I try and stay out of politics. It’s ALWAYS negative, I don’t care which side of the aisle you’re sitting on, one side always has something negative to say about the other. They are always fighting and dirty with one another. And quite frankly, I think both political parties are just two sides of the same coin.
We still have people in Congress who have been there for DECADES. Serving your country in Congress was never meant to be a life-long career. You were to serve and then go back home and pick up your life again. Now we have people who have spent decades as Congressmen and Senators. People who went to Washington as middle-class Americans and are now multi-millionaires.
How does that happen? Oh wait … we’re not supposed to ask that!
Anyway, back to the TPP or Trans-Pacific Partnership. If you’re into holistic and alternative ways to take care of your health and wellness, this agreement might just throw all of us under the bus.
Why? Because apparently Big Pharma gets a lot of help from this agreement.
POLITICO has obtained a draft copy of TPP’s intellectual property chapter as it stood on May 11, at the start of the latest negotiating round in Guam. While U.S. trade officials would not confirm the authenticity of the document, they downplayed its importance, emphasizing that the terms of the deal are likely to change significantly as the talks enter their final stages. Those terms are still secret, but the public will get to see them once the twelve TPP nations reach a final agreement and President Obama seeks congressional approval.
Still, the draft chapter will provide ammunition for critics who have warned that TPP’s protections for pharmaceutical companies could dump trillions of dollars of additional health care costs on patients, businesses and governments around the Pacific Rim. The highly technical 90-page document, cluttered with objections from other TPP nations, shows that U.S. negotiators have fought aggressively and, at least until Guam, successfully on behalf of Big Pharma.
The draft text includes provisions that could make it extremely tough for generics to challenge brand-name pharmaceuticals abroad. Those provisions could also help block copycats from selling cheaper versions of the expensive cutting-edge drugs known as “biologics” inside the U.S., restricting treatment for American patients while jacking up Medicare and Medicaid costs for American taxpayers.
“There’s very little distance between what Pharma wants and what the U.S. is demanding,” said Rohat Malpini, director of policy for Doctors Without Borders.
If you think this is going to stop at generic drugs, think again. Big Pharma has very powerful lobbyists in DC who work aggressively at furthering the interests of their employers.
If you are all about health and wellness, if you look toward natural alternative solutions for your health needs, this should open your eyes at just how cozy Big Pharma and those in Washington are.
Check out this graph a friend posted on Facebook. While I have nothing against capitalism, when you see the salaries of the CEOs of these pharmaceutical companies and know that there are thousands and thousands of employees also working for them, including lobbyists in DC, do you believe they really have your best interest at heart?
Follow the money, my friends, follow the money …
Several weeks ago, I made the decision to go vegan. It is my intention to be vegan full-time, but I must confess that I have slipped and had 2 vegetarian (not vegan) meals and 2 meals that contained a small amount of meat.
I’m not going to beat myself up about it, because I am on a wellness and health journey. I’m doing my best and that is all any of us can do. Some people can adjust to a new way of life by going cold turkey and others need to wade into deeper and deeper water in a slow progression.
I’ve been wading for 3 years and now I’m at the point where I’m barely touching the bottom, but can still bounce from time to time. Do you like my beach metaphors? Hey, it’s summer and I’m in a beachy kind of mood.
Anyway, what I want to relay in this post is that it’s okay to not be the perfect vegan. I read a book by Russell Simmons. Mr. Simmons is vegan and he is very vocal about it. He relayed a story of how he was out with his brother who convinced him to have a harmless slice of cheese pizza, saying, “It’s one slice. It’s not going to kill you.” He agreed and sat down to eat a slice of pizza with his brother.
A young man approached him and said, “You’re eating pizza? Man I thought you were the real deal.” And he walked away shaking his head in disappointment.
So, I don’t want to disappoint anyone. I am not a slave to being vegan. I just know that being vegan is what is best for me. I know the benefits and I am doing my best to stick to an all-vegan diet. But I may slip from time to time and that’s okay. No one’s perfect.
I used to use artificial sweeteners in my drinks. I don’t do that anymore. I put maple syrup in my coffee. I use Agave in my iced tea. Mostly though, I drink water all day. I like to use citrus essential oils in my water like Tangerine or Lime.
I have a friend who’s stepfather had a heart attack and he goes vegan during the week and eats meat one day on the weekends. That is another alternative to being a full-time vegan. People in the Blue Zones eat a 95% plant-based diet and only occasionally eat meat. When they do eat meat it is a small amount.
I’m not perfect. I will probably slip from time to time, but most of the time I am eating a vegan diet and enjoying it.
What are some of the benefit of going vegan? Here are 10:
1. Weight Loss
Cutting down on animal products makes it easier to stay slim as you’re not consuming high amounts of saturated fats from dairy and meat products.
2. It’s easier to get your daily servings of fruits and veggies
Eating fruits and/or vegetables at every mealtime means that your diet will be much more nutritious than those making up a third (or less) of lunch and dinner with vegetables.
