Daily detox: Happiness, Learning, and the Hacker Mindset

Let’s take a look at our happiness because being more happy will offer better immunity and therefore, less inclination to disease, longer life and ability to enjoy it.

This week I was inspired by a brilliant 13 year old.

Who is Logan LaPlante? Maybe you’ve never heard of him before, but he is intelligent and well-spoken, living through a unique education process based on a philosophy of “being happy.” You can see him give a Ted-Talk by searching for “Hackschool.”

Who influenced his concept of what it takes to be happy?…

Look beyond your horizons

Look beyond your horizons.  Hawaiian Sunset (photo by Challen Yee)



As a foundation for the study of happiness, he chose a system developed by Dr. Roger Walsh.

According to Walsh’s research, there are 8 aspects which strongly contribute to your personal happiness:

– Exercise
– Diet and Nutrition
– Time in Nature
– Contribution & Service
– Relationships
– Recreation
– Relaxation & Stress Management
– Religious & Spiritual

What adds a greater insight to connecting with these 8 key areas is the attitude conveys by Logan is his “hacker mentality” which also strongly coincides with Dr. Walsh’s belief that school would better equip children to leading happier and healthier lives should they  make those two life aspects more of a focus, that is, to be happy and healthy.

If you don’t understand what being a Hacker is, it’s not as bad as a lot of people imagine. Being a Hacker is probably best exemplified by Steve Jobs who didn’t restrain himself by adhering to a rigid system to create and make real his ideas. He envisioned the benefit to the consumer, then worked on a solution. He didn’t come up with a product and then hope people would buy it. He knew people would adopt his brilliant idea and then set out to make it real doing much of his work from design to business dealings in unconventional manners, thinking outside the box.

In Logan’s experience, he often looks first at his passion and then associates with experts and takes more of an apprenticeship-like approach to learning the core subjects.
The basic rule applies: You learn more easily if your are passionate and excited about a subject.

This is the opposite approach often applied to traditional learning, where kids are provided generic information regardless of their personal passions.

The only summer school program my parents put me though, when I was about 13 or 14, adopted the passion-approach to writing. They asked me what I enjoyed, then they provided some assignments based on my favorite interests. I had a passion for high performance cars (still do). Logan also gives a similar example in his education process, he loves skiing, so he writes with passion about skiing. This approach really works.

This works with any subject or process.

History is another great example. I hated studying history until I took an interest in a historical character. You can’t fall in love with facts and figures, but you can develop a relationship or passion for a person’s successes and struggles and then take an interest in the factors that influence their world. That’s learning like a hacker.

And learning like a hacker increases your satisfaction and therefore your overall happiness because you can achieve what you want faster by adopting some hacker techniques.

This approach can be applied to anything. Be less restrained in using your creativity and imagination. Have some fun.

So the takeaway is this: If there is something you are passionate about, ask yourself, meditate on if there is an easier way to achieve what you want. Take some time to think outside of the box you’ve put yourself into. Listen to a few people who have already achieved what you seek to achieve. Life is too short to waste time making mistakes you can avoid with a few well placed ideas and recommendations, personalized by your own untapped well of creativity and imagination.

Be Empowered. Be Alive. Be Happier.

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*”CHEMOTHERAPY: POISONING CANCER (and you)” from “Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients” (Blaylock).

I could have titled this “Additional tools for your first oncologist meeting.”

Writer’s note: This subject is often something you don’t follow unless you’ve had a bout of cancer in your close circle, but when you are faced with a diagnosed cancer then you should be aware of the powerful influence proper nutrition and nutritive therapy have on your body. Do yourself a favor, be aware now and do not wait.

When my father passed away in 1996 from pancreatic cancer, I, like most people, was not aware of the many natural ways we could have taken a healthy proactive approach to fighting the disease. And if you as a lay person try to tell someone who has already gone down the slippery slope of hopelessness and they’ve already accepted death as imminent as predicted by a “professional”, it can be even more difficult to persuade them that carefully administered high dosages of crystallized Vitamin C over and beyond the course of a cancer, along with other dietary, lifestyle and nutritive strategies can bring about a significant increase is the quality of life and in some cases remission.

