture.  However, it wouldn’t be until around 5,000 years ago that the first civilizations would arise and history as we know it would begin.

Compared to the last 5,000 years, what the study shows is that the last 100 years the earth warmed considerably.  Despite that the Earth’s climate is complex and responds to various factors, the study argues the increase of carbon dioxide through increased emissions from human activity is the main reason for the earth’s warming about 1.3 degrees F.  According to Peter Clark, a OSU paleoclimatologist and co-author of the Science paper, “what is most troubling is that the warming will be significantly greater than at any time during the past 11,300 years.”

In conclusion, whether recent warming trends are normal or caused from emissions of carbon dioxide we all can agree that we must begin diversifying our energy sources to include clean energy, building cities with fresh water and energy conservation in mind and preparing for what is to come–rising ocean levels, stronger storms, and frequent droughts throughout the world.

Automatic Federal Budget Cuts Hits Hard The County of San Deigo

I think its important for us to monitor the impact recent automatic federal budget cuts are having throughout the country, especially in places like San Diego.  San Diego is host to many military bases, soldiers and contractors, consequently with more than 50% of the cuts in these sectors we will feel the impact more than the rest of the country.  Senior Fellow and Economist Kelly Cunningham, for the National University System Institute for Policy Research, claims that the direct impact to the region is up to $2.5 billion annually. Exacerbating the draconian impact of these cuts are the recent lost of redevelopment funding such as, $65 million for FY 2013, for the City of San Diego.  Most likely this is our new reality; thus, I believe that politicians, city staff members and stake holders must explore creative ways to make up for the lost of funding.

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THE BRAIN: HOW TO IMPROVE ITS HEALTH

“Giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to your virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance….” 2 Peter 1:5-6 KJV

This quote by Peter eloquently states the task at hand for us.  If our bodies are our temples than the brain that sits on top and is involve in everything we do plays an integral part in carrying out Peter’s mandate.  Ever heard the old saying, “we are creatures of habits,” well if true, how crucial is it to develop good habits and how do we start?  No better place than to start with maintaining a healthy brain.  This is why I am so intrigued with the newfound science of epigenetic.  This new field of genetics stipulates that habits can turn on and off genes making illnesses more or less likely.   Truly amazing!

Recently I watched an amazing show on PBS about the brain, “Unleashing the power of the female brain,” narrated by Daniel G Amen, M.D.  I want to first express to men please don’t let the word “female” in the title fool you into believing this is not applicable to you.  Dr. Amen includes it because studies have found females are more prone to possess these characteristics.

What are the characteristics I am referring to, well Dr. Amen stated that persons with heighten brain activity show heighten sense of empathy and intuition, prone to seek collaboration, demonstrate self-control and express appropriate worry.  All good things, correct?  But like the cliché goes, “there are 2 sides to a coin:” so, on the other hand, these same individuals are more likely to suffer from anxiety, depression, insomnia, eating disorders, pain and inability to turn off their thoughts when their brain is under constant toxicity and experiencing hormonal imbalance and/or person is overweight, maintains a diet low on protein and high in simple sugars and glycemic foods, stress levels and suffers from sleep deprivation.

Most of these functions occur in the prefrontal cortex of the brain therefore its vital for us to give our diligence in learning how to exercise that part of the brain and provide the appropriate nutrients to maintain healthy brain reserves and hormone levels.

Brain

Hormones like serotonin play a vital role in determining how healthy our prefrontal cortex is.  If, for example, this hormone is too low we can expect to see an increase in those vulnerabilities, i.e., anxiety, depression, pain syndromes, carbohydrate cravings and etc.

Lets than start with identifying some of the most important hormones, their functions and impact on our brain.  Estrogen, progesterone, testosterone, thyroid, insulin and cortisol are the main players that we need to understand.   Too much estrogen and one feels anxious, too little and one feels depressed and confused.  Low levels of progesterone leads to anxiety and increases insomnia, the right amount helps us relax.  Testosterone can either help with libido, moods and memory but if levels are low can result in depression, foggy headed and low libido.

