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Pittsburgh Vegan Expo and Convention offers tasty sample of the lifestyle – TribLIVE

Dacia Thorson recently obtained a registered trademark for legal rights to the word Beaf.

Thats not beef, but rather Beaf, a plant-based meat alternative.

Thorson and her husband Curtis are vegan and own Honest Pastures in Virginia Beach, Va., where the products they manufacture and ship throughout the U.S. include Grillable Beaf Steaks, Corned Beaf, Gyro Beaf, Jackfruit Beaf Ribz, Montreal Chickun, Veggeroni, Teriyaki Beaf, Beaf Broth and Smoked Beaf.

Their Beaf products are made from natural ingredients such as vital wheat gluten, vegetable broth, organic brown sugar, chickpea flour, herbs and seasonings and are adaptable to many recipes.

Each meat involves one or two cooking processes, sometimes three, to get different textures and flavors, Dacia Thorson says.

Moving to Monroeville

They will be offering consumers samples and sales of their products at the Pittsburgh Vegan Expo and Convention Nov. 9 at the Monroeville Convention Center.

The expo is being presented by Amy Cottrill of Pittsburgh, who is bringing the food show to Monroeville for the first time after offering similar vegan food events in Mount Oliver, the North Side and North Hills.

I have watched veganism slowly grow in our city very slowly at first, says Cottrill, who has been a vegetarian, then vegan, since she was a child.

In the past 10 years, she says, the pace of the growth of the vegan lifestyle in Pittsburgh has increased dramatically.

It used to be very hard to find good vegan options in most mainstream restaurants and grocery stores around here. Now, it is rarer to find a restaurant without vegan options, she says.

Making the transition

Among the speakers at the expo will be Dean Caliguire, who played football for the University of Pittsburgh before being drafted by the San Francisco 49ers. He also played for a year and a half with the Pittsburgh Steelers.

Caliguire will talk about his transition to a plant-based diet and how he feels it played a major role in him overcoming several health problems and illnesses. After battling obesity, diabetes, high cholesterol, chronic inflammation and sleep apnea, he took steps to improve his condition and was able to lose 80 pounds and reverse or improve his medical issues.

He spent time at a health center in Santa Rosa, Calif., where he participated in an eight-day water fast and learned how to make diet and lifestyle changes.

Caliguire also credits his family, including his wife; his brother Joe, owner and chef of Sarafinos Restaurant in Crafton; and his godfather, Dr. Dominic Brandy, also a speaker at the expo, for helping him on his journey back to good health.

I still have a ways to go, but I have kept off the weight for a year and I feel like a new person, he says.

Speakers and exhibitors

Other speakers will include Sally Lipsky, talking about her book Beyond Cancer: The Powerful Effect of Plant-Based Eating, and Joel Holc, an energy awareness coach and author of The Eggshell Effect. Professional fighter Khama Worthy will discuss his studio, The Academy: Pittsburgh MMA and Fitness, and his training and career in mixed martial arts.

Local exhibitors will include Taylor Kalasky, owner of Yumzio Bistro in Greensburg, who says she recently expanded her vegan- friendly menu to include items such as vegan omelets and breakfast sandwiches.

One of our most popular vegan dishes is our Vegan French Toast, made with Cellones thick sliced Italian bread which is then dipped in homemade vegan tofu custard, she says.

Yumzio Bistro will feature vegan- friendly mini-doughnuts, fudge, brownies and cupcakes in its booth at the expo.

Josies Sweets and Treats in Dormont recently expanded its menu to include vegan smores cupcakes, cookies and brownies, and savory vegan cornbread muffins with bell peppers and mushrooms.

Owner Christine Krutules vegan options at the expo will include vegan and gluten-free apple crisp, smores cookie bars, pumpkin coffee cake, cinnamon rolls and brownies.

Cottrill says Pittsburgh Vegan Expo is open to and designed for everyone, not only vegans.

All are welcome to try new foods and gourmet desserts, watch cultural dance performances and an eco-friendly fashion gala and do holiday shopping to support local businesses, including artists, jewelers, body care product makers, makeup reps, clothiers, book authors and more, she says.

There will be a performance by four-time North American Beatbox Champion, Villain, accompanied by child break-dancers from The Get Down Kids, under the instruction of Kid Cuba of The Get Down Gang.

Candy Williams is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.

Pittsburgh Vegan Expo and ConventionWhen: 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 9Admission: $5, free for ages 16 and younger Where: Monroeville Convention Center, MonroevilleDetails: 412-225-3302 or

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Marvel Just Turned This 12-Year-Old Vegan Activist Into a Superhero – LIVEKINDLY

Twelve-year-old vegan activist Genesis Butler will feature in Marvel Studios upcoming documentary series, Marvel Hero Project.

Marvel Hero Project is an unscripted series that shares the positive impact several young, real life heroes are making in their own communities across the country.Every youth leader featured in the show will also be the star of their own comic book.

It is such a huge honor to be part of the Marvel Universe, Butler told LIVEKINDLY in an email. She was shocked that one of the worlds biggest franchises chose her to talk about veganism.

Butler believes that being on the show is a great opportunity for veganism.It makes me so happy because I am going to be able to share why we should have compassion for all animals and when we have compassion for all animals, we are also showing compassion to the planet and to each other, she continued.

She filmed her activism lobbying for animals at the State Capitol and at New Life Animal Sanctuary in Lake Elsinore, California. Butler added that learning that getting her own Marvel comic where shes an animal ally was a complete surprise.

According to her website, Butler went vegan at age six after learning that milk comes from mother cows. Now 12, Butler is a real-life superhero to the animals. She is known for her 2017 TEDx talk A 10-year olds vision for healing the planet. Additionally, Butler is also the youngest person to deliver a TEDx Talk.

Butler has since given talks across the U.S. and Canada. Last February, she joined the Million Dollar Vegan campaign in urging Pope Francis to go vegan for Lent in exchange for a $1 million donation to a charity of his choice.

