This bacon, butter, and martini lover (separately, of course) is suddenly faced with all the markers of heart disease: elevated blood work, a heart that has been wonk for years, but is now slightly more wonky. And my body went from fit to fluffy. Kardashians might like a big butt and hips, but my body (and my knees) do not.
So now, I find myself (gasp) cutting things down, or completely out.
If you know me, you know I've followed and tried just about every trendy diet.
I've been fluffy and I've been thin. I love being thin mostly because it was easy to shop at thrift stores and basically anything I wore looked amazing. And I felt amazing. And I was also recycling!
Anyway, this morning I was examining the box of Low Sugar oatmeal the husband had in the cupboard.
I'm trying to cut back on carbs (and do you know blackberries have a lot of carbs, granted, the "good kind" but still..."
I'm also trying to stay away from gluten. Years ago, blood work pointed towards gluten intolerance. But then a year later it was better (and I never really stopped eating gluten, just cut back).
The oatmeal box did not say it was gluten free, BUT, it did say it was heart healthy and could reduced cholesterol.
And while I was reading that box, Ed Bernays (known as the father of public relations) popped into my mind. I've studied him, marketing, and propaganda extensively.
Was it hearth healthy? Or did Quaker Oats fund some organization to do a "study" where the end results would be that YES, Quaker Oats is healthy for your heart.
We love anything that promises to make us feel better, look better, and is scientifically proven or recommended by doctors. Doctors are generally a trusted group.
Ed Bernays knew that. And almost every marketing campaign he worked on, he used "studies" to show how a product would benefit our human instincts to be better, belong, be someone, and be in control.
And even though I know this, I still fall for marketing promises.
I put the oatmeal box back. It wasn't gluten free, and I haven't reached the point I am willing to eat oatmeal without some butter and brown sugar.
So, I'll just stick to what has worked for me in the past: small meals, low carbs, as few preservatives as possible, non saturated fats (I'll never say goodbye to butter or bacon - what's the point of living without a little pleasure! - I'll just cut back on them).
When I was in Paramedic school, P.A. Richard Lang did some of our cardiac courses. I'll never forget he said: "You can do all the right things: eat healthy, work out, be very fit, but some people simply have in in their genetics and there is little you can do to stop heart disease or cardiac death." Honesty. No sugar coating it, and though he said diet and exercise and not smoking or drinking can help, there are some cases it wouldn't make a difference.
Though we have so many resources at our fingertips these days, it's challenging to know what sources are authentic, and what sources are corrupted by studies financed by organizations in order to sell their product and profit.
You can never go wrong with common sense. Though these days, even common sense is being subverted by experts trying to sell you on the fact that common sense isn't as smart as the product they are selling.