The Death Of Common Sense

Death of common senseI’m not sure how I missed this, but I knew something was just not right.  I occasionally go through bouts of bewilderment and bitter disappointment with our “modern” society, but couldn’t always put my finger on the underlying cause and thought maybe it was just me, hanging on to outdated principles.  Then I ran across the obituary below and it all became clear.  I suspected there was something wrong because I had begun to see less and less of this longtime friend.  I am deeply saddened by his passing and can only hope his memory will somehow live on forever.

Obituary

Today we mourn the passing of a beloved old friend, Common Sense, who has been with us for many years.  No one knows for sure how old he was, since his birth records were long ago lost in bureaucratic red tape.

He will be remembered as having cultivated such valuable lessons as:

  • Knowing when to come in out of the rain;
  • Why the early bird gets the worm;
  • Life isn’t always fair; and
  • Maybe it was my fault..

Common Sense lived by simple, sound financial policies (don’t spend more than you can earn) and reliable strategies (adults, not children, are in charge).  His health began to deteriorate rapidly when well-intentioned but overbearing regulations were set in place. Reports of a 6-year-old boy charged with sexual harassment for kissing a classmate; teens suspended from school for using mouthwash after lunch; and a teacher fired for reprimanding an unruly student, only worsened his condition.  Common Sense lost ground when parents attacked teachers for doing the job that they themselves had failed to do in disciplining their unruly children.  It declined even further when schools were required to get parental consent to administer sun lotion or an aspirin to a student; but could not inform parents when a student became pregnant and wanted to have an abortion.  Common Sense lost the will to live as the churches became businesses; and criminals received better treatment than their victims.  Common Sense took a beating when you couldn’t defend yourself from a burglar in your own home and the burglar could sue you for assault. Common Sense finally gave up the will to live, after a woman failed to realize that a steaming cup of coffee was hot. She spilled a little in her lap, and was promptly awarded a huge settlement.  Common Sense was preceded in death, by his parents, Truth and Trust, by his wife, Discretion, by his daughter, Responsibility, and by his son, Reason.  He is survived by his 4 stepbrothers:

  • I Know My Rights
  • I Want It Now
  • Someone Else Is To Blame
  • I’m A Victim

Not many attended his funeral because so few realized he was gone.  If you still remember him, pass this on.  If not, join the majority and do nothing.

(Source: rense.com)

God Bless

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Nutrition And Convenience

Convenient nutritionOne of the reasons the unhealthy Western diet has developed such a stranglehold on our country is “convenience”.  As our lives have become consumed with obligations, deadlines, competition, and information overload, the time taken to prepare and enjoy a healthy meal has evaporated.  I am a strong supporter of organic whole foods, a plant-based diet and am a vegan myself.  However, I know how difficult making that transition can be, particularly if you have fallen into the habit of eating prepackaged (overly processed) foods or frequenting the fast food chains and filling yourself with essentially empty calories.

As I have written in the past (Got Nutrition?This WILL Change Your Life…, Weight-loss By Super Food), if you are interested in embarking on a more healthy nutritional path, but still need the convenience of a quick meal, the meal-replacement drink Shakeology could be your answer.  Here’s a quick look at why and how it compares to some of the other popular nutritional fitness drinks.

What is Shakeology?

ShakeologyAs stated earlier, Shakeology is a meal replacement drink.  It helps your body absorb all the essential nutrients it needs, as well as eliminate toxins.  Replacing one meal per day with Shakeology eliminates the need to prepare an elaborate healthy meal and, at the same time, keeps the craving for carbohydrates in check.  Its patent is currently pending, but there are existing studies and testimonials which already illustrate how effective Shakeology can be (100 Doctors Can’t Be Wrong).  Here are some of the things Shakeology can do for you:

  • Helps you lose weight.  No need to do rigorous, overly strict dieting.  Just replace one meal a day with Shakeology and exercise regularly.
  • Keeps you feeling energized and can eliminate dependencies on coffee, tea, energy drinks, and other stimulants.  Have sustained high energy because of its low Glycemic Index and avoid that post-energy crash.
  • Improves your overall digestion.  Because you’ll be taking on more of the essential nutrients your body needs, including prebiotics, your digestive system will operate more efficiently and be more effective in eliminating the toxins in your system from processed foods.
  • Clinical studies have shown that replacing one meal a day with Shakeology was effective in significantly reducing cholesterol over a 90-day period.

 How Does it Work?

