Spending Too Much Time in Your Own Head

I’ve been doing some metathinking lately. Before you proceed to laugh, let me explain. I made this blog to share my thoughts on various topics, and doing that makes me feel better. I like utilizing my freedom of speech. I’ve always been prone to losing myself in my thoughts and I find that talking about whatever is going on in my mind, whatever wants to come out, it’s usually something I’ve been subconsciously battling with, like with this one.

Growing up, my parents didn’t always understand why I wasn’t that talkative. Other kids in my class were chatterboxes, like my best friends Nathan and Marcus. They were so hard to shut up, they just kept going on and on – whatever was on their minds, they had to say it. They loved making up stories and talking about their imaginary friends, and I liked listening to them. Well, I was listening to them for as long as I could before I zoned out and thought about my imaginary friend and our conversations.

I’m still friends with Nathan, and even though he’s not the chatterbox he used to be, he is still quite lively and animated. He’s too quick to act though, and saying stuff he doesn’t mean – from mean things to compliments. But we love him anyway.

It’s just, I was always the contemplative type. My girlfriend is sometimes frustrated with me because thinking has often stopped me from taking action. I was supposed to help her insulate her hot water system last month, and it took me two weeks to actually do it. I wasn’t lazy, I was just thinking of the perfect method of doing it and that took time.

I feel like thinking and being in your own head a lot makes you more compassionate to yourself, and by extension, to other people, but only if you practice self-awareness. Thinking allows you to better know yourself, your likes and dislikes, your attitudes towards different things, which in turn, makes you more confident.

Yes, thinking does deter you from taking action, and I’ve often gotten the ‘compliment’ that I overcomplicate things and should learn to act on instinct more often, but I am who I am. What exhilarates me is the theory of how things are. It doesn’t mean that I’ll just sit passively all day every day, like the thinker. It just means my thought process is more thorough and I enjoy it.

Cold Showers

When your brain is your best asset, you want to wake it up when it gets foggy and thoughts are muddled. You know, when you just wake up from a very deep sound sleep. In order to get the brain cells functioning, you can swivel your head right and left, stretch your neck and spine, drink some coffee, or go for a jog. It can work. But if you have tried a few tactics and the brain is still in no response mode, try a cold shower. I know, it doesn’t sound inviting, but it is quite invigorating. I can vouch for that. People, by the way, who don’t have hot water heating systems know what I mean.

So let the hot water heater have a rest or two as you undertake a new experience. Cold showers are not the norm, but they are effective. Get in there and let the flow of life take you over. Close your eyes and immerse yourself in liquid wonder. You will stay entranced. Let your brain slowly, but surely, awaken to a new day. This is the best way I know to shake off the sleep cobwebs.

The irony of this situation is that I had just purchased and installed a new hot water heating unit. I wanted a new tankless water heater because of the monetary savings in utility bills and also its appearance. The old one had seen better days anyway—very, very old– and needed to be lain mercifully to rest. I always like upgrading technology when I can, and tankless is the way to go these days so I am told. They are sleek as ever to take up less space, if that is a concern. They do the job with efficiency and cost-effectiveness. You have no complaints.

But cold showers are not going to disappear just because I have a new strongman in the basement, raring to go. He will have his time very soon. Not everyone agrees with my views on showers, and not everyone gets brain fog. But if you pride yourself on clear thoughts at every part of the day, including the early morning, take heed.

Cold showers were probably invented for quick cleansing in the absence of electricity. They were manual and crude no doubt. With power behind them, they could provide soothing warmth, that is, unless it was a sizzling hot day. That’s when you learn to appreciate going au natural. There is nothing better on a humid, sweat-producing day than a cold shower to whisk away the blobs of sweat that are marring your jeopardized perfection.

Cold showers to me are the essence of life. They sparkle with flowing grace from an elixir of invigoration. Beads of water are little gems of action, rubbing your weary mind and body awake. Yes, it can be a surprise to the half-conscious, but that’s the whole point. Get in and get revived. That’s the goal, endgame, and entire purpose. You will not hesitate again when you are in need. Want something that works, take a cold shower!

