Posts tagged "plant-based nutrition"

The Habit Of Eating Meat May Be Hurting Us (And Our World)

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By Diane Gold

The Habit Of Eating MeatThe habit of eating meat is passed down from one generation to another, in most societies. Throughout the years, a symbol of abundance has become the finest steak dinner, so much so that, at one point, the overproduction of uric acid crystals between the joints known as gout, got the nickname “disease of the rich” because wealth often meant increased intake of animal proteins.


Plant-Based NutritionWhat is now becoming common knowledge, or is such to the Millenial generation and after, is that hunger and thirst could be contained if we increased our plant-based nutrition consumption; we could reduce many chronic diseases if we reduced or removed meat from our diet; our water footprint to farm livestock for food is sending the world economies on a downward spiral of water emergencies; especially in the latest generation, people are questioning whether it is ethical to eat meat (which could includes but is not limited to beef, pork, lamb, chicken, fish, bees).

This article looks at this global habit in relation to agribusiness, the pharmaceutical industry and education.


What would happen if the money spent on livestock feed were spent on growing extra food for people who needed food?

According to PETA:

1) Using an acre of land to raise cattle for slaughter produces 20 pounds of meat. This same acre could produce 365 pounds of soybeans, 17 times more food.

2) The resource to produce 1 pound of meat would produce 13 pounds of grain. That would feed an entire community, rather than 1 family.

Help Hunger By Replacing Our Meat Habit3) This year, 7100 children will die from a hunger-related disease per day. That’s 2.6 million for the year. We can help hunger by replacing our meat habit with some form of plant-based nutrition.



The use of antibiotics in livestock production has created highly resistant strains of bacteria (super bugs) which pass by touch to workers, from water supply contaminated by infected animal feces and from uncooked infected meat.

Because of the power of the food and pharmaceutical industries, the Food And Drug Administration (FDA), unlike the European Union, has never banned antibiotic use in animal production. It did, however, implement a regulation that asked the farm industry voluntarily to phase out the use of certain antibiotics.

Antibiotics Are Used In Animal FeedFor those not calculating, if antibiotics are used in animal feed, the drug companies get paid for their drugs and farmers get to fatten up their livestock more quickly from the antibiotics so they reduce feeding expense. This translates to a less healthy environment, chemically altered food and reduced health.


It is important to note that most super bugs that affect humans are obtained from overuse of antibiotics in humans.


There is much evidence that plant-based eating reduces obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cholesterol. Therefore, what about replacing the meat habit with plant-based foods for health and environment?

Check out more interesting facts here:


The statistics around the amount of water used to produce food are so unreliable since circumstances are always changing and it is a very tricky subject. It is true that the amount of water used for vegetables and livestock vary from one measure to another.

To produce 1 head of broccoli, 5.4 gallons of water are needed.

To produce 1 tomato, 3 gallons are needed.

According to the journal, Ecosystems, a study by M. Mekonnen and A. Hoekstra from U of Twente, Netherlands, beef uses 4 million gallons of water per ton. That means just under 40,000 gallons for a pound of meat. To break it down further, the study looked at the amount of “blue” water used. For veggies, 5.6 gallons of blue water is used to produce a pound. 20 gallons is used to produce a pound of fruit. And about 72 gallons are used to produce a pound of beef. These figures vary greatly, depending on the further breakdown within the category.

According to, the Department of Animal and Range Sciences at the South Dakota University measured that 1 cow may yield 84 pounds of steak quality meat, which means, more or less, 225 6 oz. meals or 336 4 oz. meals. The same amount of water produces 23,000,000 heads of broccoli.

And 70% of the water used in livestock industry is to grow animal feed; in California, this means alfalfa for cows. The sad thing is that, even though California is experiencing a water shortage, farmers are exporting alfalfa hay to Asia. (Show me the money!)

According to the Food And Agriculture Organization Of The United Nations, 70% of land that has been deforested in Latin America, which means, in part, the Amazon, is used for livestock grazing. The expense of the food for livestock is what makes the least sustainable sense.


I have had lively debate with a local doctor. He talks about how plants have feelings, or certainly, that they react to stimuli; and I talk about how I believe plants yield to us but should be thanked for their sacrifice. Certainly, we both agree that hurting animals is wrong.Plants Have Feelings

In my opinion, if vegan food is available to me; it is my duty to eat it. Were I in a North country with limited vegetation, would I eat fish or four-legged animals? I would, because it’s my duty to self-sustain; I would give thanks for the animal’s life I used for mine, the way I do with the plants I eat.