Butler has received numerous awards for her activism, including Animal Hero Kids Sir Paul McCartney Young Veg Advocate award, PETAs Youth Activist of the Year, and the Lisa Shapiro Youth Activist award. She appeared in the 2019 documentary The Invisible Vegan, directed by Jasmine and Kenny Leyva. The independent documentary explores unhealthy dietary patterns in the African-American community and highlights activists leading the modern vegan movement.

Last October, the Harvard C-CHANGE (Center for Climate, Health, and the Global Environment at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health) Instagram featured Butler for her activism. She is the founder of the nonprofit, Genesis for the Animals, which raises money for animal sanctuaries around the world.

Marvel Hero Project premieres on Tuesday, November 12 on the Walt Disney Companys upcoming streaming platform, Disney+.


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Vegan Activist Genesis Butler Is Now a Marvel Hero


Vegan youth activist Genesis Butler will feature in Marvel Studios' new series, "Marvel Hero Project." Butler is the youngest person to give a TEDx talk.


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Ways to promote a healthy lifestyle within your home – Flux Magazine

words Alexa Wang

You may have noticed that even within your own household, your family members have different eating habits and preferences. They may also have different opinions and approaches when it comes to a healthy lifestyle. Whatever your role is in your home, whether youre the wife, husband, father, mother, son or daughter, you can promote a healthy lifestyle at home.

Promotion by leading and example are good ways to have them try out and practice new healthy habits. There are different areas you can encourage a healthy lifestyle, such as exercise, diet, detoxification, stress reduction or changing unhealthy habits such as drinking and smoking. Once your family gets into the program, you can see all of them leading healthier and happier lives and enjoying a better quality of life.

When speaking of being active, the first thingthat comes to mind is exercise. When itcomes to exercise, one of the most common complaints would be it is a tiringactivity. Others complain that it is often repetitive. Youll have to convinceyour other family members that it is an enjoyable activity. You may have tostart with your exercise regime alone for the first few days or weeks. Be agood and convincing example to them by showing them that you are following yourexercise schedule faithfully and that you are enjoying it. They may get curiousabout your exercise and ask about it, thats a good start. You can then letthem repeat after you or go along with a few reps just to try it out. Alwayswear your best smile when performing your exercise regimen. If exercise is justnot everyones thing, there are other ways that you can make your familymembers stay active. The main purpose of keeping your family active is to avoida sedentary lifestyle.

Sedentary lifestyle, or being a couch potatois one of the problematic and unhealthy habits that affect most families thesedays. A sedentary lifestyle can actually put you and your family at risk formany health problems, such as obesity, diabetes and heart disease such ashypertension. Staying sedentary for most of your time at home is also anunproductive and unstimulating activity, which is not beneficial in keepingyourself mentally sharp and active.

There are also otheractivities that you and your whole family can enjoy and are also healthy.Swimming is one good example. Its not only fun, but its also a great form ofexercise. For a safe and supervised swimming experience, you can go to yourlocal public swimming pools or to private resorts with stationed lifeguards.Other fun activities that can make you and your family stay fit are walking,jogging, biking, hiking, and dancing. When you and your family members enjoydoing healthy activities, it is likely that they will continue doing them. Toavoid being repetitive and boring, introduce a new activity or add variationsto the usual ones like instead of your usual biking to the park, try changingthe route to the beach or around the neighborhood.

Preparing a healthymeal will mean starting from scratch. You want to have all-natural and organicingredients for your home-cooked meals. It can be quite a challenge, especiallyif you and your family got used to eating processed foods, takeout meals,fast-food chains, and restaurants. The main concern about these practices isthat although eating is convenient and easy, we dont know what these foods aremade of and whats in them. Personally preparing the food you eat and cookingfrom scratch is the best way of guaranteeing that you know whats in the foodyou are consuming. The preparation and cooking may take time, but you canalways find ways to overcome these setbacks. Preparing healthy food is a goodcomplement to an active lifestyle in order to sustain the health benefits youare achieving, such as healthy and younger-looking skin, well-sculpted body,properly toned muscles and ideal body mass index (BMI).

Stock up on naturalingredients such as animal products, fruits, vegetables, and grains. To dothat, you need to set aside time once a week to make one big shopping trip tobuy your natural ingredients. When it comes to cooking and preparation,schedule your home cooking sessions an hour or more earlier to cover the entireprocess and finish preparing the meal ahead of time. This way, you dont eat upthe time allotted for other important activities and you can still proceed withother activities as scheduled. Buying bulk items and unprepared or unprocessedfood can help you save money by spending less when buying natural ingredients.

Meals do not solelyconstitute your familys diet. A significant portion of their diets comes fromsnacks and after-meal eating. While snacks are becoming our most common way ofrelieving hunger and craving, we can still control the kind of food we want ourfamily to eat as comfort foods. Aside from preparing healthy meals, you canalso set aside time for preparing healthy snacks. Fresh fruits, nuts, and whole-graincookies and crackers can be great snacks to munch on. Yogurt and granola barsmake a flavorful treat and peanut butter, chocolate, and cream cheese makesdelicious dips and additional flavors for your healthy snacks. Exploredifferent recipes and look for a doctor- or nutritionist-recommended websitesthat offer healthy snacks and food recipes and tips. Take the extra effort toprepare and pack healthy snacks for family members who are going to work andschool to make sure they are continually eating healthy food even when awayfrom home. They wont have to get snacks from vending machines or fast foodjoints.

A growing number ofresearch and studies are being conducted on how stress affects your health and well-being.Stress, particularly chronic stress, has been linked to a myriad of healthissues, from simple to complex ones such as headaches, digestive andgastrointestinal problems, and cancer. It doesnt mean that you have to totallyeliminate stress. Stress is our bodys natural reaction to external stressors(social situations, environmental factors, and unexpected life-changing events)and internal stressors (psychological situations, illness, and medicalprocedures), which evokes physical, mental and emotional responses. It isactually essential for survival because it triggers bodily processes andchemical production that help our body prepare to face dangers and threats and helpus cope with difficult situations. However, we should limit the amount ofstress we receive within normal levels. When we experience more than the usuallevels of stress and we get to experience it on a regular basis, we aresubjecting ourselves to chronic stress, which can lead to adverse effects onour health.

