Meatless Mondays…Vegatarian or Vegan?

EAT UP!Meatless Mondays?

The Los Angeles City Council voted 14-0 on last Friday (Nov. 9, 2012) to adopt a resolution of meatless Mondays for its citizens.  The idea is for citizens to go meatless on Mondays in an effort to become healthier by limiting diseases such as heart disease, cancer, and diabetes.  According to the Meatless Monday website, there are several other cities in the U.S. and around the world who have endorsed meatless Mondays.

This is my first day adopting the policy of meatless Mondays for myself.  Actually, for the last few weeks, I’ve been thinking very seriously about becoming a vegetarian…or a vegan.  The way I see it, my body will  benefit greatly from a change to eating more fruits, veggies, and whole grains.  So I looked into both the vegan and the vegetarian diet to see which one I would be more prone to comply with.

It wasn’t even close.  Of course the vegetarian diet won hands down.  I’ve grown to take for granted the daily consumption of milk and dairy products over the span of my lifetime, and the vegetarian diet would allow me to continue to enjoy them. I’d give them up if I absolutely had to, but I don’t think I can give them up very easily, or for very long.

Actually, for the last few years I’ve been eating mostly chicken, and sea foods, while omitting the red meats.   So I guess one could say that I am already a semi vegetarian.

But a vegetarian diet has its drawbacks.  This is because a vegetarian diet can be lacking in some of the essential nutrients our bodies need.  Because of this, a vegetarian diet must be well planned.  Specific nutrients that may be lacking are:  protein, iron, zinc, calcium, omega 3 fatty acids and other important nutrients…including vitamin D, vitamin B12, iodine, and riboflavin.

If you are thinking about becoming a vegetarian, I would suggest that you consult your doctor or nutritionist first, or at least investigate it carefully.  This is in order to make sure your choice of foods will provide all of the  necessary nutrients you will require. A family with growing children and mothers who are breast feeding or are pregnant can all consume a vegetarian diet without any harm.  Perhaps it is a good idea to start off slowly, one day a week; eg Meatless Mondays.

As I already suggested, the thing to do first is to learn of your family’s nutritional requirements so their needs will be met.  A vegan diet completely excludes meats, poultry, fish, eggs, and dairy products.  As you can determine, it is a bit more restrictive than what the vegetarian diet is. This is because it does not allow for the eggs and dairy products.

Foods that are allowed on both the vegan and vegetarian diet include:

  • Fruits and veggies
  • Soy products, beans, and nuts
  • canola, olive and sesame oils, and coconut oil
  • Whole-grain cereals and breads
  •  whole-wheat and whole grain pasta, vegetable pasta, tortillas, brown rice, barley, quinoa, potatoes, and sweet potatoes
  • For the vegetarian diet only, milk and dairy products are included.

I hope this has given you some insight on the benefits of going meatless once a week.  Also in the difference between a vegan and a vegetarian diet plan.  I know for a long time in the past I always confused the two.  The big thing to remember is if you like your milk and dairy products, go vegetarian.

Healthy trails to you.


Instill These Four Lifestyle Changes and Forget Diabetes

                                                                    DIABETIC TESTER

Source: author- florixc, it.wikipedia Gnu 1.2

Do you have a loved one or a friend with diabetes?  Or is diabetes a disease that many of your family members are battling?  Then I encourage you to continue reading.

Diabetes is the seventh disease killer of Americans. It is also the leading cause of death due to heart attacks and strokes. A Study was done by the National Institute of Diabetes in 2010. It showed that there are 79 million adults in the U.S. who are diagnosed with pre-diabetes. The good news is that type two diabetes, (adult onset) can most likely be prevented.

As many of you already know, when a person develops diabetes, the body stops making enough insulin to convert the sugar (glucose) into a source of energy.  Because of this, the body ends up with far too much sugar that it is unable to convert.  As a result, multiple complications can develop which has the potential to dramatically change a person’s physical health. Some of the complications include; visual impairment, vascular and heart disease, and renal failure.

