From FAT to FIT again – Transformation Challenge

YES, I did it and I achieved my goal. In just 12 weeks of this weight loss challenge, (January 4th-March 29th  2015) I lost 10.3 kg (23 lbs) of unwanted weight and I trimmed my waist circumference with 14 centimeters (5.5 inches)

In fact those are my results week by week:

Date Section Weight Waist
January 4, 2015 Start Weight 92 kg       (202 lbs) 106 cm
January 11, 2015 Week 1 86 kg       (189 lbs) 98 cm
January 18, 2015 Week 2 85.3 kg     (188lbs) 97 cm
January 25, 2015 Week 3 85 kg         (187 lbs) 97 cm
February 1, 2015 Week 4 84 kg         (185 lbs) 96 cm
February 8, 2015 Week 5 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 15, 2015 Week 6 83.5 kg     (184 lbs) 95 cm
February 22, 2015 Week 7 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 1, 2015 Week 8 83.5 kg   (184 lbs) 95 cm
March 8, 2015 Week 9 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 15, 2015 Week 10 83 kg       (182.5 lbs) 94 cm
March 22, 2015 Week 11 82.4 kg   (181 lbs) 93 cm
March 29, 2015 Week 12 81.7 kg   (180 lbs) 92 cm


RESET March 29 2015

Why I decided to do this challenge?

On my previous blog from January 2015, entitled ‘From Fit to Fat – My Transformation Challenge’  I wrote how stress, medication for pain and nervous tension, affected my life, my health and my physical fitness. And as a result of those stressors, my blood sugars elevated, my blood pressure rose to unhealthy readings of over 140/90, my weight gain move up from 84 kg to 92 kg in only few months, and my waist measurement increased to 106 centimeters (42 inches). This constellation of symptoms made me a candidate for developing a pre-diabetic state known as Metabolic Syndrome or Syndrome X.

Having personal experiences and knowing that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company with clinical studies in Reversing of Metabolic Syndrome and Obesity, I decided to restore my health and lose some unwanted pounds by participating into their Usana Reset Nation weight Loss Challenge and follow their protocol. See some clinical trials at the end of this blog.

And I have to admit that even with my knowledge in functional fitness and holistic nutrition, achieving this ambition and losing 10 kg, was not an easy task without exercising.

Yes, due to some re-occurring back pain and muscular stiffness (as a result of a car accident in 2009) I was not able to exercise during the first 8 weeks of my challenge, yet I was able to lose 7 kg of my weight just by changing my nutritional habits, as recommended in the USANA’s RESET™ Nation Challenge.

But when 4 weeks ago I also started to workout using a combination of moderate intensity weight training and functional bodyweight exercise program I personally designed for my recovery, I was able to achieve my goal and to lose an additional 3.3 kg.

RESET March 29 2015 -2

Why I set my goal to lose 10 kg?

And if someone might ask why my goal was to lose 10 kg and not six, eight or 15kg, I can surely affirm that before 2009, this was my ideal weight as a fitness professional and martial arts athlete. This was the weight that in the years 2005-2009, kept me extremely active, strong and in great physical condition despite my age of 47 (in 2009).

But what motivates me to participate into this challenge NOW was mostly a combination of many personal choices.

  1. First, I needed to restore my health which in the last year started to decline at a considerable speed and I wanted to win the big prize: The Usana Health Sciences all inclusive trip to Sanoviv Medical Institute (May 2nd-May 7th 2015)
  2. On the same time, I wanted to prove again and again that Usana Health Sciences is a True Health Company. In the past, as a Registered Holistic and Sport Nutrition Consultant in Canada, I was able to help many friends, athletes and other clients to improve their wellbeing using a combination of healthy nutrition, regular physical exercises and the use of Usana Health Sciences nutritional supplements.
  3. My next reason to win this challenge was to raise awareness to my fellow Romanian friends and compatriots, and to point out that Usana Health Sciences is indeed the True Health Company.