A Guilty Pleasure

What are your guilty pleasures? Eating a box of Godiva chocolates? Watching Dumb and Dumber twice? Loving the rides at Disneyland? We all have them…but don’t always tell. It’s no one’s business what we do with our time. You need a break from the hard stuff now and then, a reprieve from work and routine obligations. Life is too short as they say, so why not load it up with some good times, even those that are frivolous at best.

I will not, let me repeat, not reveal all of them right here, right now. However, I have one harmless guilty pleasure that actually does some good. It has to do with this great power washer I borrowed from a friend. I was watching him wield this little dynamo one weekend to clean the driveway and garage floor and was mighty impressed. In no time, he had rid the surfaces of anything unwanted that tainted their purity. This was for me. I asked to borrow it, with the intention of buying one of my own in due time. I just had to give it a go.

I surveyed my property and soon came up with options. The driveway was okay—maybe later. But the front of the house was suddenly dirty and dingy to the naked eye. Why did I not notice or care before? Now I had a way to restore it to a like-new condition. I fueled the unit with gas so I didn’t need an attachment cord to trip over, got out the ladder, raised the washer on high—and the fun began. It was a blast, literally. Water spewed with a vengeance. There were a few hard-to-reach places, but it didn’t take more than a twist of the shoulders to include them in my crazy dance of cleanliness.

Now for the guilty part. So much wasted water! It’s not that a pressure washer needs that much or is inefficient. Actually, they work fast eliminating the need for gallons and gallons. The problem was that I was enjoying myself so much that I let the thing roar way too long. I loved adjusting the nozzle and seeing the different sprays that it would generate. I loved snapping the hose and testing the brushes. Most of all, I loved the results. The house looked great and would not need a paint job as I had assumed at the start. Wow! This is going to be a regular enterprise. Take my word for it. If you like working around the house and yard (or just need to), run out and get a power washer. I can think of many other uses. The big one is the car as the spray is gentle enough for even a brand new surface. I mentioned the driveway and garage. You can take care of the dog house, backyard shed, lawn equipment, and more—all in one day. You would save water that way. I should take heed!

My guilty pleasure satisfied, I will be a little more judicious next time with water. I promise.

Posted in Fun

Thoughts on Sweat Shops in the Third World

It’s time for a little guilt. You wear imported clothing and shoes and carry a tote or backpack. You probably don’t think twice about where they are produced. You take everything in life for granted. Now is the time to realize the greedy economics of the garment industry. Imagine 15 year old girls sitting at rows of sewing machines in the idle of the night making your favorite brand’s shirts and pants. Their eyes are tired and the light is poor. The sweat shop runs 24/7 and this shift is the hardest.

Haiti, Bangladesh, Pakistan, Mexico, Cambodia, Honduras, Singapore, Hong Kong, Nepal, South Korea, Taiwan, Nicaragua… Stacks of finished apparel are awaiting packing for shipment. Stock boys about the same age are loading boxes onto trucks. Their little arms strain with effort. A stern taskmaster keeps productivity to a maximum. While there are small rewards for meeting quotas, there are punishments for lagging behind. Breaks are few and far between and coffee or tea is simply not an option. There are no OSHA safety rules posted on the wall. Maybe a first aid kit at best.

Such is the life of thousands of the majority of third world workers who make fashion for your pleasure. While common in many countries, even the US (think Chinatown), these sweat shops are unacceptable work places with minimal standards. Don’t even expect child labor laws! There is modern electronic equipment such as the perennial sewing machine. Some are designed for specific tasks like button holes or zippers, so that there is division of labor. There are also plenty of embroidery machines to stitch that little guy on a horse or alligator onto your shirt. It is efficient, but often back breaking work. Many of the youth also do handwork with expertise that is admirable for ones so young.

Sweat factories turn out designer copies galore, so they are a valuable asset for local economies. Forget about ethics! I hate to even mention the possibility of human trafficking to staff these places. This is not an ideal lot in life, even for the poor who need base wages. Yes, it costs less to live in the third world, but this kind of child labor is also exploitative to a high degree. There is a lot of controversy in this regard as people realize that no other jobs are forthcoming for many parts of the world. It is indeed possible that the standard of living has been raised with export work as compared to subsistence farming and the specter of crime. Starvation is a dirty word that must be considered to be fair.

