Alcohol – What is it Good For?

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I think that by now, most people know that drinking isn’t good for them.  There are a variety of reasons why this is so.  The reasons why I’ve kept my alcohol intake to a small (or none) amount is that it’s a depressant, and I just don’t need that in my life.  The other reason is that if feel like I need all the brain cells I can get.  While these are reason enough as far as I’m concerned to drink very little – less than one alcohol beverage per month, I’ve recently come across some new evidence that leads me to believe that my small amount of imbibing is over completely.

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A new, relatively small study suggests that alcohol actually causes the shrinking of the hippocampus (the region in the brain that is associated with memory and navigation), as well as the white matter in the brain.  The more people drink, the greater the rate of shrinkage.

Now, this study involved 550 subjects over the years from 1985 continuing to the present.  While it was just the one study, I myself found the results to be troubling.  It seems to suggest that even moderate drinking can cause changes in the brain.

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Do you indulge in alcohol, and if so do you worry about the effect it could have on your brain?  For myself, I’m glad that I’ve always kept my alcohol intake on the extremely low side.  There is also the documentary”The Truth About Alcohol” on Netflix which is scientifically interesting without being boring in the least.  If you want to know more about the effect of alcohol on your health, I recommend watching it.   What do you think of  this new information?  Let me know in the comments.

https://www.cdc.gov/alcohol/fact-sheets/alcohol-use.htm

https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/even-a-moderate-amount-of-drinking-could-cause-brain-decline/

 

 

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Protesting J. Marion Sims – the “father of modern gynecology”

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When I first heard about this protest, I really didn’t know anything at all, so I looked into it.  Black women are protesting the statue of J. Marion Sims, known as the “father of modern gynecology” that stands in front of the New York Academy of Medicine.  What is it that J. Marion Sims did?  He bought black female slaves for the purpose of performing genital surgery on them, both without using anesthesia and without their consent.  He did not use anesthesia because Sims was under the opinion that blacks did not have the capacity to feel pain.

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Tuskegee experiments

There is a long history of minority people being used in medical experiments, this includes injecting plutonium into the blood of black men; infecting black neighborhoods with mosquitoes carrying both yellow fever and dengue fever; prison populations were used to find out if some products were toxic; and the list goes on and on.  If you want more examples please go to the link I’ve left below.

http://newafricanmagazine.com/medical-scandal/

 

So, what do you think about all this?  Do you believe that statues in honor of people who have committed acts such as these should be removed?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Updating Monsanto

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I first wrote about the trial of Monsanto at The Hague.  Just a quick update with how that turned out.  The company was found guilty on all charges, and the ban on any and all Monsanto products being sold in the European Union still stands.

However, I also wanted to write about newly released documents that show how Monsanto has been paying off government regulators and scientists in an effort to keep them from publishing scientific studies that show the harm that Monsanto products (in this case, Roundup) do, along with using their influence to stop scientific studies that show Roundup to be a health hazard.  There are lawsuits around the country that claim that Roundup is a carcinogen.  These documents have been made available to the public, since this is a public health concern.

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I hope that you go to the links provided below and read the articles.  This is an important discussion to have, since there is an effort in the U.S. to allow corporations to self-regulate.  I feel that this shows that no corporation should be allowed to self-regulate, but that the entire process needs to be made completely public, with all scientific data peer-reviewed and released to the general public.

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Have you used Roundup?  What are your thoughts on this?

 

https://corporateeurope.org/food-and-agriculture/2017/04/monsanto-tribunal-outcomes

 

http://www.alternet.org/environment/just-released-docs-show-monsanto-executives-colluding-corrupted-epa-officials-manipulate?akid=15952.302291.OmHT9X&rd=1&src=newsletter1080638&t=25

 

 

My Low-fat, Plant-based Diet

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I’ve been following a low-fat (no oil), no prepared foods, plant based diet since the middle of March.  I was over-weight and just couldn’t lose any weight, even though I had been Vegan for 3 years at that point.  I had watched Forks Over Knives and was aware that I needed to decrease my oil and processed foods consumption.  However, it wasn’t until I got the book Seven Day Rescue Diet by Rip Esselstyn that I found a simple and easy diet to follow.  And that was when I started to lose weight.  Was it hard?  Well, cooking without oil can be a little bit difficult, but I quickly adjusted.  Now I use some water instead of oil and I add more herbs and spices to my food then I ever did before.  One of the easy things about this diet change is that I liked all the foods that I was eating.  For the first month, I was completely about cooking my own food.  These days I will get a pizza with no cheese on it from the local take-out, so no, I don’t feel “cheated”.   I will also eat Chinese take-out that has been steamed with no sauce on it.

