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Sunday, March 28, 2010

Food Fight 12: Running For Health Coverage

Food Fight #12

Because I always feel like running. Not away, because there is no such place...Because running will be the way your life and mine will be described... --Gil Scott-Heron, “Running,” I'm New Here, 2010.

Many of us feel compelled to do a lot of ripping and running. This type of running requires so many resources, there is nothing left to run for the cover of health.

We run in a race where the finish line is ever-changing. Here's one instance. We start out following the course and expecting social security and pensions to be there in sufficient amounts at the end. Many of us find out the end is not what was promised though we ran and ran some more. Secondly, even if those two treats are intact at retirement, other factors often lower the values of the prizes. This leaves us exhausted after all that running around and now unable to keep up as the world moves on. With less than expected to finally begin to live on, we glance in the rearview mirror far too often to see if happiness might be in that direction.

Though in constant pursuit of “a better life,” Americans are some of the unhealthiest people on the planet. Health and a better life don't seem to both fit into the national dream.

I am grateful for the opportunity to adjust the way I'm running my dream race. I am 60% of the way through the regular course. Even if I was 99% of the way through, it ain't over 'til it is. I saw a runner fall down part ways through a race. When she got up she was in last place. She won the race. Some say this is an example of something amazing. I say this is an example of something achievable. “Amazing” might make it seem beyond the average person. “Achievable” is within the reach of anyone with desire.

I have picked myself up and am thankfully in pursuit of greater health. When we run towards the prize of overall health, our sensibility to make the necessary adjustments as we run remains with us. With this compass we can navigate a path where we control the requirements and the rewards. Many of the useful things that other way of pursuing happiness offers will be added. Things that had more and less significance will trade places. A healthy lifestyle keeps us in proper running condition. It does not leave us worn out or wanting in the latter stages.

It has now been 92 days and I am healthier than I've been in 30 years. How is this possible when running in the wrong direction for so long? Better health is not elusive. It is waiting for each of us. We know that after just a few days of no longer smoking, drinking or eating poisons health improves. Now combine that with better nutrition and more activity. Once we place the race for health in our favor by redirecting our resources towards this goal, we can often make up a lot of ground quicker than it took us to lose it.

It's time to stop running away from individual, born-to-be selves. This is exactly what we are doing if running is a detriment to our health. Health is our first responsibility. It should be our highest priority. It's time to start running for the greater health we had before adulthood knocked us off course. Pick life up and get back on track. Make some adjustments, run for the cover of health and enjoy life every step of the way.

BTW: Healthcare reform is great but if health insurance actually ensured health, I could end this series.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Food Fight 11: Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010

Food Fight #11

Just as there is strong evidence of increasing health and nutrition awareness, there is also a movement to limit individual choice and access to a number of self-health options, called supplements. The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 seeks to limit options just as healthcare reform is supposed to create options.

More and more individuals are opting out of many non-foods and thus have less of a need for drugs. Many drugs have unsafe aspects but the unsafe part is minimized under the heading of side effects. If there is a public safety necessity to regulate supplements at all then simply have the providers list possible side effects rather than trying to eliminate supplements.

The US Department of Agriculture, US Department of Health & Human Services, US Food & Drug Administration and the Environmental Protection Agency are supposed to have the best interests of citizens in mind. Yet, for starters, there are many dangerous pesticides allowed in farming and dangerous chemicals allowed in food. The government doesn't need any new oversight. It needs to trim down and properly administer its most critical responsibilities.

Against The Act:
Beware of the Dietary Supplement Safety Act, sponsored by, a seller of supplements.
Sign Petition, sponsored by Life Extension, a seller of supplements. Capwiz, provides an email service to help advocacy groups reach government officials.

For The Act:
Sponsored by an athletic organization trying to deal with the problem of doping by athletes.

Additional Food Information:
Food, Inc. Documentary seen on The Oprah Winfrey Show.

One thing we must absolutely understand is that “FDA approved” is not a guarantee of safety. If it were, we wouldn't have to worry about what has been approved to be sold as food. Having the government make decisions for our health is like having a lion for a guard dog. It is a threat, not because of its natural desires, but because of the fatal belief that those desires can be kept subservient to its dedication.