Shakeology contains the following four nutrient groups, all of which are essential to an efficient and effective meal-replacement:

a) Protein and Essential Amino Acids

A regular, full intake of protein and amino acids helps your body build lean muscle mass.  Shakeology contains whey protein isolate, which is a form of protein that your body easily absorbs.  The essential amino acids found in protein also makes it easier and faster for your body to repair damaged tissue and wounds.  Since Shakeology is protein-rich, it also keeps your blood sugar steady.  As a result, your food cravings and hunger pangs will be greatly reduced.

b) Prebiotics and Digestive Enzymes

Prebiotics support the useful bacteria in your digestive tract, which helps you absorb nutrients better and keeps you regular.  Since your food gets broken down into nutrients more efficiently, your body can easily absorb even the most elusive minerals – such as calcium.

c) Antioxidants and Phytonutrients

Shakeology’s natural ingredients are rich in phytonutrients – a type of antioxidant that helps eliminate free radicals in your body, which damage your cells and accelerates aging.  With a regular dose of phytonutrients, you’ll be preventing cell damage, avoiding degenerative diseases and effectively slowing down the aging process.

d) Vitamins and Minerals

To stay fit and healthy, your body needs to absorb a wide range of vitamins and minerals; this can be difficult, even with a balanced diet.  The vitamins and minerals in Shakeology help you replenish your reserves as they are naturally flushed out of your system, helping keep you in optimal health.

Now that you know how Shakeology works, let’s compare it to a few other popular health drinks.

Shakeology vs. Muscle Milk

One serving of Shakeology contains only 140 calories, which beats out Muscle Milk’s 150.  While both drinks contain 16 grams of protein per serving, Muscle Milk tends to scrimp on its other ingredients, listing that it has both whey protein isolate and the cheaper whey concentrate.  It also contains none of the essential prebiotics and enzymes found in Shakeology.  Muscle Milk does have some antioxidant vitamins – though these vitamins aren’t as rich as they are in a serving of Shakeology.  For example, one serving of Muscle Milk has 105 mg of Vitamin C, while Shakeology has 180 mg.  Muscle Milk also has only 875 IU of Vitamin A, while Shakeology has 5000 IU.

Shakeology vs. Myoplex

As for Myoplex, it does contain a healthy amount of vitamins and minerals, but it is less nutrient dense and requires a serving size twice that of Shakeology.  As a result,  you get twice the calories per serving and not as many of the necessary nutrients for a meal-replacement.  Myoplex has none of the phytonutrients, nor the prebiotics and digestive enzymes found in Shakeology.  Also, its protein comes from a variety of sources, some of which may not be as absorbable as the 100% whey protein isolate in Shakeology.  Also, even at twice the serving size, it contains less than half  the antioxidants as Shakeology.  Myoplex only contains 50% of your RDA (Recommended Daily Allowance) for Vitamin A, while Shakeology contains 200%.

Shakeology vs. EAS 100% Whey Protein

As for protein-rich drinks, EAS 100% Whey Protein is a popular choice.  While it does contain a lot of protein per serving, it has none of the other ingredients necessary in a nutritionally complete meal-replacement drink.  There are no vitamins or minerals, nor any antioxidants – it’s basically just protein.  I would also recommend checking out the 2010 Consumer Report (http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/magazine-archive/2010/july/food/protein-drinks/what-our-tests-found/index.htm) which showed trace amounts of heavy metals, such as cadmium, in EAS’s protein drinks.  These heavy metals can cause long-term damage to your body with consistent usage.

As you can see, Shakeology easily outperforms the above alternatives as a meal-replacement.  It also is a much better value considering the density of nutrients and, most importantly, if you are not completely satisfied that it has performed as advertised, Shakeology has a 30-day, no questions asked, 100% money-back guarantee.  None of the competitors listed above believe in their product enough to offer such a guarantee.  If and when you’re ready to get on a healthier (but still convenient) nutritional path, you can give Shakeology a try by visiting http://www.myshakeology.com/fit4liferbm.

God Bless

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Save Yourself

medicalalert1I was literally blown away by this presentation on the leading causes of death in this countryPlease, please take the time to watch this video by Dr. Michael Greger and pass it on to as many of your friends and loved ones as you can.  This kind of information needs to be shouted from the highest mountain top!  His presentation is humorous, engaging, eye-opening and scientifically based on the most recent clinical studies relating to heart disease, cancer, diabetes, COPD, liver/kidney diseases, Alzheimer’s and the other top 16 killers.  Amazingly, there is one, universal way to reduce the incidence of 15 of the 16 top killers and effectively treat half of them.  In cancer alone, you can boost your ability to fight this insidious #2 killer by 8X!

I have been exposed to some of the most compelling arguments for eating a proper diet, but have never had them presented in such a collective, clinically-based and eye-popping manner.

If you want to dig deeper and go into any of these studies in more detail, I strongly encourage you to visit http://nutritionfacts.org/.

