Research published in the Journal of Nutrition and Dietetics highlights two important steps for improving diet and exercise habits. The first is getting practical and personalized tips for making changes that you’ll permanently adopt. The second is developing the inner motivation needed to help make the first step stick.
The study recruited adults from a rural area in the South with limited access to a gym and other health-oriented facilities. To help them make positive changes, each had four sessions with a wellness counselor who gave recommendations tailored to their lifestyle. These included making realistic changes to the typical southern diet they normally ate, with an emphasis on how to make better fat and carb choices.
They were also given a fitness goal of 30 minutes a day, such as walking at least 7,500 steps at least five days a week, plus information on where to find farmers markets for healthier food as well as local parks and schools where they could walk.
Although researchers thought that rural participants would have a harder time making healthy changes than city dwellers, those who lived in the country lost more weight and became more active than those in healthier, more supportive environments. In fact, some became so motivated that the farther they lived from a gym, the greater the number of steps they took.
Everyone trying to lose weight can apply these findings to meet key goals. Consider a personal evaluation from a dietitian to get tips you can easily put into action and which, in turn, can boost your inner motivation. And this can be especially helpful if you live in an area with few resources.
Just 2 Weeks On The Couch Starts To Damage Your Body
A new study proves that the old adage “use it or lose it” is definitely true when it comes to fitness.
After just two weeks of sedentary behavior, formerly fit people had:
A decline in heart and lung health
Increased waist circumference
Greater body fat and liver fat
Higher levels of insulin resistance
“The study showed that two weeks of reduced physical activity — from approximately 10,000 steps per day down to 1,500 per day — caused changes in health markers that are associated with type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease,” said study author Kelly Bowden Davies. She’s a lecturer at Newcastle University and the University of Liverpool in the United Kingdom.
But the good news from the study is that the body seems to quickly bounce back once you start moving again.
“It’s important to note that when people resumed their normal activity levels after this period, the negative health changes were reversed,” she said.
The researchers recruited 28 healthy, regularly active adults. Eighteen were women. The average age of the study volunteers was 32. Their average body mass index (BMI) — a rough measure of body fat based on height and weight measurements — was just over 24. A BMI under 24.9 is considered normal weight.
The study volunteers had been quite active, normally clocking about 10,000 steps daily. Bowden Davies said most of this was just from daily activity, rather than structured exercise. She said they usually participate in no more than two hours of structured exercise weekly.
The researchers asked the volunteers to cut their activity drastically. They dropped an average of just over 100 minutes a day, the researchers said.
After two weeks of couch potato life, the study volunteers underwent a battery of testing. These results were compared to findings measured when the study started.
Bowden Davies said cardiorespiratory fitness levels dropped by 4% in just two weeks.
Waist circumference rose by nearly one-third of an inch. Liver fat increased by 0.2%. Total body fat went up by 0.5%. Insulin resistance increased and triglyceride (a type of blood fat) levels went up slightly.
Fourteen days after resuming activity, these measures all bounced back, the investigators found.
“Even subtle increases in activity can have a positive effect on health. Moving more and breaking up sedentary activity is encouraged,” Bowden Davies added.
Dr. John Osborne, an American Heart Association spokesman, said this was a very interesting, and somewhat surprising, study. The findings validate advice he gives his patients. “If you can be a shark or a turtle, be a shark — always moving. This study showed you can lose the benefits of exercise very quickly, but the good news is that when they became sharks again, all the benefits came right back.”
Another expert who reviewed the study, Dr. Edmund Giegerich, chief of endocrinology and vice chairman of medicine at NewYork-Presbyterian Brooklyn Methodist Hospital in New York City, was also somewhat surprised by the magnitude of changes that happened in just two weeks.
Giegerich said the study confirms how important it is to stay active.
“Going from being sedentary to more active can help a great deal in preventing the onset of type 2 diabetes. Just try to be more active. You’ll feel better, and if you’re trying to lose weight, it can help a little. You don’t have to run a marathon. Walking is fine. Just get up and get moving,” he advised.
Both experts pointed out that the study was small, and in a larger group, the findings might be different. The study was also only done for a short period of time.
Bowden Davies, Osborne and Giegerich all suspect that if people who are at a lower fitness level stop almost all of their activity that the results might even be worse.
The study was presented Wednesday at the European Association for the Study of Diabetes meeting, in Barcelona. Findings presented at meetings are typically viewed as preliminary until they’re published in a peer-reviewed journal.
Are you looking to add some kidney-friendly foods
to your diet? Do you want to try a variety of tasty,
healthy, nutrient-rich foods? Try the following top
five foods that are friendly for those with kidney
disease (or at risk of developing it).
If you have not heard it before, cranberries are
a great natural way to help prevent and treat
urinary-tract infections (UTIs). Cranberries contain
an abundance of proanthocyanidins (PACs), which
are a type of compound that prevents infectious
bacteria—especially E. coli—from sticking to your
urinary-tract lining. Fortunately, this prevents the
bacteria from populating and, therefore, prevents
infections from developing.
Cranberries are even thought to play a role in
maintaining good heart health by lowering your
bad cholesterol levels and increasing your good
Cranberries can be found fresh in season between
October and December; however, it is likely that your
grocery store may be importing them from elsewhere
year round. Choose berries that are firm, plump, and
rich in red color. The deeper the red coloring, the
more anthocyanins are present. Cranberries can be
stored up to 20 days in your refrigerator—or for years,
if kept properly frozen. Discard any berries that end
up soft, discolored, or shriveled.
Cranberries are a rich source of manganese,
vitamin C, and fiber, as well as lots of phytonutrients.
