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Explore the Benefits of Going Vegan

Veganism is much more than not eating anything that has blood running through its veins or a living being with a mother. There are many that choose to be vegan out of compassion for animals and that is a personal choice. Veganism is full of misconception and myth, because someone surviving on just potato chips and diet soda is also considered to be following a vegan diet, but can it be considered healthy? It’s all about healthy choices and more people are opting for this lifestyle for the numerous health benefits that it provides.

On an average vegans are reported to have low rates of obesity and weigh around 5 to 20 percent less than people who consume meat. Along with low BMI (body mass index) vegans also have the advantage of reduced risk of serious diseases like type II diabetes and other cardiovascular diseases. This is not all, a vegan’s diet comprises of an increased intake of fruit and vegetables which can lower the chances of certain cancer, especially colon cancer. A vegan diet claims to provide much more vigor and younger looking skin. One cannot accurately ascertain these claims are true, but there are certainly many scientifically proven benefits to a vegan diet compared to a meat eating diet. This has helped the diet gain popularity among celebrities

People who claim that meat and other dairy products are the only source of protein are not completely right. If a vegan diet is well planned, it could provide all the nutrients; rich in protein, iron, vitamins and other minerals. Plant based diets are packed with high fiber, anti-oxidants and low in saturated fats. Too much animal protein can eventually strain your kidneys and may even turn into just fat deposits.

Did you know that generally on an average someone who weighs around 63 kilos (140 pounds) should only include 50 grams of protein every day. For a vegan, that can easily come from a cup of lentils, spinach or other soy products. Moreover, a vegan diet is much more economical and it is centered on nuts, seeds, legumes and grains which are relatively cheaper.

Apart from the numerous health benefits, turning vegan can do wonders for the planet. The meat industry and other animal products are responsible for 20 percent of man-made pollution. Our environment needs to pay a heavy price as a meat based diet leads to species extinction, habitat loss and deforestation. It is also contributes to malnutrition, as more and more land is used to grow cash crops for the purpose of feeding animals rather than food for the human population.

By just changing the ingredients in your plate, you can contribute to a healthy lifestyle and also a better environment. Making the switch to veganism is easy and effective in ways you can never think of. Talk to our diet and nutrition experts to know why and how you can switch to a vegan diet.

How To Start A Vegan Diet – Without Losing Your Mind

Thinking about starting a vegan diet but not sure where to begin? A Vegan-based diet means that you don’t eat animal products – meat, dairy, fish and even eggs.

For many people however, the thought of cutting out all dairy and meat can definitely be overwhelming – especially if you like to eat out and you’re not a genius in the kitchen.

One option that works for many people is to start gradually. The following 8 tips will make the transition easier and smoother – so you’re more likely to stick with the change:

1. Start with Cutting out Red Meat

The first step needs to be fairly easy. And for many people that starts with cutting red meat (we’re not as attached to it as we are to our cheese it seems).

Start by cutting out all pork, beef, lamb, and other red meat from your diet. Still allow yourself white meat like fish, chicken, and seafood.

You can also start trying meat-free versions of bacon and other meats that you can find in your local grocery or health food store, just to see which versions you like. When you begin feeling comfortable from not eating red meat, you can move to the next stage.

2. Chop the Chicken

Cut out the chicken – but still include seafood and fish like tuna, salmon, shrimp etc.

You can also start to try preparing some vegan meal recipes (you can find a lot online – and many times they are also reviewed by other vegans – so you can find the ones that REALLY taste good).

3. Cut out Seafood and Fish

By now, you’re pretty much at the vegetarian stage – congratulations! Now it’s time to cut the seafood and fish – but keep testing out other meat-alternatives like soy-based patties etc.

Your protein will also be coming from legumes such as lentils, chickpeas and black beans. There’s also whole grains, vegetarian mince, vegetarian patties, some other meat-free products like the vegan bacon.

4. Bid Farewell to Cheese

OK, this might be the more painful part for many of us. We love our cheese. But there are cheese alternatives like rice cheese and soy cheese. You’ll have to experiment here to find which kind of cheese works for you.

For example, I can’t stand soy cheese – but there’s a rice-based cheese I can buy at my grocery store that is fantastic – it even melts like real cheese!

5. Eliminate Eggs

This may also be a bit challenging – mainly because eggs are used in a lot of baked products and recipes.

But there are lots of egg-alternatives you can use in baking your goodies. Some people use gelatin-water mixes (which are OK for recipes using less than 3 eggs).

Other options include apple sauce and egg-replacement powders that you can often find at many specialty health food stores.

6. Cut out Cream and Butter

Again, this can be challenging since cream is often used in coffee – and butter is often used in recipes for baked goods.

