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Full Version: Becoming healthy (or, "When did my bottom get so big?")
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Speaking of work out tapes, does anyone have any really good, make-you-sweat, tapes to try? I'm trying to workout but I just don't have the time to drive 20 minutes each way to the gym for an hour workout, come home, shower, and get to class and work. So this I'm hoping to try some dvd's to hold me over for now.

Thank goodness that indoor soccer season starts on Monday. I'm so pumped to get onto the field. It's one helluva hardcore cardio workout. I'm always drenched when I walk off the field.
Woops! I'm saying organ damage, when I mean glandular damage. The organ damage comes later, once glandular dysfunction and hormonal imbalances begin to become the norm in the body.

Ms. GB, allergies to dairy products should be treated, and they can be addressed with nutritional changes which support the body so that it can actually digest these foods with no problem. Usually allergies to foods result from "leaky gut"...and there are foods that need to be added to diet to correct the body's inability to break down foods in order to derive their nutrients. Fixing the problem is better than just avoiding the allergen, especially since the alternatives to the real foods we need but can't tolerate are just so bad. And, in the long run, the allergies never disappear--people just develop sensitivities to even more foods so that fewer and fewer options end up on the menu.
cha cha i thought of you when i read this. apparently travis barker of blink 182 broke his arm (or possibly a tumor) and was playing with a broken arm for about 3 weeks. the doctors told him that being a vegetarian was making his bones weak. is that possible?
Yes, it's often a direct cause.

I wish it weren't the case, because I think vegetarianism is, at heart, a viable solution to what's going on in terms of food production in the world. When I became vegetarian myself it was partly because I learned about what was going into the food being produced for sale, and partly because the methods used to rear and then kill animals for food were just reprehensible, and I didn't want to be any part of that. Certainly the quality of animal protein and fat foods is highly suspect, especially if you have any idea about the junk science involved in marketing these types of foods to the public (or, more accurately, sneaking some alarming practices into mass food production and then putting a lot of money into "spin" when the food producers are caught doing what they're doing).

The bottom line, unfortunately, is that biochemically we need the nutrients that we can only get from animal fats. Saturated fats, like the kind we get from real butter and cream, lard, red meats, organ meats, fish, and eggs (there are other sources and animals we won't even contemplate using as a culture here in North America) are vital in building cells all over the body, particularly the brain's cells. Saturated fats from animal sources ensure cell walls all over the body have the kind of integrity they need to function properly and stay functional. Essential nutrients, co-factors, enzymes, micronutrients we can't get from any other kind of food make certain we can actually assimilate the other nutrients in our foods effectively. You can, in actuality, take as much calcium, magnesium, boron, phosphorus, and molybdenum, for example (all essential bone building minerals) as you can choke down in a day, but if you don't have the saturated fat in your diet you will never actually use them in the body. You will be lacking many of the raw materials needed to complete the chemical reactions which convert the minerals into fuel, so they will simply be flushed out of the body unused. Not only that, but the minerals are still needed in the body: when we aren't able to assimilate the minerals from our food, the body simply takes the minerals out of places where they're stored in the body. Teeth and bones store a heck of a lot of calcium--so guess where the body will draw when it needs calcium to maintain the cellular processes which need to take place in the heart, for example. This is how bones become weakened on a long term basis; when they break, repair takes that much longer...or it simply doesn't happen as well as it should.

To a certain extent, you can get quite a few of the necessary nutrients from a saturated vegetable source--that's why coconut oil is such a big "food of the moment" (though, really, the research's been there for over 40 years now...and on top of that, various peoples have thrived on the variety of foods they've made from coconut for hundreds of years with none of the chronic disease we suffer from). But there aren't many of these kinds of saturated vegetable fats out there--coconut and palm oils are basically it. You can get a great deal of similar nutrients from this source (the coconut oil) as you would from the rich dairy foods and fat content of animal foods. So for vegetarians, coconut oil should be included in the diet--however, it really works best if you combine its use as a food supplement with something like an organ meat fat from an animal source--cod liver oil seems to be the most widely used, and is therefore really accessible. These two fats can work synergistically to give you what you need to actually benefit from the other foods you eat.

But then we get back to the quality of the foods that are out there, even if we do add the animal fats back into our diets. Commercial dairy and meat foods do not have the nutrient value or efficacy as the dairy and meats we can't get--whole, raw dairy foods, organically raised animals, vegetables raised without poisonous chemicals or without genetic modification--as easily. There is a campaign for real milk underway in North America, but it's slow going and progress is not being made universally (that's why, for example, it's available in California with no problem, but not, say, in New York). In Canada, the Canada food guide states that raw milk is hazardous to your health--but ironically details foods like trans fat laden margarines, rancid cooking oils, and denatured, hazardous refined grain foods as "healthy". It's so bad that the only way Health Canada will consider raw milk to be sold legally is if it passes as a "novel" food--the category by which they sell licenses to mega-food and chemical producers like Monsanto/Dupont, Cargill, and ADM (who produce bio-engineered foods of every kind...animal and vegetable). So much irony there that the guidelines for "healthy" end up looking ludicrous. No "real" organic guidelines are spelled out or enforced, so that megafood producers can "slip by" with practices none of us would support and still label their foods as organic (eg.: using genetically modified foods to make packaged "health" foods we see on our health food store shelves). So, really, as consumers, our choices are so limited, and we do have to go out of our way to buy from local producers who practice food production honestly and organically, and sell their food at fair prices we can afford. Top that off with the fact that even that takes a whole lot of time out of schedules none of us really feel we can control...and you see how difficult it is to work around a lot of the serious issues with good food and good health.

But that just goes to show you how it's more than just food involved in nutrition; that there is a great deal that affects us about who's making our food, what's in it, what's available to us, it's quality, the time we need to access it and to find out the good sources, etc. etc.
but was he a vegan or a vegetarian? if he were eating dairy products and getting enough calcium, there is no reason he should have osteopenia/porosis at his age (assuming he has no other health/endocrine problems). the likelihood that this fracture was pathologic, i.e. because of a tumor, is way more likely.
If he were eating dairy products, and a specific amount of the good kind of saturated fats (at least 40% of his diet)--then, yes, as an ovo-lacto-vegetarian, he'd have been far more capable of assimilating the calcium and phosphorus and magnesium and producing enough vitamin D (it's a myth that only calcium is necessary, as the other minerals are just as important; magnesium even more so than calcium). Supplementation does not work if the body cannot assimilate or absorb the minerals.

If he's a vegan, or a vegetarian who strives to eat less than 30% fat in his diet, then he'd be prone to osteoporosis at any age (never mind osteopenia--if his broken arm's not healing quickly and it broke easily, he's already suffering enough bone loss to be osteoporotic).

