Addiction Sameness

Alcohol, Opiates, Fat and Sugar are all Addictive Substances: this blog is about that "addiction sameness".

Friday, December 30, 2011

Ten Common Addictions of Modern Man

Many people consider that an addiction must be physiological, but it has become very common these days to see the term used for anything which becomes obsessive. Thus one can become addicted to pornography, gaming, and all manner of unrelated (and definitely not physiological) things. This list looks at ten of the most common addictions of modern man.


“It’s true hard work never killed anybody, but I figure, why take the chance?” — Ronald Reagan

Sitting Down

“There must be more to life than sitting wondering if there is more to life” — Unknown

Getting one's own way

“It’s MY way or the highway!” — Bill Parcells, Dallas Cowboys


“Summoned, one shuffles guiltily into the department of trivia.” — John Sutherland

“Technology… the knack of so arranging the world that we don’t have to experience it.” — Max Frisch


“Let every man be respected as an individual and no man idolized.” — Albert Einstein


“The trouble is not that players have sex the night before a game. It’s that they stay out all night looking for it.” — Casey Stengel


“The world belongs to the enthusiast who keeps cool.” — William McFee


“Technology makes it possible for people to gain control over everything, except over technology” — John Tudor

Being Right

“Deep down, beneath all our insecurities, beneath all our hopes for and beliefs in equality, each of us

believes we’re better than anyone else.” — Audrey Beth Stein

BONUS:  The Internet

“In the absence of clearly-defined goals, we become strangely loyal to performing daily trivia until ultimately we become enslaved by it.” — Robert A. Heinlein

The Internet – what a wonderful source for us all – and you probably don’t need anyone to tell you that it’s quite addictive. The internet sums up all the addictions above in that it: takes the viewer to a wonderful escapist world where they get their own way by perusing endless trivia, gossip about their idols, search for online sex and cool technology, and they can ‘be right’ in endless anonymous chat rooms and blogs while they sit in their chair and laze the day away. Yes, it’s a wonderful way to exacerbate ones deepest addictions like no other product in the world. We love it.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Mexico's drug war: Deadlier than Afghanistan with no end in sight | News | National Post

Mexico's drug war: Deadlier than Afghanistan with no end in sight | News | National Post:

CIUDAD JUAREZ — In March, municipal police officers detained the two brothers of Armida Vazquez and whisked them away in patrol cars.

Vazquez and her mother searched for Dante and Juan Carlos, cellphone shop workers in their mid-20s, and checked with the local and federal police here, to no avail. Nineteen days later, the strangled bodies of the brothers were found on the outskirts of this notoriously violent city. Witness testimony and other evidence led to three policemen, now in jail awaiting trial.

But the police pushed back. Policemen in civilian clothes, Vazquez says, approached her mother outside church and told her to stop making trouble. When Vazquez made a statement against the suspects last month, she says other policemen and relatives of the officers threatened her outside the courthouse.
There were only 300 murders here in 2007, but when the violence arrived in early 2008 it rolled across the city with a vengeance. The government sent in 10,000 troops and federal police to try to quell the mayhem, but the deaths kept rising.

State officials counted 3,622 homicides in 2010, making Ciudad Juarez the city with the highest murder rate in the world at 272 per 100,000 residents. Authorities cite a drop in killings this year as a sign of success, but the murder rate is still more than six times higher than it was in 2007.


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Friday, December 9, 2011

Jon Hendricks-"Gimme that wine!" -Live at the Trident 1963 - YouTube

Jon Hendricks-"Gimme that wine!" -Live at the Trident 1963 - YouTube: ""

Uploaded by on Nov 30, 2010

One of singer Jon Hendricks' better post-Lambert, Hendricks & Ross recordings of the 1960s, this spirited live set has been reissued on CD by Polygram under the Smash subsidiary. Recorded in Sausalito, CA, with local musicians (the fine but obscure tenor Noel Jewkes, pianist Flip Nunez, bassist Fred Marshall, and drummer Jerry Granelli), the CD does an excellent job of summing up Hendricks' music of the era. He performs some hip bop ("Stockholm Sweetnin'"), revisits some of his previous group material ("Cloudburst" and "Shiny Stockings"), sings a couple of current tunes ("This Could Be the Start of Something Big" and "Watermelon Man"), performs a touching version of "Old Folks," breaks up the place with his humorous "Gimme That Wine," and revives the ancient ballad "I Wonder What's Become of Sally." Excellent music.

Buy here:

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Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Dr. Dean Ornish: Healthy Eating During the Holidays

Statistic: Americans gain 1 to 1½ pounds annually during the holiday season
16 steps to healthy holiday eating: 

1. Eat something beforehand. If you don’t eat all day, you may arrive at holiday meals and parties ravenous and lose control.

2. Put 20 percent fewer high-calorie foods and 20 percent more fruits and vegetables on your plate. 
Studies show that you probably won’t notice the difference.

3. Eat the healthier foods first – they will fill you up somewhat, so you’ll be less likely to overeat the more indulgent foods.

