Meat Free Monday: How Much Does Meat Really Cost?

Although animal products are often cheap in the store (99 cents for a big pack of hot dogs, 49 cents for a box of mac n cheese), there are a lot of external costs that get pushed off onto the taxpayers, and are hidden from view.

While there are hidden costs to everything, the hidden costs of animal agriculture tend to be a lot higher than those of most plant based foods.

For more information, look at David Simon’s book Meatonomics.  the video below also gives a bit more info. 

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Meat Free Monday: I Want to be this Man … in 58 Years

In terms of health.  In terms of attitude, I want to be more like him now. Too often,  I substitute worry and feeling for real best effort, and that causes me to be both stressed and much less effective.

I had my daughter pretty late in life (age 38), so I’m  really trying to do all I can to stay alive and healthy for as long as I can. 

Let’s just say I can identify with a certain replicant.

Self-Care 2: 10% Human

To make a long story short, animals in general and humans in particular aren’t solo organisms, but macro-organisms, reliant upon symbiotic bacteria for most of our digestion and a surprising amount of our general health. 

By number of cells, we are 10% human and 90% bacteria. 

And if  we let our bacteria get too out of whack, we increase our risks of indigestion, heart disease, diabetes, and more of the diseases of modernity.

So one of my goals this year is to eat with my bacteria in mind. 

And apparently, it doesn’t take long to see changes based on diet. Unfortunately, I can’t get the original study to load, but what I’ve read in other places  backs up Miche’s vlog:

We see results within days of serious diet changes, and continue to see lifelong benefits.

Killing Me Minty

I think I may have found the reason my blood pressure is up even though I’ve gone vegan, and it is the some reason my teeth were so badly strained at my last dentist appointment: 

Mouthwash. 

I started using off brand Scope, the green mint alcohol mouthwash, earlier in 2016. I thought it would be good for my mouth and my breath.

I was still thinking in terms of “killing bacteria” being a good thing.

But in doing the research for my self-care resolution this year, I learned that our good bacteria are a vital part of our systems, and that killing them off en masse is like burning down your house to kill a spider.

By the way, I like spiders. They eat mosquitos, which I hate. I try not to kill spiders if I can avoid it.

Apparently, research has shown that these “healthy” mouthwashes can raise blood pressure and increase heart attack risk. I do NOT need that at my size!

They also apparently make your bad breath come back worse after their smell wears off, they increase yellowing of teeth, and they can increase the chance of gum disease.

It seems the best way to fight bad breath is to keep your mouth’s microbiota well balanced, not to burn down the house.

So, yeah. I won’t be using any more of that stuff.

Self Care Part 1: Go Deeper Into the Plants


If you’ve read this blog at all, you know that I went vegan last June.

But I didn’t go healthy. 

I still ate like I used to eat: lots of burgers and fries, just veggie burgers.Lots of fried and heavy food in general.

Even doing that I lost over 25 pounds and kept 20 off (I regained a few during the holidays).

I didn’t go vegan to lose weight per se, but health was one of my concerns. 

And my blood pressure was actually up at my wellness visit.

So I knew what I had to do.

I have to go deeper into the plant based diet. I have to start eating a more whole foods diet, minimizing the processed sugars and heavy fats (even the so-called “good fats”).

This will change the way I cook and the way I eat out. 

Actually, it already has. I started eating this way on January 1st. 

I started eating oatmeal with dates for breakfast instead of a bagel slathered with peanut butter.

I’ve added salads to my meals. I’ve started eating raw vegetables, including garlic and onion (so much for my breath).

I already feel better. I have more energy, I haven’t been as hungry during the day, and I think this is really going to help me. 

I’ll keep you posted. 

 

Pressure, Stress, and Mindsets


Kelly McGonigal spent many years telling people that stress was dangerous,  but it turns out that research shows that stress is only dangerous to people who think it is bad, dangerous, or harmful. 

It turns out that people really can thrive on pressure. 

Dr. McGonigal made this video to help correct some of the old perceptions. 

Now,  why am I writing about this?  Because I’ve never been great at handling pressure and stress. I thought that was hard-wired, unchangeable,  but apparently changing your attitude toward stress can help change its effects on you. 

So what now?

Dr. McGonigal showed us one immediate,  easy to use stress intervention.  Whenever you feel stressed,  tell yourself “My body is preparing me to meet this challenge.  My heat is beating harder and my lungs are pumping faster to get more oxygen to my body and brain.

Tell yourself that until your believe it and you can eliminate the cardiovascular dangers of stress (mainly blood vessel constriction) and make yourself less flustered and more energized. 

Additionally, connecting with others,  especially caring for others, makes us more resilient to stress. Community and compassion can actually nullify the health damages of major life events. 

Also, “chasing meaning is better than trying to avoid discomfort.”

I’m going to try to our these into action. I’ll report back later and let you know how it goes. 

August Life Goals

Yesterday, I shared my progress on my July writing goals and announced my August writing goals.  Today,  I’m setting out my August life goals.

  • Get at least 7.5 hours of sleep each night.
  • Get to bed early enough to write,  read, pray, exercise, or otherwise greet the day
  • Exercise 3 days a week, rain or shine
  • Continue eating a plant-based diet
  • Try to do something actively helpful for someone (family can be included,  but ideally this should reach beyond them)  each day
  • Listen to music, go outside,  and do other things to rejuvenate myself

Well,  that’s more than enough to do for one month. I will  let you know how I did at the end of the month.