Tuesday, January 26, 2010

We Must Insist On Labeling GMO Substances

I contend genetically-altered plants are not foods, but are altered substances. Their DNA has been hacked into and altered with unlike substances that CAN transfer to human tissue when consumed by humans. In the U.S. normal wide-spread testing of many of these, some would say, has been suppressed. For too long the FDA has turned a blind eye. That's why we (the people) can't sit around and hope that fatherly government regulators will "take care of" us, and instead we have to take action proactively ourselves to insure our own food safety.

I question the intentions of companies that alter and market GM substances without any form of labeling them so that consumers can have a choice in knowing what they're eating. (If you're new to this issue, this link might be a good place to begin reading.)

Case in point...soy...one of the highest altered crops. What is one of the most well-known products utilizing soy? (there are innumerable ones...it's in nearly everything processed...read a label and you'll see)

Answer: Baby formula

I'm no fan of baby formula, but I'm using this as an example. NO testing to see if this is safe for human consumption, yet it is THE most consumed food product for babies worldwide not breastfed.

Here's a good talk on this subject...think about it. By simply labeling a product, we have control over our own choices. Why would the U.S. even balk at doing so? Answer: $$$$$

Well, things, they must change... this video by the author of Seeds of Deception...

Everything You HAVE TO KNOW about Dangerous Genetically Modified Foods from Jeffrey Smith on Vimeo.

So What About Curing the Rest of Us?

Short post here (Oops, well never trust me when I say it'll be a short post)...just my feelings about something crucial to my life: healing.

OK, so I have come to believe that my diabetes can be cured, and that I am the one responsible for taking the action neccessary. Some things I CAN do without outside guidance:

1. Be active. Sweat. Stretch, good mouth care/skin care, plenty good sleep. Check.
2. My outlook...positive, realistic, accepting and nurturing to myself and others, eliminating bad choices internally and externally, finding meaning in the everday. Check.
3. Growth...keep on learning, asking, being a life student in any subject I have curiosity or need to understand or acquire a skill. Acceptance of my limitations and grace towards those. Not brandishing a bullwhip per se when it comes to fulfilling my goals, but valuing steady progress and processing new information in practical ways. Not worrying about the expectations of others. Loving those around me in ways that are authentic. Devaluing narcissicism in my interior life and the messages of the world around me.
4. Explore natural solutions as the viable nutrition necessary to restore balance and health. Natural foods, underutilized plants, longer-term prevention rather than magic bullets. Organic. Non-GMO.
5. Enduring the transition...big huge changes for me. I underestimated how entrenched particular elements of the S.A.D. way of eating (one could even say way of living) are in my life, and the tentacles it has in so many so-called "normal" activities. Best way of overcoming it? Practice, practice, practice...and patience and staying focused on WHY it is so important. Or, maybe more specifically, learning not to live like a spoiled brat (as compared to past millenia and what was thought of as bounty).
6. Enough rather than too much. Prudence. Less is more. Anti-gluttony...better quality vs. quantity. Making sure small quantities of nutrient rich foods satisfy rather than food-like-substances (processed things) being glutted on.
7. De-programming the brainwashing of advertising and so-called statistical data.
9. De-programming my dependency on mainstream medicine (and its interpretations) and its assumption of god-like authority to interpret illness with no focus on cure, and its alignment with pharmaceutical funding and promotion of synthetic "medicines" that can be price-controlled and manipulated in research studies.
10. Blend/eat rawrawraw, veggie veggie veggie, berries berries berries, low GI things, good things raw and small percentage quality cooked veg/organic meats, etc...

This is all leading up to this point.....

Once I've found something I believe will work, and I want support in the form of creditable people and/or programs I think would be really effective along natural lines.....


(I just got the brochures with prices. Mercedes, or cure my diabetes? Hmmm)

I was looking over a couple programs that are the diabetic equivalent of an overweight person's Fat Camp, i.e. health retreat place with an established success rate.

I am frustrated (a bit, but I see it as a challenge the majority of folks like me face) that the best places that have a good track record of results are so far beyond the average person's means as to be almost laughably in the same category as the most expensive STANDARD mainstream medical establishment's costs.

I've been the route of "what price can you put on a cure?" meaning that surely any price is worth prolonging life and righting a particular wrong if it is life-changing.

