My Plantcentric Journey

Archive for June, 2012

Health Plan Costs For Obese And Smokers Could Rise After Supreme Court Ruling

Scotus Obesity

“A little-discussed ramification of Thursday’s landmark Supreme Court health care decision is that it could make things harder for the nation’s heaviest workers.

The decision upholding the Affordable Care Act has cleared the way for a planned increase in the penalties that employers can impose on workers who don’t participate in company wellness programs and, in some cases, who don’t meet certain health targets such as an appropriate body mass index. In other words, the obese may wind up paying penalties for being overweight. Smokers, too, may get hit.”

Read more at:  http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/29/health-plans-obese-smokers-supreme-court_n_1636139.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

Animal Protein = Higher Risk of Bladder Cancer

NutritionFacts.org fb page:

3% increase in animal protein intake associated with 15% higher risk of bladder cancer, whereas a 2% increase in plant protein is associated with 23% lower risk (http://1.usa.gov/MRyrE5). Plants may play a role in bladder cancer treatment as well:

http://nutritionfacts.org/video/raw-broccoli-and-bladder-cancer-survival/

When the Treatment is Worse Than the Disease

“One way to build an income in private medical practice is to hook patients on drugs that continually require re-examination, testing and prescription renewal.”

Read the rest at:  http://www.foodmatters.tv/articles-1/when-the-treatment-is-worse-than-the-disease


Food for Thought

I’d get rid of the bacon and milk.  I’d use brown rice and a non-dairy milk.  I love So Delicious Unsweetened Almond+Plus with 5g protein.

There’s also a book out called Eat Vegan on $4.00 a Day:  A Game Plan for the Budget Conscious Cook by Ellen Jaffe Jones  http://www.amazon.com/Eat-Vegan-4-00-Day-Conscious/dp/1570672571/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1303967534&sr=8-1

Just think about how much extra money you’d have at the end of the day/month/year if you weren’t buying fast food or meat or processed junk.  Plus, how much healthier would you be?  How much would your cholesterol, blood pressure, weight, pants size go down?

Do You Know Your Neck Size? Sleep Apnea and Heart Disease, Stroke

Woman With Sleep Apnea

You know about taking your measurements for clothing.  And you may have heard about waist size for health.  (From  Dr. Oz:   Half of men and 70% of women in the United States between the ages of 50 and 79 have waist sizes that indicate obesity. Too much of a waist can lead to heart disease, diabetes and even cancer. That’s because excess abdominal, or omentum, fat pumps out toxic chemicals that not only keep you fat but also cause inflammation that poisons your organs, especially your liver.

To maintain optimal health, your ideal waist size should be less than half your height. For the average 5’ 4” woman, waist size should measure 32 inches or less. The waist of an average 5’ 10” man should measure 35 inches or less. Use a tape measure and wrap it around your natural waist, which is not at your belt but above your hips.    http://www.doctoroz.com/videos/health-tests-could-save-your-life?page=3#copy )

But, have you ever thought of measuring your neck?  It’s very important to keep it under 17″ for men and 16″ for women.

Taken from Dr. Oz:

What Are The Signs and Symptoms of Sleep Apnea?

  • Daytime sleepiness
  • Loud snoring at night
  • Interruptions in nighttime breathing
  • Abrupt awakenings followed by shortness of breath
  • Acid reflux
  • Frequent nighttime urination
  • Headaches
  • Memory loss
  • Large neck size (over 17 inches for men and 16 for women)

Taken from The American Heart Association:

Plain old snoring can get a little annoying, especially for someone listening to it. But when a snorer repeatedly stops breathing for brief moments, it can lead to cardiovascular problems and potentially be life-threatening.

It’s a condition known as sleep apnea, in which the person may experience pauses in breathing five to 30 times per hour or more during sleep. These episodes wake the sleeper as he or she gasps for air. It prevents restful sleep and is associated with high blood pressure,arrhythmiastroke and heart failure.

Heart disease is the leading cause of death in America, and stroke is the No. 4 cause and a leading cause of disability. High blood pressure is a major risk factor for both.

“The evidence is very strong for the relationship between sleep apnea and hypertension and cardiovascular disease generally, so people really need to know that,” said Donna Arnett, Ph.D., chair and professor of epidemiology at the School of Public Health at the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the incoming president of the American Heart Association.

A Common Problem
One in five adults suffers from at least mild sleep apnea, and it afflicts more men than women, Dr. Arnett said. The most common type is obstructive sleep apnea in which weight on the upper chest and neck contributes to blocking the flow of air. (Another type, called central sleep apnea, is far less prevalent.)

