Tag Archives: diet

New York City public schools will adopt ‘Meatless Mondays’

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Bye-bye, sloppy joes. Hello, tofu! Earlier this week New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced that starting next school year, New York City’s public school lunchrooms will not serve meat on Mondays.

“Cutting back on meat a little will improve New Yorkers’ health and reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” Mayor Bill de Blasio said in a statement (which was released, naturally, on a Monday.) “We’re expanding Meatless Mondays to all public schools to keep our lunch and planet green for generations to come.”

The New York City school district is the nation’s largest and includes more than 1,800 schools and  1.1 million students. The city’s “Meatless Monday” effort started out as a pilot program in 15 Brooklyn schools, where it proved to be both cost-effective and popular with students.

The fact that kids in NYC are down to munch on vegetarian or vegan meals once per week isn’t really a shocker; plant-based diets are more common among young people. Plus, the younger generation is pretty riled up about climate change, and there is no shortage of evidence that large-scale meat production plays a significant role in greenhouse gas emissions.

“Reducing our appetite for meat is one of the single biggest ways individuals can reduce their environmental impact on our planet,” said Mark Chambers, Director of the NYC Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, in a statement. “Meatless Mondays will introduce hundreds of thousands of young New Yorkers to the idea that small changes in their diet can create larger changes for their health and the health of our planet.”

New York Public Schools is not the first district to adopt the policy — more than 100 other districts across the country have also signed on. So, so long, Monday mystery meat! You will not be missed.


New York City public schools will adopt ‘Meatless Mondays’

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Foods You Can Eat to Repel Mosquitoes

Mosquitoes find you primarily by your scent. Although, the chemical compounds that create your personal scent are very complex, and researchers have barely scratched the surface of what makes one person smell better to mosquitoes than another.

What we do know is that mosquitoes are extremely sensitive and can smell a potential meal from over 50 meters (160 feet) away. We also know that the foods we eat can change how our bodies smell. Have you ever had a meal seasoned with pungent spices, then smelled them on your breath or skin afterwards?

Mosquitoes can also smell what you?ve been eating, and some foods are more likely than others to throw them off your scent. Try loading up on the following foods this summer and see if mosquitoes give you a miss.

1. Garlic

Research suggests that the scent of garlic is able to ward off mosquitoes. In fact, garlic is recognized as so effective that it?s included in various commercial bug and mosquito repellents. Garlic?s distinctive smell is partially due to its unique chemical compound called allicin. When you eat garlic, you?ve likely noticed the smell of allicin as it comes through the pores of your skin. Rest assured that you don?t smell bad, you?re simply protecting yourself against mosquitoes.

Incidentally, onions have been shown to repel some insects, but not mosquitoes. This may be due to the fact onions do not contain allicin.

2. Apple Cider Vinegar

The strong smell of apple cider vinegar is known to repel mosquitoes and some other bugs. You can take advantage of its repelling action by simply wiping some on your skin. But, if you consume apple cider vinegar regularly, the scent may naturally come through your pores.

It?s recommended to consume at least one tablespoon (18 milliliters) of apple cider vinegar per day to have enough in your system to ward off mosquitoes. Apple cider vinegar has many other health benefits and you can add it to salad dressings, soups or other dishes. You can also drink a tablespoon of plain vinegar each day, but first check these guidelines on how to safely drink cider vinegar.

3. Foods with Vitamin B1

Anecdotal evidence suggests that vitamin B1, also called thiamine, can help deter mosquitoes. Many people have experienced a benefit of either using vitamin B1 supplements or eating foods high in vitamin B1. Unfortunately, research has not been able to support these claims.

Based on the many personal success stories, you may want to try including foods high in thiamine in your diet and see what happens. Some of the best sources of thiamine include sunflower seeds, black beans, navy beans, soy beans, lentils, brewer?s and nutritional yeasts, macadamia nuts and wheat germ.

Related: 7 Ways to Repel Mosquitoes Without Putting Anything on Your Skin

4. Grapefruit

Nootkatone is the chemical compound that gives grapefruit its familiar fragrance. Nootkatone is also proven to be an effective repellent for mosquitoes, as well as ticks, bed bugs, head lice and various other insects. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are working with biotechnology companies to develop a commercial bug repellent based on nootkatone. This would provide a safe and natural product to help combat disease-spreading insects like mosquitoes and ticks.

