ObamaCare . . . part 3 of 3

Congress has been wringing its hands over the tragedy of millions of uninsured Americans, for years. The question has been, “How can we pay for all the drugs and surgeries and doctor visits of the Baby Boomers?” How indeed. (And we aren’t even thinking, yet, of the soda generation of obese kids–we’ll worry about that later.)

The Boomers are headed into old age, and they are the biggest generation in recent history, and they’re EXPENSIVE. Social Security is teetering on bankruptcy. Americans haven’t exactly been investing and saving well. Who will pay for it?

Wrong question. It’s unanswerable. It is too expensive and doesn’t work anyway.

Here’s a better one. What if we didn’t look to drugs and surgery to save us?

Here’s another. Is our medical care system even capable of solving our health care crisis?

Here’s another. Would it be less expensive to just start eating right? A heavily plant-based, mostly raw, whole-foods diet? Would we actually solve our problems that way, rather than drugging symptoms of the problems caused by lifestyle in the first place?

Would we have higher Gross Domestic Product and start to turn the trade deficit and the national debt around, if we all had more energy, a more positive mood, and a disappearance of our chronic health problems? If we ate close to the source, locally, without chemicals and huge corporations controlling us and our diet and health?

My ex-husband’s co-workers are a prime example. They go into diabetic comas in the bathroom, three of them died the last year we were married, and two health insurance companies dropped them after increasing rates a couple of times a year, because the employees were so expensive and so ill. Several had cancer or serious cardiac problems. Everyone he worked with was overweight or obese. Lunch every day was fast food.

We continue to frantically wring our hands over an unsolvable problem–how to pay for the endless healthcare needs of those who are sabotaging their health with lifestyle choices. To do this is to be hamsters forever running in a little wheel. Getting nowhere.

YOU have power to turn it around. Start with your own life. If you’ve gotten off the Standard American Diet, teach someone else how to do it. That’s how my site got started. A way to go quantum with the information I’d culled from a hundred different sources, to CORRECT MY FAMILY’S HEALTH.

Teach someone what you know today. Teach someone else the next day. A lot of you are already doing it. Let’s make it a groundswell, an uprising, an outright revolution.

When I consulted with my LNP friend this week to interpret my Vitamin D test results (see my blog posting about that experiment last week). She referred to testing and said, “If you get your doctor to order the test, your insurance will pay for it.” I said, “I don’t have a doctor.”

She said, “What?” I really don’t. I don’t go to one. Ever. I went to an OB/GYN when I had my babies, but the youngest is 9. I haven’t ever even been to a naturopath.

I don’t need them. THAT, my friends, is the best way out of the downward-spiralling health care nightmare that so many people around us are in. It’s a whirlwind. You reap what you sow. JUST SAY NO.

Put. Down. The hot dog.

Pick up my 12 Steps manual. Or my book The Green Smoothies Diet. Grab an apple and a handful of almonds for the car ride. The GOOD option, take the manual (with recipes/ingredients) into Whole Foods Market. Or BETTER, buy a share in a local community-supported agriculture co-op. Or BEST, plant a garden on your patio or backyard. Make a green smoothie. A big salad. A lovely pot of vegetarian chili. Some homemade whole-grain sourdough bread.

It’s good food and it can save us from being in the downward spiral of ObamaCare. It’s enabling the sickness of drug layering: one chemical pill causing a problem that requires another chemical pill, and on and on until our seniors must have other family members managing their complicated, outrageously expensive drug schedules. Many of them are swallowing pills all day long, and to what advantage?

Start taking steps, my friends. Start today. The Pelosi-Reid-Obama “solution” starts in 4 years.

The Renegade Lunch Lady, part 2 of 2

The “Renegade Lunch Lady” Chef Ann Cooper went to Washington, D.C. to investigate our first lady’s agenda. She ripped a hole in Michelle Obama’s “feel-good” childhood-obesity legislation, that has no funding and no policy “teeth.” I figured as much. Great platform, Mrs. Obama. Let’s make it reach to families and schools:

Let’s get vending machines out of the schools even if they create revenues (at the expense of our children’s health). Let’s get processed food out of school lunches. Let’s not cut funding and class time for physical education. Let’s educate people about real nutrition, not curriculum funded by big businesses like meat and dairy and processed food conglomerates.

