Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Sweet Potato Toast Recipes


How to Make That Sweet Potato Toast You've Been Seeing Everywhere on Instagram

Another day, another Insta-famous food trend making our mouths water as we scroll. Luckily, sweet potato toast isn't only trendy, but healthy. If you're on a gluten-free diet or watching your carbs, there's no bread involved here, so go ahead and ditch it.

The best part? Making sweet potato toast is as simple as washing, drying, and thinly slicing a medium-sized sweet potato and toasting it to perfection.

The only other step left is figuring out which Insta-worthy toppings you want to try out. We've rounded up some seriously great toppers for your creation.

1. Sweet Potato Toast with Mashed Avocado and Fried Eggs

This simple version of sweet potato toast is topped with a fried egg and delicious, smashed avocado. Season with a little salt and pepper and you've got a quick, simple, and delicious breakfast that won't pack on the calories and is filled with good carbohydrates and fats. This would be a great breakfast or even post-workout snack. Get the recipe! 

2. Joy Bauer's Sweet Potato, Peanut Butter, and Banana Toast

Looking for a light, sweet treat in the morning? Toast your sweet potato slices and simply add a nut butter of your choice and top it off with fruit. Add an extra flavor and some nutrients with cinnamon, nutmeg, or even some chia seeds. Not only will you be full from this, but you'll also sneak in some great protein and a serving of fruit. Get the recipe!

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3. Breakfast Sweet Potato Toast with Spicy Guac and Eggs

Spice things up a little by topping your toast with some creamy guacamole and chili pepper or cayenne. The spicy kick will offset the tender sweet potato toast perfectly. You can also add a hard-boiled or scrambled egg for some added protein and flavor. Get the recipe!

4. The 'Elvis 2.0' Sweet Potato Toast

This is a twist on The King's favorite snack: peanut butter, banana, and bacon sandwiches. Replace the peanut butter with cashew butter and the bread with sweet potato toast. Add some crumbled bacon for a salty topper and dig in at any time of the day. Get the recipe!

5. Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado, Cucumber, Smoked Salmon, and Poached Egg

A slightly more polished version of this dish brings in a variety of savory flavors that are sure to satisfy. Top your toast with avocado, crunchy cucumber, smoked salmon, and poached eggs for a deliciously filling morning pick-me-up. Get the recipe!

6. Autoimmune Paleo (AIP) Loaded Toast

This version of sweet potato toast could really be enjoyed for any meal, including dinner! Top your toasted sweet potato with avocado, pate, and 40 ounces of fish (this recipe uses mahi-mahi). Garnish with dill, lemon, and parsley. You'll have a version of this Insta-trend that'd be great for entertaining guests at a dinner party or enjoyed at a family meal. Get the recipe!

Bottom line

The possibilities are really endless when it comes to this trendy dish. Enjoy sweet potato toast for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or even as a snack. Try out the recipes above to come up with your favorite concoction — just don't forget to capture your creation on Instagram before you devour it all!


Corinne Keating is a health and wellness writer and enthusiast. When she isn't writing for her blog Why So Well, you can find her hiking, biking, or at the nearest coffee shop.

Monday, August 14, 2017

Corporations saving BILLIONS as Americans are dying younger from toxic effects of medications, pesticides and herbicides – NaturalNews.com

Awww. Sick. and then some.

Corporations saving BILLIONS as Americans are dying younger from toxic effects of medications, pesticides and herbicides

Image: Corporations saving BILLIONS as Americans are dying younger from toxic effects of medications, pesticides and herbicides

(Natural News) Until recently, the average American life expectancy has gone up. However, it now appears that the toxic lifestyle embraced by much of the country is finally catching up with people, and those life expectancy gains have come to screeching halt. This might be bad news for individuals and their loved ones, but corporations are noting sizeable savings in the form of pension costs. After all, if employees die younger, a firm won't have to pay them a pension or other lifelong retirement benefits for as many years.

After the American death rate increased for the first time since 1999 two years ago, at least a dozen major corporations have been able to reduce estimates for the amount of money they might owe retirees by more than $9.7 billion combined. Lockheed Martin alone was able to adjust its estimates regarding retirement obligations downward by $1.6 billion in 2015 and 2016, and firms like Verizon and General Motors are also reaping the benefits. This is based on an analysis carried out by Bloomberg of company filings. The American death rate is an age-adjusted share of Americans dying.

