Why Use Protein Shakes?

Protein comes in many forms, but sometimes it is the most accessible form that’s best.  Let’s look at protein shakes, which are the quick-and-easy form of protein.

There are many great reasons why protein shakes, as part of a balanced and healthy diet, can be very beneficial to the body, especially when it comes to gaining muscle mass. It’s all about drinking the right type of shake at the right time. However there’s a lot of unhelpful advice floating around the Internet these days.

Protein shakes add muscle and lose weightIt’s only fair to warn you that some people have even become ill from taking in too much protein, or simply living off it in order to lose weight. No, no, no. Protein shakes are not there to do all the work for you; they are there to improve on the work you’ve already done.  So without the foundations of muscle and cardio training,overdoing protein can sometimes do more harm than good. Let’s take a look at how to safely incorporate protein shakes into a balanced and fitness-orientated diet.

READ ALSO: Protein Powder – not just for shakes!

The Benefits of Protein Shakes

Not only do protein shakes help to repair muscles, but the body also uses the protein to create enzymes, hormones and nucleic acids, which in turn help to increase weight loss. From organs to cells, tissues to skin, protein is used to create and replenish a variety of elements in our body, so without sufficient levels of protein as children, growth can even be stunted. In later life, injuries can become more frequent due to a lack of protein too.

So don’t skimp on the protein.

Pre Workout Shakes

These type of protein shakes should be combined with fruit, as they’ll provide you with energy to get the most out of your workout. Consuming the shake around half an hour before you begin exercising will ensure your muscles get to use the protein straight away, but make sure that you’re pre workout shake contains carbs as well a protein, otherwise you’ll find yourself running out of energy very quickly. Carbs also contribute to muscle repair, so don’t expect the protein to do all the work!

Post Workout Shakes

Although carbs are important for rebuilding muscle, you should limit carbs and fat after your workout. If your workout has been intense enough, then your body will continue to burn fat and carbs up to two hours after you’ve left the gym, so the last thing you’ll want to do is pile more on!

Whey protein shakes for bodybuilders are the fastest type of digesting protein there is, and it will get straight to work on repairing your muscles. If you’re exercising every day, and combining your workouts with a balanced and healthy diet, then you should be looking to take in around 2 grams per kilogram of bodyweight every day, to ensure your muscles are sufficiently repairing.

Before Bed Protein Shakes

To help your body with overnight repairs, you’ll need a protein shake that works through your body slowly. Milk and bananas are great alternatives, however if you want to stick to protein shakes, then consuming one around an hour before bed should do the trick. In most cases, you’ll usually wake up full, so you won’t be temped to eat a lot for breakfast.

Between workouts

As I said earlier, protein shakes are not there to do all the work for you; they are there to improve on the work you’ve already done. That means that you need to be getting adequate protein from a variety of sources in between workouts and on off-days.  Meat, seafood, nuts, grains and legumes, eggs and dairy products are all healthy sources of protein.  Even some vegetables, such as mushrooms provide protein.

READ ALSO: The frugal shopper’s guide to protein

Of course, no article on protein is complete without a reminder that protein alone does not make a person healthy.  Make sure you are getting all the vitamins, minerals and other nutrients you need by consuming a large quantity and variety of fruits and vegetables, and you might also consider taking other nutritional supplements.

If you prefer your protein in a bar for easier transport when on the road, then you should read my shopping guide: In Praise of Power Bars. Both are great ways to supplement the protein you eat at meal time.

Sunscreen your youth

New research out of Australia concludes that the Fountain of Youth might not be filled with water after all. It turns out that it is filled with sunscreen.

The Fountain of Youth. It was Juan Ponce de León‘s quest to find the legendary fountain that first lead him to Florida – the fountain that would supposedly restore the youth of any person who drinks or bathes in its mystic waters.

The legend dates back before history was written, so it is hard to say where they come from. But since those, times people have been searching for the fountain.

Even in modern days, through modern chemistry and technology, people continue to search for that magical solution to anti-aging.

