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By Ella Zibitsker.
We often think about weight problem as a stand-alone issue that can be easily resolved by either dieting or/and exercising. And sometimes it’s true, we can lose some pounds by eating less or adding some exercises to our daily routine. And then we gain it all back. So, why most of us cannot keep the weight down for long period of time? And the bigger question is, if overweight is an indication of poor health, should we focus on health first?
I found the answer in George Oshawa’s famous quote: “The principle without the technique is useless; the technique without the principle is dangerous.”
For me, macrobiotics provides a concept based on over 4,000 years of Traditional Chinese Medicine and techniques developed by George Oshawa, Michio Kushi, and Herman Aihara, as well as many of their associates and pupils. Macrobiotics is not another diet, it’s a lifestyle based on 4 principles. It stipulates that if you want to stay healthy or heal you should:
I watched many people following these principles to improve their health and inevitably losing weight. Some lost 30-40 pounds in just 3-4 months. And by changing the lifestyle they managed not only keep the weight down but to create extraordinary health. That’s the result we should expect and work for.
After reading Michio Kushi’s book “The Macrobiotic Way”, I realized that this is the only way to regain health back. For me changing my lifestyle by adopting these principles was a matter of life and death. You see, 17 years ago I was diagnosed with terminal cancer and wasn’t offered any treatment. I dived in to the world of macrobiotics, met Michio, did everything he told me, completely changed my lifestyle and 9 months later was clear of cancer. Since that time my health improved and so did the weight. I lost about 20 pounds and never gained them back. Hundreds of people turned to macrobiotics as a last resort, but more and more people started thinking about staying healthy and practice common sense lifestyle that is based on the above 4 principles.
If you’re completely satisfied with the way you are – great, but if you don’t maybe you should re-examine the principles and techniques you are using. They might be useless or dangerous. I encourage you to discover and explore the world of macrobiotics and create a life full of energy and enjoyment.
For more information, contact me directly at (847) 682-4794 or visit our website, www.StartMacro.com.
To read more about macrobiotics, Yin/Yang, and balanced lifestyle here are some websites among many others: www.kushiinstitute.org, http://www.sacredlotus.com/go/foundations-chinese-medicine/get/yin-yang, http://wholesomebalance.com/Macrobiotics.html.
By Susan Laub
Obesity Epidemic in America
Nathan, Thanks for posting your thoughts about the problem of obesity in America…and I will repeat that morbid obesity is a serious health problem in our country. Being overweight is a condition that I can personally attest to as I was 40 pounds overweight in high school. Fortunately, for me, I was able to reach my ideal weight in college. But the psychological problems with being “fat” (not a politically-correct term) remain fresh in my mind. The low self esteem, feeling of being mocked, social isolation, depression – these are just a few of the problems that can occur, to say nothing about the health risks associated with the problem. I think that obesity is an illness, a problem that needs to be identified by the person who is overweight. Otherwise, we remain in a constant state of denial.
Perhaps the present efforts to “normalize” this problem (and even to exalt it) is a reaction to all the media that says, in order to be beautiful, you must be thin. Research has shown that the epidemic of anorexia in teenage girls is ostensibly due to the pressure felt during these years of “fitting in”, being “normal”. It is an attempt to also be beautiful and desirable. We have subsequently learned that the serious problems with anorexia have mostly to do with being in control and remaining small (a dependent child).
The pendulum has swung to the other end of saying and thinking that obesity is OK…it is not. All efforts to the contrary keeps the problem entrenched. There are two issues with the “normal” American diet, I believe, that perpetuate the problem. The first is our craving of sugar…carbohydrates that have little nutritional value and lots of calories. I’m not saying no carbs, I’m saying smaller portions. Our craving of sweets is like an addiction to anything…drugs, alcohol, cigarettes (another drug), gambling, sex, etc. When we experience pleasure, that pleasure-center in our brain is stimulated and we then want more, much more, of that same pleasure. Consequently, in order to achieve a healthy diet and pattern of eating, we must go through a period of “withdrawal”. This can be done…it just requires some patience and resolve.
