Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Be Healthy. Take responsibility.

I was inspired by an editorial in an in-house publication that talked about personal responsibility for health care.

Of course, the writer is correct. For years and years and years, doctors had a uniform answer for whatever was wrong: "stop smoking" and "lose weight."

That still holds. But, have you seen how people eat? Just look at the plates at breakfast at the Embassy Suites! at the Renaissance Inns. at any place that offers free food. The plates are loaded with everything that is offered and then cleaned. Nothing is left. I even saw a person load her plate with multiple pieces of french toast, slabs of bacon, stacks of pancakes, heaping portion of scrambled eggs, maple syrup, and butter. We could not watch this person eat, it was truly disgusting. And, to no one's surprise, this person had a massive heart attack and died a couple of days later, well before the 50th birthday.

And alcohol, drinking to excess, or even drinking at all, contributes to liver problems, driving deaths, lack of control at the buffet table, domestic abuse, etc.

And don't forget the sun. Don't you wonder how something that makes you look so good and feel so good can be so bad for you

And the artificial sweeteners keep being indicted as unhealthful - as leading to an increase in fat, insulin, headaches, desire for more sweets. But those facts don't register on the user.

The camapaign against smoking seems to have been successful - especially when smoking is prohibited in most places. It used to be that we couldn't even walk down the street, in Waikiki, or Philadelphia, without running into throngs of smokers. Thankfully, that seems to be a thing of the past.

Although exercise makes one feel good, no doubt about that, the mouth trumps exercise. Have you seen people who work out at the gym, for any length of time, and then reward themselves with an ice cream sundae? or a doughnut? Happens with regularity

My years of biomedical and environmental research (25 years, at least) convinced me that salt and fat are the two major "bad guys" in our diet. As I jokingly said to a woman, one day, upon her question of what I do to maintain my figure, "if it tastes good, spit it out." Seriously, eating to live is the appropriate philosophy - not living to eat.

Restaurants won't like me because eating out is seen as a celebration. Fine, as long as moderation, not excess, is the phrase.

Those who have asked me, and listened to my dietary advice, have profited by losing weight, inches, and anxiety - My diet rules are simple: no sugar, no salt, no fat, nothing white, no artificial anything, and lots and lots and lots of water. Bread, as long as it is made from 100% whole wheat flour, is great; as are 100% whole wheat pasta products, brown rice, oatmeal, and so forth. We eat mainly skinless poultry (I can't eat or be near anything that swims or keeps company with swimmers, like fish, seaweed, and all the derivative products.)

Despite everybody's good habits and good intentions, sometimes disease invades our bodies - The sooner the person is treated, the better the chances of survival. and as we age, the older we get, the more medical problems arise, and the more complicated and expensive the treatment.

Of course we agree with the writer that every person has to assume responsibility for his own health and act accordingly.

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