The Plant Rx

Your resource for a plant-based diet

Archive for the ‘Exercise’ Category

Rich Roll–> Plant-Strong: Let’s Get Things Started!

Posted by Jenn on January 3, 2011


(Source: http://www.richroll.com/2009/07/30/plant-strong-lets-get-things-started/)

In the wake of my recent article for CNN, I have received hundreds of e-mails from people all over the world wondering how I could train for and be competitive at an event like Ultraman on a diet entirely devoid of animal products. The queries ranged from curious wonderment to outright disbelief. Some called me irresponsible or even unrealistic. Some even called me a liar. No meat? No dairy?!? That is impossible!

No, it is not impossible. Not only is it possible, I suggest that in some cases, and for some people, it just might be advisable.

Just so we are clear — I am not a doctor. I’m not a registered nutritionist. But I have done my homework. And instituting a plant-based diet has made an unbelievable difference in my life. I believe it is the future. But please know that I am only here to share my personal experience, not to proselytize. Always consult your physician or registered dietician / nutritionist before implementing any drastic changes. Begin slowly, and be patient. This is not an overnight miracle — it is a long-term life changing plan that should be embraced as an ongoing “process” rather than a “destination” with an end point.

I realize that conventional wisdom suggests that one MUST eat meat and dairy if you want not only optimal wellness but also if you want to train and race at your peak, build muscle, and recovery properly. I respectfully disagree, at least when it comes to me. Maybe its the punk rocker that lives deep down inside me, but part of the past two years have involved taking this notion head on and putting it to the test. Turning it on its head. I think my personal transformation and Ultraman results speaks for itself.

In response to all the questions, this is the first in many posts in which I will share what I do and what has worked for me as I endure 20 – 30 hour training weeks in preparation for my second Ultraman World Championships, all while simultaneously working full-time and being a husband and a father.

First off, if this subject interests you at all, I suggest checking out a few books that are incredibly informative on the subject, two of which are written by incredible endurance athletes I respect tremendously:

THRIVE: by professional Ironman athlete, ultra-runner and friend Brendan Brazier. This book is a cornucopia of great scientifically backed information on not only overall wellness but also on performance nutrition on a plant-based diet. It is pretty fascinating.

THE ENGINE 2 DIET: by my buddy and former pro triathlete and All-American swimmer Rip Esselstyn. Currently a fireman, Rip put his fellow fire-fighters on an all plant-based diet, sat back and watched their cholesterol levels and weight drop in dramatic fashion. Its a great read and if macho firemen can become converts, you know this is not for sissies. This book is lighting up the best-seller charts — you might have caught Rip in one of his many TV appearances on shows like Good Morning America and the Today Show, among others.

PREVENT AND REVERSE HEART DISEASE: By Dr. Caldwell Esselstyn, Rip’s father and renown cardiologist. Dr. Esselstyn has conducted the longest-running study, with the most impressive results, of any study in which heart disease has been arrested and reversed. By instituting a low-fat plant-based diet for his patients, Dr. Caldwell has actually and very dramatically reversed heart disease in countless patients. The before and after angiograms are nothing short of astounding.

REAL FOOD DAILY COOKBOOK: I am lucky in that I live near a fantastic vegan restaurant Real Food Daily, among others. Plus my wife is a unbelievale vegan cook. But if you are not in LA and don’t have a wife like mine, no worries — you can get the RFD cookbook, which has great recipes for everything from nachos to burgers to amazing desserts, all vegan. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Athletes/Athletics, Exercise, In the Media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

New Study Finds Plant-Based Diets Play Critical Role in Breast Cancer Survival

Posted by Jenn on December 28, 2010


(Source: http://cancerfocus.org/new_study_finds_plant_based_diets_play_critical_role_in_breast_cancer_survival/493)

Submitted by Dross on Fri, 2007-06-15 21:24. Cancerfocus.org

New Study Finds Plant-Based Diets Play Critical Role in Breast Cancer Survival

A new study in the “Journal of Clinical Oncology” reinforces existing evidence showing that women with breast cancer can greatly reduce their risk of recurrence by eating a healthy plant-based diet rich in fruits and vegetables and making other healthy lifestyle choices, according to nutrition experts with The Cancer Project.

“Women coping with breast cancer deserve to know that plant-based diets and regular exercise can spell the difference between life and death,” says Jennifer Reilly, R.D., senior nutritionist with The Cancer Project. “In the battle against breast cancer, fruits, vegetables, and other low-fat vegetarian foods may be our most powerful weapons. Doctors must let women know that diet changes and exercise can help them beat this terrible disease.”

The new study, conducted by researchers with the University of California, San Diego, tracked dietary patterns and exercise habits among about 1,500 women who were diagnosed with early-stage breast cancer between 1991 and 2000. It found that the death rate for women who consumed a high-fiber diet rich in fruits and vegetables and practiced good exercise habits was 44 percent lower than the rate for women who exercised little and ate few plant-based foods.

