Where we get fit and spin (wool)

Posts tagged ‘junk food’

How Far Would you go to get Healthy?

This is a challenge. You know I’ve mentioned, more than once, that a healthy diet is critical to your overall health. I don’t think people are surprised when they hear that. This isn’t a newsflash. However, knowing something and doing something about it are two different things. The importance of your diet has been brought home to me by watching the people around me. And no, if your my friend, don’t get paranoid, I’m not studying you. I just mean, people talk about their health and I see how the average person lives. It isn’t hard to draw a correlation.

You can say “I’d rather die fat and happy, than deprive myself”, I’ve heard it before. Fine, but what quality of life would you like before you die? Do you like painful joints? Diabetes, arthritis, colon cancer, other cancers, and many more health issues are either caused by, helped by or hurt by diet. If you clean up your diet, you will feel better. Are you overweight? By how much? Find something that weight and pick it up. Can you even do it? Imagine your life without carrying all that around right now. You can say to me “I hate physical activity, I don’t care how I look, so why should I care about my diet?”. Ok, do you have your nursing home selected? I know eating right is no guarantee that something else won’t blow on you, but it is one of the things you can control. The last argument I often hear is “It’s in my genes”. I won’t say genes don’t play a large role. But we can’t control those. All we can control is our environment. To sit here and say “I got dealt a bad hand, I can’t do anything about it” is ludicrous. I was born hairy, does that mean I shouldn’t shave my legs? I was born with bad eyesight, should I not wear glasses?

So I ask you, how far will you go? Will you try and find a way to eat greens every day? Get rid of fried food? Educate yourself on the best ways to eat? Learn to like fish? I’ve gone rather extreme. I blend kale in order to add it to other foods. My morning oatmeal is bright green. I’m not asking you to go that far. However, get a bunch of dark green veggies, put them in your food processor and add them to your next tuna salad. Cut back on the mayonnaise and add some oil based dressing, or just oil and vinegar. Use wheat berries instead of pasta. Or Quinoa.

Whatever health problems you deal with, they can be helped by how you eat. Just getting rid of the sugar- or any form of sweetener, the white flour and baked goods, will go a long way to helping you. Most illnesses either cause or are caused by inflammation. The food you eat can increase or decrease the amount of inflammation. The “western diet” with its massive amounts of processed foods is implicated in causing inflammation. Vegetables, for the most part, are anti-inflammatory.

I exercise 3-5 times a week. I couldn’t do what I do if I ate what most people eat. The pain would be unbearable. I have a replaced acl and can do a full squat, with weight. I attribute much of that to my diet. Sure, you can go to the doctor and get pills, and pay for them, and get stronger pills, and more pills, and keep eating junk. Most people do. However, there are alternatives. Even if you still have to take pills, eating greens and veggies, cutting down on processed foods, staying away from sugar, flour, and hydrogenated fats, not frying your foods, and eating less red meat will all help most conditions. Of course there are exceptions to any rule- once you are on massive amounts of blood thinners, leafy greens with their good doses of vitamin k can be counterproductive. But, if you eat those leafy greens ahead of time you might not need those massive doses of blood thinners!

You have three meals, and a snack or two to make decisions about. Ask yourself, “Is this food I’m about to eat doing my body good or harm? Is it worth my health to eat this? Is there a better choice I can live with?” I’m not saying you can never eat junk again. However, once you start eating healthy, the junk gets a lot less appealing. Once you start feeling better, it gets even less appealing. So here’s my challenge- How far will you go? What changes will you make? Can you at least get rid of the worst offenders? Cut them from daily to weekly? Cut amounts in half? If anyone reading this does make changes, keep me posted. I have every confidence that your health will improve, and I’d like to hear if it does.

Mirror, Mirror On the Wall, Who’s the Biggest of Them All?

I just read this post from “Fooducate’s” blog about the obesity epidemic. The statistics are astonishing and horrible. When you think about quality of life issues, and the resulting health problems of being overweight, it gets mind boggling. Here is just a sample:

10. Over the past 15 years, seven states have doubled their rate of obesity. Another 10 states nearly doubled their obesity rate, with increases of at least 90%.

11. Over the past 15 years, diabetes rates have doubled in ten states. In 1995, only four states had diabetes rates above 6%. Now, 43 have diabetes rates over 7% and 32 have rates above 8%.

12. Ten years ago, no state had an obesity rate above 24%, and now 43 states have higher obesity rates than the state that was the highest in 2000.

The question becomes, “what do we do about it?”. Is it a question of personal responsibility, or of corporate and social responsibility? I talked before about the being an issue in our church. Our entire culture has changed to encourage obesity, in a variety of ways, but the number one way is food culture. We subsidize junk food, corporations and their advertisements know how to appeal to us, and there is no moral concern about any of this. Is it right to appeal to people’s weakness? We are prewired to desire fat, sugar and salt. That was fine when those things were hard to obtain, but now we are inundated with them. Getting back to my church example, someone brought a pecan pie last week. I know better, but I couldn’t resist. Fortunately, it wasn’t that good, so I threw half of it out. The point is, if you wave treats under someones nose, they will succumb, sooner or later. Do we insist people must have more will power and education? Or do we change the culture, to stop creating so many temptations? Do we make junk food more expensive?

Too busy to eat? That may be why you are gaining weight.

I just ran into two articles that made an interesting point. If we don’t pay attention to what we are eating, we eat more. Both articles are from Men’s Health online magazine. The first cites several studies that show many factors that distract you from your food cause you to eat more. Dim light, paying attention to the tv, video games or  reading while you eat all caused people to underestimate the amount they ate, and to snack more later. The second article focused on “foodies” and why was it that people who focused so much on eating aren’t necessarily fat.  Again what they found was that paying attention to your food, savoring every mouthful, keeps you feeling full longer, you eat less and enjoy it more.

Remember, being healthy doesn’t mean we are war with food. Junk food yes, but if you ever tried to savor a Twinkie, that’s when you notice all the chemical taste and the greasy feeling it leaves on your tongue. Good food however….I know I keep going on about the curried chicken I made, but talk about trying to make a meal last! Or the sushi crab salad. Tonight is Chiavetta’s chicken. I know my daughter is drooling. I don’t think they have Chiavetta’s where she is. Eat healthy and ENJOY it. Make it last. Your body will thank you.

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