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10 Things Kids With ADHD (and Their Mommas) Wish Teachers Knew

The contrast between expectations and actual ability is stark but invisible when it comes to ADHD. Individuals with ADHD don’t have any outwardly visible signs of having a disability. So ADHD behaviors are often interpreted as willful, defiant, oppositional, disobedient and disrespectful. I think this is toughest for kids with ADHD in the classroom environment. Kids with behavioral and developmental disorders often look like “bad” kids. I want so badly to change that.

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1. The struggle is real. I’m trying hard to not be different from my classmates and friends. It takes a lot of work to look like I don’t have any problems at school.

2. Things are a lot more complex to me than you imagine. What’s intuitive to you is a long and difficult thought process that I often don’t have time for.

3. I worry a lot! I’m constantly worried that I’ll look different, that I’ll forget my homework, that I might say something wrong, or that I’ll get in trouble. I probably worry almost every minute I’m at school. Sometimes that makes me tell wild stories to try to get out of school. 

4. I feel stupid when I can’t accomplish what my peers can. I’m not stupid, but I sure feel like it when things are hard for me but simple for others.

5. I’m emotionally sensitive. I might look like a cry baby, but I feel things deeply.

6. I am a literal kid. I cannot tell when my friends are teasing. I take everything they say and do at face-value. I often feel like my friends are being mean to me.

7. I’m smart! When given the time to fully process or a way to show what I know that doesn’t involve completing a worksheet, I can shine. Give me the opportunity to surprise you.

8. I’m not lazy! There’s a lot more going on in my mind than most people. Plus, I struggle with planning, sequencing and organization. That can slow me down or make me not want to do the work. And my ADHD brain is interest-based — I can focus better on the assignment when it interests me.

9. My weaknesses often make me feel like a failure. You can help me a lot just by believing in me and encouraging me.

10. I don’t intend to make you angry. I want to do well. I deserve love and respect, just like my peers.

source;http://themighty.com

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How Mindfulness Helps Me Cope With Anxiety and Depression

Peaceful woman finding body and mind balance

When I’m depressed or anxious, it can be hard for me to remember what makes me happy or what calms me down. Every coping skill I’ve learned in therapy seems to fly out of my head and disappear elsewhere. I used to let the depression or anxiety take over and control my mind, and would be miserable as a result.

During my last hospitalization, I learned about a meditation technique called mindfulness. Mindfulness is the practice of bringing your attention to what is going on internally and externally in the moment you are in. Mindfulness doesn’t exactly rid your mind of negative or anxious thoughts, but trains you to accept them and let them flow freely without feeling bad about having them.

It’s hard to accept negative thoughts at first; you just want them to leave you and not return. But acceptance is an important step in recovery, and accepting your thoughts for what they are is important when battling anxiety or depression.

On my bad days, I try to be mindful in everything I do, not just sit and think mindfully. When I wake up, I am aware of how I feel. I’m aware of the warmth still in my body as I stretch, and am aware of the immediately negative thoughts I have about the day that hasn’t even begun yet. I let those thoughts be, and move onto being mindful about my surroundings. As I travel from my room, to the bathroom and into the kitchen, I am mindful of how the carpet feels between my toes and of the bird’s songs outside the windows. Already my negative thoughts are moving through my mind, making room for positive thoughts.

As I sit down for breakfast, I eat mindfully. I eat slowly, savoring each bite and each texture of the food. I enjoy what I’m eating, even though on my bad days I don’t want to eat. Mindfulness helps me to not only satisfy the hunger I can’t feel on a bad day, it helps me to truly find pleasure in something so simple as eating an apple. And finding pleasure on a bad day is so very, very important.

As I walk down the street with my daughter in the stroller, I am mindful of my surroundings. I notice the birds flying, the trees swaying and the bees moving from flower to flower. I notice my daughter look around, imagining she is being mindful as well. Children look at the world with such innocence and wonder, much like mindfulness has us do. I accept the worries swimming in my head for when we return home; chores, lunch to prepare, phone calls to make. I accept them and move on, back to observing the beauty around me.

When it’s raining, it’s hard for me to remain mindful. The weather matches my mood and I would like to just stay in bed. But I am mindful about the rain. I notice the size and the speed of the drops, and remind myself that water, even in the form of rain, is good. It is good for the plants, for the crops and for me. It washes away yesterday and prepares me for another new day. I used to let the rain, the bad days, control me. But when I learned to look at the rain mindfully, my mood toward it changed, just like my mind has changed when it comes to negative thoughts.

