The Health Up Newsletter
Created Bi-Weekly by Teri Yunus
Health Up With Teri Health & Wellness Coaching

March 21, 2024 | ISSUE 173

What's Inside This Week 
  • Break Up With Bacon
  • Pop Quiz
  • Power of the Potluck
Break Up with bacon
Now is the right time…

Wikipedia describes bacon as a type of salt-cured pork made from various cuts, typically the belly or less fatty parts of the back. It is eaten as a side dish, used as a central ingredient, or as a flavoring or accent. Bacon is loved by many and there is good reason for this. It falls into the addictive food category due to it's salt and fat content. What makes a food most addictive is the combinations of salt and fat or sugar and fat (like donuts). Some of you may be thinking…well, I don't eat these foods very often. Dr. Neal Barnard, President of PCRM (Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine) alerts us that every amount matters. Reducing the amount of foods with these combinations is good AND…the risk is definitely dose related. The more we eat these foods, the more illness we will experience. Bacon, specifically, is a Group 1 carcinogen (the same class as cigarettes). Eating bacon increases the risk of colon, breast, prostate, and stomach cancer. 
Processed meats like bacon, hot dogs, deli meats (yes, even turkey), and sausage and jerky all fall into this group of cancer-causing foods.  Most bacon contains sodium nitrite, which prevents bacterial growth and improves it's taste. When exposed to heat, nitrosamine is formed and it is strongly linked to cancer. Curing, grilling, smoking all contribute to this harmful compound. We know that processed meats alter our gut microbiome and create carcinogenic byproducts. This accounts for the risk of colorectal cancers that are seen in people who eat  these foods. And there are a lot of them! Millions struggle with food addiction and bacon is a biggie. Like cheese, people have a hard time giving up bacon. An interesting finding is that when people craving bacon and other addictive foods are given naloxone (Narcan), the craving dissipates. It goes away! It's crazy to think that foods can be that addictive! So if you are one of those people struggling with the thought of breaking up with bacon, you may want to consider the hold it has on you. 
Cancer isn't the only risk, either. Fatty meats like bacon lead to cardiovascular disease. Look at the way bacon grease solidifies when it cools…the same thing happens in our blood vessels to the heart, brain, penis, and more. It doesn't just clog one area, it clogs them all. The salt content in bacon and other processed meats further amplifies the risk by increasing blood pressure. 
It is never too late to break up with bacon. We can reverse the effects of childhood and even adult eating patterns. One of the reason colorectal cancer is on the rise is that young people are consuming more processed foods and fast foods including highly addictive foods like bacon and sausage. They eat a lot of these foods and very few whole foods. Take a look at what you are allowing into your body. Is it worth the risk? Most people become ill during the last 20% of their lives. How do you want to see the last years of your life? Breaking up with bacon can contribute to improvements in your life as you age and allow you to remain vibrant, active and young well into the later years. 

Pop Quiz
Plant-Quotient Quiz - True or False

Answer true or false to the statements below. The answers will be sent out in a separate email in a few days. 
  1. You cannot get enough protein from a plant-based diet because plants do not supply all the essential amino acids.
  2. Avocados, extra-virgin olive oil, and coconut oil are examples of healthy fats.
  3. Animal-based foods do not contain any dietary fiber.
  4. Plant-based foods do not contain any dietary cholesterol.
  5. Dairy products like milk and cheese are the only reliable source of calcium in the diet.
  6. Drinking fruit smoothies is just as good as eating whole fruits.
  7. One serving of peanut butter is more calorie-dense than a large plate of green salad with no-oil dressing.
  8. Apples, broccoli, coconut oil, and organic blue corn chips are examples of whole plant-based foods.
  9. The main reason food can be addictive is because of the high content of salt, sugar and fat.
  10. It is possible to eat a lot of food and still lose weight.
  11. Proper diet is more important for overall health than intense exercise.
  12. Protein is the most important fuel for our body.
  13. Carbohydrates have the most calories per gram.
  14. Grocery store chicken is the highest sodium food available today.
  15. Blood cholesterol levels greater than 225 increases risk of developing Alzheimer's Dementia 25-fold.

