Where Did the Punk Go?

When it rains, it pours.  And because it’s Oregon weather, it rains for several months on end.

I wound up getting VERY busy over the last two months.  College has a tendency to do that.  The good news is that I have been refining my writing skills, and branching out.  The bad news is that it’s been two months (almost a whole term at my university) where I have not written anything here.

I branched out into fiction.  Since high school started, I focused only on non-fiction.  This includes things like literary analysis, and science papers.  In college, I focused more on writing technical documents.  However, I did take some fiction writing classes before I declared myself a writing minor.  Now, I plan on taking more.  In fact, I might even post some of my favorite assignments into a portfolio and share it with my readers!

I also got hired onto a new job.  This job is through SNAP-Ed, so instead of recruiting people to sign up for SNAP benefits, I am assisting in developing materials to publish online for those who need it, or are interested.  I’ve only JUST started working there, but so far so good.

I’ve also been working on three video projects all at once.  This was a HUGE time-sink.  One of the videos I had to do completely.  I really did not care for this one.  I started to run out of time, and had to rush it a bit.  It probably does not help that I am not super confident with video editing.  The second one I liked better.  I got to work with a group of three other people.  We made an instructional video for the university’s food service explaining why it’s important to check meat temperatures, and how to properly do so.  The last one has been the biggest time-sink of them all, as the project has spanned almost this entire year.  This one is an educational video on the changes to the Nutrition Facts panel that is happening in the summer of 2018.  We wanted to ensure all the information was accurate, and that the video was entertaining enough, while incorporating enough classroom materials for the videos to supplement a lecture.  This one has been fun!

So what is the future of The Nutrition Punk?  Right now, I am working.  This takes less time than classes, so I definitely plan on blogging WAY more.  Once next school year begins, I will probably have to be away from my blog intermittently to wrap up my last year at university, and to work on getting my materials together for a post-college life.

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Fat Country: A General Guide for Different Fats

Food and nutrition can be confusing.  One such way is with fats.  There are so many types out there, and debate about if they are healthy or not.  Thanks to its poorly-moderated nature, the internet has all sorts of misinformation out there.  Today I am going to be making a short-hand guide to hopefully help you be a better educated consumer!

 

FAT:  This is a general term for boring biochemical stuff.  It comes in one of three forms in foods (I know there’s a lot of different ways this stuff can end up before or after being eaten, but this is a general short guide for any of you science people out there who want to criticize me for overly simplifying this!).  It can be found in saturated, unsaturated and trans-fat varieties for cooking.  Other forms are used in the body for various functions

SATURATED FAT:  This is the kind that doctors call “unhealthy fat.”  It plays a role in increasing blood cholesterol, which can cause damage to the blood vessels and heart.  It’s found in foods like butter and other animal products.  Typically, this is found in a solid form at room temperature.

UNSATURATED FAT:  This is the kind that doctors call the “good fats.”  It can help lower bad cholesterol in the body.  These are found in liquid form at room temperature.  Foods like nuts and avocados are high in saturated fat.

TRANS-FAT:  These are most commonly found as synthetically made fats (they can actually exist in nature, but they are pretty rare).  Essentially some food chemist does their mumbojumbo science stuff to some unsaturated fats, and it becomes solid at room temperature.  They are also more shelf stable than other kinds of oils.  However, they also increase the risk of developing heart and vessel issues.  In fact, the FDA removed it from the “generally regarded as safe” list!  This means that foods with trans-fats in them must undergo reviews to ensure consumer safety.

TROPICAL OILS:  These are things like palm oil and coconut oil.  Many people think coconut oil is a healthier option when compared to butter.  Unfortunately, this type of oil has A LOT of saturated fat.  More so than butter!  Some websites proclaim this as a healthy oil, but so far my research does not indicate that.

 

Any comments, questions, or anything else you would like to say?  Leave them below!

Happy fcuking birthday: My One Year Blog Anniversary

I hit a milestone of one-year of blogging!!

Well, it’s been one year (and one day, because classes prevent me from having too much fun!) since I started posting to this blog.  This started off as a project in one of my nutrition classes (I actually submitted the first post as an assignment!).  Since then, I have kind of built up my blog further.  It’s been interesting for me.  I never thought that I would ever get this kind of exposure!  I’ve had friends and family discussing and sharing my blog with others.

To celebrate, I am going to write up a summary of what I have learned during this year.  There were many changes for me, in all works of life.

Make Adversity into an Advantage:  The blog was done as part of an assignment in one of my nutrition classes.  However, during this time, I was facing some problems.  Because of several issues with class scheduling, I wound up being a year behind schedule.  Meaning I had to take another year, with most terms having too few credits for me to keep my funding.  Instead of bitching about it, I opted to take on a minor.  I enjoy writing (if that wasn’t evident enough), so I decided to take a few extra writing classes to boost my schedule.

Strive for Improvement:  I push for personal improvement in life.  I have a hard time really feeling satisfied with what I am doing.  On assignments, I usually get to the point of saying “fuckit” and turning in what I have done.  I know that I am going to consistently miss small details here and there, and with the stresses and time constraints.  I do take criticism with stride, though.  I try and take the feedback received by classmates and professors alike to improve my own work.  I also look at test scores as a sort of feedback.  If I am hot satisfied with a grade I got, I examine the habits I have and try to improve them to get the score I want.

Have fun:  Life is one of those interesting things.  Life can be incredibly fun and you can love everything that is going on.  But life also can be a huge drag and bore the hell out of you.  On top of this, it can change on a whim.  One moment, you can be having the time of your life, and then suddenly be bored or stressed or some other negative emotion.  So, what can be done about things?  Well, I try to maximize the amount of times I have fun.  I love learning (otherwise I would have not gone to college), and I love putting my knowledge to use.  I am finally at the point where classes are less knowledge cramming for tests, and applying the knowledge I learned.  Instead of viewing what I have to do for classes as chores, I view them as something fun.