These diseases have an horrific effect on any individual. In the event of kidney failure, dialysis will be required; most times it will be 3 times per week. Vascular disease can lead to amputations, and heart disease can cause a heart attack. The eyes may not only become visually impaired, but may develop complete blindness.

Now despite all of that gloom and doom, there is still some good news I’d like to report.  In many cases, You can guard yourself from ever becoming inflicted with diabetes in the first place.  All you have to do to protect yourself is to act upon these four important lifestyle changes.

1)Eat a Well Balanced Diet Every Day

Your diet should include a variety of:

Wholegrain foods like pastas and breads. They not only have a better nutritional value, but they tend to keep you feeling full longer. Be careful to watch the carbohydrate count.

fiber foods.  They help to balance the carbs you eat and they also have a great filling effect. Some of the best fiber foods are:

Berries, Avocados, Lentils and black beans, and  Broccoli

2) Don’t Smoke – Tobacco by itself has a lot of possible health hazards. It increases the risk of lung and mouth cancer, and seriously damages the respiratory system. It can also cause high blood pressure, and causes babies to be born prematurity with medical complications. Smoking in relation to diabetes constricts the blood vessels in the hands and feet, which causes swelling, dryness, and eventual ulceration. Ulcers may eventually lead to Amputation. So the best thing to do is not to smoke.   Of course, this is easier said than done.  If you are a smoker, you should start to dramatically cut down so you can eventually stop smoking. Many people find it difficult to stop. Anyone with difficulty should consider using the nicotine patches. The patches should help in the weaning process from the smoking habit.

3) Increase Your Activity Level- Activity is essential for all of us. We need physical activity in our lives every day to keep our bodies functioning and healthy. Regular exercise is a great component that helps to keep the blood sugar level within normal limits.

4) Keep weight within the normal limits- Perhaps the best benefit of exercise is weight loss, and or maintenance. If we can keep our weight within normal limits, the chances for developing diabetes will be seriously diminished. Usually, the older a person gets, the less active that person becomes. So an increase in body weight will naturally develop due to the decrease in activity. But there are many people who are naturally overweight because of making poor dietary choices. This is a sure precursor to type two diabetes.  Weight loss can be difficult but it is obviously worth the effort.

So for a lifestyle change that would help prevent diabetes in the future, remember these four things. Eat three nutritious meals every day, including snacks; no smoking, increase your physical activity, and maintain your body’s weight within its normal weight range.

Healthy trails to you





Is Green Tea Worth all the Buzz?


I know what you must be thinking.  This is just another article to make you feel all warm and fuzzy about drinking green tea every day.  And to this I will give the diplomatic answer yes…and no.

The fact is, for countless of years there has been evidence of many benefits in drinking green tea.  Such benefits include: antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial benefits, and also a weight control benefit to some degree.  Recent research data shows that the health benefits we receive from drinking green tea, is very significant.

Most of us already know that green tea has been a part of the Chinese diet for many years… more than 3ooo years in fact.  I heard a short report on T.V. recently that there has yet been another study done on green tea recently that links it to cancer prevention in older women.  Researchers at Vanderbilt University, studied more than 69,000 older Chinese women over a decade.  The study produced evidence that those who drank green tea on a regular basis had a lower risk of  developing cancer of the digestive system…including the throat, stomach, and colon, than the women that didn’t.

According to the National Cancer Institute, there have been a few clinical trials done in the past to show that green tea can cut cancer risk, but all of the previous research have been inconsistent.  The researches of this new study acknowledged that none of the women smoked or drank alcohol regularly, and also there was data collected that included the women’s diet, weight, exercise, and medical history.

Since green tea drinkers tend to be more health conscious, some have suggested that green tea in itself may not be the reason for the decline in the cancer risk.

In my opinion, green tea is a soothing drink, has a great taste, and has many potential benefits even without that of a lower cancer risk.  Are you a green tea lover?  Given all of the possible benefits to drinking green tea, are you more, or less apt to drink it regularly?  I’d like to read your comments.  Until next time, healthy trails to you.








