Dreams are renewable. No matter what our age or condition, there are still untapped possibilities within us and new beauty waiting to be born.

-Dale Turner-

Thursday, August 19, 2010

The man your man could smell like...

Not me.

Things could be amazing but they havnt happened yet.
Lots of things ARE amazing now but I guess I live off hacking away at the "could be" and trying to make them the "are".  I haven't got there with it all yet and its daunting what a long way there is to go.  I also know that when I get there it may not be as expected - is anything ever enough?
Its hard not to feel lucky because some things most definitely should be enough but still we remain dissatisfied to a degree: Money is never enough, Love is never enough, belongings are never enough, friendship is never enough, health is never enough.  Why?  Why is it that we process this way?

I wish I knew what to do.  Its like theres so much colour to be part of but I keep getting stuck in the land of grayscale.  It feels like nothing is ever resolved, mistakes can never be forgotten..and the forgiving and the forgetting unfortunately don't work as a neat little pair.  Everything should be amazing because it is in the scheme of things but right now its not.  I feel ill, guilty, worried.... amongst other things.  When you show too much they become part of your identity and this is not how its meant to be.

This is not me and I don't like it.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

What we believe

Today's nutrition lecture was pretty awesome so I thought i'd share some cool things that my sponge of a mind has soaked up.  I can't sleep and its almost 3am so if my spelling and grammar are no good you can blame it on my semi delirious state or my hair colour - take your pick.

Misconceptions are the biggest "red flags" of the medical and nutritional world.  Sadly if we hear something that sounds scientific, amazing or slightly convincing we tend to allow ourselves to be rather impressionable and endorse false nutritional claims and information.  Some of the issues discussed were dieting remedies and products to help improve one's appearance.  For starters the word "diet" sounds so evil when really all it is refering to is what someone consumes so don't immediately draw conclusions based on all the crap out there and there is a lot!  Theres the low carb diet, the atkin's diet, the apple diet, the cabbage soup diet, the lemon detox diet and a million types of diet pills and supplements that really do nothing for you.  You will find that more just speed you up with excessive amounts of caffeiene and guarana and thats about it and you're paying so much money for such a scam.

I also want all readers (if there are any) to recognised that my health related blog entries are based purely on my current knowledge and personal opinions.  Please do not take word for word as the completely right or correct for you or your body.  Be rational and obviously scrutinise me if need be.


What to remember:

1. There is NEVER EVER a quick fix. 

Anything that claims there is can't be good for you or is telling lies.  Take the biggest loser for example - say someone loses 3kg in a week... its NOT all fat.  Glycogen and water are huge players in this misconception so don't think "why can't i lose that much fat".  Same with cellulite creams.  Rubbing your thighs will help your circulation but it doesnt matter what you rub on.  It doesnt have to cost you an arm and leg.

2.  Nutrition and product claims are VERY misleading
So you have your packet of chips and it claims to be 6% of your RDI.  On what basis?  Everyone is different.  There is no requirement to have energy percentage on the packet but companies do it voluntarily and it can be very misleading.  So lets say my packet of chips is in fact 6% of my daily energy.... oh wait.... thats just a serving which is usually about 25-40g.  So in fact I could have about 3 serves but because im not an adult male that RDI doesnt really mean crap anyway.  Also please note 'Light' and 'lite' are different.  It can refer to light in colour, taste etc.  Same with 99% fat free - theres probably like 30g of sugar that will just go to fat storage anyway.  Reduced fat cheese?  Most cheese (cheddars) are about 40% fat so they still may indeed mean its 30% instead.

3.  Check credibility
A lot of the crap you find on the internet lacks credibility (such as this).  People avoid mentioning that they are not Dieticians or Nutritionists and nobody asks questions.

