An Open Letter to Terry and Tom

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Dear Terry and Tom,

THANK YOU for hosting an incredible evening. The Lee Maine excursion came together after Mom passed on to her ultimate adventure January 16th. By the end of January we all knew York was our destination. The East Coast siblings plus the Elders from Edmond Oklahoma were the original group but within a short time our children and their significant ones also decided to join us in Maine. The gathering was now large and we all pretty much knew it would be near impossible for everyone to do the same things at the same time.

Your invitation for dinner meant there would be one evening where we would all be together. And the evening was very special. Your generosity and compassion were on full display. I was and am still deeply moved.

Mom was happiest on family vacations. Even after I left the nest and the rest of the family got to go on awesome trips (without me) Mom always thought of me, especially when she shopped at those stupid gift shops with some of the most expensive crap that only Mom would buy. I still have the duck letter opener she gave me. I had to toss out the crab shaped red plastic address book because it broke. There was a lot more stuff. Every single damn trip. Mom continued to buy me a gift shop special from every trip she took that made me shake my head and go “Thanks Mom. This is nice. What the hell is it?”

Terry and Tom, I cannot thank you enough. Mom brought us all together that night at your house. She was with us that night. I know this because I felt her presence in the room. Maybe you did too. Time to stop writing. I’m crying too much right now.

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Plant-Based Harm Reduction

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The study was published in the April 30 issue of the Journal of the American College of Cardiology. Researchers followed more than 16,000 adults (mean age, 64 years) with no known coronary heart disease (CHD) or HF at baseline, comparing those who adhered to a plant-based diet with those who consumed a Southern diet, consisting of more fried and processed foods and sweetened drinks. They found that the plant-based diet was associated with a 41% lower risk for incident HF with the highest vs lowest adherence, while the Southern diet was associated with a 71% higher risk for HF with higher vs lower adherence, after adjustment for potential demographic, lifestyle, and medical confounders.

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A diet that favors plant-based foods, as well as a completely vegetarian diet, modestly reduces the long-term risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD) in the general population provided individuals are not overweight or obese to begin with, a new community-based cohort study indicates.

Reminder:

I am not a vegan.