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So, have I been losing weight?  Yes!  With absolutely no calorie restriction (I actually eat a lot), so far, I’ve lost 23 pounds.  For a moderately over-weight woman of over 50 this is huge.  I don’t exercise every day, but I do eat all I want every day.  Here is a list of my meals for one day:

Breakfast – one shredded wheat biscuit with plain Almond Milk (I eat Post Shredded Wheat), I only eat one because I also have a large glass of water, a banana and a peach or plum.  If I’m not that hungry I’ll save the banana for a snack around 10:00 or so.  I will eat another banana if I’m hungry later on in the morning.

Lunch – a fairly large salad with either homemade oil-free dressing, or bought oil-free dressing with little to no “extra” stuff in it.  I’ll then have a baked potato with a little salt, pepper and garlic on it.  And again, I’ll have a large glass of water.

Snacks – if I’m hungry in the middle of the afternoon I’ll eat some fruit.  With it being summer, that could be sweet cherries, a peach or plum, grapes or a banana.  If I’m really hungry I’ll have more than one piece of fruit.  If I’m eating cherries I’ll just have a few (or more) handfuls of them.

Dinner –  usually I’ll have a bowl from Seven Day Rescue Diet.  If I’m not having that, I could be steaming up some veggies and having them with preservative and oil-free soy sauce and some brown rice or quinoa.  I put a ton of spices on my food.  I’ve always used a lot.

Desert – I usually have fruit in the evening.  Right now, since it’s summer and strawberry/blueberry season, I’ve been having that for a treat.  And, even though I normally only eat whole food, I will have the vegan whipped cream on those.  Not every night but one or two nights a week.

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When I started this diet, I didn’t eat a single prepared food.  I made everything from scratch, including hummus.  Homemade hummus is really good.  I now eat some no-oil, no-preservative guacamole, oil-free salad dressing, and I make veggie sandwiches with vegan sandwich thins.  But, I mostly (6 days out of 7) still follow the no-oil, low-fat diet.  I now have added plain peanuts to my diet, so that’s really good if you feel like a nosh.  I’ve also had air-popped popcorn with a small amount of salt on it – one caveat, popcorn without vegan butter can be pretty dry.  I’ve also made potato chips in the microwave – they are really good with some garlic powder on them, but are time consuming to make.

The only issue with eating this way is that you have to actually make your meals.  It can take more time than I’m used to, but it also tastes much better than prepared foods.  If you want some recipes let me know and I’ll share some with you.  The other important thing is that I drink a lot of water.  All the time.

As far as health is concerned, I used to have fairly bad asthma and now I don’t.  We’ll see how the rest of the summer goes, but the humidity hasn’t really bothered my breathing as much as before I started this eating plan.  My fibromyalgia also isn’t giving me as much pain as before.  Those were my two health issues, and they seem to be improving.  So, I’m looking forward to losing more weight on my goal to a healthy weight.  If you have any questions let me know in the comments below.

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Duplin County, North Carolina

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I’ve been letting you know about the health problems associated with eating the typical American diet. However, the problems with our form of food goes far beyond what we eat, it also includes environmental and various health issues that can be caused by not ingesting this food, but by living close to where the “products” are “grown” and “harvested”.  The easiest place in which to find information regarding these issues is in Duplin County, North Carolina.

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There are more hogs in Duplin County than there are people.  Actually, the ratio is about 39:1. That’s a lot of hogs.  Along with the number of animals, you must also include the urine and manure that is produced.  With the increased number of animals, comes the corresponding increase in waste.  So, where does this waste go?  The answer to that is lagoons that are supposed to be leak-proof, but of course that isn’t true.  There is a lot of seepage that than pollutes waterways and groundwater.    Then there is the smell, and the fact that hog waste is blown into the air via large sprayers.  These are often turned on at times when the nearby residents would be home, and outside.  The contaminants cause various health problems including raising blood pressure, neurobehavior, pulmonary function and cause cancer.