Once one of the top karate athletes in Romania (and than in Italy) I grew up as an eyewitness to the effects of malnutrition in many orphan children in Romania. And at that time I was unable to help at all. But in 2002, thanks to Children’s Hunger Fund (a Charitable Organization) and its long-time partner Usana Health Sciences, I have heard how they restore health to thousands of Romanian orphans for many years. This is why in 2012 I decided to ‘return the favor’ and to compete (at the age of 50) in the 2012 Karate BC Provincial Championships to raise funds for Usana True Health Foundation and Children Hunger Fund to be exclusively used for children in desperate need of food and medicine. For me as a USANA Associate, giving to Children’s Hunger Fund was more than a donation — it was a fight. And I would like to thank Usana and their True Health Foundation for recognizing me as one of their “Champion”. In fact in 2013, the management of Usana Health Sciences and True Health Foundation invited me in Salt Lake City to present to me the ‘Champion for Change Award’

4. And NOW the year of 2015, become my time to restore my health and bring back my well being. And thanks to Usana Reset Nation Challenge, I am on my way to get healthier and better physically, emotionally and financially.

And to conclude I would like to tell everyone:


More information about Usana Clinical Studies on Reversal of Metabolic Syndrome:

Testimonial Rita Ngo

“The environment Mario sets is very friendly and inviting. The class was great for beginners, as I know Mario could have been a lot tougher. As serious and dangerous as the defensive moves were, we still had tons of fun, exerting ourselves and beating each other with pads! The friends I brought, all with different personalities and attitudes when it comes to exercise, enjoyed the class. Mario makes the class very enjoyable and informative! You can also ask him anything, he does his best to help. ”

Rita Ngo
2011 Karate Canada Nationals Silver Medalist – Participant at  Krav H.I.F.I.T. Bootcamp

Testimonial Kevin Stewart

“Ella (8 years) and I have really enjoyed learning about Krav Maga, proper exercise techniques, and healthy living. Ella has really gained confidence from the class and she is definitely increasing her strength (I was very impressed by the power in her elbows today). As for me, taking the class back in the fall inspired me to change my eating habits and to make time for exercising as regularly throughout the week as my often busy schedule will allow. Since December, I’ve lost 20 lbs, 2 inches off my waist, and both my blood pressure and blood sugars are normal (both were elevated back in the fall). Your class and your encouraging teaching style have been very important part of my health gains.”

Kevin Stewart
Senior Lecturer, Simon Fraser University – Participant at Family Self Defense & Fitness

Testimonial Steve McGinley

“Your passion for self-defense and karate is evident, and you were very adaptive to feedback from our students and teachers. Our students have added another tool to their life skill toolbox. Great to have you in our school!”

Steve McGinley
Head of P.E. Archbishop Carney Secondary – Y.E.S. Program

My Prolotherapy Experience – part 3 – The Cervical Zone


IMG_5619Prolotherapy or better said Proliferation Therapy, works when  done properly by a professional specialist and particularly when using an ultra-sound ESAOTE device, the one that Dr. Hal Brown is using at the Integrative Naturopathic Medical Centre in Vancouver B.C.

I the last 3 years, I have had great results for my lower back, using prolotherapy, regenerative injections, but since the treatment was painful and expensive for my budget, I delayed my prolotherapy treatments for the neck, hoping that the injured tissue will heal in time.  It didn’t happen. In fact it gets worst.


Last year, I also was able (through my family doctor) and after eight months on the waiting list, to reach an appointment at the University of British Columbia – Allen McGavin Sport Medicine Centre for an even more powerful treatment known as Platelet Rich Plasma Therapy (PRPT). But I get “kicked out” as soon as I said that my injuries are the result of a car accident- rear end collision that occurred in 2009. Obviously they are ‘afraid’ of getting the Insurance Corporation of BC on their back, and to interfere with their ‘unconventional’ treatments. It is such a shame that treatments which might give good results, for a reason or other are not approved by the mainstream medicine.


472722[1]It is been more than five years now, since I cope with this cervical discomfort. And in time the condition become worst and worst with headaches at the base of the scull, tension and muscles spasm to my entire back and decrease range of neck motions, particularly looking to the right. Pain killers, Massage Therapy, Acupuncture and Spinal Adjustments helped me to cope somehow with pain, but were just a temporary relief.

