Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Getting lasered

I used to wear glasses. It was such a pain in ass because on hot days I would be sweaty and gross and the glasses would slide down my nose, on cold days they would fog up when I went inside a warm room, and everything was completely fuzzy without them. My sweety convinced my skeptical self to try getting Lasik done.

After chickening out once, I decided to try it a second time and actually went through with it. I was a little nervous because it was my eyes, you know? There was some pain when the machine cut the flap on my cornea. I know I was writhing around a bit because the doctor said to hold still and continue focusing on the little red light. The freakiest part was the laser zapping and the smell of burning flesh a few seconds later. That was me I was smelling. Ew.

But after all that, I was able to see perfectly without glasses the very next day. It was so cool. It's been about 6 years now. My vision isn't as great as it was back then (the clarity has reduced a bit over the years), and my night vision has definitely decreased after the surgery. But given the hassles of glasses and my abhorrance for contacts, I think it was worth it.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Jiffy, no longer a natural product

I'm always on the lookout for trans fats in the products I buy. It's seriously worse than using lard, so I avoid the stuff whenever possible. Jiffy used to be a brand of cornbread mix that I used to use. It's fairly cheap and tastes pretty good. However, for some reason they decided to change their recipe. The mix used to contain lard, but now they've decided to add "partially hydrogenated lard" to it.

I have never heard of such madness. The whole point of hydrogenating vegetable oils in the first place was to make it more like animal fat -- more pleasant mouth-feel and longer shelf life, but a fraction of the cost. Why put lard of all things through this awful process? I don't know, likely to increase the shelf life (at the cost of making it an unnatural product). All I know is that here's yet another product I have to avoid now. It's rather sad.

Friday, December 08, 2006

Learning about detoxifying your body

You may have heard of cleansing or detoxifying as a way of ridding your body of toxic buildup. This generally involves altering what you eat, using products or joining programs. For example, everyone knows (at least they should know) that you need to have adequate fiber in your diet for a healthy digestive tract, but do you know why? Bowel movements that lack enough fiber do not move nicely through your intestines. They might be too hard or too soft, resulting in toxic buildup.

There are other places toxins can build up, such as the kidneys and the blood. There are various techniques, some better than other, so it's best to read up on body detox information before deciding the best course of action for you. There can be side-effects you don't know about that could be misinterpreted as something else.

You may not even need to perform any specific form of detoxification. A simple change of diet, such as reducing your consumption of refined sugars, can help you immensely. A change of lifestyle, such as exercising more to help improve your colonic activity, might be the route you are looking for. The more information you find, the better decisions you can make when it comes to your health.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Why should you believe me?

I received a question from a reader interested in losing weight. She asked, since I've never had to battle with weight at all (thanks to my fast metabolism), why should anyone listen to what I have to say? (Don't worry, she was polite about it.)

First of all, I've never made any claims to be an expert. I am merely sharing knowledge that I have learned through the course of educating myself about various health topics that interest me. I'm fairly good at researching and finding information, that's where my strength lies.

Second, I've very rarely, if at all, posted about losing weight. I don't post weight loss tips because each human body is different. What works for one will not work for someone else, and may not be healthy for yet another person.

The bottom line is, as far as online information is concerned, always be skeptical. Don't believe the first thing you read, including my blog. Verify it by finding other sources of information that say the same thing. Websites that don't cite their sources for information are to be treated with suspicion. The worst of these are the emails that people send around containing "life-saving information". I delete those on sight. Anything that tells you to "send it to everyone you care about" is just another viral email trying to make its way around the world. Information is power, but it can also be harmful if inaccurate.