4. Choose foods that leave evidence – e.g., keep the shrimp tails and chicken wing bones on your plate after you’ve eaten them. Studies show that if you have cues to see how much you’ve eaten, you’ll eat less.

5. Try not to put more than two or three items on your plate at one time. We eat more when food is in front of us.

6. Eat more slowly. The faster we eat, the more we eat. Sip water between bites. Holiday meals last longer than typical meals. If you wolf down your food, your plate may be clean while others are still eating, which will lead to seconds.

7. If you have a choice, use a smaller plate!

8. If you’re at someone’s home, try to serve yourself instead of allowing your relative to heap your plate full.

9. Arrive a little late and make a grand entrance. More of the indulgent foods will be gone by then.

10. If you go to a restaurant, ask your server not to put bread on the table beforehand. If it’s there, you’ll probably eat it. Leave more room for your favorite holiday foods instead.

11. Substitute cranberry sauce for gravy, which is usually high in fat and calories. Cranberry sauce is nutritious and loaded with antioxidants.

12. If you eat baked potatoes and yams, avoid toppings such as butter, cheese, bacon and sour cream. If possible, substitute low-fat yogurt or nonfat sour cream.

13. Watch the alcohol, which is high in calories and slows your metabolism. Also, too much alcohol can impair judgment, so the more you drink, the more you’re likely to eat.

14. Close your eyes and savor the food periodically during the meal. You’ll consume fewer calories and experience more pleasure.

15. Have just a few bites of dessert. The first and last bites are always the best, anyway.

16. Take a walk after dinner. You don’t have to hike five miles. A stroll around the block is a good start. Walking not only burns calories, it also helps relieve bloating and prevent heartburn.

For more information, and additional tips from Dr. Ornish on how to make healthy choices throughout the holiday season, visit

The Dr. Dean Ornish Heart Program reverses heart disease.

The program for Reversing Heart Disease focuses on alternatives besides surgery.

Folks met to learn about stress management, moderate aerobic exercise, nutrition and group support. The program has already enabled thousands to reduce their risk of heart complications.

It's a tough program you know, there's no beating around the bush. It's a hard program because you're asking people to make changes in their life, changes that, the way they've lived their life has lead them to the point where they now have heart disease or significant enough risk factors for heart disease.

The Dr. Dean Ornish Heart Program reverses heart disease.

The program for Reversing Heart Disease focuses on alternatives besides surgery.

Folks met to learn about stress management, moderate aerobic exercise, nutrition and group support. The program has already enabled thousands to reduce their risk of heart complications.

It's a tough program you know, there's no beating around the bush. It's a hard program because you're asking people to make changes in their life, changes that, the way they've lived their life has lead them to the point where they now have heart disease or significant enough risk factors for heart disease.

Blogger's Comments:
Get a head start on your New Year's Resolution to lose weight by not adding to the problem by over eating during the holiday season.

Remember the best exercise is pushing away from the table partially hungry.  Your stomach will soon tell you that you were, after all, full...

Sugar and Breakfast Cereals

Cereal offenders: How do we get the sugar out of breakfast? | Grist:

Photo: Chris Metcalf

Raise your hand if you serve your kids a bowl of Twinkies for breakfast. Or perhaps they prefer a few cookies instead? According to the Environmental Working Group's (EWG) new report on children's cereals, that's effectively what millions of kids are eating in the morning.

Indeed, the amount of sugar in many popular brands of cereals is astonishing: Kellogg's Honey Smacks is 56 percent sugar by weight. One cup of the stuff has more sugar than a Hostess Twinkie, says the report, while "a cup of any of 44 other children's cereals has more sugar than three Chips Ahoy! cookies."

EWG's 10 worst cereals, with Honey Smacks as No. 1, include:
Post Golden Crisp -- 51.9 percent sugar
Kellogg's Froot Loops Marshmallow -- 48.3 percent sugar
Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch's OOPS! All Berries -- 46.9 percent sugar
Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch Original -- 44.4 percent sugar
Quaker Oats Oh!s -- 44.4 percent sugar
Kellogg's Smorz -- 43.3 percent sugar
Kellogg's Apple Jacks -- 42.9 percent sugar
Quaker Oats Cap'n Crunch's Crunch Berries -- 42.3 percent sugar
Kellogg's Froot Loops Original -- 41.4 percent sugar

A while back, in a post called "In defense of candy," I observed that the problem with our food system isn't the obvious treats like candy; after all, "the typical American gets only 6 percent of their added sugar from candy." The real problem is the "candification" of our food system. And this report from EWG provides even more evidence. While many Grist readers probably don't serve their children sweetened breakfast cereal, millions of Americans do, and they are blitzed by billions of dollars in advertising telling them to do it. Somehow, reading a nutrition label and seeing that Honey Smacks has 20 grams (that's nearly five teaspoons) of sugar per serving does not have the same impact as slapping a label on the box that reads, "Warning: Equivalent to Eating a Twinkie."

EWG also notes that many children's cereals are high in sodium as well; sugar and salt are two of the Big Three ingredients (fat is the other) that food companies pour into their recipes to keep consumers eating after they're full.

