How To Stop Being Overwhelmed By Health News
Is coconut oil bad for you? Is meat going to kill you? Do I need to avoid nightshades? Is plastic actually the devil? Who shot J.R.? Okay, maybe not that last one. But, really, I think we’re all seeing tons of buzz regarding hot topic health news recently. From documentaries, to articles, to confusing and conflicting protocols, and different influencer opinions, it’s no wonder that so many people aren’t quite sure what to believe. Questioning is human nature. We’re curious creatures and it’s actually refreshing to see people second guessing their ideals at time as it suggests open mindedness.
However, the constant back and forth is maddening isn’t it? One second you’re following a paleo style diet that promised to lessen your inflammation, and the next, your Facebook newsfeed is flooded with articles and 60 second videos on how animal protein is the root of all evil. You were just so sure a few months ago… now you’re not so sure. Maybe you’re even freaking out?
I know the cycle because I’ve gone through myself dozens of times with health news, from seeing vegetarian posts on Myspace in high school (just aged myself) to watching Forks Over Knives on netflix a few years ago, I’ve second guessed my stance and wound up confused quite a bit. I’ve done pantry clean outs, Google binges, and full on freak outs. And today, I’m watching hundreds and thousands of people go through the same confusion and mini freak outs daily.
Health news and debates may seem like it’s at an all time high, but guess what? It’s always been there, and it’s not going anywhere. So, how do you get over it? How do you stop freaking out over health news?
How To Stop Freaking Out Over Health News
Do your research for the “why” behind the protocol, diet, or lifestyle you follow.
Back in the day, I used to just scour the internet and magazines to find the prettiest girls and figure out what they were eating. That’s how I wanted to eat. Why? For no reason other than I wanted to be pretty too. Greek yogurt, hummus, popcorn, and egg whites? I was in. I had no idea why these foods were good or bad, I just did it.
When I first started transitioning to the paleo/ autoimmune paleo lifestyle that I still live, I cut out nightshades and grains only because I knew I reacted to them. I didn’t know why they were actually bad for people with gut issues and autoimmune disease. When I was challenged on this belief (with movies like Forks Over Knives) my opinion wavered. I thought, “maybe this movie is right and all of the other food lists I read were wrong?”. The problem was I was just reading food lists, meal plans, and recipes. I wasn’t understanding why an autoimmune protocol diet was actually a good choice for me. I didn’t understand the crucial difference between factory farmed meat and pastured meat, thus, I thought all meat was created equal and fell for a lot of the plant based beliefs entirely too quickly.
What you want is to be able to understand the approach that you follow to the extent that when it’s challenged, you already have an answer as to why you believe what you believe. Not that a food list told you to, but that you understand why the food list said it.
Even with captivating news that says otherwise, I feel comfortable which is one that is grain free, vegetable heavy, full of healthy fats, and moderate properly raised animal protein because I did the research and know the why’s behind why I do it.
You don’t have to be a science nerd to understand the “why” behind why we eat certain foods. There are tons of great resources out there that explain these concepts in plain English.
Here are my favorite resources that explain the why behind the diet and lifestyle I share on my blog:
Be open minded, but firm.
Like I said, I often find it refreshing when I see people make big lifestyle changes and second guess their previous opinions. We’re not meant to stay stuck in a box. Research changes, we change as time goes on, and we should be looking at new opinions and data. We can even borrow nuggets/poppers (if you follow my blog you get the popper reference 😉 ) from approaches that we don’t agree with 100%, but stay firm in the big picture that we believe.
When I first watched Forks Over Knives (which is another plant based rules, animal protein drools documentary) I was not eating a lot of vegetables. Maybe I’d eat some baby carrots with hummus, but that was about it. The documentary was so compelling to me that I started eating more vegetables over night. I was at whole foods buying acorn squash and greens for juices the very next day! And you know what, I’m glad I watched that documentary! It helped convince me to eat more vegetables. Did it convince me to stop eating animal protein? Not exactly. I was open minded enough to make the bulk of my meals plant based by firm in my original belief that animal protein doesn’t have to be the end of the world if it’s properly raised.
So please, take what you can from the plant based movement! Truly, they make a lot of great points when it comes to eating more vegetables. The same goes for a handful of other protocols and opinions that don’t fit your lifestyle, but still have some wisdom to share. However, stand firm in the big picture of what you believe rather than completely making a blind shift at the drop of a hat.
Accept that no perfect health solution exists and that we’re all different.
Some of the biggest arguments over health news of our time are child hood obesity, heart disease, autoimmunity, and cancer. Clearly all incredibly important issues, and our modern lifestyle and diet have contributed to making those bigger issues… 100%!
However, before there was childhood obesity, there were children dealing with the plague. Before there were autoimmune skin conditions, there was leprosy. Before there was cancer caused by bacon and sausage, the Ancient Egyptians who ate a 100% real food diet free of processed food were documenting cancer… yup… cancer in Ancient Egypt. Some of these comparisons may sound like a stretch but the point is, sickness will always exist in some capacity and there is no perfect health solution to make us all invincible.
Since original sin, we’ve lived in a fallen world where death is inevitable and sickness has taken many forms and has had many causes over the past hundreds of thousands of years.
Does that mean that the pursuit of health is fruitless? Of course not! I wouldn’t be here if I thought that. But at the same time, when someone asks me what the ultimate answer is for a truly healthy body, I have to answer that there isn’t one that applies to everyone. We’re all different, and even when we figure out our own diet and lifestyle solution, we’re all only here for a short time.
So, at the end of the day, don’t ignore the health news. There’s always something to take away from it. But know your why, stand firm, and remember that there is no one perfect answer!