Health Span vs. Life Span

I have two friends who are both about the same age, around their mid sixties. One friend lives a healthy, active and vibrant life. The other friend passed away this week from “causes associated with aging;” he had type 2 diabetes, heart disease, and cancer. It was the cancer (or more accurately the cancer treatment) that finally got him. Health experts claim that age is the “biggest risk factor” for these degenerative diseases such as stroke, heart disease and diabetes. But there is enough evidence to suggest that it may be a big mistake to equate “age” with the risk of these diseases.

The degenerative diseases typically associated with aging have little to do with our chronological “age.” If they did, then nearly everyone over the age of 85 would have Alzheimer’s or cancer or heart disease or macular degeneration. But not everyone does. In fact, these diseases used to be very rare – even at an advanced age.

If we want to be honest with ourselves, we need to stop blaming these diseases on aging and start placing the blame where it belongs. Degenerative diseases are simply the long-term compounded effects of unhealthy choices that became everyday habits. These diseases don’t just click on at a certain age. They are the consequences of a lifetime of poor nutrition and toxic overload.

Of course everyone eventually dies of something. It’s been said that, “no matter what, none of us are getting out of this life alive.” So the goal is not to live for ever as mortals. The goal is to enjoy healthful longevity. There is a very important difference between your lifespan (how long you live) and your healthspan (how long you remain healthy and vital). About 25 years ago I had the opportunity to visit the Cooper Clinic in Dallas, Texas, which is known throughout the world for its expertise in preventive medicine. Here is where I first learned about “functional fitness.” (Dr. Kenneth Cooper is known as the “father of aerobics.”) Although we may not be able to extend the number of years we’re going to live to far beyond a certain point, we do have some control on how physically active we can be all the way up until the end of our lives. The unhealthy or healthy choices we make throughout our lives can determine whether we’ll be bed ridden and on medications and oxygen in our later years or enjoying Disneyland with our children, grandchildren and great grandchildren.

When I learned this, I did what I call “future pacing.” I imagined myself in my 60s, 70s and 80s and asked myself “If I was suffering from the effects of poor health due to unhealthy choices would I have regrets and wish that I had made healthier lifestyle choices when I was younger?” The answer was, of course, “yes.” Just as we’re all going to die, we’re all going to age. We’re born, we age, we die. When you accept this reality, then you can live your life on purpose and with intention. Unfortunately most people live in denial of this reality and live their lives on “accident.”

So it’s not enough to just live a long time. In fact, a long unhealthy life can be, and is for many, worse than death. As we hit our “AARP eligibility age” (50) we want to maintain the benefits of youth – joints that work without pain, a mind that is sharp, energy to last all day, a strong immune system and skin that is supple and smooth – well into our later years. The great news is that you can have all of that and more.

Because living a healthy and vibrant life well into my later years has been a desire of mine, I’ve brought education and people into my life “on purpose” that could teach me the principles of health. It’s a tremendous privilege to now be working with the team at PlantPure Foods to bring the message of health to the world. Nutritional researchers have studied the factors that cause our bodies to break down. These researchers have found – actually proven – that there are five conditions involved in just about every form of degenerative disease. So here’s where accountability and personal responsibility come in as to what state of health we’ll be experiencing in our later years: Control these five conditions and you can significantly diminish your risk of the diseases typically associated with “aging.”

The five conditions associated with aging:

  • Inflammation – Inflammation in your body is a process where your defenses are constantly responding to damage. Chronic inflammation is the foundation of most degenerative diseases and physical aging.
  • Glycation – Glycation is where excess sugar in the diet causes the blood to thicken. The blood then has a hard time circulating through the small blood vessels, damaging the integrity of tissues and organs. Glycation also destroys collagen, leading to wrinkles. (I have to admit that this is a challenge with me because I have a sugar addiction and have to really watch myself with this.)
  • Oxidation – Oxidation in your body is when what is referred to as “free radicals” attacking your cells. This is perfectly natural. Oxidation can be controlled by eating healthy fats, a low-glycemic diet and antioxidant-rich foods. When it is not controlled, it can damage DNA, cause cells to mutate and it ages the body from the inside out.
  • Toxification – Toxification is when your body’s “filters” (such as your lungs, kidneys, liver and immune system) become overburdened due to poor nutrition and toxic overload. Although some of these toxins come from external sources that may be outside of our control, sadly most toxins put into our bodies are done so knowingly.
  • Depletion – Depletion is the steady and gradual draining of vital nutrients from our body. The process used to take longer, but today with fast-foods and processed foods devoid of nutrients vital to our bodies, depletion is happening at a faster pace. Most obese people are malnourished – overfed but undernourished. Our bodies crave nourishment, and so we feed our bodies more food in an attempt to get more nourishment. It’s no wonder America’s biggest health crisis is obesity. The typical American diet is high-fat processed foods devoid of nutrition that we keep eating more and more of because we’re starving for vital nutrients that have been depleted from our body.

