Archive for February, 2009

“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

As many diabetics struggle to keep paying for their medicine, a lot of other items may go by the wayside until universal Healthcare kicks in. Diabetics in other countries that have full health coverage are not in the same straits, but everyone can use the herbal information I am sharing in this article.

There are several culinary herbs that I make sure I use in meals almost every day, but I’m only going to talk a bit about one here today: curcumin (turmeric) and garlic another time. They seem simple, but they are two of the most powerful foods on the planet!

Turmeric is a spice from the same botanical family as ginger, and it is also a rhizome. The color we associate with curries come from this spice, but it does not carry the super-spiciness. You can use this in food for less adventurous people; it’s just got a little kick. Curcumin longa is the source and it’s been used successfully as an anti-inflammatory medicine for 5,000 years in India. If you are a regular reader, then you know that tissue inflammation, regardless of its cause, is what we must combat.

Our normal metabolism produces acidic by-products which cause inflammation. Our stressful lives, and trans-fat and too acidic ‘foods’ (like sugar, soda pop, animal flesh) also cause high tissue acidity which pours onto our cells and inflames them.  Our toxic bodies, laboring under a chemical load, also are high-acid therefore “inflammed”. Start cooling the free-radicals and the actual inflammation with turmeric.

Dr. David Frawley, of the Ayurvedic medical school American Institute for Vedic Studies in Santa Fe, New Mexico, says that if he had to choose one medicine, it would be turmeric, as ‘it does almost anything others do, and many things that others don’t!’

However, this is not for pregnant and lactating women, turmeric should just be used in normal food doses. Preparations are made with turmeric as Ayurvedic medicines, andyou might find one of these in a health food store, so if you are pregnant or nursing, this is not for you at the moment — just moderate amounts in food, as Indian mothers have used for millennia.

Read the article at University of Maryland Medical Center if you intend to take a Ayurvedic Medical Formula of turmeric rather than just normal food doses (which are safe for everyone).  People who are diabetic should know that medical formulas of turmeric can make your diabetes medication more effective, and the same dose will lower your blood sugar too much — so consult with your physician as to if and how to take a stronger turmeric preparation. Also do the same if you are taking the medications in the article, which include blood-thinners like Warfarin, Coumadin and Plavix and some over-acid stomach medications like Tagamet, Zantac and Prevacid.

Turmeric not only helps with simple things like alleviating gas and bloating, but it also helps digest protein and fats; promotes proper metabolism, corrects both under-performing and over-performing metabolism; improves elimination of toxins and wastes; helps maintain intestinal flora;  rejuvenates your liver and helps your gall-bladder; supports the formation of healthy tissue;  forms new blood, and is a potent anit-oxidant and anti-inflammatory — way better than aspirin, Tylenol and other NSAIDs, as turmeric is a natural substance, a food your body recognizes and understands how to use.

 Turmeric helps with arthritic pain and stiffness, cancer prevention, alzheimer prevention, slowing multiple sclerosis and other neuro-degenerative diseases and more.  Curcumin has been shown to positively influence more than 700 genes. It helps your body destroy mutated cells (cancer cells).  It prevents the building of the extra blood supply circuits that cancerous tumors need to grow. 

Turmeric also inhibits the oxidation of cholesterol (which then makes the  so-called “bad” cholesterol).  Thereby, it keeps a healthier circulatory system to help prevent heart attack and stroke. And, it helps prevent childhood leukemia. The oils in this rhizome are also anti-bacterial.

Research also shows that it helps diabetics, those with Crohn’s disease, Cystic Fibrosis and much more.

We need turmeric’s benefits in this constantly crazy world, which has ratcheted-up stress levels because of financial tailspin and global depression and fear of losing jobs and all the rest.  You need to compensate for the toll this takes on your Health, and to use something that is effective and inexpensive. What a combo! Hopefully, you will start to use it, and see benefit as a diabetic, which may have many more benefits than you dreamed were possible.

For recipes, search out Indian cuisine, and if you do  not like spicy food, then just adjust the amounts of the other spices. Personally, I just hide it in soups for my family, although some of them like curries, but as some don’t, I do it this way.

More to help next time, and I’ll add a recipe, if I have time, later.

Best to all — Em

P.S. For more helpful articles, use the Title Archive tab on the upper navigation bar. Please share this article with your favorite Web 2.0 group. Thanks!