Tainted Jewelry

If you have small children, or grandchildren, you need to know about the tainted jewelry that has been found on store shelves around the U.S.  Recently, an Associated Press investigation revealed that during the past year, certain stores knowingly had contaminated jewelry being sold for children’s use on their shelves…primarily for preteen girls.  Cadmium is the chemical being singled out as responsible for the source of contamination.

I’m sure most of us are aware of products that have been recalled over the years…such as cars and even food products. I believe that an occasional recall by a manufacturer is something we’ve become accustomed to seeing. The problem with the contaminated jewelry is, it has not been recalled.  Instead, according to the associated press and a couple of consumer groups, the federal regulators knowingly allowed the tainted jewelry to stay on the store shelves.  Another important point to raise is that parents were never warned about the tainted jewelry that is already in their homes. The consumer groups found contaminated jewelry on store shelves in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Ohio and upstate New York.

This issue shows that the agency in charge of protecting the public, is instead turning a blind eye. It seems to be siding with the companies that argued in favor of keeping the contaminated products on their shelves.  Their reasoning being is that legally, the jewelry did not fit the description of ‘children’s products.’

Children can be poisoned by the tainted jewelry because of their tendency to bite on the jewelry, and in some cases even swallow it.  Baby bracelets were among the jewelry that was found on the shelves.

Now that it is getting close to Halloween, I suppose many non suspecting parents will be buying jewelry for their kids to wear as part of their costume.  The purpose of this post is to bring this little talked about fact before my friends and readers. I wouldn’t want any of you to be adversely affected by the tainted Jewelry.

Healthy trails to you.








Breast Cancer Awareness

The month of October is breast cancer awareness month.  I’m sorry that I’m a bit late with this post, but there is still time to get the word out.  We still have a bit more than 3 weeks left in the month.  There will be rallies, walks, and speeches given to help make people aware of the seriousness and the benefit of early detection of breast cancer. This subject affects me personally since my sister was diagnosed with breast cancer about three years ago, and I lost a cousin to breast cancer while she was still in the prime of her life.

Here are some things you need to know:

Every year in the U.S. approximately 200,000 women are diagnosed with breast cancer. In addition, about 40,000 women will die from this disease annually. These statistics transfer to meaning that 1 in 8 women in America will develop breast cancer during their life time.

Another important statistic is the fact that other than skin cancer, women are susceptible to breast cancer more than any other cancer in the U.S. The good news is that 38% of breast cancer cases are preventable. With statistics like these, it is well worth the plight to bring forth the issue of breast cancer awareness among our society.

According to the National Cancer Institute, early detection at the local stage of breast cancer has a five year survival rate of 98%. One of the best methods of early detection is by self examination of the breast when in the shower. It is the perfect time to check for suspicious lumps which will of course lead to early treatment by preventing its growth. Also a yearly clinical breast exam and a mammogram, depending on the age of the individual, should be included for early detection reasons.

Breast cancer do not only affect the women.  In fact it affects men also.  Research shows that although men are susceptible to getting breast cancer, the incidents are rare, and accounts for less than 1% of the reported cases. However, I encourage  the men to join the women and help out with the efforts being made this month to promote breast cancer awareness.

Signs and symptoms of breast cancer

1) Tenderness in the breast nipple,

2) A lump in the breast

3) A lump in the underarm area

4) A change in the size and shape of the breast with the nipple turning slightly inward.

5) A change in the skin integrity of the breast- it may appear red and scaly, or other changes.

6) Nipple discharge.

Thankfully the American cancer society has set aside the month of October to focus its efforts in educating communities throughout the nation on breast cancer.  I urge each of you to participate in a march in or near your community.   Simply call the American Cancer Society to get the location of a march near you. You can also make a monetary donation on line by visiting the National Breast Cancer Foundation.

Thank you for visiting today.

Healthy trails to you.


Meningitis Outbreak and the Compound Pharmacy

Meningitis Outbreak and the Compound Pharmacy

I’m going to do something that I don’t normally do and that is to use the word assume.  I will assume that most of you have heard of the recent fungal meningitis outbreak.  For those of you who haven’t, let me get you up to speed.  For those who have heard of it, please bare with me for a moment because I have something important  to add.

