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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What is Wrong with Education?

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I love to learn.  If I’m curious about anything, from the origin of a word to where a country is on the map, I’ll look it up (my geographic skills are very limited, and I’m always looking at maps).  I have an insatiable curiosity regarding almost anything to everything.  I will ask strangers all kinds of questions in order to get to know them.  I’m not pushy, and I try to do it in a friendly way.  I feel that there is so much going on the world and so many stories out there that are so interesting.  Most people are dealing with all kinds problems and I’ve been told that the very fact I ask them how they are makes them feel special.

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My curiosity includes education – of course.  I decided while I was at college, that I’d get two majors instead of the usual combination of a major and a minor.  I had a few interesting conversations with the Dean of Students over this decision, but due to my high grades they let me persue it.  When my children were in school I asked them to tell me one thing they learned that I didn’t already know.  When I home schooled them, the thing that I liked best about it was how much new information I was learning.  There is nothing like learning new things that gets me so excited.  When I first learned who Rachel Carson was, I wanted to be just like her. Most of my heroes are people who not only are highly intelligent, but also people interested in helping others.  The only way forward into a better and more equal future is through education.  Done right, education creates compassion and understanding.  No one who reads a wide variety of international literature can claim no compassion nor understanding. Once you feel what other cultures have experienced, your mind has been opened to new pathways.

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Of course, the point of all this waxing on about education is that a new study by Pew Research Center has shown that the majority of Republican voters believe that higher education is “bad” for America.  That being said, I wonder if they are prepared to forgo Doctors, Nurses, Engineers and computer experts.  All these people do have degrees from universities.  Indeed, many of them have advanced degrees.  These are the people responsible for many of the “little” things that make life a lot better – such as advancements in communications, infrastructure, safety and health care.  This finding simply flabbergasts me.  Please feel free to leave your comments on this subject.  I’d love to find out what other people think of it.

http://www.people-press.org/2017/07/10/sharp-partisan-divisions-in-views-of-national-institutions/

http://www.newsweek.com/republicans-believe-college-education-bad-america-donald-trump-media-fake-news-634474

 

Did You Ever Wonder Why?

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Have you ever wondered why after all the billions of dollars spent, the years of research, and the time devoted to talking about it, why there has been no discernible “cure” for cancer?  A lot of corporations and people are getting wealthy over cancer research, drugs and care.  A lot of people with cancer are going broke and dying.  But there is no “cure” in sight.  There is a large incidence for either the same type of cancer to recur, or a new kind of cancer to “crop up”.  Why is that?

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Why does one of the best-known foundations, the Susan Komen Foundation take money from Yoplait, whose products contain a known carcinogen that is factor in causing breast cancer?  Why does only 20% of the money the foundation raises go toward research for a cure?  These are all valid questions, and I’m not just referring to this one foundation, I’m using it as an example.  The rest of the cancer foundations also take money directly from corporations that sell products that contain carcinogens, too.

Because a plant-based diet has been scientifically proved to be beneficial to slowing and stopping the growth of cancer, I was surprised to find that this does not appear on the American Cancer Society website.  Instead, they tell you to “limit” your amount of processed meats and red meat.  Again, they don’t let you know that these are listed as carcinogens.  Where is a concerned person supposed to go to get scientifically backed information?  The answer is simple.  Read How not to Die, by Dr. Michael Greger and go on his website https://nutritionfacts.org/

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What do you think of these facts?  Have you wondered about the amount of money spent on research, drugs and care?  Do you think that this research will find a cure for cancer?  Let me know in the comments below.

https://www.cancer.org/cancer/cancer-causes/diet-physical-activity/diet-and-physical-activity.html

 

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/

 

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.

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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

 

What the Health – Documentary

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I don’t know if any of you have watched this documentary.  It’s been on my list to watch, and on June 16th Netflix started showing it.  So, on Sunday afternoon I watched it.  This documentary is all about how the American public is being lied to by the food industry along with our own government, pharmaceutical companies, and the medical profession regarding a healthy diet.  I know, I know, “them be fight’n words”.  However, I advise you to watch this documentary and make up your own minds.

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Over the next few weeks, I’ll be posting some more information regarding our “healthy diet”, and what it does to your body, what ingredients there are, and how this affects your health.  Go and watch What the Health and let me know what you think.

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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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