Forum denizens, most of you are open minded, web savy individuals with an interest in self improvement. This is a good thing. It means you have the potential to expand your horizons, assert your individuality, and grow as an individual in ways most other cannot. Unfortunately, this also means you are unusually susceptible to the reality distortion field that is the world wide web. Nowhere is this more true than in the realm of nutrition. There are scores of zealously advocated/defended and seductively presented nutritional memes floating around out there which fall somewhere between useless and extremely dangerous. I've been down the rabbit hole and it runs deep. In fact, it runs and runs and runs and doesn't lead anywhere besides orthorexia, and in some cases anorexia. Don't chase that rabbit. Fact is, nutrition is a young and extremely complex science. No matter the scientific approach or ornate form of idealism one applies toward establishing an ideal dietary formula, the answer eludes. We have absolutely no conception of what, if anything, constitutes an ideal diet, and we probably never will.
What, then, is a person to do when it comes to food? The fundamental issue, it seems, is that the "I'm not gonna give a shit and just eat what everyone else eats" attitude so clearly is not viable. That's what everyone does, after all, and obesity rates in the developed world continue to skyrocket. We've tried that already, and many of us are not satisfied with the results.
Part of the problem lies in the expectations many place on the potential for diet to improve our lives. Many of the ills we attribute to poor diet are highly complex, multifaceted problems. Diet no doubt plays a role in physical/emotional well being, but so do all sorts of other things. Orthorexia is, by a wide margin, more likely to undermine well being than a suboptimal diet. It is unrealistic, and in some sense a cop out, to turn diet into a proxy for all of our problems.
In this globalized, industrial age, part of the problem lies with our much eroded food culture. Rather than take notes from our grandmother's recipe book, we eat whatever is cheap and convenient whenever it is convenient. We treat our bodies as though we are cars at at gas filling station. Dining and the rituals that surround it have been commoditized, and as this process has taken place many of the evolved cultural practices that once ensured good nutritional hygiene have been lost. Collectively we are suffering the consequences.
If you are looking for quality, honest-to-goodness nutritional information, I recommend these sites as a starting place.
And Here's a funny article I pulled from blogger matt stone at 180degreehealth.com about his common experience with diets.
Diets are Like New Girlfriends
1) At first you can’t sleep at all
2) You announce it to everyone on Facebook
3) You are 100% convinced you’ve found something that you can do for the rest of your life
4) You go on and on talking to your friends about it until they are sure you have gone crazy
5) You bring it home for the Holidays and make your family feel uncomfortable
6) You stop going out with your friends because of it
7) Your friends and family express concern that you are going to end up hurt
8) The more time passes, the less often you get an erection
9) You enjoy eating it at first, but after a while even the smell of it makes your stomach turn
10) After a few months you start daydreaming of other flavors, and want more variety
11) At first you make a lot of tasty, homecooked meals – but then get lazy
12) Over time you start to notice bad breath and body odor
13) You start seeing things in the toilet that are strange, unfamiliar, and gross
14) You lose your zest for life and start staying home and watching movies every night
15) You pass no gas at first, then after a few months you start farting a lot
16) You develop a strange rash
17) Your sex life gets steadily worse
18) It makes you feel cold, lifeless, and empty inside
19) After several months you lose all your motivation to work out and stay in shape
20) You start to cheat and feel really bad about it
21) You spend time looking at alternatives on the internet, and watching videos
22) You keep hearing that it’s your fault that things aren’t going well
23) You tell everyone it’s over and they say “I told ya so, what were you thinking?”
24) You find another and start the whole process over again
25) After a few months apart you forget how horrible it was and you want to start over