We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
We have commented on the subject of the human diet and health before, but it's time for another comment, because the NYT Science Times has written on it.
"Healthy food" has been an on-and-off American obsession, comparable to the obsession with flavor in France.
Since Rev. Sylvester Graham, a minister, vegetarian, and food-obsessive invented the Graham Cracker in the 1820s to provide "digestive fiber," Americans have been food faddists and vulnerable to food quackery.
More famously, Dr. John Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, an 1870s charlatan with a diet fad, fooled Americans into thinking that cereal was breakfast food. It is not. In Yankee-land, breakfast is eggs, bacon, sausage, toast, potatoes, fruit and apple pie.
Eat what you want, and be happy. All humans are prone to "magical thinking" - aka "wishful thinking." We'd like to imagine that we have some control over things like health, and that things we put in our mouths will make a difference. There is essentially no evidence for that idea, assuming absence of a disease, or a problem like high cholesterol, or pregnant, etc.
Even being fat doesn't seem to make any significant difference to health. (Being obese is a bad plan, though.) I advise patients to eat plenty of salmon, trout and char for their magical properties, and whatever else they want; to exercise and work out if they want to be strong and fit but not because they will live forever; to lose weight if they want to look better and feel less tired; to eat all the salt and steak they want; and to avoid magical health diets. Vegetarian? Fine. Leaves more lamb and steak for me. Just don't imagine that it's about health. What's a healthy diet? Any average mix of stuff, but most of all - enjoy it, and don't fuss about it too much.
(Image from the excellent medical blog Kevin, MD. That steak could be a bit more rare, if you ask me.)
Yup. To exercising, you might want to add that it helps keep black moods in check (I am less bored and howl less with regular walks). Also, that being thin not only makes one look more attractive, but feel more attractive. (we retrievers sometimes run to fat and hate ourselves for it but, my, that leftover ham tasted good!)
Always been my philosophy, just don't go overboard on stuff like eating a dozen eggs or a pound of chocolate a day and you'll probably get along as well as the pill poppers and fad followers. Regular walking (not jogging) helps as well.
Saw a very entertaining show on PBS about urban raccoons. They stated that raccoons have done so well in urban areas because they are omnivores and can eat pretty much anything, like humans. And that is exactly why I think restrictive diets that exclude major food categories are goofy. That is not what human beings were meant to do. We were meant to eat everything: plants, meats, fruits, grains...and are healthiest when we eat the most variety possible!
I am not partial to the Dr. Kellogg variety of dietary fiber but I have to say, I make a point of getting a dose of dietary fiber in the morning with breakfast and, well.... let's just say it keeps me feeling healthier.
Walks are great - get out and see and smell the changing of the seasons and know what weather actually feels like. (One of my pet peeves is people who go from house door to car door to work door w/o experiencing the day's weather yet blather on about climate.) Dawn and dusk are magical times.
For the purpose of exercise I prefer a vigorous bicycle ride. Not in the winter though. I refuse to run (or jog for that matter). In younger days I gave all the time and pain to that I intend to
If I ever experience being thin I may feel the right to comment on that.
But also pay attention to how your body reacts to what you eat. Do not eat what disagree with you and you will be happier.
I had a bad relationship with my alimentary canal and decided to stop eating one of my favorite items at a time. I finally discovered that my beloved milk and cereal was the culprit and gave them up. Luckily, I still enjoy cheese, yogurt and ice cream.