The Destruction From Within or What Is Wrong With Us?


Pictured here during his drug binging and destruction days, Robert Downey Jr. has turned his life and career around

Drug Days of Downey

The media circus that surrounds the self-absorbed, addicted lives of Charlie Sheen, Lindsay Lohan and numerous fallen “idols” overshadows the courage of other celebrities.

A rising star, Robert Downey Jr. appeared in several critically acclaimed films, including Chaplin, for which he was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor in 1992. During the years that followed he was frequently arrested on drug charges and went through several rehab programs. Despite several attempted comebacks, his appearances before court judges seemed pathetic as he was repeatedly given more chances. Following his last drug arrest in 2001 for cocaine use, Downey, nearly at the point of no return, decided on life instead of death and reached out for help.

His determination at staying clean and sober pulled his life together and revitalized his career, which has reached new heights. He has starred in

Back on Top with the award winning movie Holmes

Back on Top in Holmes

the hugely successful “Iron Man” movies and won a Golden Globe in 2010 for his performance in “Sherlock Holmes.” Like many addicts, he once blamed others for his problems. It was when he took responsibility for his own actions that he turned his life around. He credits his victory over drugs and alcohol to his family, therapy and the 12-step approach, which emphasizes turning an unmanageable self-centered life over to God.

Mickey Mantle was one of the best New York Yankee sluggers to ever live. But he could have been greater, maybe even equal to baseball’s legendary Babe Ruth, had he not destroyed his life with alcohol. Mickey’s father, uncle and grandfather died of Hodgkin’s disease at young ages. He never thought he’d see age 40 because of the hereditary disease. Despite winning three Most Valuable Player awards for the season, holding the record for most

World Series home runs and being called the “greatest switch hitter of all time,” Mantle was plagued by injuries throughout his career. Although it seemed to be bad luck, the injuries most likely stemmed from his partying lifestyle, particularly his drinking. After being a consistent .300 hitter, his career suddenly took a downturn in 1965

Mickey Mantle Yankee Great of the 50's and 60's lost his career to booze

Mickey Mantle, the Once Yankee Great

and he had to quit baseball in 1969. His drinking got worse during his retiring years, often caused by regrets over what could have been.

When he finally decided to give up the bottle, his liver was so damaged he needed a transplant. During the operation, doctors discovered a cancer, which was inoperable. Mickey lived for another year and a half and bravely came forward with a final message to his many lifelong fans. He confessed before news cameras that God had given him superior talents to play sports, but he “blew it” and insisted he was not a hero. “Don’t be like me,” Mantle pleaded. He died in 1995 at age 63. He had tried to beat a family curse with self-affliction. His courage to the end provided a valuable lesson. All of us have crosses to bear. They can be overcome through acceptance without tempting fate.

Foods to Keep You Off the Purple Pill

There may be nothing worse than the burning sensation of heartburn after

a large heart engulfed in flames and bright orange yellow


eating a good meal or your favorite food. The pain in the upper chest and throat results from stomach acid backup, or acid reflux. Some people suffer from frequent acid reflux, called gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Antacids and over-the-counter or prescription acid relievers can treat the problem. But simply readjusting your diet, and including foods you love, can relieve acid reflux and even eliminate heartburn.

An esophageal muscle normally contracts after food enters the stomach to keep stomach acid from rising back up into the esophagus. When the muscle relaxes and does not shut tightly, acid reflux and heartburn can occur. Certain foods relax the muscle to trigger heartburn. Large meals can slow down digestion to increase acid secretion in the stomach and encourage acid reflux. Try switching to frequent small meals throughout the day to make digestion easier.

Foods that trigger heartburn vary among people. Some culprits include chocolate, coffee, alcohol, carbonated beverages, citrus juices, tomato products and high-fat foods. You might tolerate these foods and have your own particular triggers. Avoiding trigger foods helps. But changing your eating habits and focusing on foods that don’t spark heartburn can become a part of your regular routine to reduce or avoid symptoms completely.

Include plenty of fruits and vegetables in your meals as sides or in salads. Bananas may have a natural antacid effect to reduce heartburn. Papaya has been used as a home remedy for heartburn. Other fruits, such as peaches, pears, berries, melons and apples, digest rapidly to avoid the risk of acid reflux. However, avoid citrus fruit if you find its acidic nature causes heartburn. Most vegetables avoid heartburn, but stay away from fried or creamy style vegetables, according to the acid reflux diet recommended by Jackson Siegelbaum Gastroenterology.

Whole grains have a gel-like quality during digestion to absorb stomach acids. Eat whole-grain bread, pasta and cereal. Whole grains also include oatmeal, oat bran, brown rice and baked potatoes. Dress your baked potato with plain yogurt or salsa instead of fatty butter or sour cream. Refined grains, such as white breads and white flour, may contain additives during processing that can encourage heartburn.

Use low-fat options whenever possible. That includes lean meats, chicken or

The physiology of heartburn with a picture of a healthy stomach and esophagus on the left and an inflamed stomach and esophagus on the right.

Changes That Cause Heartburn

turkey without skin, fish and low-fat or fat-free dairy products. Meat, poultry, fish and dairy foods also contain protein that may help strengthen the esophageal muscle. You can still enjoy sweets and desserts. Try sticking to low-fat or fat-free cookies or cakes, and nonfat candies such as licorice or jellybeans. Eat graham crackers, angel cake with fresh fruit slices and fruit-flavored low-fat yogurt.

When you stay on foods that prevent heartburn, it will become second nature and you might even begin tolerating the foods that once annoyed you.