These natural therapies act in a way that is generally beneficial for the body and without adverse effects (and in some cases contraindicated by your oncologist with the use of chemo or radiation treatments).

Although many the damaging effects of conventional cancer treatments are obvious, I am not necessarily advocating the non-use of these methods. A combined approach would adopt the natural approach at all times as allowed through and around the windows created by Western treatments.

How important would it be for you to know how you can fight cancer in ways that are both powerful and not poisonous to your body?

There are many points in the following chapter opening from “Natural Strategies for Cancer Patients” (2003) by Dr. Russell L. Blaylock, that I will share below…




The use of chemotherapy has become so common in the treating cancer that it is now considered a standard part of the regimen. Dr. Ralph Moss, who has written extensively on the subject of cancer treatment, has noted that while chemotherapy has definite benefits for several selected cancers, in many cases it is used inappropriately. I have found the same thing in my observations over the past thirty years in medicine.

Before deciding on chemotherapy, there are several important things you should know and discuss with your oncologist. Of critical importance is the fact that most chemotherapy agents can also cause cancer themselves and may do so many years
after your therapy has been completed. You should be informed of this risk before you make any decisions.

You should also be aware of the difference between “cure” of cancer and “control” of cancer. In the past, a cancer was considered “cured” if the patient had no evidence of disease five years after the treatments were finished. Some feel the cancer-free period should be extended to ten years, and I agree. Despite this optimism, there is evidence that some cancers may never be cured in the literal sense. Rather, the cancer cells are placed in a dormant state, that is, put to sleep.

Often oncologists imply that their treatment will cure your cancer, when in fact they know that it may merely control your cancer. When a cancer is under control, it means that an obvious residual tumor remains but is not growing. Usually, your doctor
will order repeat studies to make sure the tumor does not begin to grow again. Another point of confusion for patients is the is the term “tumor response.” Your oncologist may tell you your tumor should respond to a particular chemotherapy program. Response is not synonymous with cure. A tumor is responsive if it either stops growing or shrinks, even it temporarily.

If your cancer is more advanced, you need to know if the treatment is merely palliative rather than intended to cure or control your cancer. A palliative treatment is usually done to relieve some symptom, such as pain or an obstruction caused by the tumor. In many instances, especially with pain, nutritional treatments are a much better alternative since they cause no unpleasant side effects and, in most cases, help the patient’s energy levels to improve, sometimes dramatically.

If your tumor is well localized, you have negative lymph nodes, and you have no evidence of local invasion or metastasis, your oncologist may recommend a cycle of chemotherapy and/or radiation treatments to eradicate any cancer cells that may have escaped. Several studies have shown that such adjunctive chemotherapy may reduce the incidence of tumor recurrence. The problem with these studies is that the results were never compared to those of a carefully constructed nutritional program. My experience is that a good nutritional program is just as effective as, and possibly even more effective than, chemotherapy or radiation. When combined with these conventional treatments, a nutritional program greatly enhances their effectiveness and reduces complications.

You should thoroughly discuss all the possible side effects and complications of your treatment program with your oncologist. Do not let the doctor brush them off as nothing to worry about. As we shall see, properly selected nutritional supplements and a good diet can greatly reduce and even eliminate many of the side effects and complications.

Before beginning your chemotherapy or radiation treatments, you should begin your nutrition program. In most instances, nutrients will work best if started before the conventional treatments, yet they will also be effective if started afterward as well.

While you can tell your oncologist about your nutrition program, do not expect him or her to understand the scientific basis of its effect on your cancer and how it aids in your treatment. Remember that your doctor may have had no training in nutritional biochemistry and may be unaware of the research in this area. An oncologist’s expertise is with the conventional cancer treatments: surgery, chemotherapy, radiation therapy, and biological response modifiers.

