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Tuesday, September 04, 2007

More on this lousy Milk campaign

As I was looking for a picture of Markiska to put on my previous posting, I came upon some more stuff she's doing with the Dairy Council. And let me say that I have absolutely nothing against this woman....I just couldn't disagree more with her.
Here's the press-style release that I found on a few websites:
"LAW + ORDER: SVU star MARISKA HARGITAY is showing off new baby AUGUST in a new Got Milk? advertising campaign. The new mum is spearheading the American Dairy Council's new Think About Your Drink campaign, which aims to encourage mums to use milk as part of their weightloss programme after giving birth."

Again, shouldn't we be encouraging women to drink WATER as part of their weightloss programme? If you consider one glass of milk at about 100 calories, and if a woman drank only one glass of milk a day instead of calorie free water, then that woman would gain a pound every 35 days.
Calories are calories, and the calories and sugar from milk (Lactose is a sugar- that's why milk is sweet) have the same effect on the body as the calories from orange juice, or Sunny-D (don't get me started on Sunny D).

But there's no huge political lobby to make money off people drinking more water---unless that water is bottled, and then you'd only have individual companies pushing their wares. This is the National Dairy Council.....Big Bucks!!!

I got in an argument a few months back with a pediatrician on my baseball team, when he told a new mom that she needed to give the baby cow's milk.
"How can a human child NEED cow's milk?" I asked?
Especially when you look at the effect that cow's milk (with very large proteins) has on a baby's GI tract! This causes a "leaky gut syndrome", and milk is actually inflammatory to most people's guts. The majority of the population of the Earth is actually lactose INTOLLERANT!! How can we need that?

What about calcium? Well you get more calcium from fortified Tropicana, and certainly more from dark green leafy veggies.
In fact, cow's milk is one of the worst ways to try and get calcium into your body.
Again, do some research on your own as to the hormones they pump into the cows, and the realities of the modern large-scale dairy farm, and I believ you may think twice before giving yourself or your baby a cow's milk mustache....cute as it may be.

OOh, I hate when commercials upset me so much!

I'm watching my beloved television, when a commercial comes on with that delightful actress, Mariska Hargitay (of Law & order fame) talking about the obesity crisis in this country. How as a mother she feels we must do something about it.
How did she suggest we curb the rampant obesity?
Encourage your child to exercise- Great! Eat as a family- great! (I should also point out that at this point my cynicism is starting to fade, as I think this might actually just be a public service message- and not an ad for some other packaged food)
'And instead of sugary juices and drinks give them Milk.'
That's the solution to the obesity crisis? feed them cow's milk instead of juice?
Too bad milk has about a hunderd calories in much if not more calories than in a serving of juice (depending on brand etc.)
So they're suggesting that to curb obesity, we should give children calories from cow's milk instead of calories from sugary juices.
How does that make any difference?
Here's the solution right here.....ready? Instead of sugary juices or milk, give your children WATER.
Water has no calories. It's also non-fat and even trans-fat free (see my rant on trans fats). Plus depending on where you get it from, it costs almost nothing.
Plus, ask yourself....Which do you think we humans are designed to drink and digest easily.....Water or cow's milk?
This is just bad, false and misleading information, and the national dairy council should be ashamed of themselves. To use the emotional aspect of "our children's health and childhood obesity" as the hook, and then finish off by suggesting that they do something that will have no positive impact on childhood (or adult) obesity is disgusting.
Remember, just because a good looking actress gives an impassioned speech (also known as acting), doesn't mean it's true.
Why don't you do some research on your own as to the effects of cow's milk on your digestive system, and consider that most in the holistic and complementary fields (chiropractors and naturopaths) would suggest you cut milk out of your diet as a first step towards better health.
The national dairy council is a political lobby, and their warped and fallacious message smells like spoiled milk to me.

