Wednesday, January 28th, 2009
Every year I get my blood checked and an annual physical. Due to my healthy lifestyle, I don’t expect to find anything wrong, but:
a) it’s still responsible to get checked
b) it’s inspiring for staying on this path, and
c) what can I say? I like the bragging rights that come with great results!
I have to say, I’m extra excited because my numbers have improved since last year – honestly, I wasn’t sure they could, as they were already very good! I’m setting myself up for a wonderful future with easy aging. The great thing is, anybody* can get similar results just by sticking with a Raw vegan or High Raw vegan lifestyle. Now for the numbers…
My cholesterol is 96! The recommended number is to be under is 200 (if you’re comparing yourself to the SAD eaters that make up the majority of our culture), and if you’re one of those in-the-know, then you recognize that you actually want your cholesterol under 150. I did a big happy dance when I received these results. Coming from a family that has some heart disease, it’s empowering to see that I can make a difference in my health. The rest of my numbers are all superior as well, including my B12 which is 1194! The recommended range is between 243-894. I do supplement with B12 on a fairly regular basis. Needless to say, my doctor was impressed. (She’s not vegan, and this totally negated any concerns she might have had about getting sufficient B12.)
It’s not like I didn’t expect these great results though. Let’s take cholesterol for example. I don’t consume it… ever, which is obvious because I’m a vegan. There isn’t any cholesterol in plants. And, just like there isn’t dietary cholesterol in plants, there isn’t dietary fiber in animal products. As I like to say, cholesterol gunks you up, fiber cleans you out.
According to one of my all-time favorite books (life changing material here, if you haven’t read it, you need to), The China Study, by T. Colin Campbell…
Blood cholesterol is clearly an important indicator of disease risk… animal-based foods were correlated with increasing blood cholesterol. With almost no exceptions, nutrients from plant-based foods were associated with decreasing levels of blood cholesterol… Saturated fat and dietary cholesterol raise blood cholesterol, although these nutrients are not as effective at doing this as is animal protein.
Furthermore, blood cholesterol is not only an indicator of heart disease. According to The China Study…
As blood cholesterol levels decreased… cancers of the liver, rectum, colon, male lung, female lung, breast, childhood leukemia, adult leukemia, childhood brain, adult brain, stomach and esophagus decreased.
So… have you been getting your blood checked every year?
* Some people suffer from medical conditions causing extremely high blood cholesterol that can be hard to lower without medication. That said, a Raw vegan diet is a very important part in lowering cholesterol.
For those of you who haven’t entered to win the Lexen Healthy Juicer, you can do so here.
Sunday, January 25th, 2009
We all know that eating more fresh Raw vegan foods will help in the departments of being happier, healthier and reducing stress. But, here are 6 other ways that can help:
1. Gardening & Greenery
According to Patricia Farrell, PhD., author of How to Be Your Own Therapist, surrounding yourself with nature’s greenery can increase oxygen levels and help you experience more peace. In fact, one British study found that gardening can actually be as effective as pyschotherapy – and I suspect that anybody who gardens will agree!
Turning to pen and paper is a great way to reduce stress. The simple act of putting your feelings and experiences down on paper and getting them out of your system can be cathartic. I’ve been journaling for years (and I’ve saved them all and they make for great reads years later!).
3. Painting, Drawing, Sewing, Knitting
These activities require concentration and can help you take your mind off issues that might be causing stress. It can become almost meditative, forcing you to be mindfully present.
This is one of my favorites! Singing has been shown to help boost your health by raising immunity-boosting white blood cells. Now, you might need to keep in mind the people you’re around if your singing voice isn’t so good or you might actually increase their stress – ha ha! – even though you’re helping yours. Any one watch American Idol? You know what I mean.
Oh yeah! This is another favorite of mine… that’s a picture of me dancing in the produce department at Whole Foods (they haven’t kicked me out yet so I guess they don’t mind!). Dancing can release those awesome, high-inducing, feel-good endorphins. Dancing is exercise so it helps you lose weight, lower blood pressure and boost the flow of oxygen to your brain. Next time you want to boost your mood and health, put on some fun tunes (disco music for me) and shake your groove thing!
Spending time in nature can be such a calming experience. One of my favorite things to do is go on long nature walks or take short road trips (like when we went to the Mogollon Rim where I can just sit, relax, and breathe). I find such peace, and my mind opens up to new ideas and inspiration. Taking time to do this is important, so be sure to make it at least a semi-regular ritual, such as once a month, if not more, depending on where you live.
