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Internal Medicine Physician Shares What Happens To Your Body When You Stop Eating Meat

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“I want to convey to my fellow physicians that food truly is medicine and that a great body of evidence supports using a whole-food plant-based diet for the prevention and treatment of our leading chronic diseases. I also hope to dispel common nutrition myths and teach basic, practical nutrition counseling skills for use in the primary care setting. It’s important to acknowledge that many physicians themselves do not practice healthy lifestyle habits, from diet to exercise to stress reduction. It would serve our patients well for more of us to become role models of health, but even if we cannot, we still have a responsibility to counsel our patients on the lifesaving tools of nutrition and lifestyle change. Most of our patients trust our advice.” (source)

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Michelle McMacken is an internal medicine physician, Assistant Professor of Medicine, NYU School of Medicine Director, Bellevue Hospital Weight Management Clinic. It’s one of the largest safety-net hospitals in New York City. It’s not just a teaching hospital for the NYU School of Medicine but also a major referral center for medically complex patients.

In her bio, she explains that, for the first few years of her primary care internal medicine practice, she “managed chronic disease with the strategies” she had been taught: “a little bit of lifestyle advice, and a whole lot of medications, procedures, and surgeries. She explains, “day in and day out, I treated symptoms and blood test results related to diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, fatty liver, osteoarthritis, and peripheral vascular disease – but I rarely got to the common root of these conditions. My approach was usually reactive rather than proactive. My patients didn’t get much better – the best I felt I could hope for was that their disease state was ‘managed’ and didn’t get worse.”

It’s great that she also points out that “like most physicians” she “had little to no nutrition instruction during [her] training, and [she] felt ill-equipped to counsel” her patients with regard to their food.

After sharing this, she states that she became more aware “of the devastating impact of dairy and eggs on farm animals and the planet,” which led to her own personal transformation with regard to food. She was a vegetarian for 24 years before she became vegan, and began to to seek out information about nutrition, and “fill in the large gaps left by my medical training.”

She referenced The China Study and Dr. Esselstyn’s Prevent and Reverse Heart Disease, and points out how it was a big wake up call to the fact that many of the ‘chronic’ diseases that she, and any other doctors treat every day, were not inevitable and incurable.  After this, she attended the annual meeting of the American College of Lifestyle Medicine in 2013, as well as the International Plant-Based Nutrition in Health Care conference in 2014. Here, she met like-minded practitioners and leaders who gave her the confidence to incorporate these changes in to her own lifestyle, “especially a whole-food, plant-based diet – the centerpiece”  of her practice. 

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She explains:

“The results have been nothing short of tremendous, both for my patients and for me personally. No longer do I automatically reach for the prescription pad when I see a patient with diabetes and high cholesterol….In just a short time, I’ve seen many patients avoid or decrease medications, prevent diabetes, lose weight, and reduce their cardiovascular risk by moving towards or fully adopting a plant-based diet.”

She is now committed to spreading the message of plant-based nutrition in any way she can. She is also in the process of developing an evidence-based nutrition curriculum for her faculty and resident physician colleagues.

“With fewer than one third of U.S. medical schools meeting the minimum standards of nutrition education recommended by the National Academy of Sciences, we have a lot of catching up to do!”

The Science

According to Harvard Medical School, “studies are confirming the health benefits of meat-free eating. Nowadays, plant-based eating is recognized as not only nutritionally sufficient but also as a way to reduce the risk for many chronic illnesses.”

The science is the reason why so many physicians like Michelle are making these transitions, and it’s wonderful to see. For years, I believe that physicians, in some cases, cause much more harm than good at no fault of their own. The medical industry is now plagued with false literature and corporate influence, so much so that the current editor in chief of the Lancet, one of the world’s most well respected peer-reviewed medical journals in the world, said that “almost half” of the literature is false. He’s not the only one who’s expressed these concerns, you can read more about that here:

Peer-Reviewed Science Losing Credibility As Large Amounts of Research Shown To Be False

When it comes to food and nutrition, all of the science used to justify how we teach it comes from Big Food corporations, and the indoctrination begins in kindergarten. Our “check-lists” for nutrition come straight from the government, and straight from organizations who receive big money from big food corporations, especially the diary and meat industry. So, when we see these recommended guidelines, they are coming from the corporations that work with government agencies, who sell this product en masse to consumers.