Remaining mindful helps me cope with my anxiety and depression. It keeps me in the present moment, and manages my worries about the past and the future. Mindfulness doesn’t make my worries disappear, but rather equips me with the peace and strength to deal with them. I was just practicing mindfulness on my bad days, but now I try to remain mindful on my good days, too. Since trying to remain mindful all of the time, I see my situation and the world around me in a more positive light. I find I enjoy the little things more often when I’m mindful; my daughter’s laugh, the neighbor’s dog, my mom’s cooking.

Without mindfulness, I would still be in darkness on my bad days. I would let my negative thoughts completely take over, leaving no room for an inkling of positivity. Without mindfulness, I may not see myself or the world around me in a realistic, positive way. I am glad I learned the technique during one of my most difficult times, so I could learn to use it in the most trying, and the most wonderful times. Mindfulness is not only just a form of meditation. I believe it is a way of life, and a natural medicine to help treat anxiety and depression.

source;https://themighty.com

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When I Was Nonverbal: A Poem on autism

Being nonverbal for years

I often tried to have conversations with my peers

Using body language to bring on communication.

My mind was looking for the right way to tell my parents I loved them

When the doctors said I had regressed.

I knew in my heart I was there.

People sometimes didn’t understand.

While I often didn’t understand the world around me.

When I first started speaking, I found new possibilities

While supports gave me new opportunities.

Getting good grades in school became my motivation.

Being accepted for who I was became an objective.

Because bullying became a difficulty.

Years later even more things I wanted to do became a reality.

And I realized I wanted to become a role model —

That with hard work and determination we can all achieve amazing things.

And for our loved ones we could help them along the way.

With your help we will bring change.

Because with my parents help that nonverbal 2.5 year old boy today is now a national speaker, best-selling author, movie consultant, nonprofit founder, television host and full-time employee at Autism Speaks.

We will make a difference.

And when it happens you will be there with us.

It will be because we know all our loved ones, with or without special needs, just want to progress and be the best they can be every day.

Believe every day in our community.

Believe in hope.

We are learning more about finding the right supports for our loved ones.

Believe in the beauty in our community.

And finally…

Believe our loved ones will do anything they set their minds too. My parents always believed in me, and we always need someone to believe in us.

For every accomplishment, no matter how small. We will give them the supports.

Believe in them…

Always.

source;https://themighty.com/2016/06/a-poem-from-kerry-magro-

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5 Tips to Help You Get Pregnant Faster

While you might have spent the majority of your 20s preventing an unexpected pregnancy, once you’re ready for a baby in your 30s or even early 40s, most women expect it to happen like, right now already!

So regardless of if you’re trying to have a baby during a specific season or month, or just conceive quickly, here are ten tips to help you get pregnant faster…

1. Track Your Ovulation Cycle

To considerably increase your chances of becoming pregnant, it’s all about knowing when you ovulate. After all, you are most fertile during your menstrual cycle right after your ovary releases an egg. This is the target period in which you want to have sex out of each cycle when sex can actually lead to pregnancy. There are a number of online tools to help you pinpoint when you’ll ovulate next. You can also seek help for your doctor to ensure you’re optimizing your chances of conception.

2. Have Sex Regularly

Ovulation aside, waiting to have sex only when you ovulate will not promote pregnancy either. It may make sense to wait for your partner to build up sperm count, but actually waiting long periods between sex will result in a buildup of dead sperm in your partner’ semen, which won’t get you pregnant.

3. Avoid Alcoholic Beverages

Alcohol affects both men and women in the negative when it comes to conception. For women trying to get pregnant, alcohol lowers the estrogen hormone that promotes optimal ovulation. While in men attempting to get their partner pregnant, excess drinking can lower your sperm count.

4. Prevent Gum Decay and Disease

I bet you didn’t equate your oral health with your chances of getting pregnant. However, periodontitis, or gum disease, can actually cause difficulties when it comes to getting pregnant and remaining healthy while pregnant (i.e., miscarriages and early deliveries). That’s why maintaining good oral health by brushing and flossing, as well as going for an annual dental checkup will promote a healthy conception, pregnancy, and delivery.

5. Skip the Caffeine

You know that coffee is a stimulant that when consumed in excess can stress out the body. And trust me; stress creates a bad environment for pregnancy. That’s why sticking to one or 2 cups (8 ounces) of coffee a day and no more is wise while skipping the afternoon soda, energy drinks, and chocoholic cravings altogether.

source;http://www.activebeat.com

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Medicines and Sex: Not Always a Good Mix

For both men and women, it takes a complicated chain of events to move from arousal to a satisfying orgasm. The mind has to stay focused, nerves have to stay sensitive, and blood has to flow to all the right places. Unfortunately, many things can break the chain — including, perhaps, the pills in your medicine cabinet.