But the good news is that there are great vegan alternatives. Coconut oil is an excellent replacement for butter in recipes (it’s basically a 1:1 replacement ratio). You can also use olive oil if you’re cooking dinner meals like stir-fry dishes.

And for cream there are some excellent non-dairy creamer-alternatives like soy milk, coconut milk (very thick and creamy) or even coconut butter.

Look around your grocery store as there are specially formulated non-dairy creamer options in the health food section. (Sometimes regular coconut milk or almond milk will separate in your coffee – these creamers won’t separate in your coffee).

7. Letting Go of Milk

This may seem hard – but you have a LOT of options here so it’s really not that bad (I actually found cheese to be much harder!).

Vegan alternatives to milk include rice milk, soy milk, coconut milk and nut milks like almond or cashew milk.

You can also use these milks to bake or cook with, eat them with your cereal, or you can simply drink them from a glass.

8. Finding The Best Vegan Recipes – and Restaurants

Good news – you are now completely vegan. But you still have to live your life without being chanined to your kitchen.

And you need to maintain a social life – which means eating out!

Now it’s time to start finding more recipes that you love (so you can make them up to have on hand throughout the week). I usually pick one day like a Sunday and make all of my food for the week, freezing the meals that will be used towards the end of the week.

Also, start investigating what you can have at restaurants. Depending on your area, you may actually find a vegan restaurant or cafe.

Not sure what you can eat at a certain restaurant? Most places have their menus online so you can look up what’s on the menu. You can also call ahead and ask what they might have that you could eat. Many restaurants are more than accommodating if you give them a heads up (they want your business after all).

So those are 8 steps on how to start a vegan diet without losing your mind. Some people like to go gradually.

However if you prefer to jump in with both feet, another option is to use a vegan meal delivery service for a month or two. This will assure that you’ll eat delicious food (so the transition won’t be so hard) and you can slowly learn the lifestyle at your own pace.

Going vegan can be challenging – but there are ways you can make it a lot easier. Hopefully these tips have helped. Before long you’ll be feeling healthier and stronger! Good luck and here’s to your health!

Elbow Tendonitis: Commonly Misunderstood Treatment for Tennis/Golfer’s Elbow


1. Inflammation scam: INFLAMMATION is never the cause of the pain unless it is truly a sprain. Again, ice, NSAIDs, and Corticosteroids can do more harm than good. Unless edema (fluid) or visible swelling is apparent, this is usually a wrong prescription. Inflammation necessary to heal it can trap blood flow.

On the other hand,Inflammatory Chemicals released by your body due to dying cells attract the fluid that causes swelling. For this reason, using cold therapy to control and keep both inflammations and swelling in check is a crucial part of the healing process, especially at the early stages.

In chronic cases, NSAIDs and Corticosteroids are only counter-productive because they do not get to the source of the problem, and they have a host of nasty long term side effects.

2. Rest: Although the lack of rests or enough breaks probably caused the area to have tendonitis, too much rest causes necrosis or atrophy (decreases the blood flow to the area) and that is the second biggest problem besides overuse itself in the chronic stages. Rest is a double-edged sword; it can cause atrophy (loss of muscle mass if you stop using them) and when not used or when overused can cause more serious neuropathic injury. It plays the most important role in the acute stage. However, this should never be complete rest.


Doctors respond to inflammation by telling you to rest and strengthen or eliminate the area surgically. Only partial rest and partial strengthening will help. They don’t tell you how and when to do that and how much. They leave you high and dry, and this is because they do not specialize in musculoskeletal injury. On the other hand,the Occupational or Physical therapist, unfortunately, more times than not use modalities and stretches that only scratches the surface of your problem. These include:

• Ultrasound: that is like trying to heat up a frozen turkey with a mini heating tool. It only scratches the surface (although that area it does surface might be better than nothing).

• Cold laser: good, but inflammation is not the cause of the problem, and that light (which is rarely strong enough anyways) only gets small areas so it can be tedious.

• Stretching/strengthening: although these can be good in context, they are not working properly because the area is full of scar tissue adhesions and only pulls and irritates at the area.

Empathy Connects Us to the Hearts of Others

Where Has Our Ability to Empathize Gone?

Empathy is the ability to emotionally put oneself into someone else’s shoes-the capacity to share and understand the feelings, emotions, and perspective experienced by another person, both negative and positive. Empathy is the identification and relationship that connects us as human beings.

We show empathy through statements such as, “I can see you are really uncomfortable about this,” and “I can understand why you would be upset.” We show empathy through a hug, a reassuring touch, and even through a “high five” when our empathy relates to someone’s success.

