Archive for Geek4

Aspartame- Wreaking Health Havoc


Growing up, my mother’s house was a Mecca of natural health. She kept us away from the sodas and candy other kids were gorging themselves on. She always took the extra time to make us whole, unprocessed meals … often making bread from scratch and spending countless hours in her garden. She even cleaned with apple cider vinegar instead of chemical cleaners.

So when I went to visit recently, I was absolutely shocked at what I found in her cider-fresh kitchen.

My mom was getting her morning coffee as usual. But instead of pulling out a bottle of stevia or even organic palm sugar, she was reaching into a basket filled with little blue packets.

Of all things, she was sweetening her coffee with aspartame. My stomach dropped; I felt like Adam discovering Eve pulling fruit off the forbidden tree. There was no telling how long she had been using this chemical poison in her coffee.

I immediately became “Dr. Daughter,” and gave her a lengthy lecture full of the facts and figures you’re probably already aware of… like how aspartame leads to obesity, kills brain cells on contact, and can exacerbate multiple neurological diseases.

Now, my mom has a pleasant personality and received it all very well.  Thankfully, she threw the entire basket straight into the trash.

My mom might be safe now… but what about you? And how many other people in the U.S. are using aspartame, completely unaware of the dangers?

Americans Consume Millions of Pounds of Aspartame Per Year

According to the USDA, aspartame is used in at least 6000 products nationwide, including diet drinks, chewing gum, breath mints, pudding, hot chocolate, and especially food products aimed at children. They won’t release exactly how many pounds are consumed per year, but it is in the millions.

Brand names of aspartame include Equal, Nutrasweet (owned by Monsanto), Spoonful, and Equal-Measure. It was accidentally invented by James Schlatter in 1965 … when he was testing an anti-ulcer drug.

Aspartame is 50% phenylalanine, 40% aspartic acid, and 10% methanol.  It is also 200 times sweeter than sugar. These chemical ingredients explain why aspartame accounts for over 75% of the adverse reactions to food additives reported to the FDA.

The laundry list of these adverse reactions is huge, and includes:

  • Neurological problems, like migraines, memory loss, dizziness, seizures, vision problems, vertigo, depression, and anxiety attacks…
  • Heart problems, like tachycardia and heart palpitations…
  • Weight gain, rashes, breathing difficulty, and muscle spasms…
  •  And over 75 more!

The Chemical Breakdown

So many people are sensitive to aspartame because of the chemicals it’s made of.

It starts with phenylalanine—an amino acid found naturally in the brain.  Aspartame increases the level of phenylalanine to unnaturally high levels, causing seratonin to decrease, and increases susceptibility to seizures.(1) (That’s why you see phenylalanine labeled clearly on any food containing it.) Low levels of serotonin can cause depression.

Aspartame is 40% aspartic acid (or aspartate). Aspartate is a known “excitotoxins,” meaning it literally excites brain cells and nerves to death. Many chronic illnesses have been linked to excitotoxins, including multiple sclerosis, ALS, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s, and brain lesions.

Lastly, 10% of aspartame is methanol.  In the human body, methanol turns to formaldehyde.  Formaldehyde is a heavy duty preservative (that’s why they use it in science class for preserving dead things in glass jars). Because of that, your body can’t break it down. When ingested, it lodges deep into your cells and wreaks havoc on delicate proteins and DNA replicators.

Formaldehyde is a known carcinogen, or cancer-causing agent.  It can also cause intense migraine headaches and eye damage as well as birth defects. (2)

It Doesn’t Stop There…

The process used to create aspartate and phenylalanine is just appalling.

Monsanto, the company behind NutraSweet, creates aspartame from the excrement of genetically-modified bacteria. (3)

Here is an excerpt from the official patent on how aspartame is made:

“The well-fed E. coli cultures defecate the proteins that contain the aspartic acid-phenylalanine amino acid segment needed to make aspartame. . . . The proteins containing the Asp-Phe segments are ‘harvested’ (i.e. lab assistants collect the bacteria’s feces).” (4)

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want bacteria turds in my coffee!

Aspartame is quite possibly THE most dangerous sweetener being added to our food supply.

If you know someone who is constantly having health problems and enjoys too much diet soda, I give you permission to be “Dr. Daughter” (or Dr. Friend… Dr. Sister…) and let them know that aspartame may be the reason for their suffering.

