April 2012


The Spices of Life

This week’s blog, The Spices of Life, was inspired by Dr. Herbert Schub. In addition to his vast medical experience and expertise, he’s a close personal friend, frequent travel companion, and an international man of mystery. He is also one of the healthiest persons on the planet. 

Herb is a fitness fanatic and follows a strict nutritional program. When the occasional slice of pizza finds its way into that program, it is followed shortly thereafter by an extra hour on the eliptical machine. In addition to his healthy diet, Herb takes a number of supplements to make sure he’s getting sufficient vitamins and antioxidants. While this is not uncommon among many of us seniors, are you also getting the health benefits from selected herbs and spices? Herb does.

I want to stress I’m not a doctor, well not a medical one anyway, and anyone considering adding these items to their diet would be well advised to consult with their personal physician. While researchers are now looking more closely at this health phenomenon, current research now suggest these seven herbs and spices have valuable health benefits:

Rosemary – May help prevent damage to blood vessels and prevent heart attacks; it may also stop gene mutations which lead to cancer.

Garlic – May destroy cancer cells and/or disrupt the metabolism of tumor cells. After my father found out he had protate cancer, he began taking garlic each day. He lived nearly twenty more years and the cancer was not a factor.

Ginger – Seen as a remedy for motion sickness and a natural pain killer. Has also been shown to decrease swelling from arthritis and is a blood thinner.

Turmeric – Contains an ingredient called curcumin that can inhibit the growth of cancer cells.

Paprika – Contains capsaicin that has been shown to be an anti-inflammatory and is also an anti-oxidant that can lower the risk of cancer. (Capsaicin can also be found in cayenne and red chile peppers)

Cinnamon – Can lower blood sugar, triglycerides, LDL, and total cholesterol in people with type 2 diabetes.

Oregano – The USDA reports that Oregano has the highest antioxidant activity of 27 fresh culinary herbs.

MEDIA ALERT: Possible cure for prostate cancer. Fox News reported today the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology has announced preliminary findings that oregano, which contains the main component of carvacrol, “is an extremely potent anti-cancer agent – eliminating nearly all the prostate cancer cells it was tested against.”




It’s Now Or Never


When you reach retirement age, those words sound a loud and meaningful message. In just the last few weeks I’ve lost a family member and three other wonderful people, all of whom played important parts in my life.  More than ever, I realize the sands are running through my hourglass at warp speed.


I find myself not wanting to sit down for very long or engage in meaningless activities such as watching television for fear I’ll miss something important. Although I’ve never really enjoyed talking on the phone all that much, I’ve recently called many of my friends just to say hello. I’m sure some wondered what I wanted or perhaps thought I’d lost my mind. I simply wanted to connect and spend time with them.


While I’ve always encouraged the idea of having a “life list” (I don’t care much for “bucket list”), I’ve made numerous additions to mine recently. Some involve travel to exotic locales, but most are well within reach. Some are simply directed at self improvement, helping others, or just trying to be a better person.


As someone once said, “This is not the dress rehearsal, it’s your life.” I agree and want to make the last act something very special. 









It’s All About Love

As those of the Jewish faith conclude their festival of freedom known as Passover, Christians around the world will observe their holiest time of Easter. I’m not a religious scholar by any means, but I do know that each of these religious observances is based upon love. They encompass love of God, love of self, love of family, and love of others.

For Jews, Passover celebrates the lessons of Moses who taught them they were created in the image of God and were worthy of self-love and worthy of freedom from slavery and the self-hatred that also imprisoned them. Christian teaching explains that God so loves, he gave his son to die for their sins and free them to live an eternal life. Two different religious views with one obvious similarity. Love.

I’m certainly not qualified to compare these two religions or their beliefs and traditions. For the record, I am a Christian. But in this time of world-wide brutality, strife, and terrorism, I believe these religions that share the values of love, family and peace should be honored and respected. 

At this time of year, having reached senior status, I’m reflecting on the concept of love and family, and feeling especially blessed. Those who read this blog know my wife and I were recently given the gift of another grandson. 

Well, eight days later, we were blessed with the birth of another grandson. This little fellow weighed in at 9 lbs. 2 oz. In an eight-day span we attended the funeral service for my mother, and received the blessings of our sixth and seventh grandchild. Throughout this time we have been showered with the love of friends and family. It is truly all about love.

On a personal note:

After three extraordinary months of highs, lows, loss, and two new family additions (one on each coast), my wife and I took a week for ourselves to rest and relax. We slept in, took long walks, went swimming, laid out by the pool, went out to dinner, reconnected with friends, went fishing, and had a great time. Some might questions taking a vacation when you are already retired. But we seniors know it doesn’t work that way. I believe most of us are just as busy, if not busier, now that we are retired. That’s my story, and I’m sticking to it.

Grandma Trisha and new grandson

My friend John with the catch of the day

                    Out for a romantic dinner