Gary McClure Discusses Past Awards

Gary McClure When APSU’s head baseball coach Gary McClure retired in 2015, he did so as a record-breaking leader, winning an 847 games in 27 seasons. We recently sat down with a very humble Gary McClure, who claims his record was built on the foundation of dedicated and talented student athletes.

Zrylw: We are very excited to speak with you today. You are considered by many the best coach in OVC history.

Gary McClure: Thank you very much for that compliment. I will tell you like i have many others, i’m a much better coach when i have good players. I’m certainly no rocket scientist, but that’s one thing i was smart enough to figure out.

Zrylw: During your time with the Governors, you had a number of great years. Do any of them stand out more than others?

Gary McClure: Yes, to be honest there are several that stay etched pretty deep in memory. Truthfully, i just feel fortunate and honored to have the opportunity to work with young people.

Zrylw: Why is that?

Gary McClure: Well, you can’t beat making an impact on young people’s lives while having the opportunity to do something you love and at the same time make your living and get paid for it.

Zrylw: That’s great and sounds unbelievable…

Gary McClure: It really was. I can’t tell you how good it made me feel.

Zrylw: That is really remarkable. 

Gary McClure: Like i said, i was blessed to have these opportunities. It makes it even more significant when you have young men work so hard to try and reach their potential as athletes. I was very fortunate to know that most of my players made it a priority to excel.

Zrylw: Like Dobbs?

Gary McClure: Absolutely, Jeremy basically went from being a non factor one year to our programs eighth Pitcher of the Year the next. So many guys were able to make themselves great players.

Zrylw: Along with Shawn Kelley…

Gary McClure: That’s right. Dobbs was actually the first after Kelley won the award in 2007.

Zrylw: With your Coach of the Year distinction in 2011, you tied Jim Ward, right?

Gary McClure: I guess i have never really thought about it, but i guess i did.

Zrylw: What was it about the 2011 team that made all of these honors special?

Gary McClure: Any honor or award is special. What stands out about the 2011 group is that there were no senior position players starting. We were also just a .500 club until about two thirds of the way through the season and then they matured in a hurry and went on a terror winning most of the games during the rest of the season. That’s pretty unusual when you realize that we closed the year 30-22 and actually locked up the conference championship with 6 games left in the season..

Zrylw: Tell us a little about Reed Harper…

Gary McClure: Reed was a sophomore short stop at the time. Along with first-baseman John Hogan, Reed received first-team All-OVC honors. He had just had an amazing season, with a 29-game hitting streak. He brought so many things to the table offensively and defensively along with being one of the greatest competitors i ever coached. He had intangibles that many players don’t.

Zrylw: What about second-team honors?

Gary McClure: We had four: Jordan Hankins, Zach Toney, Michael Blanchard, and Greg Bachman.

Zrylw: Hadn’t Greg Bachman been out for a while with a shoulder injury?

Gary McClure: You’re right. He missed the previous season and actually started 2011 slow. He must have completely healed by the end of the season though, because he rounded out the year with a 43 RBIs and seven home runs! He was playing at an extremely high level and played a big role as a leader on that team. He was most certainly what i call a giver and not a taker. I really loved Greg as a player and a person.

Zrylw: Hankins had multiple acknowledgements in 2011, didn’t he?

Gary McClure: Yes, he also earned All-Freshman team recognition along with being named to Louisville Sluggers Freshman All American Team. He finished the season .378, which was the best among qualifying freshman players. He also hit a game winning home run against Georgia Tech in the NCAA Regional that year. Hankins was a great hitter from the first day he stepped on our campus.

Zrylw: Who else made All-Freshman?

Gary McClure: Rolando Gautier and Matt Wollenzin.

Zrylw: It sounds like 2011 really was a memorable year.

Gary McClure: Most definitely. And one that I am proud to have been a part of.

Gary McClure later told us that retirement hadn’t dulled his interest in baseball and that he continues to follow the Governors and will most likely get back in the game at some point. He looks forward to seeing more of his former players in the MiLB and the MLB in the future.