So next time you don that logo sweatshirt or take out those designer jeans, give at least a moment’s thought to what went into their fabrication. You may feel so bad that you want to make your own clothes! Be sure to check labels and read about conditions in factories and sweat shops so you understand the consequences of your purchasing decisions. Part of being green these days is to shun the moral pollution of the sweat shop. With enough publicity and outcry, conditions should get better and make the clothing industry a viable option for local labor.

Gluten Free – Celiac Not A Cop Out

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I know several people with Celiac’s disease. Previously thought to be a figment of one’s imagination, research ahs concluded that it is indeed very real and can have significant debilitating effects on the patient. The short version is that Celiac’s disease is a person’s allergic reaction to eating foods that contain gluten. These foods are what are basic in most people’s diets – wheat flour, dairy products, and a number of carbohydrate based foods. Gluten free products have recently appeared on the supermarket shelves, but as usual, they are expensive.

Not everyone who has chosen to go gluten free suffers from Celiac’s disease. To some it is just a fad, a new diet that will supposedly make you more attractive or healthier. Unfortunately, this group seems to have their head in the clouds, not realizing that their need for attention takes away from the real problem those who are allergic to gluten face. Sometimes I don’t understand people. Part of it is what I wrote in my last post about vaccinations. Are people so self-absorbed that they cannot see beyond their own world? This may be a residual frustration from my last post. Still, if the fashionistas would draw attention to the problem rather than themselves, their quest to be fashionable would actually benefit someone other than themselves.

One problem with any dietary restriction is that these people are not able to fully enjoy the benefits of being an American and the many food choices that have become a part of our culture. For those who eat what they will, whether it is fashionable or just plain lust, people with Celiac’s are ignored because, well, it doesn’t affect them. It is a self-absorbed attitude that seems to be increasingly pervasive in the American culture. No, I am not singling out the youth because I see enough of that in my own generation.

There are people I know that say going gluten free even when they do not have Celiac’s has improved their health. One person has a thyroid condition that has abated because she opted for a gluten free diet. Others have stated that back problems, muscle aches, and a general tired feeling have stopped once they stopped eating foods containing gluten. Like meditation, I may not think it is for everyone, but if it works for them, it is worth a try.

Personally, I have not tried any gluten free food. I do not have Celiac’s disease (that I know of) and have the liberty to feed my face whatever it wants. I doubt that I am alone. And I also doubt that there are people who eat gluten free foods just because they can. It might taste better or simply be a different taste. This is America. But let’s not forget that some of thee things we enjoy, other people are unable to.

Sexy Mixer

So my friend just bought a new KitchenAid mixer after reading some reviews online and getting sold on the idea of having this amazing hand mixer. The way she goes on and on about it. This sexy mixer idea came to mind and I couldn’t help but write it down.

I see a beautiful creature on the counter. It has a round, luscious body – curvy and sexy. It is a female, of course, all rosy pink with sleek skin and a shiny crown on top with a sweet little ornament. She is happy and content with her life as she gets considerable attention, usually once a day. Some might say she is obese – but not me. She is perfect as is.

She winks at me from afar. So attractive this one. They don’t make them like this much – a special one-time, one-place being. Her coloring is exquisite and feminine and her cool pastel surface beckons to be touched. You can pat her, but don’t get too fresh. She could be fragile with too much handling.

You can change her attire when you want. She doesn’t mind. She has a variety of accessories and loves them all. They give her a new look, and what woman doesn’t relish the thought. In fact, she requires a change of tune now and then just for variety. You can slip something on her with ease. She will coo with delight.

She told me the other day that she had learned a lot of new things – tricks of the trade really. I should check them out. I am more than intrigued. How alluring she is, and what a tease! I am not always the one to hold her hand and turn her on. But I am ready, willing, and able. I know the fruits of passion.

