Wednesday, June 25, 2008

reactions to Tim Russert's Death and CSA delivery

I've been following the news of Tim Russert's death and while many cardiologists and modern scientists find it "surprising" and cite that his coronary artery disease could have been controlled better with statin drugs, I hesitate to cite diet and exercise first. Tim Russert was a big man, with low HDL levels. He was "dutifully" trying to lose weight. How dutifully, I wonder. My own father died of a sudden heart attack at 48. His father died at 61. These were men who loved their food and I am not talking fruits and vegetables here.

We live in a society where we have an excuse and a drug or medical intervention for everything. We overeat, we take a pill, we don't exercise, we take a pill, there's a pill or a "procedure" for every medical ailment we often create for ourselves. There's a plethora of negative food influences out there from sugary cereals to high fructose corn syrup (its in everything what do we do - how about eating non-processed foods!) to trans fats. But we humans have the ability to make choices. We can choose our health and foods that still taste delicious without all the artificial processed junk. We can choose more fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains (not breads, but actual whole grains, like quinoa and bulghur wheat), beans for protein and some pastured, grass fed animal protein (but not a 24 ounce steak - the body has no capacity to store that kind of protein) in 4-6 ounces in a meal serving. We need to monitor our portions and we need to eat real wholesome food that we chew carefully, slowly and mindfully, eating at a table with our families or friends.

We need to remove the stigmas that "healthy" food is "tasteless". I received an email this morning from Nina Planck on different kinds of salmon. King salmon (chinook) and Silver (Coho). Both of these varieties of salmon cannot be farmed and must be wild by design. Look for them. The redder the salmon, the more anti-oxidant qualities it has. Take your fish oil. I recommend Omega XL ( which has no fishy aftertaste and comes in a very small manageable pill. I take 2 daily. However, I have been studying with another holistic health counselor, Andrea Beaman, who successfully cured herself of thyroid disease and several "precancerous" conditions who does not recommend supplements, saying that a balanced diet can contain the proper vitamins. I've been studying the benefits of supplementation for at least 3 years now and I have so many conflicting views on them, but I too have to believe that your food can give you all the vitamins and minerals you need if you eat well. This means eat your green vegetables! Kale, collard greens, romaine lettuce, bok choi. Go to your farmer's market or join a CSA. I have tons of greens in my house now from my last CSA (community supported agriculture - a way of getting farm fresh fruits and vegetables delivered to your area through purchasing a share of the farm. Economically the farmer benefits by knowing he can sell all of his produce to a prepaid/interested audience who makes a commitment to 6 months of purchases. Purchasers get "farmers pick and the option to exchange anything they don't want/like with other CSA members) delivery. They taste phenomenal, scales above the organic baby greens they sell in whole foods. If you live near a farm or a farmer's market - now is the time to have greens. They are wonderful and in season. If you don't live near one, visit or if you are resident of New York City to learn more about how you can join or start a CSA in your neighborhood. I've still got some turnips at home that I am trying to figure out what to do with. I'll be searching for recipes tonight! I encourage you all to do the same.

At the conference I am working at today I have been avoiding the sugary scones, muffins and yogurts as well as the coffee and I cannot tell you how much better I feel. Its not that hard. I've got some raw cashews to snack on.

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