I was chatting recently with a friend of mine, Natalie. She works as a nutritionist and in her spare time is trying to start up a site to inform people about healthy eating. We got on the subject of food myths. Those little beliefs we all swear by when it comes to eating well. I certainly have a few, though now thanks to Natalie I have several less. There were three I was especially surprised about that she dismissed. Frankly, I’m not even sure where I picked them up. It was probably propaganda beaten into me on the evening news or some random YouTube video.
I won’t lie. I like my wine, and despite being on a student budget, I try to enjoy a glass with dinner whenever I eat at home. I always thought this habit was rather beneficial to my overall health. According to Natalie, not so much. I’m way better off just eating grapes. Alcohol of any sorts does not lower your cholesterol or blood pressure as I have been lead to believe. Not that I thankfully have to worry about either yet. Alcohol does not prolong your life. The best you can hope for when you consume it is the death of a few brain cells here and there. Who knew.
I’m also a big milk fan. It “Does a body good”, right? That has indeed been beaten into us since we were kids. Turns out pasteurized milk, which is pretty much all we can get around these parts (unless you have a dairy farmer friend), is not necessarily all that great for you, if at all. The process of pasteurizing is in itself apparently problematic. I caught some of what Natalie was saying about it, but a lot of it went over my head. I won’t try to summarize to not steer anyone wrong. I guess this has little to do with pasteurization, but the health that most dairy cows are in and their treatment are also far from ideal. These issues are detrimental to the quality of milk they provide. Who knew.
The last of my little healthy eating habits that I may have to say goodbye to thanks to Natalie was eating low or no fat foods. As I was explained to, to function properly, our bodies require some amount of fat. Fat is beneficial in aiding proper vitamin absorption as well as keeping our brains working well. It’s good for other things too, I just don’t quite remember what they were. Many low-fat foods and diets don’t supply you nearly enough fat to satisfy your body’s needs. This shortage of fat leaves us malnutrition and unable to perform as nature has intended. There is obviously a difference between proper fatty food and a McDonalds Big Mac. Given a choice between a no fat diet and eating Big Macs every day, the former would be much preferred. The healthy fat foods worth concentrating on include nuts, avocados, tofu or fatty fish like tuna or salmon. I guess I better hit Costco soon and pick up a bag of nuts or two. Who knew.
Natalie also pointed me to this little gem, which is worth a watch.
I truly believe that your life improves with the ability to control yourself. I’m also pretty sure that how self-aware you are is what directly leads to having self-control. It amazes me how many people out there lack that self-awareness and by extension lack the awareness of their surroundings. They just don’t give a second thought of how their actions affect those around them. As a result, these people don’t feel any need to hold themselves accountable. Recent events in an eastern US city not all that far from here that shall remain nameless (cough… Baltimore) are a great example.
By having self-consciousness, we are less likely to act impulsively. By not acting impulsively, we give ourselves the time to evaluate any given situation we may be in. When we properly evaluate something, we are much more likely to approach it in a calculated (and hence controller) manner. So clearly, self-awareness directly leads to self-control. Sadly, many people are way too fixated on themselves and just don’t give a crap about heir surroundings other than in how they may benefit.
I’m sure there is a way to fix this. I’m just not exactly sure what that way is. We can’t exactly have everyone that lacks self-control seek professional help. Certainly not one on one. There are not enough resources available though I’m sure a push towards something like this would make many doctors very happy. There are certainly group programmes that can be joined. Perhaps that’s the answer. The problem then though is motivation. If someone is not all that self-consciousness, they probably have no interest in changing that aspect of themselves. They don’t see how their behaviour affects those around them and are fine with it. They don’t see the advantage for society at large if everyone just started to act a little more considerate. They’re out for number one.
Maybe all of us that do have some self-control should try educate those that don’t necessarily have it. Perhaps if someone takes an action, we could just be more explicit about how that action affects us, regardless if that effect is positive or negative. The hope would be that maybe over time, the control-less ones would start incorporating the “how will my action affect the other person” thinking into their reasoning. Bit by bit we just reprogram them. Is there a downside here? Not really. Ultimately the worse thing I believe could happen is the other person just ignores you. Oh well, at least you tried to make the world a better place. Helps me sleep just a little bit better at night.
Think of all the other potential benefits people having self-control would bring (other than no longer having mindless rioting and looting). How much healthier would people be. Exercise could perhaps be more prevalent. Folks would start eating a whole lot better. If you can control your craving, you no longer reach for that chocolate bar. You either grab something else a whole lot healthier or just hold off until something better is available. Maybe having to get to that something will make you walk home faster, giving that additional little bit of exercise… On second though, maybe this last entire last paragraph is a bit of a stretch. I’ll just stop here while I’m ahead.
Hey, I’m Brad, a freshman at Pennsylvania State University. I’ve always been fascinated by people and their stories. What their passions are, why they do the things they do, how they got to where they are. Being part of the Penn State community, I get to interact with all kinds of folks, which scratches that people story itch of mine nicely. Seriously, we have a club for everything here (even axe throwing):
I would like for this blog to become a documentation of sorts of the people stories I hear (though we’ll see what the site ultimately morphs into). Hopefully, someone else out there will find this stuff as interesting as I do. I will do my best to post fairly frequently. Free time is at a bit of a premium for me these days, but I want to make this work.