So you can see now why virtually every single disease and symptom typically associated with “aging” involves at least one (and usually all) of these conditions. Poor health, low energy, aches and pains, muscle loss, and loose, wrinkled skin are NOT unavoidable aspects of getting older.

Simply put, “aging” is what happens when your body breaks down faster than it repairs itself. Youth is when your body repairs faster than it breaks down. The key to maintaining your youthful looks and energy and vibrant health is to provide your body with the raw materials it needs to rebuild and repair. At the same time, reduce or eliminate those elements that cause you to break down.

By eating nutrient-dense foods – ideally a plant-based diet – and exercising regularly, you can avoid degenerative disease and the outward signs of aging… or at least put them off for a long, long time. It sounded worth it 25 years ago and sounds even better today. I feel very fortunate to still enjoy a healthy an active lifestyle with no aches or pains as I turn 52 this month.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

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The 7 Practices of a Mindful Eater

One of the things I’m currently working on is eating slower and chewing my food more thoroughly. Too often I approach eating as another thing on my list that I need to get done and checked off as quickly as I can. I recently came across and article about Nhat Hanh, an expatriate Vietnamese monk and Buddhist Zen Master who has spent his life advocating nonviolence, setting up relief centers for refugees, ministering to the needy, establishing monastic centers, and authoring more than two dozen books on what he calls “mindful living.”

Nhat Hanh insists that most of us in the West live mindlessly. We spend our days on autopilot, reminiscing about the past or, more often, endlessly planning for the future, even if that’s only ten minutes from now. By doing this, we miss our appointment with life. Because the only time we can be fully alive is in the present moment.

To change, we need only recognize that it is always now – and increase our awareness of what is going on within and around us. Sounds simple enough. But few can actually do it. Instead, we live in a near-constant state of distraction, even when we sit down to eat. (And I have to admit that for many meals I don’t even bother to sit.)

Nhat Hanh says we can change this and turn mealtime into an art, a spiritual discipline, simply by following the Seven Practices of a Mindful Eater:

1. Honor the food. Start by unplugging all your daily distractions. Turn off the TV, your cellphone, and the laptop. Then take a moment to consider that everything you are about to consume – even the contents of your salad bowl – was recently alive and is about to provide your sustenance. Be grateful, too, for the many people who made this meal possible: the farmer who grew and harvested the food, the trucker who transported it, the shopkeeper who offered it, and your spouse or other individuals who may have worked hard to prepare it.

2. Engage all your senses. Before eating, make a practice of pausing. Notice the color, the smell and the texture of the food. With your first bite, take an extra moment to savor each nuance.

3. Serve modest portions. Nhat Hanh recommends using a small dinner plate no larger than nine inches across. Modest portions are not only healthier, they are less wasteful and a small step toward a more responsible use of the planet’s resources. It’s hard to believe, but over 16,000 children in the developing world still die every day from starvation, malnutrition or hunger-related illnesses.

4. Savor small bites. This allows you to better enjoy the taste of the meal. It also improves digestion since the process begins with enzymes in your mouth breaking down the food.

5. Eat slowly. This will make you feel pleasantly satisfied sooner and help you avoid overeating. There is a big difference between feeling you’ve had about enough and swearing you can’t eat another morsel. Set your fork down between bites. (Few people do this, I’ve noticed. Try it in a restaurant and more often than not your server will try to whisk your plate away.)

6. Eat regular meals. Skip a meal and you’re more likely to yield to fast-food restaurants and vending machines. Planning and sticking to regular meals – at least as much as your schedule allows – will enable you to eat more nutritious food, enjoy more satisfying company and settle your body into a consistent rhythm.

