Healthy Living

Most of us struggling to lose weight know the relationship between calories and exercise.  Burn more calories than you consume and the body will burn fat to make up the difference.  Yet, millions of people continue to try special diets.  According to Kay Urzoma, in the article Percentage of Americans Who Diet Every Year, almost 45 million people diet every year and spend approximately 33 million dollars.  So why is it so hard to lose weight.  Perhaps the answer lies in understanding not knowledge.  Jacques Pepin may have hit upon the answer in his article discussing his family’s restaurant.  “There is something evanescent, temporary and fragile about food. You make it, it goes, and what remains are memories. But these memories of food are very powerful.”  A Ted Talk by Daniel Kahneman offers more insight into this issue.  Our remembering self is the one that makes the choices.  Consider all of the culture memories around food.  Our first experiences as children include a parent feeding us.  For me I still enjoy the social interactions when I take my adult children out to eat.  The answer to losing weight may be developing awareness of these memories and attempting to generate other memories that create the same sense of bonding.

Social Justice

On any trip to the grocery store compare the cost of healthy food with processed food.  This is a burden for low income parents.  Here are some examples:  A bag of oranges at 6.99 compared to snack pack fruit cups at 3 for 3.00,  and fresh green beans at 1.29 for a pound compared to a can of green beans for only .78.  For a family living pay check to pay check the numbers really add up.  Making the choice for the cheaper item and assuming a weekly purchase, the family would save approximately 337 dollars.  Maybe that’s not a lot for you, but it can be a burden for families trying to live on part time work.  Since food is a fixed cost the percentage of take home pay goes up dramatically the further down on the income scale you travel.  Nickle and Dimed: On (Not) Getting by in America by Barbara Ehrenriech delves into the fact that being poor in America is costly.

Emotional Well Being

Almonds are a superfood.  They have many health benefits.  But they also help with managing anxiety.  An article on the Calm Clinic website describes the positive effects of almonds and six other foods that help alleviate some of the symptoms of anxiety.