Tag Archives: Dr. Stephen Hanlon

I Will Have To Admit That Dannon’s ‘Activia’ Yogurt Works — And Could Even Help YOU Lose Weight!

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by Anura Guruge


Related posts:
>> David Cameron — low carb.
>> Validation of low-carb.
>>
Miracle of Low-Carb

>> Lost 2 turkeys in weight.
>> ‘Fast’ diet.
>> Will power no good for dieting.

++++ Search ‘low carb’ & ‘Cholesterol’ for the many, many posts on this topic >>>>


Activia-Coupons1I will readily admit that I was skeptical of Activia’s 2 week challenge.

I have eaten yogurt EVERY DAY, with nary an exception, since 1997. That is 18 years of eating yogurt daily — and I am not kidding about the daily. In a given year there might be, at most 5 – 6 days, when I do not eat yogurt — and that is probably because I am traveling and don’t have ready access to yogurt.

I have to thank, profusely, Dr. Joseph Misiewicz, of Meredith, New Hampshire — who is still practicing out of the same office — for introducing me to the yogurt habit.

Prior to his kindly advice that it would behoove me to eat some yogurt a day, I had NEVER even tasted yogurt — and I was 44 years old!

It all had to do with the ‘yogurt’, ‘curd‘ as it is called, in Ceylon/Sri Lanka. Though my adoptive father ate it with relish I could NOT stand it. And I associated yogurt with curd. So I had never, ever eaten yogurt prior to Dr. Misiewicz. He was a good doctor and I took what he said seriously. The problem was getting a taste for it. Luckily my then partner was very resourceful. She knew me quite well and realized that there was a way to get me into yogurt. She went and found the THICKEST custard yogurts that she could find, knowing (that in those days) I could not resist custards.

After a few months of eating the custard variety I was into yogurt. Soon stopped that. Deanna has had me on no fat/low fat Greek yogurt, with or without added sliced fruit — and the MANDATORY heaping of ground flaxseed (and that thanks to my excellent cardiologist Dr. Stephen Hanlon). I never saw a need for the ‘expensive’ Activia. As far as I saw I was eating my share of yogurt a day.


activiaThen came the Arizona trip. Given my desire to eat yogurt daily we stopped at a store to buy yogurt, cheese, fruit etc. They didn’t have variety in yogurts — mainly lots of Activa, all the packaging promoting the 2 week Activia challenge. So I told Deanna that I will do the challenge — and I was SURE that I would be able to ask for my money back because I could NOT see how Activa would make a difference. So the way I saw it I would have FREE yogurt for 2 weeks. We bought a ‘ton’ and kept the receipts.

I live Activa. I eat mainly the lime, coconut/vanilla and blackberry. The kids got a liking for it too. Within the week, once we got home, we were buying A TON — and I mean 4, 5, 6 packs of Activa.

Activa does seem to WORK. I am amazed. I would NOT dream of asking for my money back, because that would be dishonest. I don’t know why, but Activa does appear to work. Moreover, since I have been eating Activa, for a month or so now, I have lost even more weight! Not much. Maybe 2 pounds, BUT it all counts.

So, I am SOLD. If you open our fridge these days you will be confronted with a WALL of Activa. Yes, it is not ‘cheap’ BUT it is well worth the money.

So we are voting for Activia.


I Did IT. I Did It. I Lost The 20 Pounds I Was Told To Lose. Took Me 110 Days, i.e., 3 Months 3 Weeks.

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by
Anura Guruge


A Few Related Posts:
>>
‘Fast Diet’ losing weight the right way — Mar. 29, 2013.
>>
Will power, wrong way to lose weight — Jan. 28, 2013.
>> Ozeri Gen II digital bath scales with BMI — Feb. 14, 2013.

