Failing at Dating the Third Time around at Seventy-Two

When I joined Plenty of Fish (POF) in 2016, I paid for several months, and eventually dropped my membership, because I decided it wasn’t worth it.  There were not enough choices that came even close to my lifestyle.

Why would a tall, slim vegan that doesn’t drink alcohol, party, travel the world, or do drugs of any kind, doctor prescribed medication or illegal, want to date an overweight, unhealthy, meat eating, party animal with a desire to travel the world?

And why would a rare healthy woman in her fifties or sixties — trust me, there are not that many of them — want to date a man in his seventies no matter how healthy his lifestyle was?  A woman that healthy and in great shape probably has her pick of younger men that still look healthy.

Then I paid and joined Match for a few months thinking it would offer a better experience but it didn’t.  I dropped out there too.

My third experiment with dating was with eHarmony, but that site also did not match my expectations.  Last month, I cancelled my membership so it will not automatically renew. Until later in April 2018, I’m still a paying member of this dating site but then … no more.  That will be the end of my “failed” internet dating experiment.


“It’s obvious that no matter how old men are, they go after younger women,” and “The higher a man’s salary, the more women will like him.”

Seriously, many of the profiles of women POF and Match recommended for me had photos of women drinking booze and traveling the world even when they were decades younger than me and not interested in a man my age. Do you have any idea how much it costs to be a global trotting, older tourist supporting a young trophy wife in her forties, fifties or sixties that still craves that life?  And imagine her medical costs if she doesn’t have her own medical care?

I do not want to be a younger or older woman’s bank account or credit card generating debt machine.

Then again, maybe this dating experiment failed because I’m too picky. That’s what my former wife said – that I’m too picky.  We divorced in 2015 but are still friends. She’s dating again as long as the man she’s dating pays for those meals at expensive restaurants.

Or maybe those experiments at dating failed because I do not want to belong to a religion and most of the profiles of women of all ages all three of the dating sites sent me belonged to religions I wasn’t interested in being part of. I divorced the guilt ridden, always forgiven Catholic religion I was born into back in my twenties and pledged to myself, “Never again!”

I also don’t party, don’t drink, don’t smoke, and I live a strict vegan lifestyle. I think being really healthy is much better than living a fast paced nightclub, cruise ship, globetrotting, theme park lifestyle, and it is obvious that most people at my age are not willing to give up that lifestyle that also often comes with doctor prescribed medications to help mask all the health problems that come with it.

It seems that most women, no matter what their age, dream of an Eat Pray Love lifestyle that most of them can’t afford so they want someone else to pay for it.

I don’t travel a lot because I’ve had my fill of other countries. I’ve been there and done that enough. I still enjoy the occasional causal hike near my house that’s away from the urban sprawl, and there are still a lot of great outdoor locations in the United States and Canada I haven’t visited. I also enjoy working on the house I’m renovating.

There will be no more internet dating sites for me. Was it a waste of money? No, because it was a worthy experience that taught me a lesson. It isn’t easy at my age to find someone I want to be with who wants to be with me too. Then there is the fact, that I do not fake a smile for photographs. My smiles have to be natural and unexpected, and I do smile but not on demand in front of a camera lens.

What I learned?  I enjoy my life. I like who I am. I’m okay with living out the rest of my life alone.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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I am a very boring guy

Recently I was asked this question: “Do you take weekends off to do some fun things? I hope you take a break once in a while.”

Here’s my rambling reply (with a few revisions):

Do I take weekends off to do some fun things?

No. Everything I do is fun to me. I enjoy building things. I enjoy exercise. I enjoy reading books, and I enjoy writing them. I enjoy going out to see a movie at the theater (mostly alone). I don’t pay for cable TV, because I can’t stand all the advertisements and news that is almost always depressing especially with Donald Trump as the President of the United States. Trump is nothing but a pile of vile orange turkey crap. Why let him ruin my day? If I watch anything on a TV, it is after 8 PM and it is always from a DVD.