Even so, what would have caused a tumour in the bone in someone so young? That's quite a deep-seated, advanced pathology. I would think a long term lack of sufficient nutrients is also a factor.
anna k
I've been exercising to cardio-dance DVDs, and feel a lot better. I like getting into my own groove while imitating the dance steps, and the DVDs are broken up in 10-minute workouts, so I can skip around or do a whole bunch. I feel so much better.
Which DVD's are you using, anna? I've tried looking up some reviews online but they're really varied.
chacha, that's very interesting. the kids on the raw foods site have so many arguements towards raw vegan and how it can satisfy all nutritional needs. but it's hard and you have to really watch what you eat and it's expensive, whoo, is it ever expensive.
i eat whatever fats i want and sometimes i wonder about my heart and overall health because of it but, meh. it's all "natural" fats, butter, 5%fat yogurt, olive oil, etc., i don't worry so much about that. a glass of wine every day thins the blood, right? i'm french, apparently i can eat whatever the heck i want and live forever, and be thin and sexy too, yippee!
i do eat meat and fish on occassion and i take a b-complex every day, iron, calcium, and efa's. i don't know that modern farming practices, organic or not, can deliver foods of high nutritional value. our soil is depleted and that's just a start. i supplement, i give kiddie vit's to my little one and e-3 live. you can't be too healthy, right?
anna k
QuickFix and 10-Minute Workout DVDs. On QuickFix there's a clock counter in the corner that counts down the 10 minutes it takes to do a single workout, and on the 10-Minute DVDs there is no clock, which makes the time seem longer than it is. There are two dance DVDs, which teach you a short dance routine and combination. I usually end up making up my own rhythm or using dance moves I've learned elsewhere to replace a move I can't or don't want to do. One of the DVDs is a hip-hop dance one, featuring this creepy female instructor who does pop-and-lock routines and has an intense look in her eye. Another DVD has the three instructors in poses on the cover, and it makes me think of a porn series called Where the Boys Aren't.
I know Pepper, I have heard all the arguments about veganism and vegetarianism, and generally I think veganism has definitely given us a wider palate of tastes and textures in vegetable foods that we should all explore. Biologically, however, I just don't buy that we can get all the necessary nutrients we need from raw vegetable foods. Nothing supports that claim scientifically; and traditional diets are filled with cooking "secrets" all kinds of peoples and cultures learned through long term trial and error which enhanced or unlocked the nutrient content of many vegetable foods.

Also, biochemically, we NEED the saturated animal fats. You cannot build healthy cell walls, healthy brain tissue, healthy bones, ingredients to produce hormones (among other things) without it because they supply the exact biochemical fat structure necessary to accomplish this. If you don't get these fats, your body can try and make some from the stored saturated fats you have, as well as the monounsaturated and polyunsaturated fats you gain from your diet...but the stores will run out and then you will experience the many symptoms we now call heart disease, atherosclerosis, stroke, osteoporosis, fatty degeneration of the liver, etc. Before that happens, however, you'll be gaining a lot of weight, which isn't necessarily related to the chronic disease symptoms.

This is why trans fats are so deadly, and why we should never replace real saturated animal fats with these fake fats: they have a structure which comes close to mimicking the structure of saturated animal fats, but they aren't exactly the same--and the body doesn't really know what to do with them so it just tries to integrate them everywhere the saturated fats would be used, where, of course, they fail to "do the job" the real, saturated animal fats do. That leads to real catastrophe.

The french know this so well--hence the strident insistance on full fat raw dairy (with butter and lard being the preferred cooking fats), fat enriched organ meats which are a staple of the diet, the extraneous use of many meat and fish varieties in one meal (including lots of red meat, lots of game meats, lots of fish--with the fat rich skin; the creative use of the freshest, highest quality vegetables and oils. We can try and replicate their foods using their recipes, but we will never accomplish the caliber of nutrition or flavour simply because the quality of the ingredients is not available to us. And, yes, they do outlive us and live much more healthily than we do--as long as they stick to their traditional diets and avoid the trumped up hype about the North American diets and our misguided concerns about "high fat" foods.

So, yeah--draw from your ancestors! And wine always helps--not because it cuts fat, but because it works with the fat to help keep the cell walls strong, the blood vessels intact and resilient, and the spirit motivated. It's no accident that it's so carefully paired with cheese, especially in french cuisine.

And, yes, eating organic foods that have been raised on soils where the nutrient richness has been increased through the use of organic farming methods does make a difference: there is a way of measuring the vitality of a plant (which reflects its nutrient content, too). This is called the "brix", it's the measurement used to assess the quality, vitality, and residual sugar content most famously for grapes used to make wine, but it also applies to other plants in farming. Combine this with some of that traditional knowledge about food preparation and knowing which parts of the plants or animals contain the highest concentrations of nutrients (and how to get at them) will keep you very healthy too. So if you can, go for the organic stuff whenever possible.

this article made me scratch my head. i've known this forEver, how is it new exactly? duh. stupid general populace.
So it's just cola?

I thought it was all carbonated beverages.
It IS all carbonated beverages. Including carbonated waters, like soda water and sparkling mineral water; and, yes, it is a result of phosphoric acid in the content of the liquid. None of this is new--I've got medical books detailing this effect from tests done with carbonated beverages containing phosphoric acid over 100 years ago.

That article is schizophrenic--it's the caffeine, but the "study" holds for decaffeinated colas, too, or maybe it's the phosphoric acid, but we'll conclude it's the caffeine; it applies to women, but not to men...WTF?

I think I'll check out the real Framingham Osteoporosis study before I take anything that journalist is saying seriously.
chacha, will you tell me some bad things about coke because i love it andi know it's bad for me and is basically just a big cup of diabetes II, but i stilllike it......

i've totally given up mcdonald's:) i've been making my own egg sandwiches (i know, crazy! making my own food? what's next?)

and i've really taken your animal fat thing to heart-i eat a hard boiled egg each day in my salad, and i bought whole milk for the first time EVER! i mostly use milk for cooking anyways, and it makes things creamier and thicker. awesome! i don't think my roommate will be ok with it though, cause it's "so high in fat." oh well.....

I know....I love all carbonated drinks. Almost without exception (well, I hate diet sodas. But if I'm absolutely craving and really thirsty and there is lots of ice in the cup...I might even). I buy carbonated mineral water by the case, soda water if that's not around. It is an addicition for sure, but I try and contain myself.

Once in a while it won't kill you. Try to avoid having it at every opportunity, though. Coke is lousy with heaping tablespoons of sugar, suspicious food colourings, and artificial flavours of every kind.

Love that you're enjoying the dietary changes--can I suggest adding yummy raw milk cheeses to the diet for a treat now and again? They're so good for you.
yeah, i'm still confused about the whole raw dairy thing-don't get what it is, where to buy it, etc. maybe i'll scroll down and read's so much to take in, when my idea of "healthy food" isn't even correct! My main focus is still on eating fruits and veggies and watching my fiber intake.

i drink 1-2 cokes/day. i try to limit it to one can a day, but sometimes i drink more, esp at restaurants with free refills. other than that, i only drink water. and i drink TONS of water because i love it.
oh. my. goddess.
TWO cans of coke, gah... dying over here. one sip of that stuff sends my teeth off. ooh.

ok, coke. aside from the caffeine, carbonation, loads and LOADS of sugar or even worse the sugar free version, there is the corrosive nature of the stuff, the strange unreadable "flavourings", and the fact that they are one of the biggest and most environmentally offensive companies on the planet. nasty stuff.
It is nasty stuff--and the corporation is mean-assed and wrong. But it is certainly not alone in being nasty and awful! It might be a good idea to try weaning off the coke at a pace you can live with, till it's something you have once in a while. The "main focus" of your diet, Maddy--eating the fresh fruits and veggies and looking after the fibre requirements--are all still good, but it does pay to be conscious of protein sources, and the need for fats in the diet as well. I think if you look after the fats and proteins as well as the other components you're striving to include, your diet will be ideal.