Since we are taking control of our health, let's keep control by keeping the government from interfering. The government wants to regulate dietary supplements when they are doing a poor job of regulating safety of the dietary foundation - food. The only thing The Dietary Supplement Safety Act of 2010 will do is allow for criminalization of natural medicines while ignoring the legalization of unnatural medicines that have been sold for decades. It will take away one of the supports a health hungry nation needs. Many more of us are now on the right path and I'm certain the trend is evident to those who sell that other stuff. Without natural options to create the health we seek, life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness become less self-evident.

The Dietary Supplement Safety Act, just based on the name alone, implies the government is looking out for our safety. It implies they are being diligent and detailed. How about a Food Additives Safety Act, a Food Processing Safety Act, a Food Farming Safety Act, a Genetically Engineered Food Safety Act and so on? What do you think?

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Food Fight 10: Eating Healthy Is Expensive!?

Food Fight #10

The most controllable path to health is through food. Why not choose this path? One reason might be the belief that eating healthy is expensive.

There will always be lower priced “things” to eat. Many come with hidden costs. They contain minimal to no nutrition and usually contain toxic ingredients. These poisons clog our systems and further diminish the functioning of undernourished cells and organs. Think skin, brain, liver, pancreas, colon, bones, eyes, spinal cord, nervous system, immune system, etc.

Those who say eating healthy is expensive make it seem as though they are very conscientious about money. They appear to say, “If it costs more than I think it should, I will not pay for it.” I doubt if they know what they are doing with all the money they think they are saving by buying half foods and non-foods.

Here's a short list of costly things we usually find a way to pay for. Gasoline, clothes, more clothes, dry cleaners, jewelry, cable, televisions, phones, newspapers, magazines, soft drinks, stuff, eating out, going to the movies, batteries, DVD's, CD's, houses, furnishings, finishings, what nots, cars, car washes, hobbies, habits, hairdos and vacations. We also pay for beauty products, prescriptions and over the counter medications. We decide what we deserve.

When we decide the health of those we love is important, eating healthy will not be so expensive that it keeps us from buying food. We can't afford not to afford food. What we can afford is to grow more of our own food and support local growers. We don't have to go immediately to organic, whole food and health food stores. We can eat more plant food and less stuff we know ain't doing us a bit of good.

If anyone still believes food is expensive and eating healthy is expensive, do the math. Even if we ate from the dollar menu each time we were hungry we'd still pay more in a week's time than if we had food available at home. An overall grocery budget based on food often can be cheaper or only marginally more expensive. We get more mileage out of every dollar in terms of more meals when we buy individual ingredients and put together meals at home. When we factor health into the decision, we are getting way more than our money's worth.

To say eating healthy is expensive is an excuse to avoid changing habits and, if necessary, giving up or reducing just one or two other things we spend money on. It is our priorities and our values that make eating healthy expensive.

Previous Posts: Food Fight 1-9.

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Food Fight 9: Spiritual Nutrition

Food Fight #9

Nature is a spiritual system just as much as, if not more than, it is a scientific system. Since food is nature, food has a spiritual component. Food contains the spiritual energy and influences of the sun, moon, moisture, soil, organisms, insects, wind, birds and much more. We can receive nutrition from these creating energies if we approach eating as a spiritual experience also.

We acknowledge the spiritual aspect of food when we lift up prayers before eating. Many also celebrate the spiritual connection of food during thanksgivings, harvest festivals, rain ceremonies and daily cultural practices.

When we appreciate, enjoy and take pleasure in food through each of our senses, we tap into spiritual energy. When we appreciate the components of nature that make food possible, our souls are also fed.

If we maintain appreciation while we eat, we can receive the spiritual nutrition already present in food. This is the same nutrition our spirits receive when we appreciate any natural thing such as a beach, forest, park, tree, houseplant, butterfly, fresh air and even a spider for doing one of its things, keeping other insects in check. When we are in appreciation of the natural world, we feel eased and rejuvenated as we acknowledge these gifts. The longer we remain in this grateful state, the better our spirits feel.

Maintaining appreciation while we eat lifts the experience above the physical hunger and pleasure that causes us to eat dangerous things and also causes us to overeat. Appreciation slows us down. It causes us to chew more and allows time to drift, reflect and absorb the life forces that are saturating our senses and capable of satiating our souls.

Previous Posts: Food Fight 1-8