Blog #382 – The Delusion of Complexity
In a world with so much information available to us all the time, it clearly isn’t more information that is needed to assist us. In fact, sometimes it is less helpful…if more information was the key, there would be a lot more billionaires with six pack abs running around.
There are many things that do not need to be approached in a manner that allows for so much complexity to creep into the process. I’ll expand on these below, but some examples would be diet and working out. While I am not an expert or hold any certification in either of these, I am familiar with and have lots of personal experience in, so I’ll share with you some of my go-to things. But my main point is this, don’t let seemingly complex topics push you away or prevent you from starting in the first place.
When it comes to a good diet, this is easy to fall victim to overwhelm in this category, and that is by design. Here are a few tips that are so basic you will laugh when you read them , but they are spot on in my experience.
- You need to become a label reader, and you need to learn what ingredients to avoid
- When entering a grocery store or supermarket, shop only in the perimeter aisles
- It is likely that much of anything in a box is as healthy as advertised
- Your grandparents (and ancestors) were healthier eaters than we are, follow their lead.
- There isn’t a society of humans ANYWHERE on the planet that doesn’t consume meat when they can.
If you go to a place like Sprouts or Whole Foods, these stores are better about having real food items for sale, so don’t use them as the example for this next part, think your local grocery store. The meats, eggs, fruits and vegetables are all on the perimeter of the store, and are not the first thing you see when you walk through the door. These are items with shorter shelf lives, and lower profit margins, so they are typically tucked in the back half of the stores. The “staples” that people buy such as milk or eggs don’t need as much advertising, it is a given that most people will buy these items on a visit to the store. But the packaged items that sit on the shelves that take up most of the floor space in the store are items that the store wants you to buy. These items have a higher profit margin, and in many cases the companies that sell these products are paying for the premium for that shelf space. It is called a “slotting fee”, and you can learn more about that here.
So there you have it, companies pay stores to have their products at eye level so you are more likely to pick their product over another. And if you wander down the aisle with the breakfast cereals in it, the characters that are on the boxes are looking down, which means they are “making eye contact” with their target audience…the kids. The parents pay the bills, but the kids are the ones that in many cases pick the items to be purchased. It is called marketing, but it many ways that is just a fancier and softer word for manipulation. This is just one of many reasons to skip shopping in these aisles.
If you stick to the basics, you will be better off. Organic items tend to be better for you and/or contain less genetically modified ingredients, are treated differently in the field, such as not being sprayed with Roundup and other cancer-causing chemicals that have detrimental affects on the body. Here is a recent article (not by a specific law firm suing Monsanto) about this situation. Glyphosate is heavily sprayed on oatmeal and other products that are considered healthy, but this and other chemicals and pesticides are doing far more harm than good.
So, here is what I do, and you may wish to consider for yourself. You need to do your own research and make determinations as to what is right for you. But I stick to the basics as much as possible, such as:
grass fed meat, free range chicken, wild caught salmon
Milk substitutes like Almond or Oat milk
organic vegetables and fruits Check the Clean 15 and the Dirty Dozen lists here to know when organic is a must have versus not necessary.
ORGANIC Oatmeal never anything but organic on this one, most oatmeal is heavily sprayed with glyosphate and other chemicals.
Frozen foods are not a bad option, in many cases the fruits and vegetables are flash frozen quickly after harvesting them and so the nutritional value is still high, and (bonus!) they last a lot longer in the freezer than they do when bought fresh. Frozen pizza in a box doesn’t count…
I like Organic Greek Yogurt for smoothies and as part of a snack or dessert like a parfait. We have Spelt bread in our house, which is sprouted grains instead of blanched wheat bread.
My wife and I do food prepping about twice a week, and this has several benefits for us. For me, it helps combat my food laziness, meaning I am prone to take the easy way out and run through a drive thru for lunch when I don’t have something ready-made at home. When I have spent the time to grill chicken and salmon and have veggies ready to simply warm up and eat, it is hard to justify NOT exercising this option. It doesn’t get easier than that, so I help myself avoid being lazy by doing some work in advance. We don’t avoid fast food altogether, but it is a rare occurrence when we do eat it.
I am a fan of Intermittent Fasting and I have started fasting for a 24 hour period a couple of times a month. At my age (52) it is probably more beneficial than for people younger, but it has been a practice of the human race for millennia, and so there must be some validity to it overall. It gets easier each time I do it, just like the sauna sessions and the ice baths/cold showers do.
Again, these are things I do, I am not a doctor or a certified nutritionist, so keep that in mind. This is not medical advice or anything like that, it is what I am currently doing for myself. I make tweaks and adjustments to this all the time, but the basics I follow are listed above. Take that information and do with it what you wish. Again, the world is trying to get your money out of your wallet, and good marketing tactics and also capitalizing on human laziness are two very effective ways to do this. Don’t believe the hype, and don’t fall victim to your own laziness. You get one body and one brain for your whole life, be sure to treat it accordingly.
As always, I wish you luck in your endeavors.