In short, I enjoy life, because every day is a holiday to me and has been since I retired more than twelve years ago. Sometimes I go out to eat alone and sometimes with a friend or friends. I enjoy eating alone or with friends as long as the food is healthy and my definition of healthy food doesn’t match most people, because I’m a vegan and have been for thirty-five years. Most American’s would not go one day without meat, sugar, sodas, sugar, dairy products, or sugar.

Going out to dance would not be fun for me so I don’t do that. Going out to party is not fun to me, and I don’t go to bars because drinking booze or beer is not fun to me. Paying to go and watch a football game or any sports would not be fun to me.

Celebrating my birthday is not fun to me. Celebrating any holiday is not fun to me, because every day is a holiday to me. If I get through a day without pain, loss or an injury that is a good day and most of my days are good ones.  And even when I injure myself, I do what I have to do to treat the wound, and return to what I was doing when I injured myself. Since I’m a woodworker and have a lot of dangerous power tools, I do cut myself and all I do is clean the wound, pack it with cayenne pepper, bandage the wound, and get back to work. The cayenne pepper stops the bleeding, protects the cut from infection and blocks the pain from the cut so I don’t feel it. It also speeds up the healing process.

If I had to go back to work to a job with a boss, that probably would not be fun because during the 45-years I worked and had bosses most of them were tyrants and/or were incompetent, and I even hated a few of them. But since I retired, every day is a fun day just because I’m alive and healthy to enjoy it. I have no desire to spend money just to have fun. For instance, I have no desire to visit theme parks like Disneyland. To me, that is an expensive waste of time. In addition, even though I was once a gambler and card counter, I don’t gamble today. Even though it isn’t illegal, there is too much stress counting cards in a casino and avoiding getting caught. I did that for several years and always won more than I lost, but the stress wasn’t worth it.

I take and enjoy life one day at a time no matter what I’m doing. I see no difference between any official holiday and all the other days of the year. They are all equal to me. I think most people have been programed to spend too much money on official holidays, but spending money to make someone else wealthier, isn’t fun to me.

I enjoy listening to music and right now that music is from Grace VanderWaal or Angelina Jordan, the eleven-year-old Norwegian jazz singer. For instance, this video of Angelina singing is incredible and I never get tired of watching it.


Every time I watch this video, I have fun because of Angelina’s amazing voice. Wow!

And I’ve watched Grace VanderWaal’s first concert for her first concert tour so many times, that I have lost count. Every time I watch her first Austin City Limits Music Festival concert for her own fans, I enjoyed stopping the replay to scan the crowd looking for expressions of joy and there was a lot to enjoy. For me, that is fun. And Grace’s expressions of joy are fun to watch too. It’s obvious that she is having fun providing music for her fans.

I have a vast choice of things to do every day that I enjoy doing. The list is so long that I have to manage it so I don’t spend too much time doing one thing. For instance, I just got in from doing two hours of yard work and I enjoyed the results and the fact that it was also free exercise. Now I’m writing this post and when I’m done, I’ll work on a chapter for my next book.

Why pay someone to mow my lawn while my body rots? It is a fact that if we don’t use our bodies, our bones will become brittle and we will lose muscle mass. Why should I pay someone to do the yard work for me and then pay to join a gym and exercise when I can do it for free?

For those two hours mowing, trimming and cleaning the yard, I was constantly on the move and I think that counts the same as a two-hour walk. I know going out to drink and dance is fun to many people, but I don’t pay to go out and drink booze and beer and dance. That is not fun to me. I will probably never pay to go on a cruise and eat too much bad food and gain ten or twenty pounds because that is not fun to me. The only winery I want to visit is a castle in the Napa Valley called Castello di Amorosa. I wouldn’t visit it to sample the wine or buy any wine. I’d visit it to see the castle. I like castles, and that is one trip I wouldn’t mind taking.  I’m even willing to travel to Ireland, Scotland, Spain, Germany, and Portugal to visit their castles. I wouldn’t go for the food or the alcohol. Why is eating unhealthy food and drinking alcohol considered fun to so many people?

