I have a twisted brain. It comes up with these weird, random thoughts a la Steven Wright, the comedian. If you don’t know who he is, go out to you tube, there is plenty of his stand up comedy work to pick from but he is the master of dry, deadpan humor. He’ll say something and you know it’s funny, but about 3 hours later you start laughing because you realize HOW funny it was.
Anyway, I was thinking of something the other day. What’s the point of decaf? I mean, we drink coffee for the caffeine…the pick-me-up…the waker-upper….the morning eye-opener. We drink it to start our day, and rev our engines, to get our brains a little something extra. It’s like adding STP to the fuel in your engine. It conditions it a bit, maybe smoooooths those rough edges out. But decaf? Seriously?
Low carb alcohol is another one. So each serving has fewer calories. Come on, who are we trying to kid? After the 3rd drink, whose brain still functions well enough to count calories? Have a 4th and you’re probably not even counting drinks either (but of course, you have a designated driver, a taxi or are at home. Duh.)
One of my all time favorites has to be the folks who go through at a fast food restaurant, and order something like this: “Hi, I’ll have a whopper, large fries and a diet coke.” You’ve just ordered a heart attack in a paper wrapper, and you’re worried about the extra 200 calories from the coke? Maybe it’s time to re-evaluate priorities kids. Why is everyone so terrified of sugar? Even the schools are getting in on it now, banning soft drinks from K-12 campuses. Why? Because our kids are getting fat.
I have to wonder though, did anyone do a root cause analysis on this? I’m not saying we don’t consume too much sugar as a nation, we do. And cutting back isn’t a bad plan at all. But here’s the deal…the reason kids are getting fat isn’t sugar. It’s because they don’t eat enough dirt.
I can just see a few of you out there, scratching your heads and being fairly certain I’ve lost what little mind I had left. The whispers of “what the…is she nuts?!!” I have a theory, however, and I’ve seen more and more about this in the news lately. (Google “are kids too clean” if you don’t believe me.) With all of the technology at our fingertips, cool phones, Xboxes and PlayStations everywhere, kids learn to play games on computers at a young age, and then carry that mentality with them. They don’t go outside anymore. Most kids don’t have a clue what “Kick-the-Can”, “Starlight, Moonlight”, double dutch jump rope and my favorite “the Run Around the House Game” (we made that one up. No one outside of Union Terrace in Ivanhoe Woods knew what it was!) But the point is, so many kids hang inside, and play computer games. Then they go wash for dinner with that other problem, antibacterial soap.
We all need to be outside more, get our hands in dirt. Remember pulling a carrot out of the garden, wiping the dirt in the grass, then on your jeans before just eating it right there? Or taking an apple off the tree, polishing it on your pants before eating it? When was the last time you pulled a worm out of dirt? We’ve done ourselves a disservice by being so damn clean all the time. Our immune systems are horribly compromised and kids are sick all the time, with more allergies showing up, because we aren’t getting beneficial low levels of bacteria and other pathogens, which our systems can then work at developing a healthy immunity to. All that sitting around playing games means NO EXERCISE. There you go, root cause. Sugar, fat calories aren’t inherently bad. We need them for fuel and for healthy function of our bodies. Some in lower quantities than others, depending on health conditions, but overall, the key isn’t elimination, it’s moderation. And exercise. Best of all, there is this cool little side benefit to exercise I’m finding. The more I do it, the more I get to eat! So if I do a several hour bike ride, or run a 5K, I don’t have to feel guilty about the celebratory pizza and coke.(Don’t get me wrong, I still do feel a little guilty, and maybe that’s not bad either, it keeps me in check.)
So, get off your backside, and go eat a little dirt.