Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Archive for June, 2011

I am Forced to Rant About Healthcare.

This blog is my outlet for my rants when my loved ones get sick of listening to it. The whole issue of health care is one of my rants, but I have avoided talking about it for the most part, since it is pointless, no one in power even hints at my position. After hearing what is going on with several of my friends, I have to talk about it. You can say our current system is broken and needs to be fixed, but I think that is like asking the fox to fix the hen house.

Medicare has a part A and a part B. According to the older people I have been talking to, Part A is what you get automatically when you turn 65. That only covers hospitalization. Part B is what the government has been tinkering with, and you have to buy that, like regular health insurance. Depending on which plan you choose, the price and benefits vary. Now you can get Part B subcontracted through regular insurance companies. According to my sources, if you buy Part B insurance at age 65, it is around 150$ a month. If you wait, as they have done, till you are in your 70’s the price jumps to over 1000$ a month. The rational is that those who bought at 65 having been paying in over time, while the late comers will draw more than they pay. You could easily argue that those who bought it at an earlier age have also been using it more, so it evens out, but that is not the governments reasoning. My friends said that barring serious illness, it is cheaper to pay the doctor.

Which brings me to my point. I think all that we have been doing so far is silliness. Why is the government dealing with health insurance at all? Rather than pay insurance companies, and add a layer of bureaucracy to the whole mess, why not subsidize health care directly? Pay all doctors a flat salary, say 50,000$ a year. They could then charge a sliding fee on top of that, so that the poorest and richest could each afford to go. Make it illegal to not treat someone, regardless of ability to pay. Hospitals too, would get a base amount, to help keep them afloat, for treating the poorest people for free, or at a limited cost. Cap what they could charge, so greed wouldn’t get out of hand.

Universities already get billions in tax dollars and endowments, they are the ones creating new medicine.  Let them partner with companies to develop new treatments and drugs.

I’m not saying I’m all in favor of the government running the show at all. We seemed determined that that is the way to go. All I’m saying is if that is what we want, lets do it without lining the pockets of the insurance companies that exist for no other reason than to siphon money out of the health care system. They do what they do FOR A PROFIT. Which means they charge MORE THAN IS REQUIRED. Not to mention they don’t produce ANYTHING related to health care.

I’m Ok, Just lost my breath for a moment. Really, I’m ok. I AM calm.   Seriously though, I don’t see why this wouldn’t work better. I know why it won’t happen. It’s too big. Insurance, existing only to make money, has money. Money is Power. It would be like trying to slay Goliath to get rid of health insurance now. Not to mention that it is entrenched in our mental view of the world. No one even talks about affordable health care, only affordable insurance. We have blinded ourselves to the elephant in the living room.

If anyone out there can point out where I’m wrong, or has a better idea, I’m all ears. Please enlighten me. I don’t mind, I have plenty of other soapboxes to climb on.

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This is What Inspires Me.

http://lifeintheboomerlane.files.wordpress.com/2011/06/ernestine.jpg?w=200&h=252I saw this article on the “Life in the Boomer Lane” blog. This is why I work out so much. Yes, I know genetics plays a part, but that isn’t the part I have control over. I do have control over what I do every day. I don’t want the last 10 years of my life to be drooling in my oatmeal, as much as I can help it. What you eat and do does matter. The choices you make every day do count.  The woman in this picture is 74 years old! Do I think her joints hurt at night? Probably. But people who do nothing still have achy joints.

I wasn’t going to post this picture, I thought it was too controversial. But I have so few readers, who cares? I was goingA treatise on healthy eating

A call to action

 to repost it on facebook, that is where I got it from, but I know it would ruffle a bunch of feathers. I do feel militant about healthy living sometimes because people do have control over their actions, and the repercussions are serious. Just like drinking or smoking, you don’t see the results until it is

too late. Remember the old saying “You don’t have anything if you don’t have your health”? I see so many people who spend their lives going from doctor to doctor, in pain, unable to do things. Many times we sneer at people riding “Larks”, as often they are seriously overweight. If you are obese, it is hard to move. Strap 100 lbs on and try and go for a walk. But that isn’t an excuse to do nothing, it is a reason to change. I know, I can rant and rave

all I want. Who cares? Will anyone read my words and make a decision to turn their life around? Probably not.

It just frustrates me, especially when we talk about health care and limited resources. How much money would we have to spend on unavoidable problems, like MS, MD or any number of other genetic, viral or bacterial problems, if we stopped creating health problems by eating poorly, not exercising, smoking and any number of other behavioral health issues. (I’m avoiding talking about sex.) Even some forms of breast cancer are being linked to being overweight.

Do you have any rants you want to add? Do you want to slap me for ranting?

Can We be Frenzied and Sedentary at the Same Time?

people running on beachThis is brought about by the Fooducate Blog. They had a recent post about our becoming a nation of snackers, and that we are raising our children to accept snacking in lieu of meals. They blame this on our frenzied lifestyle. It seems odd as there have been a number of studies that show that we are more sedentary than we have ever been. At first glance, it seems this is impossible, how could we be trending in two different directions? I think there are two possible explanations.