A recent documentary came out, titled What The Health, which covers these facts quite well. It’s a follow-up film from the creators of the award-winning documentary Cowspiracy, which documented the eye-opening effects of animal agriculture and revealed that it’s the biggest contributor to deforestation, water usage, and pollution. It completely destroys our environment, while at the same time creating horrible conditions for the billions of animals who are raised for slaughter every single year.

This current film was executive produced by prominent actor and social activist Jaoquin Phoenix, and you can watch the film and learn more about it here, or simply go straight to its website.

Compassion

Never has our planet seen the birth of so many “activist” type outlets. And that’s because there is a massive shift in consciousness happening. More and more people are starting to wake up and see through the many problems that plague our planet. Whether it be our financial institutions, medical industry, food industry, the process of education or the world of secrecy, the sentiment of the collective seems to be one that, every single year, continues to be changed. It’s time to change the world, and the more we speak up and become aware, our collective perspective continues to change and that alone sparks action, that alone can create and manifest a new reality. There is no doubt we are currently on that path, and one out of several examples is the fact that the desire for a more compassionate diet is on the rise. The need for a more holistic approach to medicine is also on the rise. The mainstream labels it as “complimentary and alternative medicine.”

The idea that eating animals destroys our environment, and subjects these people, yes animals are persons, to horrible torture and heartache at a constant rate is something more and more people are not accepting anymore. Vote with your dollar!

Here are some related, heavily soured CE articles you might be interested in checking out:

9 Things That Happen When You Stop Eating Meat

The Heart-Disease Rates of Meat-Eaters Compared To Vegans & Vegetarians: The #1 Killer In The US

A Very Informative TEDx Talk Sharing Pure Facts About Eating Meat That Some People Still Don’t Believe

Plant-Based Protein VS. Protein From Meat, Which One Is Better For Your Body?

Metabolic Acidosis: It’s What Happens To Your Body When You Eat Animal Protein

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Awareness

Frankincense Shows The Ability To Alleviate Symptoms Of Anxiety & Depression

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Studies have proven the psychoactive effects the scent of frankincense has on the brain, alleviating symptoms of anxiety and depression.

  • Reflect On:

    With all the man-made chemical pharmaceutical drugs out there, perhaps solutions to what ails us are more simple than we may realize.

Gold and frankincense and myrrh… sound familiar? These were the gifts that were allegedly brought by the three kings when Jesus Christ was born. We all know that gold is valuable, but what about the others? Frankincense has long been touted as a magical, mystical medicine and has been regarded as such for millennia within many ancient cultures of the world. The same goes for myrrh, but for the purpose of this article we are going to stick to the medicinal properties of frankincense.

Frankincense starts out as a type of resinous sap that is found inside a special family of trees called Boswellia, which grow almost exclusively in the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. When it is harvested at specific times of the year, the trees are cut carefully with special knives and the sap seeps out. This special sap is then dried in the sun until it is ready for use. More commonly, frankincense is burned simply as sweet smelling incense, but it has many other uses as well including the following…

Historical Uses Of Frankincense

  • As a part of ritual or religious ceremonies
  • Was used extensively during burial rituals as an embalming material to help mask the odor of the deceased body
  • Smoke from burnt incense can effectively drive away mosquitoes and other pests

Frankincense has also been used medicinally, treating various ailments such as arthritis (it has strong anti-inflammatory properties), gut disorders (like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis), asthma, and maintenance of oral health.

And perhaps the most intriguing quality for our westernized modern culture is the psychoactive effects of this special resin, as studies have shown that burning frankincense can trigger an effect that can aid and even alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression.

The Research

One study in particular, conducted by a team of researchers form John Hopkins University and Hebrew University in Jerusalem, explains how burning the resin from the Boswellia plant (frankincense) activates certain previously misunderstood ion channels in the brain in order to alleviate symptoms of anxiety and depression. This might explain why Roman emperor Nero once burned an entire year’s harvest of frankincense at his favorite mistress’ funeral.

“In spite of information stemming from ancient texts, constituents of Bosweilla had not been investigated for psychoactivity,” said Raphael Mechoulam, one of the research study’s co-authors. “We found that incensole acetate, a Boswellia resin constituent, when tested in mice lowers anxiety and causes antidepressive-like behavior. Apparently, most present day worshipers assume that incense burning has only a symbolic meaning.”