(end excerpt)
After you read this passage from Dr. Blaylock’s book, at least take away the basic fact that nutrition therapy is powerful and should be a core part of for anti-cancer treatment and maintenance. The side effects are none to negligible compared to the destructive forces of the powerful agents commonly used in chemotherapy.

Live your life to the fullest and keep with you some health practices that will serve you so that your service to others will be longer lasting.

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E-mail:   challenyee@challenyee.com

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Powerful Anti-Cancer Foods and Attitude

Have you ever wondered which foods were the best to fight against a specific cancer type?

Then you’d be interested in information I found in “Anti-Cancer – A New Way of Life” by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber, MD, PhD

In each cancer category he illustrates over 30 different food rating, but for the purpose of this post, I will give you the most powerful, all of which are reported to have an average of over 95%, and most reportedly have almost a 100% ability to inhibit the specific cancer cell growth.

Now that sounds awesome to me, what about you?

So what I would do, short of getting this book for yourself and doing the research, is to rotate these foods in your weekly menu to generate some powerful immune potential so your body can reap some good anti-cancer benefit from your diet.

So here we go…



Non-Specific Cancers
1) Garlic
2) Leeks
3) Scallions
4) Brussels Spouts
5) Savoy Cabbage
6) Cabbage
7) Beets
8) Spinach
9) Kale
10) Asparagus
11) Cauliflower
12) Fiddlehead Fern
13) Onions
14) Broccoli

Colon Cancer
1) Garlic
2) Leeks
3) Scallions
4) Brussels Sprouts
5) Savoy Cabbage
6) Cabbage
7) Beets
8) Spinach
9) Kale
10) Asparagus
11) Cauliflower
12) Fiddlehead Fern
13) Onions

Lung Cancer
1) Garlic
2) Leeks
3) Scallions
4) Brussels Sprouts


Brain Cancer
1) Garlic
2) Leeks
3) Brussels Sprouts
4) Beets
5) Cabbage
6) Scallions
7) Kale
8) Broccoli
9) Cauliflower
10) Spinach

Prostate Cancer
1) Garlic
2) Brussels Sprouts
3) Scallions
4) Leeks
5) Broccoli
6) Cauliflower
7) Savoy Cabbage
(Tomato by the way, according to the source ranks at about 55%, maybe that is uncooked).

Breast Cancer
1) Garlic
2) Leeks
3) Scallions
4) Brussels Sprouts
5) Cauliflower
6) Cabbage
7) Kale
8) Broccoli

Now what did you think of that? Powerful right?


Don’t be ignorant about the power of the right foods

Let me tell you a story about what it is like to be ignorant like I was about food. When I was in the Navy between 1980 and 1986, a guy named Chris “The Bike Man” Friesen, a fellow sonar technician and submariner told me one day in the crews’ mess (our dining room) that “Beets prevent cancer.” I knew that Chris had a propensity for dry humor, so I was thinking his claim was kind of preposterous. I asked myself, “How could a beet prevent cancer?” Ignorant, right? Well, don’t be ignorant, I am telling you. This is powerful information and Chris had the right idea all these years.

And what about Brussels Sprouts? Besides being hard to spell, I remember a nuclear engineer on the submarine used to put pieces of rice on them to make a “smiley face” and called them “martian heads.” So don’t forget to eat your Martian Heads for dinner this week.

Of course, the best way to take advantage of this info is you get organic vegetables and to prepare them without blasting, boiling and frying them to smithereens, but even if organics are not on your radar scope yet,  start with  a conscious effort and a belief that this goodness will begin to reap benefits for you.


RECONNECTING with old friends can also be a good anti-cancer help

After Cowboy Mike, I have an affinity for Rosanne Cash and cool hats.

Cool Dude from Silver City, NM. After Cowboy Mike, I have an affinity for Rosanne Cash and cool hats. Photo by Challen Yee

Last, I want to celebrate two old Navy buds who I spent a lot of time with in San Diego and I just reconnected with recently, retired Sonar Chief Mike “The Cowboy” Avery, and my former weight lifting partner in San Diego, Robert “Bob” Wheat, who also is a retired Submarine Sonar Technician and Navy Diver. When it came to food, nutrition and supplements, Bob used to tell me, “Spend the money, you are investing in your body.”