Medicines often work by altering blood flow and brain chemistry, so its no surprise that they can affect sexual function, and not always for the better. Medications can shut down a person’s sex drive, delay orgasms, or prevent orgasms entirely. Medications are also a leading cause of erectile dysfunction in men.

If you’ve noticed a drop in your ability to have or enjoy sex, talk to your doctor about possible causes. Be sure to bring a list of every medication you’re taking. A simple change of drugs or doses could be all it takes. But never stop taking a prescription drug or change dosages on your own. Your doctor can help you determine if a drug you’re taking is the problem — and help you switch to another medication safely.

What drugs can affect sexual function?

SSRIs (antidepressants) You may have noticed that television ads for common antidepressants such as Paxil (paroxetine) or Zoloft (sertraline) mention “certain sexual side effects.” The full story is that for some people, SSRI antidepressants can put desire on hold and make it difficult to achieve orgasm. A study of nearly 600 men and women treated with an SSRI, published in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy, found that roughly one in six patients reported new sexual problems. The number-one complaint? Delayed or absent orgasms. Many patients also reported declines in desire. Overall, men were more likely than women to report sexual problems while on SSRIs.

As reported in The American Family Physician, other studies have found that up to one-half of patients taking SSRIs have reported sexual problems. Study results vary depending on the patients studied and the questions asked, but the final message is the same: Sexual side effects caused by SSRIs are common.

If SSRIs are affecting your sex life, talk to your doctor. As reported in Current Psychiatry Reports, there are several options to get you back on track. Your doctor may suggest switching to Wellbutrin (bupropion), or another non-SSRI antidepressant that is less likely to cause sexual side effects. If your current medication is working well and you don’t want to make a switch, your doctor may want to lower the dose or give you a break from taking drugs. A few studies have suggested that men who develop erectile dysfunction while taking SSRIs may respond to Viagra (sildenafil), Cialis (tadalafil), or Levitra (vardenafil) added to their overall treatment plan.

Blood pressure medications

Many drugs that control high blood pressure — including commonly prescribed diuretics and beta blockers — can also put the brakes on a person’s sex life. The drugs can cause erectile dysfunction in men and, when taken by women, they can diminish sexual desire.

In many cases, the best way to overcome sexual problems caused by blood pressure medication is simply to switch prescriptions. ACE inhibitors and calcium antagonists seem less likely than diuretics or beta blockers to cause sexual side effects.

Keep in mind that not every blood pressure medication is right for every person. Your doctor will help you determine whether a different prescription would be the best option for you, and can recommend the right one for your particular circumstances.

Opioid (narcotic) painkillers Opioids such as morphine or OxyContin (oxycodone) do more than just ease pain. As an unfortunate side effect, the drugs can also reduce the production of testosterone and other hormones that help drive sexual desire in both men and women.

The sexual side effects of opioids haven’t been thoroughly investigated, but preliminary studies paint a disappointing picture. As reported in the Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, a study of 73 men and women receiving spinal infusions of opioids uncovered widespread sexual problems. Ninety-five percent of the men and 68 percent of the women reported a drop in sex drive, and all of the premenopausal women either developed irregular periods or stopped menstruating completely.

If you think opioids might be undermining your sex life, ask your doctor if it’s possible to get similar pain relief from non-opioid medications. Even if you don’t quit opioids completely, merely cutting back could help you regain your spark. Your doctor may be able to suggest other methods of pain relief such as massage or biofeedback that will make it easier for you to scale back on your opioids. If blood tests show that you’re low in testosterone, your doctor may want to prescribe testosterone shots or patches to help rekindle your sex drive.

Antihistamines Even some over-the-counter drugs can affect your sex life. Antihistamines are a prime example. As reported by the Cleveland Clinic, these drugs can cause erectile dysfunction or ejaculation problems in men. For women, antihistamines can cause vaginal dryness.

This is only a partial list. Other drugs that can affect a person’s sex life include oral contraceptives, tricyclic antidepressants, antipsychotics, and cholesterol medications. You and your doctor should take sexual side effects seriously, but you should be able to find a way to restore sexual abilities and desires without compromising your treatment.

source;http://consumer.healthday.com

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Epilepsy: ‘Miracle Diet’ Prevents Seizures; Scientists May Know Why

 

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While neurologists have known that a high-fat and very low-carb diet, known as a ketogenic diet, reduces seizures in epileptic patients who are resistant to medical therapy, the “why” to it all has always been a mystery.