Then… reclaim their Mecca of natural health and throw it in the trash.


(1) Mabson G. Epilepsy Study Incriminates Aspartame in Medications. Epileptic Foundation of Maui.

(2) Jacob S. Formaldehyde, Aspartame, and Migraines: A Possible Connection. Dermatitis. June 2008.

(3) Woolf M. World’s Top Sweetener is Made With GM Bacteria. The Independent. 20 June 1999.

(4) Process for Producing Aspartame. European Patent Application EP0036258.


Green Tea – Back in the Game


Coach Wilkins looked down at his clipboard of plays, his forehead exhuming sweat from the three point lead the other team held. There wasn’t much time left on the clock and his roster was scarily thin. His quarterback had gone down with a concussion back in the third quarter and his running back was limping around like a wounded jack rabbit.

 “Bobby,” the coach yelled to a young undersized kid, his helmet in between his hands. Bobby had almost dozed off. Coach never called his name.

 “Yeah coach?” His response was half excitement and half drowsiness.

 “You’re going in son. Quarterback.” Coach Wilkins swallowed hard, all the dreams of moving on to coach college championships sinking down the drain faster than his ex wife cleaning out his bank account.

Little Bobby scrambled, running to the field as he buckled his helmet under his chin. This was his chance! He would show everyone! The crowd grew eerily quiet as the undersized freshman took to the field.

“Benny, you run a quick route. Joey, make a break for the end zone. Pete – well – pretend I gave you the ball. Everyone break on three.” The once under-appreciated Bobby Gardner was not going to let this chance pass him by. He was going to show the world that the bench was not his place.

Small Word- Big Benefits

The word “tea” doesn’t exactly instill confidence. It doesn’t make you think tough or powerful. Coffee equates to go, go, going and tea to wind down. But don’t let tea fool you. Especially green tea. It’s a powerful little guy and it might be time to include it in your daily routine.

Green tea has been around for centuries, especially in the far east, where its been a popular staple of the diet over there. Everyone from bodybuilders to athletes have jumped on the bandwagon, recognizing there may be more here then meets the eye. Here are some ways green tea may boost your health in the right direction. 

First and Ten (Cholesterol) – More then a few studies seem to suggest that green tea might help lower bad cholesterol and boost the good kind, making it a big time ally to your heart. A recent Harvard School of Medicine Review of roughly 41,000 Japanese people showed a decreased risk of heart attacks and strokes by about 26% for those that drank five small cups a day. If you wanna win the big game, you gotta have heart first and foremost. 

Second and Five (weight loss) – Everyone is always searching for the magic pill to help shed that stubborn fat. Well, some research shows that coupled with exercise, green tea extract may in fact, help that slow and painful process along. One such study, conducted by the good folks at  Provident Clinical Research, found that green tea extract helped one group shed belly fat faster than the control in the study. 

RED ZONE (cancer) – It all comes down to this. Nobody wants to hear the C word in their lives, whether for themselves or loved ones. Green tea has been shown to help support your bodies fight against unwanted cells with the all important antioxidants. The University of California  recently completed a study on men with prostate cancer. The men were asked to drink a few cups of green tea a day before they went under the knife for surgery. Although the study wasn’t long enough in the researchers opinion, they did see encouraging signs of lower than expected proteins in the men’s bodies that are believed to cause that cancer. Helping save lives = scoring touchdowns in my book! 

There are a lot of choices out there for supplements and while its true that Green tea has been out for a while now but its not to be forgotten. You have a lot of plays in your playbook. Green tea may be a smart one to call. 

In part 2 of our green tea series, we’ll look at the other side of this supplement and see why too much might not be such a good thing. 

Vitamin C & D + 5 Tips To Avoid the Flu


Some people are just slobs. They can’t help it. 

Like me, for instance.

I don’t think to take my bowl to the sink, at least not until I see the cat sipping from it. I like to throw my wet shoes off when I walk in the door because my feet are wet and cold; it’s only later that I notice the puddle they left on the rug, and how their smell is permeating the foyer.

My wife isn’t buying it though.