I have been writing about the hazards of the typical American diet for a few posts now.  Since I’ve been trying to get the information out, I’ve been told that it’s a person’s “right” to eat what they want.  But my question is, is it your “right” to cause disease to the communities surrounding these operations?  Is it your right to cause environmental damage to other parts of the country and the world?  (Beef production is the leading cause of Rainforest destruction).

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I urge you to watch What the Health, and other documentaries such as Conspiracy, and/or Earthlings.  Look up slaughterhouses on YouTube.  Go to https://nutritionfacts.org/?gclid=CjwKCAjwhYLLBRBIEiwAtFeEDxfxzh95HU6_cCsX_9ORP2BQ7kEiuA_Awxx9PMYoIKo2kJOXAFcl5BoCDcAQAvD_BwE  I beg you to educate yourself on what your diet is doing not only to you personally, but to other people and the environment.  Get healthy, eat well and live a happy life!

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http://observer.com/2017/05/pig-waste-factory-farming-north-carolina/

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/10/141028-hog-farms-waste-pollution-methane-north-carolina-environment/

http://www.umich.edu/~snre492/statter.html

http://www.dukechronicle.com/article/2016/03/hog-waste-threatens-north-carolinas-rural-poor

http://www.ncpolicywatch.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/09/UNC-Report.pdf

http://voices.nationalgeographic.com/2016/07/18/duplin-county-life-under-the-waste-sprayer/

http://www.technicianonline.com/news/article_334b5bdc-b4f3-11e5-b31f-af277c4f3939.htm

 

 

 

 

 

 

Casein – A Cancer Promoter

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Everyone has seen the advertisements “Milk, it does the body good.”  These ads are everywhere.  We’re told from an early age to “drink your milk”.  Cheese is added to so many recipes, and I must admit, when I ate a typical American diet, I too loved cheese, and drank my milk just like I was advised to.  Why?  Because the food pyramid said too.  My parents, my doctor and my school told me too, also.  So, did commercials on t.v., and everyone around me was drinking and eating casein make me think that this was a “good” food?  Of course, it did.

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But, what was all this milk and cheese doing to my body?  What is it doing to yours?  Well, one of the main things that it’s doing is promoting cancer cells to grow, in fact it’s been found to be a carcinogen, and should be avoided at all costs.  One of the reasons for this is that casein (along with the hormones that dairy cows are given to promote even more milk production) is stored in our fat cells for long periods of time.  This gives them a chance to promote and trigger cancer growth.  Everyone has cancer cells in their body, but these cells must be triggered in order to grow.  A carcinogen is what triggers the cancer cell.

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For a more scientific explanation of casein I’ve left the links below.  I also suggest that you watch the documentary What the Health (found on Netflix) if you want even more information.

http://freefromharm.org/health-nutrition/21-experts-on-the-dairy-breast-cancer-connection/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4166373/

 

Lead in Baby Food

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Years ago, when I had babies, I read an article saying that lead was found in baby food.  At the time, I was a stay-at-home mother, and decided that I wouldn’t buy any baby food, instead, I would make it.  The way that I accomplished this was to simply put some of the food that I’d made into a food processor and then fed it to my babies.  I was already making my own applesauce, etc. before learning about the lead issue, since I didn’t want to feed my babies refined sugar.  I still make my own applesauce and have only ever added some cinnamon to the finished product.

Baby puree with bananas isolated on white

The reason I’m sharing all this with you is that once again, scientists have discovered that there is lead in baby food.  The amount is around 20%, with baby juice and root vegetables being the main culprit.  Researchers say that although there is some lead found in the soil where the vegetables may be grown, they feel that it is the high level of processing that is causing the problem.  However, since there is no acceptable level of lead intake, this is cause for concern.  I know that the time constraints on a family with a new baby are excessive, but I do encourage you to make your own baby food.   I know that most people are aware of the effects that environment has on the growth of a child, so if you can, perhaps you should consider making baby food yourself. It really doesn’t take that much time, and the result is that you would have one less thing to worry about. When it comes to raising children, one less thing to worry about is always welcome.

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http://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2017/06/15/533103892/lead-detected-in-baby-food-samples-pediatricians-say-theres-no-safe-level