Building the base.

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I had a great run out on the trails today. 8 miles out on Brown’s Ravine. 37 minutes out and 36 minutes back. I always try to run a negative split. My goal in 2012 is a 50 mile qualifier and then into the Western States lottery for 2013.


Childhood Obesity must be stopped!

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Childhood Obesity Can Be Deadly

There is an obvious trend in America, we all see it. I don’t mean to be cruel but we are the fattest nation on the planet. It is obvious that this problem is beginning earlier and earlier in our lives. Overweight children most often become overweight adults. Sure, there are those who seek guidance or find inspiration and commit themselves to a healthier lifestyle. Unfortunately, those success stories for our kids are few and far between. The majority of obese children leave adolescence for an adult life already ripe with health concerns. And, according to a study by Harvard’s School of Public Health, those lives often end prematurely.

The Harvard study – published by the Annals of Internal Medicine – evaluated the health habits and medical records of more than 100,000 women who had provided data through the Nurses’ Health Study (an ongoing federally financed study on women’s health issues) since 1989. Researchers found that those women who were overweight or obese at age 18, had a far greater risk of dying from cancer or heart disease before reaching middle age.

“Today, one-third of U.S. children are overweight or at risk of becoming overweight. The Harvard research confirms that childhood obesity ca be a death sentence.

Aside from the dire predictions from the Harvard study it is obvious that being obese and overweight can limit children’s’ ability to enjoy and participate in many activities during childhood and later in life. Conditions like high blood pressure and cholesterol levels are showing up earlier. Type II diabetes, which was thought to only affect adults, is now found in children. These children also face an increased risk of many chronic diseases like heart disease. Childhood obesity also lowers self esteem, affects relationships with peers and contributes to poor self image. These social and psychological consequences impact children’s ability to learn and feel accepted. These problems can be prevented with the help of parents, care givers and family.

Parents, care givers and family can help children maintain a healthy weight by teaching and modeling good eating and physical activity habits during these early years which lay the foundation for a healthy lifestyle in later years.

“The physical and emotional strain on an overweight child is compounded by the
type of behavior uncovered in this study. The obese youth were found less likely
to exercise and more likely to have smoked and consumed alcohol. Let me be the master of the obvious, this is a recipe for a shorter life.

While the Harvard study did not establish whether permanent weight loss after age 18 decreases the risk of dying prematurely I urge parents and children to address their health regimen. Increased media exposure and poor diet in combination are driving us into this pit. I recently saw that the average US teen interfaces with media 31 hours per week. This includes TV watching, internet use, mobile devices and video games.

“Change the way you live, and you can alter the life path you currently travel. I preach to my patients that chiropractic care is part of a wellness program that includes proper diet, exercise and a healthy mental outlook. There is a reason that clichés become clichés. Treat your body like a temple, and that temple will stand for a long time.

Look for a follow up article on healthy choices and strategies to begin to combat this epidemic.

Those seeking additional information regarding this study may contact Steven Long, DC directly 4359 Town Center Blvd. Suite 213, and telephone (916) 933-4507.

*First 5 California
*The Relationship between Overweight in Adolescence and Premature Death in Women Rob M. van Dam, PhD; Walter C. Willett, MD; JoAnn E. Manson, MD; and Frank B. Hu, MD

Healthy BBQ Tips for the 4th of July

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Here are some tips to have a healthier grilling experience. Enjoy!

Healthy Barbecue Tip No. 1: Bold ingredients add great flavor to grilling sauces and marinades.

You can add bold flavors without adding too many calories or fat grams. Here are some of my favorite ingredients for sauces and marinades:

  • Worcestershire sauce: 2 tablespoons contain 30 calories, 0 grams fat, 390 mg sodium
  • Chili sauce: 2 tablespoons contain 40 calories, 0 grams fat, and 960 milligrams sodium
  • Tamari sauce (less-sodium type): 2 tablespoons contain 20 calories, 0 grams fat, 1150 mg sodium

Healthy Barbecue Tip No. 2: Throw some vegetables on the grill

Just coat the vegetables ever so lightly with a little olive oil and put them on the grill  The trick to grilling vegetables is cutting them into shapes and sizes that cook well on the grill. When you cook them over direct medium heat, turning frequently, they’ll usually be done in 8-10 minutes.

These vegetables work especially well on the grill.

