Wednesday, December 07, 2016

The Nativity's Hope for All Creatures

The Nativity's Hope for All Creatures

What makes the festive season so special is that sense of hope and expectation leading up to Christmas Day. Hope is a powerful emotion and few sights are able to inspire more hope than that of a new life entering the world.
 
Perhaps that is why the nativity scene is so timeless in its ability to evoke anticipation, optimism and promise. It was in fact St. Francis of Assisi who was credited with creating the first nativity display in 1223, turning the Biblical narrative into a living, breathing, noisy, smelly tableau that brought a once elusive retelling into vivid experience for the eyes.

Visibly today, from children’s school plays to Christmas cards, Church posters to product advertisements, this scene of the infant Christ in a manger surrounded by highly inquisitive farmyard animals is a firm part of our traditional Christmas celebrations.

Christmas underscores the emotive power of the amazing animals with which we share our world. A nativity image, no matter how sentimentally portrayed, reminds us of the beauty and innocence of these endlessly mysterious and familiar beings who live complex lives beyond our control or comprehension.

The birth of Christ is a prime opportunity to remember that Christmas is not just about humanity. Rather the arrival of the infant Christ promises cosmic, restorative consequences for the whole of creation.

The hope of the nativity challenges us to look beyond the darker side of our use and abuse of animals to a manger scene which compels us to live out the love, mercy, and compassion of Christ in the here and now.

And don't forget to eat your fiber, which only comes from plants.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Eat Your Fiber

Eating your daily supply of fiber will keep the intestine and colon running healthy, helping to prevent colon cancer and various intestinal diseases.

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Bird Conservation Group Wants Tighter Controls on Wind Industry - Blades run afowl of the MBTA

Bird Conservation Group Wants Tighter Controls on Wind Industry | Wind | Rewire | KCET





The SOLUTION - the ENGINEERING SOLUTION - is to SHIFT THE PLANE from rotating the blades in the VERTICAL plane to rotating the blades in the HORIZONTAL plane.
Let's THANK animal (bird) advocates for raising this issue, but let's insist that future design integrate this concern from the outset.
Lots of blade building has already gone ahead, production machinery has been purchased, and workers have been hired and put on the assembly lines.
I raised this concern nearly a decade ago - and suggested this solution about 3-4 years ago. 
Advocates didn't see that as an issue at that time (or some merely said, yes, the blades shouldn't hurt the birds).

News and analysis about energy in California with an eye toward renewables.
Calling bird law violations inevitable at wind facilities, a group wants tighter controls on permitting. | Photo:  Changhua Coast Conservation Action/Flickr/Creative Commons License

Bird Conservation Group Wants Tighter Controls on Wind Industry

Monday, February 23, 2015

Reducing Cholesterol Naturally | DrFuhrman.com

Online Library | Articles | Reducing Cholesterol Naturally | DrFuhrman.com



Reducing Cholesterol Naturally

Almost 50% of American adults have total cholesterol levels above 200 mg/dl, placing them at risk for cardiovascular disease – elevated cholesterol is one of the most important risk factors for heart disease.1 Elevated cholesterol is also associated with increased risk of several cancers.2

A high-nutrient diet is by far the most effective method ofreducing cholesterol while avoiding side effects. A dietary intervention study using my recommended eating style found that LDL cholesterol was reduced by 33% in just 6 weeks. Similar six-week interventions using low-fat vegetarian, Mediterranean, or other diets have not been nearly as effective.3-6 

Statin drugs are also not as effective for reducing cholesterol as an excellent diet coupled with exercise. After six weeks of taking cholesterol-lowering statin medications, cholesterol levels decreased by 26% – almost as much as a high nutrient diet, but statins have harmful side effects compared to the healthful benefits of a high nutrient diet.7 Statins are associated with liver dysfunction, acute renal failure, cataracts, diabetes, and impaired muscle function.8 In contrast, not only will a high nutrient diet lower cholesterol, it will also decrease heart disease risk by improving other factors such glucose levels, blood pressure, inflammation, and body weight.

The safest and healthiest strategy for reducing cholesterol and preventing future heart attacks and strokes starts with eating a high nutrient, vegetable-based diet with plenty of raw and cooked vegetables.9, 10  In particular, follow these 8 simple rules to maintain healthy cholesterol levels and to protect against heart disease:
8 Simple Rules to Lower Your Cholesterol

