Shopping, exercise and common sense

I am a sucker for gimmicks that promise a quick fix to a problem. I avoid shopping channels, which I find mesmerizing to the extent that I am not able to resist some of these miracle products. In my kitchen is an unopened jar of coconut oil that I purchased after being sent a YouTube video of how this product was effective in reversing the symptoms of dementia.

I may get suckered into buying these items, but the momentum is lost after they find space in my home. To my surprise, I discovered that several of my friends, after viewing the same video, are taking their daily dose of coconut oil.

I guess I should look for my jar hidden away in my kitchen and follow the trend.

Recently I received four large bottles of some exotic fruit promising me better health and relieving any inflammation I may have (not sure if I have any but I had met a woman who swore it changed her life).

I swallowed two tablespoons this morning, something I am supposed to do three times a day. The question remains as to whether or not I will follow through.

Every so often I will do a cleanup of vitamins and other health products that have accumulated in my cupboards only to find unopened bottles with expired dates. We are so busy looking for quick fixes that we ignore the basics: Maintain good health by following a healthy lifestyle, which implies a proper diet and regular exercise. There are no magic fixes.

The exercise program that I bought many years ago after watching an infomercial assured me that dedicating a mere 15 minutes a day to a specific exercise that included special breathing techniques would have me looking like the Size 6, 60-year-old model on TV.

During the first attempt at following this program, my daughter came running into the room, certain that I was having a heart attack after hearing abnormally exaggerated and loud breathing.

I felt like such a fool I returned the product thanks to the 30-day money-back guarantee (minus the loss on return shipping fees).

Thus, common sense is lurking in the background telling me to stay away from infomercials, and any words offering quick fixes to health-related concerns.

Recently, I reverted to being a vegetarian, inciting unsolicited comments from those around me. Some people feel that I will be doing more harm to my body by depriving it of chicken and beef, others telling me that a gluten-free diet is healthier than going vegetarian. For me, it was not an issue of health that prompted this decision but rather, more an animal-rights issue. I have learned to ignore everyone’s comments and do what feels right for me.

I look back on how my day started out this morning:

I woke up and went out for a nice jaunt in the fresh air, ate oatmeal for breakfast (after all, many of my clients who are doing well and are in their 90s eat a bowl of porridge every morning), had two tablespoons of my new miracle juice—though still yielded to my two cups of java (the jury is out on the subject of coffee’s benefits and disadvantages). I had chocolate-covered blueberries, which taste amazing and—to my thinking—have to be good for me in some way.

Every day I receive articles informing me of lifestyle choices that can prevent or hasten a diagnosis of dementia. Today’s reading from the Mayo Clinic is that people 70 and older who eat food high in carbohydrates have nearly four times the risk of developing mild cognitive impairment, and the danger also rises with a diet heavy in sugar.

I find baby boomers are more health conscious than our previous generation and I attribute some of it to their being witness to loved ones suffering from illnesses, some of which might be avoidable, such as diabetes; and dementia, which I do not think can be prevented.

But that doesn’t mean you should give up on your coconut oil or crossword puzzles. What it does mean is that we should all be aware of what doing things in moderation means, especially when it comes to food intake. What appears to be the Gospel truth one month is the Kiss of Death the next.

 Correction: Last month’s article stated that hospital social workers assist those seniors unable to afford private residences in transitioning into the public system. It should be noted that this is only the case for those individuals who are hospitalized; otherwise it is the CLSC social worker who will assist with accessing the public system.

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