Stay Off That Bandwagon!

bandwagonIt’s the old “drunk on the horse” scenario once again. We humans can’t seem to stay in the middle of the road, no matter how hard we try. The fad of the moment takes over and people start going to extremes. The bandwagon starts filling up. Nowhere is this tendency more evident than in the area of food. Because we’re so rich and so well-fed, indeed overly well-fed, we have the luxury of developing food fads. Believe me, people who are living on the verge of starvation don’t have any time for worrying about their cholesterol. They just need something to eat.

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Read about a Sick Girl–and Count Your Blessings!

My Glory Was I Had Such Friends book coverLessons from a sick girl

Both images are from their respective Amazon pages; click on the image to be taken to the appropriate page. I used my two available Audible.com credits to get these books in audio form and am almost finished with Sick Girl. 

I’m not going to write much in the way of commentary here because it’s not needed. The book covers should tell you all you need to know about the worth contained between them. For those of us who are reasonably healthy, it’s good to be reminded of how precious that health and life is. It’s also helpful to be reminded of how utterly tactless we can be to those who are suffering. Even doctors and nurses–maybe even especially them–can add to the patient’s pain by their manner and words.

For an interesting and informative interview with Amy Silverstein about her second book (and her second heart transplant), go–where else?–to Gretchen Rubin’s recent blog post:

“I Simply Have to Put All My Energy into Hope and Life, Rather Than Trying to Avoid Doom and Death.”

That article will sell you on the books if nothing else will. You can get paper or digital versions at your library if you’d like. I was not able to find the audio versions at mine and thus went through Audible.

Yet Another Sugar Screed

Poster for "That Sugar Film" movieThat Sugar Film, 2015, written and directed by Damon Gameau, who also stars. Streaming is available for free through Amazon Prime, or you can rent to stream or buy the DVD if you’re not a Prime member. Also available through Netflix.

I don’t want to wear out my welcome here, so if you’re kind of weary of the whole “sugar is evil” hoopty-doo feel free to skip this. However, Jim and I thoroughly enjoyed this film, and it’s a pretty painless way (except for the tooth-extraction scene) to find out a little more about the silent white killer. (Cue ominous music. And full disclosure: I just caved in and ate three smallish peanut-butter cookies that my husband made this weekend. They were calling out to me from the freezer. But I won’t say that I couldn’t resist. I could. I just didn’t. So sue me!)

Gameau is an actor who decided to make a documentary about what would happen to him if, after about three years of eating a very healthful, low-to-no-sugar diet, he deliberately ate 40 teaspoons of sugar every day for 60 days, yet another one of those “stunt journalism” stunts, akin to “Supersize Me,” the 2004 film in which Morgan Spurlock, an American filmmaker, ate nothing but McDonald’s food for a month.

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The Ongoing Sugar Struggle

wonderful pear pieI write periodically about the dangers of sugar consumption and my own efforts to control if not banish this substance from my life. Right now I’m working on re-doing my recipes over on the hospitality blog, and for every dessert I’m including information on how many grams of sugar each serving contains. The typical amount is around 25 grams, or about 6 teaspoons, which, coincidentally, is the limit given by most researchers for the daily maximum we should have for added sugar.

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What the Peanut Allergy Controversy Says about Human Nature.

peanuts with one half shelled

Here’s what seems to have happened:

1. In the normal course of things, some children developed severe peanut allergies.

2. Awareness of this problem grew. It’s not clear whether the actual incidents grew or not, but almost certainly not. It was probably more a matter of growing access to information.

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Eating Lean Is Pretty Mean

Picture

The Big FAT Surprise:  Why Butter, Meat & Cheese Belong in a Healthy Diet by Nina Teicholz, Simon and Schuster, 2014.

Let me say that I hope Teicholz makes a ton of money from this book.  She deserves that, having spent the past nine years doing the research for the 337 pages of text plus 100+ pages of notes that comprise this book.  And the message is:  Whatever you think you know about what current research tells us constitutes healthy eating, you’re almost certainly wrong.  If you go back and actually look at the original data for the studies that have been so influential in our dietary thinking over the past few decades, as Teicholz has done, you’ll find that they don’t actually say what it’s been said that they say.

So, for example, take a look at the so-called “Mediterranean Diet,” beloved in song and story.  What does it consist of?  Lots of vegetables, lots of whole grains, fish, and the very occasional serving of red meat.  The fat of choice is olive oil, gallons of it.

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