Cholesterol – why all the hate?

Cholesterol – why all the hate?

What do the numbers 27, 46 and 1 have in common? These are the amounts of Carbon, Hydrogen and Oxygen tied up in one tiny molecule of Cholesterol. If you are an animal or a human it would help to know that this molecule is absolutely essential to life. It helps keep stuff inside your cells and keep other stuff outside your cells. It gives structure to the cells and lucky for you it is very malleable, which means your cells can change shape. This is kind of important for movement for example. Cholesterol is also used in helping nerve fibers conduct electrical impulse. They form part of the myelin sheath that surround nerve fibers. Some of the fastest nerve fiber communication has been measured in the nerves that help you sense and evade danger. In some of these nerves the velocity has been measured to about 120 meters per second. That’s the equivalent of traveling the distance of a football field in one second. Cholesterol is also used to make steroid hormones, bile acids and vitamin D. These help you reproduce, deal with stress, absorb fats and calcium, magnesium and zinc.

A plant doesn’t make cholesterol. Instead, its cell walls are made of cellulose. That is what gives that delicious crunch when you bite into fresh lettuce.

So if cholesterol is so good for you, how did it get such a bad rap?


 

What do 8K, 1.5 Mil and 1 Bil have in common? That is how many people die each year from cardiovascular disease, the amount of people who have a heart attack or stroke each year and how much money is spent PER DAY on diseases related to our tiny friend the cholesterol molecule.

Money is spent on medicine, surgeries, diagnostic testing and some to pay the doctors who try to help people with these diseases. One of the most lucrative specialties for doctors to go into is Cardiology. Those are the doctors that show up before the nurses in the morning and leave after them in the evening.


As a primary care doctor I get to see a multitude of patients with diseases related to cholesterol. The problem is that our bodies can’t handle the amount of cholesterol we ingest. The body actually loves cholesterol so much that it smothers itself to death with it. The body naturally plans ahead, it will store excess fat just incase a long winter or dry season breaks out where food is scarce. This survival mechanism works overtime when we live in an abundance of food.


So what do we do? We have vilified the poor little cholesterol molecule. We have declared a war on it. But, we are losing. We are losing this battle fast. The numbers are getting worse every year. Obesity is increasing at a rapid pace. Heart attacks and strokes multiply.


We found some help in research. Certain medications (called Statins) have been developed to help lower cholesterol levels. Through research we have discovered other risk factors that contribute to strokes and heart attacks. Here’s how they did it.

Researchers took millions of people and sorted them in two categories. Those who have had a stroke or a heart attack (MI) and those who haven’t.

Then they looked at the stroke/MI group and divided them up further into categories like tobacco use, weight, height, sex, race, aspirin use, statin use.

The results were profound.

We found that smoking significantly increases your risk. Uncontrolled blood pressure and having diabetes also made a huge difference.

The American Heart Association put all this together in a convenient calculator in an attempt to predict the risk of you having one of these catastrophic events. Check it out. Stroke / Heart Attack Calculator


So what to do…

Stop smoking, control your blood pressure and diabetes.

Exercise daily

Eat fresh fruits and vegetables

Find within you the tiny little bit of willpower that can be fostered and kindled, fueled and coddled, to grow to a powerful force of life changing capacity, to burn strong inside you to resist the endless temptation of giving in to your natural urges to settle for your comforts. Push back on your urges and your life will deliver in abundance.

Good luck my friend.

Marthinus Zeeman

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A Hero’s Journey

A Hero’s Journey

What life is like on the other side

the side of freedom and joy

what life is like on this side

is the same but gained by choice

 

A fellah found joy, so let’s follow

listen closely and learn from the,

free your mind and let me wallow

and show you a Hero’s journey

…..

A baby was born

A king was scorned

Not the son he’d hoped for came

 

A heart so torn

A mother was warned

The fate of the child was lame

…..

 

Born with one small leg

unable to grab his threads

lame he was labeled

and then

 

He grew in body but not in mind

a blind soul he failed to find

his virtue ruled by vice

and so loosing control of his mind

 

Shunned from the loving light

the warmth turned into a fight

cold and waddling at night

through dust he lost his might

 

A strange woman appeared

in need of a hand

He helped she gave thanks

Kneeled down to write in the sand

 

Let your mind start to wallow

forget the past and tomorrow

live for your life the only one

 

work for yourself

find a friend to help

find your own light in the sun

 

forgive yourself

preserve your health

help those in need of someone

….

so he started to lay low, quietly retreat

weeding and planting good seed

made friends with the ancients

as he began to read

 

faced at the foot of an enormous mountain

started to climb to find something

seeking to find the life giving fountain

his virtues growing and counting

….

the poor legged boy

became the greatest joy

of the people he was able to aid

 

the poor legged dog

became the king’s rock

a hero’s journey was made

…..

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why Disney bought Pixar for 7 bil

Why Disney bought Pixar for 7 bil

Pixar was the first company to produce an award winning full length computer animated movie. They experienced enormous success with their first film, Toy Story. Woody and Buzz are as much a part of our culture as any could imagine. After Toy story came more films with one success after another. Maybe Disney bought this company to suppress competition but I think it goes much deeper than that.