So the question is: What to do about this? How can we stop...

Blogger suggestion 
-Vote with your wallet by avoiding high sugar added products as declared on the labels.

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Tuesday, November 22, 2011

BPA levels jump after eating canned soup - Health - CBC News

BPA levels jump after eating canned soup - Health - CBC News: "Adults who ate canned soup daily showed a jump in levels of the plasticizer BPA in their urine, according to a small study.

The study of 75 people in Tuesday's issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association is one of the first to quantify BPA levels in humans after eating canned foods compared with eating freshly prepared ingredients.

Bisphenol A is an industrial chemical used to make polycarbonate plastic for water bottles and food containers as well as the protective lining in metal cans.

Previously, Health Canada focused on removing BPA from baby bottles to reduce exposure in newborns and infants. In August, Statistics Canada reported that more than 90 per cent of Canadians aged six to 79 had detectable levels of BPA in their urine.

The health risks of BPA in humans are unclear. Animal studies suggest that once ingested, BPA may imitate estrogen and other hormones..."

In the study, volunteers ate either canned soup or fresh soup daily for a week and then switched to the other type.

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Monday, November 21, 2011

The Insane thing about Alcohol Addiction

 A friend of mine wrote this note to me:
I think once you reach 45-50 or so, alcoholism is almost incurable, IMO, but I’m probably wrong. My thinking is that the alcohol addiction groove in the brain is perhaps ploughed too deep by then.

My answer:

Alcoholism only exists when the person (idiot) is dumb enough to keep trying to drink. You are completely right about the "groove" in the brain. Alcohol changes your brain and it can be seen on an MRI just like MS can be seen. It is tragic to ignore this science. Accept the science and realize you can't win. No matter how strong your will might be, if you drink you go into "one more" mode and you are back to wanting to be drunk. Prove it to yourself by stopping for months, if you have been an alcohol abuser, and have a few shots of vodka. It is scarey to feel your metabolism or whatever it is asking for more. Somewhat like what happens to massively obese people, the fat of there body actually starts producing hormones that encourage the continuation of morbid obesity.

Alien of invasion your endocrine system!!!!

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Life Questions

Who are we?

Where do we come from?

Where are we going?

The Eternal Now

Let nothing perturb you, nothing frighten you. All things pass. God does not change. Patience achieves everything.

- Mother Teresa

Good for You, Good for Our Earth

Eating Green to reduce your Food Footprint 

To reduce the amount of CO2 we produce we need to change the foods we eat because accounting for all the emissions from seed, to plate, to landfill, the food we eat accounts for as much as 31% of the planet’s greenhouse gas emissions.  

Food choices to change are:

1. Eat less red meat and dairy
Research shows that a diet high in red meat increases the risk of colorectal cancer. The raising of livestock for human consumption is also responsible for 18% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions. On average, red meat is around 150% more greenhouse-gas intensive than chicken or fish.

2. Reduce your intake of processed and packaged foods

The majority of processed foods are filled with additives, high in sugar, fat, salt, and stripped of nutrients. Processed meats have a high level of sodium nitrate (salt), considered by many to be carcinogenic (causes cancer). 

Processed food is extremely resource intense. Snack foods, most juices, even veggie burgers (prepared, boxed, frozen and transported) often consume much more energy through processing and packaging than non-packaged foods.

3. Pass on the air miles

‘Eating Local’ one helpful thing we can do for the environment.  80 per cent of the energy used to get food from the farm to the table occurs during food production. Transportation accounts for 10% -15 %. 
4. Say NO to supersize
When a person takes more then he or she can eat, what is left on the plate causes our landfills to also grow in size. As this wasted food rots in landfills, it generates methane gas that contributes to global warming. Worldwide, 1/2 of the food produced is wasted.  Wasted food is wasted energy.

Labels include the following: Fertilizer use: fertilizer manufacture and transport, fertilizer use generating nitrous oxides. Transport: Road transport in and outside the UK, air freight and consumers driving to the shops Food and Packaging Manufacturing: food and drink manufacturing and processing, manufacture and packaging, CO2 from farm operations. Other: operation of retail stores Source: Chris Goodall, How to Live a low carbon life, p233

Source: Good for You, Good for Our Earth - Healthy Living by Lori:

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Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Vegetarians are sexy and smart.

We need to reduce our dependence on animal proteins. Animal protein is not a sustainable part of our diet while the population bomb of exponential growth of humans continues.  Shortages of resources can only grow worse with the the strains already showing -Peak Everything is just around the corner for potable water, oil, agricultural land and so on.

Maler der Grabkammer des Sennudem 001.jpg

Economic vegetarians believe that nutrition can be acquired more efficiently and at a lower price through vegetables, grains, etc., rather than from meat. They argue that a vegetarian diet is rich in vitamins, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and carries with it fewer risks (such as heart disease, obesity, and bacterial infection) than animal flesh. Consequently, they consider the production of meat economically unsound.

"Environmental vegetarianism is the practice of vegetarianism or veganism based on the indications that animal production, particularly by intensive agriculture, is environmentally unsustainable.  

