Healthy Choices

May 21, 2016

I never buy or use ketchup.  I used it all the time when I was a kid, but over the years I have come to the conclusion that it just is not that good in any way.  When I started looking at the ingredients I realized that the stuff is more corn syrup than anything else.  Two of the first three ingredients are corn syrup.  So I tried an experiment to see if food tasted better with or without it.  In my mind, food tasted better.  You could actually taste it.  I recall hearing that ketchup does mask the taste of food years ago and I think that’s spot on.  You’re basically drowning your food in sugar, so not using it means your actually giving yourself an opportunity to taste the food.

Of course, like any sugary substance, it becomes addicting.  I need all the fingers and toes to count the number of people who cannot fathom eating without plastering their fries or baked beans in the stuff.  It shouldn’t be all that surprising that I have gotten a lot of odd looks over this issue.  I had a girlfriend who would be in near hysterics because I would never buy the stuff.  She ended up buying a family sized container of the stuff at some point just for herself.  Needless to say, I had much eye rolling.  It was always a challenge for me because I would look at her and think, “You’ve got this sugar and alcohol intolerance/allergy and you’re basically plastering your food in sugar?  Seriously?”  I didn’t really push that too hard because I know all the sugar they put into it makes an addiction–plus the social conditioning of having it on the table growing up, my dad also throws a fit if he doesn’t have ketchup with various things–and it can be difficult to break that.

Okay, now that I’m done with my little rant about ketchup, on to the meat and potatoes of today’s writing.  Healthy choices.  When you get down to it, we’re set up to make a lot unhealthy ones.

It is important to do little things.  I find I am healthier without ketchup.  Cutting out stuff that doesn’t do you any good is more valuable than anything.  That’s probably the most misleading element of a gluten free diet.  That usually involves cutting out alcohol and junk food.  Of course you’ll feel better initially.  However, something I’ve also read is that unless you actually have Celiacs, you should not go gluten free.  There a lot of glutens that are good for you, so cutting those out too can do some damage.

I’ve taken to mixing a couple of teaspoons of Apple Cider Vinegar with water and drink it–usually with a bit of maple syrup mixed in because the vinegar is potent.  Doing that is supposed to improve your digestion and I have observed quite an improvement in my general health as a result.  Have not gotten sick as often as I used to–when I do, I blame working nights and sleep depravation.  Even think it might have helped me to start making more progress at the gym.

I recently started mixing a teaspoon of Cocoa nibs with my breakfast yogurt.  Something I read about recently, where you get a lot of good cancer preventing things and it supposedly helps your mood.  It was one of five things they suggested for improving mood, the others being: kale, tea, kefir and mackerel.  Yeah, the mackerel thing does seem a bit weird, but not as weird as some things I’ve heard.  Has been good.  Mixes well with the yogurt, might look into some cooking with them.  One of the main things I’ve been concerned about over the last year is getting back to a healthy mentality and this is another little way to improve things.

Just wanted to share a handful of thoughts on healthy food and diet choices, some stuff that has worked or is working for me.

 

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