Life According to the Lorax

Yesterday, while running at a track I frequent, I finally had the perfect opportunity to say “thank you,” to the man who is always there walking but also feeding the beautiful stray cats who live there.  He comes on his bicycle, parks it and starts walking the trail, filling bowls he has placed in designated spots at the back of the park.  On many occasions I have witness how happy the cats are as they come running out to eat and drink fresh water.  It always impresses me how well they share with one another, a lesson we humans can stand to learn.  He has been doing this for 7 years and recently found one baby kitten there, which he decided to take in as his own.   Sounds like it was a win-win for the man and the kitty!

One thing I have observed through my 35 years in the fitness industry is that people that take care of their own health by working out, also tend to care more about the well-being of others.  My students are the most giving, kind, unselfish people and it is a gift to watch them interact with one another.

My mind goes back to a something my sister and brother-in-law gave Kyle when he born.  A beautiful prayer, by Hillel which opened with these words:

“If I am not for myself, who will be for me? But if I am only for myself, who am I?

As you make your way through this (Vegan Feast) Thursday, please consider a plant-based meal (or 3) and remember that the animals have all the same needs as the humans.  Maybe more.  They, after-all, cannot speak for themselves.

Thanks for Getting Crabby!

Yeah.  I woke up on this Vegan (Feast) Thursday and checked my mail and found the following.  Gardein is an amazing product and the company is so creative.  They titled this one, “Don’t Be Shellfish.”

Available the end of July.  If anyone finds it, please let me know where!

What’s Eating You?

Several students have recently asked me what else they can do to combat their type 2 diabetes.  They are exercising regularly.  They are watching their sugar intake and following the diets that their physicians have put them on, but still their blood work reveals elevated numbers.  They feel their is nothing else they can do and worry that they will need to increase their meds, or move from pills to daily injections.

While I offer what information I can, I am not licensed in nutrition, so I tend to shy away from offering too much advice, but share what seems to work for others I know…and myself, of course.   Often, this is information that has never been mentioned by their doctors, and sometimes actually contradicts the diets that they have been put on.

Yesterday, while skimming through my DVR, I was so encouraged to find a health segment explaining how red meat is contributing to the high rate of diabetes in America.  Many may cock their heads here, thinking “huhhh?”  How can a protein like meat contribute to a rise in sugar??

Perhaps the way we break down our food groups has caused more confusion, than good, because most foods are not that “black and white.”  For example, especially when initially leaning into a plant-based diet, people are surprised by how much protein they can get from their vegetables.  So while we know that red meat is a high source of protein, we also have to remember that it’s a source of bad fats.  Without going into all the confusing scientific details, where there is animal fat, there is dietary cholesterol and the relationship between elevated cholesterol and type 2 diabetes is very high!

Countless studies support that eliminating red meat from our diets can help control our blood sugar.  This is also a case of more (or less) is better.  Eliminating animal products, will eliminate the ingestion of bad fats, which directly lowers our risk factors for many of the big dreaded diseases.

While I was encouraged to watch this segment of national TV, I was also annoyed that this information is NEWS at all.  The China Study, written by T. Colin Campbell, PhD and Thomas M. Campbell II, was published almost 10 years ago and these doctors don’t treat symptoms, they work, instead, towards cures and prevention, while I feel most conventional doctors, following guidelines, are afraid to ask their patients to vie so far from a “traditional” American diet.

Is veganism extreme?  Perhaps to some.  I find it a much better extreme than insulin injections, cardiac by-pass surgery, daily medications and cancer treatments.

If you love yourself enough to really try to fix what’s broken, move away from meds and hopefully even avoid some of the big diseases of affluence, consider doing some of your own homework.  Pick up a copy of The China Study.  It’s a great place to start.  If you are a student of mine and would like to borrow my copy, I lend it HAPPILY!

On this Vegan (Feast) Thursday (geeesh I miss those dinners!) consider making some plant-based options.  I promise your meals can be just as satisfying once you change your brain!  And when you get you next get your blood work done, you may just like your new way of eating, a whole lot more.

Since it’s been a while since I was blogging much, please search back to Vegan Feast Thursday entries for more health info and plant-based recipes and feel free to ask me ANY questions………..thanks for taking the time to stop in for a dose of peaceandfitness and remember what’s good for the animals and our planet just so happens to be what’s good for us, too! 


Still More Compassionate Communication….

And here’s another chance to have more compassionate communication:

Why do we say “It’s no use beating a dead horse?”  I like the suggestion of instead saying, “It’s no use watering a dead flower.”  Horses are some of the most beautiful animals in the world and just the THOUGHT of beating one, dead or alive, evokes such sad emotions and ugly visuals.

Yesterday I was sharing some thoughts with an old public school friend/neighbor about the journey of living on a plant-based diet.  We were discussing how the journey may start for one reason but the more aware we become, the more reasons we find.  To further emphasize this point, I would like to share a quote from the Vegan’s Daily Companion.  This one comes from Wayne in Texas who was raised on farms as was his wife.  His family was in the hog industry and her’s in the beef industry.  In his 30s he received a tragic diagnosis of sudden cardiac death syndrome (was revived and had a defib implanted).  Almost a decade later his was was diagnosed with cardiomyopathy and given 2 years to live.  He goes on to say…”I went full-on vegan and at last healthy check my heart was found to be healthy and no damage from the past trauma was apparent.  I now prepare my wife’s food.  Her health has improved and she now only has to wear her oxygen at night.  Soon she will have another heart function study and I know it will show improvement.  As I did more research, I became overwhelmed by grief for all the victims of the slaughterhouse industry.  I didn’t want to become a tree-hugging vegan; I only wanted to save my wife.  But I have had an awakening that I never expected.”

Once again, I urge anyone with health problems to consider what they are eating!  This is NOT only about animal products.  I have so many students who complain about joint problems and they all use artificial sweeteners…Why not try just cutting them out for 30 days and see??  Also turmeric is a great spice to help combat inflammation and can be used fresh, dried or even in a pill form.  I also recently learned that the 3 main instigators of diarrhea are–coffee, dairy and artificial sweeteners.  I know that one hits home with many–a cup of coffee with a little milk and some splenda and you have inside yourself your very own chemistry lab!

I never want to preach…I really don’t.  I just want to share information that I stumble upon because I am so interested in nutrition/health/fitness.  I hope you always read my entries knowing that is where they are coming from and that today, on Vegan (feast) Thursday, you will consider not only a meatless meal or 2 or 3, but also the scientific correlations between what you are ingesting and how that is effecting your health.  Namaste…………….