She has a mate next to her. A little guy, but I am not threatened. He isn’t that useful around the house. Once in a while he can go for it, but we like her best in my household. When someone comes over, I show her off just for the fun of it. She is likeable to be sure.

That’s why she is always there and never relegated to a private place. She is a public person without fear of gapes and stares. She does like to be admired, of course, like any gal. Parts of her are a little tougher, however, and made of different stuff. She has a dual nature in essence. What I like best is her neck–strong like a man. She could take a beating, but not by me (or anyone I know!). I will protect her forever, as long as she graces my life. I value her friendship and try to let her know.

She enriches the world with her gifts and pleasures. She offers wonderful treats. She can transform almost anything, spinning it into a new realm of existence. She changes whatever she touches magically and mysteriously. It is in her nature and her purpose.

I won’t send her packing, this one. People tell me I don’t even realize how much she offers and that I should explore her more. Inside and out. She loves to be clean and I comply and happily assist. She loves a bubble bath with scented soap. Come and see her in all her glory at her best.

Time to Think

Do you get your best ideas under the hot rain shower? Or while running or walking? That is not unusual. Sometimes, the best ideas are born in a time of relaxation. Although, it may seem to you that the idea just came by itself without any real effort, you are wrong. Your brain is always doing something; even if you think like you are not thinking about anything, believe me, you are. The human brain is a mystery.

I often find myself getting the best ideas while showering. Maybe it sounds weird, but what can I say. I like long showers. I guess they help me relax and unleash all my creative juices. One thing that I have realized lately is that the first idea that comes to mind is the best one, I am not saying that all other ideas are bad, but the first thing that comes to my mind is something to hold on to. There is another way to come up with a solution of some a problem. For instance, talking to people of different backgrounds and jobs is helpful and can lead to a solution. Many people claim that the best ideas they ever had came to them while being under a deadline of some kind. Anything is possible. We all have different points of view; I guess we are all wired differently.

The water that runs down your body, the warmth, steam, acoustic room, a sensation of safety and relaxation are just some of the factors that explain why so many people sing under the shower. Why do people sing under the shower? It is difficult to name just one reason, but for me, there are two major reasons. I think that the bathroom is small enough and acoustically suitable room for such an activity. In fact, I have a shower head with a speaker in it so that I can sing along to my favorite tunes, listen to podcasts or even an audio book. The other reason is that I feel so relaxed, with the hot water, pleasant odors and the sensation of joy which makes me want to sing. While doing so, I come up with some of my best ideas.

I always think about the world and the things that surround me. Although, I would like to be more determined to take action more frequently than I do now. Mother Nature has given us as much as we need, but we are not satisfied with what we have. For instance, when the world would stop fighting, we would all realize just how lucky we are to have this beautiful planet to call home. There are so many extraordinary and beautiful living creatures on the world. It is enough just to lay back and be amazed at such beauty and diversity. How many wonderful color surround us each day, the flowers, the sky? All these thing I just named should be enough. Guess what? It all comes for free.

Well, these were some of the thoughts I had during a nice hot rainfall shower head on a beautiful rainy day. Yes, even though rainy day, still beautiful, peaceful and makes you think…

Vaccinations – I’m In No Doubt

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As a kid, I hated getting vaccinated. As an adult, I am very much for them. The science is there that proves vaccinations prevent the contraction and spread of common diseases such as mumps, measles, and chicken pox that have kept no small number of children out of school decades ago. In case you are wondering, while most people simply go through the stages of the disease and recover, some die. It seems reasonable that if something can simply and safely be prevented, it should be.

What has happened recently is a movement to stop children from getting vaccinations based on religious or anti-science grounds. The result is an increasing recurrence of these common diseases, and they are spreading among the unvaccinated. The arguments against vaccination appear to be based on a number of cases that reportedly have resulted in increased numbers of autistic children, somehow connected to the ingredients in the vaccinations. Prominent scientists and medical experts have consistently expressed there is no danger to the public with the vaccinations. But it is a free country.

