Friday, June 29, 2012

Dr. Fuhrman Responds To Obamacare Ruling

Given all of the attention in the political spectrum to the Supreme Court decision on Obamacare, it is expected that newspapers and political pundits from across the land would be responding to this landmark decision.  However, what I did not expect is that Dr. Furhman would also have a response to this Court's ruling.  Dr. Furhman makes a clear case for health over insurance.  Read his posting below.

We may be required to buy medical insurance, but what we really need is health insurance

The Affordable Care Act was intended to make insurance coverage more secure and affordable, and insure millions of uninsured Americans. The Supreme Court has now deemed the individual mandate portion – the requirement that everyone purchase health insurance – to be constitutional.
Certainly, some aspects of medical insurance coverage are in need of reform.  But a much greater need exists – the need for Americans to reform their health by reforming their diets.
Of course there will be continued debate on this subject, but when we look at the big picture (the overall health of the American people), the Supreme Court’s decision and even government involvement is irrelevant. Regardless of the government’s involvement, the health of Americans will not improve unless the eating habits of Americans improve.
Money. Flickr: 401K 2012The U.S. per capita health costs are the highest in the world. Health care made up more than 17% of the GDP in 2010. Health care costs rose5.8% in the year ending February 2012, and costs are predicted to continue rising.  As health care costs rise, so will insurance costs. Overconsumption of medical care (for example,overuse of diagnostic tests) is a significant driver of health care costs.1 
These high costs do not bring about better outcomes than other developed countries. In the U.S. life expectancy is lower than in similarly developed nations whose per capita costs are lower.1  The U.S. is ranked 38th in life expectancy, 37th in infant mortality, and 37th in overall health outcomes, according to the World Health Organization. We cannot expect the Affordable Care Act to significantly improve the health of Americans – its aim is only to increase access to care, which also mean more needless drugs, radiation exposure and surgeries. More medical care does not translate into better health, as much of what doctors do is harmful, such as prescribe antibiotics for viral infections, perform angioplasties and bypass surgeries on stable CAD, or perform CT scans, prostatectomies and other worthless, expensive invasive interventions that serve to protect the doctor, not the patient. Actually interventions that do not extend life are worse than worthless because they create harm. People should not be denied access to care in emergencies, but overall our population (including lower income people) need less medical care, not more.
It is normal in our society to follow a disease-causing diet and sedentary lifestyle. A huge proportion of the health care dollars spent in the U.S. are spent on largely preventable diseases, whose rates are rising.   More medical care supports dependency on medications and the emotional expectation that drugs buy us health, rather than healthy habits and proper dietary choices.  Modern medicine actually weakens personal responsibility. Healthy lifestyle promotion and implementation protect people from medical tragedies, reduces the need for and the side effects and damage from excessive medical care and prescription drugs.
  • Heart disease, cancer, arthritis, hypertension, diabetes, and high cholesterol are all included in the top ten causes of direct health expenditures.2
  • Almost 70% of Americans are overweight or obese, and recent data estimates that obesity adds $2741 to an individual’s annual medical costs – equating to $190 billion/year or 21% of national health expenditures.3,4
  • Cardiovascular disease was estimated to cost over $297 billion in 2008.2
  • The most commonly prescribed drugs are cholesterol-lowering drugs – 20% of middle-aged Americans and about 40% of older Americans take them.
Prescription drugs. Flickr: Charles Williams
It is the number of Americans sick with preventable diseases, not the number of uninsured Americans, or the cost of prescription drugs that is of most concern. More affordable prescription drugs are not what we need – reduced need for prescription drugs is what we need.. More than increasing access to care, we need less requirement for care.  To truly improve the health of the American people and reduce health care spending, Americans must take control of their own health.
We know now that genes are mostly irrelevant – what really counts is gene expression in response to the body’s environment, primarily diet and lifestyle. For example, in people with a certain genetic alteration known to increase heart attack risk, still eliminate risk with  high vegetable and fruit consumption.5
Type 2 diabetes is a lifestyle disease, and it can be reversed, often quite quickly with the appropriate diet. Excess weight is the primary risk factor for developing type 2 diabetes, and conversely weight loss with a low glycemic, nutrient-dense, nutritarian eating style and exercise is effective at reversing the condition. For example, in a recent study, my colleagues and I found that 62% of participants in the study reached normal (non-diabetic) HbA1C levels within seven months on a high-nutrient diet, and the average number of medications dropped from four to one.6 Plus, a recent study confirmed that lifestyle interventions are more cost-effective than metformin for diabetes prevention in high-risk individuals.7
Cardiovascular disease is preventable and reversible with the proper diet and lifestyle modifications, as documented by much medical research.8,9  Medical interventions – cholesterol-lowering drugs, stents and bypass surgery – do not cure heart disease. A large meta-analysis of the data on surgical cardiac interventions demonstrated conclusively that heard disease patients who undergo these interventions do not have fewer heart attacks or longer survival.10,11  Now millions more will have access to be harmed by interventional cardiologists and cardiac surgeons. 
Cancer risk is also largely tied to lifestyle. The American Institute for Cancer Research estimates that about one-third of common cancers could be prevented by following a healthy diet, exercising, and maintaining a healthy weight. I believe that figure could be more than double that protection if Americans were to truly take charge of their health; eat a health-promoting diet based on immune-boosting and cancer-fighting foods, exercise daily and maintain a healthy weight.  Green and cruciferous vegetables, mushrooms, beans, and onions are associated with significantly large risk reductions for common cancers.  After all, look at the cancer rates in other countries in South Asia before the explosion of the fast food revolution; a small fraction of today’s rates of cancer deaths was the norm.12-15

