Tag Archives: Ironman Training Blog & Deep Thoughts

Calorie Drinking & Protein Consumption; Lose weight, stay active: 6 small changes can help keep the weight off

By ConsumerReportsHealth.org

Trying to reverse the 1-to-2-pounds-a-year weight gain that is the fate of the average middle-aged American? Overwhelmed at the thought of changing your lifestyle enough to reach a healthful weight?

Fortunately, there is an alternative approach to the drastic diet and exercise revisions that Americans find so difficult to embark on and sustain. The idea is to start with smaller, easier changes that will, at the very least, halt the weight-creep and give encouraging results.

“We find that people who make small changes will often lose a few pounds,” said James O. Hill, Ph.D., director of the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center at the University of Colorado at Denver. “Those who start with small changes often end up able to make more and bigger changes and lose more weight.”

Here are a half-dozen small changes you can make right now:

1. Stop drinking calories
In the late 1970s the average American consumed about 70 calories a day in the form of sugar-sweetened beverages. By 2000 we were guzzling an average of 190 calories. Numerous studies have left little doubt about the connection between increased consumption of sugar-sweetened drinks and the soaring rates of weight gain and obesity that occurred during that same time period……

2. Eat more protein
Remember when experts thought the high-protein, low-carb Atkins diet didn’t work and was dangerous? It’s been more than seven years since the first studies started overturning that idea. Low-carb, high-protein diets have proved surprisingly effective, especially in the short term. And it turns out that people who eat a higher proportion of their calories from protein end up consuming fewer calories overall…..

3. Eat more fiber
Fiber is the good guy of food. It may help protect against colon cancer and heart disease, and it is your weight-control friend. It slows digestion, helping you to feel fuller longer, and displaces other caloric foods. Best of all, it comes in fruits, vegetables, and whole grains that are loaded with beneficial vitamins and minerals…..

4. Lead yourself not into temptation
Can’t eat just one Dorito or chocolate kiss? That is no accident, as former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner David Kessler, M.D., documented in his book, “The End of Overeating” (Rodale, 2009). The food industry works hard to create high-calorie foods with the most addictive possible combination of intense flavor and “mouthfeel.”….

5. Add 2,000 steps a day
That’s 20 to 25 minutes of walking, covers about a mile, and will burn about 100 calories a day—enough, Hill said, to prevent gradual weight gain in most people.

“It doesn’t matter how you get there,” Hill said. “It can be all at once or spread out. Once you do get there, do more.”

6. Cut your screen time
“When we’re sitting, we are burning almost as few calories as we do when we’re sleeping,” said Marc T. Hamilton, Ph.D., a professor at the Pennington Biomedical Research Center in Baton Rouge, La. “Sitting too much is hazardous to your health in a different way than exercising too little.”…

For the additional details and full story, click here.

Good Tri video on Transition tips

While perusing youtube, I came across this video which is filled with good information about transitions and some tips to refine your strategies and make the stop more efficient.

A wise man once explained to me, 30 secs saved on each transition is the equivalent to :10 seconds faster per mile on the International distance 6.2 mile run.

Tips For Beating Office Stress – Men’s Fitness

Tips For Beating Office Stress – Men’s Fitness

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Twipocalypse Now: Warnings of a Twitter Bubble

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Twipocalypse Now: Warnings of a Twitter Bubble

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The Twitter Song

Classic….

The Best Subway Ad Ever?

<img src=”subway ad” alt=”subway ad” />

PNC Financial Services to eliminate 5,800 jobs

PNC Financial Services Group (NYSE: PNC), the new owner of National City Corp., said it plans to cut 5,800 jobs over the next two years as it reported a big fourth-quarter loss stemming from increased credit provisions and costs associated with the National City acquisition.

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Just how many of the job cuts will be from the ranks of former employees of the Cleveland institution may never be known. PNC spokesman Fred Solomon said the bank intends to report on the job cuts “quarterly and business-wide” and will not specify how many job reductions involve former National City workers.

PNC did say about 500 job cuts would come from branch divestitures in western Pennsylvania. National City previously announced plans to cut 4,000 jobs when it was a stand-alone institution. The vast majority of those cuts likely would not have come from its Cleveland headquarters, but an overlap in job duties with administrative employees of PNC probably will change which jobs are lost.