Raw dairy is just real dairy products--basically made from milk that hasn't been taken from cows genetically bred to produce lower-fat milks in huge quantities. Raw dairy is kept cold and clean and not pasteurized or homogenized. Both of these processes change the proteins and fats in the milk plus eliminate many of the live enzymes and nutrients we need in order to actually fully digest the milk and all its benefits properly. The altered fats of homogenization end up being very dangerous for the body, too. Low fat versions of the homogenized, pasteurized milk also contain the dried milk powder--another additive with altered fats, specifically, oxidized cholesterol. Oxidized cholesterol is a carcinogen, and it must be avoided; that's why I always suggest to people that if they can't get organic, real milk they should at least try to find organic full fat milk. This way they avoid ingesting the numerous organochloride insecticides, anti-biotics, and growth hormones found in commercial milk, as well as the odious powdered milk put in the lower fat versions of the commercial milk products. It isn't ideal, but it's at least removing some serious health threats from the diet.

If you've ever tried raw milk cheese and compared it to the commercial, pasteurized/homogenized versions, you would know the phenomenal difference in taste and texture alone; on top of that, however, the nutrient benefits from raw milk cheese so far outweigh the commercial stuff that its really like comparing food to plastic.
Raw milk products like milk and cream and butter might be hard to find, but artisanal raw milk cheeses seem to be a little easier to locate, and they become more and more popular as people try them (most people won't go back to the pasteurized stuff because it's just so insipid next to the real thing). I suggest them because they're really delicious, usually the artisans can offer a huge variety you can't find in commercial cheese brands, and they can provide so many of the important nutrients we really need.
anna k
I like memorizing dance combinations and moving around, and I always feel sweaty and thinner by the end, that my body reduces itself before I know it. It feels so good to be getting back into my shape. I hate that I have to watch what I eat and remain active a lot to maintain my body shape (curvy that can easily become fat). It makes me love my figure so much when I can accentuate having a big chest with a shapely, slimmer waist and strong arms and legs.
Maddy, I've been looking for raw milk products, too. If I find anything here in Our Fair City, I'll let you know!

Also, I've been trying to have a spoonful of coconut oil every day, either in my oatmeal or with yogurt and fruit. I find that it actually does help regulate my blood sugar levels - I'm less likely to crash later morning. Whole Foods is having a big sale, so I just stocked up!
Here's a webpage with tips on how to locate raw milk in your area:

Campaign for Real Milk
yeah, i gotta get some coconut oil. i'm excited. tee hee-excited about coconut oil-man i have a boring life smile.gif

i do watch my protein and fat, mostly my protein cause i KNOW i eat enough fat-although not the good fat....but yep, protein is very important to me cause i'm a bit hypogycemic (at times it's bad but i've learned i must eat very regularly or else i get realllly sick).

it's weird, cause i haven't been doing a great job working out-ok, but not great. but, i'm losing weight-so i think it's the 4 huge lunch salads per week and the huge fruit and yogurt smoothies i make-it doesn't leave room for me to eat so much crap. AND, i haven't been craving things, it's weird. maybe my body is finally getting the right nutrients?

Usually everyone feels really good and loses a bunch of excess weight when they go on diets simply because the cut the crappy foods out altogether. Sure, you eat fats; but if you're eating a bunch of trans fats and you just cut those out and replace them with good fats, it's amazing how fast the weight comes off, and how much better you feel all around. It's not that you're eating less food: it's that you've taken the really bad food out of your diet, and eventually, your whole system. Once that's gone you can even eat more food and still lose weight...because it is definitely not just about caloric intake.

So, replacing egg mcmuffins from McDonald's with an egg sandwich you make at home with a real egg, real butter, and real cheese will give you just as much energy as the McD's version, but a lot fewer plastic fats. You could probably eat 2 of your own homemade breakfast sandwiches and still lose weight; plus you'd feel satisfied and never feel like you had to snack on more transfatfilled foods between meals.
Hey, does anyone in here have first-hand experience with eating disorders?

I ask because I struggled with anorexia a few years ago, and it's been a slow recovery from that. Lately, I've finally started to consider myself actually more or less recovered-- I don't really think about calories when I eat, I don't buy low-fat/ low-cal/ low-carb stuff anymore, I don't weigh myself, I don't generally feel guilty if I eat a lot, etc. Yay for me! (I owe a lot of it to this knee injury I've talked about, b/c I had to just accept the fact that I was going to gain weight, and get ok with that).

But now, I feel like I'd like to diet for a couple weeks (months? however long it takes to do it right) just to shed some of the weight I've gained in the course of this injury. It's no longer motivated by self-loathing like it was when I was anorectic; I'd simply prefer to be closer to the size I was five months ago. Also, I already eat pretty healthily so it doesn't seem like I'd be making drastic changes. But still, I am so nervous about dieting, b/c of my history of an eating disorder. I really, really, really don't want to backslide... you know, start being more conscious of the calories I'm consuming, or start weighing myself so I can track progress, and then let it get out of hand. It seems like I'd be vulnerable to that. (I know I'm still prone to these issues, so I consciously make decisions like not owning a full-length mirror and asking to not be told how much I weigh when I go to the doctor). Anyone have experience with this, or ideas about how to try to lose a few pounds without getting all messed up in the head about it? (Or should I just be on the safe side and stick with the extra pounds...?)

(Oh, and: no, it's not really physically possible for me to work out much, so yeah, this has to be done primarily through food changes.)
chacha-i've been sending some of your info to my roomie, and this is what she has to say about whole milk:

"Hey regarding whole milk - it may not have added contaminants, but the milk and cheese itself has dioxin the cow has accumulated just by living in this toxic world. Dioxin is stored in the fat so the more fat the more dioxin. I doubt that that modified chloresterol is as toxic."


oh and oxi-i didn't have a full blown eating disorder but i hear you on the not wanting to even start messing with what you eat, because i get nervous i'll slide back into that fat-hating obsessive place. yuck.
Well, I don't know what to say to anyone about dioxin. When I worked as an environmental researcher, I found out Dioxin is in absolutely everything, and it is supremely toxic, and you don't have to "store" it in the body fat to suffer ill effects, if you're susceptible to it. It's a by-product of so many industrial processes; it's in our water, our soil, our air...if you choose to drink organic raw milk you're at least not getting the oxidized (not modified...oxidized--that means it has been made into rancid cholesterol, and all rancid fats are health hazards) as well as the countless accumulations of trans fats which are fed to the cows, the unnatural feed that's routinely given to them, the recombinant bovine growth hormone, the anti-biotics, neurotoxic insecticides that are sprayed on the foods they eat as well as on the cows themselves....etc., etc. So, you're only getting minimal exposure to the toxins if you're choosing organic raw dairy--a heck of lot less than you do if you choose what's available in low-fat versions of pasteurized dairy.

You can cut dairy out of the diet completely and you'd still be getting doses of dioxin. If you use tampons or sanitary pads, for example, you're likely using a product made from paper made with a dioxin rich bleach and processed with dioxins during the milling/pulping process. If you eat a no fat, vegan diet, you're getting dioxin in colloidal form, if you will, cause it's in the water used to grow your vegetables, and it's in the soil the veggies are grown in. If you live near a paper mill or in a forested area where pulping/timbering goes on (yes! In the country!) you're exposed to dioxin there too. Why just single out dairy, when technically it is in everything we ingest?

In any case, a healthy body is designed to contend with many of the environmental poisons which surround us--we are certainly not the first generation of human beings to contend with toxins in our food supply.

I can only tell people what I know, what I see as true, and what seems to work for the majority of people. All I know about dairy is that if you were to feed a calf the dairy we can buy commercially--pasteurized, homogenized or defatted and "enriched" with a fraction of the nutrients that are killed off during the food processing dairy has to undergo, that calf would starve, and very, very quickly (within a few days). We've had processed dairy imposed on us now for 70 years--and the result is an increase in chronic heart disease (heart attacks did not exist before 1912--and now people are getting them as young as 20 years of age!); rampant food allergies directly related to insufficiently developed digestive systems; diseases related to this insufficiency, such as the autism spectrum disorders; dramatic increases in long term, chronic diseases like osteoporosis, which actually cause peoples' bones to shatter when they're as young as 50 years old (and that kind of degeneration, at the rates we're seeing in North America, simply weren't recorded in old medical journals and casebooks from over a century ago...), the growing and lucrative field in medicine which caters to the exploding problem of infertility, which is tremendously common now in a way it never was before ....and on and on.

