Sunday, December 28, 2008

Human fat as fuel? Right or Wrong?

My sister sent me a link to this article about a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon who is currently being investigated for turning human fat (medical waste from 7,000 liposuction procedures he performed) into bio-fuel. Yes, bio-fuel. Supposedly he fueled his Ford Explorer with it and his fiance's car. His clinic has been shut down, as has his internet site "" Apparently there is a law on the books in the United States which says that you cannot turn human medical waste into fuel. WOW. Who would have ever thought such a law would be necessary? And is that particular use of human fat a bad thing?

I can understand us never wanting to see life become like Logan's Run where the citizens thought they were eating fish, plankton and protein from the sea but really ended up eating the people who were killed off when their time clocks ran out:

Or Soylent Green where those little green wafers that everyone subsisted on were actually made from people:

Now if someone donates their excess fat to be turned into bio-fuel - what is the wrong in that? Fat *is* meant to provide energy. On your thighs or in your car, where would you rather have it? (Tongue firmly in cheek). As it is human "medical waste" gets appropriated to other uses whether we make that decision ourselves or not. For instance, when you have a baby many hospitals take the umbilical cord and sell it. They don't ask the mother and they certainly don't deduct the profit they receive from her bill. I remember when my daughter, Rhianna, was born - I was laying there during my C-section listening to the doctor and nurses have an interesting conversation about how long, thick and healthy her cord was and it would be "worth a lot." No one asked me!

Some women have to fight to keep their placenta - whether they want it to plant in their yard or to eat (some cultures believe this strengthens the mother). That should be the decision of the mother. It is a product of her body and I don't think anyone has any business making a law about it.

In Canada human aborted fetuses are used for the development of vaccinations. Now THAT is unethical. It is disgusting and horrible - and yet it happens. It is a wonder to me that a law can be on the books preventing excess human fat from being used to propel vehicles or warm houses, but the cells, lungs and other body parts of murdered babies can be used in research and development. Go figure. :(

I read an article the other day about people involved in the "Voluntary Simplicity" movement who felt strongly about using humanure to fertilize their gardens. They received some resistance from those who found it distasteful, but seriously - what is so different about using that as opposed to chicken manure?

So back to Dr. Craig Bittner, the doctor who was "recycling" human fat to run his automobiles... The Auto Blog says:
"We’re all for recycling, alternative fuels, and that general green kind of thing — but we draw the line at human waist waste, which is why we wonder whether he really did it. In other words, we’re flabbergasted by his outrageous story."
I wonder if they're as shocked by tissue from murdered human babies (we call them aborted fetuses to take some of the shock value off, I think) being used to develop vaccinations and beauty treatments?

What sort of twisted society do we live in, anyhow?

A horrifying piece by Dr. Olga Fairfax, PhD: 101 Uses for a Dead (or Live) Baby. She researched what happens to the bodies of aborted babies and has documentation to back it up. Her organization will supply that documentation upon request.

People donate their bodies "to science" and instead of being used for med students to practice upon, their bodies can wind up plasticized and on circus-like display --- or wind up being used as a crash test dummy.


Before this stuff weighed heavily on my brain, I did have a very nice Sunday. An excellent Sunday school class, a challenging sermon, leftover turkey-spinach baked zita (gluten-free with homemade tomato sauce that had none of Rhianna's allergens in it), a long, long nap. The beautiful little Layla to cuddle. Movies on the sofa with dh. (We watched "Thunderheart" which is an old favorite of ours). Today was a rest day, but I did catch up blogging my workouts on my sweat blog.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Friday Five - Gym Mistakes

Today's Friday Five is devoted solely to mistakes that people make at the gym - most of which I saw this morning. There is a group of three women that have been coming for a few months. They never improve even though losing weight and "getting in shape" are their professed goals.

1. Not working hard enough. Effort is required. If you lolly-gag from one machine to the next, you are wasting time. If you are counting lolly-gagging time as part of your workout and telling people, "I work out for an hour a day and I get no results!" well then you are deceiving yourself and others.

If you are a young, healthy (although perhaps overweight) adult, there isn't a reason that you should still be having the treadmill on 0% incline and 3.0 mph after several months. 3.0 mph isn't even a brisk walk. It's a stroll. It's a 20 min. mile. Chances are if you aren't breaking a sweat, then guess what? You're not exerting any effort. Don't expect success without effort.