If you have been around the Internet a while, and especially if you get your share of spam emails, you have surely come across dozens of announcements for some miraculous anti-aging cream. They even show up on mainstream television.

Sunscreen to the rescue

Fountain Of Youth SunscreenNow it turns out that you’ve been carrying just such a cream in your pocket all along: sunscreen.

Much of the sag and wrinkles in your skin are due to ultraviolet rays. If you spend a lot of time outside, you are a very lucky person. But your skin might not be so lucky. However, it turns out that a generous application of sunscreen daily can slow down the aging process. This is the chief finding of a study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

Lead scientist Dr. Adele Green of the Queensland Institute of Medical Research calls this “meaningful cosmetic benefits”. The video below explains the results of the research a in a little more detail.

That sunscreen protects the skin is nothing new. That’s why we use it. But we use sunscreen specifically to reduce the risk of skin cancer. Finding that sunscreen also reduces the pace of aging is a major revelation, making it useful not only to those at risk of skin cancer, but to others who spend lots of time in the sun.

This is great news for sunscreen manufacturers, but not so great news for those who peddle anti-aging creams (except those that already contain sunscreen).


What can you do to slow the rate of aging of your skin?

  • Cover up. Ultraviolat rays can’t eat away at what they can’t reach.
  • In the car, bus or train (or even in your kitchen!), sit on the side away from the sun, if you can.
  • Stay in the shade most of the time.
  • Use  sunscreen, when and where other options are not available.

Remember that the sun is our friend. There is no vitamin D supplement that will ever give us the raw, natural vitamin D like the sun – and vitamin D is important. So a little sun is a good thing. But a little goes a long way. After a short exposure, you might as well cover up, get into the shade or smack on some Fountain Of Youth Sunscreen. Ooooh….did I just give someone a great branding idea?

Protein Powder – not just for shakes! (Bonus: Protein Power Pumpkin Soup Recipe)

Inexpensive and versatile, protein powder is a great way to top up the protein you might be missing from your diet without breaking your budget. It goes into almost any liquid or semi-liquid food, including the creamy pumpkin soup recipe in this article.

I wrote earlier about the price of various sources of protein.  One of the more reasonably priced sources is protein powder, usually from whey. They are most often used to make shakes and smoothies after a workout.

But protein powder has so many other overlooked, but handy, uses.  In fact, it might just be the flexibility of the product that makes it more attractive than the price.

protein pumpkin soupSuppose you want a complete meal, but you don’t want to cook up meat.  So you make a salad and grab a yogurt and…that’s not a full meal.  Yogurt has very little protein.  Even the best Greek style yogurts don’t have enough for a complete meal (unless you eat a lot of yogurt, I suppose).  No problem, just toss a bit of powder into your yogurt.

Soup and salad for lunch?  Just add protein powder – preferably to the soup, not to the salad.  In fact, there is a creamy pumpkin soup that I love that makes a complete meal when you add a bit of protein powder.  The picture is to the right. The recipe is below.  The evidence is currently in my stomach.

A fully cooked meal, but you don’t feel like meat?  Mashed potatoes with protein powder.

Vegetarian lasagna or spaghetti or Fettuccine Alfredo…just add protein to the sauce.

Oatmeal for breakfast?  Pancakes for supper?  (Yes, if you add the magic powder, there is no reason they can’t make a very good supper.)

In fact, can’t get your kids to eat their meat? Add protein powder to your cake recipe.

Tweet this quote: “Can’t get your kids to eat their meat? Let them eat cake!

In fact, you can add whey powder to pretty much any sauce or cream or to anything you bake – cookies, cakes, muffins, pies…even meatloaf (but that would be kind of pointless, right?)

pumpkin soup slice

Protein Power Pumpkin Soup

Here is the pumpkin soup recipe…
Pre-cook one medium-sized pumpkin or three average sized butternut squashes, and discard the seeds (you can roast them later for tasty snacks).  You can just put the pumpkin or squash about 20 minutes in the microwave; they don’t need to be fully cooked, just soft enough to scoop out of their skin and into a very large pot.

