Monthly Archives: February 2014

Being Proactive

I was following up on some notes I took during a seminar this morning. It led me to On his philosophy page, I ran across this statement:

Good Health Requires
One To Be Proactive

“Becoming proactive in one’s health is essential but difficult because there are so many powerful social, economic, and political forces that work to undermine our ability to be truly healthy. From the processed food industries to the pharmaceutical companies, our culture has become susceptible to large scale, well-funded interests that make money by perpetuating an unhealthy system. This has created conditions in our society that support rather than prevent disease. As consumers, we cannot be passive anymore. We need to take responsibility for our own health, the health of our families, our society, and the world at large. The small choices we make on a daily basis affect our resilience, our health, and our quality of life.”

That statement really struck a chord with me. As a vegan, I feel like I’m swimming upstream at times. Lipman’s statement explains why. There are numerous vested interests that guide us to make unhealthy choices in our eating without even realizing the deleterious effects. Along with the processed food industries, Americans are bombarded by massive advertising by the meat industry, dairy industry, and the American Egg Board. Do you realize that the Egg Board is not allowed to advertise that eggs are either healthy or nutritious? See And it is little secret that our health care system, driven by the drug industry and health insurance companies, perpetuate America’s dependence on drugs rather than teaching us how to eat well and be healthy.

If we just let ourselves go with the flow, we can get swept away downstream, totally unaware of how our daily food choices affect our long-term health. It’s easy to be tempted by the convenience of fast food eateries and packaged foods at the markets. We are inundated with advertising by the meat, dairy, and egg industries. Unfortunately eating these products has led to epidemic levels of obesity, hypertension, heart disease, and diabetes in the United States. Sixty-five percent of adults aged 20 years or older in the US are either overweight or obese, leading to over 280,000 deaths per year. More than 64 million Americans have cardiovascular disease, which represents the leading cause of mortality in the US, 38.5% (American Heart Association). Fifty million American are hypertensive, 11 million have type 2 diabetes, and 37 million adults have high-risk cholesterol concentrations (American Heart Association). Cancer is the second leading cause of death (25%) in the US, and an estimate one-third of these deaths are due to nutritional factors (American Cancer Society).

As Lipman says, we can no longer be passive consumers. We need to take responsibility for our health by making small healthy choices on a daily basis.

The good news is that it is getting easier and easier to lead a healthy plant-strong life. Restaurants are including more vegan and vegetarian options. Local farmers markets make it easy to obtain farm fresh produce, and even supermarket chains are including more organic produce. Wonderful companies like Gardein and Walden Farms are making tasty alternatives to meat, dairy, and sugar-filled foods. There are plenty of vegan and raw-food meet ups that provide classes and other support. And there are an amazing number of vegan blogs and websites that provide recipes, tips, and more.

So, do yourself and your health a favor. Spend a little time learning about healthier eating options. Check out some of the videos by Dr. Greger at nutrition It’s an entertaining way to elevate your awareness and find out what the latest research says about nutrition. It will motivate you to make those small choices toward healthy eating each day. To see how Donna and I made our transition to a plant-strong lifestyle and how we maintain it, search for the series of Vege Story posts on this blogsite. Be well.

Why Does My iPhone Battery Die So Fast? Here’s The iPhone Battery Fix!

I’m sharing this info that every iPhone user needs to know. dk


Posted by  on Aug 25, 2013 in iPhoneTechnology Tips | 111 Comments

I’m going to tell you exactly why your iPhone battery drains so quickly and exactly how to fix it. I’ll explain how you can get longer battery life out of your iPhonewithout sacrificing functionality! I don’t believe anyone should have to turn off every feature that makes the iPhone so enjoyable to use.

Take my word for it:

The vast majority of iPhone battery issues are software related.

And if you don’t believe me, read on.

Apple have created a website that explains their official stance on how to “optimize” your iPhone battery. Unfortunately, their instructions are rather wordy and don’t really get to the heart of the issue. In case you’re interested in checking that out, here’s a link to the official iPhone battery page on Apple’s website.

So why does my iPhone battery die so fast?

Here are the main reasons, in no particular order:

1. Push Mail

When your mail is set to push, it means that every second, your iPhone is connecting to the server and asking, “Is there mail? Is there mail? Is there mail? Is there mail? etc…” This constant flow of data drains your battery very quickly, and it makes sense if you think about it. The problem seems to be compounded for those of us who have Exchange servers set up on our phones.

The fix: Go to Settings -> Mail, Contacts, Calendars -> Fetch New Data -> and turn off Push. Scroll down to change Fetch to Every 15 Minutes and set each individual account to Fetch. The Mail app will still check for new mail every time it’s opened and send your messages right away.