There are many ways tomanage stress. Yoga is one of the most effective stress management activitiesyou can try. You can enroll in a class or you can practice yoga at home withyour family. The good thing about yoga is it relatively easy to perform and itspositive concept of being non-judgmental to both yourself and others. Sincesome of our major sources of stress come from our unhealthy interaction withother people and being so hard on ourselves, this concept is a very welcomechange of pace for us. Yoga also cultivates the principle of the unity of mindand body, which is highly relevant when it comes to managing stress. Stress ishighly affective to both our mind and body, which makes yoga an effectivepractice for relieving stress. Yoga also trains our bodys parasympatheticnervous system, which our very own stress-countering response system. Withregular practice, it also lowers our chronic daytime stress levels and improvesour rate variability, which are factors that improve our ability to handlestress. You can start with basic yoga breathing and simple yoga poses that thewhole family can follow. You will all notice the difference in a few days.

Meditation is anothermind-body practice that is effective for managing stress. Like yoga, it is easyto perform and can be done by all your family members. While most of us preferto meditate alone, it can also be done as a group, in a relaxed,distraction-free and peaceful environment. No equipment is necessary and matsare optional for meditating. You dont necessarily have to sit whilemeditating. You can choose any position you find most comfortable, like lyingdown or standing up. You can start with deep, slow and rhythmic breathing andslowly relieve your mind of thoughts as you close your eyes. You dont have anyconscious control over what thoughts come to you, but you can let them progresslike the flow of water and let them take you to another level of peace. Thegist of the practice is to not let stressful thoughts intrude on your mind andfocus on a certain word or significant mental image to screen out negativethoughts and achieve a sense of inner peace. Chants or background music can begreat ways of assisting you in focusing your mind while in meditation. Withregular practice, you experience a sense of calmness and heightened theperception of your surroundings and better awareness of your own self, whichcontributes to a better stress response. There are many variations formeditation that your family can enjoy practicing, such as music meditation,loving-kindness meditation, basic mindfulness meditation, chocolate meditation,bath meditation, and walking meditation.

You can be aneffective promoter or endorser of products that are beneficial to the health ofthe whole family. This is where you can influence their opinions about stayinghealthy, be personally trying out the products and offering convincingtestaments of their effectiveness in promoting health and wellness. One of thefamily-use products that Your Wellness Kingdom recommends is a homesauna. Contrary to popular belief that saunas are exclusively for weight loss,saunas are actually good for improving the overall health of all familymembers, regardless of age. One benefit is it detoxifies the body. Not onlydoes a sauna loosen fat adhesions in our circulatory system, but it alsopromotes sweating, which is a natural way our bodies eliminate waste andharmful elements. Speaking of circulation, saunas improve cardiovascularperformance due to improved blood flow. The ambient heating temperature ofsaunas loosens fat deposits and dilates small blood vessels around the body,which improves the transport of red blood cells and oxygen throughout the body.Improved circulation also helps lessen swelling, inflammation, and aches fromintense physical activities like gym workouts, physical training, and athleticactivities, which makes saunas great for recovering from extreme physicalactivities. Saunas also help relieve stress by relaxing the muscles and easingup the accumulated tension in our bodies. This gives you a relaxed and calmfeeling while soaking up to the saunas temperature. Saunas can help you sleepbetter at night due to its balancing effect of the release of wakefulness andsleep hormones, which as endorphin and melatonin, respectively. It helps in thesmooth transition of endorphin release during wakefulness to melatonin releasefor sleep. With so many benefits a home sauna can offer, it can be a greatproduct to have at home.

Dietary supplementsand vitamins are also products that you can recommend for your family. One ofthe most overlooked vitamins and nutrients are vitamin D and calcium,respectively. There is no age restriction as to who can take supplements ofcalcium and vitamin. Both children and adults need calcium for proper bone andmuscular maintenance. Vitamin D is a great support to the effective absorptionof not just calcium, but also essential minerals such as magnesium, zinc, andphosphate. Another important supplement you can introduce is fiber. Althoughthis is not a vitamin or a mineral, it is still an important substance thatyour body should have, no matter what age bracket you belong. Fiber isimportant for maintaining a healthy digestive system and for the efficientdisposal of waste from the digestive system. Nutrients from the food you eat arebetter absorbed, your blood sugar levels are well regulated and yourcholesterol stays at healthy levels when you have enough fiber in your body.

A healthy lifestylefor the whole family can take considerable effort and involves a large scope.It takes regular exercise, healthy eating, practicing healthy habits and usinghealth-enhancing products to achieve the overall wellness that you aim for yourfamily. It takes, planning, positivity, and determination to get everyoneinvolved and be on the same health goal as yours. Over time, once a healthylifestyle has been integrated into your family life, youll thank yourself thatyou made that wonderful effort to promote a healthy lifestyle for your family.

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HCC and cirrhosis-related deaths may be prevented by lifestyle modifications –

Data from a new study presented this week at The Liver Meeting held by the American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases found that a substantial burden of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and cirrhosis-related deaths may be prevented by lifestyle modifications to diet, alcohol use and exercise.

HCC and cirrhosis incidence are on the rise in the U.S., and deaths related to these illnesses are also accelerating at an alarming pace, prompting researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School to analyze whether adopting a healthier lifestyle might reduce HCC incidence and deaths from cirrhosis.

We wanted to conduct this study because there is growing evidence that both HCC- and cirrhosis-related mortality are largely preventable. Several prior studies have found that individual lifestyle factors, which include body weight, exercise, alcohol use, smoking and diet, contribute to the risk for developing HCC. However, no prior study had quantified the overall contribution of multiple lifestyle factors on the risk for HCC and liver-related mortality. We wanted to estimate how many cases of HCC and deaths from cirrhosis could have been prevented, in our study population, if everyone had adhered to a healthy lifestyle."

Tracey G. Simon, MD, instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, and the study's lead author

The study was driven by the rising epidemic of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) worldwide, and the need to develop treatment approaches that are both feasible and effective at the population level, says Dr. Simon.

