Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Is the importance of good nutrition just a wee bit overrated?

Hold on, now. I'm not saying you should live on nothing but McDonald's; Morgan Spurlock in his movie Super Size Me proved just how dangerous that is. These fast food facts from the Super Size Me website are enough to scare the crap out of anyone.  So we agree it's just nutty to eat fast food more than just occasionally, right?



Knock on wood, I'm a pretty healthy gal who doesn't look all that bad for her age (53).  Lucky me, I've been slender all my life and have been able to eat pretty much whatever I wanted.  I gotta tell you, though, I've never wanted fruits and vegetables.  With the exception of watermelon and blueberries, fruit just doesn't do it for me.  Oh, I can force down an orange or cantaloupe as long as long as I dip it in chocolate syrup. 

As far as vegetables go, I don't mind spinach and broccoli (smothered in butter, of course).  A nutritionist I met at a blues festival a couple of years ago told me that because I have hypothyroidism, I shouldn't eat broccoli.  I was like, Jesus H, that's one of the few healthy foods I actually enjoy and you're telling me that broccoli is bad for me?  I give up.

I don't particularly care for beef, but I do eat a lot of chicken and fish.  I freakin' love pasta, and thankfully, I'm not a snacker.  I don't go for potato chips or cookies or candy.  Ice cream, hell yeah, but I've substituted 60-calorie sorbet and it does the trick just fine.  I gave up soda years ago--unsweetened iced tea is what I drink instead.

So I guess I don't have a horrible diet, and I do have exercise going for me, but as I've told you before, the only things I buy at Whole Foods are hair dye and Young's Chocolate Stout beer.  Speaking of Whole Foods, have you ever seen a health food nut who inspired you to eat better?  I've met people who were totally into vegan diets and raw foods and all that shit, and to tell you the truth, I never thought they looked any better than the rest of the general population.

I will say I've met people who look so radiant and amazingly young for their age that I begged them to spill the beans and share their secret. I don't recall anyone attributing their good looks to a healthy diet or a special vitamin concoction or even drinking a ton of water.  But you know what?  I think having a positive attitude is the best thing you can do for your looks and probably your health, too.  I've got that going for me, too.

And thank God I never smoked.  That, I am convinced, is the single worst thing you can do to yourself.  On so many levels. 

Anyway, I guess what I'm getting at is, are fruits and vegetables all they're cracked up to be?  How healthy does one really have to eat to live a decent life?  Have you ever felt better by changing your diet?  What's your take on this?

10 comments:

R. Jacob said...

I have read Fast Food Nation. I watched Food Inc.

I have done posts on nutrition, additives, what's in a strawberry shake, what's in chicken nuggets, the 37 chemicals that are used to coat Doritos, natural flavorings and artificial additives. As a result I do my own baking and cooking.

It scares me what is in our food. I make my own breading when I bread chicken. I use unsalted butter, hate margarine. I make homemade bread. I never eat from a vending machine.

I pointed out some ingredients like trisodium phosphate is used to clean walls before painting. Titanium Dioxide is a coloring agent and is used in paint to make it cover better and is in the cover of golf balls. It goes on and on. Food dyes are made from petroleum.

Yet, I am not a health freak. But I am a work in progress. I don't preach anything but will answer questions when I can.

I think you are correct when you say when how you are inside makes you beautiful outside. But what you eat makes a difference too. Now as I slowly climb down from my soap box...

Yes, I cook and bake and can do home repairs. I am a rent- a- hubby for hire! lol

Ruben Rivera said...

Hi Linda,
I came to your blog by way of my good friend, Debbie from Venting to Viggo.

I enjoy your humorous take on things. Right up my own alley, actually. You've seen my serious blog; not sure if you've seen my silly one.

Like you, I believe health is more or less a matter of balancing what you like to eat with what you're supposed to eat, but perhaps above all, as you said, having a positive attitude.

By the way, if you like blueberries and ice cream that's not loaded with calories and artery cement, I found at Trader Joe's a pomegranate and blueberry sherbert that's not overly sweet and has a nice texture. It's 140 calories per serving, so it's more than your sorbet. But I like it as a treat that's not the typical 350+ calories per serving Ben & Jerry's double-thrombosis fudge.

Finally, I'd like to buy your book, Bastard Husband. Normally, I'd just buy it on Amazon. But I would love it if you could sign it. What are the chances of getting a signed copy from you?

All the best,
Ruben

Vegas Linda Lou said...

@ Ray: I agree, food can be pretty damn scary. The best advice I've heard is to shop the perimeter of the grocery store and avoid the internal aisles altogether. We're all a work in progress, huh?

@ Rueben: I'm so glad you said "sherbet" and not "yogurt." I hear that shit's alive! I'd be happy to send a signed copy of my book--just click the PayPal link on the left sidebar. I'll be sure to check out your other blog!

Sous-Chef said...

I guess I’m the wrong person to ask on many levels. I love food in all its forms…including fruits and veggies. About the only things I will refuse to even try (again) are tofu, cooked mushrooms and okra in any form. I’m also not fond of cous cous, but will eat it if I’m served it in someone’s home. These foods are not yucky because of taste...for me it’s a texture thing. I do believe that a more colorful plate is a healthier plate and one that is more pleasing to the eye as well as the tummy.

A very wise woman told me at the ripe young age of 95 (she lived to 99 ½) that you can eat or drink anything you want as long as it is done in moderation. Too much of even a good thing like a banana will make you fat in the long run, the bottom line for weight control is the need for portion control and movement.

Sous-Chef

Vegas Linda Lou said...

I'm with you on tofu, and what the eff is okra? You couldn't pay me a thousand dollars to eat a banana. Ten thousand to bit into a celery stalk.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

bite

(and I call myself an editor???)

R. Jacob said...

This healthy talk has made me thirsty, how about you and me grab a few beers?

AgSweep said...

Check out "Fat Head" documentary by Tom Naughton. It's a semi-comedy (if there is a such a thing) Basically calls into question some of Spurlocks conclusions and methods. Weight is all about how much you put in and how much you run around getting it off.

Teresa said...

Well I have to say when I ate strictly fish, veggies and fruits I did have a ton of energy. So much energy I couldn't sit at my desk and write. As a writer that wasn't good. I love sweets and to snack. I crave crunchy & salty foods a lot and admit I love fast food. I just don't eat them everyday. Label readers make me INSANE. Calorie counters drive me BONKERS. Over the top health nuts I would love to shove a cheeseburger down their throat when they are sleeping :). I do believe eat what you want it's called living. You can't eliminate all that is bad, like chemicals, because then you would have to stop breathing or make a surgical mask part of your fashion. A positive attitude is the healthiest way you can live. Otherwise how did the man who ate Oscar Mayer hot dogs and bologna everyday of his life live well into his 90s? Because he loved life and enjoyed it.

TAD said...

Linda: My diet is mostly garbage, I LOVE junk food & snack WAY too much. It's probly not best 4 me, but everybody sez I don't look my age -- most folks guess late 30s, they've GOTTA be kidding.... (I'm almost 52!)
For a 2-month period a few years back, I got almost ALL my meals at McDonald's when I was in the middle of moving & changing jobs (was trying 2 save $$$) & didn't gain any weight -- but I was also working 12-hour days, running my legs off, was constantly stressed-out....
The biggest change I've EVER made in my diet is I cut my coffee intake in HALF a few months back -- feel happier, less stressed-out, have enuf energy, & I don't WORRY so much.
Hmmm... Needta go grab a snack. Keep smiling....