Dec 30, 2010

Jeffrey Archer.

Jeffrey Archer is the author I have recently discovered. Yes I know slow on the uptake as he has been around for years. I have read several of his books now and they are all excellent and different.
Paths of Glory, Kane and Able and now Prisoner of Birth.
Here is the Amazon LINK for more info.

Seeing now I am looking!

At day 6 now with this new plant based diet. Not easy but not too bad either.
I continue to seek confirmation or strong arguments for the direction we are taking. But the harder I look the more support there seems to be.
Just over the past couple of days new announcements are rolling out.
Here are two examples.
The Cleveland Clinic (USA) must have previously have taken a negative position on plant based diets now they have published a communication saying they have changed their position. Here is an extract
The Benefits of a Vegetarian Diet A growing body of research links vegetarian eating patterns to a long list of health advantages, such as LOWER:
Risk of developing heart disease.

Risk of developing hypertension (high blood pressure).

Total and LDL cholesterol.

Body weight and risk for obesity.

Risk of developing certain cancers (like colon and breast).

Risk of developing diverticular disease and other digestive disorders.
That's a fairly profound statement and here is the link LINK
Business Week on the 28th of December 2010 in their health week article came out and recognised the fact that drugs alone simply won't do the job of dealing with cardiac disease and said this
"That point of view seems to be bolstered by new evidence that using cholesterol-lowering drugs won't necessarily help a person who hopes to avoid heart disease.
British researchers who pooled and re-analyzed data from 11 cardiovascular studies found that taking statins did not reduce cardiac deaths among people who had not developed heart disease."
Here is the LINK
Looks to me like there is a global awareness that's gathering momentum.
For someone in my situation where I want to try and reverse a condition Robyn and I are taking the hard road to try and get the results. Explaining what we are embarking on is best left to the expert and here is the link to a YouTube video. Warning its long. YouTube Make Yourself Heart Attack Proof

Dec 28, 2010

98% Efficiency

The cog and chain system still remains right at the top of power transfer efficiency.
Just a bit of useless information while we wait for the sun to come back.

Life Changeing Experience

Five days ago I started a pure plant based diet (No meat, fish, dairy, oils). So far I am feeling great and eating as much as I like. I have already lost 1kg (weight loss is not a target for me it's just happening) and my resting pulse rate has gone down a couple to 48. This was my best and lowest RPR during my peak fitness times when I was training and racing. Robyn has decided to join me (thank god) and we have just emptied the house out of all foods we don't want to eat.
If you want to know more check out this link and yes there is a book!
I know this seems radical and right now its a novelty for us and we are riding the wave of enthusiasm over a new change. Long term time will tell. My personal goal (considering my "issues") is to be DRUG FREE & ON THE BIKE within two years. This will mean that I will need to know the diet has stopped or reversed the coronary artery disease
Beer is still on the OK list for me and wine for Robyn. Life's good.
For those that are interested I am continuing a heavy exercise commitment (minus the bike right now) with Kettle bells every second day and 40 to 50 minutes aerobic exercise about 3 or 4 times a week where I aim to keep my heart rate above 60% with surges up to 80-85%. But that's not a new thing for me it's just good to be doing it pain free.
The weather has been beautiful here over Xmas but now we believe a front is coming through with lots of rain. So I need to get up on the roof and clean those gutters.

Dec 26, 2010

A Healthy Future

BIG THINGS are happening in the field of nutrition. I was shocked to find out that as a result of my recent diagnosis of coronary artery disease and my subsequent research to find a "solution" that there is one!
The first clue came from a work colleague who lent me his family copy of "The China Study".
Since then I have spent hours on the web and now have a totally new, science based, perspective on diet.
There is a body of people, organisations and science that is supportive of a fully plant based diet.
Do your own research. Check it out. I will post more links soon. This movement toward plant based nutrition (a total commitment by the way) will be the basis of a film to be shown in early next year called Forks over Knives. Here is the LINK to the movie web site and a promotional video that may wet your appetite (sorry about that) to research further.

3 Generations. O'Sullivans'

Dec 23, 2010

Take Heart to the Finish.