But the sad episode that happened on Saturday, December 29, 2014 made me rethink about my health and my choices. Just by attempting to put my socks into my feet, preparing to go to work, the re-occurring sharp pain happens simultaneous to my neck and lowers back. Six hours on the emergency room, didn’t help much, despite the fact that the nurse injected intravenous Fentanyl and Morphine-both powerful narcotic pain medicine.

Since then my pain for the lower back was dull and continuous for about 3 weeks, but my neck was stiff at all time, and as soon as I turned it to the right, I felt pain, relatively sharp in nature.


junkie-syringe-injection-needle[1]So, I decided Prolotherapy again. And after only two sessions of my lower back prolotherapy treatments, using a guided ultrasound device, Dr. Brown managed to inject the P2G proliferate solution (dextrose, glycerin, and phenol)  right on the spots where I felt my chronic pain. At the moment, I still have some lower back discomfort (more sessions are needed) but the dull pain vanished.

Based on this fact I decided to go also for my neck prolotherapy and I booked my appointment for Wednesday, February 11, 2015 (that was yesterday)

And my discussion with Dr. Brown was something like that:

– Dr. Brown: Mario it’s going to be painful…

– Me: (low voice) MHH! MHH! YEAH!

– Dr. Brown: More painful than prolotherapy for your lower back…

– Me: (lower voice) YES?

– But I am sure you will manage, and you will get better after.”

– Me: I HOPE SO.

cervical_dropped_head_anatomy02[1]And it was indeed painful, as Dr. Brown was using again the ultrasound device, driving the needle and injecting the P2G solution right to the roots of my neck and scapula ligaments and tendons.

As a result: I was neck stiff for entire day and on the evening I have had low grade fever.

But I woke up in the morning feeling better, with some manageable pain, probably from the inflammation, but not anymore sharp pain. And as I rotate my neck to the right, I have had an increased range of motion. Obviously it might take a week or more for the body to produce collagen and to reconstruct the connective tissue, and probably I will need to follow up with more treatments. But for now, I feel my pain improved and my range of motion increased, which is what I was looking for.

Now is about time to think again:  TRAINING for

Functional Fitness – Better Mood – Increased Performances – Better Health

From Fit to Fat – My Transformation Challenge

Many friends call me Mario-Fit.

But I have to admit that I am Fat. I am not kidding. Many of my friends are still following my nutritional advises and fitness tips to get healthy and in better shape, because I am qualified as a Fitness Instructor and Registered Holistic Nutritional Consultant – expert on cellular nutrition. But in the last few years, too much pressure in resolving unexpected problems, which were out of my control, and too much medication for pain and stress, affected my life, my health and my physical fitness.

IMG_5496  IMG_5497IMG_5521

As a result my blood pressure rose to unhealthy readings of over 140/90 and recently I gained much weight that now I am 10 kg (22 lbs) extra-flabby. My waist measurement is now 106 centimeters (42 inches) and my height is still 1.77 cm (5’8’’). Considering the Body Mass Index (BMO) ratio weight to height, I am 29% chubby. This number, place me on the category of an extremely overweight person (30% is the starting limit of obesity).

And I refuse to accept this realty. I must do something. But what can I do? Problems are still unresolved and stress is still part of my daily life.

From trying to manage my re-occurring pain, and dealing with an ICBC claim (a car accident that occur in 2009) to many other frustration and disappointments related to my business loss and my personal relationship with my family and friends, indeed affected much my health and wellbeing. IMG_5614

Only in the last few months, because of accumulated nervous tension, and taking many prescription medications for pain and stress, I was diagnosed with a major digestive problem which affected also the absorption of nutrients. This medical condition is on top of my stress-related muscle tension (myofacial pain syndrome) I was diagnosed earlier, after the 2009 car accident.

Recently, I have had a reoccurring sudden pain to my lower back and to my cervical area, and much frustration on my ability to be functionally fit the way I want it to be, created even more disappointments and tension. It is like a circle of destruction.

IMG_5441No matter that my 2014 winter ‘Happy Holidays’ were not so happy for me. I also spent some time on the St. Paul Emergency room with a sharp pain starting from the neck and down to my lower back. And guess what? I just tried to put my socks and my shoes onto my feet, preparing to go to work. What a nasty day December 29, 2014. I got intravenous injections with Fentanyl, a potent, synthetic opioid pain medication. It works a little, but not the best. And after few hours I get two more shorts of Morphine and Ketorolac, that makes me able to walk with the feeling that I am already  “in paradise”.