But today, some scientists say they may have found the answer. Researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and Harvard Medical School said seizures might be linked to a protein that changes metabolism in the brain, which is why patients respond so well to the ketogenic diet.

Epilepsy is a brain disorder in which a person has repeated seizures, or convulsions, over time. The seizures represent episodes of disturbed brain activity and cause changes in attention and behavior, according to the National Institutes of Health. The condition affects about 3 million Americans and 50 million people worldwide, according to the Epilepsy Foundation.

The ketogenic diet mimics aspects of starvation by forcing the body to burn fats instead of carbohydrates. The diet produces ketones in the body, organic compounds that form when the body uses fat, instead of glucose, as a source of energy. An elevated level of ketone bodies in the blood reduces the frequency of epileptic seizures.

The study, published in the journal Neuron and conducted in genetically-altered mice, found that the effect of the ketogenic diet on epilepsy can be mimicked using a much more specific and non-dietary approach by manipulating a particular protein in mice, said Gary Yellen, a professor of neurobiology at Harvard Medical School and co-author of the study.

“This points toward potential new ways of treating epilepsy in patients for whom current drugs are not effective,” said Yellen.

Yellen said that while the connection between epilepsy and diet has remained unclear for nearly 100 years, he has seen children’s lives change drastically after changes in their food intake. In the past, some patients have also seen improvement when they cut nearly all sugar from their diets.

Experimenting in mice, the researchers found they could mimic the effects of the diet by altering a specific protein, known as BAD. Seizures decreased in the mice.

While the research must first be replicated in humans, Yellen said, in the long run, scientists should be able to target this pathway pharmacologically.

“Because the ketogenic diet can be so broadly effective against many types of epilepsy that are not well-treated by existing medications, tapping into its mechanism may be valuable for treating many epilepsy patients,” he said.

source;http://abcnews.go.com

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Diabetes Nutrition: Including Sweets in Your Meal Plan

Diabetes nutrition focuses on healthy foods, but sweets aren’t necessarily off-limits. Here’s how to include sweets in your meal plan.

Diabetes nutrition focuses on healthy foods. But you can eat sweets once in a while without feeling guilty or significantly interfering with your blood sugar control. The key to diabetes nutrition is moderation.

For years, people with diabetes were warned to avoid sweets. But what researchers understand about diabetes nutrition has changed.

  • Total carbohydrate is what counts. It was once assumed that honey, candy and other sweets would raise your blood sugar level faster and higher than would fruits, vegetables or “starchy” foods, such as potatoes, pasta or whole-grain bread. But this isn’t true, as long as the sweets are eaten with a meal and balanced with other foods in your meal plan. Although different types of carbohydrate can affect your blood sugar level differently, it’s the total amount of carbohydrate that really matters.
  • But don’t overdo empty calories. Of course, it’s still best to consider sweets as only a small part of your overall plan for diabetes nutrition. Candy, cookies and other sweets have few vitamins and minerals and are often high in fat and calories. You’ll get more empty calories — calories without the essential nutrients found in healthier foods — when you eat sweets.

Sweets count as carbohydrates in your meal plan. The trick is substituting small portions of sweets for other carbohydrates — such as bread, tortillas, rice, crackers, cereal, fruit, juice, milk, yogurt or potatoes — in your meals. To allow room for sweets as part of a meal, you have two options:

  • Replace some of the carbohydrates in your meal with a sweet.
  • Swap a high-carb-containing food in your meal for something with fewer carbohydrates and eat the remaining carbohydrates in your meal plan as a sweet.

Let’s say your typical dinner is a grilled chicken breast, a medium potato, a slice of whole-grain bread, a vegetable salad and fresh fruit. If you’d like a small frosted cupcake after your meal, look for ways to keep the total carbohydrate count in the meal the same. You may trade your slice of bread and the fresh fruit for the cupcake. Or replace the potato with a low-carbohydrate vegetable such as broccoli. Adding the cupcake after this meal keeps the total carbohydrate count the same. Just remember, dessert serving sizes can vary significantly, so try to estimate your carbohydrate count as accurately as possible.

To make sure you’re making even trades, read food labels carefully, and be sure to ask your dietitian if you have any questions. Look for the total carbohydrate in each food, which tells you how much carbohydrate is in one serving of the food.

As part of diabetes nutrition, artificial sweeteners can offer the sweetness of sugar without the calories. Artificial sweeteners may help you reduce calories and stick to a healthy meal plan — especially when used instead of sugar in coffee and tea, on cereal, or in baked goods. In fact, artificial sweeteners are considered free foods because they contain very few calories and don’t count as a carbohydrate, a fat or any other food in your meal plan.

