I just started this blog: https://vegan244.wordpress.com/
I just started this blog: https://vegan244.wordpress.com/
Hello Dear World. Every piece we learn on the journey to a food revolution can be one more step on the journey. Going vegan seems to be taking me decades and recently I came much further on the journey. All the work I did writing this raw food blog has paid off and once again I encourage everyone to write a blog on anything you’re interested in learning more about or sharing.
This has become a summer for decluttering myself from habits I was so curious about being free from. How would it feel to no longer have to have coffee? It feels really free. Gluten free? Amazing. And free from eating dead animals? Very natural. It’s an unusual opportunity to have a choice about going vegan. In human history we always went for what we could find to eat of course. And while we found it’s easier to sneak up on a plant, if there were no plants available…like I think about Eric the Red who founded Greenland – he must have lived off fish?
On going vegan, if you’re interested, you can pick an interest and let that be your motivation: Health, Environment, Philosophy, Curiosity, etc.
Curiosity sparked my going vegetarian in the 80’s. Health was why I quit dairy over 16 years ago. And when I saw “A Life Among Whales” I was astonished at what the people in charge of killing the animals may be watching all day. Do we really want to support this industry? or do we want people to have healthier jobs? Now I learn it takes 2,000 gallons of water for every gallon of milk (Pearce, When the Rivers Run Dry: Water–The Defining Crisis of the Twenty-first Century, 2007). And I learn there are Farm Sanctuaries (where farm animals are rescued and cared for). Joel Furhman (“Eat to Live”) writes if there was any one food he could take away from the American diet to save the most lives, it would be cheese. I understand from T. Colin Campbell (“The China Study”) casein (milk/cheese protein) is a carcinogen. If you’re looking for a site, you might check out http://nutritionfacts.org/.
Clothes and going vegan…that’s like a final frontier. There are companies putting to use some great materials (pleather replacing leather, primaloft replacing down, etc). It seems to me, someone is going to make a mint in this field. As people start figuring out things like we’ve been destroying rainforests to grow fast food hamburgers (and while they sold billions, they threw away exponentially more right in the trash, due to: The policy to keep the bins full and quickly ready to sell to customers and the law against selling them after a few minutes of having been cooked). Just now we learn thru NPR that China and Europe don’t add a muscle growth chemical the U.S. regularly uses in pigs:
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People are getting ready to move on. It will take lots of starts but the change is coming. A close friend (in her 60’s) went on Atkins and for the first time had to take cholesterol pills. When she later became vegan (in her 70’s), guess what? no need for the pills anymore. People are finding out on their own. No matter how many billions get pumped into selling misinformation, we’re finding our way and it is a big thanks to the doctors helping us by writing books that point to the evidence they are seeing and inspire us to try a little something different this time. Just experiment, your body is your laboratory.
On BookTV I saw a lawyer who was also a doctor speaking about sugar. (Sugar, the other white powder as Dr. Julie Holland calls it in Moody Bitches.) Anyway his point was we can pass laws locally, the way we have with alcohol. There are little stores near schools all across the country where kids walk in on their way to and from school to buy sugar. You could card for the sugar consumption during certain hours, the way we do alcohol.
Sugar addiction is so difficult to overcome and extremely expensive for our healthcare system. He pointed out diabetes is so expensive because unlike smokers people living with diabetes live with care for it a much longer time (many getting diabetes starting very young now), the smokers passed at about the time of retirement when they would have collected federal benefits. Isn’t it sad to think of it like that? I hope it’s just the point that we see and that we are extremely compassionate with ourselves and any others we know suffering from anything.
It is compassion that will help us. Shaming and blaming do not inspire the kind of courage, strength and hope it takes to make authentic change for ourselves and others. My best wishes to everyone. And one more thing – huge thanks to Ed Brown for his dear cookbook that I find comforting and inspiring – The Complete Tassajara Cookbook.
I want to encourage you to write a raw food blog or a blog about anything you want to get going on/form a habit with/learn about. Writing this blog over the years helped me find ways to bring more and more raw fruits and veggies into my daily life. Reading books like Eat to Live and journal articles cited here, the comments, it all helped normalize eating for example 2 pints of blueberries in a day (which I did yesterday; one pint was blueberry cereal). Anyway think about it. When I started this blog I really was just starting the rawfood journey only having occasional contact with a rawfoodist friend of ours as my initial inspiration. This blog became a notebook.
