Archive for June, 2010

Do you get sleepy behind the wheel?

Q: I sleep well at night, wake up refreshed and energetic, and rarely feel tired or take naps. But when I drive for an hour or more, I become so sleepy that I have to pull over and take a 45-minute nap or risk crashing.

After I wake up, I’m alert and good to go. My mother and brother have the same problem; we call it “auto-narcolepsy” because the only time it happens is in the car (whether I’m a driver or a passenger).

Long road trips can make drivers sleepy, leading to accidents. Photo by Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times/MCT

Long road trips can make drivers sleepy, leading to accidents. Photo by Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times/MCT

A: You are certainly not alone. Others also have reported that driving or riding in the car makes them sleepy. We recently heard from a long-distance truck driver that eating sunflower seeds helps him stay alert on 12-hour trips. The mental concentration needed to crack the shell, extract the seed and spit out the residue seems to be enough to maintain alertness. It may also help that the seeds are rich in fat and protein rather than rapidly absorbed …

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Diet and fitness tips from ‘Biggest Loser’ winner Ali Vincent

Ali Vincent appeared on season five of NBC’s “The Biggest Loser” reality weight loss show and became the show’s first female winner. Once a competitive athlete, when she gave up her sport (synchronized swimming) she did not begin a new fitness routine and the pounds slowly crept on over the years. Eventually, she found her 5′5″ frame topping out at 234 pounds. That’s when Vincent decided to apply to be on “The Biggest Loser” and went on to lose 112 pounds. She recently made an appearance in Atlanta and took the time to respond to our questions about her weight loss journey.

At the beginning of her weight loss journey, Ali Vincent weighed 234 pounds. She is pictured here on the right. Next to her is her mom, who also appeared on the reality TV show, "The Biggest Loser."

At the beginning of her weight loss journey, Ali Vincent weighed 234 pounds. She is pictured here on the right. Her mom, who also appeared on the show, is seen on the left. File photo.

Q. What was your biggest motivation for going on the show “The Biggest Loser” and making your weight loss journey an experience you shared with the public?

A. I had tried every diet in the world and they always worked …

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Have you survived a catastrophic accident or illness?

No one wants to imagine the ordeal of dealing with a catastrophic accident or illness, but there are many people who have suffered severe trauma and have survived. Hollywood film and television producer Simon Lewis is one of those people, and he provides the grueling, heart-breaking but ultimately inspirational account of his own experience after a horrific car accident in the book, “Rise and Shine.”

Rise and Shine by Simon Lewis.

Rise and Shine by Simon Lewis.

Lewis was 35 when his wife was killed and he was initially declared deceased at the scene of a terrible hit-and-run accident. The culprit was never found. The initial days after the accident found Lewis hanging precariously between life and death. Lewis suffered severe brain damage and multiple broken bones. Doctors were initially not optimistic about him pulling through, let alone ever walking or driving a car again. But Lewis found the will and determination to survive, as he and his family often had to battle doctors and insurance companies to …

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