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/

 

Dioxins and Food

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The definition of dioxin is “any of several persistent toxic heterocyclic hydrocarbons that occur especially as by-products of various industrial processes (such as pesticide manufacture and papermaking) and waste incineration”.  (From Miriam Webster).  That doesn’t sound like something that you would normally eat.  Does it?  Well, if you are consuming animal products, you are introducing these toxins into your body on a daily basis, since they mostly accumulate in the fatty tissues of animals (meat and dairy, fish and shellfish).  According to the World Health Organization, dioxins can lead to reproductive and developmental issues, damage your immune system, interfere with hormones and cause cancer.

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These dioxins are so dangerous to humans because they can accumulate in our body fat, and remain there for long periods of time – the half-life (the amount of time it takes a substance to decrease in its toxicity by half) is from seven to eleven years.  That time-frame gives these toxic chemicals seven to eleven years to sit in your body and poison it.  Make no mistake, these chemicals do cause various diseases in the human body, and they have been listed as a Group 1 carcinogen.

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Do yourself a favor, eat less meat, diary, fish and shellfish, or better yet, become a plant-based food consumer.  If you feel that you can’t do without meat, try one of the many types of meat substitutes out there.  Some of these include:  Tofurky, Beyond Meat, Gardein, Field Roast, Lightlifefoods, and many others.  I’ve left links below for you to educate yourselves.  Let me know if you’ve tried these plant-based products and what you thought.

http://www.ejnet.org/dioxin/

http://www.who.int/mediacentre/factsheets/fs225/en/

 

Update on Life

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It’s getting nice out, I feel like I’ve emerged from a long and snowy winter, and I wanted to give a few updates on the changes that I’ve made to my life.  So, I’ve gotten the children’s book that I was writing pretty much done – the writing part anyway.  This weekend I want to start in on the illustrations, and have someone other than myself read it so I get some feedback on any changes that need to happen.  I’m so glad that I’ve finally finally gotten to this point!  Because I’m trying to write fairly consistently, I’m feeling much more creative, and I absolutely love the feeling!

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My quest to get rid of junk around the house unfortunately has not yet turned into an actual plan.  I got a good start on Spring Cleaning last week, but this week has been pretty much taken up with wood stacking for the winter.  We’re almost done with that, well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, so we’re more than halfway to the end.  This weekend I hope to get a workable plan in place for that.  And, to try and get the Spring Cleaning done, once and for all.  (At least for this Spring!)

My eating plan has been having some pretty good results.  I’ve lost fourteen pounds (maybe more, I haven’t yet weighed myself this week).  I’m eating all that I want, I’ve just changed what it is that I eat.  Oranges, bananas and grapes are some of my latest favorites.  I’m looking forward to the strawberries, blueberries, plums and peaches that the summer will bring.

Here are a few of my recent photos of flowers and trees in all their Spring beauty!

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My Engine 2 Rescue Diet

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I’ve been following the Engine 2 Rescue Diet (a plant-based, whole foods) diet for six weeks now.  It’s been an interesting ride.  I have to make everything myself, including hummus and salad dressing, since this is a no oil, no salt, no preservative diet.  There has been a pretty high learning curve, and I’ve learned that it can be a little bit difficult to cook with no oil.  Also, I have to admit that I use a lot of spices which is a good thing, since they make everything taste really good.

The first two weeks were the worst, and I ended up going to bed early to avoid temptations.  But sometime during the third week I discovered the wonderful sweetness of grapes, and life has been much better since.  In the interests of truth-telling, I did indeed try some delicious vegan chocolate for Easter.

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So far, I’ve lost 13 pounds and I have no idea how many inches.  Last week was a hard week for me (depressed) and I did not get up and exercise.  I did however, go on my daily walk – so I did get some exercise.  I started back up yesterday with getting up early to exercise.

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Sweet Potato Bowl

I am mostly eating meals from the book, but there are many variations that you can use.  The recipes are quite easy, and the best thing that you can do is just decide that this is the way that you’re going to eat from now on.  Prepared foods, while convenient, are extremely harmful to your health.  And there is really no amount of oil that is good for you.  I do get take-out once a week, either Chinese food (steamed) with only Soy Sauce, or pizza with no cheese and lots of veggies.  So, I’m not totally doing without take-out.  However, I did learn not to get any sauces on my Chinese, and to only get it steamed.  I had the worst stomach ache the first time I got regular Chinese veggies.  So, there is a learning curve here.  Also, and this is the most important thing, I do not count calories.  Sometimes I fill my dinner bowl all the way!  I eat if I’m hungry.  I’m just not eating anything that isn’t plant based or filled with oils.  So, yes…I’ve been known to eat two bananas, two oranges and a ton of grapes in one day.  There are no limits on my food intake.  I’ll have a large (huge) salad with chickpeas for lunch along with a baked potato. Then, in the afternoon I’ll have one or two oranges.  If I’m hungry, I’ll eat.  There is little caloric density in plant-based foods.  So, you eat a lot, and often.