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Black Bean Fudge

So I've been off chocolate, that's right.  This is a big deal for me, I consider myself a true chocolate addict.  I love it, I must eat some every day.  When I went off chocolate, I found myself craving it and I wanted to find a healthy way to fulfill that craving.  I came across a recipe for black bean fudge at Whole New Mom and figured I should give it a try.  I made a few modifications based on her recipe and this is that I used!

3 cups black beans
3/4 cup coconut oil
3/4 cup cocoa powder
1/4 cup raw honey
1/4 cup agave nectar
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
pinch of salt

Combine all of it into a food processor and mix and puree until smooth.  Place in shallow pan lined with wax paper or other non stick (I used a silicone liner), refrigerate until firm.  Cut into squares and enjoy.

I found that this was a perfect way to fulfill my craving, but because it was so filling, I truly could not eat that much.  Delicious and simple!

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Summer Salad

 I made a delicious summer salad last week and wanted to pop on and share the recipe with you!

2 cups corn
1 cup black beans
red pepper
2 tomatoes
1/2 red onion
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cilantro
2t hot sauce
lemon juice
1/2 t cumin
1/2 t chili powder

That's it!  Just mix all the ingredients together and pop in the fridge until it's time to eat!  This salad is super versatile and uses so many summer ingredients!  Enjoy!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Monday, June 18, 2012

Join Our Gardening Group!

I'll be taking a short blogging break since I'm headed on vacation soon, but I wanted to pop in and encourage you to join a Gardening FB page I created!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Adventures in Exercising

Life has been kind of crazy and I haven't written any posts in awhile.  As usual, Heidi has kept the blog going strong in the meantime.

I thought for this post, I would catch everyone up on my pursuits to be a regular exerciser.  First, I finally ended my sessions with my trainer.  I have been seeing him since last fall.  It was a VERY expensive experiment.  He is a good trainer, as far as they go, but I would give this experiment mixed reviews.  The good: he definitely pushed me physically further than I thought I could go.  I think in terms of helping me understand that I really am capable of more than I thought, the training was useful.  Having said that, the negative is that training is really only a piece of the puzzle.  You still have to eat right and exercise on your own.  I could not afford to have more than 1 or 2 sessions a week.  So, it was more to check in then to actually work me out regularly.  I had weeks when I was not eating as well as I should, and the training sessions felt like a complete waste of money because I wasn't doing my part outside of training.