Chiropractic is the safest

I was asked to blog on the issue of chiropractic safety, as many wonder about it.
Let me say this first. As someone who went through four years of Chiropractic education, and 3 years in practice, I believe now more than ever that from a practitioners perspective it is the single biggest non-issue I face.
What do I mean by that? Well, the likelihood of having a serious complication from a chiropractic adjustment is estimated to be 1 in a million to 1 in 5 million. Consider that.
Did you know that medicine and medical errors are the third leading cause of death in North America behind heart disease and cancer? And here in Canada serious side-effects are separated by years!
In my opinion, the chiropractic controversy is that more people aren't under regular chiropractic care, and are taking drugs given to them by their MDs every single day to minimize and mask their symptoms-and make them think they're healthy! That's scandalous!!!
Medics have fallaciously told people for decades not to go to chiropractors as "it could kill them", and then give them drugs under the guise of safety, that actually kill people.
Your risk of dying from a gastric bleeding ulcer from taking Tylenol is hundreds of times greater than having any kind of serious side effect in a chiropractors office.
Is there a risk? Yes. Is it safe? Absolutely!

I have often joked with colleagues that according to MDs, DCs have the highest rate of spontaneous remission around! When a patient responds well, they must have gotten well on their own....but when someone has a problem, any temporal relationship to their last adjustment must have been the cause.

I've been asked by some MDs not to adjust patients necks.
I always ask "why?" .
"Well, that stroke thing".....
So I ask them what they think the risk actually is.
"Oh, really small I know.....just don't do it"......
So doctors recommend against care that is incredibly effective and safe, because their personal bias is that it's dangerous? Outrageous!
I've met MDs who said there was no evidence I could provide them to prove it was safe, or to get them to refer a patient to me.
Is that evidence based medicine????

I had the pleasure of addressing 30 family doctors at the hospital next to my office, and on the issue of safety I had this to say:
"You would all love to trade malpractice rates with me!" They all nodded their heads, because they know that the likelihood of a patient having a SERIOUS side effect under their medical care is FAR greater than them having any kind of side effect in my office, let alone a stroke.

Chiropractic is the most widely utilized complementary health field outside of medicine, and is the safest thing around. It keeps your body working great, helps with flexibility and energy levels, and for most people would make a major and immediate positive impact on their health and the health of their families.

Why all the nutrition & lifestyle talk?

I tend to write as things irritate's a great motivator that gets me writing.
Chiropractic is not just a modality, it's a way of life.
So when we talk about being subluxation-free, it doesn't just mean spinal alignment causing nerve interference, it means addressing the physical, chemical and emotional subluxations in our lives.
This means that the unsubluxated familiy tends towards whole healthy living, vitalism and naturalism -as it relates to pregancy, childbirth, and child-raising, health decisions, and life in general.
In my experience It tends to be the chiropractic patients who get better educated on issues of childbirth interventions, vaccination, co-sleeping, attachment parenting, dairy-free diet, so that they can decide for themselves what the best choices are (rather than taking a doctors word for it)
For me, nutrition is my first love, and my biggest frustration. I believe it is the cause of most disease we see, which is why I tend to write about that most.
The other posting I started was about the baby einstein study showing that kids who watched videos knew fewer words than those who didn't. again not unique to chiropractic, but part of the chiropractic lifestyle.
My mission is to empower people with high quality information so that they can make better decisions about their health and the health of their families. I just don't feel that the mainstream medical message creates healthier children and adults....somewhat the contrary.
In the wellness movement, chiropractors have positioned themselves to be people's Chief Wellness Officers (or CWO). Why? Because it is our obligation to find the causes for problems, not merely to treat their symptoms. While we tend to practice this philosophy by adjusting rather than medicating, this is not the whole picture. What was the cause of the spinal fixation? What is the cause of the dis-ease? Toxicity? Deficiency? It is only when we look at the overall lifestyle and the BELIEF SYSTEMS that lead to our thoughts, decisions and actions, that we truly begin to build and invest in long-lasting health and wellness.