This was one helluva year to say the least.  I am not going to get into too many personal details that are irrelevant, but I am glad I started working on this blog.  Here’s to another year of blogging!  I can’t wait to have more stories to share!

What the F**k is Wrong with You?: The problem with Self-Diagnosing

How Googling symptoms can lead to unexpected problems

A lot of people often use online sources to find out what their problems are.  Hell, even I have done web searches to find out some illnesses I’ve had.  The problem with doing this is that you probably are not a doctor (unless you actually are a doctor of medicine, in which I shall shut the fuck up and let you do your job).  Using the symptom checkers can often lead to conclusions that are not quite logical for the situation.

For example, let’s say you ate a whole can of beans for some reason.  Hours later, you have a belly ache.  There is some pain in your abdomen, so you look up the symptoms.  It’s a sharp, moderately severe pain with a feeling of fullness.  Using the symptom checker, this person can have issues that are relatively severe, including diverticulitis (sacks that develop in the colon which then get filled with bacteria and poo), dermatomyositis (rare disease which causes muscle pain, weakness, and blotchy patches), or, quite simply, gas pains.

While it is important to monitor your health, sometimes a doctor is not needed.  If you are just farting a lot due to eating a whole lot of beans, there probably is not much a doctor can recommend, save for some anti-gas medications that you can get over the counter.  In more severe cases, like if you wound up having some blotchy patches in addition to the pain, then yeah, maybe see a doctor.

Looking up symptoms can also lead to hypochondriasis like conditions, and I know I have fallen into such trap.   An example is thinking the slight discomfort from eating the beans is a sign of severe gastrointestinal cancer.  Thinking the most severe situation after a short duration of time can lead to unnecessary doctor visits, which can add up financially when insurance gets involved.

Now, I am not saying to forgo going to the doctor for ailments, I am simply saying to be smart with it.  If the pain came from eating a whole can of beans, or if you have a sore, runny nose and it’s cold season, then it probably is not a severe gastrointestinal issue, or even nasal polyps.

So what do you guys think?  Has online symptom checkers helped find diseases you never knew you had, or did it lead to a trip to the doctor that was not needed?

 

Learn On My Own by Emigrate: Odd Analogies I Have Learned in Human Health Classes

Knowledge comes in many forms, and sometimes education comes in unexpected ways.

Sometimes, education is weird.  I signed up for a class on one topic, and instead I wind up learning more than what I paid for.  Sometimes these are deep, dark things about myself or others, simply based on observations and questioning.  Other times, things get put in perspective for me.  These are all “truths” I’ve found during my time being educated, which is a majority of my life.  Feel free to disagree with me on these, because everyone’s life experience is vastly different.

  1. People are like digits and limbs: What I mean by this is that relationships work so long as things are healthy.  If things become disconnected, then there is a problem.  Fortunately, like a severed body part (except for the head, at this point and time in science), sometimes things can be reattached and things are good.  However, people can also be toxic or drag you down.  This is when they become like gangrenous limbs; the need to be removed.
  2. Much like your organs, everyone has a purpose: In the body, it’s pretty fucking stupid to expect your heart to do digestive functions, or your liver to maintain conscious thought.  That being said, it’s pretty fucking stupid to expect certain things of people, if they have shown a certain nature.  I have found that some people I can go ahead and ask for advice, and their two-cents are really valuable.  Others, the advice they give is terrible.  However, those that don’t give good advice might be better at something else.  Some of my friends I can rely on for academic help, or companionship, whereas others, they would not be as valuable, but can offer me perspective.
  3. Bad attitudes can spread like a virus: Everyone has shitty days, amongst the good. It’s a normal part of life.  Hell, the bad days make the good days even better, because without the bad days, the good days start to become mundane.  However, there are just those who like to bitch and complain about everything.  The smallest issue can easily turn into an hour long conversation for whatever victim can be found.  I have become the “host” for this virus on several occasions.  Some of the people that I talk with just sometimes spew their infectious attitudes on me, complaining about something minor that really should not have been taken issue with.  Normally, I move on once this conversation is done, much like your immune system can fight of certain infections.  However, sometimes it can’t, or multiple exposures overrun you, and finally, you have the bad attitude.  Fortunately, I find beer makes a great cure-all.
  4. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: With dietetics, the main goal is to either prevent or delay some illnesses or diseases from occurring using prevention.  Delicious, delicious prevention.  This applies to peoples’ actions as well.  Telling people what pisses you off, or controversial topics before they start to address them, or even telling people what they did was unacceptable during a neutral moment, you can save yourself aggravation in the future.  Let me tell you, being pissed at friends and family fucking sucks.  Letting them know that there is an issue, and offering solutions to it, might cause some conflict in the beginning.  However, that little bit of conflict can save more hair pulling in the future.
  5. Much like a chronic disease, you must accept things the way they are: There are ALWAYS issues you can find with people once you’ve known them long enough.  Maybe they are a stubborn asshole who likes to swear all too fucking often (yes MOM I fucking know I have a potty mouth!!).  So here, the real question is:  am I going to change?  Hell no!  This is who I am.  Fucking deal with it.  Other people will also have negative attributes or vices that might cause issue.  However, some people will not change.  This ties back to my first point of people being like severable body parts.  If their issues become too much, then it’s time for them to go.  However, if their issues are something that can be looked past, then the best course of action is live and let live.

 

This is a topic I might revisit in the future, as I learn more and more and advance more and more in my nutrition education.  Or if I think of anything more.  Does anyone out there have their own analogies?  I think it would be interesting to see what other people have figured out.