The primary environmental concerns with animal products are pollution and the use of resources such as fossil fuels, water, and land."

"The world must create five billion vegans in the next several decades, or triple its total farm output without using more land."
- Dennis Avery, Director of the Centre for Global Food Issues

This is a frightening equation considering the amount of skepticism and resistance to change demonstrated by human beings throughout the recent Global Warming debate.  It habits die hard and there are powerful forces on the side of Fossil Fuels, as mentionbed in the Paul Kruigman article in the NYT's declaring that Solar Energy has reached the tipping point and needs to be encouraged.

Environmental vegetarianism can be compared with economic vegetarianism.
An economic vegetarian is someone who practices vegetarianism either out of necessity or because of a conscious simple living strategy: 
a philosophical viewpoint, such as the belief that the consumption of meat is economically unsound or that vegetarianism will help improve public health and curb starvation. 

Economic vegetarians believe that nutrition can be acquired more efficiently and at a lower price through vegetables, grains, etc., rather than from meat. They argue that a vegetarian diet is rich in vitamins, dietary fiber, and complex carbohydrates, and carries with it fewer risks (such as heart disease, obesity, and bacterial infection) than animal flesh. Consequently, they consider the production of meat economically unsound.

According to the Worldwatch Institute, "massive reductions in meat consumption in industrial nations will ease the health care burden while improving public health; declining livestock herds will take pressure off rangelands and grainlands, allowing the agricultural resource base to rejuvenate. 

As populations grow, lowering meat consumption worldwide will allow more efficient use of declining per capita land and water resources, while at the same time making grain more affordable to the world's chronically hungry."
To produce 1 pound of feedlot beef requires about 2,400 gallons of water and 7 pounds of grain . Considering that the average American consumes 97 pounds of beef (and 273 pounds of meat in all) each year, even modest reductions in meat consumption in such a culture would substantially reduce the burden on our natural resources."

Physicians John A. McDougall, Caldwell Esselstyn, Neal D. Barnard, Dean Ornish, Michael Greger and nutritional biochemist T. Colin Campbell, argue that high animal fat and protein diets, such as the standard American diet, are detrimental to health, and that a low-fat vegan diet can both prevent and reverse degenerative diseases such ascoronary artery disease and diabetes.  A 2006 study by Barnard found that in people with type 2 diabetes, a low-fat vegan diet reduced weight, total cholesterol, and LDL cholesterol, and did so to a greater extent than the diet prescribed by the American Diabetes Association.

Dean Ornish is one of a number of physicians who recommend a low-fat vegan diet to prevent and reverse certain degenerative diseases.  Ornish is also an author of several very good books promoting his heart healthy diet principles.  Having read his books, I am prejudiced on this side of the argument.  The Vegetarian diet can be seen as a useful tool in staying healthy on an individual level, a societal level and it allows individuals to do something positive for the Planet's ecosystem.  Individuals can stay healthy and live sustainable lifestyles and empower themselves to help save the Planet.

Vegan: We need to reduce our dependence on animal proteins.

Monday, October 31, 2011


A Nation of Vidiots | NationofChange:

by Jeffrey Sachs

Published: Sunday 30 October 20

“Many neuroscientists believe that the mental-health effects of TV viewing might run even deeper than addiction, consumerism, loss of social trust, and political propaganda.”

The past half-century has been the age of electronic mass media. Television has reshaped society in every corner of the world. Now an explosion of new media devices is joining the TV set: DVDs, computers, game boxes, smart phones, and more. A growing body of evidence suggests that this media proliferation has countless ill effects.

The United States led the world into the television age, and the implications can be seen most directly in America’s long love affair with what Harlan Ellison memorably called “the glass teat.” In 1950, fewer than 8% of American households owned a TV; by 1960, 90% had one. That level of penetration took decades longer to achieve elsewhere, and the poorest countries are still not there.

True to form, Americans became the greatest TV watchers, which is probably still true today, even though the data are somewhat sketchy and incomplete. The best evidence suggests that Americans watch more than five hours per day of television on average – a staggering amount, given that several hours more are spent in front of other video-streaming devices. Other countries log far fewer viewing hours. In Scandinavia, for example, time spent watching TV is roughly half the US average.

The consequences for American society are profound, troubling, and a warning to the world – though it probably comes far too late to be heeded. First, heavy TV viewing brings little pleasure. Many surveys show that it is almost like an addiction, with a short-term benefit leading to long-term unhappiness and remorse. Such viewers say that they would prefer to watch less than they do.

Moreover, heavy TV viewing has contributed to social fragmentation. Time that used to be spent together in the community is now spent alone in front of the screen. Robert Putnam, the leading scholar of America’s declining sense of community, has found that TV viewing is the central explanation of the decline of “social capital,” the trust that binds communities together. Americans simply trust each other less than they did a generation ago. Of course, many other factors are at work, but television-driven social atomization should not be understated.

NationofChange is a 501(c)3 nonprofit funded directly by our readers. Please make a small donation to support our work.