With that thought, take the time and effort to invest in yourself and get the most out of life!

With Bob Wheat, working out 5-6 days a week on the Navy base in the early 1980's, San Diego, CA

“Hoo-Yah!” With Bob Wheat, from Long Beach, working out 5-6 days a week on the Navy base in the early 1980’s, San Diego, CA. That is me taking the picture.

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Where Health and Leadership cross paths Part 2

Writer’s note: If this one sounds familiar, it is another post from my archive, but it is also a follow up from last week’s post on the relationship between detox and leadership.

The article below was originally titled, “Courage in getting help” and that truly is perhaps the most important action in order to begin purifying our lives, admitting that our troubles are too large to deal with alone and without help.

The older I get I realize that time is of the essence, and Jim Rohn’s talk of the “Seasons of Life” becomes more apt.

So without further delay let’s consider the follow up…



Where health and leadership cross paths came to mind again as I was listening to Family Life Today, a radio broadcast hosted by Dennis Rainey.

In it he spoke about his experience amongst a group of combat veterans who were physically wounded in battle and those suffering from PTSD.
He asked them, “What’s the most courageous thing you’ve ever done?”

To his surprise, their answers do not have to do with valor in battle, but rather, out of 12 men, 11 men responded, as Dennis put it, “The most courageous thing they’d ever done was admitting they needed help—
“—that they needed another human being to engage with them around their need—that they weren’t able to fix this thing themselves. They needed another human being; and they needed God, in the process, to reach through…”

This interlude in their broadcast resonated with me so much, I wanted to write about it.

This is one area where having mentors, among other community, in your life can help a great deal.

It does seem like the darkest days in my life, whether it was failing to run my father’s business, or going down a non-fulfilling career path that was consuming my life, to being beaten down by a desire to get married and not finding the mate…  each one had one key aspect: Feeling completely and utterly alone, alone in your struggle, alone in your battle.

Now, you might say, “You’re surrounded by family and friends and people, you’re a member of a church, come on, how can you feel utterly alone?”

That’s true, but that’s what happens. You’re fighting a battle alone in your mind.

Recognize it if your experiencing some deep seated trouble that you think is hopeless with no help in sight. Recognize it as an important part of your life that you will get through it!

In my case, at the risk of oversimplifying,  it was often an expectation of myself that was not linked to reality of human suffering, but of some perfect concept that I believed my life must jump through.

I want to leave you with two thoughts, one is a lesson I learned and one is an exhortation to those who may be a mentor in someone’s life.

1) In my darkest moments in life, I was led to prayer, call it meditation if you will, call it meditation on your hands and knees, but it was only in that “forced” clearing of all the junk that was my mind, when in the deepest moments of anguish the small voice led me to a direction towards to a new goal, a new direction, or a reasoned key to unlock my dilemma.

2) If you are ever, seemingly out of the blue, directly approached by someone who asks for help… let’s say you are an elder in a church or other community, do not ignore that seemingly innocent request that someone may need your advise, especially if you know they just went through, let’s say for example, a death in the family.

Especially those who have the benefit of life experience, to borrow words from the great Les Brown, “Don’t be caught resting in the shade at the bottom of a valley when you could and should be [getting the most out out of life] charging up another mountain.”

You just might be called to be a mentor. Just being intentionally available could make an important difference in someone’s life.


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Where Health and Leadership Cross Paths -Part 1

Writer’s Note: If this title sounds familiar, it is. I originally posted this article below on July 7, 2013.

I chose to repost it again in the interest of time this week, being that I am traveling, but I also wanted to emphasize the common points between detoxification and leadership: both require action to keep the rot from setting in.

So without further adieu and probably most of you have not read this before, let’s get to it…

Getting some fresh air is a nice detox routine

Getting some fresh air is a nice detox routine


Where Health and Leadership Cross Paths (July 2013)

Since health and nutrition concerns are often vastly different from leadership issues,  I am currently working a new blog which will focus on leadership development.

