Archive for January, 2013

Creating Intentional Peace

January 31, 2013

“We’ve got to keep guns out of the hands of mentally ill people” seems to be the loudest cry in the media. Why is the media totally ignoring our responsibility to stop feeding minds with violence? When the general public must view a steady stream of reruns of people being killed in war, little children are being desensitized to general killing of anyone considered “the enemy”. So much for real life education about how to get along with others.

 Compound this with the violence blatted out at full volume in theatres for coming attractions and it’s difficult to get away from wanton killing there either. Clearly, many people enjoy watching violence to other people. What needs to be recognized is that the effect of a violent model on people who may already feel sad, humiliated, lonely, hurt, or some other negative affect, is that they may begin to view violence as something they can solve all their problems with.

 We can have all kinds of gun control laws but until we recognize the violent education we are putting out to the minds of developing children and adults, such laws are a delusion. How many books on what-all actually happens in wars, real or fictional, do we have to digest before we get the point and stop creating more mental illness?


American Chestnut Trees and Wind Farms

January 31, 2013

The American Chestnut tree was wiped out initially by the unknowing import of infected Asian nursery stock in the late 19th C. The fungus girdled the inner bark with its mycelium, cutting off the tree’s water and nutrient supplies. Despite all efforts to stop it from spreading, the 1938 hurricane gave the disease the final stronghold that could not be broken.

 As a result, Appalachia lost a major source of it’s sustenance and livelihood. There, many chestnut trees grew 120 feet tall and 12 feet in diameter. Chestnut mast was sometimes more than a foot deep in the fall and provided bountiful food for families and their animals, and a trading livelihood as well, according to Eric Rutgow in his book, American Canopy. The wood was also used for furniture, rail ties, tanning, and more. Loss of the tree impacted the country’s health and well being and was considered one of the worst ecological disasters in US history.

 Plant pathology was in its infancy and laws protecting trees came up against the same problems we face today as we attempt long range planning and regulation of energy, and with similar results.

 In New Hampshire, on the heels of Hydro Quebec’s Northern Pass Project which threatens our forests, real estate, and livelihood, in addition to potential health problems, we now have another energy struggle with an equally glaring lack of long range planning threatening our state and our health. Residents were not prepared for the noise and the strobe lights for air safety that robbed them of quiet days and nights under the stars with the rest of wildlife, the reason people live in New Hampshire or vacation here. Wildlife habitat is being destroyed and we have another potential catastrophe in the cobweb of transmission lines the Wind Farms plan to erect.

 All this in a state whose normal weather includes ice storms, hurricanes and variable winds that continually blow down existing overhead lines, compromising road safety and homes. The grid planned for transmission looks like a giant cobweb girdling the entire state of NH. Wind Farms have big plans ahead.

 Like the American Chestnut tree fungus, the Wind Farms are the result of a foreign import. Nearly one quarter of the 16 billion dollar grant approved in renewable energy projects as of December, 2012, has gone to subsidiaries of some of the largest and already best situated, foreign energy companies. This program, according to the US House of Representatives Energy and Commerce Committee, was ostensibly aimed at stimulating the US economy which it failed to do. The committee found that Iberdola, A US division of the Spanish parent company, was one of the largest 1603 grant-recipients.

 Fairfield, NY is learning the hard way about the devastating effects of the Hardscrabble Wind Power on their community. Their people fell for the corporate hype to their demise.

The American Chestnut tree fungus had entrenched itself before it could be stopped. Now is the time to be sure that each of our towns know what permitting wind power means in the long run if we want to prevent expensive bailout struggles later to save our way of life and the land we share with all life.


The Wonder of Glucose

January 18, 2013

Media hype doesn’t warn people to avoid refined sugar if they want to prevent or recover from flu. The media does promote flu vaccine and handwashing. There are even bigger production plans for vaccine to meet anticipated needs for next year. Bear in mind that vaccine production means big profits for pharmaceutical companies. Gels for handwashing also make a profit. Sugar laced drinks bring in massive profits. However, the only people who benefit financially by reducing or eliminating refined sugar to stop the flu are people like you and me. 

 It is no accident that we don’t hear about sugar research on the radio or TV. The food and pharmaceutical industries bought them out long ago. Lest anyone think that there is no difference between our bodies’ use of natural as opposed to refined sugar, read on.