The second problem has to do with our “normal” portions of food. We have successfully super-sized practically everything we eat; e.g., “all you can eat” diners and restaurants, 20 oz. sodas (with free refills) and carbs, carbs and carbs! A traveler from England was commenting on the things she liked and didn’t like about Chicago. She had heard about our larger portions before she arrived, but she couldn’t believe her eyes when she actually saw it. I think the food industry is also at fault for putting corn syrup in practically everything we eat. And, finally, I believe our problem with obesity must be addressed through education, poking at the denial we use to justify our bad habits and by closing our mouths!
About the author.
I went off to college and, for the first time in my life, I felt that I was in control of my life. My mom, bless her heart, always tried to help me lose weight. But her methods enraged me…she would restrict me from eating what my sisters could eat, usually sweets and desserts. My family would have pie or ice cream for dessert and I would be served canned fruit cocktail. Don’t get me wrong, I didn’t hate fruit cocktail…I hated being the only one who was different restricted, all the time.So in college, I decided to impose my own restrictions when eating and I began to exercise. I did lose weight and I think subconsciously, I wanted to show my mother how I succeeded where she failed. My self-esteem and body image were the reason I chose to lose weight and clearly I wanted to manage it myself. I learned something that helped me when I became a parent…you can’t control the behavior of your children…all you can do is to help mold it and provide some direction. Susie.
“Excess weight harms health in many ways. It increases the risk of developing conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, osteoarthritis and some cancers, to name just a few, and reduces one’s life span. Treating obesity and obesity-related conditions costs billions of dollars a year. By one estimate, the U.S. spent $190 billion on obesity-related health care expenses in 2005—double previous estimates. (1) The enormity of this economic burden and the huge toll that excess weight takes on health and well-being are beginning to raise global political awareness that individuals, communities, states, nations, and international organizations must do more to stem the rising tide of obesity.” http://www.hsph.harvard.edu/obesity-prevention-source/obesity-consequences/economic/
Two extremes are equally bad.
Overweight and proud of it? Really? I think it is a convenient excuse to be lazy.
Yes, there are overweight people who are sick and just cannot loose weight.
But the majority just live and eat unhealthily and don’t have the drive to do something about being obese.
And these obese models are giving these lazy, overweight people a good excuse to do nothing about their problem.
Considering that we already have an obesity epidemic, promoting obesity as a norm contributes greatly to the problem.
Americans are living large. Extra large. As in XXXXL large size. As in baby-powdered-thighs large. As in wheezing, heaving, bust-the-car-suspension large. Overweight has become the new normal and society is straining to accommodate our ever-expanding waistlines. We plant plush bottoms on wider seats in theaters and toilet stalls, drape ourselves in plus-sized clothing, even go to our eternal rest in broader coffins. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more than two-thirds of Americans are overweight and a third, some 72 million people, are considered obese. From 1980 to 2008, obesity rates doubled for adults and tripled for children, with 17 percent, or 9 million children over 6, classified as obese. http://articles.sun-sentinel.com/2011-06-12/news/fl-overweight-new-normal-20110601_1_apparel-size-vanity-sizing-obesity-rates
And please don’t give these lame excuses like, “I love myself the way I am”. In my opinion if you love yourself you will take care of yourself. Why do you go to school, college, style your hair, buy nice clothes and shave your legs if you love yourself just the way you are? It is a known fact that overweight people get sick more often and die sooner. Is that how you love yourself? That you are willing to die sooner?
The only way to deal with a problem is to name it, to admit that you have a problem and to do one’s best to overcome, to defeat the problem. That’s what love means.
US Adult Obesity Rate Rises Again. https://www.yahoo.com/health/us-adult-obesity-rate-rises-again-109302297992.html
Walmart contributes to obesity.
A new report puts some of the blame for Americans’ expanding waistlines on the growth of new Wal-Mart supercenters in the US.