Download a printable PDF version
of the 8 Simple Rules to Lower Your Cholesterol
  1. Eat at least one cup of beans every day.Beans are packed with resistant starch, soluble fiber, and phytochemicals, which help to lower cholesterol – a pooled analysis of 10 trials found that consuming beans regularly significantly reduced total and LDL cholesterol.11 Plus, a 19-year study found that people who eat beans at least four times a week have a 22% lower risk of heart disease than those who eat beans less than once a week.12
  2. Eat at least one ounce of raw nuts and seedsdaily. When eaten regularly, nuts not only reduce total and LDL cholesterol, but also aid in weight control, reduce the glycemic load of the diet, and reduce heart disease risk by 35%.  Nuts and seeds have a variety of heart healthy nutrients, including plant sterols, antioxidants, minerals, and arginine.13-16  Include walnuts in your diet for their omega-3 and other heart protective benefits.
  3. Eat one large green salad each day, and include raw onion. Higher leafy green and cruciferous vegetable intake is linked to lower risk of heart disease. 9, 17, 18
  4. Eat steamed green vegetables with every lunch and dinner.  Recent research suggests that phytochemicals from green vegetables can turn on the body’s natural antioxidant and anti-inflammatory protection mechanisms. 
  5. Include tomatoes/tomato sauce, berries and/or pomegranate in your diet daily. The antioxidants in berries and pomegranates, such as anthocyanins and punicalagin, are especially effective in improving both LDL and HDL cholesterol.19, 20 Many observational studies have made a connection between higher blood lycopene (the signature carotenoid of the tomato) and lower risk of heart attack. 21-23
  6. Have 1 Tbsp. of ground flax or chia seeds plus a DHA supplement each day. Flaxseeds contain the beneficial omega-3 ALA, lignans, flavonoids, sterols, and fiber. Clinical trials show that daily flaxseed consumption reduces total cholesterol by 6-11%.24 Chia seeds are also rich in ALA and fiber, and taking a DHA supplement ensures adequacy of long-chain omega-3 fatty acids, because conversion of ALA to DHA and EPA varies greatly among individuals
  7. Avoid refined carbohydrates and added oils. Processed foods are full of these calorie-dense, nutrient-poor ingredients that promote weight gain and increase heart disease risk .25-27
  8. Minimize animal products to less than 5 percent of total calories per week. If you have heart disease or significantly high cholesterol, avoid animal products altogether. Higher animal product consumption is linked to increased heart disease risk.28
References:
1. Roger VL, Go AS, Lloyd-Jones DM, et al: Heart Disease and Stroke Statistics--2012 Update: A Report From the American Heart Association. Circulation 2012;125:e2-e220.
2. Hu J, La Vecchia C, de Groh M, et al: Dietary cholesterol intake and cancer. Ann Oncol 2012;23:491-500.
3. Bemelmans WJ, Broer J, de Vries JH, et al: Impact of Mediterranean diet education versus posted leaflet on dietary habits and serum cholesterol in a high risk population for cardiovascular disease. Public Health Nutr 2000;3:273-283.
4. Bunyard LB, Dennis KE, Nicklas BJ: Dietary intake and changes in lipoprotein lipids in obese, postmenopausal women placed on an American Heart Association Step 1 diet. J Am Diet Assoc 2002;102:52-57.
5. Sharman MJ, Kraemer WJ, Love DM, et al: A ketogenic diet favorably affects serum biomarkers for cardiovascular disease in normal-weight men. J Nutr 2002;132:1879-1885.
6. Barnard ND, Scialli AR, Bertron P, et al: Effectiveness of a low-fat vegetarian diet in altering serum lipids in healthy premenopausal women. Am J Cardiol 2000;85:969-972.
7. Frolkis JP, Pearce GL, Nambi V, et al: Statins do not meet expectations for lowering low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels when used in clinical practice. Am J Med 2002;113:625-629.
8. Hippisley-Cox J, Coupland C: Unintended effects of statins in men and women in England and Wales: population based cohort study using the QResearch database. BMJ 2010;340:c2197.
9. Zhang X, Shu XO, Xiang YB, et al: Cruciferous vegetable consumption is associated with a reduced risk of total and cardiovascular disease mortality. Am J Clin Nutr 2011;94:240-246.
10. Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al: Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of cardiovascular disease in US adults: the first National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2002;76:93-99.
11. Bazzano LA, Thompson AM, Tees MT, et al: Non-soy legume consumption lowers cholesterol levels: a meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials. Nutrition, metabolism, and cardiovascular diseases : NMCD 2011;21:94-103.
12. Bazzano LA, He J, Ogden LG, et al: Legume consumption and risk of coronary heart disease in US men and women: NHANES I Epidemiologic Follow-up Study. Arch Intern Med 2001;161:2573-2578.
13. Sabate J, Oda K, Ros E: Nut consumption and blood lipid levels: a pooled analysis of 25 intervention trials. Arch Intern Med2010;170:821-827.
14. Mattes RD, Dreher ML: Nuts and healthy body weight maintenance mechanisms. Asia Pac J Clin Nutr 2010;19:137-141.
15. Kris-Etherton PM, Hu FB, Ros E, et al: The role of tree nuts and peanuts in the prevention of coronary heart disease: multiple potential mechanisms. J Nutr 2008;138:1746S-1751S.
16. Sabate J, Ang Y: Nuts and health outcomes: new epidemiologic evidence. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;89:1643S-1648S.
17. Hung HC, Joshipura KJ, Jiang R, et al: Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of major chronic disease. J Natl Cancer Inst2004;96:1577-1584.
18. Joshipura KJ, Hu FB, Manson JE, et al: The effect of fruit and vegetable intake on risk for coronary heart disease. Ann Intern Med 2001;134:1106-1114.
19. Qin Y, Xia M, Ma J, et al: Anthocyanin supplementation improves serum LDL- and HDL-cholesterol concentrations associated with the inhibition of cholesteryl ester transfer protein in dyslipidemic subjects. Am J Clin Nutr 2009;90:485-492.
20. Aviram M, Rosenblat M, Gaitini D, et al: Pomegranate juice consumption for 3 years by patients with carotid artery stenosis reduces common carotid intima-media thickness, blood pressure and LDL oxidation. Clin Nutr 2004;23:423-433.
21. Rissanen TH, Voutilainen S, Nyyssonen K, et al: Low serum lycopene concentration is associated with an excess incidence of acute coronary events and stroke: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Br J Nutr 2001;85:749-754.
22. Rissanen T, Voutilainen S, Nyyssonen K, et al: Lycopene, atherosclerosis, and coronary heart disease. Exp Biol Med (Maywood) 2002;227:900-907.
23. Rissanen TH, Voutilainen S, Nyyssonen K, et al: Serum lycopene concentrations and carotid atherosclerosis: the Kuopio Ischaemic Heart Disease Risk Factor Study. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;77:133-138.
y6 24. Bassett CM, Rodriguez-Leyva D, Pierce GN: Experimental and clinical research findings on the cardiovascular benefits of consuming flaxseed. Appl Physiol Nutr Metab 2009;34:965-974.
25. Mozaffarian D, Aro A, Willett WC: Health effects of trans-fatty acids: experimental and observational evidence. Eur J Clin Nutr 2009;63 Suppl 2:S5-21.
26. Sieri S, Krogh V, Berrino F, et al: Dietary glycemic load and index and risk of coronary heart disease in a large italian cohort: the EPICOR study. Arch Intern Med 2010;170:640-647.
27. Yang Q, Zhang Z, Gregg EW, et al: Added Sugar Intake and Cardiovascular Diseases Mortality Among US Adults. JAMA Intern Med 2014.
28. Menotti A, Kromhout D, Blackburn H, et al: Food intake patterns and 25-year mortality from coronary heart disease: cross-cultural correlations in the Seven Countries Study. The Seven Countries Study Research Group. Eur J Epidemiol1999;15:507-515.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