For sure those medications, will sooner or later affect my liver as well. I must do something.

In the past trigger point injections (prolotherapy) relaxation techniques and anti-inflammatory nutrients such omega 3 fish oil and glucosamine with turmeric extract also help, but just for a period of time.

What to do?

Well I already booked my prolotherapy session and I just decided to start the USANA Health Science – Reset Nation Challenge.  This 12-week “regain your health” – weight-loss challenge—running January 5–March 29—rewards winners with an exclusive trip to Sanoviv Medical Institute in Rosarito Mexico, which utilize cutting-edge “Functional Medicine” and detoxification using alternative and integrative programs to help maintain a good health and to treat a wide range of diseases. And I really need a vacation in a luxurious setting, for a full detoxification, healthy nutrition, and functional medicine treatments that might restore my health.

Grapeseed Extract & Fish Oil can Kill Leukemia cancer cells

Great News! It appears that grape seeds extract and omega-3 from fish oil might have a positive activity in leukemia.

GrapeSeed[1]While previous studies on grape seed extracts has shown potent activity in a number of cancers, including skin, breast, colon, lung, stomach and prostate cancers, now researchers from the University of Kentucky discover that an extract from grape seeds influences leukemia cells (in laboratory studies) to commit cell suicide, or apoptosis in medical terms. The researchers found that within 24 hours, 76 percent of leukemia cells had died after being exposed to this grapeseed extract. The investigators, who report their findings in the January 1, 2009, issue of Clinical Cancer Research, found that the grape seeds extract activates a protein named JNK that led to the cancer cell’s self-destruction. Read all the research at the end of this article.

These results could have implications for the incorporation of agents such as grape seed extract into prevention or treatment of hematological malignancies and possibly other cancers

…said the study’s lead author, Xianglin Shi, Ph.D., professor in the Graduate Center for Toxicology at the University of Kentucky.


Also a compound produced from EPA—Eicosapentaenoic Acid—an omega-3 fatty acid found in fish and in fish oil, appears to target and kill the leukemia stem cells, and according to research, it could lead to a cure for the disease. Read all the research at the end of this article.

Research in the past on fatty acids has shown the health benefits of fatty acids on cardiovascular system and brain development, particularly in infants, but we have shown that some metabolites of omega-3 have the ability to selectively kill the leukemia-causing stem cells in mice…The important thing is that the mice were completely cured of leukemia with no relapse

Additionally, fish oil supplementation, proved to have a significant higher increase for appetite, and an increasing tendency on energy and protein consumption.

About Leukemia

Leukemia is a type of cancer in which the body produces large numbers of abnormal (usually white) blood cells. It is a complicated disorder of the white blood cells, which normally are responsible for fighting off pathogens and infections.

Symptoms_of_leukemia[1]What causes the disease is not yet known for sure. Some experts have suggested that radiation might be the principal cause of this disease, while others blame the toxic chemicals on the environment including pesticides in fruits and vegetables. It is also possible that viruses and genetics to influence the development of leukemia, but nobody can tell for sure.

Since cancer cells are multiplying rapidly, most forms of the leukemia are treated with pharmaceutical medication, usually combined into a multi-drug chemotherapy regimen, aiming to kill cells that divide rapidly. But in this process the chemotherapy harms also healthy cells that divide rapidly under normal circumstances: cells in the bone marrow, digestive tract, and hair follicles. This is why people under chemotherapy are losing their hair and might experience an inflammation of the digestive tract, as well as a decrease production of the blood cells.

Considering the safety of natural compounds in grapeseed extracts and fish oil supplements over the side effects of multi-drugs chemotherapy treatment, it would make sense to choose your best treatment, but only under qualified medical supervision.

If you or someone else is suffering from leukemia, it is my honest believe that you should consult with your doctor, and your oncologist, and provide them with the following resources posted at:

US National Library of Medicine – National Institutes of Health database:

Prolotherapy or Corticosteroids Injections for Pain? – My Personal Experience

Ultrasound[1]It is been two weeks already since Dr. Hal Brown performed my last PROLOTHERAPY treatment at the Naturopathic Healing Arts in Vancouver. And I feel better. Not completely healed but better in a sense that the pain was reduced substantially. But this time was different. During my Prolotherapy injections treatment, Dr. Hal Brown with the assistance of two other experts used a new ultrasound device, to reach for difficult to access areas, such as the deep injections into my groin that connected the ligaments to my lower back areas of my chronic injuries.

