Bliss; another Sunday morning. I had a workout with my son, then he and I whipped up a batch of made-from-scratch buttermilk blueberry whole-wheat pancakes; my wife was very pleased with her boys. I am now in a food coma, but it was a nice break from the usual yogurt with berries.

I had an off-day yesterday; just didn’t feel quite right all day. I was crabby, letting little things bother me, and spent the better part of my day with a scowl on my face. Perhaps it’s because I didn’t have my morning workout, though I’d hate to think the very thing that I use to handle stress could actually create it. I do know this, however; exercise always makes me feel better and more optimistic. Several studies show that people who are more optimistic have more robust immune system function.

I keep a quote from the poet Robert Service pasted on my desk: “Be master of your petty annoyances and conserve your energy for the big, worthwhile things. It isn’t the mountain ahead that wears you out, it’s the grain of sand in your shoe.” How true.

I take several supplements for boosting essential vitamins and minerals, but you can’t substitute for real food, particularly brightly hued fruits and vegetables. These supply phytonutrients which are very protective against inflammation, cancer, heart disease and other ills. If you don’t have a garden, try to buy as fresh as possible, perhaps from a farmers market, etc.

In Dr. Whitaker’s June 2010 newsletter, he reports that a study published last year by UCLA researchers showed that garlic extract actually retards atherosclerosis! The patients taking this supplement not only had significant improvement in cholesterol, homocysteine, endothelial function (the cells lining your arteries), oxidative stress (this creates free radicals), and other markers of heart health, but their calcium scans revealed a significant reduction in plaque progression. The supplement used in this study was Kyolic Total Heart Health (formula 108) from Wakunaga. Check your local health food store.

I’m going to shoot a short video in a few days on making your life an exercise. It will cover transitional moves like getting up and down from a chair, unloading a dishwasher, sweeping, vacuuming, etc.

Have a great Memorial day, and remember a moment of silence at 5:00 CST Monday, to honor all of those who have sacrificed for us.

Stay well, John R Blilie, M.S.