“We live in an environment with increasingly cheap and readily available junk food,” Charles Courtemanche, an assistant professor of economics at Georgia State University and one of the report’s co-authors, told the Washington Post. “We buy in bulk. We tend to have more food around. It takes more and more discipline and self-control to not let that influence your weight.”
Matter of national security.
Mission: Readiness, an organization of retired military leaders, has reported that 27 percent of today’s young adults are too fat to serve in the military, causing concern about the strength of the nation’s future military. http://www.prb.org/Publica
The new data shows that if current trends continue, 43 percent of U.S. adults will be obese and obesity spending will quadruple to $344 billion by 2018. However, if obesity rates are instead held at current levels, the U.S. would save nearly $200 billion in health care costs. http://www.fightchronicdisease.org/media-center/releases/new-data-shows-obesity-costs-will-grow-344-billion-2018
World shifts focus to hidden hunger as global obesity expands.
The study’s authors emphasize that obesity and other derivatives of poor nutrition -- collectively termed "hidden hunger"-- have become increasingly important issues as traditional hunger has eroded. The ODI found increased consumption of meats, sugars, fats and oils across the globe and noted that “increasingly, the concern is less about macro-nutrition and more about micro-nutrition.”
Food loss due in part to centralization and over eating.
In 2011, 1.3 billion tons of food, or about one third of all the food produced globally, was lost or wasted annually, according to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the UN. In developed countries, the average person wastes about 100 kilograms of food every year.
Locally grown food would help.
Research shows that based on average weight gain through adulthood,
people are consuming 20 to 30 per cent too many calories. So eating a healthier, more balanced diet would not only help tackle the obesity epidemic, it would also take as much as a third of the caloric demands out of the global food chain. http://www.cbc.ca/news/world/food-waste-overeating-threaten-global-security-1.2436729
Highly centralized distribution of products.
Above is just one example of our current economic model that is unsustainable.
So what is the solution?
“Designing for quality of life defined by experiential and social wealth, not material wealth.” (Further Reading) We often define “quality of life” in terms of material consumption–something that it seems fairly clear will decline due to energy descent. But is material consumption really what gives our lives quality? Our current system is geared toward maximizing production and consumption–how can it be redesigned to instead maximize our health, our happiness, the vibrancy of our communities and other sources of true “quality” of life?” http://www.resilience.org/stories/2010-05-02/promise-decentralization-localization-and-scale-free-self-sufficiency
Technology can help.
As applications of technology expand and prices drop, the first big implication is that more goods will be manufactured at or close to their point of purchase or consumption. This might even mean household-level production of some things. (You’ll pay for raw materials and the IP–the software files for any designs you can’t find free on the web). Short of that, many goods that have relied on the scale efficiencies of large, centralized plants will be produced locally. Even if the per-unit production cost is higher, it will be more than offset by the elimination of shipping and of buffer inventories. Whereas cars today are made by just a few hundred factories around the world, they might one day be made in every metropolitan area. Parts could be made at dealerships, repair shops and assembly plants could eliminate the need for supply chain management by making components as needed. https://hbr.org/2013/03/3-d-printing-will-change-the-world
Power grids and local power production.
New technologies like micro-nuclear power generations and efficient and affordable solar energy.
New research in orbiting solar power stations.
Cars printed on demand locally.
Please read more: Here is one of my articles about the new approach to a sustainable economic model based on new technology and new thinking of what makes us happy.
The use of food to make ethanol damages our environment, is depleting the soil and diverts the resources from fighting hunger to pollute the planet. It is a sin. Brazil that was so proud to produce so much ethanol is starting to see the consequences of it’s reckless policies of deforestation and using the land for ethanol production.
“Sao Paulo, Brazil’s megacity of 23 million, could soon run out of water, experts warn, as the city continues to suffer its worst drought in 80 years and scientists say decades of deforestation of the Amazon rain-forest may be to blame.” http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/12/04/sao-paulo-on-brink-running-out-water-and-amazon-rainforest-destruction-to-blame/
Still in denial.