Certainly, heavy TV viewing is bad for one’s physical and mental health. Americans lead the world in obesity, with roughly two-thirds of the US population now overweight. Again, many factors underlie this, including a diet of cheap, unhealthy fried foods, but the sedentary time spent in front of the TV is an important influence as well.

At the same time, what happens mentally is as important as what happens physically. Television and related media have been the greatest purveyors and conveyors of corporate and political propaganda in society.

America’s TV ownership is almost entirely in private hands, and owners make much of their money through relentless advertising. Effective advertising campaigns, appealing to unconscious urges – typically related to food, sex, and status – create cravings for products and purchases that have little real value for consumers or society.

The same, of course, has happened to politics. American politicians are now brand names, packaged like breakfast cereal. Anybody – and any idea – can be sold with a bright ribbon and a catchy jingle.

All roads to power in America lead through TV, and all access to TV depends on big money. This simple logic has put American politics in the hands of the rich as never before.

Even war can be rolled out as a new product. The Bush administration promoted the premises of the Iraq war – Saddam Hussein’s non-existent weapons of mass destruction –in the familiar colorful, fast-paced, and graphics-heavy style of television advertising. Then the war itself began with the so-called “shock and awe” bombing of Baghdad – a made-for-TV live spectacle aimed at ensuring high ratings for the US-led invasion.

Many neuroscientists believe that the mental-health effects of TV viewing might run even deeper than addiction, consumerism, loss of social trust, and political propaganda. Perhaps TV is rewiring heavy viewers’ brains and impairing their cognitive capacities. The American Academy of Pediatrics recently warned that TV viewing by young children is dangerous for their brain development, and called on parents to keep children under two away from the TV and similar media.

A recent survey in the US by the organization Common Sense Media reveals a paradox, but one that is perfectly understandable. Children in poor American households today not only watch more TV than children in wealthy households, but are also more likely to have a television in their room. When a commodity’s consumption falls as income rises, economists call it an “inferior” good.

To be sure, the mass media can be useful as a provider of information, education, entertainment, and even political awareness. But too much of it is confronting us with dangers that we need to avoid.

At the very least, we can minimize those dangers. Successful approaches around the world include limits on TV advertising, especially to young children; non-commercial, publicly-owned TV networks like the BBC; and free (but limited) TV time for political campaigns.

Of course, the best defense is our own self-control. We can all leave the TV off more hours per day and spend that time reading, talking with each other, and rebuilding the bases of personal health and social trust.

“Follow Project Syndicate on Facebook or Twitter. For more from Jeffrey D. Sachs, click here.”

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Mindful Cafe: Learning to think outside box about teen drug use - The Naperville Sun

Mindful Cafe: Learning to think outside box about teen drug use - The Naperville Sun:

Some people are hard to help. There are particular problems laden with complications making the most experienced therapist fret and deliberate.

Imagine the father of a 15-year-old daughter who is constantly frustrated when she isolates herself in her room and stays on the phone too late. He complains that she rolls her eyes when he tries to ask, “How was your day at school” or “Why don’t you ever want to talk to me anymore?”

When you tell him to leave her a Post-it note message on her bathroom mirror, try texting her to say he misses her, or suggest that he take dinner into her room to join her while she listens to music, he ponders those suggestions and shrugs them all off as pointless.

“That won’t make any difference,” he says.

Or the 16-year-old son who screams about how his guardian grandparents don’t understand him, that they don’t trust him, and are constantly accusing him of lying or talking to his old drug-using friends. You encourage him to invite friends over to the house for a change, suggest to him to take his grandparents to an open support group for family members, to which he adamantly responds, “Why would I do that? They’re the ones who need to change.”

We have a term for this struggle in therapy: the “help-rejecting complainer.” In its most mild form, it is observed in a person venting their stress in one form or another, and when offered guidance or pointers, they find a subtle or at times overt way to reject the help. At that point, we have to recognize this as a sign to shift from advice giving to understanding what their resistance is really about.

Sometimes it is simple denial, other times it can be fear based, a lack of resources, or even lack of confidence to take the help because of the perceived risks involved. Many times the help-rejecting complainer has so many self-imposed barriers that they don’t even give themselves permission to solicit remedy for their stressor.

With all the heat on families to protect their homes from every kind of drug monster, people seem struck by the blitz. Parents are overwhelmed. I’m hearing more and more from parents their lack of comfort in even talking to their kids about drugs. They want to help their teens avoid drugs but don’t have a good idea where to start.

Some fear their child doesn’t have safe adults to talk to. Others are worried about how to reconcile their personal experiences with substances and the advice they got from their parents. Many parents have said things like: “Maybe the line between parent and friend is getting too gray,” and “Tell us what to do to make sure my kid doesn’t use heroin.”

I was impressed to meet a group of about 28 parents who showed up at an open drug education night at one of Naperville’s largest high schools. Though the small turnout could have been disheartening, those parents were energized and ready to take action.

As one father said about passing the knowledge forward, “If we each just tell five parents we know, those five can tell five others, and we can make a difference.”

Maybe the help needs to be packaged in a different way.