Meanwhile, a report issued in July by the social security chief actuary showed a slight improvement in its financial outlook as longevity gains failed to meet last year's projections.

While other factors also play a role in the amount of money companies must shell out in pensions – including salary levels, health care costs, and asset returns – the notion that these firms are changing their adjustments based on the new mortality trend shows just how serious it is.

The death rates for people in the U.S. older than 50 have improved by one percent per year since 1950 on average. The long-term trend increased up to two percent in the years from 2000 to 2009 before stalling; the death rates only improved by about half a percent each year from 2010 to 2014. The life expectancy for 65-year-olds rose by a meager four months in the years from 2010 and 2015, which is half of the improvement noted in the years from 2005 to 2010. Moreover, the American death rate actually increased in 2015, and the death rate worsened for those over 65 in the first reversal for Americans of retirement age to be seen since 1999.

Experts say trend deserves urgent attention

Experts say that it is very concerning when the life expectancy of a developed country stops improving, and it's even worse when it drops. Urban Institute Demographer Laudan Aron said that this trend reflects many of the "underlying conditions of life." He feels that this dropping trajectory, particularly in comparison to those of other wealthy nations, should be considered among the most urgent issues on our national agenda.

Medications, pesticides, and poor diet to blame

It's not surprising to see these trends given the unhealthy habits of many Americans. A paper from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America suggested that the mortality rate for middle-aged white Americans was rising largely because of suicides and drug overdoses. Antidepressant use has also been on the rise in recent years, and antidepressants increase a person's risk of suicide. Drug overdoses, meanwhile, have also been climbing thanks to opioid addiction, with many people starting down this deadly path thanks to prescriptions for painkillers given to them by their doctors.

Cancer is another big killer in the U.S., and the toxins found in our everyday products could be to blame. The pesticides and herbicides sprayed on our produce, for example, are carcinogens, while many of the foods found in American grocery stores are full of dangerous additives. Meanwhile, the nation's skyrocketing obesity rate due to unhealthy food and a lack of exercise is also sending Americans to an early grave by causing heart disease and diabetes.

Sources include:

Bloomberg.com

CDC.gov

What is Antifa?


What is Antifa?

An amorphous group takes on "fascists"

An amorphous group takes on "fascists"

THIS weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia neo-Nazi groups protesting the removal of a statue of Robert Lee, a Confederate general, clashed with a coalition of counter-protestors comprising liberals, activists and "Antifa" groups. The last of these is perhaps the least understood. Who are the Antifa and where do they come from?

The word Antifa has its roots in Anti-Fascist Action, a name taken up by European political movements in the 1930s. These groups, especially in Germany, were a failed attempt by the left to unite against the threats of fascism and nazism. The end of the second world war and the chaos of occupied Germany briefly revived them as organised alliances of socialists and communists who went after prominent Nazis and engaged in political activism, before being shut down by occupying powers. Antifa resurfaced in the late 1980s in Europe, particularly in East Germany, as loose networks of radical activists came together in reaction to neo-Nazi and right-wing skinhead movements. The decade also marked the Antifa's entrance onto the American stage in the form of the Anti-Racist Action, a network which originated in 1987 with the Baldies, a multi-racial crew in Minneapolis, leading to the creation of other groups across the country to fight neo-Nazis. Where the first iteration of Antifa groups based their actions on rhetoric and political activism, the later groups organised to fight on the streets. 

Antifa's organisation (or lack thereof) is reminiscent of Anonymous: there is no hierarchy or central platform, and anyone can claim the title and set up a local branch. The decentralised character of Antifa and lack of theoretical basis ensure appeal to all "anti-fascists", but also make it difficult to pin down what exactly it is they oppose. They usually condemn racism, sexism, homophobia and often capitalism. Some are anarchists. But a defining characteristic of Antifa is that they aim to oppose fascism "by any means necessary", including the use of violence. This leads to violent protests and altercations with the police or with right-wing extremists. (There is no evidence that Antifa protesters initiated violence in Charlottesville this weekend.) They also engage in their own form of online activism, notably adopting the practice of "doxxing": publishing the personal details of whoever they deem fascist. These practices recall tactics adopted by the alt-right in America.

