blueimber: (Default)
Despite dreading trying the raw food bars;
cause sometimes this stuff sucks and sometimes it ain't cheap-
i can officially put my seal of approval on
the Miracle Reds bar from MacroLife Naturals.
it's like someone soaked dried fruits in juices and rolled them up with crushed nuts.
in fact
that's exactly what it is-
and it was like the center of a fig newton bar or one of those 'berry' breakfast bars
only without the breading/cookie part.

they make two others, both considered to be green (foods?)
chocolate and cinnamon
Apple Lemon Ginger-
and of course
reviews to follow.

i might consider buying boxes of these so that i can always have one or two on hand-
they are about 2 and a half dollars each;
but a box of 12 puts them at about 2 dollars each.
each 'Red' bar is 180 calories;
8 grams of fat
24 carbs, 4 in fiber, 18 in sugar-
3 grams protein and they are 10% of your daily iron, and 75% of your daily vitamin C.
Considering the 2000 calorie, 20 grams of fat diet
this isn't too bad;
part of a meal if the remainder of the meal is low or fat free...
given the sweetness i would generally rule this to an afternoon snack.
but in the morning i suppose it isn't bad if you've got a big bottle of water to get through-
i have always found that these things taste better if you follow each bite with a good bit of water-
and that it helps feeling more full...
i know my stomach looks for bulk while my body doesn't need whatever all that bulk is
so the water helps greatly
tricking my body
until it can realize that this is all it needs.

i am happy with it, and glad i tried it.

in other news;
reading on CNN today about the generational divide between the under 50 bracket
who strongly support Obama's healthcare plan and
the over 50'ers who
oppose such action
i think was
summarized best in the following paragraph of the article:

"In any health care system, tough decisions that affect individual patients -- such as which people get certain treatments and which treatments are too expensive or ineffective -- must be made. The poll suggests that Americans are split on whom they prefer to make such choices, with 40 percent saying it should be the insurance companies and an equal amount believing that the government should make the call."

leaving out of course approximately 20%; and also taken into consideration that these polls are usually astoundingly small samples of the population and not always conducted in a manner to ensure that all parties get to be heard-
that is besides the point
the point is

who would you feel more comfortable making healthcare choices for you?
Let's break this down into simple simple asethetics here;

Option 1.  Insurance companies.
Here is how this works.  You get sick or it's your yearly exam.  You go to your doctor, your doctor does routine, covered procedures.  There is a need, based on the results of the tests, for you to have a procedure that is expensive and needs approval for coverage.  Since, mind you, we're in the future in this scenario; your health plan is funded through the government, the healthplan looks at how much money you have given to them and how much money the government has given to them to allot to you- and then they pay all those analysts and decision makers, usually tipping from the pot of money the government has allotted for your care, beacuse surely this is part of your care; then asks the government if they can give them more money for you because you're sicker and you need to have this procedure approved.  The government, because you know, it really is just a parent who doles out money when a problem rises- says; well, we can pay a little more- so go ahead, we'd hate to see anyone denied if they need it.  So then the healthplan tells you you're approved for such and such coverage and that you're responsible for such and such co-pay.  You have the care you need, and the doctors perform what they have to and you can return to life as normal.  Now sometimes it doesn't always go so smooth; and sometimes these back and forths can take months; durring which time you could get worse, you could loose a job or any number of bad things, and in the worst case- they deny the procedure that the doctors reccommend for an older procedure more widely practiced by other doctors who've been doing it longer.  Sometimes its true that newer procedures that haven't been given long enough trial periods can lead to complications in the affected area later on, especially with bones and artificial elements inside the body, joints; tendons- that kind of thing.... but it is also true that medicine and science are advancing at a high and expensive rate- new procedures could turn out to be leaps and bounds above the same routine tried and true methods.  We need realistically another 10 to 15 years to tell... and by then there will be things even more advanced.  The co-pays generally range anywhere from 60/40 to 90/10, and up to 100% coverage, really based on how much the plan pinches from how much the government gives.  Premiums are simply the oversight and maintenance costs of running the administrative end of the plan. 