Next hormone is crucial because according to Dr. Amen thyroid imbalances are responsible for 1/3 of all depressions.  But too much can make someone anxious and frazzled.   Insulin another critical hormone is responsible for controlling blood sugar.  Too low blood sugar one gets foggy and slow.  High blood sugar and blood vessels become brittle and weak.  More importantly, the brain begins to shrink causing depression and dementia.  Although needed for acute stress, high levels of cortisol over time can damage one’s brain, put fat on your belly and make you sick.

Hormones are vital but they are not the only things one should know about in how to maintain a healthy brain.  According to Dr. Amen there are four areas a person needs to take into account, as well.   They are the following: 1) Biology 2) Psychology 3) Social and  4) Spiritual.

9 characteristics of biology are: Genes, Diet, Exercise, Sleep, Hormones, Health, Brain Injuries, Allergies and Exposure to Toxins.  For example, if a person has a cancer gene it does not mean he or she will get cancer, but it is prudent for that person not to smoke.  So start off by asking simple questions to yourself, like, “do I exercise?” “Do you work in a toxic environment or are you ingesting toxins for recreational purposes?”  Important to note that it is impossible for a brain to heal when it is under attack from toxicity.

The following area to understand is psychology, how one thinks.  Are you typically a pessimist or optimist?  Are you always complaining?  Don’t underestimate the power of maintaining a good attitude.  We cannot ignore that we are a social specie that graves relationship.  Not surprising than that developing and maintaining healthy relationships are one of the main factors in determining your health.  Ever spent time with negative individuals and felt mentally and spiritually exhausted?  Ever noticed why most of us gravitate towards dynamic and positive individuals. Because it’s a healthy thing to do!

The last area to focus on is my favorite—spiritual.  What does my life mean?  Why am I here?  What is my purpose?  These profound questions help us understand what motivates us.  Having a sense of deep meaning or purpose gives us a reason to get up in the morning and take good care of ourself.  Knowing what drives you is very important.

So now that we have added this knowledge we must practice self-control and begin developing a healthy lifestyle that includes the following.  First get your nutrition right by increasing your fiber intake, eliminating simple sugars and high glycemic foods while avoiding meats raised with hormones and antibiotics.  Second, make sure your body is clean of toxins.  Try to avoid exposure to plastics.  Thirdly, lose the excess weight for fat stores toxins and transforms healthy testosterone into unhealthy estrogens and disrupts fertility.  Thus, exercise is critical for it helps us reduce fat, balance insulin, testosterone and cortisol while boosting serotonin to healthy levels.  Of course exercise alone is not enough.  So take some brain smart supplements as well, such as zinc that helps support and raise testosterone levels, chromium and cinnamon that help stabilize blood sugar levels, magnesium and melatonin that are great for inducing sleep, L-theanine from green tea that can help lower stress hormones and 5 HTP and B6 that support healthy serotonin levels.

Now that I focused on some solutions for naturally boosting our hormones, it is also important to learn these powerful tools to sooth the mind and improve our mood.  The first one that Dr. Amen suggests is to kill all your ANTS, Automatic Negative Thoughts.  He lists 9 ANTS to avoid: 1) fortune-telling 2) mind reading 3) guilt beating 4) always thinking 5) focusing on the negative 6) thinking only with your feelings 7) labeling 8) all or none and 9) blame.  What they all have in common is negativity, feeding into irrational desires to control everything around you and excessive unnecessary worrying.

A way to attack your ANTS is by keeping a journal.  So, whenever you feel sad, mad, and nervous or out of control write your ANTS.  This will help you identify to see if your thoughts are true and help power yourself by honest thoughts.  The idea is with a healthier brain you are better able to empower yourself by not seeking or developing negative thoughts but rather making sound decisions based on truth.

