Summit PT - November/December 2023

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My New Zealand Reunion and the Holiday Season Cherishing My Family Here in the US and New Zealand

If you read last month’s newsletter, then you know I was finally able to put my new U.S. passport to good use! I recently returned to New Zealand to visit my family but, unfortunately, missed my father’s 91st birthday. I hit the snowy slopes with my nephew for a few days, and we skied in the scenic Remarkables and Coronet Peak regions. Since this was back in August, the snow was a bit lacking, but it was just enough for us to get our skiing in! My ski mates in the U.S. were jealous when I would FaceTime them from the top of Coronet Peak, and the video quality was actually good! Of course, I didn’t come home to Queenstown just to ski. The main purpose of my trip was to see my father, who is now 91. Life isn’t particularly easy for anyone at that age, and I was grateful to see him again. As he gets older, I want to make sure I visit him every year and as often as possible. To have a parent still with you is a gift, and I won’t take that for granted. I also caught up with my younger sister, Glenda, who was kind enough to host us. We shared all about our families, memories, and all we may have missed as the years passed. My trip back was a reunion not just with my hometown but also with my family, who I missed more than I thought. I honestly can’t wait for my next trip there!

We’re now gearing up for Thanksgiving, which involves committing to the 11-hour drive to Davis. While the drive isn’t easy, we get to spend the holiday with my wife’s family. We have been reuniting at her sister’s house for Thanksgiving dinner for almost 20 years now. The dinner includes around 20 family members, and it’s a joyful event every time.

On Nov. 5 in New Zealand, we celebrate Guy Fawkes Day, a British holiday enacted in 1606 that commemorates the failure of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up the Houses of Parliament in London. Guy Fawkes was a conspirator but was apparently unaware of the precise details. He was caught planting barrels of gunpowder underneath Parliament and was executed soon thereafter. In Britain, large bonfires are lit in celebration of Guy Fawkes Day, although when I was living there, I don’t recall the locals lighting fireworks, which was something we did when I was a kid in New Zealand! Interestingly, “bonfire night” was first celebrated in America, but the growing popularity of Halloween led to the Nov. 5th celebration fading away in this country. As for Christmas, our family is in a transitional year, as my father-in-law passed away last February. We usually head to San Diego every Christmas, but now we’re unsure what’s in store this year. All I know is that I’ll be a happy man as long as I’m with my family. I want to wish you and your family a happy holiday season, and I hope this new year brings you good health and plenty of happiness!

Now, I’m back home in the U.S., and I couldn’t be happier to start the holiday season with my wife and kids. We already put some serious work into our Halloween celebrations with the homemade graveyard decorations we’ve done for the past 25 years! Our whole neighborhood is very into decorating and celebrating Halloween, and my wife, who adores the fall, couldn’t be happier.

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Walk Your Way to Better Digestion The answer is yes! Walking is a light movement that can help your food move through your stomach and intestines, making digestion smoother. Not only can walking help improve your digestion after eating, but this simple exercise can also bring many other benefits. Just a few include: • Regulating blood sugar levels • Managing blood pressure • Reducing the risk of heart disease • Boosting your mood • Improving sleep quality

We all know the after-lunch slump leaves us counting the minutes to our next nap. But research shows that sleeping or lying down after eating isn’t the best for health (no matter how good it feels). When you do this, you’re not allowing your body the time it needs to digest your food properly, and you may experience various digestive issues, such as acid reflux and heartburn. So, is walking the best activity to do after eating?

Of course, regular exercise improves your overall health significantly, even if it’s just a quick walk around the neighborhood! The Post-Meal Walk: When and how long is best? You gain the most digestive benefits if you walk right after eating. Waiting too long afterward may only minimally aid your digestive process. Be sure to get moving as soon after your meal as possible! As for frequency, ideally, you should go for a stroll after every meal. However, to get started, try going for a walk after dinner. You can increase your number of walks as you get accustomed to the exercise. Ten minutes is all you need to reap the benefits of walking after eating. While you can walk longer if you’d like, 10 minutes is doable even with a busy schedule. Plus, if you walk for 10 minutes after every meal, that’s 30 minutes of exercise daily! Take your dog with you or stroll with your headphones, listening to your favorite podcast. How you walk is up to you, but no matter what, you’re doing your mind and body a huge favor!

PODCAST WISDOM: Lifelong Learning Potential

You’re never too old to learn something new! There are plenty of debunked myths floating around about the brain’s ability to absorb information as we age, but the truth is, learning in every phase of life is incredible for your mind. We keep our cognitive skills sharp as we age when we continue learning new information and skills. So, what’s the easiest way to passively learn something new? Tune in to one of these podcasts and continue with your day! Podcasts from experts can provide you with a plethora of compelling information to keep your brain strong. ‘Ologies’ Witty and endlessly informative, “Ologies” is hosted by Alie Ward, a science correspondent with all the humor you need to keep coming back for more. Ward interviews experts

and “-ologists” and asks them not-so- average questions. The information and insight you receive is easily digestible and entertaining. With over 340 episodes at your disposal on most streaming platforms like Apple and Spotify, “Ologies” can keep you

listening to one of over 200 episodes and learn everything you never knew! ‘Maintenance Phase’ With social media and so-called health gurus everywhere, it can be challenging to know what health advice is factual or safe. “Maintenance Phase” debunks all the diet fads, fitness myths, and trendy health gimmicks to keep you informed. With the help of hosts Michael Hobbes and Aubrey Gordon, you learn the actual science behind your body’s health and discover what is true and what is simply trending. With plenty of podcasts at your fingertips, these three are exceptionally entertaining and informative. Put your headphones on and clean up the house, or drive your daily commute with one of these podcasts to keep your brain in tip-top shape!

listening for a long time! ‘You’re Wrong About’

The first step to understanding the world around you is to consider the possibility that everything you know may not be true. That’s where “You’re Wrong About” comes in! Host and journalist Sarah Marshall dives into different historical figures and events falsely covered by the traditional media. From Sinead O’Connor to Bonnie and Clyde, Sarah meets with various experts to go through the cold hard facts and what you likely didn’t know about these people. Start


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Coffee Conundrum: Could Your Morning Brew Harm Your Health?