  • Red, Yellow andOrangePeppers
  • Whole mushrooms.
  • Eggplant, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Zucchini, cut lengthwise into 1/4-inch slices.
  • Asparagus spears. Just trim off the white end and grill the spears whole.

Healthy Barbecue Tip No. 3: When grilling chicken, take the skin off — take it all off!

  • Half the fat and saturated fat in chicken breast and thigh is in the skin, which is why so many of us enjoy our chicken skinless.

But if you cook your chicken with the skin on, then take it off at the dinner table, you’ll lose all the flavor from your marinade, BBQ sauce, or rubs and seasonings. So go ahead and take the skin off before you prepare the chicken for grilling.

Healthy Barbecue Tip No. 4: Use the leanest cuts of beef and pork and trim any visible fat before cooking.

Healthy Barbecue Tip No. 5: Be sensible about servings.

Encourage eating smaller portions by grilling the meat in smaller portions, such as:

  • Thin slices of larger cuts of meat (such whole pork tenderloin, roasts, etc). Let the meat rest 10 minutes after cooking, then slice before serving to family or guests.

Healthy Barbecue Tip No. 6: Lower potential cancer risks associated with grilling.

PAHs (polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) and HCAs (heterocyclic amines) are substances formed on the surface of well-done meat cooked at high temperatures. The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) recently concluded that the evidence that these two substances increase the risk of cancer in humans is “limited but suggestive.”

PAHs, in particular, come from smoke, which is formed when fat drips from meat onto the grill. “Technically, anything that spends any time around smoke will contain some level of PAHs,” explains Glen Weldon, head of education and communications at the AICR. The good news is many of the grilling suggestions in the first eight tips help reduce your intake of these two substances.

But what you grill is perhaps more important than how often you grill. A recently published AICR report concluded that diets high in red meat (beef, pork, and lamb) and especially processed meats are a “convincing: cause of colorectal cancer.”

Keep in mind that grilling vegetables and fruit produces negligible HCAs or PAHs. In fact, diets that are high in plant foods in general are associated with a reduced risk of several cancers.

Here are a few grilling suggestions to reduce your cancer risk:

  • Include garlic and onions in the marinade may also help reduce HCA formation on cooked meat.
  • Select leaner cuts (and trim any visible fat), to prevent dripping fat from causing flare-ups, which may deposit carcinogens on the meat.
  • Flip the meat on the grill often. This will help reduce the amount of carcinogens that are potentially deposited on the meat.

Healthy Barbecue Tip No. 7: Just say no to processed meat.

Processed meats include hot dogs, sausages, bacon, ham, and cold cuts, among others.  Thes increase you risk of colorectal cancer.

 Adapted from Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the “Recipe Doctor” for the WebMD Weight Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.  Published May 23, 2008.

Great Afternoon Energy!

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Get Your Body Moving!

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Run Forrest, Run!

More and more people are taking up running these days. The simple act of lacing up your shoes and heading out the door is catching fire. Local races from 5K to 100 miles are filling up. I love it. The body is designed to move not sit on your rear end in a cubicle starring at a computer screen or sitting on the couch sprouting roots. The postural stress and chronic respective injuries from these activities are well documented.

 Active is good yes, but do not jump the gun. You need to rebuild some of the important “core muscles” and build strength in you feet and ankle before heading out that door.

That said, you should be careful about how you stretch. If not done properly, stretching can actually cause injury rather than prevent it. Rule number one in stretching: do not bounce. It’s a common mistake, but bouncing risks pulling or tearing the muscle you’re trying to stretch and relax. Muscles must be stretched gradually. If a stretch is applied too quickly, the muscle responds with a strong contraction, increasing tension. If the stretch is applied slowly, however, this contraction reflex is avoided, muscle tension falls, and you may stretch the muscle further. The lesson here: stretch slowly and hold the stretch for 30 to 40 seconds.

Good foundation of flexibility first.

 Every day life tension, old injuries and postural stress create imbalances in our bodies.  Common imbalances are tight hip flexors and hamstrings in combination with weak abdominal and gluteal muscles.   Rounded shoulder and tight chest muscles lead to injury as well. It is advised to consult with an experienced Chiropractor or Physical Therapist for specific stretches and exercises for these areas.  Traditional weight lifting maneuvers usually emphasize shortening muscles.  This can lead to injury for many runners. I can’t tell you how often I tell people “you need long and strong” muscles. Yoga and Pilates studios are good places to get educated on a foundation of good flexibility. The areas a runner should consider stretching are the hip flexors, thighs, lower back, calves, chest and neck.