Some of the most successful Disney films revolved around the same theme. In my mind the Disney classics consist of Snow White, Cinderella, Beauty and the Beast, later came Lion King, Aladdin and so on. These were some of the highest grossing films. Most of these films are about love. Love is strong, love can conquer evil, love can break magic, love can heal.

A real shift was needed and it came. The top of the Box Office was waiting patiently for a new contender, someone to break away from the theme of Love.

Pixar stepped up to the plate. With a record streak seen by none before they dominated the Box Office. They brought a fresh new genre to the plate and have been hitting home runs since.

Life lessons learned on the Hero’s journey became the dominating theme. Every Pixar movie revolves around these two themes. The only love story so far was between two robots, and even that was intertwined by a theme on the journey.

Disney couldn’t stand it and finally the two giants collided. It was very nerve wrecking for the staff at Pixar to be bought out. Fortunately Steve Jobs and John Lasseter protected the Pixar staff and they were able to continue working freely and creatively. Here read the book. The difference was that now they could do so with a multibillion dollar movie making machine behind them.

The collaboration brought us treasures of movies. The newest Moana, a perfect example of the Hero’s Journey. A young girl becomes the hero when she saves the entire planet. Empowering woman became another central theme. In Zootopia the feeble bunny becomes a police officer and solves a New York equivilant animal city’s biggest crime. These movies are loaded with cultural and deep philosophical questions.

These new themes promote human development, self improvement and helping others. They promote growth and prosperity earned by taking risk and putting yourself on the line. They encourage young girls to be independent, strong and courageous. They advise to help your fellow human being.

What is Coraline about?

What is Coraline about?

The movie Coraline deals with good vs evil, resisting temptation and addiction.

*Spoiler Alert* See the movie and read the rest. It is on Netflix right now.


The intro shows a Being made of sewing needles making a doll. This Being represents evil, but we do not find this out until the end of the movie when the other-mother transforms into it. At first, the soothing music of the mechanical lullaby distracts us into thinking this Being is well intentioned.

She sends the doll to find Coraline, a spin on the metaphor of a Lion in Sheep’s clothing.

Coraline’s first scare comes in the form of a scrawny black cat, so initially we assume the Cat is the Antagonist.

The Cat can freely enter the other world and back, where he is able to speak. He ultimately informs Coraline of the other-mother’s evil schemes. The Cat may be a metaphor for Good or God.

The other world represents an altered reality from using a substance which may lead to addiction.

It is a world where her mother is happy, caring and cooks well, her father plays entertaining songs on the piano and works in the garden. In her “real” world she feels bored, her mother is mean, her father focuses on work rather than play.

When using a substance a person will feel a sense of altered reality, they may physically feel different, have less pain, become mentally happier, more social or daring or playful. When the effects of the substance wears off these feelings will do so also. From prolonged use the opposite feelings may be pronounced.

As Coraline is more drawn into this world her other-mother starts tempting her to stay forever. At first this has some appeal to Coraline, who quickly changes her mind when she has to make a choice to sew buttons over her eyes.

The buttons represent the point where using a substance becomes an addiction. At the point of addiction one cannot view the world in a same sober way.

For example, a heroin addict will justify committing a crime to satisfy their addiction, an alcoholic will justify spousal abuse and a meth addict will justify a deteriorating body to enjoy the high.

Fortunately Coraline was able to make the right decision and return to her normal world, which in the end she sees with a clear mind and learns to love her real parents and accept her sober situation.


Drug and alcohol addiction is a leading cause of so many diseases. What is interesting though is that much research points to these addiction being rooted in past trauma. Many of the patients I encounter attest to this. Myself case in point, I used to smoke tobacco to relieve post traumatic stress from being deployed to a war zone. Smoking always eased my anxiety. It was an epic battle to overcome that addiction. I want to challenge you today, find the courage to cut back at least. Push on your willpower and see what you are made of. Resist that temptation. If it is God you need, then pray, if it is willpower you need then try every trick in the book to sway your hand in the right direction.

Good luck my friend.

Marthinus Zeeman

My daughters, Please don’t work one day.

My daughters, Please don’t work one day.

My dear daughters,


Afraid of loss afraid of gain

Don’t lose yourself don’t lose the game

Do you wait for life to show you gains

Do you blame life for being the same

Life comes with loss and comes with gain

It’s only worth your time

If you save these lessons in your brain

Remember the past, what life has taught you

Live in the moment, the beauty, what’s true

Hope for tomorrow and patiently wait

For life will surprise and show you your fate


As I watch you grow I realize the beauty of your developing mind. Your fascination with the common rivals that of an alien discovering the human race. The slightest artifact can hold your attention, captivate your imagination and deserve a safe location in your tote bag. An irrelevant piece of glass covered in dirt becomes a wondrous treasure found in the yard. In your opinion, every earthworm deserves a name. As far as you are concerned the weather forecast doesn’t matter, only whether or not you are dancing in the rain. Adding rainwater to dirt makes clay to mold in your hands. IMG_4660Money holds no regard, for the only thing you would buy is what is already free, your imagination. You absorb stories made up on the spot. You crave the surprise held tight in my fist. You desire the feeling of wind in your hair. When you become part of a pendulum swinging from a tree, the shrieks and shrills of swinging higher is a pleasure to share. 