Option 2.  Government. 
Here is how this works.  You get sick or it's your yearly exam.  You go to your doctor, your doctor does routine, covered procedures.  There is a need, based on the results of the tests, for you to have a procedure that is expensive and needs approval for coverage.  Since, mind you, we're in the future in this scenario; the government provides your healthcare; your doctors contact the government and say "so and so with this identifier needs this procedure.  I am reccommending this procedure on grounds of blah blah blabbity credentials such and such statistics.  i know these things because i am a doctor!" and the government says "really? well okay" and then the doctor says how much and the government says 'i'll pay blah percent' and then tells you that you are responsible to pay whatever remains.  It's usually in all examples about an 80/20 split, with the government paying the higher cost.  That's why it's insurance.    You have the care you need, and the doctors perform what they have to and you can return to life as normal. If this doesn't go smoothly; it is because the government thinks that maybe your doctor is again, mistaken and that they want a second doctor or a team to examine you to make sure that the procedure reccommended is statistically the one that will be the very best for you with all the facts considered.

Personally; obviously- there are good arguments to both options; as sometimes in health insurance companies you get decision makers who might have a passion for the business and be really well oriented with your condition and how it has been treated in others; but maybe you just get someone who is working for the plan because someone told them that healthcare was where the jobs were.  And far be it from me; but i tend to trust doctors just a little more, to be more informed of what is going on in their feilds and about what procedures might be the most beneficial, even if it means having to ask several doctors each what they think.  I don't think anyone should undergo a major medical procedure unless they talk to several doctors who advise it- and not just doctors in the same buildings; but at different facilities or specialists.

I advocate for governemt run for two reasons;

the first being the clearly logical short processing time when dealing between doctors and the government.  Honestly, all of the middlemen aren't needed; the government could do a much more efficient job of it.  They would establish roles for advocates for the patients within the system and people would get the procedures that they need, that best suit them.  Astoundingly so in countries where these kinds of plans have been put into place; people get the surgeries they need and aren't destroyed by their costs. 

and the second is the organizational aspect-  which makes more sense, thousands of healthcare plans in the dozens of states each offering several kinds of plans and options and manipulations of what the government approves and then having to operate in compliance with what the goverment states; or just straight up one single 'plan;' which is the government; offering the same kinds of plans to everyone in every state of the nation; equal and accounted for?  Meaning that when you move or are in another city, as long as you're on the government plan- you are fine and dandy and insured.  Less Hassle, less chance for being messed with-- hands down less problems.

I think that the older populations are frieghtened that too many demands by the young and sick are going to somehow take away from their care; being old and sick.  I think the truth of the matter is that more money is lost to the middleman process of having privitized healthcare plans managing the money the government allots for healthcare.  Honestly, the benefits of having private care mostly lay in the education of the people running the plan and how often they are informed and learning about changes and updates in care.  The government could probably educate, train and update these people better, fast and more efficiently than most private plans will; the government is looking to stretch every dollar while private plans are looking to maximize a bottom line.  There really doesn't need to be much further debate when it breaks down to that... you can claim that if the system is run by the government that it would use less than quality information or materials to do such things but i think that you'll find that they will rely on an established test and certificate system in conjunction with educators; colleges, hospitals, universities and vocational schools; which can vary from state to private institutions- but all able to take a bar of what much be taught and understood and disemanate it to a studeous populace.  That makes the most sense, anyways- but i might be too utopitarian, or have too much faith and hope in humans treating each other like, well, other humans. 

There are little other problems that crop up in arguments about healthcare and paying for it but the truth is in many ways we already are;  honestly, given all of the sad stories where people who were sick died or were denied care because they had no insurance, people who live in impoverished conditions- people who cannot provide for themselves without the help of the community-- i would give as much as 10% of my pay to help them, i could make that sacrifice.  I don't make a lot of money, but i can take care of myself.  a little bit off my top to help someone who can't isn't beyond asking too much, and if god forbid i was ever not able to do for myself, i would feel comfortable knowing that there was a safety net in place for me too.  That's the benefit of social programs; it allows by mandate that everyone is cared for and that everyone contributes; and that there is a scale of fair and equal.  A dollar to a medicare beneficiary is a whole lot more valueable than a dollar is to a millionaire.  

The rest of the solution to all of the plagues in this country and drains that causes sucha  large populace to be in need of healthcare insurance also stems from the economy and jobs.  But there has to be a starting point, a place from which a platform can be made for improvements across the board.  The government acting as it's own force could expedite the establishment of that platform and instantely create thousands of jobs to help get it running in every state.  More jobs means more money back into the system; more back into the system creates growth.  These solutions are so clear, so obvious; it is amazing that well educated people can not see that or see it and argue against it.  We have to create change, we have to move beyond have and have not-- the basic principle behind most conflict.  This is a problem which leads to loss of life and quality of life; how could we ever justify stalling on it, especially since the problems can only truly be worked out only after it has been instituted.  We need and want this, it is time to make it happen. 


okay.  that is all....  for now, i think.

