Why You’re An Addict

foodaddiction2In the last two days, I have been taking a pretty aggressive position on the addictive nature of our largely processed-food-loaded American diet (Hi, My Name Is _____, And I’m An Addict) (Unhealthy Food Addiction? Help Is On The Way!).  The obesity crisis is out of control and it is largely the result of the food industry and our government getting the vast majority of people addicted to sugar, salt and fat-laden food.  The two videos below, “How the Government Got You To Eat More Cheese” and “The Extraordinary Science Of Addictive Junk Food“, are real eye-openers and present an insightful view of this rampant addiction from Michael Moss, the author of “Salt Sugar Fat: How the Food Giants Hooked Us“, and other accomplished scientists/scholars.  Take the time to watch them and let the reality of your deliberately being made an addict percolate.  Surprised?  Outraged? What are you going to do about it?

http://live.huffingtonpost.com/#r/segment/michael-moss-the-science-of-junk-food/512500a602a760284f000235

God Bless

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Unhealthy Food Addiction? Help Is On The Way!

Bad eating habitsYesterday, in “Hi, My Name Is_______, And I’m An Addict“, I shared with you the fact that billions of dollars are being spent to keep people physically and psychologically addicted to an unhealthy diet.  I also pointed out that the first step to breaking an addiction is recognizing the fact that you have indeed surrendered yourself to and are now controlled by some unhealthy habit.  For example, take eating eggs.  In “No More Eggs For You!!“, three academic heavy-hitters were quoted as saying “just 3 eggs or more a week was associated with a significant increase in artery-clogging plaque buildup, a strong predictor of stroke, heart attack, and death.”  Dr. Michael Greger’s www.nutritionfacts.org reports “eggs contain high levels of cholesterol and may contain carcinogenic retroviruses, toxic pollutants (such as PCB, arsenic, phthalates), and Salmonella.”  In the face of this credible scientific data, why would anyone continue to eat eggs?  For the same reason people continue to smoke………addiction.  Whether it’s bacon, cheeseburgers, butter or chicken, if you find yourself saying “Oh, I could never give that up!”, guess what?  You’re an addict and you need to put your name in the blank above.

Chicken substituteBut what if I came to you with a healthy, plant-based clone of eggs, bacon or cheese?  And when I use the term clone, I mean a substitute that is so well engineered, you honestly can’t distinguish it from the real thing.  In some cases, we’re already there.  In “When Is A Chicken Not A Chicken?”, I shared a substitute for breaded chicken breast patties and nuggets, that just blew me away.  But we still have a long way to go to make it even easier to kick the addiction to unhealthy food by offering legitimate, plant-based substitutes.  The good news is that our free enterprise system seems to have finally latched on to this burgeoning industry and is beginning to pump big dollars and marketing expertise into its development.

plant-based egg substituteWhen people like Bill Gates and the Silicon Valley crowd start investing heavily, in both time and money, you can bet we are on the cusp of something big.  The recent Businessweek article “Silicon Valley Embraces Innovation In Sustainable Foods“, points to the example of  Hampton Creek Foods, where a “staff of 19—armed with a combo of science degrees, chef experience, and food industry chops—are obsessing over eggs. What gives an egg—the result of a chicken menstrual cycle (eeww)—its unusual characteristics, and how can those characteristics be replaced with a combination of plants? The team has worked on more than 344 prototypes for their egg-yolk product and have studied 287 types of plants that range from peas to canola.”  The article goes on to say “Hampton Creek Foods is just one of a new type of eco-food innovator that Silicon Valley is incubating. The company is backed by Sand Hill Road heavyweight Vinod Khosla’s firm, which is why Bill Gates—an investor in Khosla’s fund—gave Hampton’s muffins a taste test last year (and, by the way, couldn’t tell the difference between a muffin with eggs and a muffin with Beyond Eggs).”  Bill Gates called the budding food innovation movement—which is making food more sustainable and also cheaper—a “huge thing” that “will confound the pessimists.”

The article goes on to talk about the broad base of this movement, the favorable economic and environmental impact it will have and why it’s attracting sophisticated investors.  Definitely worth the read.  Happily, the bottom line is that there is a growing and formidable force that will be challenging the continued efforts to keep us “hooked” on an unhealthy diet.

