If you, or someone you know has Diabetes, please read….



Getting Healthier a Big Money-Saver for People With Diabetes

Sticking with a fitness and nutrition plan can save more than $500 a year in health-care costs, study finds


Getting Healthier a Big Money-Saver for People With DiabetesTHURSDAY, Aug. 21, 2014 (HealthDay News) — Not only is eating better and exercising healthy for people with diabetes, it can save them hundreds of health-care dollars a year, a new study finds.

The study, led by Mark Espeland, a professor of public health sciences at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center in Winston-Salem, N.C., included more than 5,100 overweight and obese type 2 diabetes patients.

Participants ranged in age from 45 to 76, and were randomly assigned to either an intensive “lifestyle change program” focused on diet and exercise, or to a standard diabetes support and education program.

The patients in the lifestyle group had higher levels of physical activity and maintained a lower body weight, resulting in better diabetes control, blood pressure, sleep, physical function and fewer symptoms of depression, the team reported.

There were financial savings, too. Over 10 years of follow-up, the patients in the lifestyle intervention group had 11 percent fewer hospitalizations and 15 percent shorter hospital stays. They also used fewer prescription medications than those in the diabetes support and education programs.

Those benefits led to an average savings of $5,280 in health-care costs per person over 10 years, or about $528 a year, according to the study published online Aug. 21 in the journalDiabetes Care.

The cost savings for people in the lifestyle intervention group were similar regardless of age, initial weight, gender or race, Espeland said.

“Type 2 diabetes is a chronic disease that is affecting more and more adults, increasing their health-care needs and costs,” he added in a Wake Forest news release. “This study shows that by losing weight and being physically active, individuals can reduce these costs.”

Two experts weren’t surprised by the cost savings.

“It makes perfect sense that an intensive lifestyle intervention, focusing on weight loss and physical activity, would help control diabetes and reduce the cost of medications and complications related to type 2 diabetes,” said Nina Eng, chief clinical dietitian at Plainview Hospital in Plainview, NY.

Dr. Gerald Bernstein is director of the diabetes management program at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City. He said that once diabetes develops, costs soar. Patients must obtain medications plus blood sugar testing equipment and strips, and they often have diabetes-linked complications that involve hospitalizations and/or surgery.

Therefore, “it is not surprising that reducing weight will lower the cost of medical care for an individual if they have diabetes,” Bernstein said.

More information

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has more about staying healthy with diabetes.

SOURCES: Gerald Bernstein, M.D, director, diabetes management program, Friedman Diabetes Institute, Mount Sinai Beth Israel, New York City; Nina Eng, R.D, chief clinical dietitian, Plainview Hospital, Plainview, N.Y.; Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center, news release, Aug. 21, 2014


How to Meditate While Running

I have recently begun training for a half marathon.  While I have been running since I was a teen (mostly shorter distances) I have never been able to master the art of running….in peace.  With no iPod, no music, no distractions.  Now that I am upping my mileage, I really wanted to learn the art of meditation while I run.  How to tune out negative thoughts and focus solely on my breath, body and environment.   As I was researching some tips on the internet, I found this great article and wanted to share!  Something I would add to the list is practicing gratitude and positivity.  Mentally taking note of things I am grateful for in life and counting my blessings.


The Zen of Running, and 10 Ways to Make It Work for You

Post written by Leo Babauta.

Running is my zazen. It’s my meditation, my peaceful routine, my inner sanctum.

In Zen Buddhism, zazen (which literally means “seated meditation”) is the central focus of the practice. Depending on the school of Zen, zazen is used to concentrate on koans or to just sit and be present, experiencing things in the moment.

Of course, I’m not a Zen Buddhist, and I don’t do much actual sitting meditation (sometimes, but not often), but I do use running as my form of meditation, of trying to be present.

I actually use running for two purposes:

  1. Concentration. During this time, I try to focus on my breathing, on my feet as they strike the ground, on how my body feels, on the sights and sounds and smells of nature around me, and on my thoughts as they occur. I try not to think about the past and the future, but try to remain in the moment. This is difficult, and requires a lot of concentration and energy.
  2. Contemplation. This is actually much easier — I just use running as a quiet time, to think about my life, about my writing (including this very post, which was composed in my head while I was running), about what is important to me.

Both forms of meditation are actually very relaxing, very meaningful to me, and they are the main reasons I love to go running. It’s a way for me to stay centered, to lose the stress of the world around me, and to just be present.

I recommend it to everyone, especially if you’re looking for a way to find peace and focus in your life. Now, you don’t actually have to run — you could walk, or cycle, or swim, or row, or whatever — the key is to find solitude and a time every day to practice your own personal zazen.

