By Suzy Chaffee
Would you like to be a part of a beacon of hope in Vallarta to prevent a meltdown of its healthcare system? Do you know Mexico just became the fattest and most diabetic country in the world?
Reinforced by the wonderful reaction of planting organic fruit trees at six schools in Puerto Vallarta, Vallarta Saludable, a Mexican-Expat alliance was born in response to President Peña Nieto offering grants to groups that develop innovative solutions to the skyrocketing cost of obesity and diabetes.
When eco-tourism leader Carlos Von Houske told me about the President’s grant four months ago, we assembled a team of leaders in Diabetic research (who luckily live here) including professors from the University of Guadalajara, led by Marie Elena Gonzolas Ruelles and Rosio Mesa Beceria, along with the organic vendors of Vallarta’s Farmers Markets. Many of us wanted to give back in a significant way to the people of Vallarta for living in their paradise!
Puerto Vallarta leaders have endorsed our proposed cost-effective natural solutions and technologies since they could conceivably, if fully supported, save the city $12 billion pesos over three years by helping get most of Vallarta’s 6,000 diabetics off medication and dialysis and providing preventative care to the other residents. It has been said that this initiative is the “best hope” for restoring Vallarta’s healthcare system.
Mexico became more obese than the U.S. partly because there is a shortage of organic fruits and vegetables. We hope to increase production through the grant. Three recent US studies, and the “Biggest Loser” reality show, found that “one month of fresh, raw, organic fruits and vegetables ends diabetes, and drops significant weight.”
Fortunately for us, Peña Nieto recommended the no-carbohydrate herbal sweetener, stevia, as a solution. As founder of the Native American Olympic Team Foundation (NAOTF.org), I have helped raise awareness about stevia because those with indigenous blood, including most Mexicans, have less enzymes to process sugar, and are predisposed to “diobesity.”
Puerto Vallarta’s Secretary of Health wisely offered to help us bring in the tastiest, healthiest stevias import-free to make them more affordable. They include: NOW Foods Stevia and Peru’s VIA liquid, plus Yucatan’s Mayan Sweet Stevia leaves, and ZEVIA stevia cola.
When the grant is approved, Vallarta Saludable will do a 90-day pilot test with Chef Miguel Angel Caliz. Thirty chefs will give workshops to mothers of thirty of the city’s 2,000 catastrophic diabetics to show them how to cook healthy with coconut oil, stevia and organic foods. “Most diabetics are malnourished,” said Dr. Daniel Uribe MD.
Another key part of our holistic approach is Dr. Servando Luna-Maggio’s breakthrough ‘nano serums’, which have prevented amputations, reversed dialysis and gotten hundreds of end-stage off medications within 90 days, which is the main cost of diabetes.
Dr. Uribe who uses stem cells, which are too costly for national health insurance, said Dr. Servando’s serums can more affordably stimulate our own stem cells, especially when combined with Servando’s structured water.
Since education and prevention are key – only one in 10 Mexicans know about stevia – Arturo Ortega is finalizing an awareness campaign and Dr. Uribe a reality show to be able to capture the heart-warming progress as we help restore the health of Vallarta’s healthcare system that many of us enjoy.
Other solutions as part of our 3 year plan include the preventative care of Vallarta’s people from getting diabetes by assisting students at 240 schools to plant organic orchards. To increase fitness, we are reviving the legendary Azteca trails for students and eco-tourists, and expanding our Azteca-led participatory ocean dances at sunset; a practice which helped make Tahiti the “Most Romantic Destination” and is recommended by UN Sustainability officer. Many of these innovations can also help bolster Puerto Vallarta’s economy by serving as a shining model of health and culture for Mexico and the world.
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Suzy Chaffee: Olympic downhill skier, World Freestyle Champion skier, sports and health activist. As the first woman on the USOC board, she united world athletes to reform the double-standard Olympic rules, and led the Title 1X March for Equal Opportunities for girls in school sports and education. The Native American Olympic Team Foundation (NAOTF.org), she founded, guided by Native Elders, has inspired ski areas across North America to invite over 10,000 tribal youth back to their ancestral lands to ski, snowboard, pursue Olympic dreams and prevent diabetes, with the use of stevia. She has also served on three President’s Fitness and Nutrition Councils.