While the pumpkin or squash is pre-cooking, peel seven apples and three onions and cut into pieces, discarding the apple cores, of course.  Toss into the pot with a cup or two of water and start cooking.

Grate about two inches of fresh ginger root into the pot.  Powdered ginger will not be the same – the soup will taste VERY different.  The best way to grate the ginger root is to keep it in the freezer and remove it only when you are ready to grate.  You want the ginger root to be frozen hard for grating. Yes, your hands will freeze before you get it all grated, so wear gloves if you insist on being a wuss (like me).

pumpkin soup slice

Add a touch of powdered nutmeg.

Add a touch of powdered pepper – this tastes better if you grind it fresh, too.

Add a touch of salt.

All these touches really depend on your personal taste.  Best to start off with very little and experiment in your bowl later on.

Add the pumpkin or squash and keep cooking until everything is nice and soft – pumpkin, apples and onions.  Add water as needed, and be careful not to burn the bottom of the soup.

pumpkin soup slice

While the soup is cooking, grate some cheese. This cheese will be for sprinkling on your soup when it is on the table to serve.  Some people prefer just a very gentle sprinkling.  Other people, like me, want lots and lots of cheese. I like cheddar best for this purpose (I am not that big a cheddar fan, but this combination just seems to work well), but mozzarella is good, too, and most hard cheeses should do nicely.  Put the cheese aside.

When everything in the pot is soft and cooked, you can cream it in the blender.  You will probably have to divide it into about five or six batches for this.  But first, add the protein powder.  How much protein powder depends on how much cheese you will eat in the soup.

If you are like me, you really need very little protein powder to make this soup a complete meal.  But if the cheese is just a garnish for you, then I suggest putting enough protein for however many meals you plan to make out of it.

pumpkin soup slice

This pumpkin soup recipe is just one thing you can do with protein powder. It is a very healthy meal, because pumpkins are loaded with vitamins and who do you know who gets enough fresh ginger in their diet? But the protein powder is an ideal way to add convenience and control costs almost any time with almost any food.

DIY healthcare

Once upon a time, healthcare was the mysterious domain of trained professionals.  Today, we are taking healthcare into our own hands.  This should not replace professional medical treatment, but rather enhance it.

We are all interested in looking after our health and making sure we are up to date with the latest self-help medical care. But when does it all go too far? As an average Joe like me, you might be comfortable diagnosing yourself with the common cold or a migraine, and seeking relevant treatment, but how far can this be taken?

DIY healthcare

Treating consistent problems

For those of us with recurring conditions, like high blood pressure, self diagnosis becomes part and parcel of living with the ailment. Once you get used to looking for the signs and identifying problems, you find that doctors and nurses are no longer your first point of call. Medical staff are still there for emergencies and when things take a drastic turn for the worse, but for day-to-day monitoring, you’re looking after number one.

Monitoring some of these conditions is fairly easy to do at home, thanks to modern blood pressure monitor units. It is pretty easy and simple to buy your own blood pressure monitor, and there are a lot of different models out there so do have a choice of pricing. It is most important to buy one that you understand and can operate easily; pay close attention to this because the whole point of DIY healthcare is that you are actually capable of doing it.  There’s no point getting stressed  buying a machine you can’t operate. You won’t be doing your blood pressure any favours by getting stressed over its monitoring equipment.

Taking more drastic action

Alongside units that simply monitor your blood pressure, there are also defibrillators on sale for personal use. This may seem shocking, because we are used to seeing them in arenas and conference halls, but if you have a weak heart or fall down the stairs at home, the defibrillator at the sports center might be of little comfort. Providing you’ve had the necessary training and follow the instructions, you should be more than capable of managing it.

If you or someone you love is unfortunate enough to suffer an accident and be in need of immediate attention then this is one tool that could help with resuscitation. Emergency services do their best to get to accident sites as quickly as possible but sometimes there simply isn’t time to wait. In these instances, a defibrillator could literally be the difference between life and death.  You will certainly still need professional medical care, but the DIY care you provide can help you or someone else survive long enough get that professional help.