I finally decided that it was too expensive to pay for something that really was not getting at the core of my areas of improvement.  So, I quit.

I am feeling good about it so far.  The key is that exercise has to be a habit and you really can't buy this, it has to come from within.

Now, the focus is to find enjoyable ways to exercise.  I try to shoot hoops (when it isn't too hot), swim, ride my bike (I'll post about this later.  Yes, I bought a very basic cruiser), play Xbox (yep, bought that too recently - maybe all this spending is why I can't afford my trainer?), and basically find ways to get exercise that doesn't feel like exercise.

So, that's it for now.  More to come later...

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Making Butter

Who knew I could make my own butter so easily?  I didn't!!  I saw this on Pinterest and knew I had to give it a try!  Ever since I bought a individual ice cream maker, we've been making ice cream constantly, so I had cream on hand.  I simply pour it into a jar, closed the lid, and then shook it.  And then I handed it to my husband to shake since my arm was getting tired.  So I guess technically HE made butter, but I'm sure he won't mind me taking credit.  It was really delicious!  And since I had bought the organic cream on sale with a coupon, it was cheaper than store bought butter. :-)  Happy shaking!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Homemade Whole Wheat Tortillas

So in an effort to make more things from scratch, I made tortillas.  They were actually a lot simpler than I had anticipated.  My biggest challenge was getting them thin enough- which you'll see in the pictures.  Here's my recipe!

2 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
2 tablespoons of oil (I used coconut oil)
1 cup or so of warm water

Mix together the dry ingredients, then add your oil and water to form a dough.  Add more water until the dough forms a small ball.  Knead and let rest for a few minutes.

Divide the dough into 12-24 balls depending on how large you want your tortillas.  I made about 18 8-inch tortillas.

Place shallow pan on stove and heat.  Roll out a dough ball to form a circle, very thin.  Then place in the pan about 30 seconds on each side.  While one is cooking, roll out another one and proceed as such.

Monday, June 4, 2012

Giveaway!! Estrea Body Care Set

This review and giveaway is hosted by Young Mom’s Deals
in partnership with Estrea USA.

I was so excited to be given the opportunity to review the Estrea Body Care Set,
including Body Lotion, Hand Cream, Face & Neck Moisturizer, and Foot
Cream. My first impression of these products were entirely positive. The
packaging is sleek and elegant, with easy-to-read design and spa-like elegance.
Each lotion is scented in a different, but equally fresh and natural scent,
drawing me in and making me want to use them. It didn’t take too much convincing
either! The natural ingredients in Estrea include aloe vera, collagen,
coffee, olive oil, citrus extracts, chestnut and Vitamins A, C, E and F.
These products were fast-absorbing and made my hands and feet feel silky smooth! My
hands and feet dry out incredibly quickly, especially in the summer time heat
(it’s already in the 90s here in Texas!!)! The effects of Estrea lotion weren’t
greasy like many other options I’ve tried and kept my skin moisturized for
several hours.
I’ve been using Estrea for about a week now and the dry skin on my heels has
virtually disappeared. My skin feels moisturized and rejuvenated, almost as if
it were completely new! I couldn’t believe how effectively and quickly these
lotions worked for me!
Estrea’s twelve cleansing and moisturizing products for the face, hands, body and feet,
bring together modern science and the restorative properties of nature to create
a rejuvenating skin care regimen. Since its proven success in the mid 90s,
Estrea’s Skin Care System has been the number one choice of European
women. Now, for the first time, the Estrea product line is available to the
U.S. market, so that American women can experience the benefits of Estrea’s
unique European Skin Care System. These women have been keeping this secret from
us for way too long!
So, thanks to our friends over at Estrea, one lucky
reader is going to win the Body Care Set (valued at $82.50!). This contest runs
from June 4, 2012 until June 18, 2012. To enter, all you have to do is fill out
the Rafflecopter form below:

a Rafflecopter giveaway