That said, it is one of those things that is impossible to intelligently discuss because both sides are not listening. Conspiracy theories aside, the scientific and medical evidence supports the positive effects of vaccinations for everyone. Which is where the problem actually exists. The people who argue against vaccinations because of their alleged high risk factor likely drive cars which pollute, use the Internet which also is anti-green in many ways, and take advantage of many of the technological advances that have been developed and created by the very science they argue against. Personally, what I would like to see is some consistency in their position. While it is true they cannot fight every battle – you have to pick and choose – some consistency would bring a more coherent argument from the vaccination opponents.

If one pays attention to the news, there are new and more deadly viruses that are mutated and cause worldwide concern because of our connected world. A new disease in the Middle East can reach the United States in hours. This is what the scientific and medical community need to be focusing on instead of answering the doubts of a minority, but whose actions can easily affect the majority. The fact of the potential cost to public health, which will come out of everyone’s pocket, is not to be ignored in this argument.

Cooking by the Fire

This is really crazy nuts, but I had to cook in my fireplace one night. My stove went on the fritz and I had fresh fish on the counter next to a nice cold bottle of French white wine. A tossed salad waiting for its dressing was in the making and the most divine garlic bread was on the broiler rack with considerable anticipation. There was no question of calling a 24-hour repairman at their steep rates.

I was not going to miss this meal! The fish was fresh-caught and expensive from the best market in town. I used pricey endives in the salad, and the wine—don’t ask. It was a splurge but I was celebrating a very important occasion with a good friend, and we would both be crushed if the evening did not come to fruition.

You don’t mess around with electronic appliances, even the non-digital ones. This is why you get a warranty when they are new. A stove may never break, but if it does like mine, you won’t kill yourself fixing it. I certainly wasn’t going in there with my bare hands. But I was going to cook someway somehow. I had to be get out of the box for a moment and take an imaginary brain ride.

I do own an iron skillet my grandmother sort of bequeathed to me for making pancakes. I love hers so much that I keep it in on a lower shelf. So I lit the wood stove in the lounge room and let it sputter into a full flame existence. I didn’t feed the fire to keep it modest. The fish went into the pan with a little olive oil, sprinkled with salt and pepper after a coat of soft butter. Lemon wedges and parsley sprigs were to be the final garnish. A restaurant it wasn’t, but it would look darn close when the various elements were “plated.”

I’ve seen old movies and read books about pioneers. How hard can this be? It wasn’t. The fish didn’t take long although the bread was a bit dark and overly crusty on top—but still edible. No worries about the salad that didn’t need to touch a lick of flame. I did try to grill some vegetables but ended up with a sautéed version using the iron pan. There is too much flame in a fireplace for grilling without protection at the front and sides. I was worried about drippings, but there wasn’t any real grease to cause a major situation. I was very, very careful! I used a barbecue mitt (given as a Christmas gift with Santa on it!) even though I don’t own a grill.

Not that I would do it again. I was panicky the whole time. But it tasted great and was certainly a new accomplishment. I am not a cook and had planned a simple-to-prepare meal fortunately. Not a lot of sauce or spices. No need to get close to the pan to stir or glaze. Just heat and eat.

World Poverty – Beggar or Borrower?

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As Americans we have it not good, but great, when it comes to food. There is no doubt about it. We are asked regularly beginning with ads on television and popping up in our web browsers on the Internet to donate money to combat third world hunger. Many Americans see this as helping beggars who are not industrious enough to work to feed themselves. Many choose to contribute in the form of donations to international organizations such as World Vision, who has been around for quite some time and has an excellent public reputation. Of recent vintage is the concept of microloans, money that an individual can actually loan to someone in a third world country to finance growing crops for food the help people feed themselves.

There is an experience I would like to share about World Vision and the problem of donating. I was sponsoring a Peruvian 7 year old girl named Rosalinda. World Vision allows you to correspond with your child through translators, though the mail can take weeks before you get a response. Beyond your monthly contribution, you can send a single payment of a minimum amount that can be used by your sponsored child for clothes and other basic necessities. This is all arranged through World Vision. I had done this several times, and I received a picture with Rosalinda standing next to all the things she bought. New jeans!