25 years younger ???

Today I was told that I "look 25 years younger than the calendar says and still have boundless energy."

Well, I do typically get my age estimated to be 12-15 years younger than my age, but not 25. That wasn't (and isn't) always the case.  Staring at a computer, getting inadequate sleep, and drinking tea or coffee can depress the muscles in the eyes and face.  But I think that proper nourishment is important, and merely eating vegan-compliant diets may not do that.  Avoiding the animal-based inputs is important, but ensuring the plant-based inputs is just as important for health.

In the dispute between John McDougall* (vegan diet except for holidays), and Joel Fuhrman (vegan nutritarian all the time) 
(but tolerant of others because they publicly say that their principles apply to everyone, but that meat eaters should not eat much meat or dairy - and McDougall tells them to swear off the dairy first - Fuhrman says that dairy is entirely unnecessary - and shows them how to nourish themselves), 
  • the Fuhrman "nutritarianemphasis is on the nutrient-rich diet and fat-burning (which I strongly advocate - selecting foods for nutrient value, not for taste or satiety.  I think that satiety and satisfaction follow from getting the nutrients in one's daily diet (one MUST exercise** IN ORDER TO build muscle and burn fat - Fuhrman photos show that, despite his foot injury, he hasn't stopped exercising after he left competitive figure skating);
  • the McDougall "starchitarianemphasis seems to be on a "starchitarian" weight loss by "no added fat" - and that means no nuts or oils.
*One of my long-time vegan friends in Boston has FLIPPED his loyalties from the vegan diet of Dr. Joel Fuhrman ("His diet is a good diet") to the vegan diet of Dr. John McDougall on the basis of the emphasis non weight loss (we all have problems with piling on extra weight; Steve lost "mucho" weight when he stopped eating a handful of nuts each day)
** All right - so, to START exercising, one walks around as much as possible; gently move and exercise each of the joints (yoga has ways to do this); in bed before rising, something called "a crunch" is stretching your chest UP toward your abdomen as much as possible - about 8-10 times - that's a set of 'reps' or 'repetitions' - and the goal is to build the muscles one has by exercising each muscle group, including the muscles in the abdomen.  On can also stand up and rotate around the waste, then slowly bend forward, back, sideways, and stretch up and down until one aches.