Peace and Love, Equality and Empowerment.  ^_^

blueimber: (Default)
i got my Raw food book last night
and i am really happy with the choice i made.
the book was less than 20 dollars and has 400 recipes
as well as a whole section in the beginning with how-to tips
and suggestions for
getting started and some of the processes involved in
keeping this kind of lifestyle.

i have sharply cut off my intake of breads
and i have been off of pasta for a while now.
this weekend i had limited success in staying raw
sunday after a rained out faire
at the pub that night i had
fried ravioli and a turkey club;
of course it came with fries and of course i had some.
but that was the nail in the coffin for the summer;
from now on my only indulgences can be
cooked meats;
and crave items; since i feel cravings is the body's way of saying
i need this
and i am all about listening.

i will start to read the book and pick out things which i can make now
without the need for blenders and mixers and whatnot;
things that have a high protein base and which seem to be like they would be tasty.

i think the biggest problem i am going to have with this diet is
when i travel; conventions and faires and
trying to maintain my hunger and energy levels
in the face of more cooked options than raw.
Most places offer poorly comprised salads
and dismal options for those more vegetable oriented.
and i am not going to carry such things around in my purse--
i can't stand to impose upon others--
but hopefully there is some solution somewhere;
a friend recommended a brand of snack bars apparently that is raw friendly;
so i might have to look into those
as much as i don't want packaged items
it might come down to it when traveling.

There was one negative reaction i had
where the author has a side note that most people who adopt this lifestyle take a supplement 'green' powder-
i thought that the point of doing all of this was to get back to
nature, and natural ways to live--
when did green vitamin powder grow on trees?
or does it accumulate in springs that seep out from under the crust of the earth?
balls to that- fuck the green powder-
i thought that eating raw meant that you educated yourself well enough that your diet
includes all of the proteins, enzymes and other vitamins you are supposed to be getting

this diet takes me back tho;
i am in a similar place to where i was when i lived in white plains
i can feel it already in a few ways.
i am sure the more i stick to it
the better i am going to start to feel.
and the more i stick to it
the easier it will be to find a groove that works for me.

the thing i am most curious about is soaking items
like lentils and grains
for several days before eating them--
most of the time
periods of being soaked are followed by
putting them in boiling water
but obviously
with raw food
that isn't the case--
i wonder how the textures will be-
i mean, i like cold lentil patties
but that is always cold lentils that have been cooked first.
i wonder if the cooking just expedites the act of soaking for days--
but i guess all my questions will be answered as i start to explore these options.

Of course
now i really need a kitchen table--

i think i am going to continue with my baking hobby
everyone knows i love breads and cookies--
but i am just going to have to find volunteers
to come out and eat such items
especially as winter approaches and my nesting bug kicks in and says
i think once a week i will cook something that is meat too;
divide it up into small small portions and
have it sparingly.

There will be bumps in this road
and there will be things at first that i will miss
but the things i find myself missing are all things that i needed to not eat anyways;
things like chips and cakes and candies and
i reward myself with these items
and create a bad association
food is not a reward, it is not a comfort-
it is something needed for survival.
If two months of this diet start to see an improvement in my mind and health;
i will transition more deeply into it
if nothing changes then
i will try to maintain the diet as if to see if it just takes a little longer
at which point i will decide new time frames.

My goals are currently
to include more olives and lentils;
more fiber and proteins. 
to continue to make sure i am making the right choices
instead of sabotaging myself.

i guess i will try to speak to this as i have the inspiration to
but i don't want to go overboard;
people always hate having new things pushed at them with enthusiasm
especially when it comes to near vegan lifestyles.
i don't want to be stigmatized as that;
and i don't want seem like i am spouting the dogma that eating raw is right
and cooking is wrong
because i know that is not true--

i know that my body does well with it
i know that it creates a balance within me and
i know that i want to do this for myself-

it begins.

wish me luck; ask me questions--
look for someday posts
once i find my 'cooking' (read: preparation) inspiration.

here we go--

Edit:  There are a few lines of Raw prepackaged snacks--
MacroLife Naturals (in red (berries) and green (herbs and junk))
Raw Revolution which appears to be mostly cashew based. 
i am going to try these and i will report back if they are a yay or a nay.
i am praying that they will be a yay;
well, LOL, something has to be.  It looks like they have a 4 to 8 month shelf-life
which is impressive for something that is raw.
and kind of scary.
these have huge scare potential, actually-
keep your fingers crossed, they might surprise--

also, new, with tagging!!

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