 It’s not as though research has not been done. Weston Price, an Ohio dentist, was curious as to what caused dental cavities. He traveled the world in search of the healthiest people so he could learn from them. He found them in several pockets of the world. Their one common denominator was that they ate natural, unrefined food from their own locale. His book, Nutrition and Physical Degeneration, came out in 1939.

 William Dufty traced the history of the sugar industry in his best-selling, Sugar Blues (1967), including the industry’s suppression of any research on the harmful effects of refined sugar consumption. Significantly, as far back as 1665, the Bubonic Plague hit only the wealthiest in London. The poor could not afford sugar then and didn’t get sick, but the wealthy overindulged to their own demise.

 Our bodies do need glucose; every cell uses it. Natural sugar found in the fruits and vegetables we eat is absorbed slowly along with the vitamins and minerals also present. These are the main nutrients we need for energy, general functioning of muscles, organs, blood, etc, and repairs (robust health.) We can’t overdose on the sugar eaten this way.

 Refined sugar has been stripped of all nutrients and is so concentrated that it stresses every place it goes. Our digestive tracts were designed for natural sugar that would be slowly absorbed in the small intestine. Salivary enzymes in the mouth are there to begin breaking down complex carbohydrates. When refined sugar is taken in, by sheer quantity, it is so acidic that it eats away at tooth enamel. In the stomach, it stimulates the satiety index’ desire to eat. The pancreas senses overload and shoots  insulin into the duodenum to tone down sugar’s absorption rate, and on the sugar goes through the intestine to the liver. The liver converts an overload of sugar to fat and stores it all over the body. Sometimes the liver becomes swollen with the overload. When this onslaught happens too regularly, people develop hypoglycemia (low blood sugar). Unchecked, this condition moves on to diabetes when the pancreas can no longer supply the necessary insulin. The GI tract begins to deteriorate and other diseases start manifesting themselves. We become susceptible to everything that comes down the pike. Every organ is affected. It becomes harder to concentrate. Sugar then becomes a full fledged addiction.

 The language of addiction then reflects shame, anger and blaming of others. It’s really about loss of power and control and the need for more euphoria. The fact that sugar is not identified in the news is an indicator of the sugar industry’s current hold on its consumers who will continue to claim that refined sugar’s no different than natural as far as our bodies are concerned.

 The sugar industry opposes food labeling, contributed most to defeating the bill in California. The industry continues to hide sugar in foods as dextrose, maltose, dextrin, corn syrup, maltodextrin, saccharose, sucrose, sorghum, fruit juice concentrate, barley malt syrup, and many more. The order in which ingredients are listed is important. Greatest quantities are listed first. If you have several sugars listed in a product, they add up.

 Bottom line is: What kind of health do you experience? Do you eat simply enough to know the difference? For most of us, it’s a matter of starting over, and over again. Hopefully, we will encourage each other for all efforts.


Flu Vaccine is Not the #1 Prevention

January 10, 2013

Flu vaccine is not the #1 prevention, despite media claims. Flu doesn’t mess around. Flu virus has a strong addiction to sugar. It absolutely thrives on ice cream, sodas, sweetened juices, candy, fries, and processed foods.

 Flu virus just can’t survive when people drink plenty of tap water or lemon water, and eat plenty of whole foods, intact as nature made them, from scratch. This routine is the #1 prevention.

 It’s that simple. We do not have to have a nasty bout with the flu. It’s up to us.

 Flu vaccine may be 60 percent effective. Flu vaccine may tend to make people feel protected and therefore impervious to the three strains of flu included in the vaccine. People may ignore early signals of sore throat and the general feeling of “I’m coming down with something.”

 Each of us must take responsibility not to pass the flu around. The reason flu gets a stronghold is because as a civilization, we have increased our sugar consumption to outrageous amounts in the last 70 years alone. Sugar has gradually, stealthily, been added to just about everything we put in our mouths. Even when there was a sugar bowl on every kitchen table, we did not consume the huge quantity of sugar that has spawned so many conditions, in addition to leaving us in a weakened state to fight flu viruses.

 Pharmacies are becoming the new sub-clinics. As a nation, we seem to be accepting chronic illness as a way of life instead of as a wake up call to shape up and deal with our addiction to sugar. We lead the world with poor health as a result of our addiction. Over 1600 years ago, Hippocrates advised people to “Let your food be your medicine.” Imagine how different our lives could be if we followed that sage advice.