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As far as benefits, I have had less over-all aches and pains from Fibromyalgia, but they haven’t gone completely away.  I do feel healthier, and just to let you know, potatoes can indeed be eaten with no vegan butter on them.  I throw them in the microwave (or oven), bake them and put spices on them.  Also, they only have about 60 calories each.  So, yes, you can eat potatoes and be healthy.  I make sure that I don’t let myself become too hungry.  I buy a lot of fruits, including oranges, bananas and grapes.  I’ve also been buying frozen fruits, usually blueberries, mangoes and peaches.  I’m so excited for the summer fruits to start coming in.  I can’t wait!  If you want, I’ll give out some recipes in another post.  So far, this has been the best way of eating I’ve found, for me.  It takes more work, but I love the food!

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Why is Science Important?

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This past weekend there was a march in Washington, D.C., along with other marches around the world in support of science.  We actually needed a march to support science.  I still can’t wrap my head around that fact.  The marches were in support of evidence, fact-based and peer-reviewed science.  This is needed since the administration in Washington is against both science and peer-viewed research.  Research needs to be peer-reviewed, since anyone could claim to be a scientist, publish a “study” and claim anything.  We already can see that happening, so it needs to be stopped.  Science is actually one subject that can be proved correct.  Just because someone doesn’t like what is scientifically proven doesn’t mean that they have the ability to claim it is false.

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For those people who think that we don’t need science, do you like using your technology?  Phones, laptops, t.v., all are science-based.  Should funding be cut, so will your technology.  How about “cutting-edge” health care?  All those new life-saving surgeries are based on science.  Do you like your new medicines?  Those too come from science. If funds are cut so will your health, since there will be less money spent on keeping you healthy.  Science is life-saving.  It affects all of us in every part of our lives.  Support science, your life may very well depend on it.

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Food and Exercise

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I’ve been on the Engine 2 Rescue Diet now for almost three weeks.  This diet is a no oil, no preservatives plant -based one.  How is it going?  Well, at times all I really want to do is to eat all the chips in the bag!  However, I haven’t done that, and it’s going pretty good.  I haven’t fallen “off the wagon” at all, and when I do get chip cravings, I tend to eat either some grapes – which are totally delicious, by the way, or an orange.

Learning how to make stir-fry without oil was a little hard to get used to, but I’ve got that down, now.  Tonight, is Chinese night, so I’m really looking forward to the steamed veggies with white rice.  A meal that I don’t have to cook is always a source of excitement.

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I’ve been having Quaker Quick Oats for breakfast with some maple syrup, cinnamon, banana and blueberries.  At first I thought yuck! I hate oatmeal, but when I have it like this, it’s really good!  If I get hungry later in the morning (sometimes I’ve already eaten by 6:30, I’ll have an orange.

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Here’s a lunch that I love.  I just cut-up some onion, mushroom, squash and peppers, then I stir-fried them in a little water.  I put them on a Sandwich Thin (again, no oil), added a little no-oil homemade hummus and dug in.  I also ate the leftovers.  Good lunch!  Next week I’ll give you some dinner recipes.  I have to take pictures, since I haven’t gotten around to that, yet.

I’ll also eat a salad with extra veggies and chickpeas. If I still feel hungry I’ll throw a small red potato in the microwave and cook it up.  I’ll then eat it with some garlic powder.  No vegan butter for me.  This was actually a little strange at first, but I’ve gotten used to it, and now like the potato with only some herbs on it.

I’ve added some more exercise to my routine also.  I now work-out in the morning, then go for a walk with my dog around eleven, then come home and work-out some more.  In the afternoon, I’ll do so again.  So, this is what I do:  Monday, Wednesday and Friday I’ll do my Soloflex machine (yes, I’ve had one for more years than I want to admit), then a Denise Austin DVD with weights in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a Denise Austin Pilates DVD.  I hate Pilates!  Tuesday and Thursday, I’ll do a Fitness Blender video in the morning.  In the afternoon, I’ll do a bunch of Sun Salutations very slowly.  On the weekend, I usually mix it up with some Denise Austin workouts and different Fitness Blender videos.

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The whole process has been a major time-commitment, what with the meal planning, making things that I usually don’t from scratch and working out.  However, I’ve finally seen a positive change in my body.  Have you changed anything about your diet or exercise routine?  Let me know how that’s going for you.