Wednesday, May 8, 2013


As I say in my talks, if you’ve adopted the plant-based lifestyle, you’re all certified to go out like me and be the broccoli rep. “Because who else is?” I plead with my audiences. 

Many people become vegan for a variety of reasons, often a combination. When I worked in TV newsrooms, PETA wasn’t taken very seriously. The only time PETA or any of the fur store or circus protestors got media coverage was when someone in a protest removed part of their clothing.
“Growing up” in that shadow, I always thought that approaching animal rights from the health and economics angle might appeal to a broader audience. It didn’t mean I loved animals less. In fact, in my reporting career, I covered some of the most gruesome animal abuse cases of our times. The video my photographer and I shot of the improper disposal of euthanized pets at the Miami animal control shelter got more phone calls and responses than any story I’ve ever done.
I learned early in my TV career that in order to avoid the frustrating stories of murders and fires, I had to do “enterprise reporting.” That meant coming up with my own ideas for stories that I felt would really make a difference. 
I was once interviewed for a network correspondent’s job. “What’s your proudest accomplishment?” I was asked. “Seeing change happen as a result of stories I do. It’s a measure of how well I’ve done my job.” I immediately quipped. “But wait,” the network exec said. “You’re not supposed to have an opinion of how the story ends. You’re just supposed to be reporting.” How things have changed. The line between entertainment and journalism has become very fuzzy.
In my socially responsible investing work, I found that corporations didn’t care so much about the environment. But show them how recycling their own company’s cans as well as other company’s cans would generate even more of a profit, then all of a sudden, they could say they were socially responsible and cared about the environment. I always believed that if you could show people exactly how much money they could save not only at the store, but the savings created by avoiding disease, then consumers would not care so much about what they were eating, but more about how much they were saving. I was adamant that every recipe in my book have an estimated price associated with it. It took me years to get published. When I started, no other book like it had been written. The original title was “Eat Well on $3 a Day.” That gives you an idea of just how long it took. 
I want to shout my running performances running to the heavens and to all the people I see needlessly suffering. This IS the best-kept secret in the world, though that is changing too! My parents were so sick and diseased by the time I had kids, they couldn't lift them, let alone baby-sit. Entire generations are losing each other and don't even know it.  My mom, aunt and BOTH sisters had breast cancer. I was the only healthy person, by a long shot. It’s got to change. Running and eating vegan is a magical combo.
Forgive my boasting, but I don’t know any other way than to lead by example. I keep racing to show that you can get plenty of protein, calcium or fill-in-the-blanks eating a plant-based diet.  When I run with the high school girls, the reaction I get most often is, “No way you’re the age of my grandmother! AND you’re vegan!” I just love to defy myths, such as that it’s expensive to eat vegan, or that vegans aren’t strong.
I always say, “Blood tests never lie.” Before you begin, get a baseline. Keep your annual medical test records so you can track your great results over decades. The only real race that matters is against time to save the environment, animals and ourselves. The clock is ticking.
Ellen Jaffe Jones is a certified personal trainer (AFAA), running coach (RRCA) and accomplished endurance and sprint runner. Her best-selling book, “Eat Vegan on $4 a Day,” inspired her publisher to sign her for more 2 more books, including soon-to-be-released, “Kitchen Divided.” Ellen spent 18 years in television news as a consumer/investigative reporter and morning anchor, won 2 Emmys and the National Press Club Award for Consumer Journalism. She spent 5 years at Smith Barney where she was the #1 market performer in her branch. She is currently 3rd in State (FL) in the 200, 400 and 1500 meters, and 4th in the 100 meters. She has placed in her age group in 44 5K or longer races since 2006. Great Vegan Athletes honored her as one of a few female runners. When not on book tour, Ellen loves to volunteer coach high school girls cross-country and track. 

Energy Foods

Take a look at some of the foods that act like fuel for your body!  Great for everyone from kids to adult! We know how long some of those days can be so take a look below:
  1. Raw Nuts – This healthy snack is high in magnesium, a mineral known to help convert sugar into energy.  When you snack on these raw nuts you will keep you energized for longer periods of time, avoiding the sugar crash.  The best nuts for your body are cashews, almonds and hazelnuts.
  2. Lean Meats – Choose from lean chicken, turkey or beef as a great source of protein.  These foods contain tyrosine, which is an amino acid that assists in brain activity and can also enhance your mood. These foods are also known as a good source of B12, which also help to energize and can even fight insomnia and depression.
  3. Eggs – These are yet another protein food that also enhances energy levels.  This is due to being a great source of minerals like zinc, phosphorous and chromium.  Not only are these a great breakfast item but would be a perfect accompaniment to a salad or as a snack.
  4. Dark Chocolate – A few squares of dark chocolate can increase energy and mood. This affect is a result of both caffeine and theobromine. Yes, finally a sweet treat that is actually good for you!
  5. Leafy Greens – These vegetables all contain a large amount of folate, which has been linked to decreasing depression. In fact these greens help to boost your energy and your mind.  So keep these front and center in your salad or at your dinner table.
  6. Fruits – Choosing fruits, mainly bananas, apricots and kiwi, are a great way to naturally boost your energy.  These are high in potassium which maintains normal nerve and muscle function, as well as fructose for ready to use sugars and antioxidants.
  7. Oats – Old fashioned oats not only make a warm and satisfying breakfast, but with their complex carbohydrates and b vitamins, they are a rich source of energy.  So serve up a batch to get your day started or a great pick me up at work!
  8. Salmon – This fish boosts loads of protein, as well as energy boosting B vitamins, magnesium, and potassium. No wonder this food not only satisfies taste, but energizes you for a long time. Feed your body well with this delicious food.