So, remember giving all your diligence arm yourself with knowledge and use that knowledge to live a healthier lifestyle.  Don’t forget like any other muscle group or body part work hard to improve your brain health and to lose weight because the fatter you are the greater the decrease in brain functions.  Dr. Amen strongly suggests that we regularly test our brains.  There are many cost-effective on-line games that can help in this area.  Why?  Because our brain plays a role in everything we do.  When our brain is working well we are healthier and able to make better decision.  Also, learn to incorporate meditation and guided imagery in order to relax and combat against ANTS.  Avoid or minimize alcohol, drugs and environmental toxins.  Finally, work hard to decrease the risk for Alzheimer.  How?  Just focus on decreasing all of the risk factors associated with it: depression, Attention Deficit Disorder, Diabetes, Hypertension, Obesity and Sleep apnea.   Lastly, high protein diets, exercise and supplements such as, EPA Fish oils help improve brain function and its reserves.  This is vital to help us deal with hormonal swings, loss and aging.

I hope this article encourages you to learn more about your brain, appreciate how special it is and look for ways to improve its health.

City of San Diego: The birth and revitalization of downtown

I’ve traveled to many cities, one in particular, I recently moved to, is known as, “America’s Finest City.”  I remember my first time visiting downtown San Diego, the area was blighted with decrepit buildings and underutilized or vacant lots.

Fast forward 15 or so years, and one cannot even recognize this place.  What a transformation!  How did San Diego’s downtown area that comprises of 8 or so neighborhoods go from underutilized, neglected, abandoned to a thriving “live, work, play” neighborhoods that are cohesive and pedestrian friendly with efficient public transportation?

SD EVENING SKYLINE

Take a journey with me into the often times mysterious world of urban planning, design, and financing.  My intent is to provide the reader with a basic overview of the (re) development process and the major players involved.

So, what guides and motivates the stakeholders to work together?  Who are the stakeholders? What role do they play?

California State planning and the City of San Diego’s zoning laws govern the City’s land policies and uses.  In the City of San Diego, the Neighborhood Code Compliance Department (NCCD) enforces the City Municipal Codes, with its highest priority being safety and health.  The Land Development Code and Planned District Ordinances (PDOs) are found in chapters 11-14 and 10 and 15, respectively in the City Municipal Code book.

In my humble opinion San Diego’s downtown redevelopment success is highly correlated with how the stakeholders develop, interpret, enforce and implement the Land Development Codes and PDOs.  One immediately notices this when walking from the East Village to the Marina, passing through the Gaslamp, and towards Little Italy how seamlessly and cohesively these neighborhoods are integrated.

Whereas the codes are the City’s flesh and bone, the Progress Guide and General Plan are its DNA.  Like any other living organism, the City is always adapting to its changing environment.  For all you urban planners, policy, management and development professionals or just urban dwellers/admirers, please note that together the codes, Progress Guide and General Plan provide the blueprint for the development for the City of San Diego as a whole.

So what is the General Plan?

This plan is a policy document that discusses various matters:  land use, public facilities financing, transportation, zoning, historical preservation, safety, housing and all matters integral in developing and managing a City.  Due to its size the City of San Diego has at least 40 community plans all part of the General Plan.  Important to understand that this document does not operate in a vacuum but when applicable decision makers use it with other documents such as Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP) or SANDAG regional Comprehensive Plan.

While the City is free to develop as they think is best, the State of California does require San Diego City to include at least 7 elements in the General Plan.  The elements are as follows: land use, housing, circulation (Roadways), conservation, open space, noise and safety.  The State requires the City to update the housing section every 5 years and the circulation must correlate with land use.  Other elements that the City includes in the General Plan are financing and zoning.

City staff and Council with community planning groups review all projects; however, the review process differs if a project is completely in accordance with land development and building codes, than it qualifies under the ministerial review process.  Only City Staff perform this process.

Living in San Diego, one immediately recognizes how important it is to manage all developments in an environmentally friendly way.  San Diego is a City bordered by the Pacific Ocean and its magnificent beaches, surrounded by majestic mountains and in between deserts and valleys—a truly diverse eco-system all with its unique flora, animals and microclimate.  Therefore all development proposals not meeting all land development and building codes must meet the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) and are subject to the discretionary review process.  The purpose of this act is to advise the public and decision makers, and when applicable, make mitigating suggestions on the potential environmental effect and damage of proposed projects.  One of the goals of the act I find very useful is informing the public when decision makers approve a project despite its significant environmental impact.  The Development Services Department is responsible for implementing and enforcing the CEQA.