She’s the type that can spot a speck of food in my teeth from across the room when I’m not even aware of it.She swoops like a hawk through our living room, picking up all the random detritus left by myself and our two young children, glaring at us with “you should feel guilty” eyes all the while.

She keeps me on my toes, and it’s forced me to be more diligent and aware. 

Avoiding the flu this time of year is essentially the same. There are lots of little details to be watched, repetitive rituals to be observed, and doing things that aren’t exactly tons of fun.

This flu season is already in full swing, and a quick scan of the news shows a path of devastation and deaths across the country already.

You simply can’t be a slob when it comes to fighting off the flu. Try these tips to have a flu-less season:

  1. Get Vaccinated – Like doing the dishes, no one really likes getting shots, but the CDC says they reduce your chances of contracting the illness by 70% to 90%.
  2. Wash Your Hands – Something my wife makes me do! Hopefully, you’re not as gross as I am, but keeping your hands clean can reduce your risk of contracting the flu by a third.
  3. Load up on Vitamins – We’re really not trying to sound like your mother, but Vitamin D can reduce your flu risk by as much as 50%, vitamin C is just good for your immune system, as are echinacea and garlic.
  4. Stay Home – I know it seems like you’re somehow earning bonus points for coming into the office while feeling sick, but you’ll regret it when your boss and coworkers all turn up ill shortly thereafter. Stay home, rest up; your company will appreciate it.
  5. Clean Up – Yep, total bummer. But you’re going to be surrounded by the virus, and the cleaner you keep your office and home, the better chance you stand of avoiding it.

Doing all of these things isn’t going to guarantee you won’t get the virus, just like overloading the dishwasher isn’t going to win any bonus points with my wife. But the more sensible steps you take towards prevention, the better your odds of not getting sick (and being yet another burden on your poor overworked spouse.)

Rag-Tag Research Geek Recommendation

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Morphing Foul Moods Into Smiles


Spring had arrived. The snows of winter receded and small specks of bright green grass began to grow through the moist, bare soil.  The once crispy chilled air gave way to warmer breezes and the trees began to sway in joyous anticipation at their new leaves as the buds appeared on their limbs.

Ah, yes. It was spring again beneath the mountain. Deer began to frolic to and fro as they called out for new mates. The sun decided it would stay out later and later each day, giving its energy to all who bathed in its glow. And through all this beauty, through all this new life popping up here and there – there was a lonely caterpillar. 

The world seemed so big to him. Everything was moving so fast. Nobody ever stopped to talk, to say hi, to check in. He crawled over this leaf and ate, each day hoping that something would come to appreciate him as he appreciated those around him. But day after day, as the sun shown brighter and the deer nursed their young, nobody came.

Finally, as all hope left his small squishy body, the caterpillar decided he’d had enough. If the world didn’t want to converse then neither did he. So he spun himself a cocoon. “I’m just going to stay in here and live out my days as a hermit”, he thought to himself. But it wasn’t long before an insatiable feeling of fatigue fell over him. Soon, the caterpillar was sleeping, and unbeknownst to him, changing into something truly magical…

Walk away your blues

You could pop in an old movie that makes you smile or maybe listen to that classic album that got you all pumped up in high school. Oh, what’s the use? Your mood was ruined the moment the alarm clock went off and work was on your mind. Is there any way to soothe the “life sucks” blues?

Turns out, there just may be…and it may be as simple as taking a walk.

Exercise has long been studied from all angles. Its benefits are as wide reaching as the largest ocean. Fresh studies are coming up with results that say along with all the positive physical and mental attributes, that it also may hold the key to something even more powerful….your emotional health. 

Duke University conducted a study to see if exercise was beneficial to heart attack patients. Doctor James Blumenthal, the lead researcher, enlisted the help of 92 different medical centers and almost 2500 patients. One group received doctor’s orders for 3 sessions of moderate exercise 3 times a week. The other group, the usual medications and rest. After 12 months, the group that did exercise on the treadmills or stationary bikes showed improvement not only in their physical health, but also were way ahead of the curve regarding their depression. They were happier, sleeping better and their hearts were on the mend! 

For the past fifty plus years, scientists have been hard at work continuing to examine the link between exercise and positive brain function.  The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center recently did a study asking the question if in fact exercise can really battle depression. The results were pretty amazing!

