Healthy Step 3

Progress with the reading and taking control.

What useless non food is being dropped forever with this step?  soda pop and  canned and bottled beverages.

Did you complete a task that you have been putting off? Clean out the garage? Wash the windows? Maybe you’re sneaking a look at Healthy Step #3 before doing the suggested reading or making changes in your self control. If you have not thrown the monkeys out of your wheelhouse then you don’t have a solid foundation from which to start your journey, and you may not reach your health and fitness goals.

Control over the body is the way good health is achieved. If we let the body have its way we may get multiple chins, sleep apnea, diabetes, vascular disease, higher cancer risks, sore feet, arthritis, and more.

These are age-related changes, right? Wrong. These conditions rarely happen to thin active people regardless of age. We can significantly slow the aging process and change our body shapes back to what healthy people should look like. The changes are guaranteed to last as long as your brain doesn’t let the monkeys run amok in the wheelhouse.

If you did your homework to get to this Healthy Step, then you have already begun your journey.  It is only by doing the suggested reading with a solid understanding of why you need to change what you eat that you will begin making responsible choices that will lead to an energetic life. Bouncing around the internet is not the answer to a poor diet and lack of exercise. Get a start reading Spark and The China Study. Work at it. Converting TV time to reading such health books can change your life and make you a different person. TV fattens you up and rots your brain.

Another  recommended reading is by Luigi Carnaro; his essay is listed under “Guest Lectures” back at the lodge. You could call him an early blogger, since he wrote this essay about health five hundred years ago! He found that eating too much food is harmful to our health. His own poor health was improved by gradually reducing what he ate until he ate just 12 ounces of food each day. He lived to be more than 100 years old, and I consider his essay to be essential reading. I will tell you that his essay is a bit repetitive, but his observations from hundreds of years ago can help us understand why today’s bariatric surgery can be successful. By only eating tiny amounts at a time, he shrank his stomach to a small pouch (like bariatric patients have). They too can only eat little bits at a time, just like Luigi, and their health improves dramatically soon after the surgery because of the small meals. I also recommend reading Debbie’s interview under “Bariatric Surgery” at the Thindex Lodge. Dramatic health changes occur when we stop overfeeding ourselves.

Live Longer Now by Nathan Pritikin tells how a heart dying from coronary artery disease can be saved, and long life can be achieved by eating a low-fat diet and undertaking a walking program. That dying heart was his own. When he was told that he needed surgery on his heart he did extensive research on how healthy people around the world ate, and then put himself on a diet low in fat. He also walked for exercise, and improved his health so completely that he no longer needed surgery.(Bypass the bypass)

In Eat More, Weigh Less Dean Ornish M.D. demonstrates that vascular changes can be reversed with a low-fat diet, and that some prostate cancers will regress on such a program. Did you know that many tumors feed on fat and will shrink if you shut down their food supply?

The China Study should be at the top of your reading list in Healthy Step #3.  Some foods we eat that are higher on the food chain (meat, for example) cause a higher incidence of cancer because of the fat-soluble carcinogens carried by the animal fat. Also, too much Omega-6 fat from corn products can upset the Omega-3 to Omega-6 balance. It should be one to one, but the American diet is about 1 to 20 which is a health disaster. Don’t worry about not getting all the information in books such as these. There is no test at the end. The test is what you do with the information once you have it.  See these links which discuss the problem in detail.

Omega 6 – 3 ratios and health

 Omega 6 fats (case study)

Health effects Omega 3 fats

Casein, which is present in all dairy products, can cause tumors to grow and The China Study has some fascinating studies where tumors are turned on and off in lab animals by giving them differing doses of casein. Isn’t that wild?

If you didn’t read Spark in Healthy Step #2, now is the time! We know we should exercise more, but it takes time and effort and we get sweaty afterwards. Every trainer in America tells us to try harder and sweat more, and Spark tells us why we should follow their advice. The main reason to exercise hard is not our body, it’s our brain! If we take our heart rate up to 80 percent of maximum for 30 minutes during a workout, our heart and muscles will drop some chemicals into the bloodstream that can cross over to the brain, making it smarter, more focused and less depressed and agitated. When children exercise this way in school they learn better and don’t cause as much trouble. Since reading this book, I have kicked up my running tempo, and my Thindex has gone up because my Vo2 max is higher. Guess what else? I feel better.