I will keep the current leadership articles here on BestBuckBuck but will later republish them on my next blog.

In the future, BestBuckBuck.com will only cover health and ChallenYee.com will contain my thoughts and concerns on leadership.

Having cited the potential chasm between two broad topics and a need for blog separation, now let me touch on a life transition where health and leadership issues cross paths.

The circumstances of my father’s death in 1996 from pancreatic cancer was one of those “when your life turns around moments” (Jim Rohn), but only looking back on the event after a career change and involvement with health, medicine and nutrition. At the time his death was, for me, a more of a when your life gets turned upside down moments.

Personal and leadership development are on a spectrum, if the one does not lead to the next, and to action, then it is only an exercise in vanity. May I add, action without personal and leadership development leads to mediocrity at best or, quite simply, disaster.

If the mustard seed of my humble ideas will take root and truly help one other person with transcending a serious crux then I can consider this blog exercise to have served its purpose.

Reflecting on the original light-hearted “buck buck” concept, I muse that every improvement in condition begins with a form of detoxification.

In regards to leadership development, I may have an effect on one person, but that one may affect thousands and in turn, may save a team, an organization, a system, or a nation.



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Everyday Household Products to Avoid

Here are some tips from “Anti-Cancer- A New Way of Life” (2009) by Dr. David Servan-Schreiber to help you identify and resolve some common toxic conditions.

When I read this article I think about the many days my dad worked outside on his car repair business that was near a dry cleaners that was pumping out plumes of fumes, probably toxic fumes, into the air daily. My father passed away in 1996 from pancreatic cancer.

I think of the many incidences in the past where I was working with solvents and did not use protective gloves.

I think of stories I’ve heard of guys who didn’t think radioactive water was harmful to them because it looked harmless, and then to prove their “bravery” put their arms in it.

I think of all the fumes, both commercial and personal products, we’ve had to tolerate because we needed to be at work in it.

While I cannot draw any direct connection between cancer formation and a mist that you could smell as it drifts softly down upon your work area, like what was going on at my dad’s shop many years ago, it would benefit you to be aware of the many environments that people in the past just accepted that are now known cancer causing related conditions.

Certainly, if you must be in a toxic environment, take relief measures, many of which involve cranking up your healthy diet with powerful foods proven to be strong anti-cancer agents (which I will further document in future posts).

Let’s move on now to the tips from “Anti-Cancer”… 

Note: the tad bit of sarcasm that is used in item #4 by our good doctor. Somewhat rustic, though appropriate.

Getting some fresh air is a nice detox routine

Getting some fresh air is a nice detox routine

Everyday Household Products to Avoid
Avoid as Much as Possible

1. AVOID: perchloroethylene/tetrachloroethylene in dry cleaning

REPLACE with:  air out dry-cleaned garments in fresh air for several hours before wearing,  employ wet cleaning, liquid CO2 or silicone

2. AVOID: deodorants and antiperspirants containing aluminum (especially for women who shave their armpits, which facilitates penetration of aluminum)

REPLACE with: natural deodorants without aluminum

3. AVOID: cosmetics, shampoo, lotions, gels, hair dye, nail polish, sunscreen containing estrogens or placental products (common in hair products for Afro hairstyles), or with paragons or phthalates. Phthalates to avoid include: BBP and DEHP.* Parabens to avoid include, methylparaben, polyparaben, isoparaben, butylparaben

REPLACE with: natural and organic products free of parabens, phthalates, and estrogens. Many “organic” cosmetics are free of parabens and phthalates. Some companies, such as Body Shop or Aveda, make products without phthalates.