2. Using itty bitty light weights. If it feels too easy, then it IS too easy. 15 reps with a 3 lb dumbbell isn't going to firm up your triceps or biceps. If you are using the thigh machine and it's banging and clanging together because the weight is so light that your thighs are flinging the parts around like you're tossing pancakes, USE MORE WEIGHT.

Using momentum can fit here, too, sort of as a sub-category. I see people using momentum to even lift teensy weensy weights. Lift slower (not that you have to lift at snail's pace) and make sure it is your muscle moving the weight, not just the momentum you've created by swinging it around quickly. (Exception: Many kettlebell exercises are designed with momentum in mind. Know which exercises use momentum and which exercises don't. Hint: Those thigh machines DON'T require momentum).

3. POOR FORM. It doesn't just look funny, it can hurt you. For instance, when doing a front raise, don't lift your arms higher than shoulder level.

When doing squats and lunges, knees should never go over the toes. While you are performing the exercise, look down occasionally and make sure you can still see the tip of your toes. Pressing your heel firmly into the floor can help with this - and also help you maintain balance.

Poor form can happen on cardio equipment, too. Don't lean or slouch over a machine. Stand up tall. Don't hold on too tightly. And really, it's not the place to catch up on your reading. If you can focus on a book or magazine, chances are pretty darn good that you're not exerting the amount of effort that you should be in order to attain your goals.

4. Neglecting body parts. Yes, doing back extensions is boring but you need to make sure all of the muscles are getting a balanced workout. You can do this in a split routine and not have to hit the same muscles in a given workout...but make sure you do even the things you hate doing on a regular basis. Don't pick a part of your body that you think you need to work on and focus on that alone. If you develop strong quadriceps, unless you balance out those hamstrings and glutes to match them, you will wind up with knee injuries.

5. Poor gym etiquette. Wipe down ALL equipment when you're done using it. This means wiping down dumbbells, barbells, mats, benches, medicine balls, bands, cable machine attachments, weight machines, cardio equipment, etc, etc, etc. No one wants your germs and you shouldn't want anyone else's. It is wise to wipe things down before you use them, as well, just in case some clod didn't do it before you.

Don't change the radio station unless you make sure that no one else is listening to that. Don't put it on screamo music unless you've gotten the "okay" from other patrons.


Bonus peeves: I really hate when people say "I ran on the treadmill for 'X' minutes" - when the truth of the matter is they walked, and even that usually at turtle speed. Running is running; walking is walking. One is high impact, the other low.

I also freak a bit (inside, of course) when people talking about 5ks and 10ks and call them marathons. A marathon is 26.2 miles. Period. Anything else has another name.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Mixed Wednesday Ramble

Poor, Poor Pitiful Me - Terri ClarkPoor, Poor Pitiful Me (2007 Remastered Live LP Version) - Warren Zevon

I needed some Warren Zevon this morning, but I also like Terri Clark's version of this song. I heard Werewolves of London this morning and can't get it out of my head. Since I already put that up a while back, I didn't want to be redundant. However, I am sitting here singing, "I saw Lon Chaney walking with the Queen, doing the werewolves of London again..."


In the interest of not limiting myself to one topic (insert big grin here), guess what I made for dinner last night?

Bison meatballs (ground buffalo, sweet potato, green onions, flaxseed & one egg white)
Brown rice pasta with peas and a white sauce (fat free sour cream, butter, garlic, black pepper, sea salt)

It was GOOD.


Dunkin' Donuts Coffee, I am soooooooooo over you! Not only do your employees keep giving me caffeine and aspartame when I specifically say "decaf" and "sweet n' low" or "sugar", but I've found better coffee.

SHEETZ. My sister told me that they had a "made to order" coffee bar and that it was way better than Dunkin'. After the last screw up kept me from sleeping well (and I love my sleep), I was ready to try. Rhianna and I stoppedat a nearby Sheetz after her skating lesson on Monday. WONDERFUL. Jenna and I went to a different Sheetz after Layla's appointment yesterday. PERFECT. I called Pat and told him to bring me a decaf skim milk latte home when he passed yet another Sheetz last night. SUPERB. Yep, I don't think I'll be darkening Dunkin's drive through anymore. :D

You can also order smoothies with a shot of protein and meal-replacement shakes. They use whey protein shots. I was very happy. The employee handed me the bottle and let me read it.