So, I can only come to conclusions by comparing what's the norm now, nutritionally, and what the norm was then--when people were healthier, lived longer lives, and lived a higher quality of life. And when you do this, the differences are obvious. That, and the fact that when I suggest these changes for my patients who suffer from food allergies and obvious nutritional insufficiencies, they feel better and become well (sure, I also use a very effective medical system to fix any allergies and sensitivities--but I still want them to develop healthier diets so that they can stay healthy once their diseases are removed).

And that's what I encourage you to do. I know these ideas about nutrition are really, really controversial. When I was studying them in school, we had one vegan in the class who (well, in general, he was a huge tyrant and he hated any female doctors or lecturers we studied with as a rule) was so threatened by everything we were reading--all the science, all the journal articles we were responsible for, every single point the instructor made...he simply could not read or listen to what he was presented with, and he did his level best to disrupt the classes we had every time we met. It was a HUGE problem, one the instructor was not prepared to handle well enough, and to be frank everyone else the class wished she would just speak to him about not continuing with the course.

Years later, when I run into my classmates, I invariably find out that every one of them has incorporated the information we studied into their work, and it is very, very helpful for their patients! So, yes, it will upset people's ideas about what they hold sacred...and food is a very, very touchy subject for people in general. But if people come to you for advice you can only give them what you know; it's up to them to do the rest.

Long, long ramble...but use what you find to be useful; do your own scouting around to see what makes sense to you and what doesn't--if you make some of the suggested changes and you feel great--terrific. If you find it impossible to believe after doing your research, that's fine, too. But you don't have to take my word for anything--I'm just posting what I know because it may help someone here.
Maddy: I think the concept of a "full-blown eating disorder" is an interesting one, like the labeling of any disorder (BTW, the Asperger's thread had some fascinating conversation about this issue of labels). Is it helpful to label something an eating disorder? Unhelpful? What is "ordered" eating, anyway? And isn't it all really a continuum? (Aren't most of us a little bit messed up about food and body issues? Esp. women?) I know I never identified as having an eating disorder when I was in the worst of it... it's only in retrospect that I have the vision and comfort level to say "yeah, ok, that fits the def of anorexia." But anyway. I guess the point I'm trying to get at is that regardless of labels, I'm glad to hear that you can relate to what I'm saying about being nervous about diets... How have you dealt with the issue? What worked and what didn't?
yes, octi! totally-it's funny i felt weird writing that post, cause i never know how to label my own shit. i never made myself barf, or took laxatives, i never could go a whole day without eating, etc. but i always thought i was disgustingly fat (in reality i was a very tall skinny girl with a large frame, but not fat at ALL-very athletic).

i restricted what i ate, wrote a food diary, beat myself up a lot, did a lot of weird exercising, counted calories, etc. for me most of it was emotional-beating myself up, feeling ugly and fat-definitely had some body dysmorphia going on there! i look back at pictures and i just looke normal-totally great and good and i just wasted ALL that time worrying and hating myself, etc. what a waste of time! i've sworn to not do that, but i do get caught up sometimes.

i do think it's all on a continuum, and i don't know any woman who doesn't have eating/food/body/weight issues-although i know some who deny it! (as if that makes them less perfect to admit they have issues like everyone else)

i think i just try to watch myself. if i start beating myself up, i deal with that. i've learned that i need to eat regularly and i know that diets don't work, so that makes it easier. i'm also a lot more accepting of my big amazon-ness smile.gif i don't think i should weight 140 pounds or something, or fit into a size 10. i'm 5'10 and my weight should be 165-175, and i FINALLY am ok with that! i can't believe how obsessed i used to be about numbers, and sizes. so silly. i truly believed that being a size 12 would totally change my life, and as long as i wore a 14 i'd be miserable. duh smile.gif

this time, i'm focusing on the "being healthy" part, more than the weight loss. of course, i'm excited about the weight loss, but i'm really trying to look at-am i eating right? did i exercise this week? instead of "i look so fat in these pants." it's hard though, and i have to check myself a lot.

don't know if that helps, but i do hear you. i also get scared about "looking better" because i worry about getting leered at and hit on more. there are definitely negative things about losing weight....
Octi so many things are reassuring about your post, but the best thing to read was that you have found a little bit of a "silver lining" in the injury you've sustained. It has made you come to terms with the idea that weight gain might be a possibility, and to accept it.

Dieting isn't necessary or helpful, and I think it's great you've become even more self-aware about potential harm coming from dieting on a psychological level.

Maybe there are a few changes I could suggest for you, based on what you now eat--and keeping in mind the type of food you want to eat or avoid. Nothing big at all, just minor changes that will allow you to take off weight at a very slow, steady pace so that it doesn't even feel conscious. If you think that might be helpful, just let me know.
Maddy, what you wrote about all the time you wasted obsessing? Ugh, I totally relate! I used to think I was so fat and ugly in high school and the first few years of college. But now I look back at those pictures and I'm really struck by how healthy and young and, yes, beautiful I looked. And definitely NOT fat.

I was reminded of that the other day when I was hanging out with a friend and talking about my weight loss. I lost 20 lbs this summer, and I mentioned that I'd like to lose more. She was like "you look great! I don't really think you need to lose much more! how much do you want to lose?" And she's not at all the type to say that just because it's what you're supposed to say. In reality, I would like to lose 40 pounds more, to get into the healthy range, though I know those metrics are flawed. But that sounds like such a large amount to lose, and I was embarassed, so I said 20 lbs.

So that made me think - what if my body image is still totally messed up? This whole time I've been saying that since you can't really rely on BMI as a good indicator, I would just go by when I felt comfortable at a weight. But maybe I'm not ready to trust myself with that judgement.
Maddy, yeah, I did a lot of that same stuff you described from your "obsessive fat-hating" times. (A lot of the same stuff, I'll note, that diet programs encourage you to do...) Mine might have been more drastic though... At the worst of it, a "meal" could be iceberg lettuce (not romaine or spinach-- too many calories could be saved there!) with balsamic vinegar.

And I def. had the body dysmorphia y'all are talking about, too. For sure. And I do have to wonder (like you, lunasol) if that hasn't entirely gone away even though the fucked up eating has, for the most part. Like lately, I've come to think of myself as a bit of a chubby, or a "curvy" girl, or whatever we want to call it. But but but-- is that so? It's not like I ask people for their objective take on it-- as if they'd even be candid. It's not like I actually know what I weigh or how much weight I've truly gained. I guess on the bright side, at least now I might have an unrealistic body image, but that image doens't bother me so much these days. Like you said, it's such a waste of time/youth/beauty!

Chacha, the gradual, imperceptible weight loss sounds like a great idea for me. I think it's the way to go, instead of thinking of this as a "diet". I'd totally take you up on the offer to give me suggested changes, except I already know exactly what to change: step #1, probably get rid of these M&Ms that are sitting next to my computer! (Although really, they're like a badge-- "recovered anorexic!" I can eat junk food and not hate myself! I feel good about them being there.)