All the patients were already on antidepressants (however those drugs weren’t working so well) and exercise was prescribed as the “second” form of treatment for their condition. 126 people in all. Two groups. One group gentle exercise. One group went full on for 30 minutes or more! Four months later, the group that exercised for a half hour saw a 30% success rate in COMPLETE REMISSION of their depression. That is a huge number in the scientific world! 

Sometimes even the loneliest days and foulest of moods can be transformed into happiness and energy. All it takes is a little change. Let’s start with the next ten minutes and see where it takes us.

Garcinia Cambogia : What Is It & How Does it Work?


I read through the information, for the third time.  It was still garble to my non-scientific brain.  Even with all the research I do, it often takes me several times to decipher the codes scientist write in.  I rubbed my eyes and headed for the coffee maker – again.  It was going to take another cup of caffeine to help me with translation. 

I know you can relate.  Too many times, we find ourselves staring at a page filled with words that seem more like a riddle than information.  This particular riddle is known as Garcinia Cambogia.  It’s now the biggest supplement craze in the country.  A craze that began when a particularly popular TV Doc called it “the Holy Grail of Weight Loss” on his insanely popular TV talk show.  So what is it?  Garcinia Cambogia is a small fruit shaped very similar to a pumpkin. And lately, the extract from this little fruit is all the rage in the weight loss arena.

According to the hype, the natural extract from the rind of the fruit (Hydroxycitric Acid or HCA) could hasten weight loss efforts.  Some researchers claim that HCA can double or even triple weight loss.

But, first things first – It’s important to understand that not all Garcinia Cambogia Extracts are created equal.  Only high quality Garcinia Cambogia like used in studies will offer the chance at the results shown in the research.

To be more specific, it must be 100% pure (not synthetic) and have a high concentration of the active ingredient, HCA, with no fillers, binders or added ingredients.

Why is a high concentration of Hydroxycitric Acid (HCA) needed? Because in clinical studies a high concentration was found to be effective.   One particular study, that can be found in the Diabetes, Obesity and Metabolism Journal, shows that participants lost a significant amount of body fat and explains that calcium can decrease the absorption of HCA which hinders its effectiveness.

While many supplements exert only one effect on the body, Garcinia Cambogia sets itself apart as having many possible benefits.  In addition to aiding in weight loss, research also states that HCA has been shown to increase serotonin availability, reduce appetite, increase fat oxidation, improve blood lipid levels, and reduce body weight.

What does this mean for us?  In English (non-scientifically put), the fat that we store in unwanted places actually happens because of unused energy which is converted by enzymes into fatty deposits.  The HCA in Garcinia Cambogia works by blocking these enzymes and preventing the formation of these fatty deposits (fat oxidation).

Consequently, the body starts to burn these stored fat cells by breaking down their protective proteins, known as perilipin. This allows fat deposits to be released and burned for energy rather instead of settling on our hips!  I know, every woman likes the sound of that.

So, by taking Garcinia Cambogia, we are burning the fat we have stored and preventing more fat from forming.  HCA gives your metabolism the boost it needs to break down more fat and it blocks enzymes that convert energy to fat. 

Now the question is, how do you know you’re getting the quality Garcinia Cambogia needed to do the job?  That’s where we come in.  Our awesome team of Rag Tag Geeks have done the research for you.  As always, we seek out the highest quality version (based on scientific research) and that’s the product we recommend.  You can find our recommendation for Garcinia Cambogia here.

Oh, and, as always, we give you the facts in English.  Caffeine is optional.  


Garcinia Cambogia: 5 Things You Need to Know


We all know the person who’s bounced around all the fad diets and supplements. Some of us may even be that person. Linda was that person. Her coworkers laughed when she showed up with gallons of cabbage soup, and even she felt a little ridiculous during the whole “Russian Air Force” phase.

It’s easy to yuk it up at people like Linda, and she was fully aware at how absurd some of the weight loss tactics she tried were. It didn’t matter to her; she wasn’t out to win a popularity contest, she wanted to lose weight. 

Determination is a beautiful thing, because eventually Linda found what she was looking for. Garcinia cambogia is an ancient fruit that has rapidly grown in popularity as a health supplement of late. It turned out to be the missing element she was looking for. Her meals were smaller, yet also leaving her feeling more full.