Examples of artificial sweeteners include:

  • Acesulfame potassium (Sunett, Sweet One)
  • Aspartame (Equal, NutraSweet)
  • Saccharin (SugarTwin, Sweet’N Low)
  • Sucralose (Splenda)

Artificial sweeteners don’t necessarily offer a free pass for sweets.

  • Keep an eye out for calories and carbs. Many products made with artificial sweeteners, such as baked goods and artificially sweetened yogurt or pudding, still contain calories and carbohydrates that can affect your blood sugar level.
  • Sugar alcohols are not calorie-free. Sugar alcohols, another type of reduced-calorie sweetener, are often used in sugar-free candies, chewing gum and desserts. Check product labels for words such as “isomalt,” “maltitol,” “mannitol,” “sorbitol” and “xylitol.” Sugar-free foods containing sugar alcohols still have calories. And in some people, sugar alcohols can cause diarrhea.

Two naturally derived sweeteners, stevia (Truvia, Pure Via) and agave nectar, offer another option when it comes to sweetening your food. Keep in mind that the sugar-to-sweetener ratio is different for each product, so you may need to experiment until you find the taste you like. Also, agave nectar isn’t calorie- or carbohydrate-free, so it shouldn’t be considered for weight loss; but it has a lower glycemic index than does sugar, so it won’t affect your glucose level as much.

Diabetes nutrition doesn’t have to mean no sweets. If you’re craving them, ask a registered dietitian to help you include your favorite treats into your meal plan. A dietitian can also help you reduce the amount of sugar and fat in your favorite recipes. And don’t be surprised if your tastes change as you adopt healthier eating habits. Food that you once loved may seem too sweet — and healthy substitutes may become your new idea of delicious

source;http://www.mayoclinic.org

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Our ancestors were carnivorous super-predators, so do we really have a choice about eating meat?

Most of it promotes our food choices as a simple binary decision – eat this don’t eat that; this is good for you, that’s bad.

Yet, the decisions we make about what to eat are a complicated affair. They’re never a simple case of eat what’s best for your health or what naturally suits our physiology.

Cultural mores, religious practices, ethical concerns, gender, stage of life and state of health, geographic location, economics and family and individual preferences all play a role in the selections we make.

One of the most confusing choices people face is whether to eat meat or not, and opinions are very strong on both sides of the debate. But is it natural to do so?

Our ancestors evolved to be super-predators with meat eating and sharing a key survival strategy for our kind for millions of years. So, do we really have a choice to eat meat today?

Things to eat and avoid

Culture is a ubiquitous force when it comes to making choices about food. All human societies, from hunter-gatherer to post-industrial ones like our own, have food preferences and fads, or restrictions and taboos.

We eat things because they taste good, even if they are bad for us. Other things we avoid have proven health benefits, but maybe they’re simply not as tasty or palatable.

Sometimes food taboos exist for good reason – such as to prevent overuse of an important resource or to reduce the risk of food poisoning at an important stage of life.

But just as often we find dietary preferences are culturally patterned behaviours, such as women changing their diet at varying times in their menstrual cycle, despite the practice having negative health consequences.

On top of this, certain nutrients like sugar activate reward pathways in the brain similar to those associated with cocaine use, making them highly sought after, and potentially addictive.

Much of the dietary advice found on the internet might be well meaning, but a substantial amount of it is misleading and frequently smacks of anti-intellectualism.

Bowls full of bullshit

More often than not though the ease with which we can post our opinions online has led to a glut of dietary advice that can only be described as ‘bullshit’.

Bullshit is defined by Princeton philosopher Harry Frankfurt to mean something espoused by someone who pretends to know a lot about it but actually knows very little.

It’s rife on the internet and fuels both anti-intellectualism and a deep mistrust of scientific authority.

The debate about meat, and whether we humans have evolved to eat it, has to be one of the best examples of bullshit seen on the web.

It has largely lost all sense of the complex reality of food choice behaviours, and far too often tries to rewrite our evolutionary history by invoking pseudoscience.

Some pro-vegetarian or vegan promoting websites mistakenly claim that humans shouldn’t eat meat because we evolved to be herbivores.

The substance of their arguments is often traceable back to the influential but pseudoscientific views of vegan physician Milton R. Mills.

Some vegan sites even claim support from anthropology for their anti-meat agenda.

We also find bogus arguments like these promoted in the mainstream media where some columnists push an anti-intellectual agenda by misrepresenting the views of scientists themselves such as fellow anthropologist Richard Leakey.

For the record, here’s what he has actually written about meat eating and human evolution.

But if you love a good steak, don’t take the moral high ground just yet. There’s plenty of bullshit in the pro-meat camp as well.

