My Journey To Health, The Habits of Hobbits

ahobbitThe first question to answer is “What do the habits of hobbits have to do with getting to good health?”  The answer is simple.  Everything!

Those of you who read this column regularly know that I find great inspiration from fiction.  And there is much that can learned from hobbits if we consider a few facts, expand on them and use a bit of imagination.

What do we know about hobbits off the tops of our heads.  Well, they are a small people.  They enjoy six meals a day and they have very tough and hairy feet which allows them to go shoe-less.  We know they bake as bread is mentioned in The Hobbit and The Lord of The Rings.  Seed cake is also mentioned in The Hobbit as Bilbo’s home is invaded by dwarves and Bilbo wonders about the provisions in his larder.  We know they drink both wine and beer.   We know that they enjoy bacon eggs, apples, strawberries and cream and other simple food.  We know that Bilbo liked to walk.  He even had maps of the shire where he had marked his favorite places to stroll.  Bilbo even wrote a walking song.

So what can be inferred from the above facts.  The Hobbit society was agricultural in nature.  We know they kept chickens, pigs and cattle.  We know they grew apples and strawberries raspberries, lettuce, grapes and coffee beans at the very least.  We also know they grew tobacco but it seemed they used it responsibly.  They must have grown grain as there was bread and cake and you need hops to brew beer.

What can be pulled from these facts that can help with our health.  Let’s start with six meals a day.  Eating six times a day is a healthy habit to get into.  These meals should not be meals that are indulgent in fact I would bet indulgent meals of any kind were not a daily experience in The Shire.  The six meals were mostly rustic healthy whole foods.  Breakfast may have been Bacon and eggs, but second breakfast was more like a snack and may have been whole grain bread and butter and maybe some tea.  Eleveses may have been some cheese and fruit,as the hobbits by that time were more than likely in the fields working by then and would be carrying their food with them.

Lunch could have consisted of a sit-down meal or again something carried into the fields or pastures.  Whole grain breads maybe a little meat or a small meat pie.  We know Tolkien loved rural England and lunch was often pies in rural England one savory and one sweet.  So meat and vegetables in one and fruit in the other.

Tea would be taken at home in the latter part of the afternoon.  We know that hobbits liked 6 meals a day but Tolkien stipulated that with “when they could get them.”  Tea may have been tea, bread and butter, small cakes and maybe small sandwiches.  The richer the hobbit family the grander the tea.  Supper we know was a hearty meal that the whole household sat down together to eat.  We find this to be true when Frodo Sam Merry and Pippin all sit down at Farmer Maggot’s table.  We even know the menu, or at least some of it.  There was beer, bacon, mushrooms and other solid farm fair.  There must have been a bit of meat as the dogs “layed by the fire and gnawed rinds (cheese) and cracked bones.

I don’t think that meat played a large part in a hobbit diet.  First hobbits were small and bringing down a cow for beef would have taken a lot of work and many hobbits to do it.  Mutton and lamb?  Possibly but again these animals would be used for other purposes.  The hobbits would need wool for clothing and so killing the animals for food would take a way a continued source of making fabric so my guess is there was a small amount of meat per meal and none at all at some.  Maybe a four ounce portion an many dietitians suggest.

We know that there were vegetables and potatoes and turnips cabbages and carrots too.  We are also aware id the hobbits deep love for mushrooms and the films suggest tomatoes.  Bread was a staple food, as it is in almost all cultures, but not white bread.  These would have been whole grain rustic loaves, loaded with flavor and nutrition.  Apples, for sure, as well as strawberries a hobbits diet was bright and colorful.  Not completely vegetarian but much more so than what we consume with the large amounts of meat we make a habit of eating.

The hobbits exercised because in an agricultural society the exercise was built in to the day.  Planting, weeding and harvesting was all physical work as was milling grain into flour.  Tending sheep and cattle was also physical as the animals would be moved from place to place in order to graze.  Shepherds and herders had much to do.  And there is no doubt that all of the hobbit food was organic, could you imagine Sam using a pesticide?