The power of the potluck
Connection Cultivates Change

Breaking bread together promotes connection. Eating together forms social bonds and increases feelings of well-being. The power of the people we are connected to can promote healthier lifestyle or it can impair our ability to become healthier. Peer pressure keeps us in unhealthy habits. Who we surround ourselves with can determine our desire to move toward healthy eating. Humans are social beings and we emulate the behaviors of those around us. Hosting a potluck can be a way to share food, experiences and company. Potlucks promote community. This is especially important for those who eat differently. For plant-based eaters, potlucks offer a way to connect with like-minded people, try some new recipes and take home an uplifted attitude. When we connect and share a meal, we form a deeper bond. We feel that we are a part of something bigger. We are empowered and motivated to continue to strive for better health through food and lifestyle. We are able to share stories and our ‘why' for moving toward a healthier way of eating. Potlucks build connection and community! 
Plant-Based Saginaw hosts a meeting with potluck every month. We all bring a whole food, plant-based, no oil dish to share and there is always plenty of foods for newcomers who aren't comfortable bringing a dish. All are welcomed with open arms…the all-in plant-eaters and the curious. Here is the flyer for our upcoming April meeting. Join us to learn about our small community that is growing larger all the time!
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Move Yo'Self
10 Minute Daily Abs

Our core strength is vital to overall health and well-being. A strong core promotes stability and can help prevent falls. It can also reduce low back pain and can improve posture. This quick ab routine can be done at home with no equipment. Check it out. 

Chocolate Pudding
From The Jaroudi Family
Chocolate Pudding
Serves 4
2 cups sweet potatoes, cooked
1 ¼ cups plant milk, unsweetened
½ cup cocoa or cacao powder, unsweetened 
4-6 pitted dates
  1. Blend all ingredients together in a high-speed blender until smooth.
  2. Chill in the refrigerator for at least one hour. 
  3. Try to eat just one serving :)

did you know
A healthy plant-based dietary pattern is associated with a lower risk of osteoporosis. Eating more whole foods like vegetables, fruits, whole grains and legumes prevent bone loss. Soybeans, tempeh, and tofu along with dark green leafy vegetables such as kale, collard greens, and spinach are especially good. 

Food for Thought
Dr. Michael Greger released his “How Not to Age” book not long ago and it is jam-packed (like all of his books!) with facts that can help us to slow the aging process and feel great until our last breath. I strongly encourage all my readers to look for Dr. Greger's books. They are based on scientific evidence and worth their weight in gold (in my humble opinion). :)
Dr. Greger says the rate of aging may be modifiable! We have the power to slow the aging process. A few essential components to slow aging include:
  • Autophagy - it's the janitor in our body that cleans up defective cells so new cells can form. Depending on the individual's metabolism, significant autophagy may take two to four days of fasting in humans. Autophagy is believed to begin when glucose and insulin levels drop considerably. Animal studies have shown evidence of autophagy after 24 hours of fasting, which starts peaking at around 48 hours of fasting.
  • Exercising - for about 60 minutes (at a pretty fast rate).
  • Avoiding acrylamide. The major food sources of acrylamide are French fries and potato chips; crackers, bread, and cookies; breakfast cereals; canned black olives; prune juice; and coffee. Don't hate me, I love black olives, too! If you're a coffee drinker, choose medium roast. Dark roast coffee has less anti-oxidants. Use a paper vs metal coffee filter. 
  • Increase spermadine levels in your body. It's found in beans, especially soybeans and tempeh, white button mushrooms and wheat germ (1 tbsp/day).
Catch my Health Tip Tuesday video on Facebook on Tuesdays to hear my health tip for the week!
Share with your friends and family. Sharing and commenting along with liking or loving <3 increases the exposure so more people can become aware of the value of healthful living.

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“In the midst of movement and chaos, keep stillness inside you”
--Deepak Chopra


what small step will you take this week?
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Lots of love from Teri