One more thing: Maddy, I think the whole Amazon woman look is *amazing*. I'm serious. I would love to be 5'10'' (or taller!) and 175 pounds (or bigger! Especially if some of that is some nice muscle). I don't know exactly what the appeal is, but it probably has to do with the fact that I'm not into "cuteness" or getting called "cute"... I'd much prefer a strong, almost intimidating look. (disclaimer: not that Amazon-y women can't be cute, because of course they can... and not that little women can't be strong and get taken seriously... I'm just throwing out associations I have with each of these sizes and thinking of the people I personally know who fit each type.)
Yes! You can eat junk food, but you can also choose not to! It's the fact that you can choose.

So...the big changes to make are all rather subtle, and everyone can benefit from these "choices".

Portion sizes. Don't go crazy with this, but do keep in mind that portion sizes being sold to us in supermarkets and in restaurants have been creeping up on us. A serving of meat or fish is about the size and thickness of the palm of your hand. If you have more, you're eating more food that you're likely to need; so try and keep the portion size of your meat foods down to that amount. That gives you room to eat your vegetables and starches. And about a cup of each (cooked) is a good amount; maybe a little less (1/4 c. or so of things like rice) for the starches.

Check out the sizes of things like bagels, muffins, cookies--most of us don't realize how much smaller these used to be than they are now! Restaurant portions, too, are almost always far more than we can eat. Cut the portion in half, eat half for the meal and take the rest home as another meal, for later. Or, try selecting two appetizers to eat as a meal instead of just an entree; this can be more than enough food for a meal. Look for a protein appetizer and match it with a salad, for example. You end up eating sufficient amounts of food and you get a variety of foods, as if they were served in courses. If you're still hungry, select another appetizer or have a dessert that isn't too sugary. Examples: if you like seafood or meat, look for appetizers like steamed mussels, (usually there are about 12 mussels per serving, with a slice or 2 of bread--this, with a salad, is about what you'd eat at home!) Or, little "wrap" sandwiches made with black beans and guacamole, with a dip. It's really important when you go to restaurants that you avoid fast food places and chain restaurants where you know so much of what is on the menu is processed food. Opt for smaller, neighbourhood restaurants which feature a specialty in a cuisine you like--something innovative, small, which concentrates on using the best ingredients to make fresh, whole food. YOu will never be sorry, as the food will always be good; it's much more likely you can get regular servings of food as opposed to heaping helpings of crap.

Try to limit the starchy/carb ratio, too; you want to keep this between 20 to 30 % of your food intake. Among all things, the refined starches are the biggest problem; keeping your intake of sugars down (from fruit as well as from refined sources) really does keep you from gaining weight from stored fat. Choose fruits high in flavour and low in fructose sugars (eg all the berries, including tomatoes). Limit your intake of fruits which are starchier or very high in sugar (pears, apples, bananas, oranges, for example).

Fruit juices are best in very small servings, and freshly squeezed or extracted. They're very high in sugar and they add a lot of calories you may not want. Opt for cold or iced fruit teas, instead--these have the same or similar flavour, with a fraction or none of the sugar content. Of course, avoid sugary drinks all together if you can--go for plain water, soda or mineral waters, fruit/herb teas; or just coffee and tea you may prefer...these are all lower in sugar and strange additives than most soft drinks on the martket. Oh, yes, keep your intake of soft drinks like colas, rootbeers, sodas...all of that stuff--down to a minimum. They are really overloaded with sugar and again come in serving sizes that are far too big to do any good. Enjoy in strict moderation! And consider drinking a glass of wine or a bottle of beer with meals, instead of softdrinks. Much better for you (unless you're an alcoholic, and if you are, then you know you can't have these things).

Avoid any food with MSG in it. Seriously: leaving this ingredient out of your diet will make a massive difference in how much fat your store on your body. Know that this ingredient is disguised on food labels--so don't eat anything with "natural flavours", unspecified "spices", or "hydrolized vegetable protein" on the label. In fact, if you avoid most processed, fast, and packaged foods, you most likely will never encounter MSG in your diet.

So these aren't labour intensive choices--just a few to start things off with which won't really make much of a difference to the amount you feel you're eating or not eating--but small changes which add up quickly.

Things you can do to keep metabolism functioning well:

make sure you keep your blood sugar balanced (eat protein rich meals, eat smaller meals but eat more of them; carry snacks to have in between meals which stabilize blood sugars and keep you from eating sugary foods)

use supplements you know you need: B vitamins; EFAs and Cod Liver Oil; Vitamin C; Chromium (esp. if you have hypoglycemic tendencies). It's best to get these nutrients from food but you can't always--look for easy to use, bioavailable formulations whenever possible.

get out and socialize with friends; make time for fitness/workouts you enjoy doing; get into the habit of entertaining at your place so you cook more, share your food with your friends, and enjoy eating in good company (this will keep you happy! Mood is huge where weight issues as concerned).
Chacha, that's a good point: the bottom line is that I can be fine with eating junk food, but I can also be fine not doing it, and don't need to go continually proving it to myself.

As far as your other suggestions go, I'm already on board with pretty much all that. Like I said, I eat pretty healthily. The only one that I don't do is limit carbs to 20-30% of my intake. That seems really low-- esp. when vegetarian, and a vegetarian trying to avoid all the fake meat processed soy stuff that I used to eat for protein...
Okay, about choosing carbs that are a little less of a strain on the glycemic front, and eating more of those? I know you know about that...and I know you're more active than the average person. The problem with carbs is that so many of them are the kind we need to eat in moderation...but they abound in the marketplace so we always eat far too many of that limited type. Top that off with a sedentary lifestyle for most of us, and the pounds can add up.

Maybe cutting back all that much in carbs is too drastic--but remember that you can add more fats (good fats) and eat a little more protein and choose the carbs that are protein rich, and less immediately impactful on the body's need for insulin. What kind of protein foods are you mostly eating now, if you're cutting out the processed soy? Things like beans, pulses, alternative grains, nuts, that kind of thing?
How is everyone doing on the "becoming healthy" efforts?

Chacha: yeah, I try to do whole wheat instead of refined wheat, brown rice instead of white, check fiber content on various foods, etc. etc. After reading what you have to say (now and previously), I've been trying to up the fat content of my diet, mostly with coconut oil, cheese, olkive oil, and full-fat soy milk (when I buy soy milk at all). I'd say my main protein sources are that cheese and soy milk, sometimes protein powder, lentils, and sometimes beans. And the protein that's in the grains, too. I know I should probably up the lentils and beans... have any other suggestions (probably eggs for one, right?). Maybe quinoa? Anyone have any awesome vegetarian protein-y recipes?

Question for maddy and lunasol: I gathered from your posts that you weigh yourselves. How often do you do this? Do you actually own a scale? How is the experience for you? Do you find it helps with or sabotages your efforts to focus on the health aspects of weight loss instead of the appearance aspects? Do you find it helps with the whole body dysmorphia thing at all? (I ask all this because I'm starting to wonder if I should be aware of how much I weigh so as to get a more consistent, realistic body image, and to actually know if/when I gain/lose... but still scared it'll mess with my mind and set me back!)
Go to for information on raw dairy.

Grains are a bad idea.
Well, eggs, if you can eat them...they're really nutritious and good for you. But if you struggle with them, leave them. Real tofu is also good to eat--it's not the same as all that processed soy, it's an actual, fermented bean curd. Don't forget that you can use this to make smoothies, or marinade and grill to slice up for sandwiches or salads, or whip up to make "mayonnaise" that you can use as a spread, a dressing, base for soup, etc. Organic Miso is also protein rich and full of wonderful enzymes and nutrients to help with digestion and immune boosting. If you're gonna eat soy products at all, these two are the kinds to add to your diet.