Antifa groups are not as widespread as they might seem. Their lack of co-ordination and endorsement of violence hinders their appeal as a mass movement. In America, their ongoing guerrilla war with the alt-right has helped bring more publicity to white supremacists and nationalists while doing little to advance their (somewhat unclear) cause. The biggest impact of American Antifa groups has been to stir up the debate on free speech through their insistence on preventing so-called fascists from expressing themselves, such as at Berkeley in February, where Antifa groups staged violent protests against Milo Yiannopoulos, an alt-right provocateur. Shutting down speech is hardly anti-fascist. Yet without Antifa, and their liberal allies, alt-right and neo-Nazi groups would march through the streets of Europe and America unmolested. 

Further reading
The Economist explains: What is the alt-right? (Sept 2016)

North Korea’s Missile Success Is Linked to Ukrainian Plant, Investigators Say - The New York Times

Putin behind the curtain yet again?

North Korea's Missile Success Is Linked to Ukrainian Plant, Investigators Say

A photo released by North Korea's state news agency in July purported to show a test of a Hwasong-14, thought to be capable of reaching the mainland United States. Korean Central News Agency, via Reuters

North Korea's success in testing an intercontinental ballistic missile that appears able to reach the United States was made possible by black-market purchases of powerful rocket engines probably from a Ukrainian factory with historical ties to Russia's missile program, according to an expert analysis being published Monday and classified assessments by American intelligence agencies.

The studies may solve the mystery of how North Korea began succeeding so suddenly after a string of fiery missile failures, some of which may have been caused by American sabotage of its supply chains and cyberattacks on its launches. After those failures, the North changed designs and suppliers in the past two years, according to a new study by Michael Elleman, a missile expert at the International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Such a degree of aid to North Korea from afar would be notable because President Trump has singled out only China as the North's main source of economic and technological support. He has never blamed Ukraine or Russia, though his secretary of state, Rex W. Tillerson, made an oblique reference to both China and Russia as the nation's "principal economic enablers" after the North's most recent ICBM launch last month.

Analysts who studied photographs of the North's leader, Kim Jong-un, inspecting the new rocket motors concluded that they derive from designs that once powered the Soviet Union's missile fleet. The engines were so powerful that a single missile could hurl 10 thermonuclear warheads between continents.

Those engines were linked to only a few former Soviet sites. Government investigators and experts have focused their inquiries on a missile factory in Dnipro, Ukraine, on the edge of the territory where Russia is fighting a low-level war to break off part of Ukraine. During the Cold War, the factory made the deadliest missiles in the Soviet arsenal, including the giant SS-18. It remained one of Russia's primary producers of missiles even after Ukraine gained independence.

But since Ukraine's pro-Russian president, Viktor Yanukovych, was removed from power in 2014, the state-owned factory, known as Yuzhmash, has fallen on hard times. The Russians canceled upgrades of their nuclear fleet. The factory is underused, awash in unpaid bills and low morale. Experts believe it is the most likely source of the engines that in July powered the two ICBM tests, which were the first to suggest that North Korea has the range, if not necessarily the accuracy or warhead technology, to threaten American cities.

"It's likely that these engines came from Ukraine — probably illicitly," Mr. Elleman said in an interview. "The big question is how many they have and whether the Ukrainians are helping them now. I'm very worried."

Bolstering his conclusion, he added, was a finding by United Nations investigators that North Korea tried six years ago to steal missile secrets from the Ukrainian complex. Two North Koreans were caught, and a U.N. report said the information they tried to steal was focused on advanced "missile systems, liquid-propellant engines, spacecraft and missile fuel supply systems."

Investigators now believe that, amid the chaos of post-revolutionary Ukraine, Pyongyang tried again.

Mr. Elleman's detailed analysis is public confirmation of what intelligence officials have been saying privately for some time: The new missiles are based on a technology so complex that it would have been impossible for the North Koreans to have switched gears so quickly themselves. They apparently fired up the new engine for the first time in September — meaning that it took only 10 months to go from that basic milestone to firing an ICBM, a short time unless they were able to buy designs, hardware and expertise on the black market.