Yep, I’m a really boring guy because I don’t do what many people think is fun.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam combat veteran with a BA in journalism and an MFA in writing, who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

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The Dangers of Halloween Addiction – Who Does This to Children?

While I enjoy seeing kids and adults in cute Halloween costumes, I abhor the TREAT factor of Halloween. As an ignorant child and teen, I went trick or treating, wore costumes and went to Halloween parties. And as a teacher, I dressed in a suit and wore a Richard Nixon mask more than once on Halloween.

However, in the early 1980s I changed my lifestyle drastically and became health conscious and that was the last time I gave out sugar-laced treats. Gasp, I even stopped drinking Coke, Pepsi, 7-Up, and even Dr. Pepper, my childhood favorite.

Instead of that free candy, I gave out small boxes of organic raisins at Halloween until a neighbor accused me of being cheap because I didn’t hand out treats drenched with processed sugar. I’m talking about those bulky bags full of miniature Snickers, Twix, M&M’s, Juicy Fruits, Tootsie Rolls, Oh Henry!, Butterfinger, Starbursts, Hershey’s, Reese’s, Skittles, Kit Kat, Milky Way, etc.

Thirty years of teaching kids that consumed too much sugar is another reason why I stopped handing out popular treats on Halloween, because I witnessed what too much sugar did to my students—too much hyper energy, then lethargy leading to inattention and mood swings. It’s a real challenge to teach a child or teen who drank a sixty-ounce Pepsi for lunch and comes to class with glazed eyes, and in today’s Bill Gates supported high stakes test world of Common Core education that ranks and punishes teachers and closes public schools, sugar should be enemy number two behind Bill Gates and his evil cronies.

In fact, many children and teens of today even hate drinking water because it isn’t sweet, and that is because they are addicted to the sugar. Forbes.com reported, “Research supports the theory that high-fat/high-sugar foods stimulate the brain in the same way that drugs do,” [neuroscientist Joseph] Schroeder said. “It may explain why some people can’t resist these foods despite the fact that they know they are bad for them.”

Most if not all of us know that heroin and methamphetamine are the most addictive illegal drugs, followed by cocaine, pentobarbital, nicotine, alcohol and caffeine, but most do not know that sugar should be on that list too. It’s addictive and destructive. When the researchers “used immunohistochemistry to measure the expression of a protein called c-Fos, a marker of neuronal activation, in the nucleus accumbens, or the brain’s ‘pleasure center,’” they found that “the Oreos activated significantly more neurons than cocaine or morphine.”

In addition to being more addictive than cocaine or morphine, how destructive is sugar?

“The Pompeiians have healthy teeth, only in the rarest cases marred by decay: this is thanks to a mainly vegetarian diet and to an almost total lack of sugar in the diet, explained dental surgeon Elisa Vanacore.”

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, kids are getting way too much added sugar in their diets and that could raise their risk for obesity and chronic diseases. “Consuming added sugars has been tied to an increased risk for heart disease among adolescents and cholesterol problems,” according to the CDC.

“A large epidemiological study suggest sugar may also have a direct, independent link to diabetes. Researchers from the Stanford University School of Medicine, the University of California-Berkeley and the University of California-San Francisco examined data on sugar availability and diabetes rates from 175 countries over the past decade. After accounting for obesity and a large array of other factors, the researchers found that increased sugar in a population’s food supply was linked to higher diabetes rates, independent of obesity rates.” – Stanford.edu

If you still doubt, to discover how horrible processed sugar is, I suggest reading this piece on Healthline.com where you will learn how dangerous diabetes can be.

Diabetes affects all parts of the body, particularly adult onset diabetes. If left uncontrolled, it becomes a killer, which destroyed every organ in the body—including the heart and brain. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes and another 79 million are pre diabetic.