Unfortunately, out of nowhere, I was informed that the child I was supporting has changed – with no explanation. The explanation came from Rosalinda in a letter, telling me that World Vision had withdrawn their support of their village, so sending support was no longer possible. To be fair, it is understandable that there are places so remote or dangerous to get to that this sometimes is necessary. But the least I expected was being informed by World Vision instead of a sad 7 year old.

The lesson in this story is that while donating money to reputable charitable organizations is a viable option, everything is not as it seems. Even with vetting the possible charitable organizations, there are things you may discover that you are totally unaware of. It is not as if these realities are intentional deceptions by the organizations, but as Americans we tend to be a bit naïve when trying to help others.

The alternative solution to help ending third world hunger is through microloans. If you have $25 that you can spare, you can actually receive interest on the money you send. The way it works is fairly simple. Go to a web site such as kiva.org and create a contract with someone who agrees to pay you an agreed upon interest rate for the loan. The money can be used for food, clothing, or a number of other available resources lenders need. You can also choose to lend to a group or individual, male or female.

The advantage is not in the return on investment, but that you get to choose exactly who will receive the money and how it will be used. Many people feel more involved with the microloan process, knowing that they have a direct hand in the outcome. Kiva is only one of a number of microloan programs that can be found on the Internet.

But there is another advantage to using microloans – the fact that you are helping people help themselves. Those Americans who believe that third world people are simply looking for a handout can sign up for microloans and decide for themselves who and what they want their money to go to. In a way, the establishment of the microloan program takes away the excuses for people getting involved and being part of the solution instead of standing on the sidelines.

The Fungus Business

When I have something on my mind, I tend to go over it again and again to work it out if it is a problem. Or I think about it if it is a good thing and I want it to last. I live in my head sometimes as I have been told. Sometimes, the ideas are rich and sometimes they are just plain mundane.

Take the case of a business proposition I had from a friend. He had just recovered from a toenail fungus battle and won. He created his own home remedy, like so many out there, but was sure it was better and would bring in some big bucks on the Internet. I wasn’t convinced, but I like a challenge and said I would consider the possibilities.

Online I went and to my surprise there were hundreds of sites extolling the benefits of their particular product. I guess a lot of people have this condition making me think a business addressing it could be profitable after all. So I started to contemplate the enterprise. How good was my friend’s tonic? Had anyone else tried it? Where did he even get the idea!

Too much thinking. Now I had to take action and write a business plan and look at the competition.

  • Creation of the product
  • Manufacturing the product
  • Creating a website
  • Marketing the product

o   Testimonials

o   Advertising and PR

  • Shipping and customer service
  • Growth plan for the future

o   On site sales

All this to fix ugly toenails! Listen, you can make money in many ways. I showed my friend, and we both agreed that it would take time, but not much money. How could we lose? I was starting to get excited. Creating a business from scratch is great food for the brain and a challenge begging for a creative solution. We started to organize the project and hired a graphic designer to do a winning Infographic. We also researched health sites that might embed a link to ours.

A good-looking website is hard to imagine when it comes to toenail fungus but we want the images to be surrounded with great color and meaningful headlines. We wrote our own text and started to project a launch date. I really liked the look of one of the most popular sites on this topic, which is www.nicefeet.net – so I included their site in our collection of design samples that we sent to our web designer.

Now it is still in the works pending a solution to the ordering and payment software selection and how to keep pace if we get volume purchases. We have a small compounding pharmacy on board but no idea if they can product enough product to meet demand. We also need a contact list of prospective customers.

It’s fun but takes more effort than I originally thought, so it is not a reality as yet. It is my friend’s deal in actuality, but I like seeing something come to fruition no matter what it is. This product could help people which is an added plus. Now we need a celebrity spokesperson. Ha! No clue how to do this but, again, it is a challenge I am ready to meet.

Food For Thought – What Should I Eat

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I once had a friend who said there are two types of people in the world: those who eat to live and those who live to eat. I hope I am somewhere in the middle. As an American, I love to eat. The wide variety of cultures and peoples that make up this country bring to it some of the most distinct and best food on the planet. Stores are packed with ethnic versions of foods not seen here 30 years ago. The American diet seems to be breakfast, snack, lunch, snack, supper, snack, midnight snack. It’s not that we are focused on food, but our lives are fast paced and we burn lots of calories. Now I really wonder if you believe that.