Remember: the extra fiber can help manage those
blood-sugar levels, thus reducing your risk of kidney
You gain their maximum nutritional benefit
while enjoying them fresh, as many of their nutrients
are destroyed in high heats. Consider replacing
vinegar or lemon juice in recipes and incorporate
cranberries into your salad dressing. They can even
be added to your salads, with their tartness balanced
out by something sweet like mandarins. You could
also use dried cranberries in salads and trail mixes or
add them to hot or cold cereals.
Fish that are rich sources of omega-3 fatty acids
(such as salmon, mackerel, rainbow trout, and
herring) are kidney-friendly protein sources. Their
healthy fats help reduce inflammation, lower blood
pressure, decrease bad cholesterol, and increase
good cholesterol. All of these are important factors
not only for improving your heart health but for
improving your kidney health, as well.
Garlic is an excellent way to add great aroma and
flavoring to many dishes. More so, it is a great way
to reduce your sodium intake by avoiding salt and
replacing it with garlic. Just make sure not to use garlic
salt. Since your kidneys are responsible for regulating
a healthy balance of minerals, including sodium,
this kidney-friendly alternative helps relieve some
pressure from your kidneys without compromising
Garlic is a good source of manganese, vitamin B6
and vitamin C. It may moderately reduce your blood
fats and your overall cholesterol levels. Furthermore,
it can help protect against oxidative stress and
inflammation, which are both responsible for causing
damage to your blood vessels. By incorporating garlic
into your diet, you can improve your heart health
and ensure that you are keeping your blood vessels in
top condition. You want them to be able to properly
filter your blood!
Garlic bulbs are available year round in your local
grocery store. You can store garlic uncovered in a
cool, dark place for about a month. Make sure that
when you are selecting bulbs, they are firm and free
from any mold or sprouting. You also want them to be
free from cracks. Avoid bulbs that appear shriveled
and feel soft.
Garlic can be easily added to many dishes—
especially when pureed. Add it to sauces, soups, or
mashed potatoes, or incorporate it into a hummus dip
in combination with chickpeas, tahini, olive oil, and
lemon juice. You can even sauté it along with steamed
spinach and a drop of lemon juice.
4. Egg Whites
If you are looking for a pure protein source with all
of your essential amino acids, then look no further
than egg whites. They’re a great protein option that is
lower in phosphorus than other good-quality protein
sources such as egg yolks and meats. Remember that
phosphorus is one of those minerals that the kidneys
need to regulate in your blood. If you have kidney
disease, you want to account for food choices that
have higher levels of these minerals to help manage
You can purchase egg whites in a carton or
separate the eggs on your own. Egg whites can be used
in omelets, mixed with veggies, enjoyed on their own,
or incorporated into a sandwich. You can also add
them to shakes or smoothies to increase their protein
If you are using whole eggs, consider hard-boiling
them, removing the yolks, and adding them to your
favorite green salad.
Cabbage is known to help reduce your cholesterol
levels. Upon consuming foods containing fats, your
liver releases bile into the small intestine to help
break down and digest the fats. Cabbage binds the
bile salts, which contain cholesterol, preventing
it from being reabsorbed by the small intestine.
Therefore, the cholesterol is eliminated through
Cabbage is rich in many different types of
antioxidants, including phytonutrients, polyphenols,
and anthocyanins, as well as being a rich source of
vitamin C and manganese. These all help reduce
inflammation and oxidative stress, thus reducing
damage to your blood vessels, and play a protective
role for your kidneys.
How To Make Your Thanksgiving Menu Healthier with Recipes
Preparing a traditional Thanksgiving dinner that’s lower in fat and calories but still thrills the crowd isn’t hard. All it takes is a few ingredient substitutions and some clever fat-busting techniques. Let’s take a look at how to make a delicious, healthier Thanksgiving meal.
If you’re hosting a small gathering, buy a turkey breast rather than the whole bird, as breast meat is lower in calories than dark meat.
Slow Cooker Turkey Breast
“This is simple and delicious, and certainly not rocket science,” “No need to really add anything or change anything other than the cooking time — mine was done perfectly at 5-1/2 hours. The meat is tender, juicy, and delicately seasoned.”
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Prepare stuffing mix according to package directions. Set aside to cool.
With a sharp knife, butterfly breasts open to lay flat. Place each breast between two sheets of waxed paper, and flatten with a mallet. Spread the prepared stuffing to within 1/4 inch of the edge of each breast. Sprinkle each one with chopped pecans and dried cranberries, reserving some of the cranberries for garnish. Roll up tightly in a jellyroll style, starting with the long end. Tuck in ends, and tie in sections with string, about 4 sections around the middle and one running the length of the roll to secure the ends.
Heat olive oil in a large cast iron skillet over medium-high heat. Carefully brown rolls on all sides.
Place skillet in oven, uncovered. Bake in a preheated 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) oven for 1 hour, or until the internal temperature is at 170 degrees F (78 degrees C) when taken with a meat thermometer. Do not let these get overly dry.
Allow rolls to set for 15 minutes before removing string, and slicing into 1/2 to 3/4 inch circles. Leave one roll whole, and slice the other for presentation. Stuffing will be spiraled into meat. Present on your prettiest platter on a bed of curly lettuce, and garnish by sprinkling with the remaining 1/2 cup pecan halves and the reserved dried cranberries.
“This one is a keeper,” “I make it every thanksgiving instead of the whole turkey — it turns out beautifully every time! Very pretty presentation, too!”
Photo by lutzflcat
If you do buy a whole turkey, avoid “self-basting” turkeys, as they often contain added fat. And, it goes without saying, stay away from the deep fryer this year, and roast or smoke the turkey. Stuff the turkey cavity with whole or halved onions, halved lemons or apples, and sprigs of fresh herbs such as sage, marjoram, thyme, and/or rosemary. Rather than rubbing the skin with butter or oil, spray it with an oil spray and season it with salt and pepper.