One need only read internet debates on the subject of meat eating to see barnyards full of it on both sides.

As an interesting aside, social anthropologists have found meat to be the one food that’s subject to food taboos across a large number of cultures.

So, there might be a much deeper (genetic?) origin to our varying opinions towards meat, with some people loving it, and others repulsed by it, across the world.

Humans evolved as super-predators

No matter what the most militant of vegans or vegetarians would like to think, there’s an abundance of scientific evidence that we humans evolved to be predator apes.

Our ancestors were highly skilled hunters and meat was widely eaten and highly prized.

While hunter-gatherers varied considerably in terms of how much meat they consumed, none of them was vegan, and such diets simply wouldn’t have been available or viable options for them anyway.

Our human ecological and life history strategy evolved around acquiring and sharing hard to catch, but large pay-off, foods such as big mammals and fish.

We humans rely on culture for everything we do, whether it be the values and shared ideas we have about the world, social relationships, or the methods and tools we use to aid with the catching and processing food.

The earliest examples of stone tools used for acquiring and processing food have been found in Africa and date to around 3.3 million years old.

Butchered and defleshed bones from around the same time indicate clearly that early humans were butchering large bodied mammals for food.

Fire was probably used in an at least an ad hoc way from around 1.6 million years ago – probably much earlier – but became a regular tool for pre-modern humans from at least 400,000 years ago.

Cooking played a major role in making both meat and starchy foods palatable and digestible, providing our ancestors with a huge survival advantage.

Food cooking, especially of meat, may even have contributed to the evolution of our large brains.

Endurance running, persistence hunting

Humans are the only living primate adapted for running – particularly endurance running, and during the hottest time of the day. This seems also to be a universal pattern among the species belonging to the human genus Homo; all dozen or more of us.

The organs of balance – our vestibular system – are designed to help keep the head stable because of its tendency to pitch forward when running.

Humans possess a nuchal ligament to connect the base of the skull to the spinal column and help keep the head balanced as we run.

We have long lower limbs and a narrow trunk and pelvis. Our rib-cage is barrel shaped rather than shaped like a funnel with a bulging gut, like chimpanzees.

The muscles of our shoulder are decoupled from those of our neck because they aren’t used for climbing, aiding the need to counterbalance the legs and reduce rotation of the head when running.

Many of our lower limb muscles and their tendons – like the gluteus maximus, iliotibial tract and Achilles tendon- are also adapted for running.

We have large ankle bones, arches across two directions of the foot, and the ligaments of the foot absorb energy when we run releasing it during toe-off.

Our big toe has been brought into line with the other toes, losing its branch grasping abilities.

Humans have sparse and short body hair and between 5 and 12 million appocrine sweat glands that can produce up to 12 litres of water a day to help prevent hyperthermia.

The only other African mammals that are active during the heat of the day, running long distances, are dogs and hyenas.

Our species also has uniformly pigmented skin – the exception being people living at high latitude who probably lost their skin colour very recently.

Pigmentation protects the outer layers of the skin against sun damage and ultimately skin cancer, so is vital for a mammal that has sparse body hair and is active in the heat of the day.

All of this points to hunting, and a particular style called the persistence hunt. It would have been widespread prior to the invention of weapons like bows and arrows around 60,000 years ago.

David Attenborough’s Life of Mammals series has some wonderfully engaging footage of San men undertaking a persistence hunt. It’s well worth a look.

A gutsy move

To claim we shouldn’t eat meat because we aren’t anatomically identical to carnivores demonstrates a profound misunderstanding of how evolution has worked.

Humans and carnivores, like dogs and hyenas, are very different kinds of mammals, separated by around 100 million years of evolutionary history.

We are primates, and our basic body plan is constrained genetically by our primate heritage. You can’t turn an ape into a wolf in just 3 million years!

While much has been made of our sacculated colon, this is a feature common to all apes, and is the result of common evolutionary inheritance.

We have all evolved from plant eating apes regardless of what we eat today. A sacculated colon in no way suggests we are herbivores.

Besides, humans do eat a lot more than just meat and clearly require a wide range of foods for a balanced diet. For example, no apes can synthesise vitamin C in their bodies so it must be acquired from plant food sources.

However, the human gut differs substantially from other apes in a couple of key respects: first, we have a small total gut for our body size, and second, our greatest gut volume lies in the small intestine, while in other apes it lies in the colon.

A bigger small intestine indicates we absorb most of our nutrients there, and that we obtain them from high quality, nutrient dense, sources like meat and starchy foods.