7. Eat a plant-based diet. Buddhists like Thich Nhat Hanh claim this isn’t just healthier, it is also easier on the environment and more compassionate toward animals. To the extent you do eat meat, studies show it’s better to favor fish and poultry. To learn more about the benefits of eating a plant-based diet, visit PlantPure Foods.

I’ve discovered that eating this way not makes my meals more enjoyable, but that I eat less too (helping me on controlling my portions).  And that’s a good thing.  Scientific studies show that caloric restriction is an important source of longevity.

Eating mindfully allows you to appreciate your food and its connection to the rest of the world. It makes you look and feel better. And it helps you live longer, too. So I’m going to work on implementing this Zen Master’s guidelines to see if you can make them second nature.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

Animal, Vegetable, Miracle — The Book

This is the title of a book by Barbara Kingsolver that I recently started reading. It’s the true story of how Barbara’s family decided to move from their home in Tuscon AZ to a farm her husband owned and rented out in southern Appalachia. This journey for the family was to live a back-to-basics life, so they decided to see if they could live off  just the food that they produced on their small farm. I really like what they did. I’m a vegetarian so I’d have to do it without the chickens and the pigs. But the idea of growing my own organic vegetables has taken hold of me. I haven’t finished the book, but here’s a paragraph from the first chapter that pretty much sums up why I think everyone should read this book:

“We’re a nation with an eating disorder, and we know it. The multiple maladies caused by bad eating are taking a dire toll on our health–most tragically for our kids, who are predicted to be the country’s first generation to have shorter life expectancy than their parents. That alone is a stunning enough fact to give us pause. So is a government policy that advises us to eat more fruits and vegetables, while doling out subsidies NOT to fruit and vegetable farmers, but to commodity crops destined to become soda pop and cheap burgers. The Farm Bill, as of this writing, could aptly be called the Farm Kill, both for its effects on small farmers and for what it does to us, the consumers who are financing it. The Green Revolution of the 1970s promised that industrial agriculture would make food cheaper and available to more people. Instead, it has helped more of us become less healthy.”

I have a log home business (more a hobby) in central Utah (Sanpete County). On a 3/4 acre parcel I have a small show home/office. The back 1/2 acre is perfect for a mini-farm and it has water shares for irrigating that came with the property when I bought it. Sanpete County was once known as the bread basket of Utah so it’s a great location to have a little vegetable farm. From my research I’ve come across three popular approaches to growing your own vegetables:

Mini Farming: www.markhamfarm.com

Biointensive Farming: www.johnjeavons.info

Square Foot Gardening: www.squarefootgardening.com

What I’m thinking of doing is the Mini Farming or Biointensive Farming on my 1/2 acre plot and square foot gardening in my backyard. I don’t know what the future holds, but I’ve been a student of self-reliance most of my life. I’ve learned and successfully applied the principles of financial self-reliance. I’ve learned and successfully applied the principles of emotional self-reliance. I’m learning and successfully applying the principles of personal health self-reliance. Now, I’m on a quest to learn and successfully apply the principles of personal and family sustenance self-reliance. I’m pretty excited about this journey. I’ll keep you updated.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

“Eating Right: Eight Principles of Food and Health”

Right now, at PlantPure Foods (www.plantpurefoods.com) you can get a free report, “Eating Right: Eight Principles of Food and Health.” This report was written by Dr. T. Colin Campbell. It’s an excerpt from his book, The China Study, that gives you a quick guideline for eating a healthy diet.

Nelson Campbell, son of T. Colin Campbell,  is in town this week for meetings regarding the launch of PlantPure Foods and to do some videotaping. We’re currently developing content on health and wellness that will be made available on PlantPure Health, the education companion website to PlantPure Foods. The current PlantPure Foods website is the beta site. The food was ready to ship and we had so many people wanting to know how to get it that we launched with the beta site while the much nicer looking website is still in development. So don’t let the appearance of the current site keep you from enjoying delicious restaurant-quality pasta entrees.