God Bless

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Hi, My Name Is_____, And I’m An Addict

food addictionMost of you know I am a strong advocate of a plant-based diet.  What’s the saying, “There’s nothing more zealous than a convert”?  Leaving meat, dairy and junk food behind went against almost everything I was raised to believe about food and it admittedly took about five years for me to make the total transition.  Now, being on the other side and open to learning as much as possible about the concept of food as fuel and medicine (Wake Up And Eat The Roses), I feel a great responsibility to encourage as many other people as possible to embark on this same journey.  The benefits for me personally include getting back to my high school weight and waist size, having more energy than I did 20 years ago, not having had the flu or even a cold in years and, despite the average number of prescription drugs for a man my age being six, not taking any meds at all.  Sure, this is certainly anecdotal, but when you understand that the most recent clinical evidence shows that 15 out of the top 16 killers in this country (accidents being the only exception) are mitigated with a plant based diet (Save Yourself!), you have got to at least start paying attention and, hopefully, actually begin the journey to a healthier you.

food addictionSo, why isn’t there a virtual stampede to the plant-based lifestyle if it makes so much sense and is backed up by sound science?  Well, if you haven’t noticed, the shift actually is beginning.  People are starting to take notice, educate themselves and make their voices heard, but the big blockage is the billions of dollars being spent to keep most people addicted to an unhealthy diet.  That’s right, addicted!  The definition of addicted is “devoted or surrendered to a practice or habit or to something physiologically or psychologically habit-forming”.  And the worst kind of addiction is one that is clearly hazardous to your health, yet you are compelled to continue the practice.  The sad thing when it comes to meat, dairy and junk food is that these billions of dollars are being spent with the sole aim of keeping people hooked on them, both physically and psychologically.  I get a kick out of people who try to justify their addiction or cover it up with comments like, “well, I have cut back” or “everything in moderation is okay”.  Really?  How about arsenic, cyanide or mercury?  To not take the necessary steps to eliminate known poisons (Your Diet; Medicine Or Poison?) from your diet indicates one of two things, ignorance or addiction.  Fortunately, ignorance can be addressed through education, but the formidable hurdle is addiction, which is far more sinister and requires acceptance as the first step to recovery.  Are you ready to stand up and say “Hi, my name is_____, and I’m an addict”?

There is good news on the horizon, however, with respect to where more and more “smart” money is being invested.  Tomorrow I will cover the huge resources that are beginning to be employed to neutralize both the physical and psychological dependence on an unhealthy diet.

God Bless

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Total Fitness In 10 Minutes A Day

Weight-loss This is great news for all of you who are frustrated by the fact that the demands of everyday life keep you from any kind of exercise program.  For those of you who use lack the of time as your “go to” excuse for a sedentary life, well, you may just want to keep this to yourselves, but at your own peril.

What is it?

10-Minute Trainer® is a time-saving fitness program that lets you build a lean, toned body in as little as 10 minutes a day. Tony Horton’s super-efficient workouts combine full-bodysculpting with fat-burning cardio so not a second is wasted. You can lose weight, get fit, and still have plenty of time left over for the rest of life’s demands.

Why is it so effective?

Tony Horton’s Super Stacking® Technique is like multitasking for your muscles. Instead of starting with cardio and then working different body parts one at a time (as with most workout programs), you’ll get fat-burning cardio, total-body toning with resistance bands, and core-flattening ab work stacked together.  You can do one 10-minute workout each day, or combine two or three workouts for faster results.  And you’ll also get a nutrition plan with quick, simple-to-prepare meals that make fat loss even easier.

Celebrity trainer Tony Horton.

Tony HortonAfter working out with champion bodybuilders, Tony adapted their fitness secrets into exercises anyone could do to get a lean, defined body—without the bulk.  He took this knowledge out of the gym and developed it into the nation’s topselling home fitness programs.  A master instructor and motivator, he’ll demonstrate exactly what to do during each workout and keep you inspired so you’ll want to work out every day.

How does Tony’s Super Stacking Technique work?

With a traditional fitness plan, you do cardio, upper-body resistance training, lower-body resistance training, and ab work separately, so workouts take a long time.  But 10-Minute Trainer stacks cardio, toning with resistance bands, and ab sculpting together.  As a result, you get fast, highly efficient workout sessions that allow you to condition your entire body in minutes from start to finish.

Here’s a preview of what you can expect:

For more information on 10-Minute Trainer or to order, visit http://www.beachbodycoach.com/fit4liferbm.

God Bless

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Can We Manufacture Happiness?

Source of happinessI usually like to keep things light on Friday and the subject of my post, happiness, is something that both fits the billing and typically resonates with a lot of people.  I personally have always felt that we each have a happiness “set point” to which we tend to gravitate, no matter what our circumstances.  It’s a little like your weight, where you tend to stay within a particular comfort zone, absent the influence of some powerful disruptive force that may actually move your set point one way or the other.  Would you be surprised to learn that 3 months after either winning the lottery or becoming a paraplegic, you would experience the same level of happiness?  It certainly surprised me, initially, but upon reflection, the stories of misery shadowing lottery winners and the inexplicable happiness exuded by people facing calamitous circumstances had me not only accepting the possibility, but curious as to what psychological mechanism was at work.

In this thought-provoking TED Talk, Harvard psychologist Dan Gilbert takes 20 minutes to explain this phenomenon.  We actually have the capacity to synthesize our own happiness, no matter what the circumstances.  Understanding this principle and how it works could have a dramatic impact on your life.  I hope you have the time today or over the weekend to watch it.