Millions of Americans start their morning with a piping hot cup of coffee. There’s nothing like

who are prone to acid reflux or heartburn. Coffee before food may make symptoms worse. Those with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) might also beware. Scientists have long known that coffee stimulates our colon muscles and can help people have bowel movements. Some consider it a bonus, but IBS patients are already prone to diarrhea. Coffee causes increased cramping for some, and the effect can be more noticeable on an empty stomach. Coffee can also affect us emotionally. The beverage gives some people jitters, particularly without food. Research indicates the effect is more pronounced in people with anxiety disorders, possibly because jitters mimic anxiety symptoms. Some studies suggest consuming coffee with food decreases the concentration of caffeine in our bodies and makes the effect less likely. Ultimately, whether you should rethink drinking coffee on an empty stomach is up to you. People suffering from GERD, IBS, or anxiety should consider whether their liquid pick-me-up worsens their symptoms. The current research suggests that consuming coffee before food is probably fine for most other people, but it’s always wise to listen to your body for cues. If you feel less than your best after your morning coffee, see whether a change in routine improves the situation.

the familiar smell, comforting warmth, and hit of caffeine to get you ready for the day. But could this common habit actually harm our bodies? For some

people, consuming caffeine on an empty stomach could cause unpleasant side effects.

No definitive data suggests drinking coffee before breakfast will negatively impact you in the long term. Only limited research exists on the matter, and the results are inconclusive. However, some people anecdotally report feeling worse if they drink coffee on an empty stomach, and nutritionists and dietitians believe certain people may be more susceptible to adverse side effects. People with digestive problems should be the most cautious about their morning cup of coffee. Coffee stimulates acid production in the stomach, particularly when it’s otherwise empty. That’s not a big deal for most people, but it can be for those with gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or




• 2 lbs ground beef • 6 cups water

• 1/4 cup packed brown sugar • 2 tsp salt • 2 tsp beef bouillon granules • 1 tsp black pepper • 2 cups cooked long-grain rice • Chopped fresh parsley, optional

• 1 28-oz can tomato sauce • 1 28-oz can diced tomatoes, undrained • 2 cups chopped green peppers


1. In a Dutch oven over medium heat, cook beef until no longer pink, breaking it into crumbles; drain. Add beef back to the pot and stir in all ingredients except the cooked rice. Bring to a boil. 2. Reduce heat. Simmer uncovered until peppers are tender, about 30 minutes. 3. Add cooked rice and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes. If desired, sprinkle with chopped fresh parsley.

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6464 SW Borland Rd., Ste. B5 Tualatin, OR 97062

1. Paul Finally Returned Home! 2. The Power of Post-Meal Walking Podcast Your Way to a Sharper Mind and Smarter You 3. The Truth About Drinking Coffee Before Breakfast Stuffed Pepper Soup 4. Rick Springfield Reveals His Secrets to Staying Fit at 73 INSIDE THIS ISSUE

ROCK STAR RICK SPRINGFIELD’S FOUNTAIN OF YOUTH The Power of Fitness and Good Nutrition at Any Age

He’s how old? Rick Springfield continues to shock the world with just how incredible he looks at the age of 73! The ‘80s rock star and “Jessie’s Girl” singer has recently released a new album, “Automatic,” and has shown that he still keeps up with his healthy lifestyle. So, what’s Springfield’s secret to a toned body at his age? The musician revealed the not-so-secret key to his excellent health: daily exercise and a nutritious diet. Springfield recently explained, “I work out every day. I just got a trainer and have been working with him. Basically, I watch what I eat, and I try and stay active.” Sounds simple, right?

singer looked unhealthy and too thin. “A friend of mine came up to me and said, ‘Are you okay?’ I got so thin. So I had to put fish back in [for protein].” He also made it clear that he is in no way a home cook, but his wife is the one who keeps him well-fed! Springfield shared that he is extremely grateful for his wife, Barbara Porter, who loves cooking and always comes up with the best recipes for him. Apparently, the singer was never that great in the kitchen! He said, “When I was a bachelor, I’d make a big pot of brown rice, chop up an onion and put that in the rice with a can of tuna. I’d have that, a baked potato and salad, and live off that for a month. Barbara comes up with these incredible things. She loves cooking.”

Photo credit: Wikimedia commons, Adam Bielawskii

While Springfield may have a personal trainer and talented spouse, we can all still learn from his dedication to his body and health. Ultimately, a healthy diet and exercise routine is the simplest (but not the easiest) way to our best health!

Springfield was a proud vegan in the past but has now shifted to a

pescatarian diet. Despite feeling healthy, many people around him stated that the


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