Are Those Real?

I bet your mouth is watering just thinking about them isn’t it?

Do you remember when we used to have to think about what to cook for dinner every night and give ourselves about an hour to get everything prepared and cooked but now we can just grab a box from the fridge, chuck it in the microwave and taddah!! It’s ready just like that. We don’t even have to worry about doing the washing up these days as there’s a machine that will do it for us. We really are lucky aren’t we!

Do you also remember the taste of the first strawberries or tomatoes of the season? They were so unbelievably sweet and full of flavour; I bet your mouth is watering just thinking about them isn’t it? Of course now, if we want them, we don’t have to wait until June every year, we can have strawberries and tomatoes pretty much any time but they don’t taste quite the same do they?……….

Of course, in order to get fresh strawberries and tomatoes all year round they either have to be packed up in a country where it is actually warm enough to grow them naturally and then kept cold until they arrive on the shelves of our local supermarket or the plants have to be tricked into think that it’s actually summer here.

Unfortunately no-one has yet figured out how to persuade Mother Nature that it’s summer when it isn’t so producers use special artificial lighting instead. It’s not a natural process so you can’t expect the taste to be the same as it would be had the fruit been grown naturally but it does mean you can have strawberries in January if you want them

Come to think of it, we are actually mucking about with quite a lot of the food that arrives on our plates and we are getting used to it too. Think about the last time you went on holiday to another country and you ate the local food, fresh food, how flavourful was it? Did your taste buds seem to wake up and have a little party? You can have that wonderful experience at home but most of us choose not to because life is easier that way and scientists are seeing to it that our lives will become easier and easier..

The World Health Organisation defines genetically modified foods as “organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination”.

This means that we don’t really trust Mother Nature to do the best for us, we think that we know better, or at least we think we can do it cheaper! Scientists say that GM foods are perfectly safe and maybe they are; the companies that use additives in processed foods and the manufacturers of fast food probably all say exactly the same but, here’s a thing, obesity is now a massive problem in the USA and parts of Europe and incidences of cancer are steadily on the rise.

In the 21st century we have more convenience and more comfort than we have ever had before throughout the whole of history but it’s making us lazy in ways that are beginning to damage our health. Rather than walk, we drive so we exercise less and get less fresh air.

Rather than prepare and cook, we eat microwaved dinners and fast foods. Rather than spend more of our money on food and less on gadgets of one kind or another, we buy cheap packet food instead of fresh. Unfortunately this is becoming a way of life and the numbers of us who can remember the days of fresh wholesome food straight from the farm, the butcher or the greengrocer are getting less and less. Maybe one day all we’ll need to eat is a little blue pill and we’ll accept without question that it will give us all the goodness and nutrients that our bodies need.

Which would you prefer? Eating fresh natural food is a conscious decision and we all have freedom of choice but think back: if you ever went strawberry picking as a child and ate more than you boxed, you’ll know what I mean…

You Can’t See Me

Perhaps there’s a team of elves that sneak around exchanging people’s healthy salad options for a double burger and fries with bacon and extra cheese?

As human beings we don’t literally stick our heads in the sand but we do have a tendency to do it metaphorically; it’s in our nature to mentally side step those things that we don’t really want to think about and avoid doing those things that we don’t want to do. Unfortunately, the media (both social and mainstream) seems to have encouraged this trait to a point where the responsibility for our actions always lays with someone or something else. How many times do we see “the Government should…..” or “the police should” or “teachers should”? This is a great example of that kind of buck passing; people are eating far too much unhealthy food but they ‘have been tricked into it’!

Perhaps there’s a team of elves that sneak around exchanging people’s healthy salad options for a double burger and fries with bacon and extra cheese? Perhaps there’s some sort of magic afoot which makes a double burger with fries, extra bacon and cheese look like a healthy salad??  No? Then maybe it’s just the case that we’re all well aware when we’re eating too much unhealthy food but we just stick our heads in the sand until something happens to make us realise that we haven’t made the best choices.

There’s nothing wrong with eating what you want to eat as long as you are happy with the consequences and are prepared to take responsibility for them. If you make your choices consciously then what’s the problem…..

This is a really useful site to help you work out how many calories you should be eating every day, how many you eat to lose weight and how many to gain weight; there are too many factors to consider for it to be 100% accurate but it will certainly give you are really excellent idea. Let’s say you’re a 50 year old woman, 5ft 6 tall, you weigh 160llbs and you do little or no exercise – your calorie intake to maintain your weight will be around 1635 per day, if you eat 1000 calories per day more than this you will gain around 2llb per week.

Cornflakes, toast and butter, orange juice   And black coffee: About 430 calories

Tuna Mayonnaise baguette: Around 520 cals

1/4lb burger with cheese and fries:  Around 800 calories

So that’s it, your 1635 calories blown totally out of the water with fairly average breakfast, lunch and dinner. Of course that’s without any drinks and snacks:

Chocolate bar = around 200 calories

A glass of wine = about 125 calories

Cappuccino = another 120+ calories

And there you go, if you have a couple of cups of coffee in the morning and a couple of glasses of wine at night your calorie intake has topped 2500 and, if you don’t do any exercise you could find yourself putting on up to 2llb per week or 100llb in a year; that’s 7 stone.

There are some great sites on the internet that will tell you how many calories you’re eating and others that will tell you how many calories you burn when you exercise so there’s really no excuse not to lose weight if you want to. If you don’t want to that’s fine as long as you are aware that your lifestyle means that you will probably continue to gain. It’s really up to you; no-one else should be able to tell you how to live your life, as long as you’re happy that’s all that matters. This is just to give you some awareness and insight so that, if you decide to make some changes, you can do it a little more easily.