Archive for April, 2010

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

Diabetics need LOTS of fresh vegetables, and some fresh fruits. Even in season, these cost a lot for people on small food budgets. So, whether to save money OR to know exactly how and where your food is grown (carefully and without pesticides), then you need a garden.

In fact, everyone needs to garden. No excuses! If you are in an apartment without a balcony, there are now many solutions. If you have a balcony, there are great new choices! If you have a patch of ground, there are several ways to increase it’s yield. And, if you are lucky enough to have your own yard (or a plot in a community garden), then you can behold the bounty of Nature big-time.

This is a busy fortnight for me, so I’ll be making this a series and will add more posts over the next few weeks. But, the gardening season has started, so you need to, also!

All of us have a major problem unless we follow through on this project. In this era of food illiteracy, financial insecurity, possible societal insecurity, when climate change is impacting food prices too, it behooves you to act for your own Health and survival by planting a garden.

Now is the time. The season has begun in most of the Northern Hemisphere, and if you are in the far North (or in autumn / winter in the Southern Hemisphere), there are still projects you can be doing to bring fresh, nearly free, clean, wholesome food into your diet.

Everyone needs fresh, raw food (and veggies lightly steamed or gently roasted, when cooked). Fruits need to be whole and kept at minimal levels for diabetics. The emphasis is getting at least 6 vegetable portions a day of lower glycemic index vegetables and 2 fruit (including one citrus or Vitamin C source – like kiwi) – no juice.

Each meal, fill 2/3 of your plate with a variety of vegetables and you are well on the way to Health, with a teaspoon of olive oil and a piece of protein the size and thickness of the palm of your hand.

So, let’s tackle the steps to making a garden in this series. This is not rocket science. It’s not hard; Nature knows HOW. All you have to do is to start and support the natural process.

If you only have window/s in your apartment:
___ you can still grown an amazing amount and variety of fresh food in any window, even in highly concentrated places like New York City
___ learn a lot more at http://windowfarms.org
___ learn what one window farm can grow!
___ Plants that have been grown by this method include —
Fruiting Plants: okra, cherry tomatoes, scallop squash, small cucumbers, beans, strawberries, peppers, peas, Japanese eggplant.
Leafy Greens: arugula, bok choy, broccoli rabe, kale, chard, radicchio, watercress, chives, various microgreens, and many varieties of lettuce.
Herbs: rosemary, cilantro, basil, thyme, oregano, parsley, mint, and sage.
Edible Flowers: nasturtium, violets, and marigolds.
___ start gathering 1 liter soda pop bottles from friends, family, co-workers (who already have this nasty drinking habit). Don’t start drinking soda pop at all — any version. Just become a new source to recycle some bottles.
___ If you have multiple windows, then use the sunniest ones, but be aware in bedrooms, that at night, plants will use your oxygen and release carbon-dioxide, so don’t close your door and do have fresh air coming in. It’s better not to use bedrooms.

___ alternatively, you can also use grow-lights and or hydroponic solutions. Search for these terms and you will find lots of information.

___ all groups of residents can learn to grown sprouts, indoors. Make sure that you and anyone who touches your sprouts and sprout bottles wash their hands after bathroom and other dirty chores. Sprouts need to be eaten raw to get their best enzymes and nutrition, but they must be kept fastidiously clean to be able to eat them raw. Sprout-growing is a very easy, inexpensive, relatively-fast way to get healthy raw food in any season.

If you only have a small balcony or patio area:
___ in the sunniest part of the area, start a vertical wall of plants using a system like the one at Wooly Pocket
___ use a pottery urns called strawberry jars. Their pockets, as well as Square Foot Gardening principles, with taller plants in the least sun-blocking position, will help you grow a lot in a small space.
___ use a specifically-designed food-grade 5 gallon plastic pail to grow food. Do not use paint containers or any plastic other than designated food-grade. Restaurants may allow you to get their 5 gallon food grade containers for free or a small charge, instead of them recycling them. Learn more at: Video – 5 gallon garden

Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 2
Diabetics Need to Garden, Part 3

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(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I missed posting last week (for only the 2nd time in 3 years) as my Mum was hospitalized. She’s on the mend, but it was a big scare.

Today, is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and my other Mother is in danger, too! Our planet just cannot continue to sustain the damage we inflict upon her. Just like many human children, for a period of time, we are immature and disrespect our parent(s) and turn our back on their innate Wisdom. We’ve been doing this with our Earth Mother, and we continue at our peril.

As the two largest countries, India and China, now seem to be producing massive numbers of diabetics and pre-diabetics, as they reach for now-proven ecologically unsound pathways to prosperity, Mother Gaia will suffer even more when 1/3 of humanity (2 billion people in these countries) want and get “more” regardless of the ecological consequences.

