I like to rant about health here on SexyTofu, and one huge health issue in the US is obesity. The typical American diet is high in caloric, cholesterol laden animal products and low in veggies, legumes and high-fiber whole (whole! NON processed) grains. Some have even linked eating meat to obesity. Obviously there are many thin meat-eaters, and overweight veg-heads, but someone who consumes a high-fiber, nutrient rich diet low in cholesterol–like a vegan diet–is less likely to be obese. Ahh, the word diet. I have a particular issue with this word, or at least the way we view it. It really only means the way in which we eat; unfortunately the mainstream now finds it synonymous with weird restrictive or trendy eating habits. When someone says they are on a diet, it usually means they are following some zany eating plan. So many of us are removed from where our food comes from, and what it does to our body. We categorize foods as “good” (salad, fruit) and “bad” (carbs, sweets, fats). We think solely in terms of calories instead of nutrients. We may watch what we eat to stay thin, but that doesn’t mean we are eating things to nourish our bodies. In college I had a room-mate who ate nothing but pickles and crudités dipped in fat-free ranch dressing because they were low in calories. While she was at a healthy weight, she couldn’t possibly be getting enough nutrient.
If we don’t change out eating habits and our relationship with food, our future looks bleak. I would love to see my grand-children living in a world where they understand exactly where their food came from, BEFORE it made its way to the grocery store. I would love for them to be taught from an early age about the way the food is broken down in the body, and can therefore provide their bodies with what they need for longevity and optimum performance.
However, I worry this will not be the case. Enjoy this startling infographic that tells us tough-love style what the future of our country will look like if we continue on at this rate. It’s not pretty–see the above photo of the futuristic humans frm WallE. Chew on this.
Created by: MedicalCodingCareerGuide.com
No Cruelty; No Eggceptions
I know a handful of “almost vegans.” These include friends and my super cool holistic doctor. They avoid all meat, and most dairy. What’s the one thing that makes up the majority of that 10 omnivorous percent? Eggs. For some reason, eating eggs just doesn’t seem as wrong to them as a filet or tenderloin or hunk o’ cheddar. Perhaps it’s their touted health benefits or the fact that they don’t have a tell-tale fleshy consistency. Or perhaps it’s that they taste so damn good fried, scrambled and poached. Who knows the reason for it, but eggs continue to squeak by the meat-o-meter for aspiring vegans. Which is why this whole Sparboe Farms investigation has struck such a chord with me—I obnoxiously sent it to a few of my friends who are constantly making eggceptions. Yep, I’m that girl.
An undercover investigation, put on by Mercy For Animals, brought forth some disturbing animal cruelty in the country’s fifth largest egg producer, and the egg distributor for bigwigs like McDonald’s, Target and Sam’s Club. The result? The companies dropped them. This is big freakin’ news for animal-loving activists all over, because not only have these companies recognized the tragedy occurring in factory farms (or at least THIS factory farm), but they are doing something about it by dropping them. In the past, I would have expected them to turn a blind eye or make false investigations and false demands for improvement—all tactics that have been done before to throw the public off the scent of exploitation.
I am not going to go into the gory details of what the undercover investigation brought forward, because it’s upsetting, and I’m sensitive dammit! But you can read about it here.
A quote: As the largest egg purchaser in the United States, McDonald’s has enormous power in effecting improved standards of care for egg-laying hens. Accordingly, MFA is also asking that McDonald’s actively support a recent agreement between the United Egg Producers and The Humane Society of the United States that seeks to establish federal regulations that would provide hens enough space to turn around, as well as environmental enrichments, such as perches and nesting boxes. The agreement is a modest but important first step in establishing minimal standards for care of birds on a federal level. Sadly, Sparboe Egg Farms is aggressively opposing the implementation of even these meager reforms to reduce animal suffering.
Hopefully this investigation—which has garnered some serious attention on Good Morning America, 20/20, and World News with Diane Sawyer—will encourage more people to cut factory farmed eggs (and maybe all eggs!! Yes? Maybe?) out of their diets. Not that I am a huge Mickey D fan, but I am glad they are taking a step in the right direction. Now if we could just get some insight on the practices of their beef and pork suppliers…
Poppin Pills Like Mentos (photo by Ambro)
Wickity wack! My dad just emailed me telling me I should go back on birth control (gasp!) because it no longer requires a co-pay!
Way to go Health Care of America! As a preventative health care issue, birth control AND the morning after pill will be covered by insurance! All health insurance companies will be required to do this! While this new regulation won’t go into effect until January of 2013, it is still an awesome triumph for our health care system and will help prevent a ton of pregnancies for those who could otherwise not afford birth control.
Of course, there will always be haters. Some are pissed that of all medications to no longer require a co-pay, birth control is the one getting all the glory. While I do think those people should untwist their panties, I also think that now that birth control will be easier to aquire, school systems should amp up their sex ed classes. I had a room mate in COLLEGE who did not realize that birth control does not protect HIV and STDS. (I made her a seriously disgusting STD slideshow and bought her a family-sized pack of rubbers…what an oxymoron that is!)
Another peculiar thing is that my dad was the one telling me to go back on the pill. Why? Because it’s free! Which had NOTHING to do with why I went off it in the first place. Sort of like buying something you would normally not purchase just because it’s on sale. He can’t help it…he is Jewish! What! Real talk. This post should be renamed Just Like Hanukah.
On the pill? Check your b12 levels.
I mentioned in a previous post that I recently had a scare with a b12 deficiency. It has been over a month since I finally have been able to track down a doctor who could give me the type of consultation I was looking for: a holistic approach that takes both a medicinal and natural stand, someone able to integrate the two types of medicine and look at my case on all levels. And boy was I surprised when I learned that yes, I probably have a b12 deficiency because I have been vegetarian and then vegan for so long without proper supplementation, however, it is also likely because I have been on birth control for nearly a decade. What does that have to do with my b12, I asked. Well apparently birth control seriously decreases the natural levels of b12 due to the high levels of estrogen in the pills.
Foods like leafy greens, tempeh and nutritional yeast contain b12
Learning this made me extremely frustrated with the traditional system of medicine ….Of course, part of this is on my head because I should have done more research than I did about the prescriptions I am on. But additionally, my gynecologist — who prescribes my birth control — knows I follow a vegan diet, and yet never mentioned the b12 factor to me. This is because, as a professional in a specialized field, he probably got only a few hours of general education nutrition training in med school. Perhaps our healthcare system is trying its best, but it’s becoming more and more clear that our diets affect every part of our lives — our moods, sleep patterns, stress levels, ability to fight disease and sickness, and capacity to think clearly.
With this green revolution our country seems to be going through, and the rise in the popularity of natural medicine, I hope to see more holistic doctors popping up all over. A great friend of mine just got accepted to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and I know she will do great things (congrats AC!). I look forward to the future of medicine when a doctor can take a look at a patient and evaluate them from an all-inclusive, holistic point of view.
So for any vegans or vegetarians out there who are on birth control, get your b12 levels tested and then get on a supplement! Don’t play around with this. Also, check out this video of an interview with Dr. Jay Gordon, who believes that diet should be the foundation of a medicinal practice.