A fascinating fact is that Inuits in Greenland have low heart disease. They eat primarily proteins and fats from salmon, whale and seal with no sugars and no carbs. This statistic may come from their Omega-3 to Omega-6 ratio, which is balanced at 1:1, unlike in the West where we are Omega-6 (inflammatory) rich.


The habit of eating meat is like any other repetitive pattern we have. When we think about it, we may choose to change it in order to enhance our health, eat in a way that will help stop hunger, be examples of saving water so there will be some left for our grandchildren and modify our ethical actions.

Grateful For Whatever Food You EatInstead of blindly consuming food, just because it tastes good to us, we might want to consider the consequences of our actions. Not following in the footsteps of the past generations, we might want to evaluate the newest scientific evidence about food and nutrition. We might choose to realize that the dairy and meet industries have vast sums of money to promote the idea of eating meat or consuming dairy. Big media are friends with big dairy, big meat, big poultry and big pharma. These relationships may be cause for us to do our own research on whether the habit of eating meat needs a complete turnaround in 2014.


Here are several action steps that may serve all of us.

1) Check out the amount of Omega-6 and Omega-3 fatty acids you consume on an average day, shooting for 4 (Omega-6) : 1(Omega-3). The National Institute Of Science recommends a ratio of 10:1 in the United States. In my opinion, that’s because they are friends with agribusiness producers who make vegetable oils, sugars and other foods that imbalance the ratio. Other countries typically say 4:1 is OK, new evidence points to 1:1 being ideal.

2) Research a few hunger statistics, and consider replacing 1 meat meal weekly with a plant-based meal. You can go to the PETA website at, about half way down to the slider showing the ratio of elimination of eating animals to the amount of hunger that would go away.

Grateful For Whatever Food You Eat 23) Be grateful for whatever food you eat. This will bring positive feelings to the world, which may, in turn, create happier circumstances for all animals and plants, including ourselves.

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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition and habit change.

She is slowly realizing the importance of early education to impact environment when it comes to animal farming and proper nutrition. She says,

“Teachers have the absolute privilege of connecting the dots for young children to understand the world and how it works. What can be taught now to elementary school children is things like producing meat can use 10 times as much blue water as producing vegetables. And reducing meat consumption can reduce hunger.

“These real-life scenarios can help children to understand what most adults don’t due to lack of connecting the dots: that greed or over-consumption can keep the world out of balance and that a little self-control in each of us can heal the world one hungry child at a time. Our thoughtful actions can also create health in ourselves.

“With this knowledge, the youth, who are the change makers of the world, will be able to take meaningful actions based on seeing the full picture. But, will the education system – walking on tiptoes to maintain its funding – allow such teaching; and will the community – walking on tiptoes so that the major corporations lend a hand to sponsor local projects so local politicians look good – allow the open teaching that is needed? It will require patient work on the part of local educators. But, it’s worth it to educate students about the habit of eating meat and what issues surround it.”

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6 Great Reasons For Plant-Based Nutrition


By Diane Gold

Plant-Based Nutrition is being recommended more and more by medical personnel, used more by knowledgeable consumers and being more truthfully researched through scientific studies, every day experience and understanding the role of advertising paid for by the pharmaceutical and food industries.


WasherAnimal protein is known to clog arteries. Plant-based is not known to do this.
I always picture the old-style washing machine with the front loading door where we can see the water level sloshing around. Except, with animal protein, the liquid has more grease. The circular door could represent the cell of an animal protein eater.

Studies suggest that vegan diets store less fat which balances sugar, reduce cholesterol and tri-glycerides in the blood and reduce obesity, according to Kaiser Permanente’s latest article. They cite the 2006 Berkow and Barnard review of 87 studies, the result of which they published in the Nutrition Reviews, which stated that vegan or vegetarian diets are “highly effective for weight loss.” Plant-based diet can reduce the amount of medication needed for chronic disease.

To look at plant-based nutrition, Kaiser did a single case study done. They studied an overweight 63-year-old diabetic man with high blood pressure and high cholesterol on several drugs. The physician made some drug and insulin modifications and changed his food intake to a low-sodium vegan diet. Everything dramatically became healthier, and his prescription drugs were reduced to one.

