Sunday, December 15, 2013

Inundated with "news"

As some of you know, I consider myself to be a "newsphobe."  I despise "news" of all sorts that is pushed through the various media, be it print, television, radio, web, or anything else in perpetuity.  My reasons for this are as follows:

  1. by the time the media's got their "hands" on it, it is no longer "new"
  2. it's very (VERY) rarely "good" news
  3. it's ALWAYS "spun" by the presenter's personal bias.
  4. there is nothing that I can do to change that course of events, so how does that news really affect my daily life, personally?
My response to the newshounds has been, "if something REALLY important happens in the world, do you REALLY think I'm not going to hear about it?"  I have about 200 Facebook friends - that's enough to tell me about the latest tragedy or incident of human suffering, and, more often than you might expect, the GOOD stuff (like the Westjet Airlines stunts)!

Lately, the unavoidable "news" has dealt with improving health.  I have already made a lot of changes, for myself, and where possible, for my loved ones.  I no longer consume high fructose corn syrup in anything.  I still use cane sugar, but with as little refinement as possible.  I don't like the taste of honey or stevia, so my sweetener has to be sugar.  I'm okay with it, as long as I can be sure that it's non-GMO.  I also no longer consume anything that's been hydrogenated - I'll take my fats saturated or MonoUnsaturated, thank you.  I have vegetarian and vegan (and in-betweener) friends whom I love and respect, but I am an omnivore and will likely never give up red meat or dairy.  I shop at Trader Joe's as much as possible, because they have a commitment with their food producers to only give us non-GMO, non-artificial, non-MSG, non-etc. etc. etc. (did I mention "etc."?) GOOD foods.  I don't have food allergies, so bring on the peanut butter!  I don't have gluten intolerance, but I've never been driven by bread or other baked goods, so I just look for the best ingredients when I buy those types of things.

Mostly, I just look for the best ingredients in my food.  If someone posts a yummy recipe on Facebook, I'll give it a look.  If it's got good ingredients that are easily found and affordable, I may give it a try.  I have not tried the Atkins Diet, or the South Beach Diet, or the Blood-Type Diet, or (any) Paleo Diet.  I don't go crazy, making myself and my friends crazy, with reposting the latest "science" regarding food.  This is because I often feel INUNDATED WITH NEWS and I know that anyone out there who is just getting started with making changes for themselves and their loved ones is likely to feel completely overwhelmed and not know where or how to start.  I am not a nutritionist.  I only know what works for me and my own body:
  • portion control - this is the only part of a nutrition label that I care about - how big is a "serving"?
  • good ingredients - in a pre-packaged food, how many ingredients are there, and do I recognize them all, and are there any of the "bad" items, like hydrogenation or high fructose?
  • PAYING ATTENTION to my body after I've consumed anything - am I bloated or constipated?  How "hungry" was I before I started, and did I overeat because it was just so damn yummy?
If I wanted to change my world even more, I would shop only from local food producers, and buy organic, and maybe get started with homesteading (or some other such thing that holds NO APPEAL for me).  Obviously, I feel like I've changed my world enough.  If you personally shop locally, or for only organic, or you homestead, then I applaud you.  If you live near me, I'm happy to share in your bounty.  ;)

I will continue to avoid "news" - if you're feeling inundated, I recommend taking a "news holiday".  You can determine the length of your holiday, and if you decide to join me in my phobia, then I welcome you!


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