My wife is currently 9 months pregnant, the baby could be here any day now. Our house has sold and the new buyer is closing on it in 2 days. We close on our new house 10 days after. You could say we have had our share of stress, but we try really hard to attack stress at it's first sign. But another thing has crept in, that I'm not as familiar with, but I think it has some of the same characteristics. I'm not sure what to call it, anticipation, anxiety, waiting, uncertainty.... I was talking about it with my wife this weekend, it has felt recently that we are "in limbo". Almost wishing to speed up time to get to the finish line. We all know that 1) We cant do that and 2) That probably wouldn't be such a good idea. But what that has done is made right now less enjoyable. I feel like all our free time is just waiting, and we aren't enjoying the present as much as we usually do.
We are all guilty of this from time to time. But it is a very dangerous habit to get in to. Whether it is waiting for a new house, new baby, a promotion, a spouse, whatever it is. We get the idea that we are going to be happier once we are at that next stage, have this, or achieved that. But there will always be something else, or better in our eyes. So when will we be happy? What will make us happy? If we live with the attitude that we will b happier at a later date we will always be unhappy, always be unsatisfied. The only answer is to live in the moment and be happy exactly where you are. I know that is easier said then done right? Living in the moment. That's why it takes daily focus to be happy right where you are right now. Stay tuned for a future blog on tips to "Living in the moment".
This topic recently came to my attention after I watched an episode of the HBO show Vice, which explored the current safety of seafood from the Gulf of Mexico. We all remember the 2010 BP oil spill, and the massive clean up efforts that followed. The FDA reported within months after the spill that seafood was safe to eat. I personally don't remember many people even questioning this either. And I have to admit, when I visited the gulf in 2012 the beaches looked in good shape to me. But after watching this episode and researching the topic more myself, I can honestly say this cleanup is far from over.
I am not going to go in to near as much detail that this episode did, I'm going to give a summary and my opinion, but I recommend watching this episode and I will also include some links at the end of this blog if you want more information. Long story short, in 2010 BP had a pipeline spill out crude oil for 86 straight days until they could get it stopped. This wreaked havoc on wildlife, industry, and tourism. Oil floats to the top of water, and the ocean started carrying it further east. Now methods were used to extract the oil, but as the oil was creeping closer and closer to Florida's beaches, BP and the coast guard decided to take different measures. A toxic substance was brought in, that has been banned in several other countries, to help "clean up". I put clean up in quotes because that is hardly what this substance does. The substance in called Corexit, and it was sprayed all over the Gulf to minimize the appearance of oil, not actually clean it up. Now Corexit has been shown it multiple studies to be more toxic than oil itself, but even worse when combined together Corexit and oil is 52 times more toxic than when alone. So why would BP use this? Well like I said the oil was drifting closer and closer to Florida, the spill was already such a catastrophe and embarrassment for lasting as long as it did, the thought of oil winding up on Florida's pristine beaches would have been a finisher to BP. But what did Corexit do to keep it from drifting towards Florida? What Corexit does it binds with oil and makes it heavier and sinks it. Out of sight, out of mind. If the public can't see it, it doesn't exist. Now sinking it creates even worse problems, because you can no longer clean it up from the surface like with oil itself, and contaminates sea life even more than when it is left on the surface. And today oil is still being washed up to shore that was sank by Corexit.
Many people who worked on the cleanup and were living around the Gulf during the cleanup have gotten really sick with upper respiratory problems, skin problems, and some have even died. It has been reported that BP instructed people to not wear masks or other safety equipment because of the appearance it gave to the public. These people are now paying the consequences. So how does this affect you if you don't live near the Gulf? Many Gulf fishermen, shrimpers, and oystermen have noticed major problems with their catch. Extreme deformities like shrimp without eyeballs, problems with the gills, oil in their gills, and other genetic deformities that one fishermen said he has to throw away over half of his catch because it is unsalable. He also said he has trouble sleeping at night because he is worried about the seafood he does sell, that it may hurt somebody. And every single one of these fishermen said they would not eat their seafood.
Now I'm not going to go in to other areas that the episode touched on like why the Government and coast guard would participate in this, but I'm sure you can connect the dots. But I am going to say that currently it is very hard for me to recommend eating seafood. Just 2 weeks ago the FDA said that Pacific and Alaskan fish were OK to eat and hadn't been affected by Fukushima. (The Japanese nuclear catastrophe) But if we learned anything from the BP oil spill is that the FDA isn't always right, or may rush to green light or cover up details to not scare the public or affect industry. The fishermen in the Gulf are saying they won't eat their fish, now we have radiation possibly contaminating our west coast fish, and Atlantic water fish has been shown to be higher in Mercury than Pacific due to power plants and emissions, what fish is left? My current recommendation is to put seafood on hold or limit it for the time being, unless you are very selective on where you get it from.