In the past I found that PROLOTHERAPY regenerative injections, was a remarkable treatment for my lower back injury. Although not completely healed, the effect of injections lasted for about 18 month. This is why in 2012, I was able to get back on shape, and at the age of 50 to compete in the BC Karate Provincial Championship, with great results. By competing, I was also able to raise funds, and help some desperate kids in need for food and medical attention.

Unfortunately, the discomfort returned last year, while driving extended hours (as a park ranger). Sitting and not exercising to maintain my core strength, progressively increased my pain. But the real aching returned after two years; when in October of 2013, by sneezing several times, cut me down again with a sharp pain to my lower back.

Dr.Brown5[1]This time I was referred by my family doctor to see Dr. Macki – a sport medicine expert-and to consider the corticosteroids injections. But Dr. Macki, after a thorough examination, advised not to consider at all cortisone injections for my lower back or neck, as some of his patients get complications such as thinning of skin and soft tissue around the injection site and in some cases also rupture of nearby tendon or bone due to increased osteoporosis.

He mention that unlike cortisone injections which are effective to reduce pain, but weaken the collagen structures, PROLOTHERAPY fundamentally supports the body by stimulating the its inflammatory and recovery process so that new collagen and tissue repair can occur. As the prolotherapy regenerative injections proved to be a longer term (but still temporary) relief from pain, he advised me to do more sessions of prolotherapy, additionally to spinal manipulations and some specific physiotherapy exercises recommended to strengthen my core and to stretch and relieve pain to my groin area, which is connected by ligaments to my injured lower back.

So, back again to Dr. Hal Brown and his Prolotherapy regenerative injections. For my lower back treatment, Dr. Brown used a mixed solution of glucose, anaesthesia and Traumel – a homeopathic medicine of 14 botanical and mineral ingredients, proved in clinical trials to reduce pain and to provide specific therapeutic action and to support different phases of the healing process. AND Dr. Brown also mention that for best results, Prolotherapy works better in conjunction with core exercises, regular spinal adjustments and massage.

For some of his patients, the prolotherapy treatment was a permanent healing, while for other a temporarily, but long term pain relief and better regeneration.  Since prolotherapy uses natural substances to stimulate the “rehabilitation” of an incompetent structure by the generation of new cellular tissue, time will tell if the healing will be complete, or just temporarily.

Anyway, if someone was referred to consider corticosteroids injections for pain do your own research (by comparison) and check again with your doctor to see if this is really what you need.

Take care of yourself.

What’s better: Eating Fish or Taking Fish Oil Supplements?

A diet rich in fish WAS one of the best sources of Omega 3 fatty acids EPA and DHA, known for their health benefits. Note that I said ‘WAS’ and not ‘IT IS’ since pollution and the contamination of our oceans with mercury, polycarbonate bisphenols (PBC) and other nuclear toxic waste become a big concern for our living environment, including marine life.

fishoil[1]By now, most of us are probably familiar with the health benefits of omega-3 fatty acids, (Eicosapentaenoic Acid – EPA) and Docosahexaenoic Acid – DHA) readily available from oily fish or fish oil such as: cod liver, herring, mackerel, salmon and sardine.

If you don’t, know much about the benefits of Omega-3, just consider the review done at the University of Maryland Medical Centre, that show the effectiveness of  Omega 3 fatty acids in combating high cholesterol, high blood pressure, heart disease,  diabetes, rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus erythematous (SLE), osteoporosis, depression, bipolar disorder, schizophrenia, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), cognitive decline, skin disorders, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), asthma, macular degeneration, menstrual pain, colon cancer, breast cancer and prostate cancer, just to name a few.  The entire article can be founded at this link:

  • DHA is so important since is the primary structural component of the human brain and retina in the eye.
  • EPA become also essential to health because acts as a precursor for anti-inflammatory hormone-like substances that participate in a wide range of body functions such as the contraction and relaxation of smooth muscle, the dilation and constriction of blood vessels, control of blood pressure, and modulation of inflammation.