4. AVOID: perfumes containing phthalates (nearly all of them do)

REPLACE with: no perfume, or wear only toilet water (which contains fewer phthalates)

5. AVOID: chemical household pesticides and insecticides

REPLACE with: use insecticides made from essential oils or boric acid, or diatomaceous earth. See complete list of alternative remedies to most suspect pesticides and insecticides on http://www.panna.org

6. AVOID: heating foods or liquids (coffee, tea, baby formula) in plastic containers made with PVCs (which are liberated into the food when heated), polystyrene, or Styrofoam

REPLACE with: use glass or ceramic containers (including when using a microwave oven)

7. AVOID: preparing food in scratched teflon pans

REPLACE with: flawless Teflon, or else non-Teflon pans, such as stainless steel 18/10

8.  AVOID: common cleaning products such as liquid detergents, disinfectants, toilet bowl sanitizers with alkylphenols (nonoxynol, octoxynol, nonylphenol, octylphenol, etc)

REPLACE with: green or European Ecolabel products. Or replace with white vinegar (for counters and floors), baking soda, or white soap

9.  AVOID: excessive exposure to electromagnetic fields of cell phone

REPLACE with: reduce use of cell phones with an air-tube headset

* BBP=benzyl butyl phthalate; DEHP=di (2-ethylhexyl) phthalate.


What can you do today to reduce the toxic effects on your environment?

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Pre-disease alert using blood testing

As part of our ongoing effort to increase the awareness of daily detoxification I believe it is important to increase the public’s awareness of the difference between “functional” blood testing and “conventional” blood testing.

The following information are based on my notes taken and information provided during a seminar by Dr. Ronda Nelson (2013).



What is Functional Blood Chemistry?

It is an effective method of evaluating analyzing blood testing to reveal early stages of physiological imbalances.


Why Use Functional Blood Chemistry?

By focusing on physiology rather than a specific disease diagnosis, you can evaluate slight variations before they become a disease process.

Using an automotive example, how much would it be worth to you if you could detect your timing belt is wearing down before it actually breaks? Therefore, if you could observe a trend that is bound to result in a imbalance that causes diseases, before the criteria is met for a disease, how valuable is that to you?

Functional Blood Testing is comprehensive, inexpensive, and often covered by insurance. Moreover, you can regularly have your blood tested to check your body’s trends.


What is the key to Functional Blood Testing

The key are the acceptable ranges. If you understand the bell curve, you know that there is a gradient between optimal (center of curve) and the extremes, which lead to outlying results.
Using tighter levels of acceptance increases the sensitivity.

A conventional lab result is based on 95% of the population. Do you want your health evaluated on what 95% of people have when 50-80% of people suffer from being overweight, obesity and perhaps some early form of diabetes? The ranges used today are not the same ranges that are equal to 20 to 30 years ago when the obesity epidemic hadn’t gone crazy yet.

Therefore, it is not a surprise to me when I have a patient or a friend who is clearly overweight and suffering from obvious signs of disease and they are proudly proclaiming that “My blood tests are normal.”

Come on folks, “Normal” compared to what?

To make matters worse, as insurance companies seek to save money, a “complete” blood test of today are commonly a reduced set of tests that were historically used to provide a comprehensive blood evaluation.


What can you do?

You have to seek out a doctor who is willing to “look beyond” conventional evaluation to uncover the real problem. You can ask your primary MD, although, for many people it is teaming up with an “alternative” or “Holistic” medicine practitioner who is trained in evaluating Functional Blood Chemistry.

A practitioner can also help you order tests, or it is possible that a patient, if educated, can order their own blood tests through certain labs that do not require a professional license to order.

If you would like to do some research and blood testing on your own, I suggest to go to www.directlabs.com to see what’s involved with a “patient-friendly” lab.

If you are a practitioner, I suggest you take a look at www.ProfessionalCo-op.com and see what a doctor friendly lab looks like.

Minimal testing is no longer adequate, you will need to include:

CBC with differential
Basic Metabolic Panel
Lipid Panel

Other suggested add-on tests include:
Fasting Insulin
Reverse T3
Vitamin D,1,25

By establishing a benchmark for yourself, you can provide yourself a powerful tool to help assess your body’s physiological condition and take action before many diseases set in.

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