Category Archives: Health

Olive Oil, and the Paradox of Choice

Picture yourself in a grand supermarket. Filled with options; in what seems like hundreds of aisles. Dozens of different options of olive oil imported from Southern Italy. Virgin, extra-virgin, with truffle, light, cold-pressed, stone milled, organic… It really is spectacular. And just like the options in olive oil there are dozens of different types of bread, crackers, chocolate bars, cereals. Sounds great right? You almost want to take a picture…and maybe you do.

Now what? You are in a supermarket, you probably didn’t come here with the purpose of a sightseeing trip. You are there to buy your groceries and leave. Buy what you need. Shouldn’t take too much thought. Suddenly you find yourself overwhelmed with possibilities. Which olive oil do you choose? Which loaf of bread? Do you just grab one without a second thought? Do you look at the price? Calories? Amount of sodium? Do you just stare in quiet desperation while your brain slowly explodes? These are all possibilities.

Even though this could be a totally realistic post about the experience of going to a hyper-supermarket; I am only illustrating the Paradox of Choice. Which exists in many aspects of our lives. From going grocery shopping, to picking a movie on Netflix, to the even scarier life decision of picking a career.

We think having a infinite amount of choices is great. And yes, it is, for a short while. Until we get to the point in our life where we can’t make a decision. Or we avoid making one with the expectation something better might come along. Keeping our options open. Forever…

The reality is that the more options we are given, the less satisfied we are going to feel with whatever we choose. And no, this isn’t just me saying this; there are several studies that back this claim. This could mean that after a choice is made, you could spend years second-guessing yourself. Did you make the right choice? As I mentioned before, many of us simply resort to not making any type of choice at all. We keep our options open by avoiding any type of commitment. This can be true in both our careers and our personal lives.

Should I go into marketing? Or should I be a writer? Or maybe an actress? Maybe I could be a speaker. The list goes on…

The truth is, as Mark Manson puts it: pursuing a breadth of experience denies us the opportunity to experience the rewards of depth of experience. The truth is, commitment to a choice can give you even more freedom than you imagine because you are no longer distracted by the unimportant and frivolous. Making a choice hones your attention and focus, as you are directed to be more efficient at what actually makes you healthy and happy. And achieve even more success.

The rejection of alternatives can feel quite liberating, you just have to understand the benefits and step away from the all the marketing hype and the shiny objects that will distract you for a short while. Go to a farmer’s market perhaps. Choose an olive oil out of the 6 options you are given, not out of the 50+. I guarantee your dinner will be more successful.

Definitely not Enlightened

This morning I meditated, did my journaling and all that “spiritual” stuff that a few years ago I would have thought was ridiculous… Actually still today I occasionally think it is in fact a waste of my time and ridiculous. Yet I keep at it. Because even though it doesn’t always work, sometimes I will feel an inner peace that nothing else gives me. 

Being spiritual, whatever that means to you, is something that I believe we can all benefit from. 

Now with that said, being spiritual and bragging about being spiritual is an entirely different thing. In fact, the second one cancels the first one out. 

What do I mean by this?

Have you ever read someone’s status or Instagram update that is spiritually aggressive? In a way that the message is attempting to make you feel as if they are more enlightened than you are?

You know, that sort of “humble” brag about how because they are enlightened the haters will fail in the attempt to discourage them from pursuing their dream…

Which is great, except for the fact that when it needs to be presented in a manner that implies superiority from the person writing… Their “enlightenment” is probably an illusion. 

Am I being too harsh here? Or maybe its ironic because I am writing about this. The thing is, I have learned that people have to reach their own conclusions. It serves no purpose trying to shove your truth down someone’s throat. They have to search for that truth. Be open to it. 

It’s like aggressive vegans trying to convince meat eaters that it is atrocious to eat meat. They shame the person eating meat. Do you think that person will immediately turn vegan? HECK NO. 

(I am vegetarian/vegan btw just saying)

What I am talking about is something called Spiritual Materialism – a term coined by Chögyam Trungpa. Kind of like when people want to show off how spiritual they are to get likes. Ummm… That’s the ego right there, cancelling out all of yIMG_7922our spirituality darling.

Hey maybe I am doing the same thing here! You may think. Who knows… All I know is I am definitely not enlightened. Maybe someday I will acheive that nirvana moment. Or that aha! Moment. I will definitely not tell anyone about it. 

Cheers! 

Darling… It’s not just about the Food

Photo by: Steph Hansman

Photo by: Steph Hansman

I like to think we are all students of life. Some students take a more active role than others I would say. Sometimes you don’t even know if you are doing it right. 

Are other people doing this thing called life better than me?! I don’t know, you might wonder. I have definitely wondered. 

Others just kind of absentmindedly go through. Doing the bare minimum just to get through the day. Just to pass the class. 

I mean you could really always make analogies about academic life and dating life. I picked academic today. 

Anyway, today I read something that struck a cord: Health is not only about what you eat, but also about what you say. 

Dang. 

I mean, how many times do people criticize and berate themselves while they are eating a healthy diet (or trying to). They insult their physical appearance because they don’t look the way they want to look – and therefore they do not feel good. 

Photo by: Elizabeth Otaola

Photo by: Elizabeth Otaola

How does anyone expect to feel good and healthy if they are always feeding themselves negative thoughts? 

Yeah they say health is 70% diet and 20% exercise. That won’t matter at all if your head is not in the right place. 

#justsaying 

This obviously goes beyond dieting but that was the most straightforward way to explain it to my fellow students. 

Hey! Btw, if you are also wondering how you are doing with life. Good for you! At least you are trying. But no comparisons people! Seriously. Everyone is going through a different path. 

Alright, I will end this post with this photograph so it’s not too cheesy 😉 

Artist: Sake

Artist: Sake

Cheers!

Go ahead… Eat those FRIESSS

Hey you! Yes, you darling. The one who tries to eat healthy all the time. You eat your fruits, your veggies, your complex carbs, maybe even drink your tea every day and know what drinking kombucha does for your body. 

Occasionally you are tempted, you are human after all. Look at all your friends eating slices of pizza or bars of snickers. Sigh. Maybe your friends are all holistic eaters, and/or vegans. If not, well, your job to keep a healthy lifestyle is just tougher. 

Amiright?

Probs. 

Anyway, I just wanted to tell you: eat those friggin’ french fries. You know you want them. 

You are out to lunch with your friends, you know you’ve been eating healthy all week. Then your friend Patricia orders eggs Benedict with a side of fries. She’s all like: “Have as many as you want!”

You start feeling all this guilt after you do. DON’T

You’ve probably heard this before but life is all about balance. Keep your healthy habits. You go! 

Occasionally you will be tempted. Occasionally have the friggin’ chocolate, or ice cream, or friessss. Those fries though. 

Now don’t go eating the fries every day and then come blaming me. Nah. Keep your body in balance. Don’t restrict yourself too much or you’ll drive yourself crazy. 

Alright, good talk. Now i’ve got to go I have a salad to finish. 

Cheers!