Within months she was down 20 pounds, and done with the fads.

Chances are you’re here because you heard about garcinia cambogia from someone on television, or you personally know a success story like Linda’s. But you’re looking for more info, as well you should.

Here are the five most important things you need to know about garcinia cambogia:

  1. The active ingredient in garcinia cambogia is hydroxycitric acid (HCA), a type of citric acid also found in hibiscus plants.
  2. The general expectation is that HCA will work on two fronts: help your body fight off fat and curb your appetite through increased leptin and serotonin levels. Basically, whatever you eat, you’ll crave less of it.
  3. Not all HCA products are created equal. When evaluating a garcinia supplement, look for 65% HCA, not the standard, less-effective 60%. Also, many weight loss products (such as Hydroxycut) offer HCA mixed in with other elements that can have adverse effects on certain people.
  4. Recent studies have shown garcinia to aid in insulin resistance, as well as having a positive effect on serotonin levels (which play a role in controlling mood, and therefore emotion-related eating that can come with it)
  5. It’s commonly used in Asian cooking, particularly curries, and is also known as the Malabar tamarind (not to be confused with tamaricus indica, the more common type of tamarind).

We’re learning more about garcinia cambogia every day, and all signs point to it being an effective aid in your battle to lose weight responsibly.

And like Linda, you’re smart for doing your research. If only the internet had been available in the 1980s, she might not have had to fight through those long days of nothing but boiled chicken gizzards. 

Rag Tag Research Geek Recommendation:

To learn more about the product we currently recommend, click here.

Exercise and The Brain: Run Now, Remember Later


“Irene. Honey, where have you been? I’ve missed you so much.” His eyes were wondering around her figure, lost in a sea of confusion and angst.  Williams hospital gown covered up most of his frail arms as he did his best to lean over and get a better look at his long lost sweetheart. 

Only it wasn’t Irene. It was his daughter, Janet. Every day when she came to visit him, it was the same gut wrenching pain of having her own father not recognize her anymore. She knew it wasn’t his fault but it didn’t soften the blows by any stretch of the imagination. 

“Where have you been? I’ve been waiting for you for a long time. I don’t understand. What did I do to make you go away?”

As the tears streamed down her young, full cheeks, Janet tried to respond. It was only getting worse by the day. Sometimes there were flashes when he would remember anything from who she really was to when Irene died some ten years ago.  The doctors had said it was coming close to the end of the line for William. Soon, his body would forget how to breathe, how to eat, how to live.

What a horrible way for the big, strong man who had raised her, to die.

“I’m Janet, daddy,” she choked out a meager reply. 

“No, no. Don’t be silly. Janet is Janet?”

That was the last straw. Janet needed a break. She excused herself and walked out of the hospital room. Briskly making her way to the bathroom down the hall.


Its an all familiar scene for millions of people around the world every year. Dementia takes hold and there is no going back. It is devastating to the families of the loved one as the most precious of wealth, our memories, are robbed from us right before our very eyes.

But there are ways to protect yourself (and your family) from such fates. One of the simplest ways to combat inflammation of the brain (thus helping it stay active and fit) is exercise! Yup, that’s right. Sometimes the simplest answers are the best answers.

Research has shown that moderate activity exercise reduces the inflammation of the brain and releases hormones that keep it active and fit. The brain may not be a muscle in the normal sense of the term but its the key to the whole system and if it’s happy, you’re happy too.

One very interesting study found  US researchers at the Harvard Medical School giving proteins created by exercising mice to mice who weren’t exercising at all.  They found the proteins were protecting the “lazy” mice from the ill effects of degenerative brain conditions. Thus they concluded that exercise may in fact be a way to ward off such illnesses. 

Scientists have always believed and recorded the mental benefits of exercise when it came to studies but up until recently they really couldn’t understand why jogging was good for your brain. 

According to Doctor Petersen M.D. From the Mayo Clinic, exercise may be the BEST defense against dementia and Alzheimer’s. “Studies show that people who are physically active are less likely to experience a decline in their mental function and have a lowered risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease.” 

Just 30 to 60 minutes a day can make a huge difference in your mental health in the later years. Nobody wants to be in that hotel room when a loved one forgets their name. Its the worst kind of pain. Preventing dementia is just another rock solid reason to exercise on a regular basis. Stop thinking about it and go for a run! 