My wife is out of town so I’ll be serving up several PlantPure Foods meals this week. My son, who is 21 years old, recently made the decision to switch to a plant-based diet. Now it’s 4 vegetarians and 2 omnivores in the family. The good news is that everyone in the family, including the omnivores, like the new PlantPure Foods pasta meals. My son works out of state during the summers, so he’s planning on making the PlantPure Foods his main dinner meal so he doesn’t have to shop and prepare vegetarian meals or slip into the trap of buying unhealthy, fast, processed, foods. We’ll soon have an auto-ship feature where he can decide which meals he wants sent to him on a monthly basis and not have to worry about what’s for dinner.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

PlantPure Foods is launched

This is a big week for me… one I’ve been looking forward to for some time now. Meals can be a challenge when you’re a vegetarian or vegan… and especially the dinner meal when not everyone in the family is vegetarian. In my family we have three vegetarians (me, my oldest daughter and my middle daughter) and four omnivores (my wife, my son, my youngest daughter and my son-in-law). My wife does a good job of making sure there is something for the vegetarians, such as a salad, steamed vegetables, potatoes or a pasta dish. The challenge has been that too often these “vegetarian” dishes contain too much fat and/or too much starch. Many vegetarians are more “carbotarians” than plant-based diets.

The PlantPure Foods is answer to my wife’s challenge of what she can prepare for her vegetarian family members and an answer to my challenge of what can I eat that is plant-based, tastes great, healthy and low fat. To learn more, go to PlantPureFoods.com

Here’s a description of each of the six entrees:

Country Style Tomato Sauce over Rotini. Organic whole-grain rotini pasta with tomato sauce with a mix of vegetables, onions, minced garlic, basil, oregano and flavored with non-dairy parmesan cheese and other natural seasonings.

Garden Fresh Pasta Primavera. Organic whole-grain penne pasta with a non-dairy sour cream flavored sauce and medley of garden vegetables along with non-dairy parmesan flavor, minced garlic, onion powder, basil, garlic powder and other natural seasonings.

Lemmon Tarragon Rotini. Organic whole-grain rotini pasta with a tarragon herb sauce with a touch of lemon, non-dairy sour cream flavor, non-dairy creamy flavor, onions, a hint of natural smoke flavor and other natural seasonings.

Portabella Mushroom Stroganoff. Organic whole-grain pasta with portabella mushrooms in a non-dairy sour cream flavor sauce, along with a special blend of onions, tomato powder, porcini mushroom powder, onion powder, minced garlic, thyme and other natural seasonings.

Southwestern Cheesy Chili Mac. Organic whole-grain macaroni pasta in a non-dairy cheddar cheese flavor sauce with black beans, pinto beans, red beans, tomato flakes, onion peppers, cilantro, cumin seed, non-dairy parmesan cheese flavor, tomato powder, chili powder, red pepper powder, and other natural seasonings.

Penne Tetrazzini. Organic whole-grain penne pasta in a non-dairy cream and parmesan cheese-flavor sauce with the perfect blend of peas, mushrooms, onions, garlic and other herbs and spices, along with a hint of natural smoke flavoring.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

Personal Responsibility for Your Health

Personal Responsibility is #2 on my list of “10 Prosperity Ps” I used to have it as #1 on the list, but I moved “Perception” (being aware) to that spot because I came realize that until someone is at least of aware of what’s going on in his/her own life and in the world around them, it’s darn near impossible to implement any personal growth principles into your life. So once you become aware that you have areas in your life that you can improve in, then comes Personal Responsibility to start working on yourself.

At the end of this post is a list of all 10. But for now I want to focus on just Personal Responsibility. The issue of Personal Responsibility is what is driving politics and policies today. One philosophy is to have everyone put their resources into a central depository and let a few people in charge decide, through laws, how these resources are distributed. I call this the “Mediocrity for All” philosophy. The other philosophy is for everyone to have the opportunity to achieve what ever level accomplishment they desire in life. If someone wants to work hard in school, go to college, choose to continue educating and training themselves instead of recreating and watching TV, work two jobs to save money instead of going into debt to “buy” image with depreciating assets that lose value, and start a business on the side… well that person has taken on a lot of Personal Responsibility to become financially self-reliant and will accomplish much in life — way beyond what the “Mediocrity for All” program would allow. And the person who chooses to goof off through high school, hang with the guys/girls, recreate as much as possible, watch TV and play video games as much as possible and work at a job where not much is expected so not much is paid? Yes, this person will not accomplish much in life, and will fall below the “Mediocrity for All” level.