As the dubious notion of a global economy has American’s food being “imported!” from countries all over the world and massive factory-farms at home, we see huge rises in toxic chemicals in our food supply (especially from Chinese grown foods, a huge new source and percentage of foods used in America). We used to grow our foods, in our own more-regulated soil. What happened?

Well, you can learn more in a Public Broadcasting Service (PBS) movie called Food, Inc. which explains about 6 corporations control America’s food supply and that they are rapaciously extending their reach and their grief into other countries, seeking to control their food supply, also. This monopoly has to be regulated out of existence, as we did that of the tobacco companies, which also had products which only harmed our Health.

This corporate food-supply rape campaign has already begun in India, and there, 200,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide, leaving their families destitute and letting their land be gobbled-up by the corporations. The ordinary farmer overseas cannot pay for “modern” seed or equipment and then an otherwise capable independent businessman goes under. This is serious.

And, in China, the ecological damage is tremendous and largely unregulated. Staple food items are now being brought from China, foods which we would normally think were still being grown in America. Meanwhile this cheap, poor, often-toxic food is being brought to our shores — talk about a national-security issue!

It was bad enough that the Chinese do not regulate the methods and ingredients in their toy production, but food goes way beyond that in posing a danger for all of us who use Chinese food products. And, their air pollution is heading for North America, daily.

Both India, and especially China, argue that we had our chance to become “prosperous”, so they should be able to also. But, what’s spurious here is that governments, scientists and all of us had to find out that “industrialization”, as we practiced it it in the 19th and 20th centuries, had major consequences and that it is a flawed system that must be changed for the planet and all Life to survive.

Belching coal plants in China; open-pit mining (anywhere) and its release of unacceptable quantities of certain minerals (like mercury and cadmium) into the landscape; nuclear power; deforestation; lack of habitat for plants and animals as well as lack of riparian habitat to protect water sources have massive repercussions on every continent.

When food is toxic, not only does it put us at risk for a slow or fast death, but it impairs our health so the quality of our days is severely curtailed. Poor, toxic food creates psychological and physical impairment. Toxins are walled-off in fat cells — the more toxins, the more fat cells needed — the obesity crisis, the pre-diabetes crisis, the diabetes crisis stem largely from this (and the poor nutrition in this food as well as poor food and activity choices by the individual only seal the deal).

The illusion is that our food-chain is inspected, safe and healthy. Nothing could be further from the truth, except food from organic, sustainable farms, with good practices.

Please watch – Food, Inc. This knowledge from Dr. Michael Pollan, PhD and other experts will change your life and it is imperative and critical for your health, and especially children’s health. It will only be freely shown from April 22 – 29, 2010.

Also, see the short preview of DIRT! – The Movie

In one of these two movies, I don’t remember which, an expert stated we have only about 120 years’ window to save the planet from the devastation it has sustained since the Industrial Revolution (started in the 1800’s) and from factory farming (started in the 20th century).

The problem is he didn’t say how much was left of his projected 120 years, but I suspect we have very little time left to save Mother Earth — I’d say a max of another 20 years, if that, as my guess, when I see how fast the change has been in the last 40 years!

The problems build on each other to a tipping-point, where Life cannot be sustained and our weather has permanently become hostile and clean water (or even water, at all) will be more precious than gold.

We have to get our priorities right on a personal, local, national and global level. You cannot depend that your “leaders” will do this for you. They have had decades of strong signals that our industrial life was unsustainable. Yet, they did nothing. You have to start being an active advocate!

Since I was married, in 1969, I chose a different path than most people of my generation and the 2 that followed.

I was never a hippie, but I understood we had to take care of our Mother Earth and I have. I kept oodles of clean recyclables in our garage, for decades, until there were recycling programs; I supported the fledgling organic farmers and organic food companies (many of whom have been quietly bought out by the big demons – Unilever, Heinz and many more); I was aware of the need to reduce my carbon footprint and never leave the house on errands unless at least three chores can be done in that area of town, and preferably more than that, and on and on. Our garbage can is rarely more than 1/3 of its small capacity; we compost food waste and return it to excellent soil.

All this is not to pat me on the back, it’s to say, that even among my family, I have not been able in the past 40 years to change THEIR attitudes and THEIR ways. I’m worried. They represent the best, most-educated people. What are the rest of you open to? Is the handwriting on the wall enough, now, for you to change to help the planet?

For your Health and for the Health of our most-precious Mother, please change. Then, spread the word!