I faced that scenario with two things in the past...maybe more...as I imagine many people have at some point or the other. One was when I was in the area of infertility and the other was later in the area of weight loss. There is no amount of money too much to pour into either category, and the dollar amounts for infertility treatments rival that of surgical weight loss "solutions" in the most advanced cases. Anyone care to wager a dollar amount? Five digits is only a start.

In the case of people like me, this not only breaks the bank, but there's no guarantee of the "solution" anyway...if it's a mainstream medical procedure or treatment, many times it's a gamble in the best of times. Regardless of the result, unless a person is cash-wealthy or willing to gamble with heavy debt loads, the monetary impact of such is devastating, stressful, and far-reaching as far as future impact to their lives. I speak from experience.

And I won't go there again. In fact, I'm glad I've never had the option to venture into the even higher numbers for "life-changing" programs and procedures (namely health-related ones). I know there are exceptions, so I'm not knocking them. But I'm talking about facing a mountain and the only seeming option for scaling it involves big number money.

That said, it appears that even in the realm of the natural/naturopathic/really viable therapies, there are still these sorts of mountains unless you want to be left to go it alone and work it out on your own. I just got the information and cost data for two of the best programs I could find (very reputable, wholistic) for helping me reverse diabetes with some hands-on support in multiple areas...meaning I would have medical support and be coached for a short time in the practicals and then have long distance support resources as I adopt the new foods/habits/etc into my regular lifestyle.

The first is a 21 day program I know would work. At $13,000 it should.
The other is a similar 3 week program with some flexibility. Price tag? Easily just as much, or more.

Both are ideal except for price. The price is not my gripe...I don't know if I could justify spending that amount for that if I ever had it anyway...but the fact there are NO very organized support alternatives for those of us out here trying to put the necessary elements together (piecemeal, it feels like) without big monetary outputs. Where are the integrated off-site sister programs that would allow an ABUNDANCE of sick people access to these VITAL resources??

Supplements are EXPENSIVE. In some cases, yes, I think specific ones do help. Lifestyle change and eating organic garden bounty and herbs is ideal, and does not have to break the bank, especially if you can grow it yourself. Lab tests to establish a baseline and to chart important changes? Also expensive. Finding a medical professional to partner with you for REAL change rather than mainstream pharmaceutical heavies...? I haven't found one yet, and my guess that in either case, expensive.

I love the alternative medicine community and how empowered I feel when I find out different elements that seem to be some of the missing puzzle pieces of what I need to scale my particular mountain. (No, I'm not depressed or discouraged about this, though the tone of this post might seem that way...I'm not) I'm not panicked or desperate, but I'm thoughtfully perplexed that the alternative medical communities...and they are broad and not necessarily all in agreement but do all overlap at points (organic whole foods, homeopathic/naturpathic, vegan/vegetarian communities, small farmer, herbalist, chiropractic, ayurveda and other asian based ideologies/practices, and so on and so on)...for the most part all COST a lot of $$$ out of pocket. Maybe I'll exempt the home gardeners from that, but I'm talking about to cure something big and basic, like diabetes or heart disease or lupus, MS, fibromyagia, Lyme disease, etc. EX-PEN-SIVE.

There has to be a place where the common man can have the benefit of good sheperding in some of these areas without being expected to mortgage the house and go into debt, or spend big bucks. I equate alternative medicine with more common sense than its mainstream counterpart, and the matter of cost is not exempt.

For the visionary people spearheading these movements back to the most natural and vital ways of healing and living, I appeal to you....yes, your guidance is worth a good amount. But what is it worth if it comes packaged in programs that only the elite can afford? Isn't part of your ideology against medical elitism and the fact that the mainstream medical community is profit-driven to the excess? An honest wage for an honest day's work...that's truly worthwhile. I don't believe in something-for-nothing. But SURELY the alternative medical community can develop some basic options for The Regular Guy. Guidance, that's all I'm asking. Even if from a distance...helping someone tailor their own medical needs to a viable healthy restoration without having to play herbal or dietary roulette.

I'm just saying...