It?s not known if eating grapefruit regularly will provide enough nootkatone to repel insects from your skin. But, nootkatone and grapefruit are recognized as completely safe to eat, so it?s definitely worth a try.

5. Herbs and Spices

The essential oils from many different herbs and spices are recognized as effective mosquito repellents. These oils are typically applied to the skin. The effect of eating the source herbs and spices remains unknown as it has never been studied. Although, it?s very plausible that the pungent oils contained in the fresh herbs and spices could affect the smell of your skin. And considering that most herbs and spices also have many health benefits, you can?t go wrong adding more flavors to your food.

Some of the best herbs and spices proven to repel mosquitoes include clove, thyme, cinnamon, rosemary, lavender, catnip, peppermint, and lemongrass, which contains citronella.

Related on Care2

8 Natural Mosquito Repellants
Why You?re a Mosquito Magnet, According to Science
Women Prefer the Scent of a Man Who Eats This Diet

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Foods You Can Eat to Repel Mosquitoes

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Is Your Honey Loaded with Pesticides?

Honey is honey, right? Not so fast. The honey you find in your local market can range from a highly processed toxic sweetener no better than high fructose corn syrup to delicately sweet, medicinally nourishing, golden goodness. But you probably already knew that. So you buy organic, raw or local honey. But is it really as clean as you think?

Recent research has confirmed that up to 75 percent of the world?s honey supply is contaminated with pesticides. That?s a real issue. Not only are these dangerous pesticides, like neonicotinoids, harmful to our health, but they are killing off bee populations in unprecedented numbers. Honeybees are endangered and our incessant pesticide use is one of the main causes. If bee populations decline enough, the entire world’s food system will be affected. In fact, certain foods, like almonds, will be wiped out entirely. Bees are too important, so we need to buy foods that have been grown organically.

Related: Without Bees, You Can Say Goodbye to These Breakfast Foods

So?you’re safe if you buy organic honey, right? Not quite. Organic honey is incredibly difficult (sometimes impossible) to ensure. Since bees are foragers, truly organic honey would require at least 16 square miles of organic plants surrounding the hive. In agriculture-rich areas, that can be a hard thing to come by. Furry little bees also excel at picking up airborne pollutants. Furthermore, any chemicals used to prevent invasive mites or diseases within the hive must meet strict organic standards.

Unfortunately, beeswax has a knack for holding onto chemicals for years. This becomes an issue when new organic beekeepers buy convenient wax starter combs from suppliers, 98 percent of which are tainted with some sort of chemical residue. It is almost inevitable that chemicals will sneak in somewhere down the line between starting a colony and harvesting honey. While truly organic honey may?still exist in wild pockets of the world, it is becoming harder and harder to come by. So buying organic honey may not be worth the money.

Realistically, the most important thing for us as consumers is to do some research and buy honey that is as clean and minimally processed as possible. Pasteurization destroys the beneficial enzymes within honey, so be sure to look for ?raw? on the label.

Wondering how warm is too warm for honey??According to Empowered Sustenance:

?The temperature of an active hive, therefore, is about 95?F (35?C), and the honey is stable and ?alive??or rather, the enzymes in honey that give it the nutritional and beneficial qualities are alive. As long as the temperature of honey does not significantly rise past 95?F/35?C, the honey has not been pasteurized.?

Great, so raw is the way to go. But what about unfiltered, pure, local and organic? All this honey jargon can get confusing, so here?s some clarification:

Organic honey: Honey made from flowers that have not been sprayed with chemicals. It is extremely difficult to find honey that is entirely organic, since bees forage great distance from their hives and wax starter combs can contains chemicals many beekeepers use to prevent mites.

Raw honey: As long as the harvested honey is not heated/pasteurized, even if it has been strained and filtered, it is considered raw. Some raw honeys are very smooth while other, more ruggedly raw honeys may be a little chunky, with healthful bits of beeswax, propolis and royal jelly in the mix.

Unfiltered honey: Honey can either be strained or filtered. Straining honey simply traps?big chunks of beeswax and the like, allowing beneficial buts like pollen to flow through. The filtering process, depending on how extensive, can actually filter out beneficial and nutritious components like pollen. In that case, you might as well drink simple syrup.

Local honey: This is honey that has been harvested within 50 to 100 miles of your town. It is not necessarily organic, raw or unfiltered, but you can speak directly with the beekeeper to learn how and where the honey is made.

