Thursday, March 09, 2006


Just back from acupuncture and shopping. Both activities were productive. Acupuncture made it so I finally warmed up and I'm not feeling freezing cold and shopping, well I got lucky with a sale plus two dresses and a pair of shoes.

Along the TCM line I'm making progress. My tongue coating is thinning some, I'm feeling more emotionally even, and my digestion has been improving some. My lung qi is weak, still fighting that virus from two weeks ago. All of my spleen points in my legs are sore, I had needles up both my legs from my feet to my knees. She asked me if my feet were cold and I said yes, basically since I came back from Fiji. She told me to do nightly foot soaking, then use that time to meditate or do qi gong breathing. That I think I can manage, heck while I'm at it I might as well do the castor oil pack ;P

I'm actually not a big shopper but this time of year I tend to notice the gaps in my wardrobe and I am willing to do what it takes to help fix that problem.

Work is going well, I usually only complain about it, and not much here, but over all its doing well. I'm feeling knowledgable, experienced and useful (mostly).
Very amusing and informative.

Grocery Store Wars

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

The House passed that bill for National Food Labelling Uniformity. I looked it up on Thomas (I hope that link works) and it evidently doesn't affect organic food labeling:

(g) No Effect on Certain State Law - Nothing in this section or section 403A relating to a food shall be construed to prevent a State or political subdivision of a State from establishing, enforcing, or continuing in effect a requirement relating to--

`(1) freshness dating, open date labeling, grade labeling, a State inspection stamp, religious dietary labeling, organic or natural designation, returnable bottle labeling, unit pricing, or a statement of geographic origin;

You Are What You Eat

After coming across a few interesting news items this week I though I'd just include a general email about nutrition and food quality in the United States.

Some months ago I met a new doctor, an internist, just out of her residency and starting to work with patients. Since I had read that medical school curricula only included about 30 hours total information about nutrition, and that was spread out over all of their studies and not in nutrition courses. I asked this young doctor if that was still accurate and she confirmed it was about right. She said that she didn't buy into all this stuff about food, that people had been eating for thousands of years and people should just eat what they want. She also had an attitude that indicated that nutrition was akin to dietician or nutritionist, the lowest of the low -- she was a doctor. Wow I thought to myself, not only ignorance but arrogance about it even. I was not impressed.

Did you know that the food we eat today is not the same as what people ate 100 years ago? I don't just mean food preparations, but the nutritional value of the food has actually changed. Beef came from cows that ate grass and the omega-3 to omega-6 fat ratio was actually a lot more inline with what our bodies can handle. With the feedlot handling of today's cows/steer they eat a lot more of corn and other grains which drive up the omega-6 content. Too much omega-6 in the diet is linked to some types of arthritis and other health conditions. That's just one example that I heard about from an arthritis expert on NPR some years ago.

Then there are trace nutrients in the soil such as selenium. Wheat is usually a good source of selenium but with depleted soils in farmlands and crops grown predominently on fertilizer you likely aren't getting as much selenium in your diet as people were even 50 years ago. Selenium is one of those nutrients on the fertility supplement list -- if people dealing with infertility are having to supplement for this then you know on average there is a deficiency in the food supply on the whole.

So I wasn't that surprised when this article popped up on the ABCNews site this week, perhaps you saw coverage about it on the news this week:

Fruits, Veggies, Not As Vitamin-rich as in Past, Says New Data
Larger Fruits and Vegetables Mean More Plentiful but Less Potent Bounty

So the food you eat has 30% less vitamins than before, and it sounds like they weren't speaking even about trace nutrients, probably just the basics like Vitamin C, Iron, Calcium, etc. Does that mean that the average American is also 30% less healthy? I don't even need to say much about the recent figures about obesity in this country, I'm sure you haven't missed that.

Here's another good one:

What we don't eat can actually hurt us, Seattle Times 3/8/06

So the real deal is that if you want the best nutritional value you should buy organic. And eating local is also another way to help make sure you are getting food that hasn't been in storage for months, or ripened in warehouses with methane gas (that's what they do to those nasty pink tomatoes they sell in the supermarket).

A great couple of books you might be interested in to learn more include:

This Organic Life by Joan Dye Gussow

Coming Home to Eat: The Pleasures and Politics of Local Foods by Gary Paul Nabhan

Tuesday, March 07, 2006

So had to be mad about something

When I was brushing my teeth this morning I remembered that my acupuncturist last week had asked me to do castor oil packs on my belly. Oh well, forgot about that for a good number of days. But then I was thinking about it and got all annoyed. I don't like doing castor oil packs. Castor oil packs don't do anything. When has a study ever shown that castor oil packs help shrink fibroids? Wouldn't a hot water bottle do the same thing? And so on.

I did do castor oil pack a few years ago when I first started working with a naturopathic doctor, the routine left a lot to be desired -- heat up a cloth soaked in castor oil in the oven for 15 minutes and carry it upstairs. Place it carefully on my belly and then lay a sheet of plastic over it and a towel over that and then top the whole affair with a hot water bottle. Sit like that for 25-30 minutes every day. Then after that you had to wash your belly off with a baking soda solution though I usually just used a washcloth with soap and water. Hoo boo was that a lot of work. I did it too for about a month but after that I just shrugged it off. It's too much work. Taking a bath every single night would be less work.

But really, I don't mind sitting with a hot water bottle on my belly but what's up with the castor oil really. Where did this tradition start and why do they keep pushing it? Grumble, grumble.

My breasts did start getting sore right after I last posted about how they weren't. Nice isn't it? So that's about mid-LP, just as my hormones peak, I start getting sore this month and it will stay that way until AF (due on Monday). Well, that's better than last month. I'm going to go back through my Ovusoft notes in the new 2.0 version of the software and see about any patterns for breast pain that I can pick out.