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The researchers administered incensole acetate to mice in order to determine its psychoactive effects. This compound they found drastically impacted the parts of the brain that generate emotions and the nerve circuits that have responded positively to current drugs used for depression and anxiety. The incensole that was administered activated a protein called TRPV3, which is connected to the ability to perceive warmth of the skin.

“Perhaps Marx wasn’t too wrong when he called religion the opium of the people: morphine comes from poppies, cannabinoids from marijuana, and LSD from mushrooms; each of these has been used in one or another religious ceremony,” said Gerald Weissmann, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of The FASEB Journal. “Studies of how those psychoactive drugs work have helped us understand modern neurobiology. The discovery of how incensole acetate, purified from frankincense, works on specific targets in the brain should also help us understand diseases of the nervous system. This study also provides a biological explanation for millennia-old spiritual practices that have persisted across time, distance, culture, language, and religion–burning incense really does make you feel warm and tingly all over!”

Can This Work For You?

Sure, this study was conducted using mice, which certainly aren’t the same as humans. However, many religious texts claim that this special resin had uplifting effects on the brain. So, the good thing is that if used appropriately, it really can’t hurt to try. You can typically buy the resin at health food stores and more commonly at stores that sell incense, crystals, sage and those sorts of spiritual ceremonial tools. It can also be found as an essential oil. I like to diffuse it in a diffuser, and sometimes I’ll burn the resin on charcoal pucks as well.

At the very least, you’ll get a nice and pleasant smelling aroma, and at best it can help turn that frown upside down, increase your mood, reduce your anxiety and maybe even put a smile on your face. Perhaps those three wise men were as wise as they’ve been made out to be, and frankincense really is as special as it’s been believed to be for millennia.

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Awareness

Binge Watching Is Associated With a 12 Percent Increased Risk of Inflammatory-Related Death

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    An Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise looked at more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death.

  • Reflect On:

    How much TV do you watch? How active is your lifestyle?

I’m sure that you hesitated before choosing to read this article, as most of us have been sucked into a binge watching marathon on more than one occasion (myself included). While it may seem like we’re buckling down to give ourselves a break, we may actually be hurting ourselves far more than we realize. Sitting for prolonged periods of time has proven to be harmful to our bodies, especially for adults over 50, and when you match lounging with television, you create a deadly combo.

In an Australian study published in the journal Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, researchers examined more than 8,900 adults and found that each additional hour of TV viewing was associated with a 12% increased risk of inflammatory-related death, and those who spent more than four hours a day watching TV were at an even higher risk. This includes  diabetes, respiratory, cognitive, and kidney diseases. (source)

In general, watching television has proven to negatively impact mental health; it alters your brain, lowers your attention span, and has the potential to make you more aggressive. You don’t need to experience the “trance-like” state television can put us in, but I’m sure you’ve witnessed it before. This trance occurs roughly 30 seconds after you start watching TV. Your brain begins by producing alpha waves, leading to a light hypnotic state that makes the viewer less aware of their environment and more open to subtle messages — aka programming.

In the 1990s. Dr. Teresa Belton, a visiting fellow at the University of East Anglia, studied the effects that television has on the imagination of 10-12 year old children, ultimately concluding that television negatively impacts their development: “The ubiquity and ease of access to television and videos perhaps robs today’s children of the need to pursue their own thoughts and devise their own occupations, distracting them from inner processes and constantly demanding responses to external agendas, and suggests that this may have implications for the development of imaginative capacity.”

And these physical affects are becoming increasingly apparent. Not only does it eventually lead to immobility as you age, but with the risk of creating inflammation in the body, you are susceptible to a host of diseases including kidney disease, diabetes, asthma, Alzheimer’s, and even depression.

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Dr. Megan Grace is the lead investigator at the Baker Heart and Diabetes Institute in Melbourne. Between 1999 and 2000, her team quizzed adult participants about their viewing habits via a questionnaire. Again, this was before we had access to popular streaming websites like Netflix. The participants were separated into three groups based on their TV viewing habits: less than two hours per day, greater than two hours but less than four hours, and more than four hours.

“TV time was associated with increased risk of inflammatory-related mortality. This is consistent with the hypothesis that high TV viewing may be associated with a chronic inflammatory state,” the authors wrote.