The higher protein grains like the quinoa, spelt, teff, oats, barley, millet, amaranth--each of these have their own flavours and textures and you can find them in all kinds of different foods now. Rices are also varied and amazingly protein rich depending on which type you choose. Wild rice, which is actually a grass and not a grain, has tons of protein and the flavour is incredible with just a bit of butter and salt--or dressed up completely, with dried chopped fruit, mango chutney, butter and a tablespoon or so of brandy. Lentils are great cause they come in all colours and sizes and textures as well; red dahl lentils make wonderful indian dishes, and I use the green and yellow lentils to make garlicky, lemony, bay-leafy lentil and potato soups all the time. Beans are also so varied and different and all really good--fava, butter beans, black-eyed peas, gongo beans, black beans, adzuki...great for hearty soups, chili, or pureed into smooth soups and rich spreads. The very best way to get your nutrients from beans and to keep digestive upset to a minimum with them is to soak them in water topped with a bit of whey or a squeeze of lemon juice (or a bottle of beer with a squeeze of lemon juice) overnight so that they soften up before you cook them. The whey and lemon juice actually eliminate the phytates or phytic acid in the beans--phytic acid kills off the enzymes in these foods and inhibits your nutrient absorption as well--hence the reason why so many people suffer from gas or bloating after eating them. Absorbing your nutrients also means you don't need to pack on fat, so you won't.

Do you eat nuts at all? They're wonderful snacks on their own, either raw or toasted; or you can use them as butters to add extra protein (try tahini, walnut butter, cashew butter or home made nutella with fresh hazelnuts and pure hazelnut oil, and organic cocoa). Yes, they have fat in them, but they also contain carbohydrates which are easier to deal with in terms of insulin resistance. Plus some nuts supply nutrients you just can't get anywhere else--like brazil nuts, which contain a lot of very important selenium. It's best to keep your intake of nuts to a minimum because that mix of protein and carbs can be super rich, so mix them with things like dried coconut, dried fruit (figs, apricots, raisins) and seeds (pumpkin, pepitas, sunflower seeds--these are all nutrient rich and taste great in mixes, sprinkled on salads, rice dishes, or in soups and pastas. One of my favourite pastas to eat is a toasted almond and fresh cream pasta. Very decadent. Very once a year.

I also suggest using alternate flours if you bake--use an organic blue corn flour or meal instead of your usual yellow corn meal--it's higher in protein, organic, and less likely to wreak havoc again on the blood sugar. I'm suggesting this cause it's easy to find good unbleached stone ground wheat flour to make corn bread or pancakes with--and I think the Indians were definitely on to something when they made sure to plant and eat their corn with squash and beans. The combination of these three foods tastes great and the foods actually multiply the nutrient contents they each hold when they're eaten together. Don't worry about baking--corn bread (well, johnnycake style cornbread) is a breeze to make (hell, I make it all the time, and I'm a baking moron). Let me know if you want recipes and I'll post them here.
Chacha, is this a gullibility test? Heart attacks never occurred prior to 1912? Life expectancy has decreased in the last century? The average person's quality of life has decreased? People had better teeth back in the day?
You can believe what you want, or you could go to a medical library and look it all up.

See if you can find documentation of a heart attack before 1912. See if anyone even knew about heart disease in any capacity before then. Find out if anything about heart attacks or coronary disease was taught in medical school before that time. You won't find it. It was rare or non-existent.

Look up the research of Dr. Weston A. Price: first as a dentist; then as a medical doctor studying biochemical nutrition. You can still find his indepth research and his extensive, very well documented notes and books.

Ask yourself how many active and self-sufficient 90 year olds you see around you, who live without chronic disease. Hell, see if you can find any 40 year olds around you who live without chronic disease, cause they're getting rarer and rarer all the time. That was not so more than 70 years ago. Living without chronic disease is one of my big markers for quality of life.

I see people falling ill with diseases they
1) should have gotten over as children, easily and quickly, but now cannot;
2) get repeatedly and never fully recover from, such as Mononucleosis; a lot of them in their early 20's and younger (mono is not the benign little disease they some people think it is)
3) diseases they acquire iatrogenically, usually from long term use of prescription drugs whose applications are elective as well as supposedly therapeutic.
4) diseases which indicate extremely deep, extremely developed pathology, even at birth. For example, the number of autistic kids everyone now treats if they deal at all with children is astounding. The number of children with severe allergies to just about everything is also really quite amazing. There are enough children suffering from these severe illnesses that pharmaceutical companies selling supplements to "treat" their sensitivity issues are some of the fastest growing sectors of the drug industry.

As for teeth:
Orthodontics, as a separate treatment in dentistry, did not even exist before the 1960's. Now more and more people have delayed or faulty dentition, inadequately or improperly shaped bone structure in the mouth to accomodate their teeth. Teeth are misshapen, the dental arches are now more often too small and too close to fit the full number of adult teeth expected; and our teeth decay so often and so quickly that cavities and fillings are the norm for people lucky enough to be able to keep their teeth into adulthood. TMJ is so widespread it's becoming another dentistry specialty.

Compare this with the dental health, facial and bone structure of peoples who ate their traditional it with peoples who still, to a very strong extent, continue to do so even now, where the quality and accessibility to those traditional nutrients are protected.

Or don't.
hi ladies,
i hope this is the right thread to ask this in and i don't want to derail the food talk (my parents have gotten raw whole milk from a local biodynamic farm my entire life, and have a huge vegetable garden and their own chickens--since i moved out about six years ago, i've gained almost thirty pounds. i try to eat things as close to the source as possible, but it's harder when you're poor, living in the city, and don't have a gigantic salad in your back yard).

my question is about gyms. i'm looking into joining one--i used to run around the pond near my house after work, but now it's too dark by the time i get home to feel comfy doing that. the thing is, i've never joined a gym before, or even worked out at one, and i have no clue what to look for. i can't afford a personal trainer right now, but i'd like to learn how to use weight machines and whatnot--will there be someone who can teach me that? what sort of classes are good to take? any advice would be helpful....or if i'm in the wrong thread, please point me there smile.gif
Hey mouse, you're in the right place. Welcome!

I've never actively sought out a gym to join, but I joined one by default by being a university student, and I think I've gotten enough experience there that I can suggest a couple of things:

1. Location location location. If it's inconvenient to get there, it might be harder to motivate yourself to work out. (In fact, location is the #1 reason I stick with the somewhat crappy university gym.)

2. Are you more into using machines (both cardio and weight), or doing group fitness classes? Some gyms may focus much more on one than on the other. If you want to take classes, make sure to ask for a schedule to see if classes you're into are offered at times that work for you. (I used to love group fitness and did it lots before my injury... kickboxing is great fun, as are dance-y classes. Cardio/weights combo classes are alright, too, but I hate step aerobics and that sort of thing.) If you do end up taking lots of group fitness, esp. kickboxing, I'd be happy to give you some pointers on safety, because sadly too many instructors are not vigilant about that.

3. Weight lifting is awesome. Very good for you, and kinda fun. Also, very important for preventing injury when you're doing a lot of cardio. But at the same time, it has a lot of potential for *causing* injury if you're not doing it right. I think the ideal thing would be to work with a personal trainer at least a couple of times to get the bare bones about safe lifting... I know you're short on cash, but some gyms will offer a free trial session with a trainer that could be really helpful with this (but beware: all trainers are not created equal, even if they're "certified"... there are tons of certications, some of which are more valid than others). If they don't offer a training session, the gym staff should theoretically be able to teach you the machines, but that could be iffy. If nothing else, I highly recommend picking up a book about lifting... "Weight Training for Dummies" is a great one IMHO. If you want some basic tips about lifting, I'd be happy to post a few, too. Do *not* learn your technique from watching meathead guys in the weight room--I see so many dudes that have terrible form and are begging for injuries.