Ayurvedic Medicine Formula



(c)2009 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you use some or all of my article, please respect my copyright and include a copyright citation and website address in your footnote section or reference section. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

Diabetics often have a tough, nigh on impossible, task to get health insurance these days. And, for those who become unemployed, the present structure of C.O.B.R.A. payments, to continue your previous health insurance becomes more and more impossible as unemployment time increases. When my husband first became unemployed, we managed about a year’s worth of coverage and then switched him to his Veteran’s coverage and I had no coverage for at least the next 3 years!

This time, for the last 3 of 4 years, he’s been out of work, and COBRA will run out in May, 2009. My husband now has Veterans and Medicare, and I will still be paying for my own, for as long as we can. He’s set me up with my own policy, but unless permanent employment (or my internet business finally gelling), happens, I’ll lose my coverage again, maybe until I’m 65 which is over 2 years away.

So, all of this is very much within the purview of my own experience, and I have kept myself as healthy as I can through educating myself about the true ways to Health. That’s why I am here for you, too.

If you are experiencing the jeopardy of loss of health care benefits, or soon will, or you if you haven’t got health insurance, then here is an option.


Please understand the difference between this plan and health insurance!

The plan that I am going to describe is for HEALTH DISCOUNTS!

This means that when you have no coverage, and you are paying out-of-pocket expenses for doctor visits, dental visits, lab work etc, if you use a monthly discount plan like this one, then your health costs will be less if you use a provider in their network. But, it is NOT health insurance. You DO pay for everything.

In the past, I have come across several of these plans, and my husband can advise you about one for self-employed people and their families (so write me), but the one I am describing here is new to me.

I chose it as my example because it was recently high-lighted in the New York Times and it has been crafted by a physician.

Here’s some of the information from the Times article:

… Craig Brandman, founder of Medilinq, a provider of medical discounts for low-income people, predicted in a recent interview that his company would increase the number of its participants by more than sixfold this year, to 200,000 from 30,000 at the end of 2008.

… Dr. Brandman, a 60-year-old cardiologist who founded Medilinq in Houston in March 2004, described the company’s target customers as the working poor and the self-employed who are both uninsured and ineligible for Medicaid. They pay $24.95 a month for steep discounts on medical bills that the company has negotiated and that, he said, “are competitive with those offered by the Aetnas and the Cignas of the world.

” Health care providers support his product, he said, because the company makes sure most bills are paid within 10 days, in contrast to the industry average of 75 days, and because it eliminates the paperwork that can eat up 25 percent of their revenue.

So, if you have no health insurance, or know that your ability to pay COBRA will soon disappear, then check out Medlinq as a stop-gap measure.

At least with Medlinq, while you are paying for all your own care, with it you will get discounts you would otherwise not be able to.

If you find other ways to help in these tough times, you can write me at the box in the About Me section on the upper Navigation Bar, or you can comment on this post.

We have to be alert and creative in tough times, and we need to work together. It will be a thrust of my focus here this year.

Best to all — Em

P.S. To read more articles, use the Title Archive tab on the upper Navigation Bar. And, if this article is helpful, please share it at your favorite Web 2.0 site. Thanks!

(c) 2008 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you wish to quote from or use my article, please respect my copyright, and include my full copyright citation and website address in your footnote or reference section. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

In one of my emails from Dr. Mercola last week, he mentioned a new study’s results being published in one of the Toxicology journals this week. In the past, I have tried to alert you to the fact that ALL artificial sweeteners are very bad for you. No-one, including diabetics, should be using them, in my opinion. There are safer, low glycemic, natural sweeteners like: stevia, agave nectar and a Chinese one (but I’m not mentioning it, as I don’t trust Chiinese oversight, especially on food issues). Anyway, on to Dr. Mercola’s report.

The study mentioned is to be published in the Journal of Toxicology and Environmental Health and in the research,  animals when examined after the study, showed that Splenda:

—  reduced the amount of good bacteria in the intestines by 50 percent

—  increased the pH level in the intestines

—  contributed to increases in body weight

—  affected P-glycoprotein (P-gp) levels in such a way that crucial health-related drugs could be rejected

That P-gp effect could result in medications used in chemotherapy, AIDS treatment and treatments for heart conditions being shunted back into the intestines, instead of being absorbed by your body.