Those are the things we need, not feel-good irrelevancies like providing milk and juice as options, or replacing potato chips with low-fat potato chips, or frying the french fries in a different oil. (Someone here in Utah, where nutrition initiatives have always failed in our legislature, called me this year to ask if I’d get behind a school-lunch initiative that was baby pablum like that.)

Chef Ann Cooper’s sites are here:

Thelunchbox.org

Lunchlessons.org

Enjoy her sites–I love this lady and her enthusiastic, tireless mission. She said re-training long-time lunch ladies, towards better nutrition, is one of her most difficult tasks. We are certainly, the vast majority of us, deeply and emotionally entrenched and invested in the destructive food habits of our generation.

I am personally not untouched by the way our culture is sucking our kids into a no-win situation where more than half our kids finish junior high school overweight. Since my divorce 18 months ago, despite the fact that I have NEVER purchased school lunch for any of my children, one of my own children has become overweight. I do not provide junk food in my home, and serve only whole plant foods. But just eating in her father’s home some of the time, 1 of my 4 children has gained significant weight.

It is an issue that is very difficult to discuss with a child. Any suggestions are welcome.

But one study found that being overweight is a bigger life stressor for a child than having cancer is. Watching my own daughter, I cannot overestimate the social impact on her own life. I am doing all I can do, including begging her father to make efforts on his side, but the good news is that she has the experience and knowledge to make a change in her choices, when she decides the physical/social/emotional cost is too high.

We do more than physical harm to children allowing them to become overweight. The whole culture must be educated and retrained back to the basics our ancestors took for granted.

If more and more people support whole, locally grown, organic, and raw plant foods, we will turn the health care debacle around. Watch this blog this week for my thoughts on ObamaCare.

the Renegade Lunch Lady

In Anaheim (I know! I still haven’t told you about the handful of cool products I found–but I will! And I bought some of them for you!) . . .

I heard the coolest talk by Chef Ann Cooper, the “Renegade Lunch Lady.”

She manages 30,000 kids’ lunches in the Boulder, Colorado area. Her goal is to transform children’s diets from the hot mess of processed food it is now, to a nourishing whole-food meal, one school lunch at a time. She’s my hero.

The U.S. government pays $2.68 for a child’s school lunch. Two thirds of that, Cooper says, goes to payroll, leaving just a dollar to feed each child! She wants you to go to her site, thelunchbox.org and write your elected officials to ask for an extra dollar to feed kids good nutrition, in addition to other government initiatives.

She told us to go out into ExpoWest and find real nutrition. (Good luck! Like I said, 1 in 100 “organic” or “natural” choice is worth your money.) Instead of (her voices changed to a sarcastic tone) organic gummy bears. (I love this lady. Wasn’t that just what I was telling you last week? Don’t waste your limited dollars on organic junk food!)

She said, about school lunches:

“Just say NO to refined flour. To soda, candy, and chips. To antibiotics and hormones. To chemicals and preservatives.

“Just say yes to plum tastings, to a salad bar in every school, to cutting sodium levels in half, to hummus tastings.”

She helps the schools figure out ways to connect children to their food sources. Growing food in the school yard. Trying new, whole foods they’ve never been exposed to, with fun tastings–with all the varied colors, textures, and tastes.

She says the USDA LOVES food for school lunches that haven’t been touched by human hands. School lunches nationwide are chicken nuggets, corn dogs, grilled cheese sandwiches. And we wonder why 70% of America is overweight. In the next two years, MILLIONS of Americans will become overweight. We have to stop the trend NOW.

What is needed, Chef Ann says, is “fresh vegetables, fresh fruits, whole grains, and clean proteins.” Amen, sister.

She says, “Vote with your purchasing!”

Here’s her PowerPoint presentation she showed us, which is fantastic:

http://www.chefann.com/html/about-chef-ann/audio-video.html

obesity conference

This is an email I got from a GSG reader. Dr. Larsen is a dentist who studies nutrition to help his patients and practices what he preaches. His observations at the obesity conference he recently attended parallel my own, as documented sometimes on this blog. What do you think?