Please share this article and others in my archive on your favorite web 2.0 site. Thanks.

Best to all — Em

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
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“Everyone Knows Someone Who Needs This Information!” (TM)

I always wish I could start to post “serious” discussions first thing in the morning, when my mind is clearest and when I have a chance to remember ideas and thoughts which settled-in overnight … but something always ‘needs attention right away’ and tends to obliterate or obscure these more intangible thoughts or make them permeable.

So, finally, I’ve tried to keep my promise of the last few weeks, to write about gaining perspective and edging towards a more-Balanced Life, which, in turn, usually leads to better physical and mental Health. I’m finding it a tall-order right now. The words are not flowing like they did in the wee hours, when I was ruminating!

Yesterday, the Universe answered with help, and I gave up 2 hours last night to watch the PBS special “The Buddha”. It was a fascinating program and it brought me back to my understanding that Siddartha’s Journey is the one we must all make to find Peace, the Balance necessary to live a good Life and Completion.

Buddhism is not a religion in the way that “religion” is thought of in the West, and I think it can be combined with other thought-patterns (religions) or “divine” pronouncements (religions).

Buddhism is a way to take the Middle Path — not bow to excess — and it supplies ways to temperately approach Life’s Journey, with a Dharma (set of instructions), to help you guide your Search. And, it is an individual Search. It is work; it is dedication. It is thinking and doing.

As a Jew, I can agree with that. That’s why many Jews also embrace Buddhism. All sincere, peaceful, truthful paths lead to the Divine. I believe that. Even if you do not, I think being open to other people’s ideas is essential and their way can be helpful to you, if you choose.

The 613 commandments in the Old Testament which orthodox Jews follow and actively use daily, is another road-map, but can be taken on many levels. Those 613 acts can be a personal, pro-active Journey, too, not just a rote one.

Whatever “Way” you choose, it is essential to find Balance.

Dr. Mehmet Oz, MD was showing some more scientifically based approaches recently for a person who was not clinically-depressed, but who was deeply dis-satisfied and could therefore not find Happiness. That’s what the Buddha “understood” was the source of imbalance — “dis-satisfaction”.

If you are not Happy, there’s a reason “why” and you must ferret it out and try to remedy it — whether it be physical or psychological or spiritual. You just can’t go through Life without tending your whole Garden, all that IS YOU!

Most of us are doing a poor job of this; we are putting the most-important last! We are not put on this Earth to automatically just ‘earn money’, ‘make families’, ‘engender world Peace’.

We have an individual Gift of Life which has a Purpose for the betterment of All of us. We have to find it, or Life will hammer on us until we pay attention to the Greater Reason we are alive. Maybe it is “to make money” but maybe it is to create music and live differently because of that choice.

One of the greatest Gifts the Buddha brought into the minds of ordinary people, who do not spend years as a wanderer and questioner, is that in order to make the most of our Life, we must be “present” in each moment. We need to attend to the present, not the past and not the future. Just be “in the Now”. You can make better choices and handle anything if you are just dealing with “Now”.

Interestingly, the word count just went by 613 as I finished the last paragraph. A sign? OK, I’ll think so. I gave you a road-map.

___ Science? Sure, you can use it for  information. I try to help you here.

___ Religion? Maybe yours will help you, but I think only if YOU! are required to actively be the one on the Journey and have to take responsibility in this Life.

___ Personal Choice? Maybe, if you do take time aside each day to assess where you are and make a road-map day-by-day (with only a vague pass at what “Future” means, otherwise you become too “attached” to that Plan and only that Plan).

Whichever the road-map base you choose, get one started! Take thoughtful, aware Action on your Life moment-by-moment. You can handle that. If you fall down, then get up and start again in the next moment. Put together many moments and that means Success.

Best to all — Em

The Buddha – a video at PBS.org


DrOzShow.com 28 Days to a Happier YOU!

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(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com

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

Some big-time news hit this week which I just had to talk about, so I’ll “save” the discussion of Balance in Life for the next week or so.

The BBC reports diabetes on a massive scale has surfaced in China. The country has even more diabetics than India, by a wide margin. Both of these billion-person countries are surpassed, percentage-wise, only by the United States, and Asia is expected to be the source of huge numbers of new diabetics in the next 2 decades. Why does this still have to happen?!

The Chinese government is NOT doing what they need to educate people and to help them make responsible choices.

China faces this massive diabetes epidemic now, as almost one in 10 adults have the disease while most cases remain undiagnosed, researchers have said. With a society whose main carbohydrate (white rice) is a very high-glycemic substance and with little education about alcohol’s effects or smoking cigarette’s harm, this should have been expected.