And no. No, I do not think 13K is worth the cure if it would take decades of uncertainty and stress and possible financial devastation in the case of a normal family's income. I don't think it's in keeping with the common sense that brought us to reject the pop-the-pill way of life that got us to where we need a cure for our ailments in the first place. I don't think we should reorient a mindset set on personal independence and present options only available by returning to monetary dependency. When I was younger, I probably would feel differently, but I'm not sure that means I would have been wise in that conclusion.

Anyway, yeah, there exist enough steel backbones to piece together our own answers and pester the experts from a distance. I just hate that there has to be a distance, and that distance takes so much money to cross for fullest access.

I need a wise Appalachian Granny woman. Who'll take pumpkins and some semi-tropical herbs and whatever else I have in practical value around the house in trade ;-)

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Health on the Homefront

I've been enjoying a lot of reading lately during this bit of hibernation, most recently the Foxfire book series. In fact, I don't think I'll ever get tired of rereading these and maybe can one day find a used set to purchase or barter for. It's nice my local library had these.

I've been leisurely taking notes as I've made my way through some reading, and the other book that's occupied my attention (between lucious full color spreads in the incoming seed catalogs) has been the book There Is A Cure For Diabetes, by Dr. Gabriel Cousens. As you may have read in some of my past posts, I also began a 30 day experiment implementing a high percentage of raw foods (mostly via blended greens-and-fruit smoothies) into my daily eating, since that seemed to be the one element most lacking from my meals.

Many things have converged and I'm a little overwhelmed by the happy mess I find myself in :) My body absolutely loved and craved the change over to so many more whole, raw greens and the fruit smoothies. Since the goal was inclusion eating rather than focusing on exclusion, the emphasis was on uppping my percentage of dark leafy greens, something I find hard to eat, usually, in very consistent quantities. I also hate store-bought produce, which contributes to that preference. I ate fish and lean meats about once a day along with one cooked meal a day which included homemade soups and bone broths, baked or roasted root veggies and tubers, sometimes a small amount of rice, and lots and lots of spinach. Milk and dairy just didn't make in on the menu since I was keeping things to the above ingredients.

Well, anyway...sleepiness and some really heavy nights of sleep were the detox effects I felt the first two weeks, and on the few occasions I had a meal (usually on the weekend while out running errands, etc) that was out of balance or included things not on The Plan, the only real drawback was a couple times I ate processed carbs (i.e. stuff made with white flour...one time was pancakes, that sort of thing). Yeah, I paid for those with major headaches and other not-fun symptoms.

This past two weeks I've been having a wrestling match with my mind vs. my emotions, and it's the only time in the past two months (can't believe it's now been that long) I've had to take myself in hand and insist (with reasoning) that I'm not going to let this new way of eating fade away and return to the Standard American Diet...because the SAD's like poison to my body.

I'll never say some poisons don't have their pull, though. I've fallen off my goals repeatedly in small ways and large in the past two weeks and am sort of doing battle. I'm doing so differently than in the past, though...I'm not going to allow stress to build up or be the taskmaster, instead opting for "the examined life" if possible. I'm trying to chase some of these impulses with reading, reading, reading.

I'll likely post some of the notes of what I'm finding, but the short of it is that I've learned about some of my limitations and have sorted through which goals will continue for the long term. Here are a few things quickly:

1. I can do raw for the long term, but I don't know if I can maintain it at 80%, or if I want to.
2. I do want to redraw my daily eating in terms not necessarily of trying for higher and higher percentages of raw (not exceeding 80%), but DO want to try to make my TOTAL food intake 80% fruits and vegetables, or higher, with the emphasis on the greens and low glycemic fruits and veggies.
3. I still need to do better to fully eliminate all processed foods, even very small amounts of white flour and sugar. I do better with eliminating the sugar, but getting a hamburger out is still a habit I fall into.
4. I am very VERY pleased with substituting flax seed oil for other oils. I use minimal olive oil if cooking in a skillet.
5. I've lost my taste for many things my head still thinks of as good-tasting. I much prefer my smoothie now, my favorite of which is 1/2 part blended greens and the other half frozen banana, frozen wild blueberries, frozen black cherries, blended till it's like a milkshake consistency. I'm using less salt and only sea or kosher salt.
6. I need to have a garden, which is in conflict with our reality that we probably won't have a garden this year. I'm still very conflicted about that.
10. I have successfully transitioned to drinking water, or lemon juice/stevia mixed together as a lemonade. I usually never want anything else but those, so we don't buy anything else.
11. Our shopping did increase slightly in price with all the fresh greens and frozen berries and fruit, but since we eliminated other things at the same time, it's not an extreme difference.
12. Sometimes I get bored with trying to vary the meals. Thankfully Jack likes homemade food that's simple, and he really still like the smoothies very much.