4.  Avoid trashy magazines and articles in the newspaper

As I know from being a former journalism student - newsworthy crap does sell papers and magazines.  If it sounds extraordinary it probably isnt well researched.  Someone may have purely done a survey of 10 people, called it a study and then the sunday times will write their "Icecream causes cancer" article and people will believe that its been scientifically proven.  Read journal articles because they need scientific proof and lots of peer reviews before being publisged.

5.  There are no "Good foods" and "bad foods" (yes this is probably a contradiction from previous posts)
Never think a food is good or bad.  No one food will make you super healthy.  Too much of something may make you unhealthy but if you eat things in moderation and remain active you can have your cake and eat it too.  Its all about frequency, quantity and nutritional value.  Thinking something is absolutely forbidden is wrong but making better personal choices will help you to stay healthy.  Too much of something after all is never a good thing.

As I said - I preach a lot of crap and have many personal theories but they are based around some degree of education and a home library full of nutritional text books and government and medically endorsed journals/books.  I obviously don't recommend people to ulliminate food groups unless they have serious health risks.  I recommend EVERYONE get a food allergy test.  Intolerances to food are so so dangerous - celiacs can become infertile etc.

Saturday, August 07, 2010

Rationality: Will kill my mind?

I find myself constantly pondering things, over and over and over.  I find myself always having to argue both sides of something out; just to me - just for my own sake.  Its like I can't really decided which side to take because both have their positives and negatives.  I get so caught up in trying to weigh it all out...

Thursday, August 05, 2010

What not to eat: Reducing cancer risk

Good food, Bad food.
I understand that these days you can be at risk of cancer by just doing simple daily tasks like eating, breathing and using your mobile phone.  However there are certain foods that are suggested will reduce cancer risks and will assist you in improving and maintaining a healthier lifestyle!

In the book Cancer: 101 Solutions to a Preventable Epidemic (New Society Publishers, 2007) the authors suggest 10 Foods and Drinks to Limit or Eliminate:

1. All charred food, which create heterocyclic aromatic amines, known carcinogens. Even dark toast is suspect.

2. Well-done red meat. Medium or rare is better, little or no meat.

3. Sugar, both white and brown–which is simply white sugar with molasses added.

4. Heavily salted, smoked and pickled foods, which lead to higher rates of stomach cancer.

5. Sodas/soft drinks, which pose health risks, both for what they contain–sugar and various additives–and for what they replace in the diet–beverages and foods that provide vitamins, minerals and other nutrients.

6. French fries, chips and snack foods that contain trans fats.

7. Food and drink additives such as aspartame.

8. Excess alcohol.

9. Baked goods, for the acrylamide.

10. Farmed fish, which contains higher levels of toxins such as PCBs.

What I have to add:

11. Energy Drinks
Personally I believe energy drinks are a huge problem and should be avoided.  They spark high insulin levels in the blood and are full of sugar, caffeine and chemicals.  I admit that around exam time I drink 2 of those babies a day but for no more than a week or so, as well as one on the odd occasion.  However they are certainly not appropriate for recreational drinking purposes.  Also drinks such as pulse are even worse as the liver has to process all the chemicals, caffeine AND alcohol!!!!

12. Excessive medication
Don't pop ibuprofen if you don't really need it!!!! Taking meds for every little thing puts a lot of strain on your insides - stomach, intestines and liver.  Paracetamol is a better option but I still PERSONALLY think you should cut down your intake if you're a huge hypochondriac!

13. Chicken
People say that red meat is bad - what about chicken?  Did you know chickens get treated in chlorine and bleach before popped on the shelves.  Many are fed hormones all of their lives and their bodies grow at a ridiculous rate- so fast that many can't stand up.  The chemical treatment of chicken prior to packaging and sales is ridiculous.  If you eat chicken - GO ORGANIC.  Free range and organic are NOT THE SAME THING! Free range doesnt suggest the bird's eating was better, only their environment.

Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Unhealthy salad

I was shopping last Thursday night and planned to get something quick to eat.  I had heard that the shopping centre I was at now had sumo salad.  Upon inspecting the salads, pretty much all of which were chicken and covered in creamy dressings, I decided to give the idea a miss. 

