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Invisible Women: Exposing the Gender Bias Women Face Every Day

“Invisible Women: Exposing the Gender Bias Women Face Every Day” by Caroline Criado Perez is an infuriating but essential read that uncovers the widespread issue of gender bias in various sectors, including government policy, medical research, technology, workplaces, and the media. This insightful work highlights a critical concern: our world, largely designed by and for men, often neglects to consider the needs of women, leading to far-reaching and sometimes devastating consequences. Perez masterfully compiles a range of case studies, stories, and fresh research from around the globe, showcasing the myriad ways women’s needs and perspectives are overlooked. This comprehensive approach sheds light on how this oversight not only affects women but has a broader impact on society as a whole. For us, as women striving to navigate and improve our health and wellbeing, understanding the content of this book is vital. It illuminates the often unseen challenges we face due to this systemic bias and empowers us to advocate for changes that recognise and address our unique needs. “Invisible Women” is more than a book; it’s an essential guide that highlights the importance of including women’s perspectives in all aspects of life, ultimately leading to a more equitable and balanced world for everyone.

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Rest is Resistance

Your body is a site of liberation. It doesn’t belong to capitalism. Love your body. Rest your body. Move your body. Hold your body. So many of us have got ‘Rushing Woman Syndrome‘,  constantly in a hurry to do so many things and be there for so many people. Tricia Hersey, in her book Rest is Resistance, challenges the notion that constant productivity and engagement are necessary or healthy, emphasising the importance of rest and self-care, particularly in activist communities where burnout is common. She says: “Many people believe grind culture is this pie-in-the-sky monster directing our every move, when in reality we become grind culture. We are grind culture. Grind culture is our everyday behaviors, expectations, and engagements with each other and the world around us. We have been socialized, manipulated, and indoctrinated by everything in culture to believe the lies of grind culture. In order for a capitalist system to thrive, our false beliefs in productivity and labor must remain. We have internalized its teachings and become zombie-like in Spirit and exhausted in body. So we push ourselves and each other under the guise of being hyperproductive and efficient. From a very young age we begin the slow process of disconnecting from our bodies’ need to rest and are praised when we work ourselves to exhaustion. We tell our children to “stop being lazy” when they aren’t participating in work culture with the same intensity as us. We lose empathy for ourselves first and push excessively. We become managers, teachers, and leaders who fall prey to the allure of a capitalist system and treat those we have the honor of working with as human machines. We become rigid and impatient when our checklist isn’t completed to perfection. We become less human and less secure. We believe we are only meant to survive and not thrive. We see care as unnecessary and unimportant. We believe we don’t really have to rest. We falsely believe hard work guarantees success in a capitalist system. I have been told this constantly for as long as I can remember. On nights when I worked two jobs, still unable to pay my bills on time or save, I continued to tell myself, “Burn the midnight oil, keep working hard, go to college, find a third job and a side hustle.” I clearly remember the moment it clicked for me how a capitalist, patriarchal, ableist, anti-Black system could never make space for the success I wanted for myself. The “success” grind culture props up centers constant labor, material wealth, and overworking as a badge of honor. Resting is about the beginning process of undoing trauma so that we can thrive and evolve back to our natural state: a state of ease and rest.” The concept of “Rest as Resistance” is a powerful and increasingly relevant idea, particularly in social justice, mental health, and activism circles. It challenges the dominant cultural narrative that equates constant productivity and busyness with worth and success. Here are some key aspects of this concept: She goes on to say: “I keep hearing about the ways we exhaust ourselves to be seen as valuable and I am wondering when we will shift to see our inherent worth. When this happens, we will be closer to liberation. How can we access pleasure, joy and liberation if we are too tired to experience it? Let our rest be a resurrection. Let the veils be lifted so we can fed, see, taste, and smell the power of our rested selves. May we realise a full mental shift must be made to reimagine and reclaim rest as holy. May we be excited by the impossible and move through any cynicism or hopelessness to emerge on the other side steady with love, persistence, and hope. Rest can save, sustain, and prop us up when we feel weak and our backs are against the wall. Our greatest hope to thrive and disrupt is to rest deeply and intentionally. The rest is the work. It is how the portal for liberation and a reckoning will emerge and remain open. May the portal of rest be our refuge. May we go there often.” I hope you’re reading this lying down. READ THE BOOK >>