Move Over Jack Sparrow, Sea Buckthorn has Arrived!

Seabuckthorn berries

 “Just pick one already, Fiona. A cat is a cat.” Henry was getting annoyed with his wife as she slowly toured up and down the aisles of the shelter, carefully examining each homeless feline as she went.  Fiona blocked out Henry’s voice and concentrated on her task at hand.

Some were young. Some were old. Some looked mean. Some looked cold. But each one wasn’t just a cat to Fiona. Each one deserved her attention and consideration. After all, this was a responsibility that would last a long time.

Finally she came across “Lacey.”  That’s what the cage said. Lacey was a tiger cat, her fur was dark grey with black stripes. She immediantly came up to the side of the cage and began to rub her torso back and forth, craving Fiona’s attention. 

“That one is fat,” Henry said. He was never a cat person.

Fiona slowly opened the cage to get a better look and see if “Lacey” was friendly. It wasn’t long before the cat was in Fiona’s arms, her soft chest purring for more affection.

“Perfect.” Fiona scooped up “Lacey” and made her way to the front of the shelter to finalize the adoption.

“Wait a minute. That one looks lazy. We really want a lazy cat?” Henry’s voice was beginning to grate on Fiona’s nerves just a tad too much.

“Did I really want a lazy husband?” 

“Hey, I’m not lazy!” His reaction was very defensive as he thought of the lawn at home, its length a little higher then normal. 

“Henry stop being such a grouch all the time. Maybe a new pet would be exactly what you need.”

It’s hard to change what you are. Sometimes motivation and drive isn’t enough.  Changing your body is a whole different animal. It doesn’t want to get rid of that stubborn fat. It doesn’t want to lift heavy weights and feel that burn. Sea Buckthorn (and the secret ingredient of Omega 7) may help change your body’s “attutude” on keeping those old ways. It may be a natural way to reprogram your innards to better compliment your outards.

The Secret Weapon – Omega 7 (Palmitolic Acid)

Unlike Omega 3’s (our favorite around here) Omega 7’s can be made by the body so we don’t necessarily need to eat them. However more and more exciting research is showing that supplementing with Omega 7’s may really help in a more then a few areas of your health.

One such study at the Center Research Institute in Japan recently concluded and its findings were amazing:

–        all the mice who were given this supplement lost weight

–        most of them saw decreases in cholesterol levels 

Sea Buckthorn (no, that’s not a famous pirate) also has been linked to other benefits as well. Check these out:

  • may help moisturize your skin
  • supports the digestive system and enzyme production
  • may help curb overeating

That’s what I call an “all in one” approach to getting healthier! Out of the many choices out there and so much information to discern through,  sometimes you come across the “one.” Sea Buckthorn may be the one for you. Its future is exciting in the health industry. Your body doesn’t want to change. With this Omega 7 packed supplement, it may not have a choice.

Rag-Tag Research Geek Recommendation

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Garcinia Cambogia – Cleaning Up The West One Pound At A Time

Garcinia Cambogia

Welcome to Harper’s Gully, Texas. That’s what the sign said on the outskirts of town, with its bullet holes and blood stains.  The population used to be three hundred and twenty six but today, it was three hundred and twenty five.  You see, Harper’s Gully used to be a wonderful place to live. Children playing in the streets. A healthy mining industry keeping all the local men employed and their families fed.

That was before Bill McStevens and his band of thugs known as the Dead Bandits Society showed up. Wild Bill had scared off more than a dozen sheriffs and buried more than that. The people were terrified and those that tried to leave were shot in the streets. Bill needed the townsfolk to work the mine and he’d do anything to keep the power (and the money) flowing into his posse’s hands.

Well, everyone has a day of reckoning. Even Wild Bill McStevens.  On this hot and dry August day, that started like any other in that long, brutal summer, a stranger rose into town.  Isn’t that how it always starts? A stranger with his hat tipped low and his white horse trotting along at a measured pace. 

The man wore a long thick leather coat, concealing his two Colt revolvers on either side of his waist.  His five o’clock shadow moved back and forth from the wheat grass he was chewing in between his lips. As the mysterious man made his way into town, the folks scuttled into their shops and homes, closing shutters as fast as they good.

