6 reasons why you should consider a plant-based diet Comments Off on 6 reasons why you should consider a plant-based diet 4831

These days, it seems like more and more people are transitioning to a plant-based lifestyle whether it’s for ethical, personal, or health reasons. It’s widely known that a diet comprised mostly of whole foods that are rich in nutrients is beneficial to the body, however, with chronic diseases and conditions on the rise, being proactive about one’s health and nutrition is quickly becoming a priority.

What is a Plant-Based Diet?

A plant-based diet emphasizes eating whole foods such as fruits, vegetables, and grains, and minimizing or completely eliminating any and all animal products. There are no strict guidelines on what constitutes a plant-based diet, so long as the individual consumes mostly whole foods with very few processed foods or refined sugars.

Plant-based is commonly interchanged with veganism, but the two are not one and the same.

Plant-Based vs. Veganism – What’s the Difference?

Vegans abstain from eating or using any and all animal products. It is a lifestyle change that excludes the use of animals for food, clothing, testing, or any other purpose. This means that vegans do not purchase anything that was made from animals, including leather goods, fur, and ivory, as well as products that have been tested on animals such as make-up, perfume, medications, and the like.

Studies have demonstrated that a plant-based diet may lead to lower rates of obesity, heart disease, diabetes, and certain types of cancers. That alone is reason enough for many to make the switch. If you need further convincing, here are seven other reasons why you should consider a plant-based diet:

  1. Animal food sources are injected with antibiotics.
    • Livestock producers routinely give antibiotics to animals to help them survive the harsh and often unsanitary living conditions they are subjected to. It is also used to help them grow at a quicker rate and with fewer feeds. As a result, humans who consume animal products regularly are exposed to certain antibiotics in small doses, making them antibiotic resistant. Antibiotic resistance threatens the success of future treatments and leads to the mutation of bacteria, making it harder for them to be treated.
  2. Animal sources are injected with growth hormones and steroids.
    • In the early 1990s, the FDA approved the use of a growth hormone that, when injected, stimulates the production of milk in dairy cows. To this day, approximately 20 percent of all dairy cows in the U.S. have been injected with growth hormones to increase milk production. Cattle are injected with different hormones to spur growth, which means more profit for the producer.
  3. A plant-based diet promotes cardiovascular health.
    • Heart disease is the number one leading cause of death in North America to-date. Every single day, over 2,000 Americans will die of some form of heart disease. By making the switch over to a plant-based diet, you can dramatically lower your risk of many cardiovascular health issues.
    • A plant-based diet has been shown to decrease plaque that has accumulated in the blood vessels and also lowers your risk of stroke and diabetes.
  4. A plant-based diet helps reduce obesity rates.
    • At present, nearly 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, and what’s interesting is that eating meat has been linked to the rise in obesity rates. Meat consumption, along with a diet that is high in refined sugar, is to blame, according to studies.
    • Consider that meat and many other animal products are high in both calories and trans fat content. By making the switch to a plant-based diet, many people find that they lose weight even without counting calories, and more importantly, they feel better overall. On average, plant-based dieters are 20 pounds lighter than meat-eaters.
  5. A plant-based diet puts less stress on the digestive system.
    • Many animal food products are extremely hard to digest and can cause bloating, diarrhea, acid reflux, and leaky gut syndrome. When the body is constantly bombarded with hormones, steroids, antibiotics, and bacteria, it has to work doubly hard to overcome these internal stressors. Combine poor food choices with unhealthy lifestyle choices such as smoking and binge drinking, it’s no wonder more and more people are getting sick. A plant-based diet that is comprised mostly of whole foods will supply your body with the energy it needs to repair and rebuild cells, without further taxing your system.
  6. A plant-based diet is high in fiber, which promotes satiety and healthy gut bacteria.
    • The traditional Western diet is high in sugar, sodium, and fat. As such, it is considered ‘hyper-palatable’ and easily craved. However, it contains very little fiber, which means it is not nearly as satiating as a bowl of salad. This means that even after having a high-calorie meal, you can expect to feel hungry very soon after due to the lack of nutrients found in your food. With a plant-based diet, you get more than enough fiber from whole foods, which in turn promotes the proliferation of good gut bacteria. A healthy gut has been linked to a stronger immune system, hormone regulation, and less body fat in abdominal region—all favorable outcomes no doubt.

 

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Getting your kids to read this summer Comments Off on Getting your kids to read this summer 64464

Summer means different things for different people. For twenty-year-old’s, it’s the time to work and party; for parents, it’s the time to hold neighborhood events and start saving up, and for kids, it’s the time to kick back and finally have some fun. School’s out! 😃 It’s that one time of the year when they can go to the beach and hang out with all their friends without worrying about some project or homework. For them, the entire summer is all about having fun, and as a parent, it’s your sacred duty to balance fun with continuing education. You might even be able to replace “fun” with something more rewarding – like reading!

Knowledge attained outside the classroom tends to stick around longer

You don’t want to be the “uncool” parent that forces your kid to do something school-related during the summer, but you don’t really have that much of choice, here’s why. The lessons that really stick with you long after you finish school are the ones that you learned when you didn’t really have to.

The knowledge that is acquired without some form of ultimatum or consequence always leaves a lasting impression. It also introduces you to a new side of knowledge that is not purely scholarly.

Reading is right for you regardless of what it is that you decide to read – obviously you will have to control your kids’ intake in your spare time. Reading strengthens the mind, and continual learning increases the speed at which you assimilate and process information. Just imagine the kind of impact a fantastic reading speed could have on your kid educational future. You could be adequately preparing them for a future in academia.

