U.S.—As governors clamor to follow the ways of SCIENCE and save lives in their state, one state governor has read some very scary statistics from SCIENCE and decided to go the extra mile to protect the safety of his citizens. “Starting today,” he said, “All citizens of my state will be required to wear a snorkel at all times, both indoors and out. This will prevent thousands of tragic deaths resulting from people falling in their backyard pools. SCIENCE says we must do this.”
Every person in the state will be required to wear a snorkel, preferably paired with goggles, 24 hours a day. When pressed as to why they were necessary indoors, the governor replied, “Hello! Sinks? Bathtubs? Showers? There are water hazards everywhere inside the house! We can’t be too careful! SCIENCE!”
According to the order, anyone caught without a snorkel will be required to pay a $15,000 fine or face 8 years of jail time. Second offenders will be shot on sight. “We must do this to save lives and obey SCIENCE!! We are in this together,” the state governor exclaimed before tripping on a microphone cord and falling headfirst into the press pool.
CA MAYOR QUESTIONS MASK MANDATE Nevada City, CA mayor, Reinette Seenum, explains why she drew ire from the media and Governor Gavin Newsom after publicly questioning the authority and scientific validity of a mask mandate.
WASHINGTON – In a settlement reached today, Bayer AG agreed to pay $10 billion over claims its signature herbicide Roundup causes cancer in people, according to a report by Reuters.
The $10 billion settlement will be apportioned to four leading plaintiffs’ law firms, who will in turn distribute the money to nearly 100,000 clients who were stricken with cancer after prolonged use of the toxic weedkiller.
The German company acquired the St. Louis-based agrochemical giant Monsanto in 2018 for $63 billion, and inherited liability in thousands of lawsuits filed by people who claim exposure to Roundup and its main ingredient glyphosate was the cause of their cancer.
EWG President Ken Cook made this statement on the settlement:
Today’s settlement is vindication for all those who have fallen ill with cancer as a result of being exposed to this chemical. No amount of money can reverse the damage Bayer-Monsanto has inflicted on these victims and countless others, but because of their and their attorneys’ tireless fight for justice, the company that exposed them is now paying a heavy price for its duplicitous deception.
The most damning revelations in this case uncovered, through the company’s own internal documents, the extent to which Monsanto-Bayer recognized early on the risk of cancer and other health problems posed by glyphosate and its commercial formulations. Monsanto-Bayer aggressively conspired for decades to withhold or lie about the evidence to the public and to regulators, while relentlessly attacking scientists and organizations that sought to tell the truth about the company’s products.
This damning information only became public because plaintiff’s lawyers pried it out of the company in court and made it public. That coverup killed the company’s integrity as systemically as its chemicals kill plants. Monsanto-Bayer’s dissembling for profit at the expense of public health is a permanent stain on its reputation. Nothing in this settlement amends the conclusion that this is a company that simply cannot be trusted.
The Turners decided to study the two eating styles side by side over a 12-week fitness training regime from January to March this year. They were inspired by the growing popularity (and sometimes controversy) of vegan diets for athletes, following documentaries like “The Game Changers,” according to Ross.
“We wanted to take bias and opinion out of it and take down to the genetic level. We can get science involved because we’re twins and genetically identical, so we can compare ourselves in extreme environments,” Ross told Insider.
The pair monitored how they felt during the course of the experiment and were followed by researchers from King’s College, who tracked basic health metrics like weight, cholesterol, and muscle mass.
Both twins did endurance training at the gym five to six times a week, using a program designed by Ross, a personal trainer. They also ate an almost identical number of calories in meals prepared by the Mindful Chef delivery service.
By the end, they noticed some big differences in terms of muscle gains, fat loss, and digestive health.
Hugo had higher energy and lost fat on a vegan diet
Before giving up animal products for the experiment, Hugo weighed in about 185 pounds and 13% body fat. After about a month on the vegan diet, he said he had dropped nearly nine pounds. By the end of the experiment, he measured in at 181 pounds. Nearly all the weight lost was fat mass, with his overall body-fat composition dipping by a full percentage point, to 12%. His cholesterol levels also dropped.
Even more striking were his energy levels. Hugo said he felt significantly more alert during his lunchtime gym sessions, compared with his typical routine.
“On a vegan diet my mental focus was much better, I didn’t have the mid-afternoon energy dips, and felt a bit more charged,” he told Insider.
He said one explanation could be how the vegan diet changing his snacking habits. Since biscuits and chips aren’t vegan, he’d switched to mainly fruit and nuts.
Hugo noticed one exception to his higher energy levels — his libido, which he said dropped off sharply.
