One Change

One change can go a long way.  I just read Domestic Man’s post about Easing into a Paleo Diet and he has some great advice on how to make some small changes to get yourself eating better.  Reading his post got me thinking about how even one change can really improve a person’s health.

Back in the days of yore, I had a classmate in college who between freshman and sophomore year lost a good amount of weight.  When someone asked her how she did it, she said that she cut out soda completely along with some other dietary changes.  She remarked that just by cutting out soda, including diet soda, she lost 10 pounds.  That was before she made the other dietary changes.  I remember thinking one simple change could make a big different.  I also remember thinking, “Soda really is evil!”

Fast forward to the present day.  I had a patient that I was seeing and I asked him about his diet and he said that ate a lot of meat and drank a lot.  He had already quit smoking, so I decided to ask him to make two changes – stop drinking and eat more vegetables.  He readily agreed to try it.  I think that instead of asking him to stop eating meat, which appeared to be a huge part of his culture, I just asked him to add something to what he was already doing.  Stopping alcohol might be a bit harder, but I figured I had a window of opportunity and asking for two changes didn’t seem like a whole lot.

Contrast giving that kind of advice to giving the kind of advice that I’ve heard most people give other people.  You need to eat better.  Well, I think most people know that, but when you give advice in general terms, people become overwhelmed.  Those people start to feel guilt that they aren’t eating better and they can’t seem to ever get to the point where they are eating better.

Writing this gives me an idea for creating a hierarchy or a list of nutritional advice that’s focused on getting people to actually make a positive change that could be used in the medical setting.  I don’t agree with a lot of the nutrition advice that’s being doled out in physicians’ offices, but I think that things like eat more vegetables is something that we can all agree on.

Lots to think about.

I’m interested in other people’s experiences with nutritional advice and interactions with the healthcare system, so leave me comments.

Losing Touch and How I Think We’re All Going Crazy

One of the seminars that I have to attend this month is about spirituality in medicine.  The session didn’t really end up being like what I thought it was going to be.  Mostly, stuff about logistics and about making referrals to pastoral care.  I think it’s a good session, but I’d like to see a little bit more discussion about the spiritual dimension of things.  (Another discussion, another post, another time.)

Part of the seminar is shadowing the people who work in the pastoral care office on their rounds.    In the course of the shadowing that I did on the psychiatric unit, I got into a brief discussion with the woman from the pastoral care office that I was shadowing about how more could probably be done for psychiatric patients than just check in on them, provide therapy, give them their meds, feed them, and make sure they don’t harm themselves.  I remarked that nursing homes were very similar.

All of that got me thinking about how human interaction has gone haywire and has gotten noticeably more absent.

While cooking dinner, I was thinking about facebook and how I just recently deleted pretty much everything on my account when facebook gloriously announced I was being switched to Timeline.  When a friend of mine saw that I had deleted just about everything, he remarked that he had just recently read an article that said that people who delete the contents of their facebook account are more likely to be serial killers…all this from the fact that the shooters of two more recent mass shootings did something to this effect.  Excuse me, but I’d like to keep my life private and share my life with the people that actually are taking more than a casual glance at the contents of my life.  Is it a crime to actually want real, lasting human interaction?

And going back to our psychiatric and geriatric friends…it is my honest belief that these populations would be helped immensely by being in normalizing social environments where they have to play by the rules of society.  The only problem with my theory is that society has gone nutso and anything goes.  Take a look at the Internet.  If we judge someone or expect a certain standard to be upheld, these days we’re called uptight, out of touch, or crazy.  Everything is fair game while still being taboo to talk about in any real way.  So, it’s okay that little kids are acting crazy and have no manners even if they are antagonizing others.  Nobody is saying anything about that because then you are the crazy one.

People, what the heck happened?!

