The Mystery of the Modern Day Diet.

I hate the turn of phrase “back on the wagon.” I’ve been making more of an effort lately to plan my meals better as well as find ways to get moving. But when people say “So you’re back on the wagon,” it’s almost like what they really want to say is “I wonder how long this one will last.”

And its especially irritating when you never really fell off the wagon. You just sat near the back for a bit, where nobody would notice you eating a cookie or drinking a can of coke.

But I guess that’s where I am. It was approximately one year ago that I began meal prepping and it’s been a pretty steady habit ever since. But of course, during the fall and especially towards the holidays, it becomes less of a priority.

What never gets old, however, is the sheer amount of confusing information out there. One of the best articles I’ve ever read pointed that out quite humorously and I cite it often. For those interested, it’s called the Terrible Tragedy of the Healthy Eater. Read it. You’ll understand.

In all seriousness, how are we supposed to know what to eat when everything out there is shrouded in opinion posing as fact, and facts hidden so well that you need a masters in biochemistry to understand it? Red meat causes cancer. Diet soda makes you fat. Non-organic vegetables are poison. Bananas may as well be chocolate. And bread? don’t even start.

Exhibit A. Diet Pepsi.

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I LOVE diet pepsi. I can’t even explain why, but it’s delicious. And you’d think that because it’s zero calories, it would be OK in a low-calorie diet. I have been trying to limit my intake, because I should be drinking more water, but what about the occasional can of DP?

In a quick Google search, I grabbed the first two articles.

This was the first. This was the second.

Ms Michaels says “Diet soda is BAD BAD BAD. It’s poisonous. It causes cancer in rats (my theory is 2083 cans of ANYTHING in a day would cause cancer…).  It tells your body to eat sugar!” and then proceeds to dose it with some holy water while reciting scripture.

WebMD says “Meh. It’s not that bad. And that study with the rats, it was never meant to gain that type of attention.”

And in the end, I still don’t know if I can drink a Diet Pepsi.

I firmly believe that this confusion is a contributing factor to poor nutrition and health issues, because people get SO frustrated trying to figure out what they should and should not eat that they say “screw it” grab a burger and their Diet Pepsi, and forget they even had the ambition to figure it out. Healthy living needs to be easier to understand if we want to see significant changes in our populations physical and mental health.

So from here, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing, while sifting through the amount of lies on the internet and trying to figure out the core of it all. I’ll probably have a diet Pepsi or two while I do it. But I guess the important part is I’m continuing to try.

 

 

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The Purple Sweater

the purple sweaterSo it’s 2016, and I’m still writing even though it was supposed to be Katie in 2015. Oh well. Here’s a story.

In the summer of 2014, I was asked by a friend to make a sweater for her girlfriend. AWESOME! I was looking for an excuse to make one and it was the perfect timing. So we picked out the colours and the pattern. I ordered the yarn online and immediately started in on it when it showed up. I brought it with me to Corner Brook on vacation and knit until I physically could not knit any more. I LOVED making this sweater.

So when it was finished, I gave the price and was promised that the money would come to me in two weeks. Then it was a month. And then we stopped talking about it because it got awkward. And I think you know where I’m going with this. I was never paid for the sweater. And of course, this was all happening during the same time I was dealing with a very stressful move, a change in jobs, and the breaking down of a very important friendship.

Luckily, I had the foresight to keep the sweater until it was paid for, so at the very least, I didn’t lose the product. However, no matter what I did, who I told about it, the price tag, I could not sell this sweater. I even tried giving it away just to get it out of my life, to no avail. This sweater and all its baggage was haunting me. Everytime I looked at it I was just feel sad, and then angry, and then sad again, and it just wasn’t healthy.

So skip ahead to last Saturday. I was at the yarn shop with my knitting pals when the topic of “The Purple Sweater” came up again. And then someone piped up with the most obvious solution to this problem that it pained me that I didn’t think of it before.

“Why don’t you just rip it out?”

WHY hadn’t I thought of that before?! It was an absolute epiphany. I was going to rip apart this sweater that was haunting me and turn it into something new (and might actually be able to sell….). So I went home and immediately dragged out the sweater and my scissors and brought it to the kitchen table. The boyfriend knew I meant business.

 

From the collar, to the sleeves, all the way up the body, I ripped that thing apart. I estimate that I spent about 50 hours working on the Purple Sweater. And all those hours of work knitting, not to mention the time spent planning, was being disassembled within minutes. And it never felt so good. It was absolutely liberating to rip apart the symbol of the worst year of my life. It also says a lot about how easy it is to destroy something that took so long to build.

Within 15-20 minutes, the sweater was no more and the yarn was in the tub for a soak. I hung it to dry and within a few days it looked like it did the day I opened the box in 2014. It was fresh, new, waiting for something to be made for someone who absolutely deserves a  knit item. I’ve been asked if I would make something for myself from this yarn and the answer is no. This has haunted me so long that I need to let it go. But this way, it will be a second chance for this yarn as it rises from the ashes of the Purple Sweater and becomes something beautiful once more.

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