Now that our gardens are in full bloom, I see kale is very hardy and came back from last year like it owns the place, even growing between our vegetable garden boxes. Smooth leaf kale varieties are simple to wash. Pluck the leaves toss them into a high speed blender (like a ktech or vitamix) with a can of pineapple (fresh pineapple isn’t sweet enough) and even the pickiest eaters will enjoy drinking in the fresh life of kale.
I don’t know why I think its so exciting to think we have all the gut bacteria friends working together with us like a very huge and very diverse team! Some notes from Discover magazine (Jan/Feb 2013) re: recent research by: NIH’s Human Microbiome Project and MetaHIT
Apparently more than 1,000 species were found, “…each person’s body supports many different microbial ecosystems. The vagina, for example is like a sparsely populated prairie, where as…’The distal gut of a human is one of the densest microbial ecosystems on the planet.’ says Stanford University microbiologist David Relman…” We’re diverse like a rainforest.
“People are very different from one another, but they are consistent with themselves. Two healthy Americans’ microbial communities can differ by as much as 90 percent, but an individual’s distinct ensemble of bugs tends to stay stable over many years…Already doctors are having success treating diseases like colitis with fecal transplants to reestablish gut flora in patients who have received intensive rounds of antibiotics” (Discover magazine, Jan/Feb 2013; p.21).
In case you missed the (MetaHIT organized) conference held in Paris last year:
“…the International Human Microbiome Congress, which we think will remain a landmark event in the field of human microbiome research. Here are a few Take Homme Messages we feel are among the most important elements to remember after the Congress:
In this video Stanford and NYU Med. Ctr. researchers discuss their research: ASM Live — Antibiotic Exposure, The Microbiome and Obesity. ASM is the American Society of Microbiology. There is some talk on diet in the said video see minute 14:12; and probiotics ~18:30; interesting points also after ~23:30). I see they’re trying to find where the bacteria are coming from, which is why they are interested in babies and how their biomes get their start.
I’d like to see more research on the notion that eating processed sugar and white flour products creates an aggressively growing population of bacteria that then crave more sugar and make you crave eating more sugar. Is it like a yeast festival that kind of takes over in your gut? Edging out the life of the “good” bacteria that are just kindly waiting for your next salad? lol
Here is an excellent lecture on microbe communication by Dr. Bonnie Bassler at Princeton (starts at 3:30). WOW bacteria have been around for 4 billion years and were the first organisms on earth! Some of our bacteria digest our food, make our vitamins and inform our immune system. Bacteria communicate and chemicals are their words. They do so “bi-lingually” with a kind universally known language among various kinds of bacteria. They can sense when there are plenty of their type around and this helps them know if they have enough to take over an organism. So our intercepting their ability to communicate seems to hold promise. “They eavesdrop, they cheat, they free ride…” lol she’s awesome.
Here are some deets I found on Dr. Pawlak who holds her Ph.D. degree in biochemistry, and has done post-doctoral studies in the fields of immuno-biology, chemistry, genetics and the biochemistry of the brain.
Books (She’s been publishing since the 1990’s on nutrition and brain)
This looks like a site she smoshed together in 2001.
Wasn’t able to find even a single radio interview (much less a video) online for this gal, argh! I may have to go to one of her seminars where she will talk about gut bacteria’s extensive effects on us, see lecture topics for FOOD, MOOD & COGNITION :
ated Brain Inflammation – Promoting Addictive Behaviors?
Signals That Impact Overeating, Mood and Cognition. Gut Dysfunction, Inflammation and Brain Health.
Arthritis, Autism, ADD/ADHD, Obesity, Eating Disorders, Depression, and Other Chronic Disease States.
Health? Dangerous Grains: Who Could Benefit From a Gluten Free Diet?
Chris’s cancer survivor blog has some interesting info and survivor stories (here is his Youtube Channel link). Below is a short video of his 2012 talk in New York. Below that is a summit on the topic of natural treatments for cancer. I was just interested because I have heard generally about this without having specific resources, so I wanted to note a couple. FYI, I really don’t know anything about this topic; this blog is really my notebook of sorts, a place to plunk things.
Why is a raw food blogger writing about CVS? What is CVS? Here is NIH’s ideas on it. It’s a complex and rare digestive gig and little is known about it. While I am hesitant to self-disclose I also feel an obligation to get the word out and who knows maybe connect with people who have new solutions. I already participated in one study, sending my genes to California. I have lived with CVS since 1997. It was only in Oct 2011 that I stumbled upon a medical journal article and then other helpful resources, like CVSA (thank you!) that I discovered a name for it.