I realize that it’s harder and harder to keep the family unit intact.  That we crave an ungodly amount of stimulation, that distance travel is too easy, and that we’re all about the individual in the US.  However, I think there is something to fighting it out and figuring out how to survive your family relationships and figuring out norms to live by.  I’m not saying live at home forever, but I’m saying that this whole I’m an individual, screw what everyone else thinks, I’m going to find other people who agree with me and that’ll be that theme seems to be what will hasten the downfall of our society.  Not to be a doomsday prophet or anything.

I realize that blogging maybe flies in the face of what I’m saying here, but blogging seems less like a bragging of my life and the beginning of a conversation with other willing participants rather than an advertisement for how great my life is and my photos are going to blow up your news feed type of interaction that facebook fosters.  Just saying.

Interestingly enough, other people of the paleo/primal bent have comment and written on similar subjects. Most recently, there was an article on intermittent euphoria over at Mark’s Daily Apple.  A lot of our society ills aren’t just one problem, it’s a complex multifaceted problem that we need to address by looking at how we are living our lives in all respects – food, relationships, work, play.

And just to slow you down, I didn’t put any links in this blog post.  (Or maybe I’m just being lazy.)

Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Advice, please.

I compartmentalize.  I like things divided up neatly instead of mashed up all together.  That’s why I have a blog about food and this separate blog to blog about all the adjacent lifestyle things.  Lately, I’ve had all these thoughts swirling around my head for ideas I want to share and ideas I want to get out there and I’m wondering to myself do I want to manage three blogs?  If you couldn’t tell, I’m already having some trouble getting posts up lately.  I blame all the stress of moving.

I think that the title of this blog works for whatever I want to put up here.  After all it’s basically a take on being at decision making points and having to choose a path.  I’m just not sure how comfortable I am with the idea of putting new, most likely unrelated material to the content so far up on the same blog.  Then again, do I really want to manage three blogs?

Any advice from bloggers out there?

Life Without Internet at Home

Moving is a hassle that I hope that sometime in the next few years I won’t have to deal with anymore.  I’m getting tired of moving every year.  Even with my paltry amount of items, being a single woman makes moving yourself rather difficult.  I’d hire movers if I had that kind of financial latitude, but with the federal government making educational loans a losing game for students, I’m not even close to having anything resembling financial latitude.

I could keep ranting, but I’ll spare you, dear reader.  The subject today is less technology at home.  

Currently, I have yet to order Internet at home.  I’m not terribly happy about the options from the local cable provider, which have changed considerably since I last ordered Internet, and there are still a lot of other issues that need straightening out before I can get to worrying about Internet.

In the meantime, it’s either the school lab, or some other location with wifi.  Currently, most days it’s a lot of coffee shop time.  The good thing about this is that instead of wasting time on the Internet doing things that aren’t productive, I tend to be a lot more productive with my time on the Internet when I know it’s limited to the time I’m spending at the coffee shop.  My priority list goes something along the lines of pay bills, do homework and research necessary for school, and then do things like blog.  As you can see by the lack of posts lately, blogging doesn’t even usually make it into the list of things I get done while I have Internet.

As much as I’d like to make life without internet permanent, I will eventually get around to getting internet service, it’s just low on my priority list for now.  I would like to end up doing work at home instead of having to go out and spend money on drinks I don’t need to be drinking, but it’s working for now since I need the coffee to get me through the day lately (don’t even get me started on how bad that is for me.).

The point is though that I would eventually like to get to a point in life where I am less connected electronically and online and more connected to the earth and people.  It seems like a good goal especially considering that the powers that be are finally admitting that cell phone use will in fact give you brain tumors (and kill you).  You can even be allergic to excessive amounts of electromagnetic radiation.  So yeah…the whole go back to the natural things and get connected to life and not technology seems like a good idea for everyone, not just granola crunching, tree huggers.  

Just some random, on the fly thoughts.  And now I must fly the coffee shop here and get on with other things in life.

Hope everyone is well and staying cool in the summer!