Vegetarian Journal – 2021 Issue 2 – Scientific Update

One study focused on almost 9,000 breast cancer survivors and asked the women about their diet every four years after their diagnosis. Over the follow-up period, averaging 11.5 years, women who ate more fruits and vegetables and women who ate more vegetables had a lower risk of dying from any cause than did women with lower intakes of these foods. Women with the highest intakes of vegetables and fruits averaged 7.4 servings per day; those with the lowest intake averaged 2.2 servings per day.

Farvid MS, Holmes MD, Chen WY, et al. Postdiagnostic fruit and vegetable consumption and breast cancer survival: prospective analyses in the Nurses’ Health Studies. Cancer Res. 2020;80(22):5134-5143.

Total fruit and vegetable intake was associated with a reduced risk of frailty with those averaging seven or more servings of fruits and vegetables daily having a lower risk than those averaging fewer than three servings a day. Leafy green vegetables, yellow and orange vegetables, and apples and pears were specific fruits and vegetables associated with a lower risk.

Fung TT, Struijk EA, Rodriguez-Artalejo F, Willett WC, Lopez-Garcia E. Fruit and vegetable intake and risk of frailty in women 60 years old or older. Am J Clin Nutr. 2020 [published online ahead of print].

The quotes above are just two of the studies profiled in the Vegetarian Journal’s most recent scientific update. Unfortunately the citations are not links to the original studies. Here is the link to the full Vegetarian Journal Scientific Update:

https://www.vrg.org/journal/vj2021issue2/2021_issue2_scientific_update.php

Eat your vegetables!

Turmeric and Curcumin

Turmeric is the whole herb and curcumin is the most abundant bioactive compound found in turmeric. Most studies use standardized extracts that contain mostly curcumin. Both are beneficial for health. 

Minimize Inflammaging & Maximize Your Healthspan with Turmeric — https://www.naturalgrocers.com/health-hotline-article/minimize-inflammaging-maximize-your-healthspan-turmeric?mc_cid=317e1f689f&mc_eid=7c3cb8595d

Here’s a nice little research article on Turmeric with nearly 30 references. It’s always a plus when someone else does the research for you. And it’s free.

I don’t take an abundance of supplements and will start taking a supplement only after I’ve done the research and am convinced of the benefits. I added Turmeric to my daily medications after my doctor suggested I research it for my arthritis. My medications are a low dose statin (10mg), baby aspirin, Vitamin D, Vitamin B-complex and a multivitamin.

And high quality Scotch.

Random Thoughts – July 2021

Monday 7/5

“We can’t escape from the fact of our eating; no matter what, we are killing living things so that we can live ourselves. If it’s not an animal, it’s a plant or something else.”

Deborah Madison is a chef, writer, and author of 13 celebrated vegetarian cookbooks, including the modern classic Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone.

Today is the 5th of July and I have the day off from work. Yesterday was the real 4th of July holiday which was celebrated in a typical American fashion, a cook out by the pool. I didn’t have to cook which made the fourth a special fourth for me. I know how much work and preparation goes into hosting a large gathering and my heartfelt thanks go out to our relatives in Claremore, OK.

The morning started with a little tree trimming in the yard followed by some deep thoughts no one should have on the Fourth of July. Reminder to all who read this: these are random thoughts. If I lose you, just stop reading.

The level of personal indiscipline since leaving Colorado has been astoundingly high. In plain English my diet has regressed. The rules and lists I’ve crafted over the years were not adhered to since coming back from the Rockies. I blame Colorado. The State of Craft Beer https://www.coloradocraftbrews.com/colorado-breweries/ overwhelmingly managed to delete the #1 item on my Do Not Have It in the House list. Beer is back in the house.

The folks in Colorado make real good beer. The Mountain Man and his Colorado Girl keep plenty of the good stuff in their fridge. Pizza out twice during the trip meant more good craft beers. We also stopped at Casey Brewing in Glenwood Springs, which is the only brand name I remember. Back home I continued the Colorado theme with some Odell and Blue Moon. As I’ve done for years I am monitoring my weight daily. I need to. See my previous post Consistent self-monitoring of weight: a key component of successful weight loss maintenance — Random Thoughts 01.02.21. To repeat myself – There’s beer in the house.

