“Overactive Bladder,” or Diabetes?!

Which condition is spreading like wildfire in America?  You don’t have to be fat, a person of color, or poor, to get diabetes.

Don’t wait till your feet fall off and you go blind, before you “ask your doctor”!

Healthcare rationing as “New American Genocide”

Read all about it.  Except it isn’t just killing and threatening Blacks, but Native Americans, Hispanics, the disabled non-elderly like me, the poor like me, even the elderly who despite Medicare’s successes still can’t manage to get what they need, urban residents, rural** residents….  [*I* should be on Medicare, but that’s another story…!]

Yes, folks, we’ve been rationing healthcare all along: TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER, or in more “economical” terms, “as high as the market will bear.”  Reform ideally should care on the basis of need, without regard to class, party, religion, orientation, race, Tribe, language, Ability, age, religion, color, intelligence, or any other criterion.  Frankly, I think we get an NHS like Britain (once had), add the benefits of the French and Norwegians and Germans AND America … and KICK BUTT!!!!!  AND SAVE MONEY!!!!!

PS #1: Is Rachel Maddow getting cuter and cuter?  Sweetheart, if you ever want to give “the other team” a try….  I kid!  God grant you and your loved ones Many Years!

PS#2: “Whitey On The Moon” — ah, the ’60s, great larks!

(**–Now THAT’S going to make you “Bitter”!)

IQ and Thanksgiving

I just read here about Inuit (Canada Eskimo) traditional knowledge being called (in the Inuit language, Inuktitut) Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or IQ.  LOL!  That’s so cool!  I know *I* couldn’t pass this IQ test!!!  Hell, if what we laughably call civilization collapsed tomorrow, I’d probably unknowingly eat some noxious weed growing out of the ground and croak!  That’s right, we’ve all been “taught” how to survive in a supermarket – or worse yet, McDonald’s – and Heaven forbid we should ever find ourselves without one!  Seriously, we should all learn some Native knowledge about wherever we live, in case we need it someday;* we probably need it NOW!  It might help us more to “walk lightly over the earth.”

(*–Interestingly, it took the Peanuts gang to remind many of us that when Squanto, one of the last Patuxet Indians after a British smallpox epidemic devastated “New England” and the Maritimes, taught the Plymouth “Pilgrims” and Co. how to survive in their accidental new home in Massachusetts [vs. New York], he was passing on to them the traditional knowledge of his by-then-dead village nation, something not done lightly by Indigenous Peoples today because they usually end up regretting it.  Had he not done so, the colonists might have died, or abandoned the colony.)

What makes poor Americans overweight?

Speaking as an overweight poor American, I’ve had enough of unknowledgeable right-wing BS on this point.  So let’s look at a few realities, shall we?

(UPDATE 3 October 2008 with another possible reason.)