Because this is a single study, it is not as noteworthy as if there were 100 participants. It is still significant, though. As I have mentioned in past articles, studies are expensive and setting them up takes lots of time, people power and money. Unfortunately, the larger they are, the more credibility they hold. So, we always look for the big study, such as the 6000 person study showing the benefits of plant-based nutrition, the China Study, done by T. Colin Campbell, the father of modern nutrition.


Pharmaceuticals If people are healthier and use less medical services, less pharmaceuticals; they will reduce their own personal costs. They will also reduce the pharmaceutical and medical equipment manufacturing rate as well as the distribution and transportation costs which are 1.5 to 4.5% of their sale price, according to Transportation Journal, Jan., 2005.

There is solid evidence that plant-based nutrition can improve health.



Because there is lots of untimely disease, and much of it is obvious like obesity; there is lots of new evidence about the benefits of plant-based diets and the latest stories are about the power of plants as nutrition. More and more credible sources are being quoted with astounding health results. When we learn, we consider making changes. If we are open, we may wonder why so many people are moving toward plant-based nutrition.

We might also want to consider that we are creatures of habit, and we get some of our education from media, good or bad. IF media is swayed by the powerful food and pharmaceutical industries to write about the goodness of animal protein so we buy milk, meat and drugs for our illnesses, we might be convinced that plant-based nutrition is not for humans, might make us sick and is for quacks. IF media is swayed by a few diligent researchers who have studies hailing plant-based nutrition or a few hippies and athletes whose health is impeccable because they grow their own wheatgrass, we might hear stories about how green food is beautiful. Since media gets large advertising dollar from the food and drug industry, it is important to weigh carefully the material we read.


We have depended upon the National Academy of Sciences’ Recommended Daily Intake on vitamins, since 1941. They have updated their recommendations only 10 times, the last being in 1989. In 1995, they created a more detailed recommendation system.

Although the Academy is a private, non-profit corporation, board membership includes former employees of pharmaceutical and food companies and funding to the Academy make come from anywhere. (There was recently a case where the American Academy of Pediatrics endorsed and published guidelines for an acne drug. The funding for the process was paid for by drug companies, and 13 of the 15 consultants or speakers on the project worked for the drug companies.
It is a little disconcerting that the checks and balances system of fairness doesn’t disqualify people with previous allegiances from certain kinds of involvement.


Dog RescueIf we could avoid running over a dog or cat in the road, would we do it? Of course, we would. In the same way, if we transitioned to a plant-based diet, we would be doing just that. We would automatically be eliminating the need for the animal industry to replace food we just ate. This means we would slow down the process of using animals for food, which, more times than we would like to think, abuses, terrorizes and mutilates animals. Although there are hard, honest workers in the animal food industry, if there are other choices, can we make them?


Did you know that dairy cows, if left to graze naturally, live 25 years? The dairy cows used in industry live to be five. The answer to the question,

“What’s wrong with that?”

is a personal one. I think it’s wrong if there are other food source options easily available.


Clean And Light FeelingAnother reason for considering a plant-based diet (or its direction) is personal to me. Therefore, please consider this in evaluating it.

There is one feeling I have never experienced from food before my current vegan eating: feeling clean of body. There is never a big lump in my stomach as I remember happens to me with meat, chicken, fish or dairy.

It’s been a long time since I have eaten meat, but only about four years since I have eaten dairy. There is a distinct difference now. My 39 years of lacto-ovo-vegetarianism (minus two short meat periods as an attempt to simplify the household), did not feel the way I feel now.

Four years into a vegan diet, I feel clean after every meal. I feel as if my body is ingesting the right combination of food, especially if several vegetables and a combination of cooked and raw food are used.

The body also feels light, even if I eat an abundant amount of vegetables and healthy grains. After the thick smoothie with fruit, seeds, nuts, hemp and flax milk; the feeling I have is light.

I am lucky and grateful to have the opportunity to eat this way at this time. I cherish it.


In the American Journal For Clinical Nutrition, 2003, David and Marcia Pimentel give some statistics. The grain produced to feed livestock for food is 7 X the amount of grain Americans eat and is enough to feed 840 million people who follow a plant-based diet. That’s enough to feed all the hungry of the world.

According to PETA (People For The Ethical Treatment Of Animals), it takes 11 X as much fossil fuel to make one calorie of animal protein as it does to make one calorie of plant protein. 11 X. That’s 13 pounds of grain to produce 1 pound of meat and 5 pounds of wild-caught fish to produce 1 pound of farmed fish flesh.

Also according to PETA, it takes 2400 gallons of water to produce a pound of meat and 25 gallons of water to grow 1 pound of wheat.

