Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Realistic resolutions

As the new year approaches, many people feel compelled to make resolutions to lead better, healthier lives over the next twelve months.  

After overindulging on too many delicious buttery, sugary treats over the holidays, many of us resolve to "eat right."  But what does that even mean?  This article by Mark Bittman and Dr. David Katz sheds some light on the topic.  It's a lengthy but interesting read.  

Here's what I got out of it:  Avoid fad diets.  Eat more plants.  Moderation is generally good.  Nutritional advice seems so contradictory because every human body is a little different and this makes diet research complicated.  Small doses of bacon/booze probably won't kill you, but don't ingest them believing they're "healthy."  Again, moderation.

If the BMJ taught us anything last week, it's that you can't always rely on abstracts/summaries alone.  So don't just take my word for it; give that one a read.

Interested in self-improvement, but not into self-help books?  I highly recommend Mark Manson's The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F***.   It's sort of like Don't Sweat the Small Stuff, but funnier and with more profanity.  Manson doesn't suggest that we stop caring about anything, but that we have a limited number of effs to give, and we'll all be happier if we'd allocate them more selectively.  From the back cover:  Manson makes the argument—backed by both academic research and well-timed poop jokes—that improving our lives hinges not on our ability to turn lemons into lemonade, but on learning to better stomach lemons. Human beings are flawed and limited—as he writes, “Not everybody can be extraordinary—there are winners and losers in society, and some of it is not fair or your fault.” Manson advises us to get to know our limitations and accept them. This, he says, is the real source of empowerment. Once we embrace our fears, faults, and uncertainties—once we stop running from and avoiding, and start confronting painful truths—we can begin to find the courage and confidence we desperately seek.

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