Bath Planet Offers New Options for Old Bathrooms

Bath Planet Palatine, Illinois-based Bath Planet (a BCI Acrylics company) says many homeowners don’t use their bathtubs anymore. Whether for safety reasons or because they just prefer a nice, hot, steamy shower, these customers are flocking to Bath Planet’s tub-to-shower conversions over keeping their unwanted soaker. Here, we talk with a Bath Planet representative about the benefits of this home-enhancing offering.

ZRYLW: Welcome to ZRYLW! Great to have you here today.

Bath Planet: Thank you for the invitation.

ZRYLW: Today we’d like to talk about ways to utilize unused space in the home. Do you have any suggestions?

Bath Planet: One of Bath Planet’s most popular services is our professionally installed tub-to-shower conversions.

ZRYLW: What’s that?

Bath Planet: This is where we remove an old bathtub and replace it with a liked-sized shower floor. The tubs we remove are typically ones that don’t get used.

ZRYLW: Ah, I see. So, turning the space into a shower improves the room’s functionality?

Bath Planet: Exactly. Many people simply don’t enjoy baths. Others opt for the conversion for safety reasons.

ZRYLW: It’s easier to step over a low-profile shower basin than a bathtub…

Bath Planet: That’s right, it’s also easier to keep clean than an old bathtub.

ZRYLW: Now you’ve got my attention.

Bath Planet: Our acrylic shower bases can be cleaned with a soft cloth and warm water.

ZRYLW: No chemicals?

Bath Planet: A deeper clean (which is rarely needed) can be achieved with a simple all-purpose cleaning spray.

ZRYLW: That makes it much easier than scrubbing on hands and knees.

Bath Planet: Absolutely. But that’s just one of the many benefits of converting an existing bath.

ZRYLW: Tell me more…

Bath Planet: Eliminating high sidewalls means more space to stretch out while bathing. And, since the bases are custom built, they are sealed tight to prevent water intrusion.

ZRYLW: Meaning a Bath Planet shower won’t succumb to ugly black mold and mildew?

Bath Planet: Yes!

ZRYLW: Can you tell us the difference between the tub-to-shower conversion and a barrier-free shower? Are they similar?

Bath Planet: In many ways, yes. The primary difference is that the barrier-free showers don’t have the step over. They are geared toward mobility impaired individuals who may have trouble navigating even a small obstacle.

ZRYLW:  Is this a good option for wheelchair-bound older adults?

Bath Planet: Yes, and the barrier-free option can be customized with a seat and grab bars for added safety.

ZRYLW: That’s great to know. But, speaking of accessories, what options would a customer have on the conversion?

Bath Planet: We offer a full line of extras, including shower rods and doors, towel rings, corner caddies, soap dishes, and beautiful fixtures in chrome, nickel, and bronze. We even have shaving stands!

ZRYLW: Now, I suppose the big question is how much does it all cost?

Bath Planet: That’s the best part, in my opinion. Bath Planet takes pride in providing affordable bathroom solutions. We don’t use book pricing, since your bathroom and your personal wants and needs aren’t like anyone else’s. We have a team of expertly trained design consultants who make a personal house call to take measurements, answer questions, and present color and pattern options. Once that’s done, we write a custom estimate.

ZRYLW: How can our readers get started?

Bath Planet: They can go online to or call one of our knowledgeable reps at 800.459.9529.

Bobby Price Shines a Light on a Real American Hero

Bobby PriceNo, we’re not talking about the 80s cartoon soldier. Here, Bobby Price discusses his decommissioned 1984 American LaFrance Triple Combination Fire Pumper.

ZRYLW: We appreciate you being here today.

Bobby Price: I’m happy to share with your readers.

ZRYLW: We understand that you own an old New York firetruck. How did that come in your possession?

Bobby Price: Back in 2006, I attended an auction at the Cars of Dreams Museum. The fire pumper – an American LaFrance Triple Combination – had just been delivered. Notably, the truck was driven the entire way.