Climate change is denied by the country’s new science minister, Aldo Rebelo, who has declared the environmental movement is “nothing less, in its geopolitical essence, than the bridgehead of imperialism”.
“Scientists think otherwise. As well as global warming, they say Brazil’s weather patterns have been disrupted by the loss of Amazon rainforest and the growth of cities.” http://www.theguardian.com/world/2015/jan/23/brazil-worst-drought-history?utm_content=buffer9d02a&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer
Side effects of Ethanol.
There has been hot debate about whether carbon emissions from ethanol production and use are lower than those from oil and whether the 33 percent of the U.S. corn crop diverted to ethanol drives up the price of food. Local effects of ethanol production, however, including water pollution and consumption, have received less scrutiny.
Fertilizer and pesticide runoffs from the U.S. Corn Belt are key contributors to “dead zones” in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic Coast. A 2008 study by independent researchers, published in the academy’s Proceedings journal, calculated that increasing corn production to meet the 2007 renewable fuels target would add to nitrogen pollution in the Gulf of Mexico by 10 to 34 percent.
Destruction of rain forest
The cutting of trees, scientists say, is hindering the immense jungle’s ability to absorb carbon from the air — and to pull enough water through tree roots to supply gigantic “sky rivers” that move more moisture than the Amazon river itself. More than two-thirds of the rain in southeastern Brazil, home to 40 percent of its population, comes from these sky rivers, studies estimate. When they dry up, drought follows, scientists believe. http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2014/12/04/sao-paulo-on-brink-running-out-water-and-amazon-rainforest-destruction-to-blame/
More harm than good.
David Pimentel of Cornell University, in Ithaca, NY, whose own studies have shown that ethanol requires more energy to produce than it releases when burned, and that the fertilizer used to grow corn for ethanol has contributed significantly to dead zones in the Gulf of Mexico (areas of the ocean with low oxygen content due to increases in chemicals in the water). http://www.technologyreview.com/news/413002/measuring-corn-ethanols-thirst-for-water/
So what is the car fuel of the future?
Prediction is very hard, especially about the future – Yogi Berra
But it is not ethanol.
“The weight of our nation’s population is increasing, causing a rise in the incidence of noncommunicable diseases, such as cardiovascular conditions and diabetes,” said Suzy Harrington, DNP, RN, MCHES, director of ANA’s Department for Health, Safety and Wellness. “And it is affecting the health of nurses personally and professionally.”
Added Susan Gallagher, PhD, RN, CSPHP, CBN, “Certainly there are many very healthy nurses who happen to be overweight or obese. However, the data suggest that, like the general population, nurses of size may face some obesity-related health risks.” http://www.theamericannurse.org/index.php/2013/03/01/an-issue-of-weight/
I went to an annual checkup recently and there are some observations. Most of the nurses and other medical personnel (I don't know who they are) do not look healthy.
The nurses in doctor's office looked overweight and out of shape. And I am asking myself: if the medical professionals do not know how to stay healthy how are they going to help me to stay healthy? How can I trust them? And then I remembered. They are not "healthcare" professionals. They are sickness care professionals. It seems the health establishment in western society is using an upside-down model of healthcare. Priority in my opinion should be on prevention. Our health professionals should be proactive, not reactive. And it is a huge and very expensive problem.
This backward approach is changing slowly and there are provisions in Obamacare that are prioritizing prevention. But we should not wait, we, the people should be responsible for our health. Healthy lifestyle and eating habits will help in most cases So my friend please educate yourselves. Help yourselves and stay healthy!
People, we need to educate ourselves and we should not trust too much the dairy industry or the FDA.
The dairy industry offers to chain kids to their chairs, give them computer games, plug kid’s ears with iPod music and feed them skim milk with the artificial sweeteners and coloring. This selfless act of kindness from the dairy industry is heart warming. It makes me feel good inside reading about this example of pure goodness of corporate world.