"Right now, there are not yet any effective medications to reverse liver fibrosis or prevent HCC. It is essential that we focus on controlling risk factors through primary prevention. Lifestyle modification represents a primary prevention effort that is likely to be a more effective and feasible way to prevent HCC and liver-related mortality, at the population level, explains Dr. Simon of the focus."

This nationwide, prospective cohort study included data on adult men and women with no known liver disease at the beginning of the study. Study participants provided detailed clinical, lifestyle and dietary data every other year from 1986 through 2012. All new HCC cases and deaths were confirmed. A low-risk lifestyle group met all of the following criteria: never smoked or prior smoking less than five pack-years, no or moderate alcohol use, a body-mass index between 18.5 and 24.9, weekly physical activity and a healthy diet ranking in the upper 40 percent of the Alternative Healthy Eating Index (which measures diet quality). All other study subjects were placed in a high-risk group.

The researchers used Cox proportional hazard regression modeling to estimate multivariate-adjusted hazard ratios (HRs) and 95 percent confidence intervals (CIs) for incident HCC and cirrhosis-related mortality. They calculated the population-attributable risk (PAR) of nonadherence to a low-risk lifestyle by comparing relative risks and incidence rates between the two groups, and then assessed the PARs for each modifiable lifestyle risk factor to estimate the percentage of cases that could be prevented by modifying those factors in isolation.

Among 121,893 adults followed for 2,388,811 person-years, the researchers confirmed 121 new HCC cases and 350 cirrhosis-related deaths. Multivariate-adjusted HRs for five versus zero modifiable risk factors were 3.59 (95 percent CI 1.50-7.42) for incident HCC and 4.27 (95 percent CI 56-98) for cirrhosis-related mortality. The PAR for a high-risk versus low-risk lifestyle was 90 percent (95 percent CI 2.06-11.69) for incident HCC and 89 percent (95 percent CI 43-98) for liver-related mortality. Women and men had similar associations. Overall, overweight/obesity was the most significant modifiable risk factor, with a PAR of 36 for HCC incidence and 42 for cirrhosis-related mortality.

"Our findings strongly support continued efforts to develop public health policies for lifestyle modification, to prevent HCC and liver-related mortality. Our data suggested that adherence to a healthy overall lifestyle could potentially prevent more than 30,000 liver-related deaths in the United States each year," says Dr. Simon. "We are working to validate these findings in additional population-based cohorts, and look forward to planning large-scale studies of multi-dimensional diet and lifestyle interventions for patients with established liver disease."

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What to know about food portions – Valley News

TEMECULA Portion control is a big part of a healthy diet. In fact, the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases notes that, when it comes to maintaining a healthy weight, how much food a person eats is just as important as what they eat.

No two people are the same, so a portion thats satisfying and healthy for one person wont necessarily be the same for another person. Answering some common questions about food portions can help people understand this vital component of a healthy lifestyle.

What is the difference between portions and servings?

The NIDDK said that a portion is how much food a person chooses to eat at one time, while a serving size is the amount of food listed on the Nutrition Facts label. The portion a person eats may or may not match a serving size. Thats because a healthy portion size is typically based on various factors, such as age, weight and gender, unique to individuals.

Should calories come into play when determining healthy portion sizes?

Calories do merit consideration when determining healthy portion sizes. However, the amount of calories a person needs is based on a number of factors, including how physically active that person is. The NIDDK said that a 150-pound woman who exercises vigorously throughout the week will need more calories than a woman about the same size who is not as physically active. When trying to determine their calorie needs, men and women should consult with their physicians, who will consider their lifestyle, age, medical history and other factors before advising patients about how much they should eat.

What if I am still hungry after reducing portion sizes?

Its likely that people accustomed to big portions will still be hungry as their bodies adjust to reduced portion sizes. In such instances, people can try taking more time to eat. Even if theres less food on the plate, eating slowly gives the brain a chance to receive the message that the stomach is full. According to the NIDDK, it can take as long as 15 minutes for that message to make its way to the brain. Eating slowly reduces the risk of overeating, and people may even be surprised to learn that a smaller portion size than theyre used to is all they really need to feel satisfied.

Portion control is a great way to get healthy and maintain a healthy weight.

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Qatar- QF event stresses importance of healthy lifestyle, early diagnosis to reduce risk of breast cancer – MENAFN.COM

(MENAFN - The Peninsula) Doha:Awareness of breast cancer and the importance of early detection of the disease has been raised through a community walk at Qatar Foundation (QF).

The event at Oxygen Park in Education City, held as Breast Cancer Awareness Month drew to a close, encouraged people to adopt a healthy lifestyle, and highlighted how the risk of breast cancer can be reduced through early screening.

During October, Qatar Foundation was the venue for an array of breast cancer awareness activities attended by students, faculty members from universities at QF, health experts, families, and participants from across Qatar's community. These events, organised by QF students with the support of their universities, featured lectures, workshops, and fun and meaningful activities designed to encourage people of all ages to play their part in building a healthier society.

Speaking about the walk at Education City, Amie Rollins, Director of Health and Wellness at Carnegie Mellon University in Qatar, a QF partner university, said: 'We are delighted to see the scale of awareness-raising, as many families, community members and QF students have taken part in the various activities at Oxygen Park. 'The event was also characterised by collaboration between various QF universities, making it more diverse and richer. It is also an opportunity for us to introduce QF's facilities to the community, and engage our students in these events, which enables them be active citizens in their community.

As well as a walk to promote the benefits of a living healthy lifestyle, the event featured a Wall of Words', where people wrote messages of support to breast cancer patients, and a Pledge Table' which encouraged visitors to make a lifelong vow to build healthy and supportive relationships. 'We have come as students at QF to express our support for breast cancer awareness, said Noura Al Thani, a second-year student at QF partner university Georgetown University in Qatar (GU-Q). 'Our goal is to help raise awareness and be part of this campaign.

Rodolfo Muoz Crdenas, a first-year student at GU-Q, said: 'The event today highlights how QF looks to engage community members in its activities, and that community participation is at the heart of QF's vision. 'Education City is a unique place to support the goal of spreading awareness about breast cancer.