DIY healthcare needs to enhance professional treatment

While medical devices like these are great assets to have in your home, there are limits to DIY healthcare.  DIY devices do not replace professional diagnosis by a trained medical doctor, and in most cases treatment by professionals. The biggest risk is becoming over confident, and overlooking or misdiagnosing serious symptoms.  DIY monitoring should provide an early warning system for when to visit the doctor, not a replacement for or the confidence to delay medical attention.  And it should be obvious that if you need a defibrillator, the next stop should be the hospital.

You also need to ensure that you’re monitoring conditions correctly and reporting any relevant data to healthcare professionals. If you’re keeping track of your blood pressure under instruction from the GP, then make sure that data is taken at the appropriate time and recorded accurately.

Wild Rosemary Ledum Palustre and Homeopathy

This is a post sponsored by The Vitamin Shoppe and written by our friend Debby Bruck.

The homeopathic remedy of wild rosemary or marsh tea, called Ledum palustre in the Ericaceae family, has been used to deter disease transmission, act as a relief agent or a protective spray in the garden or as a pet flea repellent for hundreds of years. The Vitamin Shoppe carries the form of Ledum, which has gone through a dilution and potentization process transforming it to a powerful immune stimulant.

herbsWobbley Picklet reminds us not to confuse Ledum with our common garden rosemary plant, as Ledum palustre falls into a species of rhododendron and John Henry Clarke tells us the proper part of plant to make the mother stock comes from “tincture of dried small twigs and leaves collected after flowering begins or tincture of whole fresh plant.” Homeopathic Ledum has been documented to heal puncture wounds, sores from dental injections, vaccine site inflammation, skin injuries, surgical sutures, splinters, punctures from stepping on a nail, infections from scratches and other trauma to the skin.

Documentation reveals that Ledum has been given to protect against tetanus when toxins enter the skin through a puncture wound and get trapped in a warm moist environment. Consider Ledum for spider bites and even scorpion sting.

Animals easily accept a spritz of Ledum out of a spray bottle, giving some relief from itchy fleabites and sensitive skin; an application to bedding areas and carpet might be helpful.

Mosquito and other insect bites resemble a toxic puncture wound. For persons living in the northeast and upper Midwest region of the United States, the vector borne Lyme disease may seriously cause havoc with a person’s ability to function.

Dressing with proper attire to cover areas to protect against insect exposure, checking the body and hair thoroughly, and carefully removing ticks will lessen the likelihood for Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever and other tick borne infections. Don’t forget to check pets and yard for infestation, as well.

Potentially, a blood titer level can be checked before and after giving Ledum to show efficacy against Lyme disease.

As Lyme disease progresses through its stages, from inflammation, arthritic stiffness, neurological headaches, heart and breathing difficulty, we can see a more complete picture of symptoms that Ledum may cover. Other treatments or homeopathic remedies may be required after infection. Please check with your physician.

For acute issues, The Vitamin Shoppe carries a few brands of Ledum palustre. When a person has a chronic or hereditary condition, like arthritis, a person needs to contact a professional homeopath experienced in finding an appropriate matching energy remedy based upon the founding principles. The homeopath will provide instructions and education on posology to understand the “minimum” dose. The homeopath will take a full case, including family propensity to organ weakness and disease. Just a small stimulus from the correct homeopathic remedy will last a longtime for self-healing to begin. A person will notice symptoms coming out either in more intensity for a short period of time, or possibly a return of symptoms from previous trauma points in life.

If you find that after a puncture wound, there is little bleeding, but noticeable pain, puffiness and the area feels cold, turns pale in color think of ledum. Coldness in general is a good clue; coldness to touch, cold feeling in the body, and cold extremities with a hot head.  We might see throbbing similar to belladonna. Even though a pale color may present, with the infection, comes bloating, edema, and purple color running down the legs. Strangely, even though feeling cold the only relief comes from plunging limbs into icy cold water. Compare the symptom picture of ledum to Hypericum, which includes nerve damage, to arnica for tissue bruising, to calendula for laceration wounds, to Pulsatilla that also gets relief from icy water, and to Formica rufa for gouty knees. Surprisingly, Ledum has claims to relieve the effects of alcoholism with a desire for whiskey. Therefore, you may see the broad coverage of this homeopathic remedy, Ledum palustre.

