Why Are Teens So Moody?
This is a video I wanted to include in this week’s post because it is one dear to my heart.
You see I am afflicted with having to share my life with a teenager.
Whilst most of the time he is quite a normal person and a person I particularly enjoy spending time with there are times when all of that goes out the window.
There are specific things that will set this off but the one thing in particular that is guaranteed to do it is that of change.
Any type of change pretty much turns him from a kind, considerate normal person into the moody teenager from hell you see described all over the place.
Now I am not talking about huge upheavals in his life like parents getting divorced or moving to another town or school or anything like that.
I am talking about any kind of change that occurs because a plan that was ill-conceived in the first place, does not come to fruition and as a result change must occur.
For example every Sunday we are all assured of being available for dinner so the standing arrangement is that the whole family goes out for dinner together that night.
At some point the discussion on where or what to eat comes up and my son invariably chooses something that has more potential barriers to it than anyone could imagine.
Despite gently reminding him of those barriers to success that we may encounter he will persist on that choice.
It is at this point that the trouble potentially begins.
Any further discussion of why this is not such a good plan results in a big ol’ mood swing… and not for the better!
So generally my wife and I retreat from the subject for fear of having an uncomfortable afternoon with a moody teen.
Sadly as the day progresses the reality of the original choice begins to take hold and more often than not we need to go to a plan B for dinner.
Generally speaking we take the attitude that all is lost by this point and sit through a very uncomfortable (second choice) meal.
Exercise vs Diet
In a world that has become almost totally fixated on the idea that one problem must invariably involve only one solution the question of diet versus exercise for weight loss inevitable.
The real difficulty here is that we have an industry dedicated to making profit by conceiving and selling products for the purpose of weight loss.
So as a result much of the information we think we know about the subject is not actually information as such.
It is actually marketing hype dedicated to selling and has little to do with losing weight.
It is through this process over the years that has resulted in the current diet or exercise reasoning yet separating the two is ridiculous.
Weight loss comes down to the simple fact of supply and demand.
Too much food and you gain weight because you are using too little of it.
Too little exercise compared to your food intake means you add weight.
So the real answer to the question is not too much or too little of one or the other.
It is answered by how much food you are consuming in terms of calories compared to how much food in terms of calories you need based on your physical work load.
Sure you can cut down the calories and maybe lose some weight but if you remain motionless in a chair in front of the T.V. all day… the loss is not going to be very much!
On the other hand you can hit the gym everyday and do an honest workout then go for a run as well but if you are eating 20 cream cakes at the same time you are not going to achieve very much!
The truth is that it is all about the balance and understanding how much food energy you are putting in (calories) compared to how much your body actually needs (based on your physical activity) each and every day.
Cooking and Nutrients in Your Food
One of those “everybody knows” things is regarding the way in which cooking food reduces that food’s nutritional value.
I am not really sure how we all got to “know” this but I think it is pretty safe to say that somehow we just do.
Like most things in the world of nutrition this subject is a mixture of truth, falsehoods, old wives tales and dodgy science so in all reality most of us really are in no position to make a judgement on it.
There is obviously a need to cook food in most circumstances whether it be for safety reasons, for taste or even in some cases as a necessity to making that food edible at all.
In the article linked below there is a great breakdown on the benefits and downsides to cooking food but more importantly a rundown on what styles of cooking affect the nutritional value of which foods.
On top of that there are some excellent examples of things that are not just lost in cooking but things that are actually enhanced by cooking.
For example certain foods cooked a certain way may very well lose a good deal of their inherent vitamin content but at the same time enjoy almost doubling their antioxidant content.
Well worth a look.
A few months ago I was watching a program on the BBC that was part of a series covering the way in which marketing was being used to create demand for products that we didn’t really need.
One of the programs in the series covered the pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies and gave a few great examples of marketing to sell their products.
The one that stood out for me because of the test they did on the program was one covering antibacterial soaps and products.
The problem the companies saw was that soap was becoming rather boring in the eyes of the consumer and that sales were stagnating because of that in comparison to sexier products such as body washes and gels.
To solve this problem they embarked on a course that is pretty much standard for the industry and makes a great study in understanding exactly how they work.
First of all they had to create a problem that no-one really had and then convince people that they had the problem.
In this case it was that ordinary soap was not killing germs so we were all walking around like a bunch of toxic germ repositories endangering ourselves and others the whole time.
The next step was to associate that state with strong emotional ideas such as failing to care for your children and putting each other at risk.
Finally we have the presentation of the product which is an antibacterial soap that all us responsible and caring people should be buying cos’ we are nice people and not bad people… right?
Anyway the program went on to point out that in fact the chemicals being added to the soap to make it antibacterial were in fact quite dangerous and long periods of exposure were not necessarily a good thing!
Cut to today where this is pretty well known and acknowledged however that’s not the best part.
In the program they did a test.
They simply had people wash their hands with ordinary soap and various antibacterial soaps. The results? Ordinary soap removed more bacteria every time!