Are We Healthy?


I walk my dog Sophie, every morning. Even though I’m retired I set my alarm and get up at 6:00 a.m. to take her out for exercise. Why, you ask? Why get up so early to take Fido for a stroll? Well, simply put, my dog is an ass when it comes to other dogs. She doesn’t like them, and will try to go after them if she can. I don’t feel like being sued because she wants to fight. So, we get up early because this town is overflowing with dogs. Everyone it seems, has a dog. Or two. But most people don’t get up at 6:00 in the morning to walk them. Besides, it’s a beautiful time of day. Being the coolest part of the day year round, I like it a lot better in the summer. Anyway, Sophie’s disposition is not what this article is about.

Some mornings we walk past our local health food co-op. This morning as we went by, I noticed a rack of magazines through the window. All of them were some type of health magazine. Organic cooking, healthy lifestyles, etc. It brought to my attention just how enormous the health industry really is. Yoga classes, health clubs, health foods, healthy lifestyles, books and magazines and so on. And of course, it all costs money. A lot of money. The overall health industry rakes in billions of dollars annually. “Try this diet.” “Follow these 10 healthful tips for a better life.” “Read this book for the secret to a healthy life.” We see this every day. Television, radio, and social media are absolutely bombarded with ads for everything healthy. But are we healthier? Are the billions that people spend on getting healthier actually getting us healthier?

Personally I think we closed the door on any long term human existence on July 16th, 1945 with the culmination of the Manhattan project, resulting in the first Atomic bomb explosion in the deserts of New Mexico. I mean seriously, how do we know what the long term results of that will be? For all we know it could have affected some lizard which is now incubating under ground and will eventually turn into Godzilla and end up eating most of Arizona. How do we know whether or not we’ll all die from radiation poisoning? How do we know what’s causing the proliferation of cancer throughout the world? How do we know it didn’t come from nuclear testing? We don’t.

Organic foods cost more than non-organic. Capitalism guarantees it. Anything that people want in great quantities is going to be expensive. This pretty much also guarantees that people living at or below the poverty level cannot afford organic food. Even at McDonald’s a non-organic salad is more expensive than a Big Mac so just eating healthier in general is more costly. While I’m not going to get into the evils of Capitalism because this is not a political post, it just seems to me that we should be promoting health and healthy living better than we are. But in the good old USA, if you want it, it’s going to cost you.

The Mayo Clinic has a pretty good article on organic foods. You can read it here. The fact is, there’s hardly any research showing that any of this is doing us much good. Something interesting to note is that all those magazines that tell you how to be healthier are printed on some of the most toxic paper ever made. Glossy magazines don’t use recycled paper because they can’t get the quality they’re after, but they do use lots of toxic ink and glue. Have you ever stuck your nose into one? It makes you feel like you need oxygen afterward. I hate to be a Debbie Downer but I think we’re killing ourselves with a smile on our faces. We practice yoga and meditation while poisoning ourselves. And what can we do about it? Nothing. Now remember, this is just my opinion. But I think we have already put so much crap into our air, water and soil that organic foods are not going to help. If I want to start an organic farm I have to follow all kinds of government regulations to do so. At high cost. And remember kids, this is the same government which has been pumping tons of shit into the environment for decades. If you don’t want to pump shit into the environment, it’s going to cost you. Makes perfect sense, right?

I’d like to end this article on a positive note. Personally, I think quality of life is more important than quantity. If you don’t want to spend an hour on the toilet wrestling with your colon, don’t eat junk food. Just don’t get to excited by all the healthy living fads. Eat good food, live a good life. Relax.

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Sugar Is The Devil

Satan

Well it happens to the best of us. We have great intentions, we start out strong, with conviction, and then fall off the wagon. I went back to drinking Mountain Dew instead of tea. I think it’s the sugar that I crave. Caffeine can be had from many sources, including tea. But when I drink tea I use honey for a sweetener. Through my employer, we have a program to save money on our health insurance by being healthy. My blood pressure and lipids are fine but my glucose is high. Too much sugar. If you read food labels you will find that there is sugar in ALL processed food. Or very nearly all. We don’t know what things taste like without sugar. So my idea in quitting Dew was to back off on my sugar intake. Cutting out other foods that contain sugar has helped also. I have to take a one hour lunch break at work every day so I bring food. I have changed my eating habits some by having raw vegetables as my main meal. but I have Ranch dressing or peanut butter to dip them in. Sugar.
mountain dew

When I really started thinking about it I was amazed at the amount of sugar people consume every day. It’s really horrible. Diabetes is at epidemic proportions. And I went right back to it. It’s like a drug. No, it is a drug. And a very addictive drug. And I’m just as caught up in it as most other people. Scientific studies show that sugar excites the same areas of the brain with as much intensity as cocaine. But, I know this. I’m aware of how harmful it is. So I have a goal. Even if I fall off the wagon I can jump back on. I can do this.

I had other tests done as well. One of them was the PSA. PSA stands for, Prostate Specific Antigen. Men have a prostate gland. Without going into any detail, the gland can cause you problems. My dad had prostate cancer so it is something I should be concerned about. My PSA was high. So now I will see a specialist to see about a biopsy to check for cancer. If it’s not cancer then I will explore other options to bring my number down and be healthy. So I have that to look forward to. Yay!
spoonful of sugar

But more immediately, the sugar thing. I’m going to explore sugar free foods. I don’t want to cut out all sugar but a lot of it is unnecessary. Humans used to eat to stay alive. Somewhere along our path we decided that we need to have our taste sense stimulated to the max. As long as we have to eat, we might as well make it erotic right?
raw veggies

I love raw veggies like carrots, celery and broccoli and they don’t contain processed sugar. Natural sugars, yes. But the high fructose corn syrup and processed cane sugar are the ones that will lead you to diabetes. So I have to look at cutting some of that out. As I have done this I’ve noticed that I have the munchies more often. I seem to be looking for something to eat all the time. But when I notice this I think, “Am I hungry?” Most of the time the answer is no! So I’m craving sugar. This is a hard thing to do so wish me luck and I’ll keep you posted.