Tag Archives: Cholesterol

Seriously…What The Health?


So….I’m sure you have heard of this new Netflix documentary entitled “What The Health”. If you haven’t yet, go watch it.

What The Health is a compelling account of how we need to pay far better attention to what we eat, where our food is sourced, how the vast majority of food manufacturers show a general lack of concern for public health, the negative implications of the “American Diet”, etc.

Knowing that I’m a wellness enthusiast, a few friends recently asked me if I have seen What The Health, as they found it rather revelatory and were profoundly impacted by its message. While I was thrilled to hear that my friends intend to make some positive changes in their diet as a result of seeing the film, something far deeper occurred to me when I heard this. My first knee-jerk thought was….haven’t you already seen Food Inc, Forks Over Knives, and all of those other documentaries with an identical message?? My second thought was – SHIT – have you never read my blog?! 

Half joking aside, this same exact “food revolution” type of content has been presented to us over the years time and time again. Yes, admittedly the information is always one-sided and very dramatic (by design), but it all centers around a profoundly true message. The message is very clear and easy to understand. If we all collectively adopt more of a plant-based diet, we will improve our health, the health of animals and the health of our planet. There is absolutely no way to scientifically dispute this fact.
While I certainly appreciate What The Health and other films which promote this altruistic message — and it IS entirely altruistic, as the producers of the films stand to gain ZERO if you adopted a vegan diet — I truly wonder when this message will finally “catch on”. I wonder if it will happen in my lifetime. I wonder if it will ever happen at all….

I believe the only way this message has the potential to catch on is if/when someone with SERIOUS INFLUENCE makes it a priority to educate the masses, tell everyone that we are all moving in a very dangerous direction and we desperately need to course correct. And I’m not talking about some hippie MD that no one knows….I’m talking about someone that everyone knows, trusts, likes and respects. The deterrent is that any major progress in this area unravel the entire animal agriculture industry. The ramifications on our nation’s economy could be fairly widespread — some negative (meat and dairy industries) and some positive (out-of-control healthcare spending spiral). I’m guessing the uncertainty of it all is why we don’t see more of a concerted effort in this manner being served up by any of our public leadership? Perhaps with a healthy side dish of apathy? Not to mention threatening the “free will” that Americans so cherish so deeply. Because if someone wants a cheeseburger, they should be able to snap their fingers and get a cheeseburger….right?? UGH.

Americans may not realize this, but we have had some “close calls” over the years when it comes to the concept of national dietary overhaul. Bill Clinton effectively REVERSED his heart disease by adopting a plant-based diet. I wish that Bill and the Clinton Foundation was more involved in promoting his incredible story of transformation to the masses but, since there really isn’t any money to be made in it, nothing much has become of it. And Michelle Obama tried to fight childhood obesity more recently through her “Let’s Move” program, but this was just barely scratching the surface of the issue and didn’t have sharp teeth. So while there has been some activity around this subject, no one of any relevance has made this their UNWAVERING CAUSE and changed our collective mindset on food. I think we may need an upheaval to initiate a total overhaul in how we eat and it must come soon. I believe that the issue of public health is AT LEAST on par with the climate change issue and, like climate change, I’m afraid we may potentially be past the point of return. We are too divided on the topic, it is too controversial and the damage is done. I sincerely hope I am wrong. I hope I will see this change in my lifetime. Our health depends on it.

Advertisements

1 Comment

Filed under Food, Transformation, Uncategorized

Whose Health Is It Anyway?

Something pissed me off today and I feel like writing about it. Hopefully, getting it off my chest will make the anger dissipate AND simultaneously help me share my opinion that we all need to take better control of our own health.

I had my blood drawn at the doctor’s office today for an advanced panel that I have been doing for several years now. It does a deep dive looking at lipidemia, metabolics, inflammatory markers, etc. Sidenote: if you get the basic LDL/HDL/Triglyceride scores each year (which are nearly meaningless), you should consider looking into doing a more advanced panel. But I digress….

I do an advanced blood panel every year to look at specific markers that concern me. Beyond the traditional markers, I look at Vitamin D, Vitamin B12, Homocysteine, etc. I do this because I value my health and I know how to supplement at home if my levels are not optimal. For example, I self inject B12 at home monthly because I am regularly low. In any case, this is my ONE time a year to get a snapshot of my health, so naturally it is very important to me.

Before I had my blood drawn today, I asked if I could see the lab order to ensure that I was getting a reading on everything I was interested in measuring. If you have ever seen lab paperwork, there are about 175 different boxes to check regarding what you want to be measured on. The medical assistant found it odd that I wanted to review this and, while she did let me look at it for about 5 seconds, it was not enough to time to completely review it. After she drew my blood and bandaged me up, I again asked if I could review the order, just to make sure. I told her “I don’t want to have to come back and get pricked again if we don’t check all of the right boxes.” At this point, she was visibly frustated and said “I’m sure they will look at everything that the doctor wants them to.” Okay now, before I rush to judgment, OF COURSE most patients resign themselves to “what their doctor wants them to do.” But that’s not me, I am not “most patients”. If I had let the doctor choose, I would probably be doing the (aforementioned) basic panel that tells me little to nothing about my overall health. I am the one (of probably less than 5% of patients) who is choosing to do the advanced panel, not my doctor. I like to take control over my health, read the lab reports, consider the variables and make an educated opinion on treatment. Also, I’m not one to just blindly accept a doctor’s recommendation as fact, no matter how brilliantly genius they are. That is why most people seek second opinions when dealing with serious health matters, because a) many doctors have entirely conflicting medical opinions and b) that’s the way it should be….because there is RARELY a right or wrong answer when it comes to such matters. There are a whole host of factors to consider when choosing a treatment pathway and the PATIENT is at the center of ALL OF THIS. Me, the patient. My body, my health.

So, reflecting on my experience from today, perhaps the medical assistant could have given me a photocopy of the lab order for my review before she input it into the computer. In doing so, we could have completely avoided the awkward encounter and she could have tended to other matters (that seemed to be a much higher priority than me). Having said that, it was a really distasteful experience being rushed through what I consider a pretty pivotal annual exam, which will dictate how I decide to supplement for the next 12 months. Next year, when I schedule my labs, I will make sure to do review the paperwork well in advance.

There, I got it off my chest. ūüėĀ

2 Comments

Filed under Transformation, Uncategorized

Back to the basics

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Photo courtesy of Google Images

Eating healthy can be complicated! There are so many different dietary guidelines and recommendations these days, some of which are contradictory to one another, that it’s easy to become overwhelmed and frustrated. I¬†often wonder if we are missing the boat entirely when it comes to dieting for optimal health and longevity. In my opinion, too much time and energy is spent on various tangential imperatives, while ignoring the incredibly basic principle of eating real food.

Following are a few noteworthy examples of how I feel we may be disconnecting ourselves from what we are eating, in favor of controlling and manipulating nutrition to meet certain health-based criterion. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Food, Transformation

“Your body is your business”

I recently came across this fascinating TEDx talk on YouTube after a friend turned me on to Dr. Lissa Rankin, author of the book Mind Over Medicine. If you have an interest in health and healing, I strongly suggest that you take the time to watch this video and read my recap below, where I share some of my personal perspective.

Continue reading

1 Comment

Filed under Transformation

Happy Half Birthday to Truthology!

Monday, January 28, 2013¬†marks Truthology’s first half birthday!¬† With nearly 6500 views over the past 6 months, Truthology continues to grow and evolve.¬† Thank you very much for joining me on this journey! Continue reading

4 Comments

Filed under Food

A second chance

Many people¬†subscribe to the adage “There are no second chances in life.”¬† As it pertains to nutrition, however, I’m not¬†convinced.

Certainly there are negative conditions associated with the cumulative effects of¬†a poor diet, some of which¬†can be¬†life-threatening, such as¬†heart disease, high cholesterol, obesity, high blood pressure, diabetes and even cancer.¬† Speaking from personal experience, I was living with some of these conditions and they were only getting worse with time.¬† There is no doubt that I was headed for trouble had I stuck with my former dietary regimen.¬† I often wonder if the “damage” I did will stick with me as I age, not unlike a cigarette smoker wondering about their lung function after finally kicking the habit.

So the ultimate question is….are the consequences of a poor diet reversible?¬† Thankfully, according to experts in the field of nutrition, the answer is YES.

Following are a few examples of experts who believe that disease prevention, even reversibility, can be achieved through the foods that we eat. Continue reading

Leave a comment

Filed under Food

My journey from fat to fit

Life‚Äôs most unlikely events will happen when you least expect them. Just when I thought that I had everything under control in my life, something triggered me to make a drastic and immediate change to my eating habits. This change has added years to my life and taken inches off of my waist. My about-face dietary transformation ‚ÄĒ in the eyes of my former self ‚ÄĒ can only be described as unorthodox and undesirable. But I now know that change was required and my current overall health is proof positive that the sacrifices were worth it. Following is a phase by phase look at how and why I decided to make a bodyweight and dietary transformation that changed my life for the better. Continue reading…

1 Comment

Filed under Food