ZRYLW: Why was it decommissioned?

Bobby Price: The truck was over 20 years old at the time. And, despite having served faithfully, Engine Company 2 of the Commack Fire Department made the decision that it was time for an upgrade.

ZRYLW: Can you tell us about American LaFrance?

Bobby Price: American LaFrance was an American fire apparatus manufacturer from 1873 until 2014.

ZRYLW: They built fire trucks? 

Bobby Price Bobby Price: Not only fire trucks; they started out selling hand powered equipment. The founders Truckson LaFrance and Alexander Diven both had extensive experience in the industry and had been involved in companies that built steam powered fire engines.

ZRYLW: The company was based in South Carolina, correct?

Bobby Price: It was, however, its original corporate offices and manufacturing operations were located in New York.

ZRYLW: Did the company have any foreign operations?

Bobby Price: It was American owned and operated but had a plant in Ontario Canada that functioned under the name LaFrance-Foamite until 1971.

ZRYLW: What other kinds of vehicles did the company manufacture?

Bobby Price: American LaFrance focused specifically on firefighting equipment. It built combination pumpers, chemical engines, and aerial ladder trucks. In addition, American LaFrance provided specialty equipment including airport crash response vehicles.

ZRYLW: Why did the company go under?
Bobby Price: The company filed for bankruptcy in 2008 citing implementation problems with its new enterprise resource planning software.ZRYLW: But they continued through 2014?

Bobby Price: After six months, the company emerged from bankruptcy and continued successfully until ceasing operations in 2014.

ZRYLW: What drove your decision to buy the fire engine?

Bobby Price: I’m something of an automotive history enthusiast and really felt like this truck symbolized the greatest manufacturing accomplishments in America.

ZRYLW: How’s that?

Bobby Price: Many collector vehicles simply earn recognition for their ability to go fast. This truck is different in that it was directly responsible for saving countless lives in its two decades in service.

ZRYLW: When you put it that way, it’s pretty remarkable.

Bobby PriceBobby Price: I think so. I know the firemen were sad to see it go.

ZRYLW: You mentioned that you purchased this from the Cars of Dreams Museum. Tell us about that…?

Bobby Price: The Cars of Dreams Museum is a showcase of classic vehicles located in Palm Beach County, Florida.

ZRYLW: And it holds auctions?

Bobby Price: Usually when it has an auction, it’s to raise funds for an important cause.

ZRYLW: Can you give us an example?

Bobby Price: The Cars of Dreams Museum holds classic car shows and auctions that benefit everything from the Hospice of Palm Beach County Foundation to the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s office Shop with a Cop program.

ZRYLW: Sounds like a great place to stop on a vacation!

Bobby Price: It definitely is…

Bobby Price is the owner of Nashville’s premier collision repair provider Price’s Collision Centers. He is an avid automobile collector who says cars have played a major role in his life since childhood.

May Your Smile be Merry and Bright | Holiday Oral Care tips by Edmond Dentist, Dr. Damon R. Johnson, DDS

Damon Johnson, DDS Make oral health a top priority this winter and avoid tooth damage caused by seasonal treats, says Edmond dentist Dr. Damon R. Johnson.

ZRYLW: We know it’s a busy month and we appreciate you pulling away to be here today.

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: This time of year it’s especially important to spread the word about caring for your teeth.

ZRYLW: Exactly. That’s what we’d like to chat about if that’s okay?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Yes, ask me anything.

ZRYLW: What is it about the holiday season that entices people to indulge on sugary treats they otherwise turn a blind eye to?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: I think that a lot of it is that it’s there. Couple availability with the good feelings of togetherness and people tend to forget the damage they can do to themselves.

ZRYLW: Does stress play a role in how people care for their teeth from Thanksgiving through the New Year?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Yes! Like you’ve already pointed out, it’s a busy time of year. People simply forget (or have become too exhausted) to brush their teeth!

