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November 15, 2010 Newsletter

The Interactive Healer 

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November 15, 2010 

In This Issue
Exercise machines you don’t need
Best holiday foods

To schedule a seminar on the Functional Movement Screen (FMS)


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In my e-book Posture and Mobility: Nine Steps to Assessing and Improving Your Health, you are taken through self-assessment tests, and then guided through a progressive and safe exercise format to increase your strength, range of motion, power and endurance. If you have been searching for a way to increase physical health, this book will help you.


A recent comment was “Working through your e-book. My glute medius has never been stronger!”

Order directly from and have this professionally-bound book delivered to your door for $37.75 or download the book electronically for only $18.75.
Dear Jeffrey,
Dr. Jeffrey Tucker

This month I went to The World Congress on Lumbar Spine & Pelvic Pain in Los Angeles. It was a real “who’s who” of people in the lumbar spine research world.  


I’m excited that I contributed two chapters in Mike Clark’s new book written for the National Academy of Sports Medicine (NASM). The book was released this week.

Click on  so I can keep you updated on important and valuable health information. 

If you have any questions, suggestions or comments, please feel free to email Dr. Tucker at:

6 exercise machines not to put on your holiday list 

You know I’m not a proponent of weight machines. I prefer bodyweight exercises, bands, free weights and kettlebells. Machines aren’t very functional and may not be safe. In fact, sometimes they actually contribute to the injuries you were trying to avoid in the first place. Here are 6 machines you should lift without. 

1) The Seated Leg Extension

The myth: It’s the safest way to work your quadriceps, or thigh muscles.

The truth: Physiologists at the Mayo Clinic determined that leg extensions place significantly more stress on your knees than squats. Why? Because the resistance is placed near your ankles, which leads to high amounts of torque being applied to your knee joint every time you lower the weight. What’s more, Auburn University scientists found that people who squat long-term have tighter, stronger knee ligaments than those who don’t squat at all.

The alternatives: Free weight squats, split squats, and lunges-performed with perfect form-are all better choices for working your quads and protecting your knees. 

2) The Behind-the-Neck Lat Pull-Down

The myth: The best way to perform the lat pulldown is to pull the bar behind your head, down to your upper back.

The truth: This exercise can increase your risk for shoulder impingement syndrome-a painful condition in which the muscles or tendons of your rotator cuff become entrapped in your shoulder joint.

The alternative: Simple-just pull the bar in front of your head, down to your collarbone. You’ll work your back just as hard, but with less risk for injury.  

3) The Pec Deck

The myth: It’s a super safe and very effective way to work your chest muscles.

The truth: This apparatus, also called the chest fly machine, can overstretch the front of your shoulder and cause the muscles around the rear of your shoulder to stiffen. The result: Doing this movement frequently can lead to shoulder impingement syndrome.

The alternatives: Pushups, dumbbell bench press and dumbbell incline press; they’re easier on your shoulders and the best way to build your chest overall.


4) The Seated Hip Abductor Machine

The myth: This machine is the best way to work your out thighs, including your glutes.

The truth: Because you’re seated, it trains a movement that has no functional use. And if done with excessive weight and jerky technique, it can put undue pressure on your spine.

The alternative: Work the same muscles, but while standing. Simply loop a resistance band around both legs, and position the band just below your knees.  Now take small steps to your left for 20 feet. Then side-step back to your right for 20 feet. That’s one set.

5) The Seated Rotation Machine

The myth: Twisting on this machine helps melt your love handles.

The truth: It works the muscles under your love handles, but will do little to reduce the fat that covers them. What’s more, because your pelvis doesn’t move as you rotate your upper body, this exercise can put excessive twisting forces on the spine.

The alternative: As long as you don’t expect to shrink your love handles, you can use rotational exercises to work your obliques. But here’s the secret to safety: Before you do any rotational exercises, brace your abs forcefully-as if you’re about to be punched in the gut-and hold them that way as you do the movement. This limits your range of motion and helps to keep you from rotating excessively at your lower spine.

6) The Smith Machine

The myth: This machine-which looks like a squat rack with a built-in bar that runs on guides-gives you all the benefits of squats, but none of the risk that comes from holding a heavy barbell across your back. That’s because the bar can easily be secured at any point during the movement.

The truth: Because the bar runs on guides, you can only move straight up and down as you squat-instead of down and back, as you would in a free-weight squat. The result: An unnatural movement that puts extra stress on your knees and lower back. Need another reason to skip the Smith? Canadian researchers found that traditional squats produced almost 50 percent more muscle activity in the quadriceps than squats done on a Smith machine.

The alternative: If you’re not comfortable with barbell squats, simply do the exercise while holding dumbbells at arm’s length next to your sides. You won’t need a spotter, and your body will be free to move through the natural motion of the squat.

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Best Holiday Foods to Eat

Especially during this holiday season and every day of the year, try to include these foods into your diet. These foods are delicious and among the best foods you can eat to help boost your metabolism and melt fat, enhance the immune system, lower cholesterol, stabilize blood sugar, and manage your weight through these holidays.