This morning as I was putting on moisturizer, I was thinking about words of advice and wisdom my mother had given me. I was thinking of this because last night I was making Erin take her selenium and chewable vitamin and she was dragging it out, turning it into a torture session. I said, "Buck up! Get it over with, NOW! Don't prolong the agony!" And I realized that is something I say ALL THE TIME whenever someone has to do something unpleasant. (I've been told that I can say this with a very mean and stern voice, making Erin want to cry). The kids also informed me that I always say, "Just do it because it is GOOD FOR YOU." I've been also known to say, "Life is full of things you don't like. Tough. Get used to it."

I'm sure I repeat things to them that my mother told me. Here are some of her gems which I know I have passed on:

Always make sure you are wearing nice underwear in case you are in an accident. (Think they don't care? My friend, Jim, is an EMT and they *do* notice underwear, maybe not in the thick of the emergency, but at some point it registers).

Moisturize. You're never too young to moisturize.

Never sleep with make up on. Always wash your face well with Noxzema before bed. It's just as good as expensive cleansers. (I totally agree).

If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all.

Don't ever let anyone feel left out. If you see someone alone, include them. Period. It doesn't matter if you want to hang out with your friends or your friends don't like them.

Rapists should be castrated and have their parts jammed down their throats so they choke to death on them.

Never wear a black bra with a light colored shirt or a white bra under a black shirt.

Corn is *not* a vegetable it is a starch. A proper meal has a main dish (protein), a starch and a vegetable.

Don't go outside with a snack unless you have enough to share with everyone.

One of Mom's which I don't use: Men think with their zipper. I always hated this one because I don't like limited or boxing anyone into some stereotypical existence.


I think I might be done walking to the gym for the winter. The icy sidewalks have become treacherous. I like my head to be in the clouds, thinking away about "stuff" but I've been forced to watch my steps very carefully. On the way home there was a bitter wind that was freezing my forehead. Thanks to the glassy texture of the terrain, it took me far longer to get there and back than my usual brisk 6 minute walk. There is no "brisk" when you're in danger of wiping out.

I've got to go blog my workout at my: Sweat Report

Tuesday Ten - vaccinations & health care

1. We took Layla to her 2 mos check up today. She is 9 lbs 12 1/2 oz. and 22 inches long.

2. Those idiots have a list of five shots and one oral vaccination that they want to give babies at that appointment. Are they insane? Obviously medical professionals are often in the back pocket of the drug companies. Combining too many vaccinations over too short a period of time can compromise the child's immune system. (A recent court case was won regarding a child who became autistic due to the vaccines).

Dr. Russell Blaylock, a prominent neurosurgeon in the United States is one of the first to warn against the dangers of too many vaccines given simultaneously. He says, “Vaccine complications increase dramatically when given close together. To give the immune system time to settle down, vaccines should be separated by six months in children and perhaps longer in adults.” He continues, “The number of vaccinations that can be given safely in a lifetime is not unlimited. Many of these vaccinations need to be abandoned.”

Autoimmune diseases, asthma and chronic allergies are rising at alarming rates with the increase of the number of childhood vaccinations given. Put two and two together: it's not about the children's health, it's about the money trail.

This is the two month old list: DTP, Polio, HiB, HepB, Pneomoccal, and Rotavirus. Layla's mommy only agreed to the DTP & Polio. The doctor wasn't pushy about it, but he did ask why. He actually has not heard of the horrible reports about the Rotavirus vaccination. We did a little bit of talking about how Merck was using that vaccination and Gardasil to refill their pockets after the lawsuits against them for Fosamax and Vioxx. A good website to check out: NVIC - Vaccination Decisions.

Pushing the rotavirus vaccination is ridiculous in Western civilization where infant diarhhea is readily treated with rehydration therapy and the virus dos not cause widespread death. The vaccine's efficacy is only between 41 - 91%. There is a good chance that you will give your child the vaccination only to have it have little positive effect.

In 1998
Barbara Loe Fisher, NVIC co-founder and president, said, "Yesterday’s announcement concerning rotavirus vaccine and bowel obstruction is a sobering reminder of the need to apply very high standards to licensing new vaccines and making policy for mass vaccination of our children. It also highlights the importance of paying close attention to data coming out of The Vaccine Adverse Events Reporting System (VAERS). The data from VAERS shows persistent reports of vomiting and diarrhea following receipt of rotavirus vaccine and there has been at least one death reported in a premature infant who received rotavirus in combination with other vaccines.