All Bran Snack Bites- pseudo green junk food

Well, I've found my latest example of junk food that disguises itself as healthy food.
The commercials for Kellogg’s All Bran Snack Bites humorously shows a guy at work telling people that his Snack bites taste great right before each of them does a "spit take" of astonishment in his face.
Then the announcer sums it all up for us...."All Bran Snack Bites taste great" we should all be surprised and shocked that something with (gasp!!) fibre actually tastes good.
Why, I thought, would it taste SO great? So I went into my cupboard to find a box of All Bran bars---Second ingredient is Sugar (third is Bran). I was far from impressed.
Then at the grocery store I stopped to check a box of the snack bites. First ingredient is sugar!!
They could have said "we added enough sugar to make these delicious, give you your starchy snack fix, and leave you hungry for a second package or another snack in 45 minutes", but that wouldn't sound like a pseudo-health claim. They've piggybacked on the good name of All Bran and created a sugary snack food that happens to have 5 grams of fibre.
By contrast, an orange or a pear has 4 grams of natural, unprocessed fibre with no sugar, salt, additives, preservatives, palm kernel oil shortening or milk ingredients (as Kellogg’s lists in the ingredients).
There are two things that really irk me about this. First is the insinuation that food companies always make in commercials that food supposed to be good for you must obviously taste the commercials that say "it has soy.....but honestly it tastes good" if soy protein didn't taste like whatever flavoring it was given.
Second is the marketing and subsequent over-consumption of processed starchy foods that we never get tired of eating, and which are believed by many to have caused the modern obesity epidemic we see around us.

Here's a question to ask yourself. Do you think that the best way to get fit and healthy is to eat mostly processed foods that have health claims on them, sit on a shelf almost indefinitely, and come in a box or can?
Isn't it possible that the best food to eat is that which is simply whole and natural?
A biased question I know, but hopefully you'll think twice about what "healthy food is"

To find out where to get fibre in your diet, check out 2003Volumes/Vol14no6supplement.pdf

Bonuses to vaccinate?

I was golfing with my father the MD last week, and we started with some shop-talk.
Well, he commented at the bonuses he'd gotten from the government (Here in Ontario the government pays for basic sick-care). Curious, I asked him to elaborate, and discovered that MDs are being given financial bonuses for performing services such as Paps, flu shots, and routine immunizations to name a few. While I understand the Ministry of Health's attempt to prevent diseases, the financial incentive to vaccinate is something I find troubling.
Why? The effectiveness of the flu shot has been questionable at best, and the shot itself does nothing to improve the function or quality of the immune system. It inoculates against very specific strains of the virus, and is only as good as the strength of the immune system of the person who gets it!

Unfortunately, many people have weak immune systems from their chronic exposure to physical, emotional and chemical/environmental/nutritional stresses. Many people are getting well below the ideal amount of fruits and vegetables, and by consequence nutrients and phytonutrients/antioxidants. Most people could strengthen their immune system in a real way for a few dollars a day by taking high quality supplementation. Or increasing their levels of physical activity. That however requires energy, commitment, and accountability, and for many people when it comes to their health, they want the easiest option.

So not only is the government pouring millions into the vaccinations themselves, but they're pouring millions into paying off the medics to inject them!! I argue no amount of junk needs this kind of financial push.
What is the best way to prevent getting sick?
Wash your hands

Shoppers Junk Mart

Have you noticed that the stuff they sell in the first half of the drug stores gives you the diseases that you need to get drugs from the back half of the store?
In Ontario, they used to sell cigarettes in pharmacies, until they were moved into convenience stores. Is junk food any less dangerous or damaging than cigarettes? Isn’t food most people’s biggest addiction?

Sesame Street brought to you by….Corporate America

Like so many people who grew up in the 70s and 80s, some of my fondest and strongest memories of childhood surround watching Sesame Street. I trust it. Its’ safe.
So how crazy is it that a show which preaches eating healthy food now being sponsored by McDonalds!
Not only that, you (or your kids) are forced to watch the ads, as they start the show off with a 30 second clip with Muppets before rolling through a series of advertisements.
What are the ads?
1) Sandals resorts- This I have no problem with
2) McDonalds- Remember in Supersize me when they talk about Ronald McDonald and his effect on kids?
3) A website that gives you information about your kids Asthma! As if that’s normal. Not to mention the fact that there is great reason to believe that the processed and preserved food full of sugar, fat, salt and dairy products is in part to blame for the rise in childhood asthma
4) An organic food company pitching organic cows milk formula. A potential contributor to asthma & allergies
We just picked up a DVD set called “Sesame Street Old School” which shows episodes, songs and clips from way back in the day. It’s a very refreshing change, and reminds me of what made Sesame Street so unique. Instead of corporate sponsors, the show was famously brought to you today by the letter “R” and the number “7”. Instead it’s being brought to you by big pharma and the fast food industry….