Yet over my life time I continue to get more and more suspicious of all the nutrition and dietary fads that now are everywhere. Adkins Diet, the Paleo Diet, gluten free, transfat free. It is really beginning to get maddening that whatever I do it will either be wrong or change in another year. I tend to stay in pretty good shape and watch what I eat, with the exceptions of Super Bowls, New Years Day, and the requisite holiday celebrations. But after three decades of trying to do the right thing, I am starting to believe eating is not a luxury but a necessity. I need to stop feeling guilty about what I eat and start being smarter about how I live.

They say you are what you eat. If that is the case, then I am mostly vegetable with a thin layer of fat and not much meat. But that can’t be right last time I looked in the mirror. I am reasonably sure that a significant part of me is preservatives, which may make me live longer. I have watched my salt intake but still end up with a good amount of preservatives in my food. Now they say that is bad, but at this point it is hard to tell based on what the doctor said at my last physical exam.

Which brings me to the point of just exactly is it we are supposed to eat and what are we to avoid. Who should I believe? The government once had a food pyramid but now has something that looks like a rhombus. I think. The First Lady is trying to replace high carb lunches with stuff any kid in their right mind would throw in the garbage. And they spend money to do a study to discover not only that kids are filling up school lunchrooms with the new dietary plans, but that the reason kids throw the food away is because they think it tastes crappy. Surprise.

Some argue a government control thing with this, but I don’t agree. It’s just the First Lady being National Mom. Now as for those corporations, that is another story. It seems pretty clear that they have more control over what most Americans eat because they manufacture it. Salt is a natural preservative, and cheap, so companies load down their products with salt. That contributes to an increased risk of heart disease, which doctors then give you a prescription medication to counter its effects. Then they tell you to eat less salt. Someone is chasing their tail here.

One alternative is to go all natural. No preservatives, home garden grown, mercury free, salt free. That seems like a good plan but the problem is that where can most people find these foods? Forget WalMart. Farmer’s markets are a great idea except in most places they aren’t year round. The main source of natural foods will be local specialty stores or healthy sections n the local supermarket. Stop and think about that for a second. A place where you buy food to eat has a healthy section. Then what is all the other food supposed to be?

But the bottom line for most people is the bottom line – price. Who can afford a $5 jar of 16 ounces of peanut butter once a month? The better you try to eat, the more it costs. If I turn that logic on its head, if you are poor you will die sooner from malnutrition. If you noticed, a reduced fat product costs more than the regular version. What corporations are saying is, if we have to put ingredients that are actually good for you instead of fat, you will pay more for it. It’s peanut butter, not caviar.

The more I think about this eating thing, the more I realize it may not matter at all. I have no major health problems despite the fact that I have changed my diet 20 times over the last 21 years. I can climb several flights of stairs without getting winded and maintain a normal blood pressure level despite my job. Personally, I think I have been had by the diet gurus and nutrition experts. Time to go get my fat enriched ice cream and top it with the necessary quantity of double chocolate sauce.

Meditation – More Than Daydreaming

meditate

What is it with this meditation fad? Every time I think about meditation I think of yoga. Now I am told that yoga is not meditation but meditation is part of yoga. Holistic doctors are recommending it and there are a number of people who say it actually helps them make it through the day.

From what I understand, meditation is a relaxation method that is used to reduce stress levels and improve your overall health by taking your mind off of what stresses you and thinking peaceful and positive thoughts. Some people opt for a rhythmic song or chant as a way to keep them focused. The objective is to let the mind positively affect the entire body.

There is also supposed to be a spiritual or religious aspect to meditation. Some Eastern religions take credit for it being an inherent part of their culture – Tai Chi for example. Now while I am not an advocate of any religion, I do know that if something works you should use it. I don’t think I can fairly advocate it for everybody, but there seems to be enough evidence to make the try worthwhile.

The truth is, some of the music I listen to has a meditative rhythm to it. It relaxes me and I generally feel peaceful after half an hour of listening.