Friday, March 02, 2007
I recently read a terrifying article about heart disease in Himself's newly-subscribed-to National Geographic that freaked me out completely. I mean, it absolutely frightened the proverbial out of me. The horror that this article evoked in me, coupled with my increasing despair about the state of my skin, have inspired a bit of a health kick of late. ["Bit" being the operative word, but we all have to start somewhere.] Now, I have been taking an Actimel every morning as a matter of course for the past couple of years and popping a daily Centrum [well, when I remember it], but I have now gotten vay interested in trying to up my daily fruit and veg intake, cut out white bread and added salt entirely, cut down on heart-unfriendly foods and drink two litres of water a day - the latter ain't going so well as I am finding it extremely hard to kick the oul' Lyons habit. For now, I'm just taking it one day at a time, y'all, and hoping that Jebus/Superman will assist me on the rocky road to my recovery. Amen.
Anywho, aside from the not drinking enough water thing, it's going fairly well. One of the things I'm most excited about is the introduction into my diet of goji berries. [To the bandwagon, people!] Incase you haven't heard of them, they are being hailed as this minute's New Miracle Superfood, with [appearantly] more betacarotene than carrots, more protein than whole wheat, more vitamin C than oranges, and bazillions of antioxidents, minerals and vitamins. They're said to help combat heart disease, cancer, cellulite and sun-related skin damage. They have been consumed in China and other parts of Asia for centuries. However, it seems that on account of my having just acquired a taste for them in my morning yoghurt, goji berries and any products in which they are contained are currently facing a ban on sale in the European Union under EU safety rules. Unless it is proven that the berries are not a "novel food" - that is, a food which has not been commonly eaten in an EU country for more than ten years - they'll be withdrawn from sale on 23rd March next and will have to undergo a series of tests proving that they are safe to eat before they can reappear on the shelves. This reapproval process could take up to two years [!!!] to complete, so since Britain's Food Standards Agency has said there's no evidence to suggest that goji berries pose a threat to public health I intend to stock up pronto.
I am also eating brazil nuts as an occassional snack in an attempt to ward off both the 3 p.m. slump and the call of the Galaxy bar. A recent study conducted at the University of Illinois suggested that the nuts [tee hee] may help in the prevention of breast cancer, and they are also believed to decrease the risk of heart disease and lung, bowel and prostate cancer. These benefits are attributed to the high amounts of selenium present in brazil nuts; selenium is a potent antioxidant and, as such, helps to counter harmful free radicals in the body. Not a good idea to eat too many nuts though [I guess some boys don't like it..? Oh how rude! etc]: while selenium is a nutritionally essential element, it is toxic in high concentrations. Did you not see the CSI where the two husbands were done away with by selenium poisoning, no? Good episode. Sorry if I just ruined it for ya.
And infact, ah, apart from my daily Actimel and Danone Activia, that's about it so far!!! I have great intentions where excercise is concerned though: I am going to commence marathon training shortly [well, as soon as it's a bit brighter and not so flippin' sub-zero-ey in the evenings.] To say I have mixed feelings about this part of The Plan would be putting it politely. Despite what a year working in a fitness centre and a subsequent year's membership of a gym might suggest, I have a bit of an excercise phobia. Oh sure, I like the feeling of accomplishment and the endorphin high that kick in after a training session but I have major, almost debilitating issues with the gross sweatiness and disgustingly unfit out-of-breath-ness and the body consciousness that any trip to the gym or workout necessarily involves. However, I figure that with running you're outdoors and constantly on the move so that if you [not me, obviouslement!] get all sweaty betty or start choking/gasping/wheezing for breath at the exertion, you can take comfort in the fact that you're not stuck in a room with a load of gym bunnies who you're positive are laughing at you and are quite probably taking the mick out of your ungainly action on the treadmill. If you fall over your feet or have a stupid run, at least you're constantly running away from the people who were witness to your embarrassment! The solitude won't be such a plus if you start experiencing tightness of the chest and shooting pains in your left arm, of course, but I guess every silver lining is the edge of a cloud.
And, an added bonus: there are no mirrors when you're out running, so you can't see how ridiculous you look or worry that your trackie bottoms make your arse look enormous while wondering how everyone else looks so calm and collected and so damn toned.Wow, I've almost talked myself into it now! Watch this space...
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