According to the New England Journal of Medicine, the study showed diabetes was more endemic than previously thought, and the statistics suggest China has at least 90 million diabetics (double that of India), and that there are at least 150 million more (that would make nearly 25% of the population, and ahead of US % numbers). Then, there are those already in the pipeline as pre-diabetic, who are not being counted in China at all, yet.

What a catastrophe in the making!

Sociologically, rapid economic growth has affected public health, through urbanization from a harsh agrarian life; it has changed diets in a country where many previously starved. Affluence or factory jobs have led to more sedentary lifestyles than the energy expended by rural, agrarian workers, researchers said. And, frankly, the affluence and poor choices like increased alcohol and cigarette consumption in China just worsens everything tremendously.

These numbers represent a major public health problem for the authorities in Beijing.

Mainstream medicine likes to think that diabetes is a major factor in illnesses such as heart disease, stroke and kidney disease, but, as you know by now, I think they all have the same “root causes”:
___ pH imbalance in body tissues (too much acidity)
___ not enough energy expenditure and thereby inefficient metabolism
___ poor glycemic-range food choice and too much  “food” without nutrition
___ stress causing hormonal imbalance
___ ecological pollution causing cellular pollution.

Yang Wenying, one of the report’s 20 authors, who is head of endocrinology at Beijing’s China-Japan Friendship Hospital, said in the last 10 years “China’s economic development has gone from a situation of not being able to eat enough, of poverty, to having enough food and warm clothes, and doing much less exercise”.

The impact of China’s massive ecological pollution remains to be studied, but certainly the massive poisoning of China’s land will reap a bitter harvest. A person has to strive for an unpolluted system in order to be Healthy, and that may be impossible now potentially for generations in China. A decade of “development” at the cost of millions of lives. Poor choice in my opinion.

The International Diabetes Association reports that the United Kingdom has a very low incidence of diabetes among industrialized nations, with Japan following (but their incidence is expected to rise of the next decade more than the UK’s – so the gap will widen, again due to affluence and tantalizing non-native food choices).

Numbers of diabetics in India, China and the United States will all rise in the two decades, with America still leading the pack, by 2 percentage points – expecting 12% of Americans to be diabetics by 2030, unless our in-place education finally clicks in, and still-to-be-legislated laws start to protect the safety and nutrition of our food supply better.

Frankly, I think these numbers are totally unacceptable, and no country is going to be able to deal with a public health issue like that.

Education is the only answer, on a personal level, and getting predatory pharmaceutical companies and junk-food and processed-food companies out of our markets is the other.

We must:
___ “neutralize” the prepared food industry and personally return to (mostly) fresh or frozen, basic, healthy, natural foods which have not been stripped of nutrients

___ foster and support healthy, organic farming and the safety of our natural world

All of these endeavors are SO big in scope that governments must be engaged and organized and then, by carrot-or-stick, produce the legislation which promotes and protects Health.

For China, we must advocate on behalf of the Chinese people’s rights to freely access information on the internet. Even though Google has moved its “search” facility to Hong Kong, most people in China will not really be able to access it due to Chinese government firewalls. It will take years for the Chinese government to get diabetes education in place in China, even if it makes that a priority, when they could use the internet’s resources for those who have access and thereby, potentially save many lives.

Alternative, traditional Chinese medicine should also be relied upon to build up and support Health for all people and especially diabetics and pre-diabetics.

China needs to start investing some of its brain-power into research and investment in Health. It just is NOT innovative or doing its “fair share”.

That’s true and needed in all spheres of endeavor. So far, China has mostly traded and cashed-in on other people’s ideas using low-wage workers to undercut other countries’ abilities to produce items at fair costs.

Returning to the current issue, the Chinese study was based on a representative sample of more than 46,000 adults (aged 20 years or older) from 14 provinces and municipalities, so it is rather comprehensive in scope.

Last year, US research teams suggested that diabetes is becoming a global problem, and that more than 60% of all new cases will likely to occur in Asia.

Help change that! All of our children deserve a healthy future and parents who are healthy, too!

And, while we are in the midst of the Easter candy-frenzy, please don’t “hook” another generation on candy and non-nutritious “food”! One day, and it’s emphasis on fun, can have lasting repercussions. You know I feel the same way about Halloween. It’s imperative to teach children (and relearn it ourselves) to have fun disengaged from sugary or fatty foods. Your future and your children’s future Health is in your hands right now, day by day. Make a better Life.

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Diabetes in China

(c)2010 Em at https://diabetesdietdialogue.wordpress.com
If you desire to quote more than 2 short paragraphs, then please write for permission at the About Me page, above. Thanks.

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