Several of those energized parents said their friends and neighbors didn’t want to attend the open forum because they didn’t want others to assume their teens were using. Others agreed saying they too feel pressured that people will judge their kids differently just because they as parents went to a drug education night.

Ask yourself: are you one of those parents who says they are frustrated by all the media buzz about drug problems to the point that you feel helpless? Do you feel the suggestions offered are too lofty to execute at home? Or is your family member one of those that you advise and support but never do anything with the help offered? Of course, the increased awareness is beneficial, but the true benefit occurs when we take action.

When we brainstorm and strategize together in the community, we can take action outside of the box and implement change. But contemplating really great ideas isn’t going to be enough. We must move forward and organize ourselves in this movement to halt the growth in drug use.

On Wednesday, Nov. 9, Naperville Police Chief David Dial, his detectives and the Naperville Fire Department will join with addiction treatment experts of Linden Oaks at Edward to host a community forum called “Right in Your Own Backyard: What Every Parent Needs to Know.” It will meet from 7 to 9 p.m. at the Edward Education Center Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. It’s an opportunity to hear from a panel of experts and from community members about how to be “help-accepting changers.”

Stephanie Willis is a mental health and addictions therapist with Linden Oaks at Edward and Willis Counseling & Consulting. She can be reached at and 630-481-6463.

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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Meat eating may shorten your life: Would you give up eating meat if it meant you would live longer?

Would you give up eating meat if it meant you would live longer? Candy Sagon/THE WASHINGTON POST
Sun Oct 30 2011 10:29:37 GMT+0400 (Arabian Standard Time) Oman Time

A more realistic strategy would be to take baby steps in that direction. Recent research shows that even one small daily change can make a difference

How about if you didn’t have to give it up entirely, maybe just once a week to start, or even once a day?

These are the choices facing many of us as a growing number of studies show that eating red meat daily can raise our risk of heart disease, cancer, obesity and diabetes.

For president Bill Clinton, who recently talked publicly about his decision to give up eating meat, eggs and dairy, the choice was clear: If he didn’t do something drastic, his steadily worsening heart disease was going to kill him.

The former president, who has a family history of heart disease, got his first wake-up call in 2004 when he needed quadruple bypass surgery for blocked arteries. Afterward, he cut back on calories and tried to eat less fat to reduce his cholesterol. But six years later he needed stent surgery.

“I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette,” Clinton told CNN’s Sanjay Gupta. Even though he had made moderate changes to his diet, plaque had built up again in Clinton’s artery, and that signalled more serious changes were needed.

The answer, for Clinton, was to go vegan, which means giving up all animal-based foods in favour of fruits, vegetables, grains, nuts, soy and beans.

His goal now is to avoid any food that could damage his blood vessels, he says. He follows a low-fat, plant-based diet recommended by several doctors, including California physician Dean Ornish, 58, founder of the Preventive Medicine Research Institute, who also worked with Clinton during his presidency to include more low-fat food on White House menus. The change in Clinton was particularly dramatic, given his past battles with his weight and his legendary love for fatty junk food.

At 65 he’s now 24 pounds lighter, energetic, happy, travelling around the world and apparently much healthier. With Clinton’s family history and years of unhealthy eating, a vegan diet is probably good for him, but many people can find it hard to stick to. A more realistic strategy would be to take baby steps in that direction. Recent research shows that even one small daily change can make a difference.

Consider the latest findings:

A Harvard study found that eating red meat every other day, instead of daily, can substantially cut your risk for heart disease. Women who ate two servings of red meat a day had a 30 per cent higher risk of heart disease compared with women who ate it just three or four times a week.

A study of 200,000 men and women ages 25 to 75 found that replacing just one serving of red meat a day with either nuts, grains or low-fat dairy lowered the risk of type 2 diabetes by about 20 per cent. Conversely, eating just one hot dog or sausage or two strips of meat daily increased the risk for diabetes by 51 per cent.

Harvard researchers who followed 84,136 women ages 30 to 55 found that eating one serving per day of nuts instead of red meat was linked to a 30 per cent lower risk of cardiovascular heart disease; subbing one serving of fish for red meat meant a 24 per cent lower risk, poultry a 19 per cent lower risk; and low-fat dairy a 13 per cent lower risk.

There are other important reasons to cut back on meat consumption: from saving global resources like fresh water and fuel, to reducing the amount of antibiotics and hormones in your diet from factory-farmed meat.

On the other hand, you want to make sure your diet isn’t too low in protein, iron and zinc. When you cut out meat protein, you need to swap in plant proteins like beans, lentils and chickpeas, which provide essential nutrients and also keep you from feeling hungry. And anytime you make a change in your diet, be sure sure to consult your doctor.

So what’s the best way to slowly but steadily cut back on eating red meat and processed meat? Here are some practical suggestions:

Meatless Monday. Sid Lerner, 80, gets the credit for reviving a successful campaign used during both world wars to get people to reduce their consumption of meat to aid the war effort. In 2003, Lerner started pushing the concept to get Americans to take one day off from eating meat; not because of a war, but for their own health. The goal is to help people reduce their meat consumption by 15 per cent. Vegan before dinnertime. Avoid meat at breakfast and lunch, but anything goes at dinner.