It’s my observation that this second example is where many people in this country would like to be and are moving towards — “the easy life.” And this is why the “Mediocrity for All” program sounds appealing to enough people that political candidates can run on it as their platform and get elected. “Hey, if that’s what the people of this country want, then let’s give it to them” is the justification for the actions and behavior of many who are trying to make policy changes and new laws that are in opposition of the U. S. Constitution.

I did not grow up in wealth. For most of my childhood my brother and I were raised by a single mom who worked as a secretary at a Community College during the day and attended school at night to increase her pay grade. I remember the stress that Christmas and buying back-to-school clothes brought into our home.   I remember choices such as “do I pay rent, pay utilities, buy food, buy clothes, or buy Christmas gifts this month because I can’t do them all?” Back then the “Mediocrity for All” program would have provided been a better quality of life for my mother and her two boys. But she would not have taken it. She wanted better, and she wanted better for her sons. She was willing to work for a better than “mediocre” life and she instilled that drive and desire into me.

Since age 11, I  have been a student of the principles of emotional (spiritual) self-reliance and financial self-reliance. I had a defining moment when I was 11 that got me interested in reading the bible and listening to a late night Christian broadcast on a small transistor radio (“Unshackled” from Pacific Garden Missions) every night in bed. These were stories of hope, that helped to give me hope. I became a student of people who started with nothing and accomplished great things in life. By applying these principles in my I have been able rise above mediocrity, as has my brother and my mother. (My mother enjoys a wonderful and abundant life in San Diego.)

It wasn’t until later in life, early thirties, that I started thinking about “physical self-reliance” and taking Personal Responsibility for my health. I remember hearing things like “health is more important than wealth” and “a sick wealthy person would give up all of his wealth to get his health back” while I was working on the financial self-reliance but didn’t pay too much attention to it until I started getting visibly out of shape. So I started reading and studying things related to health — particularly the links between exercise, diet and disease. I found enough evidence then that supported the benefits of a vegetarian diet. Today, it’s more specifically a “plant-based” diet which has been influenced from reading The China Study and having the privilege to spend some time with its author, T. Colin Campbell.

About 8 years ago I was diagnosed with cancer. It was the same cancer that Lance Armstrong had, except that my cancer didn’t show any evidence of spreading. Now that’s not unusual when diagnosed early in young men. However, I was not so young when it was diagnosed. And, it’s typically a “young man’s” cancer. To have had this tumor for as many years as I did, “statistically” according to the cancer “specialists” it should have spread. These doctors were so convinced that it had spread but that it wasn’t showing up “yet” in the markers, X-rays and CT scans that they recommended treating me as if it had spread. I was aware of the negative effects that radiation and chemotherapy have on our bodies and I wanted nothing to do with either of those treatments… especially if they were going to be “preventive” without any evidence that there was any cancer in my abdomen, lungs or brain.

I have to admit that I almost gave in when the doctors had my wife in tears telling her that I was putting my life at risk, as well as the welfare of my family, if I didn’t agree to the treatment. But something inside kept telling me “don’t do it.” Here I was going against the recommendation of very smart and very well-intentioned doctors. Thank goodness for the Internet. I did my own research and found that with patients with this type of cancer who show no signs of it spreading a doctor had developed an “observation” treatment. This entailed taking a blood test, chest X-ray and CT Scan every three months for 5 years. If cancer shows up during one of the 3 month check ups, then to start radiation or chemotherapy treatments. Since this treatment was designed by a doctor who had credibility in this area, my doctors agreed to it if I agreed to the full 5 years of tests. Long story short, on my last check up after 5 years the oncologist said to me “No signs of cancer after 5 years of testing, so it looks like you made the right choice.” Thanks doctor.