Sunday, January 11th, 2009
Congratulations Mrs. Money and Anonymous (details below)… You won!!! Your prize: You each will receive a jar of Fruits of the Earth Powder™(360 grams; $48.95 value). I hope you’re ready to load up on antioxidants! Simply send me an email with your address so I can get your gift to you right away.
Here is what Mrs. Money and Anonymous had to say when asked, “What is one of your favorite movies and why?”
Mrs. Money: I love Coyote Ugly. While it is a total chick flick and so old, I still love it. Thanks for the opportunity to win! :)
Anonymous: I like Flight of the Navigator, because it is one big adventure. :)
I have to admit, I’ve always liked Coyote Ugly, too. I think it’s so fun. And, Flight of the Navigator? I have not seen, but I’m always up for an adventure, so I’ll be on the lookout for that one.
My next Awesome Giveaway is scheduled for January. Check back for details. Thanks to all of you who participated!
Thursday, January 8th, 2009
My 6th Awesome Giveaway is here – YEEHAW!!! The prize if your name is drawn? I’m sending you a jar of Fruits of the Earth Powder™($48.95 value). This stuff is great. I use it on a regular basis in my smoothies to add loads of antioxidants.
Update! I’m having so much fun with this Awesome Giveaway that I’m going to draw two names!
Here is what the makers of this product had to say about it:
Fruits of The Earth™ is a high antioxidant, potent combination of natures most nutritive fruits from around the world. Dried at low temperatures to preserve heat sensitive elements. The ultra-finely ground and highly bioavailable whole leaf grasses provide a huge source of nutrition including essential alkalinity and better blood sugar balance. Actual Food™ Chromium is also added to support healthy metabolism and blood sugar levels. Unlike other “Food Type” forms of nutrients, this Chromium is 100% organically bound. It is not merely in the “form” of food, it is Food!
Excited? Want the chance to win? Simply answer the following question in the comment section for today’s post. At the end of three days (Saturday night, Jan 10th @ 11:59pm) I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Sunday. (Please note: While I would love to hear from everyone around the world in answering this question, I have to limit the winner to someone living in the continental United States.)
Question: What is one of your favorite movies and why?
Saturday, January 3rd, 2009
A great friend of mine showed me this video and I had to share it with you (I’ve watched it twice already). My friend said it best – Such a great example of a gifted teacher and public speaker with a message that today could not be more felicitous.
Trust me, you’ll enjoy it from start to finish.
Happy New Year!
Wednesday, December 31st, 2008
Eating organic food is important – we all know that. Eating locally grown organic food is even WAY BETTER! For years, I’ve longed to taste fresh, organic produce grown on land local to me in Arizona. Unfortunately, every time I went to a farmer’s market, there wasn’t anything that was both local and organic. So, I ended up opting for Whole Foods (I’m a real stickler for organic). Even though I shopped at Whole Foods, I made it a point to choose foods that traveled the shortest distance, for both environmental and nutritional benefits.
Well, all that has changed for me now. YIPPEE! A short while back, a friend of mine turned me on to a local farmer, Doug (of Lewis’ Hen House & Veggie Farm), who sells his locally grown organic produce at a nearby farmer’s market. Doug’s farm just became certified organic this past February of 2008. Congratulations to you, Doug, and THANK YOU!!! (That’s Doug weighing my broccoli in the picture.)
So, off I went to the farmer’s market to meet Doug and try out his fresh organic goodies. I purchased all kinds of produce: oranges, cauliflower, broccoli, celery, baby bok choy, carrots, cabbage, yams, romaine lettuce (the biggest and most gorgeous ever!), and more. I was like a kid in a candy store… smiling from ear to ear. I couldn’t get home fast enough to make some delicious Raw vegan dishes with my treasures.
What happened was a little unexpected. With my first bite, I was quite moved in an emotional way. I was so proud and excited to be participating in something that is so important – supporting a local farmer, tasting food grown by his very hands, minimizing my carbon footprint, and experiencing nutrition at its very best. I swear it tastes so much better than what is bought at the store, and why wouldn’t it? It’s local and organic! There is more nutrition in it because it’s picked fresh, maybe a day or two before being brought to the market to sell. There is a saying in Traditional Chinese Medicine that a food’s Qi (pronounced “chi”) decreases the farther it gets from its source or origin. Qi is known as life energy, which is thought to be intrinsic in all things. Pretty important stuff. So, I lovingly refer to my locally grown organic fruits and vegetables as Super Qi Food!
