Addicted To Meat?

No meat zoneWhen are you finally going to get the message (if you haven’t already)?  Is it going to take some personal tragedy as a wake-up call?  Are you so stuck in your ways that you’re willing to risk your life or the lives of your family?  How many different clinical studies have to be undertaken for you to accept the fact that meat consumption causes cancer (Cooked Meat & Cancer, TMAO: The Real Killer In Meat, AGEs: More Bad News For Meat Eaters, World Cancer Day: Take Control) while a plant-based diet prevents, arrests and even cures the dreaded disease (My New BFF: Broccoli Sprouts, Dealing With Cancer, Preventing, Arresting & Curing The Big “C”, Which Vegetable Fights Cancer Best?) ?  If you’re still consuming meat, you need to sit down and ask yourself why you can’t stop, then do whatever you have to do to overcome that obstacle.  It’s not only a matter of life and death, but also the quality of the remaining life you have.  Here’s yet another compelling example:

Cancer-Free without Chemo … Thanks to Dr. McDougall and Forks Over Knives

Kelly 570x299 Cancer Free without Chemo … Thanks to Dr. McDougall and Forks Over KnivesIn January of 2012, I was diagnosed with invasive ductal carcinoma, triple negative. My surgery was scheduled for January 30th. Not knowing any better, I planned to follow surgery with the recommended conventional aggressive chemo and radiation.

Two days before my surgery (left breast lumpectomy and sentinel node biopsy), my husband and I happened to watch Forks Over Knives. It was a documentary that would change our lives … and one I have highly recommended to family and friends. We learned a great deal about nutrition and healthy choices. It was there that we discovered Dr. John McDougall and were tremendously inspired by his work and particularly by his patient Ruth Heidrich.

My husband Sean emailed Dr. McDougall the following day and received a same-day response. As they continued email correspondence, Dr. McDougall advised us not to rush into conventional treatment following surgery and sent us medical articles and scientific studies to further our research and to help us make informed decisions about my future treatment.

Prior to all of this, we had never considered breast cancer to be tied to diet and exercise. In fact, when we asked my breast surgeon why I needed aggressive chemo and radiation, she said, “We don’t know where the cancer comes from, and we don’t know if it will come back.” We asked the same question of my oncologist and received the same response. We also asked the oncologist if there was anything I should or shouldn’t eat to help with the cancer treatment, and he said, “This is the time for Kelly to eat whatever she wants.” He also said I should see a cardiologist for a routine echo cardiogram, to make sure my heart was strong enough to handle the heart problems that would likely result from the chemo drugs.

After my surgery and much consideration, our decision was for me to attend Dr. McDougall’s 10-day program in March and become his patient. It was one of the most enriching and educational experiences of my life. In the 10 days I was there, my cholesterol dropped 23 points, my glucose improved, and I lost 4.2 pounds while fully satisfying my appetite. My overall feeling of well-being improved, and I was able to do more exercise. I also made friends with some exceptional people, and we continue to stay in touch and support each other to this day.

Now, after 18 months of eating the McDougall way and walking 30 minutes daily, I am cancer free, and my cholesterol has dropped another 27 points, to 130. My weight dropped from 150 to 120. I feel stronger, healthier, and more energetic. As a kindergarten teacher, having a high energy level is very necessary. I now get down on the floor and jump right up with no trouble!

My husband Sean is super supportive, and we have both been following a plant/starch-based diet with no animal products or oils ever since. Sean no longer needs daily antacids, allergy medication, or the Naproxen he used to take for joint pain. He has dropped 30 pounds and looks and feels great.

Thanks to Forks Over Knives and Dr. McDougall, I truly believe my breast cancer diagnosis was a blessing in disguise. I am forever grateful for the experience, the friendships, and my newfound health.

God bless

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Less Anxiety, Naturally

anxietyThere appears to be a burgeoning epidemic of “generalized anxiety” in our society today and, sadly, the statistics are actually understated because people either don’t want to be “labeled” and put on drugs or they just accept that anxiety is a normal part of life today.  I can certainly understand the aversion to drugs as a solution, due primarily to misconceptions about their addictive nature and adverse side-effects, but the real tragedy in my mind is the total lack of education on equally effective, natural solutions.  Once again, science is now beginning to take a good hard clinical look at centuries of anecdotal experience across myriad cultures.

anxiety medsIf you want less anxiety and stress in your life, want to enjoy better moods and more happiness on a day-to-day basis, would like to do it naturally and start to see the benefits within a matter of weeks, you need to watch these three short videos, in order.  My guess is you’ll have the same frustrating reaction I did, “Why didn’t I know about this?”.  If so, don’t let this information stop with you, pass it on to anyone you believe might benefit from the message.  Consider it your “pay it forward” act for the day and make the world a happier place. (If these do not appear as videos in your email or mobile device, click on the title above and go directly to the website)

God bless

Guinness, Calories & Tennis

GuinnessI like to keep things light on Fridays so here are a few tidbits that will hopefully bring a smile to your face.  The first actually helped me understand why I enjoy Guinness so much……it’s in my Irish genes.

An Englishman, a Scotsman and an Irishman

One day an Englishman, a Scotsman, and an Irishman walked into a pub together.  They each proceeded to buy a pint of Guinness.  Just as they where about to enjoy their creamy beverage, three flies land in each of their pints and were stuck in the thick head.

The Englishman pushed his beer away in disgust.

The Scotsman scooped at his beer until he washed the fly out and then continued drinking.

The Irishman carefully picked the fly out of his drink, then held it out over the beer and started yelling “SPIT IT OUT YA BASTARD! SPIT IT OUT!!!!”