There are more than 2 million breast cancer survivors in the United States, but many of these women eat fewer than five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, consume too much fat, and lead sedentary lifestyles. But science has repeatedly shown that a plant-based diet composed of legumes, whole grains, fruits, and vegetables can help prevent cancer and cancer recurrence.

A 2005 National Cancer Institute study found that breast cancer patients in the study who reduced their fat consumption lowered their risk of tumor recurrence by as much as 42 percent. High-fat foods, including beef, vegetable oils, and chicken, can boost the hormones that promote cancer cell growth. But most plant-based foods are naturally low fat and offer people a healthy way to stay slim. Maintaining a healthy weight is another key to preventing cancer recurrence.

In 1982, the National Research Council linked eating habits-particularly high-fat, meat-heavy diets-to cancer of the breast and other organs. The “Journal of the National Cancer Institute” recently reported that the rate of breast cancer among premenopausal women who ate the most animal (but not vegetable) fat was a third higher than that of women who ate the least animal fat.

The Cancer Project is a collaborative effort of physicians, researchers, and nutritionists who have joined together to educate the public about the benefits of a healthy diet for cancer prevention and survival. Based in Washington, D.C., The Cancer Project is an affiliate of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine.

RELATED LINKS

http://www.cancerproject.org/

Posted in Cancer Prevention, Exercise, In the Media, Research/Data, Women's Health | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment »

Improvements in Nutrition and Lifestyle Increase Telomerase Activity

Posted by Jenn on December 21, 2010


Animation of the structure of a section of DNA...

Image via Wikipedia

(Source: Longevity Medicine Review; lmreview.com; by Lara Pizzorno, MDiv, MA, LMT)
Introduction

Telomeres, the protective DNA–protein complexes at the end of chromosomes, are required for DNA replication and to protect chromosomes from nuclease degradation, end-to-end fusion, and the initiation of cellular senescence. Since telomeres shorten with each cell division, telomere length is a key indicator of mitotic cell aging and viability.

Telomere length has emerged as a prognostic indicator of disease risk, progression, and premature mortality in humans. Shortened telomeres are a precursor to the initiation of many types of cancer and are predictive of increased risk of bladder, head and neck, lung and renal-cell cancers; poor clinical outcomes in breast and colorectal cancer; recurrence of prostate cancer in patients undergoing radical prostatectomy; and decreased survival in patients with coronary heart disease and infectious disease1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8.

However, even cells with shortened telomeres can remain genetically stable if the enzyme telomerase, which adds telomeric repeat sequences to the chromosomal DNA ends preserving telomere length and healthy cell function, is fully operational.1 9 10

The converse is also true. Decreased telomerase activity alone has been linked to increased risk of cardiovascular disease, independent of chronological age. In a study involving healthy women, telomerase activity, but not telomere length, in immune cells (specifically, peripheral blood mononuclear cells or PBMCs) was inversely associated with six major cardiovascular disease risk factors.11 Telomerase activity is also adversely affected by obesity and insulin resistance, another way in which both result in decreasing telomere length.12 Thus telomerase activity may offer an earlier prognosticator of genomic stability and long-term cellular viability than telomere length.

Can telomerase activity be increased by improvements in diet and lifestyle?

Published in the November 2008 issue of Lancet Oncology, Dr. Dean Ornish‘s latest research, a pilot study on the effects of dietary and lifestyle changes in 30 men with low risk prostate cancer, suggests the answer is a resounding “Yes!” PBMC telomerase activity in these men increased 29.84% within just 3 months of making significant, yet simple, changes in diet and lifestyle.1

Telomerase-Enhancing Diet, Supplement and Lifestyle Program

After a 3-day intensive residential retreat, the men were placed on a low-fat (10% of calories from fat), whole foods, plant-based diet, centered on vegetables, fruits, unrefined grains, and legumes. Intake of refined carbohydrates was minimized. The diet was supplemented with soy (one daily serving of tofu plus 58 grams of a fortified soy protein powdered beverage), fish oil (3 grams daily), vitamin E (100 IU daily), selenium (200 μg daily), and vitamin C (2 grams daily).

In addition, subjects participated in moderate aerobic exercise (walking 30 min/day, 6 days/week); stress management (gentle yoga-based stretching, breathing, meditation, imagery, and progressive relaxation techniques 60 min/day, 6 days/week), and a 1-hour group support session once per week. Participants also met with staff 4 hours per week and had one weekly telephone contact with a study nurse.

Compliance was excellent for both lifestyle and dietary recommendations. After 3 months, subjects reported consuming an average11.6% of calories from fat per day, exercising an average of 3.6 hours each week, and practicing stress management techniques an average of 4.5 hours each week. All medications remained unchanged throughout the 3-month trial, with the exception of participant whose statin drug dosage was decreased. Read the rest of this entry »

Posted in Aging Prevention / Anti-Aging, Cancer Prevention, Dementia, Diabetes, Exercise, Heart Disease, Parkinson's Disease, Research/Data, Telomerase | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »