I saw this humorous picture a couple times a week or so ago. At first it made me laugh, and then it made me think. While this is funny, isn't it so true of our current society?
Often I hear people complaining about "the poor" who get "handouts" but I think the fact of the matter is to some degree we all look for the path of least resistance. It is easier to drink a coffee or 5 hour energy shot in the morning than it is to manage and maintain a plan for getting a good nights rest. It is easier to watch TV than it is to read those classics waiting on your shelf. In a world increasingly filled with new inventions and modern marvels specifically targeting the pains of every day life, living with inconvenience and uncertainty is becoming increasingly rare.
So what? We live in the modern age, why shouldn't we eliminate pain and suffering completely? Innovations and new business are built around human pain constantly and why shouldn't they be?
To be clear, I am not exempt or "above" our instant gratification society. I love the microwave and the Internet as much as the next person. But I do think that many of the shortcuts that we take lead to long-term problems both in our own lives and health, and the general well-being of our communities and countries. For the last few months the way we eat has really drawn my attention as the one of the best examples of taking the path of least resistance and in turn suffering extraordinary long-term results.
How We Eat
The way I've chosen to eat for most of my life hasn't been the greatest. At the same time it hasn't been the worst either. I remember a period of time as an LDS missionary trying so hard to get my "5 a day" (5 servings of fruits or veggies) and just barely making it. I didn't have a hard time getting my 5 servings of sugar, fat, salt, and artificial sweetner though!
We all know we should have more fruits and veggies. And yet eating right is often a joke we tell about our childhood horrors (Doing paper work is worse than eating veggies, I can't stand it). Why is it that when I decide to eat a whole food, plant-based diet people get worried about my protein levels, but eating a high meat low plant diet they don't feel a little concern for all the nutrition they are missing out on? It is funny because you tell someone, "I don't eat meat" and many people think that is nuts and unhealthy. On the flip side what if I said, "Oh I don't eat vegetables"? Wow, guess what? Neither does most of our country! And yet veggies, fruit, and whole grains are consistently proven as the basis of any real healthy diet. We try to make ourkids eat them, but like other habits such as polite language and telling the truth, the fact remains that kids learn more from examples of adults than didactic or explicit lessons.
Though I occasionally have day dreams about taquitos from Costco, or double bacon burgers from just about anywhere, I am continuing on with eating the way I have for the last few months. In an effort to help others understand the possibilities out there I am revamping the little online cookbook my wife and I have been working on. Still lots of work left, but I am excited about the prospects!
I am a graduate student in Instructional Psychology and Technology at Brigham Young University. I enjoy writing, hiking, and spending time with my family.