Try the four R’s: re-portion, reinvent, refresh and redirect. Registered dietitian Dawn Jackson Blatner, who blogs about nutrition for USA Today and is the author of The Flexitarian Diet, is a big believer in slowly increasing the amount of vegetables and beans in your diet, while still including some meat, poultry and fish.

Here’s her four R’s:

Re-portion your plate by making it 50 per cent veggies, 25 percent meat, poultry or fish and 25 per cent whole grains.

Reinvent old favourites by taking your current favourite recipes and swapping out all or part of the meat with fibre-rich beans. (For each ounce of meat, substitute 1/4 cup beans instead.)

Refresh your recipe repertoire by trying one new vegetarian recipe a week. Check out magazines, cookbooks and websites for ideas.

Redirect meaty cravings. To get that meaty sensation in your mouth, but without the meat, look for dishes that include ingredients like soy sauce, mushrooms, potatoes and tomato sauce.


Heart disease gene altered by eating raw fruits and veggies.

Raw fruits and veggies can alter heart disease gene:
 by Kathleen Blanchard RN on 2011-10-12

Dr. Dean Ornish, a pioneer in heart disease treatment, said “Your genes are not your fate”. Now researchers, supporting what Dr. Ornish has been teaching for years, say one of the strongest genes for heart disease can be altered by eating a diet rich in raw fruits and vegetables.

Raw fruits and vegetables can weaken heart disease gene

Researchers at McMaster and McGill universities conducted one of the largest gene studies to date showing how eating your fruits and vegetables can weaken the 9p21 gene, which is linked to high risk for heart disease.

For this study, the researchers analyzed the effect of diet on heart disease in over 27,000 people that included European, South Asian, Chinese, and Latin American and Arab ethnicities.

The finding suggests a diet rich in green, yellow and orange vegetables and berries can lower heart disease risk for people with the 9p21 genotype to the same level as those without the high risk gene.

The gene is linked to double the risk of having an early heart attack and a 74 increase in the chances of abdominal aortic aneurysm, compared to people without the gene, Jamie Engert, joint principal investigator of the study and researcher in cardiovascular diseases at the Research Institute of the McGill University Health Centre (RI-MUHC) and associate member in the Department of Human Genetics at McGill University said though researchers know the gene puts people at risk for cardiovascular disease, 
..."it was a surprise to find that a healthy diet could significantly weaken its effect."

More than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day could keep heart disease at bay Sonia Anand, joint principal investigator of the study, and a researcher at the Population Health Research Institute and a professor of medicine and epidemiology at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine at McMaster University said, “Our results support the public health recommendation to consume more than five servings of fruits or vegetables as a way to promote good health.”

Anand says people who eat plenty of fruits and vegetables remained at low risk for heart disease even though they had the high risk gene.

The study shows genes really are not our fate. Lifestyle changes can alter the way genes are expressed. Anand says the study means family history of disease can be modified.

“Despite not being able to change our genetics, if we are able to modify the effect or expression of our genes. That's exciting."

Dr. Ron Do, who conducted the research, said more studies are needed to understand how fruits and vegetables interact with the heart disease gene.

For people with a strong family history of heart disease, eating a prudent, versus a typical Western diet, can lower the chances of heart disease. For the study, a prudent diet consisted of raw fruits and vegetables, low fat dairy, nuts and other heart healthy foods, which was shown to weaken the 9p21 gene that is a strong predictor of who will have an early heart attack.

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Medicare covers lifestyle approach to healthcare - Heber Springs, AR - The Sun-Times

Medicare covers lifestyle approach to healthcare - Heber Springs, AR - The Sun-Times:

"When we think of advances in medicine, we usually have in mind something high-tech; It may be a new drug, a new laser, or a surgical intervention. We have a hard time believing that what Dr. Dean Ornish advocates can have a powerful effect. Simple choices we make each day—what we eat, how we respond to stress, whether or not we smoke, how much we exercise and the quality of our relationships can make a powerful difference in our health, our well-being, and our survival, according to Ornish."

It was in 1977, in his first year of medical school, when Ornish wanted to launch a study looking at the effects of yoga and a vegetarian diet on patients with heart disease. The supervising physician made fun of him. Sixteen years later, he met with a director of Medicare, a chain-smoking, 280-pound man to see whether his approach to treating heart disease could be covered under the program. He was told, “If we do this, anyone with a crystal and a pyramid will want us to pay for what they do.”

Finally, on January 1, 2011, Ornish’s Medical Research Institute in Sausalito, CA, along with the similar Pritikin program, are being covered by Medicare part B. It has taken 34 years for medicine to accept the simple fact that what we do, our diet, exercise, management of stress—how we live is the major factor affecting health; and that changing it is much less expensive than the high tech methods which have held their attention for so long.

Ornish, in conjunction with insurance companies, proved that by directing patients in lifestyle changes instead of heart surgery, they could save $30,000 per patient, not to mention the miseries associated with surgeries.

