Trusting my Gut as a 2nd brain in 2019

Until I recently read a 2010 Scientific American article, I thought that an enteric system might describe a building column’s ornate design.  Too soon older, too late smarter?

I could definitely use a second brain for preparing my 2018 tax returns, for picking this year’s SuperBowl champions, and for augmenting my two brain cells in brain #1.

This article’s author states, “The little brain in our innards, in connection with the big one in our skulls, partly determines our mental state and plays key roles in certain diseases throughout the body…The second brain contains some 100 million neurons, more than in either the spinal cord or the peripheral nervous system.”

“…emotions are probably influenced by the nerves in our gut,” Mayer says. —signaling in the gut as part of our physiological stress response, —is but one example.

Wow?! “it’s little wonder that meds meant to cause chemical changes in the mind often provoke GI issues as a side effect.”

Plus, “at least 70 percent of our immune system is aimed at the gut to expel and kill foreign invaders.”

Competitors – go for the gold, with pre-event butterflies which are your ” normal” gutty eustress signals. Oddsmakers – you can use your creative “good stress” to pick the winners of Super Bowl 53 next month (maybe).



If you need something else to do for these playoff game weekends – you can color your way through this butterfly maze:



Our two brains communicate a lot!

Trust your Gut.

Accept butterflies in our crazy life.


Be well,




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When the Weather outside is Frightful

This topic is a tad offbeat for me – as we’ll “endure” 80-degree temperatures in Southern California this week.  And shame on me if I don’t get my daily doses of vitamin D when my weather is just delightful.  For folks who like white stuff and frost on the pumpkins – this “frightful” weather reminder for wellness is for you.

  1. Safety – use very good judgment for attire, exposure and contingency communication plans are muy importante.  A snowshoe trek may be great until it’s not when you lose your path and your cell phone is out of coverage. Does someone know the route you took? What’s your plan B?
  2. Hydration – as our Winter solstice comes and goes – it is human nature to forego or lessen your hydration when at work or play.  Don’t!  An adult should sip at least 64 ounces of water / clear liquid every day whatever the temperature or humidity may be.  Start early with a coupla glasses of lemon-spritzed water with your breakfast (if it’s a non-fasting day).  If you’re intermittently fasting – STILL chug a lug.  Your muscles are normally at least 40% water – so remember your H2O. Your body is about 1/2 water content, so remember your H2O.
  3. Resolutions – early in each new year we are reminded of how few of our resolutions keep traction on wintry ice for more than a month.  And stress grows as those holiday pounds make your attire a tad snug.                                My only resolve?  I will stick to an 80-20 rule for good habits 51 weeks each year (in fitness, and sustenance practices) being our 80%.  Protein ( 3/4 to one ounce of protein daily per pound of current body weight) is a key macronutrient for that 80% (SUGAR and simple CARBS are NOT).
  4. DENIAL – those 1-2 pounds of white body fat an average boomer gains from Turkey Day through Epiphany should not be denied.  I’ve don’t want to head down that DA NILE river, and I hope that you don’t either.  I’ll just work it off on a weekend ski trip?  NOT.  We need to do better than that.  Mom was right about an ounce of prevention.
  5. Stress NOT (or as little as humanly possible).  We’ve all been there / done that with seasonal stress that shouldn’t be there – YET  IT IS.  Elders don’t remember how demanding they can be on your time and talent.  Uncle Charlie or Aunt Rachel make you bite your tongue with their familial antics.  Your kids and grandkids can knock you off your 80-20 routine. You know the drills as I do. Do your best to relax, decompress by whatever means you can (hot baths, punching bag, solo strolls,  or breaking a sweat).  When your cortisol levels are up from social stress – those holiday sweets go directly to white fat storage.


Dave F.

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Tis the season

Fa la la la la. Days are shorter. Viruses 🦠 are lurking. Workout timing gets tougher. Portion control of party yummies and daily feats make it harder to stick with an 80-20% guideline for diet.

Are you jolly?  I hope so, despite these HoHoNo challenges to your wellness and fitness.

My own approach?