What is the biological mechanism at work to induce the bowel to fold in on itself? Could it be associated with the fact that this vaccine is introducing a newly created monkey-human hybrid live virus into young infants or that there is a negative effect when the vaccine is given in combination with other vaccines to infants with immature immune systems? And what is the justification for universal vaccination for a common infection which most children get and recover from in the US without permanent injury or death?"

3. Don't get me started on the Hep B vaccination. It's not highly contagious. It's not common in childhood. It's low in the US and it's not a killer disease for the most part. The efficacy has been questioned as well - 30 - 50% of the people who develop adequate antibodies after the 3rd dose will lose detectable antibody within 7 years.

4. Shall I mention HiB? Look it up. Too few studies have ever been done on the vaccination to say whether it is carcinogenic, whether it may cause infertility or not. It's efficacy rate isn't great either. In a 1995 study of HiB cases, 41 - 55% of the cases were immunized individuals.

5. People just don't think. They say, "Oh my doctor said we need this shot" or "I read in a pamphlet at the doctor's office that these were the required immunizations at this age." (Yeah, and those are supplied by the pharmaceutical company). And then they just do it.

It's mindless. Mind-numbingly mindless. Why would you inject a potential pathogen into your innocent little child without doing your homework??? Why would you not make certain that there is actually a darned good reason for doing it? Why would you not weigh the potential risks against the potential (or often overrated) benefits?

6. Why do people do anything just because they were told to?

7. It also bugs me when people just take any old pill their doctor prescribes without asking a lot of questions first. Why am I receiving this medication? What led you to prescribe it for me? What will it do in my body (i.e. how does it actually work)? What side effects might there be? Are there alternatives, i.e. lifestyle changes, which would provide similar positive results? How can I proactively work to improve my health?

8. Generally it's because A) people are lazy and B) people like to pass the buck and assume that doctors are god-like. Let the gods make the decisions.

A) Laziness - people just don't like to have to DO anything. Popping a pill seems easy, complaining about the side effects is even easier still because people love, LOVE to complain. We have a society that despises the thought of personal effort.

B) Guess what? Doctors are human. Doctors can be "bought" by pharmaceutical gifts and perks. Doctors don't all read up on everything. I can't even count how many doctors I have met who knew NOTHING about the new TSH (thyroid stimulating hormone) guidelines issued by the AACE in 2003. Nor did they know that the National Academy of Clinical Biochemistry (governing body over all labs in the US) suggested those guidelines be tightened even further. Nope, these doctors were still looking at lab results and under-diagnosing and under treating patients.

9. Recent situation related to the humanity of doctors and the ease in which they are able to overlook things and treat a symptom or two, but not look at the "whole": My poor niece was recently diagnosed with Graves' Disease. Apparently, she has been sick for a long, long time. (I've been saying for years and years that she needed her thyroid checked, but alas, no one was listening to me). The endocrinologist who saw her was quite stunned by the size of her goiter and the fact that no one had noticed and checked her sooner. She had a whole bunch of symptoms that practically sang and danced "Graves' Disease." Instead, guess what? She was being treated for Bipolar. All that racing heart, excess energy, the mood swings...she was given a big honking dose of Seroquel. Bigger and bigger because it wasn't taking care of the situation. Well, now that she's being treated for Graves', she won't need it. But did anyone tell her clearly that you can't go off of that cold can kill you? NO. She's in the hospital right now and thank God she didn't die.

I don't want to dis all doctors here. It's just that these men/women are regular people to. They breath, they eat, they have stress, romance, hunger pangs, headaches, lousy relationships, etc, etc... in short, distractions. They have differing personalities. Some are go-getters, some are laid-back. Some are just like the other lazy people who come to see them and choose the easiest and most convenient treatment.

10. All I can say is "Don't be stupid. Be aggressive about your health." It's your health, your body. Take care of it. Ask questions. Don't be a fool and blindly accept any old direction the media, the drug companies or a doctor tells you. Make certain it is the BEST you can do for yourself.

And if you are the caretaker of another human being - your child, your aged parent - then exercise all caution and all earnestness in any health decisions you make for them. Take that responsibility very seriously.


I've got to get in some cardio and some yoga today. I slept in which felt wonderful. I guess right now I should be eating lunch and thinking about exercising after I have some fuel to run on.