God Bless

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Healthcare Angels?

eposodic healthcareThere is a new healthcare paradigm emerging that will undoubtedly have an effect on each one of us at some point in our lives.  The good news is that this shift focuses on and favors the most important component of the healthcare equation; the patient.  If you or a loved one has ever been through a major medical episode, you can relate to the confusion and helplessness you feel in navigating the healthcare system trying to identify the most efficient and effective care.  Most likely, you relied on the advice of a primary care physician or were at the mercy of whatever institution you ended up in after an emergency.  Our healthcare system has developed a system of “standard” treatments for episodes that usually call for costly procedures intended to avoid law suits for the providers involved and there is little or no coordination of care among the provider community.  Ideally, every patient would have a personal advocate intimately familiar with each particular health episode, educated on the most effective holistic approach to that episode in terms of outcome, have the necessary relationships with every aspect of the provider community to deal with the episode and have the capability to manage the coordination and communication within that caregiver network and with the patient.

Healthcare conciergeThink in terms of a health episode “concierge” who has all the data and history on the combination of providers and care necessary to produce the best outcome for you, who will make all the necessary arrangements on your behalf, who will monitor your progress and coordinate all the care, and who will educate you on exactly what your role as a patient must be in order to produce the best possible outcome.   This is a very exciting holistic, patient-centric model that is emerging thanks to companies like Remedy Partners, whose mission reads:

We believe in the power of communal effort at Remedy and strive to create, promote and protect networks of people dedicated to deeply personal participation in their health and the health of others. When we look at episodic & transitional care, specifically, we see a tremendous opportunity to unite families  & care teams around a patient during the most critical moments of a health episode.  Our mission is to serve as a healthcare catalyst providing different stakeholders the freedom to unite around a common value system that leaves lasting bi-directional satisfaction.”

Remedy uses a collaborative model to implement episode programs, built on these principles:

  • Patient-centric care
  • Care team collaboration and accountability
  • Empathy and fairness

Healthcare coordinationIt is the long-term commitment to finding an effective and compassionate healthcare model that drives people like Steve Wiggins, the founder of Remedy Partners, to dream of and engineer a better solution for all of us.  As a Baby Boomer, I like the direction this is taking and will do everything I can to support companies like Remedy that seem to have my personal best interests as a patient in mind.  I encourage you to visit Remedy Partners’ web site at http://remedypartners.net to learn more about the promising direction in which we seem to be headed.

God Bless

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Is Acidosis Compromising Your Health?

Blood pH - acidAcidosis is used to describe the abnormal condition that results from an excess of acid within the blood.  Why is this important?  Dr. Michael Lam, MD, MPH, explains that “one of the key determinants of the speed of aging and onset of degenerative diseases is the internal biochemistry and terrain of the body”.  Dr. Marc Cochran adds that “an acid pH (acidosis) is the seed-bed of degenerative diseases”.

What then happens when the body is too acidic? Acidosis will:

  • Decrease the body’s ability to absorb minerals and other nutrients
  • Decrease energy production in the cells
  • Decrease the body’s ability to repair damaged cells
  • Decrease the body’s ability to detoxify heavy metals
  • Enable tumor cells to thrive
  • Make the body more susceptible to fatigue and illness.

People who have high acidity levels tend to exhibit symptoms such as anxiety, diarrhea, dilated pupils, extroverted behavior, fatigue in the early morning, headaches, hyperactivity, hyper sexuality, insomnia, nervousness, rapid heartbeat, restless legs, shortness of breath, strong appetite, and high blood pressure.  An extended time in the acid pH state (acidosis) can result in rheumatoid arthritis, diabetes, lupus, tuberculosis, osteoporosis, high blood pressure and most cancers.

In the Journal of Orthomolecular Medicine, Joseph Campbell claims that  “excessive consumption of acid producing foods, results in metabolic acidosis.”  Unfortunately, what has become the typical American diet (high-fat foods, refined grains, high-sugar foods, processed meat, high-fat dairy products) also produces an excess of acid.

Acid Producing Foods

Dairy, Eggs, Meat, Poultry, Fish, Grains, Processed flour products, Sugary foods, Cranberry, Pomegranate, Plum, Prune, Tomato, most Legumes, most Grains.

Alkaline Producing Foods

Kelp, Sea salt, Seaweeds, Parsley, Onion, Miso, Daikon, Sea Vegetables, Burdock root, lotus root, Sweet Potato/Yam, Nectarine, Persimmon, Raspberry, Watermelon, Tangerine, Pineapple

Blood pH - acidA person with any of the symptoms listed above, in addition to consulting with a physician,  may want to emphasize the consumption of alkaline forming foods in the diet, with 60-70% alkaline forming foods, and 30-40% acid forming food by volume.  Consuming just alkaline forming food is not the answer, as some acid formation is necessary to generate metabolic activity and maintain proper health.