When you buy food from the grocery store, it’s usually been packed and waiting in the refrigerated area for many days, even weeks, plus the travel time and distance (Qi-loss). That’s not the case for me anymore though. Now that I’ve found Lewis’ Hen House & Veggie Farm, I’m blessed to have Super Qi fruits and vegetables year round – local, organic, and awesome. I can’t wait to go back this Saturday.
Sunday, December 21st, 2008
I am always eager to read more books and watch more movies / documentaries on the subject of plant based nutrition. I find it tremendously motivating, encouraging, and inspiring.
Step in: A Delicate Balance. My husband and I watched this online (only $4.95) and we both thought it was fantastic. Grab a pen and paper while you’re watching it to take some notes because it’s filled with information and facts worth throwing around at your next party. This is the kind of stuff that is perfect when answering the many questions like “Why do you eat the way you do?” Better yet, gather some family and friends around your computer and watch it together. I kept thinking while I was watching it… “So-and-so should see this. Oh! And, so-and-so should also see this!”
It featured some of my heroes:
~ Dr. T. Colin Campbell (author of The China Study – The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted and the Startling Implications for Diet, Weight Loss and Long-term Health)
~ Dr. Neal Barnard (author of many books, including Breaking the Food Seduction: The Hidden Reasons Behind Food Cravings—And 7 Steps to End Them Naturally)
~ Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn (author of Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease – The Revolutionary, Scientifically Proven, Nutritionally-Based Cure )
Here is a description from the main website:
A Delicate Balance documents the latest discoveries of some of the most prominent experts on nutrition in the world. Over 50 years of research is skilfully woven into what feels like a detective unravelling the mysteries behind the disease epidemic which has struck affluent countries with a vengeance – disease has been escalating over the last 50 years resulting in 1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women being diagnosed with cancer.
Watching this film will help you make informed choices about your health and the environment around you and how to reduce your personal impact.
Saturday, December 20th, 2008
Congratulations MANDA!!!! You won!!! Your prize: 2 body care gifts from Terressentials: A 2-ounce bottle of Organic Real Soap for Hands – Lovin’ Lavender (this smells amazing!) and a 3-pack of Exfoliating Loofah Complexion Rounds (for a glowing, clear complexion).
Simply send me an email with your address so I can get your gift to you right away.
Here is what Manda had to say when asked, “What is one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2009?”
Goodness.. everyone’s resolutions are beyond awesome! I think I have a little bit of all of these goals stirring within me. However, my resolution is to learn how to do what I can within reason. I am slowly learning that quality work in college cannot be done when I am trying to do everything (ex: 2 jobs, seven classes, exercising, eating as many raw foods as possible, seeing my family and trying to relax a little). I will most definitely be working on prioritizing or modifying how I do things this coming semester.
My next Awesome Giveaway is scheduled for January. Check back for details. Thanks to all of you who participated!
Thursday, December 18th, 2008
I already had one giveaway for the month of December, but tis the season for giving so I’m having another one! Yeehaw!
This giveaway includes two body care gifts from Terressentials. If your name is drawn, you’ll win a 2-ounce bottle of Organic Real Soap for Hands – Lovin’ Lavender (this smells amazing!) and a 3-pack of Exfoliating Loofah Complexion Rounds (for a glowing, clear complexion).
Excited? Want the chance to win? Simply answer the following question in the comment section for this post. At the end of two days (Friday night, Dec. 19th @ 11:59pm) I’ll enter everyone’s name who answered the question into a drawing and announce the winner on my blog Saturday. (Please note: While I would love to hear from everyone around the world in answering this question, I have to limit the winner to someone living in the continental United States.)
What is one of your New Year’s Resolutions for 2009?
Wednesday, December 17th, 2008
Vilsack might not be a bad choice for Secretary of Agriculture after all. According to Michael Markarian (featured through Wayne Parcelle’s Blog of The Humane Society):
Vilsack has a solid record on animal protection, and he was the top choice of HSUS and HSLF to lead the USDA, the agency that oversees our federal laws on animal welfare, humane slaughter and transport, horse protection, animal fighting, and others. Nearly 90,000 animal advocates contacted the transition team through our website, expressing how important it was to pick an animal-friendly Agriculture Secretary and recommending Vilsack as an excellent choice. The Obama Administration listened to your views, and this appointment demonstrates what an important voice animal advocates can have as a political constituency.Read more here.
And, according to the Washington Post… Vilsack pledged that the agriculture department would play a role in “providing American leadership on climate change and making America a nation truly dedicated to health and nutrition.”
I’m relieved he’s animal friendly – that’s for sure. I just hope he smartens up about organics, too. It’s his job to follow Obama’s lead, which according to his campaign – Obama is pro-organic!