But this heroic move is not appreciated by some short sighted “experts” like doctors and school administrators. “”Perhaps we should just eliminate flavored milk from schools, as opposed to adding chemicals to it,” said Cooper, director of nutrition services for the Boulder Valley School District in Colorado.” What a fool! Doesn’t he understand that kids love sugared drinks?
Way to go dairy industry! I would propose as next step toward improving health of our precious children to genetically modify cows to give ready to use low fat sweetened pasteurized milk. Even better if the dairy industry would figure the way for cows to produce cash rather than milk.
Now it seems research shows that milk, any milk is not as beneficial as we thought.
WASHINGTON — In a new scientific review scheduled to appear in the March issue of the peer-reviewed journal, Pediatrics, Cornell-trained nutritionist Amy Joy Lanou, Ph.D., and co-authors show that dairy products do not promote bone health in children and young adults. Physical activity does have a positive impact on bone health, while evidence linking bone health with dairy product consumption is weak, at best. http://rense.com/general63/milkmyth.htm
Lead researcher Professor Karl Michaelsson said: “Our results may question the validity of recommendations to consume high amounts of milk to prevent fragility fractures.
“The results should, however, be interpreted cautiously given the observational design of our study.
“The findings merit independent replication before they can be used for dietary recommendations.”
Evidently, drinking milk in general is not even as good for our bones as we thought. Ludwig points out that bone fracture rates tend to be lower in countries that do not consume milk, compared with those that do — while there are many other sources of calcium. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2013/07/05/harvard-milk-study_n_3550063.html
Various means to increase milk production cause induration and infection of the udder (mastitis) resulting in pus and bacteria in the milk. Paratuberculosis bacteria causes Johne’s disease in cattle and is believed to cause Crohn’s disease, (an illness that causes uncontrollable diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting) in humans. http://beforeitsnews.com/health/2014/02/milk-an-ecological-mismanagement-and-a-major-force-behind-todays-sicknesses-2523760.html
“The USDA suggests that everyone (including children over 2) drinks low-fat or fat-free milk claiming that they “provide calcium and other nutrients without a lot of saturated fat.” The truth is that reduced fat milks are stripped of fats and fat-soluble vitamins that are essential to health, and the milk proteins are denatured and actually is made toxic by the skimming process. http://holisticsquid.com/milk-hero-or-villian/
In my opinion we should limit the consumption of milk. Especially low fat and flavored milk.
We use fermented milk products that contains beneficial bacteria. The “pro-biotic” stuff.
And (in my opinion) children should not drink low fat or skim or whatever else this stuff is called. But whatever it is it is not milk.
We should move, work out, work in the garden, work with weights. Whatever you like. Just move!
And especially it is important for kids.
Milk is good – for babies. Their mother’s milk! Not the cow milk.
Get Up and Walk at Least Once Every Hour
The more time you spend sitting, the shorter and less healthy your life will tend to be-that’s the new consensus among researchers. Even the World Health Organization (WHO) now lists inactivity as the fourth biggest killer of adults worldwide, responsible for nine percent of premature deaths.1
In fact, the medical literature now contains over 10,000 studies showing that frequent, prolonged sitting work, commuting, and watching TV at night significantly impacts your cardiovascular and metabolic function.
As for intermittent movement, the key, experts say, is to avoid sitting for more than 50 minutes out of each hour. Ideally, you’d want to sit for a maximum of about three hours a day-a far cry from today’s norm. http://fitness.mercola.com/sites/fitness/archive/2014/10/17/walking-intermittent-movement.aspx?e_cid=20141017Z1_DNL_art_1&utm_source=dnl&utm_medium=email&utm_content=art1&utm_campaign=20141017Z1&et_cid=DM59815&et_rid=695763303
Take a short brake every hour. Get up, stretch, walk to a water fountain or restroom or jut take a piece of paper and walk looking busy.
That short 2 minutes brake will keep you healthier and more productive.