Among those supporting the walk and its surrounding activities were QF Community Development, QF's partner universities, Sidra Medicine, Qatar University, and the Protection and Social Rehabilitation Center (Aman).

Students from QF partner university Weill Cornell Medicine (WCM-Q) who organized a breast cancer awareness event during October said that, as medical students, they frequently interact with patients and have the chance to understand their backgrounds, struggles, and stories.

Student Aya Yousef, a final-year medical student at WCM-Q, said: 'Through this event, we aimed to spread awareness by having guest educators and physicians from different centers in Qatar, as well as student-run educational interactive games that help to debunk common myths about breast cancer.

The students have collaborated with many health institutions in Qatar to bring about the campaigns, including Hamad Medical Corporation, Sidra Medicine, Qatar Biomedical Research Institute, Qatar Medical Students Association, as well as WCM-Q.

During October, students at QF partner university Virginia Commonwealth University School of the Arts in Qatar (VCUarts Qatar) also organized a breast cancer awareness event with activities that attracted more than 400 QF students, professors, and community members.

Ghada Al-Qashouti, the main coordinator and a member of VCUarts Qatar's Student Government Association, said that raising awareness of breast cancer was the aim of the event.

'We want to contribute to reducing the impact of this disease by raising awareness of the need for early screening, not only for those over 45, but for those who are younger, she said. 'We should not shy away from talking about this disease out loud and listen to the experiences of those who are suffering and those who have helped women to beat breast cancer, as they share their stories and the reality of living with this disease.


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Paleo, keto, vegan: The diets more people are trying for a healthier lifestyle – Red and Black

Paleo, keto, vegan three funky, unfamiliar words associated with health and fitness have begun to fill the aisles and shelves of grocery stores.

These three diet models Paleolithic, ketogenic and vegan are everywhere, promoted and endorsed by social media influencers and celebrities, used on food packaging for energy bars, gummy bears and ranch dressing and hailed by friends sharing testimonials about successful diet plans.

Isaac Mourier, a sports nutrition intern at the University of Georgia, said popular diet models are often shared along with success stories.

So they want to do it for one reason, but thats only because theyve seen somebody looking good or feeling good or whatever, and not really understanding it, Mourier said.

While popular diets are based on some research themselves, they are not wholly agreed upon by nutrition experts. The current ChooseMyPlate guidelines, the official guidelines from the U.S. government, are a dietary reference based on the 2010 Dietary Guidelines created by a group of scientists who comb through relevant nutrition-related studies to produce a set of principles.

Within this framework, however, the scientists who conduct this research are not the ones who actually publish the guidelines that is up to the USDA and U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. This gap in publication allows room for lobbying organizations to have a say in what gets released to the American public.

Elizabeth Klingbeil, a doctoral candidate in dietetics at UGA, said the amount of research that goes into these guidelines should not be brushed aside when considering ones diet. If the goal is maintaining a healthy lifestyle, Klingbeil said, following the Dietary Guidelines are a good start.

People think that, That cant be it, it must be a more complex problem, Klingbeil said. But time and time again a well-balanced diet where all of those food groups show up on your plate in their correct amounts works great.

Senior entertainment and media studies major Maryanna Reed followed the paleo diet with her family while living at home during the summer. Paleo is a diet model of refraining from consuming processed foods that werent available during the Paleolithic era. Reed said she felt better, had more energy and lost weight.

Though she is no longer following a paleo diet, Reed said she tries to have a day of eating paleo here and there. She said the cost of fresh fruits and vegetables is a deterrent, especially as a college student.

Maryanna Reed, 21, a senior entertainment and media studies major at UGA, poses for a portrait outside of the Grady College of Journalism and Mass Communication on Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. Reed followed a paleo diet over the summer with her family in order to increase her overall health. She enjoyed following the diet and recommends it to anyone looking to up their dietary health. (Photo/Gabriella Audi,

Many popular diet trends are aimed at specific demographics that are able to maintain the diet people who can afford organic or specialized food and can control every meal they eat. The exclusivity, Klingbeil said, reflects the lack of sustainability of some diets.

Theres a lot of other options for people just because its in a can or a bag doesnt mean its necessarily bad, you just have to read whats on it, Klingbeil said.

Audrey Haynes, an associate professor of political science at UGA, followed a fairly strict ketogenic diet for about four months to reduce joint inflammation and lose weight. Her orthopedist recommended she cut out sugar, which was contributing to her inflammation.

Dr. Audrey Haynes, an associate professor of political science in the School of Public and International Affairs at the University of Georgia, poses for a portrait in her office at Baldwin Hall on Monday, Oct. 21, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. Haynes adopted a keto diet for about four months to reduce bodily inflammation caused partly by added sugars as well as to lose some weight. She still follows a modified keto diet model and has a new outlook on health because of her experience with the diet. (Photo/Gabriella Audi,

The keto diet is a high-fat, low-carb diet that pushes the human body into a state of ketosis, during which fat is burned for energy instead of glucose found in carbohydrates. The breakdown of fat cells produce ketones, organic compounds used to fuel the body. The goal of ketosis is to function either mostly or completely on ketone energy, essentially burning fat to be used for energy.

Haynes joints felt better within two days of following the diet model, though she attributes the decrease of inflammation to cutting out sugar. In four months of eating keto and exercising consistently, Haynes also lost 20 pounds.

Senior religion and Arabic major Sam Fisher has followed a vegan diet for six years. He does not eat animal products including meat, dairy, eggs and honey to avoid harming animals. This extends into a vegan lifestyle, such as avoiding leather and products tested on animals.

Fisher doesnt see the need for the addition of dairy to the Dietary Guidelines, especially since an estimated 30-50 million American adults are lactose intolerant. And many non-dairy milk options are fortified with nutrients and have more calcium per glass than cows milk.

Sam Fischer, 21, a fourth year religion and Arabic major at UGA, poses for a portrait on UGAs north campus on Thursday, Oct. 17, 2019, in Athens, Georgia. Fischer has been vegan for six years and follows a vegan lifestyle so as to cause as little harm as possible to all living creatures, including animals. (Photo/Gabriella Audi,

Reed, who followed the paleo diet for about four months, said she did not know much about the USDA Dietary Guidelines except for the food pyramid she learned growing up.