Last is a shocker. Animals raised for food produce 89,000 pounds of fecal matter per second. The EPA has reported that 35,000 miles of rivers in 22 states have been polluted. Groundwater in 17 states has been contaminated.


With all the discussion about whether animal protein or plant-based nutrition is good, we, as consumers, are getting educated. We are realizing the lack of nutrition education in every school is a deficit. Yes, we learn to plant tomatoes on land or in window boxes. But knowing what to eat and why is standard information for all of us. Learning how animal-based vs. plant-based diets affect the environment is also our responsibility. Hopefully, our discoveries will lead us to place plant-based nutrition in our schools and our lives.

The reasons above given in support of plant-based nutrition are there for the reader to ponder. In the meantime, here are a few action steps for everyone.


1) Consider eliminating one packaged item of food for one week. If you last through the week, extend for another. At the end of the second week, make it a third. If this works, maintain it.

Packaged Good2) At the same time as you eliminate the one packaged item, replace it with one in-season apple, cubed. If the item you eliminated goes in a main dish, substitute the apple there, either cooked or raw. Likewise for a side dish. Buy organic apples when possible since high pesticide loads are known to be found in conventional apples. When organics are not available, foreign apples may have less pesticides.     Packaged Good

3) At the end of the first week, second or third week, eliminate another packaged item, depending upon the success with step 1), following the same steps outlined in 1).

4) At the same time as you eliminate the second packaged item, replace it with the juice of a freshly squeezed lime. Personally, I do not buy organic limes because they are usually sprayed with beeswax. It is said that most of the pesticide is concentrated in the peel which we don’t usually eat.

5) Consider the apple and the lime juice as you eat it. Yummy, right?

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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition and habit change.

She has been studying how foods interacts with the body and mind. She says,

“Nutrition and the way we digest are very involved processes because each function has so many variables and we each can react in a different way to the same interaction. That’s why it is so difficult to come up with the one way to eat.

“I have shared some interesting ideas that I think are important. If they stimulate your desire to become more knowledgeable, I am happy.

“We each live our lives according to principles we choose based on habits we have formed and information we have gathered. It is my hope that one of the next times you eat, you will start making it a habit to be conscious of how the food benefits your overall health.”

Habits In Medical Care: Part One – What Certificate Is That?


By Diane Gold

M.D.s vs. D.O.s

When we first come out, we go to a doctor who specializes in kids. If we’re on public assistance, we go to whomever we get on an infrequent, if not inconstant, basis. We don’t always remember the experience, depending upon our memories. My son probably remembers his first encounter, whereas I have scanty recollections.

In the old days, when I was a child, we were taught that only doctors with the initials M.D. after their names were qualified. D.O.s, Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine, were thought to hold less qualification than the allopathic doctor, even though they went through the same training, sometimes at the same schools, definitely at the same teaching hospitals, for the same amount of time. Who promoted the inaccuracy? The habit of continuing to believe it, even though we know it is not true, requires exposure to the truth, research and, like any habit, continual maintenance.

FYI: in 2008. the AMA, American Medical Association, resolution 302a states,

“H-405.969 Definition of a Physician

“The AMA affirms that a physician is an individual who has received a ‘Doctor of Medicine’ or a ‘Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine’ degree or an equivalent degree following successful completion of a prescribed course of study from a school of medicine or osteopathic medicine. (CME Rep. 4-A-94; Reaffirmed by Sub. Res. 712, I-94; Reaffirmed and Modified: CME Rep. 2, A-04)”


Medical, Narrow DefinitionThrough the medical model to fix what ails, doctors are schooled in drug therapy. This is super fantastic since drugs are miraculous helpers. But, there are preventive disciplines that have little to do with pharmaceuticals; they teach us how to live and thrive without drugs.

A perfect example of the old way of thinking is that when I looked for an image under “medical,” most of them showed pills, syringes and drugs.

Awareness and training are changing on this point, but doctors, to date, usually do not study to be qualified to insert a nutrition and fitness regimen that prevents problems, minimizes disease initiation or flat out switches off a gene or inhibits the release of a chemical that causes negative conditions in our body (or mind).

Since there is no nutrition requirement in medical school, the latest and greatest discipline, integrative medicine, whose time is overdue, but we’ll take it, is looking to correct this failure. Unfortunately, doctors who provide nutritional and exercise physiology specialists along with their services, are few, are often not connected with an insurance plan and usually charge triple as to make the appointment cost prohibitive.