Empathy is not the same emotion as sympathy. Where empathy allows us to vicariously experience and identify with other’s feelings, sympathy is a feeling of pity or sorrow for the feelings of others. With empathy we feel with someone else, with sympathy we feel for someone else.

There are many theories concerning the nature versus nurture aspect of empathic development. Are some people born virtuous and some people born evil?

Dr. Paul Zak has studied the biological basis of good versus evil behavior over a number of years and has made a very interesting discovery. He found that when people feel for other people, the stress triggers the brain to release a chemical called oxytocin. Likewise, a study at Berkely concluded that a particular variant of the oxytocin receptor gene is associated with the trait of human empathy. In the study, those who had this gene variant were found to have a more empathic nature. Dr. Zak says that this study demonstrates that some people, about five percent of our population, may have a gene variant that makes them less empathic. In other words, he says, some people are more or less immune to oxytocin.

So there is scientific evidence that the goodness trait is encoded in our genes. But nature is not the only influencing factor. We may be born with the capacity to have empathy, but our ability to apply it, to care and understand, is a learned behavior.

Social psychologists say that empathetic behavior is built from the secure attachment babies develop with their parents or primary caregivers, and by modeling their parents’ empathetic behavior towards them and others. Sincere empathetic behavior develops in children whose parents constantly show, teach, and reinforce it. It is a gradual emergence that occurs with the consistency and caring shown to them during the formative years of their social and emotional development. In many cases, but not all, adults who lack empathy have been victims of childhood abuse or neglect.

Those who have had extremely painful childhoods, ones that have involved emotional, sexual, or physical abuse, often lose touch with their own feelings while shutting themselves off from the pain. Their underdeveloped coping skills leave them saddled with distress, whether their own or others, and their lack of ability to experience their own pain prevents them from feeling the pain of others. As adults their elaborately built defense mechanisms block guilt and shame while also blocking their conscience. They live life through fear, threats, punishment, and isolation rather than empathy and kindness.

In many cases the opposite is true-the person over-identifies with others’ pain, is overwhelmed by it, and becomes overly empathetic to the point that they absorb the feelings of everyone around them. Their internal pain and suffering is triggered when they see others in pain and suffering, therefore become preoccupied with everyone else’s pain and make it their own. I did that for most of my life. Often it was to deflect my own pain but ironically it caused me to suffer more. I had very poor coping skills and my boundaries were out of whack if existent at all. I also modeled the behavior I observed as a child.

I do think that overall, my generation, a generation that relied on human interaction, a generation where families visited relatives and friends every Sunday because there was nothing else to do, is more empathetic than the generations that have followed.

In fact, an eye opening new study presented by University of Michigan researchers at an Association for psychological science annual meeting claims that college students who started school after the year 2000 have empathy levels that are 40% lower than students thirty years prior. The sharpest drop occurred in the last nine years. The study includes data from over 14,000 students.

One reason that this is happening is because students are becoming more self-oriented as their world becomes increasingly more competitive. Some say that social networking is creating a more narcissistic generation. According to lead researchers, it is harder for today’s college student to empathize with others because so much of their social interactions are done through a computer or cell phone and not through real life interaction. With their friends online they can pick and choose who they will respond to and who they will tune out. That is more than likely to carry over into real life.

This is also a generation that grew up playing video games. Much of their formative years development has been influenced by input from computer generated images and violent cyber-interactions. There has to be a connection. This may partly explain the numbing of this generation.

Another point of view was presented by Christopher Lasch, a well-known American historian, moralist, and social critic, in a book he published in 1979 called, The Culture of Narcissism: American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations. Lasch links the prevalence of narcissism in our society to the decline of the family unit, loss of core values, and long-term social disintegration in the twentieth century.

He believed that the liberal, utopian lifestyle of the 60’s gave way to a search for personal growth in the 70’s. But people were unsuccessful in their attempts to find their selves. So a movement began to build a society that celebrated self-expression, self-esteem, and self-love. That’s all well and good, or so it seems, but as a result of the “me” focus, more narcissism was inadvertently created. It all backfired-aggression, materialism, lack of caring for others, and shallow values have been the result.

There are certainly many of us who have not become this way-studies speak for society in general.

Today we live with constant internal and external pressures of life. On a daily basis our society faces terrorism, crime, economic crises, widespread job insecurity, war, political corruption. We see the disintegration of morality wherever we look.

As a writer, author, and inspirer I was greatly disturbed by the overwhelming success of a book (I will not promote the name except to say that it has the word “gray” in the title) based on pornography and smut. It astounds me that millions of people have read it. My publisher would have instantly rejected a manuscript of such low moral content and offensive subject matter. Where has our appreciation for quality literature as a society gone to?

