Food & Fitness

Repeat after me: “I am the best thing since sliced bread”

Tuesday’s bellydancing class introduced us to the technique of isolating your upper chest. I wasn’t even aware that I had a muscle right at my sternum! But it was great to discover a new muscle there and start to exercise it.

As we were spinning and shaking and tip-toeing about, my instructor said to us near the end of the class, “now repeat after me: ‘I am the best thing since sliced bread'”. Because everyone in the class is rather shy, we all repeated the phrase in a murmur, which resulted in more of a cult-ish chant than anything else. But it certainly brought a smile to everyones face!

Update on my all-natural, non-processed attempts: I haven’t been able to achieve my goal 100% of the time, but I’d say that I’m there about 90 or 95%. Yesterday I had two store-bought cookies (and, I’ve got to admit, they were yummy), and I have also indulged in a few pieces of bread a few days ago that had very strange, unknown names as some of the ingredients. I also ate vanilla pudding for the first time in months (years?), even though it has a little bit of hydrogenated oil in the ingredients list. Egads!

But I think that that’s all right. If I have something that is processed once every few days, I’m pretty sure that I won’t keel over and die:) As long as I keep aiming for all-natural 95% of the time and focus on the long term, I will be successful. Also, reading this (from Nina Planck’s Real Food) was music to my ears (eyes?): “A form of trans fats does occur naturally in ruminants, or grass eaters. It is the precursor to the omega-6 fatty acid conjugated linoleic acid, the anticancer agent found in the fat of grass-fed cattle. But this natural trans fat is chemically different from industrial trans fat and quite safe”.

Was I the only one who didn’t realize that there is a difference between the trans fat in butter/meat and the industrial trans fat? After all of the classes I’ve taken, nutritionists I’ve spoken to, and books and journal/newspaper/magazine articles I’ve read, this was one of the only places that actually mentioned that there is a difference. And it was in a footnote. I’m not sure if I haven’t come across it before because it’s such common sense- that’s a possibility. But then why on earth don’t we differentiate between these fats? Why are they referred to by the same name? Couldn’t we have an extra panel on the nutrition labels to state in brackets if it is industrial or natural? Darn those nutrition labels, they’re so deceiving!

I have to direct you towards this article, which I feel very conflicted about. On the one hand, it is evident that a healthier society would be more beneficial to all aspects of our life. On the other hand, like they point out towards the end of the article, if society as a whole became trimmer and ate less garbage, we might just focus on something else such as plastic surgery. And I don’t like how the article seems to have an underlying suggestion of discrimination towards a group of people, plus I have a really hard time digesting this line: “Can Americans all be paid more and promoted more and marry more?”

Um. Excuse me? Is that what our society is all about; making money and getting “the best” (who determines what’s better than something else?) job and getting married?

Sure, wealth is great. It’s very useful. I happen to like it and I would definitely miss it if I didn’t have it. Similarly, it’s important to have a job to make said money and to do all of the things you want to do and to contribute to society. Getting married is nice, I guess. But why on earth are these three things our priorities? What’s the point in all of that money if we only squander it on (let’s face it) mostly useless “things”? What’s the use of the promotion if you’re working for some big company that’s contributing to destroying the environment or that you don’t enjoy? And why bother getting married if you’re going to get divorced a few years later (is it 2/3 marriages that end in divorce?).

We put these three things up on a pedestal and think that they are the be-all end-all. When did money and promotions and marriage (or is the wedding and the romantic idea of it the reason that people get married?) become more important than environmental degradation and cooperation and stopping world hunger and saving lives and being happy?

Let me know your opinions on this! And if you agree with me, how do you think that we can change the general perspective on it all?


  1. Kelly T.

    thats a great article- to spark debate, not in content.

    I also find it a little disheartening that if you are rich and married, you are automatically considered a success. We are too elitist, and frankly I think the less tress you have in your life, the better off you are.

    I cant decide if this article is to just grasp for something, anything, that will reach people. They obviously dont care about their health, because they would be making necessary changes, so how about money? Maybe that will get to them?

    While the numbers that have been crunched are interesting, it seems pointless to encourage people to get healthy by telling them it will help america as a whole. How about being there so you can see your children graduate? How about being a good role model so your children dont follow in your footsteps? How about having enough faith in and love for yourself that you know you deserve to be happy and healthy?

    either our priorities are whacked people think that our priorities are whacked, while most people actually feel the way you and I do.

  2. MizFit

    first? I love that the instructor did that!

    next (and sadly I have a toddler shrieking BATHBATH) even 90 percent processed is amazing.

    and lastly, the rest of your post, I need to come back and rant when I have more time.

    and read the article to which you linked.

    I LOVE how you always get me (ranting and) thinking.


  3. ashley

    Okay- so is this book so great and informative that I should buy it now? Please tell me because I’d love a content-full nutrition book!

    And can I say that you are the coolest healthy girl out there? Seriously, it is amazing. Belly dancing, butrition, whole foods, confidence… wow! You rock!

  4. geekgirl

    Making it 90-95% of the time on your whole foods goal is amazing! I aim for 80% and don’t hit it nearly often enough. You rock.

    While I do wish people would take better control of their own health, happiness, and longevity, I agree with Kelly T. that folks probably aren’t going to make a sudden change to help their country or their wallets. Most people I know who have made a big change in their lifestyle did it because they finally realized they were killing themselves, making themselves unhappy, shortening their time with loved ones, etc. When changes stick, it usually comes from within.

    And the whole high $$$ job and marriage equaling success? Maybe, but it still hasn’t guaranteed happiness.

  5. jlyoung23

    It’s interesting to see how different people measure wealth. To me, wealth=health, but I know that in order to live in this society I have to make money somehow! And I’m thankful that I discovered that I rather make a career out of my passion for fitness instead of doing something I’m good at, but hate doing (ahem…policy analysis). I wish more people would realize that happiness is worth a whole lot more than that green stuff we call money.

    Good post!

  6. Sagan Morrow

    Kelly- yeah, sometimes its tough to get the right angle that people will pay attention to. I’m all about relieving stress!

    MizFit- thanks! (and I love the rants)

    Ashley- omygoodness yes. I will write up a post of a book review for it soon. And thanks, you’re sweet!

    GeekGirl- you’re totally right that it doesn’t guarantee happiness in any way. Success is all relative.

    Jay- I agree that it’s so important to do what you love. I can’t imagine having a job for my whole life that I didn’t enjoy… if you’re really passionate about something, it’s wonderful to be able to incorporate it into your profession!

  7. Charlotte

    How much do I love that you belly dance?? And too funny that you are chanting “… since sliced bread” and then you go on to say how you’re avoiding store-bought bread. Life’s little ironies are fun:)

    I think Americans have a way messed up view of how to be happy. I don’t think any of those things will bring happiness to an unhappy person. It’s a learned skill, I think.

    Thanks for the interesting article!

  8. Sagan Morrow

    Bag Lady- Well I love chatting…:)

    Charlotte- Good point! Although I’ve got to say that I really do think sliced bread is wonderful. I’m not a very good bread-slicer; I haven’t quite gotten the knack of the perfect thickness yet.

  9. WeightingGame

    go easy on yourself – you’re eating so well in general – a lil pudding won’t do anything but give you a nice, shiny coat (that’s what I always say when indulgingin something a bit fattening!)

    Off to read that article you linked to with the crazy headline!!

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