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Doctor Lee's Blog

Musings from The Doctor of Fitness: Fitness Trainer, Nutrition Expert, & Sports Medicine Physician

The purpose of this blog is to write informally for anyone who is interested in fitness, strength and conditioning, sports nutrition, sports medicine, and breaking fitness and nutrition news. If you'd like to reach me directly, you can contact me here. Feel free to take a look at my professional bio and my not-so-professional bio.

Memorial Day

on Tuesday, 21 May 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Next Monday, May 27, 2013, is Memorial Day. The first observances were within a few years after the end of the Civil War in the late 1860’s, although it wasn’t actually proclaimed as a national holiday until 1971 by an Act of Congress. In 1966 President Lyndon Johnson proclaimed Waterloo NY as the birthplace of Memorial Day where the first official celebration took place on May 5, 1866.

Memorial Day weekend is often the time for barbecues, a time when family and friends get together to socialize and enjoy food and fun. But while we are out having a good time, let’s remember the real meaning of this holiday.

Let’s honor our military veterans who are now, and have through the centuries, defending our country and our freedom. Men and women who have given their all so that we can continue to enjoy the life and liberty we often take for granted.

During your barbecue, please stop and join the rest of the country to pay tribute to the U.S. men and women who died during military service by observing a minute of silence at 3:00 PM, local time.

If you are a veteran, thank you. If you know a veteran, please thank them. If you have lost a loved one who was a veteran, our condolences and our thanks. From the bottom of our hearts.


on Tuesday, 14 May 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Pizza is a staple in our American diet. There’s a pizza joint on nearly every corner. In fact, according to Your Guide to Pizza, pizzerias comprise almost eight percent of all U.S. restaurants. Yes, 8%. Wow.

That makes pizza really easy to get, and really tempting to eat often. After all, it’s fast, convenient, and it smells SO good!  In fact, in the U.S., there are about 350 slices of pizza eaten each second and over 3 billion pizzas sold every year.

But, oh the guilt. There are actually plenty of options when you order pizza to make it more healthy. For example, vegetarian pizzas are better for you than a meat-lover’s pizza, although women are twice as likely as men to order vegetarian.

Here are a few other ways to have your pizza and keep your health in mind:

  • Order it with less cheese, or better yet, no cheese at all. You’ll be surprised at how good it tastes.
  • Moderation. Eat 1 or 2 slices instead of 3 or 4. Savor it.  
  • Limit the fat. Be mindful with the toppings you order. Limit the meat, fried toppings, and oily toppings like olives, added cheese, eggplant (usually soaked or fried in oil).
  • Make it a treat. Eating pizza less often helps you appreciate it more.

But on May 18th, let’s celebrate this great American tradition! Buon appetito!


on Tuesday, 07 May 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

Think of all the work that mothers do in raising their children. Mothers need to be celebrated!

In the late 1800’s Anna Jarvis was born the 9th of 11 children to a dedicated, hard-working mother who was very active in working to improve the health of people in her community. Jarvis’s mother also organized a Mother’s Friendship event in her community to bring confederate and union soldiers together for a peaceful celebration.

Growing up, Anna had often heard her mother say she wished someone would create a day honoring mothers. After her mother passed away, Anna worked hard to promote the creation of Mother’s Day to be honored on the anniversary of her mother’s death. Because of her hard work, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed May 9, 1914, the first Mother's Day.

Now, all around the world in many cultures, children honor their mothers on that day. What are your plans to honor the mothers (mothers, grandmothers, daughters, aunts, sisters, stepmothers, etc.) in your life this year? Flowers, brunch, gifts, pampering - moms deserve it!

Want to learn more about Anna Jarvis, the founder of Mother’s Day? Here’s the FULL STORY.


on Tuesday, 30 April 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness, Healthy Nutrition

Ever picked your own tomato from your garden? Or cut your own fresh herbs to add to the supper you are cooking? If you haven’t you are missing out on one of the great natural rewards in life.

Growing your own vegetables or herbs can be fun, good exercise, cost-saving, and rewarding at the dinner table. All good reasons to consider gardening, if you aren’t already doing it.

A vegetable garden doesn’t have to be a massive undertaking. You can, of course, go the traditional route and till up an area of your yard. The next easiest option is to build a raised bed garden (be sure you don’t use treated lumber here). If you just want to dip your toes in the water, you can easily plant a pot or two for your deck or patio.

Whatever garden type you choose, plan well. Do some reading so you learn how to maximize the space you have to grow healthy, productive plants that do well where you live. Overcrowding your plants can cause disease and make way for terrible disappointments at harvest time.

Here are a few resources to get you started:


One easy (large) pot to grow would contain a cherry tomato plant, a basil plant, and a marigold. These three plants work well together, and grow better together than separately. Marigolds grown with tomatoes help keep the tomato-destroying insects away. You’ll need a good strong stake and tie system to keep the cherry tomato plant upright for better yield. Place it in a sunny location, water well, and fertilize weekly.

That first juicy tomato of the season...mmm, mmm! Enjoy!

Taxes filed?

on Tuesday, 23 April 2013. Posted in Doctor of Fitness

It’s April 23rd and you’ve (hopefully) filed your taxes by now.

Did you get a big, juicy tax return this year? Or get socked with a big, nasty amount to pay the IRS? Either way, if your job requires you complete a W-4 for your employer, it might be possible to reduce that number.

It’s pretty clear why you wouldn’t want to pay so much next year in a big lump sum, but you might be wondering why you would want to reduce your big, juicy tax return. After all, it’s like getting a fat bonus check, right?

Actually, when you have too much taxes withheld from your paycheck, you are giving the government money out of your pocket that they earn interest on... interest which they don’t share with you. If you adjust your withholding, you get more money in your paycheck that you can then save for a nest egg and earn the interest on yourself!

The IRS is so helpful, they have created a Withholding Calculator that you can use online for free. Check it out - get them to help you figure out what your withholding should really be. If you get less back, or pay less in April - you win, either way.

Here’s the Withholding Calculator  -Calculator - try it out.

We’re always looking out for your financial health. And, of course, your physical health.

Keeping your kids safe while biking

Written by Dr. Lee Mancini on Tuesday, 05 March 2013. Posted in Fitness

Keeping your kids safe while biking
Spring is right around the corner and kids can’t wait to get out on their bikes on the first sunny day. Depending on where you live, your children might already be out, buzzing around the neighborhood or riding to school.
Bicycling accidents are too frequent and nothing to mess around with. Here are some safety tips for you and your kids to think about:
Wear a helmet!
  • Your helmet should sit right above your eyebrows and be fastened tightly enough not to slip while you are riding. The best to buy? Make sure your child’s helmet (and yours) meets either the Consumer Product Safety Commission (CPSC) or Snell B-95 standards.
Teach your kids to be street smart:
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