100% pure honey. This means relatively little. It just means that the honey hasn?t been cut with other, cheaper products. The honey has likely been pasteurized and ultra-filtered unless otherwise noted. It is definitely not local. In fact, it could originate from the other side of the world from places like China or India.

While buying organic honey is great, buying raw, unprocessed honey is way more important. The amazing people over at Beekeepers Naturals go the extra length to audit their suppliers and scout the surrounding areas to make sure the honey they source is as close to organic as possible. Bees need our support. By buying quality bee products from companies who use safe, bee-enhancing practices, we are saving the endangered bee (and ourselves) from an ominous fate.

The more we support ecologically-concerned companies like Beekeepers Naturals, the more demand there will be for cleaner, organic food in general. Of course, it is also important to switch it up once in a while and support your local, clean beekeepers, too. Just make sure your honey?is always raw, unfiltered and as clean as possible.

Bees Saved This Woman?s Health, And Now She?s Working to Save Them
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How to Stop Sabotaging Your Intuition

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

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Is Your Honey Loaded with Pesticides?

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Wednesday Was the Most Dangerous Day So Far of the Trump Presidency

Mother Jones

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By now we all know the story of President Trump’s sudden U-turn on NAFTA earlier this week. But just to refresh your memories, here is the Washington Post:

“I was all set to terminate,” Trump said in an Oval Office interview Thursday night. “I looked forward to terminating. I was going to do it.”…At one point, he turned to Kushner, who was standing near his desk, and asked, “Was I ready to terminate NAFTA?”

“Yeah,” Kushner said, before explaining the case he made to the president: “I said, ‘Look, there’s plusses and minuses to doing it,’ and either way he would have ended up in a good place.”

The basic story here is that Trump is a child. He was all ready to pull the trigger, but then his advisors brought in a colorful map showing that lots of red states and counties would be harmed by pulling out of NAFTA. Eventually Trump calmed down and normalcy reigned for another day.

But here’s the part of the story I still don’t understand: what happened on Wednesday that suddenly put a burr up Trump’s ass to pull out of NAFTA? Just a few weeks ago he sent a list of negotiating points to Congress, and both Mexico and Canada have agreed the treaty needs some updating. Things were moving along fairly normally, and then suddenly Trump woke up one morning and decided to light off a nuclear bomb.

What was that all about? Was it really because of Trump’s obsession over having some kind of accomplishment to show for his first hundred days? Did he eat a taco that didn’t agree with him? Did Steve Bannon have a late-night talk with him?

This was the reason all along that Trump was a far more dangerous candidate than Ted Cruz or Marco Rubio. From a liberal point of view, his incompetence was a bonus that might restrict the short-term damage he could do. But Trump also brought to the table a noxious racist appeal, an ugly nationalism, an appalling level of ignorance, and a mercurial temperament. All of these were on display Wednesday. Apparently out of nowhere, and for no particular reason, he just strolled into the Oval Office and decided he wanted to formally withdraw from NAFTA.

Why? And what are the odds he’s going to do this again on something more important? Something that, for whatever reason, his aides can’t talk him out of with a colorful map and another diet Coke?

I’m not sure everyone realizes that this is the most dangerous thing Trump has done so far. It was a close-run thing, but next time it might not be. And we still have 1,361 days left to go of Trump’s presidency.

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Wednesday Was the Most Dangerous Day So Far of the Trump Presidency

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Advertising to kids isn’t good, it’s grrreat!

Advertising to kids isn’t good, it’s grrreat!

By on Jul 6, 2016Share

Advertising works even when we know someone is trying to manipulate us into buying commemorative coins, banana slicers, and anything ever sold in an inflight magazine. And it works even better on kids, who may not understand they’re being pitched.

In perhaps the best proof yet that advertising has frightening power over children, researchers have shown that a little marketing can convince kids to eat their vegetables. A new study, out of Cornell, found that 239 percent more students chose salad in a lunchroom when the salad bar was covered with pictures of vegetable cartoon-characters and nearby TVs played videos with those same characters — you know Brian Broccoli, Suzy Sweetpea, and the rest of the Super Sprowtz — extolling the virtues of veggies.

“The results of this study highlight how the persuasiveness of marketing media can be leveraged in a positive way by encouraging children to make more nutritious choices,” said Drew Hanks, the study’s lead author and a professor at Ohio State University, in a statement.