Gravy is one of the biggest calorie culprits on the table. Use vegetable oil rather than turkey drippings when making the gravy — it’s still fat, but vegetable oil is lower in saturated fat and is cholesterol-free.
If you use turkey drippings to add flavor, use a gravy separator. Pour the gravy into a separator and allow it to sit for a few minutes. Some of the fat in the gravy will rise to the top of the glass where you can skim it off easily. Better yet, make a low-fat broth-based gravy or a vegetarian gravy instead.
2 cups hot water
2 cubes chicken bouillon
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1 tablespoon cold water
In a microwave safe dish heat water and bouillon on high, stirring occasionally until just boiling.
In a small bowl combine the cornstarch and cold water and mix together; stir into the hot broth and cook on medium for about 1 minute, or until thick, stirring at 30 second intervals.
“This is awesome because it’s low fat, low cal, (for gravy!) and quick,” “I added a black pepper and a small pinch of ground sage.”
Photo by Marianne
Instead of loading up your mashed potatoes with lots of butter and cream, add some of the starchy water you used to boil the potatoes. The starchy water will give your mashers a low-cal creamy texture and help cut back on fat.
You can also add turkey or chicken broth, evaporated skim milk, or fat-free sour cream to your mashed potatoes. For extra flavor, stir in roasted garlic and herbs. For added nutrition, add pureed cooked cauliflower, parsnips, or turnips — or replace the potatoes entirely with Mashed Parsnips or Mashed Turnips.
Slow Cooker Mashed Potatoes and Cauliflower
2 1/2 pounds potatoes, peeled and cubed
1 cup chicken broth
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup butter, softened
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon ground black pepper, or to taste
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon paprika
salt to taste
Combine potatoes and chicken broth in a slow cooker.
Cook potatoes on Low for 3 hours. Add cauliflower and continue cooking on Low another 3 hours.
Stir milk, butter, sour cream, black pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and salt into the potato mixture. Mash with a potato masher or blend with an immersion blender to desired consistency.
Continue cooking until hot, about 10 minutes more.
“This was good and a great way of adding extra veggies into a meal,” I had mine along side some corn and stuffing. It was the perfect accompaniment and easy to make.”
Photo by bd.weld
Cndied sweet potato casseroles in favor of a low-fat, naturally-sweetened sweet potatoes. Try a cranberry relish or cut down on the amount of sugar in your cranberry sauce by adding fruit juices or apple sauce.
Twice Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese
3 medium sweet potatoes
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1/2 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1 tablespoon brown sugar
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 1/2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Pierce potatoes with a fork and bake until soft, about 1 hour. Remove from oven and cool until potatoes can be handled, about 20 minutes.
Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a large baking sheet.
Meanwhile, place olive oil in small skillet over medium heat. Add shallots and cook and stir until softened and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes. Set aside.
Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and scoop out pulp, leaving a thin shell. Set shells aside. Place pulp into a blender or food processor and blend until smooth. Add ricotta, salt, pepper, ginger, and sugar to the blender; blend until smooth.
Return potato mixture to a bowl; stir in shallots, Parmesan cheese, and sage. Spoon mixture back into potato skins. Place potatoes on prepared baking sheet.
Bake until heated through, about 30 minutes.
“These were absolutely fabulous,” says “We aren’t fond of sweet potato dishes that have a lot of added sugar, so this was really to our taste.”
Twice-Baked Sweet Potatoes with Ricotta Cheese
y, where it absorbs fat from the turkey as it bakes. It’s hard to slim down a stuffing recipe, so take a small serving if it’s your Thanksgiving favorite. If you can avoid recipes using too much sausage or bacon; wild rice and grains are more nutritious than bread stuffings.
Cranberry, Sausage and Apple Stuffing
1 pound sweet Italian sausage, casings removed
1/4 cup butter
6 cups coarsely chopped leeks
3 tart apples – peeled, cored and chopped
2 cups chopped celery
4 teaspoons poultry seasoning
2 teaspoons dried rosemary, crushed
1 cup dried cranberries
12 cups white bread cubes, baked until slightly dry
1 1/3 cups chicken stock
salt and black pepper to taste
Cook and stir sausage in a large skillet over medium heat, crumbling coarsely, for about 10 minutes. Remove sausage to a large bowl with a slotted spoon. Empty pan of grease.
Into the same pan melt the butter. Add the leeks or onions, apples, celery and poultry seasoning; cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Add the rosemary, dried cranberries and cooked sausage. Mix all with the dried bread cubes. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Moisten with the chicken stock.
Stuff turkey with about 5 cups for a 14 pound turkey. Add additional chicken stock to moisten stuffing if needed. Remaining stuffing can be baked in a covered buttered casserole at 350 degrees F (175 degrees C) for about 45 minutes. Uncover and bake for another 15 minutes to brown top.
LivinOurLuvSong. “I left out the sausage and used veggie broth. I baked it in a pan and it was perfect.”
Photo by alexandra5
Crustless Pumpkin Pie
Most of the fat in a pie comes from the crust. Try a crust-free pumpkin pie recipe or a reduced-fat graham cracker crust.
Pumpkin Pie Squares
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup rolled oats
3/4 cup white sugar
1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin
1 (12 fluid ounce) can evaporated milk
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C).
In a medium bowl, cream together butter and brown sugar. Mix in flour. Fold in oats. Press into a 9×13 inch baking dish.
Bake in preheated oven 15 minutes, until set.
In a large bowl, beat eggs with white sugar. Beat in pumpkin and evaporated milk. Mix in salt, cinnamon, ginger and cloves. Pour over baked crust.
Bake in preheated oven 20 minutes, until set. Let cool before cutting into squares.
“This is a great recipe,” raves LAURA J JOHNSON. “It makes homemade pumpkin pie much easier and it tastes great.”