And what has happened to our legal system? It has been demonstrated time and time again that the rights of the innocent take a back seat to the rights of the offender. Our laws do very little to control criminals. In fact, it seems as if criminals control the law. If ever an empathy disorder could spur unthinkable violence to erupt in a seemingly normal person, now is the time.

Scientists have studied empathy from many approaches and together have found both physiological and psychological roots for it. Since humans are composed of body, mind, and soul, that makes perfect sense. Many things influence our behaviors.

Simon Baron-Cohen, a developmental psychopathology and autism expert, researched the genetic and environmental aspects of empathy back in the 60’s. He was curious as to why some people lack empathy in their dealings with others. His book Zero Degrees of Empathy: A New Theory of Human Cruelty is an expose of his opinions, personal experiences, and findings. The object of the book is to present a way of understanding why people do bad things. Through his book he explains away the intangible concept of evil and explores a more explainable theory-the theory that there are levels of empathy and they lie within a spectrum.

Baron-Cohen says that a person’s level of empathy comes from an empathy circuit lying deep within the brain. The function of this circuit determines where a person falls within the empathy spectrum. He measures a person’s level of empathy by degrees, six degrees being a high functioning empathy circuit and zero degrees a low functioning one.

He classifies people who have psychopathic and narcissistic personality disorders, those who lack the ability to feel others’ feelings and cannot self-regulate their treatments of others, as zero-negative.

The best and most common way that empathy is assessed, with empathy defined as “the reactions of one individual to the observed experiences of another,” is through a questionnaire called The Interpersonal Reactivity Index. The questionnaire uses 5-point scales (A = does not describe me well to E = describes me very well). This scale is used to evaluate a person’s perspective of his or herself.

There are four categories of assessment. The first category is Fantasy, as in the statement, “When I am reading an interesting story or novel, I imagine how I would feel if the events in the story were happening to me. The second category is Perspective-taking, as in the statement “Before criticizing somebody, I try to imagine how I would feel if I were in their place.” The third category is empathetic concern, as in the statement, “When I see someone being taken advantage of, I feel kind of protective towards them.” And the fourth category is personal distress, as in the statement, “When I see someone who badly needs help in an emergency, I go to pieces.”

Since empathy begins with awareness of another person’s feelings and receptiveness to the subtle cues that others give off, which happen to be abilities that women are naturally adept at, females generally score higher on these types of tests.

Those who have experienced the widest range of emotions and those who are most in touch with their feelings are also more able to empathize with what others feel. These people are not typically a threat to society. But there are also those who are completely devoid of empathy. These are the people that are dangers to our society. They are ticking time bombs that may explode at any time.

One Thought On The Services Of Bridal Makeup Artists

It is the desire of every woman to look great. In order to get the appealing looks, makeup plays a crucial role. It is basically the covering of the cosmetics on the face and various other parts of the body in order to hide the ailments as well as to provide nourishment to the skin.

Our skin needs pampering. There are several factors that provide adverse impact on our skin. Some of the most popular factors are pollutants, sunrays, heating effects and several other environmental factors. These factors adversely affect the skin cells and make our skin dull and unattractive.

So, makeup is used in order to cover these ailments of the skin. In addition to this, it also helps a lot in providing nourishment to the skin. In the makeover, the experts use various cosmetics and machines to provide a flawless skin.

The experts who do the task of making you beautiful are popularly known as makeup artists. These are certified professional who gives your skin a perfect makeover so that you look awesome. These professional are highly demanded in various industries like cinema, modelling, fashion, news, media and various other industries that are associated with glamour.

Let Us Discuss Their Services.

These people are in the profession of making you more beautiful and attractive. Their most popular service is offering great looks to the brides. As wedding is definitely the most auspicious occasion and it is the desire of every girl to look special on this day, so, each and every bridal makeup artist puts his/ her best efforts to do this. These makeover sessions start a few months before the wedding. The artists start their working with the analysis of the skin. They first analyze the nature of the skin, then start the treatment of the skin. Some of the most popular treatments they offer to you include body polishing, pedicure, manicure, body wrapping, etc. They do these treatment depending on the nature of the skin.

On the wedding day, the bridal makeup artist provides a special makeover to the face so that you stand out from the crowd. Proper makeup is essential for a bride because every gaze will be glued on her on the wedding day.

They are also providing various other services. They are providing makeover using airbrush technique and also providing permanent hair reduction treatment. In the airbrush makeover, modern machinery is used in which the pressurized air is used to remove the dead skin cells. This technique is very effective in providing glowing looks to the skin. The permanent hair reduction is used to remove excessive hair from various body parts.