Debby Bruck, homeopath, educator and founder of HomeopathyWorldCommunity.com social network for homeopaths envisions the day when everyone will have knowledge about homeopathy. She hosts weekly BlogTalkRadio shows and the Health Inn live interview video internet show with alternative health experts. Everyone is welcome to join FaceBook Homeopathy World Community to learn more. This is a post sponsored by BlogDash.

Breathe Some Life Into Your Life

Relief from anxiety in 19 seconds? A free method for increased energy, improved blood circulation, reduced swelling, and improved complexion? Studies prove that simply learning how to breathe correctly can have these remarkable effects throughout your body.

learn to breatheBreathing correctly can be as powerful as it is simple. The typical person only uses around twenty percent of their lung capacity, but with practice, they can learn how to tap into their lung’s full potential. Sending better oxygen content to all the cells of the body can bring dramatic changes in general health and mood.

Famous health guru, Dr. Andrew Weil, says that if he could only give one tip for better health, it would be to breathe properly. Proper breathing technique is central to the ancient practices of Yoga, Qi Gong, Ayurveda and other meditation disciplines. A clinical study* of thousands of participants over a 30-year period presents convincing evidence that the most significant factor in peak health and long life is how well you breathe.

*You can get the complete Framingham study at the National Institute of Health’s Database. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/PubMed/.

Breathing correctly is critical in maintaining the level of oxygen for energy, keeping the correct pH levels in the body, and enough carbon dioxide for bodily functions. Healthy people make 93 per cent of their energy aerobically (“in the presence of oxygen,”) but poor breathing habits can reduce the amount of energy made aerobically to 84 per cent. Seventy percent of the elimination of wastes from the body is through breathing.

The good news is that poor breathing habits can be reversed. Among infants, correct breathing comes naturally. Observe a baby as it breathes to see its belly rise and fall with each breath. As we grow older, we are taught to “suck in that gut” and “puff out that chest” as we try to achieve as slim a waist as possible. Such resistance to the natural breathing posture restricts oxygen intake, which can lead to numerous physical as well as emotional problems.

“Bad” Breathing

Shallow “chest breathing” invites problems by delivering less air per breath into the lungs. Less air per breath leads to a higher number of breaths, putting in motion a series of physiological changes that constrict blood vessels. An imbalance between the oxygen and carbon dioxide levels in the lungs delivers less oxygen to the brain, the heart, and the rest of the body. Carbon dioxide (CO2,) is a vital gas that is produced by the body’s energy source: metabolism. The body’s ability to maintain a normal pH (the balance between acid and alkaline that regulates the body’s chemical reactions) depends on maintaining an adequate supply of CO2.

Too much oxygen and not enough carbon dioxide can create an agitated state. As you learn to exhale slowly, you conserve carbon dioxide and rebalance the system. However, too much carbon dioxide, and not enough oxygen, can create feelings of fatigue and depression. Learning to inhale slowly re-balances your system by taking in more oxygen. In extreme cases, a restricted supply of oxygen can contribute to anxiety, panic attacks, and even phobias. Less productive exhaling can also result in a buildup of toxins that would have been eliminated through breathing.

Stress, anxiety, and emotions all affect our breathing – the natural “fight or flight” response that increases respiration. As “civilized” people, we typically do not ease such state of arousal with immediate physical activity. Once breathing is in an aroused state, the physiological effects on the body remain after the stressful event has gone. Such arousal promotes rapid breathing leading to a metabolic imbalance where CO2 levels are too low and oxygen use is poor. The key element to many meditation disciplines is that breathing technique can affect one’s emotional state as much as one’s emotional state can affect one’s breathing.