While a large colon, as seen in all other apes, fits with their strongly plant based diet (87-99% of foods) and the need to ferment it. Humans simply can’t survive on the type of diet we see chimpanzees, gorillas, orangutans or gibbons eating.

Another disturbing piece of evidence worth noting is tapeworms. Each year millions of people around the world are infected with them through eating under-cooked or raw meat.

And here’s the rub: without infecting a human host, at least four species of tapeworm would be unable to reproduce. Humans are a definitive hostfor them.

The only other mammals to be definitive hosts for tapeworms are carnivores like lions and hyenas.

Molecular clocks suggest human tapeworms evolved about the time our ancestors began to hunt.

Briefly, two other human features need mentioning because they have been widely used to mislead people on the issue of meat eating.

Our teeth are very similar to those of other apes in terms of the size, shape and number we posses – all apes and Old World monkeys have 32.

But there’s one important difference: we humans have small canine teeth.

The canine teeth of apes are not used for catching prey or chewing food. Instead they are for display and are used by males to battle it out for dominance in a social hierarchy or for access to mates.

A small canine tooth evolved in human evolution sometime after 5 million years ago and represents a shift in the social structure and mating behaviour of our ancestors.

It shows us that male-to-male conflict had reduced. Perhaps because males were sharing food with females and each other. Males and females may even have been monogamous at this time.

Lastly, humans have nails instead of claws because we are primates. No primates have claws. So to claim that our lack of claws shows we shouldn’t eat meat again indicates a clear lack of familiarity with our biology.

Besides, early human hunters used tools, their big brains and understanding of their environment and cooperative tendencies to catch food, not their brawn.

Making informed choices

There is a danger in taking our evolutionary history as fate. We are no longer hunter-gatherers and our lifestyle is about as far removed from that of our ancestors as can be imagined.

We need to adapt to our changing circumstances and find a diet that healthily supports it, like we have always done as a species.

Whether we choose to eat meat or not is not just a question of biology. It involves a complex set of cultural, social, ethical, health, personal and economic factors as well. It is not binary.

The best guide for most people on how to eat comes from science itself, for example, as presented in guidelines like those from the Australian Government.

But many millions of people today survive on low or no meat diets, by choice, or otherwise. In this sense, vegetarianism or veganism is like any other culturally situated dietary choice.

It should be both understood and respected as such and can’t be explained away or justified by appealing to a particular narrative of our evolutionary past.

In the end, my gripe is not with vegetarians or vegans or with those people who choose to eat animal food. My beef is with people who set out to promote their beliefs by appealing to anti-intellectualism.

Dishonest people who eschew the evidence and contestability of ideas that lie at the heart of science for personal, political or financial gain.

Those self-appointed experts who set out to deliberately deceive us by using pseudoscience or plain old bullshit to construct their own version of our past

source;http://theconversation.com/

oatmeal-bowl-160613

Whole Grains Each Day Linked To Longer Life

Eating a diet rich in whole grains may reduce your risk of dying early, a new meta-analysis finds.

People who reported eating at least three servings of whole grains daily were 20 percent less likely to die early from any cause compared with people who reported eating less than one serving a day, the researchers found. The analysis included 14 previous studies; all of the studies were at least six years long, and many were more than 10 years long.

The researchers also looked at specific causes of death. They found that eating three servings of whole grains a day was associated with a 25 percent lower risk of death from heart disease, and a 14 percent lower risk of death from cancer, compared with eating one serving or less of whole grains daily.

[5 Surprising Ways to Be Heart Healthy]

The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating three or more servings of whole grains each day. However, Americans eat, on average, less than one serving a day, according to the study, published today (June 13) in the journal Circulation.

Indeed, “these findings lend further support to the U.S. government’s current Dietary Guidelines for Americans, which suggest high consumption of whole grains to facilitate disease prevention,” Dr. Qi Sun, an assistant professor of nutrition at the Harvard School of Public Health in Boston, and the senior author on the study, said in a statement.

The studies in the meta-analysis included a total of more than 786,000 people. There were nearly 98,000 deaths in all of the studies, including more than 23,000 from heart disease and more than 37,000 from cancer.

“Multiple individual studies consistently revealed a reduced risk of death among people who consumed more whole grains,” Sun told Live Science.

Moreover, each serving, or 0.5 ounces (16 grams), of whole grains a day was associated with a 7 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from any cause, a 9 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from heart disease and a 5 percent reduction in a person’s risk of death from cancer, the meta-analysis found.

