Health care.

So I've been quite busy lately. Wrote a good shot story, worked some more on my novels, and of course keeping up with my school work. There isn't much to say on my end, because for the most part, not much has happened in my life. I was on a particularly mean streak a few months back, and now I'm back to the sort of kindness that I want to have. I've sent repentant messages to many of my friends that I've harmed in the past, trying to make amends for some of the greater douchebaggeries that I've committed, and in general I feel like I've helped myself and others by finally just sitting down and admitting that I've done a few wrongs. Other than this, there isn't much to speak of, except the one thing that has been on my mind lately.

I would like everyone to understand here, that eating a healthy diet is NOT the same thing as being a vegetarian.

I know that it's became fashionable and all to eat nothing but veggies and decry all that is meat, but to be honest, there isn't much nutritional basis for this. I've done some preliminary research here, and my findings have confirmed the facts that I already know. The enemy to your health isn't meat, it's the processing of food.

Now, of course, it is much easier to fuck up meat than it is to fuck up vegetables and fruits. The process of mass-producing meat generally involves a lot of disgusting stuff, such as unsanitary living conditions for the animals, the fact that every chunk of beef that makes its way to you is made up of probably about eight different cows, and the fact that we process this meat to remove the nutritional value and replace this with flavor. The process of mass-producing fruit and veggies, on the other hand, is simply to grow more of them. Yes, you can try crowding them together, but unsanitary living conditions are less important here; if plants are growing too close together, one dies and the other one keeps going. Simple. And then, there's far less processing that goes into fruits and veggies, and as a result they tend to end up on our plates much closer to the way that nature intended, with all their value intact.

The real enemy here is everything processed. It's all the salt we put into soups and spices to preserve things, it's all the sugar that we extract from god-knows-where and dump into our food, and it's all the high-taste low-nutrient stuff that gets packed onto the shelves today. The important thing to understand, is that not all meat is victim to this process, and not all vegetables escape it. It's perfectly fine to eat lean, humanely grown meat, and it's also just as disgusting to me to eat apples that have been coated in wax so that they last longer on their way to our mouths.

This being said, it is also true that a vegetarian diet is simply not a balanced diet. A balanced diet is one that contains the right amounts of all available food groups, not one that cuts out one group entirely and thus forces you to eat too much of another to catch up. Meats contain valuable fats and proteins, which we need for muscle growth and energy. You could argue that fat makes you fat, but hell, having energy isn't a bad thing. Of course, if you eat a lot of fats and don't spend any time getting exercise, yes, you will get fat, and be very unhealthy, but for a person who spends an adequate amount of time taking care of their body, there's no such worry, because you're then burning that fat just as it was designed to be done. Another issue of the vegetarian side of life is that you are forced to eat a lot of concentrated types of veggies, say legumes, in order to make up for nutrients in meat that you are lacking. In the process, you get too much of other nutrients, and this is of course unhealthy in a slightly less visible but just as effective over time kind of way. I'm not saying that vegetables and fruits are not the portion of your diet with the highest amount of nutrients, because this is completely true. But as with all things, you need enjoyment to balance out your work, you need things of lesser importance and lesser effect to balance out the ones of higher importance and effect. Ignoring meat is like saying that you would like to work for the rest of your life, no breaks except for the necessary rest and food. Certainly, at first you would start doing a lot of work; after a time, you would be burnt out. It's the same way with your body; too much of a good thing is still a bad thing.

That being said, I have no problem with someone who goes the mile to inform himself, and then chooses to take up a vegetarian diet. I can't do it, because I spend a lot of time in the gym and can't support my workout routine without eating meat or eating excessive amounts of veggies and sugars to make up my energy. But I do have a problem with people who blindly take up vegetarianism as a way of life and a superior diet, because in fact it isn't. As with all things in life, it's simply a different one. It has its own strengths and weaknesses, just like all other diets. There is no 'best' diet, only one which is well-tailored to your tastes and type of lifestyle. So don't just decide that vegetarianism is your lifestyle, and start acting accordingly. That's a terrible idea.

