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Health Insurance vs. Health Assurance

First, as a mother of six children, I have never used health insurance. And, except as a requirement for college admission/loans, neither have my children. My health insurance premiums are best described as investing in my own holistic education and paying for the expert services of authentic healers ranging from Chiropractors, Acupuncturists, Shamans, Naturopathic doctors, yogis, body-workers and learning how to prepare the healthiest possible food & thoughts for body and mind.

Self care is not only being prepared when crisis arises but also taking ongoing actions toward self empowerment. Our bodies are designed to function within a natural balance of work vs. rest, proper nutrition, exercise, emotional and mental awareness, etc. This health insurance crisis is a sign that it’s time to wake up and start investing heavily into our own health assurance. This task isn’t nearly as daunting as the pharmaceutical and HMO’s would like you to believe.

Clean water, fresh air, whole foods, rest, play, relaxation…. is that so difficult? So many of our health issues can be resolved with drinking enough water and refraining from the consumption of sugar, caffeine, nicotine, processed foods/additives, preservatives and other chemicals that strip nutrients and minerals which our bodies need to be healthy.

Now is the time to wake up by rallying Dream Teams of support for our health. The traditional voices of authority are not going to help. Heck, the FDA food pyramid still supports bread/grain/pasta as the largest section of food consumption. Keep in mind, these guidelines dictate what our school kids are taught, what they eat, what our military eats, and on a larger scale, what the food manufacturers pump out of their factories, which they aggressively advertise as “good for us”.

The FDA promotes low-fat dairy consumption. First of all, many people are lactose-intolerant especially to cow products. This issue stems in part from the despicable ways cows are raised with antibiotics, hormones, cruel treatment, poor environmental conditions, etc. as well as the dissimilarity between a cow’s digestive system and a human’s. We don’t have the enzyme’s to break down the protein’s in the milk. Yogurt is easier to digest because it is pre-digested from the fermenting processes. If you ever want to hear the truth about the meat & poultry industry, check out the documentary, Food Inc.

Regarding the low-fat aspect, “researchers have discovered that a fat-soluble substance in the full-fat dairy foods could be responsible for improved ovarian function, and that this substance is removed when full-fat dairy produce is converted to low-fat. In addition when full-fat milk is processed to give skim milk, whey protein is usually added back for a more desirable taste and color. In tests, whey protein is suspected of increasing testosterone-like effects.” Therefore, it’s always better to eat smaller quantities of full-fat organic dairy than the higher volume cheaper low-fat mainstream options. Exploring goat & sheep cheese and yogurt are other healthier dairy options that those who tend towards lactose intolerance seem to do better with. The digestive system of a goat or sheep are closer to a human’s than cows and can therefore makes it easier for us to digest the dairy products.

“In general, grass fed cows will have milk with a better mix of fatty acids, which is desirable. Organic less concentrated farming is highly desirable for ecological reasons, and humane treatment of animals can be justified on its own merits. However, hormone levels in milk will be most strongly influenced by milking pregnant animals, and this is usually done on both organic and conventional farms. From available evidence, the best approach seems to be to keep consumption of dairy products low to moderate. The 3 glasses a day recommended by the U.S dietary guidelines is a radical proposal that, if adopted, would double US dairy production having huge environmental impacts, great increase caloric intake, and likely have adverse effects on incidence of some cancers.” W. Willett

In the category of Fat/Oils, there is confusion. The FDA is still stuck in saturated fat and cholesterol as being bad. They promote vegetable oils that are heated, pesticide and gmo-laced and other unhealthy farming methods that are proven to increase coronary heart disease, infertility, cancers and Type-2 diabetes instead of healthy fats like olive, flax seed, hemp seed, fish oil and clarified butter (Ghee).

Healthy fat is needed for our bodies to be well and it doesn’t make you fat.

America has been on a low-fat diet for years… yet we’re fatter now than ever. We have an epidemic of obesity,diabetes, and our cholesterol levels are rising, not falling. The FDA says eat less cholesterol yet if you deprive yourself of cholesterol (and make up those calories in carbs and sugar), your metabolism goes into famine mode and your liver overproduces cholesterol to make up the difference and stock up. This overdrive state can’t shut off until you start eating cholesterol again. A low-cholesterol, high-carbohydrate diet can actually lead to high cholesterol and weight gain.