Everyone can do crunches each day.






The nuance seems to be on the definitions of a 'starch' and a 'carb' or carbohydrate (few of us have the sophistication, but we ought to understand the differences between starches and sugars - particularly simple sugars.  A starch is a carbohydrate; fiber is a carbohydrate.

From Wikipedia:
In food science and in many informal contexts, the term carbohydrate often means any food that is particularly rich in the complex carbohydrate starch (such as cerealsbread, and pasta) or simple carbohydrates, such as sugar (found in candyjams, and desserts).
McDougall likes COMPLEX carbohydrates but not simple carbohydrates; Fuhrman likes the carbohydrates bound in vegetables, beans, and whole fruits, but not those carbs that are ground up into grains and then made into breads.  However, what about whole grain cereals (oatmeal, not instant oatmeal)?
  • As I seem to recall it, McDougall was trying to help us understand how we would educate all of South and Central American about plant-based vegan diets. No one wanted to do that EXCEPT for Victor Forsythe, who inherited the California Vegetarian Association from Blanche Leonardo, then moved to Colorado and joined the Colorado Green Party.  South American root vegetables are SUFFICIENTLY rich in proteins to provide all the human requirements for protein, according to the WHO.  Therefore, one could live entirely on tubers and root vegetables grown in the South American mountains without supplementing with nuts, beans, or soy.  "Protein is not an issue" in a plant-based whole foods diet based on real foods, not prepared and packaged foods.  The indigenous diet is sufficient; in America, the (SAD/MAD) diet isn't mainly whole foods.  When I talk with inquirers, I tell them that many Americans like to "eat out" - eat out of a package, out of a drive-in-window, eat out of a tragically conceived restaurant menu, etc.
  • Fuhrman began as 'a natural hygienist' an told me in person, when we flew together in mid-August 1995 from the 8th International Vegan Festival in San Diego to Boston, that he was 'more vegan' than hygienist - then he said, 'just vegan' with an emphasis on the nutrients in whole fresh vegetables - more vegetables than fruits.
They agree, but they substantially disagree - and they settled on agreeing to the notion that they "agree about 90% of the time..."

From Wikipedia:
Starch is the most common carbohydrate in the human diet and is contained in many staple foods. The major sources of starch intake worldwide are thecereals (ricewheat, and maize) and the root vegetables (potatoes and cassava).[23] Many other starchy foods are grown, some only in specific climates, including acornsarrowrootarracachabananasbarleybreadfruitbuckwheatcannacolacasiakatakurikudzumalangamilletoatsocapolynesian arrowrootsagosorghumsweet potatoesryetarochestnutswater chestnuts and yams, and many kinds of beans, such as favaslentilsmung beans,peas, and chickpeas.
Widely used prepared foods containing starch are breadpancakescerealsnoodlespastaporridge and tortilla.
If we ate fewer starches, might we fart less frequently?

From Wikipedia:
Digestive enzymes have problems digesting crystalline structures. Raw starch will digest poorly in the duodenum and small intestine, while bacterial degradation will take place mainly in the colon
Some of us have celebrated the WIDE VARIETY of available foods of plant origin  Vance Lehmkuhl even sings about it.

I still think that erring on the side of nutrient-density is good, but affordability and refrigeration can be issues.  Therefore, whole vegetables (grow your own, like the Obama family does at the White House); farmers' markets; regular grocery store (shop produce aisle first), etc.  Eat them as you need them (and share the rest).  Further, when talking with students, other singles, and general inquirers, buying vegetables in the grocery is ALWAYS cheaper than dining out.  But college students have overpriced dining hall meal plans.

I need to credit my boss who raised the rhetorical question: "Why do so many Americans NOT want to be thin and attractive?"  Nudging from many sources - my boss, my vegan friends, and my doctor - pushed me to search for how as a vegan I could lose weight on an evidence-based program.

And to credit Michelle Obama, though she and her program are not my specific reason for 'daily motions' throughout my day, every one of us ought to get up and get out there and 'start moving' around...

I'm concerned to live by just principles.  Vegans CAN do that with evidence-based strategies that are built from the growing bodies of knowledge relevant to that project in human history.  Others seem to live, but that may not be justice, simply because they are able to live in health, if they do great damage and harm to other persons - simply because they only ways they know to feed themselves involve the destruction of others.


Maynard         

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



Maynard S. Clark, MS (Management: Research Administration)