Billions of ‘Microplastics’ in Your Tea From Each Plastic Teabag
A new study warns that even your soothing cup of tea might serve up some invisible health hazards.
Some tea companies are replacing traditional paper teabags with plastic ones, but the new bags may be adding billions of tiny bits of plastic to your beverage, a team from Canada reports.
“We show that steeping a single plastic teabag at brewing temperature [205 degrees Fahrenheit] releases approximately 11.6 billion microplastics and 3.1 billion nanoplastics into a single cup of the beverage,” concluded a team led by Nathalie Tufenkji. She’s a professor of chemical engineering at McGill University in Montreal.
The global proliferation of microplastics — bits of plastic so small they are often invisible to the naked eye — have made headlines recently, having been found in large numbers in ocean and tap water, seafood and even human poop.
“In the past few years, there has been a steadily increasing body of scientific literature demonstrating that not only are microplastics permeating the broader environment, they are entering our bodies, as well,” noted Dr. Kenneth Spaeth, chief of occupational and environmental medicine at Northwell Health in Great Neck, N.Y. He wasn’t involved in the new research.
Spaeth stressed that there’s just too little data on whether or not microplastics pose a threat to human health. However, “based on the molecular composition of microplastics, there is reason to have real concern about the potential health effects,” he said, “since they contain a variety of components known to harm human health — including hormone-disrupting chemicals, as well as human carcinogens.”
In the new study, the Montreal team noted that the heat of brewed tea can cause plastic tea bags to break down into bits of plastic that are thousands of times smaller than the diameter of a human hair. That means you can’t see, taste or feel them in your mouth.
Investigating further, the researchers removed the tea from plastic teabags sourced from four different manufacturers. They then washed out the empty bags and placed them in hot water.
Using a powerful electron microscope, Tufenkji’s team found that a single bag released close to 12 billion microplastic particles, and more than 3 billion of the [even smaller] nanoplastic particles, into the water.
These levels were thousands of times greater than seen in other foods, they noted.
In a separate experiment, the researchers fed varying doses of these particles to very tiny animals — water fleas. Although the fleas lived, they did exhibit some physical and behavioral abnormalities after being fed the microplastics, the researchers report Sept. 25 in the journal Environmental Science & Technology.
Still, more research must be done to see if microplastics have health effects on humans, the McGill researchers said.
Spaeth said the new study “raises the specter that human exposure to microplastics is not just a result of the widespread contamination of the broader environment, but that our use of plastics in consumer products is notably adding to our microplastics exposure.” Steven Reinberg
Are genetically engineered food and lab-grown meat the most sustainably regenerative choices available? Impossible Foods, creator of the meatless bleeding Impossible Burger, made with GMO soy, would like you to think so. After the release of its 2019 Impact Report,5 senior manager of impact strategy, Rebekah Moses, told FoodNavigator-USA:6
“We have done a tremendous amount of diligence and we’re confident that in using GMO soy, we are not taking a step backward in terms of sustainability.
Soy is really high yielding, it’s a good source of protein and it’s more efficient than wheat. You get so much more protein in a given harvest vs the amounts of water, energy and inputs needed to grow it.
Everything is very field-based, but at a high level, there is very little difference if any difference in the environmental impact of conventional vs herbicide tolerant soy and in some cases using herbicide tolerant soy enables you to adopt more sustainable practices such as the ability to reduce tillage, which is a win for the soil.
Similarly, the chemicals you spray to manage pests — that includes insects and weeds — in herbicide tolerant crops are lower toxicity than the alternatives [used to grow conventional soy].”
Impossible Foods takes aim at regenerative farming
Impossible Foods also points out that since meat from cows require about 30 pounds of corn and soy for every pound produced, GMO soy burgers reduce the net use of herbicides.
However, while this is true for livestock raised in concentrated animal feeding operations (CAFOs), it’s absolutely not the case for organic grass fed beef production, as pastured cattle eat grasses and never lay a nose to GMO grains of any kind.
So, while GMO soy burgers may have an environmentally competitive advantage over CAFO beef, it cannot compete with regenerative grazing as far as herbicide usage (or toxicity thereof) is concerned.
Despite such well-established facts, Impossible Foods takes aim directly at regenerative ranching in its report, claiming grass fed cattle ranching generates higher amounts of greenhouse gas emissions than cows raised in CAFOs.7,8 What it fails to include is evidence9 showing grass fed ranching actually has net negative emissions after all relevant factors are taken into account.
Is fake food really the answer we’re looking for?
Impossible Foods’ impact report is hard to reconcile with other established data showing GMO soybean and corn farms are a primary source of water10 and air pollution.11 GMO soybeans and corn have also been identified as primary destroyers of grasslands and forests.12,13
Regenerative grazing is also a key activity required for the optimal sequestering of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere into our rangelands and pasturelands, while GMO soy production is associated with resistant super weeds14 and super pests and uncontrollable cross contamination.
Impossible Burger also skirts the issue of nutrition by focusing solely on the intake of protein in general, ignoring the fact that grass fed beef contains a complex mix of nutrients (including healthy fats) and cofactors you simply cannot recreate by mixing together an assortment of plant-based components.
GMO soy linked to ecological devastation
To learn more about the ecological impact of soy, check out the Greenpeace documentary “Soy: In the name of progress.” Also take a look at Dan Charles’ 2013 NPR article,15 “Pictures don’t lie: Corn and soybeans are conquering U.S. grasslands.” He writes, in part:
“Grasslands are disappearing … They’re being replaced by fields of corn and soybeans … A study16published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows actual pictures — derived from satellite data — of that changing landscape.
The images show that farmers in the Dakotas, Minnesota, Iowa and Nebraska converted 1.3 million acres of grassland into soybean and corn production between 2006 and 2011.
