We Need A National Pharmacare plan

I started a new job and was reminded of the costs of my medication. My medication costs about $750 a month. Without my medication I’m pretty much useless to society. If I worked minimum wage, $750 a month would be 30% of my gross pay (before any taxes etc).

I’ve only been able to have great jobs because I had family members who helped pay for my meds when I was going thru tough times financially. Without that, I’d probably be living on the street.

I think we also have a moral imperative to help others. While not just health related I think most people can agree that if we have the means, we shouldn’t let anyone die because they don’t have enough money at that time. This is something that’s fully achievable and actually very affordable (for a country such as Canada).

If you want you can read the full report presented to the House of Commons here. The short version is that people would pay between $2 and $5 per medication with a yearly cap of $100. This would cost approximately 3.5 Billion in the first year phasing up to 15.3 Billion. That being said, after 5 years Canadian as a whole would be saving ~7 billion a year with Pharmacare as opposed to without. Meaning that we would have every Canadian covered for a total of 46 billion instead of spending 51 billion (across public, private and out of pocket).

Even if you don’t care about others and are fully selfish, you probably would rather save 7 billion as a whole, especially if that means having someone be healthy which means they pay taxes that help improve all the services government provides instead of living on the street and being a “nuisance”

Either way, we need a National Pharmacare plan and urge you to support it as well.

Mindful eating

5 years ago I started what’s basically the slow carb diet. Not really a diet, but a lifestyle change since it’s not just a temporary restriction of certain foods, but rather removing most / all processed foods, cutting out sugar as much as possible and if eating carbs, focus on things like legumes or whole grains.

It’s worked great, I’ve lost ~45Lbs since starting it and have been able to stay there.

While that really helped me get to a healthy weight, I still have a few problematic eating habits. Mostly around eating for no reason. By that I mean, overly snacking on food when I’m not really hungry. I was able to shift my snacking from eating large amounts of nuts or fruit to eating large amounts of vegetables (peas, pickles, salsa, etc). Now that’s much healthier but didn’t really deal with the deeper issue.

That’s fine as I’m a big fan of incrementalism and think it’s unrealistic to try to break all your bad habits at once. Now that I’m at a better place I’ve joined Nerd Fitness and my current focus is on mindful eating.

The idea is that now instead of just going for the fridge when bored, I ask myself, “Am I actually hungry? Or is it just that I’m not so full I could stuff more things in my stomach?”. I then also don’t multi task when eating. No listening to a podcast, no watching a youtube video, no working or reading emails, all I do is focus on eating.

It’s interesting and I still have lots of progress to make. I just ate a bunch of pickles and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t hungry, just looking to procrastinate.

I think I’ve set some good systems in place to help me (and a reward if I stick to this for 3 months). Hopefully in a few months time I’ll be able to understand my hunger better and react better to it.

If you’re interesting in nutrition, particularly the psychology of it, I’d strongly recommend reading Xi Zhang’s blog on the matter: https://ithinkthereforeiovereat.blogspot.com/ she actually has qualifications to talk about this, as opposed to me who just rambles about things that have worked for me.