>> NH Maple weekend — Mar. 26, 2013.


jump_for_joyIt wasn’t hard per se. I never expected it to be hard. I am the past master of losing weight — when I set my mind to it, i.e., I have a chat with my best friend, ‘my brain’, and we agree that we together, working hand-in-hand, will achieve that goal.

Deanna picked up my blood work results on Tuesday, January 22, 2013. My blood sugar was ‘102‘ — I was now officially prediabetic, ‘100’ the cut-off. I had hovered at ’99’ for a number of years. Thought I was ‘only’ around 185 pounds I decided I was going to lose weight.

Saw my rake-thin cardiologist two days later, on January 24. Per their scales, fully dressed (for winter), I was 193 pounds. As soon as I got home I ordered a new, digital bathroom scales with automated, BIA-technology based BMI calculations. So, I ended up with the Ozeri Gen II (ZB011). I love it. That it shows your weights to the ‘tenths’ helps. You can really watch your weight fluctuate in terms of ounces. Per the Ozeri I weighed 189 pounds and  my BMI never was beyond the dreaded ’25’. I am now at ‘17‘ per the Ozeri – and this morning after my run, the Ozeri read, exactly: ‘169.0‘! 

I don’t know what my blood work is. I haven’t had it tested since. Yes, I lost the weight by eliminating carbs. But, that means I am eating more cheese and meats. The last time I did this, about 8 years ago, my blood work was the best ever. But I was younger.

So my cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Hanlon, of Catholic Medical (in Manchester, NH), a man of few words, tells me that I should lose 20 pounds. I was bit taken back. But, it was funny he did not tell me to in anyway change my exercise regime once he heard about my slogging up Prospect Mountain Hill and snow shoveling.

I thought I would lose the 20 pounds in 3 months. I am not that thrilled that it took me 3 weeks longer. But, the trip to Arizona set me back 10 days. Though I did NOT cheat, even once, my whole system was out of whack.

This was really a modified Atkins — and I am an Atkins devotee ever since Deanna steered me towards his approach c. 2005. As I told Dr. Hanlon it is impossible, today, to totally eliminate carbs from your diet. There are carbs even in most salad dressings – and no, I am not going to live on Balsamic Vinaigrette alone. I was also not going to sacrifice my daily, diluted (large) glass of red wine. Long time ago I worked out that there were two mandatory things, other than oxygen and food, I needed in order to function (and especially, to write): sex and red-wine. So the red wine was staying though what I now drink, other than very, very rare occasions (like once every month), is a ‘disgusting’ watery mix. Then there is oatmeal. Though I take both flaxseed and Metamucil, daily, I like my oatmeal. I like proper, celtic-style steel-cut oatmeal — and Deanna will make it for me, if I ask. But, the one thing I do cheat on, especially if when we are travelling is, McDonald’s oatmeal. I have liked it from the day it came out. Yes, I know it has a bunch of ‘unhealthy’ stuff, but if this is my ‘indulgence’ — you can do much worse.

So, that is it. I will continue on this diet for the foreseeable future. The chances are that I will lose a few more pounds. IF I get to 165 pounds, I will have to reevaluate matters. I don’t want to go much below that. My ribs start to show.

IF you want to lose weight my way, let me know. I will help you out. Yes, I am supposed to, per Deanna, write a book about my diet, and it is on the list.

Happy Mother’s Day.

My Cardiologist, Dr. Stephen Hanlon, Of Catholic Medical (Manchester, NH) And Ground Flax Seed.

Anura Guruge, laughing, picture November 16, 2011.