If you have an Exchange server set up on your phone, get ready to jump for joy!


2. Location Services

Like I said, I’m all about using your phone. But there are a few services that you probably don’t know about that can constantly drain your battery. Go to Privacy -> Location Services -> and scroll all the way down to the last item, System Services. Tap on System Services to open that folder. Here’s what I suggest: Turn off Setting Time Zone if you don’t do a lot of travel, turn off Location-based iAds if you find Apple’s tracking your location to deliver you personalized ad content unnecessary, and turn off Diagnostics and Usage if you don’t think Apple needs to know exactly how you use your phone.

New in iOS 7 (and this is important), tap Frequent Locations at the bottom of the list. Yes, your phone has been tracking you everywhere you go. I personally don’t see a need for this feature and it uses a lot of battery because it is always tracking your whereabouts, so I’d suggest you turn it off.

After you’ve taken care of those pesky hidden services, make sure you turn on the location icon so you know when your location is being tracked. Not all apps are created equal. When an app uses location services, it drains the battery quickly, no matter how well the program was written. For example, I used to use Inrix Traffic, but stopped after I noticed it never stops using location services, even when it was in the background.

The other piece of location services that Apple has still not gotten correct is location-based reminders. The long and short of it is, don’t use them. There is no way to make your battery last a long time if you do. This is one of those features that Apple released, but I’ve never seen anyone be able to get through a whole day on battery power when they were using that feature. It’s a cool idea, but it doesn’t work if your phone is completely dead.

3. Diagnostics And Usage and Ad Identifier Tracking

Do yourself a favor and head to Settings -> General -> About -> and scroll to the bottom of the screen. Open up diagnostics and usage and turn off the automatic stream of data that is always sent to Apple. Also, choose choose to limit ad tracking. Who needs it?

4. Close Out Your Apps

Once every couple days, make sure you close out your apps. If you have iOS 6, double tap the home button, press and hold on any one of the apps until they all start to wiggle, and then hit the red circles to close out all of your apps. If you’ve upgraded to iOS 7, swipe up and flick each app off the top of the screen. This doesn’t delete your apps, it just clears them from the application memory. Apple’s official line on this is that apps have 10 seconds after you close them to go into a dormant mode, where they live happily until they are retrieved. In actuality, especially since all apps are not created equal, very often a battery issue is the result of an app crashing in the background. The app should have closed, but it didn’t.

Is your phone getting hot? That’s because the CPU is running at 100% all day long. It’s not designed to do that, and it’s not a hardware problem–it’s just software glitch in out in the background. Apple doesn’t like to admit that could happen, but it always does. Need proof? Go back to Settings, General, About, Diagnostics and Usage, and take a look at all of the crashing apps on your phone. It shouldn’t be hard for you to see where the problem lies.

5. Turn Off Your Phone Once A Week (The Right Way)

Turn off your phone once a week. An iPhone is a little computer that we carry around with us everywhere we go. Just by holding the top power button for a few seconds, sliding to power off, and turning it back on, many of the processes that you don’t see running on your phone stop running and start fresh again. Apple designed the iPhone with ease of use in mind, and they would never tell you to do that, but imagine if you left your PC running for a month. It would slow down, and so does the iPhone.

Whatever you do, don’t hold the power button on the top and the home button at the same time to do a hard reset, if you can avoid it. That’s basically the same as unplugging your desktop computer from the wall while it’s turned on. It causes all sorts of software glitches and could be contributing to the problem. Don’t do it.


6. Don’t Restore From An iTunes Backup – Use iCloud Instead!

So give exhausted all of your options, and it’s time to restore your phone. Whatever you do, don’t restore from an iTunes backup. Very often, the same glitch that your phone is experiencing right now gets backed up to iTunes, So after you restore your phone the same problem comes back. You think you have to broken phone, but what you’ve done is simply restore the same problem you started with. How to avoid this?

Use iCloud Backup! (And Restore from iCloud Backup)

After you plug your phone into your computer to restore and it reboots, unplug it from the computer as soon as you see the welcome screen where you can choose the language. Then, use the menus on your phone to connect to Wi-Fi and restore from an iCloud backup. iCloud backup is different because it only backs up your little bits of user information and downloads all of your apps fresh from the App Store. When you use iTunes, it makes one big bundle of your phone, puts it on your computer, and then puts it all back just the way it was. It doesn’t fix anything.

If you don’t have enough space on iCloud to backup your phone, copy all your photos from your phone to your computer and delete everything in your camera roll. Alternatively, or after you’ve already done this, go into iCloud backup settings and turn off Camera Roll from your backup. The only thing that takes up space in iCloud is the camera roll – Everything else is very insignificant. Trust me, an iCloud restore is worth it.