MyPyramid, the predecessor to the current MyPlate guidelines, was widely criticized as being too confusing for the average American to understand. Klingbeil said the lack of education regarding the food pyramid could be a factor in why there has been a recent surge in diet trends.

As a dietitian, as a nutritionist, you try and implement something thats sustainable that is going to promote behavior change for life, Mourier said. Whereas a lot of these diets, because theyre so restrictive, they put people at risk of making them kind of go backwards.

From a nutrition standpoint, Mourier thinks its important for people to consider exactly what theyre cutting out when adopting a new diet. He said carbohydrates shouldnt be considered all bad because they are important for day-to-day bodily functions, especially for those engaged in athletic practices.

When it comes to calories, Mourier said its important to understand what a calorie is before labeling it as good or bad it is simply a unit of energy, whether eaten through a Brussels sprout or a McDonalds hamburger.

A calorie is a calorie, but how many nutrients do you get per calorie of your food? Mourier said. Its no longer about calories, its about the other things that are involved.

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4 Secrets to Happy Parenting with MS –

Kathy Reagan Young was used to always being "on." Her husband, a golf pro, was working or traveling essentially every day of the year, leaving her as the go-to parent for their two kids, ages 6 and 4all while also holding down a part-time marketing job. The concept of taking some time off? Yeah, that simply wasnt an option for Young much of the time.

But when she was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS), a disease of the central nervous system, after developing some debilitating symptomslike exhaustion, weakness, and seeing doubleshe knew she would have to press pause on her go-go-go lifestyle. How was she going to balance her already-very-full plate as a working mom now that MS was also in the picture?

All around the world, there are people like Young dealing with this question: How do you raise your children while managing this neurodegenerative disease? MS affects about 1 million adults in the United States, according to the National MS Society. And most of these folks are diagnosed between the ages of 20 and 50the years when many people are starting families and raising children. So if you're an MS-ernewly diagnosed or notand trying to navigate the parenting puzzle, know youre not alone.

Here are the top four pieces of advice Young and other parents with MS have to share.

"I always tell people, particularly those who are newly diagnosed, that if you dont have a village, you need to make onequickly. You're going to need them," says Young, who created the website FUMS (and podcast) for MS-ers.

So whether your support system is made up of your partner, friends, family, doctors, a therapist, or ideally some combination, having people you can rely on for helpor just to vent to when things get overwhelmingcan make the difference between a good and a bad day with MS.

"I had some wonderful friends who offered, for instance, to pick my girls up from school and bring them home, or said, 'Hey, can I come over and play with my kids for a while,'" says Kathy. "And that was super helpful." Her mom also traveled from Minnesota to help her get through the rough beginning stages after diagnosis when she was couch-bound.

UK-based blogger Jenny Clarkson, 41, also lives with MS and has two kids, ages 11 and 9, and shares her experiences on her site, Tripping Through Treacle. Clarkson was diagnosed with MS at age 15, years before she had her kids. But even though she knew going into parenthood that MS would be along for the ride, there have still been some unexpected challenges.

"I started having signs that I had transitioned into secondary progressive MS when my children were young (4 and 2), so in some ways, that felt like being diagnosed all over again," she says. SPMS is often marked by new or worsening symptoms with fewer-to-no periods of remission, and Clarkson's support system was crucial to getting through that adjustment. "I'm thankful to my husband and family at that time for letting me moan at them and for them offering to help with the kids!"

When you're dealing with MS, it can be hard to let go of the pre-MS image you had of yourself. Or maybe you've always been someone who wants to be 100% independent and hates asking for help. The truth is, everyone needs help sometimesespecially when you're dealing with a chronic illness. Accepting that factand having no shame in itjust takes some practice.

"I have had to take more help and support from family members and friends than I had imagined I would," Young says. "This was difficult at first, but it is now completely invaluable: It means that the children don't miss out on going to places that are inaccessible to me and allows me the time to rest and recover so that I can be the best mom that I can be when I am with them."

Talking with your kids about a new MS diagnosis or worsening symptoms can be a daunting task. How much should you reveal? Are there things you should hold back to avoid scaring them?

"My advice is always be as honest as you can be, and just answer the questions you have at that time, because that's what theyre worried about," Young says. "What was most important to me was that my kids could always trust me. I was not going to keep anything from them."

Does that mean you need to give your 5-year-old a lecture on brain lesions and disease stages? No. You can 100% give your kids the info they need while keeping it age-appropriate. For example, when talking to little kids, says Young, "I said, 'Mamas not feeling good, and I have something called MS. There are spots on my brain making me super, super tired, and I have trouble seeing.' It was very age-appropriate but let them know we could talk." You want to be honest, but reassuring, she says. "Because I talked to my kids this way, they know they can trust me, and it was never scary for them."

Clarkson also recommends taking advantage of the plethora of free resources available online, including the National MS Society's MS activity book for kids, that can help your children understand and process what youre going through. Whatever the metaphor you use, find some way to tie your explanations to terms your kids can understand. Here are some examples from the National MS society:

How to explain the body parts MS affects: "The brain is like a computer that tells the body what to do. The spinal cord is like a thick wire attached to the computer."

How to explain what a neurologist is: "Daddy's going to a doctor who knows a lot about the brain and spinal cord."

How to explain MS exacerbation: You could compare it to a baseball game: "Imagine it's your turn to bat and suddenly you don't have the energy to take a swing or even walk off the plate." Or try a classroom example: "Imagine sitting in school [and] suddenly the blackboard goes fuzzy and you can't read anything."

Young's seen firsthand how her daughters have benefited from her approach. "MS was never this big monster thing that we don't understand or that they were scared to ask about," she says. "Honesty helps them feel more secure and know that I'm going to tell them exactly what's going on with me, and we'll all deal with it as a familyand it's worked."

Clarkson also makes a point to use her MS management as a way to teach her kids healthy lifestyle behaviors. For example, she says, she eats healthfully, does yoga, and practices meditationexplaining to her kids that all these things are important ways for her to stay as healthy as possible with MS. "They also have learned about the importance of disability rightsquite often they will point out something saying, 'That's not very disabled-friendly!'"