The White House had no comment when asked about the intelligence assessments.

Last month, Yuzhmash denied reports that the factory complex was struggling for survival and selling its technologies abroad, in particular to China. Its website says the company does not, has not and will not participate in "the transfer of potentially dangerous technologies outside Ukraine."

American investigators do not believe that denial, though they say there is no evidence that the government of President Petro O. Poroshenko, who recently visited the White House, had any knowledge or control over what was happening inside the complex. How the Russian-designed engines, called the RD-250, got to North Korea is still a mystery.

North Korean soldiers massed in Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang in July after the test launch of their country's first intercontinental ballistic missile. Jon Chol Jin/Associated Press

Mr. Elleman was unable to rule out the possibility that a large Russian missile enterprise, Energomash, which has strong ties to the Ukrainian complex, had a role in the transfer of the RD-250 engine technology to North Korea. He said leftover RD-250 engines might also be stored in Russian warehouses.

But the fact that the powerful engines did get to North Korea, despite a raft of United Nations sanctions, suggests a broad intelligence failure involving the many nations that monitor Pyongyang.

Since President Barack Obama ordered a step-up in sabotage against the North's missile systems in 2014, American officials have closely monitored their success. They appeared to have won a major victory last fall, when Mr. Kim ordered an end to flight tests of the Musudan, an intermediate-range missile that was a focus of the American sabotage effort.

But no sooner had Mr. Kim ordered a stand-down of that system than the North rolled out engines of a different design. And those tests were more successful.

American officials will not say when they caught on to the North's change of direction. But there is considerable evidence they came to it late.

Leon Panetta, the former C.I.A. director, said on CBS' "Face the Nation" on Sunday that the North Korean drive to get workable ICBMs that could be integrated with nuclear weapons moved more quickly than the intelligence community had expected.

"The rapid nature of how they've been able to come to that capability is something, frankly, that has surprised both the United States and the world," he said.

It is unclear who is responsible for selling the rockets and the design knowledge, and intelligence officials have differing theories about the details. But Mr. Elleman makes a strong circumstantial case that would implicate the deteriorating factory complex and its underemployed engineers.

"I feel for those guys," said Mr. Elleman, who visited the factory repeatedly a decade ago while working on federal projects to curb weapon threats. "They don't want to do bad things."

Dnipro has been called the world's fastest-shrinking city. The sprawling factory, southeast of Kiev and once a dynamo of the Cold War, is having a hard time finding customers.

American intelligence officials note that North Korea has exploited the black market in missile technology for decades, and built an infrastructure of universities, design centers and factories of its own.

It has also recruited help: In 1992, officials at a Moscow airport stopped a team of missile experts from traveling to Pyongyang.

President Petro O. Poroshenko of Ukraine visiting the Yuzhmash plant in Dnipro in 2014. Pool photo by Mykhailo Markiv

That was only a temporary setback for North Korea. It obtained the design for the R-27, a compact missile made for Soviet submarines, created by the Makeyev Design Bureau, an industrial complex in the Ural Mountains that employed the rogue experts apprehended at the Moscow airport.

But the R-27 was complicated, and the design was difficult for the North to copy and fly successfully.

Eventually, the North turned to an alternative font of engine secrets — the Yuzhmash plant in Ukraine, as well as its design bureau, Yuzhnoye. The team's engines were potentially easier to copy because they were designed not for cramped submarines but roomier land-based missiles. That simplified the engineering.

Economically, the plant and design bureau faced new headwinds after Russia in early 2014 invaded and annexed Crimea, a part of Ukraine. Relations between the two nations turned icy, and Moscow withdrew plans to have Yuzhmash make new versions of the SS-18 missile.

In July 2014, a report for the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace warned that such economic upset could put Ukrainian missile and atomic experts "out of work and could expose their crucial know-how to rogue regimes and proliferators."

The first clues that a Ukrainian engine had fallen into North Korean hands came in September when Mr. Kim supervised a ground test of a new rocket engine that analysts called the biggest and most powerful to date.

Norbert Brügge, a German analyst, reported that photos of the engine firing revealed strong similarities between it and the RD-250, a Yuzhmash model.

