100+ Days of Change

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I know that it’s only April, but I did want to post a blog about my journey of change that I started on January 2nd – not the 1st since I was up long past my bedtime on New Year’s Eve!  So, my major change has been to work out every single morning this year.  Knock wood, but so far, I have managed to do this.  I also changed how I work out.  I initially started with a combination of Denise Austin, Fitness Blender and my old-school Soloflex machine, along with my daily walks.  Then I decided that instead of doing weights only on Monday, Wednesday and Friday I would just do them every other day while trading off with pure cardio on the other days.  I don’t “do” leg day and then arm day – I just do all weights on one day.  This is easier for me, because one day is a longer workout, and the next is a little shorter – kind of like a “treat” on the shorter days.  And, we all need a treat once in a while.

Since I started in January I’ve made a few changes.  I started with a “lighter” Fitness Blender and then changed to a harder cardio.  But now I’m off Fitness Blender and am doing Boot Camp with Denise Austin instead.  I’m sure I’ll change that up at some point, but I’m enjoying huffing and puffing along with Denise.  I’d also like to eventually get back into Tae Bo with Billy Blanks, but I’m not there yet.  I have aged since the last time I did Tae Bo!  I’ve also added more miles to my weekly walking with the dog.  I’m trying to go on a longer walk at least three times a week, and I did do over 17 miles last week.

So, that being said, do I feel better?  Well, that’s a process I guess.  For the first month everything was sore, but I felt good.  Then, I hit a hard patch that lasted over a month and I just gritted my teeth and forced myself through it.  It wasn’t easy, and everything went wrong.  My back started to give me trouble, and everything just hurt – my knees, arms, legs.  But, for the past week or so, I’ve been feeling much better.  It does help to work out when you’ve just gotten up, because for the first part of it you’re not really awake!

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Is there a change?  Yes, I can see muscle, and my butt is looking less droopy.  I have more endurance and those long walks are not making my legs sore.  So, yes, there is a difference.  How are your goals for 2018 going?  Are you working on them, or have you given up?  Let me know in the comments below.  Remember that every day is a new beginning.

 

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Taking Care of Yourself

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The hardest thing to do is to invest in taking care of yourself.  And, by investing I don’t mean just money, but time and effort.  As a mother, ever since I gave birth, the majority of my life has been spent in taking care of my children.  I remember having to have the babies in the bathroom with me when taking a shower, since my children seemed to need only small catnaps both day and night.  Therefore, I was usually passed out on what available surface there was during these teeny tiny little “naps” (notice the quotes).  So, as they grew, and got to be teenagers who loved to sleep, I began to sleep a little later.  But, I’ve since found out that anything over 5 or 6 hours makes me feel like throwing up, so I’ve gotten used to just getting up when I first wake up (instead of trying to go back to sleep) in order to work out.

That’s the first thing I do on a daily basis for myself.  Other than that, it’s mostly an effort.  I’ve just recently started getting my hair cut at a salon after going for 5 or 6 years without a haircut.  Who needs a haircut when you always wear your hair in a bun?  Every time my appointment comes around, I have to force myself to go.  The excuses are varied – it’s raining, there is snow, I don’t really have the money…  Seriously, it’s not expensive to get your hair cut every two months.  I’ve recently bought myself some face masks but using them again is an issue.  I seem to be looking for the “right” time to do so.

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Eating properly is another issue.  I buy lots of fruit every week but seem to think that if I eat an orange, there won’t be enough for someone (the mythical someone) else to enjoy.  Of course, there is plenty of fruit at the end of the week, but I still think that I can’t eat much of it.

Taking care of yourself is an important part of your health and your well-being.  What do you do on a daily/weekly basis to take care of yourself?  Do you find it difficult to make time for you?  Let me know in the comments below.

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Do You Love Animals?

 

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Most people love animals. Who doesn’t love their cats and dogs? But does that mean that you love all animals? Do you also love cows, calves, sheep, lambs, chickens, chicks, pigs and piglets, also? Well, I hate to burst your bubble, but if you eat meat, eggs and dairy, you don’t love animals. I know, it’s a harsh statement, and I once “loved” animals, but I also ate them. Most of us who are plant-based were once just like you. We divorced ourselves from the reality of farmed animal’s lives. We lived with the blinkers firmly in place, and simply tried not to think about it. However, there is so much scientific evidence out there showing us how cruel the practice of raising animals to eat is, that we really morally can’t continue to do so.

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From animals who sing, to the fact that they form attachments with each other, our understanding of other animals continues to grow. The level of animal sentience is much higher than was thought, and the new evidence just continues to grow. I am including links below for your education on these topics. Please read, follow the links within this articles to the scientific studies, and think about your own choices. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below.

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https://www.alternet.org/food/new-online-calculator-lets-you-see-impact-your-meat-intake-animals-climate-and-your-health?akid=16743.302291.SXinIv&rd=1&src=newsletter1088934&t=8
https://www.care2.com/causes/5-animals-you-didnt-know-could-sing.html
https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/after-researching-how-pigs-are-treated-their-meat-cambridge-professor-went-vegan-video?akid=16710.302291.ez6JQ3&rd=1&src=newsletter1088387&t=8
https://www.alternet.org/animal-rights/dog-cow-pig-world-sentience-there-no-difference-video?akid=16710.302291.ez6JQ3&rd=1&src=newsletter1088387&t=6
https://www.care2.com/causes/10-amazing-facts-about-animal-sentience.html

Yes, Your Diet Is Related to Your Health!