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by Anura Guruge




Given my family history, my build and my diet (and I used to be strictly carnivorous until I stopped being a teen), I have, since my late 20s, been considered ‘a heart attack waiting to happen‘. Saw my first cardiologist in 1990 when I was 37. I have a cousin, two years older than me, who had his first (of many) heart attacks at 35. My cholesterol, given that I was relatively ‘young’, was just borderline, around 220 I think. I told the doctor I would get it down in a year. Those days, in my youthful exuberance, no mountain was high enough. Eight years earlier, when my weight when past 200 lbs, I had made some major changes to my life. I had stopped eating meals on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays – just eating one green apple and a small (and I really do mean small) piece of cheese. On those days that I didn’t eat, I also used to run 7 miles — at around 6.5 – 7 minutes a mile. I dropped my weight from 200 to 135 lbs in 6 months. You could count all my ribs. I then allowed my weight to build up to 165. So reducing cholesterol was a challenge in that same league. I eliminated milk and lived on hummus for a year. It kind of became a joke. I would even order hummus when I went out for dinner on business. I dropped my cholesterol to 140.

But, I had to continue seeing a cardiologist. In 1998 I lucked out. I was living in the Lakes Region and was sent to a new Tamil cardiologist from India, Dr. Venkat Nethala, who practiced in Laconia. Those days, and even now, there aren’t too many ‘Indians’ per se in Laconia. Dr. Nethala who was new to the area was delighted to see another brown guy. We became friends and started socializing. I was 45. All my vitals were borderline. Dr. Nethala made a momentus decision. He said he was putting me on Lipitor and two blood pressure medications as a preventive measure. His words were: ‘Anu, you will thank me for this when you are in your late 50s‘. Thank YOU, Dr. Nethala. It was a pain to have to take a handful of pills, plus the aspirin, each night. But, Dr. Nethala was right. I do thank him. So I have been on Lipitor for 14 years — with one short break when I tried another, cheaper statin and didn’t like (psychosomatically or otherwise). Dr. Hanlon, pictured above, told the insurance company that I had to have Lipitor.

Dr. Nethala is now in Maine, close to the Canadian border. I miss him. I have always maintained that Indian or Sri Lanka TRAINED doctors are superior to most — given the fierce competition they have to edure to get into medical school in the first place and then stay there till they qualify. Only the best of the best make it through the system. Indian or Sri Lankan doctors who went to school here don’t have the same ‘touch’ as those that got their M.D. from a school in the sub-continent (and in a few instances Britain). Yes, I had an uncle (mother’s brother) who was a doctor and 4 cousins (all from my mother’s side) who are doctors — all of whom became doctors in Sri Lanka, though one practices in the U.S. and the other in Australia.

When Dr. Nethala abandoned us (he was also our general practitioner) I had to find another cardiologist to get all of my heart medications. Decided to go to Catholic Medical given their reputation. I was allocated Dr. Hanlon.

He is a very NICE doctor. I like him. Two years ago, as part of my intake, I had to do a stress, echo cardiogram and EKG. It came out OK. Given that I still do run, most days, mainly up a steep hill, doctors have told me that I am kind of giving myself my own personal stress test each time I slog up that hill.

I try very hard to avoid seeing doctors and getting tests done. I prefer not to know what is wrong with me. Last August Dr. Hanlon’s staff, who are excellent, started calling me up saying I had to schedule my annual checkup. I pushed back and pushed back until December. In December I went to see him after also getting my blood work done. I was OK — for a change. So there was nothing much we had to discuss. But, given that I was ‘owed’ 20 minutes I enganged him in a conversation as to what else I could do. He told me that he and many of his colleagues at Catholic Medical had started taking GROUND flax seed for heart health.

I had heard of Flax Seed. Deanna had flax seed in the fridge. Deanna took flax seed. But, she didn’t GRIND IT first. So, as soon as I got home I ground some flax seed in a coffee grinder. Since then I have been taking a tablespoon (or two or three) of ground flax seed every day — some in my mandatory, nightly yogurt, the rest dissolved in water with my nightly teaspoon of Metamucil. I like the grittiness of the flax seed. I don’t know if it is doing me any good. It doesn’t seem to be doing me much harm and it is not expensive. So we will wait and see. I just thought I would share with you those words of wisdom from Dr. Hanlon because he strikes me as been very competent.