Lastly, the next push is in tandem with continuing the raw and the high greens content of my eating: it's to try to reverse my diabetes.

I'm taking THIS part VERY slowly. I still don't feel completely like I have a handle on the raw and high green eating yet. I REALLY need consistency in place in that area before I tackle some of the additional areas that are meant to transition me from my meds to not needing any.

1. There are a few supplements I will use. They have to be inexpensive and readily available because I don't want to switch from a dependence on pharmaceuticals to a dependence on high priced supplements I may or may not be able to afford or find later down the road. Thankfully, there are many I can utilize AND grow myself with not much expense.

2. At some point, I'll go in for another yearly physical and bloodwork to confirm that the changes are positive. I'll only do this after tracking my blood sugars carefully for about a month. I haven't started that part yet. I'm still assembling my collection of supplements meant to help me transition to that.

3. I'm rereading that book. I wish I had the expendable income to actually go and try the 21 day diabetes reversal in person, as Dr. Cousens' center does several of them through the year. It would be so great having that luxury and a naturopathic doctor there close at hand, etc. But hey, if it works, I should be able to make it work from a distance, I hope.

4. I can't do what's called a "Juice Feast" anytime soon. That is where you jump start your body's healing and rejuvenation by feasting on (mostly dark leafy greens of all sorts) juiced fresh raw veggies for a given time period. The difference between that and the blending I'm doing now? The blending uses about 1-2 lbs (optimally, mine's usually less) of fresh greens a day whereas the Juice Feasting uses somewhere in the range of 11-12 lbs a day...yeah. That's a LOT of produce daily and I don't have it growing, so no can do.

I'll write more later, but I'm still in semi-hibernation mode. I plan to check in here more regularly instead of letting it atrophy too much :)

Some supplements we're looking into but have no decided about yet:

Large dose vitamin C
A.G.E. mitigating herbs

Ones we'll continue:

Proteolytic enzymes
Hyaluronic acid
Magnesium citrate

We're also looking into some teas. More on that later, too :)

I got a bit off topic from the beginning of this post where I mentioned the Foxfire books. While reading them, I noticed that many of the personal interviews (of mountain folk slower to adopt a city lifestyle, and who retained a memory of many of their fathers' ways) had to do with a personal self-sufficiency for every type of problem on the spectrum...health/doctoring, gardening, tool making, laundering, and so on. It struck me time after time while reading that folks used what they had and the ability they had, and that was that. There just was never mention of Entitledness.

I'm trying to let those words and good sense seep into me, especially to help me in areas the larger community nowadays would try to convince me I'm powerless in. Such as with my diabetes. The medical community is not set up to offer a cure, and promotes diabetes as being incurable.

Well, I'm not sure what will happen, but I do have to try, because it makes no sense to stay dependent. I will stop before this turns into my little rebellious diatribe against the so-called necessity for health insurance at large, and so on. I do know that for myself, if I could get my sugars normal, I'd cherish the hope again to possibly have a baby with my sweet hubby, and see my body enjoy a much healthier weight as well. Let's see. Those are emotional issues, and I'm keeping that in check and doing what CAN be done right now.

I'd be better to keep my eyes on the long term and my hands at what can be done now :)

I'm also trying to spend more time in a prayer mindset and reading the scriptures, too. I feel like good change has happened, and this is the first time I've met with some sort of real resistance, (hormones? resistant habits? an entire medical community with nothing to offer but pills?)

I know God wants these good things not just for me but for my whole family. He's also the giver of wisdom, and the great Teacher. So I'll keep on trying to learn and listen...

