I won’t get into the whole flu-shot debate, but I find it interesting that today’s news is reporting that exercising makes the flu-shot more effective. I am sure that yes, the people who took the flu shot and exercise have much better chances of avoiding the flu than those that took the shot and don’t exercise. But the news refuses to report that people who exercise and don’t get the shot also have a much better chance of avoided the dreaded flu. It’s a fact, people who exercise regularly (without OVER-doing) simply have better immune systems than those that don’t. Why doesn’t the news report that? Exercise is, in so many ways, the magic bullet that protects us against disease. In fact, I am sure that the doctors were baffled with Lance Armstrong’s cancer….unless of course, they knew. But that’s another story.
And this, being Vegan (Feast) Thursday, I have to say that after reading all I can about plant-based diets, I am a big buy into that being the other magic bullet. In fact, the American Dietetic Association (ADA) has come out and said that “vegetarians have been reported to have lower body mass than non-vegetarians, as well as lower rates of death from ischemic heart disease, lower blood cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, and lower rates of hypertension, type 2 diabetes, and prostate and colon cancer.” (And those are vegetarians…I wonder about those that eliminate ALL animal products and bet the stats are even better). And here is a bonus and interesting fact…a whole foods, plant-based diet causes us to burn calories 16% faster after meals for up to about 3 hours. Who knew?
Another fact that I find interesting is that the number of people interested in learning more about life on a plant based diet is growing every day. If you are “vegan curious” I have tons of tips. Please feel free to contact me. I will leave you with one simple tip. If you do nothing but increase the amount of fruits, veggies, grains and beans in your meals, you will automatically cut back on the amount of animal products you will consume. Since NO animal product in the world contains fiber, and we all know how important fiber is to our digestive system and also to our feeling of being satiated, by increasing the non-animal products (and no, I am not talking about a loaf of white bread) on our plate, we are automatically doing our bodies a world of good….and who knows, we might even being fighting off that dreaded flu. Even if you opt for the shot (and this is a very personal choice) it certainly isn’t a
guarantee as the shot is only about 60% effective. My final word on the flu shot is to do your homework. While it is said to be safe for everyone, I just, this morning, read a letter to the editor from a woman who’s husband ended up with Guillain-Barre Syndrome after receiving the shot. Sure, the odds of this are very slight, but when you (or someone you love) is that very rare being, it doesn’t make things any easier. As always, do your homework and always make the decision that you can live with!
Whatever you do, whatever you decide, always make sure you know what’s going inside your body…and that, give that body the exercise it so needs to be the healthy temple you deserve to live in.
Hi, I’m planning on starting a vegan diet. I make most of my own food. As in, not processed. I also have two very young boys, and while I don’t intend for them to eat vegan, I’d like to continue to make family meals.
What kind of ingredients should I always have on hand to make meals? What are your go to meal options? Do you have a favorite collection of recipes?
Cindy….I love the book How it All Vegan. It is simple recipes and a lot of good info. There is also a link on my site to kindlife.com which is Alicia Silverstone’s site about everything vegan and lots of recipes. I have a lot of recipes right here on peaceandfitness.com as well. Going vegan doesn’t have to be so complicated, just a matter of elimination. For instance, if your family loves pasta, you can still have pasta, tomato sauce, veggies and salad on the side. Like you, I don’t eat a lot of processed foods, so I am not big on recommending the faux meats, but you can crumble tofu into your sauce and probably the kids won’t even know it’s not meat. For nutritional reasons I ALWAYS have nutritional yeast in the house and sprinkle it on soups and any place ground cheese might be sprinkled. Make sure you see that it has B12 in it. This is a start. Keep asking away! Good luck. If you haven’t read the Veganist, by Kathy Freston, it’s chock full of great info. Come back and keep me posted!