ZRYLW: Why is it a bad idea to toast the season with wine?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Wines are, by their very nature, highly acidic and sugary. This is a terrible combination for teeth.

ZRYLW: How bad are the inevitable Christmas cookies for your teeth?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Let’s just say as a dentist I am glad this time only comes once a year.

ZRYLW: So… if I do enjoy a treat but I can’t brush immediately?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Keep sugar-free gum on hand.

ZRYLW: Isn’t that bad for your teeth?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: No, it actually helps your mouth produce saliva to wash away the sugars and bacteria.

ZRYLW: Why is jaw soreness so common around this time?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: When people get stressed, they tend to clench their teeth which can strain jaw muscles.

ZRYLW: How can they stop doing that?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: It’s often unconscious – they may not be aware it’s happening or it happens at night during sleep.

ZRYLW: So if it’s a subconscious way to handle stress…can the damage it causes be stopped?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Your dentist may want to give you a custom mouth guard to wear at night to ease the force on the jaws.

ZRYLW: What is that doesn’t work?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: As long as it’s worn, a mouthguard will work.

ZRYLW: It looks like we’re out of time for the day. Thanks for stopping by.

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: My pleasure.

ZRYLW: Happy New Year, Dr. Johnson.

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: And a Happy New Year to you and all your readers.

Bora Bora: Island of All Dreams, Says Fred Wehba

Fred Wehba It’s getting cooler and that means that many of us will start daydreaming about warm weather. Fred Wehba is here to explain why we don’t have to simply dream, we can bask in warmth and sunshine all year long in French Polynesia.

ZRYLW: Good evening and thank you for joining us today.

Fred Wehba: Always a pleasure.

ZRYLW: We understand that travel is one of your passions.

Fred Wehba: It is, indeed. I love seeing God’s beautiful artwork laid out in new landscapes.

ZRYLW: Are there any particular destinations that you hold most dear?

Fred Wehba: There are so many. The world is such a beautiful place. However, I have to say that Bora-Bora is about my favorite destination, especially this time of year when most of the country is preparing for cool weather.

ZRYLW: That is in French Polynesia, right?

Fred Wehba: That’s right. It’s part of the Society Islands.

ZRYLW: Is there anything unique about the island?

Fred Wehba: It is surrounded by a barrier reef and lagoon. The waters are the most perfect blue you’ll ever see. The island itself is home to an ancient pair of volcanoes, Mount Otemanu and Mount Pahia.

ZRYLW: We hope they are extinct…

Fred Wehba: They are, yes, but they are still an imposing site!

ZRYLW: It seems like such an out-of-the-way place. Does it have an economy of its own?

Fred Wehba: Actually, Bora-Bora’s economic stability is largely reliant on tourism.

ZRYLW: Are there many resorts?

Fred Wehba: It is not a huge island but there are many accommodation options, ranging from moderate to luxury.

ZRYLW: What would a typical day be like for a visitor to Bora-Bora?

Fred Wehba: For the most part, the tourist attractions are centered on the area’s almost unnaturally blue and temperate waters. You could spend an entire day lounging on the beach and snorkeling the shallow lagoon.

ZRYLW: What about if I’m afraid of sharks?

Fred Wehba: For the most part, it’s a very safe area with water clear enough to see any danger. There are a couple of different island-based dive operators that offer shark and stingray tours.

ZRYLW: Is it an expensive trip?

Fred Wehba: Accommodations on the island range from basic up to very luxurious.

ZRYLW: What’s the best way to explore the lagoon?

Fred Wehba: You can rent a small boat (which I highly recommend) because it is truly one of the most beautiful places in the world.

ZRYLW: What is the average temperature?

Fred Wehba: Throughout the year, the temperature hovers in the mid-80s with a low in the mid to upper 70s.

ZRYLW: That sounds like an absolute dream!

Fred Wehba: It is known as the “Island of All Dreams” for a reason. The only caveat is that December through February brings higher rainfall.

ZRYLW: So when is the best time to go?