The outbreak of fungal meningitis has spread over multiple states, and includes 47 illnesses and 5 deaths.  The fungal meningitis has been linked back to clinics across the nation that administered steroid shots for severe back pain.  The injection was a preservative free steroid that was manufactured by the New England Compounding Company.  It was reported that there was mole found in one of the unopened packages.  All of this havoc has forced the company to close.  There are FDA approved versions of the drug by the name of Depo-medrol, and is reported to be in good supply.

Meningitis is the inflammation of the lining of the brain and the spinal cord.  The symptoms of fungal meningitis may be mild in the beginning but will advance to being more severe.  Once a person is infected, it can take up to a month before symptoms will appear.  Fungal meningitis is not contagious, unlike the other forms of meningitis.  Symptoms  include severe headache, dizziness, neck stiffness, and stroke like symptoms such as visual and speech difficulty along with increased weakness and confusion. It is treated with a high dose of antifungal IV medication, which will usually require hospitalization.

As stated earlier, the steroid injection that is the cause of the outbreak came from a compound pharmacy.  Compound companies mix their own drugs, creams and other medications. Compound pharmacies are not regulated like the other drug manufacturing companies are.  That means the compound pharmacies’ products are not subject to the Federal Drug Administration’s  approval.   This is because a compound pharmacy’s drug is suppose to stay within the state they are developed in, and is not intended to be used nationally. Therefore, they are not subject to federal regulations.

Personally, I’d like to know that a drug I am being given by a physician is safe, and has been approved by the FDA.  I know that there are side effects to practically every drug there is, but I will feel a lot safer knowing that my drug has been approved by the FDA, and chances for contamination are null.      .

I understand that the FDA wants to regulate the compound pharmacies, but they have been getting a lot of resistance from them.  In my research for this post, I discovered that compound pharmacies have been the blame for other outbreaks in recent history due to contaminated medicines.  Many of them were serious, including some that were deadly.  In Washington D.C. 2 people became blind in the year 2005 as a result of using a contaminated drug from a compound pharmacy.  3 deaths occurred in Virginia in 2006, and another 3 deaths occurred in 2007 in the state of Oregon.  Also, there were 21 polo horses that died in 2009.  Earlier this year, 33 people in several states across the nation developed fungal eye infections.

As I said, I realize that there are possible side effects to all medications.  However, I’d rather take my chances with the side effects and from a drug produced by a regular drug manufacturing company. And I’d avoid the drugs from a compound pharmacy that has a much higher probability of being contaminated, if I can. However, most of us would have no way of knowing where our drugs came from.  Which would you prefer?

Healthy trails to you





Many of you may know that I lost my mother about 6 weeks ago.  My siblings along with others in my family  expected our mom’s imminent death; so we were not surprised when it happened.  In fact, I thought that I prepared myself very well for her passing.

What I didn’t expect however, was the prolonged torment that I would feel afterwards.  Her death  affected me in many ways that has surprised me.

For example, I was so sad and depressed after her death, I could no longer write.  I would sit at my computer, knowing what topic I wanted to write about, but the flow of intelligent sentences would not come.  I even began to doubt myself as a healthy warrior, and perhaps this was the most depressing thing of all.

The best I could do was to make visits to a few of the blogs that I enjoy reading.  But still, the writing would not come back.

Thankfully, I’m feeling stronger today, and hopefully I will resume writing on my blog once again.  Because I’m committed to writing more than just my blog, I seldom write a post more than 2 to 3 times a week.

The ache in my heart for my mother is still very much there, and I suppose I will have to deal with my grief   forever.   In many ways my mom was like my best friend.  I know she would disapprove of me not going on with my life as before.

I am struggling with my loss, and am trying hard to regain my footing.

I am returning to my blog and will begin posting once again, 2 to 3 days a week as I did before.  I want to thank my faithful readers for supporting me in the past, and I look forward to your comments on my future blog post.

Thanks for your visit today.

The Healthy Warrior

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