‘This is kind of the worst-kept secret in the Northern Plains. We just put some numbers on it,’ says Christopher Wright, from South Dakota State University, who got funding from the National Science Foundation and the Department of Energy to take a close look at this phenomenon …
Wright’s images are striking, and these changes are having profound effects on the environment of this region. For instance, it’s bad news for wildlife, because corn fields are much less inviting habitat for a wide range of wild creatures, from ground-nesting birds to insects, including bees.
Corn and soybean fields are increasingly encroaching into the Prairie Pothole region of the Dakotas and Minnesota, the most important breeding habitat for waterfowl in North America.
In southern Iowa, Wright says, much of the land conversion is taking place on hillsides. The soil of those fields, without permanent grass to hold it in place, is now much more likely to wash into streams and ponds.”
Modern agriculture largely responsible for death of our oceans
Chemical runoff is indeed among the most significant threats posed by these gigantic monocrop fields. As noted by National Resources Defense Council:17
“Nutrient pollution, caused by excess nitrogen and phosphorus in water or air, is the number-one threat to water quality worldwide and can cause algal blooms, a toxic soup of blue-green algae that can be harmful to people and wildlife.”
Similarly, a June 11, 2019 PBS News Hour article18 warns that “A ‘dead zone’ the size of Massachusetts could hit the Gulf this summer,” based on the latest forecast19 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.
“If this prediction holds true, this event would be the second largest on the list of Gulf dead zones in more than three decades,” PBS reports, noting this dead zone “would be 50% larger than the average seen in the last five years.”
The reason for the massive increase in algal blooms that kill marine life by sucking up all the oxygen is blamed on heavy rainfall increasing chemical runoff from fertilizer-enriched farmland — in the case of the Gulf, farmland surrounding the Mississippi River. As reported by The Washington Post:20
“Analyses from U.S. Geological Survey monitors in the Mississippi and Atchafalaya watersheds showed that discharge from these rivers was 67 percent greater than the 1980-2018 average. The amounts of nitrogen and phosphorus spilling into the Gulf were 18 percent and 49 percent above average, respectively.”
What’s more, “Even if nitrogen runoff was eliminated today from the Mississippi River, a 2018 study in the journal Science found, it would take at least 30 years for the Gulf dead zone to recover,” The Washington Post notes.21
Savory Institute responds to Impossible Foods’ attack
Impossible Foods specifically mentions the Savory Institute in its report, boldly claiming that Savory’s regenerative grazing theories have been “thoroughly debunked.” In response, the Savory Institute issued a statement saying:22
“This is not the first, nor will it be the last, attempt to discredit Holistic Management as a sleight-of-hand for promoting and profiting off of large scale industrial agriculture …
Claims that our work has been ‘debunked’ disregard not just the millions of acres that have been regenerated globally and the tens of thousands of farmers, ranchers, and pastoralist communities who have stewarded this land transformation and witnessed it firsthand …
[T]hey also overlook the growing body of peer-reviewed evidence documenting that properly-managed livestock can be a net positive for grassland ecosystems,23carbon drawdown,24wildlife habitat,25 and rural communities.26”
Savory also highlights a third-party lifecycle analysis27 (LCA) of a holistic ranch, showing properly grazing livestock “when taking a full accounting of all greenhouse gases in and out of their farming operation,” is a net carbon sink. As noted in the analysis, “Carbon footprint evaluation of regenerative grazing at White Oak Pastures”:28
“Traditional LCAs don’t account for soil carbon sequestration and therefore don’t take into account the full carbon story for regenerative agriculture systems … Soil samples were taken and evaluated to quantify soil carbon sequestration and allow a highly credible inclusion of this information into the LCA …
As there is little information published on this topic and the outcomes challenge much conventional thinking on beef’s carbon footprint, careful consideration should be given to the conclusions and messaging.”
According to this analysis — notably performed by the very same company that conducted Impossible Burger’s LCA — the carbon footprint of beef from White Oak Pastures is 111% lower than conventional CAFO beef, as the “system effectively captures soil carbon, offsetting a majority of the emissions related to beef production.”
Regenerative grazing creates net carbon sink
All things considered, including enteric emissions, manure emissions, soil carbon capture, vegetation carbon, miscellaneous farm activities, slaughter and transport, the total net carbon emissions from the beef production on White Oak Pastures was found to be a negative 3.5 kilos of carbon emissions per kilo of fresh meat, making this integrated, holistic system six times more carbon efficient than the average CAFO production model. Importantly, as noted by Savory:29
“What Impossible Burger seems to have conveniently omitted is that their GMO soy-based product is still a net carbon emitter in comparison to White Oak’s properly-managed livestock that create a net carbon sink.
Could it be that GMO soy-based Impossible Burger feels threatened by the regenerative movement? In a world where current agricultural practices have eroded soils to the point of having less than 60 harvests left (according to the UN FAO30), the solution is not to maximize efficiencies in the broken, extractive, industrial model …
Rather, as environmentally-conscious businesses and individuals, we must address the root cause and adopt land management practices that honor the symbiotic relationships of plants and animals. One cannot exist without the other, so we must reevaluate our preconceived notions and return to farming in nature’s image.”
White Oaks Pastures invites Impossible Foods for a visit
Will Harris, owner of White Oaks Pastures and president of the American Grassfed Association, has taken matters a step further, issuing an open invitation to Impossible Foods’ officials to visit his farm to get a thorough understanding of how regenerative grazing actually works. In a statement, Harris writes:31
“As an independent professional rancher, who has practiced regenerative land management on our family farm for more than 20 years, I can state unequivocally that Impossible Burger’s claims about regenerative grazing are incorrect.
Not only is our business financially successful on a large scale, but we are accumulating data showing that our practices are enhancing the carbon sequestration potential of the soil on the lands we manage.