4. A crowded gym is a crappy gym. You don't want to have to wait your turn to use machines. Check out the gym at the time of day you'd normally work out to make sure it's not too crazy.

5. Check out the general environment. Do you feel comfortable there? Do you feel comfortable with the type of people who go there (the YMCA usually draws a different and more diverse crowd, for instance, than some private gyms)? Do you like the music? Is it cool and ventilated, or hot and muggy (like mine--yuck)? Is it clean?

6. Ok, here's one that would have never occurred to me before actually getting into lifting: check out the machines, specifically the seat adjustment levers. There are a couple of machines at my gym that I dread using, simply because the equipment is so damn rusty down there that it's almost impossible to raise or lower the seat to your appropriate/safe level without someone's help. Also, check out whether machines (like chest press machines, for instance) have big old circular weights you have to pick up and put onto the machine, or whether it's a system of stacked weights where all you have to do is move a pin into the appropriate level. The first type (pick up the weights) can be a pain, b/c these super strong dudes will forget (or not bother) to take off the weights they used, and you then have to either risk hurting yourself or go find staff/some other strong person to take the weights off.

Hope some of this is helpul, and not too overwhelming. I think the most important thing is to do what you're already doing: ask lots of questions, and think about what's important to you in a gym.

If you have any specific questions, come on back and I/we will try to answer them as well as possible!
Fina, I believe, works in a medical field. It's pretty presumptious of you to assume she--or I, or anyone--knows nothing about medicine and medical history, chacha.

I'm sorry, but it's just nonsense that there was no such thing as heart disease before 1912. Even if it was true that you don't find documentation of it before then--which it isn't--that is meaningless. That only means that it wasn't understood by medicine, or paid attention to, before it was classified as a certain thing. Not that it didn't exist.

I have no doubt that heart disease has risen in an extremely significant way due to our modern diet and lack of activity in the west, but there is also the contributing factor of lower life expectency in the past. You don't live long enough to show the symptoms.

And one reason you see more chronic diseases now is that people died much younger before overall and thus instead of living with chronic diseases they died from acute ones. Are you seriously saying that there used to be tons of active, perfectly healthy 90 year olds and now there are none/hardly any?

More treatment does not necessarily equal greater incidence of disease. In the past lots of people just had crooked, painful, dysfunctional teeth, problems they now would get treatment for. (And I might point out that untreated dental problems can have a profound impact on health. Untreated dental infection can, for example, kill you.)

Of course there are things about our modern lifestyle that are profoundly unhealthy, but the idea that there was some kind of wonderful, superhealthy past is nonsense. Improved sanitation and vaccination alone (and yes, I know vaccination have on occasion serious side effects--but it's nothing to the effects of the diseases uncontrolle) have had a major impact on quality of life and health.
I'm very happy to learn Fina works in the medical field, anoushh. She'll have plenty of access to the abundant documentation that proves her own assumptions could do with some questioning.

I could have responded to her question in the same way she asked it, but instead I've suggested some reading.

Whenever I've posted information here I've also provided references and resources. They're in the archives here as well as in other threads where people have asked about alternative health, nutrition, etc. The heart attack issue, for example: please feel free to prove that this phenomenon (or the chronic extent of the phenomenon) was common, medically known, and taught in orthodox medical schools at the time we're discussing. There were many, many doctors in practice in North America and in Europe at that time, and a great deal of medical research being done: if people were dying of heart attacks and suffering in the long term from heart disease (in the way they do now) it would absolutely have been taught and written about and researched at that time.

People can choose to believe what they want. I just encourage people to do a bit of research before accepting a lot of the conclusions they're told to accept without question. Especially if they work in any kind of medical field.
FWIW I don't actually work in the medical field. I work in publishing and used to work on some medical journals (hematology mainly, so I know all about the latest leukemia drugs) but am currently working on microbiology journals. At any rate I do have a scientific background but not a particularly medical one, if it matters.

I have the 1899 Merck Manual in front of me. The current 18th edition is one of the world's most widely used medical textbooks and I think it is pretty safe to assume the first edition would have been as well. In the section of the manual that describes conditions and possible treatments, there is a whole section of Heart Affections which contains: angina pectoris, endocarditis, pericarditis, myocarditis, heart- hypertrophied, heart-palpitation of, valvular heart disease and fatty heart.

The fact that they were recommending nitroglycerine for angina, a treatment still used today, suggests that the condition existed then as now and was treated the same. While it is true that heart attack is not directly listed in the Manual (I suspect because there was no treatment for it apart from prayer), there was plenty of heart disease in general around in 1899. Wikipedia also notes that the term "heart attack" sometimes refers to heart problems other than myocardial infarction, such as unstable angina pectoris (which is listed in the Merck 1899) and sudden cardiac death.

The CDC notes that heart disease has been the leading cause of death in the US since 1921 [quite a feat, to go from non-existence to the leading cause of death in just 9 years], and that age-adjusted death rates from heart disease decreased by 56% from 1950 to 1996.

I believe Anoushh is spot-on regarding the influence of longer life expectancy on the incidence of chronic disease.

From 1911-1915, 63% of people in the UK died before the age of 60.
Oh, yes, I have plenty of medical books that date back to the 1700's that describe heart symptoms. They are simply described as heart symptoms, and they are all contained in books that deal exclusively with homeopathic medicine, which, by the way, was the form of medicine to introduce the use of nitroglycerine for, among many other diseases not related to the heart in any way, angina symptoms. Allopaths learned a great deal from homeopaths, and this acute treatment for that symptom is something they still use to this day, in exactly the same way homeopaths did over a hundred years ago. As well, it's a practice which continues to this day because the homeopaths were so successful at curing in their medical practice that it was pretty much the mainstream medicine in North America until the Flexner report in 1910 and the creation of the AMA. However, angina is not a heart attack; it is merely a symptom featuring a type of pain in the region of the heart, arms, neck, and sometimes jaw.

So I am not surprised the Merck mentions angina. However, the incidence of myocardial infarction is missing, is it not, from your Merck? There is no doubt these symptoms--heck, I know MI occured as well back then--but my contention is that it was extremely rare and never taught or studied in conventional or orthodox medical school until after 1912. It was, however, treated successfully with homeopathic medicines--rare as it was. But then again, homeopathy pays attention to the rare, strange, and peculiar symptoms first--where as conventional medicine cannot know a disease until it can formulate a "typical" symptom picture that is common to all who have the disease. There would have had to be a significant number of people who suffered from MI for conventional medicine to have the information it would need to actually learn about the disease any further from that point.

Now, could that supposed short life span you quote from the UK be the result of:
a) an economic collapse similar to what we call a depression which hit Europe at the end of the 19th century and caused scarcity in food production? Are we sure we are not dealing with living conditions full of hardship and vulnerability to unsanitary living conditions? These conditions--poverty, lack of sanitation, starvation--would cause epidemics, which, then as now, would shorten lifespans, would they not?
cool.gif the fact that an extremely deadly war was underway from 1914 to 1917 in Europe, and the high mortality rate combined with the added scarcity of food caused by the occurence of the war could skew the average to the age you've reported?
c) a combination of just these two factors alone, without considering any others specific to that time frame, would create that lowered figure?