How to Make the Zen of Running Work for You
If you’re interested in finding the Zen of Running (or any other form of exercise), here are some tips:

  1. Concentration. In the beginning, it’s important that you practice concentration. It’s not something that comes naturally to most of us. Try to do it for as long as you can, bringing yourself back to the moment every time you find yourself pulling away. Monitor your thoughts, and when you find a thought that is not of this moment (thinking about something you have to do later, for example), don’t try to stop the thought. Just be aware of it, acknowledge it, and allow it to leave gently. Then return to the moment.
  2. Breathing. A good place to start, when you’re practicing concentration, is breathing. This is true of traditional zazen, of course, but it’s also very true of running or other exercise, because breathing is an important part of exercise. By concentrating on your breathing, you can monitor how hard you’re exercising, and adjust your running up or down accordingly. I like to ensure that I’m not breathing too hard.
  3. Bursts. Again, concentration is difficult in the beginning. It can be hard to concentrate for very long. Don’t beat yourself up about it. Try practicing concentration in small bursts at first, of just 10 seconds at a time. Let yourself rest in between, and then concentrate some more for another 10 seconds, and repeat. Later, you can stretch this to 20 or 30 seconds, or even a minute or two with practice.
  4. Time every day. This isn’t mandatory, but I suggest finding some time every day to practice this form of meditation. Does that mean you should run every day? Not necessarily — you could run and bike and walk on alternate days, for example. Or you could do what I’ve done, and slowly build yourself up to where you can run just about every day, alternating hard days with really easy days (of only a slow mile or so). Making it a can’t-miss appointment at the same time every day is a good idea.
  5. Contemplation. When you tire of trying to concentrate, allow yourself to contemplate. Think about your day, about your life in general, about what’s important to you, about your goals, about the people in your life. This kind of contemplation should be a part of every person’s life.
  6. Intervals. I like to alternate between concentration and contemplation. One workout I did just yesterday was hill intervals. I run a very hilly route, and while I usually take it easy going up the hills, yesterday I decided to run it hard up the hills and take it easy on the way down. And I decided to concentrate on the moment as I ran up the hills, and then allow myself to contemplate as I took it easy down the hills. It was a great workout! Bonus: as I ran down the hills, I had a great view of the ocean and the sunset in the bay below the hills where I live. It was awesome!
  7. Stress. If you find yourself stressed during the day (and who among us doesn’t?), it can be very therapeutic to run at the end of the day, in the early evening before it gets dark. Again, focus on concentration and contemplation, alternating the two, and you will notice the stress melting away. Exercise is naturally a wonderful stress reliever (it’s the main reason I took up running), but combined with these two methods, it is one of the best I’ve ever used.
  8. Ideas. Contemplation time is also a terrific time to come up with ideas. I use it to come up with ideas for posts on this blog, or ideas for fiction I want to write, or projects I want to do, or things I want to do with Eva and the kids. The key is writing the ideas down when I get home, as I am reluctant to carry my Moleskine notebook with me on my runs.
  9. Journal. On that note, I think it’s also useful to keep a journal and record some of the thoughts you have during contemplation, and some notes about your concentration times. During contemplation, if you review your day and think about what’s important in life, you’ll often have thoughts that you want to remember later. A journal is a great way to get those thoughts on record and make the most of your contemplation.
  10. Be in the moment. Once you get good at concentration (and I can’t claim to be that good yet), you can focus on more than just your breathing. While breathing is a good way to start, there are other things going on in the moment that you can concentrate on. A useful method is to open your mind up to your environment, both outside of yourself and within yourself. Be aware of what’s around you, of the sights and sounds, and be aware of your breathing, the aches and pains of your muscles and joints, your muscles as they work during your run, your feet as they hit the ground, the wind as it hits your skin, your hair rustling in that wind, your thoughts as  you run. Being in the moment is a very powerful thing to learn, and while it’s not easy to learn it all at once, with practice you will get better and better at it.

How to Live Plant-Based


You’ve decided to avoid animal products and jump into plant-based eating but you’re wondering what your three meals a day and snacks are going to look like. How will you order at restaurants? What do you need to stock up on at home?

As a cardiologist, I’ve discussed this process with thousands of patients because no-added-oil vegan diets (such as the Ornish and Esselstyn diets) have been shown to reverse heart artery disease and prevent heart attacks. I routinely use one or all of the following resources to guide my patients through this transition.

1. Check out free starter guides.

Here are some organizations with some great free resources to help you get started on a plant-based diet:

  • Kaiser Permanente The largest managed care organization in the USA provides strong medical support for a whole foods plant-based diet, as well as pages of practical tips in their downloadable resource.
  • Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) This organization, led by Dr. Neal Barnard, maintains high standards and does original research. For example, PCRM has found evidence that diabetes mellitus in adults can be treated and reversed with plant-based diets. Their Vegetarian Starter Kit is excellent.
  • People for The Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) This group does great work exposing animal cruelty and their Vegan Starter Kit to eating is an important resource, offering a two-week meal plan, tips to make the transition, and a list of foods to eat.
  • Vegan Outreach This non-profit organization does wonderful work on college campuses reaching almost a million students a year. Their guide to cruelty-free eating is excellent; it features dozens of recipes, plus information about vegan philosophy and nutrition.