  • Americans are overweight.  What is it now, two-thirds of all adults?  So all the reasons that apply to the non-poor also apply to us, and some even more to us, such as advertising, cheap and convenient bad food, the corporate-owned USDA “nutrition” guidelines all these years, little else available all these years what with overrefined grains and vegetables, an increasingly-sedentary workstyle and lifestyle, TV-watching, computer-watching like you and I are doing right now, no time for exercise, the automotive lifestyle, etc etc etc.  But more specifically:
  • Many of us poor have health problems that cause weight gain or interfere with weight loss, directly or indirectly; in my case, IBS and “nonspecific ambulatory painful foot syndrome” – an uncompensated work injury.
  • Many of us poor are from cultures / races / ethnicities especially sensitive to the traditional Northern European diet of the U.S.
  • Supermarkets and grocery stores move out of poor neighborhoods; “convenience” stores and liquor stores move in.
  • Sometimes when you’re down on your luck, you just say, “Screw it,” and indulge.
  • Even if you’re not so unlucky, we too have holidays, barbeques, birthdays, graduations, where we don’t wanna eat just broccoli like those Puritans would have us do!
  • We disabled or unemployed get more TV advertising thrown at us at home, including for bad food.
  • For those of us working two or three jobs to stay afloat, Whole Foods and PCC aren’t open 24/7, while 7-11 is.
  • And even if they were, who can afford them?!  Health food is more expensive than the crap.
  • As the Salon article points out, high fructose corn syrup and other bad things are federally subsidized, holding down their cost.  (Talk about gummint programs!)
  • Every time my SSI Disability goes up, my Food Stamps go down, robbing me of some of my “cost of living adjustment.”  The poor get poorer….
  • Some of us can’t stand at a kitchen counter long enough to prepare a “home-cooked meal,” like because of my feet problem, so we have to “outsource” some of that to convenience and microwave foods.
  • For us Indians, cows vs. bison!
  • Government butter and cheese and cow’s milk and peanut butter programs: Are they intentionally fattening us up?!!!  And then complaining about it?!!!
  • Of course they aren’t.  Fats are calorie-dense and thus tax-dollar-efficient; it takes fewer of them to provide basic energy than carbohydrates or proteins.  They also help you feel satisfied sooner when eating them.  Sounds like a hunger panacea, right?  WRONG!
  • This one from my own IBS-Diarrhea perspective: When health foods push “high fiber,” usually it means insoluble fiber, the kind that goes right through you, rather than soluble fiber, the kind that absorbs intestinal fluid and bulks-up, passing more slowly and humanely.  Perhaps when some had a bad experience with the former, they said, “Forget this!”  (NB: Everybody needs both.  The traditional US diet – starches and proteins, aka meat-n-potatoes – hugely lacks both.  The average “healthy diet” here probably contains too much insoluble and not enough soluble fiber.  Some packages are starting to list these separately.  Thank you!)
  • This one may date me, but for many perhaps health foods are associated with different people, such as health-food freaks, Fundamentalists, liberals, suburbanites, the rich, Protestants, the anal-retentive, perfectionists, Californians, the educated, etc.: an image problem.
  • If you’ve got a family, the cost goes even higher than for an individual like me.
  • How many health-clubs get built in poor neighborhoods?  And who can afford them anyway?!  And are they 24/7?!
  • City parks cutbacks.
  • A short-term or temporary mistake or bad luck, you can pay for the rest of your life: diabetes, overdrinking, overeating, blowing-off exercise, depression-eating, etc.  It’s harder to lose it than to put it on.  Maybe you weren’t poor when you started out, became poor, and now can’t get out so easily as someone with more money can.
  • Historically speaking, before the Enclosure of the Commons forced many of the poor to work for wages in the cities’ industries (owned or invested-in by their rural landlords!), they had family farms they worked, with all that physical exertion and relative self-sufficiency to boot.  Here in America we never even had a chance!
  • It’s possible many of us aren’t aware of what would be better for us, or aren’t used to caring about it.  That’s certainly the kind of lower-working-class eating atmosphere I grew up in, and I’m middle-aged.  Not everybody’s as ‘plugged-in’ to food/health media or information as I happen to be right now, disabled with time on my hands, or having worked as a journalist for a while, or spent much of the ’90s as a vegan.

There’s probably lots more I haven’t thought of.

Buffalo is/are good for you

If you ‘must’ eat meat, that is.  Just don’t burn down the house trying to cook it, like I almost did the other day!  Carbonized hockey puck isn’t as pleasant a buffalo burger as it was once I got the hang of it (sort of) this morning (Chaotic Sleep Patterns strike again).  But it turns out even a bad buffalo burger is still pretty good….

Neat article from a Canadian producer about our continent’s buffalo/bison heritage.

Why most Indigenous North Americans’ ancestors revered the beast.  Pretty damn useful!  But I’m surprised the National Bison Assn. didn’t produce a basketball-styled “NBA” T-shirt like Rez Dog’s “Native By Ancestry” one!

Have *you* ever heard of this place?!  Another of North America’s best-kept secrets!  Turns out I twice drove past it years ago, unawares….

“Bison bison,” eh?  I can visualize the ad campaign, like “Pizza pizza”!  A few years ago I read that it turns out bison meat may be what the Doctor Upstairs ordered for Native diabetes….

Somebody linked from somewhere up there commented that the pre-Catastrophe environment of most of North America was shaped by buffaloes’ (sp?) munching and trampling of grasses and such (and of course, excreting too – BTW: buffalo-chip jewelry?  Sometimes progress is good!!).  Think about it: their range area stretched from the Appalachians / Alleghenies to the Rockies, and from Sonora to the Northwest Territories – HUGE!  Then Whitey came along and mucked it all up, and now we have weeds out the kazoo….

Natives lose on Atkins?

I’m wary of posting anything about certain kinds of extreme diets some experts claim are dangerous, so take this for what it may be worth:

After one year on a low carbohydrate diet, 60 members of the Namgis First Nation community of Alert Bay, [British Columbia,] have begun to reap some very positive health benefits.

Confounding diet experts and Health Canada….  Benefits that include weight losses and even reversals of diabetes.

Weight problems and above average incidents of diabetes are all to[o] common in the aboriginal communities of Canada.

The problems can be directly linked to the fact that traditional diets have in most part been superseded by the modern high fat diets of the industrialized world.

Soda kills

Just in case you missed the new research about diet soda (yes, diet) recently, there’s this.  And diet was supposed to be better than regular!

Think about it: liquid sugar by the gallon, all those bubbles to mess with your gastrointestinal tract and environs, bigger and bigger cups – some now look like mini kegs! – and we expected to get away with it?!!!

Think of soda like candy – it is, after all, liquid candy: a little bit, once in a while.  Otherwise, just “obey your thirst.”

Or … there’s always beer, wine, liquor!