Best shoes to wear?

 There are a variety of makes and model when it comes to running shoes. There are gimmicks and gadgets being added everyday. From rigid motion control shoes with thick heel and dual density foam, rigid chassis systems to the new wave of minimalist Nike Frees and Vibrams 5 fingers which is essentially a rubber glove worn on your feet.  After you have been working on strength and flexibility for a couple weeks and are ready to get your shoes I recommend buying a light weight neutral shoe. These shoes will allow for more normal foot motion and encourage you to be light on your feet. As I always advise, seek the help of professionals to pick the best shoes for your foot. I recommend Fleet Feet and the Auburn Running Company to get the best advice and access to the best gear. I love gear!! You will pay a tiny bit more than the big box stores but it’s (you) are worth it.

 Foods: (adapted from


Bright red tomatoes get their color from an antioxidant called lycopene. Research has linked diets abundant in tomatoes to lower cancer rates. Refrigeration diminishes their flavor, so store fresh tomatoes at room temperature.


Arugula, Kale, mustard greens, and other leafy greens are great sources of fiber and antioxidant vitamins, such as beta-carotene and vitamin C.

3. Whole Grains

Whole-wheat or rice pasta has a lower glycemic index (or GI) than “white” pasta. This is key for anyone at risk of diabetes, since low GI foods keep blood-sugar levels from spiking. With either pasta, including vegetables and unsaturated fats (like olive oil) also lowers a meal’s GI. Look for Gluten free alternatives to keep the inflammation in your body down.


Always buy locally grown (as best you can), in season and organic. Bananas, grapes, olives, grapefruit are great choices for runners.  Broccoli has abundant fiber and antioxidant vitamins, broccoli and its cruciferous cousins—including cabbage, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts—contain cancer-fighting substances called isothiocyanates.  Sweet peppers – Red, yellow, green, and even chocolate-colored peppers add a painter’s palette of colors to meals—along with a healthy dose of vitamins A and C. Roasting or grilling intensifies their flavor and gives them a creamy texture.


A source of lean protein, fish is also plentiful in omega-3s. These fats protect against abnormal heart rhythms and reduce inflammation, which may help runners recover faster. Fish that are rich in omega-3s include salmon, mackerel, herring, tuna, sardines, and lake trout. Avoid farmed fish.



Garlic helps keep total cholesterol and blood pressure down. It has antibiotic properties and has been known to keep vampires away as well.

How Far and How Often?

As a general rule to gain fitness and improve cardiovascular health run approximately 20-30 minutes three times per week. It is tempting to push yourself into counting miles and your pace but I feel running by time is easier on your joints and your ego.  The last thing you want to do is start out too hard, get too sore and get too discouraged and quit. 10 minutes of walking and light running to warm up, 10 minutes at a pace where you are “huffing and puffing” and then 10 minutes to cool down is a healthy place to start.  Take another 10 minutes to stretch after you run. A warm muscle is more pliable and stretches easier. And always consult with your family physician to find out if running is right for you.

Run on the Sly 20 mile

Increase Your Energy!

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Dr. Steve Long
What is gluten anyway?

Gluten is a sticky protein commonly found in grains. Biggest offenders are rye, wheat and barley. It is found in most types of cereals and in many types of bread. Not all foods from the grain family contain gluten. Grains that that do not have gluten include wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, soybeans and sunflower seeds. Gluten is also found in some unexpected ways as well. It is used as stabilizing agent or thickener in products like ice-cream, soy sauce and ketchup.

Gluten is highly elastic and strong, making it the core of bread dough. It is the gluten in dough which allows it to be kneaded and risen. Unfortunately, some people have adverse reactions when they eat gluten, particularly wheat gluten, which is accompanied with other compounds found naturally in wheat.

What is the problem with gluten?

Gluten sensitivity causes extensive damage to the lining of the small intestine which houses up to 70 percent of the body’s immune system.

With gluten sensitivity tissues in the immune system that produce antibodies become damaged. Antibodies are made in the human body in response to invaders. They are extremely important for killing these invaders especially in mucosal tissue such as the sinuses, eyes, mouth, respiratory tract, digestive tract and urinary tract.