God Bless

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Antioxidants: Lifesavers?

antioxidants”The amount of antioxidants in your body is directly proportional to how long you will live.”

—-Dr. Richard Cutler, former Director of the National Institute of Aging, Washington

“There is now overwhelming scientific evidence demonstrating that people who eat a diet rich in antioxidants and take antioxidant supplements will live longer, healthier lives.”

—-Dr. Lester Packer, PhD.

antioxidantsAntioxidants are the nutritional equivalent of man’s best friend – they are loyal protectors and nurturers of our cells, repelling disease, and promoting good health.  Because they work in every cell in every part of your body, there doesn’t seem to be a health issue that doesn’t respond to them.  Specific health benefits of antioxidants include, but are not limited to, the following:

  • increased energy
  • better resistance to
  • colds & flu
  • softer, younger-looking skin
  • relief from allergies
  • relief from asthma
  • improved circulation
  • weight loss
  • reduced high blood pressure
  • improved digestion
  • relief from arthritis
  • help in controlling diabetes
  • improved sleep
  • relief from menstrual symptoms
  • better memory, concentration
Okay, you get the picture, antioxidants are good for you.  Now take the 2 minutes to watch this video:

Dr. Greger’s shake had 1500 units of antioxidants and absolutely dwarfed the typical American breakfasts.  Why go through all the trouble of sourcing and mixing these ingredients when there is a premixed alternative that gives you 1750 units of antioxidants, and a whole lot of other benefits?!  I have sung the praises of Shakeology in this blog before because I use it and truly believe in it, but the importance of antioxidants presents another obvious opportunity.  Just the 1750 units of antioxidants alone argue strongly for having a Shakeology in the morning for breakfast, but when you add in the prebiotics, probiotics, protein, immune boosters, alkaline agents and hunger suppressants, it’s a “no-brainer“.  And, there is no way you could duplicate this nutrient-dense meal for $4.00.

Shakeology costThe best thing is that you can take it for a test run.  The company is so confident in this product, that they offer a 30-day, full money-back guarantee, no questions asked, if you’re not 100% satisfied with the results.  You have nothing to lose by giving Shakeology a try, but stand to gain significantly in your overall health.  To learn more about this amazing product and to order, just visit http://www.myshakeology.com/fit4liferbm.

God Bless

Omega-3’s: The Best Source

Omega-3 from microalgaeThere have been several credible clinical studies demonstrating that omega-3’s offer significant benefits and play an important role in a healthy diet.  The two components of omega-3’s that are credited for these health benefits are EPA and DHA, specific types of polyunsaturated fatty acids.  Your body cannot produce these fatty acids – you must get them from the food you eat, or via supplementation.  EPA and DHA are natural anti-inflammatory agents, and as such, play a role in brain health, heart health, protection against cancer, Alzheimer’s and depression, improvement of skin conditions like psoriasis and acne, fetal brain development, inflammatory bowel disorders, and arthritis, to name a few.  What I didn’t know was that our typical diets are rich in another type of pro-inflammatory polyunsaturated fatty acid called omega-6.  When our dietary intake of omega-6′s far exceeds our intake of omega-3′s, our bodies experience a wide range of negative consequences, all with the underlying cause of increased systemic inflammation.  Minimizing dietary intake of omega-6 fatty acids, and supplementing your intake of omega-3 fatty acids, helps to reduce inflammation, and the wide range of negative downstream effects.

Historically, the best source of omega-3’s has been fish and fish oil supplements.  The plant-based community has been fighting an uphill battle for a long time trying to claim that the omega-3 precursor, ALA, found in flax seeds and walnuts, provides the same clinical benefits as the DHA and EPA found in fatty fish.  Unfortunately, the conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA in our bodies is woefully inefficient and there hasn’t been any definitive clinical evidence to support this claim.  It has largely been seen as a desperate attempt by vegetarians/vegans to plug an obvious nutritional hole.

Vegan omega-3Surprisingly for me, as it turns out, fish don’t create their own omega-3’s either!  They get their omega-3’s from microalgae, which, of course, is plant-based.  This is a major “Aha! moment”.  Why not cut out the middle man, in this case fish, in our quest for DHA and EPA and go directly to the source?  Here’s a way to get the omega-3’s you need in a plant-based form that the body can really use.  Teams of marine biologists and food scientists around the world today are studying these microalgae and learning how to extract their vital nutrients.  The supplement capsules that have been developed are vegan, very high in both DHA and EPA, and can be grown, harvested and processed in an environmentally-friendly and sustainable fashion, eliminating the risk of oceanic contamination such as PCBs and dioxins.

In conclusion, you should be taking an omega-3 supplement for optimum health, but ditch the fish oil and go straight to the source……….microalgae.  Vegetarian Vitamins has a vegan omega-3 supplement that is produced in an FDA-inspected facility, under current Good Manufacturing Practice (cGMP) regulations with controls in place to ensure the highest quality product.  You can order it online by clicking here.

God Bless

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