In the Spring of 2007 I got the scare of my life when, while at a conference in Toronto,I experienced chest pains, which got worse through the day, so much that we decided to go home early. By the end of the day the pain had pretty much subsided, only to reappear a couple of days later in the middle of the night. After checking with the doctor and a whole battery of tests and scans etc. it was determined that my arteries were clogged (arteriosclerosis), my cholesterol was too high, as was my blood pressure. As high as 165 (systolic) over 118 (diastolic). I needed to go on statins and betablockers immediately.
As you can imagine I was worried, but even more, I was quite angry, quite mad.
I am not overweight, have always led a very active life. Ever since retiring from teaching in the early eighties, when we sought a different kind of challenge, a change of scenery, lifestyle, work etc. I had probably put in 12 hour days more often than not.
We're both healthnuts, with Audrey being a Health and Nutrition graduate from the University of Wageningen.
We always ate healthy with lots of vegetables, cut down on animal products, (cut out butter, but did eat cheese; cut off the fat of chops and steaks etc.) , whole wheat or multi grain breads, baguettes...And yet...
So we did what most people do these days : we scoured the Internet for answers..... and .....
we discovered the dirty underbelly of the present day commercial food industry, the misinformation and world of half truths that has pervaded the Institutions we have come to rely on, the Heart Association, Diabetes Ass. Cancer Society etc, the modern medical world and the monstrosity which is known as the Health Care Industry, with emphasis on Industry and with Care reduced to being a mere afterthought, a convenient flag to cover the dirty load.
We discovered that the side effects of statin drugs are about as worse if not worse than the problem.
We discovered that the cholesterol problem is an imagined one, a problem created for the "solution".
We discovered that neither the pharmaceutical industry, nor the medical world is really interested in the solving the real cholesterol problem.
We discovered that we had been misinformed regarding the value of vegetable oils.
We discovered that heartdisease, stroke, diabetes type 2, melanoma and a host of other healthproblems, did not really start and took flight until we changed our diet in the western world to the modern diet, with lots of all sorts of margarines, vegetable oils and vegetable oils based sauces etc., refined flour, sugar and lots of processed foods.
We discovered basically that our food pyramid is not based on solid scientific evidence but on quite poorly controlled research, with confounders not or hardly accounted for.
We discovered that our grain based diet is a health hazard of immense proportions.
In fact, we discovered that our present-day healthscience is a house of cards which appears to be crumbling , but is still supported by commercial interests and a medical profession not able to keep up with newer developments and findings and therefore relying on , what is called cascading, which means, relying on what somebody else said , who relied on what somebody else said, . . etc.
What you will find in this website are dozens of links to latest research as well as blogsites of well-informed scientists who are fed up with the shenanigans.
And we practice what we "preach". I have not used statins, nor beta blockers, but we have changed our diet back to normal : we eat butter and have completely eliminated polyunsaturated vegetable oils etc. except where we have a balance between the Omega-6 and Omega-3 (which means certainly not over 2:1) and use a variety of monounsaturated and saturated fats.
We stay away from anything pasteurized and eat only cheeses that were made with "raw" milk, wherever we have a choice..
We eat beef, but preferably not grainfed and we plan to have our own free range grassfed pork,beef and chicken.
We spend at least 15 minutes on the treadmill each morning, but not running all the time. Walking a bit faster than normal with short bursts of flat out running. Except in the summer when I do enough running up and down the strawberry, cherry and haskap rows.
We indulge in supplements of the anti-oxidant variety. (Vit A,B,C,D,E and K (esp.K2), selenium and calcium/magnesium.
Since my clogged arteries should cause some concern, I followed an artery cleansing program under supervision of Naturopath (dr.J.Valchar)....I have not experienced chestpains of any sort since....this is three years later....
And as of this morning -January 16, 2010- my blood pressure is down to 134 over 80.!!!
Three things should be your Mantra:
1. Our bodies were never meant to sit behind a desk our lie on a couch all day, neither do we have to run all the time.
Short burst of Sprint have been proven to provide better aerobics
2. Our whole digestive system is built for taking in large amounts of vegetative material, but at the same time we have a pretty carnivorous ancestry.... a paleolithic diet rich in animal products
3. Our bodies consist largely of fluids (water).
Any violation of one or all will automatically result in a less than optimal functioning of our bodies and may have long term catastrophic consequences.
By now everybody is familiar with the fact that aerobics are good for heart health, but of course it is good for a lot more. We are notoriously deficient in proper oxygenation of our systems.