I find Russell Simmons fascinating from the perspective that he is a maverick in every sense of the word. He’s not just a successful business man, but he’s a legendary figure in the notoriously macho male world of hip hop, yet he’s a vegan, animal rights activist, and avid practitioner of yoga and Transcendental Meditation (TM).
It’s the vegan and animal right part of his lifestyle that has earned him the honor of PETA 2011 Person of the Year. He’s in good company, since last year the honor went to former President Bill Clinton for raising awareness about the health benefits of a vegan diet.
In a written statement, PETA says that Simmons earned the honor because “he tirelessly advocates for animals and sets a positive example for others by promoting a vegan lifestyle.”
Simmons is known for spreading the word on how his philosophy of compassion and his vegan diet has made his life better for it. You can’t accuse him of mincing his words:
“The horrible abuse of animals is the worst karmic disaster in the history of human kind,” said Simmons. “The work that PETA does to combat this catastrophe is amazing. I’m truly humbled to be chosen as this year’s Person of the Year but the praise should go to the hundreds of thousands of volunteers that are on the ground doing the work. I accept this honor on their behalf.” (more…)
In the documentary Vegucated, filmmaker Marisa Miller Wolfson sets out to show how the vegan lifestyle can be adopted by anyone. It follows three New Yorkers of different backgrounds as they adopt a plant-based diet for six weeks, and then asks them if they’ll go back to eating as they did before. After winning the prize for the Best Documentary Feature at the Toronto Indie Film Festival, Vegucated debuted in the U.S. last week in NYC with a screening and a Q&A with the director and cast.
Although most of the audience members at the New York screening were already vegans, the film serves as an introduction to the vegan diet. None of Wolfson’s subjects had ever been vegan before, and the film teaches viewers the basic tenets of veganism along with Ellen, Tesla, and Brian.
To illustrate the health benefits of a vegan diet, Wolfson takes her subjects to see Dr. Joel Fuhrman before and after the six-week experiment. Fuhrman specializes in helping patients achieve better health by adopting a plant-based diet and is the author of several books on the subject, including Eat to Live and Eat for Health.
Rebecca Gilbert is founder of Yummy Plants, an online community dedicated to sharing recipes, vegan-friendly restaurants, nutritional information and practical tips on how to live a healthy plant-based lifestyle.
Are you suffering from chronic joint pain? Are you tired of living on Ibuprofen? Read my story… I healed my chronic joint pain by switching to a vegan diet.
I am so grateful to be able to skate and dance again that I created the Yummy Plants online community to help others who want to transition to a vegan diet. I hope it can work for you too!
It’s amazing how changing my diet changed my life. By shifting to a plant-based diet, my body actually healed!
I had my first experience with a plant-based diet back in 1998 many years before being a vegetarian or vegan was as common as it is today. I was willing to give up meat, eggs and dairy because I wanted to recover from an injury that had occurred while I was in college. I believed that changing my food choices could result in less joint pain. (more…)
While he was certainly not our heaviest president, that distinction goes to William Taft who tipped the scales past the 300 mark, Bill Clinton did struggle a little with a few extra pounds. Sure, he may be more known for his ravenous sexual appetite, but Clinton also had a reputation for his love of McDonald’s.
Even though President Clinton was seen jogging with secret service by his side, he was also known for devouring donuts. It’s no wonder that he continued to have weight problems. Early in Bill Clinton’s first term, Hillary asked renowned cardiologist Dr. Dean Ornish to work with White House chefs to devise a menu for the President. Even with these changes, Clinton continued to have issues with his weight through both terms.
In 1999, the White House physician noted at Clinton’s annual physical that he put on 18 pounds since a checkup from two years earlier. The president was asked to focus on exercise and a low-calorie diet. (more…)
U.S. News and World Report is famous (and in some cases infamous) for ranking products, institutions and services of all kinds, be it cars, colleges or diets. Yesterday, they released diet rankings in a number of categories, most notably the best commercial diets and the best diets for weight loss. They also created a list for both the best diabetic diets and the best heart-healthy diets, and a list of best overall diets.
U.S. News reports that they spent six month researching diets, and then had a panel of 22 health experts score the diet on seven different criteria. The diet was judged on its nutritional completeness, its safety, its ability to prevent or manage diabetes, its ability to prevent or manage heart disease, short-term weight loss, long-term weight loss and how easy it is to follow.
It’s little surprise to us that Weight Watchers and Jenny Craig topped both lists, as multiple studies have shown these two diets to be effective. Below are the top eight diets from the best commercial diets and the best diets for weight loss.
Tune in this Wednesday, April 6th to The Oprah Show to see Oprah and 378 of her staff members try a vegan diet for one week. They won’t be eating any meat or other animal products for a whole week, while Oprah explores the meaning of eating animals. One staffer reveals that he lost 11 pounds during the experiment!
Later in the show, Lisa Ling takes a look at meat industry. This may not be easy for anyone with a weak stomach to watch, but everyone should know where their food really comes from. Plus, Michael Pollen, author of Food Rules, is a guest.
After five and half years of marriage to Christopher Jarecki, and over 13 years together, 34 year old Alicia Silverstone is excited to announce that she is expecting her first child, according to People magazine. While she has said previously that she has wanted to be a mother for as long as she can remember, Alicia has not announced if she will maintain her mostly vegan diet throughout her pregnancy. Alicia published The Kind Diet: A Simple Guide to Feeling Great, Losing Weight, and Saving the Planet in 2009 to aid others in adopting a vegan diet. Her lack of announcement seems to suggest that little has changed for her nutritionally.
Maintaining a vegan diet throughout pregnancy is pretty controversial with very strong opinions on both sides of the fence. While a woman is supporting a growing fetus and her body is changing with pregnancy, she has greater nutritional needs that not all believe can be met with a vegan diet. While Jillian Michaels is right that only 200-300 extra calories per day may be needed to grow a healthy baby, the nutritional needs packed into those calories are very high.