In time, hopefully medicine that looks at a person and not what money can be made by each industry separately while treating the person, will become the standard that should have always been. I’m grateful it exists now, but couldn’t we say it is the public relations way of saying,

Yoga Pregnant Women


“Oops, we, in medicine, made a mistake. We forgot to include nutrition, exercise, rest and peace of mind as crucial coursework in medical school,”

without admitting we made a mistake? And we will all know what is happening behind closed doors,



“Look what this means to us, fellow doctors? We can profit from our mistake. We can name a new discipline, Integrative Medicine, charge triple for it, get a percentage from each discipline provider including the gyms, and maybe no one will ever notice we left this stuff out of a standard office visit. But, at least, we will won’t have to admit that we left something out and can still maintain the label of the Almighty Doctor.”

Don’t get me wrong. Getting through medical school is a bear. I just watched my precious daughter graduate vet school after eight years of diligence with extra work many summers. Her resume is longer than mine, and she is just starting out. I am told the severity of study is similar to med school, or worse.

Much respect to everyone who does it.

THE OTHER MEDICINEOther Medicine Acupuncture

Because of the lack of completeness in the medical model, or due to a myriad of other reasons including personal choice, different philosophy, poor grades, limited funding or indecision early in life to go to medical school); there are lots of folks who go into other medical disciplines. Because most are not standardized into one association or even one association per discipline, there’s a lot of variation in what people learn and what each certification actually means.

Here’s a non-medical example: mp3s are the most common audio file format. There are 30 or so others offered that were manufacturer specific. If we didn’t use a player by our particular manufacturer, we couldn’t play our song. People spent extra time working on converting files or buying duplicate hardware, rather than listening to music. Until the people spoke: peer sharing was born.

Here’s a medical example: people have taught us to reach for a pill. If they had been taught nutrition and exercise education from early childhood, they would be in the habit of preventing whatever it is that is causing them dis-ease so that they would be looking for relief from sickness far less. They might also be familiar with the myriad of options to healing, other than the pill.


Doctor VisitOf course, there are loads of habits we have developed over the years. They are so ingrained, sometimes we can’t identify which are based on learned facts, on nebulous supposition, on familial traditions.

The method of change is still the same. Take one step in the direction of the new idea, and we are one step closer to change.

Below are action steps that are fun and educational. They are meant to stimulate your thinking so there are dynamic learning and flowing habits in your daily living.



1) If you had a child today, what would you teach this child about proper nutrition? Whatever it is, go learn this nutrition now, for yourself. You are worth it. Or so that you will be up-to-date for the sake of your child.

2) Do you have one food habit you have that goes against scientific evidence? Such as, do you eat a food that you know is bad for your arteries?

Here’s one: I could mention that combining proteins on a plant-based diet has been scientifically proven not necessary. Many books incorrectly talk about this outdated information that I, only recently, corrected in my own skill set.

There are many habits we have developed by believing in food manufacturer’s ads or antiquated principles or by just plain hedonism. Find one habit, research it and see whether you wish to change it.

Perfect Doctor3) If you defined the role of the perfect doctor, what expertise would your doctor have? Can you make a list of what is missing in your current doctor’s education? If you have the perfect doctor, please pass her on so we can know about her.

4) What do you do on a daily basis to relax? As with food nourishment, relaxing daily is a must. If you don’t have a daily relaxer, consider one. Want a suggestion? Just ask here.

5) If you could change one thing about medical care, what would it be? How can you contribute to making it happen?

Hope you enjoy going through these action steps.


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She has been around the medical profession as a music therapist and as a mentor in two very defined systems of personal development, kung fu and tai chi. She says,

“The more I learn, the more I see the subtleties of how we form habits. We get them when we are young, not by osmosis, but by repetition. We see an action, hear a philosophy, we act as if it’s ours; and then it is ours. This happens at any age the same way.

“I’m reminded of the Jim Carrey movie where his character, Truman, is raised in a town that is a TV Production Set. Every social encounter this character has had has been with an actor playing a role without his knowing it. His life is on TV 24/7 for other people’s entertainment. and his producer’s profit. When some of the actors on set let Truman overhear their acting commands, he learns his life is not real. With this new discovery, he changes his habits to escape and have a new life.

“When we learn new information where changing a habit would support us more efficiently, it might be time to change that habit.”

Change A Habit: How The Health Care System Has Taught Us Bad Habits


By Diane Gold

CHANGE A HABIT is an expression that can refer to making an adjustment to just about anything we do. It refers to habits that are both good for us and bad.