3. Vegans are healthier
Vegans and vegetarians typically have lower cholesterol levels, lower blood pressure, lower rates of Type 2 diabetes, lower body mass indexes, a lower risk of death from heart disease, and lower overall cancer rates. Science and research confirms that you don’t need meat to be healthy at all, in fact statistics point to the opposite.
4. Going vegan can improve your sports abilities
Did you know that many successful athletes are vegan? One athlete is ultrarunner Scott Jurek. Scott is recognized as one of the greatest ultrarunners of all time and has been vegan since 199. He has also won some of the toughest long distance races in the world. Ever hear of Carl Lewis? He’s vegan too! Recognized as one of the world’s greatest athletes, Carl attributes his dominant and record breaking performances of 1991 to being vegan.
5. Having a vegan diet boosts immunity and is anti-cancer
Since fruits and vegetables are rich in super nutrients and many have anti-oxidant purposes, they can bolster the immune system and help the body fight against disease.
6. Vegans are more beautiful
Vegans who consume a large amount of fruits and vegetables are feeding and nurturing the health of their skin, hair and nails meaning that they literally glow with health. And isn’t that more beautiful than gobs of make-up and fake hair extensions?
7. Plant-based diet can aid arthritis
Eliminating dairy consumption has been connected with alleviating the symptoms of arthritis symptoms, but a new study by Karolinska University in Stockholm indicates that a combination of gluten-free and vegan diet is very effective in improving the health of those suffering from rheumatoid arthritis.
8. Boost your energy levels
You will find that your energy is vastly improved when on a vegan diet. NFL star Tony Gonzalez has talked extensively about how swapping from an omnivore to vegan diet has helped him gain energy while playing at the top of his career in the NFL.
9. You’ll live longer
As I stated above, all of the Blue Zones (which sports the longest lived people in the world) eat a 95% plant-based diet. Several studies indicate that those following a vegan or vegetarian diet will live an average of three to six years longer than those who do not.
10. No bad breath and less body odor
Eliminating dairy and red meat from your diet significantly reduces body odor, and vegans frequently experience a reduction in bad breath. I use Young Living’s Thieves line of dental products which is also a plant-based dental hygiene system.
So there you have it. Ten reason why you should go vegan. Look, even if you eat vegan Monday through Friday and take a break on the weekends, you’ll be doing yourself a great service.
Your body will thank you!
Think you have no control over your future and your health because of genetic makeup? Think again!
Your genes are not your fate!
Dr. Dean Ornish is the founder of Preventive Medicine Research Institute and the author of such books as Dr. Dean Ornish’s Program for Reversing Heart Disease; Eat More, Weigh Less; Love & Survival; and his most recent book, The Spectrum.
Dr. Ornish was instrumental in helping former President Bill Clinton get his health back on track after having heart surgery.
In 2004, less than four years after leaving office, the 58-year-old Clinton felt what he described as a tightness in his chest as he returned home from New Orleans, where he was promoting his memoir, “My Life.” Days later, he underwent quadruple bypass surgery to restore blood flow to his heart.
“I was lucky I did not die of a heart attack,” Clinton told CNN’s Dr. Sanjay Gupta. After the surgery, the former president cut down on his calories and lowered the cholesterol in his diet, but his heart troubles were not over.
Last year, the former president went to Haiti to support the relief efforts but he felt weak. When he returned home, he learned he needed another heart procedure: two stents to open one of the veins from his bypass surgery, which had become, in Clinton’s words, “pretty bent and ugly.”
Ornish recalls meeting with Clinton a few days after his angioplasty. “I shared with him that because of his genetics, moderate changes in diet and lifestyle weren’t enough to keep his disease from progressing. However, our research showed that more intensive changes change actually reverse progression of heart disease in most people.”
Will you have a heart attack? These tests can tell
“I told him, ‘The friends that mean the most to me are the ones that tell me what I need to hear, not necessarily what I want to hear. And you need to know your genes are not your fate. And I say this not to blame you but to empower you. And I’m happy to work with you to whatever extent you want,'” Ornish recalled. They met a few days later, he said.
Clinton then decided to make profound changes in the way he eats.
“I essentially concluded that I had played Russian roulette,” Clinton said, “because even though I had changed my diet some and cut down on the caloric total of my ingestion and cut back on much of the cholesterol in the food I was eating, I still — without any scientific basis to support what I did — was taking in a lot of extra cholesterol without knowing if my body would produce enough of the enzyme to support it, and clearly it didn’t or I wouldn’t have had that blockage. So that’s when I made a decision to really change.”
The former president now says he consumes no meat, no dairy, no eggs, almost no oil.
“I like the vegetables, the fruits, the beans, the stuff I eat now,” Clinton told Gupta.
You can change your health by changing your food, your exercise and how you spend your time.