1 Establish a gameplan, then stick to it(most days)

2  Skip the guilt if you go off the reservation for an extra cookie or miss one cardio workout

3 Check your Vitamin D3 intake and consider a D3 supplement (see

4  Enjoy mineral baths (epsom salts) or saunas to naturally detox and shed a few calories

5  Stress not- Uncle Jon and “that” unique relative will head home soon

6 Do quick deep core and whole body routines before parties and big meals

7  It’s okay to say no to extras

8 Monitor your resting heart rate – if it is “ high” of 10-12 beats per minute  on a given Holi-day, you are likely dehydrated, over-trained or have a cold lurking

9 Hydrate (as in lots of lemon 🍋 water- not wassails)  Even when the weather outside is frightful- you need 80 ounces a day

10 💤 7 restful hours!

Be well,







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Seven special weeks

This seven-week holiday stretch between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day can be either the best of times or worst of times for our wellness journeys.


We have shorter and colder days.

We have feasts, football and loads of tempting festivities to enjoy.

We may have hassled and frustrating travel.

And holiday cheer may actually be subverted by stress from many angles.

By no mean is weight gain the only measure of holiday success or failure. • Yet those 2 pounds (average)  that creep into our bodies and unfortunately remain, despite New Years resolutions are something to consider and avert.

How might each of us survive and thrive in this seven week stretch?

Well, Covey reminds us to begin with an end in mind.

Having a wellness plan, with daily goals and  journaled activity is key to many like me for that “end result.”

My plan, which I am now sharing with clients, family members and friends is first to measure my vitals – resting heart rate, blood pressure and waist-to-hip ratio before and after these Holidays-starting today. My plan is to keep meal portions and tempting seconds under control.

Even when crunched for quality workout time in this Holiday season, I will manage to squeeze in body weight exercises and core work.

I will laugh lots, share many hugs and memories. I will carry out a few random acts of kindness.

Parting wishes for this most wonderful time of year:

Merrily stress-not, sleep well, stretch and sweat.

We can and should avert those 2 pounds of excess baggage gained from food, drink and relative inactivity.




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Sus Corazones

It may well seem funny to a reader that I am blogging about our HEARTS on the American holiday for tricks and treats.  Then again, our hearts, souls and emotions can serve as either or both challenging tricks or satisfying treats for wellness.

Why is it that elder spouses often pass quickly after their deceased partners? I don’t have firm statistical evidence for that “often” – yet you likely know cases in your spheres where this is so. Broken hearts can take one’s breath away – permanently.

According to Power of Positivity, “f your wife or husband dies, your mortality goes up and stays elevated for years. So you can almost ‘catch’ death from your spouse. It’s not a coincidence, it’s an effect…” Check this youtube video: 

Five (5) adverse effects of broken heart syndromes are:

  1. sleeplessness
  2. weakened immunity
  3. depression
  4. physical pain and
  5. weight and body composition.

Even your humble scribe sees these five effects as being wellness takeaways. He also advocates physical activity to help avert premature death (heart disease in America’s biggest killer) and to help cope if someone you know, or you, suffers from a broken heart syndrome. By the way, this “stress cardiomyopathy” may also be triggered by the loss of a dear pet, or even a big sports win.


Be well.



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To supplement or not to supplement – that is the question…

If a published statistic is fairly accurate – only half of all adults in our fair land take supplements of one flavor or another.

Hmmm.  That factoid has this non-professional nutritionist pondering why.

Do those other halves believe that our soil is as fertile as in the past?

Do folks in the other halfsy believe that their normal diet provides adequate micro-nutrients and prebiotics plus probiotics?

I’m one to believe that our modern lives can benefit from prudent supplementation.  I’m not talking about steroids. CLA or  – just magnesium, biotin, a bit of sauerkraut and greek yogurt.

Remember that normal blood draws may not tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

What is your supplementation plan?



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Waist to Hip measures!

Your humble scribe absolutely positively dislikes the venerable Body Mass Indicator (BMI) calculation to estimate obesity.  I curse that Belgian Adolphe Quetelet whom invented the index in the mid-1800s. Why? Athletes like me – with low body fat are regularly and erroneously classified as overweight or obese.

And simple waist measures may NOT be accurate guesstimates of obesity (which we acknowledge as a MAJOR health risk – yes?).

Enter the waist to hip measure – see (which anyone can perform privately – all you need to do is shed your clothes and uses a flexible tape measure.  Pick your body circumference just above your navel, then measure the widest spot around your hips.

Men – do your best to get your W-H ratio less than 1.0.

Ladies – strive for a W-H ratio less than 0.8 (even after childbirth).


Be more of a pear-shaped person than apple-shaped.

Yours in wellness,



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