Just because something is called a salad, doesn't mean its healthy.  This is a common misconception.  Sometimes we think we're being good when really we could have probably eaten what we really wanted to and have done only slightly more (or even less damage). 

I decided to put my mind to rest and find out about "The healthiest fast food franchise" as they claim to be.  Lets look at their popular "Leafy salad, pesto chicken and avacado salad".  Obviously the fact that we have meat, pesto and avocado in a salad at once should probably set off alarm bells and make you stay away if you're trying to watch your weight but take a look at the damage:

46.5g of fat. Are you kidding me? Yeah its probably all those pine nuts and the oil in the pesto as well as the avocado but still.  And HOLY CRAP... look at the salt!?!?!?!?!?! WANT TO HAVE SKY ROCKETTING BP?!?!?

I'll post a little more later but seriously check out nutritional info to salads before thinking they are a better option.

Dairy Free

I just realised that this is my 100th blog.  Yay for that. 
In my blog today I'm going to use bits of an article from my favourite newsletter/website (www.care2.com).

Humans are all at least slightly intolerant to dairy which is why too much of it upsets our stomachs or makes us sick.  I understand that cheese may taste good, yoghurt has probiotics, milk has calcium etc but do we really need dairy?  Are there healthier alternatives?  Soy cheese, milk, yohurt etc is now a good alternative although there is great debate about soy and its mimicing of estrogen; which is obviously a problem when cosuming high amounts.  There's oat milk, rice milk, goats milk and many many other milks available on the shelf or from health food stores if you are worried about soy.

So now to my underlining point: Why not to eat dairy (from care2.com article).

Cow’s milk is intended for baby cows.  (Has nobody realised this?!?!?!)
We’re the only species (other than those we are domesticating) that drinks milk after infancy.  And, we’re definitely the only ones drinking the milk of a different species.

Not only are the naturally-present hormones in cow’s milk stronger than human hormones, the animals are routinely given steroids and other hormones to plump them up and increase milk production.  These hormones can negatively impact humans’ delicate hormonal balance.

Most cows are fed inappropriate food
.  Commercial feed for cows contains all sorts of ingredients that include:  genetically-modified (GM) corn, GM soy, animal products, chicken manure, cottonseed, pesticides, and antibiotics.

 Dairy products, when metabolized, are acid-forming
.  Our bodies are constantly striving for biochemical balance to keep our blood at 7.365 pH.  Eating excessive acid-forming products can cause our bodies to overuse some of its acid-balancing mechanisms, one of which is the bones.  Alkaline calcium is stored in the bones and released to combat excessive acidity in the body.  Over time, bones can become fragile.

Most dairy products are pasteurized to kill potentially-harmful bacteria.  During the pasteurization process, vitamins, proteins, and enzymes are destroyed.  Enzymes assist with the digestion process.  When they are destroyed through pasteurization, milk becomes harder to digest, therefore putting a strain on our bodies’ enzyme systems.

Dairy products are mucous-forming. They can contribute to respiratory disorders.  When I remove dairy and sugar from the diets of my clients, they stop experiencing hay fever and seasonal allergies.

Research links dairy products with arthritis. In one study on rabbits, scientist Richard Panush was able to PRODUCE inflamed joints in the animals by switching their water to milk.  In another study, scientists observed more than a 50% reduction in the pain and swelling of arthritis when participants eliminated milk and dairy products from their diet.

Most milk is homogenized, which denatures the milk’s proteins, making it harder to digest.  Many peoples’ bodies react to these proteins as though they are “foreign invaders” causing their immune systems to overreact.  Research also links homogenized milk to heart disease.

Pesticides in cow feed find their way into milk and dairy products that we consume.

Personally, apart from being fairly lactose intolerant, dairy causes over production of mucous which is one thing I hate about even consuming lactose free products.  Anyhoo I shall post more interesting blogs soon but felt the need to make my point :)