God Bless

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Relationships & A Plant-Based Diet

Following up on my post yesterday about letting yourself go physically (Bait ‘N Switch?: A Relationship Warning), at the peril of your love relationship, here is another remarkable story of what a plant-based diet can do to remedy the situation.  Remember, it’s your choice!  (Source: ForksOverKnives.com)

My Experience Going Vegetarian, Then Vegan

Patrick570x299Web My Experience Going Vegetarian, Then Vegan

I love food.

I love to talk about it, shop for it, make it, and I really love to eat it. This did not always make for a very healthy lifestyle, but I’ve made significant changes over the years. I became active, lost weight, and moved to a vegan diet.

Since becoming a vegetarian in 2009, I’ve had many discussions about the love of food, nutrition, and diet. Some endurance athletes I know say they could never be vegetarians because they “need the protein.” Others say they are mostly vegetarian but could never give up their beloved dairy.

In 2011, I went on a vegan diet. In just a few months after eliminating dairy from my diet, I could already see and feel the positive impact. I sleep great, have more energy, and no longer feel sluggish or bloated. I have never felt better in my life.

After taking this additional step, I noticed my discussions about my diet shifted in tone. Most people I talked to “get” vegetarianism. We could all benefit from giving up meat, they say, but why would anyone give up all animal products? No eggs? No milk? No cheese? No way!

Although I personally felt much better eliminating all animal products from my diet, watching Forks Over Knives in November 2011 provided me with the means to better articulate the benefits of a plant-based lifestyle.

I see now with clarity why eating a plant-based diet is the best option for my overall health and wellness. I understand now how eliminating meat and dairy doesn’t just make me feel better, it can prevent and even reverse afflictions like heart disease and diabetes. I don’t know about you, but my idea of good health does not involve pills, stents, or bypasses.

I am a marathon runner and a triathlete. I work out 6-8 times per week and get all the nutrients I need (including protein) from a plant-based diet. Some world-class vegan athletes like ultra-marathoner Scott Jurek, Ironman Brendan Brazier, and Ultraman Rich Roll agree. These guys are at the top of their games and they’re doing it without eating animal-based foods.

My passion for food remains firmly intact, but now I get to create nutritious, great-tasting meals every day without worrying about the unhealthy consequences.

God Bless

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Bait ‘N Switch?: A Relationship Warning

weifgt-lossI’m sure you all have seen some of the remarkable “before” and “after” pictures that are used to market every kind of commercial weight-loss method available.  Eye catching titles like “I lost 100 pounds!” are usually accompanied by an emotional testimonial meant to convince you that anyone can transform their bodies in the same way if you just follow their system.  These are sensational stories meant to garner a lot of attention and sell billions of dollars worth of weight-loss products.

But what about the far greater body of examples that go the other way?  Why don’t you see stories about the countless brides who have packed on the pounds since their wedding day, but don’t seem to care or be motivated enough to do anything about it?  Or how about the the ex-athlete who had a “V” shaped body when he got married, but now looks more like a pregnant pear and just jokes about how much he loves beer?  The point here has nothing to do with body types or what initially attracts two people to each other, it has to do with change and the level of commitment to a relationship, and it goes both ways.

If you think back on what initially attracted you to your partner, you could probably produce a list of attributes that caused you to fall in love.  Now, think about that list and for each trait assume the exact opposite.  In other words, for everything that you loved about your mate, imagine the exact opposite was actually the case.  If she (he) were kind, think mean-spirited; if honest, think dishonest;  if interested in kids, think hates kids; if funny and happy, think morose and depressed; and if thin and athletic, think fat and couch potato.  Obviously, if everything you loved about that person never existed in the first place, there is no way you would have ended up together, they would be a totally different human being.  Now, the more interesting exercise is to think about just how many of those traits would have to disappear or turn in the opposite direction before the attraction would start to crumble.  What kind of changes would have to take place before you realized this just isn’t the person I fell in love with?  Let’s say everything else stayed the same except your partner became dishonest and abusive, how would that change your relationship?

weight-lossOur responsibility to our life partner is to at least be consistent with those attributes that attracted them to us in the first place.  Better yet, we should be trying to improve on them and even add others along the way.  This leads me back to the message I want to get across with respect to your commitment to your mate and your physical appearance.  We are highly visual creatures when it comes to attraction and despite all the joking and excuses, if you have let yourself go over the years, if you are not taking care of yourself physically, it has or will have an effect on your relationship.  If you look at yourself in the mirror and see material changes since you and your partner committed to each other, I guarantee it is affecting your relationship and you are playing with fire.

As time goes on, most people get lazy about relationships and start to take things for granted.  Absent accidents and medical conditions, your physical appearance is, in fact, a choice.  I strongly encourage you to choose to honor yourself and your partner by presenting a physical appearance consistent with that which existed when you committed to each other.  If you don’t, you’re sending a message that you don’t care enough to be the person with whom they fell in love.

God Bless