After acting on recommendations and realizing others, I found that maybe I can eliminate the recurrence from my life (holding my breath here, my last event was July 2011). This, my longest remission, came in spite of it being a high stress time of my life; this makes me think the measures I take are all the more remarkable. There were no new stress reducing habits acquired during this time. I have been doing yoga (3-4) hours a week for 3 years and Mindfulness meditation practice for 9 years.
CVS is a great puzzle at its best. I’m still learning. It seems it may have a neurological component. One gastroenterologist told me it may be as if your digestive system has gone to sleep. That sounded absurd and simplistic at first. Although now, years later, I think this may be a key. Another gastroenterologist, who claimed to be one of the specialists in CVS, told me a trauma can trigger the start of CVS. While I’m not a firefighter I was in a fire once and he felt that event triggered it for me.
Any who, what to do if this is your deal or for anyone you know with this. This is my experience of what is working. Raw simple fruits and vegetables turns out to be one of the keys in eliminating CVS from your life. De-complicate your meals; I have lots of little meals in the day: an ounce of walnuts, or an avocado, that’s a meal; eat 8 ounces of greens with healthy omegas in your dressing, that’s a meal.
Cheese and chocolate are repeatedly advanced as culprits in the literature – these can trigger episodes, and it’s as though by a build up in your system. I think its the casein. Even non-dairy cheese like soy-cheese almost always has casein and soy-cheese definitely contributes to causing an event. So also for example coconut based chocolate is a better option than milk based chocolate. Skipping chocolate all together is the best option.
Casein is the basis for a wood-glue and it is in dairy products (making up 80% of the proteins in cow milk) and basically gunks up your system. Try washing the side of your car with a slice of pizza as Dr. Fuhrman (this link goes to an excellent, dense interview) says. People always say to me then, but I like cheese. You can always juxtapose the experience of your liking to be skinny or healthy or free from disease and suffering caused by obesity. I am starting to think it is possible that Americans just may get rid of cheese the way they did cigarettes. Americans can find their way out of the obesity epidemic. Stephan Guyenet shows 4% of American white men age 40-49 were obese in 1892; in the year 2000 its 25%. Can we get it back down to 4% with all the science and information access we have today? Is there something you can do to help? With ideas for anyone, please leave a comment or do anything you think could be useful.
Moving on, fried anything is terrible for you. I think it belongs to the complicated food problem; use the KISS principle (Keep it Simple Stupid), a lead auto-mechanic once told me that! Combinations of foods all mixed in a dish seem to be too complicated to work with. When you heat up oil it creates tons of free radicals which oxygen has to carry out of your system. Free radicals are capable of causing mutations in your DNA (Brain Rules, John Medina, p.20). Alcohol also apparently is also not helpful to people with CVS. Interesting aside, apparently alcohol is measurably destructive for your brain (see Daniel Amen’s lecture based on 63,00 brain scans: Change your brain, Change your life). His institute also found the following hurt your brain: obesity, SAD diet, lack of exercise, diabetes)
The key ideas I found online that REALLY helped with CVS: Never eat large evening meals; take CoQ-10 (not sure if that is helping or not, however I have been taking it daily since Oct 2011); if an episode is coming on take very long hot showers (sounds cray cray doesn’t it? It works. And I have no idea why.); take a migraine pill. Deep breath and massage your stomach, try to wake up your digestion kindly and compassionately; don’t go to sleep with an abdominal migraine, instead mindfully stay awake to your experience and fill yourself with oxygen. I use mindfulness practice to bring myself towards the experience; applying mindfulness skills is VERY helpful.
Sorry I just have the one medical journal article citation handy (see below), I believe there is a good one in one of the Nature journals and there are others, just search Pubmed. Take great care of yourself and those around you!
Two Common Mitochondrial DNA Polymorphisms are Highly Associated with Migraine Headache and Cyclic Vomiting Syndrome doi: 10.1111/j.1468-2982.2008.01793.x Cephalalgia July 2009 vol. 29 no. 7 719-728 authors: EA Zaki,
T Freilinger, T Klopstock, EE Baldwin, KRU Heisner, K Adams, M Dichgans, S Wagler and RG Boles; Author Affiliations