2. Watch helpful (and inspirational!) videos.

  • Forks Over Knives I ask all of my patients to watch this documentary with their family. It makes a bigger impact on deciding to eat a healthier diet than any other resource I’ve found. The film’s website has a guide to eating that is another great resource.
  • Animals Deserve Protection Today and Tomorrow (ADAPTT) This is a website created by animal liberation activist Gary Yourofsky and features his viral 70-minute speech making the case for a vegan diet. The site has great resources for changing to plant-based nutrition.
  • The Ultimate Guide To Plant Based Nutrition MindBodyGreen offers a video course that is a home run with Rich Roll and Julie Piatt. It’s not free, but the 3.5 hours of practical information and kitchen skills are second-to-none in value.

3. Find full nutrition plans.

  • PCRM offers a 21-day complete vegan program called the Vegan Kickstart. It’s free and includes celebrity tips, meal plans, webcasts, restaurant guides, daily messages, and a community forum. It is run beginning the first of every month, is free, and is even available in several languages. I highly recommend signing up.
  • PETA offers a complete two-week nutrition plan for free including what to eat, what to make, and where to eat. I have found this to be a helpful resource.


While diet is a personal matter, increasing scientific evidence drawn from longitudinal studies such as the Adventist Health Studythe EPIC-Oxford Study and other large databases indicate that the lowest rates of chronic diseases occur in people who don’t eat meat, eggs and dairy and instead consume mostly plant-based foods.

The resources above can be of use to anyone hoping to improve health, reverse disease, or manage weight. Eating a plant-based diet reduces damage to the planet and animals while making you healthier. It’s a win-win-win we can all embrace.

How does Diet Affect Cancer?

Cancer and the Animal-to-Plant Protein Ratio

July 24, 2014 by Michael Greger M.D. in News

It is now eight years since the famous Ornish study was published, suggesting that 12 months on a strictly plant-based diet could reverse the progression of prostate cancer. For those unfamiliar with that landmark Ornish study, see Cancer Reversal Through Diet?, which the Pritikin Foundation followed up on with Ex Vivo Cancer Proliferation Bioassay.

Wait a second. How were they able to get a group of older men to go vegan for a year? They home delivered prepared meals to their doors, I guess figuring men are so lazy they’ll just eat whatever is put in front of them.

But what about out in the real world? Realizing that we can’t even get most men with cancer to eat a measly five servings of fruits and veggies, in a study profiled in my video, Prostate Cancer Survival: The A/V Ratio, researchers settled on just trying to change their A to V ratio—the ratio of animal to vegetable proteins—and indeed were successful in cutting this ratio by at least half, from about two to one animal to plant, to kind of half vegan, one to one.

How’d the men do? Their cancer appeared to slow down. The average PSA doubling time (an estimate of how fast the tumor may be doubling in size) in the “half vegan” group slowed from 21 months to 58 months. So the cancer kept growing, but with a part-time plant-based diet they were able to slow down the tumor’s expansion. What Ornish got, though, was an apparent reversal in cancer growth—the PSA didn’t just rise slower, it trended down, which could be an indication of tumor shrinkage. So the ideal A to V ratio may be closer to zero.

If there’s just no way grandpa’s going vegan, and we just have half-measures, which might be the worst A and the best V? Eggs and poultry may be the worst, respectively doubling and potentially quadrupling the risk of cancer progression in a study out of Harvard. Twice the risk eating less than a single egg a day and up to quadruple the risk eating less than a single daily serving of chicken or turkey.

And if we could only add one thing to our diet, what would it be? Cruciferous vegetables. Less than a single serving a day of either broccoli, Brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower, or kale may cut the risk of cancer progression (defined as the cancer coming back, spreading to the bone, or death) by more than half.

The animal to plant ratio might be useful for cancer prevention as well. For example, in the largest study ever performed on diet and bladder cancer, just a 3% increase in the consumption of animal protein was associated with a 15% higher risk of bladder cancer, whereas a 2% increase in plant protein intake was associated with a 23%lower risk. Even little changes in our diets can have significant effects.

What else might help men with prostate cancer? See Flaxseed vs. Prostate Cancerand Saturated Fat & Cancer Progression. What about preventing it in the first place? See:

Poultry and eggs may be related to cancer risk in a variety of ways:

Crucifers may also help with other cancers. See:

Breast cancer is highlighted in my video Breast Cancer Survival Vegetable.

-Michael Greger, M.D.

PS: If you haven’t yet, you can subscribe to my free videos here and watch my live year-in-review presentations Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death and More Than an Apple a Day.

Gatorade and Yogurt are discussed

People almost always pick Gatorade and Yogurt as two healthy things they are consuming.  Gatorade provides your body with electrolytes….right?  Well, only 2 really with sodium being one, and not one which most Americans need any help getting enough of.  The other is yogurt….protein and calcium you say!  How much sugar is in that again?

(Was supposed to be to you by July 4th but had some technical issues) Anyway, happy belated 4th of July! Use your Freedom and vote with your Dollar for companies that use ingredients that are in YOUR best interest!