New Bra That Detects Cancer?

First Warning Systems, Inc.(NEW YORK) -- Most women expect their bras to give them a little extra lift.  Now, there’s one that not only lifts, it separates -- the healthy breast tissue from the unhealthy breast tissue, that is.

The makers of the First Warning Systems bra claim it can detect cancer in its earliest stages by continually monitoring the breasts for temperature changes associated with growing tumors.  When a series of sensors embedded in the cups detect abnormal heat patterns, they send a signal to alert doctors to the possible presence of cancer cells.

In three separate clinical trials involving 650 women, the makers said the bra was able to identify the presence of tumors six years before traditional breast imaging did.  It also scored a 92 percent level of accuracy in correctly classifying breast tissue as normal, benign, suspected for abnormalities, or probable for abnormalities.  Routine mammograms have an accuracy rate of only 70 percent.

If this works as advertised, this is very exciting news for women who prefer to avoid the radiation associated with mammography, especially women with lumpy breasts or a family history of breast cancer.  These women typically submit to mammography screenings more often than average and many are troubled by the health risks.  And, since mammography isn’t very good at picking up breast cancer in women under 40, this could be a better option for them too.

But the word from Dr. Deanna J. Attai, a spokeswoman for the American Society of Breast Surgeons, leaves hopes sagging.

“The technology is promising but I’m a long way off from recommending it,” she said.  “We need a lot more comparison to other screening technologies, and we need follow women over a much longer period of time to determine if this actually a reliable test.”

Attai said she has more questions than answers about thermography, the type of imaging related to the technology the bra uses.  In a perfect world, the scan for breast hot spots would correlate with the results of mammogram, MRI and ultrasound tests.  This is often not the case.

Attai said she has seen thermograms come back normal or showing marginal changes to breast tissue when a woman was then diagnosed with cancer through other means.  She’s seen a lot of false positives too, and she worries this can lead to a lot of unnecessary stress and expense.

“Even if we get an abnormal reading from thermal scanning, what do we do?  If it’s not giving you a clear enough picture and you’re going to do all the other follow up tests anyway, I’m not sure I see the value,” she said.

Matt Benardis, First Warning’s chief of operations, countered that the bra is a vast improvement over standard thermography because it takes repeated snapshots of heat changes over time rather than in a single instance.  The idea is to start taking scans at around the age of 18 and then track differences in breast tissue over time.

“It’s a dynamic look at what is taking place in the breast tissue. We can identify the disruptions in the breast tissue in a non-invasive way years before tumor presentation,” he said, though he was quick to point out that it is an early detection system rather than a diagnostic tool.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Only 1 in 5 Americans Gets Enough Exercise

Most Americans are falling short when it comes to exercise, a new government report shows.
Overall, only 20 percent of U.S. adults get the recommended amounts of both of aerobic and muscle-strengthening exercise, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The news was less disappointing for aerobic exercise, with 51.6 percent of adults getting the recommended amount, than it was for muscle-strengthening activities, with only 29.3 percent getting the recommended amount.
The overall exercise rates also varied widely by state, ranging from 13 percent in Tennessee and West Virginia to 27 percent in Colorado.
The researchers put a positive spin on the results.
"While only about 30 percent of adults meet the muscle-strengthening guidelines, we find it very encouraging that half of U.S. adults are meeting the aerobic guidelines," said report author Carmen Harris, a CDC epidemiologist.
The report was published in the May 3 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report, a CDC publication.
One expert also thinks the findings are good news.
"It is great that more people are participating in regular exercise," said exercise physiologist Samantha Heller.
"Exercise not only helps with weight management, it helps reduce anxiety and depression; boosts energy, immunity and brain power; and significantly lowers the risk for chronic diseases such as cancer, diabetes and cardiovascular disease," she said.
According to the Physical Activity Guidelines for Americans, adults should get at least two and a half hours a week of moderate-intensity aerobic activity such as walking, or an hour and 15 minutes a week of vigorous-intensity aerobic activity, such as jogging.
In addition, adults should do muscle-strengthening activities, such as push-ups, sit-ups or activities using resistance bands or weights. These exercises should be done two or more days a week and work all major muscle groups, the guidelines suggested.
The highest proportion of adults meeting those guidelines were in the West (24 percent) and the Northeast (21 percent).
Women, Hispanics and older and obese adults were less likely to meet the guidelines, they added.
"Exercise is essential for the aging population to maintain their independence and quality of life," Heller said. "The results of this report indicate that certain states and populations need to be targeted with programs that encourage regular physical activity while taking into account their cultural and economic needs. Local YMCAs, senior centers and other organizations often offer low-cost or free fitness classes."
"Simple steps to start moving include: enlisting a friend or family member to join you; taking a walk every evening after dinner; getting up and marching in place at every TV commercial; limiting TV and computer time; [and] scheduling your time to exercise in your daily calendar," Heller said.
These data are based on information from the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System, which is a yearly phone survey of adults aged 18 and over.
More information
For more recommendations on physical activity, visit the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
Health News Copyright © 2013 HealthDay. All rights reserved.