Obstructive sleep apnea is associated with obesity, which is also a major risk factor for heart disease and stroke. Besides obesity contributing to sleep apnea, sleep deprivation caused by sleep apnea can, in an ongoing unhealthy cycle, lead to further obesity, Dr. Arnett explained.

Listen to Those Snoring Complaints
Often a roommate or sleeping partner of someone with sleep apnea notices it. “It’s really hard to detect if you live alone, unless you go through a sleep study,” Dr. Arnett said. People with sleep apnea may be more tired during the day, she said, and therefore prone to accidents or falling asleep.

Dr. Arnett told of her own family’s experience with sleep apnea. She accompanied her 73-year-old mother, Lela Arnett, on a trip to Germany and heard her make loud snorts during the night.

It got so noisy that Donna Arnett ended up sleeping in the hotel room’s bathroom with the door closed. It turns out her mother had sleep apnea and severe hypertension. Her mother knew she sometimes awoke when she took big breaths, but she didn’t realize the severity of what was happening.

Getting Proper Treatment
Woman With Sleep Apnea
Through treatment known as continuous positive airway pressure, or CPAP, her mother’s blood pressure stabilized. The CPAP device involves wearing a mask while sleeping.

It keeps air pressure in the breathing passages so they don’t close down. Some patients have bad reactions to the masks, Dr. Arnett said, but their design has evolved significantly, making it easier to find a suitable one.

In a sleep study, doctors count pauses in breathing to determine whether the patient has mild sleep apnea, characterized by five to 15 episodes per hour; moderate sleep apnea, defined by 15 to 30 per hour; or severe sleep apnea, meaning more than 30 each hour.

It’s certainly possible to have simple, loud snoring without sleep apnea. But with regular snoring, the person continues to inhale and exhale.

With sleep apnea, the sleeping person tends to have periods when he or she stops breathing and nothing can be heard. The good news is treatment that keeps the breathing passages open and oxygen flowing can yield fast results, Dr. Arnett said. “Blood pressure comes down really quite quickly.”

Learn more:

From:  http://www.heart.org/HEARTORG/Conditions/More/MyHeartandStrokeNews/Sleep-Apnea-and-Heart-Disease-Stroke_UCM_441857_Article.jsp#.T-9TtzplC_U.gmail

The Things I Wish I Were Told When I Was Diagnosed With Cancer

Jeff Tomczek

Freelance Writer and Founder of C2Bseen

Your relationships are about to change. All of them. Some will get stronger. They will probably not be with the people you would expect. The people you want to handle this well might not be able to for a variety of reasons. Some of the reasons will be selfish. Some of them will be entirely innocent and circumstantial. All of them will be forgivable because no one plans for cancer. Carrying bitterness or anger won’t help your recovery. Fighting for anyone to stick with you won’t cure you. Those who can, will.

You will be determined to have more energy than you do. You will convince yourself that you are thinking straight, are able to handle all of this and do not need anyone. You will run out fuel. Your body will change first and your mind will follow. You won’t lose your mind, memories or sensibility. It will all come back. But, you will be different. You will never have the same sense of self. You should embrace this. Your old self was probably really great. Your transformed self will be even better. Give into what is happening and trust it.

You are going to feel fear. Even if you are normally stubborn, confident and seemingly invincible you will finally find yourself admitting that you are scared of something. Cancer is scary and incredibly confusing. The unknowing will eat at you worse than the disease itself. You’ll need distractions. Music and sleep will probably be the ones you resort to most. Reading will become difficult. So will watching TV or movies, having conversations, writing and basically everything else. They call it “chemo brain” for a reason. You will feel normal eventually. Just a new kind of normal. When you feel afraid let yourself lean on those around you. Cry. Be vulnerable. You are vulnerable. There will be time for strength, but never admitting weakness will cause anxiety to mount and your condition to worsen. Let it all out. Yell if you need to. Sing when you feel up to it. Sob uncontrollably. Apologize for your mood swings. Treatments and prescriptions will often be the cause of them. The people that love you will understand.

The people that love you will be just as scared as you are. Probably more. They will be worrying even when they are smiling. They will assume you are in more pain than you are. They will be thinking about you dying and preparing for life without you. They will go through a process that you will never understand just like they will never understand the process you are going through. Let them process. Forgive them when they don’t understand. Exercise patience when you can. Know that those that were built for this will be there when you get to the other side and you will all be able to laugh together again. You’ll cry together too. Then you’ll get to a place where you will just live in the world again together and that is when you know that you have beaten this.

