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Wednesday, September 28, 2016

‘8 Weeks to Wellness’ Taught Me What Makes Us Fat. It’s Not Saturated Fat. It’s Sugar.

In March, I wrote in my YourHub column that I had lost 25 pounds in a program called 8 Weeks to Wellness. Now, seven months later, I can report that I have not regained any of that weight. I weighed in the 240’s before the program and today I still weigh in the 210’s. I’ve continued to lose fat and gain muscle by continuing to have two training sessions a week in their fitness center (right). I now wear Large instead of XL shirts and I had my slacks and belts taken in about 3 inches — and I feel better.  Rita also lost over 20 pounds, but has regained about five pounds due to her slow recovery from a knee replacement, which kept her, until recently, from exercising and working out the way she’d like.

On July 28 in this space, I wrote about three couples who read my YourHub column and signed up for the same program. They experienced similar weight loss and, like Rita and me, have managed to keep off most of the weight they shed.
The reason, I’ve concluded, is the dietary education we all received during the 8-week program. Whether or not you want to sign up for 8 Weeks to Wellness as we did, you’ll want to learn about good fats vs. bad fats and good carbs vs. bad carbs.  Drs. Scott and Leah Hahn, who offer the program locally, helped us and can help you to improve your health and shed excess body fat.
Americans have a fat phobia and a complete misunderstanding about calories which can be attributed to a faulty science study in the 1950s that blamed body fat on dietary fat. The government took that study as true and created dietary guidelines based on its “findings.”
In line with those now-discredited and partially withdrawn government guidelines, food manufacturers removed the good fat and replaced it with bad fats (trans, esterified, or polyunsaturated fat). When foods are processed to decrease or remove fat, they don’t taste very good. To improve the taste (and thereby increase sales) sugar is added. Because of this, low-fat or fat-free diets have added sugar and/or starches which convert to sugar. These foods tend to make you hungry for more. As you eat more and more, the sugar levels in your blood go up and up.  Because of this, your body rapidly converts the excess sugar to fat. It’s no wonder Americans are getting fatter and fatter. 
The story of how this happened is well-documented in a book I’m reading by Mark Hyman, MD, called Eat Fat, Get Thin. I recommend it. That Sugar Film, which you can view online, also dramatizes what our low-fat, high sugar diet has done to us.

Saturated fat and other “good” fats satisfy your hunger, feed your brain (which is 60% fat), and fight disease naturally. Sugar is literally addictive. Not only does it not satisfy your hunger, it makes you hungry so you want to eat more.  Rita and I have experienced this personally. When we cut out sugar and started eating the high-fat Paleo-like diet that is part of 8 Weeks to Wellness, we ate smaller servings and found we were less hungry.  This is not what we thought dieting was like!

The average American eats from 130 to 170 pounds of sugar per year, and roughly the same amount of flour (which rapidly converts to sugar in the body) — almost one pound per day. Your body can’t burn that much sugar, so it stores it as fat.
Americans are, practically speaking, digging their graves with their teeth, supporting a food industry which profits from our addiction to sugar. In turn, they are supporting a pharmaceutical industry which sells drugs to address the resulting symptoms and illnesses, both physical and mental.
As before, I strongly urge you to learn about 8 Weeks to Wellness. It’s a holistic approach to wellness that balances this kind of nutritional education with personalized training to build muscle, not just lose fat, along with chiropractic adjustment, massage, and meditation to reduce stress. This program is offered locally by Body In Balance Wellness Center at 755 Heritage Road in Golden. They’re one of the only chiropractic offices you’ll find which has a fitness center with personal trainers on staff who get directions (like a prescription) from the doctors to customize the workouts of clients so they get the most out of each one-hour cardio and strength training session.
Attend a free introduction to 8 Weeks to Wellness at 6:30 p.m. on Oct. 5 at Body in Balance’s office. Call 303-215-0390 to reserve your seat, and ask about other classes. Meanwhile, read Dr. Leah's blog at   You will change your life for the better.

Published Sept. 29, 2016, in the YourHub section of the Denver Post

Consider Saturday’s Tour of Sustainable Homes a Multi-Location Educational Event

Do you like learning about new technology and techniques regarding energy and how to reduce your own carbon footprint? Then this Saturday will be a particularly enjoyable and enlightening day for you!