Spotting the Similarities

How a German scientist found evidence that the engine on a North Korean missile was most likely made in a Ukrainian factory.

North Korea releases a propaganda video of a missile inspection featuring Kim Jong-un. The video gives a glimpse of the weapon's engines.

Norbert Brügge maps the missile's base to highlight the shapes and sizes of the main engine and its four steering engines.

The diagram is then used as an overlay atop the missile photo to determine main component sizes.

The inferred size of the main engine matches that of a Ukrainian rocket engine suspected of being sold illegally to North Korea.

Alarms rang louder after a second ground firing of the North's new engine, in March, and its powering of the flight in May of a new intermediate-range missile, the Hwasong-12. It broke the North's record for missile distance. Its high trajectory, if leveled out, translated into about 2,800 miles, or far enough to fly beyond the American military base at Guam.

On June 1, Mr. Elleman struck an apprehensive note. He argued that the potent engine clearly hailed from "a different manufacturer than all the other engines that we've seen."

Mr. Elleman said the North's diversification into a new line of missile engines was important because it undermined the West's assumptions about the nation's missile prowess: "We could be in for surprises."

That is exactly what happened. The first of the North's two tests in July of a new missile, the Hwasong-14, went a distance sufficient to threaten Alaska, surprising the intelligence community. The second went far enough to reach the West Coast, and perhaps Denver or Chicago.

Last week, the Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists featured a detailed analysis of the new engine, also concluding that it was derived from the RD-250. The finding, the analysts said, "raises new and potentially ominous questions."

The emerging clues suggest not only new threats from North Korea, analysts say, but new dangers of global missile proliferation because the Ukrainian factory remains financially beleaguered. It now makes trolley buses and tractors, while seeking new rocket contracts to help regain some of its past glory.


Glory, indeed.~A.

Sunday, August 13, 2017

20 Common Things People Realize When They Quit Drinking Alcohol!

TruthTheory -

20 Common Things People Realize When They Quit Drinking Alcohol

By Sofia Adamson via Waking Times

Of all the culturally conditioned behaviors we've mindlessly adopted, alcoholism is one of the most curious. We know it is highly detrimental to personal health and that it directly contributes to myriad societal problems including violence and drunk driving. We also know that the alcohol industry is exceptionally lucrative while at the same time the police state uses this addiction to extend their authority.

Some argue that alcoholism is a spiritual disease, and that the consumption of 'spirits' is a means of giving the self up to our inner demons. Dr. Gabor Maté sees alcoholism as a means of covering up personal trauma and emotional pain, yet even without getting too deep into this it's easy to see that abstaining from booze has some pretty incredible benefits for those seeking better health and greater awareness in life.

But what do dedicated social drinkers and outright alcoholics see when they give up 'spirits,' as they are called, and what can the observations from newly sober people tell us about the sicknesses running rampant in our society? What can we learn from them about the conditioned

Here is a list of the many common things people realize when they quit drinking booze, as compiled from a number of personal stories found online, all listed below in the footnotes:

1.) The first major thing people see is a dramatic improvement in overall physical health. This commonly includes significant weight loss, improved digestion, greater energy and less fatigue, clearer skin, and they no wake up with even mild hangovers, headaches or nausea.

2.) Improvements in mental health include decreased overall anxiety, improvements in depression, much higher levels of mental clarity, improved memory, better concentration, increased sense of connection, decreased levels of stress, higher self-esteem, greater motivation and a more positive outlook on life in general.

3.) Sleep dramatically improves. They find it much easier to fall asleep, they sleep much better throughout the night, and they feel much more rested upon waking.

4.) They commonly see big changes in their attitude towards other people, noticing that it tends to be easier to see things from the perspective of others as they feel less self-absorbed. They find it much easier to be empathetic towards others.

5.) Quitting drinking typically saves a great deal of money.

6.) They save a great deal of time as they get their evenings, night-time, an mornings back. They frequently embark in new endeavors or try new activities which were impossible to do with an alcoholic lifestyle.

7.) They realize that they don't actually need to drink to have fun and enjoy themselves at parties and social gatherings, thus exposing the great cultural lie that alcohol equals a good time. For many, they discover that alcohol actually strains social relationships rather than strengthening them.