7. Last Ditch Effort – Restore Your Phone Again And Set It Up As New

It’s okay to turn on iCloud and redownload your contacts, calendars, reminders, bookmarks, etc., but if the glitch is too deep and it’s in all the backups, sometimes you just have to start fresh. And let’s be honest here–if you’re going to go to the Apple Store to have a technician take a look at it, do all of these steps first, because if you don’t, they’ll send you home to do them anyway. Apple techs are trained to never believe a battery issue is actually a battery issue. In truth, they rarely are battery issues, but with all the issues I just talked about, it’s no wonder why customers lose faith in their phones.

I sincerely hope that this guide helps you to enjoy your iPhone more. Leave a comment if you wish and I look forward to hearing from you about your success or failures.

All the best,

7 Foods That Can Help Lower Your Cholesterol

I ran across this article from SouthBeach. It is a good summary of foods that reduce levels of LDL cholesterol. It’s good to keep these food groups in the forefront our your consciousness. As a vegan, I’ll pass on the salmon. I’ll also pass on the wine. I’ve witnessed the struggles that several of my family members have had with the addictive nature of alcohol. It’s just not worth the risk for me.


February is American Heart Month, so what better time to take preventive steps to reduce your heart disease risk and the chances of having a heart attack or stroke? While optimal levels of cholesterol are different for each individual, and not everyone will react to dietary changes the same way, there are some foods that can help with reducing high levels of low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the so-called “bad” cholesterol that can cause artery-clogging plaque to form in your coronary artery walls. Try adding some or all of the following foods to your diet every day.

Broccoli (and other cruciferous vegetables)

Cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cabbage, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, and kale are packed with fiber that can help reduce cholesterol. The fiber-related components in these vegetables bind to cholesterol-laden bile salts in the small intestine and promote their excretion along with waste. When this happens, the liver must use more cholesterol to produce more bile salts, therefore lowering the amount of cholesterol in the body available to make LDL. Regularly eating cruciferous veggies may also help lower blood pressure.

Beans and other legumes

All beans and other legumes, including black, red, navy, kidney, pinto, lentils, and garbanzos, are loaded with filling protein and both soluble and insoluble fiber. The fiber in legumes can help lower bad LDL cholesterol and slow the digestion process, preventing glucose and insulin levels from rising steeply. Consequently, beans and other legumes are an ideal choice for people with diabetes.

Oats and other whole grains

All whole grains, including oats, wheat, wild rice, brown rice, quinoa, millet, and barley, contain soluble fiber, which helps block the body’s absorption of cholesterol. Eating high-fiber whole grains also aids in stabilizing blood sugar and regulating insulin production, helping to lower your risk of diabetes. According to a study conducted at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging in Boston, antioxidant compounds found in oat bran called avenanthramides can also prevent white blood cells from sticking to the artery walls, which is an important step in preventing plaque formation.

Nuts and seeds

Walnuts, almonds, pistachios, flaxseeds, pumpkin seeds, and other nuts and seeds are excellent sources of protein, heart-healthy monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. When substituted for saturated fat in your diet, nuts and seeds can help reduce total cholesterol as well as bad LDL cholesterol without affecting levels of good HDL cholesterol. Just be sure to limit your daily intake to about 1 ounce (1/4 cup), since nuts and seeds are calorie dense.


Powerful antioxidants (called polyphenols) found in black, white, green, red, and oolong tea can help lower bad LDL cholesterol. Studies show that oolong tea can increase LDL particle size, helping to prevent LDL from burrowing into vessel walls. Consuming green tea in either beverage or capsule form has also been found to help to preserve normal production of insulin by the pancreas, improving blood sugar metabolism.

Red wine

Because red wine contains resveratrol, a phytonutrient predominantly found in the skins of red grapes that possesses antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties, studies suggest that drinking red wine may protect against artery-damaging LDL cholesterol and atherosclerosis. Enjoy an occasional glass or two of red wine with a meal on Phase 2, but stop at one or two. More than one drink a day for women and two for men can increase the risk of heart disease and have other harmful effects on your health.

Wild salmon (and other omega-3-rich fish)

Cold-water fish rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as wild salmon, herring, Spanish mackerel, canned light tuna, anchovies, and sardines, can help lower bad LDL cholesterol when substituted for foods containing saturated and trans fats in the diet. Dr. Arthur Agatston, leading preventive cardiologist and creator of the South Beach Diet, recommends eating fish two or three times a week. Studies show that including omega-3-rich seafood in a diet can also help reduce blood pressure and inflammation. (Note: A pregnant or breast-feeding woman should consult her doctor before consuming fish or shellfish.)