……………….

A time will come when the magic may fade. There comes a shift from leaving your world of imagination to reality. The world of endless pleasures and self driven discovery of treasures will become a world filled with goals and tasks, deadlines and pseudonyms. You will be told to shape up or slip out, sit right and act right, adhere to the rules and obey the facts. To question is to hinder the ideal of the establishment.

As you grow and learn, these fantasies and ideas start to dissolve. They get lost in the humdrum of life. You will face a constant battle to follow your nose or to put it to the grindstone for another. Your work becomes less driven by intrinsic discovery but instead external reward. The feeling of freedom will fade into the past.

……………….

When you are faced with life pressuring you, even gripping you at the throat, demanding your time, remember the days you were young. Remember those times your activities consumed you, when you were in full engagement and following your curiosity gave you happiness.

………………..

Learn again to live in the moment, rediscover the happiness of your childhood delight, explore the world around you as if it was new to you and ever-changing, and don’t forget to make those moments count. Savor those special moments. Take in the beauty of each moment. If you are in awe at a sunset, a sprouting plant, a child’s innocence, capture the moment in your phone and your memory. Moments shared. Moments documented in history. You still have to take the time to study, read and research, but even that can be rewarding. If you are studying or researching your passion, those moments spent cruising the information highway will give intrinsic value.

This is what is meant by; If you love the work you do it won’t seem like work at all. Too many people today find that they don’t enjoy the kind of work that they do. There are many reasons, but among them is the perceived need to earn a paycheck. If you derive happiness from spending money, well, in that case it seems fair. Hate what you do in order to get paid so that you can enjoy spending that hard-earned income. This is fine but you will miss out on so much more value in life. Life happens for us not to us. Unfortunately the happiness derived from spending money is short-lived, that is why you quickly move on to the next purchase. Have you ever notice a child plays with their birthday gift a few seconds?

We do not live to work or work to live. Instead, I think it may be much more fruitful to get paid to live. If your life and what you love to do comes with the benefit of a paycheck, so much more the better. Compared to the person who hates work to get paid to be happy to spend, instead, love to work and make money at the same time.

Finding value in your work will give a much more long-lasting happiness. This is the difference between intrinsic reward and extrinsic reward. Intrinsic is long-lasting, it provides meaning to you and to others. Extrinsic reward is short-lived, it provides false motivation, it encourages enslavement. Slave after that which you enjoy to do and in turn you will provide meaning to life.

So figure out how you can get paid for what you love to do. Once you figure this puzzle out, the rest will be history. Over are the days of slaving after a paycheck. Welcome new days, the new you, who can’t wait to get out of bed to start your work, because your work is just that rewarding.

Work = meaning = happiness

It’s okay to try several different jobs in a lifetime, after all, how would you know what you would enjoy if you don’t try it. Start by thinking what it is that you enjoy to do, and how you can incorporate this activity in such a way to bring meaning to others. It is through this meaning, that others will end up paying you to continue to provide more meaning.

 

I am Doctor Zee

What’s the meaning

What’s this feeling

What is it I am to know

Why this thought creeping

What am I seeing

What seed I am to sow

The question that looms

What to do

Without an answer soon

Only time will tell,

Depends on how bold

My story may unfold

I am here to tell

When I finally figure out

How to become rich

I’ll pay you my dues

No doubt

Share my wealth

To help your health

Is my goal no doubt

So share with me

Your secrets to see

To help save you

And me.

A Curse

A Curse

The word “roof”

I used to pronounce “rooooophh.” The way english speaking people pronounce it. Or so I thought. Until I moved to the U.S. Here I was told it is pronounced “ruff” the way a dog might say it.

“Mirror” I used to call it a “mirror.” You know. M.I.R.R.O.R. Only to one day be corrected in calling it the right way. A “mierrorrr.” Sort of the way a cat might say it. Meaowrrorrr. I was so confused.

But, I adapted.

When I joined the army. I learned the way to pronounce, “drinkin” “swimmin” “divin” “runnin” no need to add the “g.” Forget that useless son of a “b.”

The army taught me the beauty. The art of “cussin” you see. Missing the “g” is no big deal. Missing the “g” is like a missing an 11th toe. Never needed it. Will not implement it. That’s the way of the army.

Cursing was new too. Have you ever tried to curse every other word of every other sentence of every other thought of every other interaction. Wait a minute I thought.

I don’t curse as much in my thoughts. Why curse when I speak?

The army ended. The cursing ended. The smoking ended. A new me started

That’s the way life goes. From a “cuss”, to a fuss, to a life lived long and loved

Keep on keepin on, times of longing gone, forget forlorn, times of promise to come

Marthinus Zeeman