Fred Wehba: July, August, and September are typically the driest, followed closely by May and June. But really, there isn’t a bad time to take a vacation to Bora-Bora, no matter when you go!

Mouthwash Does More than Rinse Away Food Particles

Find a dentist approved mouthwash and enjoy fresh breath and a healthier mouth, say the dental experts.

Many people mistakenly believe that mouthwash is used solely for the purpose of freshening breath. While that’s certainly a benefit, a high-quality antiseptic mouth rinse offers more than just the scent of mint.

According to dentists, mouthwash may be used to help control, delay, or prevent tooth decay, eliminate or reduce plaque and gingivitis, and thwart tartar formation on teeth. You can find a dentist-approved mouthwash over-the-counter without a prescription. There are, however, two distinct types of mouthwash: therapeutic and cosmetic.

Therapeutic mouthwash

Therapeutic mouthwashes are those that offer health benefits. They contain fluoride which helps promote a healthy mouth and reduce tooth decay. Therapeutic rinses additionally work to control plaque, dental caries (cavities), and gingivitis. These mouthwashes often contain antimicrobial agents that get between teeth to kill the root cause of bad breath–bacteria.

Cosmetic mouthwash

Cosmetic mouthwashes focus specifically masking unpleasant breath. You can find a dentist-approved cosmetic mouthwash in a number of flavors including mint and citrus. Cosmetic rinses do not address the primary cause of, nor do they kill, bacteria.

While it’s important to brush and floss daily, many people have difficulty with these tasks due to fine motor skill issues or extreme tooth sensitivity. Mouthwashes add a level of protection against cavities and gum disease for these individuals.

The American Dental Association (ADA) recommends looking for their seal of acceptance when deciding which mouthwash to use. The ADA seal is an acknowledgment that that product has been tested for safety and effectiveness. When combined with regular dental checkups, a well-balanced diet free of excessive sugars, and regular brushing and flossing, mouthwashes help keep your mouth healthy and your breath fresh.

Restorative Dentistry with Damon R. Johnson, DDS

Dr. Damon R. Johnson is an Edmond, OK dentist with extensive experience correcting issues of the mouth from the common to the complex. Here, the founder of Damon R. Johnson, DDS Dental Excellence, answers questions about one of the more satisfying aspects of his job, restorative dentistry.

Q: What is restorative dentistry?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Restorative dentistry is the practice of managing diseases of the teeth and restoring proper function to the mouth.

Q: How does it differ from cosmetic dentistry?

Edmond, OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Cosmetic dentistry deals with making the smile look better. Most cosmetic procedures, like teeth whitening and elongation, don’t address the physical limitations of damaged teeth.

Q: What are some ways to prevent dental problems?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Aside from proper oral hygiene like brushing and flossing, regular exams help to identify potential problems so they can be prevented.

Q: What specialties does restorative dentistry encompass?

Edmond, OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Prosthodontics, periodontics, and endodontics are the most well-known areas. Each of these addresses specific concerns of the mouth, teeth, or gums.

Q: What are CEREC 3D® crowns?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: 3D crowns are custom-crafted covers for missing or damaged teeth. They are made from porcelain and match existing, natural teeth.

Q: What are the benefits of 3D x-rays?

Edmond, OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: 3D technology is faster and more accurate than traditional x-rays. It allows us to better identify problems and gives a full, panoramic view of the teeth and surrounding bone structure.

Q: What is the WaterLase Laser?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: It is a tool that we utilize to perform certain dental treatments. It is less invasive and has a faster recovery time when compared to a light-based laser. With the WaterLase, we can forgo anesthesia and the ever-dreaded dental drill, in most cases.

Q: What types of procedures is the WaterLase suitable for?

Edmond, OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: The WaterLase is used for teeth whitening, periodontal treatment, root canals, and to detect cavities. It is also effective at hardening restorative materials, such as crowns.

Q: What is amalgam?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Amalgam is a mercury-based metal alloy that is used to fill cavities.

