Shana Tova – Happy New Year 5780 – Rosh Hashanah Tonight!

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https://www.dgreetings.com/roshhashanah/rosh12.htm

Tonight Rosh Hashana begins and with it the New Year of 5780 on the Hebrew Calendar. Shana Tova to all my fellow Jewish People around the world and thank you to Israel for being a beacon of freedom and hope for all Jews. May all Jews have a Happy and Sweet New Year! My wish for this year is to have the world recognize and globally stand against antisemitism.

https://embassies.gov.il/washington/NewsAndEvents/Pages/rosh-Hashana0927-5034.aspx

Isaac Levinsky

United Nations General Assembly – UNGA and Climate Change, More needs to be done!

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President @realDonaldTrump
addresses the 74th #UNGA

In a short period of time humanity has moved our planet Earth toward dangerous and globe threatening Climate Change. In terms of fixing a problem it is best to be proactive and not reactive. Since we are not able to go back in time of course the approach at the UNGA is a reactive approach. The good news is the major nations and businesses have ideas to move toward being Carbon Neutral by 2050/mid-century. Keep in mind that CO2 is one of 6 major gases that contribute to Global warming (OTHERS include: nitrous oxide, hydrofluorocarbons, perfluorocarbons, sulphur hexafluoride and methane). So CO2 focus is important but not enough!

In reality being “Carbon Neutral” can involve many possible situations. Some definitions in fact involve an entity contributing to CO2 emissions and “buying carbon credits”. By visiting this site you will learn more about Climate Change, Carbon Neutrality and be able to have the links to calculate your own carbon footprint.

Read more: https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-we-be-carbon-neutral/

My experience with Crohn’s Disease and knowledge of other disease processes help me to understand why focusing only on Carbon is not enough. Take the immune system for example – it is responsible for keeping us alive, but also responsible for being the reason for auto-immune diseases such as IBD (Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis). Also, when we look at HIV/AIDS we learn an important lesson on how to combat something that is complex and threatening to people as individuals and globally. To successfully treat HIV/AIDS and Crohn’s Disease/Ulcerative Colitis there has been a failure to achieve remission with a single drug or single target approach. Instead, the positive results have come from using multiple drugs/methods that have distinctly different pathways. So it is the same with Climate Change. If we limit ourselves to focusing on Carbon we will not be successful. We must combat the other five major gasses and also look at why we have the problem and we can do within society and culture to change our values so that they are consistent with prolonging the life our planet and life as we know it as human beings.

Thank you and may we all continue to come together as a world and take proper and sound action!

Isaac Levinsky

Image at the top of this blog courtest: https://www.lmwindpower.com/en/sustainability/go-carbon-neutral

Overcoming a Difficult Day of Pain/Chronic Illness (insert disease here)

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Sometimes you need to stop and make camp for the night even if it is early

Today is a painful day for me, my abdomen and specifically my intestines are inflamed and angry. That is a metaphor, really my Crohn’s Disease decided to try extra hard today and it won. So I ended up taking two long naps and more time in the bathroom being sick and basically it was a boring day. Also, I do not care about the Emmys. I would rather watch no TV or anything else. Better idea, now, in fact in my mind, I am envisioning that I feel good, it is a cool and sunny day and I am out on the water in a sail boat – out on the ocean and enjoying every minute!

The Ocean is fantastic

Instead of fighting against the disease- the suffering, I went with it today and listened to my body. I told my family I am sick and do not feel good. I slept through meals and ate when and what I could. These days are part of my chronic illness and more often than I would like.

I chose to not push myself and pretend I felt good because that does not work. Having a chronic illness is like having a bank account. There is a set amount of money/energy/ability to tolerate pain in said account. Well today I was broke, so why overdraw the account?

Perhaps tomorrow my luck will improve and instead of overdoing I will take it easy in terms of pacing my activities. Pacing is an important concept for chronic illness as it also is in many other activities including sports.

Imagine you are running a race every day and some days you feel more able to run than others. It’s a miracle, this one day you feel a little better. Do you increase your pace to a sprint or maintain the walk/jog? If you decide to sprint you feel good in your accomplishment. Then you wake up the next day and your feet hurt and you have to rest for the morning. If you had “paced” yourself – the next day would also be fruitful. This life lesson is one that can be faced daily. Essentially, what is my pace today based on how I feel? Best of luck to everyone out there in their daily race and try to find the right pace each day!

-Isaac Levinsky

Mediterranean Diet Improves Health Significantly Research Shows

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An overview of the Mediterranean Diet: Credit 2009 Oldways Preservation and Exchange Trust. Posted via: https://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu/2019/05/mediterranean-diet-month/

The Mediterranean Diet can change your life, help you feel healthier, prevent disease, help you lose weight and keep the weight off, improve your quality of life, and possibly live longer too. What we eat affects how we feel and also impacts our health. This is so important in wellness and with chronic illness. What we do everyday is important as well. Taking the time to make food at home is difficulty with the modern workplace requirements. However, I have decided to work on improving my quality of life by looking at my diet.

The Mediterranean Diet has been studied the past 50 years and the benefits are undeniable. I will post a few of the links and book names for research and recipes. I did research on the Mediterranean Diet back in 2010 through 2013 when I published a Medical Brochure on the Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease through lifestyle changes. A major part of the research emerging at the time was that the Mediterranean Diet is probably related to prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease. Well now the facts are in years later and the Mediterranean Diet helps with many health conditions including Crohn’s Disease.

Keep in mind, this is not a diet in the sense that you are doing this to lose weight. You will possibly or even likely be healthier. However, the Mediterranean Diet is a lifestyle change that includes increased physical activity and changing what you eat and your thought process about food.

