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.

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

man-breast-cancer

(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.

World Health Day, April 7

At-World-health-dayWorld Health Day is celebrated yearly on April 7 by all countries that are involved with the World Health Organization.  The World Health Organization, also known as WHO, held the first world health general assembly in 1948.  It was at this meeting that it was decided to celebrate World Health Day on April 7.  World Health Day began being celebrated in 1950.

The intention of World Health Day is to draw specific attention to a different health issue each year.  Here is a listing of a few areas of health that have been spotlighted on World Health Day; 2013 Healthy Heart Beat, Healthy Blood Pressure, 2005 Make Every Mother and Child Count, 2004 Road Safety, 2001 Mental Health Stop Exclusion Learn to Care, 1997 Emerging infectious Diseases.  By being aware of the topic of World Health Day and looking into what WHO is trying to teach you may save yourself or someone else.

What can you do on April 7th?  Find out what the World Health Day topic is, do some research and see if it affects you, your family or your community.  Many people go years without taking proper care of themselves.  Use World Health Day to do a check list of where you and your family are standing with your health.  If you’re a woman, are you getting your mammograms done as you are supposed to?  If you’re a man, are you getting your prostate checked as you are supposed to?  It is probably safe to say that women do a lot better with their breasts then men do with their prostates.  Guys the whole thing takes less than minute, man up.

Yearly blood work should be done on everyone.  Diabetes is rapidly becoming a major health crisis.  Are you at risk?  Do you know if you know the factors that would make you at risk?

Inventory your diet.  Are you eating well?  Can you do better?  Can you afford not to do better?  No one needs to say again that obesity is a major issue in The United States.  World health Day is a great day to make some changes towards a healthier lifestyle for both you and your loved ones.

Eating healthy, proper care of your skin, eye exams, dental exams, driving with your seatbelt on and your cell phone off, exercise, and strong relationships all make for a healthy person.  A Happy World Health Day can also mean a happy you.

The post World Health Day, April 7 also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Fat-Shaming Billboard In England Featuring A Cartoon Alien Creates An Uproar

alien-billboard

(PCM) A billboard for the gym, Fit4Less, in England is creating an uproar, as people are taking offense and the company is being accused of fat-shaming. The billboard in question features a fit-looking cartoon alien standing next to a UFO with the text “They’re coming … and when they arrive they’ll take the FAT ones first”.

Many people are having a hard time finding the humor in the ad and are outraged claiming that it is just another form of bullying and it made them feel very self-conscious. A representative of Fit4Less claims that the billboard in question was only meant to be harmless humor and claim that they don’t take themselves too seriously. They said “There is such a thing as being overweight and healthy, not everyone has to be skinny.”

Either way the billboard is certainly stirring up controversy, however the company has no plans to have the sign removed. Do you think the billboard is a form of fat-shaming/bullying or just harmless tongue-in-cheek humor?

The post Fat-Shaming Billboard In England Featuring A Cartoon Alien Creates An Uproar also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

Rock Music Being Used To Maximize The Efficiency Of Cancer Drug Delivery

AC-DC

(PCM) Vibrations caused by rock music have been found to increase a drug’s therapeutic window by creating a Teflon-like coating over the micro particles used in drug delivery.

Researchers from the University of South Australia used AC/DC’s Thunderstruck to cause porous silicon micro particles to bounce in the air, which allowed for the entire structure to be coated with a plasma polymer overlay.

Senior research author Professor Nico Voelcker said completely coating a micro particle was difficult but essential in ensuring the optimal amount of a drug was delivered to the cancer cell.

“The micro particles are porous, basically they are like a sponge. You fill them up with a drug, but of course you want to prevent the drug from escaping, and that is why we create the coating,” he said

“Normally we would ignite a plasma onto the surface. The problem with doing that is you only form the coating on one side of the particle, the side that is exposed. But the side of the particle on the surface, the other side, is not going to get coated.”

“That is where we came up with the idea of using a loud speaker that we would play into the system. We would turn that loudspeaker to a song that it would vibrate and the particles would bounce up and down. The chaotic frequencies worked well and gave you a more homogenous coating.”

Researchers filled the micro particles with a chemotherapy drug called camptothecin and found that when it was coated using the rock vibrations there was a markedly slower release of the cytotoxic drug. This effect correlated positively with the plasma polymer coating times, ranging from two-fold up to more than 100-fold, revealing a significant time delay in cell death onset.

Professor Voelcker said although the technique had so far only been used on anti-cancer drugs were, it could potentially be used for other treatments.

“This is something that has not been done before, particularly not with plasma coatings,” he said. “We only tried this with a chemotherapy drug that we use for the treatment of cancer because you can visualise it so easily. We might end up using different types of drugs; we might use drugs that are anti-inflammatory or antibiotic. It was just one model application for us.”

“We have done some work with cells and now we will move on to the next stage of research.” Professor Voelcker said the use of the Australian rock band’s song Thunderstruck was intentional because he felt it was a perfect fit for the study because of its upbeat tempo and title. “Plasma is the fourth stage of matter, it is an ionised gas,” Prof Voelcker said.

“We used a cold plasma, but an example of a hot plasma would be the rays of thunder. We ended up using Thunderstruck because we liked how it linked thunder and plasma gas.” The proof of concept paper was co-authored by Dr Steven McInnes and Thomas Michl from the University of South Australia’s Future Industries Institute.

The article titled “Thunderstruck”: Plasma-Polymer-Coated Porous Silicon Microparticles As a Controlled Drug Delivery System was published in the American Chemistry Society.

South Australia’s capital Adelaide has three-long standing public universities, Flinders University, the University of Adelaide, and the University of South Australia each of which are consistently rated highly in the international higher education rankings.

The post Rock Music Being Used To Maximize The Efficiency Of Cancer Drug Delivery also appeared on PCM Lifestyle.

WordPress theme: Kippis 1.15