Exposure

The reward of “ruining” their obsessively fun summer will be some exposure to other subjects and topics that are unfamiliar to them. Recreational reading could be very instrumental in building up their overall personality. Plus, proper exposure ensures that they have enough information to make smarter and more informed decisions at a tender age.

It can teach them to research and ask questions

Summer reading could form the basis of a voracious reading habit that could beautifully complement their curiosity. It’s not every kid that thinks about something strange that eventually go on to investigate, summer reading could introduce them to the concept of research.

How to get your kids to read during the summer

It’s easy to talk about getting your kids to read during the summer, getting them to do it another issue entirely.

Kids can be especially stubborn or pigheaded when you are trying to force them to do what they simply have no interest in. The only way to have them do what you want the right way is to either introduce a reward system or trick them that it’s all their idea. Local library’s often offer summer reading lists per age group.

Reward system

Are you having a hard time getting your kid to do anything you want? Wait patiently, there is always something they’ll want, and you can use that to get what you want – in this case, it’s a healthy reading habit.

When they come to you with a ridiculous demand, you can propose a fair trade that will engage their mind and keep it focused on a book that you’ll recommend. You can even choose to deliver the reward after the completion of several books, that way, you are getting the most out of your deal.

You can also choose to limit or restrict play time, and the completion of a certain number of pages could be the requirement they must fulfill before they are allowed to play again.

Making them think it’s their idea

In my experience, people are always more motivated to complete a project that they believe to be totally theirs. When it’s your plan, you just tend to pay more attention to it, it’s like you want to prove something to yourself and others around you. Adults think this way, and so do kids. They can be pretty devoted to completing a book they just accidentally stumbled upon or saw you flip through.

Sometimes you don’t have to be so obvious or aggressive, you could give a rousing speech about reading and hand them a book that you know that they’ll enjoy and leave the rest to them.

The summertime doesn’t have to all about vacations and parties, it could also be an opportunity for your kid to develop a reasonably analytical mind.

Is your partner complaining about your snoring? You might have a problem. Comments Off on Is your partner complaining about your snoring? You might have a problem. 54930

Your partner might not have the heart to tell you, but your snoring sucks. They might tell you that it’s slight and cute and they don’t mind, but they are just trying not to hurt your feelings. I, on the other hand, have no such obligation. In truth, snoring isn’t as annoying and unbearable as I make it out to be. It might actually be “cute” but something has to be done about it nonetheless. It might be a sign of something more serious than just a mildly distasteful sleeping habit. So, is your snoring far more serious than you think, or am I just being hard?

Having sleep apnea isn’t necessarily a bad thing (ok technically it is). But it doesn’t always have to be life or death. You could see a doctor and try to get things sorted out before it’s too late. After all, sleep apnea deprives your entire body and brain of some much-needed oxygen.

An individual is said to have sleep apnea when they don’t get enough oxygen during sleep because their brain isn’t sending signals fast enough to the rest of the body. It doesn’t know to breathe in during sleep; or it could be caused when the muscles of the throat are relaxed which causes the pathways to narrow, so the body doesn’t get enough oxygen during sleep. There are three major types of apnea and although their causes vary, they pretty much cause similar problems down the road.

I’m not typing this long list of diseases to scare you, but they are some of the possible conditions that might result from prolonged sleep apnea.

Some of the diseases that can arise from sleep apnea are:

  • High blood pressure
  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Metabolic syndrome
  • Liver problems
  • Sleep-deprived partners

Although the diseases on this list are scary and often life-threatening, they rarely happen in most cases. Like with most life-threatening diseases out there, early identification is what it’s all about.

Here are a few ways of identifying sleep apnea:

  • Loud snoring
  • Short moments when you stop breathing completely
  • Dry mouth in the morning
  • Falling asleep during the day
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability
  • Short attention span while awake

Note: Sleep apnea isn’t quite identical across the spectrum. Some people don’t even snore loudly at night. I know that this might sound confusing but things aren’t always as simple as they seem. You have to watch out for some of the other symptoms if you think that you might have sleep apnea. Your best bet is to just get yourself checked out whenever you can.

Now then, how exactly can we help ourselves when we find out that we have sleep apnea?

Although there are some home remedies and radical dietary alternatives, the safest solution is going with modern medicine. In-person sleep studies, surgeries, and even medications are all options that might be available to you. With that said, here are a few things easy ways to help with your sleep apnea.

Keep your weight under check

Although this symptom is particularly restricted to obstructive sleep apnea, it’s a great idea to adopt it nonetheless. It’ll look after you long after the sleep apnea has passed and it does come with some added physical advantages. It is well known that obesity has a lot of unsightly consequences, but what most people don’t know is that it can also be the cause of sleep apnea. Obesity blocks some of the essential pathways such as the nasal passages and this often results in sleep apnea.

Change your sleep position

It has been noted that certain sleeping postures actually help with your sleep apnea. Something as simple as sleeping on your side can greatly impact the overall frequency of your snores and gasps. Sleeping on your side makes it less likely for your tongue to obstruct your airway. Although not everyone is immediately relieved by this simple home remedy, it’s still quite memorable all things considered.

Quit smoking

In case you might not know, smoking can kill you eventually. They don’t only break down the cells in your lungs, they also increase inflammation and fluid retention in the throat which can cause sleep apnea.

Sleep regularly

I understand that gasping for breath in the middle of the night can be problematic but adequate sleep goes a long way in improving the quality of your sleep and your life span altogether.

Your partner’s sporadic sleep pattern might not be a result of his or her strange sleeping habits. It might be something more serious than that and you should always watch him or her when they are asleep. That is when you will really know if they are at risk.

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