And did you know that the leading five companies that make and sell candy and soda employ more than 40,000 workers and have annual revenues of $40 billion. This industry spends millions of dollars on lobbying in Washington DC to stop any proposed consumer protection regulations. Source: IBIS World.com and Sunlight Foundation.com

Now you know why I stopped celebrating trick or treat, because all of those free treats are not really free—they comes with a horrible price. Maybe it is time to take the sugar out of Halloween and just keep the costumes.

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

99 cents Promotion Graphic OCT 2015

Where to Buy

Lofthouse’s first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy followed by his award winning memoir Crazy is Normal.

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My Vegan Journey and why I never had a chance to say, “Let lips do what hands do.” (Viewed as Single Page)

For the last thirty-two years, I have belonged to one of the smallest minorities in America. I am a vegan 99.9% of the time and even when I’m not a vegan during that 0.1%, I don’t eat red meat, dairy products, chicken or turkey.

Colorado State University reports, “Today, in the United States, there are an estimated 4.9 million people who identify themselves as a vegetarian. … About 1.4% of the US adult population is vegan.”

That means, I am one of about 4.3 million Americans with a vegan lifestyle, which is about equal to the gay population in the US. By contrast, there are 47 million Hispanic/Latinos, more than 37 million Black Americans, and 13.4 million Asian Americans.

There is only one minority smaller than vegans and gays, and that is Native Americans numbering 2.4 million.

Then recently, I left a comment on Glenn Pendlay’s Blog and someone identified as Sarah Balfour called me a fool in a comment, because I am a–rare–vegan.

Sarah’s exact words were, “Lloyd Lofthouse: – you are a fool. A Deluded gullible FOOL! Being vegan – or fruitarian – is one of the unhealthiest lifestyle choices ANYONE can make!”

Is this an example of discrimination of a minority?

There was more to Balfour’s emotional, opinionated rant. If you want to read the comment, click on  the link.

However, I wasn’t always an alien vegan.  Up to about age 36, I ate the average American diet and was just like every other tubby bear of a fat guy.

I loved HUGE barbequed steaks, giant VW van-sized baked potatoes filled with sour cream, melted cheese with chives, pizza and beer, hamburgers and French fries, washed down with beer, Pepsi or Dr. Pepper (by the liter—the hell with water) followed with cakes, pies, candy, etc.

I was a true, dedicated cheese-head for sure.

Oh, and I loved throwing a big drunk: beer, wine, vodka, gin, whisky, scotch (a mixed drink with Coke or straight with no ice).  A week didn’t go by that I wasn’t a dirty skunk of a drunk. The heavy drinking started in 1966 after my combat tour in Vietnam and continued until 1981 when I was forced to confront my inner demons and dominate them or die a painful, early meat eater’s death.

It’s amazing that I never added cigarettes, cigars, and pipe tobacco to my average American lifestyle and why not, even today, it is estimated that more than 43 million American adults smoke including President Barack Obama.

However, my life changed in 1981 when I met a cute vegan—a married, cute vegan with the creamiest, clearest skin I’ve ever wanted to caress and an incredibly pleasant voice—she was always in a good mood and never sick. It was disgusting (not the vegan part or the fact that she never caught a common cold).  The disgusting part was that she was married and off limits.

All I wanted to say to her was what Romeo said to Juliet, “Let lips do what hands do.” I never had a chance.

In 1981, before I became a vegan, I stood six-foot-four and weighed 215 pounds and I did not follow an exercise routine. Due to daily headaches, joint pain, shooting pains throughout my body and indigestion after almost every meal, I carried painkillers and anti acids on me at all times.

If I wasn’t drunk, I was in pain.

I was killing myself with my lifestyle choices and I was so ignorant that I didn’t even know I was responsible. To me, since almost everyone I knew lived the same lifestyle, my life was normal.

Prior to converting to veganism, I came down with annual common colds and flu. Then in 1981 when I was working two jobs, teaching English days in a public middle school and working weeknights and weekends at a nightclub-restaurant combination called the Red Onion in West Covina, I worked with an alien vegan.