For general health it is recommended a minimum of 650 mg of combined EPA + DHA per day up to a safe limit of 3000 mg per day. But due to the increased level of bioaccumulation of toxins in the fish, the same health authorities recommend no more than 2 servings of fish per week, and if you are pregnant women you should avoid fish totally. And according to many environment agencies, the mercury contamination should be less than 0.5 microgram per kilogram of body weight. But this makes it difficult to get the recommended amount of omega-3s from diet alone without exposure to dangerous contaminants, which can affect our health.

515px-MercuryFoodChain-01[1]And as I mention on my previous article:  ‘Omega 3 Fish Oil and Inflammation’ (published March 17, 2014) mercury and PBC are neurotoxins which are hard to be eliminated from the body since  accumulates through the food chain in a process called bioaccumulation.

There is also a big concern about the purity and quality of the fish oil supplements as trace levels of PCBs were found in many product tested by Consumer Lab – a leading provider of independent product testing helping consumers and healthcare professionals make safe and knowledgeable purchasing decisions. Also the August 2012 Consumer Lab report on the quality of fish oil / omega-3 supplements revealed that some supplements exceeded contaminations limits for PCBs, while others contained 20% to 30% less than the claimed amounts of EPA, DHA or other omega-3 fatty acids. One softgel product contained spoiled fish oil, while an enteric-coated softgel (intended to reduce “fish burp”) released its fish oil too early.


USANA-BiOmega-352x198[1]This is why I recommend Biomega-3 from USANA Health Sciences. It has been thoroughly tested, evaluated and given the respected stamp of approval by USANA’s BiOmega contains 1050 mg of EPA+DHA (1200 total omega-3 fatty acids) in a daily dose of two gel caps and without contamination. Plus, with USANA’s BiOmega, you get some extra vitamin D, but without the fishy aftertaste due to the added lemon oil.

This picture speaks for itself: 1221250192[1]


Walnuts could be “Drugs” – Instead eat Frito Lay for Health

There are enough evidences on the health benefits of the phytonutrients found in walnuts, and their antioxidant and anti-inflammatory benefits. Some phytonutrients found in walnuts such as the quinone juglone, are unique and not found in other commonly eaten foods. Other phytonutrients like the tannin tellimagrandin or the flavonol morin—are also rare and valuable as antioxidants and anti-inflammatory nutrients. These anti-inflammatory and antioxidant phytonutrients also help explain the decreased risk of certain cancers and their protective properties against metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular problems, and type2 diabetes.

DiamondWalnutsOmega3Label2[1]But be careful how you legally promote the health benefits of walnuts, without getting in trouble with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).The FDA sent a warning letter to Diamond Foods telling them that the claims they were making for their walnuts place the walnuts into the category of “drug”. Based on the FDA review of the label and website of the “Diamond of California Shelled Walnuts” products, they have concluded that the walnut products sold by the company are in violation of the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (the Act), because the walnuts are

“…promoted for conditions that cause them to be drugs because these products are intended for use in the prevention, mitigation, and treatment of disease…”

frito-lay-jump-r[1]Strange as it looks, the FDA has no problem with Frito-Lay® – a subsidiary of the Pepsi-Cola company – who sells $12 billion a year chips made products. Frito-Lay® made claims that their products are made with ingredients that help lower total and LDL “bad” cholesterol and maintain HDL “good” cholesterol levels, which can support a healthy heart. Even salt, according to Frito-Lay® website, when eaten in moderation as part of a balanced diet, is essential for the body.

What I see is that FDA allows Frito-Lay® to pretend there are heart health benefits in ingesting fat-calories and loaded fried carbohydrates, while censoring the ability of walnut companies to make some scientifically-proved claims.

acrylamide_foods[1]And beside “healthy chips”  don’t forget the acrylamides formed when carbohydrate foods such potatoes are fried at high temperatures in sunflower oils to make potato chips,  increases the risk of cancers of the large bowel, bladder, or kidney.

This is how food business and unscrupulous people in search for profit, are getting advantage of many people’s ignorance.

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