GREEN TEA: Contains catechins that are antioxidants. The American Medical Association published a study in 2006 that followed more than 40,000 Japanese adults for a decade, and at the 7-year follow-up, those who had been drinking five or more cups of tea per day were 26 percent less likely to die of any cause compared with those who averaged less than a cup. Catechins are also effective at boosting metabolism.
Substitutes: Yerba mate, white tea, oolong tea, rooibos (red) tea


GARLIC: My wife Maddy, being Italian, loves garlic. It contains natural antibacterial and antifungal compounds. Garlic is used to fight cancer, strengthen your cardiovascular system, decrease fat, and fight acne inflammation. Maddy says to activate the healing compounds, you’ve first got to crush the garlic as finely as possible. Then be sure not to overcook it, as too much heat will render the compound completely useless (and your food totally bitter).
Substitutes: Onions, chives, leeks


GRAPEFRUIT: In a study of 100 obese people at The Scripps Clinic in California, those who ate half a grapefruit with each meal lost an average of 3.6 pounds over the course of 12 weeks. Some lost as much as 10 pounds. The study’s control group, in contrast, lost only 1/2 pound. Grapefruit also helps decrease insulin levels.

Substitutes: Oranges

TOMATOES:  Again my Italian wife loves tomatoes. These contain lycopenes-a cancer-preventing antioxidant.

Substitutes: Watermelon

GREEK YOGURT: It contains good protein, and is a delicious desert mixed with almonds, oranges, or grapefruit. Greek yogurt has been separated from the watery whey that sits on top of regular yogurt, and the process has removed excessive sugars such as lactose and increased the concentration of protein by as much as three times.

Substitutes: Kefir and yogurt with “live and active cultures” printed on the product label

AVOCADO: This fruit contains the healthy fats called monounsaturates. Numerous studies have shown that monounsaturated fats both improve your cholesterol profile and decrease the amount of triglycerides (more fats) floating around in your blood. That can lower your risk of stroke and heart disease.

Substitutes: Olive, canola and peanut oils, peanut butter, tahini 

EGGS: I still think eggs are on of the best foods. You can have then everyday as breakfast or a snack. A large egg is low calorie (72 calories) and packs 6.3 grams of high-quality protein. A study published in the International Journal of Obesity found that people who replace carbs with eggs for breakfast lose weight 65 percent quicker. Researchers in Michigan were able to determine that regular egg eaters enjoyed more vitamins and minerals in their diets than those who ate few or no eggs. By examining surveys from more than 25,000 people, the researchers found that egg eaters were about half as likely to be deficient in vitamin B12, 24 percent less likely to be deficient in vitamin A, and 36 percent less likely to be deficient in vitamin E. Those who ate at least four eggs a week had significantly lower cholesterol levels than those who ate fewer than one. Turns out the dietary cholesterol in the yolk has little impact on your serum cholesterol.
Substitutes: Egg Beaters egg substitute – but why bother! Eat the whole egg.

QUINOA: You cook it like rice but it has about twice as much fiber and protein as brown rice. It has a near-perfect blend of amino acids, healthy fats and a comparatively small dose of carbohydrates. Quinoa’s in the morning mixed with eggs, garlic, tomatoes, peppers, and spinach is an amazing delicious, healthy meal.

Substitutes: Oats, amaranth, millet, pearl barley, bulgur wheat

BELL PEPPERS: All peppers are loaded with antioxidants, but none so much as the brightly colored reds, yellows, and oranges. These colors result from carotenoids concentrated in the flesh of the pepper, and it’s these same carotenoids that give tomatoes, carrots, and grapefruits their healthy hues. The range of benefits provided by these colorful pigments include improved immune function, better communication between cells, protection against sun damage, and a diminished risk for several types of cancer. And if you can take the heat, try cooking with chili peppers. The bell pepper cousins are still loaded with carotenoids and vitamin C, but have the added benefit of capsaicins, temperature-raising phytochemicals that have been shown to fight headache and arthritis pain as well as boost metabolism.
Substitutes: Carrots, sweet potatoes, watermelon

ALMONDS: An ounce of almonds a day, about 23 nuts, provides nearly 9 grams of heart-healthy oleic acid, which is more than peanuts, walnuts, or cashews. This monounsaturated fat is known to be responsible for improved memory. Nearly a quarter of an almond’s calories come from fiber and protein.
Substitutes: Walnuts, pecans, peanuts, sesame seeds, flaxseeds

SWISS CHARD: It contains lots multivitamins. For a mere 35 calories worth of cooked chard, you get more than 300% of your recommended daily intake vitamin K, 100% of your day’s vitamin A, shown to help defend against cancer and bolster vision, and 16% of hard-to-get vitamin E, which studies have shown may help sharpen mental acuity.
Substitutes: Spinach, mustard greens, collard greens, watercress, arugula, romaine lettuce

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Please forward my newsletter to your friends, family and coworkers.  And please feel free to contact me with your questions, comments and suggestions. 
Please stay committed to your health, fitness and nutrition efforts.
Warm regards,
Dr. Jeffrey Tucker

FirstLine Therapy

Do you want lots of energy and mental clarity? Would you like to reduce your risk of chronic health conditions like diabetes, heart disease, and high cholesterol?  Then Dr. Tucker’s FirstLine Therapy program is for you.  A therapeutic lifestyle is the most powerful tool there is to positively impact your health for a lifetime.  
Call today to schedule your FirstLine Therapy Consultation:  310-473-2911

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Dr. Jeffrey Tucker | (310) 473-2911 | 11600 Wilshire Blvd. Suite 412 | Los Angeles | CA | 90025