In my thirties and single, I was a player and a party animal. In fact, among the Red Onion employees, I was known as Disco Lloyd. Alas, those frantic, dirty dancing days are behind me now.

The cute young vegan I worked with never preached about her lifestyle. In fact, I had no idea she was a vegan until the day almost every employee in the restaurant was sick with the same common cold: the cooks, the hosts, the managers, the maître d (me), the bartenders, waitresses… we were all sick except her—an injustice for sure.

I’m sure many meat eaters will crow “fowl”—that isn’t fair.

Late one night, I asked why she with the “perfect skin” was the only employee that didn’t catch “that” common cold we were sharing with all the customers, and she told me it was because she was vegan. At first I thought she was claiming to have come from Venus, but she explained and cleared up my confusion.

Next, she introduced me to her husband, who was raised as a child to be vegan by his parents. Too bad he was such a nice, likable guy. In addition, he had a fourth degree (or higher) black belt in Kung Fu—move over Jackie Chan.

It was Perfect Skin’s husband that taught me what a healthy vegan diet was and guided me through the year-long conversion.  During that year, my weight plummeted to 160 pounds and then slowly returned to 180 where it stuck—give or take a pound or two—for the next twenty-three years.

During the conversion, my skin even turned a bit green and then orange—because I was drinking lots of organic carrot juice.

Yes, vegetarian/vegan diets may be unhealthy if an individual does not discover what it means to eat a whole-food vegetarian/vegan diet. Iceberg lettuce salads, carrots, lima beans, ice cream, milk, cake, pie and eggs does not do it.

Colorado State University offers a fact sheet of healthy Vegetarian Diets.  If you are interested in converting, I recommend starting there to educate yourself.

That day more than thirty years ago when I decided to give the vegan lifestyle a six-month trial run, I said to my lifestyle conversion coach, “If it doesn’t work, I’m  going back to my cheese pizza and beer, hamburger, French fry, Pepsi, Dr. Pepper diet.”

At the time, I believed the vegan lifestyle wouldn’t work and my lifestyle had nothing to do with my pain and health problems, but I thought, what the heck. Give it a try. It can’t hurt.

And, it was only for six months.

Needless to say, converting to veganism worked and I never looked back. The headaches went away. The indigestion vanished. The shooting pains in my body and joints left and have not returned. My energy became more constant without the ups and down that come with a high-sugar, animal-protein diet.

In fact, I haven’t had a common cold or the flu since 1982 although I understand that vegans do get colds and the flu. I did have a number of sinus infections over the vegan years but those infections were linked to a severe exposure to formaldehyde, one of the top ten carcinogens, in the early 80s that led to sinus surgery—I almost died on the operating table as the doctors carved and scraped inside my head for about three hours.

“After years of delay due to intense pressure from the chemical industry, the government finally added formaldehyde and styrene, two of the world’s most widely used chemicals, to its list of known and probable carcinogens. Formaldehyde is widely used in plywood, particle board, mortuaries and hair salons….” Source: Natural News.com

In addition, have you ever heard of Oprah’s Mad Cowboy, a fourth generation Cattle Rancher that, to save his life, became a vegetarian and gave up—GASP!—meat. If you haven’t, let me introduce you to Howard Lyman. (If you are still a meat eater, you DON’T want to click on this link and “meat” Howard Lyman—You also do not want to watch the following “Mad Cowboy Documentary”.)


WARNING! If you take time to watch this video, the odds say that the way you think of “meat” and “dairy products” will change for the worst.

Regardless of what you might hear from the Sarah Balfours of the world, more than one reputable study proves that vegetarians live longer, healthier lives.

The Huffington Post reported, “The most impressive data arises from a study of 1,904 vegetarians over 21 years by the German Cancer Research Center (Deutsche Krebsforschungszentrum). The study’s shocking results: vegetarian men reduced their risk of early death by 50%! Women vegetarians benefit from a 30% reduction in mortality.”