But that’s not why I’m sharing this story with you. My main reason for sharing this story is because of what I learned later.  A nutritionist who had written books on the link between diet and disease had heard my story from a friend so she got my phone number and called me. She told me that she had heard my story and also heard that I was a vegetarian. She then asked when I had switched to a vegetarian diet. When I told her that it was in my early thirties she said that decision at that time in my life probably saved my life. She knew that the type of cancer I had was a young man’s cancer. She believed that the cancer probably started before I switched to a vegetarian diet and when I cut off the supply of animal protein to the cancer it stopped growing. She said that I probably could have kept the tumor in my body and never had a problem with the cancer spreading as long as I continued on a non-meat diet, starving the cancer of the protein it needed to grow. Consistent with what my other doctors thought, I most likely had that tumor for more than 10 years before I had it removed. I do remember having the symptoms of that tumor that long but it didn’t really effect me enough to do something about it. It wasn’t until I read and interview of Lance Armstrong where he described the early symptoms and wished he’d gone in earlier that I recognized that I had those same early symptoms and thought I should get it checked out.

You can see why I strongly believe in Personal Responsibility for your health. We have a health care crisis in America today because we have a health crisis. This crisis is not going to be solved by politicians in Washington trying to pass a health care plan. It can only be solved by individuals taking Personal Responsibility for his or her’s own health. The solution is really this simple: stop eating refined processed foods, and eat less (better yet no) animal protein and eat more whole plant-based foods and exercise more. The health crisis will be solved as well as the health care crisis.

Here’s my 10 Prosperity Ps:

1. Perception (“Being Aware”)

2. Personal Responsibility

3. Purpose

4. Plan

5. Preparation

6. Proper Action

7. Persistence

8. Patience

9. Perspective

10. Prayer

So how am I doing? My blood pressure is back to normal and I weigh 189 lbs. I’m not sure how I weighed 159 lbs because I don’t look 30 lbs heavier. I’m wondering if it has something to do with my working out on an institutional quality Total Gym for the past two years. I have been building muscle, which does weighs more than fat. I’ve added daily running back to my workout routine so we’ll see where this takes me.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

Note to self: Every time I come on to make a post I tell myself that I really need to carve out some time and amp up the appearance and function of this blog. I know how to do that, I just need to schedule it in.

Diet and Disease

I edited some video clips of T. Colin Campbell from a presentation he recently did. It’s amazing how much evidence there is out there that links our diets to disease… especially the big two — cancer and heart disease. Studies have shown time and time again that if you reduce (better yet eliminate) animal protein in your diet your chances of having cancer and heart disease are greatly reduced. You can even reduce and reverse cancer growth and heart disease with a plant-based diet.

I had a physical last month and my blood pressure was 138/90. Normal is under 120/under 80. The doctor told me that if I were his patient he would put me on blood pressure medication. This came as a shock to me because I have always had healthy blood pressure. I avoid prescription drugs (actually all drugs) and vaccines and choose to use proper nutrition, exercise, water, fresh air and sunshine as my medicine. I took this as a wake-up call and started back on my exercise routine of running on an indoor track 5 days a week. And now, a month later, my blood pressure is 117/81 — without medication. I’ve also lost about 4 lbs as well. I’m trying Dr. Sears PACE exercise program of exertion (sprint a lap) and recover (walk a lap). Just jogging at a pace of 11 minute miles I can go a long time. Now, with 5 sets of sprinting/walking I’m worked out good in 25 minutes.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

Plant-Based Diet

About 20 years ago I decided to become vegetarian. Back then it was much harder to eliminate meat from your diet than it is today. Still, most vegetarians today are really “carbotarians,” eating high-carb and processed foods. I found myself falling into that category more often than I would like to admit.

This is one of the reasons that Dr. T. Colin Campbell, author of The China Study, likes to use the term “plant-based” diet. You can technically be a vegetarian, or even a vegan, and not be eating healthy. But with the challenges of shopping for fresh organic fruits and vegetables and preparing tasty and hearty meals in today’s busy world, the convenience of processed quick-fix meals makes it too easy to fall back on too often. I know that still happens at my home.

That’s why I’m excited to be helping Campbell Health and Food for Health in their joint-venture to bring healthy, delicious, easy-to-prepare and affordable entrees to people like me who are looking for a healthy alternative.

The Plant Pure Foods line will start with six entrees: Creamy Lemon Tarragon Rotini, Creamy Primavera Penne, Southwestern Chili Mac, Creamy Mushroom Penne, Classic Tomato Rotini, and Portobello Mushroom Stroganoff . 

They are all vegan, meaning no dairy or eggs in the ingredients, and nearly 100% organic. Preparation is as easy as boiling the whole-grain pasta while heating up the sauce mix and then mixing the sauce with pasta.