I find that well-managed and charming cities do at least 2 things effectively: (1) preserve it’s historical sites, buildings and resources; (2) adequately provide funding for public facilities in each community.  In San Diego, the former falls under the jurisdiction of the Historical Resource Board, consisting of 15 members all appointed by Mayor and confirmed by the City Council.   The Public Facilities Financing Plan identifies public facilities that are necessary for a community to meet the standards of the General and Community Plan(s).  The goal is to provide and maintain adequate funding and facilities for a targeted area.

So who are some of the stakeholders involved in the discretionary review process?

The journey begins with governance.  An integral body government responsible for the City’s development success begins with the City Council—a body of local government consisting of 8 members, each serves 4 years.  District residents who are eligible to vote elect their respective council representative.  This body is responsible for adopting the General Plan and annual budget, approving all ordinances, resolutions, contracts, providing revenue and confirming or making appointees to various City Boards and Commission.

The other stakeholders are Hearing Officer, Planning Commission, Community Planning Groups and City Staff all performing and working together for the sole purpose to create a sustainable, livable and vibrant communities.  The City Manager appoints the hearing officer.  The Mayor appoints the planning commission and confirmed by City Council.  So one can see how a strong relationship may exist between the City Council and Planning Commission.  The City Council recognizes per community 1 community-planning group.  Each group comprises of at least 12-20 members.  City staff consists of 2 teams: Multi-Disciplinary Team (MDT), which consists of technical professionals that ensure proposed development projects meet all State and local land use policies and regulations.  The other team is known as the Development Project Team (DPT).  DPT is responsible for mediating and navigating all formal communications among all stakeholders.  Overall their purpose is to inform, advise and when applicable make alternative suggestions to the decision makers.  City departments select team members based on the type of project and permit sought by developers, its location and the proposed site.

San Diego’s downtown redevelopment is impressive.  This is a main reason I now reside in downtown San Diego. What is so remarkable is how the stakeholders were able to have accomplished so much under the constraints that are inherent in local government.  Keep in mind that unlike a private corporation, a local government’s mandate is primarily not for profit and operate on a consensus-building model.  Local governments must provide services, safeguard the health of its residents and environment while with limited resources constantly meet and balance the growing demands for development.  Think about how difficult and challenging it sometimes takes 2 persons to agree, now imagine a room full of stakeholders that more often than not are representing divergent interests. Despite all this, look at downtown San Diego today.  Truly remarkable!

Now the next challenge is attending to other areas of the City.  Unlike San Francisco, Chicago, New York, or Boston, San Diego is a city that is spread out with many distinct communities.  Drive to Pacific Beach, La Jolla, Mission Hills, Barrio Logan and Point Loma one will think these places are their own City, but they are not and we must always keep that in mind.  As distinct these communities appear they are part of the City of San Diego, the 8th and 2nd largest city in the USA and California, respectively.

I hope that after reading this report that you will have gain a broader understanding how a city, such as San Diego, conducts and carries out its redevelopment process.  The process of effective redevelopment involves many stakeholders, at times, with divergent interests all willing to compromise.  All directed by policy documents, codes and laws for the sole purpose of developing, financing and managing vibrant “live, work, play” communities that are pedestrian friendly and linked by efficient public transportation, streets, and roadways.

 

Back to My Mac: Pairing with Routers

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One of the best features I like about iCloud is Back to My Mac.  This allows you to connect to your Mac at home or at work when you are traveling.  For example, if you are traveling with a Mac book Pro you can easily gain access to your i-Mac at home using such features as file and screen sharing.  Also, this will work if you are like most people and have a dynamic IP address that is always changing.

The one requirement is that your main router supports Nat-PMP and/or UPnP.

Readers keep in mind that you don’t need 2 Macs to take advantage of this feature.  A cost-effective way is designating your Time Capsule as a server and router.  This is useful for those with only 1 Mac device who desire to back up their files in Time Capsule while using it as a server and router.  More importantly, Time Capsule’s router capabilities support UPnP.

However what happens when the router one is using does not support neither Nat-Pmp nor UPnP, such as AT&T U-Verse routers?  Complicating matters is that A&T does not allow you to place your Time Capsule in font of their routers.  What is one to do? Well after doing some research, I happily figured out a solution to this problem.