Summaries of these recommended books are available in the “What we are Reading” section. There are also some videos for you to watch:  Food, Inc., Fast Food Nation, and Supersize Me, as well as interviews with noted experts on nutrition. If you have a book or video you think would move people to a healthier place, please let me know at

With all this information you probably have concluded that by eating the wrong foods and not getting nearly enough exercise, our bodies are getting de-conditioned and overweight. Monkeys in the wheelhouse are making us a nation that’s physically weak and overweight.

You should be well on your way with your reading before moving to Health Step #4.

Come on in - the water's fine

Change your life by doing the reading in this Healthy Step. You could avoid developing cancer in 5 years, or avoid having a heart attack before you turn 60, or bypass the heart bypass surgery. Depression and ADHD may be a problem for you, but these problems that respond to exercise. “Big Pharma” has pills for these problems but they do not work better than a long run through the woods. Sweaty, yes…..but also simple, inexpensive and effective.

Coming up in Healthy Step #4: how physically strong are you?
It is important to know how obese we are, but equally important to know how much muscle is under that fatty tissue. You need to know if you are physically weak. Body size does not always equate with strength. Health step #4 can help you know the answer.


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Lodge Overview

Welcome to Thindex – your guide to better health and life.

This website is a little off–the–wall (like all of us, maybe). I'm not trying to sell you anything, and I'm not trying to collect information about you.

The purpose of this website is simply to help you improve your health and, ultimately, the quality of your life and eventual destiny.

That's it. No hidden agenda.

This website is my push to get you to change So, come on into the lodge and feel free to browse around for a bit. I hope that you find the information helpful.

Joseph R. McFarland MD

What you can find in the Lodge:
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Where do I start?

Thindex is an easy going website, focusing on your health improvement. Getting healthier isn't complicated or expensive. If you do it without outside help you will have a much better chance for permanent lifetime success.

  1. step one: Click on "Calculate my thindex". Enter the data requested. You will need an accurate time that it takes for you to walk or run a mile to get the complete data for your thindex. The dot between the green and red lines is where you fit in to your age group. Hanging close to the green line is where you want to be. Below zero is not good unless you are very old. Most Americans will be below zero.
  2. Step two: Use the information from Step one to make a decision about improving your health and destiny from this moment on.
  3. Step three: Cruise around the website and check a few of my blogs, the videos, the guest lecturers, pollution and diet news. Also check the rose of the day and Casey's Corner for kids.
  4. Step four: You can use this site and the 9 health steps to move yourself towards better health. Or you can do your own thing and check your progress with our calculator.
This site is put together by Joseph McFarland MD. As an Orthopedic Surgeon, I have seen some nasty wounds over the last 40 years. I have never seen wounds as bad as what we Americans are doing to ourselves by eating unhealthy foods and not getting nearly enough exercise. These wounds can heal if you reverse the cause. The information you need is all here and it is all free.

Calculate my Thindex

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Health Steps: There are 9 progressive health steps that ease you slowly towards better health.


Blogs: A variety of health topics


Guest speakers: Talks by a variety of diet experts


Recommended reading: Diet and exercise books in which we believe.


Rose of the day: Daily rose with comments that you can mail to friends or enemies, telling them how you are doing.


Casey's corner: Pollution and general advice for young kids.


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Why pick on soda pop as the first thing to eliminate as you go through the health steps?

Look up Sylvia Booth Hubbard – soda. She lists an even longer list of soda pop related problems. "Thirteen new ways colas ruin your health" (protected)

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Potatoes are a good starch source but when overheated above boiling produce acrylamide , a known carcinogen. These products are oversalted and some still contain trans fats which cause arteriosclerosis.