It's quite an arbitrary time frame, after all. I know very few of my own ancestors died before the age of 80 for any reason, even accidents, at that time and before (I have family records dating back to just before the French revolution on my mother's side, and just before the 1890's on my father's. I do not believe my family were extraordinary in any way--they were typical Europeans who did have access to ensure adequate food and clean living conditions. These, I've said before, are absolutely necessary for long life spans).

I wish you would read the archives of this thread, cause I'm repeating myself.

But, ultimately, you can believe what you wish. When I started to study medicine, I too was taught the same things you're taught--that life is so much better now (but I know in my own cultural and familial history the "facts" I was being told about people''s lives and aging in the past just didn't jibe with what I was being told in my classes); that we're healthier than ever (yet I look around me and I see my patients and everyone is suffering from chronic disease from extremely early ages--and they seem to get sicker as they age and as time goes on; now athletes are dying from heart attacks at such young ages so often they've even made a battery commercial featuring this truth--kids having MIs at 18 years! So often there've already been 2 long term, extensive studies trying to figure out why). But when I began to study medical history because it's integral to the type of medicine I've studied in depth, it was obvious that we've been lied to about a great deal about what has actually transpired in terms of medicine and health in the past 2 centuries. Fortunately, there is more than one perspective in science, and there are many researchers who have made a point of writing about the actual events of the past accurately.

I really don't want to argue back and forth and really do encourage you to challenge your beliefs if that's something you feel you might need to do.

However, I dislike the tone this conversation's been conducted in and I want to say that, if I've come across angry it's because I've felt insulted by the way the question was put--particularly the question, "Is this a gullibility test?"

Fina, I never assumed people were gullible, in fact, I went forth with any information here because I believe people are capable of making up their own minds about what works well for them and what does not--they are fully capable of utilizing their own intellect and judgement about whatever anyone says about anything, me included. This is what I know from my studies and my work with patients: it's helped me work successfully with many people who wished to become well after suffering from any number of chronic ailments and diseases. If anyone would like to use the information for their own benefit, they're welcome to. If not, that's good too.
Chacha, I've read the archives. I've been following this thread for several years. I just don't believe many of the things you are writing.

You invited me to "See if anyone even knew about heart disease in any capacity before then." Heart disease in many capacities was included in the Merck Manual in 1899 and thus was well-known.

You said life expectancy was higher historically, yet agree it was vastly lower as well. This is confusing. Yes, people lived in poverty, with poor sanitation, inadequate nutrition, exposed to poor air quality [in cities], and had a much higher infant mortality rate as well, all combining to create a lower life expectancy. In 1900, before the war, the average life expectancy in the UK was 50 years. It is now close to 80.

Look, I'm not saying that our increased life expectancy hasn't come at a price. I know that length of life does not equal quality of life. I know there are a lot of very unhealthy behaviours in current Western society that are resulting in a lot of chronic conditions for a lot of people. I think it's nice when people in this thread are talking about what they are choosing to do to improve their health and protect their future health. I just find it baffling to say that heart attacks and heart disease in general did not exist before the magic year of 1912. I don't understand how anyone could interpret life expectancy data as decreasing compared to 100 years ago. I think it is very irresponsible to encourage people to consume raw milk without even a warning that hundreds of people get sick every year from consuming raw milk and cheese made from raw milk [source: CDC]- pasteurization was developed for a reason!

I think people in the past had very low expectations when it came to teeth- i.e. that you would be lucky to reach 50 and still have close to a full set. I don't see how anyone can talk about dentition without addressing the fact we are eating orders of magnitute more sugar, especially refined sugar, than previous generations.

I think very few people back in the day were getting their 5-9 fruits and veg a day or getting enough fibre and antioxidants and while I agree we as a society eat far more processed foods now and this is not a particularly good thing, I don't think we can paint the average person living 100 or 200 years ago as enjoying a nutritional utopia.

For what it's worth my partner's dad grew up on a farm and drank unpasteurized, non-homogenized whole raw milk as often as he could get his hands on it (with frequent trips to a dairy farmer friend), and he had a heart attack at 55.
I wish we could get healthcare where all options were considered and people were educated in different methods/approaches of healthcare. Instead, I think both sides (hate to call it sides, but I think you all know what I mean) can get so dogmatic that they are blind to benefits of different approaches for different people and conditions. It's too bad.

I work in labor and delivery, and while I think it's totally overmedicalized here in the U.S., I also KNOW that sometimes there is nothing like a c-section or an episiotomy or an induction or whatever.

My dad lived a lot longer thanks to his quadruple bypass. Would he have lived longer had his diet and activity level been different? Maybe. Maybe not. Don't we all know people like Fina mentioned...people who lived like you "should" and died young or people who lived "wrong" and lived to 100? I think genes play a big role in our's not all lifestyle.

I certainly don't discount the influence of genetic inheritance in the length of our lives--but on a larger scale, genetic expression and potential is greatly limited if specific nutrients aren't available. This is most notable on large populations (though it's also plain to see, if you know what to look at, that individuals are also limited in genetic potential if their bodies are not properly nourished). Here you can really see the damage, even after one generation, of the loss of access to traditional foods. So genetics do determine things greatly but their influence is easy to limit or extend.

I've never in any of my posts discounted conventional medicine whole hog. It does have its place and it can save your life, particularly if the body is severely damaged and the kind of traumatic medical intervention just like a quadruple by-pass would make a difference; where conventional medicine cannot make any kind of difference is in chronic disease. Why does a heart condition progress to the point where a quadruple by-pass is necessary? What makes the human body which sustains that kind of long-term chronic disease so susceptible? A big part of it has to be nutrients, just because of the tissue which is altered into the kind of dysfunction we see in such a case. That must at least be considered--if we remove the types of foods which ensure the integrity of the major blood vessels, their elasticity and their resiliency, then there is no long term need for the body to continuously produce the cholesterol it does in order to repair that tissue's inefficiency. If the nutrients which would actually ensure tissue health were never replaced with the pseudo nutrients and false fats that make up the vast majority of peoples' diets now, chances are excellent that even if a person did happen to suffer from congenital heart problems, the impact of those inherited diseases on the body would be greatly limited.

Now that conventional medicine is held up to us as the only option that is viable and "scientific", and now that so much misinformation about nutrition and health is promulgated, we've seen a massive increase in chronic diseases of all kinds; and I actually agree with Dr. Price's extensive research that the visible evidence of the long term poor nutrition we've been talked into does exist and does contribute chronic disease on a mass scale. I think he was brilliant in his research because he clearly illustrated the connection between genetic potential and nutrients; and he very closely catalogued the physical changes--especially the limitations of genetic potential that were evident in populations which were being forced into the transition from traditional foods to the dietary structure and philosophy we've embraced. What's truly amazing about his work is that he was able to document substantial changes in health in populations even in as short a time as one generation.

When I think of that, and I consider that it has been about 70 years now that we've been 1) limited in our access to many alternatives to conventional medicine, and 2) had much of our food supply and concepts about what constitutes healthy and unhealthy foods considerably altered from what they were for many centuries, and 3) had much of our actual foods altered so far from what human beings have evolved eating for so many centuries so that we no longer get many of the nutrients we desperately need, the huge increase and widespread early incidents of chronic disease in modern peoples' lives aren't really a mystery. Neither are the now common occurences of very poor dentition, deformed facial structure which goes hand in hand with this and has become commonplace (hence orthodontics as a new, huge and yet growing branch of dentistry), chronic diseases affecting younger and younger populations all the time, and the increasing concern with infertility.
*tiptoes in, stands in the corner out of the way of, uh, discussion, and whispers* ....i joined a gym!
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