And that's the sort of problem that I see around me today; that most vegetarians I know have done this out of the wrong sort of blind faith, and that they aren't actually getting out of it much except the placebo effect that they were looking for all along. Please, readers, feel free to contradict me if anything that I've laid out above is grossly incorrect, but as the way it stands, I feel that this challenge isn't very controversial, and tends to stand to reason.

If you're a vegetarian, please, tell me that you've thought this thing through. Otherwise, I'm not sure how much I can respect your dietary decisions.



Again, it has been difficult recently to find time to write in this blog. I've given myself a heavy workload this semester, and things are always difficult when you have to spend four or so hours a day doing homework, as well as trying to get to the gym. My exercise has also slackened off a little, because I can't always find time when I'm motivated to go.

However, I've been thinking about the future recently, and about what it means to me. A discussion of housing in my senior year has made me begin to think that far ahead already, and think about what my future is going to be like. At first, I was quite disheartened by this thought, because I realized that prospects for the future are somewhat grim.

The fact is, that I am not a man with many close friends. I have many casual friends that I speak to and spend time with, but I am very selective and demanding when it comes to friends that I actually consider close to me. Upon discussing my senior year housing situation, it has come to my attention that I really only have two close male friends at this college, and they are my only hope for getting a house in senior year. Other people could join us, but circumstances have set my suite against itself, and we aren't exactly the most welcoming of new people into our living space. I felt weak and unhappy upon making this realization; it's not that I don't respect and care for these two close friends that I have, but I also feel like a failure for not having more.

Another issue that this discussion brought up is my relationship with my girlfriend. Next year, I will be going to France, and she will not. This puts a great strain on us, because we will be separated and we will not have much chance to see each other, except through skype, and I'm not the kind of person to spend a lot of my time doing such things. This only further aggravates the fact that we've been having some relationship issues again, recently.

I am a man who enjoys his life, and in the course of doing this I have cultivated a healthy respect for everything that it has to offer. I like to examine different viewpoints, try diverse foods, and explore new ideas. What this leads to, is an equality of all things, of valuing nothing more than anything else similar to it. For example, I consider pizza my favorite food. But I don't eat pizza any more than any other food, because its goodness only arises from other, less delicious foods to contrast. For this reason, every food is necessary; I enjoy eating even the foods that I hate, simply because they make the foods that I enjoy that much more worth it.

The problem is that this applies to people as well. I am very accepting of most people, and I very rarely harbor prejudice or hate against anyone unless they consistently prove themselves worthy of it, which is rarely. But what this also means, is that the people that I most like, are the ones that must be treated just as kindly as the ones that I don't. I may love my girlfriend, but I can't spend forever with her, because forever with anyone will always get old. And this is where the problem begins, in that I am beginning to grow tired of some aspects of her personality, and these aspects weigh on me more and more heavily.

Indeed, France may be a blessing. I need time away from her, I think, to make me appreciate her even more. Perhaps, the time away will unfortunately not clear my head of her flaws, in which case I would regrettably have to end the relationship. But this time, I feel like I'm really trying, for the first time. We had a discussion yesterday, in which I laid this out to her, at least in similar words, and tried to have a real communication with her.

This is far better than anything that has come before. Usually, when I begin to have issues with her, I consider breaking it off, and when I broach the subject we both become very angry at each other. But this time, we had an honest discussion, and I feel like we've truly communicated for one of the first times. I believe that we've reached the agreement that it's best for us to take a break from each other during study abroad, as this will allow us to take a deep breath and examine our situation more clearly. When it's done, and we return, is the real time when decisions must be made. It is then that we will decide whether or not this relationship truly works. If not, then breaking up will be necessary, but for once in our time together, I feel not like I'm trying to end it, but I'm trying to keep it going.

I think I'm finally beginning to truly care about this relationship, for more than insubstantial reasons. We've spent long enough together, she means enough to me now, that I'm beginning to take the two of us seriously, and I'm glad. Perhaps I am a bit pessimistic about it all working out, but I think that maybe I'm beginning to turn around.

In other news, I'd like to get back to writing a few more philosophical things here, but I never have the time. Over summer, perhaps.