“I just lost it — I really don’t know what happened,” he said, adding that his experience may not be true for everyone.
The twins did not conduct blood tests during the experiment, but said they would do so if they tried something similar in the future. They could measure testosterone, for example, to see if it explains some of the changes.
Ross gained more mass overall
Ross has always been the slightly bigger of the brothers, and this was exacerbated by the experiment. From starting around 13% body fat, he put on 10 pounds of muscle, in addition to just over four pounds of fat. That brought his overall body fat percentage up slightly, to 15%, and his final weigh-in to 189 pounds.
His cholesterol levels stayed consistent throughout the 12-week duration.
Ross said the meal plan for this experiment was slightly more varied than his typical diet, and extremely balanced in terms of macronutrients, with array of chicken, fish, red meat, veggies, dairy, and grains.
Before this, a typical day of eating for the twins would include toast or porridge for breakfast, sandwiches for lunch, and some version of chicken, veggies, or pasta for dinner.
The vegan diet also caused big changes in the gut microbiome
For Hugo, the dietary change was even more significant, since his usual animal-based protein was swapped out for things like tofu, tempeh (fermented soybeans), and jackfruit.
“Eating a vegan diet, you almost have to overcompensate with variety, so I was eating foods I wasn’t really used to,” Hugo said.
As a result, his gut microbiome — the populations of beneficial bacteria that live in the human digestive system — also changed in some interesting ways, based on fecal samples analyzed by Atlas Biomed before and after the experiment.
Although Ross’ microbiome changed slightly, it remained much more consistent than his brother’s.
It’s not clear why those changes occurred, although the Turners hypothesized that the abrupt change to a vegan diet, and the relatively short duration of the experiment, might have been factors.
The Turners said they plan to incorporate more vegan foods — especially snacks — into their regular diet
One caveat of the experiment, the Turners said, was that 12 weeks wasn’t a long time for a typical dietary study. If they could do it over, the brothers said they’re prefer to trial the diets for six months to a year for better data.
But the brothers said they’ve learned a lot and plan to incorporate more plant-based eating in their lifestyle. The brothers are known for their endurance expeditions and want to test how vegan eating might benefits them on their treks.
“You lose about half a kilo of weight a day on an endurance trip, more than that if you’re carrying extra weight, so we like to be lean and mean nothing in between on the trip,” Hugo said.
He added that being forced to find vegan alternatives also greatly expanded his world of food options.
“One thing to come out of this is we don’t eat nearly enough variety of foods. Often, we kind of just disguise the same foods in different forms,” Hugo said. “But variety is the spice of life.”
Ross said that there tends to be a reluctance for meat eaters to try vegan foods, and he hopes this experiment will encourage dedicated omnivores to branch out, since many plant-based substitutes like vegan burgers are similar in taste and texture to the classics.
If you’re curious about trying veganism, he added, you don’t to go “cold tofu” and jump in all at once. Based on his experience, Hugo recommends starting with your snacking habits, and swapping out between-meal treats with vegan options.
The twins concluded that their optimal diet is a mix of plant- and animal-based foods.
“Having a vegan diet has benefits and so does eating meat. I don’t think either outshone the other here,” he said. “We’ll be doing a mix of both, having non-meat days and adding more vegan foods into our diet, eating better-quality meat and less of it. We’ve taken away the best of both worlds.”
In the rapidly changing and often confusing time of COVID-19, Sharecare and Blue Zones Project have had the opportunity to witness how individuals, organizations and communities are working together to help address the fallout of this virus. One of the most dynamic and active organizations that we have observed is the Pisgah Health Foundation (PHF), a public 501 (c)(3) charity that was founded in 2019 by a board of seven individuals. Their focus wa, and remains on improving the health, wellness, and lives of Western North Carolina residents by targeting underlying social determinants related to health, food insecurity, housing, social cohesion, and education. The organization evolved from the Transylvania Regional Hospital Foundation and serves five counties in Western North Carolina.
Long before COVID-19, Lex Green, President of PHF, introduced the concept of Blue Zones Project to his board in the spring of 2019. He was convinced that Blue Zones Project and its parent organization, Sharecare, Inc. were perfect collaborators to help accomplish PHF’s mission to target social determinants. In August 2019, following months of due diligence by PHF and Sharecare, Brevard, North Carolina was identified as the 50th Blue Zone Project community in North America and the first in the Carolinas. Significantly, the Pisgah Health Foundation board members understood and valued the significance of Blue Zones Project and ways to provide evidence-based, metric-driven processes to help citizens make healthier choices through the built environment, food and nutrition options, and where individuals work, play, and live.