PNC said it expected to save $1.2 billion annually with the cuts, which represent nearly 10% of PNC’s work force of 59,595 employees.

The Pittsburgh-based bank reported a fourth-quarter loss of $248 million, or 77 cents per share, compared with a profit of $178 million, or 52 cents per share, in the fourth quarter of 2007. Revenue rose 3% to $1.68 billion.

The latest fourth quarter included a $990 million credit loss provision, with $504 million related to the National City acquisition. PNC completed the purchase of National City Dec. 31.

PNC to re-enter mortgage business
Besides announcing the job actions, PNC said it also plans to re-enter the mortgage business, something it had only undertaken in a joint venture with Wells Fargo.

Mr. Solomon said he did not know how much of that business would be done by former National City mortgage employees. However, PNC chief executive James Rohr said in a conference call with securities analysts that the former CEO of PNC Mortgage had been re-hired to join the company and that PNC has a team in place that is reviewing long-term strategies for the business.

The former National City has been doing a lot of refinancing work, he said.

PNC chief financial officer Rick Johnson said he expected the National City acquisition to be accretive to earnings by the end of 2009. He attributed that belief in part to National City selling off $5 billion in loans since PNC did its due diligence on the bank last August. National City also took a $1.8 billion charge-off.

Regarding the integration of the two banks, Mr. Rohr said decisions about systems are nearly complete. Branch conversion will begin toward the end of the year, and some redundant branches in southwest Ohio and western Pennsylvania then will be eliminated.

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Mr. Rohr said he did not expect National City’s footprint in slower-growth markets to quell PNC’s growth. Business in Chicago, Indiana, St. Louis, Kentucky and Cincinnati is going strong, he said.

“Those are very different markets than what you would think of as National City,” he said, referring to the bank’s Cleveland core. “They went outside their footprint and did a lot of consumer loans that make up a large part of their impaired portfolio.”

Going forward, Mr. Rohr said, all loans must have two signatures — including that of a risk management officer — to be approved.

By ARIELLE KASS AND SCOTT SUTTELL

8:42 am, February 3, 2009

Mall-Oleums…

Remember when Malls were the place to go and for a while people avoided them because they were too crowded!

Can you recall when the walkways of malls were filled with Bustling Kiosks and shiny model cars?

Those days of successful franchises filling the spaces is long gone and malls are soon to Ghost Malls.

Wildfires

For the last 20 years, the American consumer has carried the burden of the world on its broad shoulders. A heavy yoke, to be sure, but one that steroids made lighter; the steroid of choice for American consumers was debt. Home equity loans, cash-out refinancing, credit-card debt, and auto loans. It’s been a wild ride, but the it’s over. The pseudo-wealth created over the last 20 years has begun to unwind, and will increase in speed in 2009.

A permanent psychological change has since occurred. American consumers have lost $30 trillion in value from their homes and investments in the last few years. No amount of fiscal stimulation will reverse this trauma, and the consumer’s subsequent retrenching will be felt from Des Moines to Shanghai. Consumer spending has accounted for 72% of GDP; it will revert to at least the long-term mean of 65%.

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David Rosenberg, the brilliant Merrill Lynch economist, describes it thus:

This is an epic event – the end of a 20-year secular credit expansion that went absolutely parabolic from 2001-2007.Before the US economy can truly begin to expand again, the savings rate must rise to pre-bubble levels of 8%, that the US housing stocks must fall to below 8 months’ supply, and that the household interest coverage ratio must fall from 14% to 10.5%. It’s important to note what sort of surgery that is going to require.

“We will probably have to eliminate $2 trillion of household debt to get there, this will happen either through debt being written off, as major financial institutions continue to do, or for consumers themselves to shrink their own balance sheets.”

There are at least 1.1 million retail stores in the US, according to the Census Bureau. There are approximately 1,100 malls, not counting thousands of strip centers. These numbers will be considerably lower by 2011.

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According to the ICSC, about 150,000 stores will shut down in 2009, in addition to the 150,000 that closed in 2008 and the 135,000 in 2007. Normally, 110,000 to 125,000 new stores open per year. At least 700,000 retail jobs will be lost; some major retailers that have closed or will close include: Circuit City (728 stores); Linens N Things (500 stores); Bombay Company (384 stores); Sharper Image (184 stores); Foot Locker (140 stores); Pacific Sunwear (153). Other large retailers are closing underperforming stores and scaling back expansions plans.