Robyn,

I attended a seminar in Salt Lake a couple of weeks ago titled, “Obesity: A Scientific Update.” It was presented by Beverly White, PhD, RD and it was very interesting, thought you might be interested in what was said.

I will attach my notes, some of which may not make any sense, but the following are my overall impressions after the seminar.

First of all, the room was mostly full of nurses and dieticians, and I would say at least half of the group were either over weight or obese. These are the dieticians who are teaching Americans how to eat and be healthy.

The success rates for Americans who attempt fad diets is about 5-10% after 1 year. The success rates of the prescription medications is less, and ALL of them have serious side effects, and some physicians are leaving patients on them indefinitely because they know if they take them off, the weight will return, although none of the drugs have been approved for long term use. Bariatric surgeries are super expensive, and have complications and side effects as well, and not a great success rate. Dieticians working with clients may have a slightly higher success rate than the 5-10%, but when they stop seeing the nutritionist, the bad habits return and the weight comes back on. I got a very weird feeling about the whole obesity epidemic, kind of like there is nothing we can really do about it, even though we are the ones trained to help people eat healthy. Beverly cautioned the dieticians to not try to make too radical of a change to anyone’s diet, or they will rebel and not follow through.

I asked Beverly one-on-one between one of the breaks if she had read Colin Campbell, Joel Furhman, Mike Anderson, or had studied anything about plant-based diets in her PhD program. She was not familiar with any of the people I mentioned, had never heard of the China Study, for example, and they did not study plant-based diets.

At one point in the program, she asked how many eat 3-5 servings of fruits or vegetables/day (could be from a can, frozen, etc.) and about 30% of the group raised their hand. She asked if anyone eats 6-9 servings/day and I raised my hand along with I think one other person. After the class, one of the RD’s came running up to me and asked me how in the world I eat that many servings a day. I said it’s easy. I told her about green smoothies, she had never heard of them. I told her about plant-based diets, she had never heard of them.

They have done research that shows that children who are taught good nutrition at a young age can follow that for many years to come, and may be more likely to eat healthy than adults. Too bad what we’re teaching children isn’t always the best information, when it comes from government food pyramid.

Anyways, thought this might be interesting to you. It was kind of an eye-opener to me. I really feel like the MD’s and the RD’s and the nurses who are in our health care system don’t really believe in nutrition themselves.

Sincerely,

Garon Larsen

wrap-up: Education Week may offer “education” you don’t value, part 5 of 5

In a class I attended on single parenting, the teacher repeatedly brought up the “McDonald’s Effect” (which you may remember from the documentary Supersize Me):

 

McD’s is carefully, methodically creating its youngest generation to be its best customers ever.   Play Places beckon with bright colors and all kinds of free fun.   When you walk in the door, the smells are inviting and rewarding.   You buy a very inexpensive, easy meal in a brightly colored box, with a fuzzy stuffed-animal toy.   It’s exciting–you never know what it will be, but it’s always fun!   Nothing in the box has any nutritional value.   In fact, what’s in it will hurt your child.   But the child develops emotional attachments and positive memories of fun, good smells, good tastes, instant gratification, and comforting toys.   That, on top of the sensations in their mouth of high-fat, high-sugar foods, is virtually irresistible. For life.

 

I actually like sitting in classes where something false is taught. It gives me a chance to think through the logic of my own belief set, and craft responses in my head if not out loud, that are sensible and rational.

 

I would like to say that some dietetics professors at least two other universities I know of are 12 Steppers, learning and growing, changing curriculum with information outside the mainstream “bill of goods” sold to us by industry.   Not all nutritionists push animal protein consumption on people.  

 

But, do your own thinking regardless of the teacher’s credentials.

 

Many years ago I read a three-part Wall Street Journal series on inner-city nutrition.   The WSJ reporter went into a tenement building to interview three obese young ladies eating in front of the TV after school.   They were munching on the usual suspects: chips, Hostess products, sodas.   The reporter had found that in the inner city, most of the people are eating three meals a day of fast food. He had also gone into the grocery stores to find that most had no produce at all besides potatoes.   Store owners who were interviewed said no one bought it.