We know that Bilbo liked to walk.  We also know that ponies were available but not many road and so a hobbits feet were the main source of transportation.  Also feeding ponies takes a lot and what animals hobbits had were probably used more for work that for puling a carriage.

So a hobbit life style was a healthy lifestyle.  A lifestyle that consisted of hard work whole foods and regular exercise.  This type of lifestyle is something we all should aspire to and actually adapt to the best of our ability.

As you know my goal right now is to become vegan.  To eliminate animal products all together and I am working toward that, but in the meantime, living like a hobbit seems a great beginning.  Now if only I could get Mrs. Maggot to invite me to dinner.

The post My Journey To Health, The Habits of Hobbits also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

My Journey To Health, Becoming Vegan

aveganIt has been a little over sixty days since I put My Journey To Health down for a while.  You might call it 60 days in prison, and it  was in a way.  I have been flipping around between emotional illness and physical illness during that time and my life was a mess.  Some days I barely got out of bed for one of or the other of those reasons.  The worst days were the ones I couldn’t get out of bed because of both of the reasons.  Now, however I am on the mend and ready to start again.  This however will be a battle that is totally new and I am excited to be taking you on the journey with me.

My psychologist has made the suggestion that I go vegan.  This is something I am easing into.  I figure by the middle of June, the change should be complete.  There is also food in my freezer that I do not wish to throw out when that is gone the change will have been made.

Becoming vegan means that you get all your nourishment from plants.  So vegetables fruits grains nuts beans are your whole diet.  This can be called Plant Power according to mu good friend Steve. A  Vegetarian, on the other hand is no meat but I believe dairy and eggs are allowed.  For a while I will be more vegetarian than vegan but the switch will happen eventually.

This is hard for me.  I like meat and to be honest I do not like green vegetables at all.  Broccoli literally makes me sick to my stomach.  So I will be going into grounds that I am very nervous about.  I believe I can do it, but it won’t be easy.

I guess a question that should be answered here is why am I doing this?  The answer is a bit complicated but here we go.  I think my psychologist believes that I would not only lose weight by following this kind of diet, but I may also rid my body of some of the poisons that processed food dumps into your body.  Eliminating those may help do a reset on some of my emotions.  Time and perseverance will tell.  Hanging with this will be the toughest part, especially if I smell bacon.

I need to confess here that I am a fast food junkie.  I did go with out sugar from the first of January until mid March but I did not go with out McDonald’s, Burger King, Arby’s or Boston Market.  Then there were Hungry Man Dinners and many other microwavable foods that was what I have been used to eating since my mom passed away.

I had been living with my folks for awhile as due to some physical problems and the emotional issues I cannot work.  Mom was a great cook and, not to be vain, I inherited that from her.  When she died it was like all the joy of cooking disappeared.  I have been upstairs, I have an apartment in the basement, a total of three times to use the kitchen in the last three years.

Exercise is the next hurdle to cross.  According to my psychiatrist I have boobitrapped myself when it comes to exercise.  After even a small amount of exercise I don’t feel good about what I have accomplished, in fact I feel extremely depressed and hopeless.  This is coming from the bad feelings I have about myself.  Those feelings are so intense that my brain actually won’t let me feel good about me.  Exercise at this point fuels my low self esteem instead of helping it.  Now what can be done about that?  Nothing!  I have to exercise anyway and allow my brain to adjust.  This will not be easy.

I have a lot more to say but for now this is enough.  It’s good to be back with you all and I hope you will follow me on my journey.  Next up is being healthy like a Hobbit.

The post My Journey To Health, Becoming Vegan also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Calvin Klein Under Fire For Provocative New Ad Campaign

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(PCM) Clothing designer Calvin Klein has never been one to shy away from controversy when putting together advertising campaigns for the brand, however many feel that their newest campaign has taken things a step too far and are almost pornographic in nature.