The Golden Tour of Solar & Sustainable Homes on Oct. 1st is so much more than just of tour of solar & sustainable homes. Each location will teach you about technologies (or non-technology concepts) that you may have never heard of before. This year there are homes in Denver, Lakewood, Arvada, and Indian Hills as well as Golden on the tour.

My contribution to the tour each year is to shoot video tours of each home that’s on the tour for posting online at, Shooting these tours has given me an advance peek at the sites on this year’s tour. I use the word “sites” because there are more than just homes on the tour this year.  For example, you’ll tour the Iron Edison factory, which makes batteries for home storage of electricity. And, hopefully, you’ll visit the parking lot at Golden Real Estate, where we’ll host a roundup of electric vehicles (EV’s) and where I will be giving a 15-minute PowerPoint presentation explaining how EV’s work and why they’re more efficient and practical than gas-powered cars.  Golden Solar (located next to the American Mountaineering Center, where you register and pick up your self-guided tour book) will be giving a 15-minute presentation on solar power. This is the company that installed my home and office solar arrays.

Nowadays there are so many ways to make a home more sustainable.  Here are some of the ways you’ll learn about at different stops on Saturday’s tour.

One of my personal favorites is the Gagnon residence/farm on Comanche Road in Indian Hills.  Yes, the home has solar panels, but what got this home on the tour are its agricultural and animal husbandry features. The Gagnons have three greenhouses, one of which houses a year round aquaculture operation, where koi fish live in the water which nourishes the hydroponic plants above. Heated by the sun, the excess daytime heat is stored in an underground thermal mass which then releases that heat during cold winter nights, so no other kind of heating is required. The Gagnons also raise and slaughter a breed of African sheep which have hair instead of wool. Chickens and bees round out their operation, with the bees pollinating an orchard of fruit trees.
Also on the tour is the unique DuVivier-Wright home near the University of Denver. If you can’t make it there, be sure to view the video tour on the YouTube channel. Among its many features, this house has a clothes dryer designed to utilize its heat instead of exhausting it in the winter. It is a “near passive solar home” whose energy demand is so low that, with its 7.2 kW of solar PV, should prove to be “net zero carbon” on an annual basis.
Among the other technologies to which you’ll be introduced are geothermal heat pumps, which utilize the 55-degree temperature of the earth to heat your home in the winter and cool it in the summer.  Another great invention is the HRV, which stands for Heat Recovery Ventilator. This device is essential when you make a house super-insulated and therefore super air-tight. The HRV uses the air that you exhaust from your house (such as from the bathrooms) to pre-heat or pre-cool the fresh air that you bring into the house for breathing and other purposes.
You won’t want to miss the Tiny House at the Colorado School of Mines in Golden. It’s their entry in an annual competition of sustainable homes.
During this year’s tour, you will also learn about high-performance windows, super insulation concepts and more. Admission to the 13 sites is achieved by purchasing the $10 tour book at the American Mountaineering Center at 710 10th Street, in downtown Golden. The tour book can also be purchased at one of the Denver homes on the tour, an “urban farm” at 1426 S. Race Street, just east of South High School’s campus. The homes are open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Return to the Mountaineering Center in Golden from 4 to 6 p.m. for a vendor expo and free reception with wine, craft beer and appetizers. Look for a half-page ad elsewhere in this section of YourHub for more info.

Published Sept. 29, 2016, in the YourHub section of the Denver Post and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers.

Just Listed: Walk to Van Bibber Open Space From This Arvada Home

11833 W. 56th Circle, Arvada
Narrated Video Tour at

   This home is located in the Valley at Rainbow Ridge adjoining the Van Bibber open space park, just east of Ward Road in Arvada. You can access the bike/pedestrian trails of the park near this home. In addition, this home backs to a pond with a trail around it, located in the middle of the subdivision. The house itself has 4 bedrooms and 3½ baths and 3,399 square feet of interior space, including a finished walk-out basement. The updated kitchen has slab granite countertops and stainless steel appliances. Other features include hardwood floors and a study with French doors. In addition to the oversized 3-car garage, there’s RV parking with power. You’ll enjoy entertaining on the wood deck plus a patio with included gazebo overlooking the pond. All bathrooms have been updated. To fully appreciate this home, view the video tour, then call your agent for a showing. Note: Buyer gets free use of Golden Real Estate’s moving truck and free moving boxes!
 Open Saturday, Oct. 1st, 1-3 p.m.

Published Sept. 29, 2016, in the YourHub section of the Denver Post and in four Jefferson County weekly newspapers.