Health & Fitness,  Ramblings

This Surely Isn’t Any Mystery

I don’t use Facebook very often. I have a few family members as friends and a few groups I’m a part of, but mostly I don’t care about other people’s breakfasts or how they feel about hot-button issues. There is a song, Carnivore, by Starset, that says, “No one needs to hear your words,” and that line runs through my head 96% of the time I’m browsing social media.

Recently I’ve found myself getting incredibly frustrated with people in the aforementioned groups. While perhaps well-meaning, the responses to requests are never in line with what’s been asked. One group I was a part of was for healthy eating. I don’t recall the exact name, I’ve long since unjoined. Quite a few people would ask for healthy recipes, myself included, only to have extremely unhealthy suggestions offered. For example, I asked for some ideas for a Thanksgiving side that wasn’t just roasted vegetables, but was healthy and didn’t include oil, salt, sugar, or excessive dairy. The first response was something with marshmallows but had the word “salad” in the title, so perhaps they though it was healthy?

This seems to be a recurring issue.

First: Not all salads are healthy. The sodium in pickled items is massive, so filling up on olives and peperoncinis, and then downing some parmesan, mozzarella, and salami, is going to max your sodium in one serving, unless you like to eat tablespoonfuls as your serving, and then… I’m not saying anything about that because I was taught not to say anything if I don’t have nice things to say, and calling people weird isn’t nice. It doesn’t matter that orzo is kind of rice shaped, it’s still pasta. Pasta isn’t terrible for you, but it’s not a healthy addition to your meal, it’s just kind of there. If your salad contains marshmallows, well, you should know better than that.

Second: Vegan and vegetarian dishes are not all healthy. Fries are vegan, as is hard liquor.

Third: Just because a dish contains fruits and/or vegetables doesn’t mean it’s healthy. I saw someone request a healthy dish to take to a potluck, and two of the replies were a.) fruits, with a dip comprised of cream cheese and powdered sugar, and b.) fruit salad, made with the fruit of their choice and a can of peach pie filling. The fruits don’t lose their healthy qualities, but they’ve been drowned in terrible things. A great many unhealthy foods contain healthy items. If you were to eat just fruit, that would be a healthy dish to have. If you were to eat just pie filling, that would not be a healthy dish to have. If you separate the components of your meal into the individual parts, and consider eating each part alone, you can usually tell what is and is not healthy. While adding a little indulgence to your meal doesn’t necessarily render it unhealthy, it does lessen the healthiness. Know what’s bad and, if your goal is to keep a meal pure, limit how much of that bad stuff goes into what you’re making. Hint: Neither cream cheese nor powdered sugar are healthy. Just eat the fruit. I mean, good grief… A strawberry is pretty good on its own, and it’s in your mouth for ten seconds. You can’t withstand an unsweetened strawberry for ten seconds at a time?

Fourth: Foods that are associated with specific diets, such as Keto, low carb, protein rich, gluten free, etc. are not guaranteed to be healthy.

Fifth, and I find this one particularly annoying: Just because something is not unhealthy doesn’t automatically make it healthy, and something less unhealthy is also not suddenly healthy.

Here’s what I mean:

Salad can be healthy, especially if you load it up with broccoli, garbanzo beans, beets, etc… A bowl of iceberg lettuce, while not unhealthy is not healthy. It doesn’t offer enough to qualify as healthy. It’s something like 96% water. Don’t argue with me about how water is healthy because that is not what we are talking about, and I’d like to know the last time you were thirsting for a bowl of lettuce.

That’s something that is not unhealthy that is also not necessarily healthy, per se.

Pizza (as the average American views pizza) is unhealthy. Veggie pizza, while perhaps less unhealthy than a meat-lovers* pizza, is still not healthy. Yes, you can get a bit of vegetable in there, but you’re also getting a lot of fat and sodium. As I said a long while ago, you can get protein from the peanuts in a Snickers bar, but that’s not really the best way to go about it.

These distinctions seem to be lost on a lot of people. Perhaps this explains how so many can be confused by eating “healthy” and still gaining weight or not losing weight or not seeing an improvement in this or that area of their health. If something is “bad” for you, like pizza and cookies and ice cream, you can’t make it healthy. You can make it less unhealthy, but it’s never going to be the best you can offer your body.

* I’m getting tired of having to put these caveats. If you wanted to complain because I said a meat-lovers pizza is unhealthy, and you read that as meat is unhealthy, you’re the reason I have to put these. Meat as a whole is not unhealthy. Despite the fact that I no longer consume anything but seafood in the realm of flesh-eating, I still stand behind the fact that consuming meat is the easiest way to maintain a balanced diet. Meat on a standard meat-lovers style pizza is pepperoni, sausage, bacon, etc.. There is no one outside of a Keto clinic that’s going to listen to you tell them that pepperoni is a healthy meat. Just quit.

Title From:
Poison Trees
by The Devil Makes Three