Use acupressure mat on your chair. That will massage your butt and keep blood flowing.
Remember that your body is designed to move, not to sit. So move. To stay healthy.
I am watching the movie about life in Europe in the beginning of the 20 century, during the 20s. While watching people having a good time and preoccupied with their little personal dramas I cannot help but to think what awaits these people in the near future and I am thankful that life keeps the future hidden from us.
Only by not knowing the future can we enjoy life. Only by living in the moment can we go through life without going insane.
If we would be forced to go through life knowing the future life would loose it’s meaning because the present would cease to exist and one cannot get to the future without going through the present first
Beautiful beach on Marco Island, Florida. My wife and myself are sitting in our chairs watching the calm water, enjoying this special atmosphere of total relaxation, an alternate reality where the world is free of worries and all beauty of life is in the moment.
A family came and settled not too far. The chairs, the umbrella and the usual beach stuff. And then our idyllic reality started to crumble. People took out the can and started to spray the sunscreen on each other. We started to choke. This bittersweet toxic smell brought us back to reality: even on Marco beach there is no escape from toxins that slowly kill humanity.
We looked at each other in panic – what do we do? We ran away to take a swim in hopes that the fumes will dissipate after a while. Well..not quite. These people went into the water also and of course they used the spray again after.
And I was wondering: we could not breathe from 30 feet away. How did they manage to stay alive? The stuff is awful! Just by the smell of it I figured it cannot be good for you. Even if people use sunscreen lotion nearby it smells bad. So I did some research.
Consumer Reports warns against spray-on sunscreens for kids. JACKSONVILLE BEACH, Fla. — Don’t spray your kids with sunscreen, at least for now, Consumer Reports says.http://www.usatoday.com/story/news/nation-now/2014/07/09/consumer-reports-spray-on-sunscreen-children/12438109/
On its website, the FDA has also warned of the potential for the spray sunscreen to catch on fire after it has been applied.
In fact, sunscreen can pose as much (or more) danger to your kid than the UV rays it’s protecting her from. Here’s a look at some of the hidden dangers, as well as tips to ensure your child has safe fun in the sun. http://www.education.com/magazine/article/is-sunscreen-safe/
Researchers have found that the chemicals and/or minerals in the vast majority of commercially available sunscreens — even the rub-in creamy or oily varieties — can cause health problems just from ordinary use; inhaling them only magnifies the risks. http://life.gaiam.com/article/how-safe-are-spray-sunscreens
As for spray varieties, EWG recommends avoiding them entirely: “These ingredients are not meant to be inhaled into the lungs.” With so little known about the effects of sunscreen chemicals on the body when rubbed into the skin, we may never know how much worse the effects may be when they are inhaled. But suffice it to say: When your neighbor at the beach is spraying down Junior, it’s in your best interest to turn away and cover your nose and mouth. http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/avoiding-spray-sunscreens/
NOAA National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science researchers and their partners have discovered that a sunscreen chemical commonly used in many soaps, cosmetics, and body fragrances is highly toxic to corals. The team’s data show that even very low concentrations of benzophenone-2, or BP-2, can quickly kill juvenile corals. BP-2 is an additive used in personal-care products since the 1960s to protect against the damaging effects of ultraviolet light. http://oceanservice.noaa.gov/news/feb14/sunscreen.html
Many years ago we decided not to use any sunscreen. No lotions, no sprays.
Umbrella works just fine. We are being careful not to spend too much time under direct sun. Maybe 15 minutes first day and slowly increase the exposure but never more than an hour a day. Usually we take a break after 3 or four days. There are other activities available. We did not get a sun burn in the last 10 years.
I am not saying that you should never use sun screens. When we go skiing in Colorado it is a must to put the sun block on your face, especially nose. The sun is brutal in the mountains and I would loose my nose without the sun block. Just use some common sense easy precautions to avoid the sun burn.
Sun made life possible on our planet. It cannot be bad for us. Just please use it in Moderation.