Plastic bag caught up in a tree

I’ve become obsessed with a plastic bag caught in a tree near where we live. It’s a common enough sight in urban areas but I don’t think I have seen one here. Every time I drive past it, I think about how long that bag will endure.

Even if I could get my hands on it, there is no real way to get rid of that bag. It will be in a landfill, or in the lake or an ocean for enough years that it may as well be forever. My understanding from a cursory look at the research is that bags last 450 to 1,000 or more years. Burning them releases enough harmful dioxins that experts say it is better to put it into a landfill. Of course, they can be recycled. Another way of existing forever.

Ketogenic diet and Parkinson’s – a limited study

Ketogenic diet with nutrition diagram written on a note.

I found this video today and recommend it to anyone considering a ketogenic diet as part of their strategy to fight Parkinson’s. It describes a limited study, done with a group of five patients who moved to a ketogenic diet for a period of time. The results were very interesting.

One commenter asks whether the diet is “worth it” given the significance of food in his life, describing food as his/her last pleasure in life. I have heard people make comments like this before and I would say that if food is your last pleasure, then your food is eating you. If you aren’t sure what the difference is between you eating your food or your food eating you, I’d recommend a 30 day immersion into the ketogenic diet so you can feel the meaning.

There are so many pleasures in life; food is just a distraction (a huge cultural one, but a distraction nonetheless).

The End of Alzheimer’s by Dr Dale Bredesen

I have watched several different interviews with Dr Dale Bredesen, and am posting the link to this one – an interview by Dr Steven Gundry – because I believe it gives the best overview of Dr Bredesen’s new book. Three takeaways for me from this interview:

  • Mutations in mitochondrial DNA are what collects as we age. This reinforces all the information now emerging about mitochondrial dysfunction causing most of our cognitive decline with age.
  • We cannot overstate the role of nutrition + exercise + sleep + stress reduction in healing our age-related diseases
  • Most M.D.’s will give you the normal range for the things they test for. Remember, normal ≠ optimal.

My Life, My Health

Zen stone beside a river of raked sand

One obvious truth I am realizing as I learn more about health is this: I’m in charge here.

I spend all day in this body. I’m not powerless, in any way, and I have to believe that I CAN guide myself to greater health. It takes continual learning and experimenting. It takes tuning out the naysayers who think I am merely on a weight loss diet or that the changes I make are temporary. It takes the realization that no one else can, or will, push me forward, and that there are no miracle easy fixes, like a new drug or medical procedure, on the horizon.

The work is mine to do. Or not. The outcomes are mine.

So if I want to take a passive approach to the chronic disease I have been diagnosed with, that is an option. But if I want to learn about metabolic biochemistry, the impact of insulin and too much protein, about mitochondria function and mTOR metabolic signaling, I can do that too.

It’s a choice. About my life.

Health Care?

Close-up picture of brightly colored cereal loops.

It is amazing to me how much energy is being expended on what is fashioned the “health care debate” in this country.

Aren’t we really discussing how to continue funneling money to health care insurers to repair the damage done to our health by the rest of our food and disease-service systems?

In the most wealthy and advanced country that has ever existed in the world, we now have more medicine, more drugs, more medical options, and are spending increasingly more money every year. At the same exact time, the trend lines for most disease, chronic illness, and addiction are all sharply rising up and to the right. Two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese. More than 100 million of us suffer from problems with a range of blood sugar issues, from insulin resistance to full-blown type 2 diabetes. We spend one third again more than the next most rich country ($9,400 per person in 2015 on health care, or 17% of our GDP) and the outcomes from that investment are dismal.

We are 46th in infant mortality, and 31st in life expectancy! Our government and corporate food producers are so tied together that our government watchdog, the FDA, allows Fruit Loops cereal to be certified heart-healthy! Our farmed animals are raised in horrific conditions and deliver antibodies, corn, and other undesirable ingredients to our bodies. So many Americans have given up, and say, “it’s just part of getting older” as they settle for feeling fatigued or being in pain.

There is no central point of information about how to live healthily in a holistic way – what foods optimize health, how to control stress, how much movement and exercise are optimal. If you want to be healthy, you have to dig through a mountain of information and hope you can figure out what is true and what is just mis-information.  It makes me sad and frustrated.

Americans lose no matter which version of “health care” passes. I’m rethinking my health practices, and keeping my own counsel on this topic.

First, I’m getting healthy. Then, I’m getting angry.