First, that maybe there is diverging population. That those who fit the frenzied category aren’t the same ones who live the sedentary lifestyle. The parents who have their kids in soccer, music, dance, karate, and baseball aren’t seeing the physical deterioration. Those who go fishing on the weekend, visit museums and go hiking aren’t the same ones who have netflix streaming and play video games 24/7. That we are becoming a nation of haves and have nots as far as health habits go. Maybe the type “A”‘s of the world aren’t getting larger and more sedate.

talking and texting are not exerciseThe other explanation could be that busy does not equal active. Driving a car and sitting at your kids game don’t burn calories or build muscle. Reaching a deadline on a project is not the same as overhead reaches. And while typing and texting work your fingers, those are very small, fine muscles, guaranteed not to burn many calories. Being busy mentally can stress you out and make you just want sit and do nothing, which doesn’t help.

So what’s your opinion? Are we a nation divided? Or a nation of mental hamsters and physical turtles? Are you busier and busier, yet using fewer muscles? Or is there yet another explanation?

Is there much of a difference between calories and money?

Frying up some dough.

Frying up some dough.

I was thinking about this topic as I made my breakfast. Mostly because the money part gets a little frustrating. When you are married, for most of us, it is “our money”. So if you are a budgeter, fusser, worrier, and believe money should only be spent after careful thought and consideration, and you are married to a “let’s spend it before we die” person, there is a little room for tension.

You can easily see where the idea of budgeting fits into eating. If you want to maintain or lose weight, you only have so many calories to “spend”. Trying to lose weight is like trying to save for a vacation, you have to not spend wherever possible. Maintenance in eating is like simply not going into debt with money.

The parallels are numerous. Different strategies work for different people in both arenas. Some are better at cutting out the little luxuries, others feel deprived, and would rather make some drastic cut in one place rather than give up the little things.

The interesting thing is in our house, my husband and I have the same differences about eating that we do about money. The same struggles we come to in reaching financial decisions are exactly the ones we have in reaching a dietary consensus. The more I reflect on this, the more obvious the similarities are.

Here is my question for you- Do you see the parallels in your spending and eating habits? Are you disciplined in one, and not the other, or do the problems in one arena mirror the other?

I Love My Dog, I Love My Dog, I…

BB overruns everyone and everything

BB overruns everyone and everything

Yes, I do love my puppies. However, I am having flashbacks to my children’s toddlerhood. You know, where you rack your brain for ways of channeling that endless energy into something, anything, that is safe and non-destructive. Where five minutes of peace and quiet to close your eyes is precious and impossible. Where all you can think of is “God, thank you for making them cute, so I don’t get too frustrated and angry!” Just like kids,  I have taken them for a walk and played with them. Moses is more than ready to lay around the house now. I gave BB a bath, clipped her toenails, took a baby bird away from her, took my things away from her, fixed the leashes she ate, let her in, let her out, let her in, let her out, let her lick the cookie sheet, played fetch, asked her in all seriousness, just when was she planning on calming down and settling down, yelled at her, petted her and spent my whole evening trying to keep her from going ballistic. I understand high energy, but it seems the older she gets, the more hyper she gets. Moses has always been a slo-mo kind of pup, but since BB got here, she is acting like an old lady, I think in self defense. How would you like it if every time you got up someone latched onto your ear or tail and pulled?

I’m watching her wrap herself in a blanket right now. Like I said, cuteness personified. And she is not a bad dog. She comes when she is called, at a dead run. She stays in the yard for the most part. She understood “drop it” the first time she heard it. Unfortunately, I have to call her and tell her to “drop it” every ten minutes! She is always picking up horse poo, bugs, dead animals, and unidentified gross objects. In order to preserve the sensibilities of the bunny huggers, I won’t discuss her hunting prowess. Since it is spring, it seems to be focused on baby animals.

She has the childlike spirit of blithe glee at every instance, and the apparent amnesia of previous experience. How can you get angry at someone who is so happy to share every moment of life with you, yet how can you not, the 40th time she asks to go out in one HOUR! Yes, like kids, there are days you can’t wait for bedtime. Unlike kids, she can be locked in a crate for the night, so I can sleep through the night, with no pee, chewed up stuff or dead animals. Peace will descend.

Ta-Da! New Food Pyramid Unveiled, Now All Our Problems are Solved.;-)

Is it grammatically correct to put a smiley in a title? In any case, I needed to indicate my tongue was in my cheek. I just saw on yahoo they are about to unfurl the new “food plate” to replace the “food pyramid”. Will this two million dollar campaign help? I’m not here to criticize something before it is even tried, but I have grave misgivings. Unless it shows portion sizes, and teaches people to not eat out, I doubt it. Does it teach not to drink pop? While two million sound like a lot, it is nothing in the face of the billion Coke, Nestles, McDonalds and all the rest spend.

On top of that, the food guidelines are not without their own controversy. Since the inception in 1862, the USDA has had two conflicting roles- protect the interests of farmers, and promote healthy eating. The conflict arises from farmers growing and selling things we should eat less of. You would think sugar would be an easy one, most sugar cane is grown in other countries. But high fructose corn syrup is grown by U.S. farmers. Also, there was furor in 1991, when the USDA withdrew a publication on their current guidelines. They said due to needing more research, critics argued it was because it recommended eating less red meat and dairy, and these two lobbies pressured the USDA to pull it.

On the positive side, it shows that vegetables and fruits should be the mainstay of your diet, which is critical. One of my favorite sources, the Nutrition Diva has a positive take on it. As is often said, every little bit helps, and it is an improvement over the pyramid, which had little to no effect.

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