 Massive changes begin with small steps; sugar was added in small steps; pharmacies expanded in small steps. Our bodies do need natural forms of glucose for energy. Small steps toward healthier forms of glucose might begin with including one piece of fresh fruit each day and one fresh vegetable eaten raw or cooked. Habits change by adding something new, not by taking away the old. The new makes change possible, is more inviting. With every small new step, a bit of the old sloughs off and change happens.

 Here’s to shaping up with lots of small steps!

The Cholesterol Sting About ‘Bad’ and ‘Good’

January 2, 2013

A few years ago I received a call from a clinic technician telling me that my cholesterol level was high, over 200. She advised me to make a follow-up appointment. I asked, “What’s over 200, my LDL or HDL?” The technician replied that they only tested for total cholesterol.

 A red flag went up and I decided to find a provider who looked more astutely at the big picture. There, I learned that my “high” cholesterol came from an HDL (High Density Lipoprotein) that was even higher than my LDL (Low Density Lipoprotein) count. Of course, this meant another appointment and blood test at my expense to learn that, cholesterolwise, I was pretty healthy. So, what’s all this banter about cholesterol?

 Cholesterol is a vital ingredient in every cell in our bodies, including our brains. We can’t make estrogen, testosterone, cortisone and other hormones, Vitamin D, and bile enzymes to digest fat, without cholesterol. It’s vital for nerve function and more.

 The ‘good’ and ‘bad’ myth got created when health professionals learned how to measure cholesterol levels in the blood. In 2004, the National Cholesterol Education Program Panel came up with guidelines on cholesterol management. At the time, USA Today reported that eight of the nine doctors on the panel who developed the guidelines had been making money from the drug companies that manufacture statin cholesterol-lowering drugs. The ten page report is available on line through NIH. The following year, the Annals of Internal Medicine published a 10 page review that found insufficient research evidence to support the treatment outlined in the panel’s report. Today, nine years later, there is still no evidence to support keeping cholesterol levels low.

 Here’s what happens when cholesterol levels are too low. We aren’t able to use the sun to generate needed levels of Vitamin D. Statin drugs work by inhibiting an enzyme that our liver needs to produce cholesterol for body repairs. Cholesterol has the ability to heal scar tissue that may have formed in our arteries or elsewhere. Statins also deplete us of CoQ10 (Coenzyme Q10), which supports heart health and muscles generally. Without enough CoQ10, we’re subject to fatigue, muscle weakness, and possible heart failure.

As far back as 1985, when the fat scare began, institutions began cutting down on nutritious fats (cattle were fed corn instead of grass; farmed fish were fed grain instead of marine diet). Stores began offering fat-free crackers, dips, frozen dinners and you-name-it. People began eating twice as much grain, vegetable oils and high-fructose corn syrup to satisfy their appetites with the automatic rise in obesity and diabetes. The sedentary lifestyle that followed caused more general inflammation and cell breakdown with not enough cholesterol to repair the damage caused by scar tissue.

 It has taken us all the years in between to finally get to the point of realizing that a natural diet, free of processed foods and sugared drinks, when coupled with plenty of exercise is a simple, affordable road to robust health. Cholesterol does not cause heart problems. Cholesterol levels may rise when there is already damage because it has a job to do, like repairing scar tissue in existing vessels and muscles that could result in heart disease. Reports that promote statin drugs and preoccupation with cholesterol levels without explaining cholesterol’s beneficial effects are suspect. Their charts and numbers serve to confuse the issue and keep pharmaceutical companies happy.

 A simpler route is to be sure we’re getting enough high-quality, nutritious fat from grass-fed animals and wild fish, enough raw fruits and vegetables, organic dairy products, raw nuts and seeds, and eggs from hens that walk the earth, to keep up a healthy supply of cholesterol. We can simply drink plenty of tap water for easy transport of whatever we eat through our digestive tracts. And we can be sure we’re getting plenty of exercise to keep all these nutrients circulating to repair and energize us.

 A fringe benefit in taking small steps to find quality foods is that we can get to know the farmers and grocers right here in NH who are making such foods possible for us. We can support them in our communities, grateful for the privilege.