Abandoning old habits is hard especially when the old habit is just so damn satisfying. But if you want (or need) to lose weight you must change your habits. Colorado was fun and a lot of old habits crept back into my routine. I shouldn’t be surprised that some of those habits are still sticking around. The weather got hot back home in Oklahoma and there’s nothing like a really cold beer on a hot day…

One of the books I’ve been reading is Aging as a Spiritual Practice by Lewis Richmond, a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher. I’m nearly halfway through the book and it’s exactly what you’d expect from a Buddhist priest and meditation teacher. But every now and then we all need stark reminders of the obvious which we tend to forget about. Richmond reminded me of the value of being flexible.

“I hate when people say they want to go plant based or give up meat. But won’t mind eating chicken, eggs and bacon. I need to find vegan friends.”

Anonymous Twitter user

Flexibility, honest respect for differences in opinion, and critical thinking skills all seem to be in short supply, especially in younger generations who have become willing victims of confirmation bias on social media platforms. Maybe if they spent more time reading books…

So before you label me a hypocrite I have created a new list called Things That Are OK to Have in the House and BEER IS BACK. Food and drink that get put on this list are subject to swift removal if the trend-line on the Truth Machine takes a sharp turn to the north. Yet even after a month of indiscipline the number stands at 170. Check back next month for the next exciting installment of my lifelong struggle.

Postscript

Deborah Madison is not and never was a vegetarian. She wrote vegetarian cookbooks. Flexibility!

Eating Disorders – Not Just a Lack of Willpower

Researchers have found that eating disorder behaviors, such as binge-eating, alter the brain’s reward response process and food intake control circuitry, which can reinforce these behaviors. Understanding how eating disorder behaviors and neurobiology interact can shed light on why these disorders often become chronic and could aid in the future development of treatments. The study, published in JAMA Psychiatry, was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

Eating disorder behaviors alter reward response in the brain — https://www.nih.gov/news-events/news-releases/eating-disorder-behaviors-alter-reward-response-brain

Turtle Rescue Mission – 2021

Turtle Rescue Mission-2021

Behind our house a block away is a stream. Over the years I’ve performed a number of turtle rescues. Some were swept into the neighborhood streets by storms. Others are obviously lost and end up in the backyard. I found this little one in our garage. I put her into a bucket with some water so you can get some perspective on how tiny this turtle is.

Egg Salad (because you will be eating more eggs)

https://investigatemidwest.org/2021/06/03/408469/

I just bought a dozen large eggs for $0.89. This is an inexpensive sandwich filling!

First boil some eggs. Add the eggs to a saucepan and fill with cold water. Bring water to a boil and immediately remove from heat. Cover and let the eggs bathe for 12 minutes. When time’s up carefully drain the eggs and add cold water to the pan. Drain again then add cold water and lots of ice to the pan with the eggs. This shock treatment will allow for easier to peel hard boiled eggs in about 15 minutes. ( I used to hate peeling hard boiled eggs until I learned this technique);

4 large eggs
2-3 T mayonnaise
1/4 C shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 stalk celery diced
1 dill pickle spear diced
couple of dashes of onion powder and garlic powder
salt and black pepper to taste

Peel the eggs. Slice in half lengthwise and pop out the yolks. Place the yolks in a medium sized bowl and smash with a fork. Dice the egg whites and add to the bowl.
Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Taste and adjust your seasonings. Four eggs will make enough egg salad for 2-3 hefty sandwiches. If you need more egg salad double the recipe.

Odds and Ends

Use just enough mayonnaise to hold the egg salad together. You want to taste the ingredients and not just the mayo.

Some folks will use fresh onion and garlic. I feel using fresh adds harshness and a certain pungency to the salad and prefer to use garlic and onion powders or granules. Diced carrots work well instead of celery. I’ve never tried using both carrots and celery but if you are a daredevil, be my guest. A couple of slices of crumbled bacon adds another depth of flavor if you like bacon.

Dill, no. Mustard, also no.

