Healthchat

Conversations about optimal health.


Health Care Rant

I just attended a class taught by my Chiropractor on why Chiropractic is so important to wellness and why we need to be taking care of our spines as often as we take care of our teeth.  I totally agree with him, but then I practice preventive health care.

During the class there were many questions and comments about why isn’t this information widely known, why the traditional medical practitioner doesn’t consider spinal health important when diagnosing and treating disease, why doesn’t insurance pay more and why are the physicians in the pockets of Big Pharma.

The usual culprits were blamed – insurance companies won’t pay, doctors want to get paid by the insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies pay the doctors to use medicines, Medicaid and Medicare are inadequate etc.  All the usual victimization act that our culture  encourages. During the question and answer period no one said,” It’s your fault.  You don’t take responsibility for your own health, you don’t educate yourselves, you don’t live a healthy lifestyle that prevents disease, and you don’t pay for it, so why do you think you have any control over it?”.

When I practiced obstetrical nursing I saw first hand how consumers took control of their own health and transformed medical practice.   In the early 70’s obstetricians were still knocking women out with drugs and delivering the babies with forceps in sterile operating rooms.  I practiced nursing in an area in Colorado that had consumer activists.  They were well-educated and knew what they wanted.  No more drugs, no more forceps, home-like atmosphere and make every effort to bring about a safe vaginal birth vs scheduled c-sections.  They spent their money and their insurance companies’ money with the physicians and hospitals that met their demands.  They also began suing the doctor if the infant developed permanent injuries from the births.  They caused a revolution in the way babies came into the world.  So, don’t tell me that you have to wait until the AMA gives approval or you have to do what 3rd party payers tell you to do.   Give up this victim mentality and take care of yourself.

Physicians, you need to teach your patients about prevention and be open to new ideas.  Alternative medicine, quit looking at your patients as victims of the system and blaming Big Pharma for everything.  Teach your patients prevention and educate them.  Encourage patients to take financial responsibility for their own health instead of depending on insurance or government to pay for it.

Remember consumers, whoever pays has the power.  Set up a high-deductible Health Savings Account, with a Major Medical Policy  and pay the everyday bills yourself.  Become a wise shopper, and you will take better care of your health while at the same time introducing competition back into the medical marketplace.  Take control and tell your medical practitioners what you want them to do because when you are paying they listen and everyone is healthier.


Cannellini Bean Dip

For all of my gluten-free readers here is a dip made with canned Cannelloni beans that is simple and delicious.  Eat it with corn chips or rice crackers or even better fresh veggie sticks like celery, carrots and cucumbers.

Cannelloni Bean Dip

1 15 oz can of Cannelloni Beans, drained

1 cup of cottage cheese

1 handful of fresh basil, we used Tai Basil

Juice from one lemon

Salt and pepper to taste

Place all ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth.  Makes about 2 cups


Throwing Out Sugar

Yesterday “Sugar is Toxic to the Human Body” was a headline on the radio news.  The University of California, I think, has been researching the effect of the typical, American, high sugar diet on human bodies and they are recommending that the government forces us to throw out sugar. 

     First of all, research is usually inaccurately portrayed by the mainstream news organizations.  They will sensationalize anything to sell their product.  Secondly,  we all know that refined sugar, and fructose and honey are all metabolized in the body the same way and our brains need sugar or we pass out.

What do they mean by the word “toxic”?  I have no idea, but we already have guidelines for healthy consumption of sugar.  The American Diabetes Association recommends three servings of whole fruit (not juice) per day and  this is enough simple sugar for your body to thrive.  Simple sugars release into the bloodstream fairly quickly.   The ADA also recommends complex carbohydrates made from whole grains with increased fiber which cause slower absorption of sugar preventing your pancreas from working overtime. And, dentists are dead set against consuming candy, sugary soft drinks and sugared gum because they destroy your teeth.

So, where does that leave us health conscious humans in a semi-free society?  Whether it is toxic or not, it’s a healthy decision to throw out the sugar bowl, the white flour, candy, sodas and the orange juice.  Replace them with a natural sweetener like Stevia, whole grain flours and real fruit containing fiber.  It is amazing how sweet fresh pineapple tastes after only a week of cutting out the sugar.  For you rebooters, incorporate more vegetables into your juices, try three veggies to one fruit.  Although change is hard, just think of it as taking responsibility for your own health by throwing out the refined sugar before the government does it for you.


Immune Health – How to Starve a Cold

Echinacea! Hard to spell and pronounce but it sure works to starve a cold.  Sunday evening I had a scratchy feeling in my throat and felt drained of energy, a sure sign that a common variety cold was beginning.  I began taking an Echinacea supplement before bed and  continued to take the recommended dosage thru Tuesday.  Today the cold is gone.  The worst symptoms were the dry, scratchy throat and a runny nose.

There are two rules to successfully starving a cold with Echinacea. Take it when  you first start to feel the cold symptoms and continue to take the recommended dosage until your symptoms are gone.  The second rule is to make sure that when you purchase Echinacea that it has active ingredient from the whole plant.  Many of the teas and other formulas on the market have only one part of the plant in them and are not as effective.


Optimal health for all ages.

Sunday evening I enjoyed having dinner with a couple who have been taking care of their health for over 80 years.  The gentleman is a retired priest from the Greek Orthodox Church, he is tall, trim and fit, has a positive attitude about life and is able to converse on a variety of interests.  He lives in the city and walks on a regular basis.  Before appetizers were served he pulled a  tin out of his pocket and placed it beside his plate.  It contained a handful of supplements that his wife orders from a maker in Wisconsin.  This particular brand was introduced to them thru their doctor.  The priest began taking the supplements one by one with his meal and was finished by the time coffee was served.  He ate a modest amount, vegetarian selections from the menu and did not have dessert.  He is enjoying optimal health, no chronic diseases and is not under a physicians treatment for anything. This is a great example of wellness that has been developed through lifestyle.  Great life example for our next topic.  Over the next month I will be reviewing Dr. Duke Johnson’s book, Optimal Health.  Through painstaking research and review he has developed eight pillars supporting a healthy lifestyle that will help all of us to live long and well.  Let’s explore his book together over the month of May.  All comments and questions are welcome.

“Live long and prosper”, Mr. Spock.