 

One of the young women was quoted saying this:

 

“I know it’s good for me because McDonald’s sells it. They wouldn’t sell it if it weren’t good for me.”

 

Now you folks here on GSG.com are, many of you, the “choir” that I preach to.   Already converted.   But some are newbies.   And whoever you are, you are surrounded by newbies.   You have the power to slowly, in a “drip” fashion, influence people to reject what they’re taught by pop culture.

 

Please do it.

family parties on the 4th of July

I hope you’ve all enjoyed family and fun–plus a chance to reflect on the great blessing of our freedom–this Independence Day weekend!   My two oldest brothers are in town from Dallas and Boston, and with the other four brothers and sister who live here, we’ve had a blast.   Golf, volleyball, and a tennis tournament and swimming tomorrow.   (Do you sense a theme in what we all love to do?)

We had a conversation on the 4th about one of my brothers’ church leaders being about 5’8″ and 450 lbs.   My brother was saying he is the biggest person he has ever known who is actually ambulatory.   He said this man is known as an epicurean (everyone asks him where the best place is to eat this or that).   It takes him a good 30 seconds to stand up, and his knees are in serious jeopardy of being unable to hold him.   This gentleman routinely mocks my brother, a 38-year old marathon runner with washboard abs, for “doing all this crap just to look good.”   (My brother indignantly  declared to me that looking good is nowhere near his primary reason to  care for his body.)

Another brother of mine (who, ironically, just lost 20 lbs.) said, “Yeah, but all those overweight people are laughing at us because they’re actually HAPPY!”

We had quite the lively debate about this principle.   You’ve heard people say things like this many times, right?   That the “eat, drink, and be merry” and “take no thought for tomorrow” folks are somehow having better lives than us health food nuts?

What is wrong with this notion?

You probably have something to say about this, but my sister was the first to react: she sputtered and said, “Whatever! One second it tastes good in your mouth and then you HATE yourself until the next time you put it in your mouth again.   That’s HAPPINESS?”

Interestingly, there were proponents of the “fat people are happier” argument among my family.   (Or maybe we all just grew up loving a debate so much that someone always naturally slides into the “devil’s advocate” position!)

We discussed one of my sisters-in-law’s parents completely running out of steam in their 60’s after a lifetime of energy.   We discussed some other inlaws’ several joint replacement surgeries.   We discussed the brother who made the “they’re happier” comment (the least interested in nutrition of all my sibs) having been in the hospital at the same time as his wife–with gall bladder and kidney stone problems, respectively–hobbling out of the hospital while two 300-lb. people carrying Big Gulps came barrelling past them.

I said, “You can trust in the law of karma. Sometimes it takes a while. But it’s called a LAW for a reason.”   I was sitting there listening to the raging debate, thinking, I wonder what FORTY YEARS of drinking green smoothies — getting literally 15 servings of greens and fruit daily (in a quart) even if that’s all you do  — will  do for someone, compared to his peers.   We just don’t have that data yet.   But I’m certain that over an extended period of time, it can make a MASSIVE difference in preventing the diseases felling everyone else around us.

I think the idea that the obese among us are happier because they eat whatever they want is ludicrous.   First, they can’t actually eat anything they want without gaining weight.   It takes very little calories to maintain fat.   (Muscle burns more calories.)   Second, they’ve lost the ability to do the TRULY beautiful things in life.   Go down the slides at the water park.   Play on the ground with the grandchildren.   Go for a long hike and enjoy nature.   Have enough stamina to be truly productive.   (I could go on and on.)   When all the other things that give life meaning and pleasure are gone because we’ve abused our temple, and the only pleasure left is junk food, something has gone terribly wrong.

I’m not advocating for being food monks.   It’s not either-or.   A miserable life of eating miserable food, or a happy life of eating happy food.   I’m wanting us to have a rich, fabulous life and ENJOY FOOD, too!   Just find more foods that are whole and nourishing and indulge only rarely, if ever,  in the rich foods that make us ill.