By 2011, at least 15% of the existing retail base will have gone to retail heaven. With the amount of vacant stores likely to reach in excess of 200,000 and vacancy rates for new malls already at 28%, there will be no need for new construction for many years.

Most of the retailers that are closing lease their locations from mall developers like General Growth Properties (GGP), Simon Property Group (SPG), Pennsylvania REIT (PEI) and Vornado Realty Trust (VNO). These developers will be hit by a quadruple whammy in 2009.
General Growth Properties added $4 billion of debt in the last 3 years, and is now teetering on the brink of bankruptcy. Simon Properties, which owns or operates 320 malls, added $3 billion of debt in the same period. Many smaller developers will be in even direr straits.

Many developers borrowed heavily to finance massive mall expansion. The term of these loans were generally 5 to 7 years. According to real-estate expert Andy Miller, the commercial collapse will be more rapid than the residential collapse:

“[You] may have 10 properties in a commercial pool that ultimately works its way into CDOs. Those loans are huge. You may have a shopping center loan in there for $25 million and an office building loan for $30 million dollars. As a result, if you have a default on just one of those loans, you can effectually wipe out all of the subordinate tranches.

“And that is why when you see the problems begin to appear on the commercial front, it’s going to be a much quicker sort of devolution than we saw on the residential side. In the commercial world, most of the financing that happened outside of the apartment business was done by conduits, and there are no more conduits left, and conduits were doing the stupidest loans you could find.

“They were doing an advertised 80% loan-to-value, which was usually more closely aligned to a 100% loan-to-value. They were dealing with no coverage. They were all non-recourse loans. Many of them were interest-only loans. Those loans are now gone. You can’t refinance them, and if you could, the terms would be onerous.”

FOR THE FULL ARTICLE…
Please visit… http://www.minyanville.com/articles/SHLD-jcp-spg-m-retail-Malls/index/a/20708

It’s a long fall from Espionage to Activia…

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but its always funny to watch this one below

It’s the Year of the OX… Finally, I can stop eating Rat!

Rabbit Outlook for 2009

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Rabbit
1903, 1915, 1927, 1939, 1951, 1963, 1975, 1987, 1999

Rabbit Overview
The past year may have provided the Rabbit with many challenges and difficult situations, but this year will be a relief. The Rabbit has a very favorable outlook this year. Though it is not part of your usual plan, you may find that being assertive and bold will allow you to achieve unforeseen success. Your attraction to the finer life may lead you to living it. Personal relations are of great value to the Rabbit and will be emphasized throughout the year. Put your best foot forward in the year of the Ox and you will reap many benefits and rewards.

Rabbit Rating
67% (7 favorable and 5 neutral months)

Rabbit Career
This year is one of change. Though the Rabbit is not prone to taking risks, you may benefit greatly from taking bold new steps in finding the career you desire. Complacency in your current job could lead you to such actions. September and October are two months that are favorable for a change. You may want to seek a position that allows you to utilize your social skills and your abilities to relate to people on a personal level. Set your sights high and you will get what you want in this highly favorable year.

Rabbit Relationships
The Rabbit’s family and friends will be a source of great pleasure for the you this year. They will offer support, encouragement and will be the wellspring for meaningful and enjoyable times. Personal relations are held in high regard and could be taken to a new level. Rabbits seeking new friends or romance should make an added effort to go out more and come in contact with others-you will be well rewarded for your efforts.

Rabbit Health
The Rabbit should not encounter any major health issues this year, but you may want to take precautions during certain times of the year. The Rabbit’s sensitive constitution may leave you vulnerable to colds and flu during the winter months. You may want to get a flu shot during this time and make sure that you get plenty of rest to avoid any setbacks

Rabbit Wealth
The Rabbit should enjoy a new level of wealth. If you are inspired to make a career change, this will prove to be a successful venture financially. You will be particularly pleased with some of your purchases this year, as many could relate to redecorating or changing the appeal of your home. Beware of any risky investments and continue to do the things that accumulate your level of savings.

For other birthday years and corresponding horoscopes…
http://shine.yahoo.com/page/2009-chinese-horoscope