I recently came across an article on social media defending aspartame and the safety of it. This article cited multiple biased corporate funded studies that most discredit. And actually this article was focused more on people like me, who send emails, write blogs, and spread (according to them) false information that aspartame isn't safe. But I don't take offense, this website had medical propaganda written all over it, and I'm honestly use to it. I'm use to being the quack doctor, the conspiracy theorist, the granola person, hippie, whatever other names out there you can think of. But I personally take that as a compliment. With disease rates where they are, and getting worse every year, the last thing I want to be considered is mainstream. Because mainstream isn't working, our current medical system has failed us miserably. If you are doing everything everyone else is doing you should expect the same results right? Like Mark Twain said, "When you find yourself on the side of majority it is time to pause and reflect."
Now I am not writing this blog to tell you all the reasons why aspartame is bad for you, and why 100% of all independent studies since 1998 have shown it is hazardous. I have wrote blogs before on the dangers of diet soda and artificial sweeteners. I'm going to make this a whole lot easier. Because, let's be honest, it can be difficult to differentiate facts or good sources on the internet. I can find conflicting studies on any health related topic. But how do we make these decisions easier? By implementing one little principle in to your life.
It's the God Made vs Man Made principle. In short if it was made by God, natural of this earth, it probably has a purpose and is most likely safe. I like to think he doesn't make mistakes, and he wouldn't put something on earth that didn't have a purpose. On the other hand, if it is Man Made, last time I checked we make mistakes, there is a pretty good chance it can come with side effects. Now man has created some great things, but man is only an imitator, he only imitates what he sees in nature. And nature has proven time and time again that if you mess with it, there are consequences. Take GMO's for example or chemicals that were once thought to be safe that are now deemed hazardous. So it really comes down to common sense, I don't need a study to prove to me if something is safe or dangerous, I make decisions off of principle. If it is made by man in a lab it is going to have certain risks, maybe not one's we currently know about, it may take 10 or 20 years to come out. Corporations will do their best to keep us from finding out to protect profits. But sooner or later, it all comes out, use lead based paint, mercury thermometers, or asbestos as examples. Every medication, sooner or later is pulled, and you will see commercials from lawyers helping people who were harmed seeking compensation. This is a principle, not a theory. So when in a dilemma, revert to it. Artificial ingredients? Man made. Food additives? Man Made. Artificial Sweeteners? Man made. Advil and Tylenol? Man made. Organic vegetables? God made. Grass fed beef without man made antibiotics or hormones? God Made. Herbs and vitamins that aren't synthetic? God made. Now doesn't this principle make life a whole lot easier? The more God made you consume and the less man made you consume the healthier you will be.
With a childhood obesity problem in this country, it is irresponsible to not pay attention to what your child is eating. But how are you careful not too create complexes and possibly even eating disorders? Here are a few guidelines for creating healthy eating habits.
1) Monkey see, monkey do. If you want your kids to make healthy decisions you MUST set the example. I don't think I need to elaborate on this.
2) Don't get caught up on the number. Never get caught up on the number on the scale. For one reason, just because you are lighter or thinner does not equal healthier. It also creates a bad habit of referring to the scale to judge someone's health. The scale does not account for a lot of things that need to be taken in to consideration like muscle mass and bone structure. Putting kids on scales can also create a huge feeling of disappointment when a certain number isn't reached. Promote instead, judging your health on how you feel rather than looks or weight.
3) Do NOT restrict Calories! When dealing with a child who may be a little overweight, or just with kids in general do not regulate amounts of food. Instead regulate the QUALITY of food. If your kid is hungry, let them eat! Let them eat as much as they want, as long as it's nutritious healthy food. Avoid sugar, processed foods, and boxed foods. You will find that when you eat high quality foods, it doesn't matter how much you eat.
4) Do NOT treat Exercise as a Punishment. Never use exercise as a punishment or a result of your child's weight or appearance. Meaning, now we need to start running because you are getting heavy. Instead make it a fun activity. Most kids will not enjoy running on a treadmill, but instead they would love to kick a soccer ball around for an hour with their parents. Be creative, come up with activities like scavenger hunts, hide and seek, capture the flag, red rover, anything to get your kid outside and moving and away from the TV.
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