Da Nang Damned!

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

Best Exercises If You Want To Live To A Hundred?

I think we would all like to live to a hundred if we could be alert mentally and physically. So assuming this is your goal. Then how do we improve our chances of living to a hundred or at least living an active, vibrant life as long as possible.

In my last post I wrote about the people of Sardinia and in particular the Mendes family which hold the Guinness record of the longest lived family on earth. They eat mainly a plant base diet and drink wine. Not a bad prescription to follow for long life. But want about exercise? Well you might be interested to know that not one of them belong to a gym. Neither do they run 3 miles a day or work out on their StairMaster. No, like most of the long lived peoples of the world they stay physically active through their daily lives.

The tend their sheep and do farm chores, walking 5-6 miles a day. What can we learn from these people? Well it's pretty obvious. We need to move! So here are the best (In my opinion) exercises for longevity.

1. Walk: Walk fast at least an hour a day or about three miles. I don't mean on a tread mill in a gym. But outside! In the sunshine and fresh air.
2. Do weight bearing exercises at least 3 times a week.

That's it! Eat veggies drink wine, walk, and lift. If you follow this prescription for longevity, there's no guaranty that you will live to a hundred. But no matter how long you will live, I'm willing to bet you will be more alive than if you didn't follow these keys to longevity.

Monday, January 15, 2018

New Years Resolution You Won't Break!

Eat, Drink and be Merry! So lately I have been fascinated by the idea of living to one hundred. Maybe it's because I am approaching 72 and realize I have more years behind me than in front of me. But if I do live to be one hundred, I want to live a vibrant life, not tucked away in some nursing home with tubes sticking out of me.

Now I am no scientist or genius, but it seems to me that if I want to live to a ripe old age I should study people who are doing it. Fortunately that's already being done. Dan Buettner author of the "Blue Zones" traveled and studied the areas of the world where people live the longest. He identified several areas, but the one with the longest concentration of centenarians was Sardinia.

So what is so special about these people and can we adopt some of their lifestyle habits of longevity. Well the answer is yes. Three habits that the Sardinians enjoy everyday is:

Eat: They eat a plant based diet with a little hard goat cheese, a slice of sourdough bread and beans.
Drink: They drink one to three glasses of a special red wine called Cannonau.
Merry: They seem happy, family and social connections are important and as one woman over 100 said "And make love every Sunday!

So living to one hundred may not be as hard as it seems. Now I have to run to the liquor store and by some wine!

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Oatmeal Breakfast Recipes

The great thing about oatmeal is not only how good it is for you, but how many different ways there are to enjoy this Superfood. Here's one recipe for anyone needing a quick go to breakfast.

Oatmeal, Banana Smoothie:

1/2 cup of skim milk or almond milk
1 banana fresh or frozen (frozen is better)
1/2 cup Greek Yogurt
1/4 cup peanut butter ( more if you really like peanut butter)
1/4 cup Oatmeal (More for a thicker shake)
1 tsp cinnamon

Blend & enjoy!

You can also add frozen blueberries or a tablespoon of instant coffee, chocolate, etc. Just keep it heathy w/o added sugar.

Friday, January 12, 2018

Celebrate National Oatmeal Week With a Bowl of Oatmeal a Day!

So January is National Oatmeal Week. My goal is to celebrate this by having a bowl of oatmeal a day thru the month of January. Now before you say yuck I'm not eating oatmeal, hear me out. I grew up eating oatmeal nearly everyday. Mom cooked it on a big pot on the stove. This was before instant oatmeal and microwaves. She usually added raisins and cinnamon and my two brothers, my sister and I would count who had the most raisins. Whatever was left off was mixed with dry dog food and feed to my Dad's hunting dog, who gobbled it down in one gulp.

We all grew up big, strong and healthy, including the dog and now sixty years later I still eat my oatmeal. So what are the benefits of eating oatmeal everyday for thirty days? Well here's a few.

1. Eating oatmeal lowers cholesterol.
2. Regulates Blood Sugar.
3. Improves digestion.
4. Great source of 8 essential amino acids.
5. Fights cancer especially breast & colon cancer.
6. Helps you lose weight.
7. It's a great source of energy.