More recently, medical research has found that a properly balanced vegetarian diet may, in fact, be the healthiest diet. This was demonstrated by the over 11,000 volunteers who participated in the Oxford Vegetarian Study. For a period of 15 years, researchers analyzed the effects a vegetarian diet had on longevity, heart disease, cancer and various other diseases.

The results of the study stunned the vegetarian community as much as it did the meat-producing industry: “Meat eaters are twice as likely to die from heart disease, have a 60 percent greater risk of dying from cancer and a 30 percent higher risk of death from other causes.”

In addition, the incidence of obesity, which is a major risk factor for many diseases, including gallbladder disease, hypertension and adult onset diabetes, is much lower in those following a vegetarian diet. According to a Johns Hopkins University research report on 20 different published studies and national surveys about weight and eating behavior, Americans across all age groups, genders and races are getting fatter. If the trend continues, 75 percent of U.S. adults will be overweight by the year 2015.

The American National Institute of Health, in a study of 50,000 vegetarians, found that vegetarians live longer and also have an impressively lower incidence of heart disease and a significantly lower rate of cancer than meat-eating Americans.

In fact, even back in 1961, the Journal of the American Medical Association reported that a vegetarian diet could prevent 90-97% of heart diseases.

I wonder how many former U.S. Marines, who are Vietnam combat veterans, follow a vegan lifestyle?

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran,
who taught in the public schools for thirty years (1975 – 2005).

His third book is Crazy is Normal, a classroom exposé, a memoir. “Lofthouse presents us with grungy classrooms, kids who don’t want to be in school, and the consequences of growing up in a hardscrabble world. While some parents support his efforts, many sabotage them—and isolated administrators make the work of Lofthouse and his peers even more difficult.” – Bruce Reeves

Crazy is Normal promotional image with blurbs

Where to Buy

His first novel was the award winning historical fiction My Splendid Concubine [3rd edition]. His second novel was the award winning thriller Running with the Enemy. His short story A Night at the “Well of Purity” was named a finalist of the 2007 Chicago Literary Awards. His former wife if 15 years is Anchee Min, the international, best-selling, award winning author of Red Azalea, a New York Times Notable Book of the Year (1992).

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The Food Wars

Elements of agriculture and the food industry have been at war with healthy lifestyles for decades.

For example, on one side there is the fast-food, sugar, soda, meat and dairy industry motivated by profit. On the other side, we have the PCRM, who supports healthy lifestyle choices.

I recently read about one of the battles in this food-health war at Yahoo’s Shine Foods. I have no idea how long Yahoo will leave this link active, because Yahoo—curse their stingy RAM policies—usually deletes what they publish after a few days or weeks probably to save space so they don’t have to buy more RAM.

Here’s the headline and link for the Yahoo Shine Foods piece: McDonald’s McDouble: Cheapest, Most Nutritious Food in History? No Way

I think: some brain-dead idiot named Kyle Smith [inspired by another brain-dead idiot who has a podcast through Freakonomics] wrote a column for the New York Post and praised the McDouble’s $1 burger claiming it was a cheap way to eat healthy.

Everyone has a right to his or her opinion in the United States but in this case Kyle Smith is—dead—wrong. Literally!

The truth is that there are three kinds of people out there when it comes to food. There are those who live to eat; those who eat to live and then some who are confused and ignorant.

I belong to the minority who eat to live. The majority—the live to eat people—are usually fat or obese. In fact, more than two-thirds [68.8%] of U.S. adults are overweight or obese. In 2008, medical costs associated with obesity were estimated at $146 billion. Source: CDC

I’m almost sixty-eight and I take no meds; I’m not overweight, and my doctor at the VA says more than 80% of people my age take two or more meds daily because of health problems and those health issues mostly come from lifestyle choices.

What does PCRM stand for?

Answer: The Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine

Since 1985, the PCRM has been influencing advancements in medicine and science. They advocate for preventive medicine, especially good nutrition, conduct clinical research, and advocate for higher ethical standards in research. The membership includes 150,000 health care professionals and concerned citizens.

PCRM is a nonprofit 501c3 organization headquartered in Washington, D.C.