8.) They begin to see themselves for who they really are, no longer using alcohol as a mask behind which to hide. This can be both enlightening and startling as they are forced to accept both the good and the bad aspects of the self. They must then choose how to confront the emotional realities of their life. Something that is all but impossible with regular consumption of alcohol.

9.) They realize that alcohol tends to make personal problems worse.

10.) People find they have fewer regrets when living alcohol free. Not only do they not do stupid, risky and troublesome things when drunk, but they also are more available to experience more from life.

11.) Quitting is both very difficult and very easy. The first stretch when they stop drinking is the most challenging, as the cravings for booze must be reckoned with, yet once they've experienced sobriety, they find it is much easier than they had imagined to stay sober, even when hanging out with drunk people.

12.) For some reason it really makes drinkers uncomfortable to be around someone who is abstaining. They realize that people who drink are incredibly judgmental towards non-drinkers, and will try anything to get a sober person to join the party with a drink. They will even make fun of you or put you down.

13.) They notice that many people are just assholes when they drink. This is not always easy to see when partaking in booze with everyone else, but with the clarity of sobriety, many find that the quick-witted social rock stars appear that seem so impressive at the bar are just really attention seeking jerks.

14.) They realize that booze fueled conversations are actually boring, ego-driven and quite superficial, as well as highly prone to aggressiveness, bickering, fighting and ill sentiments.

15.) They realize that people can be just as toxic as substances, and that many relationships are not able to survive without the crutch of booze. They tend to learn a great deal about who their true friends really are.

16.) They begin to understand that alcoholism is in large part an environmental disorder, meaning that it is just as easy to not drink once a reasoned change has been made to their environment, who they spend time with, who they work with, and what they do in their free time.

17.) Alcohol is the least fulfilling and least interesting buzz available, when compared to many other mind-altering and mind-expanding substances people take to alter consciousness.

18.) They find it easier to make healthier choices in general, choosing better foods, drinking more water, taking more exercise, and purposefully sleeping better.

19.) They find that not drinking allows them to experience a greater level of spiritual awareness and consciousness in their everyday lives.

20.) They find that a return to drinking alcohol is often immediately gratifying with one or two drinks, but that shortly after consuming even a small amount of alcohol they feel crappy, lethargic, spaced out, dizzy and off.

Final Thoughts

Not drinking alcohol can give you a serious edge in a society where most everyone else is boozing it up on a regular basis. The zeitgeist of alcohol is that it makes life more fun, but the reality is that it is a massive industry pushed onto the public which has created a culture of self-destructive behavior.

Changing your personal habits to improve your health, mental clarity and spiritual awareness is challenging, but doing so is perhaps the single most critical facet of personal development. Many people find that abstaining from booze makes this process much easier.

About the Author

Sofia Adamson is a contributing writer for Waking Times with a keen appreciation for matters of science and the spirit.

Sources:

– http://www.huffingtonpost.com/kelly-fitzgerald/7-things-i-learned-during-my-year-without-alcohol_b_5291015.html

– https://edlatimore.com/10-observations-from-2-years-of-not-drinking

– https://www.thrillist.com/vice/lessons-i-learned-from-quitting-drinking-for-one-month

– http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/opinion/commentary/ct-sober-alcohol-drunk-booze-perspec-1231-20151230-story.html

– http://www.raptitude.com/2017/05/five-things-i-learned-from-not-drinking-for-four-months/

– https://www.annawickham.com/stop-drinking/

– https://greatist.com/live/lessons-learned-when-i-stopped-drinking-for-a-year

– https://soundcloud.com/superdutytoughwork/67-the-benefits-of-sobriety

This article (20 Common Things People Realize When They Quit Drinking Alcohol) was originally created and published by Waking Times and is published here under a Creative Commons license with attribution to Sofia Adamson and WakingTimes.com. It may be re-posted freely with proper attribution and author bio. 

IMAGE CREDIT:kmiragaya / 123RF Stock Photo

I am Luke Miller, content manager at Truth Theory and creator of Potential For Change. I like to blend psychology and spirituality to help you create more happiness in your life.Grab a copy of my free 33 Page Illustrated eBook- Psychology Meets Spirituality- Secrets To A Supercharged Life You Control Here



~A.