Today I am publicly inviting Impossible Foods representatives to visit my farm and see for themselves the many social, economic and environmental benefits of regenerative grazing.
I would be grateful to share our recent Life Cycle Assessment that clearly demonstrates that the carbon footprint of our farm results in a positive impact on the environment — a claim that imitation meat companies cannot make.”
Meat replacement companies need to demonstrate superiority
On his website, Harris also highlights some of the other benefits of regenerative farming and why we need it:32
“Land is meant to be a living thing. It contains the natural order of all living things: Life, Growth, Death, Decay, Life, Growth, Death, Decay. The land is our teacher. Looking back to the evolution of our ecosystem informs the way we manage land today.
The energy cycle, carbon cycle, mineral cycle, microbe cycle, water cycle have all co-evolved with plants, microbes, and animals since our planet’s creation. Our passion is to create an environment that allows these cycles to flow freely: microbes feed plants which feed the animals which spread urine and feces to microbes which feeds the plants which feed the animals.”
Just how exactly does cultivating fake meat in an industrial facility improve the ecology of our environment? Again, we’re not just talking about which strategy is the least destructive, we’re talking about which one actually improves the environment the most.
“Talk is cheap” they say, and in the case of Impossible Burger’s claims that certainly rings true. They (and other meat replacement companies) really need to tangibly demonstrate how their system is better, overall, and not just on some minor point, than the regenerative system.
Grazing livestock is integral to ending ecological destruction
In the podcast above, Sustainable Dish interviews Ronnie Cummins, executive director and co-founder of the Organic Consumers Association, about the importance of grass fed livestock farming for climate stability, environmental health, sustainability and regeneration.
As explained in many previous articles, livestock are important components that make farming truly regenerative, as they help build healthy soils. Lab-derived meat substitutes do not actually contribute anything to this healthy ecological cycle.
When animals are raised according to regenerative agriculture, a healthy ecosystem is produced and then more or less effortlessly maintained. So, eating meat is not synonymous with environmental harm; it’s industrial farming practices — CAFOs — that inflict the damage.
Some also believe eating meat means ripping out more forests so animals can graze, but I’m certainly not advocating for that. U.S. cropland is currently dominated by a two-crop planting cycle of corn and soybeans, largely for animal feed. Like CAFOs, these monocrops are devastating the environment, and even though they’re plant foods, they are part of the problem, not the solution.
Getting rid of these large swaths of corn and soy fields — which are laden with chemicals and largely devoid of life — is key, as is reverting them back to what they were before, namely grasslands for grazing animals.
Grasslands are key to fixing many environmental problems, and herbivores are a necessary part of this ecosystem. By mimicking the natural behavior of migratory herds of wild grazing animals — meaning allowing livestock to graze freely, and moving the herd around in specific patterns — farmers can support nature’s efforts to regenerate and thrive.
Long-term health effects of fake meat are still unknown
Aside from the fact that fake meat production doesn’t have any regenerative capabilities that would benefit the ecosystem, there’s also the issue of health effects. A number of studies have highlighted the risks of ultraprocessed foods, showing they raise your risk of cancer, and the more ultraprocessed foods you eat, the greater your risk.
In one,33,34,35,36 which included 104,980 participants followed for an average of five years, 18.74% of the men’s diet and 18.71% of women’s was ultraprocessed, and each 10% increase in ultraprocessed food raised the cancer rate by 12%, which worked out to nine additional cancer cases per 10,000 people per year.
The risk of breast cancer specifically went up by 11% for every 10% increase in ultraprocessed food. While sugar and unhealthy fats are key staple ingredients suspected of causing these effects, there’s reason to believe fake meat might have a similar impact, for a number of reasons.
For starters, the Impossible Burger meat substitute is the epitome of a highly-processed food — seeing how it’s manufactured from start to finish, and involves the use of man-made ingredients — placing it squarely in the higher-risk category.
Secondly, GMO soy has been shown to have a number of health risks all by itself. Third, the human body is not designed to process fake meat and there’s no telling what the long-term health ramifications might be. Even the liberal U.S. Food and Drug Administration has raised concerns over the soy leghemoglobin in the Impossible Burger being a possible human allergen.37,38,39
Fourth, GMO soy is loaded with glyphosate, the health risks of which are of increasing concern as it’s now being found in most processed foods, including non-GMO foods. Recent testing by Moms Across America (MMA) revealed concerning levels of glyphosate in the Impossible Burger.40
Fake meat isn’t about humanitarianism; it’s about profit
You really need to question the rationale for creating expensive fake meat alternatives when a far less expensive and more reasonable answer is readily available. What’s worse, fake meats may ultimately create more problems than they solve, as laboratory derived meat substitutes are not part of the ecological cycle and health hazards are as yet entirely unknown.
This basic lack of understanding affects safety regulations pertaining to processing and manufacturing as well. Commenting on the open questions pertaining to fake chicken production, Al Almanza, former acting deputy undersecretary for food safety at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, noted that we still do not know “what’s normal or abnormal, and thus potentially unsafe, in a cultured-chicken plant.”41
Without this knowledge, food inspectors have no idea what to look for, companies cannot devise and implement proper safety protocols and regulators cannot make regulations to ensure safety. The same applies to fake beef,
In its report “From Lab to Fork: Critical Questions on Laboratory-Created Animal Product Alternatives,”42 released in June 2018, Friends of the Earth calls for more stringent safety assessments, regulations and labeling requirements.
The report highlights a number of health and safety concerns and environmental impacts hidden beneath “climate-friendly” claims. It also points out the lack of substantiation for “clean meat,” “animal-free,” “plant-based” and “sustainable” claims.43
All in all, it seems that, contrary to the PR being churned out, the creation of fake meat products is not about feeding the world or eliminating animal suffering. It’s about dominating billionaires looking to put patents on the food system.