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Metabolical

“Metabolical” by Robert Lustig is a compelling deep dive into the pitfalls of modern nutrition and healthcare systems. Lustig, a pediatric endocrinologist, exposes how processed foods, loaded with sugar and devoid of fiber, are the root cause of many metabolic diseases, including obesity and type 2 diabetes. He argues persuasively that the food industry and healthcare system are more invested in profit than in public health, leading to a widespread neglect of the underlying causes of these diseases. The book is a clarion call to rethink our approach to food and health, emphasising the need to shift from a focus on treating symptoms to addressing the root causes. Lustig advocates for a return to real, whole foods and a systemic overhaul to prioritise metabolic health. One of the book’s striking quotes encapsulates his message: “It’s not about obesity; it’s about metabolism. The food we eat determines our health.” In chapter 9, he goes into detail about how the medical approach to testing cholesterol is flawed and leads to the overprescribing of statins to lower the body’s level of LDL cholesterol. He says: “The current mindset among clinicians is to downshift everyone’s LDL-C through low-fat diet and drugs. Because that’s what they’re trained to do. I would know. I’m one of them. But really how beneficial are statins, and for what? Despite governmental recommendations to eat low-fat and despite a high prescription rate of statins, at a population level LDL-C levels haven’t change appreciably. It isn’t just the pill that’s the problem. The recommendation of a low-fat diet is just as bad. It’s true that fewer people are actually dying of heart attacks in the US and other high-income countries (although low-income countries still have high mortality rates). But that statistic belies the truth. While fewer are dying of heart attacks, more people are suffering them. Of course rising numbers could be due to improved recognition, ambulance response time, emergency room functioning, the clot buster tissue plasminogen activator (tPA), and heart attack post-care. But the real story is that more people are suffering heart attacks with lower LDL-Cs than before, because the standard fasting lipid profile–the blood test ordered by your practitioner to test your cholesterol–assumes that all LDL particles are the same. There are two different LDLs, but the lipid profile test measures them together. The majority (80 percent) of circulating LDL species are called large buoyant or type A LDL, which are increased by dietary fat consumption. This is the species reduced by eating low-fat or by taking statins. However, large buoyant LDL is cardiovascularly neutral–meaning it’s not the particle driving the accumulation of plaque in the arteries leading to heart disease. Then there’s a second, less common (only 20 percent) LDL species called small dense or type B LDL. There is some debate as to whether or not it’s the actual perpetrator of the plaque, but it doesn’t matter; small dense LDL is predictive of risk for a heart attack. The problem is that statins will lower your LDL-C because they’re lowering the type A LDL, which is 80 percent of the total; but they’re not doing anything to the type B LDL, which is the problematic particle.” Statins such as Atorvastatin (Lipitor)⁠, Fluvastatin (Lescol XL)⁠, Lovastatin (Altoprev)⁠, Simvastatin (Zocor)⁠ are some of the drugs prescribed for menopausal women with high cholesterol, yet many of the trials that have established the efficacy and safety of statins were conducted predominantly or entirely in men, with results extrapolated to women. And these trials have not been validated by independent sources, which means that the data, and reasons for prescribing, are questionable.⁠⁠In the meantime, research shows that for women in menopause, statin drugs can increase the risk of diabetes by 48%! In tandem, diabetes is associated with dementia, and when combined with HRT, pushes the risk of dementia even higher. 75% of people with dementia are women. ⁠⁠How high should our cholesterol be as we get older? The research has not been done, but it is known that the higher the cholesterol as we get older, the lower risk of death. ⁠ The truth is – as laid out in Metabolical – that fundamental factor in the development of various metabolic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, obesity, and heart disease is a diet rich in sugar and poor in fibre, contributing to insulin resistance. This condition impairs the body’s ability to manage blood sugar effectively, leading to a host of health issues. Lustig emphasises the importance of a diet rich in real, whole foods to combat insulin resistance and improve overall metabolic health. Throughout the book, Lustig’s focus remains on addressing the underlying causes of metabolic diseases rather than just treating symptoms. He advocates for a holistic approach to health that includes dietary changes, lifestyle modifications, and a critical evaluation of how the healthcare system and food industry impact our overall well-being. READ METABOLICAL >>

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