Saturday, February 25, 2012

Forks Over Knives

 So the other day I sat down to watch Forks over Knives, a documentary that talks about the benefits of a plant-based diet. While it’s not riveting, I think everyone should take a whole two hours out of their lives to check it out. The participants presented a wealth of research that substantiated the many claims that basically everything causes cancer. That’s right, eeeeverything. Specifically, the study focused on animal-based products (as well as processed foods) and named them as a significant contributor. The study also showed that by committing to a plant-based diet, many of the diseases that plague our nation (almost exclusively) can be completely reversed. Now, before you get all up in arms, this is not my research, I’m not telling you to do one thing or another, and I’m not taking a platform on any health-related issue. What I am saying though, is to examine the situation at a personal level to decide what is right for you. Case in point, one of the study participants- Joey Aucoin- was on a myriad of prescribed medications for a variety of illnesses including type-2 diabetes and high cholesterol. These medications to “treat” (treat being synonymous with help-you-deal-with-it) his illnesses cost him upwards of $200 a month…$200 a month?!? I don’t know about you, but for me that would cause a WHOLE ‘nother dis ease (read as two separate words)! While on the FOK program, Joey was able to cure himself of these diseases and I’m sure he’s found other, more useful allocations for his med dollars. I’d be willing to bet we all know someone like Joey. [That said, I will briefly digress into a ‘side-effect’ of animal-based and processed foods dieting. MONEY! This documentary has guided me to weigh the costs between healthier foods, and the costs of their not-so-healthy counterparts. And I’ve noticed that I spend more money on dietary supplements, prescriptions and weight loss pills than I would buying fresh foods from the store and investing in a pair of walking shoes. Admittedly I’m being a bit dramatic to make a point- I don’t personally/currently have a lot of health problems that absorb every free dollar, and I’ve only tried one kind of weight loss pill program in my entire life, but I’m sure this applies to no less than ‘many’ people.  I will also take a moment to insert my opinion that way too many somebodies in healthcare make way too much money keeping everyone from being healthy. It’s my belief that even if there were a medical cure for cancer, it would require federal legislation to be available- because a cure costs way less than lengthy treatment programs. The civil disobedience in me wants to boycott such a system by taking my family’s health into our own hands, and FOK has given me insight on how to do that. I conclude my digression here for a pause-to-think effect]. There are a few other notable participants in the study that are cured from their ailments while dedicated to a plant-based diet, which to me, completely validates the study. It didn’t just work for one person. Another validation I valued in the study, was the thorough testing of the effect of different amounts of protein within a balanced diet. For the sake of the film (and to spare you any more of my chatter at length) I won’t reveal the details of the study, in fact I probably should have posted a spoiler alert at the beginning of this piece. Suffice it to say the study was quite convincing and impactful on my point of view, and was a major contributing factor to my wanting to blog about Forks Over Knives in the first place. I hope that I haven’t bored you to tears, and if you made it to the end of this blog then I’m sure you could make it through the film. I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

The People vs. Whitney

In recent events, there has been quite a bit of facebook chatter about the unfortunate passing of Whitney Houston. While it saddens my heart for anyone to depart this life at an early age, and even more so that she left behind loved ones including a young daughter, I think I will go ahead and address this anyway. And I’ll do my best to be brief. On the day that Whitney died (from “undetermined” causes), there were also soldiers that lost their lives in the line of duty. Now farbeit for me to judge the worth of a life, however I do feel that the loss of their lives was certainly worth mention, and that the passing of Whitney Houston could do with less mention. Now before you get all up in arms, what I mean by ‘less mention’ is that NBC, FOX5, CBS, MSNBC, CNN, various news blogs, magazines in check-out lines, most major radio stations, and any other media outlet known to man (take a breath), did not all need to cover it…every hour…on the hour….everyday this week. I just feel that our focus as an American society is so wrapped up in the maintenance of the faux-royalty we’ve created using television and music personas, that we fail to give any attention to those that we would say are deserving of honor. Politics aside, if asked to compare the impact or merit of laying down one’s life for another, to using your talent to provide entertainment and enjoyment- no matter how much you love Whitney, I would almost bet you would choose the former. So, that being said, calm down! When patriots post pictures to mourn the fallen and call your attention to it, no one is “judging”, no one is saying she is unworthy, and no one is “hating.” When you stomp your foot and point your finger and furrow your brow and tighten your mouth and in your old-person voice bellow “Show some respect!”, YOU show some respect. Show it to the ones who continually pave the road for this way of life we have, that so graciously allows our faux-royalty to make a crushing amount of money (as evidenced by their high-class drug problems- my one verbal shank in this piece) by doing what they love to do. No one is saying Whitney is not to be mourned, just asking that our soldiers can share the spotlight.