Vitamin D Deficiency Hits New Highs?

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This was an interesting topic to research.  Some studies suggested that there is a widespread problem with people who are vitamin D deficient, but other studies did not.  So, how important is vitamin D?  Well it does help with keeping your bones healthy, but again, don’t try to get it from fortified milk, since milk leaches this vitamin and calcium out of your bones.  (Suggestion, take regular vitamin D fortified milk, place a bone in it, leave it there overnight, and see how malleable that bone is in the morning – hint – it’s rather bendy, to say the least.)

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So, what to do?  My suggestion is to eat a vitamin D rich diet by eating the foods that are high in vitamin D.  These foods are: spinach, kale, okra, broccoli, collards, soy beans, white, navy and black beans, pinto beans, chickpeas, mushrooms, almonds, various items made with soy including milk, yogurt, ice cream, tofu and tempeh, and fortified orange juice, rice, soy or almond milks.  You should also make sure that you take vitamin D in pill form.

One of the best ways to get vitamin D is to go outside for 10 minutes without sunscreen on.  That should also help, although keep that time short, as there is the issue of sun cancer.

It’s always preferable to receive your vitamins from your food.  The choices above are all plant based, however there are other foods that also have vitamin D.  I am not recommending them here since they are all linked to cancer and other various diseases.  Personally, I don’t really like kale, so I make sure I get a good amount of vitamin D from other foods such as spinach, broccoli and many of the beans listed above.  I love love love chickpeas!

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https://nutritionfacts.org/video/the-optimal-dose-of-vitamin-d-based-on-natural-levels/

https://www.healthlinkbc.ca/healthlinkbc-files/sources-calcium-vitamin-d

 

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Pesticides and Children

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While we all know that pesticides are harmful for any creature, the evidence that they are also extremely harmful for humans continues to mount.  As you know, Monsanto cannot be sold in many countries due to the harm it causes.  Monsanto was taken to the international court, The Hauge, and this courts decision was to allow the bans against it to stand.  So, here we have not only scientific evidence that pesticides are harmful, but legal rulings against it, also.

The study linked to below, deals with an insecticide class known as Organophosphates which were developed in Germany in the 1940’s and are “like” nerve agents, which means that they target an enzyme (acetylcholinesterase ) that controls nerves signals, of course this destroys the enzyme, and then the insect also dies.  These insecticides are known as chlorpyrifos and are widely used in the U.S. and Europe.  Not only that, but chlorpyrifos are not only used in fields, but they have also been used in parks and playgrounds.  Since they have been used so widely, it is nearly impossible not to come into contact with them.

Until this meta study was conducted,(for those who don’t know, a meta study is the extensive study of many different peer-reviewed scientific studies) many people were under the impression that these were not “all that” harmful to humans, however by using the meta study (the study of many peer-reviewed studies from over 71 countries), the scientists discovered that the level of human harm is much higher than was previously thought.  Indeed, they discovered that there is no “acceptable” level, in fact, chronic low-level exposure is extremely harmful and can lead to problems in babies and children that include lower I.Q., problems with the mechanics of the brain, learning disabilities and memory problems.  Should many children have these problems it will become a societal problem.

I’m leaving the link to this information below.  Scary stuff indeed.

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 https://www.care2.com/causes/theres-no-safe-limit-of-pesticide-exposure-for-children-says-a-new-study.html

 

Alcohol and You

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We all know that alcohol consumption is big business.  Many t.v. shows seem to “push” drinking by having the characters drink when they come home from work, Madame Secretary and House of Cards come to mind here.  Being me, this has always made me uncomfortable.  I didn’t grow up in a drinking family…in fact, we only had some wine at holiday dinners. One memorial night, my Dad partook too much and was extraordinarily sick for two days.  This of course, turned me into a skeptic regarding the joys of drinking.  I later learned that my initial thoughts were correct.  And, since alcohol is a depressant I tend to drink not at all.  However, I’ve been told by many that the health benefits out way the negative impacts, and, of course, the old “everything in moderation” attitude.  I don’t know about that, there are plenty of things that I wouldn’t do, even in “moderation”.

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However, a recently published study shows that alcohol consumption leads to health problems.  After studying the results of hundreds of studies, researchers concluded that alcohol consummation was the seventh leading risk factor in death.  The more you drink, the higher your risk factor rises for many diseases, including cancer, tuberculosis, strokes, heart disease, along with diabetes, and other diseases.  I’ve left the link to the study below.

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While there are many out there who are saying that the research is flawed, this is not the first study that has stated the there is no amount of alcohol use that is “good” for you.  I’ve also left a link to a report regarding money and “scientific” research into the benefits of alcohol.  Like all money-making endeavors, follow who paid for the study, and you will find out who stands to benefit from a specific outcome.

https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(18)31310-2/fulltext#seccestitle70

https://www.vox.com/science-and-health/2018/3/21/17139036/health-effects-alcohol-moderate-drinking-nih

 

 

Is Self-Care Selfish?

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As you know, I’ve been rising early in order to work-out.  Sometimes that means that I’m up at 4:30 a.m. since I’ve been doing most of my walking in the morning, in my basement with Denise Austin.  Why you may ask?  Well, our heat index has been 105° on more than one occasion.  So, the other day, I was minding my own business when I was informed by a family member that the very fact that I work-out is extremely selfish of me.  I was taking time and doing something for myself that should be spent doing something (anything) for the family.

There was something so shocking about this statement that I was at a loss for words.  After reflection on this I wonder, what should I be doing at 4:30 am?  Vacuuming?  Washing the floors?  Dusting?  The fact of the matter is, if I wasn’t working out, I’d be sleeping.  But, how come all my time is supposed to be “for the family”?  Aren’t we all adults here?