About one week ago I starting thinking about my reasearch on the Meditteranean Diet and decided to start eating that way to see how I feel. I discussed it and did some updated reading and began the diet. I will tell you that I believe I am noticing some improvement. However, do not use this blog for medical advice, go ahead and speak to your physician about your diet and food intake.

Research on the Mediterranean Diet has provided evidence for:

  • A new study published in April – see below – Mediterranean Diet Improves Quality of Life and may reduce disease activity.
  • Reducing Inflammation
  • Preventing Cancer and inhibiting tumor growth
  • Perhaps living longer
  • Preventing heart attacks and strokes
  • Improved concentration and thinking
  • Prevention of Alzheimer’s Disease and Parkinson’s Disease and possible reduction of symptoms
  • Lowered risk of dying from heart disease and cancer
  • And the foods are delicious!

Links / research:

https://franklin.ces.ncsu.edu/2019/05/mediterranean-diet-month/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/31006053

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5372922/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/22166184

https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/diet-and-nutrition/special-ibd-diets

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20973675

Books:

The Ultimate Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Amy Riolo, 2015. Harness the Power of the World’s Healthiest Diet to Live Better, Longer

The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook by Nancy Harmon Jenkins, 2009. A Delicious Alternative for Lifelong Health.

Never Forget 9/11 and Never Forget the Holocaust – Terrorism and Extremists still threaten USA, Jews, and Israel – We Must Stand Together!

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George W. Bush Addresses the Nation on 9/11. His words are strong, what a great speech. #Neverforget911 #911Anniversary#Holocaust #Israel #Antisemitism #Chronic Illness #Crohns #standtogether

I am thankful yet quite worried. Thankful to be living in the United States of America. Thankful that I am still alive despite multiple surgeries and dangerous medications for my Crohn’s Disease. Thankful for those in public service that defend the freedom and right to live. Thankful that 18 years later our nation still honors our heroes and loved ones that are no longer with us. I am also thankful that our Nation supports other beacons of freedom around the world because against terrorism we must never give up. God Bless America. God bless our allies and those around the world who fight evil.

Yet, as I notice the rising Antisemitism around the world and in our great nation USA I know that as a nation we must stand behind Israel and stop Antisemitism here in our country as well. The Jewish people in America and in Israel and around the world would benefit from a United front from USA in support of our Jewish brothers and sisters. For if we are to be a beacon of hope and light for the world we must protect our citizens; all our citizens who are under attack by terrorists, including protecting the Jewish people.

This problem needs to addressed at the highest level and not speaking about the problem will not help. Staying silent does not help. Israel is a beacon of freedom, hope and light in the Middle East and we need to support Israel. I myself have been a target of Antisemitism going back to grade school when a racist bully wrote a Swastika on my desk and threatened me. I have spoken up and defended myself but the most hurtful part of the Antisemitism against me is that it has been done by those friends or others whom I considered to be friends. Spend enough time with someone and their bigotry will show up it seems. There have been many other incidents toward me as well.

The slogan Never Forget originally was used in reference to the Holocaust and it still is because we must Never Forget the Holocaust and the 6 million Jews that lost their lives in the worst possible ways during World War II by the Germans/Nazis and their allies. In fact the Holocaust solidifies the very need for the Nation of Israel to exist, to ensure the Survival of the Jewish People.

Regarding 9/11, I remember sitting in my English Class at High School when we first heard about the terrorist attacks. A moment in time that I will never forget. The unity and strength our nation USA has shown is unforgettable. We must stay strong as a country and remember that even in these horrible times of tragedy we remain the “beacon of freedom”.

This attack took place less than one year before I developed Crohn’s Disease, something else I will never forget. Life has never been the same since the terrorist attacks and since I began living daily with pain and suffering from chronic illness. A lesson from our great nation’s response to terror can be applied to personal pain and suffering from chronic illness like Crohn’s Disease. We must never give up, we must work together, we must be strong, we must continue to live our life the best way we can despite the terrible changes and events.

Great Suffering Provides Opportunity for Humanity to Act as One

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Cruise Ship sets sail to bring back Hurricane Dorian Survivors from Grand Bahama

To be alive as a human being is to experience pain and suffering at times or at least to see other people have such experiences. One can simply turn on the news or read a newspaper and see that the state of the human condition is fragile. Throughout human history we face many challenges a species including health problems, natural disasters such as Hurricane Dorian, climate change, war, famine; also terrible problems of humanity causing suffering to one another such as in: war, discrimation, murder, genocide, hate, and many other problems.

Yet throughout human history there are numerous examples of people helping other people individually or as a unified group. The devastation caused to the Bahamas and now the US by Hurricane Dorian is hard to watch and also must be watched. I am pleased to see that there are people out there right now helping those in need. You can read this news article and click below t0 see how this cruise line is going to help evacuate survivors from Grand Bahama Island:

https://www.orlandosentinel.com/business/os-ne-hurricane-dorian-bahamas-cruise-20190905-3ihzph6pkvaxveanjvfyzac3sq-story.html

I challenge you as a person to do one act of kindness today and know it makes a difference. Saying “thank you” can go a long way and also letting someone know you “appreciate” them is great. First of all, be kind to yourself! Remember – You are a unique individual whom has never before existed in the universe and you do matter, I matter, we all matter (and are made of matter)! So, for example, today I am being kind to myself by taking care of myself and allowing time to rest and relax… and that first act kindness is that I made sure to ask people since the Hurricane, How was the Hurricane for you? How are you doing now?” – It is amazing how that one thoughtful comment allows another person to know that they are not alone and we are all part of humanity as a whole! We went through the Hurricane together – yet apart.

When you look at Earth – we are all together in this fantastic ride around the Universe

Be kind, Isaac Levinsky