At about the same time the local Blue Zones Project team was literally ordering furniture for its new office in downtown Brevard, the first hints of a new virus in China were circulating. Fast forward to mid-March 2020 and the entire world was held captive by COVID-19 with mandatory shelter-in-place orders to “flatten the curve” to lessen the strain on hospitals and emergency service providers. Like other communities around the world, non-essential workers in Brevard and across North Carolina were told not to come back to work. Businesses shuttered, schools closed, and even recreation areas were closed.
In this time of crisis (health and economic), Sharecare and Blue Zones Project want to highlight the Pisgah Health Foundation leadership and board members for the many decisive actions they have taken to support not only Brevard, but other communities within their footprint.
Created a Physicians Round Table consisting of over 45 practicing and retired physicians who meet twice a week by Zoom to discuss specific ways that Pisgah Health Foundation can leverage its resources regarding COVID-19.
Led by Dr. Rik Emaus, a retired physician and Blue Zones Project steering committee member, a team of doctors is working with the Transylvania County Health Department, the Brevard Rotary Club and others to help mitigate the spread of COVID-19 at the senior centers by providing needed Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and other resources to help keep this vulnerable population healthy and out of the hospital.
Created a COVID-19 Rapid Response grant fund to assist non-profits needing financial funds to maintain or increase their capacity to support local social service needs. Within the past three weeks, the Board has awarded one million dollars in grant assistance. Of this amount, the Foundation has already deployed $322,500 to assist local non-profits focused on COVID-19 activities. Reducing food insecurity for those in need as well as working with the County and other non-profits to find safe locations to house homeless individuals who are either infected by COVID-19 or are symptomatic are two examples.
Worked with local business owners and manufacturers to either source or manufacture items such as face shields and hand sanitizer that can be used by local physicians, senior centers and others interacting with the public.
Michael Acker, SVP Blue Zones Project, reflects, “The Blue Zones Project framework is a proven model for organizing decisive and efficient community engagement. We are encouraged to see this type of innovation and collaboration, which will ultimately create more resilient communities across North America.”
by: Dr. Allen Weiss, Chief Medical Officer – Blue Zones Project and Mark Burrows, Sr. Community Program Manager – Blue Zones Project Brevard
We are excited to announce that Blue Zones has been acquired by Adventist Health, a mission-driven, non-profit health system that serves more than 80 communities on the West Coast in more than 20 hospitals and 250 clinics.
What does this mean for the future?
Blue Zones is proud to be the global leader and pioneer in using an environmental, systematic approach to improving the health of entire cities and communities. Adventist Health shares our mission, vision, and values, and their community integration efforts align perfectly with our work.
By combining our mission-driven cultures, we can scale our efforts and resulting impact at a whole new level and in the process truly provide the model to transform the health of America. We believe this partnership represents the future of healthcare in America.
Our entire staff is now part of the Adventist Health family. Our leadership, staff, and contact information will remain the same.
We come to work every day to make the health of our communities, our nation, and our world better. This commitment is stronger than ever during this global crisis.
If you have any questions about this exciting news, please contact me at any time.
Please find attached press releases that went out today specific to the Blue Zones,LLC acquisition by Adventist Health West and the extension with our strategic partners at Sharecare.
Welcome to Vito and Vera, Little Rock’s first plant-based culinary experiences! Chef Alicia Watson creates strongly local, seasonal, organic, vegan, and gluten-free adventures. We make Esselstyn Diet and plant strong meals to go.
MBSR Classes will be offered beginning Spring of 2020! Open to the Public and the Community.
Learn how to develop the practical skills and techniques that can help you cultivate positivity, inner strength and peace, which can be useful in times of difficulty, stress, illness and pain.
We offer the Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) Program that was developed by Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in the 1979. MBSR is the gold-standard and one of the most research-validated mindfulness intervention in the scientific literature. The UAMS MBSR Program is an intensive eight-week, nine-session training in mindfulness awareness. Classes meet weekly for about two hours and for an all-day session towards the end of the course. The all-day session allows participants to immerse themselves more deeply in the practices of mindfulness meditation and mindful movement. The MBSR program will enable participants to systematically deploy these tools as well as to mindfully explore healthier relationships with the day-to-day challenges and demands of life. We offer a peaceful, safe and supportive learning environment for all program participants. Our classes are designed to be experiential and the didactic instructions are achieved through the following:
Guided mindfulness meditation practices
Gentle stretching and mindful movement exercises
Group dialogue and discussions aimed at enhancing awareness in everyday life
Mentored instructions on MBSR meditation practices
Printed and digital materials and resources, such as workbooks, MP3 files, among others.