The definition of selfish is to be concerned exclusively with oneself, to the detriment of others.  I seriously do not think that making extra time in my day to exercise has anything to do with the detriment of other family members.  I still do everything that I was doing before I started working out every day, so this statement is patently untrue.  However, the purpose of his saying this was deliberately to undermine what I was doing.  I have seen positive changes this year, and that is what is bothering some people in my immediate family, not just this one individual.  When you start to change your life, some people may see this as a negative directed at them.  For their own reasons, they were happy with the status quo and now you’ve gone and changed yourself in certain ways.  This can be a problem, but remember, if you are changing yourself for your own reasons, they don’t get to say what you should or shouldn’t do.  (As long as what you’re doing involves only you).  So, self-care is not selfish.

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Does Peace Begin on Your Plate?

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There are many choices that we can make.  What you choose to put on your plate is definitely one of them.  While almost everyone who has chosen to forgo animal products grew up eating those same products, however, at some point these people made a choice to not add to the violence and destruction that is so pervasive in the world.  After all, if you can choose to not cause harm to anyone else – including other species, why wouldn’t you?  When I finally confronted that question myself, I knew that I had to get off the Vegetarian diet and become Vegan.

This was a hard decision, not because of myself, but because of the other people in my life, and others in general.  The meat and dairy industries generate a lot of money, approximately $864.2 billion annually in the U.S. alone.  Think of the incentive there is to vilify vegans, along with doctors who speak out against these industries, and you will see where the pervasive negative attitudes come from.  Not only are vegans portrayed in various media outlets as being slightly insane and/or obnoxious, but there are numerous examples of how extreme veganism is.  Why being vegan is considered extreme is beyond my understanding.  Isn’t raising an animal for the sole purpose of killing and eating that animal extreme?

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Not only are there the ethical questions regarding killing an animal that doesn’t want to die, but if you add to that the environmental damage done by the massive world-wide meat and dairy industry, you can see how the destruction becomes unsustainable.

Now, back to my question, does peace begin on your plate?  My answer is yes, of course it does.  There is only so much in the way of sustainable food, and when one country has a problem with consumption that causes others to suffer peace also suffers.  I’ve left links below for you to read.  Look up other information and decide for yourselves whether or not you believe that peace begins on your plate.

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https://www.google.com/search?q=How+much+money+does+the+meat+industry+make+a+year%3F&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwjknMjQ4djbAhWs6IMKHZpCBUIQzmcIQQ&biw=1366&bih=654

http://www.jhunewsletter.com/article/2016/03/the-representation-of-food-on-television

http://science.time.com/2013/12/16/the-triple-whopper-environmental-impact-of-global-meat-production/

https://content.sierraclub.org/grassrootsnetwork/team-news/2016/10/10-reasons-why-meat-and-dairy-industry-unsustainable-0

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/cutting-back-on-meat-consumption-could-help-end-hunger-by-2030-experts_us_55f3424ee4b077ca094f27a5

http://www.onegreenplanet.org/environment/world-hunger-population-growth-ditching-meat/

Five Habits That to Extend Your Life

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Harvard has a new study out regarding habits that may help extend your life.  Of course, it’s no surprise that the first item on the list is no tobacco products.  These products have been linked to a variety of health problems, so if you want to extend your life, I strongly suggest that you never begin using tobacco, or if you have, please stop.  Your life depends on it.

Another item on the list is keeping a low BMI (body mass index).  Keeping the fat down is always a good idea.  The other habit that goes right along with this is cardio for at least 30 minutes a day.  How many times have we been told that we absolutely need to exercise?  Not only does it make you feel better but doing so can help you live longer.

So, the last two habits are avoiding alcohol consumption and eating a healthy diet. As far as alcohol consumption is concerned, I recommend watching the documentary The Truth About Alcohol (I watched it on Netflix).  There is a ton of information in this documentary, and will hopefully help you to drink much less, or stop drinking completely.  (That’s what it did to me, and I don’t regret giving up my occasional glass of wine at all.)  The latest nutrition information has changed from promoting a lot of meat and dairy to promoting the health benefits of fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes, with only small amounts of meat and dairy.  I myself am vegan, so I just concentrate my diet on fruits, vegetables, grains and legumes.  If you’re at all interested in the scientific data that supports non-meat/non-dairy consumption, I recommend nutritionfacts.org.

Well, there you have it –  five new habits to add to your daily life!

https://www.msn.com/en-us/health/medical/a-harvard-study-says-5-habits-can-help-you-live-way-longer-this-one-is-the-most-important/ar-AAwzhiu

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Nope, Not Right Now

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Last week as I was wasting time on Instagram, I saw a post stating that California was making coffee shops post that coffee was carcinogenic.  Well, my initial response to that news was to swipe right by with the words, “nope, not now” in my mind.  I mean, really.  A few years ago, I tried to give up coffee, but went back to drinking it.  After all, I don’t drink, smoke or eat meat and dairy… and coffee is my little weakness, and even though I know it’s not the best thing, it’s the one thing that I’ve decided to drink that’s not entirely healthy.  But, carcinogenic?

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So, after waiting a respectable amount of time (really, just putting it off), I decided to look into the science of this claim.  It turns out that overly roasted coffee beans can contain a chemical called acrylamide, which can cause mutations and damage in DNA, which then can increase the risk of getting cancer.  However, it’s unclear as to if the amount of acrylamide found in coffee can be considered a risk, since the animals that it was found to be a risk in were given levels between 1,000 and 10,000 more then were found in food that humans would ingest.  Therefore, the scientists do not consider this a risk, and have not stated that it is one as regards to coffee.  I’ve left the link below for you to read.  Now, I think I’ll go enjoy my morning coffee…thank you very much!

https://www.livescience.com/62177-california-coffee-cancer-warning.html