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We keep hearing “all things in moderation”, and other silly statements meant to placate us into thinking that we can eat our cake (meat, dairy,) and be healthy all the same.  It’s a nice thought, but is it true?  Is the “typical” American diet keeping you in good health?  Well, it certainly doesn’t seem to be, given the amount of people with diseases that are caused by the “typical” American diet.   Frankly, our food choices are killing us.

Diet accounts for the following diseases:  cardiovascular; diabetes; obesity; and most (if not all) cancers.  So, you would think that your doctor would let you know that you need to make better food choices.  However, that is usually not the case.  Instead, we run into the typical “all things in moderation” type of advice.  When it comes to choices that actually cause death, there shouldn’t be any discussion of “moderation” in consumption of them.  We’ve been told for years that we should not smoke, since that leads to death, why not the same with food?

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Since I am a cynic, I more than suspect that this negligence on the part of the entire health industry has more than a little to do with profits.  After all, the following people/corporations profit from your illness:  doctors, hospitals, pharmacies, and drug companies.  They are making a tidy profit off of you, and Americans are getting sicker at a younger and younger age.  This is simply ridiculous and really should stop.

I’m leaving some links for you to follow in order to educated yourselves, since the health industry isn’t going to do it for you.  Change your diet, change your life!

https://www.alternet.org/food/poor-diets-are-killing-more-americans-anything-else?akid=16594.302291.tdJuEv&rd=1&src=newsletter1087425&t=34

https://jamanetwork.com/journals/jama/fullarticle/1710486

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/24742395

Here is a link that can answer all of your possible questions regarding diet and health, and they are much more qualified than I am.  Please go to https://nutritionfacts.org/ for your answers.

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The Benefits of Castor Oil

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While I don’t like to even think about drinking oil, (I don’t know if you were forced to use this remedy as a child, but yuck!), there are indeed some benefits to using castor oil.  Science has found that the active ingredient in castor oil, Ricinoleic acid which is helpful in solving both intestinal issues, and labor issues, along with controlling how blood clots.  While I don’t have any of these issues, drinking castor oil has its place if you do.

There are other uses for topical applications of castor oil, however.  Some people have found that castor oil helps with skin conditions such as acne, dermatosis and psoriasis.  Other people claim that it has helped with promoting hair growth.  If you do wish to try castor oil on your skin, it is recommended that you dilute it with water in a 50/50 ratio.  Also, there may be some side effects such as rashes, swelling and/or itching. If this occurs, just stop using it.  So there are any side effects that just means that it may be too harsh for your skin.  Certain products affect everyone in different ways.

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I’ve left links for you to follow if you want more information on castor oil.  Some of the other benefits include helping with inflammation, disinfecting, and increasing your immunity.  I will probably be trying this out in the future.  I’ll let you know if I get any results.  Do you use castor oil, and if so have you found it to be useful?

 

http://www.sciencemag.org/news/2012/05/just-spoonful-castor-oil

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/319844.php

http://www.stylecraze.com/articles/amazing-benefits-of-castor-oil/#gref

 

A Vegan Diet Will Cause a Nutritional Nightmare!

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I don’t know if you’ve seen the latest scare that has come out regarding a plant-based diet.  Apparently, if the entire U.S. population decided to follow a plant-based diet we would all succumb to nutritional deficiencies and die horrible deaths according to a “scientific” report put out by – wait for it…. Robin A. White, who just so happens to be an “animal and poultry professor” at Virginia Tech who teaches animal and poultry use and agriculture; and Mary Beth Hall who works in Dairy Science at USDFRC, Madison, WI., again working for the Dairy Industry.

https://qz.com/1131428/if-the-entire-us-went-vegan-itd-be-a-public-health-disaster/

Now, once we find out who these people are, we have to wonder why, after all the scientific evidence there is that shows that consuming meat and dairy leads to a number of health problems, heart disease and cancer included, why oh why would the meat and dairy industry want to keep “proving” that a plant-based diet is going to kill you?  Could it be that meat and dairy consumption has declined, leading to the oh-so-problematic decline in profits?  Greed of course is behind this “study”.

Should one believe this study, one would think that anyone who is eating a plant-based diet should be on the verge of dying.  However, that is simply not true.  Well, I haven’t heard of anyone dying due to eating a healthy plant-based diet.  And, I am no-where near death myself, after almost five years on a vegan diet.  As a matter of fact, after my last yearly visit with my doctor, he was amazed at how low my cholesterol and sugar numbers were.  I was quite healthy with no nutritional death in sight.  There were no deficiencies in my diet that he could find.  Am I a modern medical miracle?  I think not, since my daughter also received a clean bill of health.

As far as the claims that humans simply cannot get the nutrition they need from plants, I beg to differ.  Calcium comes from plants, as do the other nutrients listed in the study.  When you receive any nutrients from eating the flesh of another animal, you are simply eating the middle-man.  Ever hear of broccoli or leafy greens?  Apparently the “researchers” didn’t.  For any questions regarding plant-based diet, please go to https://nutritionfacts.org/ and find out more information.  I apologize if anyone found this post too snarky.  I simply couldn’t help it.

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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/