Being a parent and an MS-er, you might worry about your symptoms getting in the way of your ability to be active with your kids. But you don't have to let go of your expectationsjust adapt them.

"Before I was a parent, I had this vision of the kind of mom that I wanted to be. I wanted to be active with them, to take them to the beach, to go bike riding and on long walks," Clarkson explains. "The reality is that I can't do these things easily, due to mobility difficulties and fatigue. Instead, I focus on what I can do, not what I can't: simple baking, sitting down and playing board games, watching movies, and crafting. I try very hard not to feel disappointed in myself if I can't manage everything that I want to achieve, which can be hard at times."

To stay positive, she reassures herself of what she knows to be true: "I know that I am just as good a parent as my able-bodied friends, I just have to take things slower, plan more, and factor in rest time that they dont always have to."

Young agreesshe tries not to let MS change her plans. Instead, she proactively adjusts her plans to fit MS into the equation in a way that works for her family.

When the kids want to go to the pool, she goes, too. "But I'm going to get my cool neck wrap, my fan, and my ice water, and all of that sort of thing," Young says. Heat can exacerbate symptoms and make it harder to function, so being prepared is everything, she says. "And eventually it got to the point where my girls would ask, 'Mom, do you have your neck wrap?' [The extra planning] just became part of my new mothering plan."

Like any busy mom, keeping daily to-do lists have been crucial in the fight against cog fog, but she didn't stop there: "I've taught my kids to do the same thing, and that's been really helpful to them in school and life in general, too," Young says. They get some important life skills, and you don't have to shoulder all the responsibility. "It's good for everybody, but if you have a neurodegenerative disease that is affecting your brain function, you really need to be uber organized or youre going to be missing some things."

For Young, learning to ask for help also meant teaching her kids at a young age how to pitch in around the house, things like doing a load of laundry, or making a simple dinner like macaroni and cheese. "These were all really good things for them to learn anyway, but we had a real goal and purpose for it: 'When mom has a bad day, I need you to help me by doing these things,'" she explains. By working hard on her good days to arm her kids with useful skills, they knew how to step up and help her on the bad ones.

And modeling that behavior to your little onesshowing them that it's OK to ask for helpcan benefit them in more ways than you might think.

"It teaches the kids a lot, too: Somewhere down the line in life you're going to need some help. You have to learn how to ask for it and how to accept it," Young says. "And you need to learn how good it can feel to help someone, too."

Part of helping your kids understand your diagnosis might include getting them involved in the cause. Young and her husband, for example, used to hold a regular MS fundraiser, and she always encouraged her children to take part, whether that was through baking cookies and cupcakes frosted in orangethe color for MS awarenessor giving a speech at the event.

Want to get the whole family involved with raising awareness for MS? Check out the National MS Society's website for information about upcoming events in your area, like MS walks or bike rides. Nothing near your town and want to get creative? They also offer information about how to hold your own fundraising event.

This has been one of the biggest gifts MS has given Young's family, she says. "The gift to my children has been this incredible empathy I see in them that I don't see in other kids their age. They've had to step up."

Clarkson echoes these sentiments, saying parenting with MS has been difficult but extremely rewarding.

"Although the kids are aware that I have needs that are different from their friends' parents, they are happy to help (most of the time!) and tell me that they wouldnt want me any other way," she says. "I like to think that by having a parent who has health needs, they will grow up to be kind, compassionate, and empathetic individuals. So, as bad as MS can feel at times, we can see the silver lining in our children."

And as your kids get older, they may want to get involved in other ways. For example, Young's daughters are now in their late teens and have gracefully stepped into more mature roles when it comes to their mom's MS.

"My oldest daughter took me to an infusion when she was 16. I had no intention of that, I can drive myself to get my steroid infusion when I'm having a relapsebut she absolutely insisted," Young recalls. "She said, 'I can drive, and you're not going alone.' And she sat there with me and she took it all in."

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Schools adjusting to life with less sugar – Jamaica Observer


Sunday, November 10, 2019

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SEVERAL Corporate Area primary schools have made adjustments to their canteen menus in keeping with the Guidelines for Beverages in Schools, which was tabled in Parliament at the start of the year and places restrictions on sugary beverages in and around schools.

Following the tabling of the guidelines, some secondary institutions revamped their offerings and implemented their own bans. However, there were concerns for the primary schools which also have to contend with outside vendors.

When the Jamaica Observer visited four primary schools to see the implementations made since the guidelines were tabled, the schools all shared one common sentiment they were in agreement with the guidelines and had began making adjustments long before Health Minister Dr Christopher Tufton announced his plans.

Long before the minister spoke about no sugary content we had stopped offering sodas, so that was out of our menu at the tuck shop. When that came in from the minister we sprung into action. We adjusted, based on his regulations. My canteen supervisor ensures that the persons who we contract to get beverages from are compliant with what the minister says. We have implemented and adjusted what we have in our tuck shops so they are at the sugar content that is recommended. We have also implemented water day so every Wednesday it is only water that is served to everyone on the compound, said Shallette McIntyre, principal of St Francis Primary and Infant.

McIntyre added: Initially when we started the water day it took a little while to adjust, even the teachers. Initially the students would come and say 'miss, we need to have something sweet'. It took a while to adjust; we remind each other and they remind me. Now everyone has settled in. We are looking to extend it in terms of fruit day because now we are officially on the Jamaica Moves programme. We have the policy and are up to date and abiding by the rules.

Kahiefa Walcott Johnson, head of the infant department at Excelsior Primary and Infant School also said changes were implemented before the guidelines, as they are governed by the Early Childhood Commission.

Because of the babies and because of the standard that is required, we have been practising that before the ministry introduced it. We don't encourage children to drink sweet drinks; they are encouraged to bring two bottles of water each day and each Wednesday it's just fruits and water, Walcott Johnson said.

However, the canteen that serves Excelsior Primary is operated by Tastee Jamaica, a fast food chain popularly known for its beef patties.