The great thing about oatmeal is that it's quick to fix. I prefer the old fashion variety, but even that only takes a few minutes in the micro wave. The are an endless variety of things you can add to a bowl of hot oatmeal, fruits, nuts, spices, etc. Just be sure to limit the sugar.

I like to add of course raisins and cinnamon, but I also like a 1/2 cup of frozen fruit like blueberries. Add to the hot oatmeal and watch them melt into the cereal. A squirt of real Maple Syrup and a shake of cinnamon & I'm ready to face the world.

I'll add some more recipes soon, but for now enjoy a hot bowl of oatmeal!

Sunday, December 31, 2017

Book Review: "Da Nang Damned!"

I don't usually do book reviews on this blog and debated about doing this because I wrote the book and doin a review would be self serving so instead I'll just give you a sneak preview.

I'm a Vietnam Veteran, having served with the Seabees & MCB 53 stationed in a small camp outside of Da Nang from January 1968 to October 1968. It took me fifty years to finally get around to writing my book "Da Nang Damned!" but finally last year I did and published it on http://amazon.com/author/peterturner  All the profits go to the CCVIP or Carroll County Veterans Independence Project here in Maryland. The Project is in the process of renovating an old Army reserve bldg into a homeless shelter and training facilities for Veterans.

"Da Nang Damned!" takes the reader from steaming Vietnam in 1972 to 2012 and frozen New Hampshire.

Buried in a Vietnamese river is a dark secret. A secret that if discovered will topple a rich and powerful crime boss.

Rick O’Neil finds himself fighting two wars Vietnam and his own private war. While on deployment to Vietnam, Rick along with two friends, become involved with Tony Marchesi a streetwise punk from Brooklyn.  After witnessing Tony murder a Vietnamese the men promise never tell anyone of the killing.

Forty years later, Tony Marchesi has built a legitimate business using monies gain from a life of crime.  Jimmy Francis who has worked for Marchesi since returning from Vietnam commits suicide. However, before he dies, he sends his sister information detailing Marchesi’s criminal activities telling her to send them to Rick upon his death.
Rick’s carefully constructed life comes crashing down when he receives the information. Now, Rick must to decide if he wants to tear open old war wounds and face his demons or keep silent. With the help of his friends, he wrestles with his conscience all the while trying to stay one-step ahead of Marchesi and his hired gun.

Prelude: "Da Nang Damned!"


A rifle shot shattered the stillness of the frozen New Hampshire woods. The bullet slamming into an ancient pine tree, sent bark flying in all directions; couching behind the tree Rick O’Neil caught the bark squarely in the face.

The shock of the bark hitting him caused Rick to lose his balance and tumble down the side of the snow covered gully. Sliding and twisting he landed in a cloud of snow at the bottom. Dazed he managed to crawl behind a large rock. Taking several deep breaths Rick gingerly touched his face and as near, as he could tell the bark had not caused any real damage.

Pulling his hands away he looked at his bloody fingers exclaiming, “Feels like I got stung by a thousand angry wasps! But, I guess I’ll live, at least for a few minutes longer.”

Rick knew the shooter was still up there and very quickly would be at the top of the gully taking aim on his defenseless body. As if to hammer home the point, a shout reverberated through the trees.

“You were lucky that time old man, but your luck is about to run out. Either I kill you or you will freeze to death. I you promise a quick death, one shot to the head and its over, that’s a lot better than slowly turning into an ice cube.”

Rick could not argue the point. According to the last weather report, it was supposed to drop to twenty degrees below zero in North Conway and up here in the mountains; the temperature would probably hit twenty-five or thirty below. This area of New Hampshire with its granite peaked mountains, countless ravines and deep pinewoods could be as barren as the surface of the Moon to the inexperience hiker. Even in the summer while tourists were sipping cold beer at one of North Conway’s restaurants, others were hiking through a sudden snowstorm on top of Mount Washington. Signs posted at trailheads carried a warning: “Beyond this point many have lost their lives. If you are not in good physical condition and properly equipped turn back!” Dressed as he was in a light parka, driving gloves and running shoes his chances of surviving a subzero night in the White Mountains of Northern New Hampshire was slim and none, and as his old buddy Ted Troutman would say, “And Slim just rode out of town”. Thinking of Ted brought a slight smile to Rick’s battered face. Not just, because the fun loving Ted was always quick with a joke, but because Rick suddenly realized that the tumble down the hill had put him closer to Ted’s cabin and safety.