2 main things you will need to tinker with: (1) your Time Capsule (2) AT&T‘s U-Verse Router settings.  Lets begin with the latter.  To gain access into your U-Verse settings type this in your address field:  http://192.168.1.254

Next follow these steps: Click on the Settings Tab, Click on System Info, Click on Event Notification.  Make certain you check broadband status notification.

Now go to your Time Capsule Settings found in Airport Utility and perform the following (Note these instructions are for version 7.6.1): In the Base Station tap enable Back to My Mac feature than go to the Network tap and make certain your router mode is set on off (bridge mode).  I discovered that Back to My Mac would also work on the setting DCHP and Nat, but at a slower speed.

The final step to get all of this working like a fine oiled machine, you will need to connect back to the U-Verse Router by typing into Safari http://192.168.1.254. Once you’re in you will want to follow these steps: Click Settings, Click Firewall, Click Pinholes and DMZ.  From here you will want to select your Time Capsule. Then you will want to scroll to the very bottom, and click on the “Allow all applications (DMZplus mode)”.

Finally, you will want to click on the “Save” button. If you are worried about placing your Time Capsule in the DMZ, don’t be. File sharing done via utilizing Back to My Mac is safe since all of it is encrypted.  But if you still want to add an extra level of security than on the Network Tap make certain your router mode is set to DCHP and Nat.  Just keep in mind that Back to My Mac will run slower and you may get a message saying “double Nat in your icloud settings.”

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The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation

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The Hidden Dangers of Cell Phone Radiation

A Looming Health Crisis

“When you put all the science together, we come to the irrefutable conclusion that there’s a major health crisis coming, probably already underway,” warns Dr. Carlo. “Not just cancer, but also learning disabilities, attention deficit disorder, autism, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and psychological and behavioral problems—all mediated by the same mechanism. That’s why we’re so worried. Time is running out. When you put the pieces of the puzzle together, it’s such a wide ranging problem. It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen before.”

Trim Your Waistline.

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Bizarre is not the likeliest of magazines to find an article about the hazards of dangerous chemicals, but I just read one that is worth mentioning, April’s edition, “Is plastic making you fat,” by Wendy Schmid.  Usually when we hear about environmentally dangerous chemicals we think of the harm it does to our insides rather than our looks.   I really enjoyed this article because I’m a true believer why not look good why maintaining healthy organs.

So with that said, here is a list of those chemicals known as “obbesogens,” and what we can do to minimize our exposure to those harmful chemicals.

According to Bruce Bloomberg a biologist at the University of California, Irvine, who in 2005 coined the term, he states that Obesogens are endocrine-disrupting chemicals (EDC).  when one comes into contact with these harmful chemicals they can cause one’s body to make more or bigger fat cells.

If harming you was not bad enough these EDCs also slow your metabolism, increase your appetite, and decrease your satiety.  Talk about causing havoc on your hormones.

Okay what is one to do?  Well first one must know who the major culprits are?  Wendy Schmid lists include the following:

  1. BispenolA (BPA), mainly present in many plastics and in beverage cans and on cash receipt paper.  So, for those of you drinking a lot of water and/or beverages from a can or bottle—think twice.  Instead drink from a glass or stainless steel.   After handling receipts do yourself a favor and wash your hands.
  2. Tributyltin (TBT), found in plastics like vinyl shower curtains.
  3. Phthalates are plasticizers predominantly found, typically in combination with TBT, in cleaning products so try using natural products with sanitizing essential oils, or make your own, using vinegar diluted in water.
  4. Pesticides and perfluorooctanic acid (PFOA), these chemicals create the nonstick surfaces found on some pans, microwave popcorn bags, pizza boxes and in stain resistant products.  These little “bastards” are associated with thyroid disease so please trade your nonstick pans for stainless steel ones and popcorn lovers use an air popper when making popcorn.

So, while our exposure to these harmful fat-inducing chemicals will never be nil at least there are things we can do to decrease our contact to them.  So maintain your health while keeping that waistline smaller.

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