Part two of my little story.
My trusty partner Robyn (no that does not make me Batman....or?) and I fronted up to Breamar Hospital In the Waikato to find I was to be the last patient of 2010.Was this a sign? Well staff were really friendly and I got the feeling they wanted everything to go well and fast so they could get their "one drink" finishing up party started. Sure enough it was soon time to get started. Yes out came the needles sedation and a little later the procedure.
Yes I have CAD (Coronary artery disease) but luckily not in the main arteries. One of my diagonal branch arteries is completely blocked and another is 50% blocked. According to the Cardiologist (cool guy Gerry Devlin) he decided not to try and open the closed one  or stent the other and we agreed that an aggressive statin (drugs I am already on) plan to lower LDL (Low density lipids) to well below what's considered normal will slow or even reverse the problem. In his words this explains everything. The feelings and pain I have had and the medical professions inability to detect the problems by all other methods. Hell after all I went to max heart rate on the stress test and nothing showed up, not to mention all the other "all ok" tests. Apparently this is not a common situation. But what's the reason for me writing all this down here? While I have my own health management plan to review I really wanted to pass a few suggestions on to my family as we all share the same genes. So here goes and I will keep it really simple.
  • Get you cholesterol measured and take action to bring it back withing range.
  • Any strange chest pain or feelings check it out.
  • If you are 40 or over get a calcium score done LINK (pain free scan) or even a CT angiogram if you have high cholesterol. Yes this sounds over the top but remember our parents and grandparents.
  • Absolutely keep a substantial fitness program rolling as part of your life. 4 or 5 workouts  per week that will keep your heart rate between 60 to 75% of your max for 30 plus minutes. That's a good sweating work out. But do your own research and talk to your doctor beforehand.
Finally to quote Gerry Devlin to me. Its your vigorous exercise life style that has kept your main cardiac arteries free.
So begins a new era for me and I have not figured out exactly what changes I need to make except they will be made. There is a lot of living and loving to be done. Happy Christmas.

Dec 22, 2010

Getting to the Heart of it.

I watched my dad fight heart disease for many years. He was one of the pioneer patients for bypass surgery at Greenlane hospital.
I would hardly say it was a recovery case history to be proud of he was often in pain and never looked right after that first hear attack. He died years later in my arms at the side of the road during a day visit to Gisborne. Not a good day for either of us. With this in mind my life (and Robyn's) took a big change over the past 25 years. Daily exercise (some of it vigorous), weights, mostly a very healthy diet, weight under control and drugs (Statins and Aspirin) and supplements (Fish oil and god knows what else).
Over the past month "things" have been happening in my chest! In addition to my known GERD (comes from a reflux history) that has gone out of control again.....darned generic Losec is rubbish! Anyway back to the story about happenings in my chest. I have had exercise induced chest pain, been taken by ambulance to A&E had xrays, blood tests, ECG's, stress tests etc and released only to end up back there a few days later with pain they could not stop. That lead on to a Barium meal to check out the esophagus where a small problem was found.
My GP thought what was found was likely the cause of my current problems. But the gastro Dr thought otherwise. We agreed to leave it and monitor the situation (on increased drugs). That was ok for a few days until the pain came again (on my bike) and I thought screw this and got in touch with a Waikato Cardiologist.
He scheduled an urgent CT angiogram yesterday and last night he called and wants to do a full blown angiogram (catheter inserted into the heart). At the same time he intends to do an angioplasty if its needed.
That all starts in about 12 hours!
Bloody arm is already a pin cushion.
All I want to do is ride my bike, have fun with the kids, for Robyn and I to enjoy life and for me to keep focused and forging on with my job. So I have to muster for this exercise and I need to be in good shape for the year ahead. Great support from family today. Appreciated.
Lesson? When it comes to your health, consult the professionals, do your own research and take charge don't just be a bystander to your own existence. If you don't care no one else will either. AND have medical insurance...... LINK FOR MORE INFO HERE

Dec 17, 2010

Grace Heading Home from Down South


Each year these birds return to our palm tree (not shown) to raise a new batch of little guys.
This year we have watched them battle rats (yuck) that come in from the rocks at the beach and try to raid the nest. These birds are amazingly quick and can hit the rat no problem and peck the hell out of it. All this goes down late afternoon in broad daylight.

Great Grandmother's birth details 1865.

Agnes Leohnora Reed (nee Wett) on the left is our  grandmother on mums side.
Its fairly certain she is not the birth child of Antonio Wett but is in fact the child of his wife Felistea's daughter Lydia Durham. Felistea was previously married to Thomas Durham.
Making Lydia Durham our great grandmother.
Thanks to Graham Whitt (Decendent of Antonio) here is Lydia's birth certificate.
Click on each picture if you want to see a large version.