The researchers noted that the types of whole grains people ate varied from study to study. However, in the U.S., more than 70 percent of whole grains that people eat come from breads and cereal grains, which include oatmeal, rice and barley, according to the study. [Extending Life: 7 Ways to Live Past 100]

This is not the first study to suggest whole grains have health benefits, nor is it the first meta-analysis to do so.

Two previous meta-analyses, for example, found that whole grains were associated with lower blood sugar levels, lower cholesterol levels andlower amounts of body fat, the researchers wrote.

A number of compounds found in whole grains could contribute to the foods’ effects on health, the researchers wrote. Fiber, for example, may lower cholesterol and help people feel fuller so they eat fewer calories. Magnesium may help improve insulin sensitivity and lower blood pressure. And other minerals and antioxidants may help fight oxidative stress, they said.

Based on the new findings, “health care providers should unanimously recommend whole grain consumption to the general population, as well as patients with certain diseases, to help achieve better health and perhaps reduce death,” Sun said.

In addition, whole grains should replace refined carbohydrates in a person’s diet, because these carbohydrates have been shown to have negative health effects, the researchers wrote.

source;http://www.livescience.com/55059-whole-grains-daily-linked-to-longer-life.html

low-carb-cauliflower-breadsticks-FEAT-2

LOW CARB SOFT CAULIFLOWER BREADSTICKS WITH FRESH HERBS, GARLIC AND DIET PROGRAM

When you can’t eat bread, either because of allergies, diabetes, or you are choosing to be on a low carb diet, this recipe for Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks will put a big smile on your face and help you stick to that new year’s resolution!

I have always been pretty addicted to carbs, but I feel so much better when I limit them in my diet. My body responds better to eating a high protein, low carb diet. I have more energy, my head is clearer, I sleep better, I’m so much more productive, the list could go on. I just feel all around great when I limit my carb intake.

Because I feel so much better, I don’t want to slip back into my old habits that make me feel not-so-good, but I sure do miss bread. When I saw a recipe for Cauliflower Squares on Allrecipes, I thought they looked like an interesting addition to my low carb diet. There are a whole host of recipes for Cauliflower Breadsticks on the web, but this one looked easy enough. I made some adjustments to the recipe, because I can’t help myself, but I think it turned out almost as good as cheesy bread.

LOW CARB CAULIFLOWER BREADSTICKS with fresh herbs, garlic, and lots of ooey gooey cheese atop a cauliflower crust looks and tastes like cheesy bread!These low carb breadsticks taste fresh, garlicky, and cheesy just like an amazing garlic bread smothered in a layer of Mozzarella and Parmesan cheese. There is a hint of cauliflower flavor, but it certainly doesn’t overwhelm. The texture is a bit softer than bread, but that didn’t bother me one bit, because all I could think about was the ooey gooey goodness of the garlicky cheese bursting with fresh basil just like my favorite cheesy bread, but it’s low carb!! I am so happy I can enjoy cheesy bread while eating a low carb diet, I don’t even care that it is ‘faux cheesy bread’.

LOW CARB CAULIFLOWER BREADSTICKS with fresh herbs, garlic, and lots of ooey gooey cheese atop a cauliflower crust looks and tastes like cheesy bread!

My next adventure in cauliflower bread will be low carb pizza crust! The topping choices are endless, so I’m having a hard time deciding where to start, but I’m excited to enjoy pizza while living a low carb lifestyle. What do you think? Where should I start? What is your favorite pizza topping?

 

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Low Carb Cauliflower Breadsticks with fresh herbs, garlic, and lots of ooey gooey cheese atop a cauliflower crust looks and tastes like cheesy bread.
INGREDIENTS
  • 1 head cauliflower, riced
  • 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/2 cup shaved Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly minced garlic
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped basil
  • 1/2 tablespoon freshly chopped Italian flat-leaf parsley
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella Cheese
INSTRUCTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 425°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. To rice the cauliflower I cored it and broke it into florets. Then I placed it in the bowl of my food processor and pulsed until it was the texture of rice.
  3. In a large bowl, mix the riced cauliflower, 1/2 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese, 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, 1 egg, 1/2 tablespoon fresh garlic, 1/2 tablespoon fresh basil, 1/2 tablespoon fresh parsley, 1 teaspoon salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper until combined and holds together. Place the mixture onto the parchment lined baking sheet and spread out into a rectangle about 9×7″ and 1/4″ thick.

Bake in the preheated oven for 10-12 minutes. Remove from oven and top with 3/4 cup shredded Mozzarella cheese and return to oven to continue baking until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Cool about 10 minutes and cut into ‘breadsticks’. Garnish with fresh herbs and Parmesan cheese. Serve with your favorite Red Sauce and enjoy!

source;http://realhousemoms.com