According to Chris Brogan, CEO of Human Business Works and New York Times Best-Selling Author,

“Habits come from repeated practice and some sense of reward (negative or positive) for the actions we take.”

When we think of habits, we often forget some of the great ones we have like drinking water, brushing our teeth, meditating, exercising, writing or shaking hands or bowing when we meet people. We don’t usually think about these because they complement our lives and preserve our health and self-esteem.

OverweightWhat we often think about when the word “habit” comes up are overindulgence in eating, drugs, drinking alcohol, gambling, etc. These habits are behaviors we have repeated so many times they now require a considerable effort to stop, different from what would happen should we find out that a good habit, tooth brushing, did harm to us.

Our behaviors of habit, whether supportive or not, have been learned on our own or with the help of our families. What I didn’t think of until I watched Escape Fire last night, a CNN documentary about the U.S. health care system crisis, is that many of our poor health habits have been taught to us through the misinformation given to us by the health care providers we trust with our lives.

Some of what we have been taught by these care givers is:

1) We need animal protein because plant-based protein is not a complete protein.

2) We need a portion of animal based foods in our diet.

3) The more tests and procedures, the better.

Doctor4) Going to our medical professional to get drugs is what we do when we are sick. Nutritional counseling is not part of going to the doctor. Why? In our current health care system, there is no reimbursement for our doctors’ talking about food.  What’s even more disturbing is that some 40% of medical schools only require 1 small course in nutrition. We have been trained that this is right, and we trusted this model until our rate of disease continues to soar.

5) Accepting a 5-15 minute medical visit is acceptable for full payment. This is all we’ve ever experienced because doctors and medical practitioners get paid by procedure and not for counseling us or how much health we achieve because of them. We are trained to accept this.

6) Living our lives without worry because new procedures, medications and technology will help us when we get sick has been a precept we have learned, especially since 1997, when the drug manufacturers in the United States got permission to broadcast prescription drug ads.

Stir Fried Vegetables And Brown RiceUnfortunately, we have lived our lives learning these habits. We have built habits around the idea of eating meat/poultry/fish/eggs/dairy for nutrition. The fact that there are a plethora of studies showing that these foods cause cardiovascular and chronic diseases means we will have to consider changing our habits and changing our knowledge to maintain health and, possibly, reverse sickness.

An example of reversal is Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn’s study on telomeres, protective protein caps at the ends of DNA strands that protect its deterioration. She discovered that they wear down from age and stress. With 30 minutes of exercise a day and a vegetarian diet, she was able to reverse this deterioration in her subjects. Wow!

Another MD in Escape Fire, Pamela Ross, comments,

“We have become a society where you drive up and get what you want; and you drive off.”

The habits we have developed of eating fast food is a direct result of the health care system’s misguidance through non-guidance so that we believed it was okay to indulge in greasy (oily and fried) food, sugary food, salty food, processed animal food.

Grandma's CookingThe sad thing is, for the most part, we are not aware, especially in the poorer communities, that the nutritionally calculated value of drive up food is reduced to almost nil because of the negative health side-effects from eating it. The other equally devastating issue is that those of us who know that fast food is bad don’t know what to eat as an alternative for the same shoestring budget expense. Fortunately, children are learning plant-based alternatives and ways to budget for healthy food through their elementary schools. And they are bringing this information home. Go early ed teachers!

Dean Ornish, MD and Head of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, in Escape Fire, mentions the habits we need for good health: diet (meaning nutritious food and water), exercise, love and support and a healthy lifestyle. He has a strong reaction to those in the “system” who consider acupuncture and meditation for pain as well as lifestyle changes for health radical intervention. He says,

“Radical? Compared to cutting a chest open? Give me a break.”

His comment is made so that we realize to think twice about those in the medical field who continue to support the “sickness model” we have built in the United States and are leery about accepting the “preventive & integrative model” of health care even though the evidence
for success is apparent.

Ornish started his work in 1977 to establish that lifestyle changes (meditation, yoga, plant-based diet, personal support) can stop and reverse coronary artery disease. In 1998, he published research showing that comprehensive lifestyle changes turned gene expression on and off in 3 months. Holy moly!


