1. Skip to navigation
  2. Skip to content
  3. Skip to secondary-content

Would You Spend $20 to Live Longer and Live Better

Blog entry posted by Bernie 3 weeks ago

50lbs of Sugar50lbs of SugarHow many times have you heard yourself say "if only I knew." Or, "I didn't know that." Many of the struggles we face around health and nutrition is a deficit regarding information and a greater deficit with accurate information. In addition to providing training that works to our clients, BrownstoneFitness is on a mission to bring to our clients and the Harlem community accurate and helpful information on health, fitness, food etc.  Here is a blog written by my business partner and husband Hans in March.   Its value is worth a second posting.  


They’ve been telling you a bunch of lies.

  • Gain a pound of muscle to burn 100 calories at rest
  • We gain weight because we eat too much and exercise too little
  • You can exercise yourself to an ideal body
  • Marathon runners are healthy
  • Vegan diets are healthy
  • If you eat fat, you’ll get fat
  • You should buy organic
  • Soy is a good source of protein

There are a bunch more.  In future posts I’ll try to tackle as many of them as I can. My passion for getting out the correct information on these topics comes from one of my core values – honesty.

Why I Run So Fast
It also stems from my goal to outrun what may be part of my genetic heritage.  My father had a near fatal stroke when he was 51.  He lived the next seventeen years with his speech and mobility severely impaired.  My mother took care of him and served the children of the East Harlem community despite suffering from Parkinson’s.  They lived with grace and dignity that I hope I have inherited.  Their lives have also helped me to embark on an experiment looking at the connection between genes and fate.

My Experiments
As far as nutrition, I have dipped into all the ponds.  Some of this has been the result of listening to the “experts” and some has been dictated by finances.  While I was going through law school, for three years my one meal a day consisted of some form of pasta. If I had a little more money that week I’d even have sauce on it. There were also times that I  feasted on beans and rice. I explored the world of vegetarianism and took in a ridiculous amount of soy to make sure I got the necessary protein for my early 80′s amateur bodybuilding career. I have to admit to never being a fruitarian(and for those who are considering it, look into what fructose does to your liver). I wonder what damage I caused to my body and mind!  But now I’m older and wiser.  I care more about the quality of my life than I do its longevity and so I experiment with my eyes open wider.

$20 – Really?
This time around I’m going to share with you the best $20 investment you can make to improve your health, longevity, and looks.  Eye damage, kidney damage, pain, low energy, excess body fat, heart disease – these conditions often result from our body’s inability to properly handle glucose. Glucose is handled by insulin.  The amount of insulin in your system is mainly determined by the type and quality of the carbohydrates you eat.

When you produce too much insulin, your body becomes insulin resistant. This in turn leads to metabolic derangement, with some of the symptoms mentioned earlier. One of the disconcerting things about this aspect of body chemistry is that you can be lean and still have the cascade of health problems caused by insulin resistance.  If you eat too many carbohydrates and trans fats, you will get fat and you will get sick.

I am in the process of becoming a nutrition and health geek. I am aware of this and I’m keeping an eye on it. This is the reason that I had resisted buying a portable glucose meter. It seemed excessive and bordering on orthorexic. But I try to center my life around awareness and responsibility and these things won the day. I went out and bought my $20 glucose meter.

You need to know your fasting glucose level (i.e. when you wake up and before breakfast) and the level 1 to 2 hours after eating, to provide a baseline. What’s a good range? The American Diabetic Association has set “normal” levels that are too high. Like much of nutrition research and medical advice, it has to do with compromise, expedience, and outdated information. If your average levels are around 100 mg/dL before eating and don’t spike above 140 mg/dL within an hour of eating you are probably ok.

BTW, there is fairly recent research showing that there is a link between an African genetic heritage and poor carbohydrate metabolism. Environmental toxins also play a role in insulin resistance and carb metabolism.

In Closing
This site will give you more in-depth and very readable information on how you can avoid Type 2 diabetes and the bad health effects that exist in the same universe. While you’re at it, pick up a blood pressure monitor, learn meditation and proper breathing, and walk briskly for 30 minutes, 5x/week as you continue on a journey to personal responsibility, better living, and a better body. Also, to paraphrase Michael Pollan – Pay more to eat better and less of it.

Let me know what you think about this post and if you want me to get geekier and more in-depth with the research.