Chocolate and Heart Health

Aug. 5, 2019 at 1:33pm

Great news!: Chocolate may protect heart health. A 12-year study in England with over 21,000 adults found that those with the highest chocolate consumption had the lowest rate of heart attack and stroke, and also had lower blood pressure, inflammation and diabetes.

As a chocolate-lover, I am happy with this news. But as a person commited to good health, I subscribe to the words of St. Thomas Aquinas - "Moderation in all things."

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Lifestyle Medicine

Aug. 1, 2019 at 11:49am

The newest edition of Lifestyle Medicine, edited by Dr. James Rippe, has just been published.  In its over 1400 pages, it sets forth the latest science on the impact of daily habits and actions that profoundly impact both short- and long-term health and quality of life.  As such, it serves physicians and other health professionals who are incorporating lifestyle medical practices with their patients.


At the invitation of Dr. Rippe, numerous national experts were asked to contribute chapters on nutrition, physical activities, obesity and weight management, and more.  The book contains 126 chapters.


Joe Piscatella was invited to write a chapter on A Patient’s Perspective on the Keys to Longevity: 40 Years after Undergoing Coronary Artery Bypass Surgery. He is the only non-medical contributor to Lifestyle Medicine.  Says Joe, “I am deeply honored to be part of this undertaking.”


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42 Years

Jul. 21, 2019 at 1:46pm

Saturday, July 20, was the 42nd anniversary of my bypass surgery.  
Many thanks to my doctors, friends and family who have supported and encouraged me, especially to my wife, Bernie. She is the real hero in this story.
Recently my doctor asked me if there is a secret to managing my heart disease over all these years. I said "Yes. And here it is:"
Trust God
Love Your Wife
Do Your Work
Pretty simple, no?

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Jul. 14, 2019 at 8:11pm

There was an important job to be done and Everybody was sure Somebody would do it.  Anybody could have done it, but Nobody did.  Somebody got angry about that because it was Everybodys job.  Everybody thought Anybody could do it, but Nobody realized that Everybody would not do it.  It ended up that Everybody blamed somebody when Nobody did what Anybody could have done.


The responsibility for how you live your life starts and stops with you. Do not wait for Somebody to step in on your behalf.

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Jul. 7, 2019 at 7:23pm

A lady whose friend was a chronic worrier said to her one day, "Do you realize that 80 percent of the things you worry about never happen?"  "See," her friend replied, "it works."

Have you noticed that all roads lead to the refrigerator when you are worried?  Have you also realized that fretting often makes you too tired - at least mentally - to exercise?  The key question to ask yourself is this:  Is there anything I can do to alleviate my worry?  

If you are late for a meeting, you use your cell phone to let peope know you are running late. Bingo!  You no longer have to worry.  On the other hand, if your order does not arrive but it is too late in the day to contact the shipper, acknowledge that there is nothing you can do until tomorrow and put the worry aside until the morning.  

My wife, Bernie, has a great technique.  "I just figure out the worst-case scenario," she says,.  "Once I know that, I can handle any situation without stressing out."

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Jul. 1, 2019 at 11:01am

it takes courage to commit to healthy habits at any time, but particularly when you are feeling weak or vulnerable.  And, of course, that is when you need your courage most.

Frank was 79 years old when I met him in a cardiac rehabilitation program.  He had experienced two heart attacks before undergoing bypass surgery, and now he was apprehensive that exercise might trigger a third attack.  Despite the reassurance and encouragement that the staff gave him, Frank was still not convinced.  But he walked on the treadmill anyway.  

When I asked him how he had managed to make himself do that, he replied, "I knew I needed to exercise, but I was still afraid.  Then I remembered what General Omar Bradley said during World War II: Bravery is the capacity to perform properly, even when scared half to death.  I guess that is where I am."

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Jun. 27, 2019 at 11:01am

Creating new eating habits demands patience.  It can take between six weeks and six months.  Why so long?  Because we have a lot to unlearn.  We go to the doctor or a registered dietitian with an eating problem that took years to develop and say, "Fix me!  I have an hour."  

Unfortunately, an affinity for doughnuts does not develop overnight.  There is no pill, prayer or principle that will instantly undo the damage of years of poor eating habits.  It requires hard work and - did I mention this? - patience.  Making healthy changes is an evolutionary, not a revolutionary, process.

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Monday Motivation

Jun. 25, 2019 at 9:06am

"You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you do not try."
--Beverly Sills, Opera Singer

Twice, General Douglas MacArthur was refused admission to West Point. But he was accepted on the third try and would march into history books. Famous author Rudyard Kipliong received a rejection letter from the San Francisco Examiner saying, "Sorry, Mr. Kipling, but you just do not know how to use the English language."

The music teacher of Opera star Enrico Caruso told him he had no voice at all and could not sing. The schoolteachers of Einstein described him as "mentally slow, unsociable and adrift in his foolish dreams." By age 46, Beethoven was completely deaf, and he wrote five of his greatest symphonies without hearing a note. At age 66, after several political defeats, Winston Churchill became one of the greatest prime ministers of Britain.

You get my point, right? Life is about overcoming! So do not worry about failing; worry about not trying.

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Four Secrets to Living Longer

Oct. 4, 2017 at 11:38am

You can not depend on good genes to carry you past the century mark. Research into older people has revealed that certain lifestyle habits are connected to a long life. Everyone knows that eating a healthy diet, exercising regularly, not smoking and maintaining a healthy weight works for longevity.
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Three Strings

Sep. 26, 2017 at 12:14pm

There is a story told about Itzhak Perlman, the famous violinist, who was playing in New York. Stricken with polio as a child, he always crossed the stage on crutches, moving painfully and laboriously. On this particular night, he reached the chair, sat down, slowly put his crutches on the floor, and undid the clasps on his legs. Then he bent to pick up the violin, put it under his chin, nodded to the conductor, and began to play.

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Plenty more in the Archives