Leon Dobson, the canteen supervisor, explained that they have adjusted their meal offerings to include healthier options.

We don't sell soda, just box drink, flavour splash, and natural juices. We have also introduced healthy days on Tuesdays and Thursdays where there is no fried food and we are looking to introduce another healthy day, Dobson said.

Rose Williams, vice-principal at New Day Primary and Junior High, also said the school had removed sodas and mainly promotes the consumption of water as beverage.

While we don't have water days we promote water drinking a lot. We also let parents know where we are going in accordance with the ministry. On a class basis they are encouraged to drink more water and eat more fruits. Especially in grade one, nutrition is a big part of the curriculum and the coordinator will introduce fruits students are not accustomed to. In addition, there is a lot of health education going on and partnerships with corporate companies that stress the importance of a healthy lifestyle to both students and teachers, Williams said.

Olga Robinson Clarke, principal at New Providence Primary said in keeping with the guidelines, the school had made a concerted effort to purchase more water and the cranberry flavoured bag juice, said to contain less sugar than other flavours.

We have been buying more water. Some grades we have a water day where they drink only water either bring it, or buy it at school. Few will say 'miss mi want something sweet', but when they see their friends buying the water you will find that they do buy. Usually that bell that goes at lunch many will buy the water, Robinson Clarke said.

Health minister Dr Christopher Tufton said he is pleased with the general acceptance of the policy to restrict sugary drinks in schools and said in the coming months additional measures such as a nutrition policy to guide meal preparations for students will be introduced.

This is being done in collaboration with the Ministry of Education. All this is of course to address the increase of obesity and premature illness in our children. We still have some challenges, however, including trying to influence what vendors sell on the outskirts of school compounds. This we have to work on, he said.

Out of the four schools visited, vending was observed at New Providence Primary and New Day Primary and Junior High. However, the school administrators said they do their part in terms of health education and continue to encourage students to make the healthier choice.

Tufton further addressed concerns that the guidelines for beverages in schools were paternalistic and restricted freedom of choice.

The truth of the matter is Government has to act in a manner that respects freedom of choice but at the same time protects the vulnerable and greater good of society. In this instance our children are risking their development because of excess consumption of certain foods. That applies generally but certainly within the school environment, the Government has a responsibility to give the best possible guidance and the best possible learning environment. In that regard the choices they make can't be free for all particularly when the government discerns certain threats with some of those choices, he said.

The health minister further explained that the restrictions are supported by strong scientific evidence and within public health there is a duty to do no harm.

Just as how you have restrictions around tobacco and alcohol because of the clear scientific evidence to suggest that at a young age consumption of those things are harmful, the science is very clear around excessive consumption of sugar and indeed of other things. This is why the nutrition policy as a holistic approach is necessary, Dr Tufton said. We have done work to show that up to 70 per cent of our students consume one or more bottles of sugary drinks per day. On the associated challenges of premature illness and learning disability around obesity and premature illness, it is quite responsible for government to create an environment that is more conducive for young people to learn and develop. That is a duty that we have. I don't accept the issue around trying to restrict freedom of choice in this instance.

Moreover, Dr Tufton encouraged parents to continue to act in the best interest of their children by monitoring their food consumption at home and within other environments.

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New Study Reveals You Burn More Than 50,000 Calories a Month Parenting – msnNOW

Shestock/Getty Images Feeling bad that you couldn't make your spin class again? Don't! A new study says parenting tasks burn 50,000 calories per month.After having my fourth child, everyone kept asking mehow I stay in shape. "Being a mom!" I would joke. But it turns out there's truth behind my comedic routine. A new survey reveals you burn up to 50,000 calories a month parenting. Of course, those of us who run after kids all day, bend over to pick up socks, Legos, dropped Goldfish, and crayons, wrestle little ones into car seats and bathtubs, fix meal after meal, clean up spilled juice, run to school, playdates, and after-school activities, and hoist backpacks, and tote booster seats, all with a baby on their hip will think, "Um, duh." Still, how affirming is to see a breakdown of how physically grueling parenting can be?

The report, conducted by UK-based retailer Wren Kitchens, looked at the daily activities of 1,000 parents with kids between the ages of 3 and 6, and found completing daily parenting tasks scorches almost 1,500 calories (for a person weighing 156 pounds, which is the average in the UK). One of the "exercises" they evaluated with the help ofcalorielab.comis carrying small children, which burns an equivalent amount of calories as doing -ready for this? - 218 burpees. I'm never hitting the gym again! Because between preparing meals, making beds, moving household items, and dressing kids, we parents seemingly have CrossFit beat.

Weekly activities like doing laundry,food shopping (my personal least favorite to-do item), and loading and unloading the car burns nearly 2,500 calories. You'd have to do thousands of burpees to get that result! Personally, I don't mind doing burpees, but thousands? Not one parent I know would even have the time for that between playing with their kids, and keeping them flush in fresh clothes and their favorite snacks. Meanwhile, I'm loving that vacuuming burns 387 calories per week. With a 16-month-old who puts everything in his mouth, I find I'm vacuuming multiple times per day. So basically, Iammaking that circuit training class at the gym I always wish I had time to go to after all.

This study is great news for parents, no doubt. Except, why is it that we don't all look like Jennifer Lopez then? I'm guessing it's because between folding sheets, sweeping, taking our kids to swim lessons, karate, ballet, and horseback riding, and making sure they are having the best, most fun childhood ever, we often neglect our own health and well-being. Case in point? I ate the half-crushed mini-muffin my son dropped on our kitchen floor for breakfast. And the last time I didn'tscarf down the pizza crusts my kids inexplicably leave on their plates? Um, never.

Ultimately, while I appreciate the much-needed recognition the study provides that parenting is a down-and-dirty, sweaty job that challenges the body and mind much like a Peleton session, it's still up to us to live a healthy lifestyle and make self-care a priority. Because hunting down a missing puzzle piece, while wearing a toddler in a carrier, with a load of laundry that needs folding on our hip, can only do so much to keep us in shape. But I'll be dam*ed if I ever do a burpee again!

Gallery: Ways to get a flat stomach without diet or exercise (Good Housekeeping)

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