The article states, “The report makes it clear that the artificial sweetener Splenda and its key component sucralose pose a threat to the people who consume the product.”


Dr. Mercola says:  ” … Splenda (sucralose) is actually NOT sugar, despite its marketing slogan “Made from sugar, so it tastes like sugar”. Rather it’s a chlorinated artificial sweetener in line with aspartame and saccharin, and with detrimental health effects to match.”

Here’s a little of the history: the approval was given after the FDA supposedly reviewed more than 110 animal and human safety studies. But, as you’ll soon find out,  only 2 of the studies used human beings as subjects! 108 studies were on animals, and the longest study was conducted for four days! What a scandal — and this is called Science!

Dr. Mercola continues: “In reality, these diet foods and drinks can cause serious distortions in your biochemistry and ruin your body’s ability to control calories. As a matter of fact, it’s been shown that diet soft drinks can double your risk of obesity! ”

In suggesting these non-foods, the doctors and dieticians have “bought” the company line, and not looked at the real studies to see how flawed they were, before recommending this crap to you!

“Nearly a decade ago, studies were already revealing that artificial sweeteners can:

— Stimulate your appetite

— Increase carbohydrate cravings

— Stimulate fat storage and weight gain

Unfortunately, most public health agencies and nutritionists in the United States still recommend these toxic artificial sweeteners as an acceptable alternative to sugar. ”

They are helping to create a worse situation for all diabetics.

And, it gets even scarier. If you already have learned NOT to use this stuff, you may still be at risk from it! Why? Because it may be in your medications!

Nearly 10 percent of all sucralose is sold to drug companies.

Many times sucralose (Splenda) will not even be listed in the drug information, so there simply is no way you would know you are consuming a potentially dangerous artificial sweetener.

However, if you experience any of the known symptoms, which you can find on the Web,  when you know you’re avoiding Splenda and other artificial sweeteners, then investigate the ingredients of any medications you’re taking as well. Try to get your pharmacist to track this down.

Many people have serious reactions to artificial sweetners, all kinds, not just Splenda. Maybe some of the health concerns that you are already being “treated” for stem from these substances. You need your whole circumstances re-evaluated by a holistic MD or ND, if you have used these products.

Artificial sweeteners, just like sugar, prescription and over-the-counter drugs are very acidic and acid-forming. Your body reacts to them just the same way as it does to sugar. They make it very difficult to have the needed alkaline pH every day for real Health.

To regain alkaline pH, you must have only pH 9 alkaline water to drink, and use copious amounts of the alkaline vegetables and the alkaline fruits (in moderation). The secret to Health is alkaline pH, tested in saliva and urine, as your body’s blood level will always be correct (otherwise you’d be dead), but the other body fluids mimic a truer picture of what’s going on in your cells.

 In my archive, you’ll find one posting where I share the pH food charts I’ve formed from experience.

I’m keeping these articles short, but I am still trying to find the most important thing to discuss, weekly, while I am getting other parts of my own life set to go in new directions.

So much is happening in our world now. I do expect a full pre-planned, guided, meltdown, everywhere, before a rebirth under very different and scarier circumstances. Please make yourself a WHOLE lot more aware.

Best to all — Em

P.S.  To read more articles, please use the Titles Archive tab on the Upper Navigation bar. And, please consider sharing this article with your favorite Web 2.0 site.

(c) 2008 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

If you decide to use my article or quote from it, please respect my copyright and include my copyright citation and website address in your footnotes section or reference section. Thanks!

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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information”(TM)

The cat is out of the bag about The Biggest Loser, backstage. Trainer Bob Harper answered many of the 65 questions posed to him about the show,  at the New York Times. TBL is one reality show which many overweight and obese people use as inspiration and to try to glean knowledge from, when they do not have money for a personal trainer. With the nation’s obesity rate rising to even new, extreme levels, and when many other countries, worldwide, rich and poor alike, are facing severe overweight, anything we can learn about this flagship, high-profile show is important. Is it realistic; is it setting reasonable goals? Is it detrimental, in the long run?