They followed up with their participants 12 years later and found, of 909 deaths, 130 were inflammatory-related. Of the inflammatory-related deaths, 21 were from diseases of the respiratory system and 18 of the nervous system, and those who watched between two to four hours of TV a day showed a 54% higher risk of inflammatory-related death. Additionally, people who watched more than four hours of TV a day doubled their risk of dying from an inflammatory disease compared to those who watched two hours.

In addition to cutting down the amount of time you spend sitting in front of the TV and sitting or lying down, you can help combat inflammation with a number of foods like avocados, berries, sweet potato, onions, and watermelon, and herbs like, cloves, ginger, rosemary, and turmeric.

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Awareness

The Science Of Healing Trauma With Plant Medicine – Dr. Jeff McNairy Explains

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In Brief

  • The Facts:

    Ayahuasca has assisted thousands of people with an array of mental health disorders. There is real science that can explain how this "medicine" is able to actually change the brain.

  • Reflect On:

    Ayahuasca is not for everyone, and it will not fix you. It might, however, show you what you need to see in order to release what is no longer serving you in life and holding you back.

Over the past decade or so, the use of ayahuasca by western cultures has absolutely blown up. Chances are you’ve either taken it yourself or know someone who has. You may have heard some incredible and transformative stories about how this indigenous plant medicine has assisted many of those struggling with depression, addiction, anxiety and many other ailments.

It has been difficult to explain how this plant actually works to help alleviate symptoms of trauma, and many stick to simply regarding it as a mystical experience that shows you whatever it is that you need to see in order to heal your wounds. However, there is a scientific way to explain what is actually happening within the brain and body when ayahuasca is ingested. Some people with a more logical method of receiving information might prefer to know the actual physical “why” as to what is happening. In the video below, Dr. Jeff McNairy explains this.

Dr. Jeff McNairy is part of the Rythmia family, the world’s first fully licensed medical facility that offers ayahuasca. The entire CE team had the opportunity to go back in 2016 and it was a wonderful experience for us all.

Personally, I have processed a lot of my own trauma with the assistance of this potent plant medicine. It was able to show me things that I hadn’t realized had such a profound impact on my life, things that I had simply written off as unimportant. There were many things that I had stuffed down, locked away and refused to look at over the years that ultimately were the cause for my struggle with depression, addictive behaviours and anxiety. With the assistance of ayahuasca, a light shined on these areas that I had locked away in my subconscious, which helped me to see where healing was still required.

Is Ayahuasca For You?

Whether you are drawn to ayahuasca or not is okay, it’s not for everyone. But if you have a serious desire to uncover more layers of who you are and why you are the way you are, and you’re drawn to this medicine, then it may be for you. Ayahuasca can be a great tool for those who have suffered trauma, but it is important to know that ayahuasca won’t fix you, however it can lead you to understand what it is you need to know in order to fix yourself. It has the capacity to show you whatever it is that you are not seeing from a different perspective, opening your eyes to what you may not have been able to see before.

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It is no coincidence that ayahuasca has emerged within westernized cultures around the globe during this important time of transition. Not only is it assisting people to reconnect back to their soul’s essence, but it is also increasing our regard for our environment and our Mother Earth as a whole.

On another note, here’s an interesting quote from Joe Martino:

Psychedelics were used back in a time when the level of consciousness of the planet was not as high, which helped give insight to shamans so they could share it with their communities. It was meant for use in extreme cases where heavy trauma or addictions existed and people could not use other ways to work through their emotional challenges. Here in present time, we use them in a western fashion as THE GO TO for moving through all of our challenges. I’m here to remind you that you have so much power and ability as a being that in most cases, you don’t need any of these things to evolve. I’m not suggesting don’t do it, I’m simply saying truly ask your heart what you want, and don’t get caught up in the grand allure and peer pressure. (source)

Use Responsibly

It is important to seek out and use ayahuasca that is harvested using sustainable practices and served by shamans who have the utmost respect for the sacred medicinal brew. As its popularity has increased, so has the opportunity to exploit it, so do your due diligence when it comes to determining if ayahuasca is right for you and who will be serving you this medicine.

Related CE Article: Why Psychedelic Drugs Are Not A Shortcut To Enlightenment

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