“Intake of total fat per se, independent of the relative content of different types of fatty acids, is not associated with high blood cholesterol levels and coronary heart disease”. -Diet and Health, 1989, page 7

Partially Hydrogenated Fats contain trans fats. The FDA acknowledges that trans fats are unhealthy in any amount, and yet maintains that the partially hydrogenated oils are basically safe (which are within them). You can not have have one with the other therefore the FDA should also eliminate the okay on partially hydrogenated oils.

“Trans fat from partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is a toxic substance that does not belong in food.” – FDA 2005

“Heart disease was rare in America at the turn of the century. Between 1920 and 1960, the incidence of heart disease rose precipitously to become America’s number one killer. During the same period butter consumption plummeted from eighteen pounds per person per year to four. It doesn’t take a Ph.D. in statistics to conclude that butter is not the cause. Actually, butter contains many nutrients that protect us from heart disease. First among these is vitamin A which is needed for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system.” -Editorial, New York Times, June 25, 2005

Here are a few facts about fat:

Butter has anti-cancer properties.

Vitamin A in butter is very supportive to a healthy immune system.

“Butterfat contains glycospingolipids, which are a category of fatty acids that protect against gastro-intestinal infection, especially in the very young and the elderly. For this reason, children who drink skim milk have diarrhea at rates three to five times greater than children who drink whole milk. Cholesterol in butterfat promotes health of the intestinal wall and protects against cancer of the colon.”

Short and medium chain fatty acids (which are contained in butter) have strong anti-fungal effects helping in the treatment of candida and other fungus. In particular, the use of clarified butter or Ghee.

The idea that butter causes weight gain is a misconception. The short and medium chain fatty acids in butter are not stored in the fat tissue, but instead are used for quick energy. Fat tissue in humans is mainly made of longer chain fatty acids which come from polyunsaturated oils as well as from refined carbohydrates like pasta, breads and other flour products.

“A more important question is what are you putting your fats on? Pasta, breads and other carbohydrates? You should be more worried about that then the good fats.” -Sally Fallon from the Weston A. Price Foundation.

Why is the protein section so small? Yes we need protein. Some more than others. Eggs and cheese are good sources, especially if you are a vegetarian. Nuts, seeds, beans are especially important for Vegans. Animal protein for some of us is so important. And of course there’s no mention of organic and pastured/grass-fed being best, or that you should find meat without junk like hormones or antibiotics, etc. as I mentioned above in the “dairy section”.

To summarize, here are a few basic guidelines from Embodydream’s Food Pyramid to ASSURE your Health & Wellness and my book “Four Alignments of Self Care”.

In the EmBodydreamâ„¢ Food Pyramid, the outer ring represents the primary foods in your life.

The pyramid itself represents our nutritional needs or secondary foods. Your Spiritual, Relationships, Physical & Career are most important. Included in

this pyramid are the Four Alignments (Presence, Gratitude, Creativity & Grace)

as well as the four seasons signifying qualities of what supports our integrity & cyclical nature.

This pyramid is a holistic structure which is all-inclusive & what is indicative for optimal Self Care.

  • Water: At least your bodyweight in ounces/day If you drink coffee, enjoy salt and sugar, increase water intake (read my last blog on dehydration)
  • Daily exercise
  • Learn if you are lactose, gluten or nut intolerant
  • Complex Carbohydrates which includes Vegetables & Starches such as potatoes, squash & whole grains
  • Vegetables: Abundant amounts of local, organic veggies raw or cooked. The mainstay of ones diet is best as a plant-based diet!
  • Fruits: Local & organic instead of sugary foods
  • Good oils: cold pressed olive oil, coconut oil, fish oil, hemp seed and flax oils
  • Fats: nuts, seeds, (If you want dairy, try goat or sheep milk products)
  • Protein: Grass fed, organic, wild meats/fish/poultry (Buffalo, goat, lamb, haddock, salmon, cod, antelope, elk, venison, etc) red meat only 1-2/bimonthly
  • Minimally processed
  • Little salt
  • No fast food
  • If you drink alcoholic beverages, do so in moderation
  • Control caloric intake to manage body weight

In conclusion, now is the time to wake up and use the supposed health insurance problem as an opportunity to reclaim and empower yourself with extraordinary health!

For information on Holistic Health Coaching Programs, Weight-loss programs and Massage Therapy contact Grace at www.embodydream.com


Comments

Comment from Janel
Time February 24, 2011 at 8:47 am

Nice article, Grace.

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