In a talk he gave at the Mayo Clinic, Center for Innovation entitled “Thinking Differently about Healthcare”, Ornish said by teaching and encouraging heart patients to eat a healthy diet, exercise, learn to manage stress, and have healthy relationships, patients would not have to take drugs for life—saving 20 billion dollars on Lipitor alone. He said heart disease is 90 percent preventable. He said our genes can predispose us to a disease but our genes are not our fate. You may listen to Dean Ornish’s entire message delivered at Mayo at I encourage you to do so.

Admittedly, Ornish’s vegetarian, high complex carbohydrate, very low fat diet is controversial. There are others who advocate lifestyle changes that include animal protein and healthy fats. A one-diet-fits-all may not be the best approach. What they all have in common is they eliminate the processed junk food that is what most Americans eat. You can do that yourself without the help of Medicare.

Included in the Ornish program, and sometimes neglected in others, is attention to meditation, relaxation, and developing close and satisfying relationships. Ornish has written several books, including Reversing Heart Disease and Love and Survival: The Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy. They are all available at discounts on

One of the many websites about Preventive Medicine Research Institute, discusses what motivates people to change their lifestyle. Talking about “prevention” or “risk-factor reduction” or living longer is either scary or boring to most people. It doesn’t work well. Ornish writes, “Sometimes, people say, ‘I don’t care if I die early – I want to enjoy my life.’ Well, so do I. That’s the false choice – is it fun for me or is it good for me? Why not both? It’s fun for you and good for you to look good, feel good, have more energy, think more clearly, need less sleep, taste better, smell better, and perform better athletically–and sexually.”

He says, “When you eat a healthy diet, quit smoking, exercise, meditate (they use yoga), and have more love in your life, then your brain receives more blood and oxygen, so you think more clearly, have more energy, need less sleep. Your brain can grow so many new brain neurons in only three months that your brain can get measurably bigger! Your face gets more blood flow, so your skin glows more and wrinkles less. Your heart gets more blood flow, so you have more stamina and can even begin to reverse heart disease.”

How often do I hear someone say, “I have been bad” when they have eaten unhealthy food. Eating bad food does not make you a bad person. Ornish says, “The language of behavioral modification often has a moralistic quality to it that turns off a lot of people (like ‘cheating’ on a diet). It’s a small step from thinking of some foods as ‘bad’ to seeing yourself as a ‘bad person;’ at that point, might as well finish the pint of ice cream.”

Have you heard about Medicare coverage of Ornish’s clinic on television? I have not and we may not. Its goal is actual healing, instead of patching up with surgery and a lifetime of drugs. Considering who supports TV with ads, I doubt it will be widely publicized. However, as a friend once said, “You can’t hide the truth forever.”

Copyright 2011 The Sun-Times. Some rights reserved

The Dietary Supplement Scam Continues | NationofChange

The Dietary Supplement Scam Continues | NationofChange:
Now we learn that most of those oils, minerals, exotic fruit extracts and herbs don't help us any more than would a sugar pill, and some actually do harm. Furthermore, all those Earth-themed bottles have little to do with hippies offering cures from nature. They are part of a nearly $30-billion-a-year U.S. industry. Behind it stands an unusually unpleasant team of lobbyists tasked with ensuring that we're never sure what's actually in those pills, threatening politicians who call for their regulation and paying off those who stop said regulation. Makes me want to occupy something.

In addition to possibly doing harm in high doses, the poorly regulated supplements pose two other dangers, Marion Nestle, a food and nutrition specialist at New York University, told me. They may contain impurities from the manufacturing process. And they may not have the active ingredient on the label. A person who eats "reasonably well," she added, doesn't need any dietary pill unless a test shows a deficiency.


Friday, October 14, 2011

China Targets GE Turbines With $15.5B War Chest - Bloomberg

China Targets GE Turbines With $15.5B War Chest - Bloomberg

China has taken on General Electric Co. (GE) and Western peers that control the $70 billion wind-turbine market, striving to repeat its 2010 coup when the Asian nation sold more than half the world’s solar panels for the first time.
Armed with at least $15.5 billion in state-backed credit, China’s biggest windmill makers Sinovel Wind Group Co. and Xinjiang Goldwind Science & Technology Co. won their first major foreign orders in the past year. They plan to set up plants abroad, including China’s first in the U.S., easing entry into markets for delivering machines that can weigh 750 tons each.
Sinovel and Goldwind may counter the quality concerns of customers and overtake Denmark’s Vestas Wind Systems A/S as the biggest supplier by 2015, a Bloomberg New Energy Finance survey forecast. That can erode sales and margins for suppliers such as GE and Vestas that already face cutbacks in European subsidies and a 22 percent plunge in turbine prices from their 2008 peak.
“The Chinese dragon is coming,” said Jose Antunes Sobrinho, chief executive officer of Brazil’s Desenvix SA, a wind developer that ordered 23 Sinovel turbines in September.
The deal, South America’s first contract with a Chinese supplier, “is going to be a stepping stone for them” to showcase machines that are about 10 percent cheaper than those sold by competitors in Brazil such as GE and Germany’s Siemens AG (SIE), he said by telephone on Oct. 3.

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