Calorie-Burning Activities

Lazy exerciseYou know I’m all about health and believe proper weight control cannot be attained by dieting alone; however, many people who are engaged in sedentary occupations do not realize that significant calories can be burned by engaging in strenuous activities that do not require much (or any) physical exercise.

Here’s the guide to some of these calorie-burning activities and the number of calories per hour they consume.

Beating around the bush . . . . . . . . .75
Jumping to conclusions . . . . . . . . . 100
Climbing the walls . . . . . . . . . . . 150
Swallowing your pride. . . . . . . . . .50
Passing the buck . . . . . . . . . . . .25
Pushing your luck. . . . . . . . . . . 250
Making mountains out of molehills. . . 500
Hitting the nail on the head . . . . . .50
Bending over backwards . . . . . . . . .75
Running around in circles. . . . . . . 350
Climbing the ladder of success . . . . 650

Finally, for you fellow tennis fans, here is a unique, behind the scenes look at two of the greatest players in history:

Have a great weekend and God bless.

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Why Counting Calories Doesn’t Work

caloriesdontcountThe relatively simplistic view that weight management is merely a matter of adjusting the amount of calories consumed in relation to those burned continues to be undermined by recent clinical studies.  There are several very complicated mechanisms taking place within our bodies that deal with the effect caloric intake actually has on our weight.  Certainly going to extremes, consistently and over a long period of time, in either restricting calories or burning them through excessive physical activity will eventually manifest in weight-loss, but the body is very efficiently designed to naturally protect against losing body mass.  It’s a species survival thing and the reason why so many “diets” don’t work.  Dramatically upping physical activity or restricting caloric intake triggers automatic hormonal changes geared specifically to desperately maintain your body mass.  Without the satisfaction of seeing the immediate “results” from making these dramatic lifestyle changes, people generally get discouraged and abandon their efforts.

countingcaloriesIn addition to having to deal with your ancestral physiology, which is wired to protect against weight-loss, it turns out that the source of your calories also has a profound effect on weight management.  What?  You mean I could maintain a daily intake of 1,800 calories and, depending on what I ate to reach that amount, I could either gain or lose weight?  Yup, that’s exactly what the research is beginning to demonstrate and here’s a perfect example:

God bless

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Be Happy, Eat Vegetables

happy vegetarianOne of the most profound effects of a plant-based diet for me has been a noticeable decline in those random “blue” periods where, for either a specific negative event or for no apparent reason, it seemed difficult to connect with the joy in life.  Fortunately, they were infrequent to begin with, but now, even under circumstances that would understandably warrant a depressed state, they are virtually non-existent.  Why?  Well, I wasn’t exactly sure and seemed content to just enjoy the effects until I ran across a few scientifically-based explanations for the chemical reactions going on behind the scenes.  This anti-depressant effect can come from probiotics, which I covered in “Mental Health And That ‘Gut Feeling’“, but also from eliminating the depression-inducing chemicals found in meat and loading up on the anti-depressant ones found in vegetables.

happyveggieHere’s a short, but more technical explanation of exactly what’s going on inside your brain.  The bottom line, however, is a plant-based diet will elevate your moods.

God bless

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The 13th, Yes, But It’s Still Friday!

Yes, it’s Friday the 13th, but that doesn’t mean something good can’t happen to you today!  Although considered an ominous day by most, it’s still a Friday and you can usher in the weekend with some tears of compassion and joy.  Watch this:

God bless

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Sleep & Weight-loss

sleep & weightlossIn addition to all the other benefits that manifest from a good night’s sleep, effective weight control appears to be another material outcome.  “There are over two dozen studies that suggest that people who sleep less tend to weigh more,” says Sanjay Patel, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Case Western Reserve University, in Cleveland, Ohio.  Why?  Michael Breus, PhD, a faculty member of the Atlanta School of Sleep Medicine and director of The Sleep Disorders Centers of Southeastern Lung Care in Atlanta suggests, “When you don’t get enough sleep, it drives leptin levels down, which means you don’t feel as satisfied after you eat.  Lack of sleep also causes ghrelin levels to rise, which means your appetite is stimulated, so you want more food,”  He goes on to say that,  “One thing I have seen is that once a person is not as tired, they don’t need to rely on sweet foods and high carbohydrate snacks to keep them awake — and that automatically translates into eating fewer calories.”

Studies at the University of Chicago, Stanford University and the newest one, funded by The Swedish Research Council and The Swedish Brain Research Foundation, support these findings.  The Swedish study, reported in the research journal “Obesity”, concludes “sleep-deprived men purchased significantly more calories and grams of food than they did after one night of sleep.”

sleep & weightlossUnfortunately, a good night’s sleep is not just measured by the number of hours in bed, but the quality of sleep during those hours is equally as important and that’s where things can get complicated.    “There are over 75 different disorders that can disrupt sleep”, says Lawrence J. Epstein, MD, instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School, regional medical director for the Harvard-affiliated Sleep HealthCenters, and co-author of The Harvard Medical School Guide to a Good Night’s Sleep.  One of the most common sleep disorders is sleep apnea.  “People with sleep apnea may stop breathing for up to a minute, sometimes hundreds of times during the night while sleeping”, says Dominic Roca, MD, director of the Connecticut Center for Sleep Medicine at Stamford Hospital.  He goes on to emphasize the link to weight control by pointing out “patients who suffer from sleep apnea are more likely to be obese.”  If you are logging what you believe to be the necessary hours, but find yourself still tired in the morning, taking naps during the day and low on energy, a visit to the doctor is in order to determine the cause.

Not getting enough quality sleep could be the insidious barrier to your shedding those unwanted pounds.

God bless

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