And since these areas of the body are actually in direct contact to the outside world, its extremely important these areas stay well protected by our immune system. But if the tissues that produce the antibodies are destroyed, then there are not enough antibodies to help keep the invaders in check.

Following are the symptoms of health complications resulting due to gluten intolerance: Gaining fat or losing weight; malnutrition and deficiency of iron; joint pain; nervousness; inflammation over skin; headache; fatigue; anger and loss of temper; impotency; irregular menstrual cycle; abdominal cramps; slow growth of baby; and dental problems.

While this is counter-intuitive, digestive symptoms are less common symptoms of gluten sensitivity. Digestive symptoms are often accompanied by the familiar triad of excessive fatigue, depression and weight gain.

Digestive symptoms that might be seen as the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are abdominal pain, bloating, cramping, weight gain or weight loss, constipation, diarrhea, alternating constipation and diarrhea.

These symptoms, if any are present, are those commonly found in many other gastrointestinal disorders and are, again, rarely attributed to gluten sensitivity. Even when patients have chronic digestive complaints and no cause can be found, rarely is gluten sensitivity ever suspected.

Gluten intolerance, once thought rare, is getting overdue attention. In 2003 just 40,000 Americans had been diagnosed with celiac disease; today, its 110,000  and, if everyone with the disease were diagnosed it would be 3 million, according to Alessio Fasano, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore.

Celiac disease: When symptoms are more serious

More serious gluten intolerance is called celiac disease. That’s when gluten actually triggers the body’s immune system. When people with celiac disease eat foods or use products containing gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the villi in the intestines  tiny, finger-like projections in the small intestine that absorb the nutrients from food. For this reason its considered an autoimmune disease.

Celiac disease is not just a disease of the gut, says Shelley Case, R.D., nutrition consultant and author of Gluten Free Diet: A Comprehensive Resource Guide. Its a multi-system, multi-symptom disease with serious implications.

Celiac disease is linked to malnutrition that can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, depression, behavioral problems and stunted growth in children, among other problems. People who have celiac disease may also have other autoimmune conditions, such as type 1 diabetes and rheumatoid arthritis.

Gluten free diet

Several grains and starch sources are considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet. The most frequently used are corn, potatoes, rice and tapioca (derived from cassava). Other grains and starch sources generally considered suitable for gluten free diets include amaranth, arrowroot, millet, montina, lupin, quinoa, sweet potato, taro, teff, chia seed and yam. Various types of bean, soybean and nut flours are sometimes used in gluten-free products to add protein and dietary fiber. In spite of its name, buckwheat is not related to wheat; pure buckwheat is considered acceptable for a gluten-free diet, although many commercial buckwheat products are actually mixtures of wheat and buckwheat flours and thus not acceptable. Gram flour, derived from chickpeas, is also gluten-free (this is not the same as Graham flour made from wheat).

People wishing to follow a completely gluten free diet must also take into consideration the ingredients of any over-the-counter or prescription medications and vitamins. Also, cosmetics such as lipstick, lip balms and lip gloss may contain gluten and need to be investigated before use. Here is a simple list of foods to consider.

Don’t eat: Wheat and all its forms, including semolina, spelt, kamut and rye; barley; oat bran; wheat germ; bran; graham, gluten or durum flour.

Do eat: Amaranth; quinoa; buckwheat; popcorn; cornmeal (polenta and tortillas); millet; breads, cereals, crackers and pasta made of corn, rice, potato, arrowroot, tapioca, sago, flax and hominy.

What about oats? Oats for celiac disease has been controversial, but recent research has given oats a thumbs up. The problem is possible contamination of oats with other gluten-containing grains. Pure oats  those not contaminated by other grains  are recommended by a majority of celiac organizations in Canada and the United States. You can also find gluten free oats in Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods.

Where should I go for good gluten free recipes? The web is full of great sites to find recipes but these are some good ones right off the top.





There is a lot of conversation that many health problems are coming from our diet. Often times eliminating something like gluten from your diet can be extremely difficult. But if you make the effort to cut back on the cookies, crackers, breads and pasta you’ll be surprised how much better you and your family will feel.


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What are those things that you are tolerating in your life. Is it to clean up a mess, make an important phone call, finish that report that you have been putting off.  Procrastination robs us of our personal power. Identify 2 things that you can easily get done today. Take action on them and see how you feel. Great! Now go do it!

In health!

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