UAMS MBSR Course Overview Drop-in/Web Sessions
If you are interested in learning more about the UAMS MBSR Course and would like to talk to someone about this opportunity, please attend any of the MBSR Overview Drop-in Sessions, or you can call into the Sessions using the conference details below.
The MBSR Overview Sessions will be held at the UAMS College of Public Health (Rahn Building room G230), 220 Campus Drive Little Rock, AR 72205. Parking is available at Parking Deck #2 across the Rahn Building. For directions, please go to this link.
Date/Times/Location in UAMS Campus:
– March 10, 2020 from 11:30am to 12:30pm (Room RAHN G230)
– March 17, 2020 from 11:30am to 12:30pm (Room RAHN G230)
Web/Conference Call: (TBD)
SPRING 2020 Schedule
Orientation: Wednesday, April 1, 2020; 5:30 to 7:00 pm (Room IDW 115A)
Classes 1 through 8: Every Wednesday, April 8 to May 27, 2020; 5:30 to 8:00 pm (Room IDW 115A)
All-day Class and Retreat: Saturday, May 23, 2020; 8:00 am to 3:30 pm (Room IDW 115A)
FALL 2020 Schedule
Orientation: Tuesday, September 29, 2020; 5:30 to 7:00 pm (Room IDW 115A)
Classes 1 through 8: Every Tuesday, October 6 to November 24, 2020; 5:30 to 8:00 pm (Room IDW 115A)
All-day Class and Retreat: Saturday, November 21, 2020; 8:00 am to 3:30 pm (Room IDW 115A)
VENUE: All classes will be held at the UAMS I. Dodd Wilson Education Building (IDW) in UAMS, 116 Hooper Drive Little Rock, AR 72205. Get Parking and Directions Information
Attending the Orientation Class is necessary part of the MBSR Program (up to 1.5 hours). During Orientation, you will be able to meet the course instructor and the other program participants. You will also learn about what Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) is and you will have the opportunity to clarify aspects of the program and to explore further whether this program is a good fit for you. More importantly, you will have the opportunity to experience some of the mindfulness tools that can be learned during the class. This is also the time for you to confirm your enrollment, registration and reserve your spot in the program.
All-Day Class/Retreat Overview
The UAMS MBSR Program includes an All-Day Class, or a Retreat (up to 7.5 hours), usually on a weekend towards the end of the course. During the All Day Class, the participants will be able to apply the tools learned during the regular classes in a Retreat-style and format. The activities during the Retreat is designed to assist the participants in firmly and effectively establishing the use of mindfulness across multiple situations in their lives as well as preparing them to leverage mindful practices beyond the MBSR program. Lunch will be offered during the All Day Class.
Example Course Outline
This session gives an overview of the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences MBSR Program.
Meet your classmates, instructor, and review logistics and expectations for the course.
Learn the theoretical underpinnings of mind-body medicine and its utility in daily living
Introduction to Present Moment awareness through guided mindful eating, mindful breathing, and the body-scan exercises.
Understanding how we respond to stressful scenarios and learn how apply the body-scan technique to cultivate self-awareness of how we react to stressful situations.
Bringing awareness to how perceive the present-moment and how we view/perceive the world around us; learning the possibility of changing the way we perceive and respond to difficulties and challenges will impact the short- and long-term effects of stress on our mind and body.
Learn about other mindfulness practices such as mindful hatha yoga, sitting meditation, and walking meditation.
Time to share your experiences with formal practice and integrating mindfulness into your day-to-day living. Learn to connect with pleasant moments found in daily life.
Learn to cultivate curiosity and open awareness to the full range of experience, and allow for the ability to develop attention regulation and flexibility.
Development the ability to concentrate and systematically expand your field of awareness.
Being familiar with the foundations of mindfulness, students will learn about techniques that can be applied to specific challenges to cultivating mindful practices.
Learn about Loving Kindness Meditation
Focusing on mindfulness strategies to enhance inner resources that can lead to Resilience or “stress hardiness”, which is the ability to return to equilibrium after stressful situations.
Learn about the fundamentals of interpersonal mindfulness, cultivating the awareness and presence during situations where communication is often laced with strong emotions.
This is an all-day silent retreat allowing experience of a longer-form and deeper meditation practice.
Allow the participants the opportunity to put into practice all the skills learned in a supportive community environment.
Learn how to integrate Mindfulness in daily life through ones own experience
Learn how to maintain the discipline and flexibility of daily practice as circumstances change over the course of your life.
Learn how to carry the momentum forward, acknowledging ones progress and be able to develop sustainable mindfulness practices after the program.
Learn about the resources that are available to support your evolving practice