Go grass fed, not lab bred
While many view lab-created meat substitutes as the lesser of two evils when comparing it to the CAFO meat that currently dominates the market, taking nature out of the equation altogether is not the answer, especially since holistic herd management is an integral part of the regenerative agriculture equation.
Ultimately, creating fake food is not the answer to solving the problems associated with conventional meat. For health reasons as well as ecological reasons, I recommend skipping the meat alternatives and opting for real beef raised the right way instead.
When you do shop for meat, go to a local organic farmer or look for Demeter (biodynamic) and American Grassfed Association (AGA) certifications. Both indicate high-quality, sustainable and environmentally sound food.
Have you ever thought of wonton soup as a health food? Probably not. But with my gluten-free, gut- and figure-friendly wonton soup recipe, you can think again! For my wonton soup recipe, I use a combination of gluten-free cassava flour and tapioca flour to make the wonton dough. I also fill the wontons with ground turkey instead of pork or shrimp since I avoid both of those foods.
And the healthy choices don’t stop there. I also add a ton of vegetables, herbs and spices to this soup to boost its nutritional value. The vegetables in this wonton soup recipe may just leave you with a stronger immune system, healthier heart and gut and improved digestive tract. You’ll also feel completely satisfied from this hearty recipe.
What is Wonton Soup?
Wonton soup is commonly prepared in Chinese cuisine. It includes wontons, which are tiny dumplings that are filled with a seasoned ground meat. The traditional way to prepare wonton dough is using a combination of flour, egg, salt and water, but for my wonton soup, I chose to use cassava flour and tapioca flour so the wontons are completely gluten-free.
My favorite thing about wonton soup is that it includes a bunch of nutrient-dense vegetables, like mushrooms, cabbage, carrots and onions, plus a handful of anti-inflammatory herbs and spices, like ginger, garlic, cayenne pepper and cilantro. With so many ingredients in wonton soup, you are getting a slew of health benefits, from improved digestion and heart health, to a reduced risk of obesity.
1 cup cassava flour
1 cup tapioca starch
1 cup hot water
½ cup avocado oil
½ pound ground turkey
½ teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
1 green onion, chopped
2 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 teaspoon salt
8 cups chicken bone broth
4 tablespoons coconut aminos
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 cup of mushrooms
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ teaspoon onion powder
½ teaspoon ginger powder
¼ teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon garlic powder
½ teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper
In a large pot, combine broth, aminos, garlic, onion, ginger, cayenne, sesame oil, chili flakes, cilantro, salt and pepper.
Bring broth to a boil and then simmer on low.
While broth is simmering, combine cabbage and carrots in a strainer placed over a bowl. Pour 1 teaspoon of salt over the top. Let sit for 10 min.
Massage cabbage and carrots to release excess water. Ring out the water and place in a medium sized bowl.
Add ground turkey, onions, coconut aminos, garlic, ginger and salt. Set aside.
In a large bowl, mix flours, avocado oil and hot water. Knead dough thoroughly until smooth.
Lay parchment paper on a flat surface and sprinkle flour.
Place 2 tablespoons of dough on the parchment and flatten with a rolling pin. Cut dough into 3 inch squares.
Place 1 tablespoon of turkey filling in the center of the dough. With one lightly wet finger, trace two edges of the wonton dough in an “L” shape.
Gently, enclose wonton fillings to create a triangle shape. Fold the wings inward, making sure to release any air pockets.
Bring the broth back to a boil and gently drop wontons into the soup.
Buspirone is used to treat certain anxiety disorders or to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. However, buspirone usually is not used for anxiety or tension caused by the stress of everyday life.
It is not known exactly how buspirone works to relieve the symptoms of anxiety. Buspirone is thought to work by decreasing the amount and actions of a chemical known as serotonin in certain parts of the brain.
This medicine is available only with your doctor’s prescription.
The Following Information was prepared by the Mayo Clinic, Rochester MN.
In deciding to use a medicine, the risks of taking the medicine must be weighed against the good it will do. This is a decision you and your doctor will make. For this medicine, the following should be considered:
IBS, Celiac Disease, Hodgkins Lymphoma, Crohns Disease, Gastric ByPass Patients, and other digested conditions, taking it in tablet form my increase your symptoms.
Tell your doctor if you have ever had any unusual or allergic reaction to this medicine or any other medicines. Also tell your health care professional if you have any other types of allergies, such as to foods, dyes, preservatives, or animals. For non-prescription products, read the label or package ingredients carefully.
Appropriate studies on the relationship of age to the effects of buspirone have not been performed in the pediatric population. However, no pediatric-specific problems have been documented to date.
Appropriate studies performed to date have not demonstrated geriatric-specific problems that would limit the usefulness of buspirone in the elderly.
Information about this buspirone-oral-route
Animal studies have revealed no evidence of harm to the fetus, however, there are no adequate studies in pregnant women OR animal studies have shown an adverse effect, but adequate studies in pregnant women have failed to demonstrate a risk to the fetus.
There are no adequate studies in women for determining infant risk when using this medication during breastfeeding. Weigh the potential benefits against the potential risks before taking this medication while breastfeeding.
Although certain medicines should not be used together at all, in other cases two different medicines may be used together even if an interaction might occur. In these cases, your doctor may want to change the dose, or other precautions may be necessary. When you are taking this medicine, it is especially important that your healthcare professional know if you are taking any of the medicines listed below. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice, orange juice, tomato juice, or other heavily citric juices while you are taking this medicine.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is not recommended. Your doctor may decide not to treat you with this medication or change some of the other medicines you take.
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines is usually not recommended, but may be required in some cases. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
Morphine Sulfate Liposome
Using this medicine with any of the following medicines may cause an increased risk of certain side effects, but using both drugs may be the best treatment for you. If both medicines are prescribed together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use one or both of the medicines.