Personal Health EducationIf the habits we have collected regarding medicine, treatment, food, lifestyle choices have been based on misinformation, it’s time to take a look at the foundation on which they were built. This is going to mean changing some habits. It’s also going to involve re-educating ourselves as to which medical professionals know what. Of course, it’s difficult to change doctors. But, if the ones we have are not integrating the necessary health habits into the mix, it might be time. At least, we need to do our own research about some of the things in this article.

Why? Because we don’t want to wait until we get a disease to act. We want to act now so we don’t get a disease.

If we already have a disease, we might want to look at all options available to work with it. There are many choices between drug therapy and choosing to take no drugs. With more knowledge, we can become proficient at changing habits that do not support us. The aura around doctors, that they can do no wrong, is gone, even if we want it to be there. We must be more responsible for understanding our health. Hopefully, we can do this with the help of dedicated medical professionals, who will be open to our wanting to look at integrating lifestyle, nutrition, love and support and exercise.


1) Increase your amount of daily exercise by 5 minutes. If you do not exercise yet, start slowly with 5 minutes of dancing, tai chi, walking or stretching. You can scroll down to the 4th video on this page to start:

2) Add 1 new plant-based main dish to your weekly meal plan.

3) Call someone you know and talk about your excitement over your lifestyle changes. If you do not yet know anyone to call, you can go to and click some answers. Or your local librarian is a place to make contact.

4) Take 5 minutes a day for a week to research any habit you have that you would like to change.

5) Drink an extra glass of water daily for a week.

6) Continue, at least, 3 of these steps for a month. Enjoy!

New Medical Symbol


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Turning Habits Into Health, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert, dedicated mom, studying plant-based nutrition.

She believes we can learn much by taking responsibility for ourselves. She says,

“Although we have been led to believe that our total health is in the hands of our doctors, they have not been trained in nutrition, for the most part; and many discoveries that would impact the profit margin of the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals and new equipment who supply doctors with their wares, have been withheld or not covered in doctor’s continuing education.

“Further, to satisfy lobbyists in the meat and dairy industries, nutritional discoveries do not make it to mainstream media, usually. As a result, we have been eating incorrectly, using pharmaceuticals instead of lifestyle changes as our medicine and have not been reaching out for the support we deserve.

“Until now.

“From now on, let’s make an effort to eat well, exercise well, meditate well and support each other. Let’s consider pharmacological regimes second, if possible, and changes in lifestyle first. Let’s get the new knowledge we need to make important decisions about our own lives.

“Special note: I truly believe in the wonders of drug therapy and its magic, when appropriate. And congratulate the drug research that has gotten us where we are. I also congratulate all the pioneers who are taking the time to research and report on plant-based nutrition and mind/body modalities to make these part of our new and improved U.S. Health Care System.”

Plant-Based Nutrition And 3 Weight Loss Factors That Come Along, Too


By Diane Gold

RadishThere is much evidence that plant-based nutrition helps rid us of a variety of modern-day ailments. However, major “Western” food manufacturers downplay it. After all, what would happen to their food consumption if even 50% of the people who now eat meat/fish/fowl/dairy/eggs changed their ways?. What would manufacturers do if people in the United States stopped eating processed foods?

There are 3 factors that can make us healthy and affect our weight loss plan. They are relevant to every kind of food and every type of food plan. They are important.


We might think about mucus as toxins that we release when we are sick. But mucus is a substance produced to protect our membranes and is always present. Its overproduction is our body’s getting clogged from a variety of things: smoke, food, bacteria and dust.

Animal and dairy products are known to form excess mucus in our bodies because of their composition and the way it is absorbed into our body. Part of it, generally, is not useful to the body and turns into substance that turns into mucus.

Vegetables and fruits do not form mucus, except for sulphured fruits and gassed bananas. (Did you know that when bananas are brought to market, they are usually gas-ripened? That means they are picked green and gassed so that, by the time they come to market, they are yellow). This is why so many physicians realize the merits of the plant based diet and weight loss. These foods do not add excess bulk that makes the body work hard to digest it.

Additives, in general, cause excess mucus as a type of inflammation. This includes pesticides, which are prevalent in all fruits and veggies not so listed or home-grown. Although mucus is needed as a normal body secretion, too much mucus is not always visible and is often detected when we are already suffering from its effect.

Mucus forming foods are plaque forming foods. Over-production of plaque in our vessels causes clogging in the lungs and the intestines.

[True story:
One of the MDs in my health care world had a medical problem. What did he do to help himself? He went on a raw vegan diet and got rid of his medical issue.]


