Monday, January 24, 2011

Jack LaLanne, September 26, 1914 – January 23, 2011

When I was a lad, I caught my first glimpse of the 1966 Batman film.  This was the one that spun out of the 60’s television show starring Adam West and Burt Ward.  It was a real treat to see as I had been trying to view it for some time before then but could never find it in my local TV listings or at the video store.

This film had everything a little boy who loved the Caped Crusader could possibly wish for or expect in a film based on the character; Batman and Robin, four colorful villains, kickass superhero vehicles and batfights complete with their colorful trademark onomatopoeia.

It also had Jack LaLanne

After seeing him pop up in a rooftop cameo I asked my mother, “Who’s that?”.  She answered calmly, “That’s Jack LaLanne.  He’s a fitness guru.”  “Oh”, I replied and went back to viewing my afternoon movie.

At the time I didn’t realize how important Mr. LaLanne was to our national culture.  This was a man who spread the word of the benefits of healthy eating and fitness routines long before it was fashionable in this country.   

It turns out he did feats in real life that my fictional childhood hero Batman never did such as:

In 1956 at age 42 he set a world record of 1,033 push-ups in 23 minutes on national television.

In 1976 at age 62, to commemorate the "Spirit of '76", United States Bicentennial, he swam one mile in Long Beach Harbor. He was handcuffed and shackled, and he towed 13 boats (representing the 13 original colonies) containing 76 people.

In 1984 at age 70, while handcuffed, shackled and fighting strong winds and currents, he towed 70 rowboats, one with several passengers, from the Queen’s Way Bridge in the Long Beach Harbor to the Queen Mary, 1 mile away.

Let’s see Christian Bale, Michael Keaton or Adam West do that.

Without him there might not have been later exercise gurus such as Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jake Steinfeld, Richard Simmons, Jane Fonda or others like them.

Without him Bally’s Total Fitness might not have survived past the 1980’s.  Why?  Because he licensed his health clubs to Bally's back then.

This was a man who extolled the virtues of a vegetarian diet and knew that processed foods were no substitutes for natural, whole foods—and he exercised everyday right up until his final days.  He passed away at 96. 

I never personally knew him but I will miss him.  He is the best example I can think of when it comes to inspiring others to be the healthiest they can possibly be.  Fictional heroes can be entertaining but real life heroes like Jack LaLanne are true inspirations.  

Talk to you soon!
All writing, videos and pictures copyright the author of this blog unless otherwise noted or, if really darn obvious.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Obama to Sign Food Safety Bill

According to this article:

Congress has passed a bill that "will be the first major overhaul of the U.S. food safety system since the 1930s."

This is good news but the article also goes on to say,

"The new law would not extend to meat, poultry or processed eggs. Those foods are regulated by the Agriculture Department and are subjected to more rigorous inspections and oversight than foods regulated by the FDA."

Really?  While our peanut butter may soon be safer for consumption, we will still have to worry about e coli in meat products?  I believe that even though the Agriculture Department claims to “more rigorous inspections” of meat, poultry and eggs they don’t seem to be doing the best job they possibly can.  I see articles all the time on unsafe practices in the meat industry such as this one

To me, this new bill only works to solve only about half the food problems in this country since the U.S. is still a nation where the majority of people still like to eat meat and big portions of it.  Even though I no longer consume beef, pork, poultry, eggs and fish/seafood, it would be nice if we could see improved safety standards put in place for those that do.

If you knew some of the unsafe practices of the meat industry you would realize that Congress and President Obama still need to work on making all types of food safe for everyone in this country.  The article also mentions that "The bill had broad bipartisan backing in Congress".  If this is the case then this really should be a no brainer as it looks to be one of the few issues that both of our major political parties agree on, don’t you think?

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Talk to you soon!
All writing, videos and pictures copyright the author of this blog unless otherwise noted or, if really darn obvious.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year! I’m Back!

Hello all and Happy New Year!  I hope you have been well and I apologize for not coming back sooner like I promised I would.  It has been a very busy holiday season and I have been otherwise occupied preparing for important job interviews and a move to a new location.  I also just plain realized that I needed more time off from this blog then I had initially thought.  This was a useful thing as it allowed me a chance to step back and see what I had accomplished in 2010.

I will admit though, it was tempting to step away from this blog for good.  Why?  Well I simply wasn’t sure if I had anything more to say and the initial arc of the blog, my first year without meat, was completed.  So what more can one post about the meatless world?  Plenty, but this time I don’t think it should be on my experiences alone.

Since doing this blog I have heard from other vegetarians and people I have met online through this blog or personal acquaintances I have known already telling me that they now want to go veggie too.  They have been asking me for advice on how to do it and I have been more than happy to share my experiences with them.  Maybe, just maybe, I can get them to share their own stories on here. 

My challenge to others out there is to go veggie in 2011—if not for a least a year, then I challenge you to try it for at least 90 days and see how you feel.  I think if you make the effort you will be most pleasantly surprised to see how it can change your health for the better.

Talk to you soon!
All writing, videos and pictures copyright the author of this blog unless otherwise noted or, if really darn obvious.