Years ago, when my book on athlete’s nutrition was just published, I gave a talk to my daughter’s kindergarten class on the benefits of eating well. Never too early to start them on the right path, I reasoned. And maybe they would have second thoughts about eating those fried baloney balls for lunch. Throughout my “lecture,” I felt I had their rapt attention. Gee, I thought to myself, I am really making an impact on these kids. I finished with a flourish, telling them the importance of a healthy diet, not only for their minds but for strong bones and teeth, as well.
Then it was time to answer any questions. A little girl’s hand went up. “Mrs. Michael,” she chirped, still staring intently at my face, “how many teeth do you have?”
So much for my health talk! “Thirty two,” I said, with a laugh, “and they are in good condition because I also brush and floss and have twice-a-year cleanings and checkups with my dentist.”
What I didn’t tell her was that those appointments were not exactly on my list of favorite things to do. And that holds true to this very day. As my readers know all too well, I am a confirmed hypochondriac whose blood pressure rises to dangerous levels at the sight of anyone in a white coat, even a butcher. (Odd, I know, for a lifestyle columnist and author who hosts a weekly radio show about health!) In fact, to prepare for a recent visit, I tried to reassure myself by thinking, “It’s just a cleaning.” Read: No shots or needles.
So imagine my horror when the hygienist asked if she could poke my finger to get a blood sample to measure my A1C levels and check for diabetes. “Diabetes?” I was incredulous. “In the dentist’soffice?” Turns out, I never made the connection. Continue reading →
Unless you are living in an isolated cave, social conflict is inevitable. Our needs, interests, and desires collide with each other, getting in the way of our happiness. Conflict is not inherently bad, however. We need conflict to teach us, entertain us, and help us grow. We can probably do without Jerry Springer’s craziness, but a certain amount of conflict is healthy. On the other hand, we have also experience unhealthy conflict. When the conflict becomes chronic and repetitive, it is toxic.
Worse, emerging research shows that toxic conflict kills just as surely as cancer, heart disease, or diabetes. Recent studies reveal that frequent arguments with partners, relatives, friends or neighbors are associated with a doubling to tripling in the risk of death from any cause. We are social beings and toxic conflict apparently creates stressors that shorten our lives.
Knowing the difference between healthy, good conflict and unhealthy, toxic conflict is important information.
The romantic ideal of the traditional, barnyard-and-a-haystack family farm is all but dead in the ground. Over the past half-century, the majority of our livestock farms have become large enterprises owned by giant corporations. “Big Agriculture” as it is sometimes called, has developed technologies to maximize profits and efficiency without thought towards the health and well being of the animals.
While we have made enormous strides in the time it takes to obtain meat products – in the 1920s, the average chicken took 16 weeks to reach 2.2 pounds, today a modern chicken only takes 7 weeks to reach 5 pounds – this has come at price.
Today approximately 95% of the red meat in the US comes from animals raised on concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), or farms where the animals are confined and fed for at least 45 days out of the year. Such “farms” hold hundreds or even thousands of animals, and the resultant waste is a major source of pollution. To encourage growth and prevent disease, the farmers give the animals growth hormones and antibiotics. Consequently there are numerous health and environmental concerns associated with CAFOs, and some courageous filmmakers have taken it upon themselves to explore these implications further: Continue reading →
Recently Dick Van Dyke sat down with NPR to talk about his new book and his advice on getting older. In it, America’s favorite song and dance man of the modern era talk about romance (his wife is 46 years his senior), taking care of his body (he said he owes his body an apology for habits of the past) and on singing and dancing even as he ages ( “Everybody can sing. That you do it badly is no reason not to sing.”)
Van Dyke says he asks a question of people as they age and now we want to ask you:
Of all the things you enjoyed doing when you were younger that you can’t anymore, what do you miss?
Being stuck on the road can be tough on your body. Sitting in hotel rooms, eating hotel waffles, trying to squeeze a workout in a hotel gym. Thankfully, Tara Stiles shared this video for continuing your yoga practice even while you’re on the go:
One of the nice things about temperatures finally coming down and scarves coming out is that we can finally drink ALL THE COFFEE WE WANT WITHOUT SWEATING IN OUR LIVING ROOM. Not that it ever stopped us before. Trolling Pinterest, we found some amazing recipes you might want to try in your own home this fall:
You’ve decided to take the plunge into parenthood but you are unsure of what measures you can take with your nutrition and lifestyle to make sure your baby is healthy.Often would be parent’s are not given clear directions on proper nutrition before and during conception because, even today, nutrition is often an elective in medical school so your doctor may not be well versed in nutrition. Here are 10 things you can do to ensure you give your baby the best chance to be healthy? Continue reading →
Have you heard? World leaders are committing to the Global Goals for Sustainable Development to achieve three extraordinary things by 2030:
End extreme poverty.
Fight inequality and injustice.
Combat climate change.
The Global Goals for sustainable development could get these things done in ALL countries for ALL all people. But to achieve these goals, everyone needs to know about them. Join us in offering your intention for our brothers and sisters around the world. Ours is a world without hunger by 2030.
Many are joining the move to inform and bring awareness to these goals! Pope Francis recently composed Laudato Si’, a letter urging everyone to recognize the crisis state of our planetary health: Continue reading →