Another advantage to this quick preparation process is that it gets us away from using the convenience of the microwave oven. Even knowing better, I am guilty of taking a reasonably healthy meal of vegetables and killing its nutritional value by zapping it in the microwave.

 We’re looking forward to bringing these six Plant Pure Foods entrees to the public on February 15th. I’ll keep you posted.

One of the challenges I have in losing weight is that I have a muscular body. It’s always been easy for me to build muscle quickly. When I was in high school I played the position of free safety on the football team. And although much smaller and lighter than the linemen, I could squat almost as much weight as these much bigger guys. So when I work out, I do see a decrease in my fat, but I also have an increase in muscles as well. Thus my weight doesn’t decrease quickly. So here’s where I am after three weeks back on the track and reduced portions: 192.4 lbs (2 lb loss) and blood pressure 124/81. I’m making steady progress in the right direction both areas.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

Dr. T. Colin Campbell

I had the privilege of spending two days last week with Dr. Campbell (author of The China Study) and his son Nelson, CEO of Campbell Health. I’m working with Nelson on his initiative to launch a plant-based food line, Plant Pure Foods, that is healthy, delicious, easy to prepare and affordable. The web site and ability to order food is scheduled to go live mid February at www.plantpurefoods.com

Dr. Campbell came out to do some videotaping for a video that will be an overview of his book, The China Study, and be made available for viewing on Plant Pure Foods in its educational resource section of the web site. He is a sincere, gracious, humble and extremely brilliant man. Dr. Campbell is deeply concerned about the health and wellness of everyone and wants to share his message of achieving optimal health through choosing to eat nutrient rich whole foods.

Here’s just a few things that Dr. Campbell talked about:

Protein is an essential nutrient – but the modern western diet contains too much animal protein. Too much animal protein is causing serious health problems. Casein, the main protein in cow’s milk is the most relevent carcinogen ever identified. Cancer is a function of nutrition, not a function of genes. Cancer is not a genetic disorder, it’s a lifestyle disorder. Animal protein increases LDL cholesterol levels, which increase disease, including cancer. Proper nutrition keeps in check problem genes. Animal-based foods are causing health problems. Plant-based foods are creating solutions. Plant-based, whole foods, reduce degenerative diseases. Dr. Esselstyn’s book, “Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease” chronicles how people with life-threatening levels of heart disease have reversed the disease through a plant-based diet. Proper nutrition, supported by exercise, water and sunshine are the keys to enjoying optimal health. healthy vibrant life

To learn more about Dr. Campbell’s work, go to his website www.tcolincampbell.org.

After two weeks back on the track I’m down to 192.2 lbs and my blood pressure is 125/77. I’m making steady progress in the right direction. After listening to Dr. Campbell talk about dairy products, including cheese, I am no longer eating dairy. BTW, Dr. Campbell grew up on a dairy farm. His father and grandfather were dairy farmers. When he went to college his objective was to show all the health benefits of dairy, and why people should eat more dairy products. But, his research showed just the opposite. Got Milk? Not me… no more.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder

The China Study

T. Colin Campbell, the author of The China Study, and his son Nelson will be in Utah this week to be in a video we’re producing. The video is an overview of the key findings from The China Study. Everyone serious about health and nutrition needs to read The China Study. We will have this video on the Plant Pure Foods web site when it goes live in February. I’ll keep you posted.

Since I was a regular jogger for many years, I’m making quick progress on my return to the track. I’m down from 3 miles in 39 minutes (13 minute miles) to 3 miles in 30 minutes (10 minute miles) after 1 week. I don’t think I’m going to push myself back to 5 miles in 30 minutes (6 minute miles). Right now that seems like a distant goal that’s probably not necessary to work towards for what I want to achieve. But if it happens naturally over time, I’ll go with it.

My weight has dropped to 192.8 and my blood pressure is 126/80 — still not where I want it to be but I’ll be there soon.

I watched Food Matters over the weekend. You need to watch this video, and the video Food, Inc. If you really want to know the facts about factory farming, food, food processing, nutrition, and drugs, go to www.foodmatters.tv and www.foodincmove.com for more information.

Crusading for Your Health,

D. Scott Elder