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A Public Offer to Obama: Change You Can Be Livin' In

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I have colleagues and acquaintances who have been personal chefs to various celebrities, preparing daily beautiful meals of the finest quality whole foods, mostly plants, always delicious. Inspired by their work and by my own work offering delicious healthy foods to my acupuncture patients over the years, I've decided to go public with an offer to Barack Obama to be his personal chef, acupuncturist and general preventative health ally during the upcoming presidential election campaign. I could be in the "advance team" that gets wherever "there" is ahead of time, and takes care of food and health support in a new kind of way. You want change? This is one great place to start.

Mostly I've been inspired to do this by Hubert Humphrey, who ran for president against Richard Nixon in 1968 and was diagnosed with cancer in 1973. He died in January of 1978 and blamed his illness, at least in part on the stressful life and poor quality food he adopted as a lifestyle when he moved to Washington to be a Senator.

In 1977 the East West Journal, a magazine reporting on the burgeoning interest in all things related to oriental health and health practices and the "natural health movement", published a special issue called "Fat Cats Strike Back" about the response of agribusiness and the AMA to discredit George McGovern's Senate Select Committee's Recommendations for a wholesome diet for the American people. East West published an excerpt from hearings of July 1976 where Hubert Humphrey spoke before the committee. He decried the unhealthy lifestyle of the American politician and said:

"I know you have to be like an athlete, you have to be in training if you are going to be in public life. But the abuse in public life that I have known is the diet. Your are literally living on the run all of the time. Take a look at the U.S. Senate here. They are in session frequently way after seven o'clock many nights. What you frequently do is eat somewhere where you cannot control your diet, and then go home and get yourself something late at night, which also is hard on you. These are the practical problems of a particular breed called politicians. I know something about that since I have been at this business a long time.

I know that when I am back in Minnesota, where I am working out of my home instead of out of this office, where I have an organized lifestyle, I feel 100 % better. When I get back down here (Washington), the only reason I eat is for fuel. The comfort or joy of eating is out, because first of all you never have time for it. A meal ought to be more than just calories, carbohydrates, or fats. It is not only a question of what you eat, it is how you eat it, and the environment in which you eat and so forth..."

At the end of his life he was very concerned about the change to a fast food, eat-out nation and what that was doing to our collective health. As I've watched recent TV news reports of the movements and goings on of our presidential candidates, my long term concerns about the poor quality of the standard American diet has turned to serious concern for the candidates. My offer is to Obama, whom I support, and who currently seems to be in the process of winning the democratic nomination. The offer extends to Michelle Obama of course, whenever she is there too. I'm sure that if Obama's primary opponent, by some unpredictable process managed to become the candidate, she would easily find someone to make a similar offer of support and care. Because this offer is as much about promoting awareness of healthy living and preventative medicine for everyone (healthy care, as opposed to "health care" as it now exits), I would certainly consider the job.

I know my application is a little early, as the nomination is not yet officially certain, but I want to get the idea out there well ahead of time. It is an offer to help make real change and demonstrate how to gain and sustain health, and achieve true stress reduction in the face of a busy schedule and the constant pressure of too much to do.

I offer the knowledge and skills I have acquired over a life-time of practicing preventative natural medicine and cooking and growing nutritious food for myself, my children and my patients. I'm publicly applying for a new kind of job, to support a new kind of politics which hopefully will truly support a new kind of health culture. Obama could set no better example than to practice healthy living and eating, as hard as that would be, as he travels around the country during his campaign.

Karen Kisslinger
Diplomate in Acupuncture (NCCAOM)
Creator "Time to Relax" daily radio show
Founder/Skills For the Re-Generation
Millerton, NY

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