Q: Is mercury hazardous to humans?

Edmond, OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: There is some evidence that suggests mercury has a damaging impact on a person’s overall health. The International Academy of Oral Medicine and Toxicology has an interesting short documentary called Smoking Teeth – Toxic Fillings, that explains the potential dangers.

Q: What are the benefits of composite fillings over amalgam?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: In addition to removing the risk associated with mercury-based fillings, composite material looks and feels just like a natural tooth.

Q: Are dental implants a permanent fix for missing teeth?

Edmond, OK dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Implants are permanent replacements that must be anchored to the jawbone as well as existing teeth. At Damon R. Johnson, DDS Dental Excellence, we prefer implants to bridges as they generally improve function without damage to other areas of the mouth.

Q: How long does it take to complete dental implant treatment?

Edmond dentist, Damon R. Johnson, DDS: Most implants take at least four months to properly prepare the mouth and complete the treatments. However, more advanced cases can take up to a year.

Stephen Edward Samuelian Weighs in on Skilled Nursing Vs. Nursing Home Care

Stephen Edward Samuelian Stephen Edward Samuelian has made a successful career out of developing safe and comfortable skilled nursing facilities. Here, the founder of Covenant Care, Inc. offers advice to adults looking to find new living situations for aging parents.

ZRYLW: Thank you, Mr. Samuelian, for being here today.

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Thank you for having me.

ZRYLW: Today, we’d like to discuss how to choose care for a senior parent. Our first question is from a reader, and it’s actually the reason we’ve chosen this topic. Megan G. from Laguna Beach, California, asks, “How do I know when it’s time to consider putting my mom in a nursing home?”

ZRYLW: Is there a difference?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Yes, there are major differences in the two.

ZRYLW: Can you explain?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: “Nursing home” is a fairly generic term for senior care and often refers to a facility that focuses primarily on day-to-day needs.

ZRYLW: Such as…?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Activities like bathing, eating, and mobility. A skilled nursing facility, on the other hand, focuses chiefly on complex medical issues.

ZRYLW: Medical needs that a nursing home cannot handle?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Yes, exactly. A skilled nursing facility ensures 24/7 access to medical care; a nursing home may only have providers on hand during certain hours.

ZRYLW: Is there a difference in the quality of staff?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: A skilled nursing facility is required to have a variety of skilled licensed and certified employees including registered nurses, medical assistants, and different types of therapist.

ZRYLW: So how do we know when our parents need a nursing home or a skilled nursing care program?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: It has a lot to do with their current physical and mental capabilities. A nursing home is a fine option for seniors that simply need help with medication, cooking, cleaning, and getting around.

ZRYLW: And a skilled nursing facility is for those who need constant medical attention?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Yes, that’s right.

ZRYLW: How difficult is it to transition from a nursing home into a skilled nursing care facility?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Some nursing homes actually have skilled nursing care units and rooms available on-site. However, more comprehensive programs may be found at dedicated skilled nursing locations.

ZRYLW: What would you say is the primary concern when choosing a skilled nursing program?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: The main focus is always the health and safety of the family member entering the facility.

ZRYLW: What are some things to look for in a skilled nursing facility or nursing home?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: I would first say look at how the staff interacts with the patients. Are they showing respect for each resident? Does everyone seem well taken care of? Is the staff aware of any potential dangers that may be lurking?

ZRYLW: Potential dangers? Can you give us an example?

Stephen Edward Samuelian: Safety hazards are not always obvious. It takes a good staff to keep an eye out for frayed carpets, accidental spills, or trash that may have fallen to the floor.

ZRYLW: We’d love to discuss this in depth later but we’re out of time for today. Thank you for being here.

Stephen Edward Samuelian: It has been my pleasure.

A New You in Just 8 Weeks: It’s Possible, says Dennis Wong, YOR Health Founder

Dennis Wong YOR Health YOR Health recently released a brand new addition to its weight management arsenal. The 2015 Thermo-Slim Program is a powerful ally in the fight against fat. Here, Dennis Wong, YOR Health founder, answers questions about the guide.