Wild Bill didn’t take kindly to strangers.  The town knew it. The mysterious man riding in just didn’t care.

What in the heck is garcinia cambogia? It sounds like a character on an old wild west show, right? Well, its name actually comes from a plant that resembles a small greenish pumpkin (called the gummi-gutta) and it may hold the power to deliver some amazing health benefits to you.

The BIG deal with this newer supplement is that it has been linked in many studies over with weight loss. From rats to humans, everyone seems to be shedding pounds when taking this. Lets take a quick look at how that can be. 

Citrate Lyase is an enzyme that signals to the body to store fat.  Studies have shown in rats that supplementing with garcinia cambogia actually slowed down the creation of this enzyme, thus helping the rats shed some weight naturally.This is hypothesized to be due to the main ingredient  in the plant, Hydroxycitrate. 

Another reason this new supplement has researchers excited is by supporting the body’s ability to create serotonin, it seems to be helping with cravings for food (Come on, what diet doesn’t come with those nasty cravings for food, right? You do great for a few weeks and then your husband whips out your favorite ice cream and begins to eat it in front of you?)

By helping up the levels of serotonin , thus lowering your desire to give in to the bad foods in life,  its a no brainer why this is potentially exciting! Researchers at the Creighton University school of Pharmacy in Nebraska studied this very idea. Their study showed that as the rats in their studies increased the supplementation of garcinia cambogia, their appetites went way down.

Everybody (and everything) has its day of reckoning. Today it may finally be fat’s day to answer to the music. The sheriff has arrived and it’s name is garcinia cambogia.

Rag Tag Research Geek Recommendation:

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Shortest Cab Ride Ever – Memory Loss


I pulled up in front of the gym downtown at 5:23 p.m. and began scoping the street for an empty parking spot.  The only one I saw available was situated in a section marked with a sign that read “No parking between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.” “Great,” I thought.  Knowing that the parking attendant in this area of town was widely known for being a little trigger happy with his ticketing, even if there was only seven minutes left until parking was allowed.  I parked my car and headed into the gym for my CrossFit class.  When it was done, I found myself standing on the sidewalk staring at an empty space by a sign that read “No parking between 3:30 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.”   My heart sank.  I pulled out my phone and called my husband. “My car has been towed.  Can you call and see if you can find out where they took it?”  I hung up, after a few moments of lecturing, and hailed a cab.  I opened the rear passenger door, got in, and recited the address to my house.  The cab pulled forward about 40 feet and stopped at a red light.  As I looked out the driver’s side window, there sat my car.  Parked across the street.  I shook my head at myself and informed the cab driver I’d be getting out.  He looked at me in the rear view mirror, confused.   I asked if there was any charge, he said “No.”  Probably out of shock.  He likely thought I was crazy.  I slid out of the right side door and trotted across the street to my car. If I hadn’t dreaded calling my husband to admit my little mishap, I probably would have burst into laughter. They say the memory is the first things to go, right?  Okay, they say that about a lot of things (whoever they are).  But the fact was, I didn’t used to be so forgetful.  I made a note (literally, on a piece of paper) to call and schedule an appointment with my doctor for my yearly check-up the next morning – yes I’d been forgetting to do that too, for weeks. When I finally got to talk with him, he gave me a few suggestions to help boost my memory from a health point of view. Stay mentally active.  Mental stimulation helps to not only preserve, but create new connections in your brain.  Reading, learning something new, playing games that make you think more in depth than you do on a daily basis, all keep your mind sharper. Eat a heart healthy diet.  Because what’s good for your heart is good for your brain. Enough said. But he also stated that Omega-3 fatty acid helps to promote the health of the membrane of brain cells or act as an antioxidant and it has other benefits, so it can’t hurt. Exercise.  Apparently you can actually stimulate the development of new brain cells with physical activity.  Who knew? Take time to socialize. Research suggests that having a large network of social interactions helps to maintain good brain function and even delay Alzheimer’s disease. I guess maybe it’s time I took that class I’ve been thinking about to finish up my master’s degree.  I can kill three of these birds with one stone: learn something new, socialize, and ride my bike to class and back.  Now…if I could just remember where I put my bike, I’d be set.