Imagine that—150,000 doctors, health care professionals and concerned citizens who care about your health even if you don’t care about it.

On the other hand, the meat industry employs 487,600 workers. Their combined salaries total more than $19 billion. In 2009, the meat and poultry industry sales totaled $154.8 billion for-profit industry. Source: meatami.com

America’s sugar industry generates more than 142,000 direct and indirect jobs and almost $20 billion in annual revenues. This is another for-profit industry. Source: Sugar Alliance.org

The revenue for the dairy industry—another for-profit industry—is $38 billion and this industry employs 180,000 people. Source: ibisworld.com

The tobacco industry is also a for-profit industry.

In America we live in a so-called free-choice country. The theory is that Americans may decide if we want an eat to live or live to eat lifestyle even if we don’t know the consequences of our choice.

Who are you going to listen to: Kyle Smith—a big mouth for the meat, sugar and dairy industry—or the PCRM?

Discover Growing up with Oranges

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse is a former U.S. Marine, Vietnam Veteran and English-journalism teacher.

His latest novel is the award winning Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

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The danger behind trick or TREAT at Halloween

While I enjoy seeing kids and adults in cute Halloween costumes, I abhor the TREAT factor of Halloween. As an ignorant child, teen and then younger adult, I went trick or treating, wore costumes and went to Halloween Parties. As a teacher and an adult, I was Richard Nixon more than once on Halloween, and one time in the late 1970s I was Aunt Jemima with black face paint—that would probably be politically incorrect today but there were no complaints in the 70s.

However, the last time we gave out treats, they were small boxes of sweet, organic raisins. Then a few weeks later, a neighbor accused me of being cheap because we did not hand out treats drenched with processed sugar. I’m talking about those bulk bags full of miniature Snickers, Twix, M&M’s, Juicy Fruits, Tootsie Rolls, Oh Henry!, Butterfinger, Starbursts, Hershey’s, Reese’s, Skittles, Kit Kat, Milky Way, etc.

Thirty years of teaching kids that consumed too much sugar is the reason why we stopped handing out sugar laced treats on Halloween. I witnessed what too much sugar did to my students—too much hyper energy, then lethargy leading to inattention and mood swings. It is a real challenge to teach a student that drank a sixty-ounce Pepsi for lunch and comes to class with glazed eyes.

I’d be willing to offer treats again but if I did it would be the apples on one tree in our back yard. By the time Halloween rolls around, the organic apples on that tree are crisp and sweet, but I doubt many of today’s children or teens would be willing to take the time to hike up our hillside backyard and pick one or two apples from the tree.

In fact, many children and teens of today even hate drinking water because it isn’t sugary sweet.

In the UK, according to The Telegraph, “Almost half of children say they do not eat any fruit or vegetables every day, according to a new survey.”

In the United States, the numbers are much worse. According to the US Department of Health & Human Services, “Only 21 percent of young people (in the US) eat the recommended five or more servings of fruits and vegetables each day,” while “Soda consumption increased dramatically in the early to mid 1990s. Thirty-two percent of adolescent girls and 52 percent of adolescent boys consume three or more eight ounce servings of soda per day.”

CBS News reported, “According to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control, kids are getting way too much added sugar in their diets and that could raise their risk for obesity and chronic diseases.

“Consuming added sugars has been tied to an increased risk for heart disease among adolescents and cholesterol problems,” according to the CDC.

In addition, “The amount of sugar consumed is still extraordinarily high,” Dr. Robert Lustig, professor of pediatrics at the University of California, San Francisco, told WebMD. “The amount is still so far over what any rational physician, dietitian, or government agency would have us be eating.”

The American Heart Association says, “Today, about one in three American kids and teens is overweight or obese, nearly triple the rate in 1963. With good reason, childhood obesity is now the No. 1 health concern among parents in the United States, topping drug abuse and smoking.

“Among children today, obesity is causing a broad range of health problems that previously weren’t seen until adulthood. These include high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes and elevated blood cholesterol levels. There are also psychological effects: Obese children are more prone to low self-esteem, negative body image and depression.”