“Bad breathing” is also performed through the mouth rather than the nose, especially during exercise or a stressful situation. Breathing through the mouth permits inhaling and exhaling large volumes of air quickly. This can lead to hyperventilation, diminished energy, and a weakening of health and well-being.

“Good” Breathing

It is easy to develop good breathing habits, but it takes practice. Most of us are completely unaware of our breathing – otherwise we would have to remember to inhale over 17,000 times a day! Breathing awareness and practice, or “breathwork,” is an important part of training for athletes, musicians, vocalists, and public speakers.

To achieve normal levels of oxygen and CO2 in your system, you begin by focusing your attention on breath! Your goal is to reduce the number of respirations from a standard of 12 per minute to as few as four per minute – which can be achieved with practice. Deep, slow breathing will feel unnatural to many who first try it and may be uncomfortable to some. After years of shallow “chest breathing,” some have a low CO2 concentration leaving them with a tight chest and malfunctioning diaphragm.

A slow inhale, followed by holding the breath, and concluding with an exhale twice as long as the inhale will help balance the CO2 level. One technique is called “4-7-8 Breathing” in which you inhale to the count of four, hold the breath to the count of seven, and slowly exhale to the count of eight. The slow exhale is key to most forms of breathwork, and critical to achieving stress reduction.

Bad Advice

“Take a deep breath” can be very bad advice to someone who is feeling anxious or is agitated. If such a person begins taking deep breaths, they are likely to experience an even more aroused state. A person prone to anxiety most likely is at or over their optimum CO2 level and needs to slow their respiration more than increase their intake volume through “take a deep breath.”

Such advice can lead to hyperventilation (breathing too fast.) The amount of carbon dioxide in blood generally regulates breathing and a low level of CO2 tends to make the nervous system more excitable. If carbon dioxide is released too rapidly, the arteries and blood vessels constrict and an insufficient supply of oxygen to the cells results, including blood (and oxygen) supply to the brain. Restricting oxygen supply to the brain can stimulate the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) and cause tension, anxiety, and mood swings. Low levels of oxygen in the brain has been associated with depression and other changes in brain waves.

Remembering to Breathe

Learning the proper breathing technique is important – remembering to practice that technique can become even more important. On a typical day, it is easy to become focused on a task (such as the computer or driving) and forget to breathe properly. The tendency is to revert into shallow “chest breathing” when focused. Regularly practicing diaphragmatic breathing, with measured inhale and exhale, and it will become the only breathing you do. But, like anything else, proper breathing is a learned skill and practice is critical.

Getting “lost” at a computer keyboard or within the pages of a good book happens to everyone. You will need a timer or similar alarm to remind you on a regular basis throughout the day to practice this skill. Kitchen timers work well as does a wristwatch alarm or cell phone alarm. As these require resetting and the audible alarm can be embarrassing in some situations, there is a “personal breathing coach” device on the market with a discreet, silent alarm (breathminder.com) that is effective.


joggingArticles regarding diaphragmatic breathing abound on the Internet. In addition to the many health benefits achieved through proper breathing technique, there are numerous web sites devoted to breathwork for sports, public speaking, singing, and musical instruments. Many sites incorporate breathwork into practice of meditation as well as natural healing and holistic medicine modalities. Search breathwork, diaphragmatic breathing, or simply healthy breathing to find an extensive array of materials.

Unfortunately, this information is not widespread in today’s medical community. Illness and Pathology, not Wellness, are the priority of most healthcare practitioners. In addition, things that are free and can’t be patented (like breathing) do not attract funding for research, so little finds its way into popular medical journals.

Breathe Some Life Into It

Breathwork is free and you already own the necessary equipment (lungs) so you and you can practice virtually anytime anywhere. You first want to evaluate your current normal breathing pattern, and then learn diaphragmatic breathing skills, and then to pace your breathing. Once you have achieved that level, the “trick” is to remember to practice your breathing and to perform it correctly. With time, these skills become your normal method of breathing and you begin to breathe some life into your life!


