Good Day Alabama: Jan. 5, 2016

Good Day Alabama: Jan. 5, 2016

Here's what you saw on Good Day Alabama:

JEH JEH LIVE - Jeh Jeh joined us live from Tarrant as part of Red Rock Tuesday. He learns more about the Tarrant Trail from Chief Hewitt Park. The Red Rock Ridge and Valley Trail System will connect existing trails and parks connecting our communities while improving the health, economy, and quality of life for our region.  For more information on the many hiking trails and future plans, visit

NEW BOOKS - Susan Swagler writes about books at her "Turn the Page" blog and in Birmingham Magazine. She spent the week between Christmas and the New Year reading one great book after another. These books are all over the board… a clever Western and then a fairy tale without a moral by the same author, a riveting book about a family tragedy and one the funniest things she's read in a long, long time … a memoir about one women's mental illness and her unorthodox way of coping. She introduced us to:

  • "The Sisters Brothers" by Patrick deWitt
  • "Undermajordomo Minor" by Patrick deWitt
  • "Descent" by Tim Johnston
  • "Furiously Happy" by Jenny Lawson

GARDENING - Sandra Reaves joined us to discuss her winter-sowing experiment. Winter sowing is planting seeds outside in mini greenhouses made from recycled containers. You can use containers such as 2-liter soda bottles, milk jugs, cat litter jugs, and rotisserie chicken containers. The plastic should allow light to pass through. Benefits of winter sowing include naturally hardened plants, being able to place plants outdoors, a heat source is not needed, and saves time. It spreads out workload to make planting less stressful and physically demanded. Winter sowing is regularly done in northern climates.  It's unclear what the results would be in Alabama. For more information and to follow, visit her Facebook page - it includes lots of pictures, tips, how-to videos, and info on veggie trials going on in the garden.  It's a "real time, real life" look at home gardening and food preservation. You can find her at or

BETH K - UAB Nutritionist Beth Kitchin discussed Human Growth Hormone in older adults. She addressed the questions - it is a Fountain of Youth or a dangerous drug? Peyton Manning's yet-to-be-proved doping "scandal" was overshadowed by his comeback in Sunday's game.  But the scandal that never was did bring human growth hormone back into the spotlight. We all make human growth hormone -HGH- in our pituitary gland in the brain. When we are young, it is the hormone that stimulates growth into our adolescents. As we get older, we make less HGH. Some studies have shown that HGH injections may help to slow the aging process by stimulating muscle growth, improving exercise endurance, and improving the quality and texture of the skin. Despite concerns about the safety of HGH, the anti-aging industry has latched onto promises of slowing the aging process and sells all sorts of products that supposedly stimulate greater HGH production - it is highly questionable whether they do or not. Some anti-aging doctors will prescribe HGH off-label. Three Big Issues:
1. Off-Label Prescribing: There are several FDA-approved uses for HGH– the most common is for children who are deficient to help them grow properly. But doctors can "off label" prescribe drugs for uses that are not approved or have been studied extensively. Just a note here, you have to take HGH as an injection. This hormone is a protein and your stomach acid and digestive enzymes in the lower gut would destroy it in pill form.
2. Counterfeit/Unapproved Products in the U.S.:  Because the cost of producing approved HGH is high, there are a lot of counterfeit and unapproved products out there.
3. Supplements Sold as HGH Stimulants: Just watch some late night TV and you're bound to see products marketed as HGH stimulators. These products often promise that they will stimulate your own natural HGH production but none of them can actually show you data that says they do this. There are seemingly infinite numbers of these products making a lot of over-the-top promises.
So, if you are older and want to stave off many of the unwanted effects of aging, should you consider HGH? The American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists says no. While there may be some benefits for people who don't need it for medically necessary reasons, there are big safety concerns. Some studies suggest that there may be a good reason our HGH declines with age. Older people with higher levels of HGH may be more likely to die younger. One study found that in people age 50 to 65, people with higher IGF-1 levels - the growth factor stimulated by HGH - were four times as likely to get cancer and had a 75 percent increase in overall mortality compared with those with lower levels. High HGH is associated with an increased risk of cancer, high blood cholesterol levels and high blood sugar.
And the benefits may not be as great as some say. Some studies also suggest that while HGH may increase muscle mass, it may not increase muscle strength– which pretty much makes it useless as a muscle builder. So for now, even if you can find a doctor who is willing to off-label prescribe it against the FDA guidelines, you're better off saying "no thanks" until there is more research about its safety and effectiveness.

MONEY TUESDAY -Stewart Welch joined us with help setting your goals for 2016. Take a moment to reflect on this past year.  What are some accomplishments that make you feel particularly happy?  Are there areas that you feel you could have done much better if you'd given them more focus?  Michelangelo famously said, "The greater danger for most of us lies not in setting our aim too high and falling short, but in setting our aim too low, and achieving our mark."  Stewart's personal observation is that far too many people set their goals too low or they don't have goals at all!  Without goals, your destiny is left to the wind…to be blown this way and that by other people…often people who do have goals. If you've never set goals before, here's a simple guide:
• Write it down.  A goal unwritten is little more than a dream.  By writing it down, you create a 'connection' between your brain and the world around you.  I think you'll be surprised at how the world will bend over backwards to help you.  Keep it simple: I use one index card for each goal. 
• Be specific.  Fuzzy goals equal fuzzy outcomes.  Be specific about what you want and when you want it.   The best test of this is to have someone read your goal.  If they are clear about what you want and when, then you likely have a well-written goal.
• Review them often.    My index cards of goals rest on my office desk where I see them daily.  As you review them, think of 'why' each goal is important to you.  If you have a great 'why', you'll find the 'how' becomes much easier.
• Go bite size.  With some goals, you can just go do them -spring clean your closet, but most require a series of steps -buying a home- or setting and completing routines -exercise.  Break the bigger goals down into smaller parts…pieces that are easy to accomplish one at a time.  At the beginning of each week, develop a short list of actions you can take this week that will move you towards one or more of your goals…then get it done.
• Get leverage on yourself.  One of the best ways to increase your odds of success is to solicit the help of an 'accountability partner', someone who you share your goals with and who agrees to hold you accountable for taking the action necessary to succeed.  Ideally, this is someone who also has goals with you as his or her accountability partner.  Make a habit of checking in weekly for progress reports.
• Celebrate.  Most goals are marathons, not sprints.  Learn to celebrate as you achieve certain 'goal posts' along the way.  It will make the process much more fun.
Easy versus stretch goals

Tomorrow on Good Day Alabama, we take you live to the Consumer Electronics Show to check out the latest technology! Women, do you have problems with incontinence? The doctor joins us to take your questions! We talk gardening and check out the latest entertainment news! Plus Mickey takes us for a visit at the Birmingham Zoo! Join us for this and much more tomorrow on Good Day Alabama!