Diabetes affects all parts of the body, particularly adult onset diabetes. If left uncontrolled, it becomes a killer, which destroyed every organ in the body—including the heart and brain. According to the American Diabetes Association, 25.8 million adults and children in the United States have diabetes and another 79 million are pre diabetic.

Are you a parent? Do you encourage your children to get into the Halloween spirit, wear a costume and then walk door to door filling a bag with sugary candy? If the answer is yes to both questions, do you really love your children?

The leading five companies that make and sell candy and soda employ more than 40,000 workers and have annual revenues of $40 billion. This industry has spend hundreds of millions of dollars on lobbying in Washington DC to stop any proposed consumer protection regulations. Source: IBIS World.com and Sunlight Foundation.com

Discover My Vegan Journey to Health or learn how to Avoid the Mainstream Parenting Trap

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Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”

Growing up with Oranges

Yes, I grew up with California’s golden oranges. An orange grove was right across the street from the house where I lived for most of my youth in the 1950s.

That is why I know how sweet, fresh, juicy, ripe oranges should taste, and that is one reason I don’t care much for most of the orange juice we buy in stores. Fresh squeezed, at home, is much better but that takes time.  In fact, I seldom find tasty oranges sold in markets but I do find them in Farmer’s Markets during the orange season in California (December through April for Navel Oranges and April to December for Valencia Oranges).  When in season, I often buy ten pound bags of ripe, sweet, juicy Navel Oranges because my wife eats several a day.

Back to the 1950s when I was between the ages of 5 and 13: the man that tended that orange grove in Glendora, California was always dressed in khaki: pants, shirt and floppy, wide brimmed cotton hat. Because most of the kids in the neighborhood, including me, played in that unfenced commercial grove of naval orange trees, the khaki-clad orange grove man told us we could eat any orange we found on the ground but we were not allowed to pick them from the trees and eat them.

My child mind thought: okay, then I’ll knock oranges off the tree to the ground, pick them up and eat them, and I was never caught. Needless to say, in the 1950s, before that grove was cut down and replaced by a public elementary school at one end; some condos and a strip mall at the other end, I ate lots of oranges.

Now, here I am, about fifty to sixty years later, and I do not enjoy the taste of pasteurized orange juice. It just does not taste right, and there is a reason for that: the heat process kills not only bad bacteria but it destroys many of the vitamins and good microbes that benefit health.

Pasteurization typically uses temperatures below boiling. The two main types of pasteurization used today are: high-temperature, short-time (HTST) and “extended shelf life” (ESL) treatment.

Then yesterday at the local Whole Foods Market, I bought a half gallon of Orange Juice by Evolution Fresh. This morning, I drank some, and, WOW!, was transported back in time to that ten year old eating oranges from the trees across the street.

The taste I cannot get used to from pasteurized orange juice wasn’t there. I went online and discovered the reason this orange juice from Evolution tastes so good was because of a cold pasteurizing process called HHP (High Pressure Processed without the use of heat), and I learned from Evolution Fresh’s website that they have three stores of their own in Seattle and Bellevue, Washington and San Francisco, California.

If you are a connoisseur of orange juice, as I am, you may want to give this brand a try. Evolution Fresh Inc. was bought by Starbucks Coffee Company in late 2011.

Discover Barber Shop Quartets and Amazing Acappella or My Vegan Journey and why I never had a chance to say, “Let lips do what hands do.”

_______________________

Lloyd Lofthouse, a former U.S. Marine and Vietnam Veteran, is the award winning author of The Concubine Saga.

His latest novel is Running with the Enemy. Blamed for a crime he did not commit while serving in Vietnam, his country considers him a traitor. Ethan Card is a loyal U.S. Marine desperate to prove his innocence or he will never go home again.

And the woman he loves and wants to save was trained to hate and kill Americans.

To follow this Blog via E-mail see upper left-hand column and click on “FOLLOW!”