When choosing a food, think about how it would seem to digest in the body. If it is heavy and thick, chances are it is mucus forming. If it is light and it sways (I was thinking of lettuce in the breeze), it probably provides the roughage that the digestive system needs to smoothly process foods. Consider eating non-mucus forming foods exclusively.


Dietary fiber is that indigestible part of plant foods, including whole grains, seeds, nuts, fruits and veggies. So, when eating meat/fish/fowl/dairy/eggs, there is no fiber.

There are 2 main components in fiber: soluble fiber ferments into helpful colon gases. Insoluble fiber keeps our elimination of food waste regular. They both have to do with digestive absorption and gastrointestinal activity.


Weight Loss Fork


Keeping the body fresh with fiber is usually healthy for most people diets. When we eat non-plant-based foods, we often stop up our plumbing with non-fibrous foods. When we eat plant-based nutrition, our bodies eliminate food easily and frequently. This is partially due to the high fiber content in the food. This helps with weight loss. Consider fiber when choosing food.



Foods are labeled acid or alkaline for the effect they have on the body after ingestion. That’s why lemons and limes are considered alkaline-forming, since their properties result in the body’s becoming alkaline.

Acid-forming foods are: soda/energy drinks/coffee/alcohol, animal foods, soda, fried foods.

Alkaline foods are veggies, fruits, almonds, seeds, some whole grains and tofu.

Too acidic a body means the body has to work overtime to correct its pH level which should be around 7.5,  just like a swimming pool. This means the breathing rate would have to increase to remove carbonic acid which would exhale as CO2; kidneys would have to increase the acid in the urine and minerals would be leached out of the body, using up Calcium, Magnesium, Iodine, Vitamin K and Sodium to balance the pH.

How many times do we hear about Acid Reflux and all the drug products we can take to control it? Increasing the body’s alkalinity intake should be looked at first.

Soda Is AcidicLet’s look at soda, including diet-soda. The highest source of calories of any food in the United States is soda. It is an acid-forming food along with diet soda, which has no calories but is in the same acid category. Both regular and diet soda contain phosphoric acid, all the way over on the acid side of acid-forming foods.

To balance the pH, the body is forced to leach calcium, which hurts bones, but it also leaches iodine which is necessary for proper function of the thyroid gland. When the thyroid gland does not work properly, the body’s metabolism fails and often slows down. When the metabolism is slow, the body can be sluggish, leading to weight gain from lack of movement. This is the main reason that soda, even diet soda with its “0 calories,” causes weight gain.

StomachDid you know that saliva is alkaline and that if you chew more, you enable the digestive process? Many monks profess that we chew our food 50 times before swallowing. This will predigest the food and liquify it. It will provide a time for us to appreciate the food without rushing. Now, I know it will certainly combine well with alkaline saliva for body health.


When the body is too acidic and cannot correct itself by leaching minerals, urine acid, it produces fat as a buffer for the acid. This fat can deposit itself in many places to protect the body for the effects of its acidity. This can make the weight increase.


Alkaline FoodsFeel good, feel balanced. Consider eating plant-based nutrition for a proper pH level. Keep the body in the best position for losing weight, and learn which foods are alkaline and eat them.


The very nature of plant-based nutrition gives the natural weight loss property to these foods themselves. They are physically lighter. They have a high content of water which makes them easier to digest. This, in turn requires less stomach acid to break them down for absorption into the intestines and they provide bioflavonoids, of which there are over 800, for medicinal uses.

There is also the ethical factor. This means that, by eating a plant-based diet, we can feel more responsible for caring for the lives of animals. This has to feel good, on behalf of these animals, even for a short while.

The more we study, the more data we compile. We will do more reporting on this topic since it seems to be the more healthy way to eat, to save manufacturing resources as well as the temples which are our bodies and minds.


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Diane Gold, Founder of Warriors of Weight, Moms For Healthy Daughters, is a mentor in tai chi, kung fu and meditation, a music, fitness and stress expert and a dedicated mom.
She believes in the benefits of plant-based nutrition. She says,

“The body always feels better after eating greens, juicing veggies, ingesting plants. When I finish drinking fresh wheatgrass juice, I feel as strong as a truck. That must mean something biologically about the power of plants in the human body.

“There are 2 other important factors that go along with my relationship with plants. 1 is a personal philosophy to limit the amount of animal lives I use for my benefit. The other is that the processing of animals for food costs a great deal more than using non-processed (preferably non-pesticide sprayed) fruits and vegetables. So, the choice for plant-based nutrition helps the planet, the animals and the human body.”