Q: What is the Thermo-Slim Program?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: The Thermo-Slim Program is a new fitness guide released for 2015 that combines YOR Health Slim products with real-world weight loss methods and advice from trainers, athletes, and fitness experts.

Q: How does it work?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: The guide was developed to train the body by systematically switching up the user’s diet and exercise plan.

Q: Doesn’t that just confuse the body?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: Yes, and that’s the point. The body is a remarkable machine capable of adapting to virtually any fitness regime. Once acclimated, most people see their weight loss stall.

Q: How long does it take?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: While proper diet and exercise is a life-long commitment, this three-stage program lasts just eight weeks.

Q: What are the three stages?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: Weeks one and two are the Balance Stage, which sorts out digestive issues. Weeks three through five are the Activate Stage where the metabolism is jump started. Weeks six, seven, and eight are the Ignite Stage, which establishes a pattern of healthy energy.

Q: So just eight weeks to a new body?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: Eight weeks is the perfect amount of time to discover a “new you.” But, the program is evolutionary, meaning it can be adapted for consequent cycles without staying on the same level.

Q: What are the two levels of the program?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: Level one is ideal for beginners with little fitness experience who need to shed pounds. Level two is designed for overall healthy people who are ready to improve their body composition.

Q: What are “Slim Down” and “Carbo-Charge” days?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: The system is designed so that users alternate between low calorie days (Slim Down) and higher-calorie, carbohydrate-fueled days (Carbo-Charge). This is called calorie cycling and keeps the body from adapting to a low-calorie lifestyle.

Q: Why does the program use two workout methods?

Dennis Wong, YOR Health: It all goes back to keeping the body from adapting and thus eliminating the risk of the dreaded plateau. By switching out high intensity interval training with progressive workouts, the body continues to burn calories at an accelerated rate.

Stephen Samuelian On Tougher Nursing Home Rules

Stephen Samuelian Placing a loved one in a nursing home is one of life’s toughest decisions. Making sure your loved one receives proper care may be the second hardest, says Stephen Samuelian.

According to Samuelian, the federal government is now making it harder for nursing homes to get top grades on a public report card, raising the bar on an array of quality measures. Those grades – in the form of one- to five-star ratings – are part of Nursing Home Compare, a Medicare and Medicaid website to help consumers evaluate nursing homes, says Stephen Samuelian.  While the ratings, which debuted in 2008, are lauded as an important tool, Stephen Samuelian says the system relies too heavily on self-reported data, allowing a majority of homes to score high. “It needs to be trustworthy,” says Stephen Samuelian.

Nursing Home Compare, says Stephen Samuelian, rates more than 15,000 nursing homes in three broad categories: government inspections, staffing, deficiencies and complaints.

According to Stephen Samuelian, the system has come under recent criticism, with complaints that some high rated nursing homes face fines and other regulatory actions. With the new rules, the federal government would require nursing homes to do more to get higher quality scores, says Stephen Samuelian.

According to Stephen Samuelian, one of the biggest concerns factoring into quality scores are the percentages of residents who develop bed sores or suffer injuries from falls.  The scores will now include the percentage of residents given antipsychotic drugs, says Stephen Samuelian, reflecting concern that too many residents are unnecessarily drugged to make them easier to manage. However, all of those procedures will continue to be reported by the facilities themselves, cautions Stephen Samuelian.

According to Stephen Samuelian, these changes mean many homes could drop a star or more from their January levels, even though nothing may have changed.

While consumer advocates welcome the adjustments, says Stephen Samuelian, industry officials believe the new rules may confuse patients and their families if scores change suddenly. Nursing homes fear losing star ratings overnight could send a signal to families and residents that quality is on the decline, says Stephen Samuelian.

Advocacy groups for nursing home residents and their families believe the shift is important and necessary. These groups have previously raised concerns that high rates were too easy to achieve, according to Stephen Samuelian.