Guest blogger Joel McPherson, MA, HRM runs Breath Minder and Stop Anxiety Atttack Symptoms.



What Smoking has Taught Us and Our Children



Humanity has been smoking filtered tobacco cigarettes since the mid-twentieth century, and we’ve been smoking more primitive variants of the cigarette way before that. Rolling tobacco leaves, lighting them up, sucking in the smoke has been done by the Mayans since the 9th century (they called it a siyar).

Now, we return to the present. The World Health Organization states on their fact page that cancer is the leading cause of death, and lung cancer tops the list as the most prevalent killer, claiming over a million lives per year (1.37 million in 2008). Of course, tobacco use is the leading cause of lung cancer. Oh, and this isn’t a steady number or percentage. With their data, they predict the death toll to keep rising, doubling present death toll numbers by 2030.

This begs a simple question: why do we do this to ourselves? You’d think over a thousand years of puffing tobacco smoke and seeing the effects from doing it would teach us to stay away from burning that leaf for good. Then again, that’s just one of the many destructive activities humans have been doing since we became “civilized.”

Let’s take a look at what we’ve learned from smoking, so far:

It’s a Hard Habit to Break

The American Heart Association has claimed that nicotine addiction (nicotine is the chemical in tobacco that makes it oh so irresistible) is one of the hardest dependencies to shake off. Add the fact that tobacco companies in America (and possibly everywhere else in the world) are gradually raising the nicotine content in their cigarette products, this just means that more and more people (younger and younger, too) will get hooked.

That makes cigarette companies big-time drug dealers that are bent on making every single human addicted to their merchandise. What’s worse is that they’re totally legit in the eyes of governments.

Diminished Quality and Quantity of Life

It was already mentioned above that smoking is one of the leading causes of lung cancer, and that cancer kills more and more people all over the world (70% from the low and middle class), you could definitely infer from those bits of knowledge that smokers will tend to live shorter, more disease-ridden lives.

I don’t think any amount of YOLO-ing or believing in a sugar candy land afterlife will justify ruining the tail end of your short stay on this planet.

It’s Cool to be Stupid

Chemical addiction aside, we’ve all been exposed to the flimsy lies and flawed logic behind justifying the use of these “cancer sticks.” Still, even with the warnings, studies, and graphic images showing the insides of a dead smoker’s lungs, we puff on. Hey, lots of people are doing it, and important people, to boot. Even doctors smoke, so it can’t be that bad, right?

It’s just too hip a hobby to quit, and the alternatives and substitutes (nicotine patches or gum, e-cigarettes, inhalers, etc.) just aren’t as cool.

We Have a Long Way to Go

Humans aren’t quite the enlightened and wise race of sentients that we purport ourselves to be. We fight amongst each other, covet each other’s resources, and sacrifice the well-being of others to benefit our own agenda. The cigarette industry is a prime example of that. They entice and sell products that basically make their customers worse off. The only benefit they can really impart is that they give pharmaceutical and medical companies some big opportunities for business when the smokers’ bodies become compromised, and are in need of medical attention.

I know we can do better than this. Toss those cancer sticks into the bin, find a good hobby, and take care of your body. As far as I know, you only have one.

About the Author

Stacey Thompson is a professional writer, marketer, entrepreneur, and a lover of weird little animals. She is based in San Diego, California, and is currently working with her friends on a blog, Word Baristas.

Why You Should Take Fat Seriously

If you have never thought about the fat and sugar content of all those prepared foods you eat – not just ice cream and chips, but cold cuts, crackers, energy bars and other “normal” (but unnatural) foods – here is one good reason to start reading the nutrition labels.


You wouldn’t purposefully crash your car, would you? Now look again at the chart. You wouldn’t purposefully eat more calories than you burn off, would you?

No, Really, You Are Never Too Old

Last week, we visited the You Are Never Too Old Department.  This week, we are back.

No need to ramble on. This 86 year old lady would put me and most people I know to shame in anything gymnastics-related.

If she can do that, imagine what you can do if you put your mind to it.