As The Biggest Loser is in its 7th season (I’ve missed only one season — maybe #4, so I speak from my own opinion and experience with it too), they are taking on older and more massive, sick, people. So, I was especially interested when they showed just about all the contestants in physical rehab after daily sessions of  4 -6 hours of exercise in nearly 400 pound bodies.  Bob says they do 1 -2 hours of it as intense cardio exercise per day. This is the first time they have ever shown the physical daily toll.

Massive physical therapy is needed apparently, and when injured, Bob says they still do low-impact water aerobics and chair weight work until well enough for more varied exercise.

It appears that as they lose weight, then exercise time will increase, but with this biggest group, ever, that’s where they are starting.

Interestingly, Bob says that at TBL, just as much time as exercise is spent re-educating the people about food and healthy food preparation! We KNOW that food is key, if you are a regular reader of this blog. Wrong foods undo right exercise (tm).

Many participants do not cook or don’t know how to cook! And, in that sense, they are all too representative of current America. In 1965, the family chef (usually a woman, still) spent an average of 13 hours a week preparing food for the family. Now, we are lucky if ANYONE spends even 30 minutes a day!

We just can’t be healthy with those priorities (or rather lack of priorities!).

A current researcher even goes as far as to say:

“Even if home cooking is of the fried-chicken-and-mashed-potatoes variety, it rarely produces extreme obesity, said Barry Popkin, a nutritional epidemiologist at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. “Almost any kind of cooking you can produce in a kitchen is healthier than fast food.” The decline of home cooking worldwide, he said, is an underlying cause of obesity.

In that same time period, from 1965 to now, the percentage of women who are overweight has risen to about 65 percent from about 30 percent in the 1960s.

The chef of The Biggest Loser cookbooks also says that 20 minutes of proper healthy food preparation in your home kitchen will save you 3 hours on a Stairmaster. So, make better choices about your food, period!

Cooking at home and eating well is being perceived as much harder than just eating less. But, cooking at home really can be very time and health effective, and it holds the key to being able to truly satisfy hunger.  Because the food is healthier, you can have reasonable portions, and you can stage your eating into the “every four hours” scenario Bob suggests, while awake (as does Dr. Barry Sears, PhD of The Zone Diet system) to retune your metabolism and have your insulin and glucagon balance be better controlled.

Bob Harper says that many of TBL participants arrive diabetic, and in the course of their physical training, losing weight, food re-education, they manage to get off medications for diabetes and often for other medical issues, too.  We highlighted that for 400+ pound Dan, at 19 years old, last week.  See link below.

This also happened a few weeks ago for the Dad on the father-son team. When the Biggest Loser’s physician announced that, he stated, that even for a guy in his late 40’s or so, not only was he healthier, but at today’s costs, he’d save $176,000 just by no longer needing these drugs — and it would all be saved from his own pocket, for as we know, too many morbidly obese and diabetic people can’t get health coverage.

What a difference to not have to pay $176,000 and know that you were now HEALTHIER than you ever were on the drugs. Lifestyle changes get to the root cause of these dis-eases, and have the only chance to cure them. Drugs never do. But, if you aren’t willing to make the exercise and eating changes, then you have only 2 choices: take the meds or die. Please choose life.

Bob says the calorie amounts daily are personalized to each participant’s height, weight, age and gender. Bob stocks his team’s kitchen cupboards, and they spend a lot of time learning in the kitchen every day, even though this is NOT seen on television (what a pity!).

They have to make all their own meals, when they are beat, injured, whatever. I think the team concept would help here; hopefully it does, anyway.  Everyone spends a great deal of time rehabbing old favorite re ipes to become healthier, learning new recipes and altogether new ways to shop, cook and eat. Guest chefs appear once in a while to really show more of what can be done; that’s an inspiration and an eye-opener, as many don’t even know what fresh vegetables are or what to do with them!

As a vegetarian, Bob found that eventhough he had been in great shape, when he became vegetarian 3 years ago, he got even stronger and has better endurance now.  Unless he’s Blood Type O, then vegetarianism is productive, if it is not the fake-soy, heavy cheese and crunchy cereal version.

If the foundation of any diet is pure spring water, then fresh vegetables (especially the leafy ones), then whole grains (cooked only as grains — not made from flours), then healthy oils, a bit of fruit and a moderate amount of protein a day,  that sets the stage for health.