We have to admit that the ad does give off a creepy vibe, as it features 23-year old model Kiara Kristin providing the camera with a full up-skirt shot with the caption “I flash my #calvins”. Almost instantaneous the ad began receiving a ton of backlash via social media with some even accusing the brand of promoting pedophilia.

Many just found the ad to be gross and in poor taste as they feel it shows that this kind of behavior is acceptable for young women. Kylie Jenner is another model who has recently been featured in Calvin Klein ads of a provocative nature as she is seen with her fists shoved down the front of a pair of Calvin Klein underwear and another features her in an undershirt gripping a blood orange that looks creepily similar to a woman’s vagina.

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There are those that are defending the ad campaign claiming that women are often the victims of up-skirt shots without their knowledge or permission and that Kristin knowing posed for the image and was paid for the campaign. Either way it is has sparked up a huge debate online with people weighing with their opinions on both sides.

What do you think of Calvin Klein’s ad campaign?  Creepy or creative?

The post Calvin Klein Under Fire For Provocative New Ad Campaign also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

The Somewhat Suprising Story Behind Take Your Children To Work Day

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(PCM) Take Your Children To Work Day occurs on the third Thursday of April each year and has become an actual holiday that is recognized by the U.S. government. Children are legally allowed to miss school on this day to accompany their parents to work and get a true taste of just what it means to be an adult and part of the daily grind each and every day. However, did you know that initially the day was recognized only as Take Your Daughter To Work Day?

The holiday initially began as a way to show young women that they could have a career and urge them to explore future career options. It was founded by Gloria Steinem and the Ms. Foundation for Women. There was later some backlash about the holiday not being gender inclusive, so back in 2003 it was changed to Take Our Daughters and Sons To Work Day or Take Your Children To Work Day to be more inclusive.

It is worth noting that when the very first Take Your Daughter To Work Day occurred back in 1993, it was alarming for the founders to see that the visibility of young women in the workforce painted a stark portrait of the invisibility of adult women in the workforce. There have since been some major changes and now women make up more than fifty percent of the current workforce in the country.

Now the main goal of the holiday is to show all children what it is like to work in various fields other than the ones that they learn about in school, and get an excused day off as well!

The post The Somewhat Suprising Story Behind Take Your Children To Work Day also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Charity Finds A Unique Way To Battle Censors For Breast Self-Exam Video

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(PCM) The anti-breast cancer charity MACMA has found quite a unique way to battle internet censors when posting a video demonstrating the proper way to conduct a breast self-exam. Many tutorial videos for breast self-exams are blocked or pulled down from the internet due to complaints about indecency, as most social networking sites have policies against featuring images of topless women.

After tiring of having their videos removed, MACMA came up with a new approach. They decided to use a male model to create their demonstration video, as apparently male breasts are really not all that different. Way to stick it to the internet censors! Check out their creative video below:

The post Charity Finds A Unique Way To Battle Censors For Breast Self-Exam Video also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

The ‘Trust Fall Challenge’ Is Yet Another Ridiculous Teen Internet Trend

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(PCM) It appears that these days teens are finding more and more ways to injure themselves with these ridiculous internet challenges that are trending all over social media. The latest is the #TrustFallChallenge.

We are sure that over the years you are aware of what exactly defines a ‘trust fall’ but just in case, a ‘trust fall’, as defined by Wikipedia, is a purported trust-building game often conducted as a group exercise in which a person deliberately allows themselves to fall, relying on the other members of the group (spotters) to catch the person.

The teens who have been partaking in the trending #TrustFallChallenge via social media have put their own, rather dangerous, spin on the ‘trust fall’ and instead of pairing themselves up with a willing partner to catch them as they fall, they are instead just running up and falling (or rather throwing themselves) on unsuspecting people and documenting the results.

Here are few silly examples:

The post The ‘Trust Fall Challenge’ Is Yet Another Ridiculous Teen Internet Trend also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

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