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first post

9.17.13

enshrined

For those of you who know me you realize this has been a long time coming.  The building of this site has taken on gothic-cathedral-esque  qualities in duration, if not in size, scope and beauty.  During this lengthy, protracted wait it never dawned on me that once the platform was in place, it would be just as important to make sure I had something worth reading.  After all, today’s internet is a flea-market of pedellers and purveyors all hoping you’ll waste a few minutes of your time examining their wares, and with the likes of Facebook, Twitter, reddit and of course this, how could my lowly little blog compete?  Maybe I can’t, but when you finish with those I’ll still be here.

If you’re wondering why a blog, you can go here for that, but I’d like to go in another direction with my inaugural post.  Health in 21st century America is an interesting cookie.  On the one hand there is little doubt that Americans are more interested in their health than ever before.  We fastidiously count calories with surgical-like precision; we make conscious efforts to avoid fat and cholesterol baby6kclike we do Carolyn at work, fearful that she’ll ambush us with more uncomfortable grandbaby pics; we scrutinize labels for any sign of the nefarious gluten, not because we know what it is but because, well, it’s what everybody else is doing.  While this new found devotion to healthy habits (or at least what we perceive as being such) is great, its origins aren’t quite as organic as the $5 lemon-crème, chocolate filled cupcakes we opt for because, like everything else, healthy snacking comes at a price.  The fact is the latter half of the 20th century ushered in the age of obesity where pant-sizes went up and lifespan went down.  Something had to be done and most sensible people came to realize this.  Industry initiatives, like always, follow public interest and so we have everything marketed to us now based on how healthy and good for us it is.  Swell.

But here’s the thing.  Interest in being healthy and fit are great, but only under the proviso that the intervention taken is actually good for us.   In other words, recognizing a problem is a great first step, but must be accompanied by an understanding of the problem and methods that will actually work to correct it.  This is the elephant in the room when it comes to nutrition science.  Do we really know what is good for us, what will keep us thin, keep our arteries clean, our hearts ticking?  Or do we just think we know?  Is the diet that was first prescribed a half-century ago still demonstrably superior today, or has modern research proven it insufficient?

2What was most surprising for me when I began to study diet and health a couple years back is how wrong I was about so many things.  My knowledge was mostly limited to the conventional wisdom which most of us assimilate over time, but without ever really questioning or researching.  The problem with our offensive against fat and disease is that were simply trying to raise awareness and curb apathy, without really examining the means by which we expect people to treat and help themselves.  And after 40+ years of living under a certain set of government mandated dietary guidelines which have seen the rates of obesity, diabetes, heart-disease, and a host of others skyrocket to unprecedented proportions, I think it’s time to concede that something might possibly be awry.

What I find to be most tragic in this whole convoluted maelstrom is not the millions of people who choose to eat junk and grow fat and sick and speed towards an early death, no, these people have the right to do that and while I don’t understand it, I support it.  What’s most tragic are the many more millions who desperately want and seek a better life, free from excess weight, pain, fatigue, prescriptions, doctor visits, etc., but fail to achieve that, not for lack of effort, but for lack of understanding.  It’s a shame that so many plug away day in and day out, tirelessly efforting to ‘tip the scales’, so to speak, only to be disappointed, dispirited, and eventually disillusioned with the process altogether.  My hope with this blog is to have a forum that I can use to connect with such people, share information, advice, ideas, and hope that in doing so I can play a small part in changing a life for the better.

2 Responses to “first post”

  1. elizabeth evans says:

    Jonathan,
    Really enjoyed reading your first post….and think I am among those who are interested in good health and nutrition but with only half-hearted effort and education. I am interested in learning more….

  2. elizabeth evans says:

    Also, the writer has visited the Outer Banks and I have the pictures to prove it…..

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