Yes, it’s a bit creepy that advertisements — even good ones — can hack the minds of children, but the sooner we get over the idea that we always act rationally the better. Once we accept that our environments influence our actions we can use that knowledge to encourage the good influences and shut down the bad, like marketing junk food to toddlers.

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Advertising to kids isn’t good, it’s grrreat!

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Don’t believe the slander: Americans are eating less crap.

Don’t believe the slander: Americans are eating less crap.

By on Jun 23, 2016Share

Americans are eating less of our unofficial national dish — deep-fried sugar-frosted rot gut. Instead, we’re eating more fruits, nuts, and whole grains, according to a new study published this week in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Diets are, on average, getting better. But the real strength of this study is that it asked how specific groups were doing and found major racial and economic disparities. The diets of both the rich and the poor improved in the decade after 2000, though the diets of rich Americans improved more. The percentage of white adults with what the study defined as a poor diet decreased. But the percentage of black and Mexican-American adults with poor diets didn’t change. Like many health problems, the causes of poor diets are rooted in economic and racial inequity.

One small caveat: This study relied on people reporting what they ate in the past 24 hours, a method which is sometimes better at gathering data on what people know they should have eaten, rather than on what they actually eat.

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Don’t believe the slander: Americans are eating less crap.

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What would actually happen if we stopped eating so much meat?

What would actually happen if we stopped eating so much meat?

By on 23 Mar 2016commentsShare

If you follow the news about food, you’re no doubt aware that there’s a lot of concern over the impact of eating and raising meat, on both human health and the planet. A new study provides more to chew on: It suggests that if we halved our meat consumption by 2050, we could make huge emissions cuts and save millions of lives.

The Oxford University researchers who published their results in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences don’t expect the whole world to suddenly switch to vegenaise. But they wanted to explore possible environmental and human health outcomes from different diets. So they started by assuming that more people in developing countries would be eating like meat-loving Americans — a logical assumption, since that’s the way the world is headed — then looked at what would happen if we somehow cut that projected meat consumption by half by the middle of this century.

Their conclusion: The world could cut greenhouse gas emissions from food (which currently make up a quarter of the total) by 29 percent, and save 5.1 million lives per year through reduced heart disease, cancer, stroke, and other illnesses associated with meat consumption.

Of course, this isn’t a one-size-fits-all kind of diet advice: There are places where livestock form an important part of the ecosystem, and where people are making real efforts to raise more sustainable meat. But for those of us with abundant food choices, this study provides more evidence that less meat makes more sense.


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WomanCode – Alisa Vitti



Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source

Alisa Vitti

Genre: Health & Fitness

Price: $1.99

Publish Date: March 19, 2013

Publisher: HarperOne

Seller: HarperCollins

A holistic health coach helps you rebalance your hormones, create easier periods, preserve your fertility, and revitalize your sex drive. Alisa Vitti will teach you how to support the chemical conversation of your entire endocrine system, from your head to your ovaries. With a few easy strategies and changes to your diet and lifestyle, you can not only solve hormone-related problems, but have the energy, mental focus, and stable moods to be your best self. Simply put, once you support the flow of your hormones, you create flow in your life. In WomanCode, you will learn how to connect the dots between your symptoms, your biochemistry, and food. This prescriptive program over the past decade has successfully helped thousands of women regulate their periods, clear up their skin, lose weight, alleviate PMS, get pregnant naturally, have more successful IVF, restore their energy, improve their moods, and have better sex. Vitti&apos;s revolutionary five-step program gives you the insight and tools you need to: work in harmony with your body&apos;s natural rhythms minimize the impact of toxins in the environment, your diet, and the products that you use target and support the parts of your endocrine function (blood sugar, adrenals, elimination, or reproduction) that need attention tap into the immensely transformative power of your feminine energy Passionately and strategically, the WomanCode protocol gives women from their teenage years to perimenopause the keys to unlock their hormone health. Giving a brain-toovaries explanation of what is going on inside your endocrine system, Vitti can help your whole body thrive. Now that you have turned on your healing power, you are better able to power up your purpose in life. If we&apos;re in the flow of our internal rhythm, we&apos;ll also attract effortless opportunities, enjoy moments of creative expression, and connect intimately with others—that&apos;s when we&apos;re in the flow of our power, our life-force energy, and our fullest potential.

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WomanCode – Alisa Vitti

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