St John’s Wort
Certain medicines should not be used at or around the time of eating food or eating certain types of food since interactions may occur. Using alcohol or tobacco with certain medicines may also cause interactions to occur. The following interactions have been selected on the basis of their potential significance and are not necessarily all-inclusive.
Using this medicine with any of the following may cause an increased risk of certain side effects but may be unavoidable in some cases. If used together, your doctor may change the dose or how often you use this medicine, or give you special instructions about the use of food, alcohol, or tobacco.
Other Medical Problems
The presence of other medical problems may affect the use of this medicine. Make sure you tell your doctor if you have any other medical problems, especially:
Kidney disease or
Liver disease—Effects may be increased because of slower removal of the medicine from the body.
Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex
Take buspirone only as directed by your doctor. Do not take more of it, do not take it more often, and do not take it for a longer time than your doctor ordered. To do so may increase the chance of unwanted effects.
This medicine comes with a patient information insert. Read and follow the instructions in the insert carefully. Ask your doctor if you have any questions.
You may take this medicine with or without food, but take it the same way each time.
Do not eat grapefruit or drink grapefruit juice, orange juice, tomato juice, or other heavily citric juices while you are taking this medicine.
After you begin taking buspirone, 1 to 2 weeks may pass before you begin to feel the effects of this medicine.
The dose of this medicine will be different for different patients. Follow your doctor’s orders or the directions on the label. The following information includes only the average doses of this medicine. If your dose is different, do not change it unless your doctor tells you to do so.
The amount of medicine that you take depends on the strength of the medicine. Also, the number of doses you take each day, the time allowed between doses, and the length of time you take the medicine depend on the medical problem for which you are using the medicine.
For oral dosage form (tablets):
Adults—At first, 7.5 mg two times a day. Your doctor may increase your dose as needed. However, the dose is usually not more than 60 mg a day.
Children—Use and dose must be determined by your doctor.
If you miss a dose of this medicine, take it as soon as possible. However, if it is almost time for your next dose, skip the missed dose and go back to your regular dosing schedule. Do not double doses.
Store the medicine in a closed container at room temperature, away from heat, moisture, and direct light. Keep from freezing.
Keep out of the reach of children.
Do not keep outdated medicine or medicine no longer needed.
Ask your healthcare professional how you should dispose of any medicine you do not use. ( We always recommend calling the local Veterinarian Office to see if he can use it)
Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex
If you will be using buspirone regularly for a long time, your doctor should check your progress at regular visits to make sure the medicine is working properly and does not cause unwanted effects.
Do not take buspirone if you are also taking a drug with monoamine oxidase (MAO) inhibitor activity (e.g., isocarboxazid [Marplan®], phenelzine [Nardil®], selegiline [Eldepryl®], or tranylcypromine [Parnate®]). If you do, you may develop extremely high blood pressure.
This medicine will add to the effects of alcohol, ( so no alcohol ) and other CNS depressants (medicines that make you drowsy or less alert). Some examples of CNS depressants are antihistamines or medicine for hay fever, other allergies, or colds; sedatives, tranquilizers, or sleeping medicine; prescription pain medicine or narcotics; barbiturates; medicine for seizures; muscle relaxants; or anesthetics, including some dental anesthetics. Check with your medical doctor or dentist before taking any of the above while you are taking this medicine.
Buspirone may cause some people to become dizzy, lightheaded, drowsy, or less alert than they are normally. Make sure you know how you react to this medicine before you drive, use machines, or do anything else that could be dangerous if you are dizzy or are not alert.
Avoid drinking alcoholic beverages while you are using this medicine.
Do not suddenly stop taking this medicine without checking first with your doctor. Your doctor may want you to gradually reduce the amount you are taking before stopping it completely. This is to decrease the chance of having withdrawal symptoms such as increased anxiety; burning or tingling feelings; confusion; dizziness; headache; irritability; nausea; nervousness; muscle cramps; sweating; trouble with sleeping; or unusual tiredness or weakness.
If you think you or someone else may have taken an overdose of buspirone, get emergency help at once. Symptoms of an overdose are dizziness or light headedness; severe drowsiness or loss of consciousness; stomach upset, including nausea or vomiting; or very small pupils of the eyes.
Do not take other medicines unless they have been discussed with your doctor. This includes prescription or nonprescription (over-the-counter [OTC]) medicines and herbal or vitamin supplements.
Drug information provided by: IBM Micromedex
Along with its needed effects, a medicine may cause some unwanted effects. Although not all of these side effects may occur, if they do occur they may need medical attention.
Check with your doctor immediately if any of the following side effects occur:
fast or pounding heartbeat
numbness, tingling, pain, or weakness in the hands or feet
skin rash or hives
stiffness of the arms or legs
uncontrolled movements of the body
Get emergency help immediately if any of the following symptoms of overdose occur:
Symptoms of overdose
Dizziness or light headedness especially when getting up from a sitting or lying position suddenly
loss of consciousness
nausea or vomiting
very small pupils of the eyes
Some side effects may occur that usually do not need medical attention. These side effects may go away during treatment as your body adjusts to the medicine. Also, your health care professional may be able to tell you about ways to prevent or reduce some of these side effects. Check with your health care professional if any of the following side effects continue or are bothersome or if you have any questions about them:
Restlessness, nervousness, or unusual excitement
Less common or rare
clamminess or sweating
dryness of the mouth
muscle pain, spasms, cramps, or stiffness
ringing in the ears
trouble with sleeping, nightmares, or vivid dreams
unusual tiredness or weakness
Other side effects not listed may also occur in some patients. If you notice any other effects, check with your healthcare professional.
Call your doctor for medical advice about side effects. You may report side effects to the FDA at 1-800-FDA-1088.
People Start to Heal, The Moment They Feel They are Heard