Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My rant of the day: nutrition & health

It's been a while since I posted one of my "ranting" blogs. But there's a topic that's been nagging me for the past couple of weeks that I felt the need to blog about.

It's the issue of the connection between nutrition & health. Some people believe there is a definite connection & others believe there is no connection at all. I used to eat healthy in case there was a connection (& I was really hoping there was a connection), but I wasn't really convinced, although I knew that I certainly did feel better when I ate healthy.

A while back (a year or so ago maybe?) I saw some studies that were done on the behavior of infants, toddlers, & children related to additives in food such as coloring, flavoring, preservatives, etc. This study absolutely fascinated me. And more & more as time goes by I see how animals are being affected by their food. Of course animals get the worst of the worst when it comes to what goes into their food. I can remember when I was a child animals dying of things besides cancer. Nowadays that seems to be the most common killer of them. And then there's all the weird health problems that animals are having nowadays that they certainly didn't used to--diabetes, seizures, anxiety disorders, asthma, the list goes on & on. These things are becoming more & more common all the time in animals.

I was recently overhearing a conversation at my work about co-worker's pets & it seemed like everyone had a pet with some sort of disorder. And of course they are all medicating their pets for these weird disorders. It really shocked me at how common-place they seemed to think it was & they all just chatted away joyfully about what they had in common with their animals.

I can remember when my cat, Tabatha, was diagnosed as being diabetic. It was shocking to me, but even more shocking was when I went online for more info & found out just how many people out there were dealing with the same issue. And the same is true of MANY, MANY more health problems in animals--high blood pressure, heart failure, seizures, anxiety disorders, asthma, the list goes on & on as I said before. Of course she later died of, yes you guessed it, cancer. She died of leukemia, but not the viral feline leukemia, it was the same type of leukemia that people die of. The vets were really astounded by that as I recall.

And then of course there's the mad cow thing, which has now also been found in deer & there are suspicions that it can be spread to cats & dogs, but I haven't heard that confirmed for sure yet. But of course the govt doesn't like to confirm ANYTHING until they are forced to.

So it really got me to thinking how this clearly indicates (at least to me it does) that what you eat really does have an impact on your health. This is good news as far as I'm concerned. In my childhood I ate a lot of crap, which I do regret, but I really didn't know any better, but at the age of 15 I started eating healthy. Yes, I have wavered from time to time & I still allow myself the occasional pig-out (although people always laugh at what I consider to be pig=out, unhealthy food--I guess compared to what they consider that it's really not so bad).

But I am definitely an all or nothing type of person. If I committ to do something I do it all the way or not at all & I hate quitting, I am soooo not a quitter. But I am like this to the point of becoming way too legalistic about stuff, so I am constantly working on forcing myself to make allowances & bend the rules here & there, regarding lots of things in life,not just diet, because nothing will ever perfect no matter how hard I try.

I also see my pregnancy this way. I've allowed myself to eat crap during this pregnancy. I can see my hubby not so happy about it, saying how it's affecting the baby, but at some point this child is going to eat crap, it's inevitable, you can't stick it in a bubble. And of course there's also the fact that diet is not everything when it comes to health. Pollution abounds everywhere---makeup, toiletries, air, water, etc. There is no escaping it to a certain degree. I try to live my life limiting exposures as much as I can (within reason, mostly with food, cosmetics, & toiletries that are healthy) but by no means do I think I can or try to eliminate ALL unhealthy exposures in life.

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