Many thanks to Ol Red Hair for nudging me to write this recipe down. This recipe holds a dear place in my heart because during the first year of the pandemic I ate more egg salad than I have eaten in my entire life. I also lost 25 pounds during the first year of the pandemic and some of the credit has to go to this egg salad recipe. It fills you up and as a result I snacked a whole lot less. When I told this story to my doctor she just looked at me and said,

“I can’t wait to see your blood work.”

“I’m eating more eggs to train my liver to produce less cholesterol.”

She smiled at me as if she wasn’t quite sure whether I was joking or being serious.

CHOLESTEROL 175 mg/dL
TRIGLYCERIDE 69 mg/dL
HDL 65 mg/dL
LDL CALCULATED 96 mg/dL
NON-HDL CHOLESTEROL 110 mg/dL

I was serious.

Random Thoughts – June 2021

Obesity is a Chronic Condition: Obesity is a chronic and often progressive condition not unlike diabetes or hypertension. Successful obesity management requires realistic and sustainable treatment strategies. Short-term “quick-fix” solutions focusing on maximizing weight loss are generally unsustainable and therefore associated with high rates of weight regain.

Core Principles of Obesity Management — https://www.drsharma.ca/core-principles-of-obesity-management

Tues 6/8

Random Thoughts

The Boss and I just returned from visiting the Mountain Man and his Colorado Girl. Great trip. I gained only three pounds. Of course there were many other reasons why this was a great trip. But when I stepped on the scale this morning for the first time in nearly a week I had gained just three pounds. I’ll take plus three anytime when I allow myself to cut loose, eat and drink whatever I want and not obsess about my weight.

The round trip between Edmond Oklahoma and Carbondale Colorado is rough 1650 miles. Heading west we stopped in Hays Kansas and driving back east we spent a night in Colby Kansas. In Hays there are many more choices for lodging and food. In Colby you are literally spending the night in a truck stop. Food off the Interstate would hardly be considered healthy fare. But knowing that was the situation I made sure I had some Clif bars in the car. Have I mentioned I only gained three pounds?

If you’ve been to this blog you know I like to keep lists. Here’s my list of what I ate on my vacation. Subway sandwiches (twice), homemade biscuits with sausage gravy topped with an egg, pizza (twice in restaurants, once leftovers for breakfast), local Colorado beer, wine, scotch (not for breakfast), home cooked Pad Thai, lettuce wraps, grilled steak/potatoes/broccoli, a freshly baked bagel with hummus and vegetables, fast food burgers/fries (twice), Chick-fil-A sandwich and waffle fries, flourless chocolate cake with fresh whipped cream. All of the above (aside from the scotch, Chick-fil-A and chocolate cake) are not normally part of my diet. I am surprised I didn’t gain more than I did.

There are Hampton Inns in Colby and Hays. We stayed at both. The “free” breakfast in Colby was better than the “free” breakfast in Hays. Headed home I ate a small cheese omelette and a couple of turkey sausage links. The eggs were fresh eggs. On the way west my breakfast consisted of a cup of powdered eggs and a couple of french toast sticks. The coffee in both locations was decent. On our next driving trip to Colorado it will be a tough choice of where to spend the night when splitting up the drive. Truck stop or powered eggs for breakfast? If you’ve never had powdered eggs I won’t spoil your first experience when you get an opportunity to try some. Besides, reconstituted scrambled powdered eggs are difficult to describe. Trust me on this.

We’re back home and it’s time to gradually slip back into our usual routines. Last night I ate yogurt with some sketchy strawberries that might have been a few days past perfect for the compost heap. Restoring my good gut bug population is a priority for the upcoming week. Egg salad (fresh eggs) and fruit for lunch today. Dinner will be pasta with veggies, olive oil and lots of garlic. It was a great trip and I’m tired so I’m glad I took today off before returning to work. I’ve already been to two grocery stores, purposely walked down the beer aisles and did not buy any on either trip. Today’s free time was spent taking care of errands, listening to music and writing but no work on my future best seller. If I don’t lose the three pounds I gained none of this will be in the book. That’s a promise.