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/

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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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Ginger – What is it Good For?

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I’ve recently started drinking ginger tea.  There are reportedly major health benefits to having a cup of ginger tea daily.  Unfortunately, my local grocery store hasn’t been stocking ginger root, so I’ve been using ginger paste.  The preparation is really simple.  I add about one teaspoon (or more) of the paste to hot water, let is steep for three minutes and then strain it into a mug.  I will add a little agave and lemon juice.  I’ve never been a huge fan of ginger; however, I am really enjoying drinking it this way.

Some of the reported benefits include relieving nausea and benefiting digestion; cold and flu relief; reducing muscle pain; reducing inflammation; and reducing cholesterol.  Ginger has nutritional values, including vitamin B6, magnesium, phosphorus, zinc, folate, riboflavin, and niacin.

Since, as you know I have Fibromyalgia, I’m all about reducing my inflammation.  However, I am looking forward to seeing how a consistent use of ginger helps my over-all health.  Do you use ginger, and if so has it helped with any health issues you may have?  Let me know in the comments below.

https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/265990.php

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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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/

 

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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