Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Archive for November, 2013

YES, Yes,Yes!

I just saw this article on doctors refusing insurance and charging people directly. and it makes me happy and mad at the same time.  The prices the doctors are charging patients directly are so much more in line with what people can afford compared to the cost of insurance. It makes me happy, because this is what I’ve been saying all along- insurance actually raises the cost of health care. Insurance companies are making a profit, doctors have to hire a slew of people to deal with the insurance and when people don’t see what something costs, the cost raises. The article states that dealing with insurance is 40% of a doctors overhead.

It makes me mad, as this is the discussion we should have had before enacting the debacle that is the Affordable Care Act. Affordable care is anything but. Lets go back to catastrophic insurance and pay for all the incidentals as we need them. Look what happens when people just pay for things up front and things HAVE to be affordable. We end up with 4$ prescriptions at the big box stores and doctors charging under 100$ for a visit. All we’ve done with this legislation is make things more convoluted and expensive. Affordable care? who can afford $700-2,000 a month on insurance?

Hopefully the debacle of the role out will cause people to rethink the whole thing, and the possibility of doing things this way will come about.  We want the government subsidizing things? Fine, let them subsidize the 20% of seriously ill people who use 80% of the services. That would make sense. Or let them create an insurance plan for catastrophic insurance, like they subsidize flood insurance for people who live in flood plains. Or, let them give grants for the preventative programs and screenings  that are the rational for insurance.

GMO’s, The Devil Incarnate?

So this post is in response to some of the discussions I’ve engaged in lately. I got into it a bit on facebook this week with a person who was angry that New York turned down a bill to label foods for GMO content.

While I don’t pretend to know all the ramification of GMO’s, or genetically modified organisms, I do know that legally labelling them is difficult. For example, lets say that your bull has had a gene inserted to make him more muscular. Will the beef from his great-grandchild still need to be labeled? Will the owner of his great-grandchild even know? Will all animals have to be micro-chipped and tracked? Anyone in the food industry knows, they are already pushing for that. Welcome to “1984”! (The book). Plants are even more difficult, spores and seeds go where they like. Monsanto has sued innocent people on this basis! If you are interested, here is a good article outlining the possibilities. The greatest risk appears to be greater “weediness” in the weeds. Here is another good website exploring these issues. You will notice a lack of conclusions, because the research is new, too soon to draw conclusions. So, will we have to genetically test every plant before it is sold, in case the genes have crept in there? Right now, I would have to say, assume everything you are eating is genetically modified unless you are growing it yourself, from heirloom seeds and livestock. Of course, genetic modification is nothing new. The strawberries and other fruit you have been eating for your whole life are the result of a mutation that we purposely bred. Most everything we eat barely resemble their ancestors. Eaten many crabapples lately? While I agree there is a world of difference in breeding traits that latently exist in the species, and injecting a foreign gene, the results may not be that different. Are all the new peanut allergies a result of a protein that we have bred into peanuts, that many humans are sensitive to? The increase in allergies started prior to our having the ability to add mouse genes to plants.

Worrying about GMO’s is an all or nothing proposition – either we have to ban it now, or quit worrying about it. The genie is out of the bottle. Genes don’t stay put, they don’t stay where you intend them to. The proteins they create can be benign or deadly – milk or serpent venom, both come from genes. We decided that saving people from diabetes was worth the risk when we inserted genes into goats so they make human insulin in their milk so we can harvest it to treat the millions of diabetics. We certainly didn’t care what that did to the baby goats of that species. We’ve created many plants and animals for our benefit that couldn’t exist without us, the genes they carry benefit us, not them. I’m not saying there aren’t potential problems with GMO’s. Animal toxins, like snake venom are made from genes. We could possibly poison a large portion of our food supply by inserting a wrong gene in order to make them more insect resistant. However, the danger is no worse than any other danger to our food supply. We can’t get too crazy, the genes we add have to be compatible with the species, or it won’t survive and reproduce, and it has to not be immediately be poisonous to people. If this sounds like thin comfort, it is. We don’t know if any one of our efforts will be harmful in the long run. Fifty changes could be miraculous and wonderful, and the fifty-first could be horrendous. Life is not without risks. Feeding 7+billion people is not easy.

In my view, we have so many glaring problems with our food supply and diet, that worrying about GMO’s is like worrying about the leaky roof of the burning house. If you can save the house you can fix the roof, but if you can’t put out the fire, the roof is a moot point. Before you worry about the GMO’s, get rid of all the convenience foods, with sugar, white flour, artificial colors and flavors. Limit your red meat consumption. Replace half of your food with vegetables. Quite baking “goodies”. Stop eating candy. Eat plain yogurt, rather than the flavored stuff. Quite eating quite so much. Stop eating any breakfast cereal with more than 5 grams of sugar per serving. Read the serving size and measure if you have to. Don’t eat out. If you are already doing all that, and you have my permission to fret over GMO’s. Vote with your food dollar. Don’t eat soy products, Monsanto has that one sewn up. The corn you eat is largely engineered, so skip that one. Eating other grains is more iffy, but I would say most have probably been engineered, to at least make them more pest resistant. Shop at your local road side stand, take that produce and can, freeze, or dry it for the winter. Buy meat from your local farmer. These are smart ideas to do anyway.

Do the math.

How to lose weight:

Oooh, here it is, the big secrete. At it’s heart, weight loss is a math problem. Start with your basic metabolic rate; Weight divided by 2.2, x.9(for a woman), 1 for a man , x24. That total is the number of calories it takes to keep you alive, at your current weight, the amount you burn just breathing, digesting and metabolizing, for one day. The amount of activity you do will determine the amount of calories above this will be needed to maintain weight. If you are sedentary, add 25% to that total. Moderately active, add 50%, extremely active, 75%-100%. Of course, these are estimates. You can buy devices that will actually measure your activity output.

If you want to lose weight, you need to consume 500 fewer calories than your total out put to lose weight. So take whatever total you got above, subtract 500 and that is the starting point for  weight loss.

So lets say you are a 135 lb, moderately active woman.

Divide 135 by 2.2=61.36 (your weight in Kilograms)

61.36 x.9=55.224 – How many calories an hour you burn. 55.224 x 24= 1,325.376 – or your basic metabolic rate.

1,326 x.5 = 663,  663 +1,326 =1,989- rough estimate of maintenance.

1,989-500= 1,489 -The amount of calories, roughly, that would equal weight loss. You would start with this number and see what happens. If you don’t lose weight, you know you have to dial it back. It is rough, because we don’t burn the same amount of calories at all times. There are devices like the fitbit, jawbone, or plenty of others that can help you know what to do. There are also lots of great apps to help track what you eat, and count the calories for you.

There, was that the sexy secret you were waiting for? Sorry, weight loss is not sexy. Don’t tell me you starve yourself and can’t lose weight. There are no fat people in food deprived areas.

Having said all this. The math is the easiest part. The hard part is cutting calories and not feeling hungry or deprived. You can just cut 300 calories and exercise 200 calories more worth. Making drastic cuts is not the way, since you will go back to over eating when you start to eat again. The little day to day tweaks will help, then you create a diet that you can live with for the rest of your life. Remember, it is only 500 calories a day between loss and maintenance. Since we all have binge days, all days have to be somewhat like loss, to balance out the overage days.

So go home, do the math, and start logging what you eat. Oh, and I shouldn’t have to tell you this, but people WILL lie to you, especially to sell you stuff. Weight loss supplement commercials are full of lies and half truths. Learn the facts, that will protect you from the lies.

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