Health by absence or presence?

Is the food you eat healthy because of what it has or because of what it doesn’t? Some of the most famous diets have advertised being “low fat” or more recently “low carb”. Health by absence in these cases suggests that carbs or fat are bad, and that food that doesn’t have these nutrients is by default healthy
Likewise, when you think about your own health level, do you measure it by the problems you don’t have or by the ability to enjoy all that life has to offer you? Which type of health do you think is more valuable?

When the people from “The Secret” were on Oprah, one of the women said something that struck me. If you’re focused on losing weight you never will (consistently) but if you focus instead on being whole and healthy that that will lead you to where you want to be.
The law of attraction determines what type of choices and decisions we make, based on our thoughts and beliefs. So when your focus is on losing weight, you search out foods (often boxed and processed) that claim to be low in levels of sugar, fat, salt, and carbs.
While these foods may be low in certain nutrients, they are often heavily processed & preserved. As well, people will often eat more than one serving since the food often has higher levels of some other ingredient to make up for unnatural levels of something else.

If instead the focus is on becoming whole and healthy, foods that are boxed, canned, processed and which contain added sugar, fat, and salt are generally avoided or removed entirely from the diet. Whole food fills us up faster, as it doesn’t overwhelm our natural level of hunger and feelings of fullness. As a result we naturally eat less and often avoid the negative effects that junk food (synthetic food) can have on our metabolisms.

Low carb the downfall of Krispy Kreme?

I was recently on an elevator that had a TV screen broadcasting the daily news and goings on in the world. One story, which caught my eye, was that Krispy Kreme donuts were blaming the low-carb diet fad on it slumping sales over the past few years.
Here’s my question….. On what diet are donuts included? Were these people not eating at Krispy Kreme because of the high carb-count? I bet if donuts had been low carb, people would have eaten there on the diet. Just like Subway had an Atkins wrap that included bacon!!!! Pseudo green.


I’ve been thinking of this term for a while to describe the trend of things that are marketed suggesting health but in fact are not healthy.
Trans fats are the most recent and perhaps widespread example, but marketing companies have been working for years to keep eating food that we don’t need and which we never get tired of eating.
What are the green things that these pseudo green products are piggybacking on? Organic food, vegetarian, trans fats, and so on.
I recently passed a KFC restaurant and the sign outside told me that a meal was free of trans fats…..Thank god !!!

How ridiculous that a restaurant such as KFC can make a health claim, when the food itself is inherently Unhealthy!!
At a recent talk to 80 people I asked how many people knew what trans fats were, and only a handful of people raised their hands. To be able to state that something is free of trans fats while being obscenely high in saturated fats. This is clearly a useless and misleading health claim if it can be used for inherently unhealthy food.
Pseudo green.

Monday, September 03, 2007

My amazing Lazarus act!

Well, after a mere 8 months away, the time has come to get on that blogging horse (sounds sort of like a Mad libs).
I have been blogging on another site, about health, and I've gotten to really liking it.
So having now passed the novelty stage, and actually created a (little bit of a) habit, I want to keep the perverbial ball rolling as they say.
So here goes.
This blog will serve not only as a place for my own innane ramblings and observations - (has anybody noticed how leave the toilet seat up, and airplane peanuts come in really small packages? I could make a fortune with that), but as a place to talk about health concepts, and especially to vent over unhealthy things packaged as healthy- pseudo green as I call it.
Tell your friends, tell your neighbors, and let me know your thoughts.
Love & appreciation,
Dr. Adam