More later...I hope you're well and having good weather in your neck of the woods :)

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Still On Computer Vacation

What's up with me? I really don't want to be at the computer at all recently. Instead, I'm:

1. Cleaning
2. Reading. Hubby's researching GEET technology and building something from metal rods, continuing to pore over anything he can get his hands on related to solar and generators. Not sure what... I'm reading Cousen's book on curing diabetes with raw foods, a new book on rocket stove heaters, multiple fiction from library, feeding a family off a quarter acre garden, raw food for dummies, taking notes on alternative uses for common plants. Voraciously reading fiction as I can, one author's works at a time.
3. COLD!
4. Being with my husband
5. Being with my dog
6. Working
7. COLD!
8. Planning the upcoming year
9. COLD!
10. Conspiring with hubby about how to get the heck out of Dodge sooner than later. Meaning going elsewhere, off-grid, ASAP
11. Eyeing household contents with eye to purge, methodically and permanently
12. Indulging in seed catalog eye candy
13. COLD!
14. Continuing eating raw smoothies, etc, along with homemade soups and roasted veggies.
15. Reading reading reading. Curling up in squares of weak sunlight that make it through the windows at a certain time of day and trying to thaw.
15. Loving wearing my barn coat during this rare RARE cold period. I LOVE my barn coat!
16. I love flannel sheets, flannel shirts, flannel Most Anything. So much for being a princess :)
17. I love my husband. More every day. Every every every day.
18. Daughter, too. Love her independence and how her orbit intersects my life in very different ways than when she was here with us before becoming an adult. Love every time I see her or get a call from her on the phone.

Strangely, I have not wanted to be at the computer at all. I listen to the scratchy radio occasionally. Go for walks or run errands. Am tackling procrastinated projects around the place. Wearing thick cushy socks. Loving the way clean clothes smell just after drying. Getting a charge out of the smoothies still. Loving cups of hot tea, sometimes coffee. Loving the super animation of my dog who thinks this weather is his Shangri-La.

I love finding authors whose words make my mind dance with words like music. Such wonderful pairings of words that you have to write them down because they're like something rare you never want to forget.

Loving DOING THINGS to get OFF GRID and retire the last of the DEBT now now now. Grungy, ugly, sweaty things that all add up to something we're building but that's not yet polished, or even in full view. "Now" may mean next year as far as realizing it, but the light at the end of the tunnel is stunningly motivating when compared to how distant it looked other years.

Love the peacefulness of reading a verse or two at a time from the Bible, and that's Enough. No sermons can ever be adequate to that. They don't need embellishment. They only get better with a walk in the woods or hearing the voice of a friend, or feeling the heat from the oven hit my face with a wave of fragrance from whatever's cooking, and feeling that wonderful substance of something solid that's homemade and simple. And I'm inhabited with Enough, and it's so much better than excess or lack. Dayeinu.

The worse the news from the rest of the world turns, the more I want to unplug, hurry to gather our resources into a tight knot of the essentials, and finish this thing. This Thing meaning complete independence from debt and situating ourselves where we're going to be for the long haul. All the while "un-hurrying" the way the world seems to be intent on hurrying.

And so, while all our outdoor plants turn to icky green popsicles in the nighttime lows, nothing's dormant here in the interior of our daily push to See This Through. My arm is strong for my tasks, my husband is solid and constant and persevering, and I feel so much better (I credit the raw eating to most of this, and of course to God's blessing)

We're almost "there." Even in the moment, I'm happy. Even if the world falls apart. My world has fallen apart in the past...is this why I'm not as afraid? Or maybe I appreciate the good when it's here and want to grab hold of it and savor every second?

I am grateful every day. This is not an isolated happiness. We're connected more every day with those who are having to roll up their sleeves, too, and we're in this together. These are the times we all find out what we're made of, and where our real worth lies. There is life beyond the strip mall, supermarket, drive-through, college career, 401K. But it looks a lot different.

Good. In my life, a lot of things needed to fall away. When this freeze is over, outside, most things will be in shock and seem dead, but the survivors will revive with little spears of green pushing up beside the dead stalks. Those are the plants we'll keep. The struggle makes most of them stronger and the fruit more resistant to extremes. Hopefully this is our time to stretch our muscles and keep pushing through the things that die away. I see this year as the quickened life awakening in the dormant sticks. Like the sort you scrape into to see if there are signs of color and test their pliancy for signs they'll be budding soon.

Among the dead sticks, things are green with hope and endurance.

As green as my beloved barn coat...

I'm still on hiatus.
Just checking in :)

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Taking Short Break

...for a few days. Hope you're doing great! Be back soon...