Remember, you must have carbohydrates for Health, but they are the food group you must be most careful about with your choices. Bob says that Atkins, low-carb diets will never be sustainable, and certainly not while doing heavy exercise. (I would say that may be possible to a great degree for Blood Type O, but even so,  fresh vegetables should still form the foundation of everyone’s diet).

In his report, Bob says that these massively clinically obese people arrive addicted to junk-foods and to fast-foods. Part of his strategy is to break that cycle, because otherwise, the recetivism will be tremendous. As it is, several of the prior years’ participants have been chefs. They have sold their businesses. You do what you need to do to get your life turned around. For one, it worked; for the other, it didn’t.

Looking at TBL site, digging deeply, I found out that many of the contestants (even the doctor, two seasons ago) re-gain about 40 – 50 pounds. I think this is too much of a bounce-back, and I would encourage anyone this large to never let themselves go beyond a 20 – 25 pound buffer zone. I don’t think it is reasonable to think that you can keep working out 4 – 6 hours a day, so knowledgeable food choice becomes even more imperative.

I think we all need to realize that we must exercise and eat decently if we expect to regain and keep our Health. There are NO short-cuts; Bob emphasizes that. The past participants who stay in their target zone, varying no more than 10 pounds from what they achieved on the show, do so because they stay focused and committed. There are quite a few of them, and that shows that life-long change is possible, with determination and then acceptance of a new, healthier way to guide your life — respecting your body, mind and spirit — dealing with stress in more constructive ways.

As far as artifically sweetened foods which are touted on the show, Bob gets no money from advertisers (but, I’m sure the show does). His rationale is that he is gradually changing their palates and reducing their cravings, but he says he would NEVER use artificially sweetened anything, himself, and neither do I.

Over time, their body starts to get rid of the massive, toxic load they are harboring, mostly by sweating it out. Then, as they eat more fresh, healthy food, that and the metabolism kicking-in to burn up toxins, too, starts progress toward some better Health, not just weight-loss. And, Health should be the goal.

To jump-start yourself, Bob suggests getting rid of all artificially-sweetened food, using no sodas of any kind, getting further and further away from eating fast foods (except for salads) and then MOVING – walk, walk, walk everywhere. Try to get your 10,000 steps a day built up (over time, maybe a month or more if you are very heavy).  Get a pedometer and use it to keep the step tally.

Make sure to check your blood sugars if you change your activity level.

Many people expressed the same frustration that I have with the show, and wanted to know if the rejected teams get any help after they are sent home. Many also said they did not feel this should have people being sent home. This and more concerns me too. There were a few bright spots.

All participants still have access to the show’s physicians and their trainer — online or by phone — after they head home, before their season ends. The sponsor 24 Hour Fitness gives them a year’s free membership (but acknowledges that only works if a facility is nearby). As many of these people come from tiny communities, they end up being dependent on the goodness of their neighbors. Bob says many local trainers have stepped in to help them for free, once they have been eliminated from The Ranch.

In one case, last season, the Physical Education coaches at the University of Michigan stepped in to help one of the moms, who was local for them, and she succeeded very well.

The show also fails to offer psychological support (other than the layman type provided by Jillian and Bob), but for binge eaters, this would be essential, I think.  However, I also opine that far too many people think that obese people cannot control their food intake, and I think that is very inaccurate. Study after study shows that often obese people eat way less food than regular weight people, but their biochenistry is SO out of whack, that even that bit can make them balloon.

Plus, many overweight people have a very efficient Thrifty Gene, which would have helped THEM to be the humans who survive. The skinny people sure won’t in times of famine.

So, all in all its a delicate dance of genetics, metabolism, exercise,  food choice and amount. We know that. The show should help people learn what they are showing participants better, but as TBL has published cookbooks and the trainers have written their books, maybe that’s the better way to go to learn, if you have massive weight to lose. They also have exercise DVDs.

For me, the show is there for inspiration and for warning. NEVER let yourself get into the terrible health bind these people did, because you see how HARD they have to work to undo it all.

Best to all — Em

P.S. – If you want to learn more, then use the Titles Tab on the upper Navigation Bar. If you learned a lot, please share this and any of my other articles at your favorite Web 2.0 site. Thanks!



BOB’S RESPONSES: http://dinersjournal.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/02/04/how-losers-lose/


(c) 2009 Em https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to share any of my article, please respect my copyright and include the copyright citation and my web address in your footnote or reference section. Thanks.

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