Keeping Gratitude in Your Back Pocket

It is holiday season in America. For the majority of Americans, a different kind of joy, excitement, stress, and challenge will fill the coming weeks. I am going to guess that when the stressors and challenges show up, many of us will have a hard time welcoming them.

Last month I wrote about how we can make this time of year easier on ourselves as it relates to food and holiday gatherings. This month, let’s look at another way to ease our self-inflicted tensions. This month, let’s talk about gratitude.

Gratitude is defined a few different ways:

1) a feeling of thankfulness and appreciation (vocabulary.com)

2) a thankful appreciation for what an individual receives, whether tangible or intangible. With gratitude, people acknowledge the goodness in their lives … As a result, gratitude also helps people connect to something larger than themselves as individuals–whether to other people, nature, or a higher power” (Harvard Medical School)

Read More »

Why You Want to Trim the Fat This Holiday Season

Giving thanks in November is an American tradition that dates back to 1621 when, as the story goes, a harvest feast was shared between the English colonists (Pilgrims) of Plymouth and the Wampanoag people, the native people of North America, who were here in America long before any Europeans arrived.

Over the next 300 plus years, while there were many giving thanks declarations by Congress and presidents, it wasn’t until 1942 that President Theodore D. Roosevelt issued a formal proclamation designating the fourth Thursday in November as Thanksgiving Day.

As the country became more urban and family members began to live farther apart, Thanksgiving became a time to gather together and feast. In modern times, Thanksgiving Day observations include football games and stuffing ourselves with the traditional fare of turkey, butter-infused stuffing and mashed potatoes, cheesy macaroni and pie, pie, pie!

Read More »

Emphasis on Lighthearted

If you have been out and about in the last couple of weeks, you probably noticed that the big shopping hubs are already playing Christmas music. By the first week of November, everybody knows that, along with some turkey and some mistletoe, Christmas carols are the alarm clock, waking us up to the social demands, hopes, and expectations of the coming Holiday season.

While for some, the holiday season mix and mingle runs like a month-long party, for others, it can be a 30+ day reminder of loneliness and isolation.

I will guess that for most of us, this time of year is an odd combination of both. There are celebrations we want to attend, but with people we don’t care to see. There are people we want to see, but they are in places we don’t want to go. There are places we want to go, and people we want to be with, but we don’t get invited. And of course, there are times we think we have to go out when we would rather stay quietly at home.

Read More »

Orange is the New Pink – Link to Cancer Prevention

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Nearly 1 in 8 women in the U.S. (roughly 12%) will develop invasive breast cancer over the course of her lifetime. Approximately 268,600 new cases of invasive breast cancer are expected to be diagnosed in women in the U.S in 2019, along with 62,930 new cases of non-invasive breast cancer.

Since 1991, the Breast Cancer Awareness campaign and its marquee ribbon have us “thinking pink” instead of the traditional orange of the season. In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, many people and businesses display pink ribbons in the fight against breast cancer. While pink may have become the symbolic color of breast cancer, orange is the color that can actually help prevent this disease.

Read More »

October – It’s Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month, and Pizza Month!

I find the US calendar our National Days of Recognition to be so curious. October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, Sudden Cardiac Arrest Month, and Pizza Month. Remarkable. It makes for such an odd visual. Imagine two people in hospital ID bracelets and gowns, just out of surgery, maybe with IVs connected, sitting in your favorite pizza parlor. Their doctors, standing behind them, joyously yelling, “Eat Up!” LOL! Really?

This month, PCRM Food for Life Instructor, Betsy Bruns, provides us with great breast cancer information in her article “Orange is the New Pink.” So, here we will look at heart health for a minute. If we google Sudden Cardiac Death, we get more than 8,400,000 hits. If we look at some of the more well-known websites, like WebMD and MayoClinic, we find little information about the effects of nutrition on heart health. This, even though ten out of ten health care professionals agree that heart disease is directly related to what we eat. Yet, the majority of information available online from the major healthcare agencies is the same diluted, recycled stuff that has been promoted for years. They say eat more oily fish to increase your Omega-3 level. Limit eggs and alcohol intake. Eat low-fat dairy products and a few more fruit and vegetables. Funny, but it looks like the same information that has allowed heart disease to be the number 1 killer in the USA for decades.

Read More »

Happy Harvesting Season to All!

It is the time of year when we see some of the best produce at the farmers markets. In September, pumpkins are ripening in the fields. This season’s crops of apples and pears arrive in the produce departments at the local grocery stores. The colors and smells of sun-ripened fruits and vegetables are so vibrant they can almost overwhelm the senses.

September (and all year round, really) is also a time to be aware that there are many without enough healthy foods to eat. As we start the slide into the holiday feasting season, we are reminded that, yes, malnutrition exists in the US. Here, however, it doesn’t look like starving children with swollen bellies and sunken eyes, the way it looks in some war-torn or drought-stricken countries. In the United States, malnutrition manifests itself as obesity, type 2 diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease. Here, malnutrition can be the result of conscious choice or financial, emotional, physical, or even geographical circumstances.

Read More »

Letter from Our CEO-PBNM is One Year Old!

We are proud to celebrate one year of whole food plant-based (WFPB) service to the community. On behalf of our Board of Directors, I want to thank everyone that has supported PBNM in its infancy.

Here is what we have been up to this past year:

We held our very first event in August 2018, a potluck picnic at Busse Woods, Elk Grove Village. We had about 100 participants who were thrilled to find so many other people who were excited about the plant-based way of eating.

October and November 2018 were busy months! In October, Dr. Steven Lome spoke at the Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva as part of the “Kane Health Counts” program. The presentation focused on chronic disease prevention, management, and reversal using plant-based nutrition. Also in October, 15 members made a positive public demonstration to thank Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora for adding plant-based options to its hospital patient menus.

Read More »

The Lost Art of Cooking

How many times have you heard people say, “I hate to cook,” or “I don’t have time to cook,” leading to dependence on fast food or unhealthy food choices. I’m here to tell you that cooking plant-based oil free meals can be soothing and relaxing and will contribute to your overall good health and well-being. All it takes is a little bit of time and planning and you can have recipes ready to eat right out of your freezer for the entire week.

So let’s get specific. Make it simple and stick to your plan. The plan is everything. Start off with thinking about breakfast. One of the most healthful breakfasts you can make is steel cut oaks. I make enough on Sundays to last me 3-4 days, storing left-overs in the refrigerator and then reheating them. Top your oatmeal with 1 tablespoon of flax seed (need those Omega-3’s!), some frozen blueberries that you can quickly defrost (much more economical), and if you really want to go healthy, add some greens like kale or spinach, ¼ teaspoon of turmeric, and for fun, I top with cinnamon. It’s delicious and easy to prepare. Instead of coffee, try some blueberry hibiscus tea. I drink two cups a day as it has been shown to lower blood pressure naturally.

Read More »

The Vision of Plant Based Nutrition Movement – Manifesto

Plant Based Nutrition Movement (PBNM.org) aims to organize a combined effort of healthcare providers and community members to promote lifestyle changes to improve the health of America fighting the current epidemic of chronic disease with whole food plant based nutrition.

Chronic disease rates in America are astounding despite clear scientific evidence that a vast majority of these disease states such as heart disease, diabetes, hypertension, obesity and many cancers are preventable with lifestyle changes including a healthy eating pattern focused on whole plant foods. Despite this knowledge, millions of Americans continue to succumb to these chronic illnesses.

Positive change in our eating pattern toward a whole food plant based (WFPB) diet is strongly hindered by culture and industry influence. Thus, the main driving force for change needs to come directly from the people in a grassroots effort.

Read More »