If you've read this far, Thank You! The book is available as both an eBook and paperback

The 2018 No Denial Meal Plan

If you are a frequent visitor to my blog, you know I am a big believer in K.I.S.S or Keep It Simple Silly. So, applying K.I.S.S to by No Denial 2018 Lifestyle Plan for meals, I came up with this simple, quick & easy meal plan.

Remember from my last post that No Denial follows the 80/20 rule. Meaning that 80% of the time I follow the plan and the other 20% I can indulge. When you follow the No Denial Plan you avoid binge eating your favorite "bad" foods ie: pizza, bacon cheeseburger, chocolate, because you allow yourself these foods as part of you meal plan. Also because you are following a healthy diet/lifestyle you are probably not going to go crazy pigging out on junk food.

Okay here's the "No Denial Meal Plan". It is 80% veggies, fruits, nuts, sees & whole grains & 20% meat, fish, poultry, dairy.

Breakfast: 1/4 cup dry oatmeal + fruit (frozen/fresh)+ sprinkle of Chia seeds+ small handful of nuts
                   and a tablespoon of real maple syrup.

I have oatmeal 80% of the time or five times a week. I vary the ingredients even adding some cocoa & honey & a tablespoon of nut butter. It really doesn't matter as long as you include some fruit & healthy fats.

Lunch: In the summer I usually have a salad with some lean protein, ie: chopped chicken, deli turkey, sardines, tuna, beans. In the winter I'll make a big pot of soup on Monday and have it for lunch. If I'm in a hurry or lazy, I just warm up some leftovers.

Dinner: For dinner, I'll have 80% veggies with some lean protein & a sweet potato. I may also have soup/stew or whole wheat pasta with beans or meatballs. I also try to have at least two vegan dinners.

Snacks: During the day especially in winter I'll have a mug (2 cups) of tea, regular or herbal depending on my mood. Sometimes that is all I need. If I want more I'll have some fruit, handful of nuts, carrot/celery with hummus and after dinner a small piece of chocolate.

Beverages: Two cups of coffee in the morning along with my Morning Cocktail (Large glass of warm water 2 tablespoons of raw organic apple vinegar with a table spoon of raw local honey), tea & water whenever I feel the need and a glass of red wine/beer in the evening. I must confess in the winter I may also have a shot of bourbon! Like I said No Denial!

So they you have it. K.I.S.S No Denial Food Plan. This plan loosely follows the Mediterranean Diet. If you need recipes just google Mediterranean meals, go to Pinterest or pick up any magazine at the supermarket.

Finally have fun! With the No Denial Meal Plan and following the 80/20 rule in everything you do life will be simpler and less stressful in 2018.


Saturday, December 30, 2017

No Denial In 2018!

No denial in 2016! like most people I begin the New Year with a list of resolutions, most of which I break after 2/3 weeks. One of the resolutions I always make and break is to diet, lose weight & get in shape.

I decide in 2018 at the age of 71 and still relatively healthy, not to denial myself anything! What do I mean by no denial. Well it's pretty simple. I have decided that I am going to enjoy food, wine and an occasional cigar, all in moderation and without feeling guilty. How am I going to do this and maintain a healthy lifestyle?

I believe in the rule 80/20. By this I mean if I follow a healthy lifestyle 80% of the time then I should be able to enjoy certain foods, alcoholic drink or (gasp) even a good cigar. If I apply this rule to meals and I eat 3 meals a day which equals 21 meals a week, then 80% equals 16.8 or 17 meals. This meals I can "indulge" 4 meals a week. Following this further I can apply the 80/20 rule to exercise meaning I exercise five days a week with two days off.

Now because I have a healthy mindset from years of exercise and eating a healthy diet, I don't worry about over indulging. I automatically limit myself. For example I like chocolate and allow myself a small dark chocolate treat every evening. If I denied myself a chocolate then I might "pig out" a buy a couple of candy bars and stuff them into my mouth without taking the time to truly enjoy the taste.

The same is true of other things I enjoy, wine, pizza, ice cream, etc. By having a small amount now & then I resist the urge to over do it. So my motto for 2018 is "No Denial"!