The sooner you recognize that you are mortal, the sooner you can create the mentality for survival. There is a chance you might not make it. Just like there is a chance that you will. Don’t look at statistics. You are unique and what is happening inside you is unique. Your fight is yours alone and there are too many factors to compare yourself to others that have had your condition. No one will want you to think about death, but you won’t have a choice. You will think about it from the moment you are given your diagnosis. Come to terms with it. Calmly accept it. Then, shift every thought you have into believing that you won’t die. You are going to beat this. Your mental focus on that fact will be more powerful than any treatment you receive.

Your doctors and nurses will become your source of comfort. You will feel safe with them. If you do not feel safe with them you need to change your care provider immediately. There is no time to waste. This shouldn’t be a game played on anyone’s terms but yours. When you find the right caretakers you will know immediately. Do not let insurance, money or red tape prevent you from getting the treatment you deserve. This is your only shot. There is always a way. Find those hands that you trust your life in and willingly give it to them. They will quickly bring you a sense of calm. They will spend time answering your questions. There will be no stupid questions to them. They won’t do anything besides make you feel like you are the most important life that exists. They will never make you feel like they don’t have things in control. They will be honest and accessible at all times. They might even become your friends. You might celebrate with them over drinks months or years after they have cured you. They deserve your gratitude, respect and appreciation daily. If you get upset at them during treatment know that they’ll forgive you. They get that you’re going through something they can’t imagine- but they understand better than anyone. They see it every day and they choose to be there because they want to make the worst experience of your life more tolerable.

You will need to find balance after treatment. Start by seeking balance during treatment. Eat well. Sleep well. Listen to your body. Explore meditation. Experiment with new forms of exercise that aren’t so demanding. Embrace massage and other body therapies. Go to therapy. A therapist will be able to guide you through your journey in ways you could never fathom. Do not be too proud to speak to someone. You cannot afford to store up the intensity of the emotion that comes with fighting a life-threatening illness. Let it out for yourself. You will begin to hear your voice changing. That voice is who you are becoming in the face of mortality. Listen to that voice. It will be the purest, most authentic version of you that you have ever known. Bring that person into the world — strengths and vulnerabilities and everything between. Be that person forever.

You will inspire others. It will feel weird. People you haven’t spoken to since grade school will be in touch. Ex-girlfriends, former colleagues… even people you felt never wanted to talk to you again. The influx of interest in your seemingly fading life will be greater than any living moment you have ever experienced. That support is what will shift a fading life into a surviving one. Be grateful for every message. Be appreciative of each gift and each visit. There will be moments where all of this attention will make you feel lonelier than you have ever felt in your life. In a hospital room full of people with messages stuffing your inbox, voicemail and mailbox you will find yourself feeling completely alone. This is when you will realize that you could afford to have a stronger relationship with yourself. That only you walk this earth with 100% investment in you. Make the investment and use this as an opportunity to reexamine your self-worth. Love yourself more than ever and recognize how much love there is for you in the world. Then start sharing that love. You will come to see that even when you are the neediest person you know you can still be giving. Giving will make you feel better than taking.

When you get to the other side you won’t believe it. They will tell you the disease is gone. Everyone you know will rejoice and return back to their lives. You’ll constantly wonder if it is coming back. Slowly this feeling will fade, but cancer will always be a part of you. It will define how you see the world moving forward. You’re going to feel like the future is a funny thing to think about because the present is going to suddenly seem incredibly important. Keep moving. You’ll be more productive. You’ll understand who truly loves you because they will still be there. You’ll want to meet new people that connect to the newly evolved version of your old self. You’ll want to let go of those that don’t “get” who you are now. You’ll feel a little guilty doing it. Then, you’ll move on. You don’t have time to waste. The greatest gift you’ve been given is that you now understand that and you’re going to make the most of every second. You’re going to be the most passionate person you know going forward. Translate that passion to a greater purpose. Be fearless again.

I was diagnosed with leukemia at the age of 27. Now 28, I have been told I have no trace of the disease in my body.

Jeff Tomczek is a freelance writer and the founder of C2Bseen, offering consulting services to niche brands and entrepreneurs.

For more on cancer, click here.

For more on Jeff Tomczek, click here.

 From:

Best Way to Lower Your Risk of Breast Cancer

Exercise Breast Cancer

Just a little bit of exercise is enough to decrease the risk of breast cancer, according to a new study.

However, University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill researchers said that the bestway to lower your risk of breast cancer is to get to a healthy weight and maintain it.

Read the rest at:

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/06/25/exercise-breast-cancer-risk-moderate_n_1619175.html?utm_hp_ref=tw

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