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Many moons ago, I blogged author/pastor Steven Furtick’s perception vs reality quote about insecurity:

One reason we struggle w/ insecurity: we’re comparing our behind the scenes to everyone else’s highlight reel.

I was reminded of this when I came across this pic/post by Michelle Yeager on my Facebook feed recently:

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Yeager’s “behind the scenes” might surprise you:

I feel like if everyone, myself included back when I was this lean, actually shared how we are really feeling deep down instead of just positing [sic] a picture of a body and saying “eat clean, train hard” or something along those lines, people would be a lot better off. … But no one wants to talk about how miserable they might be feeling. I know for me I was trying to put on a happy positive face, but on the inside I was a mess. I had sooo much anxiety around food. Everything I put into my body had to be perfectly measured to the gram and calculated for the day. I couldn’t focus on much other than the next time I got to eat, my workout for the day, and taking selfies.

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Thanks to Andy Bellatti for the permission to repost his response to the latest “saturated fat doesn’t raise risk of heart disease” study. His take-aways (emphasis mine):

1. It’s important to keep in mind that this meta-analysis only looked at heart disease. I think saturated fat’s role in heart disease has been exaggerated and misunderstood, but we also can’t forget that most of the foods that are high in saturated fat are problematic for other reasons (i.e.: processed meats increase colorectal cancer risk, most foods high in saturated fat do not contribute fiber, the role that L-carnitine, a compound in red meat, plays in promotion of heart disease, etc.)

2. This study still does not discount the fact that monounsaturated fats (almonds, pecans, olives, avocados) confer many health benefits.

3. As long as we have this dichotomy of “saturated vs. unsaturated” fats, we’ll always have this battle. In reality, we need to start having a “processed vs. unprocessed” fat conversation. “Unsaturated” fats include everything from the fat in avocados (great!) to the fat Doritos are fried in (not good).

4. Too often, these studies end up inaccurately translated as “saturated fat isn’t as harmful as we once thought! Pile on the bacon!” To me, what this study says confirms is what I tell my clients often: “it’s fine if you want to cook your vegetables in a little butter to give them flavor, but the focus should be on eating a hearty amount of vegetables, not drowning three broccoli florets in a ton of butter because butter has been given the supposed green light.”

5. Remember that whole, plant-based foods contain many compounds (minerals, phytonutrients) that are great for heart health.

This is the first time in over 200 QOTD posts that I’ve quoted an entire post! But I thought the whole thing was well worth sharing here … I couldn’t agree with Andy more.

In an article for Bitch, chef/writer Soleil Ho wonders “how can we fetishize the act of eating so much while also making food more inaccessible to the people who need it the most?”

I don’t mean to minimize the important question/concern of food accessibility, but this snippet of Ho’s related to the act of eating (or at least shopping for food) struck me:

Though it can be said that the acrid odor of snake oil marketing has always been a hallmark of American laissez faire capitalism, we’ve entered an age where consumer choice and moralizing have combined to turn grocery shopping into an incredibly neurotic experience. If you want to be cosmopolitan, you’ll buy star anise, kimchi, and coconut oil. If you want to prevent cancer, buy collard greens, blueberries, and omega-3 eggs. If you want to eat food free of pesticides and high fructose corn syrup, buy organic meat, flour, and dairy. Compound all of these seemingly innocuous exercises in American Dreaming with diet fads like “clean” eating, Westernized veganism, or the paleo diet, and you’ll get a supermarket full of people staring at labels, searching the copy for proof of ideological and medical purity. I need to buy this if I want to be good, if I really want to take care of myself and my family. As it turns out, this moralistic way of framing choice is extremely profitable for food processors, restaurants, and produce retailers: we’ve been effectively held captive by our own consciences.

As this #Breaking Black post on “food gentrification” suggests, there “are no easy answers, but we have to start asking the questions before food becomes a privilege instead of a necessity.”

And while we’re at it, perhaps we should look more at if/how much this “fetishization” of eating leads to analysis paralysis and “what the hell” decisions around folks’ diets.

If you are a woman, if you're a person of colour, if you are gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, if you are a person of size, if you are a person od intelligence, if you are a person of integrity, then you are considered a minority in this world. ...And it's going to be really hard to find messages of self-love and support anywhere. It's all about how you have to look a certain way or else you're worthless. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue.

Saw this on a friend’s Facebook feed this AM and the last part about self-esteem being an act of revolution resonated. I Google’d and it turns out there’s more to the quote. Here’s another snippet I liked:

You know when you look in the mirror and you think ‘oh, I’m so fat, I’m so old, I’m so ugly’, don’t you know, that’s not your authentic self? But that is billions upon billions of dollars of advertising, magazines, movies, billboards, all geared to make you feel shitty about yourself so that you will take your hard earned money and spend it at the mall on some turn-around creme that doesn’t turn around shit.

But while the short quote in graphic form works great in a Facebook feed, another part left out highlights what Cho really meant about self-esteem in this culture being an act of revolution:

When you don’t have self-esteem you will hesitate before you do anything in your life. You will hesitate to go for the job you really wanna go for, you will hesitate to ask for a raise, you will hesitate to call yourself an American, you will hesitate to report a rape, you will hesitate to defend yourself when you are discriminated against because of your race, your sexuality, your size, your gender. You will hesitate to vote, you will hesitate to dream. For us to have self-esteem is truly an act of revolution and our revolution is long overdue.

Word.

I have been a big fan of ThermoWorks’ ThermaPens for a long, long time. It’s something I bought my dad probably 20 years or so ago as an Xmas gift, and it was his fave, geeky go-to tool (he used to carry it to the beach to measure air and water temp!). It’s been in my kitchen for nearly as long.

Alas, the problem with the ThermaPen is that, at $96, it’s pretty pricy for the average home cook. Problem solved! TW has gotten tired of losing out the home cook market to competitors, as they’ve come out with a much more reasonably priced — and fun — ThermoPop.

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As you can see, it’s available in lots of colors. What you can’t see from the image is that the temperature display rotates so it’s easily viewable no matter how you are using it (works for lefties!). It’s also fast: readings are within the final degree in only 5 to 6 seconds. And for a limited time, TW is selling them at $24 (will be $29; some colors available at Amazon).

The timing is good for me, as I’ve realized that the ThermaPen I currently have is one of their precision ones rather than their fast read ones. So I’ve ordered a ThermaPop. If it isn’t what I’m expecting, I’ll report back here. But I fully expect it to rock!

Dr. David Katz is a busy guy! One of his many roles is Editor-in-chief of the journal Childhood Obesity. In an editorial in the February issue, he asserts that obesity is like drowning: “medically legitimate,” but not a disease. For him, this is not just semantics:

The importance of considering obesity a variety of drowning lies with the implied remediations. Whereas we do treat drowning when it occurs, our principal approach is directed at prevention. … We recognize the problem of drowning as a mismatch between our bodies and the environment, and direct our efforts at the interface. Diseases, in contrast, bespeak a problem within us, rather than all around us, and direct our efforts accordingly.

Obesity as disease implies that a large population of our sons and daughters are not just heavy, but diseased. I object to this, for the fault lies not with the bodies of our children, but with the body politic. The fault lies with a culture that sanctions junk as a food group, jettisons physical activity from the school day despite evidence of its myriad benefits, and, in general, leaves health to languish on a road not taken while neglecting much that might be done to put it on a path of lesser resistance. If ever more effort is directed at obesity as a disease, treated in the customary ways, none of these fundamental problems will garner the attention each deserves.

Obesity need not be a disease to be legitimate. If it is a disease, it is a social disease.

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